RVBC

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RVBC last won the day on May 9 2015

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About RVBC

  • Rank
    New Club Member

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  • First Name
    Chris

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Lexus Model
    LS430
  • Lexus Year
    2001
  • Location
    Florida (FL)
  1. The OEM parts for the air suspension are about $1400 per wheel (taxes included) compared to OEM parts for coil over shocks (standard or sport shocks and springs available) at about $275 per wheel (taxes included). http://www.lexussouthatlantaparts.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=758013&ukey_make=1082&ukey_model=15670&modelYear=2001&ukey_driveLine=8085&searchString=suspension I considered keeping the air and just replacing the rear bags but $3,000 for two air bags was hard to digest on a car with a $6K trade-in value. I called Lexus dealers in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota and none of the service departments would swap the bags for coils and shocks (for whatever reason). I figured I would be happy with the standard Lexus ride but when the dealerships were not co-operating, I started looking for aftermarket parts and a specialty shop to do the work. The Megan Kit was $200 less (four corners) than OEM spring and shock parts. The Megan kit (and most other suppliers with product costing more than the Megan kit) offers shock dampening adjustment as well as height adjustment; neither is available with OEM coil over shock systems. The Megan coil-overs have about 4" of height adjustment and 32 settings for dampening.The kit I choose has the softest spring rate of any of the after-market kits I looked at and with shock dampening set at its softest, the ride is very much like the ride in my previous two (non-air) LS400's. Adjusting the shock dampening is easy to do - the dial is on top of the shock and accessing the dial is a 2 minute exercise on the front and 10 minute exercise at the rear. If I want the car to ride like an Infiniti or BMW, it can be done easily. I really like the look of the lowered car, but my wife doesn't like the idea. I intend to offer the car for private sale when we look for a used LS460 later this year (or next year) and thought the lowered car might be offensive to a prospective buyer. It takes about 30-45 minutes in the shop to adjust the ride height so the next owner can lower the body over the wheels without changing the ride quality (although running the undercarriage into parking lot bumpers might become an issue). It would be interesting to know whether Sewell (or any other supplier) has proper instructions for de-activating the dash lights (there are some posts in this forum where the after-market supplier has directions to cut wires - which I do not think is necessary). I have a shop appointment to get the ride height (headlight leveling) sensors re-installed and hopefully will be able to get the headlight leveling working with raked suspension and without the warning lights. I will update my results after that exercise.
  2. The HEADLIGHT LEVELING warning light .... As it turns out, the shop removed my height sensors (one at each wheel in the UL), so I cannot adjust the sensors to get the warning light to go out. So (until I get the sensors reinstalled) I have pulled the fuse (located in the box in the passenger side kick panel) for the sensors (#28 in the owner's manual). The warning light is gone but the functionality of the headlight leveling is gone too (for those rare occasions when it might make a difference due loading of passengers and / or luggage). While I wait for the headlight / height sensors to be re-installed, I manually adjusted the headlights with a 10mm socket wrench. Before the suspension change I had marked the wall in my garage at the center of the beam height. After the change there was a difference of about 4" in the beam height to the wall about 10 feet away. I loosened and set aside the fuse box behind the driver's side headlight and removed the plastic panel behind the passenger side headlight. There is an opening in the plastic housing at the back of the headlight for the socket to fit onto the adjustment nut (the nut is not visible - but the hole is). I turned the nut clockwise until the height came up to the air bag suspension height. It was amazingly simple and easy! Now the UL has headlights like the "good old days". The motors are not active but the beams are properly aimed and the warning lights are off.
  3. UPDATE on original post (following) The Megan MR-CDK-LL01 coil over shocks have been installed to replace the air suspension. Total was cost $1605 with taxes at Suncoast Customs (Sarasota Florida). With the softest damper setting and heights adjusted to give the car a slight rake (raised rear 3/4" and lowered front 3/4") ... I love the look! The car can be manually lowered approximately 4" with these components and the shocks dampened for a very firm ride. I have the shocks at the softest dampening setting (32) and the ride is wonderfully Lexus-like! The warning light (no buzzer) for the ride height was eliminated by pulling the air suspension fuse in the panel at the driver foot kick. NO NEED TO CUT ANY WIRES! The headlight leveling warning light (no buzzer) is on full time. I hope to set the car wheels on 8" concrete blocks (to be able to get under the frame with a creeper) and adjust the rear suspension height sensor to correct the headlight leveling and eliminate the warning light .... and will post when that exercise is complete ----------- ORIGINAL POST (that was read 89 times without an answer) ------------- I have a leaking passenger side rear air suspension "strut" in my UL with 81,000 miles and want to replace the air suspension. The OEM air bag components are more than $5K (excluding labor and taxes) and when I was at a dealership looking to trade up to a LS460, the trade-in value was pegged at $6K. I would consider replacing the airbag system with OEM springs and shocks ($2K for the parts) but the Lexus dealership wouldn't touch it. So I considered after-market coil-over struts. It appears as if Megan Racing has what I want (MR-CDK-LL01 ~ $900/4). They have the lowest spring rates I could find (a softer ride) and maximum adjustment for height (retain stock height to negate having to adjust height sensors for headlights) and multiple damping settings (drifting in my dreams). Does anyone have experience with the MR kits? I have read a number of posts about Strutmasters which have a better warranty but will cost $400 more. My research in the forums and on-line points to an number of related issues. 1. Deactivating the air compressor. ** Will removing the fuse solve this without any related consequences? 2. Disabling the dash lights. As far as I can determine, there are two lights. - One under the fuel gauge when I move the rocker switch to sport - One in the center display when I change the rocker from norm to high ** Will cutting the violet/red wire to at 7A in the air suspension ECU solve either one or both of these light issues? ** Where is the air suspension ECU located? 3. Is it prudent to "plug" the air lines at each strut after removing the air bags? Are there any other issues that should be addressed?
  4. I have a leaking passenger side rear air suspension "strut" in my UL with 81,000 miles and want to replace the air suspension. The OEM air bag components are more than $5K (excluding labor and taxes) and when I was at a dealership looking to trade up to a LS460, the trade-in value was pegged at $6K. I would consider replacing the airbag system with OEM springs and shocks ($2K for the parts) but the Lexus dealership wouldn't touch it. So I considered after-market coil-over struts. It appears as if Megan Racing has what I want (MR-CDK-LL01 ~ $900/4). They have the lowest spring rates I could find (a softer ride) and maximum adjustment for height (retain stock height to negate having to adjust height sensors for headlights) and multiple damping settings (drifting in my dreams). Does anyone have experience with the MR kits? I have read a number of posts about Strutmasters which have a better warranty but will cost $400 more. My research in the forums and on-line points to an number of related issues. 1. Deactivating the air compressor. ** Will removing the fuse solve this without any related consequences? 2. Disabling the dash lights. As far as I can determine, there are two lights. - One under the fuel gauge when I move the rocker switch to sport - One in the center display when I change the rocker from norm to high ** Will cutting the violet/red wire to at 7A in the air suspension ECU solve either one or both of these light issues? ** Where is the air suspension ECU located? 3. Is it prudent to "plug" the air lines at each strut after removing the air bags? Are there any other issues that should be addressed?
  5. One of the speaker considerations is impedance. Lexus uses its own proprietary system that has an array of balanced 8 ohm impedance matched speakers. All the auto stereo systems I looked at were based on supplying power to 4 ohm speakers. If you use an after-market receiver and amp system, you may (or may not) be able to use the Lexus speaker wiring, but I doubt the speakers will give very good performance. And given Lexus' history of speaker membrane disintegration (I bought inexpensive kits to replace them on my four door speakers), maybe you will want to include 4 ohm speakers in the upgrade.
  6. My wife and I have a 2001 LS430 with a NAV display that is "climate sensitive". The car was bought in NJ in the summer of 2010 with 17K miles and spent two months in Harrisburg PA before we took it to British Columbia in the fall of 2010. During the summer in PA occassionally the touch screen would not respond - sometimes for a week or two. While the car was in BC, we had no problems with the touch screen. In January 2012 we brought the car to Florida and had no problems until the summer. Then the touch screen became inoperable. Florida - summer - hot - humid .... like PA in the summer. Sure enough when the temperatures and humidity dropped in October the touch screen would work intermittantly. By November it was operating flawlessly. My wifes suggested that maybe the humidity was causing a poor connection to short ... makes sense to me. After spending many hours on this website last fall, I would like to believe I found the fix in this forum piece: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/topic/69937-repaired-navigation-touch-screen/ The car now has 65K miles and we are about to take a trip into the midwest and upstate NY. I will take it to a auto stereo shop to see if they can do the repair --- and fix all the blown door speaker and subwoofer diaphrams while they are at it ....
  7. replace LS430 center console phone mount with something useful