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Air Suspension Woes!


DarkDave
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Knew it had to happen sooner or later!

Air suspension on my 91 RRC Vogue has packed in... started off getting very reluctant to move, and resulted in a total collapse 30 miles from home. The resulting limp-home along the dual cariageway was...erm... interesting to say the least! With the RR sitting on its bump stops, every tiny bump and ripple on the road made itself known!

Arriving home, I discovered some kind of hydraulic fluid liberally spattered all over the n/s/r wheel....

Now, is there any chance this could just be a seal or similar that has failed, leading to a de-pressurised system, or am I gonna have to spend squillions of pounds on replacement parts... is there a RR specialist in the Romford area that I could consult?

If anyone can help me, I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks in Advance, DD

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Knew it had to happen sooner or later!

Air suspension on my 91 RRC Vogue has packed in... started off getting very reluctant to move, and resulted in a total collapse 30 miles from home. The resulting limp-home along the dual cariageway was...erm... interesting to say the least! With the RR sitting on its bump stops, every tiny bump and ripple on the road made itself known!

Arriving home, I discovered some kind of hydraulic fluid liberally spattered all over the n/s/r wheel....

Now, is there any chance this could just be a seal or similar that has failed, leading to a de-pressurised system, or am I gonna have to spend squillions of pounds on replacement parts... is there a RR specialist in the Romford area that I could consult?

If anyone can help me, I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks in Advance, DD

This happend on my old classic would have cost a fortune to repair si i converted mine to coils far cheaper and an easy job to do.

Regards Keith

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Arriving home, I discovered some kind of hydraulic fluid liberally spattered all over the n/s/r wheel....

Now, is there any chance this could just be a seal or similar that has failed, leading to a de-pressurised system, or am I gonna have to spend squillions of pounds on replacement parts... is there a RR specialist in the Romford area that I could consult?

The air suspension is filled with air not hydraulic fluid, funnily enough... I'd be very surprised if this is related to your suspension failure, but it needs checking to see what is causing it - if it's hydraulic fluid then it has to be from the brakes, but it could be EP90 from the axle if the oil seal has gone.

You can get some air back in your springs by operating your suspension manually - here's the pins you need. The EAS controller is under the drivers seat (assuming it's a UK car), above the engine ECU - just unplug the connector from it and jumper the pins in it. Be careful not to over inflate the air springs.

I'm afraid to find out what made it sulk you'll need to take it to a garage and have it interrogated with a diagnostic computer - depending what they find it may not be expensive to fix. Most parts are pricey new, but can be got second hand off eBay or from a breaker fairly easily.

If it was struggling before it gave up then I'd hazard a guess at either an air leak or a knackered compressor, but this is just a guess.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The air suspension is filled with air not hydraulic fluid, funnily enough... I'd be very surprised if this is related to your suspension failure, but it needs checking to see what is causing it - if it's hydraulic fluid then it has to be from the brakes, but it could be EP90 from the axle if the oil seal has gone.

You can get some air back in your springs by operating your suspension manually - here's the pins you need. The EAS controller is under the drivers seat (assuming it's a UK car), above the engine ECU - just unplug the connector from it and jumper the pins in it. Be careful not to over inflate the air springs.

I'm afraid to find out what made it sulk you'll need to take it to a garage and have it interrogated with a diagnostic computer - depending what they find it may not be expensive to fix. Most parts are pricey new, but can be got second hand off eBay or from a breaker fairly easily.

If it was struggling before it gave up then I'd hazard a guess at either an air leak or a knackered compressor, but this is just a guess.

Well, here's the latest....

Turned out one of the air pipes had melted due to a blowing exhaust I'd been putting off :rolleyes: . Pipe repaired, the ECU had to be reset... luckily a friend of a friend has a diagnostic machine and the deed was done for less than 50 notes :D

Fluid on the wheel turned out to be a failed hub seal...

Thanks for your advice, pointed me in the right direction!

Take care... DD

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  • 2 years later...
Knew it had to happen sooner or later!

Air suspension on my 91 RRC Vogue has packed in... started off getting very reluctant to move, and resulted in a total collapse 30 miles from home. The resulting limp-home along the dual cariageway was...erm... interesting to say the least! With the RR sitting on its bump stops, every tiny bump and ripple on the road made itself known!

Arriving home, I discovered some kind of hydraulic fluid liberally spattered all over the n/s/r wheel....

Now, is there any chance this could just be a seal or similar that has failed, leading to a de-pressurised system, or am I gonna have to spend squillions of pounds on replacement parts... is there a RR specialist in the Romford area that I could consult?

If anyone can help me, I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks in Advance, DD

Dave,

I had recurring problems with the air suspension despite changing many of the expensive parts. I decided to give up with it a fit springs which although is expensive to start eradicates the problem forever. So you can either do the same or I have a set of virtually new air supension parts you can buy off me!

Ray

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Trouble with air suspension is most people dont understand it, and ty and fix it without the use of diagnostics etc.

Take the time to work out, and understand exactly how it works and it makes things alot easier.

If you do a google for EAS unlocker, there is a bit of freeware you can download to allow you to diagnos it with your own laptop. I have done this and it works well.

Jon

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the other problem is people expect the springs to last like steel ones then when they fail it's like the end of the world and convert to coils and there are a few who wish they had not done it i've had an lse on air and a soft dash and am getting a lse again soft dash on air would never go back to coils as the ride is not the same. my claasic is running p38a arnott gen2 air springs and the ride is better than standard springs and a bit firmer as well

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Trouble with air suspension is most people dont understand it, and ty and fix it without the use of diagnostics etc.

Take the time to work out, and understand exactly how it works and it makes things alot easier.

If you do a google for EAS unlocker, there is a bit of freeware you can download to allow you to diagnos it with your own laptop. I have done this and it works well.

Jon

As Jon says - EAS isn't difficult to work on (or particularly expensive) if you do your homework. This thread is a couple of years old and EAS unlocker wasn't around at the time - I've no experience of it as I don't have and EAS truck any more ( :( ) but on the face of it it solves the major issue with DIY EAS maintenance (the ability to clear faults yourself).

the other problem is people expect the springs to last like steel ones then when they fail it's like the end of the world and convert to coils and there are a few who wish they had not done it i've had an lse on air and a soft dash and am getting a lse again soft dash on air would never go back to coils as the ride is not the same. my claasic is running p38a arnott gen2 air springs and the ride is better than standard springs and a bit firmer as well

They do last like steel ones - okay, they reach a point of being unusable a long time before a coil spring does, but by the time an air spring is getting to the point at which it needs to be replaced a coil would be well past its best too.

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I've just replaced the Air Springs on my 2000MY (which has just short of 90k on the clock) with Arnott Gen 3 which I got from Andy Iles at P38Spares. I had been living with the fact that one of the rear pots had been leaking badly and thought I better sort it before the compressor started to give up..

Although I have a Blackbox MSV2 - I don't think we actually needed it. Myself and a mate did all of the pots in just under 4 hours following RAVE, Arnott and liberal amounts of Ron Becketts stuff off the internet .... are kit was limited to hydraulic jack and chassis stands.

Agree with those who suggest that EAS is simply misunderstood.

By the way results are that I now have a truck that eats off road bumps with far more consideration and handles on the motorway with a far more stable ride. Really chuffed and at least I've retained the ability to extend before wading (something we do quite regularly as we live at the end of lane with a deep ford which saves a three mile alternative!)

Martin

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My classic had about 120k on the clock when I did the air springs. They weren't leaking, but were visibly perished. It was very noticeable when they were off that the old ones had hardened with age and were much less flexible than the new ones - like Martin I found there was a huge improvement in ride quality both on and off the road.

I used AirBagMan bladders on the original pistons, and also did the job with minimal tools (did have to get it reset afterwards, but that was due to incompetence - we turned a sensor arm inside out and didn't notice). At the time it was much cheaper to do just the bladders, not sure that's the case now.

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I've just blown a front spring on mine. Soapy water ( and loud hissing noise ) confirmed air bag fail. Ordered some off ebay ( bladders £80 pair, full springs seem to be £80 each ) so I'll see how hard it is to change.

My mate drove over a speed bump and broke a spring in his mondeo and his car is newer than my rangie so it's not like coils never break. I thought I wanted coils to start with but now I've got air suspension I wouldn't go back ( assuming I can get the bladders to fit :-) )

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I've just blown a front spring on mine. Soapy water ( and loud hissing noise ) confirmed air bag fail. Ordered some off ebay ( bladders £80 pair, full springs seem to be £80 each ) so I'll see how hard it is to change.

My mate drove over a speed bump and broke a spring in his mondeo and his car is newer than my rangie so it's not like coils never break. I thought I wanted coils to start with but now I've got air suspension I wouldn't go back ( assuming I can get the bladders to fit :-) )

Thought you were looking a bit lopsided when you drove past the other day.

Give me a shout if you need a hand.

Steve

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Wow. Just replaced both front springs ( complete springs not just bladders ). After a bad start breaking the pins on the locking wheel nut it was done and dusted in 20 minutes a spring.

1a Undo wheel nuts

1b Jack car up on chassis until wheel is off ground

1c Remove wheel

2. Deflate spring if required ( one had a hole already, the other we drilled some in )

3. Remove air line by pushing down brass ring while pulling pipe up ( used a screwdriver to push it down )

4. Remove clips top and bottom if they haven't rusted away to nothing already

5. Squash spring ( with hands ) and remove

6. Insert new spring

7. Put on top locator peg E clips or similar

8. Refit wheel

9. Lower jack and locate bottom spring pegs in holes.

10. Tighten wheel nuts

I didn't disconnect the ECU or battery. A lot easier than replacing a steel spring. I didn't need to drop the axle beyond its normal range of motion so the sensors stayed happy. Seems easy enough to squash the spring to get it in.

My springs came "pre-lowered" That is to say the spring seemed at normal ride height size rather than full height making it very easy to slot in.

I'd be very tempted to change whole springs again in the future rather than attempt bladder changes but I like an easy life :-)

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Wow. Just replaced both front springs ( complete springs not just bladders ). After a bad start breaking the pins on the locking wheel nut it was done and dusted in 20 minutes a spring.

1a Undo wheel nuts

1b Jack car up on chassis until wheel is off ground

1c Remove wheel

2. Deflate spring if required ( one had a hole already, the other we drilled some in )

3. Remove air line by pushing down brass ring while pulling pipe up ( used a screwdriver to push it down )

4. Remove clips top and bottom if they haven't rusted away to nothing already

5. Squash spring ( with hands ) and remove

6. Insert new spring

7. Put on top locator peg E clips or similar

8. Refit wheel

9. Lower jack and locate bottom spring pegs in holes.

10. Tighten wheel nuts

I didn't disconnect the ECU or battery. A lot easier than replacing a steel spring. I didn't need to drop the axle beyond its normal range of motion so the sensors stayed happy. Seems easy enough to squash the spring to get it in.

My springs came "pre-lowered" That is to say the spring seemed at normal ride height size rather than full height making it very easy to slot in.

I'd be very tempted to change whole springs again in the future rather than attempt bladder changes but I like an easy life :-)

You lucky man!!! About a month after I bought my first RR last March, I got the dreaded fault message. It cost me £1,500 down at the LR dealer at Port Solent!!! Four new springs and a compressor.

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