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KDSS Suspention Sucks

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  • KDSS Suspention Sucks

    Firstly, I need to acknowledge that in buying a Prado with KDSS I did not do my homework first. I foolishly thought that the 150 series had been around for 10 years and that there would be widespread knowledge and experience with the suspension system and opportunities for upgrades. However, in the region I live in that does not appear to be the case for the dealer and after market suppliers.

    The following provides a quick summary of the challenges encountered in the first 3 months of ownership:
    1. The main suspension upgrade mobs (ARB, etc) will not touch KDSS at all.
    2. Within the first 2 weeks of delivery the car had a 20 mm lean to the drivers side. I was doing a trip to Cape York and could not get a booking with the dealer in time to get it looked at
    3. In fitting a bulbar and other accessories the front had dropped about 20 mm. Given I was going to Cape York I decided to get improved coils at the front just to try and recover some height. The suspension people also had some experience with KDSS on the 200 series so were happy to try and fix the lean at the same time. Was give the choice of two coil lengths and decided that I did not want to go higher than original without also sorting out the struts. Outcome was that the additional lift was minimal and they could not adjust the lean.
    4. After the trip I finally got the car into the dealer, who promptly turned around and said they cannot look at the lean with after market coils fitted.
    5. My suspension people very kindly offered to put the original coils back on so the dealer would have no excuse not the address the lean.
    6. The dealer then agreed to look at the lean and then accused the suspension people of putting the coils back on the wrong side. After a few angry call the dealer conceded that was not the case but could not fix the lean themselves. They then ordered replacement front coils and struts under warrantee. The parts had to come from Japan.
    7. I then managed to find another suspension group that was willing to do a 20 mm lift package + GVM upgrade for the whole vehicle but did not have direct experience of actually doing it on a Prado with KDSS. Was almost ready to proceed when they turned around and said that they are not willing to fit the extended rear airbags as they had experience with one of these failing and the vehicle almost rolling at high speed. So back to square one on that option.
    7. In the mean time I was still insisting that the dealer fix the lean. Ended up having to get replacement lights and the suspension fixed at the same time that required removal of the bull bar. Was nervous that with the lighter front end the lean would be less but that was not the case.
    8. Dealer fitted replacement front suspension and apparently managed to get the vehicle level in the workshop. However on their test drive it reverted to 10 mm at the front and 18 mm at the rear. Apparently is now within the Toyota specification of 20 mm, so no further action planned from them. The only good thing is that the front raised about 10 mm.
    9. Getting the bulbar fitting back on now and I expect that the lean will not have improved from where this all started back at point 2. Car is due for a service soon, so expect to need to get the dealer to try and fix what ever lean I have at that time but have absolutely no confidence in their capacity to service the KDSS suspension on a Prado.

  • #2
    1: Crap. ARB, TJM, Fulcrum, Webb and many many others do KDSS all the time. I know one shop that does at least 8 a week, and that is just 200's and prados.
    2: Warranty issue. Try another dealer, its all same same to them.
    3: Well known KDSS needs a longer coil or spacing on one side to allow KDSS to level out, if you turned this down as it appears you did then the fault lies there. Its well known Bars and stuff will drop the front height down.
    4: Yes some dealers wont touch it with aftermarket coils, especially is per point 3 the wrong coils are fitted because you didn't want a longer coil in.
    5: Nice of them, unsure if charged you or not.
    6:Where they on the wrong side. Lot of tooing and froing starting to happen on what is a very simple problem..
    7:Sounds like the Airbag man extended bags, also well known for them to have pin failures and stuff. Shop did the right thing in not using them IMO.
    8:Big loss for the dealer, and sounds like they dodged a warranty claim to obtain the new front suspension.
    9: Not sure when the bar was removed as you dont mention it..... Take it to a suspension shop who has done the KDSS Prado or 200 before, there is plenty around..

    If your running out there with a steel ruler every day measuring lean, you'll never be happy with the vehicle.. Some have a slight lean here and there.. Its sometimes unavoidable. One of mine has a lean of 10 mm when I fill the tanks.. But when i sit in it, perfectly flat..

    Sounds like the most complicated and wrong way of doing a suspension upgrade in the history, that I've ever heard anyway....

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    • #3
      Just to clarify, the aftermarket coils fitted were the correct ones with the different lengths. I meant different lift heights - one was expected to be about 20 mm and the other about 40 mm. The factory coils were also refitted correctly (at no cost plus refund on the aftermarket coils - so they really looked after me there). Bullbar was only removed for a couple of days to get the front lights replaced.

      Just highlighting my experience in a regional area where I am finding it very difficult to find anyone who has knowledge and actual experience with Prado KDSS. They all say they can happily deal with the 200 series KDSS but do not appear to be able to translate that to the Prado

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      • #4
        What regional area?

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        • #5
          There is hundreds of write ups online about different suspension setups for the KDSS vehicles, and people that have had them done. Plus theres always people that can put you in touch with experienced suppliers/fitters.

          Even pradopoint here had one of the guys who is a suspension engineer design a set of custom suspension to suit the prado, and a huge group buy was done.over 200 shocks from memory.

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          • #6
            Live in Cairns. I have been through may of the posts on KDSS, and can see that the issues that I am experiencing had been readily addressed by others. However I feel I do not have the capability just to order the right parts and competently and safely fit myself. Hence the need to find someone who can. Would be very appreciative of any suggestions for someone who can in my area.

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            • #7
              For interest purposes, the following are my suspension height measurements over the last couple of days as the work has been done (lowering and then raising rear suspension to neutral each time) :
              - Before warrantee work with bulbar/winch fitted, 1/4 tank of fuel - FR 735mm, FL 750 mm, RR 755 mm, RL 770 mm
              - Before warrantee work with bulbar/winch removed, 1/4 tank of fuel - FR 750mm, FL 770 mm, RR 783 mm, RL 807 mm
              - After warrantee work with bulbar/winch removed, 1/4 tank of fuel - FR 760mm, FL 780 mm, RR 785 mm, RL 805 mm
              - After warrantee work with bulbar/winch refitted, 1/4 tank of fuel - FR 750mm, FL 760 mm, RR 785 mm, RL 805 mm

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