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Unread 07-22-2012, 07:09 PM   #1
ARK_SWAMP_RIDER
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Default How To: Convert RAS to Coils

I posted this over on T4R.org, copying here since most all the info I found on the swap was on this site and I owe you guys the credit.

Today I converted my factory rear air suspension (RAS) to coils. I've seen this done by several other forum members, but I haven't seen a lot of details (such as how to actually remove the air bags), and a lot of the pics have broken links. I did not go into extreme detail with pics of each step because there are plenty of write-ups out there showing how to install the rear coils, this is meant to show the parts and added steps needed for a RAS equipped 4runner. Follow this guide at your own risk, I'm not responsible for any issues/damages. I will note that so far I have not had any indicator lights at all, it still shows that it's in the "normal" position. Pictures are at the end of this post. One thing to note is that the RAS equipped 4runners have different rear bump stops than a coil spring equipped 4runner. The RAS bump stops are 2" longer, so you'll have less up travel. New bump stops are around $70 from Toyota, these aren't required but is worth mentioning.

Parts list:
1. Rear coils and any spacers you're planning to use
2. Coil isolators that go on top of the rear coils. These are very expensive from Toyota, approx $120 online where I looked. I found someone selling a set and picked them up there. EDIT: After taking measurements, the Energy Suspension isolators aren't made in the correct size, so it appears OEM is the only option (that I've found).
3. Brackets to hold the coil in place. I went to Home Depot and got a short piece of metal (1/8" thick, 1" wide, 36" long). I cut this to the correct length then used a hammer and large bolt to round off the edges, then drilled a hole in the center (1/4" to fit the bolts I was using).
4. You'll need bolts/nuts to attach the lower bracket. For ease of use, I picked up some toggle bolts from Home Depot. These are the ones I used, I just had to buy a 1" long bolt that would fit to be able to use them. EDIT: These did not work out, there's not enough thread on them to keep tight. Even with loc-tite they kept coming loose, and I broke several trying to tighten them down. I ended up switching this to a regular bolt/nut, no issues since.


1. Jack up vehicle (I used a floor jack under the rear differential) and place jack stands under the frame
2. Remove tires/wheels
3. Disconnect rear swaybar (I did this by removing the nut at the top of the end links, and left it connected at the axle)
4. Remove the top nut from the rear shocks.
5. At this point, I lowered the floor jack which lets the frame rest on the jack stands and the axle will lower. At this step, watch the brake lines as you don’t want to stretch them. I let the axle droop down all the way and then added a little support using the jack.
6. There is a clip that slides in place on top of the air bag mount. Remove this, it will pull straight out. There is a hole in the end, I had to thread a piece of wire through this and pull to get it to remove (it's a tight space, I couldn't get a good grip on it by hand).
7. There is a clip on the air line hose, remove it (two snaps, one on each side of the line). It will slide back, but the air line will still be connected. You can now pull on the air line and it will disconnect (takes a bit of pressure).
8. The airbags will now deflate and can be removed (I suggest using a zip tie or something similar to tie up the air lines so they're out of the way.)
9. Install the coils/isolators onto the axle. I had no problems fitting these, but if need you can have someone push down on the axle to make more room, just be careful with the brake lines.
10. Attach the brackets to hold the bottom of the coil in place
11. Raise the jack and it will allow the coils to seat at the top. Look to make sure they are seated properly at the top, I had to move mine around a little.
12. Now you’re ready to reinstall the top nut/bushing on the shocks. Jack up the rear axle to put the top mount for the shock back in place.
13. Reinstall the top nut/bushing on the sway bar end link
14. Reinstall the tires/wheels
15. Remove jack stands and then lower/remove the jack

Here are the parts (I also had a Daystar 1.5" spacer and OME trim packer on hand to correct the driver side lean, I ended up just using the OME on the driver side).


Brackets to hold the coil in place:


Bolts used to hold bracket:


Stock RAS:




Air bags removed:


Bottom mount:



Top mount:


Coils installed:


Bracket installed:


End result:
__________________
2003 T4R Limited v8 4x4 - Build Thread - Icon ext travel front w/ Light Racing UCAs - Metal Tech long travel rear w/ MT lower links - 1/2" body lift - 285/70 Duratracs - Hanma LED bars front/rear - Rola Vortex

Last edited by ARK_SWAMP_RIDER; 04-08-2013 at 08:14 PM.
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