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TD5 Disco coil conversion


Les Henson
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Failure of the rear air suspension on the TD5 Disco's is so common that you can buy a complete coil conversion kit from most of the Land Rover parts suppliers for not a great deal of money. The Disco in this thread has a failed compressor, and as it was a trade-in, it was cheaper to convert to coils. The kit is supplied by Paddocks, and most of the parts are Britpart, but the springs are claimed to be 'OE Spec' You should get 2 x Springs, 4 x M10 bolts, 2 x spring cushions, and 2 x spring lower seats.

Park the vehicle on level ground and chock the front wheels.

Slacken the wheel bolts on both rear wheels.

Jack the rear end up as high as you can.

Place an axle stand both sides on the chassis rails - just forward of the radius arm mounts on the chassis.

Remove both rear wheels and lower the vehicle down until the majority of the weight is on the stands - leave the jack supporting the axle for now.

Under the passenger side - midway and underneath, there's a black box which contains the air compressor and valve assembly. Turn the two screws until the cover will slide off (the screws are captive)

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With the cover off - there are three pipes at the forward end. The inner and outer ones go to each air bladder. Using a 10mm spanner, undo each one 2 - 3 turns. You will hear the hiss of escaping air, so wait until it stops and then disconnect both pipes fully for now.

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Start in one wheel arch and you need to get at the top of the spring mount, which is usually caked in dirt like this.

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Clean the dirt off and there will be two clips and the pipe connection.

Open the cips as shown and slide them off the pins. leave the pipe connection for now.

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The passenger side has quite a bit less room, due to pipework.

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Once the clips are removed, the bladder will press down and the pipe can be disconnected with a 10mm spanner. Tuck or tie the pipe out of the way.

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Twist the bladder in either direction 90 degrees (it has two lugs that locate on the axle) and it will lift out.

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The two threaded holes will be full of muck - carefully clean them out and if you can, run an M10 x 1.5 tap though them to clean the threads.

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Parts you will need per side.

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Place the lower spring seat in place and bolt it on.

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Undo the shock absorber lower mount (18mm socket)

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Unclip the ABS sensor wire from the clips on the brake pipe, the rubber grommet on the brake pipe bracket, and the plug connection on the inner wing. Lower the jack - keep an eye on the brake pipe and be careful not to stretch it.

Put the spring cushion on the top of the spring (note the correct way up).

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By pushing the axle down a small amount on the passenger side - the spring will go in quite easily.

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Once fitted, raise the jack and reconnect the shock absorber.

Axle travel is a bit more restricted on the drivers side, so I have used a pair of spring compressors (the spring only has to be compressed a couple of inches). If you don't use spring compressors, then you will have to disconnect the anti-roll bar and unbolt the caliper to get that side down far enough to fit the spring.

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Undo the shock lower mount, lower the axle, assemble the spring and seat, and fit it in the same way as on the opposite side.

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Jack the axle back up and keep going until the compressors come loose (saves having to undo them :) )

Reconnect the two pipes in the compressor housing and replace the cover.

Reconnect the shock absorber, replace the wheels and lower the vehicle back down.

You will now have a warning light on the dashboard - either ignore it, put a bit of tape over it, remove the bulb, or pay quite a few quid for someone with the right diagnostic equipment to tell the computer that is is now coil sprung on the rear :)

This is as straight foward and easy as it appears. Expect to do the whole conversion in a couple of hours.

If you use spring compressors and haven't used them before - they must be fitted 180 - degrees from each other, and tightened evenly so that the spring remains as straight as possible at all times. If they slip round - the spring will 'banana' and may fly off. Always expect the worst to happen.

Even though there isn't a great deal of tension in them to compress the springs a couple of inches - the spring can still cause serious injury. I've been hit in the chest by a spring and it bluddy hurts :(

The kit I used had a couple of problems that are worth pointing out -

The spring seat rested on the axle while still clear of the bracket, so I had to pack it up with a couple of M10 washers on all the bolt holes between the bracket and the seat so that it didn't distort as the bolts were tightened.

It would be wise to also fit a lower spring retaining strip (which you don't get), to prevent the springs from dislocating.

Les.

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