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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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No air to flat airbags


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Glenn H

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:54 AM

Hi Folks,

I hope someone can help me out with this one.
The airbag gremlins have attacked my 1990 Legacy (Australian "Liberty"), there is air flowing to the inlets on the front strut control solonoids but nothing coming out (can I check the rears without dismantling the strut?) . Is this symptomatic of a control unit malfunction or simply a leak somewhere?

Cheers,

Glenn H.

#2 subyboy

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:14 AM

G'day Glenn!
If it's a wagon you own, you should be able to check the rear solenoids by removing the rear speakers.
For what it's worth, once my air suspension started playing up, I fiddled with it for a while but eventually got coilovers put in. I miss being able to adjust the clearance, and also it seems to have a fair bit less travel.
But that's once in a blue moon, and in 99% of the situations, it handles a whole lot better.
Good luck!

#3 subyboy

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:18 AM

Found this, too:

http://endwrench.com....php&&RECID=117

It tells you everything you need to know about testing your solenoids.
Hope it helps...

#4 grossgary

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:04 AM

i'm all about the air suspension in my XT6, i totally dig it. but unless you have a really compelling reason, take it from folks that have delt with these things for decades - convert to coil overs is your best bet.

the air suspension is a really flake monster sometimes. it's not worth it for most folks.

lots of diagnosis info posted on here, you can also check subaruxt.com - since all 4WD XT6's have air suspension we have a good bit of info on the system over there and they are identical in function.

#5 john in KY

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:28 PM

All 4 solenoids open with a 12 volt signal. If you have 12 volts then the solenoid is bad or the ground. No 12 volts then think the control unit may be bad. Including a photo of the control unit for an XT6. Located under the carpet between the front seat and door. Probably in the same location for your car. May be worth the trouble to insure it is grounded. Have seen a few where the ground was corroded causing all sorts of problems. Hard to believe an air leak is the problem. System isn't all that complicated. When a strut is low, a signal is sent to the control unit. Control unit sends a signal to that solenoid which opens and air from the tank flows to the low strut.
Tank pressure gets too low then another signal is sent to the compressor and it restores pressure.
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#6 Glenn H

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:13 AM

Thanks for your input guys, considering some of the roads I use its possible an earth/ground connection has rattled loose. Incidently, where does the air vent from when the vehicle is lowering?

Cheers,

Glenn H.

#7 john in KY

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:25 AM

Has to be at the pump. When a strut is inflated, the air line between the strut and its solenoid is also pressurized. When the solenoid opens and the pump is not running, the pressurized air can only flow back to the pump where it is dumped.

I'm assuming here both front struts went flat. Can't believe both struts or both front solenoids failed simultaneously. My guess is the problem is that control unit under the carpet.

#8 Glenn H

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:10 AM

Hi John & Co, actually all four bags went flat simultainiously - drove to work fine & twelve hours later I had a low-rider wagon! Could it be a height sensor fault? When I press the button on dash the up arrows flash briefy then the raised position is highlighted although nothing has moved.

Cheers,

Glenn H.

#9 john in KY

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:43 AM

Still believe it is the control unit or just maybe the control unit has lost its main power supply. The control unit circuit I have to believe has to have a fuse somewhere in the circuit. May want to explore that. I have an extra control unit from an XT6, Have no idea if it is the same used in your model.

#10 Glenn H

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:23 AM

Hi All,

I've hopefully had a win in keeping my 90 Liberty/Legacy wagon on the road & I hope the solution will help someone else. In frustration I took the car to a Subi' dealer in the hope the experts could pinpoint the apparent electrical fault. When raised a little on the hoist the bags began to inflate - it seems when the suspension is completely flat the magnets that activate the height sensors are out of range of the switches and the control unit doesn't act, raise it to the normal height range and up it goes. Unfortunately the suspension was flat 24 hours later and despite the mechanics being unable to find any obvious leaks in the airbags all they could suggest was to replace the lot with conventional suspension - not something I can afford at the moment.
With the car at home I noticed air venting from the compressor inlet/vent tube while the ignition was off - I'd noted that the "End Wrench" article describing the system's operation mentioned that the solonoid controlling the venting would only be open when powered and reasoned that something must be jamming it open. I removed and dismantled the compressor unit and blew a collection of dried bugbits out with an air gun, the dryer canister also yealded a pile of brown grit which I suspect came from its corroding insides.
After re-assembly everything seems OK so far.

Cheers,

Glenn H.




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