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Lx470 Suspension Accumulators / Actuators


victorjohn
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Hi All,

Just wanted to relay my latest adventure in the world of LX470 Suspension. I have a 2002 LX470 with approximately 262,000 miles on the odometer. I bought it in 2004 and it had about 40,000 on it at that time. It's been a superb vehicle and still runs great. I feel like this vehicle was built for my lifestyle - skiing, small boat trailer, kayak on top, etc. I get it serviced regularly and have followed the Lexus service guidelines and intervals carefully. I have noticed however that the ride is not quite as smooth as it was in the early days. It's not bad or bouncy like some of the posts that I've read but it doesn't absorb the bumps quite as good as it used to. I've come to learn that the suspension is semi-active and is managed by these four squashed softball sized units referred to as accumulators or actuators. I use both terms as I've seen them used interchangeably however I'm not sure that it's entirely accurate. A Lexus Service Manual I have calls them Actuators but others call them Accumulators. I called my local Lexus dealer who quoted me $3,800 to replace all four. I have since found them on Ebay (OEM's) for $347.22 each and a local Japanese auto shop to replace them for $100 each which all adds up to less then $1,800 installed. Still not cheap but more than $2,000 less than what Lexus wants from me. These things aren't cheap and one reputable guy I talked to thought this is even less than Lexus pays for them. Not sure about that but I like the idea of saving $2K. They come direct from Japan so shipping can take up to 2 weeks but the shipping was free. I considered going with B&B but saw a few posts that made me think twice. I can't qualify whether his product is the way to go as I've never used them but just saw enough bad press to steer me to OEM's and for about the same price I think. My goal is to get to 400,000 miles which is another 140,000 miles or so. I'll update this post after they've been installed on how much ride quality has changed. Also, I am attaching (or attempting to attach) the Lexus Service Manual pages that pertain to these suspension components. The service manual is actually for the 2005 LX470 but I don't think there's much difference.

LX470 suspension.pdf

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Eugene,

We should know the results by tomorrow. Along with the actuators I'm having a number of burnt out dash lights and center console lights replaced. On Friday they had the dash torn apart but not all the bulbs were readily available so they'll have them on Monday and will button the whole thing up. If all goes according to plan I'll have my rig back tomorrow and will see how the actuators are performing. I've memorized a few places where there were specific bumps so I can compare before and after. I very curious about the results too. I'll post an update by mid-week after I've had some time driving on them. Stay tuned!

Victor

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Well the verdict is in. Just got my LX470 back a couple of days ago and have the results. The ride is soft and plush again. 100% improved. It's funny though because I think I was expecting even better results but I can certainly feel the difference. I can still feel some bumps but I can tell that the actuators are doing their job and absorbing the brunt of them. Bumps that were harder before feel much softer now as reference of comparison and the general ride just feels much smoother now. I think that's what surprised me the most. I had forgotten how smooth it was. I still love my LX470 and plan to keep it for a while but will probably go to the LX570 at some point. At 265,000 miles my LX470 is just getting broken in so I've got a ways to go still. Along with my burnt out dash and center console bulbs replaced it feels like brand new again.

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  • 4 months later...

in January 2014, after thorough discussions with a Lexus service manager re: 2000 LX470 "bumpy ride", it was determined that my Accumulators had gone bad. Lexus service manager performed a test drive over a curb to see where bounce was originating (front or back accumulators). Bounce was all over so both front & back accumulators were suspected as bad. I was told that the diaphragm(s) w/in the accumulators had failed. Cost to replace accumulators: $700 each. 4 accumulators X $700 plus labor... . Wow! With over 180,000 miles on my 2000 LX470, I wasn't comfortable investing that much into my beloved LX470.

I found B & B Suspension through an email search. I spoke to the owner, Keith, several times and was assured that his parts were designed and manufactured with the highest quality. With a high level of confidence, B&B accumulators were purchased and installed. Results: less than 1 year later, my car rides more bouncy than ever! Keith, at B & B Suspension has stated that he will stand by his parts/warranty and "make it right", but I am concerned that replacement B&B accumulators will just result in the same bouncy problem. Keith has indicated that the fluid used must be contaminated, which is what others who purchased his parts claimed he indicated.

Please tell me... has anyone on this forum has had a positive outcome with the B & B Suspension (after market) Accumulators? I now have 202, 000 miles on my LX470. I don't want to waste any more time/$ with after market parts, if it is a futile effort. AND my car is now a driving hazard-- the bounce is unsafe.

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  • 4 weeks later...

All,

I am contemplating changing out my accumulators on my 2003 LX470. I don't have jack stands and wanted to know if this repair can be performed while the vehicle is on the ground? Any help would be appreciated.

J

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  • 1 month later...

B and B Suspension LLC. is once again trying to educate the LX community. There is STILL counterfeit AHC fluid in Toyota's supply system, though number of reports we see is way down. We urge LX owners to convert their vehicles to DEXRON VI instead of using AHC fluid when changing the oil. We have developed a simple method for 'cleaning up' a contaminated system which is field proven to work extremely well.

We see 'someone' is offering 'new OEM' accumulators from Japan on EBAY for significantly LESS than Dealers here pay for them. Obviously those are NOT 'Genuine' and are either stolen, replicas (counterfeit), or ?? They did not come out of Toyota's system. We do not know if they are 'good' or not. I will buy a couple and examine them. In the meantime, we WILL MATCH the price of those 'undocumented' parts on request. We will adjust our pricing if we find those parts are competitive quality and legal supply.

We are still seeing a few (very few, <5 the world over) vehicles having multiple failures of our parts. Every case thus far of repetitive failures have been in a vehicle that has/had serious contamination undisclosed to us and the owner has not complied with our clearly stated requirements they 'prove' the AHC system IS clean and STAYS clean after our parts are installed. Our 'Water Reaction ' test for contamination is fast, easy, and foolproof. Our 3 year product warranty does not cover contamination caused failure. However, when the Owners are 'up front' with us about contamination, clean up the system and show it remains clean, we usually provide replacement parts at "our cash cost" price.

A couple of former Customers have chosen to try and blackmail us (threaten to post bad experience) on this and other forums unless we GIVE them new parts. When a Customer reports a failure and we we see they failed to furnish the Water Reaction test results as required, we still try to do what is right. If they refuse to perform the W.R test etc. of the oil in the 'failed' system, we do not 'roll over'.

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