Air Suspension head scratcher

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ryanjl

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They used to be reman, but they haven't been for a while. The problems people had with the remans have continued to plague their reputation, though.
 

Tapps33

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They used to be reman, but they haven't been for a while. The problems people had with the remans have continued to plague their reputation, though.
I think I'm a prime example of their older reman air struts plaguing their reputation....I mean seriously, 2 out of 4 failed in less than 5 years. Hopefully this time the quality has improved!!!

so about this extended warranty you can sell me! :driver:
 

Longtrail

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My 2012 still has the original struts, having serviced all valves with new o'rings and a new compressor mine is sitting pretty!... It was falling overnight but not by huge amounts!

"I'll keep y'all updated as soon as the new struts get here. Not gonna lie though, I probably won't do a full write up on them since it's pretty much the same as the rear struts. But, I'll try and throw any lessons learned out there for others attempting this."

My opinion is that anybody willing to tackle this job is smart/brave enough to translate the rear info to the front of the vehicle :)
 

f1racer328

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What kind of climate/driving habits do you guys have with failing/leaking suspension?

I have 116k on mine, all original. Dry AZ driving, with a fair bit of off roading and towing. Maybe mine are just a ticking time bomb at this point.
 

ftillier

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The desiccant in my Hitachi compressor turned to dust and some got into the front valve block (at least.) The front valve block was leaking due to a loose hose fitting, and seems to be fine now that I've cleaned it out and snugged things up. I did replace the desiccant with a kit, but plan on replacing the whole dryer unit at some point, as the compression fittings in the cap don't seal super well (there's a slow leak at the cap for the hose going to the central valve block). I don't think the AMK compressor suffers from the same dehydrator issue.
 

Longtrail

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What kind of climate/driving habits do you guys have with failing/leaking suspension?

I have 116k on mine, all original. Dry AZ driving, with a fair bit of off roading and towing. Maybe mine are just a ticking time bomb at this point.

I have 92K, all original, but she's lived in Pennsylvania; Kentucky and now MI so I suspect it's had a rougher saltier life! I will keep burying my head in the sand until the bags deflate but also suspect the shocks could use some love... Weather wise, from hot and humid to freezing cold snow (like today).

It's a bit of a mall crawler (shout out to LR Time :) ) although it spends a lot of time on dirt roads... I'll certainly take it off road if I can find a reason! I also occasionally tow.
 

Tapps33

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What kind of climate/driving habits do you guys have with failing/leaking suspension?

I have 116k on mine, all original. Dry AZ driving, with a fair bit of off roading and towing. Maybe mine are just a ticking time bomb at this point.
Honestly, nothing crazy. This is my wife's DD, and it's also her baby. Granted it's seen a lot of miles all across the country as we move a lot, but nothing too crazy. Full disclosure, we don't really ever take it off road....because it's my wife's baby...and if I hurt it, she'll hurt me.

I really wanna say the only reason I replaced the originals was because I was trouble shooting pre-gap/iland/sdd tool. So I was sorta shooting from the hip, and I know the compressor had failed, as well as the front valve block. That said, the ride had become a little "soft" and the vehicle had a little more roll action than I thought it should. So, given the fact I was swapping everything else, and because it was higher mileage, I decided to swap the struts all the way around. I was also being very cheap and I eBay shopped to find the cheapest deals on what I thought we brand new struts that I could...and I'm now thinking there was a reason they were so cheap.

Gonna swap them in this morning....then let the measuring fun begin!
 

Tapps33

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Got the new front strut in today....so far so good, but it's only been a couple of hours since I installed them. I haven't had a chance to pull the fuse and check heights.

Regarding the install, I must say, the fronts were a lot easier than the rears. The only down side to the front struts is you have to take the wheel well skirt off...which has A LOT of little body clips. That said, I used this as an excuse to install new plastic clips as mine had started to release every now and again. Unfortunately, I forgot about the black clips at the bottom of the skirt as they're slightly different than the yellow and white ones that go around the majority of the wheel arch.

The only real difference between the front and the rear strut installs that I found was the air lines. I found with the front struts, I waited to disconnect the air line until I had the strut free and was able to move it downward below the "strut cavity". Then on install, I connected the air line first, then moved the strut into place and bolted it up.

I'll keep you all updated with what happens this afternoon/tonight!
 

Tapps33

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It's official! She's standing tall and proud this morning! Admittedly, I didn't get the fuses pulled last night, but regardless, no leveling after stating the engine!

WOO HOO!!! Finally got it!

I would have to say, the moral of this story is the fact that I had multiple failures across multiple components, and that's why it just never made any sense. I do believe the rear valve block was leaking a little, as my fall rates seemed to slow down a little after replacing it. Whether or not I could have simply rebuilt it is a discussion for another thread. After that, tracking the fact that I had not one, but two failed struts...on opposite corners of the vehicle I might add, added to the crazy symptoms.

All in all, here's what I replaced:

-Front valve block over the summer: Admittedly, probably not bad, but I assumed it was as the front was falling faster than the rear...given what I know now, I think it was just a leveling issue combined with the front failed strut.

-Compressor replaced 2 months ago: Given all the issues I had with the system, the fact that it lasted this long are amazing. It had definitely failed, and definitely needed to be replaced. I had updated my original Hitachi with the AMK style compressor. I replaced it with a new Arnott AMK compressor.

-Pressure tank replaced 2 months ago: Not really a "necessary" repair, but mine had become extremely rusty, and I figured if I was in replacing the compressor, it would be good to do that one too.

-Rear valve block replaced 2 weeks ago: Solved part of my problem, I think. I may have been fine, it may have been leaking, I didn't perform any quantitative tests or diagnostics aside from calibrating the suspension, and at that point everything moved the way it was supposed to. This one may have been an unnecessary expense.

-All 4 air struts replaced this week: Unfortunately, this was a requirement...or at least 2 of the 4 needed to be replaced...and there's a chance to RF strut was also leaking as it had fallen as well, but I attributed that to the fact the LF had fallen so much. This was obviously a necessary repair.

At the end of the day, the cost was not insignificant:

$435 for the new compressor (FCP Euro)
$1000 for the rear struts (Rock Auto)
$665 for the front struts (Rock Auto)
$200 rear valve block (Lucky8 Off Road)
$348 Front Valve block (Lucky8 Off Road)
$310 air pressure tank (Atlantic British Parts)

Grand total for this repair: $2958
Potential unnecessary parts cost: (front and rear valve blocks and pressure tank) $858
Total Necessary parts cost: $2100

So, not cheap, but if it keeps my wife's car running for another 10 years, it's worth it!

I will say, that had I trouble shot this problem the way I should have when I first noticed it, I probably wouldn't have lost the compressor so quickly....AND I may have ruled the valve blocks out as well....further limiting the cost of this repair.

Let me also say, the parts costs may seem high because I decided to go with 100% LR OEM parts...which add about 150-200% to the cost of them. But given how long I'd been fighting this problem, I was trying really hard to eliminated any potential follow on issues...or potentially installing bad parts, furthering my diagnostic nightmare!

Thanks for all the help guys!!!
 

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