Hello and welcome to JA, the reason the system will not inflate when the temperature drops is because the front spring caps are worn and need to be replaced. The front spring caps are the top portion of the air spring, they also have 2 seals that seal the system...when the temperature drops, the metal spring caps shrink slightly...metal contracts when cold and expands when hot...this is when the system is unable to keep the air in the spring...the front springs need to be removed and the spring caps and seals need to be replaced. the spring caps cost about $120 each and are only available at the Ford dealer. Also, if the compressor is very noisy, then it is no longer any good, and will need replacing...what happens is that the compressor will continue to pump until the signal from the height sensor is adequate for the compressor to turn off...when there is a leak in the system, or a sensor that does not send the proper signal, the compressor will run longer than it should, and basically eat itself alive, that is when it becomes very noisy.
Yes, we're thinking about it the same way. As a Ford employee, perhaps, you have limits on what you can recomend but this is the type of aftermarket replacement kit that I was considering which would seem to address the potential issues that you mention above
In your opinion, would another option be to abandon the air system altogether in favor of converstion to a more traditional suspension? It's a great vehicle but I will likely only drive it another 30k or so before moving on.
I really appreciate the help.
Hi Dave...I was hoping you might help with one additional detail. After researching extensively and looking at tradeoffs, I'm going to sweep the air suspension out and replace with traditional coil over strut. While there are alot of companies that provide solutions, I'm not really familiar with the brands. One thougtht I had was to put a Monroe replacement strut assembly or Ford Motorcraft designed for 2006 Expedition Limited on since I'm more familiar and confident with those brands. In looking at the Ford shop manuals that cover both Navigator and Expedition together, it would seem that these parts would fit without modification but I notice that on the compatability lookups that they only list Expedition and don't reference Lincoln Navigator. Is this simply because Navigator's always have air suspension as OE or are there actually differences in the strut assembly mounts?