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Help with pneumatic height control system??


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21 replies to this topic

#1 brookelea

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:04 PM

We have an 87 GL-10 turbo wagon awd with pneumatic height control. I searched the board for any information on the height control system but didnt find much.

Anyone familiar with this system? Ours stopped working today. The filter has been cleaned out and the pump seems to be working but nothing happens. My husband hooked up an air compressor to the system to see if it was the pump not working, but that did nothing either.

Any ideas would be helpful. We have someone interested in looking at the car to buy it, but now this happens today! We were looking forward to the extra cash before xmas. :(

#2 86subaru

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:09 PM

i also have this ,but you said something abouta filter ? where is the filter? because mine works good , but the filter might need to be cleaned ,

#3 brookelea

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:26 PM

sorry Im the middle man in posting cuz my husband isnt that keen on using message boards.

He said he cleaned a filter and that fixed the problem before, but now its back to the same problem and he has no idea what else to look for as the cause.

#4 86subaru

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 09:25 PM

i am asking where the filter is ,so i can clean mine

#5 electryc_monk

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 09:44 AM

do a search for "Air ride" or "air strut" on this board and the xt6.net board as well.

here is the info I offered from what I lad learned from other members and a FSM over the years....

http://usmb.ultimate...light=air strut

and the search list too for ya....

http://usmb.ultimate...rder=descending

and the other forum :

http://xt6.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

http://xt6.net/forum...opic.php?t=1558

of course the search engine there is also good for the help too and you don't need to be a member to search from what I saw.

cheers, happy holidays and best of luck.....

#6 Skip

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 11:22 AM

Brookelea, welcome to "the" Subaru board, please excuse the incessant individual that must step on your post rather than starting one of his own.
E. Monk has some good links for you and I have done some extensive work on the air suspension system.
Please ask your hubby to describe what the system is not doing.
Are all shocks deflated? Is one end higher than the other?
Do you ever hear the compressor running? Is the "height" button light flashing?
If he would like, he can email me (click the "email" button below my post).
I have the FSM (Factory Service Manual) covering the system and rather than asking some question that has nothing to do with your problem, I could possibly lead him on the path to repair.


#7 brookelea

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for the links...I did a search before but didnt offer much insight into what we are experiencing, other than the solution to replace the system with regular shocks. Which may be our resolution if we cant get it resolved, but below is more specifics on what seems to be going on....

The back end went flat to the ground after we went through a brushless car wash yesterday. Thats when I posted the question. However later that night after we drove it a few miles and came home, it popped right back up. We didnt put 2 and 2 together about the car wash being a possible factor in it until late last nite. is that possible that water being sprayed at high pressure under the wheel wells, etc causing problems with the system?

The compressor runs like its working correctly, and no...the height control was not flashing, thats why it seemed so strange. However over the past couple weeks the height control has been flashing from time to time, but the system seemed to be working fine at the time, we we werent sure why it was flashing either.

It rains alot here in washington and if its water related this may get really annoying....so we would really like to find a solution.

I will email you also. Thanks!

#8 electryc_monk

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 07:41 PM

(tip o' the hat to Thee Skipper)

IF your "REAR" is a deflation related to water then there is two possible culprits.
1.) the O-ring around the solioid that is bolted(2, 10mm bolts) directly to the rear strut with a silicon grease its subaru part # is 21069GA070 the dealership here in Lewisville charged $6.80 for a single O-ring

2.) the airline which connects to the other side of the solenoid is a plastic tube with a rubber O-ring that is "part of" the hose so my suggestion with it is to softy move/ bend slightly the four clear plastic tongs and pull out the hose and clean out the tube and clean off the hose.

As for the rein stallin gof the tube into the connector I once one one wagon tried to see if a clear or blue silicon sealant in a very thin film over the tiny O-ring then push the tube back into the solenoid. Then as it says to let the sealant skinup and dry do that so... let the car sit overnight if possible and then air it up after the silicon has cured.

I had great sucess with this "temp fix" that admittedly is still holding some 2 years later as I am just remembering that I had done this back them (shrugging grin)

as for the fronts the "O-ring" is in an entirely different place (in the top of the sturt tower).


keep Skipper and I accessible he has a couple more years experience then I of course. (wink)

BTW have a Merry holiday season as well and of course be safe.....

#9 monty h

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 11:36 AM

For 2-3 months I have had intermittent problems with the air suspension on my GL10 (AT, 4WD, turbo).

Sometimes I have the rear (both) pumped up all the way and the front normal or low….sometimes one (usually a front) will be low and all others normal. Because the trouble has been intermittent and not the same each time I have been thinking that the computer is flaky BUT last week the whole thing went flat and has stayed that way. The compressor is not coming on. I have been looking on USMB and XT6.net and have found some info but have also found a couple of questions I hope you cab answer:

The height light will always start flashing….usually after 10-15 mins running.

Are their 2 fuses in this system…the one in the fuse box is good.

Where is the compressor relay? There is a relay by the FL strut solenoid, is that it?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Monty

#10 brookelea

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 02:25 PM

This probably wont be much of a help but I thought I would respond with the end result of my original post above. The intermittent problem you are explaining is pretty identical to the one we had, except that its not the same set or rears going flat everytime. On ours...my husband took apart all the connectors, no shorts in wires or bad connections. Pulled the computer and it looked brand new. Eventually when he put it back together for the second time, the whole thing stopped working, the compressor wasnt going anymore either. So rather than rack his brain any longer at fixing it because it wasnt something obvious, since all the fuses and wires were fine, computer looked new (could have been busted but would require someone familiar with testing it, or getting a new one), compressor worked fine, air bags will fill and hold fine when told to, etc...He just went to PAP and got regular strut system off of a GL wagon in the yard and slapped that on, and its been perfect ever since. The only thing he thought possibly was not working right were the silinoids, but we didnt want to put that much money into the car to get new ones since no junk yard around here had any.

From everything I have read about others having trouble with this system is the end result is taking out the air system and putting in a regular one. They seem to always eventually have problems and pricing replacements was an eye opening experience :eek:

But if you have the time, patience and money...I hope you are able figure out what the problem is.

#11 monty h

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:46 PM

since you replaced the air with springs.....are you interested in selling the air parts?

#12 brookelea

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 05:13 PM

yes we actually want to get rid of them, i posted them on the marketplace under this link...

http://www.ultimates...79&goto=newpost


Let me know if interested I can email you pics of what we have. pm me with your email address.


EDIT - Well I tried to post the link but it isnt showing up correctly when I go to the post. We have all the parts except the silinoids available.

#13 torxxx

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 05:19 PM

take the air ride suspension off and go with reg. shocks and struts..
The pneumatic system is really problematic from what I've learned.

#14 monty h

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 04:12 PM

I finaly got my compressor to run (thanks skip!). I got all 4 struts pumped up and they are holding, so.......I plan to pull the connector at the computer and splice in switches to the compressor relay and all selenoids. I will mount the switches in the storage compartment by the parking break handle.

Does any one have the color code or the pinout for the computer? It would make the job go a lot quicker if I dont have to figure out which wire does what.

I will post a schematic and picts when I'm done.

Thanks,

Monty

#15 Skip

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 04:23 PM

Monty
Sounds like a kewl sysytem, you might want to incorporate some LEDs for the height switches in the shocks so you don't over inflate one.
The FSM has the pin out you request.
I would caution, just opening a solenoid at the shock will not let the air bag deflate, the discharge solenoid on the compressor must also be opened. Same with inflation.


#16 monty h

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 07:50 PM

Skip,

Thanks for that info.....I will add a switch for the discharge selonoid as well.

Could you be so kind as to post the pinout for the computer? or e-mail me?

Thanks,

Monty

#17 electryc_monk

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 11:19 PM

but, I'll try to take pictures of the pages and stick them online somewhere ...... like my album over the next day or so? is that too long?

#18 monty h

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 07:18 PM

I appreciate the help......when you can get them is fine......

#19 electryc_monk

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 01:35 AM

as you may have seen in the other thread of my posting link to one of my albums for FSM pictures, unfortuneately the quyality of the pictures is not awesome and as such I can't get the sharpness highenough for the MANY lines of the wiring diagram and the pinouts also seems to blur "just enough" to make it a serious teaser to see those details.....

I'm gonna try it one more time for this thread and show proof of the camera's limitations. sorry to figure this out and reply so late.....

#20 monty h

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 03:14 PM

Sorry, I missed the post about the pictures.

I have identified the compressor relay and the 5 selenoids and have them wired (no swiches installed yet) but would like to take a suggestion theat Skip made and put a lamp/LED on the wires from the swiches in the struts but i havent identified them yet.

Skip will scan the FSM for me......I REALLLLLY appreciate all of the help with this problem and I will post some picts and a schematic of what I did when its all done.

Monty

#21 c150L

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 03:56 PM

Be carefull adding manually operated switches to the system. The ECU switches the - leg to the solenoids and the + (most of them?) are always hot. I think sending a hot sig back into my ECU burned out the output transistor while troubleshooting my new AS XT-6 3 years ago. (Replaced that transistor and ECU has been flawless. Now if the cold weather would pass. My compressor, disch solenoid or one shock solenoid does not like the cold.)

#22 electryc_monk

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 04:26 PM

the voltage across the board to each of the solenoids is like 5 volts and the relays are between 2 and 10 volts IIRC back when i was doing ALOT of studying of this system and figuring out the wiring....

last summer i had figured out that with the help of a classmate/friend/grad student (he has keys to lab) we would of been able to make a "override board" that would use its own IC chips to allow for manual setting of the struts based on PSI as the known limits (upper) is something like 175PSI.....

and then we'd have 2 guages with a L/R over it and be able to switch between front and rear viewing on each guage.

anywho..... that way we wouldn't be frying the main Height control unit...we would of had a "dumb" curcuit making the brain "think it was set at normal level" and the compressor was also part of this override board's controls.




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