Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:18
ThreadID: 125616 Views:6531 Replies:5 FollowUps:10
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Hello 200 Series owners. We are about to purchase a 200 Series and have an ARB suspension upgrade and air bags installed. There was some debate a few months ago as to whether the KDDS system was compatable with the upgrade. I was wondering what the experience of current owners has been. On the plus side, KDDS would appear to give additional wheel articulation off-road. On the negative side. it is an expensive add-on and something else to go wrong.
Also, have current owners used the Toyota towing package or used an after market supplied package.
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:42

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 19:42
Brian & Faye,

The KDSS will probably be hampered a little by stronger springs and airbags as it is all about wheel articulation. So your choice there.

It is essential that you use the Toyota towing harness because it is wired right back to the battery. All the 200 series wiring is very light and thin because it is designed to feed LEDs. If you bite into it with an aftermarket loom and then connect up a van that has regular, high current draw, lighting you will overheat the vehicle wiring and it will melt or catch on fire (worst case).

My personal recommendation is to have anything to do with the electrical system, brake controller, anderson plug etc, done by your Dealer. He understands the vehicle electronics and then there is no future arguments about warranty.

One case I am aware of: amateur installation of a UHF CB, power cord patched into the nearest live wire (which happened to be part of the airbag system), first time the radio is used off go ALL the airbags.

Leave the electrics up to the experts.

AnswerID: 577678

Follow Up By: Mr & Mrs Bean - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 20:52

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 20:52
Thanks Stephen,

That's good advice. I think we are also pretty well decided to go without the KDDS.

FollowupID: 851189

Reply By: Bushtucker Man - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 04:14

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 04:14
Hi Brian & Faye,

We have the 200 TD with KDSS, the first one didn't have it fitted so they reordered and that meant another 4 month wait. Anyway we are very happy with ours and last week had ARB fit new constant 200kg suspension system, raised the rear 6 cm and front 5 cm, put the BT on the back and it only drops 4 cm which is back the same as when we picked up our BT in March 2008. If you want to fit airbags don't get KDSS.

With KDSS the big advantage is the vehicle sits level when cornering plus wheel articulation is really good offroad.

On the Toyota towing package, we had the offroad package and was able to return it as it wasn't enough for the 20ft BT finished up getting Hayman Reece WDH from BTi when we picked up the van.

As to the wiring we had the problem of the lights on the van turning off after 2 mins which restricted us to only daylight travel, so when we got back to Sydney I checked with Toyota and found there was a recall on the ECU which was duly replaced and haven't had a problem since.

Trust this gives a little more to consider, we love our 200 and will be off again very soon to warmer climes.

AnswerID: 577679

Follow Up By: Mr & Mrs Bean - Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 23:01

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 at 23:01
Thanks Stan & Trish,
That information is most useful. We have arranged to speak to ARB in Brisbane next week, and will speak to BT about the HR hitch.
Roll on November (BT delivery date)
FollowupID: 851190

Follow Up By: Willie - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 18:53

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 18:53
Brian & Faye,

I am thinking of getting a 200, so I was interested when I read your "If you want to fit airbags don't get KDSS". Could you please explain the reason behind this.

Thanks a lot,

FollowupID: 851191

Follow Up By: Mr & Mrs Bean - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 21:28

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 21:28

That was a comment from Stan & Trish (Bushtucker Man). I assume it means that the air bags allow you level the vehicle and reduces body roll. I have a set currently on a 100 series and that's exactly what they do.
I am also looking at putting BFG 285R70R17 tyre replacements on. I read on the LCOOL website that they may foul the KDDS equipment. I will be speaking to ARB in Brisbane next week and would happy to swap notes with you.

FollowupID: 851192

Follow Up By: Willie - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:04

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:04

Yes, I have airbags on my current 100 Series as well. They are great and I would be sorry not to have them on my new car, to level me up front to back.

I thought the KDSS would only be levelling you up side to side and the rear air bags would not affect the front suspension. I will ask around and report back if I here anything.


FollowupID: 851193

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 05:30

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 05:30

KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) is ALL about wheel articulation, ie, wheel travel. If you are on bitumen KDSS tightens up the sway bars and reduces body roll in corners. OFF road KDSS relaxes the sway bars and allows the wheels to drop into uneven terrain and retain contact, and drive, with the ground.

When this is happening the springs are elongating while the wheel drops. If airbags are fitted, and inflated, they may restrict the stretching action of the springs and therefore the wheel travel.

However, when towing a van you would probably appreciate the airbags because they would stop the springs compressing under the hitch weight.

My way of thinking is this: If your order a GXL, KDSS is an option ($2500) but you get the supplementary fuel tank (138 litres total). I would prefer the extra fuel but I chose KDSS as well because I thought it's a good thing (and still do).

If you order a VX then you have to delete the standard extra tank and the std sunroof in order to get KDSS. In this case its value is debatable. However, personally, if I was ordering a VX I would go for KDSS, delete sunroof (it reduces headroom) and the sub tank and have a 70 litre aftermarket tank fitted which still allows the spare wheel to stay in place.

Confusing? Absolutely.
FollowupID: 851194

Follow Up By: Willie - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 04:11

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 04:11

I was thinking that KDSS was only on the front suspension and would not be affected by the airbags on the back. Is it on the front and back ?


FollowupID: 851195

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 06:59

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 06:59
All 4 wheels Willie
FollowupID: 851196

Reply By: Bushtucker Man - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:07

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:07
Hello Brian & Willie,

Stephen is correct in his followup. I do know that a member had airbags fitted out Narrellen way and I think the KDSS was adjusted by Toyota but not sure about how the bags affect the wheel articulation.

AnswerID: 577680

Reply By: Kanga - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 05:11

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 05:11
Brian and Faye,
KDSS for sure.
Not only for articulation off road, but much flatter ride and better handling on corners on the bitumen without the penalty of the harsher ride that just stiffening up the sway bars would have achieved.
Most top end large 4WD product is / will use a form of this suspension in future - not only hydraulically actuated types.
Drive and compare with / without on the bitumen and you'll be convinced. Especially against LX570 which doesn't have.
I tow a 19ft at about 3300kg with a 200 with KDSS and no other suspension mod -none needed at the moment - but I'll monitor the vehicles attitude over time.
(I have the Longranger 70 litre tank so I take out both the large 2nd row and both 3rd row seats to allow the 10% towball load with 2 overweight dogs etc.)
AnswerID: 577681

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 07:02

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 07:02
Kanga, I'll stand corrected on this because I'm not sure of my facts, however, I saw a post about the middle row of seats being removed and the connector under the seats for the airbag in the seat obviously has to be disconnected.

Apparently (all disclaimers here) when this is disconnected the airbag warning light comes on and the entire airbag system is disabled.

Again, let me emphasise, I'm not sure if this is fact or fiction but it may be worth asking your dealer.


FollowupID: 851197

Follow Up By: Bow & Nan - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:53

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:53
I removed the 2nd row and both 3rd row seats from a GXL without any problems.

I think other models have a different set up for the air bags, there is a yellow air bag plug under the second row of seats that is not connected in the GXL model.
FollowupID: 851198

Reply By: Kanga - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:54

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:54
Stephen and Bow & Nan,
Thanks for feedback on the 2nd row seat airbags.

I was remiss in referring to removing seats without reference to any consequential issues re ADR (seating), and the rear seat side airbags.

For VX and Sahara versions, "seat mounted rear / 2nd row side airbags" are fitted, as distinct from the side curtain airbags fitted to all versions.

Disconnecting the connector when removing the seat will illuminate the airbag warning light and affect the overall airbag system, which of course would be a completely unacceptable outcome.
Any bridging of the connector to overcome this would need to be considered only with expert knowledge of the system with the required resistances etc.

Thanks for pointing this out and apologies for sidetracking this post.


AnswerID: 577682

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