Continental 2000-2002

Spring

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Removal & Installation




CAUTION
Do not attempt to service the rear suspension without first deflating the air springs.


NOTE
Servicing the air suspension requires a scan tool with bi-directional capabilities to deflate the air springs.

  1. Properly deflate the air springs.
  2.  
  3. Turn the air suspension switch to the OFF position. The switch located on the right kick panel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear wheels.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the air spring solenoid wiring connector and air line.
  8.  
  9. Depress the locking tabs and remove the air spring from the vehicle.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Air spring solenoid connectors



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    Fig. Depress the plastic locking tabs to disengage the air spring from the suspension

  10.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Air spring. Press the plastic tab through the suspension until it clicks into place.
     
    Solenoid air line and electrical connectors
     
    Rear wheels
     

  2.  
  3. Turn the air suspension switch to the ON position and check for proper operation.
  4.  

Continental
  1. Turn off the air suspension switch located in the luggage compartment.
  2.  
  3. From inside the luggage compartment, disconnect the electrical connector from the dual dampening actuator.
  4.  
  5. Loosen but do not remove the three nuts retaining the strut to the upper body.
  6.  
  7. Raise and support the vehicle sagely. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  8.  


NOTE
Do not raise the vehicle by the tension strut.

  1. Disconnect the airline and electrical connector from the solenoid from the solenoid valve.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake hose retainer at the strut bracket.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the parking brake cable from the brake caliper. Remove all the wire retainer and parking brake cable retainers from the lower suspension arm.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the height sensor link from the ball stud pin on the lower arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the caliper assembly from the spindle and position it off to the side with a piece of wire. Do not kink or place a load on the brake hose.
  10.  
  11. Bleed the air spring by performing the following:

    Remove the solenoid clip.
     
    Rotate the solenoid counterclockwise to the first stop.
     
    Slowly pull the solenoid straight out to the second stop and bleed the air from the system.
     
    After the air is fully bled from the system, rotate the solenoid to the third stop and remove the solenoid from the housing.
     

  12.  
  13. Mark the position of the notch on the toe adjustment cam.
  14.  
  15. Remove the torsion spring clamp from the spindle-to-strut bolt.
  16.  
  17. Remove the nut from the inboard bushing on the suspension arm.
  18.  
  19. Install the torsion spring remover tool T88p-5310-a or the equivalent, on the suspension arm. Pry up on the tool and arm using a 3 / 4 inch drive ratchet to relieve the pressure on the pivot bolt. An assistant may be required to pull outboard on the spindle simultaneously to fully relieve the tension on the bolt. Remove the bolt and lower arm. Repeat this procedure for the opposite arm.
  20.  
  21. Remove the torsion spring from the arms.
  22.  
  23. Remove the stabilizer 'U' bracket from the body.
  24.  
  25. Remove the nut, washer, and insulator attaching the stabilizer bar to the link. Separate the stabilizer bar from the link.
  26.  
  27. Remove the nut, washer, and insulator retaining the tension strut to the spindle. Move the spindle rearward enough to separate it from the tension strut.
  28.  
  29. Remove and discard the strut-to-spindle pinch joint as required to assist in removing the bolt.
  30.  
  31. Separate the spindle from the strut. Remove the spindle as an assembly with the arms attached.
  32.  
  33. From inside the luggage compartment area, support the shock strut by hand and remove and discard the 3 upper mount-to-body nuts. Do not drop the strut when removing the upper nuts. Guide the electric actuator wire through the opening to prevent snagging and damage while removing the strut assembly.
  34.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Air suspension spring fill codes.



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Fig. Air suspension airline connect and disconnect procedure



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Fig. Rear suspension schematic for Continental



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Fig. Plugging in to the diagnostic connector in the luggage compartment

To install:

  1. Install the solenoid valve on the air spring.
  2.  
  3. Guide the electric actuator wire through the opening and install the strut assembly. Install the 3 new upper mount nuts.
  4.  
  5. Install the spindle and arms to the strut. Install a new strut-too-spindle pinch bolt. Do not tighten the bolt until the control arms are attached to the body and the cams are centered.
  6.  
  7. Position the tension strut to the spindle. Install the insulator, washer and nut retaining the tension strut to the spindle. Tighten the nut to 35-50 ft. lbs. (48-68Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the stabilizer to the link. Install the insulator, washer, and retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 5-7 ft. lbs. (7-9.5 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the stabilizer 'U' bracket to the body. Tighten the bolt to 25-37 ft. lbs. (34-50 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the torsion spring to the arms.
  14.  
  15. Position the inboard bushing using the torsion spring remover tool, and install the bolt. An assistant may be required to pull out board on the spindle to align the bushing so the bolt can be inserted. Repeat the procedure for the opposite lower arm.
  16.  
  17. Install the nut to the inboard bushing on the suspension arm but do not tighten at this time.
  18.  
  19. Tighten the spindle to strut bolt to 51-70 ft. lbs. 68-95 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Set the toe adjustment cam to the alignment mark.
  22.  
  23. Remove the wire from the caliper and install the caliper to the spindle.
  24.  
  25. Connect the height sensor link to the ball stud pin on the lower arm.
  26.  
  27. Install the torsion spring clamp and secure.
  28.  
  29. Install all the wire retainers and the parking brake cable retainers to the lower suspension arm.
  30.  
  31. Connect the parking brake cable to the brake caliper and install the brake hose retainer at the strut bracket.
  32.  
  33. Connect the air line and the electrical connector to the solenoid valve.
  34.  
  35. Install the wheel and tire assembly and partially lower the vehicle.
  36.  
  37. Tighten the 3 nuts retaining the strut to the upper body to 19-26 ft. lbs. (26-35 Nm).
  38.  
  39. From inside the luggage compartment, connect the electrical connector for the dual dampening actuator.
  40.  
  41. Turn on the air suspension switch and fill the air spring as follows:

    Place the air suspension service switch in the ON position.
     
    Turn the ignition switch OFF .
     
    Connect a battery charger to reduce the battery drain.
     
    Open the access door in the left-hand luggage compartment trim panel to plug the Super Star II tester or an equivalent scan tool, into the air suspension diagnostics wiring harness connector.
     
    Set the tester to EEC-IV/MCU mode. Also set the tester to FAST mode. Release the tester button to the HOLD (up) position and turn the tester ON .
     
    Depress the tester button to TEST (down) position. A Code 10 will be displayed. Within 2 minutes, a Code 13 will be displayed. After Code 13 is displayed, release the tester button to HOLD (up) position, wait 5 seconds, and depress the tester button to TEST (down) position. Ignore any codes displayed.
     
    Release the tester button to the HOLD (up) position. Wait at least 20 seconds, then depress the tester button to TEST (down) position. Within 10 seconds, the codes will be displayed in the order shown.
     
    Within 4 seconds after Code 26/28 is displayed, release the tester button to the HOLD (up) position. Waiting longer than 4 seconds may result in Functional Test 31 being entered. The compressor will fill the air springs with air as long as the tester button is in the HOLD (up) position. To stop filling the air springs, depress the tester button to the TEST (down) position.
     

  42.  


NOTE
It is possible to overheat the compressor during this operation. If the compressor overheats, the self-resetting circuit breaker in the compressor will open and remain open for about 15 minutes. This allows the compressor to cool down.



To exit Functional Test 26/28, disconnect the tester and turn the ignition switch OFF .
 

  1. Lower the vehicle.
  2.  

 
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