LX470 Suspension Opinion (1 Viewer)

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I have a 2000 LX470 with 185k miles that I inherited from my father. Ive been getting everything up to date with maintenance, and the suspension is something I just kind of forgot about until now. My mom has a 2006 LC that has an OME Medium kit on it, and I noticed that my LX was driving rougher than hers, which definitely didn’t feel right. Small bumps were super rough, and after a bunch of reading, I did a gradation test to find out I was getting only about 8 ticks on my AHC reservoir. I checked, and surely enough, my globes are original and have a production date of November,1999! So, I am in the position of deciding whether or not to replace the globes and crank torsion bars to get the pressures back in spec, or to just replace the AHC with a conventional LC suspension.

OEM Globes will be about $950 total on eBay, and I will most likely replace the stock springs with new OEM as well to get the rear pressures back down. I will turn the torsion bars up front to get the front pressures in spec. If I went with a conventional LC Suspension, I would be looking at $850 for the shocks, springs, and washers from Cruiser Parts. I would still need to get stock LC torsion bars, which would be about another $750 for new OEM.

Initially, it would be cheaper to just replace the AHC globes and keep rocking that setup, but my real concern is the longevity of the other AHC components down the line. It is very difficult to find the hydraulic lines that connect all four of the shocks and actuators, so I am concerned about those in the future.

Does anybody have thoughts as to whether I should keep the AHC or replace with a stock LC suspension? I know there are lift kits available for $1000 that come with torsion bars and everything, but I prefer to keep things stock, and I do not have any extra weight. Love to get the thoughts and opinions of anyone who was in this same situation.
 
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If you have much rust I'd ditch the AHC. Components/lines are going to eventually start failing due to rust. If you don't have rust it is a harder decision. Seems like globe failure is the primary fault / maintenance item with the system. I just went through quite an ordeal with mine and found little evidence of regular failure of components such as the height accumulator or pump assembly. If you like the smooth AHC ride and are willing to take a small risk on the rest of it keep the AHC. If you want a bullet proof maintenance free setup ditching the system is the way to go.
 

suprarx7nut

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We chatted on insta, but I'll throw my opinion up here for others to see. This time with a keyboard, haha.

Keep AHC. Easy decision in this case.

1. The globes are the most likely components to go end of life. And they're still readily available everywhere. The lines are all still stocked and available from all the major warehouses. No worries there. There are also plenty of used lines available from folks with clean rigs that ditched AHC.
2. Most components in the system last longer than the vehicle itself, except the globes, which are a normal wear item just like standard shocks. Difference being that globes last longer, but cost $1000-1500 and traditional shocks are $300. Big price difference, but the performance difference is greater than $1200, IMO. You can't buy a suspension upgrade for $1200 that gets you anywhere near the performance of AHC/AVS.
3. If you aren't fighting rust issues, AHC is as reliable as any other system in the car (cough, total brake failure, cough).
4. Resale value. Clean 100's in mostly stock form hold value well. I believe in the next 5-10 years you'll see a notable increase in the value of AHC equipped vehicles compared to their conventional swapped counterparts. Fully equipped $50k expedition vehicles will be an exception, but your average LX470 in 5 years will be devalued by having deleted AHC - especially if you're just swapping in typical aftermarket/OEM stuff. So says my crystal ball, at least. I've watched it happen with other vehicles and this won't be an exception, IMO. The upgraded features are often disregarded as the depreciation curve bottoms out and you see the largest sensitivity to upkeep costs. Shortly after, those features come back into fashion and are extremely difficult to retrofit back. People buying these vehicles are more and more enthusiasts and less bargain hunters. Values of the clean cars with the premium features that were maintained climb as the downgraded cars drop.
 
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This is super useful and I want to thank the community for the information and support. I’m going through the same thing now and my rear globe failed. Truck has rust and it seems I should replace 4 globes and the lines as well OR change to LC setup. Would be great to get thoughts on what else needs to be changed out if I’m keeping the AHC. 2nd option, my understanding for the LC (AHC delete) is to get the shocks and springs along with the torsion bars. Anything else I should look into to?

It seems this is the part for the LC?:

Will checkout Store.yotamd.com as well. Thank you guys!
 
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
270
So here is my experience. I have a 2000 LX with 180k on it. I replaced all 4 globes at 80k. I then had one rear globe fail at 168k and replaced the rear pair. At 178k i lost a line that rusted through. The line attached to the top of the rear shock and was rusted on solid. I ran the cost of the line and my only choice for labor was the dealer. No one in my area beside the dealer knew anything about the AHC system so my concern was they would do more harm than good. I opted to buy strutmasters and new sway bars from sway away. From everything i learned on this site you have to do bars with conventional shocks ,rear springs. I know most folks here don’t agree with strutmasters but it was the most economical and timely fix for me. I have to say i was a tad skeptical about the AHC delete but i really think the new set up rides just as good as when i had the AHC. I left my AHC system intact in case i decide to go back. But so far very happy with the ride and i wish i had done this back when the rear globes failed at 168k. I hope this helps.
 
Joined
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This is super useful and I want to thank the community for the information and support. I’m going through the same thing now and my rear globe failed. Truck has rust and it seems I should replace 4 globes and the lines as well OR change to LC setup. Would be great to get thoughts on what else needs to be changed out if I’m keeping the AHC. 2nd option, my understanding for the LC (AHC delete) is to get the shocks and springs along with the torsion bars. Anything else I should look into to?

It seems this is the part for the LC?:

Will checkout Store.yotamd.com as well. Thank you guys!
Yes, that is kit they sell. If you are converting from AHC, you will need to add on the washer set they sell for an additional $100. After this, you would need to replace the AHC torsion bars with either normal LC100 bars or a stiffer option like OME or Ironman. The stock AHC bars are meant to be used in conjunction with the AHC hydraulic system, and are not strong enough alone to support the front of the vehicle.
 
Joined
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Messages
38
Location
Washington State, USA
So here is my experience. I have a 2000 LX with 180k on it. I replaced all 4 globes at 80k. I then had one rear globe fail at 168k and replaced the rear pair. At 178k i lost a line that rusted through. The line attached to the top of the rear shock and was rusted on solid. I ran the cost of the line and my only choice for labor was the dealer. No one in my area beside the dealer knew anything about the AHC system so my concern was they would do more harm than good. I opted to buy strutmasters and new sway bars from sway away. From everything i learned on this site you have to do bars with conventional shocks ,rear springs. I know most folks here don’t agree with strutmasters but it was the most economical and timely fix for me. I have to say i was a tad skeptical about the AHC delete but i really think the new set up rides just as good as when i had the AHC. I left my AHC system intact in case i decide to go back. But so far very happy with the ride and i wish i had done this back when the rear globes failed at 168k. I hope this helps.
My LX470 is interesting, because it has been in Washington State since around 2005, but for the first 5 years of it’s use, it was driven everywhere across the country multiple times. Compared to a lot of the rigs I see on the Facebook group, I would not classify it as a rusty truck at all, but it’s not nearly as clean as some of the Texas rigs I have seen. I have been spending some good time looking at all of the AHC lines and seeing which ones might be a future concern, as well as pricing out replacements. From my research, I have concluded that these are ballpark prices. Globes: $900 for set of 4, Shocks about $250 a piece, Springs about $150-200 a piece, AHC high pressure lines $175-250 a piece (4 in system), other AHC lines (the smaller diameter ones) are more around $50-100 a piece, but I am not sure exactly how many are in the system.

Considering this, it might not be even that bad to fix up a moderately rusty AHC system. The big cost is the initial replacement of the 15-20 year old globes, but after that, it get’s better. Up front costs will be almost the same if you are fixing or replacing the AHC system. The advantage to replacing with a normal LC suspension, is that you have a worry free and solid suspension setup for the next 15 years. The advantage of the AHC system is unparalleled comfort at the expense of more maintenance in the future. I have projected that running the AHC system in my truck over the next 10 years will most likely cost about $3200, versus $1600 for a complete new standard LC suspension, or $1000 for an OME or Ironman kit. This $3200 assumes my initial set of new globes and springs, followed by eventually replacing all four shocks and all four high pressure lines (as they fail).

I
 

LndXrsr

AHC Aficionado
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That $3200 is a very conservative (high) number then, considering it is very unlikely all your "shocks" and all your lines will go bad. AHC rams are really quite durable and have very limited ways to fail. They most often go "bad" and leak/weep when AHC pressures are too high. The leak often goes away with correcting pressures. I haven't heard too many specific stories about lines going bad except on very rusty trucks either.

You'd be very unlucky if all those parts at all 4 corners went bad.
 

OwnerCS

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This is super useful and I want to thank the community for the information and support. I’m going through the same thing now and my rear globe failed. Truck has rust and it seems I should replace 4 globes and the lines as well OR change to LC setup. Would be great to get thoughts on what else needs to be changed out if I’m keeping the AHC. 2nd option, my understanding for the LC (AHC delete) is to get the shocks and springs along with the torsion bars. Anything else I should look into to?

It seems this is the part for the LC?:

Will checkout Store.yotamd.com as well. Thank you guys!

Not to start an argument, but no AHC conversion kit was necessary with my recent Dobinsons kit installation. Unlike other shocks, the kit comes with the washers and specially designed bushings needed for an LX470 . I'll post pictures in the Dobinsons thread.
 

blinder52

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Springfield, Missouri
This is a topic on my mind a lot. I have a pretty nice stock LX and the AHC works well, but it’s pretty crusty looking under there and I worry that any day I could find my truck sitting on its haunches at the worst time. I’m not sure I agree that AHC trucks would be less desirable in the future. I think a lot of folks would see it as dodging a bullet. I thought about just replacing the rear lines which appears to mean just dropping the fuel tank and just dropping the main muffler and then the infamous access to the top of the rear shocks and the condition of those... makes me think a sawzall lobotomy and installing a quality springs/shocks replacement would actually be an upgrade. Kind of keep my eye out for someone in my area who has real experience to do the replacement.
 

suprarx7nut

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My LX470 is interesting, because it has been in Washington State since around 2005, but for the first 5 years of it’s use, it was driven everywhere across the country multiple times. Compared to a lot of the rigs I see on the Facebook group, I would not classify it as a rusty truck at all, but it’s not nearly as clean as some of the Texas rigs I have seen. I have been spending some good time looking at all of the AHC lines and seeing which ones might be a future concern, as well as pricing out replacements. From my research, I have concluded that these are ballpark prices. Globes: $900 for set of 4, Shocks about $250 a piece, Springs about $150-200 a piece, AHC high pressure lines $175-250 a piece (4 in system), other AHC lines (the smaller diameter ones) are more around $50-100 a piece, but I am not sure exactly how many are in the system.

Considering this, it might not be even that bad to fix up a moderately rusty AHC system. The big cost is the initial replacement of the 15-20 year old globes, but after that, it get’s better. Up front costs will be almost the same if you are fixing or replacing the AHC system. The advantage to replacing with a normal LC suspension, is that you have a worry free and solid suspension setup for the next 15 years. The advantage of the AHC system is unparalleled comfort at the expense of more maintenance in the future. I have projected that running the AHC system in my truck over the next 10 years will most likely cost about $3200, versus $1600 for a complete new standard LC suspension, or $1000 for an OME or Ironman kit. This $3200 assumes my initial set of new globes and springs, followed by eventually replacing all four shocks and all four high pressure lines (as they fail).

I
I think you're thinking about it the right way, but I agree with @LndXrsr . Failure of ALL lines and ALL shocks is very rare. Not sure I've seen that anywhere documented. It would be fine to be proactive about it and replace it all, but that's probably a little over the top.

I'd count on 4 globes and lines based on condition. Beyond that, I'd replace as things break. Plenty of folks have AHC rigs with 250k miles only having to replace globes.
 

OwnerCS

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I found my old AHC shocks with worn out bushings at 235,000 miles had become road and tire noise transmitters. There was a noticable amount of noise road reduction that occured after the swap.


1606989111395.png


1606989229851.png
 
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I've done a fair amount of moderate wheeling with my AHC and prefer to maintain the system and replace components as necessary. AHC is great for a daily driver, and if you can do your own maintenance, it really is worth maintaining. I agree with all of suprarx7nut's points. The cost of maintaining the system is modest, if you aren't farming-out labour.

If I every steer away from AHC, the LX470 will no longer be my daily driver and I'll end up doing a solid axle swap, massive lift, re-gear, etc...basically repurposing the LX as a dedicated offroad beast.
 

Mauser

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My poor 1998 LX470 still has functional AHC with as far as I can tell all original parts except 80 series rear coils. I have 305,000 miles and the ride is still great. I have Japan 4x4 spacers and a sensor lift. The truck has been in the southwest its whole life so rust isn't a problem.

My suspension gets a great daily workout, usually about 20 miles of washboard hard dirt roads at 40 mph.
 

suprarx7nut

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I found my old AHC shocks with worn out bushings at 235,000 miles had become road and tire noise transmitters. There was a noticable amount of noise road reduction that occured after the swap.


View attachment 2514127

View attachment 2514130
I've got those bushings waiting in my parts bin for when I have some spare time and my LX has similar mileage. This is good motivation to get after mine! They're replaceable in car, so I'm hoping that's a cheap and quick fix once I get some time to dedicate to it.
 

Mauser

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I've got those bushings waiting in my parts bin for when I have some spare time and my LX has similar mileage. This is good motivation to get after mine! They're replaceable in car, so I'm hoping that's a cheap and quick fix once I get some time to dedicate to it.

They are replaceable, but it's not at all an easy thing to do.
 

suprarx7nut

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They are replaceable, but it's not at all an easy thing to do.
I've got a ball joint press tool which I hope will help, but I can definitely see that being a bear. I gave it about 2 minutes last time I had the car on the lift and decided I'd do it another day. Felt like I needed 4 hands to hold everything in place. Any tips?
 

Mauser

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I've got a ball joint press tool which I hope will help, but I can definitely see that being a bear. I gave it about 2 minutes last time I had the car on the lift and decided I'd do it another day. Felt like I needed 4 hands to hold everything in place. Any tips?

Patience, lots of it. I didn't have a ball joint press, that probably will make things easier. I fought the first one for a long time using pieces of pipe that I had turned down to use as press tools . On the second one it was easier. I heated the spacer tube in the center of the bushing with a torch until it burned itself away from the rubber. Then finished burning out the rubber. After that I used a modified chisel on an air hammer to cut out the sleeve.
 

suprarx7nut

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Patience, lots of it. I didn't have a ball joint press, that probably will make things easier. I fought the first one for a long time using pieces of pipe that I had turned down to use as press tools . On the second one it was easier. I heated the spacer tube in the center of the bushing with a torch until it burned itself away from the rubber. Then finished burning out the rubber. After that I used a modified chisel on an air hammer to cut out the sleeve.
Ok cool. Thanks.

I've got the ball joint press, air hammers and the lift so I hope it'll be pretty quick once I dedicate a block of time to it.
 

Mauser

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Kind of a funny thing to add. When I bought the lower shock bushings from Lexus the fronts were $17 each and the rears were less than 3 bucks a piece.
 

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