1993-1998 Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit
Recommended by MARKVIII.ORG!
Lincoln Mark VIII air suspension compressor not turning on? Front and/or rear sinking down overnight?....or maybe you're experiencing one of the many other common problems. If you've found this page, you're at least entertaining the idea of installing a Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit
. Whether you're just plain tired of playing the air suspension game that never ends, or the fact that the only air struts available for this vehicle are an inferior Chinese knockoff. Either way, the best thing about converting, is that the game is finally over. No more suspension breakdowns, no more problems with moisture. Never having to worry if the mechanic turned the suspension switch off before they lifted your car. Just a good old fashioned, reliable old-school type suspension any mechanic can work on. A Suspension Conversion is the ideal solution to resolve any air suspension problems and create a more comfortable and smoother ride over an extended period. Due to Mark VIII Air Suspension Parts getting harder and harder to come by these days, a Suspension Conversion has never made more sense. Our Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit is the best long-term solution for keeping your Lincoln on the road.
This Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit Includes:
- Front Brand Name Struts.
- Front and Rear Name Brand Coil Springs.
- Optional Rear Solid Mount and Shock Package.
- Easy to follow instructions clearly show technicians how to install the new conversion kit.
- Instructions included for canceling out the suspension message on your Mark VIII.
- These high-quality Lincoln parts are proudly made in the United States.
- The Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit is equipped with a lifetime warranty to provide added security and comfort for an extended period.
Why Buy Lincoln Suspension Parts From American Air Suspension?
Expert Experience You Can Trust
Nobody knows these systems better! The owner of American Air Suspension(AAS) was a Ford/Lincoln Certified Air Suspension Expert for over 20 years. During this time, he quickly learned what were the best parts to use and the parts to leave for "the other guys." You can trust AAS to bring you only the best parts available for your Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension. Learn More About Us »
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Lincoln Mark VIII Air Suspension Help and Common Problems
What about the computer? Won't the suspension light come on?
No. The instructions include how to defeat the suspension warning message. (takes less than 5 minutes)
Why is your kit better than others?
Our Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit is comprised of the absolute best Struts and Coil Springs available! For more in-depth information or product questions, don't hesitate to contact us at 1-866-211-7531 or email us.
Does my mechanic have to cut or weld anything?
No, never. Our Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit is designed to be a bolt-on installation, with installation instructions included and even a toll-free tech line.
If the Front airbags have been discontinued by Ford, what are my options?
Mark VIII air suspension parts are getting extremely hard to come by these days. The last good manufacturer of front airbags was Ford, but they've recently decided to discontinue manufacturing them. This leaves the die-hard air suspension owner only a couple of options:
Probably available until the end of time, is the so-called "rebuilt" struts. This is where a rebuilder replaces the rubber air bladder ONLY and reuses the old & tired hydraulics of the 100k-300k mile strut! (NOT recommended, as the air bladders rarely last two years before they leak again and the hydraulics are so work the car looks like a basketball driving down the highway)#2) There's still the ultra-cheap, bottom of the barrel
chinese knock-off strut from We*tar, that tend to have so many problems, they really don't deserve the mention. If you get these, expect them to continually leak down as bad or worse than your old struts did, all the while the manufacturer claims the problem is "other air suspension parts".......that they just happen to offer for a small fee. :-) Also expect an eventual clanking noise going over bumps after the warranty runs out.
#3) Convert your Mark VIII to coil springs is the ONLY long term solution. Once you convert....you're done! The struts will be the same model regardless of the height chosen. The only difference between the standard and the 1.5 lowered height kit is the springs themselves.
How long does it take to install the Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit?
You should figure between 3-4 hours times the shops labor rate, but this can vary greatly depending on the shop. If you're adding a rear shock and mount kit, you should add another 1-1.5 to the labor estimate.
Will the car sit lower than it did with the air?
No, all of our Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit is designed to be at regular factory ride height. If your vehicle has adjustable settings, the height should be in the middle. Btw, just like ANY New coil spring, the car will be a tad high for the 1st 2-3 weeks. During this 2-3 week period, it will settle a little bit every day.
Can't I just use the cheap struts from We*tar?
The cheap Chinese knockoff struts available today have been on the market for years, so we're fully aware of all the problems they have due to the lack of quality. We've also learned over the years that there is "decent Chinese parts" and then there's "bottom of the barrel Chinese parts". These air struts fall under the later category, as they are well known for leaking air(falling down overnight) right out of the box and if you stick with it long enough, you'll be rewarded with internal knocking noises later on. All wrapped in a package that generally lasts two, maybe three years before it no longer holds air at all!
What about the rebuilt struts?
That option really doesn't deserve much attention in our opinion. If you've been on any of the Mark VIII forums over the years, you would already know that the so-called "rebuilt struts" are basically a scam. They're comprised of someone's old struts with 100k-300k miles on them that are rebagged only. In other words, the ONLY thing done to them is the rubber air bladder is replaced with an inferior replacement(2-3 year lifespan) and NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING is done to the hydraulics(the shock or dampening part)!! How do we know this? Years ago we rebuilt these struts ourselves, so we found out first hand that making a quality rebuilt Mark VIII strut isn't possible using old Mark VIII struts as cores. This is mainly due to the fact that most of these struts are just plain worn out after 100k-300k miles. We found out that between leaking and/or binding hydraulics, you can only use 40% of the cores....at best! Even after AAS stopped rebuilding our own struts, we tried a place down south with the thought that we hadn't found the trick to doing these. What we found was that quality was NOT a factor and that they rebuilt every single strut core that came in. What did they do with the 60% of the cores with junk hydraulics? Again, we found out the hard way that they rebuild every single strut core and that two out of every three customers had an issue with the struts.
What are the advantages of replacing the rear shocks?
For the absolute best possible ride, we strongly suggest replacing these shocks at the same time as installing the conversion kit. Keep in mind that the only time we have a complaint about the ride quality of this conversion, is when the customer didn't replace the shocks at the same time. Btw, the rear shock option includes both rear shocks, solid mounts for both and the additional shipping.
HOW TO INSTALL A
LINCOLN MARK VIII SUSPENSION CONVERSION KIT
Front Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit Instructions TURNING OUT THE "CHECK SUSPENSION" MESSAGE
First, turn off the AIR RIDE SWITCH located on the driver's side of the trunk. Next, lift the vehicle. If using a hoist, be sure to use the proper lift points. Before lifting the car, you may wish to measure your vehicle's current ride height, both front, and rear, and make a note of it. The proper way to measure the ride height is from the bottom of the wheel lip to the top of the fender opening.
If you do not have a rack to do this on and are forced to do this on a flat surface( garage or driveway), we recommend jacking up both sides(front) and put the vehicle on jack stands. If you don't, the sway bar will have tension on it and fight you every step of the way!
Remove all four wheels, and place them out of the way.
Now is a good time to spray penetrant on all of the bolts/nuts you are going to remove. This is especially important if your car's suspension has been exposed to the harsh elements of winter driving.
We will do the FRONT first.
HINT Do one side at a time, so you will have the other side as a visual reference incase you get stuck during re-assembly!
Lower the car, and in the engine bay, remove the black plastic cover over the top of the front shock bolts.
These are held on by push-in clips that use a philips head plastic screw down the center. Hold the base of the push-in clip while un-screwing the philips screw.
Remove the black plastic cover to reveal the nuts holding the top of the air spring housing to the shock tower.
There are three threaded studs, one of which on the passenger side, is double nutted to hold a bracket for the A/C lines. Remove all of the nuts, except the one closest to the engine. These use a 13mm socket. The driver's side has the EDIS module(97-98 may not) held in place by two 8mm bolts. Remove these first, and maneuver this module out of the way.
Next we will work down below.
Locate the air spring solenoid. It is located on the forward side of the front air spring. There is a silver safety clip that must be removed first. Using a small screw driver, open the clip and remove it.
Once the clip is removed, you will be able to rotate the solenoid to release the air. Don't be alarmed. The air will rush out quickly. This is normal. Once the air has stopped(2-3 seconds) lift back the inner fender cover and neatly cut the air line, and un-plug/remove the solenoid from the car. Next, release the top of the ride height sensor from its mount on the upper control arm by pulling back the small metal locking tab. The ride height sensor is held on by ball-studs. Pulling back on the metal tab will release it from the ball-stud. Do the same for the bottom part of the ride height sensor.
Peel back the inner fender cover, unplug the sensor and remove it from the car. Now you will need to use a jack stand to support the bottom of the steering knuckle where it joins the lower control arm. I used a 3rd man jack since I was using a lift. Remove the ABS sensor from its retaining clip position. It has a small grommet that slides into a groove.
Next, remove the 18mm nut that holds the steering knuckle to the upper control arm ball joint.
While supporting the hub assembly with one hand, thread the nut back on to the bolt flush with the end of the bolt to protect the threads, and using a hammer, drive the bolt forward, and out of the steering knuckle. Once it is free, remove the nut, and slide the bolt out completely, allowing the steering knuckle assembly to lean outward toward you. This will allow the upper control arm to hang free.
THE NEXT STEP IS OPTIONAL. YOU MAY WANT TO DO THIS STEP ONLY IF YOU FIND THERES NOT ENOUGH TRAVEL IN THE FRONT END.
YOU MAY EXPERIENCE TROUBLE GETTING THE LINK NUT TIGHT AGAIN AFTER ITS TAKEN OUT, AS IT MAY SPIN AROUND WHILE TRYING TO TIGHTEN DOWN THE LINK.
Now, remove the nut that holds the sway bar link to the steering knuckle. This is a 15mm nut.
This bolt does not have to come out all the way, as there is slight interference with the brake line, but letting it slide back through the knuckle partially, helps with the removal of the old air spring, and installation of the new coil assembly.
Now the tough one for all you east-coasters. The dreaded Lower Control Arm bolt. Hope you sprayed it well with penetrant.
Remove the 21mm nut on the back-side of the lower control arm bolt that goes through, the lower forks of the shock assembly.
Thread the nut back on flush with the end of the bolt to protect the threads, and using a large hammer, carefully strike the nut to hammer out the bolt. It passes through the lower control arm, which has a bushing that is lined with a steel sleeve. This is where most people run into a problem, as harsh road conditions, salt, snow and corrosion will lock the bolt into the sleeve. Just remember, you are hitting a part that is connected to your lower control arm, so be very careful.
The first thing some of you will want to do is to use a torch or "Blue-Tip Wrench" to assist you in removing this bolt. This IS NOT a good idea in this case because you will most likely melt the rubber bushing in the lower control arm which means a $150+ new lower control arm is going to be on your shopping list!
Once you get this bolt out, remove the support device, and allow the lower control arm to hang free. Lower the car, and remove the final top nut to completely release the front shock assembly from the car. That's it. The hard part is over. You now have this.
Grab your new coil assembly, and identify which is the left and which is the right(they are marked). Lift up the upper control arm, and carefully slide your new front coil assembly into place. Align the top 3 holes, and move the lower fork into position over the lower control arm. Working in the engine compartment, maneuver the coil assembly into place, and while lifting up through the fender well, hold the coil assembly into place, and start one of the 3 top nuts. This will hold the coil assembly into position while you work down below.
Next, using the support device, carefully lift the lower control arm up enough to slide the lower bolt back through the coil assembly forks, the lower control arm, and out the other side. This may require some "encouragement" of the hub assembly to get the bolt all the way through.
Now, start the nut, and tighten snug, but not all the way yet. Push the steering knuckle back into position, and make sure the sway bar end link bolt passes back through the steering knuckle. Align the upper control arm and ball joint stud with the steering knuckle, and pass the bolt through. Thread the nut on.
Now, working in the engine compartment again, tighten all three upper nuts completely. Reinstall the A/C line bracket on the passenger side, and tighten the top nut on that stud as well.
Now, completely tighten all of the lower nuts/bolts to the manufacturers specifications.
You now have this!
That's IT!!! Follow the same procedure on the other side.
Rear Lincoln Mark VIII Suspension Conversion Kit Instructions
Ok, now it's time to begin the rear air bag replacement. Much like the front, do one side at a time, so you have a visual reference. Start by supporting the rear lower control arm. Again, I used a 3rd man jack.
The rear air spring assembly also has a solenoid that removes just like the fronts. Remove the silver retaining clip, and rotate the solenoid to allow the air to vent.
Once the air is out of the air spring, you can begin the removal process. Un-plug the solenoid, and cut the air line.
Now, move to the bottom. The air spring is held to the lower control arm by way of a 4-way clip. Using a flat blade screw driver, press inward towards the center on all four clips. This will release them from the lower control arm.
Next, using an 18mm wrench, remove the lower shock bolt.
The bolt is held on with a tab-nut, which will come off the bolt as you remove it. You may have to adjust your support device to maneuver the lower control arm either up or down, to release the weight on the lower shock bolt so that it can slide out easily.
Next, remove the Bottom end link nut from the rear swaybar.
Guide the end link bolt up through the lower control arm as you lower the support device.
Now to remove the air spring. The top of the air spring has 2 round coin-sized studs that inter-lock into a channel. There is also a silver "retaining tab" that locks the air spring into place, and prevents it from rotating. Using a small screwdriver, bend this silver tab back. Grab the air spring assembly by the top plastic housing, and rotate the air spring about 30 degrees. The coin-sized studs will line up with large holes, and allow the air spring to drop down for removal. You will have to compress the air spring by hand to remove it from the lower control arm. At this time, you should remove the rear ride height sensor. The rear of the car only uses one ride height sensor. It is located on the driver's side, just inside the left lower control arm, near the exhaust pipe. Remove this sensor the same way you removed the front. Un-plug it and remove it from the car.
Now, get one of the rear coil springs. Align the top support plate with the top of the spring. HINT If you purchased the lowering kit like I did, you might notice that the pointed outer sides of the springs top alignment plate may make contact with the coils of the rear spring. Simply grab a pair of channel locks, and pry them outward slightly, so the pointed ends don't make contact with the coils.
The metal alignment plate has a stud welded to the top surface. This stud is going to slide into a hole that is in the upper support brace on the car(where the old air spring used to sit). Place the top alignment brace onto one of the coils, and while pulling down on the lower control arm, slide the entire assembly into place with the blunt/cut end of the bottom coil facing inward. I aligned both sides with the small rectangular hole in the lower control arm, to achieve even ride height on both sides.
Align the top stud of the coil alignment plate with the hole in the upper support brace, and using your support device, raise the lower control arm to hold the coil assembly in place. It will look like this:
At this point, since I have selected the lowering kit, it was advised by my rear swaybar manufacturer(Addco) that when using a lowering kit, it is recommended that you cut 1/2 inch off the sway bar end link sleeve to allow for the sway bar to sit at the proper level with a lowered ride height. Take the sleeve off, measure 1/2" and cut it.
(This is NOT necessary or possible with the stock end links, as they are solid and cannot be shortened.)
Use the support device to lift the lower control arm back into position, taking care that the top alignment plate of the coil is in its proper position. Re-install the lower shock bolt and tab-nut, and re-assemble the rear sway bar end link.
FRONT TORQUE SPECS FOR THIS JOB:
(from Ford CD-ROM service manual)
Lower strut to control arm nut= 118-162 lb/ft
upper shock mount to body-nuts= 17-22 lb/ft
swaybar end link to spindle= 39-53 lb/ft
REAR TORQUE SPECS FOR THIS JOB
(from Ford CD-ROM service manual)
swaybar end link to lower control arm= 7.5-10.2 lb/ft
lower rear shock bolt/nut to lower control arm= 83-113 lb/ft
This is ONLY to be done after converting from air suspension to coils
First of all, turn the suspension switch OFF in the trunk.
(This "black rocker type" suspension switch is on the drivers side in the trunk)
Now, the area you'll be working in is the RF kick panel.
First of all, let's make sure you've located the correct module. The air suspension module is behind & above the RF kick panel. Then look for the black module with 2 connectors going into it
. One connector is black, the other is gray.
The gray connector is the one you want. The wire you're looking for to defeat the check suspension message is the Dark Green with a Light Green Stripe(tracer) located in the gray connector. It is pin #12, circuit 419, on the gray connector.
Because there's allot of "spaghetti" up in there, the key to making this easy to do, is is to disconnect the gray connector
by depressing the little center button, then giving that gray(light colored) connector a good yank to bring it closer to you for inspection. You should be able to see the wires a little better now.
The wire you're looking for is the DARK GREEN
with a LIGHT GREEN STRIPE
. If you're still unsure if you have the correct bundle of wires, the wire color right next to it
is Brown with a Pink stripe......and the wire on the other side
(inside) is an Orange with a Light Blue stripe.
Simply cut the DARK GREEN
with a LIGHT GREEN STRIPE
wire and put some black tape around the end of the wire that's coming from the module to keep from shorting out. Now push & connect the connector back up in the module, making sure to hear or feel the "click" when the connector is locked.
Now, TURN ON
the suspension switches in the trunk. If done correctly, you will never, ever have a suspension light again!