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UL stock air suspension to steel springs conversion infos

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Old 03-22-09, 07:50 PM   #1
BNR34
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Default UL stock air suspension to steel springs conversion infos

As many of you already knows, the 2 rear air struts on my UL failed, I have decided to convert my car to conventional steel springs. Many UL owners have shown interest in this conversion to avoid keep paying the very high price of the air struts, so I want to start this thread to share all the infos I found and document the whole process.

Today, I think I stumbled, solved the biggest question of the conversion, how to shut off the air suspension computer without triggering an error message from the main computer.

The main objective is to shut off the air compressor, since we don't want it to keep pumping air if the height sensors tells the computer the car is sitting too low.

I found 2 air suspension fuses and 1 air suspension relay, all I did was pulled the fuse to the air compressor. That disabled the air compressor, and to my pleasant surprise, that didn't trigger any error message or code or blinking light

How do I know I disabled the air compressor? The car doesn't go up when I press the "high" button, the "height Hi" message still came on in the cluster, but the air compressor didn't come on.

So that was it, that is all I care to disable. The air suspension computer can think whatever it want to think, I don't think that does any harm. Not that I can think of anyway, if you guys can think of anything, please let me know!

Now I am off to check out how to remove the rear power seats to get to the top struts mounting nuts.
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Last edited by BNR34; 06-11-09 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 03-22-09, 08:47 PM   #2
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cool!thanks for the info.my coilovers should be in in the next couple of weeks.
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Old 03-25-09, 04:57 PM   #3
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Old 03-25-09, 06:25 PM   #4
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Cool! you got it solved!!
Now do the conversion and show us some pictures!
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Old 03-25-09, 08:46 PM   #5
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very nice info
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Old 03-26-09, 07:46 AM   #6
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I will document it and show pics when I can.

I removed the rear power seats now, it is a lot easier then I thought. The rear cushions basically just sit on a metal frame that move by electric motors. So the cushions are mounted just like any non-power fixed seats, you simply pull up on the lower cushions and unbolt the seat back.

I confirmed you have to remove the rear seats to get to the top strut's mounting nut, you can't get to those nuts from the trunk.

The issue I am facing now, is how to remove the C-pillars interior panel, they are mounted so well, it is hard to pull off, and I don't want to break anything. You have to remove these panels and the rear shelf in order to get to the strut top's nuts. I am gonna seek professional help on how to remove the panels.

I'll report back.
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Old 03-26-09, 07:57 AM   #7
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Cool! you got it solved!!
Now do the conversion and show us some pictures!
I sure will post pics when I am done.

I pretty much decided to run the OEM sport struts with Tanabe NF210 spring and see how it look. If it is not low enough, I'll add the You Zealand SS kit.

Then I can put the OEM sport suspension emblem on the side of the car! haha.....just a thought, I don't want to add any emblem to the car. It would confuse the real LS430 enthusiast though, a UL with sport suspension. If anyone would ever notice
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Old 03-26-09, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNR34 View Post
I sure will post pics when I am done.

I pretty much decided to run the OEM sport struts with Tanabe NF210 spring and see how it look. If it is not low enough, I'll add the You Zealand SS kit.

Then I can put the OEM sport suspension emblem on the side of the car! haha.....just a thought, I don't want to add any emblem to the car. It would confuse the real LS430 enthusiast though, a UL with sport suspension. If anyone would ever notice
Awesome....glad to hear some updates

So, the blue print is:

1. OEM sport struts = kyb gr2
2. Tanabe NF springs
3. You Zealand SS kit

save your money from the emblem and see if you can get the sport sway bar (only the rear) that the SPORT EDITION use-TRD branded.

Hmmm, just checked Carson's site and the sways aren't listed. They only have Tom's and TRD lower bracings and the 6 links.

http://www.l-tunedparts.com/model/st...=7&model_id=94

Of course we're not turning this into a race car or anything, just some extra components to reduce body sway.

I looked up stabilizer bar and this one is "With sport package"
I'm wondering if it's different-thicker, heavier... than non sport package
It's a $5 difference though.
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...layCatalogid=0

If it is, I would love to change this out-I might have to look into this further

There's no price difference and model distinction for the front ($123)

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by GS3Tek; 03-26-09 at 10:45 AM.. Reason: forgot link
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Old 03-26-09, 09:26 AM   #9
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Awesome....glad to hear some updates
I am just trying to help by sharing my findings

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS3Tek View Post
So, the blue print is:

1. OEM sport struts = kyb gr2
How do you know that? Do you have prove? If it is, the KYB GR2 is cheaper. Please let me know. My feeling is the GR2 is softer like the regular struts, the sport struts are quite a bit firmer. I want the firmer strut.

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save your money from the emblem
I was just kidding about the emblem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS3Tek View Post
and see if you can get the sport sway bar (only the rear) that the SPORT EDITION use-TRD branded.

Hmmm, just checked Carson's site and the sways aren't listed. They only have Tom's and TRD lower bracings and the 6 links.

http://www.l-tunedparts.com/model/st...=7&model_id=94

Of course we're not turning this into a race car or anything, just some extra components to reduce body sway.
I want to reduce body sway too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GS3Tek View Post
I looked up stabilizer bar and this one is "With sport package"
I'm wondering if it's different-thicker, heavier... than non sport package
It's a $5 difference though.
If it is, I would love to change this out-I might have to look into this further
Yes, that is the thicker rear sway bar from the OEM sport suspension. I looked into this already, it bolt onto our UL, the only thing extra is you have to buy the sway bushings that got a bigger inner diameter for the bigger sway bar.

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There's no price difference and model distinction for the front ($123)
The front bar is the same, only the rear is bigger on the sport.

I am planning to do bigger sway bar, depends on how the car drive with the sport shocks and NF210. That alone already add quite a bit of stiffness, so if the body roll is already acceptable, I will just do the OEM sport rear sway since it is much cheaper. If I feel like I want more roll stiffness, I'll get the quite a bit bigger front and rear sway bars from TRD Japan.

Last edited by BNR34; 03-26-09 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 03-26-09, 09:40 AM   #10
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How do you know that? Do you have prove? If it is, the KYB GR2 is cheaper. Please let me know. My feeling is the GR2 is softer like the regular struts, the sport struts are quite a bit firmer. I want the firmer strut.
hmmm, sorry to make the jump there because I ASSumed that it was like the GS. Don't take my words on it since I can't back it up


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Yes, that is the thicker rear sway bar from the OEM sport suspension. I looked into this already, it bolt onto our UL, the only thing extra is you have to buy the sway bushings that got a bigger inner diameter for the bigger sway bar.

The front bar is the same, only the rear is bigger on the sport.
Thanks for the confirmation. That might be my next purchase

I remembered it was branded TRD

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I am planning to do bigger sway bar, depends on how the car drive with the sport shocks and NF210. That alone already add quite a bit of stiffness, so if the body roll is already acceptable, I will just do the OEM sport rear sway since it is much cheaper. If I feel like I want more roll stiffness, I'll get the quite a bit bigger front and rear sway bars from TRD Japan.
I won't and don't expect the sport shocks to reduce that much body sways.
The biggest difference will be the sway bars.

How much are those TRD from Japan?

Back in the GS arena, the TRDs were too stiff thus for comfort, everyone opted for the Daizen sways ( which I got and love also).
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Old 03-26-09, 10:14 AM   #11
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hmmm, sorry to make the jump there because I ASSumed that it was like the GS. Don't take my words on it since I can't back it up
Oh I didn't know if you knew that as a facts. Thanks for clarifying.

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Thanks for the confirmation. That might be my next purchase

I remembered it was branded TRD
No problem.

I don't think TRD have anything to do with the OEM sport suspension.

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I won't and don't expect the sport shocks to reduce that much body sways.
The biggest difference will be the sway bars.
True, the sport shocks don't do much to reduce roll, but the steel NF210 is much stiffer then the air bags.

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How much are those TRD from Japan?
80,000 JPY

http://trdparts.jp/english/parts_sportivo.html

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Back in the GS arena, the TRDs were too stiff thus for comfort, everyone opted for the Daizen sways ( which I got and love also).
Yes I am guessing the TRD would be too stiff also, that is why I want to wait until I get the sport suspension in before I decide which sway bars I want. I am pretty sure the sport suspension along with the OEM rear sport sway bar is perfect. Since I remembered all the stock sport suspension LS430 I drove are planty stiff, sporty for me.

Last edited by BNR34; 03-26-09 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 03-26-09, 10:39 AM   #12
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thanks

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Yes I am guessing the TRD would be too stiff also, that is why I want to wait until I get the sport suspension in before I decide which sway bars I want. I am pretty sure the sport suspension along with the OEM rear sport sway bar is perfect. Since I remembered all the stock sport suspension LS430 I drove are planty stiff, sporty for me.
So you're going to get the OEM rear sport sway???

I'm definitely interested in picking this one up...by far the cheapest suspension mod
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Old 03-26-09, 10:55 AM   #13
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So you're going to get the OEM rear sport sway???
Most likely.

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I'm definitely interested in picking this one up...by far the cheapest suspension mod
Sure is the cheapest. TRD is the only company who make a bigger sway bars for the LS430, and by the time you add shipping and all assoicated cost to get it from Japan, it would be at least $1000. And like you said, I don't think the LS430 need anything more then the OEM rear sport sway.
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Old 03-26-09, 10:58 AM   #14
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Then I can go start a false rumor that Lexus does indeed offered the UL package with the factory sport suspension without the costly air suspension. They are REALLY rare, but they are out there, you just have to find them
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Old 03-26-09, 01:58 PM   #15
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nice...this is good to know for the future...I hate the hazard light on the dash, esp if you know nothings wrong w/ it....
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Old 03-26-09, 01:58 PM
 
 
 
 
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