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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The Air Strut Saga Lives On...

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 02:38 AM

Hello everybody!
I finally have all the parts needed to switch the system out and I've been taking pictures. So far, after about 4 hours... I've managed to switch one <img src="http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/tongue.gif" ALT=":p">. However, since this is the first time I've done such a thing, the rest should go faster.

Anyway, I've taken some pictures.

This is what the car looked like on the old air struts (front right) after about an hour of sitting. You can probably tell that it's a little low. This strut was leaking the worst, with the next being the left front. The rear struts are still in pretty good shape.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/noair.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=335>

This is what the new one looked like before I put it together.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/disassembled.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=636>

And the old strut with the tire off.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/oldstrut.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=335>

And basically the same picture with the strut removed. The red clamp you see is on the brake line. Since I had to disconnect it and it was dripping, I clamped part of it closed. Juding by the color, I need to flush it too.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/nostrut.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=335>

Same view from the engine compartment.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/nostrut_top.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=335>

A side by side shot of the old and new struts.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/struts.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=544>

And finally, with the new strut on.
<img src="http://www.vail.net/~rpower/newstrut.jpg" WIDTH=500 HEIGHT=335>

Also, for anyone wondering which one is the camber ajustment bolt,
it is the upper one on the strut. I'm going to hopefully finish on Monday and get it aligned.


#2 Guest_ShawnW_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 05:10 AM

Impressive photos, nice thread. Will somebody let me know in a couple of days after the replies are done so I can move it to the archival forum so his work gets "saved".


#3 Guest_AWD Yahoo_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 08:06 AM


what you have done look great, i hope you enjoy the new ride.

in the pic of the new shock, spring etc not put together there is a important piece missing (or i can't see it)

there is a rubber bumper that goes on the shock piston under the protective boot, it, i think keeps you from doing damager when/if you bottom out. it is important though, hope i just didn't see them and they are there, if not you should consider putting them on.

see ya
91 Turbo sedan

#4 Guest_dacKampf_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 09:45 AM

Four hours?

I replaced all four of mine in foui hours!

Anyway, glad to hear you're getting rid of that flaky pneumatic suspension. Struts are so much nicer, even though you won't have the "slammed" look in the morning, or after you leave the movies.

I do have a guide to the whole thing over at Legacy Central if you're interested. It's not a conversion but simply a replacement.

#5 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 10:16 AM

Yeah I've done the strut replacement thing. The first time I did it, it was a little time consuming. And unfortunately you do need that stupid little bump stop. I ended up buying kits for all four. They had new boots, and bump stops. I don't think they were exactly cheap either. Oh well....good luck with the other three, and believe me, you may not think worn struts contribute to bad performance, oh my...the KYB GR2 compared to a worn OEM strut....It's night and day.

#6 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 13 November 2000 - 12:09 PM

The four hours were do to my inexperience using a spring compressor. Plus the fact that I was compressing using an adjustable wrench, after that I got a bit that would fit the compressor which greatly sped things up.

The bumpstop is on the top of the boot itself. KYB Part No SB101 (Front) and SB202 (Rear). You can kinda see it on the dissembled picture.

Actually, the old system could never get the car above about half of what it looks like with the new strut on. It would also bottom out on any bump bigger then 5". I'm really looking forward to finishing so I can try it out. :)

#7 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 10:29 AM

Okay, I'm done!

However, two things are conserning me...
1. There is air in the brake system. I can just bleed it again so it's not really a problem.
2. The rear right strut was very difficult to attach. I'm kinda woried that it may be pushing the axel into the rear diferential. I've checked the spring/spring seat alignment and all appears correct. Is this a potential problem or nothing to worry about? :/

#8 Guest_dacKampf_*

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 11:34 AM

Difficult to attach?

How so?

#9 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 12:07 PM

It was difficult to get the holes to align. The holes did not align exactly.

#10 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 02:00 PM

Acutally, it looks like the rear struts were not aligned correctly. An alignment seems to have corrected the problem.

#11 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 12:36 AM

I've got tips for the brake bleeding...because when I did my struts or painted my calipers....I HAD A HELL OF TIME getting all the air out.

I don't know what you have done so far...here's what I do

Get a glass jar, and a clear piece of tubing. hook it up to the zerk fitting on the caliper

Check the fluid level on the master cylinder......get a friend or someone, have them sit in the car....and pump the brake pedal about 10-15 times...Fairly hard. On that last pump...tell them to keep pressure on the pedal, and NOT to let up until you say so.

While they're holding pressure on the pedal, open the bleed valve, and the pedal should go to the floor...(when you're opening it, don't open it a HUGE amount, just a small turn) When fluid/air has stopped, close the valve...ONLY THEN yell at your "brake pumper" to let off the brake pedal....

Repeat one more time at that same wheel. Then move onto the next wheel.

NOTE: Make sure you follow the brake bleeding procedure...It's in the chilton or haynes manual....

Ok...I looked it up...for the legacy, here's the order you should do them in.

1. Front Right
2. Rear Left
3. Front Left
4. Rear Right

Make sure you do them in that order. Do that procedure once through...see how it feels...if it's still moushy....do it again....You may do this about 4-5 times....I ended up doing that...

If you can't seem to get all the air out...You may have to drive it for a couple days to work all the air to the end of the lines....then go through the rebleeding process again.

Hope that helps. I've had the same problems....moushy brakes sucks.

drop me a line if you have any more questions

#12 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 01:35 AM

I have been working on the brake lines most of tonight have managed to get all the air out. The brakes are working correctly again :) .
Also, thanks for the order to do them in... that removed what ever was still left in the system.

I have had a chance to check out the new struts and I have to say that it is a huge improvement! While the road is not quite as 'muted' as it was before, the car no longer bottoms out on large bumps :) . It actually is handling large bumps better then when the system was still kinda working.

One quick question:
Should I try to remove the height control system or just leave it in. From the repair manual it looks like it's under the drivers seat. Also, would it be possible to just cut power to it if it is difficult to remove?

One last note:
The air strut upper mount looks fairly similar to the spring version. It could probably be used if you didn't mind the car dropping about an inch. I'll try to post pictures of them side by side later tonight.

#13 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 01:39 AM

Oh, BTW...
I went through two large cans of brake fluid to finally get all the air out. It really needed to be done, too... the car actually starts braking at about half the petal pressure as before.
The reason I'm asking about the height control computer is due to that annoying flashing height light. I could disconnect it from under the dash, but I would rather totally kill the system.

#14 Guest_dacKampf_*

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Posted 15 November 2000 - 11:16 AM

You should remove all of the tubing and hardware from the air system.

It's just dead weight now.

I know of one guy who's converting the system over so that he can use it as a generic air supply. That'd be really nice at an autocross. Being able to have an onboard air compressor would be very cool!

#15 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 16 November 2000 - 03:32 AM

Here are the pictures I was talking about.
The air strut mount is on the left and the new (used) spring version is on the right.
<img src=http://www.vail.net/~rpower/mounts1.jpg>
<img src=http://www.vail.net/~rpower/mounts2.jpg>

Also, ShawnW if you want to archive this: please put the images onto a different server as I will be moving in a month and that webspace will expire.

#16 Guest_dacKampf_*

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Posted 16 November 2000 - 09:50 AM

That is most interesting!

Did/does the spring fit well
on the air mount? I'm going to have to look at the pics of my
install to see if they were that tall.

#17 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 17 November 2000 - 10:55 AM

I would imagine that the spring would fit just as well on the air as the standard mount. I didn't actually try attaching the spring with the air mount, however. It was taking enough time as it was :) .

Since the spring rests on an upper seat, it really shouldn't matter as long as the spring doesn’t rub against the car.

Also, quick question: On my radiator there is a small canister coming off of the transmission hoses. It looks a bit like an oil filter but I think it might be a cooler. My question is can/should this be removed? Any identifying marks have burned off and there isn't anything stamped into the metal.

#18 Guest_Rich_*

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Posted 17 November 2000 - 03:19 PM

I think that the canister is your tranny filter. I just had my tranny replaced a month or so ago, and when changing the oil, I noticed the canister. Mainly because it was clean and new looking and the mechanic said the filter would be replaced. I also remember the 90 and other legacy's having to have the filter added as a retro-fit and being referred to as a canister located under the battery.

At least that is what I think it is. I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong. I do suggest leaving it there as it is needed.


#19 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 17 November 2000 - 04:07 PM

Rich I'm 99% sure you are right. The earlier legacies didn't have the external filters on them, and I guess was later able to be added with this kit.

#20 Guest_Ryan Power_*

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Posted 17 November 2000 - 04:47 PM

Do you think it needs to be replaced then? It looks original.

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