Brakes and Air Suspension

Since the engine is actually running, a few things needed immediate attention.  Brakes and air suspension.  There are no brakes since I removed the calipers, and a rear air bag is leaking bad enough that the car has trouble coming up with the engine running.

So, for the brakes, the process was fairly straightforward:  replace everything!  The car received new master cylinder, rotors, pads, hoses, and hardware.  Along with rebuilt calipers and a few new hard brake lines that wouldn’t come apart.

I didn’t take too many pictures as the work was quite routine.  I also repacked the wheel bearings with new grease, the bearings were in nice shape.

Now, to the interesting part:  air suspension.  I ordered up front and rear bags, along with all the necessary o-rings.  The o-rings are somewhat special, they’re square, and they’re expensive!  Not all of the o-rings came in, so I worked only on the rear bags.  Replacing them took me the better part of a whole day.  Removing the assemblies that hold bags required removal of the back seat, along with the front mount of the passenger side trailing arm to clear the exhaust.  Once they were out, it was clear just how beat up they were.

The air cells and hardware the holds the bags in looked pretty bad, but with some soaking, everything came apart.  A good PH3 philips head screw driver was very helpful here.  Once inside, the mating surfaces for the rubber looked surprisingly good and only needed a bit of cleaning:

Once put back together, I was able to fit a schrader valve and test for leaks.   I’d be surprised if the mating surface could leak.  The design is very good here.  Heres a bag filled with about 50psi of air.

Since I consider replacing of these parts just part of basic maintenance and repairs, not restoration work, I didn’t do much else to clean up the appearance of the parts.  I was happy with the clean interior of each of the air cells, and the fact that they don’t leak!

With everything back together, a short drive was possible!  Heres the car backing out of the garage for the first time.

And, outside, sitting at a nice ride height:

I drove around the parking lot several times.  I was quite happy to feel all four gears of the transmission, feel the power steering and brakes, and check the basic functions of the car.  The engine ran, but its clear that it needs a lot of fine tuning to run well.  It seems to be very rich and doesn’t idle well.    More work for the next days!




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