air suspension fittings

This area is for those who need help modernizing their Lincoln for purposes other than strict restoration. Such questions can be about adding an electric fuel pump, adding fuel injection, boosting horsepower or gas mileage, or tightening or lowering the suspension. Body customizing and chopping can also be here (although this practice is not encouraged by the LCOC).

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air suspension fittings

Postby bagged59 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:26 pm

hello to all. i got my car running and driving! however my air suspension leaks air. i've teflon taped the hell out of every pipe thread fitting. so it's the push to connect fittings. all fittings are from Ride Tech. hoses too. my question to those bagged lincolns is where did you get your push to connect fittings from? also who's air lines did you use too?


wheels are just a cheap set to get the car moving. when the correct ones arrive later this summer, i'll share :grin:

thanks, paul.
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'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...

https://www.instagram.com/paulrosowicz/
bagged59
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bd94s10 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:09 pm

Car looks amazing! I've been around air suspension for about 25-years. I've had my fair share of bagged vehicles. I've spent COUNTLESS hours (pretty OCD) chasing leaks and re-doing stuff to ensure I have no leaks. In my '95 Suburban I could leave it up for weeks without any leaks.

-Push to connect fittings can and will tend to leak; if you go PTC only use DOT as they are way better than of course non DOT; what you mentioned I'm guessing are DOT approved PTC but still.. PTC can and will leak - use soapy water on them to see if they are leaking

-Use compression fittings if you can. I realize coming off the bag it might be a pain in the ass but I had the BEST success over the years using compression fittings throughout my vehicles. Not so much of a pain these days as back then I was using 6-8 electric valves vs. what we have today with nice valve bodies, etc.

-If your using say AccuAir VU4 or an Air Lift valve body with push to connect fittings consider going with one that has NPT threaded ports. My '64 is getting bagged soon and I'm using an NPT valve body - I've had too many issues with the "cartridge" fittings leaking on an AccuAir VU4

-Use a thread sealant vs. the teflon tape - you only need a dab of it on a fitting. Switch Suspension was on Ronnie's C-10 Talk podcast in the past and they spoke about this. Here is what they sell but you can find it in other places as well - https://switchsuspension.com/loctite-54 ... lant-10ml/

-Eliminate connections if at all possible. The more t-fittings etc. the more opportunity for leaks. Soapy water is the key to checking the system to find where they leaks are at.

-Pickup the tool that allows you to cut the line perfectly. I own one and it makes cutting the nylon line (if thats what your running) perfectly straight. Non-straight airline will cause it to leak in the fitting

I helped a buddy who has 1/4-inch lines with manual valves not too long ago. This is a SUPER reliable system with dual gauges... although slow... when the guy bagged it he didn't do the best job of running lines, cutting lines to where they needed to be etc. We took off a wheel well and there was a PTC t-fitting and it was leaking bad. Replaced it and problem went away. I've found running 1/4-inch lines your less likely to have issues even with the PTC t-fittings but again its super slow and you can still have leaks. Nylon airline is pretty standard just use DOT and cut it straight as I mentioned.

Note: I am not a professional but I've been around this stuff a LONG time. I've owned bagged vehicles and have learned a TON from asking questions and just being around this stuff forever. I've spent MANY hours with a vice and electric valves/fittings turning wrenches to ensure my leaks were ELIMINATED lol.

My old Suburban: http://severedties.com/member/16/ride/1 ... y-suburban
Our old Charger: http://severedties.com/member/16/ride/2 ... ge-charger

Note the Charger had all PTC fittings. Many didn't leak but they cartridge fittings on the VU4 eventually started to of course. Such a pain. I don't think they will be selling a PTC version in the future.
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bagged59 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:05 pm

thanks jason for replying. i have all ride tech stuff (valves, 1/4 lines, shockwaves in front and i think 224 bags in back, ride tech digital control panel). all the fittings are teflon taped. the fittings and hoses are DOT approved. they had the red sealant on them and they all leaked. i had one of those hose cutters and they still leak down. the valve body has npt fittings. however it's a 3/8" valve setup so im running reducers in line. so i'll wager that those are the main problem. the tank loses air too but not as bad as the bags. i bought this kit more than 10 years ago so later this year i'm going to replace all the lines and fittings. the ones on switch website look stout. thanks a million!

paul
'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...

https://www.instagram.com/paulrosowicz/
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bd94s10 » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:18 pm

No problem. Love the car man. Looks awesome! Good luck.
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby TonyC » Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:14 pm

It's no secret to the Forum what I think about balloon suspensions...but in the case of the '58 and '59 models I make an exception because their suspensions were designed at the factory to accommodate such an option. I'll even make an exception for cars from '70 onward, since they too have the same required suspension setup to accommodate either balloons or coil springs.

That said, I do hope, Paul, that you can fix the leaks. I too think the car looks great for its year. It has to be fun to intimidate traffic with the largest unibody car ever made. :D

---Tony
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, just because there is a picture with a quote next to it." (Abraham Lincoln, 1866)
"Question Authority!"

1966 Continental Sedan, affectionately known as "Frankenstein" until body restoration is done (to be renamed "General Sherman" on that event)
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bagged59 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:39 pm

i got my shipment of fittings and hose from switch suspension. much nicer fittings than the ride tech ones. the loctite that they suggest is tricky. it MUST set for 24 hours otherwise they will leak. i tested the loctite on my air line fittings for my air tools, let them set overnight, and they hold air perfectly! it's not like ptfe paste that can used right away. so i hope that bit of info helps some people in the future. i still have to change the fittings on my car, just dont have the time (or ambition) right now to do it. i'll update when i do.

paul
'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...

https://www.instagram.com/paulrosowicz/
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bd94s10 » Tue May 17, 2022 8:26 pm

Interesting. I'm not familiar with what you purchased. I'm familiar with this thread sealant that they sell. I've had great luck with it: https://switchsuspension.com/loctite-54 ... lant-10ml/

Jason
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bagged59 » Tue May 17, 2022 9:01 pm

thats what i used and it works great! i resealed all 4 air bags and they hold air for weeks. it has to set for 24 hours before you put air thru it. unlike teflon tape where you can use it immediately, that loctite has to set for 24 hours. ive been posting to my instagram lately if you want to see updated photos.

paul
'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...

https://www.instagram.com/paulrosowicz/
bagged59
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby marolf101x » Wed May 18, 2022 2:44 pm

Full disclosure. . .I ran the Engineering department for Ridetech (Air Ride Technologies) for a decade. I've not worked there since about 2017 so I no longer have a dog in this fight. I'm just offering advice from years of testing and development and thousands of cars on air suspension (and busses, transit vehicles, military vehicles, etc. We did a lot more than just hot rods)

Airline Fittings:
You should only use DOT approved airline fittings. At Ridetech we used SMC and Parker for the most part. We used Legris for a bit, but not nearly as much as the other two.

The pink stuff on the threads of the fitting is not enough to provide a proper seal. I was told by an SMC engineer it's there more for anti-galling than sealing.
So you must use a sealant. We typically used Teflon tape, 3 wraps around the fitting minimum, wrapped the correct way around the fitting so it tightens into the threads as the fitting is tightened.
I also like this stuff:
https://dewaldengineeredadhesives.com/product/hard-hat/
We supplied pneumatic panels to the military that controlled air suspension and locking differentials and used both the Loctite and Hard Hat sealant.

All push to connect fittings seal the airline via an o-ring. The o-ring seals against the ID of the connector and the OD of the tubing. So the tubing must be cut straight, not pinched, and the OD must be clean and smooth.
The airline is held into the fitting with a stainless steel ring that has "teeth" on it. When the airline is inserted into the fitting it is pushed through the o-ring and past the "tooth ring". The airline is then pulled back to seat the line. When pulled back the "tooth ring" wedges against a lip inside the fitting, forcing the teeth into the airline, thereby holding it in place.

Too many times I've seen:
-no thread sealant at all
-teflon tape wrapped once around the fitting
-teflon tape wrapped the wrong way so the tape came off when the fitting was screwed in
-the airline not cut straight
-the airline cut with side cutters and pinched
-people remove the airline multiple times without cutting off the end (the teeth leave marks where they bite into the line, and can drag on the line leaving gouges; neither are good for an o-ring seal)

Leaks in general. . .
If the tank leaks down, so will the air springs. Typically the front leaks down first as the front air springs are at a higher pressure than the rear air springs.
The valves most air suspension companies use are "air over seat" style. Meaning the air in the tank helps keep the valve closed.
There's a spring on the valve as well, but it's not enough on it's own when the air springs have high pressures.
If the pressure in the air spring is roughly 50psi higher than the tank, the valve is forced open and the air leaks from the air spring back into the tank.

So if both fronts leak down, or all four air springs leak down, the leak is likely on the tank/compressor side.
If only one air spring leads down the leak is between the valves and the air spring.

Keep the number of connections to a minimum to mitigate possible leak points.
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Re: air suspension fittings

Postby bagged59 » Wed May 18, 2022 9:09 pm

that is some valuable information. i replaced all of the air ride kit-included fittings with fittings from switch suspension with the loctite sealant. i think i had a false sense of security by installing those air ride fittings with the red sealant on them. i had nothing but leaks with those. i used teflon tape with at least 3 wraps in the proper direction. still fought leaks. went with loctite and so far so good. i have a tubing cutter as well. good to know not to keep taking the tubes on and off and if so, cut above the bite marks. there are so many useless fittings on the tank that i can see that being a source of leaks. my kit has the big red valves so there's one tube feeding the valve block. i ripped out my system and am in the process of rewiring and running new air lines, so when that is complete, fingers crossed there are no leaks.

thanks
paul
'59 Continental 2dr hardtop, burgundy, 460, AOD, 9" rear, 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes, air ride, vintage air. purchased 7/7/06. Restoration in progress...

https://www.instagram.com/paulrosowicz/
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