Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:04 pm, by: Ken Bruns(Uncle_ken)
I am feeling a little, er ok a lot stoopid. I have had the 'Babe' for around 6 months now and just last week discovered something interesting. I thought at first there was something wrong with the height control switch as it would sometimes just change from hi to normal. Very annoying. I have to put the thing on hi to get down my ridiculously steep driveway.......BUT imagine my surprise when I found that at 80kmh it automaticaly drops to lo and at 60kmh goes back up. Do they all do that? Was I the only silly bugga that didn't know about this.
The Celsior and Soarer air suspensions to my knowledge both have this feature. The high setting is not recommended for driving above 60 kmh and adversely affects high speed handling and economy, hence the auto drop feature. The Celsior and Soarer normally drop quite a bit lower than the low setting at freeway speeds depending on road conditions, again this is to improve handling and fuel economy. If the road's not smooth enough, normal height is maintained. I have seen one explicit Toyota warning against on road driving with the high setting. From memory it was because the air bags can be damaged more easily by speed humps etc. Apparently on the high setting they reach much greater internal air pressures on compression before hitting the bump stops which is not good for the air bags.
The high setting was intended more for increasing clearance while negotiating difficult driveways or rough sections at low speed. It is apparently not meant to offer longer suspension travel for ignoring speed humps and going off road. I still routinely forget to switch back to low after parking somewhere where the high setting prevents the front from catching or visiting friends with muffler removing driveways. I usually notice later as the car returns to high and gets "jiggly" coming off a freeway and back below 60 kmh. Before I changed the rubber mounts and filter for the compressor it was much more obvious as you could hear the thing hammering away and going up took some time. Now it is silent and takes about 30 seconds it is only the slightly unsettled ride that gives away the fact that I've yet again forgotten to switch it back. I wonder why given all the other audible/visual warnings Toyota did not make it ding a bell or display a Klingon message to remind us we are 45mm higher than we should be.
Now have the front and rear struts available for Celsiors/LS400's. The air suspension was an option on LS400's in the land of the free but we only got the wire springs in Oz. Baggs, if you tell me they sold the LS400 in NZ with Air Suspension as an option I will just spew given Toyota also sold Six New Soarers there as the only factory export of UZZ31's I am aware of. They even had English user manuals! Bloody Kiwi's.
Monday, September 12, 2005 - 08:35 am, by: Don Bagnall(Baggs)
Roger old chap, you will no doubt be delighted to know that NZ new LS400's only came with coils, airbags were NEVER an option .
This came from Lexus of Auckland, who as an aside said if I was looking to purchase an LS400.....STAY WELL AWAY from the Singapore Lexus LS400 import models. Apparently they (Lexus) have been plagued with unwitting purchasers of same, who find that the vehicles are "Not quite what they seem" mileage wise.
But oddly (for a Lexus dealer), he/they don't have a problem with Celsior's from Japan, and he went on to say that they have several clients who get their Celsiors (ranging in age from a 91 model to a 2003 model) serviced by them at their Greenlane, Auckland facility.
BUT he reiterated that they are reluctant to service the ex Singapore genuine LS400's
So to sum up (if slightly off topic), he advised if purchasing an LS400, buy NZ new, then Celsior, then if DESPERATE buy a Singapore import.
Thank's for taking the time to enquire, for the sake of trans-Tasman relations I am pleased we have parity on something, other than our interest in Soarers. Your cooler because you are closer to the pole and that's all I'll admit!
Monday, September 12, 2005 - 03:21 pm, by: Don Bagnall(Baggs)
It was the appalling thought of you heaving into a bucket, or some other handy recepticle, that hastened my enquiries.
Interesting to note the NZ new Soarers.
At one stage we had a 1983 Nissan Leopard 2.0L 6Cyl.Turbo Coupe (Jap import), and was told by Nissan NZ that they had imported 3 of the 2.8L coupe's brand new to test market reaction. All 3 were punted around the various Nissan dealers, and were eventually sold for a princely sum.
Hi Ken, What model height controller is it. The reason I ask is that the higher end (more expensive) controllers have the ability to change the height setting based on a speed setting. 80 down 60 up is probably not a bad setting. It was probably programmed this way so that if you are on a road where you can do 80 ie highway then a lower mode is probably a cool option. I actually have a collection of controllers so I could swap your unit for you. Regards Rob