Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > Lexus Model Forums > RX Models > RX - Second Generation
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

RX air suspension swap out?

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-12, 01:35 PM   #1
markrx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ma
Posts: 4
Default RX air suspension swap out?

I have a 2004 RX330 with the factory air suspension. I have recently encountered a problem with the compressor and it is $2000 to fix it. I am nervous to spend the money only to have another part go bad in the future. I am interested in swapping out the air suspension for standard spring / strut suspension.

I have located a complete set at a salvage yard for around $600. I am considering buying these and removing my air shocks and putting these in. Has anyone out there done this swap? I am concerned about compatability and any possible collateral effects from not having the factory air shocks in place.

Thanks.
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
markrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 09:50 AM   #2
kiwi
Lead Lap
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 622
Default

i would be concerned for a couple of reasons,

first, what exactly is the condition of the salvage items, you might have to replace certain parts within that, such as the bearing on the top.

second, you will lose value in your vehicle, more than likely once you disconnect everything there will be a warning light on the dash, as well, you have the ride height button which will now do nothing, it might open a can of worms when you go to sell or trade in.

third, i would be more inclined to replace the 2000 dollar item, and then trade the vehicle in if you are afraid of other air suspension items going shortly there after. this option would get you the msot for your current ride, and you caould just go find an rx330 or rx 350 without air suspension.

fourth, you are kinda right in thinking more could go wrong, each air suspension unit is worth about 1200 bucks each, so that could add up quickly.

if you are considering selling it, you could try to trade it in without fixing it, it is the dealers respnosbility to check it over for any defects.


personally, if any parts of my air suspension go, i will fork the money out to keep it working (and i do have an 04 with air suspension, so i know where you are coming from). you dont see too many cases on here of people having problems.
kiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 09:44 AM   #3
lex_rx
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 129
Default

I though long and hard and tried to do a research on mine when I had to replace one air suspension, two support brackets, one sensor. I've been out probably C$3,000 on those items. Also, I was "stuck" in Halifax while visiting because one of the support brackets for the sensor broke. The SUV was bouncing like crazy on the highway. No fun and quite dangerous.

None of the local shops that I talked to wanted to do the replacement to non-air system. I don't blame them as they may have been thinking about liabilities for essentially changing an important safety part of the vehicle.

That said, as owners, we pretty much can do whatever we want to our vehicles. If you do replace the system, you'd need to remove connection to the electronics for the air suspension system.

Also, as one has mentioned, your resale may be greatly affected by this change.

I knew back in 2007 when I bought second hand that the air suspension system would be expensive to maintain. But in Ottawa in those days, it was terribly hard to find a second hand RX.

My suggestion would probably be to find a used compressor and go to a cheaper garage that you can trust.
lex_rx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 10:42 AM   #4
lexus114
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
lexus114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bethlehem Twsp. Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,984
Default

Air suspension problems (on cars) anyway, have been a problem for years. My step dad bought a 1984 Lincoln Mark VII brand new. That car rode like a dream, but as it got older....you guessed it! Air suspension problems! I dont know if the stuff their using is too Mickey mouse or what the trouble is.
__________________
2015 RX 350 AWD

2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4 Matic Sport Sedan (wife`s car)
lexus114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 12:16 PM   #5
srx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3
Default

Well, just looking at http://www.lexuspartsnow.com:
4 sensors: each sensor ~$300
4 struts: each ~$800
Compressor: ~$1200
dryer: ~$800
Total: $6400 not counting cables, tubes, valves which may also go wrong with a smaller probability...

Ordinary struts: $125 each.

So how much should you loose from the value of the vehicle for this not to make sense, especially for a 2004, 2005 one which sells for around $14,000? By replacing those components you are not adding any value to the vehicle. It just increases its maintenance cost.

Would swap it today if I knew a mechanic who knows how to do it properly!
srx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 07:22 PM   #6
lex_rx
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 129
Default

Actually, I just realized that I recently came across the name of a former lexus mechanic who now has his own shop. I will ask him if he will do the swap for me the next time one of the components need replacement.

Assuming that the non-air parts will readily fit the air equipped models, the key is finding a mechanic who will do it.
lex_rx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-12, 08:18 AM   #7
srx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3
Default

One other thing that I found in forums is that RX being a CAN vehicle (where all systems talk to each other) simply replacing the struts may not be enough (this is in fact not complicated. one rx owner managed to do it all by himself in his garage. he replaced an air strut with another air strut).

It may be necessary to reprogram the computer and probably install a software version used for non air suspension RX. So, this takes a good mechanic who understands how this vehicle is put together and can decide if reprogramming is necessary or just unplugging the air suspension does the job.

Non air struts take exactly the same place as the air struts. All the bolts and nuts go exactly to the same place. Nothing sophisticated here. It's more about proper computer reprogramming or correct shutting down of the air suspension module for it not to interact with other components (if that happens to be the case). As you may know, this vehicle lowers when driving a few minutes at a speed over 80 or 100 km /h and when speed lowers it pumps up the vehicle to normal height. Another function of the air sus is auto leveling. So, I am really not sure that simply unplugging the cables is sufficient. It would be good news if it was... because strut replacement can be done by any mechanic...

Last edited by srx; 02-14-12 at 08:30 AM..
srx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-12, 07:48 PM   #8
markrx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ma
Posts: 4
Default Update

Hey guys I am checking back in after doing the swap. I got a set from online junkyard for $550 shipped. I swapped them all out in my garage in about three hours. I got the car aligned and it now rides like a dream again. I have not yet decided what to do with the air system components. I will likely clamp the four lines at the ends or remove the compressor itself. No issues so far with any of the other car systems. Light is on in the dash only annoyance.

Does anyone know where the compressor unit is and how to access it for removal? That is whAt is bad so I will remove it and never look back. Also I now have four used airbag struts for sale with 83K on them! Let me know if interested they are all in good shape. My email is markbmx@msn.com
markrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-12, 10:12 PM   #9
LophatRX
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
LophatRX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 177
Send a message via AIM to LophatRX
Default

Mark,

Are you going to remove the factory airtank as well? I don't have anything wrong with my air system, but I would like to know what you would do with the airtank. I am not sure if there is one or two, i would imagine there might be two of them, one for each side.
LophatRX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-12, 02:54 PM   #10
markrx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ma
Posts: 4
Default

I am not sure yet what I am going to do with the rest of the air system. I am bringing it into my buddys shop so he can hook it up to the lexus computer and see what we can do to disable it. If that doesn't work we will likely remove whatever parts necessary and I would gladly sell those. Here is the listing for the shocks on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/220961837476...witem=&vxp=mtr

I will update this later after we take the next step. Just took car on a long ride (200 miles). The swap out doesn't seem to effect any other systems in the car as of now. Rode great I am excited.

Mark
markrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-12, 03:03 PM   #11
Carver
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Carver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,628
Default

I had an 88 Lincoln Continental I replaced the air system on and the dash light solution was simply grounding the sensor to the body. I have no idea if that would work on an RX but it would be an extremely inexpensive place to start!
Carver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-12, 09:56 PM   #12
LophatRX
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
LophatRX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 177
Send a message via AIM to LophatRX
Default

Mark,

Thanks, I wish could buy your OEM struts just as backups. My RX have over 120,000 miles, but everything is still working great on it. I just had them inspected so I know nothing is wrong with them.
LophatRX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-12, 06:07 PM   #13
lex_rx
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 129
Default

Mark,

Do you still have the struts? Also, have you removed the four height sensors? I've had to replace two of those on my RX.

We're trying to decide whether to get a new car or keep the 2004 RX. If we decide to keep it, I'll probably consider buying the struts that you removed plus the sensors.

Lastly, how's your RX right now? You must have put about a 1k by now on the replacement non-air struts. Would be interesting to hear your comments on your experience.

TIA.
lex_rx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-12, 06:33 AM   #14
markrx
Driver School Candidate
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: ma
Posts: 4
Default Update

The car has been riding great and there have been no problems. I used the diagrams one of the users sent me and I located the wiring harness at the tank and the other one at the compressor. I unplugged them both. The only negative I have is the light flashing "off". I have not had it in to the shop yet to see if I can get that removed. I sold the struts on eBay which allowed me to break even on the swap out. I don't think I can sell the sensors because the auto leveling headlights are tied into them.

So at the end of the day all my problems were solved, it cost me nothing and my negative side effects are a button that does nothing and a warning light. The button doesn't bother me because the RX has so many useless features that don't get used anyway it just blends in.
markrx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-12, 12:16 PM   #15
lex_rx
Driver
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 129
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by markrx View Post
The car has been riding great and there have been no problems. I used the diagrams one of the users sent me and I located the wiring harness at the tank and the other one at the compressor. I unplugged them both. The only negative I have is the light flashing "off". I have not had it in to the shop yet to see if I can get that removed. I sold the struts on eBay which allowed me to break even on the swap out. I don't think I can sell the sensors because the auto leveling headlights are tied into them.

So at the end of the day all my problems were solved, it cost me nothing and my negative side effects are a button that does nothing and a warning light. The button doesn't bother me because the RX has so many useless features that don't get used anyway it just blends in.
Would you mind forwarding to me the diagrams of the wiring harness? Thanks.

Good for you if things are working well with the swap out.
lex_rx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-12, 12:16 PM
 
 
 
 
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Factory air suspension !! usa5655 LS430 10 03-19-13 12:44 AM
Rear air suspension. GXEnforcer GX - First Generation 7 11-15-12 07:57 PM
Replace factory air suspension with regular shocks/struts? Din LS460, LS460L and LS600h 2 09-20-12 06:17 PM
Factory air suspension to coilover Tdvlexo LS460, LS460L and LS600h 18 01-15-12 02:38 PM
Air Suspension? Stormforge Hybrid Technology 23 08-22-09 04:36 PM


Tags
04, air, club, compressor, conversion, converting, lexus, problems, remoce, rx, rx330, standard, struts, suspension, swap

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:48 AM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | JOBS


Get all contact info