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View Full Version : Problem associated with FIRM RIDE light blinking



Garys SC
08-18-2014, 04:21 PM
I now have a 1991 Thunderbird Super Coupe.

Does anyone know the error code (or problem) that causes the green FIRM RIDE light to blink 4 times???

If I remember my '89 SC, anything involving the suspension costs $$$, so I'm holding my breath waiting for the answer! LOL

Thanks to all in advance,
Gary

SCarSC
08-18-2014, 04:35 PM
i could be complete wrong, but i think the number of blinks is associated with the problem actuator...im sure a search would tell you which is the 4th actuator i assume back right but i dont know.

you could probably swap actuators and see if it changes the number of blinks.

SCarSC
08-18-2014, 04:41 PM
http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthread.php?24386-Firm-Ride-Blinking-Light-Fix&highlight=firm+ride+blink

looks like i was wrong about the position...left front.

KMT
08-18-2014, 04:45 PM
(ARC) Operation/Testing "How-To" / TCCOA

http://www.tccoa.com/articles/mn12how-to/arc/arc.htm

Blink count code chart is at the bottom of the page.

S_Mazza
08-18-2014, 05:46 PM
It is usually related to the shock valve sticking from corrosion after sitting a long time, as noted in GLDIII's post from 2003. (The perfect thing to link to, KMT!)

The actuators are quite simple and rarely go bad unless you get the innards wet.

KMT
08-18-2014, 06:03 PM
...as noted in GLDIII's post from 2003. (The perfect thing to link to, KMT!)


Jeff Steinert's submittal, you mean?

'Perfect' if that's the only issue and not a failed shock or actuator, connector, etc., I guess. Both links have good info.

The TCCOA link is for anyone wanting to take a deeper technical dive into the ARC system overall.

Just trying to add as much info as possible :)

1994blkbirdsc
08-18-2014, 06:43 PM
Try this as it costs no $$$
Pull each actuator off the shock and shoot some wd-40 in there as well as the actuator, use some fine needle nose pliers to manually move the shock valve and see if this works.
Its worth a try as it costs only a little time.

S_Mazza
08-18-2014, 07:53 PM
Jeff Steinert's submittal, you mean?

'Perfect' if that's the only issue and not a failed shock or actuator, connector, etc., I guess. Both links have good info.

The TCCOA link is for anyone wanting to take a deeper technical dive into the ARC system overall.

Just trying to add as much info as possible :)

Sorry, I thought you posted the link to GLD's post. I wasn't criticizing the link you actually did send, just complimenting the other one. My mistake!

KMT
08-18-2014, 08:00 PM
Ah...got it...it's all good.

Lucky me, the only issue I've had w/the ARC system so far was having to wait a year to get my hands on new shocks :)

Garys SC
08-20-2014, 09:11 PM
Thanks to everyone for the information and suggestions!

I also Googled the question and found out that it's quite common when an actuator gets dirty. I'll give it a whirl this weekend.

I APPRECIATE YOU ALL!

Gary

Garys SC
09-29-2014, 07:23 PM
Well, I finally got around to checking my left front actuator. Took it off, cleaned the "blade" well with sensor cleaner and reinstalled it.

FIRM RIDE LIGHT is still blinking four times. Guess it's time for a new actuator!

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN ORDER A ONE??? (I usually order from www.RockAuto.com, but I did not see any actuators listed under the Suspension category.)


Thanks in advance for everyone's help,

Gary
Charlotte, NC
1992 Thunderbird SC

62046

S_Mazza
09-29-2014, 07:45 PM
The parts are not available new as far as I know, but I am not convinced you need one. Here's why:

- Sensor cleaner is not really the right tool for the job. You are supposed to make sure that the "blade" inside the shock absorber turns freely. A light penetrating lubricant is the best tool for that job. If you didn't check the operation of the part inside the shock, then you can't say whether the actuator is bad or not.

- If you did check the shock and I missed it ... Are you sure the actuator went back on in the proper position? When installed on the shock, you should be able to gently press on the top and feel it slide down about 1/4", then release it and it should pop back up. If it is firm and doesn't press down, it's probably installed crooked and jammed on top of the shock blade.

- If you got past both of those points ... If you take the actuator off the shock, but leave it plugged in, then turn the car key on, does the FIRM RIDE light still blink? If you look at the actuator, has the piece inside moved?

Mike8675309
09-29-2014, 10:07 PM
here is a link to George's old post.
http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthread.php?24386-Firm-Ride-Blinking-Light-Fix&highlight=firm+ride

That is exactly what the problem is most often. It isn't a problem with the actuator, it's a problem with the shock. That valve on the top can get sticky and the torque of that actuator isn't enough to overcome the gunk.

KMT
09-29-2014, 10:09 PM
Can you move that actuator to another shock and see if the code report follows it?