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Disco 2 rear airspring and height sensor replacement

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Hi all,

Not posted in a while but having read everything I can find on this subject I thought I'd tackle it myself as it seems a fairly straightforward job for an average DIYer.

The symptoms matched what I'd read on here several times, that is, it would sit down very low on the offside rear occasionally.

The compressor or as I now know it, the SLS I believe, worked fine and it would pump back up as soon as I started her up and off I'd go.

I live in the middle of nowhere in the wilds of Scotland and don't have a garage so, with our prevailing weather being rain, it was easy to put it off...and off...and off!

However, over time, the 'down time' became more often than not and after a recent run to Aviemore it struggled to keep the bag up and when I finally stopped outside my door, there was a muffled pop and she went down terminally. on the offside rear.

Yes, I know, bloody stupid to continue to drive on what was obviously a leaking airspring but isn't hindsight wonderful. Learn from my mistake. I was just lucky.

So I ordered a pair of Contitech air springs from Ribble Valley having been put off Dunlop from comments on here and they arrived, unfortunately minus the ordered clips.

Not a good start but I emailed them that night and fair do's, the owner phoned me the next day and they were in the post, including a replacement ride height sensor that needed replacing due to perishing of the rubber end mount.

Next evening, after work, in a fine Scottish evening of light drizzle, I chocked up the front wheels, put handbrake on, big thermos cup of tea, various tools selected for any eventuality and prepared to lie on the wet tarmac for a couple of hours while my neighbours settled down to a warm night in front of the telly with a cosy woman next to them. The joys of Landy owner ship.

Axle stands under the chassis which I'd lifted high and two trolley jacks under the axle and that's the wheels off. I then lowered the axle down to the extend the air springs fully.

Offside rear had a small hole and the ride height sensor was perished at its bottom end.

The near side was inflated so I removed the compressor cover using a flat bladed screwdriver. The compressor is sited behind the nearside sill, under the passenger seat floor. The near side air spring is fed by the pipe nearest the outer edge. I loosed it off, not all the way to reduce the risk of cross threading it and allowed the bag to drain down.

I went to remove the two clips on the top and found that they were in fact two washers held in by what appeared to be silicone bathroom sealant.

It just kept getting better. And now it was raining properly.

Offside came off after removing the proper clips with a small flat hear screwdriver. They were too far gone to reuse, just bits of rust really.

The base of the air springs have a 'key' that fits into the shaped slot on the axle and to remove it's simply a case of gripping it and rotating 90degrees. It then lifts up and the top section just pushes down and the two little 'pins' pull out of their two holes.

So, both bags out and a fresh cuppa

d1.JPG

Now I used a sharp stanley knife to cut off the original air pipe connection. In the pic, you can see what looks like a rubber olive on the pipe. You have to cut this off too. So do it as close to it as possible as you'll need all the pipe you can get!

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The next pic shows the valve on top of the air spring. Lead the pipe over the top of the upper mount and push it in as far as it'll go. I had to try twice thats how I found out you have to cut off the olive thingy!

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Now place the base over the lower plate and line up the 'key' with the slot, these are my words by the way, I'm sure the techie types will provide the correct terms! Then rotate it 90 degrees and it'll lock in. Adjust the top part to line up the 'pins' with the holes then, after checking it's vertically straight and not obviously twisted, push up and slide the new clips on to the pins in the recessed slots.. Easy to do but I wore gloves to stop my cold wet lilly white fingers from hurting!

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Next I fitted the new ride height sensor but I'll describe that in a minute. If you're just doing the airsprings, the next thing to do is get some soapy water to check for leaks. I used my wifes flower mister or something. Works a treat.

I remembered to tighten up the pipe on the compressor first but I left the cover off for now just in case.

Open the drivers window and make sure all doors are closed. Leaning in through the window, I then started the engine and waited for the compressor to kick in to just start to inflate the bags so I could check for leaks.

Nothing happened. So I checked the compressor. Now I'm no expert, as you can see but I was pretty sure it should have been making a noise of some sort! So, back to the manual and a fresh brew.

It says it won't start if the gap is greater than 100mm. Took some bloody finding though. So, back out in the rain and up with the two trolley jacks.

Yehaa! Engine on, compressor running and bags up and not leaking anywhere after a liberal soaking, including around the top valves.

At this point it should be wheels on and back onto terra firma for a test drive but as I said, I was doing the sensor too. Please see next opus below.

Rob

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Sorry about the pics being so small, luckily, as you can see, they're repeated at the bottom! I did look for guidance on pic sizes but couldn't find it. Obviously looking in the wrong place.

So, the sensor.

As you can see from the pic it's located forward of the wheel and easily accessed. This one was perished/broken at the base so a clear need to replace. In theory simple......famous last words.

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-93019600-1347147924_thumb.jpg

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-99947200-1347147967_thumb.jpg

My socket set was rubbish on the two hex headed screws and and the only spanner I had to fit was from a maintenance kit of some equipment I use in my job. Thank feck it fitted! Lots of WD and an adjustment of the old component, i.e. breaking it off, allowed me to access the heads. The pic with the lighter is to give scale.

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-08279100-1347148232_thumb.jpg

The electrical connector is very brittle so take care. I broke one side off. The next pic shows where you should gently press with a small screw driver, contact size maybe and ease it up and off.

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-61907700-1347148353_thumb.jpg

Swapping it out is straightforward once you have the fastenings removed. I wasn't sure about having the alloy sleeve onto the steel fixing point so I smeared it with copper slip as I couldn't find any grease at home. This will ease the corrosion problem I hope. Not sure of copper/alloy reaction though!

I will be smearing the whole thing in grease I think to help protect the metal leg too.

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-89513300-1347149534_thumb.jpg

I only changed one and I did it before I did the air springs so the car was not started at any point.

I have not checked the height yet to see if there's a difference in height but to the mark one eyeball it looks level. I will measure it and if it's out by an appreciable amount I'll have to go to my nearest dealer, near a place called Killin and get it on a computer as I don't have one!

I have finished off with a pic of the compressor. The pipe on the right as you look at it is the one I eased open to release the near side air spring pressure.

http://forums.lr4x4.com/uploads/monthly_09_2012/post-8673-0-68738400-1347149618_thumb.jpg

Sorry if this is a bit long winded and basic but it's what I had to do and hopefully will answer questions people with limited skills and knowledge, like me, may have.

Thanks for an excellent site guys. Invaluable to diyers like me!

Cheers

Rob

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Hi, Good write up and always helps with pics. One important thing to do is disconect the battery before replacing the ride height sensor. This stops the possibility of loosing the settings and the need to get it re-programmed.

Regards,

Griff

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