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The Big Bump


jim777ed
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I get a sharp thud when I hit a sharp bump. It is worse when I am on the breaks. One dealer said it was the lower ball joint, another said the struts, while another mechanic said it was the strut rod bushings. Since each is around a $1000 to fix I would like to get it right the first time. Other than the noise the ride is great. I can hit some speed bumps at 30 mph and hardly notice.

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Jim, I had the same sort of issue with my 98 and after reading many posts here decided to replace the strut rod bushings. That took care of the clunk on low-speed bumps.

I do plan on replacing the struts and sway bar bushings soon as well. After 10 years, they are tired. BTW, I have a tutorial on how to change the strut rod bushings.

It is not hard and you can do it yourself for about $200. Takes about 1.5 hrs per side. Great bonding experience :P

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i would also check bushings first. and none of the parts u mentioned cost over a grand, even with install. i changed, bushings, shock absorbers and ball joints, all by myself and i spent lil less then a grand on all the parts.

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I'm leaning towards the strut rod bushings. Does your trac light come on when you're taking high speed right/left turn? I would lean towards the lower ball joints in that case, and the struts in general-do the Corner Bounce test(push-down the corner bumpers and measure how long it takes to stop bouncing).

I don't know if you took your car to a Lexus dealer, but I trust the words of a Lexus tech or a Certified Toyota Master Tech. They should have the badges on their uniforms.

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The steering wheel wants to jump from my hands when I hit a fairly good-sized bump, which is annoying.

But I know there are a lot of front end components that should be replaced after ten years. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

Ball joints, steering linkage, shocks? (98 LS400 with 75k on the clock)

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Common to these cars, and just an opinion -I've owned a 99 LS for more than 4 years and from day one, my car has always "clunked" upon braking (in the morning especially). It goes away and usually only does it only a few times a day. I don't notice it. My car rides and drives beautifully - no play in the steering etc.. I think you'll see some extra tire wear, but nothing bad.

I wouldn't spend the money on the new strut bars, unless your wheels couldn't balance to fix a wobble, or unless I did the strut bushing/bar work myself, and that job really doesn't excite me just to get rid of the clunks. So, I don't think it's worth 1,000 to fix on a 10 year old car. You may go through tires a bit faster, but, I say, so what.. .? I'd rather have new tires every 3 years, then drive on chopped/cupped tires for an extra year or so.. . ***I must admit, I do get tire wear on the front left tire (the very edge). I think this is attributable to the bushing wear. I've had one set of directional tires, and had the car aligned, and re-aligned (not to mention balanced several times). I drive 20K highway miles annually and

I keep my pressure checked regularly.

****So, in my opinion on this generation of LS, one should consider not buying directional tires (unless you want to replace them every 2, or three years, or if you are a speed racer type). I've found you can get non-directional tires and get much more life out of them with worn bushings which are common on this car.

I'd redo the timing belt/pullies/tensioner, water pump, thermostat and drive belt for the grand (if you need to do something, these are a must do). Or, as a back up - you can buy a brand new set of non-directional Michelins for 700$. You'll forget about the clunk.

I say enjoy your car with the clunk! 2 cents -

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Jim, I had the same sort of issue with my 98 and after reading many posts here decided to replace the strut rod bushings. That took care of the clunk on low-speed bumps.

I do plan on replacing the struts and sway bar bushings soon as well. After 10 years, they are tired. BTW, I have a tutorial on how to change the strut rod bushings.

It is not hard and you can do it yourself for about $200. Takes about 1.5 hrs per side. Great bonding experience :P

Thanks for the info. Sounds like that may be my best opotion. Did you replace the rod and bushing or just the bushing? If you cound share the tutorial I would appreciate it. I have wondered if the bushings press out and in or how they were removed. Is there any particular after market brand that is better than others? Or did you get yours at the dealer?

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I'm leaning towards the strut rod bushings. Does your trac light come on when you're taking high speed right/left turn? I would lean towards the lower ball joints in that case, and the struts in general-do the Corner Bounce test(push-down the corner bumpers and measure how long it takes to stop bouncing).

I don't know if you took your car to a Lexus dealer, but I trust the words of a Lexus tech or a Certified Toyota Master Tech. They should have the badges on their uniforms.

Thanks, I do take my 98LS to the Local Lexus dealer but I only see the service writer. No the track light does not come on. For the shock test -No bounce Just come up.

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i would also check bushings first. and none of the parts u mentioned cost over a grand, even with install. i changed, bushings, shock absorbers and ball joints, all by myself and i spent lil less then a grand on all the parts.

Thanks,

Do you get your parts at the Lexus dealer?

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