New to me LX470

Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
97
Location
Burbank, CA
Their downside are many - they extend the suspension down travel, which makes the OEM upper front control arms contact the shock at max droop. Also, the front CV boots will rub the spacers if the wheel is turned and the suspension is slack. The extra rear travel is stopped when the sway bar hits the rear strut bodies, and the extra travel leaves the rear springs really close to falling out. You also need to bend the brake line brackets or get extended brakes lines for the rear as the extra travel is more than the slack in the line.
I thought the shock spacer simply returned the up & down part of the shock to its normal range. Not sure how they make for more down travel then normal. Good to know about the CV boots rubbing.
On the rear reading up on the install of rear shocks it seems a lot of extra pressure is needed up on one end & down on the other end to remove the coil. Can wheeling really reproduce this & cause the shock to fall off. Also I don't think the rear shock spacer adds any space to the rear spring area that holds the shock. The install instructions I've read on the rear never mentions needing extended brake lines. Just to be careful as you manually compress one side it pulls on the brake lines.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
I thought the shock spacer simply returned the up & down part of the shock to its normal range. Not sure how they make for more down travel then normal. Good to know about the CV boots rubbing.
On the rear reading up on the install of rear shocks it seems a lot of extra pressure is needed up on one end & down on the other end to remove the coil. Can wheeling really reproduce this & cause the shock to fall off. Also I don't think the rear shock spacer adds any space to the rear spring area that holds the shock. The install instructions I've read on the rear never mentions needing extended brake lines. Just to be careful as you manually compress one side it pulls on the brake lines.
You are correct in that it moves the hydraulic ram back towards the middle of its stroke - but it does that by adding an inch to the over all length from mount point to mount point (the height of the spacer). This increases the distance the suspension can travel when unloaded, which is your down travel.

On the rear, we didn't find that a ton of pressure was needed to get the springs in and out, honestly. The king springs are shorter than the OEM springs, and the spacers make the struts longer. Whether you could convince them to come out while wheeling, I don't know. I also doubt it, but they're certainly not as solidly in there as the oem ones where.

I did all this on a lift, so the suspension was at full droop on all four tires - IE the only way you could replicate these results in the real world is if you take your 100 airborne. I haven't yet had a chance to really flex it out and see if the sway bars are stiff enough to avoid the 'contacting the strut bodies' problem that I noted. Also, if you ever have your car worked on, they'll likely lift it off the ground and all four wheels will hang - if you don't prepare for that, you could break a brake line or dent your struts.

Obviously, YMMV and what you do to your truck is totally up to you. I imagine replacing the front upper control arms would solve the strut contact problem ($$$), and longer rear sway bar endlinks ($) and/or removal of the rear sway ($free) would solve that same issue on the rear. The brake line problem I simply solved by bending the brackets (this is for the center line that splits at the rear axle, not for each brake at the caliper), but I'll be getting myself some slee braided lines sooner rather than later.

Edit: been musing over this for a while, and I've pretty much determined that I want to keep AHC indefinitely. The only time I think I'd want to remove it is if I ever got to do a very long-term and/or remote trip where an AHC failure could be catastrophic. AHC is just too dang useful as a load and stress leveling system.

For example, I've read several threads/stories of folks that have broken their lower control arms thanks to wheeling with heavy loads and stiff T-bars. I'm willing to bet that it's a non-issue for AHC owners because the weight of the vehicle is spread between the T-bars (and their mounts on the control arms) PLUS the AHC system. In other words, the control arm t-bar mounts only see about half as much force under normal use in an AHC equipped truck vs conventional suspension. Same logic applies to the rear, although I have not heard of any load failures from the rear end. Also, the auto-leveling while towing is a really nice feature, completely avoiding the possible installation of air bags.

Even better - I'm able to upgrade to OEM t-bars and probably springs while still maintaining the advantages of an AHC equipped LC.

There are a few disadvantages:
* repairs to the system generally aren't cheap (but neither is all new suspension components)
* it's a huge step up in complexity vs conventional suspension
* have to put some work into figuring out who makes front control arms that are compatible with AHC
* AHC spacers reset the neutral point of your suspension, but don't increase your travel IE a conventional suspension upgrade can have more travel vs AHC
 
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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Update: ordered myself a smittybilt X2O 12k winch from summit. Amazon wanted $680, but summit wanted $600 and had a $50 special and free shipping, so I decided to save some money. I also ordered a Trail Tailor hidden winch plate, since I don't want to go to an offroad front bumper just yet. I also picked up a pair of trail tailor recover points to add in while I was installing the winch.

LX sans bumper cover and crossbeam:

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Plate installed AC line clearance. I ended up sliding it as far to driver's side as possible to make sure the line didn't get rubbed at all.
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Ah, waterproof 12k winch with wireless controller! Wish I'd had this the last ... three times I've been stuck!
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Hey...wait a minute...!
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So as I was unpacking my winch, I noticed that it seemed like it'd been opened before, but I didn't pay too much attention. I was excited. Then, when I was mocking up the winch on the winch plate, I noticed that it said 10k lbs on it...wut?

Obviously, I have no proof, but I'd guess some enterprising (scummy as hell) human decided to order both a 10k and a 12k, then swap them and get a refund on the more expensive winch. Then I had the bad luck to be the next guy to order a 12k winch and got his dodgy swap =( This is the second time in the last year or so that I've had this happen, and it's starting to bug me, since both times I've had to leave my project half disassembled which waiting for the company to send me out the correct part.

Contacted summit, and they should have another attempt here on Tuesday; unfortunately, I won't have time to finish this project until next weekend. Fortunately, I do have a spare car, so I didn't have to put it all together to get to work on Monday.

Also, my driver's front strut started seeping AHC fluid again, so I replaced the seals in the line again this morning, and tried to really be careful getting them in there. I also finally adjusted my parking brake! So now it does something, which is nice. Put in a new fuel filter, got my rear driveshaft balanced (fighting driveline vibration), coated my OEM front skid plate in POR15, and got my last major project done on the trailer. Good times!

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Looking good and I hear you about the scum that swap products and return. How hard was it to do the shock seals an the AHC system?
This is just the two seal between the high pressure hose and the strut itself. It's not terrible... There's enough room to get the hose off the strut without removing the tire. You'll need dental picks to get the seals out, but you have to be super careful not to scratch the inside surface, which I screwed up. Getting the new seals in also sucks, but it's all a pain just from how small it all is. It's not exactly difficult, just not much space to work with.

Make sure you vent the accumulator before pulling the line off... Makes the mess much smaller.

Dent in strut body from full extension with strut spacers. Sway bar does not prevent this contact when jacking up the vehicle. In trail usage the compression of the opposite side MIGHT prevent this - not sure.

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Used home depot 2 awg wire to make myself some longer solenoid->winch cables. This wire is ridiculously stiff since it's stranded, but only made up of about 12 strands. I tried to do a good job for a change and used the right color shrink wrap to make the cables.

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I used a 1/4" aluminum bracket from my scrap bin to fab up a holder for the connections box:

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Gettin that installed and wired up was a monster thanks to the super stiff cables. I might re-do them at some point with a far more flexible set of cables because these are just horrible to work with. I turned my hand into handburger trying to get them routed correctly.

Got in all installed and spooled. Still need to go find a tree somewhere so I can spool it in under load, but it's on for now at least. I'll probably have to order a thicker fairlead as the one that came with my winch ended up somewhat recessed, making the cutout look kinda nasty.

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I forgot to take pictures on the winch mounted on the plate, and of the actual mounting location of the control box and cable routing. I'll try to grab some when I have it all apart again in a few weeks to put a new fairlead on.

I doubt this has changed the AHC pressures all that much, but I'll be checking those this weekend to get them back to the low end of the spec pressure.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
97
Location
Burbank, CA
Dent in strut body from full extension with strut spacers. Sway bar does not prevent this contact when jacking up the vehicle. In trail usage the compression of the opposite side MIGHT prevent this - not sure.
Do you think installing extended sway bar links will help or hurt with the above contact?
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Do you think installing extended sway bar links will help or hurt with the above contact?
Ummm...not sure. I'd have to see what everything looks like when the front end is flexed vs when it's sitting level. If the current resting position of the sway bars doesn't have the ends that connect to the links parallel to the ground, then longer end links might help prevent that contact. I doubt it would ever hurt. I also think if you've tucked one side and lifted the other, you will probably avoid this contact as well, thanks to the extra spring resistance of the twisted sway bar. I plan to test this scenario at some point but just haven't had time to find a ditch no one will mind me driving in.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
For some reason, I took on an ambitious project this weekend: modifying my old R50 pathfinder rock sliders to fit the 100. I used 3" channel for the arms because that's what I had lying around; I know that the open bottoms can be caught on rock or whatever, but I think it'll be fine. If I have issues, I can weld covers onto the open bottoms of the channel, or use u-bolts to attach a plate. Bought some home depot 3/16 by 3 inch wide plate to make the frame brackets, and got to cutting and welding.

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Once I had them all cut/drilled/welded, I threw some spray paint on. When mounting them to the frame rails, I put a bunch of grease on the inside of the bracket to help discourage rusting between the two pieces of metal. I used grade 8 3/8" bolts to squeeze the plates against the frame rails. These things are crazy solid - way better than the were on my old pathfinder. I'd happily jack the 100 up using them.

I also saw a tip somewhere about using skateboard tape to add grippiness to the rails, so I bought some 3M safety non-skid and added that to the outer part so they can double as side steps. My wife is short - she appreciates it!

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I also got my new Factor55 1.5" fairlead installed on the winch plate - it looks waaaaaaay better. Gets the line out past the bumper cover better as well. Went to a local field and winched in all the winch rope with the handbrake partially on to get some tension in the line, as well as test the wireless and wired modes of the winch controller. All went well! (forgive my cutting job - I'm just not very good at precision work!)

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Adding the winch, winch plate, and sliders to the truck brought my AHC pressures up a fair bit - front was sitting at 7.7 MPa in normal mode. A lot of cranking later, I ran out of threads but got the front down to 6.9 MPa. Guess re-indexing is in my near future, though I don't think I'll be adding too much more weight in the near future - anyone done that on an AHC equipped 100 that can say if the work is worth it? I'd like a stronger front skid plate but the front bumper should be far in the future. I'll be getting a tire carrier rear bumper first, and can't afford that for a while.

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Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
899
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I'm not at that front weight yet on my LX but some here (I can't think of their names) are running OEM LC torsion bars on their AHC. It's not helping that your already running a AHC lift.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
I'm not at that front weight yet on my LX but some here (I can't think of their names) are running OEM LC torsion bars on their AHC. It's not helping that your already running a AHC lift.
Good point, actually. I could lower it a smidge to get the pressure back towards the low end of the spectrum...but I really like the height it's at! Hoping I can add spacers to the rear springs and re-index the OEM AHC bars to maintain height and drop pressures.

I know I could go to the non-ahc bars but like my somewhat cushy ride. If I can get away with reindexing, I'd prefer that route. If I go for full skids and heavy bumpers, then the non-ahc bars are probably going to be needed.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Some small work done. Installed my new @TRAIL TAILOR lower links in my quest to fix my driveline vibration/harmonic. Took it for a quick spin around the block; definitely move NVH than the originals, but that's to be expected. Much harder bushing on one end and solid bushing on the other. Interestingly, the extra NVH is almost all engine noise, which was a bit of a surprise, but nothing intrusive. Hitting reflectors and small gaps in the road is louder too.

These things are ridiculously beefy. Installation was about a two banana job - getting the old links out wasn't too bad, but I had to break out a scissor jack to adjust the axle location to get the new ones in.

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Also, ordered a 'make 7 v1' in tan from @BenCC to replace my rear seat audio system with something useful - quick charge USBs! I went with some chinese amazon knock-off because they didn't have any voltmeters or LEDs, but they didn't quite fit right. Ben make his stuff to use the bluesea USB fitting, but that had several reviewers complain that they didn't get high speed charging on android devices. A quick file on each side and that was resolved. Hoping to get this installed tomorrow. Plan is for one to be tied to the existing 12v plug in the center console and the other to be connected to whatever powered the RSAS.

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Went on a Thanksgiving camping trip. Hardly any four-wheel driving, but lots of camping/biking/hiking/playing at the beach/eating going on. We all had a blast, even the kid. He was pretty sad about coming home today!

I think I made the lower links too long - vibration has changed to something less intrusive, but there more. Going to shorten then 360 degrees at at time to find the sweet spot.

Day 1 - On our way to Anastasia national park; stopped for lunch in Canaveral National Seashore. Found a shady spot to make some hot dogs.

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All setup in our campsite at Anastasia:

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Kitchen setup:

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Lunch on Fernandina beach the next day:

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
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Florida
Awesome random group of (mostly) venezuelans having a big ole camping trip/reunion/food fest on the beach. Great people, super friendly. Hopefully have some new wheeling friends to go out with! They had folks from as far away as Texas here. Every vehicle was a toyota except for a single F150. Tons of roof top tents and portable showers, they were completely setup for a heck of an event!

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Campsite at little talbot state park:

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Makin' breakfast:

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Bacon on the fire:

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
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Florida
Cooking and eating our last dinner while camping; skirt steak, sweet potatoes and corn on the fire, sauted onions and peppers, plus tomato and cucumber salad on the side, s'mores for dessert:

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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
186
Location
Florida
Nothing much going on lately - busy trying to get my driveline to be smooth. I messed around and around with the rear lower control arms and finally got the angles into a pretty good spot. I definitely feel some driveline vibe still but it's not terrible. Maybe upper links will help? We'll see. I also lowered the rear height sensor about 1/2 an inch and that seemed to help as well. Livable now at least, but still can feel a vibration.

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Also, on the hunt for a set of OEM LC torsion bars to replace my maxed AHC bars. Ride is noticeably rougher with the extra weight and the AHC bars cranked to max.
 
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