Air suspension LC100

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 22:11
ThreadID: 22208 Views:7103 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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Looking at putting in air suspension in a Landcruiser 100 series. Anyone had any experience (good or bad)? Do a fair bit of off-road touring (not hardcore offroad), with varied loads - scuba/camping, trailer/boat etc. Have driven a Patrol with air all round and was reasonably impressed.

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Reply By: Member - Murray C (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 22:47

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 22:47
I have been looking at doing the same to my 2000 model, 79 series LC trayback. Local quote(Aus) to supply kit only, Firestone Ride Rite $825, Polyair about $100 cheaper.
Michigan Trucksprings are difficult to communicate with and can't confirm what Firestone Ride Rite kit no. suits my vehicle. I don't think Toyota sell 79 series LC traybacks in US. But kit no. RR4522 looks about right and is listed at US$285, big difference. I have since been told that the kit no. I need is RR4500, but Michigan can't confirm that.
Can anyone shed any light?
Sorry to highjack your thread Viz, but my experience might warn you to be careful and patient if you are trying to save a buck by purchasing offshore.
AnswerID: 107465

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 23:20

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 23:20
I just bought a Firestone Coil-Rite airbag kit from Trucksprings, I ordered it at around midnight last Friday week & had it on the following Thursday morning! Admittedly they were hopeless at answering emails, but I just rang them direct & couldn't be happier with either the service or the price ... USD$114.00 landed, which is AUD$148.00, they sell here for $254.00 plus delivery!
FollowupID: 364366

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 11:50

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 11:50
I went through the same motions for my 2003 Troopy and Michigan Trucksprings don't have anything to fit a rear leaf sprung Landcrusier.

This model Landcrusier is not available in the USA.

So purchased from Air bag man here in AUS, who I believe manufactures the mounting brackets locally and mates them with the Firestone air bag.
Mine only cost about $750 incl GST and fitted them myself in a couple of hours.
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Reply By: japmel - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 09:47

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 09:47

Hi there, I bought some airbags for my 100 series from the states a while back and it turned out to be a nightmare.

Have a look at post number 21343

AnswerID: 107506

Follow Up By: japmel - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 09:52

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 09:52
I should add,
To get post 21434 you have to switch the post view to archives.

FollowupID: 364396

Follow Up By: viz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:31

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:31
Bugger (well you say that if you have a Toyota don't you? ;) Can't seem to navigate the site to get into the airchives. Do you have a link? Also how does one set up an avatar (little piccy thing under your name)

FollowupID: 364478

Reply By: Member - Andrew R (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 10:12

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 10:12
I have had poly-airs on my 100 series for about 2 years with no problems.
AnswerID: 107509

Reply By: fatz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 10:48

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 10:48
Viz, depending on what you want to spend and do, this mob may be able to help. they do from one extreme to the other. States based site but with dealers all over Aust. they specialise in custome but have done a full air kit on a mates 60 series. Adjustable from standard to 6 inch lift at the flick of a switch. Mind you he has more money than sense.
AnswerID: 107514

Follow Up By: viz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:35

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:35
That is a US site? Got a local one that looks like will do the job:

(Don't have much money, don't have much sense either! ;)

FollowupID: 364479

Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 14:00

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 14:00
2000 LC 100 - Poly air springs in rear + Medium coils and OME shocks all done by ARB. Magic!!

AnswerID: 107540

Follow Up By: viz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:36

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:36
This is my intial idea - to test the waters. What compressor are you using and how noisy it is - and how often does it cycle?

FollowupID: 364480

Reply By: BenSpoon - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 16:41

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 16:41
Just to clarify, are you looking at getting coil spring air-bag helpers, or a complete replacement by ditching the springs and getting airbags?

I had Polyairs in mine originally and they were used to fix sagging springs- worked really well when carrying weight and towing, but I ditched them for a bigger set of springs as realistically I dont tow anything often enough.

I have come across both a GU and an 80 with the full airbag suspension thru airbag man. It is expensive, but improves your load carrying something ridiculous. The 80 series had them put on because the 2 tonnes of tool boxes over the back axle were too much for the springs. Airbags on, pump them to the right pressure and you ride flat and dead smooth- nothing but long control arms etc to pass on vibrations from diff to chassis, and its a minimal transfer at that. It also increased their off road performance as the bags squash into themselves under compression, and dont bottom out like a compressed spring. As I understand they have internal bumpstops to stop excessive bottoming out.

If you are in perth, speak to the boys at Opposite lock in Balcatta, I seem to recall Col trying a few variations on his truck (esp building an in-cab adjuster).
AnswerID: 107559

Follow Up By: viz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:40

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:40
Thanks for the advice - I am in Sydney. The way I see it if it is good enough for trucks it should be good enough for the Cruiser...

FollowupID: 364482

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 10:38

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 10:38
With the shockies, the airbagged 80 is running rancho up front and tough dog big bore adjustible on the back. With the maximum lift of the airbags the front swaybar hits the driveshaft, so the swaybar was removed. Cranking up the setting on the shocks apparently eliminates the pitching and swaying and gives a wide selection in between.

I guess if you are going for the incab adjuster for the airbags, then having one alongside for a shocky adjusted would be of assistance too- wind them tight for onroad, soft for low speed offroad rocks etc.

With the compressor, on both trucks a thomas red compressor is used (same manufacturer as the blue tongue). I have recently come across a troopy with a clisby, and it seems to be a slight improvement on the thomas. All these systems are plumbed into a 5+ litre tank, either home-made, an old fire extinguisher or an airbag man tank- relatively cheap. If you use an old fire extinguisher, you'll have to retap threads- I've had a pig of a time trying to match the tapered extinguisher threads to air line stuff.

With the one way valve for the tank, use a hydraulic valve- these seem to seal better than the pneumatic ones I have come across, and dont have a slow bleed. Another option on a high volume the air compressor is the endless air, or a belt driven compressor unit hanging off your engine block.

re them being good enough for trucks, I've lost count how many times I've seen the huge diff of a cement mixer skittling around on a gravel road and the cab stays dead still. Speaks volumes for them I reckon
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Reply By: viz - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:14

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 21:14
Thanks for the reponse, folks - excellent! I am from Sydney and one of the dealers whom I have contacted is - just live not far from them (which is a bonus).

I have tried polyairs and got to hate them with a passion. I *need* to have a variable suspension height for two reasons - I am 6'4" and my wife is 5 foot and she packs the car and I bangs my head on the tailgate lid :( ; also as you LC100 drivers all know the 'Cruiser is a big arsed (assed) bird and will drag its bum everywhere when off-roading.

I have had a lot of experience with raising suspension and bodies on other vehicles (Range Rover) and handling/castor/suspension issues arise when one does that. I would like to retain the original height when diriving normally and increase suspension height *only* when requried, and when necessary keep the missus happy when she wants to check the fridge...

Now what shockies would one recommend??? ARB Nitros or LTRs? I had settled on a combination of Bitsteins (rear) and Konis (front) on the RR after trying out quite quite a few, believe me, and would be quite willing to go back to the Bilsteins if necessary. One thing that I find qite annoying on the stock Cruiser at the moment is pitching when empty. Last vehicle that did that so bad was a shorty Pajero in the mid-80's. Even the Rangie does not do that...

Another issue is the air compressor for the bags. Duty cycle is important and so is noise. Having the thing go off under the bonnet every five minutes is like compression braking in a truck - it can be annoying... Looking at a larger compressor than what is supplied with a 100% duty cycle - larger means faster cycle and less time to annoy... (Maybe more noise though...)

Enough for the moment I think... :)

AnswerID: 107594

Reply By: japmel - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 09:50

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 09:50

Sorry I don't know how to do a link,

But to get to the archives you click on archives on the forum index page, Then to get post 21343 you just type it in where it says post find.

As for putting the little photo under your name you have to be a member to do that.

AnswerID: 107648

Follow Up By: viz - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 13:11

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 13:11
Thanks for that - I'll have to explore the site a little more...

FollowupID: 364565

Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 16:52

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 16:52

In response to your question re compressors - My polyair bags are not variable as in height and do not have an onboard compressor (I think that is an expensive toy!). You adjust the pressure according to the load. 10psi for low load situations and up to 30 psi for high loads. Just the business for levelling a caravan.

They sit inside the the ARB coils and hold their pressure indefinitely. Whole system works very well with very good wheel articulation in deep ruts or wash aways.

Regards GB
AnswerID: 107695

Follow Up By: viz - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 19:27

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 19:27
Gidday BG - yeah I am (very) familiar with them - and hate them with a passion. If not fitted properly *and* cared for properly can be a real live pain in the butt...

But thank for the thought :)

FollowupID: 364607

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