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Air Ride Suspension




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The rear has a separate ride height sensor from the front so you can have it adjusted now. Do a search on here for ARC height sensor.

I called myself doing that, with no luck. This is beyond frustration at this point.
 












The only thing I remember about the ARC's doing that was when the truck was jacked up and they went to full extension, and were stuck or something like that. Those weren't Monroe's though, so I think Romeo has you on the right trail talking to Don...
 






The only thing I remember about the ARC's doing that was when the truck was jacked up and they went to full extension, and were stuck or something like that. Those weren't Monroe's though, so I think Romeo has you on the right trail talking to Don...

Thanks Joe.

This whole process just has me flustered at the moment. When the shocks were replaced, the truck was jacked up. Now it seems as though the system wants to identify the current height as NOT being high enough, so it keeps causing the compressor to kick in and try to raise the truck more.

Also, now the ride is SO BUMPY, I look like a bobble head going to a drag race.:bounce: It's a little disheartening that I can't seem to get a mechanic who is remotely familiar with this system. All of you guy's help is the answers I am left providing them with!! Scary.....

Ford left me high and dry, however, Monroe is sending me another set of rear shocks as they feel that the process should begin again. I am just worried that this will cause even MORE issues in the meant-time.

I have read, read, and re-read, and see quite a bit of experience everyone has with the ARC, so I am uber thankful that I am not alone with facing this monstrosity of a dilemma. I really want to just :shoot: the entire thing....LMAO

Is there anything I might be missing? :help:

The lines were clean, the sway bar bushings were replaced, the compressor kicks in. Are the Monroe's just stuck? Could they have been installed incorrectly?:dunno::dunno:

Out of curiosity, are the shocks supposed to be installed at full extension? I really don't know....:(:banghead::banghead:
 






I suspect the air shocks are working correctly. The ride height sensor thinks the rear is too low and pumped the shocks up to full extension giving you very little shock travel. If you get the sensor adjusted that should fix the issue. I have never adjusted a set myself so I cannot tell you how to do it, but Don (the guy's post I linked) has done it and seems to be saying it is not difficult. Don't dispair. You are close to being fixed.
 






I suspect the air shocks are working correctly. The ride height sensor thinks the rear is too low and pumped the shocks up to full extension giving you very little shock travel. If you get the sensor adjusted that should fix the issue. I have never adjusted a set myself so I cannot tell you how to do it, but Don (the guy's post I linked) has done it and seems to be saying it is not difficult. Don't dispair. You are close to being fixed.

Thanks for the reassurance Romeo....I pm'd Don and will see what he says. In the meantime, do you know if there's any pictures of the sensors on here anywhere? I searched, but didn't find much to that regard.......

Bree
 


















Just curious, but I read on here in another post (http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216471) that when changing to the Monroe's, that your normal ride height will be approximately 2" higher...Is this correct, or did I interpret it wrong?? Hopefully I am not getting worked up about this and that my NEW shocks are in fact fully functional--I just dealt with a shop who had no clue and possibly incorrectly installed them.

UPDATE: Apparently, the shop I had the shocks replaced at (Pep Boys) tried to connect some computer to my truck to override the system and adjust my ride height, and the computer wouldn't even connect. :dunno: It appears that the little "ladder" looking part that was next to the OEM shock is just dangling there and not functioning?? The "accordion" tube operating that doesn't work (torsion bar???) (Or so they say)
The ride has gone from slightly bumpy, to all out bobble-head action.:bounce: My 4 year old thinks it's a fun ride and today kept saying "AGAIN! AGAIN!" :banghead: I swear I'm going to end up with whiplash!! Should I just turn the system off??

Now the rear shocks don't deflate at all, or at least they don't appear to be deflating. Should I just minimize drive time and have the front shocks replaced with the Monroe's and go from there?

Now, it smells like something is slightly burnt from the front end when driving and it has me somewhat concerned.

I have called several "suspension" shops and NOT ONE person has been familiar with the ARC system, or the replacement shocks!:mad: I keep getting told that the shocks I had installed are meant to scrap the system....such conflicting information. On the other hand, I was told that there are NO ride height sensors on my truck... The only consistent info I've gotten has been from here on the forum....Thanks guys! Am I hitting the roadblocks with these dingbats because I got a "wo" in front of my "man??" LOL

If you need me to detail, let me know or just pm me.....

Here's the pictures I took yesterday showing the truck sitting even HIGHER! Anymore suggestions/thoughts??

img2011110400168.jpg

img2011110400169.jpg

img2011110400170.jpg
 






"...It appears that the little "ladder" looking part that was next to the OEM shock is just dangling there and not functioning?? The "accordion" tube operating that doesn't work..."



Hello Bree, it sounds like somehow the rear sensor on your truck has been broken or disconnected. The sensor is extended all the way to the "low
side, the ARC system thinks that the truck is setting lower than the ideal ride height.

The system simply adds or removes air to achieve the desired ARC ride sensor height. The 4WD switch on 95-98 Explorers changes the ride height by an inch or two. Meaning the ARC module has two different ride height sensor values that it shoots for.

I suggest first getting under the truck and carefully examining the rear height sensor. They are somewhat fragile, so be gentle. The weak link is the ball in socket joint at each end, hopefully someone working on the rear shocks disconnected one end of it.

The air suspension switch of any air suspension vehicle should be turned off at any time the vehicle has the tires hanging down below normal ride heights. Shops often neglect to do that, which can hurt the shocks themselves, or possibly the module programming. The system will let all of the air out if the switch is not turned off when the tires are left hanging down.

The sensor ball/sockets are simply made to snap together, there is a metal clip around the socket portion to maintain pressure on the ball. Keep that stuff lubricated, it all corrodes away from age and wear. Regards
 






Hey Don...Thanks so much for reaching out...I heard you were the "go-to" for my dilemma. :)

The truck is being towed back to the shop tomorrow, (I don't want any damage or further damage for that matter by driving it) so it can be looked at again and more closely this time.

I will make sure to highlight the info you've provided, as well as the info/assistance everyone else has given.

If in fact it IS a broken sensor, can you tell me where to find a new part? I looked on fordparts.com for it, but there were many parts with the name of "air sensor". Is it something I would have luck finding locally at Advanced Auto or O'Reilly's, or even a Ford dealership for that matter?

Even more so, what the heck is it called? Is there anything else that potentially could be the problem? I just can't afford to keep going back and forth with this much more. This time when it's in the air, it needs to all be addressed.....
 






I almost forgot, the truck appears to have lowered itself quite a bit between yesterday and today, while resting in the garage....almost like it's where it was before I had the shocks changed out. Maybe just an illusion??

I decided to turn the ARC off (via the switch in the cargo area) for the time being. Was this a good move?

I'm just afraid that the shocks are shot now (due to the bouncy ride on Friday) and want to save from any further costs.....

Thoughts?
 






Shutting the system off would stop it from pumping more air into the shocks, and just after the ignition is off the system might also let some out on purpose. In most Ford air systems that shut down process is called trimming, setting the height to trim, which is lower than the running height. I'm not sure that the Explorer ARC does that, but it might be why yours is a little lower now.

I'd leave it off until the sensor issue is sorted out, that will also help to identify any other leaks.

The shocks may or may not be hurt, but don't worry to much about that. I paid $50 or so for my shocks from a seller who had about 900 of them. They are OEM Ford shocks without the wiring connection, likely the last run which Ford made. You can probably buy more from that seller, or the spare pair I bought from him. I'm no longer using my truck for work, so I'll sell it sometime soon.

Have that sensor looked at carefully. Also be sure that the ARC switch is always shut off before lifting the truck, and try not to let anyone lift the truck so far that it hangs the back tires. That is hard on the shocks, these special air bladder shocks.
 












The sensors are very expensive, I chose to keep mine when I found out what it would be.

I'd hunt a used one if you could be sure the ends are in good condition. The front sensors are different, the rear one is unique with the "ladder" components.
 






Fed up!!!

Sooooooo, Another day, same issue.

Ultimately, Pep Boys paid to have my truck towed to another one of their shops--with an apparent "ASE MASTER TECH" on staff that knew what was wrong, without seeing the vehicle.... Yet, when I got there, he kept saying he told the original store (who did the work) that they misunderstood or had it wrong...it was impossible for my truck to have ARC and be an Explorer, it was an Expedition....UGH~:thumbdwn:

He called Ford, Monroe, and supposedly his "technician helpdesk" and they are claiming that I should've never been told to put the Monroe (40006, 40007) shocks on my vehicle--they don't work!! Really??? Why am I not being given the same info????? I find the Monroe part to be a load of BS, but hey what do I know right??? I'm just a woman.:rolleyes:

He stated that without the electronic valving connected, as in the OEM shocks, that my truck would think it's is in 4x4 mode and that's why it's jacked-up in the rear. I ended up having the computer connected to it again to run a system diagnostics, and he stated that the FAIL codes showed the following: (Mysteriously, it connected this time....go figure)

Left Rear Actuator: FAIL
Right Rear Actuator: FAIL

I asked again if in fact there was anything wrong with the sensor or the bracket, and the answer I got this go-round was that "those are fine." "They aren't working properly, because you need the valve connected, but they are functioning." He said my only option at this point was to scrap the system, which obviously isn't what I care to do--truly.

I'm not sure I am understanding what is happening and why it seems like I am being sent on a wild goose chase and milked for unnecessary money....

Based on my knowledge and research thusfar, I thought the Monroes/Motorcraft were the only shocks that WOULD work? If in fact that's not true, then who's to blame? Monroe, for lack of clarification, Ford for outright NOT know their own vehicles, or the incompetent idiots at PepBoys, who seem to be trying to hide from whatever damage they've done to my vehicle???

At this point, I am stuck with a vehicle that can't safely be driven in it's current state, and am now back at square one with finding a competent tech......:mad:
 






In reading a little more on how the rear sensor works, it would seem like the adjustment should not be all that difficult though it will likely take some trial and error. When the sensor is push in (accordian portion compressed), the truck thinks the back end is low and adds air to raise it. When the sensor is pulled out (accordian portion expanded), the truck thinks the back end is high so it lets air out to lower it. The senor has two mounting points that are on the axle and the frame. The sensor will be pre-set to a default "optimum" height. By adjusting the ladder fixture you change how much extension/compression you have at a given distance between the axle and frame. I would start by looking at if and how the sensor is currently attached. The actions of the ARC system seem to indicate that the sensor is compressed right now, leading the truck to constantly add air. When the shocks are at maximum capacity the back end is raised very high and is very stiff (hence the bobblehead bouncing). The compressor is not receiving a signal to stop adding air so you are in danger of having the compressor burn out (the electrical smell).

What I would do is try adjusting the sensor position to make it less compressed (while the truck and ARC are turned off). Then turn it back on and see if the system recognizes and drops the rear. I suspect it will work. I don't know how many setting levels are available on the ladder, but right now you are probably on the top or close to it (most compressed).

I have a feeling the technicians who installed the shocks probably moved the sensor during the install to get it out of the way of the top shock mount bolts, subsequently reinstalling it but placing the adjuster on an incorrect level. As far as one of their techs looking at it now would tell, it is attached and the air comes on so works fine - they just don't know how to adjust the installation bracket.
 






This pic was posted by another person on an archived thread.

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/2156/1001124aq6.jpg

I think it gives a good look at the set up, though his sensor is disconnected at the top. You can see the sensor has just 2 mounting points. The ladder has multiple positions availabe for the top and bottom studs to fit into. As the truck and frame move together or apart, the sensor will extend or compress. The ladder sets the starting points and acts as a lever to reduce the movement by angle (ie bumper goes up 4 inches, the sensor expands a fraction of that distance; the reverse when moving down).

I would suggest you, or a mechanically incline helper, take a flashlight or shoplamp under the truck (you have a lot of room right now so probably dont need to jack it up, just slide under on your back) and have a look. Maybe take a photo of the part and post it. I suspect you will find the sensor is either not hooked up correctly like in the picture, or is hooked up with the ladder studs set somewhere other than the end positions. It might be the top of the sensor is anchored under the top mount rather than attached to to the side of it forcing it to be compressed. Please post what you find!
 



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Heres a couple pics of my working stock height arc set up. Print the pics and take them to a reputable shop. Will your husband go under the explorer if you put cold beer under it? Its worth a try...
 

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