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Old 01-11-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default FW1 Computer controlled suspension question

First off, i've been a member of another forum for years, and even though that'* a great forum too, the wealth of knowledge I've found in the past half hour searching this forum is INCREDIBLE. So, I'll be spending much more of my forum time here in the future. Down to business. Working on a '96 SSE, has FW1 suspension option. One of the rear struts actually broke in half. I have no idea how, or why, or how the owner didn't crap himself when it did, but it did. So, I'm looking to replace it. I can get a used one for $35 at a local yard, and as the owners are very cost conscious, read super cheap and poor, I might end up going that route. However, for future reference, I'd like to know what the replacement options are. I bought some monroe replacement units, not quick struts, just monroematics, and they have the air line, but not the electrical connector. The guide says you can simply leave the level sensor disconnected and unplug the compressor and it will be fine. What i'm wondering is if that'll affect the rest of the suspension negatively. If I were doing it, I'd replace all 4 with sensatracs, but that'* not the case here. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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The OEM airshocks in the back have no electrical connection to them. The only wires are to the ride height control sensor. It sits under the car on the drivers rear side. you cant miss it, its a roundish housing with wires and round link bar. As the car goes up and down as it rides, it tells the sensor and it is connected to the ELC Circuit, which turns on the air compressor to give the shocks more air. Yes you can do as the manual suggests and charge the shocks with a given air pressure, but the one original most likely leaks a bit and will soon leave the car sitting almost on the tires. Also then the car doesn't respond to road conditions and more important load conditions.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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I took the passenger rear strut out already (the broken one) and it had an air line facing rearward, and a 3 wire plugin that comes from the top and connects directly to the top shaft of the strut, and upon inspection there are 3 tiny male leads about 2 inches down the shaft. (inside where the allen head is)
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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And thanks for the reply, much appreciated. I did also see the height sensor when I was working on the bottom of the strut, looks just the ones at all 4 corners of my Lincoln that has full air suspension (pain in the ***, and I'm getting rid of it soon).
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:35 AM   #5
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Hmm, not like mine at all and I have a 2005. Sorry for the mistake of not knowing the 96 being like that. Dan or another gearhead w/more experience in that year range will be on tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:39 AM   #6
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One thing I would reiterate. The JY part would be better given the cost and have the connection. And if you went with one new, the OEM is bound to leak a bit and not hold constant pressure like a new Monroe. IMO It would be best to use two new and defeat the circuit or go with a used replacement.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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Exactly my thoughts. I'm waiting to hear back from my friend/the proud owner. It'* a very nice car for surviving 16 winters here in MN and having 200k. The paint is still mirror-like and the leather looks new. I hope he'* not afraid to keep it going in the next few years. Thanks again. I'm mostly wondering for sure whether not I'd have to replace the fronts with new ones if I did the rears and disconnected the pump, so I can tell my friend when he calls me back.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:05 AM   #8
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Sorry, I can't help in this area. But Bill may be able to.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigj-dog View Post
I took the passenger rear strut out already (the broken one) and it had an air line facing rearward, and a 3 wire plugin that comes from the top and connects directly to the top shaft of the strut, and upon inspection there are 3 tiny male leads about 2 inches down the shaft. (inside where the allen head is)
I saw this alot when I was researching potentially buying a Caddy STS. Most of the guys just used the standard rear shock with air port so the auto-leveling would work. You lose the electronic dampening, but apparently new shocks with E dampening are in the $500 range each.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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So if the wires on the top of the shock are only for dampening ? Tape em and go.
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