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Rancho in-cab remote control shock air controller install, review, picts

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by wantatlc, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    From what I can tell here at Mud, let me be the first to post up with an install and review of the Rancho RS9000 RCX in-cab air controller damping system for those of you with RS9000x 9 level shocks on their FJ. Something I would not have indulged in and purchased at retail, but did at the killer price I got it for. Though I admit, curiosity had always been killing me as I wondered if I never really used the 1-9 dial as it was a pain to get under the rig and twist the knob (over and over again to try the settings) and wondered.... IF I had this system, would I change settings more and use the RS9000x's as created?

    INSTALL
    difficulty: 1.5 :banana: due to all the laying of the air hose & thought process to cut the air hose correctly 1 time and think it through for travel and protection

    time requirement: +5-6 hours easy!! took much longer than expected. Most of it in running the air hose, deciding where to run it, protect it, estimate for shock travel, and the slow extensive leak testing of the system.

    PITA factor: 6 (on 1-10 scale) - running all that hose sucks, but leak detection is a major PITA

    So, install takes some time. The 1 page directions are pretty straight forward and come in the box. It was not a real hard install, just have to find a place in the engine bay for the pump. the pump is small, and the copper t junction off of it seems kind of whack in its design as it makes a big t juncture with fittings and air hoses coming into/out of the pump - SO you need more room (away from hot headers and spinning blades and belts) than you would think.

    pump location - My install put the pump on the drive side front most fender wall near the bib and radiator. I had ample room, tucked out of the way, seemed to work out fine.

    in-cab controller - I put the in-cab controller next to my CB where there just happened to be perfect space. under the dash and out of the way so that all of the air hoses and wiring can be hidden (as there is a LOT coming into that controller).

    front air hoses - I ran the air hoses for the front up the shocks (attach with zip ties) to a provided T junction along the frame cross bar that the radiator bolts to. making sure to leave slack for shock travel. I sleeved them for protection where they bend and might rub the frame.

    rear hoses - I ran the rear hose down the drivers side frame rail to the back from engine bay. I ran the hoses from the shocks up the shocks (attach with zip ties) to a T with some slack for travel, then tied it into the hose from the engine bay. that slack is hidden nice behind my MAF fuel tank. I sleeved them for protection where they bend and might rub the frame.

    shock valves connects - bolt on after removed the knobs, be sure to use ample lube/grease to make a tight seal on the o-ring as that seemed to be a leak source for me.


    REVIEW
    Thus far, I only have local road usage as I just installed it yesterday during the week. Initial impression is it is a pretty rocking tool and at this time, I am glad I did it. quality seems solid. Controller seems well built (but exposed back side so you see all of its guts), the hose is stiff and hard plastic - not a flimsy rubber hose that easily kinks or folds/bends and there is like 90' of it - I had maybe 45' of that left so only used about half of it, pump seems solid and had rubber bushings to isolate it, etc. System is SO easy to use. press a button to air all 4 shocks up at 1 time (about 10 seconds), then push an air release button for the front or the back (or both) to dial in the number you want to roll at. slick as hell and works. I look forward to really using it offroad (maybe drop the pressure to hit the washboards at high speed - pump up for the road - middle ground for general off road) all from the comfort and arm reach of the cab. I dig the concept and will use the hell out of this.

    Also, the system does loose air just sitting there. I can tell that clearly. it seems that even if you have a clean install with no apparent leaks - do extensive testing with soapy bubble water, use teflon tape at ALL copper fittings, cut clean square even hose ends, make all copper fittings snug as hell - it will still have leakage. where and why I cannot tell you. I tried and tried to track a source down, but it seems that is the system. I have read this elsewhere and just confirming it. It will air down. BUT, the ease of pumping them up in 10-15 seconds, seems this can be dealt with easy, fast, and on the fly. I even resorted - just for fun as I wanted to rule out the controller as any leak source after finding most all my leaks there - to redundantly covering all of the copper fittings on the in-cab controller in black RTV to try to shut off any slow leaker I just could not detect with soapy bubble water. ugly, but a precaution to rule out any more leaks from there. time will tell on that.

    I will, as always, report back my honest assement of this in real world as usage and time unfolds, so watch for this post to reappear time to time with assements.


    TIPS
    1. DO use the tube cutting tool they supply as it cuts the best and squarest - an exacto knife does a hack job
    2. DO put togther soapy water mix and put the bubbles on ALL connections (t-junctions, back of in-cab controller fittings, pump fittings at pump, shock fittings at shock) to check for leaks no matter what you think.
    3. surprisingly, in my case, 100% of the leaking in initial testing and install came from the copper fittings at the in-cab controller - not the hoses or t junctions! so keep that in mind and start there and put ALL of your adaptors and air fittings on while the controller is out of the truck and on the work bench.
    4. use a small bit of motor oil on the tips of the hoses before pushes them into the quick release coupplers. the rancho guys told me this helps swell the o-ring in there you cannot see and helps with the seal.

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  2. Trollhole

    Trollhole THC Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Very nice. I've always wondered about that.
     
  3. LCS

    LCS

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    I did pay full discounted price for this set-up and I love it!. Haven't taken it wheelin' yet. I love the soft ride on #1 setting and rarely pump it up, but I do for curvy high speed driving. The convenience factor was the seller for me.

    I zip tied the lines to the brake hoses and sleeved the lines with rubber hose where it enters & exits the frame rails.
    76 build61.jpg 76 build49.jpg 76 build57.jpg
     
  4. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    nice install on the firewall. I also sleeved the lines to protect them at critical rub potential spots as it is pretty stout tubing.

    are those shock condoms? :)
     
  5. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    still have a pesky slooow leak at the the front shocks the gauge tells me. cannot find it for the life of me and I have tried like x5 now. I have tried soapy water on ALL possible areas: plastic T junctures, at the valves at the shock, at the brass fittings at the pump, and at the fittings at the control unit.... nothing. I would assume, even if slow, it would produce some sort of air bubble and expose itself given the high pressure... any thoughts??
     
  6. Coolerman

    Coolerman SILVER Star

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    Nice write up! Now I have an on going long term report to look at till I get another set!

    I loved mine. Set to one or totally bled down for slow off-road, 2 for fire roads or gravel roads and 4-5 for high speed highway manuvers. (I had the early ones that only went to 5.)

    What did you get the shocks for? Sometimes they have a sell on them. However they are still an expensive shock.

    I'll tell you right now, lose the boots! What finally took out my shocks was RUST under the boots! It took 5 years but they rusted all the way through and started leaking fluid right where the zip tie was and became worthless. :frown:

    They have changed the pump since I bought mine for my Pathfinder. My pump is encased in a nice plastic box. That pump looks a little more heavy duty. :D
    RanchoDualRemote.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2007
  7. bbalbano

    bbalbano

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    Nice

    Looks like you just got it back from "Pimp my ride"
     
  8. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    UPDATE:

    FWIW....

    so, over 7 days the guages show a loss of about 4-5 settings. That is, from setting 9 dropped to maybe 5-6 on the dials. So, there is just air loss that cannot be acounted for. And believe me, I tried not only soapy water but also incense to see if an air leak could be found any place that could push the smoke from the incense. Nothing.

    So, I placed a call to Rancho and they claimed that amount of loss is 100% normal. As a matter of fact, they claimed an over night loss of 2-3 settings (from 9 to 6-7) is 100% normal. I found that surprising personally as the air must go somewhere. But they say that is normal and that the pressure system amount used in this product is actually so low, you would not likely be able to find the actual point of loss as it is such low pressure and that is not a major leak - but normal. I figured that ANY loss would push the smoke from incense...... but I find nothing.
     
  9. 1973Guppie

    1973Guppie SILVER Star

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    cool writeup, I would like to have the ability to adjust.

    On my 9000's though, I tried setting them lower than the stiffest setting and with the SOA the suspension gets somewhat noodly and is a little too soft. I usually just run them on the stiffest setting for street and trail. I tried adjusting them down for the trail once and didn't like how the suspension would "unload" on side hills, etc. Seemed a bit more stable just left on the stiffest setting. The shocks seem to also help on corners when on road, on the stiffest setting the body roll is minimized.

    Noah
     
  10. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    Yeah the system is pretty damn cool and easy to use. So far, I have just tweaked it around town and am waiting until I get some good offroad before I extensively report back about:

    -noticability in ride difference between settings (the feel)
    -durability (main concern is the hose and t connectors)
    -actual amount I use it given easy reach
    -real world loss of pressure amounts during daily usage

    As for the shocks on your SOA, you might have liked the 5000's then from what I researched. seems the very common comment on the 5000's is that they are pretty darn stiff - and if you are running the 9000's at 9 and not adjusting much, they might have been a good choice or future choice. I personally found on my SUA - the few actual times I adjusted - I like offroad at about 5 for just crusing open terrain, 8-9 for road, and only 1 time went to 2 for some washboard speed just for fun to try it out. This system will no doubt allow me to take advatage of what those shocks have available...
     
  11. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    A little follow up:

    I noticed that as the system is used, the air leakage I notcied, which they say is normal, slowed up (see #8). That is, after a few weeks now of driving around and using the system (air up, down, up, down), it seems I loose the air pressure at a slower rate now. Almost as though the system has settled. Maybe building up back pressure? the joints o-rings taking? the lube I used on the o-rings finally swelling them? Not sure why. But it is a noticable change.

    Also interesting is that they (front and rear) use to loose at different rates showing unequal pressure numbers on the gague after a few days despite being pumped up to equal numbers at the start. Now, they are very much equal in their air loss and gauge reading over days. Not sure why.

    Last, I notice that my habit is to use the system... a lot. it is very convenient and that is the simple reason. I also notice that I never do the fronts or rears at different pressures - though I could. I run them differently based on terrain and conditions, but have never run them differently front to back. Maybe this will happen when I get a load in the rear? hard to say, but an interesting habit I noted.
     
  12. 98k15004x4

    98k15004x4

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    just a quick question

    hey, i thought the review was great so far, i just have a few questions. I have a 1998 k1500 4x4, and i don't do alot of off roading, just some hauling now and then, but i would like to be able to stiffen or soften my ride. so i was looking at this system, and my truck rides pretty stiff already due to the torsion bar front suspension, and i was just wondering if you think that at a setting of like 1 or 2 or these it would ride softer? any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Also, could you try automatic transmission fluid instead of oil on the lines to swell the o rings, i ask this because one of the major things in ATF is a seal swelling agent, thats why when you rebuild them your not supposed to coat the seals with it because they are almost impossible to install after they have swelled. Thanks alot guys
     
  13. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    sorry for delay - been busy in Europe...

    anyway, seems the torsion bars would need to be removed for real stiffness to be addressed? but that being said, the more I use this setup, the more I CAN tell the difference between the softness (and sometimes sloppiness with being too soft) of #1 and the firmness (sometimes bone jarring firmness) of #9. so, that tells me you would feel it for sure and it would be softer if you were down around #1-2.

    Maybe I will try the AT fluid - but for now, it seems I have good seals. but god tip. Figures Rancho would not know that enough to tell me as they just advised "engine oil"... so I used that.
     
  14. 98k15004x4

    98k15004x4

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    sorry to bug you again...

    i was just wondering how long the air is lasting in the system now? dropping over night? etc? also, if you let the truck set for a month or so and lost all of your pressure and settings, how quickly does it refill the system when you drive it again, how long does it take to go from no pressure to say a 6 setting? thanks again
     
  15. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    if I fill it full to #9 - over night it will drop to around #8.

    if you let it sit, and all the pressure leaves - it does not matter as the system does not refill itself. YOU push a button that fills it or button(s) front or back that reduce the pressure. so, it can fill or deflate in seconds depending on what you press and want. a totally empty system can go to #9 with the press of a button in like 5 seconds and back to #0 in like 2. it remembers nothing. you remember what settings you like and fill or let out air as you like.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007