2000 Lincoln Navigator Suspension Problems

08-24-2007, 03:10 PM
I am new to this forum but hope someone can point me into the right direction.
I have a 2000 Lincoln Navigator which I bought brand new from the dealership. I have had all my service work done at the dealership. In the past 7 years I have had to have the rear suspension either repaired or the system replaced THREE times and now it has gone out again, making this the 4th time in 7 years! two times it was under warranty. In 2005 it was just outside of warranty but since we had all our work done there, they did a 50/50 split..........Now, it has gone out again!!
I do not understand this. To have a suspension system go out 4 times now in 7 years.....there's something wrong here! It's very odd because it seems that every time we put up the third row seating on this thing so extra people can ride with us, that's when this happens. In 2005 my brother in law was down with his family and I had the third row up so people could use it, then it happened with the rear suspension, then this last week, my wife's family was down and we used the third row seating and it was the same thing.
I cannot keep spending $1k to have this fixed. This to me sounds like there's some kind of defect..............are there any options for me in regards to getting the dealer to pay this (out of warranty)...what rights do I have? anyone know???

08-24-2007, 06:44 PM
Welcome to the forums quietsound ( is that synonymous with SBD? ) :)

Don't know about your rights with the dealer, their not going to spring for a job they can't charge back to Ford. You might have some luck dealing with Ford.

I had Mazda problems (related to ford) and they fixed me up good, then sent $250 gift certs in the mail. That was dealing with the US headquarters.

Then my wife had problems with timing just like yours on her Chrysler PT. They wouldn't budge till the service manager called my wife stupid.. I took it from there. They fixed her up good and apologized as well. If it wasn't for the warranty issues we wouldn't go to the dealers or shops at all.

With all that said, what exactly do you mean by "...rear suspension either repaired or the system replaced..." ??

Blown springs? Blown Compressor? Height sensors?

I don't see how the extra weight from people in the 3rd row could kill the suspension.. maybe pop off a loose hose??

Back to that dealer issue, and how they charged back the Mfg'r... With the PT, those clowns showed me one of the original invoices for parts and labor (free under warranty to my wife) that they charged back to Chrysler, it had 1/2 Shafts (both) on there, parts and labor, charged back to the Mfg'r. The 1/2 shafts were never touched !!! The car was there for premature brake pad failure that first time.

Anyway, what I'm getting at, maybe an air line IS and ALWAYS was too short and some kind of irregular condition causes it to pop off. They reconnect the short line (still too short) and charge Ford for the "whole system".

Just an example, but I'm Italian so it just comes to me like that :)

Some diagnosis processes:

08-24-2007, 08:58 PM
this has been going on since we bought the car: always handled by the dealership where we purchased this piece of shi*!

purchased: 9/2000

10/31/2000 suspension light on, Replaced Air suspension Controle Modgule.

7/14/03 Rear Suspension Down! Replaced Main Air line and Coupler, bad compressor

8/2/05 Rear Suspension Down! Bad Air Suspension Compressor , replaced! Air compressor/ Dryer Assembly!

and now today......it's down again! every two years!

I wrote to Ford!

I have had many vehicles, SUV's jags, porche.............i have never EVER had to replace suspension system like this.

08-25-2007, 06:40 AM
It would seem to me that the 'bad compressor' was a byproduct of the original problems.

It's been discussed in depth throughout these forums where if we ever have a suspension problem we need to shut off the system so that the compressor will not overwork attempting to fill the bags. It's not designed to run continuously and will kill itself doing so.

I've looked around for specific information related to Navigators & Expeditions and found three things that plague these systems.

One is the control module, in compressor overrun conditions -it's overheating, it's ground wire has a problem grounding, and a module defect was discovered.
It sounds like you may have had this addressed on 10/31/2000.

Another problem discussed frequently is the air line union near the brake booster. An aftermarket manual fill valve replaces this union too. (see link below)
Apparently that union fails, the rear drops, and the compressor begins over-running trying to fill the system.
Sounds like you had this problem addressed 07/14/2003.

There's a few reports where the height sensors were adjusted to fix a dropped rear end.

Your service call on 08/02/2005 doesn't say if there was another condition that caused the compressor to overwork and kill itself, that's a possibility; or it may have been a re-manufactured unit from a previous service that are known for short lives.

I feel for you.. you buy a Lincoln you just expect some things to work.

There's some discussion of adding a manual filling valve that helps in emergency's and make diagnosis easier in the case of a popped air line.
Here's one of those manual filling kits. (http://www.americanairsuspension.com/cart/proddetail.php?prod=SPIDERJR%28EXPED%29) and some other suspension parts (http://www.americanairsuspension.com/cart/products.php?cat=2) to give you an idea of what's replaceable down there.

Here's some links to related discussions in other forums:

08-25-2007, 07:16 AM
well one thing I do know, we had this problem starting right after purchasing it for over $54,000! we have had nothing but trouble with rear brakes, roters....and suspension........this thing is a lemon! My neighbor has the exact same model and has never had to do what we are doing with ours......

I absolutely cannot afford to pay $1000 to fix this piece of shi* car

nothing ventured, nothing gained, i'm contacting the dealership about this piece of crap and Ford and anyone else who will listen, I have contacted an attorney as well.

How many suspensions have you replaced in your vehicles???

this is absolutely NUTS

08-25-2007, 11:07 AM
You are right to be angry and at the end of your rope..

I just Googled Navigator Suspension (http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=Lincoln+Navigator+Air+Suspension&btnG=Search) and it seems that you're not alone with these problems.

Here's a couple folks looking for answers too:


Me personally.. my current Lincoln is a 1996. I've always owned a Lincoln so I I've grown accustomed to the little quirks, and what should fail, and when.

As for the air suspension system, Ford seems to have problems when applying the technology to all four wheels. Most of the premature failures are with the front air systems. Our rear only systems should go 80k to 100k (in dry climate) miles before we have problems, and this is according to feedback from the user community. In wetter climates the air dryer needs occasional baking which most folks aren't willing to do as a maintenance item. In dryer climates the air bags rot and crack after about 8/10 years or around 80/100k miles, again these comments are from feedback from the user community.

Your Navigator is definitely a sore subject, and as you mentioned, you know people that have the same vehicle without the same problems.

I feel for you, the anger and frustration must have you right at the edge.

I hope I've provided some insight. Hopefully some other Navigator folks will chime in here soon.

08-29-2007, 11:24 AM
Oh your absolutely right, i have a right to be angry and I am, certainly not with you or anyone else from this forum but I had a big fight with ford and the dealership over this. I asked for an explaination from the dealership as to WHY this keeps happening, their response is that the navigator is very HEAVY..........I said well then it's a manufacturers defect because IF they knew the SUV was that heavy and this suspension keeps failing because of it then it's their responsibility to do something about this...........the navigator has always been too heavy...Ford knows it, it's not a secret and that's the excuse they give????? a bunch of BS! if that's the case then the manufacturer made it too heavy so they should take the burden then to fix this problem or they can keep putting in new air suspensions.

they have not seen the last of me, i have filed complaints with many navigator complaint agencies........because losing your suspension is a dangerous situation and it's a safety concern.

I'll have every news channel down at that dealership and anyone else that will listen.

08-29-2007, 12:43 PM
I have a 1998 lincoln Navigator. I had my suspension go out on it. It took a little trouble shooting, but I found that the problem was a blown relay that is mounted on the front passenger side of the frame, just behind the bumper. I paid $100 for the part and used a flat head screw driver to take off the two mounting screws. I have herd of people paying over $500 :2cents: at the dealer for that same problem. :shakehead

08-29-2007, 02:54 PM
I'm not buying that "too heavy" line from Ford either... that's plain and simple bullshit. I tow a 4000lb boat with my Town Car with a hitch weight of about 250 lbs, and the trunk /back seat fully loaded. Those two rear springs, and the whole air suspension system don't complain one little bit.

Does this mean those "heavy" GM products also have this problem? And what about your friends that don't have a problem, is their Navigator mysteriously lighter? Makes no sense to me.

08-29-2007, 05:48 PM
Well, i'll tell ya, if they think i'm gonna just take what they say and hide under the carpet, they have another thing coming. I did not just fall off the truck! I do realize that a navigator would be heavier than a passenger car........but heck they designed this! if that is the excuse then we are all in deadly danger, that means if you have an SUV, then you better never drive it because they don't know how to put together a suspension system that won't fail. it's nuts!
If anyone else has any advice who I should file a claim with against ford and lynnhaven lincoln mercury, let me know.

09-18-2007, 07:02 AM

I contacted the owner of the dealership and he has agreed to look into this and has waived the fee to tell us what is wrong with the suspension. He said he would be willing to reduce some of the cost to repair this. We bring it down there on Wednesday.

09-18-2007, 01:13 PM
I don't buy the idea of a truck that is too heavy for it's suspension. My truck is a 98 lincoln Navigator. It weighs 5600 pounds empty. I drove it from Conn. to CA with a 1400 pound load. I have towed a 3000 lb trailor 500 miles with no problem. If I had a recuring problem like that, the first thing I would think of is fulty instalation. You should not have to pay for a thing! In fack you should be reimbursed for you related fees. I would take it to another dealer. See if the cause is mechanical error. I bet they are just covering up there own mistakes. Systems don't just fail, parts don't just brake. Something causes it. If they didn't find the cause the first time, then they are responsible. :comprage1

09-19-2007, 01:36 PM
OK, I hope i can explain this right:

What we were told is that the wiring harness either went bad or short circuited and it shorted the rear suspension or something in the rear suspension..........I won't know the actual place it shorted until i get the work order................anyway, because of this short that the wiring harness has caused is the reason why the rear suspension went down.

Ihave no idea what would cause a wiring harness to go bad or what would cause it to short out. this sort of concerns me because it sounds electrical to me and could this happen again. anyone have any feedback on this one!!

09-25-2007, 07:36 PM
I have a 1998 lincoln Navigator. I had my suspension go out on it. It took a little trouble shooting, but I found that the problem was a blown relay that is mounted on the front passenger side of the frame, just behind the bumper. I paid $100 for the part and used a flat head screw driver to take off the two mounting screws. I have herd of people paying over $500 :2cents: at the dealer for that same problem. :shakehead
My relay was melted. The short was inside the relay itself. It was a little hard to find. The relay box is mounted between the front P/S (passanger side) bumper and frame. It's about 4x5 inches. I only had this problem once. One day the "check Suspenssion" light came on. I haven't had that problem since. If you compressor is being worked too hard, things will start going bad. Is your compressor still good? To fix my problem, I just took a look at a schematic of the system. I looked at each component in the system. Keep in mind The compenents will go bad before the wires will. Unless the wires were cut by something somewere (unlikly) the problem is a component.

Good luck!:smokin:

hellah fresh
04-23-2009, 03:24 PM
Should of bought a Honda or something.

08-30-2009, 05:52 AM
I have a 02 navigator 4x4 and have had my whole suspension drop 3 times in less then 6 months . was as sick of the bs and run around i got and paying the 1k each time also so what i did was converted the suspension to coil over and cut the wire for the light . did it myself over a weekend. went through struttmasters.com paid 544.00 for parts and shipping. rides better then it did with the air ride system. and WAY more reliable. just a thought to ur frustration with ford

07-07-2010, 10:44 AM
Eliminate that air problem and go with a conversion kit!!!! simple fix to a not so simple problem!!!! I did it and it was the best move that I've made since buying the vehicle!!!!! Strutmasters has great prices if your looking for a reference! :)

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