I was discussing with Uwe how our E150 passenger van has such a harsh ride that no one wants to ride in the back seat, and I fear it's being harsh on our Caravel
as well. He suggested I unhook the shocks for a short test drive to see if they were too stiff and causing the problem.
So I went out and crawled under the van, and I think I found my problem. It looks like the rear axel is bottomed out against the frame. There is an airbag on each side, behind the shock (says Air Lift 5810 on it), and they appear to be completely deflated. I think this is probably the cause of the harsh ride. It looks to me like these were add-ons, maybe replaced the original equipment (springs, I would guess). Can anyone educate me about these things, and what I should do next? I've included a picture.
PS: on further exploration I've found tubes coming out of the top of each airbag which go back to the frame near the trailer hitch, and end in a air valve, just like on a tire valve stem. I assume that's where the air goes in, now how do I figure out how much to put in it?