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My Kakadu KDSS Lean Issue

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  • My Kakadu KDSS Lean Issue

    Hi Guys,

    I know there is a billion different topics on this, but mine seems to be different.
    I'll start from the beginning.

    I bought my 2010 Prado Kakadu in December 2016.
    It came to me with a 20mm lean in the rear to the right (drivers side).The front was within 10mm.

    (In the Normal height position)
    PSF: 755mm DSF: 745mm
    PSR: 805mm DSR: 785mm

    I wanted to lift it 2" so I spent a lot of time trying to, 1. Figure out what to purchase and 2. Who could/would fit it for me.
    I am in Bathurst, NSW and we are hard pressed for any really experienced suspension experts....
    Through this forum, I came to the finding that the best value for money for me was to go a Bilstein 2" Lift (front struts and springs, rear shocks and Airbag Man Airbags (2"))
    I sourced the parts (minus airbags) and went looking for a place to fit them.
    I found a place who was willing to give it a go, gave them all the relative info re KDSS etc and crossed my fingers. They said they had had a few Kakadu's in and knew what to do.
    It took all day for them to fit the front struts and rear shocks. (They set the front Bilsteins on the top height spring seat setting.)

    They completed a wheel alignment and handed over the keys.

    Initial ride was stiff and firm. I still had to sort the rear height out when I got home.

    I measured the height when I got home:
    (In the Normal height position)
    PSF: 815mm DSF: 830mm
    PSR: 805mm DSR: 785mm

    Added 10mm spacers to the brackets of the rear sensors both sides and measured the hight
    (In the Normal height position)
    PSF: 815mm DSF: 830mm
    PSR: 825mm DSR: 820mm

    In order the get the correct rake, I added more spacers: 20mm Spacers
    (In the Normal height position)
    PSF: 815mm DSF: 830mm
    PSR: 850mm DSR: 845mm

    But I still had a lean of 15mm on the front that just annoyed me.

    I decided to let it settle over the next 5,000km.
    They came and went of normal driving. I decided to go speak to the workshop who fitted them and they pretty much wiped there hands of it and said its not that bad and its my problem.
    I had a good look at the setup and was convinced they out the wrong spring on the wrong side. As the springs had D/S written on it and was on the P/S side.
    I did a bit of reading here again and found most peoples fix was the bleed the KDSS system. So I decided to do this and see what happened.
    I carried out the process as per instructions and this was the result:

    (In the Normal height position)
    PSF: 810mm DSF: 830mm
    PSR: 835mm DSR: 865mm

    So I was back to a 20mm lean on the passenger side front and a 30mm lean at the rear. Something is up with this.... I spoke to the parts supplier and confirmed that the Kakadu Springs supplied are sided and need to be fitted on the correct side.
    Because no one will touch it and charge an arm and a leg to pull a strut out, I decided to swap them myself.

    After removing, I made sure I could not see any other markings on the springs regarding the side label. I was still convinced it was wrong and after re-fitting the struts on the right side, put everything back together, It appeared it had worsened and swap sides...

    I rang Dobinsons to get some advise and spoke to Dandenong, they have lifted many Kakadu's apparently. They were really good about it and assured me we will get to the bottom of this.
    They got me to check the height of the front without the rear on the ground. So I jacked the rear up and just had the front wheels on the ground (Balance Test) to see what the front was like without the rear interfering. The front was within 5mm of each other. They told me it appears that the there is an unbalanced issue with the rear airbags (possibly KDSS as well) and that I needed it to be checked by Toyota as they are still the factory units.

    The car is now at Toyota to check the standard Airbags are working/not working correctly.
    Only time will tell...

    ****UPDATE****

    So after getting it back from Toyota, and fitting ABM 2" Lift Airbags it sits as this: (they performed the KDSS bleed method numerous times and could only manage this at best)

    In Neutral Height
    PSF: 810mm DSF: 825mm
    PSR: 810mm DSR: 825mm

    Other than the obvious 15mm lean, it all seems OK.

    My only gripe (other than the lean) is that is seems overly harsh in the rear, like the rear is locked (KDSS).

    My question has now evolved:

    Is my rear KDSS seized? It appears to be worse if you switch the the suspension switch to normal or sport settings. The Soft setting seems to be least harsh.
    But I don't understand why this can even be as I have replaced the shocks and airbags.

    It also seems to be intermittent. At certain times it feels OK (albeit stiff, but still comfortable) but then it sometimes is so unbearable!

    After speaking to Bilstein, they assure me it should be like riding an armchair so if its too harsh, there is an issue.

    Finally, Toyota mentioned that the front height sensors were missing from the top of the struts and is throwing codes in the system as it can't work out the front height. I know this as when the lift kit was fitted they removed the front and rear shocks and didn't fit front sensors back as they don't fit on aftermarket shocks (of course)

    Is this potentially my issue? Does the KDSS need those front sensors? As I don't have them anymore.....


    Last edited by ephesiangts; 08-11-2018, 01:11 PM.
    [B]2009 150 D4D Kakadu[/B] | Ebony Blue | TJM Winch Bar

  • #2
    You need the correct airbags for the rear, even if you get the hight correct it will be rough.

    I’d recommend winding out the passenger front strut spring pre load to the mid to low setting leave the drivers side on the highest, fit the airbag man kit to the rear ( follow the instructions ).

    Check hights if there not with in 10mm

    Preform the KDSS bleed procedure, don’t not over open the valves as it gets costly $$$

    now you may need some help but over a whole day while the valves are open shake the hell out of it over and over give it a rest for a few hours then go back and just keep shaking it.

    Once done close the valves and see what you come up with there is always a chance the KDSS has been damaged from incorrect bleeding,

    looking at your numbers it seems fairly normal for one that has not been set up correctly

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    • #3
      The front is too high. It's not about how high you can go .It's about articulation. Bring both sides down one notch and give the KDSS a chance.

      Then do the block under the tyre KDSS bleed method.
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      • #4
        Apologies,

        I miss read the figures

        ““ Added 10mm spacers to the brackets of the rear sensors both sides and measured the hight
        (In the Normal height position)


        PSF: 815mm DSF: 830mm
        PSR: 825mm DSR: 820mm

        In order the get the correct rake, I added more spacers: 20mm Spacers
        (In the Normal height position)
        PSF: 815mm DSF: 830mm
        PSR: 850mm DSR: 845mm “”


        The figures dont make sense it is diagonal lean ?

        18”” wheels bottom of rim to guard 815 seems ok to me try backing off the pre load on the 830 to bring it to 815.

        people have there own measuring method you can setup a laser to the centre of wheel, use the bottom of rim to guard ( most common ) but found using level ground and measuring off the floor through the centre line of the rim to the guard works fine

        Install the correct rear 2” lift kit

        follow the bleed procedure you can try the block method that ants recommended but it does not always work on the prado still worth a shot
        Last edited by Rockhop; 31-07-2018, 10:28 PM. Reason: Added info

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        • #5
          ***Updated first post***
          [B]2009 150 D4D Kakadu[/B] | Ebony Blue | TJM Winch Bar

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          • #6
            There are no front height sensors above the strut. That is the valving adjustment for the shocks for the driver to change from Comfort to Sport mode.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by amts View Post
              There are no front height sensors above the strut. That is the valving adjustment for the shocks for the driver to change from Comfort to Sport mode.
              Ok, so looks like I am imagining the differences between settings as its not adjusting anything. I must be going crazy.
              [B]2009 150 D4D Kakadu[/B] | Ebony Blue | TJM Winch Bar

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