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Air Suspension Problems on GX470

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Old 07-28-14, 05:33 PM   #181
Way2go
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Hi,

Just found this thread while searching for help with my suspension problem. I live in Australia, but hopefully someone will have some ideas about my problem, as no-one I've approached to date has a clue!

I have a Toyota Prado 120 Grande, essentially the same as the Lexus GX470. 2004 model, lots of mods - extended airbags, long travel shocks, HD springs and shocks up front (2.5" lift all round), plus a heap of other stuff.

My suspension, however, is not fully functional. I can raise and lower it using the switch on the centre console, however the auto-levelling doesn't work. As the load in the back changes, I have to reset the height by using the console switch to raise or lower the rear then go back to N - at which time it sets it to the correct height regardless of the load. Given I have a 'workaround' it's not such a problem most of the time, however loading up for big outback trips, or hitching up the camper trailer or the boat always means having to remember to go through the steps just mentioned.

I'm hoping it's not the ECU (given the other controls work), or the sensors (or else it wouldn't be working at all either).

What other ideas does anyone have? I'm fairly limited in my electrical knowledge or abilities with cars, so have to get an auto electrician to perform most tests, etc., suggested, so if Ican get a list of things to do/try I can get them all tried in the one go (saves a bit of money and time!).

Looking forward to your suggestions.

Steve
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Old 09-10-14, 07:46 AM   #182
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Help needed here. I'm going to try to fix my MIL's 2007 GX 470. She has a ton of miles on it (170K or something) she's got this rear suspension dilemma. Here's what I know so far. I drove the car for about 5 minutes the other day and the right rear shock or air spring or both seem to be gone.

The suspension in the right rear is completely compressed (wheel up in fender well) and all other wheel heights look fine. The front looks a little lifted of course due to the right rear being so low. When you drive the car the right rear bounces comically and it feels like your riding in one of Dr. Dre's impala's circa 1992. When fully on the brakes (rear decompression) or accelerating hard from a stop (compression) it's not so bad, but everything in between is extremely bouncy.

I've searched here and my best guess so far is that the right rear airbag is gone and maybe the shock too? Is it right that the height level sensors would have the entire back of the car raised or lowered as opposed to just one side?

She's been driving it in this state for months and it has just gotten worse and worse. If it was my car I would go straight for the 4runner retrofit setup in the rear and not deal with the potential $5000 or more headache that could come from this issue in the near future.

Main questions are: would you go ahead and throw a new air spring at the problem, swap out to the 4runner setup right away or something different? What are a couple quick test I can do with the ride height control to see how/if it's working. Lastly, for those who have converted to the rear 4runner setup, is the ride THAT much harsher?

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-14, 08:42 AM   #183
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Not sure a bad air-bag will result in only one side being low -- I thought the left & right sides were connected via the air line, so if one goes, both go flat. ??

The bouncy thing is certainly bad shocks. Your mechanic can tell you which one(s) are bad - but my guess, based on the mileage/age/description, is "all of them".

Get the airbag fixed (or go to coils) and be prepared to pay extra for shocks.

Chip H.
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Old 09-10-14, 09:21 AM   #184
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Thanks for the help, I've been digging around a little more. Went ahead and ordered the oem 4runner rear shocks since they're dirt cheap. Good to hear there's just one pneumatic pump for both bags though, that's a good hint. I'm guessing the right rear bag is done for, and the bump stop is providing the "hop" that the blown shock isn't doing anything about.

I'll be doing all the wrenching on it, and I'm hoping I can talk her into the coil setup so she doesn't get mad at me for things like pump actuators failing, etc. Are any of the aftermarket air spring offerings worth getting? Arnott? Should I just grab the OEM ones for $230/per or whatever?
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Old 09-10-14, 05:22 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by getiton View Post
Thanks for the help, I've been digging around a little more. Went ahead and ordered the oem 4runner rear shocks since they're dirt cheap. Good to hear there's just one pneumatic pump for both bags though, that's a good hint. I'm guessing the right rear bag is done for, and the bump stop is providing the "hop" that the blown shock isn't doing anything about.

I'll be doing all the wrenching on it, and I'm hoping I can talk her into the coil setup so she doesn't get mad at me for things like pump actuators failing, etc. Are any of the aftermarket air spring offerings worth getting? Arnott? Should I just grab the OEM ones for $230/per or whatever?

You'll need this to retrofit coil springs in the rear. 4runner coils should fit fine in addition. You might want to order springs from Beno over at ih8mud.com for the best OEM prices.
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Old 09-24-14, 03:57 PM   #186
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UPDATE- I took out the rear airbags last weekend, and installed coil kit with 4runner springs. Ended up keeping the shocks in (which seem fine), and we get to retain the sport/comfort setting (which is never used anyway). Anyone have a good way to stop the blinking off light under the ride control on the instrument cluster after switching to the coil setup? I left the sensors plugged in and just taped off the tubes that led to the old bags. Unplugged the two Air Suspension fuses under the hood, but didn't touch any relays.

Any advice?

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-14, 04:01 PM   #187
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^did you use the metaltech kit, for the lights theres a fuse you can pull
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Old 09-24-14, 07:14 PM   #188
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UPDATE- I took out the rear airbags last weekend, and installed coil kit with 4runner springs. Ended up keeping the shocks in (which seem fine), and we get to retain the sport/comfort setting (which is never used anyway). Anyone have a good way to stop the blinking off light under the ride control on the instrument cluster after switching to the coil setup? I left the sensors plugged in and just taped off the tubes that led to the old bags. Unplugged the two Air Suspension fuses under the hood, but didn't touch any relays.

Any advice?

Thanks!
Wish I could help you on the blinking dash light, but I have not yet done the conversion. How do the 4runner springs feel and do they retain the stock height of the truck? Thanks. I am thinking about doing this conversion in the next year or so. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-14, 06:38 AM   #189
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^did you use the metaltech kit, for the lights theres a fuse you can pull
I did use the metaltech kit. In all my forum searching I could have sworn there was a third fuse somewhere but could only find the two (1-50A, 1-10A) under the hood. There doesn't seem to be one in the panel by the steering wheel. Now I can't find the link to tricking the system (if there was one, it's kind of a blur now)
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Old 09-25-14, 06:50 AM   #190
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Wish I could help you on the blinking dash light, but I have not yet done the conversion. How do the 4runner springs feel and do they retain the stock height of the truck? Thanks. I am thinking about doing this conversion in the next year or so. Thanks.
IMO the springs are a little on the soft side, and the ride height is maybe a half an inch low aesthetically. It's my mother in law's car and she likes the ride and doesn't notice the height. I'd go with the FJ springs if I had to do it over, I think the height would come just right, and they are a little beefier IIRC.

Also, one tip for all those tackling this job. be sure to disconnect the shocks on the bottom while the jack is under the rear diff. and before you rest the vehicle on the jack stands. You'll want to raise the rear as high as possible. Then when you lower it down onto the stands you'll have plenty of clearance to put in the springs won't even need a spring compressor tool.
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Old 09-25-14, 06:50 AM
 
 
 
 
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04, 2004, 470, air, clublexus, control, gx, gx470, height, inspect, lexus, ls430, problems, reliability, ride, sensor, sensors, suspension

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