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Discussion Starter #1
1990 SC w/ stock suspension, 34k or so miles on it, so suspension is not at all worn out: when ARC is set to firm, its fine. when ARC is set to normal mode, something from the rear clicks 3 times (either ARC computer, or an actuator i think) and the FIRM light blinks 3 times every so often. other than the clicking and blinking light it rides fine in either mode, but kinda freaks me out. any ideas what it is? actuator? ARC computer? bad connection somewhere?
 

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It means that one of your adjustable shocks is stuck in Firm mode. The number of blinks indicates which shock - 3 blinks means right front, as I recall. Usually, what happens is that the little pin on top of the shock binds up. To fix it:

Take off the plastic cover on top of the shock tower, then remove the ARC actuator (pretty darn easy so far). You should see a little blade inside the top of the shock. Note the position of this blade. Now spray some penetrating lube (or silicone lube might work) into the recess where the blade is. Wait a little, then try to turn the blade gently with needle-nose plier. Don't force it or you could end your chances of fixing this problem. Once that frees up, work it back and forth a little with some more lubricant. When it's moving smoothly, align the blade back to where it was and reinstall the ARC actuator (don't force this either - make sure it's lined up with the blade). Your light and clicks should be gone. If not, there may be a problem with the ARC actuator itself. But I have heard this problem is much more common than an electronic failure. It's most common in cars that sit a long time without being driven.
 

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Similar Problem but with a twist...

Resurrecting this thread because I have a new twist on this issue.

I have the blinking FIRM light telling me that my driver side front is the culprit. HOWEVER, when I attempted this procedure...

I got oil/fluid flowing out of the top of my shock when I twisted the little blade back and forth! The blade didn't seem all that sticky to me. No mention of this anywhere I can find so I am hoping for some input???

The fluid stopped immediately and I dried up the fluid and put the accuator back on. Still have the blinking light any time it's not in FIRM mode.

ANYONE????

Thanks in advance,
Gary
 

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The clicking is likely the relays in the deck cycling the actuators during their self test. They cycle every 30 seconds or so when they detect an actuator out of sync. If you've got oil coming from the shock it's probably toast.
Ugh. The oil only seems to come out when I mess with the blade on top that adjusts it. I would presume however that this IS NOT supposed to happen so that's what I was thinking. But since the blade seems to turn, why is my FIRM ride light coming on, toasted shock or not?

I was already cosidering new shocks since these are OEM from 1989 but wondered about leaking top and the FIRM ride light...

Now it may be time to decide if keeping the ARC is worth the money or if I should switch to non-adjustable shocks?

Thanks,
Gary
 

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The actuator itself could be bad as well.
I wonder about that too but it seems most posts here suggest they seldom fail. I did however finally find a post where someone had the "fluid" thing happen but everything seemed to work okay when they were done. Hmmm...
 
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