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Damper Step changing?

Old 10-05-18, 08:24 AM
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gwebster
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Default Damper Step changing?

I have been battling a poor ride for quite a while where the vehicle seems to feel unsteady and rocks side to side while driving on the road. Seems worse when I have passengers. Initially I thought it was related to the air suspension, but I have replaced bags, height control sensors, and ensured height is set properly and no codes stored. I then thought it could be the shocks, but I recently replaced all with OEM and the issue is still there. I brought to the dealer and they could not identify any issues, but I don’t think they tried real hard either. Today I ran an active test with Techstream and I noticed that the Damper Step associated with the shock comfort settings were changing while I drove. I verified that they all read the same value at each setting while sitting still (IE, “6” at the default comfort setting). Shouldn’t the settings remain the same while driving? If not, is it likely the control switch has gone bad? I am thinking I could disconnect the harness at all shocks and see if ride improves. Any help/recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
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Old 10-05-18, 09:07 AM
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I think they change dynamically with road conditions, but I don't have stock suspension anymore so unfortunately I can't verify that for you.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:14 AM
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vwynn
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Gweber, Do you have KDSS?

I didnt think OEM suspension was dynamic (i could be wrong) but was more static where you set it to where you want it. Dont forget poor ride could be associated to worn bushings as well from suspension components.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by JLee50 View Post
I think they change dynamically with road conditions, but I don't have stock suspension anymore so unfortunately I can't verify that for you.
Thanks for the response. It seemed to change randomly while driving. I did a quick drive with harnesses disconnected and it seems better, but true test will be on longer drive with passengers.
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Old 10-05-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by vwynn View Post
Gweber, Do you have KDSS?

I didnt think OEM suspension was dynamic (i could be wrong) but was more static where you set it to where you want it. Dont forget poor ride could be associated to worn bushings as well from suspension components.
No, I don’t have KDSS. Thanks for idea about bushings. I have replaced front control arms and upper rear control arms since the bushings looked a little worn, but the condition remained. I also thought comfort setting should be static, so I think I may have found the issue, but I am curious if anyone with OEM shocks can verify.
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Old 10-05-18, 03:18 PM
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Page 4 in the GX470 brochure:

Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) offers four settings—from Comfort to Sport—with which you can direct the GX to automatically sense the character of the terrain, monitor your steering and braking, and adjust the suspension accordingly. A true sign of a serious utility vehicle, TORSEN® Limited-Slip Center Differential (LSCD)3 offers a variety of benefits, the most important being to help enhance the traction. And Rear Adjustable Height Control (RAHC) permits the GX to be raised 1.6 inches or lowered 1.2 inches for better or easier loading.
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Old 10-05-18, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JLee50 View Post
Page 4 in the GX470 brochure:
Thanks for providing this. I wonder if the sensors which track the changes in terrain are fouled up. I have driven 3 times since disconnecting the harness at the shocks and the vehicle seems much more stable and I don’t feel the side to side rocking.
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Old 10-06-18, 08:32 AM
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What year is your GX? I want to make sure we are talking about GX470's here.
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Old 10-06-18, 03:10 PM
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Also, if OP is new to full-size body-on-frame SUVs with their high center of gravity, it's normal for them to feel a little tippy. I've called it the "stagecoach" feel in the past.

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Old 10-06-18, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by IanB2 View Post
What year is your GX? I want to make sure we are talking about GX470's here.
It’s a 2008 GX470
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Old 10-06-18, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by chiph9 View Post
Also, if OP is new to full-size body-on-frame SUVs with their high center of gravity, it's normal for them to feel a little tippy. I've called it the "stagecoach" feel in the past.

Chip H.
I bought it in 2014, and it drove great for a few years then I started to notice a “rocking”, unsettled sensation when driving that got worse with passengers and it has been driving me crazy for over a year. Thought for a long time that it was related to the air suspension, then the shocks. I have replaced a bunch of parts and adjusted the height sensors. Nothing seemed to work until yesterday when I unplugged the harnesses at the shocks. I have not driven it much since then, but it definitely has improved the ride and the handling. After doing this, I found a few posts by another member who also unplugged the shocks and cited an improvement in the ride. I guess this is another reason to ditch OEM shocks!
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Old 10-09-18, 08:50 AM
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Might check your shock perches. Maybe they need re-inforced? Seems like i read something recently about those being weak points. I know some aftermarket off road companies are selling gussets you can weld in, but i dont think they allow you to use the stock UCAs.
I cant seem to find where i read that. Something about how it feels like it falls or roll when cornering.
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Old 10-09-18, 05:29 PM
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I would think a loose spring/shock perch would only be a concern in rust-belt states.
(or if you own a JL Wrangler, but we won't go there...)

Chip H.
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Old 10-10-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TWINHAULER View Post
Might check your shock perches. Maybe they need re-inforced? Seems like i read something recently about those being weak points. I know some aftermarket off road companies are selling gussets you can weld in, but i dont think they allow you to use the stock UCAs.
I cant seem to find where i read that. Something about how it feels like it falls or roll when cornering.
Thanks for the response. I recently replaced the front shocks and the shock mount and surrounding area seems to be in good shape. Also, after having driven it for almost a week since unplugging the shock harnesses I am certain now that my issues with the ride are somehow related to the AVS system as the ride has drastically improved. I am unsure of what drives the changes to the damper step setting, but I think either a sensor, the suspension control ECU, or harness must be faulty. Regardless, I am not going to dig real deep as I do not view the ability to manually change the suspension setting as a major benefit.
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Old 10-17-18, 10:10 PM
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Did your car shake when hitting bumps or uneven pavement? Trying to solve an issue with mines.
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