KDSS After Lift w/Frozen Valves

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Apr 11, 2005
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Utah County
I've been reading different threads, watching videos, and even posting up on others threads. I know there are other threads on this topic and I've been close to the locating my exact situation, but not quite. Because my Slee appt for a rear bumper install got moved up, I am now getting desperate. Tomorrow evening I travel across state lines (about 8 hours) for the long-awaited dual swing bumper. However, if I can't get my LC to level out a little more, I may have to give my appt away. The alignment shop didn't even want to align it until it's closer to normal.

I tried all the usual ways to get the valves open, even resorting to paying professionals that have more experience with these than I do. Nothing has worked and I am down to replacing the entire unit if they HAVE TO be opened. I'll have to post a couple before photos of the shutter control valves on this vehicle from Rhode Island later. With some help from local cruiserheads, I was finally successful installing the OME lift w/o opening the valves. I was told by many that it's certainly possible to work out the lean later. Not sure if anyone's worked out THIS big of a lean however.

The lean is to the right side as you can see from my written measurements photo. Last night I parked it on ramps on the high side, hoping that I understood correctly about which side to raise up. Because I am running out of time, I thought I would post my situation, double check I am doing it correctly, and see if anyone here has any other tips or tricks that I haven't found yet.

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Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
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Utah County
I love before and after photos. Unfortunately the only after valve photo I COULD take is after I tried sand blasting it. So at least I can now tell there is something there.
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cboyd

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I had the same basic problem RR high and nothing fixed it except a 1/4 spacer on the Driver front strut. Try sitting the truck level and slightly jack the the Driver Lower arm up about 1/2” and see if the rear levels out.

you didnt mention what lift you put on…

also, many of the block lift tricks you only block one of the wheel on a side.
 

RET2

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I know it sounds goofy but a session or two of spirited driving? Probably won't loosen anything but may help system to equalize?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
122
Location
Utah County
I had the same basic problem RR high and nothing fixed it except a 1/4 spacer on the Driver front strut. Try sitting the truck level and slightly jack the the Driver Lower arm up about 1/2” and see if the rear levels out.

you didnt mention what lift you put on…

also, many of the block lift tricks you only block one of the wheel on a side.
Unfortunately I did already install the Toyota spacers on both struts, but also, it sounds like your difference may not have been as severe.

I will try just lifting one corner. I could raise the driver side if you think that's best to try. Here are the lift details I picked up from Cruiser Outfitters.

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Joined
Apr 26, 2019
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Acadia
I love before and after photos. Unfortunately the only after valve photo I COULD take is after I tried sand blasting it. So at least I can now tell there is something there.
View attachment 2784510View attachment 2784508
OMG. You win. That is some of the worst rot I've ever seen on the KDSS unit. How is the frame and everything else? The shield around the unit will trap all sorts of mud, moisture and filth. I took mine off. I live in the NE so rust is always an ongoing battle. Looks like Michigan or Massachusetts and never taken care of? Like no rust proofing ever applied and straight neglect.

That needs to be addressed before any other mods. That rot is deep. Bite the bullet and replace it. Have all of the lines inspected. Replace as needed. If you blow a line on the KDSS the bumper you want is going to be the least of your concerns. If you did not do any suspension work on your own I would suspect there already is an issue with the KDSS somewhere with a lean like that.

It's an expensive job messing with the KDSS. You need a Toyota master mechanic for that job or a 4X4 shop that specializes in Land Cruisers.

Cruiser Solutions – custom Land Cruisers, restorations, genuine Toyota parts, body tubs, used Land Cruisers for sale - https://cruisersolutions.com


Both of these guys are good. Both have a wait time. I would talk to them first before making any decisions. Forums are great for general info but you will be bombarded with personal opinions and experiences. Talk to someone who has real life experience working on these systems 40 hours a week for 10-15 years.
 

bloc

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Most “KDSS lean” especially after a lift is actually just a spring or bushing issue. But there are enough reports of sudden significant lean that is fixed by KDSS valve replacement that clearly something is going on with severely rusted units. Having literally cut one in half to understand it, I don’t know what what that something is.. but significant lean can apparently be caused by a bad valve.

I suspect you are headed down that road. Personally I’d bite the bullet and replace the valve, any seriously corroded lines, and even have the cylinders inspected. They aren’t as well known for rust but are the same basic construction.

If you don’t deal with this problem now, it will only turn into more of a problem. The valve that I cut up was provided by a member here and had failed due to rust. It looked significantly better than yours does.
 
Joined
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Utah County
I get that they’re bad. Maybe one of the worst. I will absolutely figure out the best plan of attack ASAP. From my understanding this vehicle spent most of its life in Rhode Island and Maine. After a bit of hassle, I’ve finally got it in my possession and in its new home of Utah. Those two companies mentioned above will be great resources and I will call or email them very soon. But I don’t know if I can send it all the way back to the east coast. I’ll have to find a closer solution.

With all that said, the system was working fine before I put the lift on. It’s still a sealed system that I have not messed with other than TRYING to mess with it. So I either did something wrong with the lift install (which is entirely possible, but I don’t know how you could really get it wrong) or I just need to slowly work out the hydraulic sway bar system by patient force. That’s what I am trying to get help on at the moment.
 

bloc

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It should equalize itself over time. The way the valves work I do suspect if there is too large of a pressure imbalance it can impede equalization.. but installing a lift shouldn’t cause this. “The 4x4 KDSS fix” may, but not in a good way.
 

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