How I learned to stop worrying and got rid of my air springs (Z71 conversion)

nuclearnavajo

Original poster
Member
Jun 24, 2012
8
Once again the air springs were leaking. I was tired of the bumps and the consistent failure and unreliability of the air suspension, and so I decided to finally convert to coil springs here is what I did.

1) Disconnect the negative battery cable

2) Remove the ECAS fuse from the Engine Compartment Fuse Block
View attachment 21749

3) Set the handbrake, chock the wheels, and lift the rear of the vehicle from the Rear Differential. I supported it on the frame forward of the rear diff with jack stands and slowly lowered the rear axle but not free hanging. I then removed the wheels from the vehicle.
View attachment 21750

4) Remove rear shock lower mounting bolts, the axle was supported by the jack.

5) Remove the compressor mounting bolts and lift the compressor off, then disconnect the air lines that run to the air springs. This allowed the bags to unflate
View attachment 21751

6) I replaced my compressor, because I was in a bit of a hurry. You then remove the airline that runs through the conduit. They put a lot of tape on it, and wear safety glasses because the dust is gonna fall in your eyes.
View attachment 21752

7) I wiggled the bags back and forth until they came out of the locking slots. It didn't take brute strength, just some gentle persuasion. The airline came out attached to the bag.

8) Put in the Z71 springs and jack the axle up gently until you can get the lower shock mounting bolt back in, tighten the bolts
View attachment 21754

9) Put the tires back on, remove jack stands, replace battery cable, and enjoy your new height!

This process was very simple, cost $35 for springs, and gave me some reliability and lift! Hope this can encourage people who are considering the conversion.
 

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floridafitz

Member
Jan 2, 2012
151
Winter Springs FL
Very very nice tutorial! Should encourage others to make the switch to the reliability of springs. I did the same a year ago after my second air system failure. The first left me dead in the water with the complete loss of rear support. Had I been away from home and on the road and not in my driveway when it blew out, were talking a HUGE inconvenience and BIG $$. Roadie will remind us that we can have it all with coil overs if you gotta have the bags.
 
Apr 15, 2012
16
Is there any difference in ride you noticed with the springs over the air suspension? One thing I love about my Envoy is the fact that the ride is great, and it doesn't sag when I tow something heavy (because of the air suspension leveling). I'm getting to the point where I need to think about replacement of some sort :frown:
 

cxkali

Member
Jan 20, 2012
125
Going to coil springs is one of the best things i did to my envoy just my :twocents: its sits up higher then stock air ride tho which i like.
 

Wex

Member
Dec 4, 2011
124
For some reason the message title makes me think of slim pickens waving a hat and riding a coil spring down the street.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR

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floridafitz

Member
Jan 2, 2012
151
Winter Springs FL
:rotfl: Noticed a very small degradation in the ride quality going to springs from air bags. I'm picky and have never regretted the change. Don't tow or carry heavy cargo, so I can't tell you what it's like with xxx lbs of tongue weight. My kayak trailer is so light don't even know it's there. At 10 years and 170k miles, air bags / compressor one less thing to worry about. Put in second replacement alternator this week....but will never have to replace the springs :smile:
 

TheBigKahuna

Member
Aug 29, 2012
18
So it's just that easy to switch off the springs eh? I have to replace the air bags in mine and it looks easy to do. about how long does it take to do?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
cxkali said:
Going to coil springs is one of the best things i did to my envoy just my :twocents: its sits up higher then stock air ride tho which i like.

Looks far better than when it got to my house. But we put in my old z71 springs so a bit over stock.

TheBigKahuna said:
So it's just that easy to switch off the springs eh? I have to replace the air bags in mine and it looks easy to do. about how long does it take to do?
It is that easy. I have done a few and I would say an hour if you rush, but two if you take your time.
 

TheBigKahuna

Member
Aug 29, 2012
18
HARDTRAILZ said:
Looks far better than when it got to my house. But we put in my old z71 springs so a bit over stock.


It is that easy. I have done a few and I would say an hour if you rush, but two if you take your time.


Thanks for the info! Now I just have to get the parts.:thumbsup:
 

cxkali

Member
Jan 20, 2012
125
HARDTRAILZ said:
Looks far better than when it got to my house. But we put in my old z71 springs so a bit over stock.


It is that easy. I have done a few and I would say an hour if you rush, but two if you take your time.




It was Dragging the ground pretty hard when i made it to his house
 

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