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1990 Ls 400 Front Brakes


Stephen Ward
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I recently had a problem with squealing from the front brake pads on my 1990 LS400. The pads are Lexus ceramic pads, (made by Akebono) and have under 10,000 miles on them. With some suggestions found on this forum, I had the pads reinstalled and the rotors turned. During re-installation, the pad edges were camphered, an anti-squeal product was applied to the back of the pads, all moving parts were lubricated, and shims were utilized. This fixed the squeal completely.

As soon as I picked up the car, I noticed a new problem. On the first application of the brakes after changing direction from forward to reverse or vice versa, there is a loud snap from each of the front wheels. After the first application, the problem is gone until I apply the brakes again after reversing direction. I returned to the shop that worked on the brakes, and they were unable to explain or correct this problem. I have owned this car for 18 years, and it has never done this before. Does anyone have any ideas that I can give to my repair shop to remedy this problem?

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That is strange. It sounds like a caliper is loose, but the part about the steering causing the change is most bizarre.

I am sure someone will chime in soon.

I recently had a problem with squealing from the front brake pads on my 1990 LS400. The pads are Lexus ceramic pads, (made by Akebono) and have under 10,000 miles on them. With some suggestions found on this forum, I had the pads reinstalled and the rotors turned. During re-installation, the pad edges were camphered, an anti-squeal product was applied to the back of the pads, all moving parts were lubricated, and shims were utilized. This fixed the squeal completely.

As soon as I picked up the car, I noticed a new problem. On the first application of the brakes after changing direction from forward to reverse or vice versa, there is a loud snap from each of the front wheels. After the first application, the problem is gone until I apply the brakes again after reversing direction. I returned to the shop that worked on the brakes, and they were unable to explain or correct this problem. I have owned this car for 18 years, and it has never done this before. Does anyone have any ideas that I can give to my repair shop to remedy this problem?

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Boy, this sounds just like my stubido brake problems over the years:

One is that the brake caliper is not securely tightened to the wheel. When you undo the caliper, it's very easy to not refasten and lubricate the bolts to the assembly correctly. I did this once, drove down the street, and "Holy S...', there was an amazing thump, thump from the front.

The other thing is maybe losing those little metal springy things that hold the pad ends in place- without them they shake like Don Knotts. The 8 buck an hour guy at Midas did this to my company pickup a long time ago-he had the manual and such, but seemed so confused. I had to replace the pads myself. Ever try to find the springy things before the internet?.

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Thanks for your interest. As a matter of clarification, the problem is not steering related, but occurrs on the first application of the brakes in a new direction--forward or reverse.

It sounds like the pads are moving in the caliper to me, which is actually normal. If you greased everything up they will move easy, which may be a contributing factor. Here is a TSB on the very matter...you might try to get some of that magic grease (part # 08887–80609) from a toyota dealer.

If its more severe than a loud click, then as mentioned by TexLex94, it would pay to check that the pad support springs are all present and accounted for. Another possibilty is that the incorrect pads are installed, but that's unlikely as any tech worth their salt matches up the old part to the new.

brake_pads.pdf

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Thanks for your interest. As a matter of clarification, the problem is not steering related, but occurrs on the first application of the brakes in a new direction--forward or reverse.

No problem... it looks like some others have chimed in.... hope this helps. Neat to see someone that bought a Lexus that long ago still with the car! Sounds like you bought the car brand new? I was only 14 in 1990, so obviously a new Lexus was not in the cards for me (lol), but knowing how well these cars are built and hold up, I would have loved to have driven/owned a brand new gen 1 LS400. I bet they were really amazing when new. It was not until 2004 when I bought my first LS400, which was a 1990 model, with 220K. Do you have any photos when the car was new? Did you consider any other cars before deciding on the LS400?

The only really older Japanese well-built "brand new car" I ever drove was my aunts 1991 Honda Accord that she bought brand new in December of 1990. I know that the 90-93 Honda Accords were very well-built cars too in terms of quality. I had a 1991 Honda Accord in 2002 that had over 200K and was still 100% squeak and rattle free. My aunts 91' Accord LX had 98K when she traded it in 1995. It had seen very little maintainence and she never had any problems with it. It was still rattle free and like a new car on the inside.

BTW - when I was 14, I think my dad bought me my first car to tinker with.... a 1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille.... I wish I still had that car! It was in excellent condition. I think my folks had a 1985 Buick Regal, 1976 Lincoln Town Car, 1981 Oldsmobile Omega and a 1983 Ford Thunderbird in 1990. :o. We did not have a foreign car until 1997 when I bought a Toyota truck! I have always owned at least one import since then, along with my OLDER American cars of course. :)

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