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Today on 'how to keep your LR3 happy'...

- - - - - LR3 repair suspension failure EAS

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29 replies to this topic

#21
DHappel

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Stay tuned to this channel for our next installment:

 

What's that sound?

 

or....

 

Do you think the front suspension going to fall out?


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#22
DHappel

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Post-Slickrock, I had some ugly noises from the front suspension when being flexed.  I noticed it most when making the drive from camp back out to the road on Sunday morning.  Nothing really noticeable once on the road.

 

I would describe the noises as popping sounds similar to a coil spring binding and releasing, and metal-on-metal like maybe a failed bushing.  The more I sit here thinking about this, the more I think the RF air strut has failed.  The clues are the noises, the rub mark I had previously found in the aluminum airbag sleeve, and the broken sway bar link.

 

I believe I had cause and effect reversed.  I thought the broken link was allowing the A-arm to travel too far, letting it contact the air strut.  However after replacing the link I still got contact at full droop.  As I was in a rush to make the trip last weekend I didn't investigate further, assuming I must have bent something in the suspension that just wasn't obvious at a glance.  Now, sitting here thinking about getting the truck ready for the Pismo trip in 2 weeks I believe the strut is damaged allowing over-extension which in turn led to breaking the link.  At least that's my theory for now.

 

So once again I'm under the gun to make a fix in time for a trip.  While I'd love to talk Justin into letting me do a wrenching day at his shop again where I could partake of the joy that is a lift and assistance from other members, I pretty much just have Sunday to do this.  I'll actually be getting home Thursday, but have to work all day Friday in Sacramento, then we have the MoM on Saturday, then I leave for work in the bay again on Monday and won't get home until Thursday to leave for Pismo Friday. 

 

Luckily I already have new struts sitting ready to go in.  I won't be doing the bushings, but I should be able to swap the struts in the driveway in a day.

 

I hope.  :)


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#23
yarrover

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Don,

 

I was told my lower control arms has to be replaced, but i do not have that time and experience right now. I want to do it myself sometime soon. But the question is i have a unexpected trip to Boise. Do you think i can drive as is with those lower control arms? if so what will be the consequences? anything major to worry about?


Anudeep (YARRover)
2006 LR3 HSE (Buckingham Blue)
with HD Package, BFG KO2's !!


#24
DHappel

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Sunday I decided I'd better get on with installing those new struts I've had sitting around for about 6 months now.

 

Here's the passenger side, the primary offender.

 

20150426_111804_zpslv42ymgn.jpg

 

If you compare this photo to the one earlier, you'll see the wear mark from the strut and upper A arm hitting is much worse now.  It's actually rubbed through the aluminum housing very slightly.

 

20150426_111732_zpslt4kdvva.jpg


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#25
DHappel

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Removing the struts is pretty easy. 

 

Before you jack up the truck, pop the hood and look inside.  There are a couple of heat shields on either side that need to be removed, then you can sort of access the inner nut on the top of each strut.  It's easier to do this while the truck is on the ground so you don't have to climb up into the engine compartment to reach it.  Each has one screw and 2 push-tabs holding it in.

 

Passenger side - you can see the empty mounting point where I've removed the screw.  Sorry, I don't have a good shot showing exactly where the nut is, but it's basically under the battery box.

 

20150426_114143_zps9ru0iodh.jpg

 

Here is the heat shield removed.

 

20150426_114503_zpsyh23iv1m.jpg

 

Driver's side - the shield is behind the dipstick in this pic.  If you look closely you can actually see the nut we're going to remove if you know where to look.

 

20150426_114210_zpslmoqfnsn.jpg

 

Here's another shot, this time I've already installed the new strut and the new nut is easy to spot.

 

20150426_143709_zpsmwtbfioi.jpg

To get the nut off, you'll want a long extension, a swivel, and a 15mm socket.

 

20150426_114949_zpsm09aeiqa.jpg


Edited by DHappel, 27 April 2015 - 10:24 PM.

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Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#26
DHappel

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Once you've got these nuts off on each side, go ahead and jack the truck up, block it, and remove the wheels.  Let the suspension fall to full droop. 

 

Now you'll need to bleed the air out of the system - DO NOT skip this step or you'll be in for a nasty surprise.  There's a lot of pressure in the system!

 

I used my GAP IId tool to open the valves and dump the air, but if you don't have a tool like that you can also crack the fittings at the valve block located at the front of the passenger front wheel well.  If you use this method, crack the fittings off just until you start to hear air hissing then stop and go have a drink.  Come back in about 5 minutes when it's stopped hissing and tighten them back up - you're done with the valve block now.

 

Pull out the large bolt that holds the bottom of the strut to the lower A-arm.  This one is easy enough, though it may be tight.  A breaker bar or impact will help here.  Sorry, forgot the sizes but I approx. 24mm(?)

 

Now for the fun part - the nuts holding the top of the strut in place.  There are 3 15mm nuts, the inner-most of which you already removed from the engine side.  The outer most one is pretty easy to get to.  The remaining one isn't awful but is a little difficult to get to.   I suggest doing the harder one first then the easier outer-most one.  Before the last nut comes free, place your jack under the bottom of the strut then go ahead and remove the last nut.  You can then use the jack to slowly lower the strut an inch or two so you can reach the air line fitting on the top of it.   This is a 12mm and depending on how much slack you have in your air line to allow you to lower the strut, might be a real bear to get to.  A stubby wrench will be handy here though not required.

 

Top of the passenger side strut

 

20150426_111838_zpsf4ekghcg.jpg

 

Here it's been lowered and all three nuts plus the air line have been disconnected

 

20150426_115815_zpsh1wqb8by.jpg

 

Once the air line is disconnected, you can lower the jack and simply pull the strut out.


Edited by DHappel, 27 April 2015 - 10:23 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#27
DHappel

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As they say, installation is the reverse of removal.  :)

 

Here's the old strut with the new one

 

20150426_120109_zpsdzwbnfky.jpg

 

I used Arnott struts, so they look slightly different but are functionally the same.

 

The kit does come with new upper hardware, including new air line fittings.  Study them closely before removing your old ones - I don't have a good pic detailing them but basically you have a small brass split bead that holds the threaded collar from sliding freely down the air line.  You could likely re-use your old ones if you didn't have any leaks, but as long as you have a new one you might as well install it since they do have an O-ring on them that could age and leak.

 

The single hardest part of the whole thing will be getting the air line fitting started into the top of the strut.  For me the passenger side was much harder than the driver's side as I didn't have as much slack in the lines on this side and didn't have much room to work.  Fit the strut into approximately the same position you used to remove the fitting and use your jack to hold it up.  Now make sure no children are present because you're probably going to use some PG13 (maybe R...) rate language before you finally get that thing started.  Once it's on, go ahead and push the strut up into it's mounting holes and re-attach the 2 outer-most nuts.  Again, you'll want to do the inner one from the engine room once you've lowered the truck back to the ground for easier access.  One note on this - on my Arnotts, the studs were slightly longer than the OEM stuts so on the inner nut I had to use a deep well to install it.

 

After getting the air line and 2 outer nuts on, re-install the large lower bolt and nut.  You may need to use your jack to adjust the relative height of the strut and A-arm to get things to line up but it shouldn't be difficult.  Tighten everything up and you're nearly done.

 

20150426_144754_zpsxfvopiki.jpg

 

After putting the wheel back on, lower the truck until the tire is just touching the ground but don't let the full weight of the truck down yet.  Once the tire makes contact with the ground, start the truck and close the doors, then raise it to off-road height.  The compressor should come on and start filling the strut.  It will probably give you a warning that you are on an obstruction (which you are...the jack) which is fine.  You only need to put a little air in the strut then you can shut the truck off and go ahead and lower it fully.  Once you re-start, it should take over and bring you back up to your selected ride height. 

 

Don't forget to tighten the inner nut in the engine compartment and re-install your heat shield. 

 

From here, just move over and repeat on the other side.  I found the driver's side much easier than the passenger.  All in all, a pretty easy job.  You should be able to do it in a couple hours working in the driveway solo. I'd call it a 2 beer project at most, but I don't drink and wrench.  For me it was a 2 coke project.  :)


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#28
DHappel

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I've only put about 6 miles of test drive on the new struts so far and it's been on nice roads so I can't really say how they perform relative to my old stock units.  They seem to feel a bit more firm, but you would expect that give the old parts had over 100K miles on them.  The truth will come out this weekend when we head for Pismo.

 

Here is the library with all the photos from the job:

http://s816.photobuc...s?sort=3&page=1


Edited by DHappel, 27 April 2015 - 10:44 PM.

Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#29
DiscoChef

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Thanks for documenting all the steps involved in this project. Nice pics and details.  I'm going to be doing my CV joint in the next few days (LF leaking and broken rubber boot).


Enrique
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#30
DHappel

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Ah, I tore a CV boot last year at Hollister but didn't have time to fix it myself so I just had a local Indy shop do it while I was away at work.  It didn't look like too bad a job.  I recall seeing some aftermarket CVs pretty cheap on RockAuto - don't remember the brands though.


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock






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