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Thread: ['02 MGM LS] Air suspension diagnostics?

  1. #41
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    UPDATE:
    Not really an update. Tested all out, it's definitely bugged somewhere in the wiring section I've identified before.

    Just to let you know I'm working on welding the frame (the infamous rust attack right behind the lower control arm rear mount). She'll be fine, going back to the black top with a set of Bilstein B6 and CHE Performance rear arms and Watts link. When she does so, I'll be on my last leg to sorting out what's wrong with the RAS and, hopefully, getting it to work.

    Stay tuned.
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  2. #42
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    UPDATE (bruh, another one...?):

    The RAS project is very much alive. Didn't have the time to get around it, had the control arm frame mount welded up, she's good to go. Dropping in new cats this week, for the RH pipe ones are shot to hell and the engine is getting slightly too hot at hwy speeds.

    Anyway, I forgot about one thing that is partial to chafed wiring beneath the passenger side front fender liner (the same problem Dereck had): when I run through deep puddles, the power to the radio head unit dies. I believe the power for the radio runs along a wire in the same harness (I can tell that from relay #3 in the BJB).
    This might be telltale of the pin 1/16 voltage which is too low at the RAS control module inputs.

    Gonna sort out the cats and resurrect the RAS (finally!).
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  3. #43
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    UPDATE:
    The RAS project is very much alive. Didn't have the time to get around it, had the control arm frame mount welded up, she's good to go. Dropping in new cats this week, for the RH pipe ones are shot to hell and the engine is getting slightly too hot at hwy speeds.

    Anyway, I forgot about one thing that is partial to chafed wiring beneath the passenger side front fender liner (the same problem Dereck had): when I run through deep puddles, the power to the radio head unit dies. I believe the power for the radio runs along a wire in the same harness (I can tell that from relay #3 in the BJB).
    This might be telltale of the pin 1/16 voltage which is too low at the RAS control module inputs.
    So: need to test out the volts on C214. Got a gut feeling the wiring is shot at the passenger side fender liner. Gotta pull the fender liner and see what's what, with a bunch of wires and shrink tubes at hand.

    Gonna sort out the cats and resurrect the RAS (finally!).
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  4. #44
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    OKAY! I know I took my sweet time to get here, but this is one BIG update.

    Remember that the RAS module had too low volts to operate? Tested the power line, wire 1053 (LT BLU/PNK) between the battery junction box and connector C214 in the passenger footwell, next to pillar A. Obviously, 9 volts is too low. The BJB fuse read nearly 12 V, which is OK.




    Jacked up the passenger side front part of the car, propped up and the lower control arm, took the wheel off.
    Removed the fender cowl (the black plastic wheel arch thingie) out of the way to get to the wiring harness that goes from the battery junction box to connector C214 and further to pins 1 and 15 of the RAS control module. It's easy, there are two M8 bolts with HUGE washers spaced under the fender cowl approximately 30-40 deg. off the vertical that intesects with the wheel hub. Just yank them out and gently prise the outer fender cowl edges from the fender panel.

    What did I see at the firewall grommet for wire 1053 in that harness?
    This. MMMM, CRUNCHY GREEN.



    Cut off the bad parts, spliced in a new wire to match the gauge, sealed it up with shrink tubes and silicone sealant, and wrapped it up neatly in zip loom and electrical tape all the way from the grommet to the OEM split loom. Not taking chances the wire might chafe again. No way, Jose!

    Turned on RAS switch in the trunk, then keyed the ignition to accessory power and BINGO!



    No more RAS check light, which means the RAS system reads all wiring connections OK.

    Now, to make it work, because I don't think it still works:

    1) The RAS module, the height sensor, the solenoid valves and the RAS air compressor are connected (obviously, for there is no RAS check light). The air springs are NOT yet in (it still has the rear springs in), but this doesn't matter now, the RAS system wiring is complete as it should be.

    2) With the ignition off, I opened and closed each door and the trunk in succession. Each time I heard a loud CLICK from the RAS air compressor. And that's pretty much it, it won't react otherwise. Turned accessory power on, repeated the door and trunk open/close sequence, and heard the compressor click each time. Repeated this again, with the engine running. I also sat in the car, got out, put some load in the back, closed the door and the trunk, etc. The compressor clicked every time.

    3) Now, the compressor power relay (whicg makes the compressor TRRRK and pump, is in the battery junction box, which means it's the compressor's vent relay clicking when tested as above. The relay pins volt out OK (12 V).

    I verified that the compressor works by removing its relay from the BJB and shorting the power pins - the compressor ran fine. Either I'm doing something wrong, or the RAS still needs something to start the compressor.

    (I got another 'refurbished' RAS height sensor, just in case + another RAS control module as a spare.)
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  5. #45
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if its the vent solenoid on the compressor you're hearing when it should be inflating, that sounds like the wiring for the vent and the compressor relay have been switched. Either that or there isn't any power at the compressor relay, and its just being pulled. Might want to jump the compressor relay to verify the circuit from the fuse panel to the compressor can actually carry current.

    The vent solenoid is normally closed, power is applied to dump air from the springs. The spring solenoids are opened to either fill or vent.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  6. #46
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    I don't think the wires are switched, it seems to click the vent open to vent the air springs through its solenoids. It seems it does not want to start pumping air, tho I might be wrong.
    The RAS power relay in the battery junction box is OK - I swapped its place with the horn relay.
    Shorting the RAS power relay base pins gives power to the compressor and it runs. I might have to check the voltage at the harness side connector of the compressor for correct voltage (12 V) and the same connector's ground wire for continuity.
    I can also swap the control module and see what gives. Ditto the height sensor.
    Last edited by SpitShine_PL; 10-03-2020 at 12:44 PM.
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  7. #47
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Wonder how that wire got partially snipped like that.

    Perfect example of how voltage drop tests are better than continuity tests in diagnosing issues.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Wonder how that wire got partially snipped like that.

    Perfect example of how voltage drop tests are better than continuity tests in diagnosing issues.
    The chafed part of the wiring lives directly behind the fender cowl. The fun part is that there's another HUGE harness below and between the A/C canister and the cabin air fan. Guess what - its tape was chafed and the insulation in the harness had evidence of rub against the outer surface of the fender liner inward side. FoMoCo skimped on tying up those properly, lol. For that latter harness, I wrapped it in gorilla tape (no insulation was worn through) and repeated with a hefty dose of textile tape, as I like things finished neat and robust.
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  9. #49
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've had to repair several harnesses on my Continental. Heat-baked insulation, diesel fuel degraded insulation, and just 35 years of service. Not super fun but not much you can do about it besides try to make it better than it came from the factory.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #50
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    Okay...
    THE RAS IS OFFICIALLY WORKING, GENTLEMEN.

    There is, of course, one wee itsy bitsy problem.
    The height sensor thinks the car is too high.

    I think it has to do with the position of the lower ball stud bracket of the height sensor on the CHE Performance Watts link. Since I just managed to escape from under the car so I was not flooded to death by the downpour that's now lashing at the city, Imma postpone working on the bracket for today.

    I reckon that the bracket must be repositioned on the Watts link arm; the geometry of the CHE Performance arm (which is a tubular design, much stiffer than the wimpy-butt OEM stamped sheet piece) is identical with the OEM FoMoCo part. If there are some differences... I can't imagine engineering a suitable mount will be MORE difficult than troubleshooting the air suspension!
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  11. #51
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    A follow-up with a wee tiny issue here:

    I installed two Arnott 2200 heavy-duty air springs with no problem, but there's one funky thing:
    I had three air spring solenoid valves on hand, two Dorman (EW!) and one FoMoCo OEM. One of the Dormans failed to retain the air tube tip in the fitting, so I replaced it with the FoMoCo OEM and installed it in the right-hand air spring.

    The car lifts alright, but the left-hand side (the air spring with a Dorman solenoid valve) seems to be 1 inch or so lower than the right one. After 3-4 pump/vent cycles (normal driving, loading stuff in and out, etc.) both sides seemed to come to level, but the left hand side still sits a bit lower than the right one.

    I am wondering what might be causing this. Does that Dorman solenoid valve have a lower air flow rate than the FoMoCo OEM one, or is there something funky with the air line between the left-hand air spring and the tee union at which the compressor air line splits towards the air springs?
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  12. #52
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    Your logic is good but I are the shocks new?
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
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  13. #53
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    The shocks are Bilstein B6 with less than 1000 miles on them. I heard that I need to force vent the car to rest on low props placed under the frame ahead of the lower control arm forward mounts on a LEVEL surface and start the RAS to work normally to pump. (This was suggested to me by two people who had the same problem after air spring replacement). If this doesn't work, I will be leaning to a difference in air flow rate between the valves.
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

  14. #54
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    THE FINAL UPDATE:

    Well, got the fat lady's ass to ride level. Took some tweaking with the wires, I just put up a vertical measure out of a bike pump (you know, the upright one), secured its shaft with a ziptie at the height of the rear right wheel arch, and used that as the reference for the rear left one when venting and pumping the left air spring. Yes, I forced its solenoid valve to open while forcing the compressor to run.

    Now the rear suspension height is trimmed perfectly.

    Again, thanks for all the help. Love you guys.
    '00 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Silver Frost, the "Sharona": runs, drives and currently with mods in progress
    '96 Chrysler Grand Voyager LE 3.3 V6
    "You obviously have not been introduced to the ASTM Guidance for Profanity Gauging of Technical Services, Addendum#1, American English to Polish Scale Conversion, by which a repair done at a rate of 35 kurwas per 5 minutes means normal performance."

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