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1st Gen - 1997 - 2002

Air Suspension


This is a discussion on Air Suspension within the 1st Gen - 1997 - 2002 forums, part of the Ford Expedition Forum category!
Register to remove these ads. It's free! Converting Your Air Ride System to a Coil Spring Suspension! Let me start ...



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Old 04-02-2012, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Air Suspension


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Converting Your Air Ride System to a Coil Spring Suspension!

Let me start by saying that buying a conversion kit will solve all your air suspension problems for good, and in most cases is still less expensive to purchase than paying to repair even one aspect of the Ford Expedition Air Ride system.

I'm going to give up most of my knowledge on the first generation air suspension conversions to reduce the amount of repeat threads.
First off for those who have only rear air bag suspension: This conversion is as simple as unbolting lower shock bolts, sway bar, and jacking the truck up. Then taking the air bags out, replacing with coil springs (and maybe new shocks) and now you have coil spring suspension, simple.
However, those who have 4 corner Air like my self and many others on here have the task is a little more tricky. Monroe makes great kits for this application and that is what I personally use on my truck. The part numbers go as follows:

4x4 Expedition-90010
4x4 Navigator- 90006 (slightly lower ride height than the expedition kit)
4x2 expedition/Navigator- 90005

These kits run in the $200-$300 range depending on retailer, shipping, etc.
While strutmasters makes a great kit and may be a sponsor/vendor on EF.com I have to say that the Monroe kits do the same job for 1/2 the price, if not even less. However when doing the conversion yourself the Strutmasters instructional video will be extremely helpful.

As you may notice from looking at these kits through images on the internet or in the video, the 4 corner air conversion kits have a coil over setup (up front) in addition to the torsion bars. The reason for this is because the Air Ride torsion bars are actually weaker than the standard expedition bars. This was to allow the air shocks (bags) up front to be able to adjust the ride height by carrying some of the weight of the front with the help of the torsion bars. So for 4 corner air, you cannot just swap the springs in the rear and put some gas shocks up front and call it done (with out changing the torsion bars out)... That is why these kits exist.

Lets clear the air on lifting air rides.
For 4wds, you also now have the ability, once converted to Coil Springs, to do a torsion bar twist, as well as adding a rear coil spacer for between 1-3" of added ride height.
2wds can now add coil spacers front and rear to allow for lift also.
Body lifts do work on 4 corner air suspension, as you can see I have one.

I also have learned that despite what the manufacturer states in the description of their lift kit, most suspension lift kits will work with only minor modification to the front shock hoop for 4wheel air, in addition to a torsion bar swap for either 7700 or standard expedition/f150 torsion bars. I know for a fact that the RCD lift a swell as the Fabtech kit can be used on these 4x4 4 corner air ride models. I have not had any luck in finding anything about the Zone kit but once mine goes in I can and will report back explaining what I had to do (if anything) to make it fit.

7700 bars are the torsion bars out of the f150 7700, which had a GVWR of 7700lbs, they are a much stiffer and heavier duty torsion bar than the standard expedition torsion bars. The addition of these bars in replacement of your air ride bars, or your standard bars will cause the front end of the truck to sit higher under its normal Torsion Key index because or their added rigidity. However they will reduce suspension articulation and increase ride stiffness. These were put into these special f150s to allow them to have the ability to have a snow plow mounted on the front with out the truck riding on the bumpstops.
Since most of us wont be plowing any snow with our Xs these can be used if a heavy duty tactical armor, warn, rhino, or road armor bumper may be in the plans for your truck. or if you're like me and you just want some more lift with out wanting to drop the money on a full kit.
These bars can be had through online parts stores, junk yards, pick & pull yards, etc.

I hope you all found this thread informative enough for you to pull the trigger on converting from air to coil spring suspension.
Any additional comments, questions, suggestions, etc. can be directed below
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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how much different in 2nd gens?
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Good Post!

That post would make a good sticky. If I hadn't already converted over from 4 corner air, you would have sold me on it Buddy!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by FREEWAY View Post
how much different in 2nd gens?
never been into a 2nd gens suspension before. I imagine it would be much more expensive due to the COs vs coils with shocks on 1st gens, also ive heard terrible things about taking the rear end of those things apart

Shaggy is supposed to sticky it...
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1997 Ford Expedition EB 4x4 5.4L
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Zone 6" suspension Lift - 3.73 LSD - Tbars Cranked - 3" PA Body Lift - 35" BFG KM2s - 17x8 Ultra Makos - Monroe Coil Overs - Straight Pipe - Kenwood DDX318 HU - Hifonics 1000.1D AMP - 4 15" Kicker CVRs in custom 24cube box - Kicker KS68 - Pioneer 6x8s - 5% limo tinted - PlastiDipped Trim - 8000k 55w HID Headlights - ZXE Fogs.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Love the air rear on my '08 and hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to keep...
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool what kind of lift should I get?

I have a 1997 ford expedition XLT 5.4L 4wd and I'm trying to get a lift so I can fit some bigger tires to beef up my ride. I was thinking about getting a 3" body lift and a 3" suspension lift but the problem is my expedition has a air suspension. any suggestions.? thanks :)
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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how can you tell if an expy has 4-corner air or just load leveling? In the market for a 1st gen EB to replace my explorer and am curious.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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4-corner will have bags at all for corners...load...just the rear
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What do you guys think of this ebay kit? Or should I just go with strut master?
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