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Time For Steering/suspension Overhaul?


K9crew
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OK .. as typical LS400 owners, when can we expect to have to rebuild the front steering/suspension components i.e. ball joints, bushings, shocks, springs etc? I have 73k on my LS now and the front end is very loose. Potholes, speed bumps, bad asphalt etc are no fun. The right front knocks quite badly pulling into my driveway even going slowly. I'm guessing that I need new bushings or possibly ball joints in the front along with bushings for the bar that ties the front suspension to the chassis. I'm replacing all four rotors this weekend with cross drilled/slotted that I've had for a while because my front rotors are badly warped. I plan on taking a good look at the front suspension and putting together a parts list that I can take to the local dealer. I'm sure that it's going to cost an arm and a leg for all the parts that I'll need.

:)

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Are you sure? Unless you pound the car over really rough roads and abuse it (which I doubt you do) I can't believe all that stuff is bad. These suspensions are quite tough with the weakest part being the strut (or torsion bar looking things) bushings. Mine had a slight pull to the right and when I replaced those it was galssy smooth. The upper wishbone control arms also tend to weaken but go bad very slowly.

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Seems like low mileage for those problems but all depends on your road conditions or too many speed bumps. In any case I would try the silicone spray as was on a recent thread on all the ball joints and see if that doesn't quieten things down. It worked for me. But as you are in Hawaii, cold weather stiffness should not be a problem. But shimmy and shake point to a more serious problem. I'm sure when you do the rotors you will be in a better position to assess the problem. Good luck and let us know what you find.

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Thanks guys. At this point I'm not sure what needs to be done but I should have a better idea this weekend. It could be the bushings on either end of the bar (runs fore and aft) that connects the front suspension to the chassis ... I've read about those bushings going bad which can result in a clunking front end. I'll certainly let you know what I find.

:)

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Thanks guys.  At this point I'm not sure what needs to be done but I should have a better idea this weekend.  It could be the bushings on either end of the bar (runs fore and aft) that connects the front suspension to the chassis ... I've read about those bushings going bad which can result in a clunking front end.  I'll certainly let you know what I find.

:)

Hey K9!!! Good to hear from you again....My LS is @ 69,500 miles.....nearly your twin :D

Those "front strut rod bushings" are prone to failure....mine are still okay - for the moment.

PM me if you need Manual Info :D

BTW - We are planning on visiting again Oct 2005 :cheers:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I replaced all four rotors and front and rear brake pads on 01/01/05. I remembered to clamp off the brake lines and loosen the bleeder screw when pushing the pistons back into the caliper so as to prevent debris from working its way back towards the master cylinder. The rear pads were almost completely worn down ... maybe 10% left (they were the original pads). The front pads had about 40% left. I partially flushed the brake fluid with Valvoline Syntec brake fluid and bled all four lines. I didn't bleed the ABS though and plan to do it this weekend. I checked the suspension out fairly thoroughly along with the hubs and decided that I only need to change the "cushions" on the two suspension arms that connect the lower control arm to the unibody (run from lower control arm forward). The end that connects to the LCA has two studs and the other end has a large bushing/cushion connection. I ordered new cushions for $38.76 each from my local Lexus dealer. Once I replace those I should no longer have the thumping sound when I hit a pothole or speed bump ... we'll see. The brakes are WAY better now. I have Centric cross-drilled/slotted rotors with AXXIS pads (formerly Repco Metal Master). They're a bit slick when cold but once warm they're excellent. Also, I reassembled the shims on all pads as per the manual and I have no brake noise, no squealing, no rattling, just quiet and effective braking.

:)

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The part number on my receipt is 48674-40051 and I ordered two of them since it's the same part for the left and right side. I plan on replacing the cushions (that's what the dealership calls them) on 01/17/05 or the weekend before and I'll take photos of the old and new cushions. My LS is a '99 model so the part number may be different for your vehicle.

:)

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The part number on my receipt is 48674-40051 and I ordered two of them since it's the same part for the left and right side.  I plan on replacing the cushions (that's what the dealership calls them) on 01/17/05 or the weekend before and I'll take photos of the old and new cushions.  My LS is a '99 model so the part number may be different for your vehicle.

:)

excellent K9!! take a few photos if possible ........I"m sure I'll be doing this eventually....... <_<

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Very interesting. The local Lexus dealer here told me the "cushions" are not replaceable and that the whole unit needed to be replaced. Cost me about $600 to have Lexus do that. Of course that was when I first bought the car and didn't know anything about fixing them.

You all have saved me quite a bit of money the last few years.

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hello, yes the front strut rod bushings are available as a separate item with the part number 48674-40051, and sells for 40 bucks more or less at lexus and is also used by toyota cars same part number since they use universal numbering system, but for less 30 bucks,

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Hey, the Lexus dealer called to tell me that the strut bar cushions have arrived and 99lsguy very kindly helped me out with some relevant information from the factory repair manual so I'm all set for this weekend. I'll try to take some photos and provide a HOW TO of sorts. I sure hope this doesn't turn out to be a "goat roping"!! I'm quietly optimistic that my car will be knock-free after this little project.

:)

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