New Mark VIII Owner In Distress

11-28-2005, 07:17 AM
I recently purchased a 1994 Mark VIII. I was attracted to it because the previous owner told me that the car had a rebuilt suspension compressor, new front air struts and a new suspension control module. The car rode like a dream, but then on Thanksgiving, the front end wouldn't rise. Per the Ford dealership, the car needs $900.00 worth of a new suspension compressor, and two relays. It sure does seem like alot, but I don't know enough about it. I was curious about a coil spring conversion, which I read about in a previous thread. I think I would rather spend the money on the conversion and not have to worry about air suspension problems anymore, but I don't know anyone in Tampa that I could ask for an estimate. Does anyone have any contacts in Tampa that they could refer me to?

11-29-2005, 10:33 AM
Okay, I'm afraid I didn't do a very good job in my first post, but, as the title says, I was in distress. I have spoke with the previous owner of the car and he told me that the compressor was about 9 months old and the relays were about a month old. This would indicate to me to be a recurring problem with the car which makes my choice to go the conversion route alittle easier. I've decided to try to do it myself. I'm not a complete idiot, so I hope to be able to figure it out. I found a company not too far away (an hour and a half) called Arnott Inc. that has the conversion kits for about $500.00. Not sure if anyone has heard of this company or has any input on them. I'm undecided between them and American Air Suspension. My question is, while waiting for the conversion kit, will I hurt anything by driving the car with the frontend low? When I complete the conversion, will I need to get the frontend aligned right away?

11-30-2005, 10:02 PM
If the front end is actually sitting all the way down on the bumpstops, don't drive it unless its an emergency.

IMO keep the air suspension. If you do your own work, its not too expensive and its quite easy to fix. Besides, the air suspension is one of the things that makes this car so special and collectible.

Usually air suspension in these cars is very reliable, although the bags do wear out at about 100k miles or so.

12-01-2005, 07:08 AM
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. Although I am attempting this conversion on my own, I would not consider myself as someone that does their own work. If I make through this conversion without incident, I would think that I would be able to go back to the air suspension at some point in the future. I'm guessing it would just be a reverse application of the coil spring conversion, but not sure. I don't see posts in this forum about people converting back to the air suspension, so, maybe it's not possible. In any case, I appreciate your input, thank you.

12-07-2005, 09:13 PM
do NOT, I repeat do NOT use Arnott's conversion kit. I wont say anything negative about them on a public message baord. But I will tell you that I can name 8 people within the last 6 months that have purchased arnott's conversion kit, and they were NOT happy, and regretted it.

You can/should convert to coils if you would like. I did it. I have never been happier in my life with my Mark VIII's ride. I have two Mark VIII's. One with air, one with coils, so I know what I am talking about.

if you want the best kit on the market, purchased by the best supplier on the planet, who provides you with a lifetime warranty, the right product, the best customer service in the industry, and a guy who is a Ford Master Suspension technician, look to

here's the link(no I do NOT get kick-backs-I believe that if you did business with a company, and they went above and beyond your expectations, and supplied you with a good product for a competitive price, you should tell people about them)

Here is the link to the kit I have:

Eddie Spinks is the owner. He is also a tech. He will help you with everything you need. He'll even try to help you fix your current set up if you are on the fence with the conversion.

I wrote a tech article on HOW TO install the conversion kit. Pictures, details, results....I have referred over 20 people to americanair, and ALL have come back to me with words of praise and appreciation. They are LOVING their car even more.

Folks, this goes for all of you. If you have a tech question, and I dont respond right away, email me.
Blackicelsc at

here is a link to MY website with the HOW TO....take a look.

I specialize in Mark VIII's. I have perfomed 5 conversion for friends...they are STILL thanking me.

Once you see that the kit is $425+$25 shipping(less than arnott) with the best customer service around, how could you lose?

Tell him I sent you... he'll be glad you called/emailed. trust me. He's a good, down-home guy who is as friendly as can be.

12-16-2005, 07:25 AM
I wanted to give an update to this post and close it out. Based on the advice given, I ordered the conversion kit from American Air Suspension and I couldn't be happier. The car handles well, sits well and it's nice to be driving it again. It's nice to know that I don't have to worry about relays, compressors or air bags anymore. Thanks to all that contributed to this post, helping me to make a good decision.

12-20-2005, 02:21 PM
I am very happy to read that you took the advice soundly. You will continue to enjoy the ride as the days/weeks go on, and everything settles.

Sure the air ride is a nice novelty, and an outstanding device designed to offer the ultimate in ride quality, comfort, and load-levelling...but when it fails, it isnt pretty.

a conventional 'coil' set up provides you with everything the air ride does, with the exception of load levelling. But the trade off is peace of mind.

enjoy the ride.

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