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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My replacement left rear air spring arrived in Ouray, Colorado, from Rock Auto by FedEx Express in only 2 days. Pretty impressive. So I spent 3 hours last Sunday removing the old one and installing the new one at John Wood's place, owner of KJ Wood Distillers of Ouray.
After jacking up the rear and removing both wheels the next step was removing the old spring. The clearance for the top fitting is very tight and it tends to get jammed in there. If the bottom had still been pinned in place as is usually the case I would just remove the top pin and lower the axle while the frame rests on stands.. This would pull out the top . Since the bottom was disconnected I spent 30 minutes prying and wiggling to get the top loose. Then the reverse problem occurs when you try to fit the new bag. Once I got the top fitting lined up I jacked up the axle to force it fully in place. The bottom pin that is supposed to hold the lower aluminum section in place was sheared off on both sides. There was a 1 inch piece still in the aluminum. I discovered that the new bag did not come with retainer pins so I had to file down a wall hanger to make a lower pin. I then tried to insert the airline into the collet on the top of the bag and had a very difficult time but got it inserted. Put the wheels back on, cleared the fault with Hawkeye, started the car and it eventually went to normal height.
Success? Well I took off down the road and after 5 minutes I heard a "whoosh" and down on the bump stops I went. As I suspected the airline popped out. Had to take off wheel again and this time I made sure the line was inserted as far as possible. A 6 inch pair of needle nose pliers would have been better than the 4 inch i had. In any case I gave it a tug and it seemed secure. Drove 60 miles for a test and all was good. Continued on my trip and will be visiting Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow. Picture of old spring. Rubber is about a quarter inch thick.
Head Eye Automotive tire Human body Road surface
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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It's odd that the pin sheared as there is no weight on it. Any ideas on what happened?
 

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2001 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
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114 Posts
PSA for anyone stuck in Colorado and needing parts quickly, RM European is in Littleton.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Hi Mad as, that's true. Did you have standard shocks Gordo? Maybe have a look at the shock mounts to see if something is missing.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shocks are standard as far as I know. The previous owner was not one to make changes. Maybe something has broken but I don't hear any rattling. Will have a look when back home.
No idea what happened to cause the problem. I did not experience anything too jarring on the trail. I didn't even notice the suspension had dropped until the LR3 behind me said "Hey Gord it looks like you are on your bump stops". All seems good now except my SAI is playing up again and getting me the "service engine soon" warning. My last SAI pump totally seized up due to water.
Spent the day at Carlsbad Caverns. Amazing to see. On a par with the Grand Canyon.
 

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The Arnotts you have are intended to give 2" of extra height so the shocks would need to be changed for over length ones too so you actually get the additional height. if a PO fitted Arnotts but kept standard shocks there is no way it would ever have been able to extend far enough for the pin to be sheared off. Even then, it still shouldn't be possible but this is what happens when inferior aftermarket parts are fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No, the Arnotts.....
The Arnott only failed when the locating pin sheared off. I doubt Dunlops would have survived any better if they folded over. Now if you tell me Dunlops come with hardened alloy locating pins I will be impressed and try to buy a set.
 

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Standard pins are spring steel. Although the Arnotts are taller which wouldn't have helped, I still can't see how it can have folded over if the pin was holding it in. Unless the pin was a bit of bent wire rather than something a bit more substantial. You can fold a Dunlop in half and the bellows won't pull off the base but with the Arnotts using a clamp ring, that can allow the bellows to come free as yours did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I don't think the pin was holding it in. As I mentioned elsewhere, when I removed the spring I found a 1 inch piece of the pin still inside the lower section held in by the grease I had applied during installation a month ago. It appears the pin sheared off at both ends. It was an original pin and in good condition. Once the bag folded over it was subjected to all kinds of bashing as the car bounced along on the bump stops. I had to drive quite a few miles of rough road before I could bail out. I am pleased the other 3 bags do not appear to have been affected by this.

How does Dunlop fasten the bellows to the lower mount?
 

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If you look at the picture in post #8 on this thread, you'll see that when fully extended, the base is at an angle. With the extra height on the base of the Arnotts, that angle will be greater so the retaining pin will be under far more strain. Ordinarily all it does is hold the spring against the base. If the Arnotts came with a wedge shaped base so the weight is acting straight down rather than at an angle or the bottom was shorter to reduce the twisting forces on it, it would be less of a problem.

Dunlops have the bottom (and top) like the bead on a tyre rather that just being a simple rubber tube. How the hell they assemble them is anyone's guess.....
 
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