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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day 1

Ordered a set of air struts from the USA for 700 dollars. Xtra long, upper stud mount, lower poly bush mount, and a couple of 1/4 MNPT nipples and some pipe.

day 10
Shocks arrive - with a 90 quid bill from UPS for duty / VAT

Go out to car, pull off left front wheel, undo shock at bottom (18mm spanner), undo anti roll bar (18mm spanner) undo shock top mount nuts (3 off - 16mm spanner :? )

needed a long wrecking bar to lever the anti roll bar out of the way a bit to release bolt.

Pull shock out from bottom, with steering on full lock. Bit awkward.

Pull off rubber cap off top of shock, fit into vice, and undo top nut on shock. CAREFUL!!!!! the spring is under considerable tension, and when the nut runs out, it flies apart! I dont have a spring compressor - but you should...

The top plate basically fits straight onto the top mount thingy supplied - but you will need to get a spacer made for both the top and bottom (sizes to be detailed later)

most of the shock. the top plate with the three studs in it and the rubber bush is at the engineers getting a new spacer made.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Can someone (or two) do me a quick favour - can you check the height from the centre of the NISSAN badge in the wheel to the bottom edge of the wheel arch, directly above it?

My minimum (jury rigged) is 52cm my max (pumped up) is 59cm.. it just doesnt look like I have dropped it at all...

I cant move the thing, as its on a slope, and has half of one suspension leg on it... :shock: and I want to make sure its right, before I finish it all off...

Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
update.

Got the air bags for the rear today... have spent an interesting afternoon removing two of the 4 leafs off the rear springs. The top one locates the wheel (rather important that one I feel :p ) the next two provide spring, and the boittom fat one increases spring rate when it hits a huge bump / massive weight put in. Im leaving that one in there.


Therefore, the back end will sag like an old whores boobies... till I get some rubber in there (like all good ahem movie ahem stars.. ;) ) - which will bring it back up to stock height.

then - at the press of a button, I can dump the air, and it will sink.

I went for a computer controlled system in the end - from the yanks mentioed above - they give UK people wholesale prices to offset the shipping (which was nice.)


Still need that measurement tho - please... (i think its stock from what I can find out)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update...

OK - rear air bags on... both sides. The right one was soooooo much easier - as I have now worked out the technique:-
Jack up car by chassis
remove wheel
undo bottom shock mount.
Jack up axle to give yourself clearance for the 2 huge U bolts holding the axle to the springs
Undo said nuts (21 spanner - note - this is the same as a spark plug socket)
At rear of the springs is a rubber tube, with a bolt through it - remove (6mm allen key)
Remove pyramid shaped bump stop
Undo nut now exposed (14 spanner)
Get big hammer and long spikey thing (I used a jemmy bar) and beat the **** out of the two C shaped steel clips holding springs together. :shock:
lower axle.
Now the springs all come apart.
remove the locating bolt and cut down to a bit shorter.
I put the bottom spring back in (as explained above)
assemble the air bag first (i didnt do this on the other side and it was a pig)
Shove it in. On the left theres a few wires, be careful of these. The right is pretty clear
Do up the U bolts and brackets etc for the bags (all 14mm spanner - I had to cut down the lower bolts as they were about 4" too long)
shove tube into valve adaptor thingy and route to your chosen air control system
Put wheel back on
Bling it - aye! ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
knackerd.... :(

OK - control box in - in the firewall next to the left fusebox.

solenoid 1 on top of the master power module thingy (next to it..)

solenoid 2 dangling at the moment :shock:

Pipes run from solenoids to tank (x2) and from solenoids to front right, left and back left., Ran out of tube... :roll:

Tank in under the bed, behind the fuel tanks - ditto compressor (that was a pig of a job - trying to mount this stuff upside down by yourself....)

Will take some pics tomorrow with the missus' camera (shes got a snazzy SLR thingy) - too dark / tired now.

This had better work :shock: or ive just wrecked a 20 grand motor :lol:


edit - anyone got any tips for removing stopechip goo / underbody goo (the spray tar stuff) from your hands? :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
About 2000 quid inc import duty etc etc.

The control box was by far the most expensive bit - a grand (pounds) plus a 100 quid import duty. WAY OTT for what you really need - I have two sets of spare manual controls - and a couple of air compressors (no air tank tho') spare if anyone elese thinks this is a good idea (I think it would be for the rear at least...)

500 quid for the rear air bags (Uk supplier - marcleleisure.co.uk )

500 quid for the fronts.

Its busy here - I have moved house, destroyed my kitchen over the last two days (with a sledge hammer :shock: ) to get the new one in. The builder is coming tomorrow to put up scaffolding for some building work at 8am...

I might, just might, have a chance to do the last pipe and do a test run (with everything on cable ties :roll: ) Camera on video mode I feel if it does work! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK - managaed a test run... some good news, some bad.

Managed to knock it off its axle stands! :shock: :shock: luckily no damage..

The rear - (normal air bags on top of 1 leaf spring) - worked perfectly, lifts at about 30psi, and is fully up at about 40 - 45 PSI. The tank pump is set to 150 psi - so plenty of spare there. Moves up and down nicely.

Front - only lifts at 140 psi off its stops... so not a lot of spare capacity.. and the auto mode (where it returns the air pressure to a pre set level) has a max out of 120 psi... so you cant set it at a high enough pressure to get it off the bump stops. I have two options here I think - fool the system into upping the pressure (by adding maybe a resistor into the sensor wire?) of both the tank (which is rated at 200 psi and the front bags - so it thinks that 140 psi is say 70psi) or making the bag diameter bigger (which is expensive).

Why am I doing this? Smoother ride (I film off the back - see my company www.atct.co.uk ) and so I can lower it at the touch of a button so my missus can get in more easily (shes paralized from a bike accident) and rescue me from the pub ;) (its been adapted for her use)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
update...

been rather busy here - on other stuff - and havent been able to drive my truck, as the things been in bits - ive been a bit dispondant about it - having come up with the problem of the pressure having to be so high.


Anyway - I have ordered replacement bags - the larger type (with correspondingly higher load capacity) - they did me a deal on the price - half retail!

They arrived (30 quid duty to pay :evil: ) and i lobbed one on. Only to fin that it hits the chassis when its inflated :roll: :roll: :(

lots of swear words....

Anyway - I noticed that I had an alternative - I have shoved the top pin through a hole slightly further out - its normally used to hold a plate in that holds a rubber doughnut (you can see the nuts on the first pic above)

now it misses yeah!

and starts lifting at about 40 psi, and achieves 52cm at 70psi - well within the sensible parameters.

However - is there any reason not to put the top of the shock through this hole? It has rubber doughnuts eitehr side of it, and isnt bolted down incredibly hard - so it can still wobble round a bit if it needs to...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
RIGHT!!!!!!!!! up and running! yeah!


definately smoother over the road. have a bit of an odd clonking noise at the mo - have to investigate in the light. drove 10 miles, no problem, tweeked pressures up and down a bit - seems abotu right at 90 at the front, 45 at the back.

however - my cd/nav unit isnt coming on - weird.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the system is the same as the bouncing mexian things, but the pipes running to the 'bags are tiny (1/8th inch ID) and the exhaust of the valve is (deliberately) restricted - I want fine control, not speed.

The wire is a network cable (as in cat5e) that joins the brains to the control box inside the cab - I must just shove it through the cable gland above the glove box...
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
total cost - abotu (under i reckon) 2 grand - 1500 was the front air bags / computer etc. all a bit OTT, and now with a steel winch bumper on the front, i have to run at 135psi (again, out of range) - so the 'auto' mode doesnt work.

If I had to do another, I would use a simple mechanical pneumatic switch setup (cheap) and I think I could do the whole job in two days max.

as it was, it took a lot longer, as i was working things out, reading instruction manuals etc.
 
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