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Dr K

2006 Rx400h Suspension?

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Any problems with your 2006 RX400h suspension? Many owners in this forum have have had premature extreme wear with the original Good Year tires. Lexus blamed the tires (performance, allignment, whatever.) My private mechanic blames the chopping in the trreads to bad struts. My new Michelins at 3000 miles are beginning to show the same chopping. Could there be a design flaw in the automobile. Any info would be most helpful.

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Dr K, this is very interesting, I had to change my GYs after only 12K and I wasn't happy about that. I have had my fabulous Toyo Proxes 255/55 18" for about 8 months, 6K miles and even though it's still early they have been amazing tires thus far. I live in L.A. so I don't have extreme weather conditions so these tires really haven't been tested to a large degree, but I have been very happy with them just the same. Time will tell, but with me, that'll be a long while. I am curious though, did you in fact change the struts? I'm not even sure what struts do anyway. I know I haven't been any help in answering the strut question but I am curious to see who does answer your question. I'd like to know more about any strut/shock shortcoming and if I should change struts or shocks, or anything else.....I shouldn't have to on a 50K car but...oh well.....No one is perfect even Lexus admits that they are, "In PURSUIT of Perfection". Rey in L.A.

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"Chopping" or "cupping" as tire wear is normally due to worn shock absorbers, but the tire wear I saw was obviously due to a combination of misalignment and underinflation (due to an incorrect tire pressure recommendation), not worn struts.

I did find this explanation in "Allexperts" website:

Unfortunately, the term "cupping" is now commonly misused. It's supposed to refer to what you get with bad shocks, but it is now used to refer to irregular wear, which is caused by misalignment. Both are aggravated by low inflation pressure and insufficient rotation practices.

Here's some more opinions from Tom and Ray:

Dear Tom and Ray:

What is the cause of "cupped tires?" We drive a 1988 Chrysler New Yorker. We rotate the tires every 5,000 miles. At 23,000 miles the Goodyear tires cupped and were replaced by Goodyear. Now, at 45,000 miles, the tires are cupped again. Chrysler blames the tires. Goodyear blames the weak struts on the Chrysler. Your opinion please? We have driven for years and never had tires cup. Jane

Ray: Well, they're blaming each other, Jane, because they're really both to blame.

Tom: Cupped tires are usually caused by bad struts. The purpose of the struts is to keep the tires from bouncing off the ground when you go over bumps.

Ray: If the struts are really bad, the tires can literally bounce up and down like a basketball....badaboom... badaboom...badaboom... badaboom. And each time the tires hit the ground, a little bit of the rubber gets scraped off. Eventually, you get a lot these little scuffed spots, and that's called "cupping." And as you know, cupped tires make a lot of noise. It sounds as if a cement truck is on your tail.

Tom: So it's clear that bad struts can make this happen. But to be fair, cheap tires cup more easily than good tires. And while Goodyear makes some very good tires, they also make some real cheap ones. And unfortunately, most original equipment tires (the ones that come on new cars) tend to be of the cheap variety. So I wouldn't be surprised if the tires you've got on there are not all that great.

Ray: But Goodyear already kicked in a set of tires, so you really can't ask them to do any more. At this point, you probably need both tires and struts. And in both cases, it's time to upgrade.

Tom: The old Chrysler New Yorker is not known for its firm struts. So I would replace what you've got with a good set of heavy duty gas struts. You've got to spend a couple of hundred bucks to get a good pair, so don't fall for those $7.95 specials at Moe's Struts And Hair Care Center. With firmer struts, the ride may not seem quite as squishy, but the car will handle better, and your tire life ought to improve.

Ray: At the same time, I'd invest in a good set of tires. Goodyears are fine, but don't buy the cheap ones. Plan to spend 100 bucks a piece for above average tires. If you do that, cupped tires will no longer be what you runneth over.

Tom: Oooh...that was bad. Very bad.

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Our cars have a pretty cushy ride, obviously the suspension system is not very firm. This IS supposed to be a luxury vehicle and I like the ride. We traded an Audi S6 on the 400h, the Audi had a firm sport suspension. It handled great for a big wagon but it could really beat you up on a bumpy road.

I did a quick search. The only thing I found was an Eibach Pro Kit spring set from Tirerack, it lowers the car 1.2" and is probably firmer than stock. I could not find any replacement shocks.

One of the most important things we can do is make sure our tire pressure is correct. I just looked at the recommended pressure on the door sticker which is 30#, that seems low to me. I keep the Jeep Grand Cherokee at 34, the BMW 330 at 35-36, and had the Audi S6 at 37.

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Dr K, this is very interesting, I had to change my GYs after only 12K and I wasn't happy about that. I have had my fabulous Toyo Proxes 255/55 18" for about 8 months, 6K miles and even though it's still early they have been amazing tires thus far. I live in L.A. so I don't have extreme weather conditions so these tires really haven't been tested to a large degree, but I have been very happy with them just the same. Time will tell, but with me, that'll be a long while. I am curious though, did you in fact change the struts? I'm not even sure what struts do anyway. I know I haven't been any help in answering the strut question but I am curious to see who does answer your question. I'd like to know more about any strut/shock shortcoming and if I should change struts or shocks, or anything else.....I shouldn't have to on a 50K car but...oh well.....No one is perfect even Lexus admits that they are, "In PURSUIT of Perfection". Rey in L.A.

RXREY,

Lexus is monitoring my new Michelins to determine premature wear warranting new struts. Indeed, no one is perfect and as they used to say, that's why they put carpets around spitoons, and warranties on new cars -- even those in the 50k range.

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One of the most important things we can do is make sure our tire pressure is correct. I just looked at the recommended pressure on the door sticker which is 30#, that seems low to me. I keep the Jeep Grand Cherokee at 34, the BMW 330 at 35-36, and had the Audi S6 at 37.

That door sticker number is way off. I recommend 34-36 psi in each of all four tires, regardless of brand.

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Our cars have a pretty cushy ride, obviously the suspension system is not very firm. This IS supposed to be a luxury vehicle and I like the ride. We traded an Audi S6 on the 400h, the Audi had a firm sport suspension. It handled great for a big wagon but it could really beat you up on a bumpy road.

I did a quick search. The only thing I found was an Eibach Pro Kit spring set from Tirerack, it lowers the car 1.2" and is probably firmer than stock. I could not find any replacement shocks.

One of the most important things we can do is make sure our tire pressure is correct. I just looked at the recommended pressure on the door sticker which is 30#, that seems low to me. I keep the Jeep Grand Cherokee at 34, the BMW 330 at 35-36, and had the Audi S6 at 37.

where did you find this eibach pro kit for the rx400h? I'd be interested in buying one to firm up the suspension a bit.

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Dr K, this is very interesting, I had to change my GYs after only 12K and I wasn't happy about that. I have had my fabulous Toyo Proxes 255/55 18" for about 8 months, 6K miles and even though it's still early they have been amazing tires thus far. I live in L.A. so I don't have extreme weather conditions so these tires really haven't been tested to a large degree, but I have been very happy with them just the same. Time will tell, but with me, that'll be a long while. I am curious though, did you in fact change the struts? I'm not even sure what struts do anyway. I know I haven't been any help in answering the strut question but I am curious to see who does answer your question. I'd like to know more about any strut/shock shortcoming and if I should change struts or shocks, or anything else.....I shouldn't have to on a 50K car but...oh well.....No one is perfect even Lexus admits that they are, "In PURSUIT of Perfection". Rey in L.A.

hey how do you like your new tires? does the car handle any better? is the ride any firmer?

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where did you find this eibach pro kit for the rx400h? I'd be interested in buying one to firm up the suspension a bit.

http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/Susptab...=&brand=all

thank you! I couldn't find that before but i'm very curious as to just how the RX would handle if you dropped it 1.2" and firmed up the suspension a bit. I just hope it wouldn't screw up the camber/toe settings and would eventually lead to my tires wearing prematurely.

Has anyone tried out this lowering kit? I'm very tempted to give it a shot however, as the RX400h has copious amounts of body roll :(

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Has anyone tried out this lowering kit? I'm very tempted to give it a shot however, as the RX400h has copious amounts of body roll :(

I can tell you this:

Yes, any change in height will require an alignment and knowing Eibach (I just had a set of their springs and shocks installed in my son's Honda Civic), handling (primarily, sway) WILL improve noticably.

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where did you find this eibach pro kit for the rx400h? I'd be interested in buying one to firm up the suspension a bit.

http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/Susptab...=&brand=all

thank you! I couldn't find that before but i'm very curious as to just how the RX would handle if you dropped it 1.2" and firmed up the suspension a bit. I just hope it wouldn't screw up the camber/toe settings and would eventually lead to my tires wearing prematurely.

Has anyone tried out this lowering kit? I'm very tempted to give it a shot however, as the RX400h has copious amounts of body roll :(

From what I've read about the Eibach springs, they are "progressive" which means they still ride good over the bumps (at least the smaller ones) but get progressively stiffer when pushed in the corners. Sounds good if they actually work that way. You would think lowering the car a bit and having firmer springs (when pushed) should improve handling. There's certainly plenty of room in our wheel wells for lowering 1.2". As these are not off-road vehicles, the loss of 1.2" ground clearance shouldn't be an issue.

The parts are not expensive. Don't know how much labor is involved or if it's a DIY job. As RX400h said, an alignment would be needed. Probably also have to check on the possible warranty impact. I just checked the warranty book and it does not preclude the use of non-Lexus parts but it does say that those parts, or any damage resulting from their use, would not be covered. That seems fair.

I'm interested in this, it is something I would definitely consider IF it didn't firm up the ride too much. Our Audi S6 had a firm sport suspension, it handled great but it could beat you up on a bumpy road.

I'm going to call the dealer and ask if they've ever installed them on any RX's and what it would cost.

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Intstalling Eibachs in my son's Honda Civic was $360 (including 4-wheel alignment).

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where did you find this eibach pro kit for the rx400h? I'd be interested in buying one to firm up the suspension a bit.

http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/Susptab...=&brand=all

thank you! I couldn't find that before but i'm very curious as to just how the RX would handle if you dropped it 1.2" and firmed up the suspension a bit. I just hope it wouldn't screw up the camber/toe settings and would eventually lead to my tires wearing prematurely.

Has anyone tried out this lowering kit? I'm very tempted to give it a shot however, as the RX400h has copious amounts of body roll :(

From what I've read about the Eibach springs, they are "progressive" which means they still ride good over the bumps (at least the smaller ones) but get progressively stiffer when pushed in the corners. Sounds good if they actually work that way. You would think lowering the car a bit and having firmer springs (when pushed) should improve handling. There's certainly plenty of room in our wheel wells for lowering 1.2". As these are not off-road vehicles, the loss of 1.2" ground clearance shouldn't be an issue.

The parts are not expensive. Don't know how much labor is involved or if it's a DIY job. As RX400h said, an alignment would be needed. Probably also have to check on the possible warranty impact. I just checked the warranty book and it does not preclude the use of non-Lexus parts but it does say that those parts, or any damage resulting from their use, would not be covered. That seems fair.

I'm interested in this, it is something I would definitely consider IF it didn't firm up the ride too much. Our Audi S6 had a firm sport suspension, it handled great but it could beat you up on a bumpy road.

I'm going to call the dealer and ask if they've ever installed them on any RX's and what it would cost.

yea i'm planning on taking my car by my performance shop where I get stuff done to my supra. My only concern is that this kit will ruin the camber/caster/toe on the RX causing premature tire wear without anything you can do to adjust it. Give me a couple weeks and i'll place an order for this kit and let everyone know what my reaction is. I wish lexus had an option from the factory for a "sport" package!!

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I went the Eibach springs route on my 89 Supra and it changed the ride quality considerably. While they are progressive, they progress "fast" and that is what you want if you are tossing the car into turns. But on anything other than groomed freeway the soft part of the spring was overwhelmed and you got the full experience. Even with the adustable stiffness suspension the ride qualty at freeway speeds was too much for me and I sold the car. It was no longer comfortable on long trips.

The lesson I learned from that is if you want to improve handling, keep the stock height and go for thicker sway bars to flatten the handing in the corners. Had I done that, I might still be driving the Supra today.

Eibach kits will lower your ground clearance and since the Supra was allready pretty low, the loss of clearance had me scraping over speed bumps and in/out of drive ways far too often. Since there are a lot of expensive electronics under the RX, it would not be wise to give any of that up. This could be why they didn't offer the Air Suspension on the 400h.

Keeping my eyes peeled for the thicker sway bars.

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Any problems with your 2006 RX400h suspension? Many owners in this forum have have had premature extreme wear with the original Good Year tires. Lexus blamed the tires (performance, allignment, whatever.) My private mechanic blames the chopping in the trreads to bad struts. My new Michelins at 3000 miles are beginning to show the same chopping. Could there be a design flaw in the automobile. Any info would be most helpful.

Premature wear and Goodyear are terms that go hand in hand. The Goodyears on both our cars were shot in record time. Many have said the same thing ... the Tires. Have you raised your tire pressure closer to 40psi? Did the dealer take care of it? It is, after all still under warranty. Standing by to hear how it ends.

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