AHC worth it? Or is a real lift better? (1 Viewer)

DenCo40

Cruiser Snob
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
261
I am going to be selling my super awesome 2001 100 series soon and buying a newer UZJ. Some of the newer ones have AHC (automatic height control) I am wondering, is the hype about AHC a good thing or is it just a cheap way to have a lift. I am looking for something I wont have to be repairing down the road scrounging for expensive parts. Anyone have any experience with this?
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
2,917
Location
Colorado
There will probably be two camps that respond to this. Those that are happy with the AHC and those that will delete it for a lift when it has an issue or just to eliminate potential failure.

Some of the main AHC components are pricey, but last a long time if maintained. The flip side of replacing with a lift is that you'll have to lay out the money for lift, UCA's potentially, diff drop, installation maybe, and will have to manage ride height with springs & load weights. You can replace a lot of AHC components for that same amount of money.

My thought is that if it's going to be a dedicated vehicle and will see a lot of off-road use AND it's time to change parts on AHC, I'd pull it. If it's light off-road duty, AHC works great and gives you constant ride height.

I plan on pulling my AHC in a year or two or adding a land cruiser to the fleet and modifying as needed.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
23
Most of my offroading can be done with the AHC in neutral. It is still a pretty aggressive height with 33" tires. The added couple of inches in high is really just a bonus over bigger obstacles. The real incentive for me, when thinking about whether I'll spend the money maintaining it when it starts to go, is the adjustable damping. Being able to stiffen up for highway driving, eliminating body roll, and then softening everything for wheeling is the biggest perk imo. Ducking down into underground parking is nice too...

Depending on how new a model you were thinking of picking up the ahc should last a long while if it was maintained. Mine is all oem and 15 years old, though it just got through its first year off the pavement. If you see yourself eventually replacing a factory coil setup with a lift anyway, I'd say go AHC.

Of course it all depends on your needs and what you come across while yer shopping.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
20
Location
NC
I have a 2001 with AHC. It performs properly right now, but my tests show it's nearing the end of its journey. I'll be swapping it out with a standard suspension when that time comes. Everything I've seen though is 2+" lift, and I want to replace it with factory height. For some reason I can't find factory height anywhere.
 

TeCKis300

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
4,877
Location
San Diego
If cheaper and a more basic suspension is your idea of better, than yes.

TXLX100 has an interesting point that replacing the whole system with a static setup isn't exactly cheap either.

Here's what you will be missing out on. An excerpt from Toyota documentation:


During Lo Position:

When the vehicle speed becomes
higher than approximately
5 km/h (3 mph), the vehicle
height transfers to normal.
The normal vehicle height is
maintained even if the vehicle
speed becomes lower than 5
km/h (3 mph).

"During Hi Position":
When the vehicle speed becomes
higher than approximately
30 km/h (19 mph), the vehicle
height transfers to normal. The
normal vehicle height is maintained
even if the vehicle speed
becomes lower than 30 km/h (19
mph).

"During Hi Position with Transfer shifted in Low":
When the vehicle speed becomes
higher than approximately
50 km/h (31 mph), the vehicle
height transfers to a height that is
approximately 25 mm (1 in.)
higher than the normal vehicle
height. When the vehicle speed
becomes lower than approximately
20 km/h (12.5 mph), it
returns to the high vehicle
height.

Also on the topic of what the system does other than height control and explicit setting of the damping switch:
2) Thumping Sensitive Control
When the road surface condition does not require a damping force, this function controls the actuator
so that their damping force will not increase.
As a result, both flatness and a soft ride have been achieved.
3) Unsprung Vibration Control
If unsprung resonance is detected, this function controls so that the damping force will not decrease
below a certain level, in order to reduce the unsprung resonance.
As a result, excellent road-holding performance has been ensured without affecting riding comfort.

4) Speed Sensitive Control
To optimally balance the vehicle’s riding comfort and road-holding performance, the damping force is
increased along with the increase in vehicle speed, in order to ensure stability during high-speed driving.

5) Anti-Roll Control
During cornering, this function makes the damping force firmer, thus restrating the body roll speed in
order to provide excellent stability and controllability.
6) Anti-Dive Control
During braking, this function makes the damping force firmer to restrain the body dive, thus ensuring
excellent stability and controllability.
7) Anti-Squat Control
During acceleration, this function makes the damping force firmer to minimize the changes in the vehicle
body posture to provide excellent stability and controllability.
8) Damping Force Control
The actuator uses a 16-step step motor to generate a continually variable damping force. This provides
a wide selection of damping force and enables a smooth transition of the damping force.
As a result, a minutely controlled damping force that accommodates various types of driving conditions
has been made possible.

"Right-Left Wheel Communicating Function"
Normally, an oil passage remains open between the shock absorbers for the right and left wheels. This
enables the suspension to contract and elongate smoothly when the right and left wheels move gradually
at opposite phases and provides excellent road-holding performance while driving on a winding road.
When the driver operates the steering wheel, the oil passage between the right and left shock absorbers
closes according to that condition. This restrains the increase of the vehicle body roll during cornering,
thus ensuring the vehicle’s stability and controllability.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
66
Ditched my AHC about a year ago for an OME setup. Couldn't be happier with it. AHC is very nice until it starts to go, then its not so fun anymore.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
5,259
Location
Ponte Vedra, Florida
I am going to be selling my super awesome 2001 100 series soon and buying a newer UZJ. Some of the newer ones have AHC (automatic height control) I am wondering, is the hype about AHC a good thing or is it just a cheap way to have a lift. I am looking for something I wont have to be repairing down the road scrounging for expensive parts. Anyone have any experience with this?

Based on your objective of "something I won't have to be repairing down the road scrounging for expensive parts" leads me to the recommendation get a OME lift. Many members like AHC but many members "love" to get their hands dirty repairing and figuring out how to repair and maintain their AHC system, even though it is more expensive maintaining and repairing the AHC, then taking it out and installing OME lift. For many it's the journey not the destination. I'm into strong simple and less $$$.
 

uHu

Bridgeburner
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
2,057
Location
Oslo, Norway
Depends on use. For mainly road use (incl forrest roads etc) stay with the ahc, for comfort and lower CoG.
For a dedicated off road thingy, or for the most bullet-proof suspension, go with conventional/lift.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
1,123
Location
TEXAS !!!
I have both.

No issues at all with AHC on my '03 LX. Just routine service and making sure it's in spec (TB adjustment and replaced rear springs at 10 years because they are cheap and easy ~$140 for both). No issues in troubleshooting or maintaining. As the daily get around with no expedition gear, etc. etc. and mild to medium off-road for hunting, it's fantastic.

LC has OME setup and diff drop. Bumpers and sliders probably added later. I like it for different reasons.

Like they say, depends on the use and equipment. If you have a working AHC and are not adding lots of expedition gear, I would leave it as is.
 

DenCo40

Cruiser Snob
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
261
Thanks everyone. This helps me decide fairly easily. I guess I'll take a chance on the AHC because its not going to be off road very often.
 

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