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90LS400Lexus

Are All Ls400 Plagued By Vibrations ?

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It sure seems like it. Seems like I see a lot of posts here about our LS400s having vibrations. It seems to be the #1 problem. I think one thing is that these cars are so smooth otherwise - that the slightest vibration can become intolerable. Are these cars just bad when it comes to vibrations? Perhaps I excpect to much from Lexus. Really do not hear much about it on other cars. I will not be satisified until I get rid of the vibration on my Lexus.

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it seems that those problems are moslty with Gen I cars. i think its because they are aging and there is no cure for this. gen II LS doesnt have this problem. i had tvibration once and it turned out to be unbalanced wheel. now my ride is nice and smooth but i saw a post recently in the GX forum that there is a problem with a tranny that gives nasty vibratiions and a lot of owners are really frustrated with them

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If this keeps up- I am going to sell my 90 and search for a 93+. I have had several Honda Accords- 80s and 90s models, some with over 200K and never had any vibration problems. I can understand about the folks in the GX forums. It is very frustrating- especially from a Lexus.

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Seems like I see a lot of posts here about our LS400s having vibrations.

The majority of owners here bought their LS 400's used. So the wheels, suspension and brake rotors could have been damaged by the former owners. Driving on a flat tire, for example, can bend the wheel. Also alot of owners brake hard and often on long downgrades instead of shifting to a lower gear. The excessive heat generated can warp the rotors. So a combination of things can make a used car more prone to chronic vibrations

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I can understand about the folks in the GX forums. It is very frustrating- especially from a Lexus.

Well, they're frustrated about brand new Lexus, yours is 14 years old. There are any number of things that can cause a vibration on a car that old, worn bushings, bad shocks, bad springs, bent wheels, bent driveshaft, tranny mounts, engine mounts any number of things.

They are REALLY sensitive to misbalanced wheels, I'd start there...

They're also really sensitive to tires and need a good round high quality tire to get the smooth ride...

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I can understand about the folks in the GX forums.  It is very frustrating- especially from a Lexus.

Well, they're frustrated about brand new Lexus, yours is 14 years old. There are any number of things that can cause a vibration on a car that old, worn bushings, bad shocks, bad springs, bent wheels, bent driveshaft, tranny mounts, engine mounts any number of things.

They are REALLY sensitive to misbalanced wheels, I'd start there...

They're also really sensitive to tires and need a good round high quality tire to get the smooth ride...

I see that it would be VERY frustrating for them. That is totally unacceptable. It is really frustrating for me, as I expected more from this car. True- it is 14 years old, but as mentioned- I have had several Honda Accords and never had a vibration out of any of them. My last Honda was a 1991 Accord LX 4dr, with 195K and it was 100% vibration free. No squeaks or rattles either. Perhaps you are right- I guess it could be my wheels causing it. Seems like it is going to be difficult to pinpoint. I hate to spend big $$$ to get it fixed- replacing this and that. My struts are brand new, as are the tires. The previous owner had new BF Goodrich ($100. each) installed just before I bought it. They have less than 1000 miles on them. I am leaning toward differential or driveshaft, as I have that one second "vvverrrt" sound at times when I rapidly shift out of overdrive. I am hoping it is not the transmission. :rolleyes:

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Looking for an experienced person/shop to do a really conscientious and good balancing job is a bit like trying to find a good barber.

I got new Micheleins from Sears (on sale), and their balancing job, done on a Sunday, was the worst I've ever encountered. Then took the 96 LS to NTB, and finally got them (same guarantee), to get a satisfactory balance. It was a pain, but they did take it for a test drive - twice - having to index the tires (guess that means to rotate the tire on the rim 1/4 turn or so). I kinda had to "challange" them to "get it right", since Sears didn't.

Found a good FireStone dealership across from the above Sears for balancing and aligning my newly acquired - bouncing :-) 91 LS, (sure wasn't going back to Sears - until I "found" a talented guy there later). They seemed to do a good job on the 91 twice now. I get it realigned and balanced every 5,000 miles there with their "life time warrenty".

It seems that there some individuals are simply "better" at their job. This is assuming their equipment is up to par. Sometimes, it too gets out of whack.

When you do get a good job, be sure to insist that the same person do the work the next time. Good shops seem to honor that. Places like Sams, etc, seem to have a high turnover of personnel. They rarely seem to know much, or care for that matter.

(Kinda wish I were back in Germany where they expect you to drive 149 mph - always got good balances there). The Lexus is sensitive plus we seem to notice it more :-).

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My last Honda was a 1991 Accord LX 4dr, with 195K and it was 100% vibration free.

Yeah but its nowhere near as smooth as an LS400, nor does it have as many components. Problem with the LS is if anything is the least bit misaligned you're going to feel it.

I would start with a wheel balance and rotation. Just because the tires are new doesn't mean they aren't out of round, my dad had a set on his 98, Dunlops, that they never could get balanced properly.

You also don't know how the Lexus vs the Honda were treated, 14 years is a long time...

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EDITED:

Hey, you started another thread about this subject. <_<

Toyota followed an easy system, based on GMs philosophy--Body on Frame.

Think of Gen I as a test cycle. Toyota was interested in seeing what the Lexus Brand and Line-up could do to benefit the company. they learned from that, and made significant changes to the next gen car.

I don't think you have to switch to a Honda or Acura. The Gen II and Gen III cars will come down in price soon, so you could switch to one of those cars.

SW03ES:

Check out the link below. It will answer why both 91LS and I are complaining about Gen I

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...showtopic=6277&

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its good that you knew what caused the problem. in my case i had to spend much more to change tires, rims and rotors and only after that i realized that it was a bad balancing job. B) since my old rims were ok i sold them on ebay:) but damn it was pain in the neck to find what was causing those nasty vibrations.

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Huh??? Is there another topic about this somewhere?

Actually- price is not an object.  I chose a 1990, because I like the 90-92s a little better for some reason and other than this- they seem to have less problems than the 93-94's.  I also like Hondas and Acuras, as I have had good luck with both. I was thinking of going ahead and buy a brand new 2004 Accord and keep the Lexus as my work car, but it seems like the newer Japanese cars are not as good as they used to be. I had considered a 03' Camry, but I have heard that they are plagued with squeaks and rattles. :rolleyes:

I was actually about to buy a Mercedes 560SEL, with 122K before I bought this LS400. I had been trying to decide between the two and thought that the Lexus may be more reliable. It has been and it perfect in every way- except for this vibration and sound when it shifts out of overdrive.

Also- this vibration seems to effect the entire cabin of the car. It feels like it is something on the actual car causing it rather than the tires. I guess it is a possibility though. Thanks again folks!!

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I feel your vibration woes!!!!!!

I have balanced my new tires(3x), fixed my slightly bent rim, replaced worn rear carrier bushings, replaced rear axle boots, replaced the rear differential, Replaced the rear differential mounts (this actually helped alot).

The only thing left, that is old, is the drive shaft and the cv joints.

Some person on this board once mentioned that an out of balance drive shaft was the root cause of a vibration. I think this is my next part to look at. First. I am going to see if can be balanced. $100? A rebuilt one about ~$350(new u-joints and center bearing etc,) A brand new one ~$700.

I will let you know what happens.

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90- On the LS a misbalanced wheel can cause a very nasty prounounced vibration ;)

And the 90 and the 93 are the same style, same body. In fact the 93 is supposed to be the most reliable LS...

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90- On the LS a misbalanced wheel can cause a very nasty prounounced vibration ;)

And the 90 and the 93 are the same style, same body. In fact the 93 is supposed to be the most reliable LS...

Thanks. I think I will try the tires and wheels first. I hate to spend $$ on this and it may not even be the problem. I hate these problems where you have to replace this and that to eventually try to pinpoint the problem.

True about the 90s and 93s looking the same. I guess it is the way the instrument panel is designed differently (93 has passenger side airbag and differently place glove compartment door). To be exact- I like them both the same. I do like the wheels better on the 93-94s. Its just that on some sites- I have heard that the 93-94s seem to have more problems for some reason- but I have no idea. I would guess that they are better- or at least the same.

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Or simply pay a good mechanic to road test the vehicle and give you an opinion...

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Well, just to add on to this topic.

I have a 1993, LS400 146,000. My front tires are a little worn but ok, I guess. I had aligment, rotated the tire and balancing done, just couple of days ago. My car kind of wobbles in low speeds 10-30mph. At 80-90mph it gets a little nasty. I do 80-90mph every day for about 45sec, on a straight, coming back from school. Anyway, The car is really hard to control at 80-90mph. Because on the same road I passed someone doing 115mph with a 1992 Acura Legend LS 119,000 and if there wasn't that bridge uphead I would have gone up to 135mph. The acura was alot easier to drive at 115mph then the Lexus at 80mph. Plus, I think I need a new left strut bar for the Lexus. Both of my cars are just about the same color and the Lexus is only a year younger I love both of them the same. I see the Acura as a sports car, drive it if I'm in a hurry. And the Lexus drive it when I miss flying in First Class.

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It has been and it perfect in every way- except for this vibration and sound when it shifts out of overdrive.

So do you mean it vibrates only when you "hit the gas" to pass someone and it downshifts to accelerate?

Does it ever vibrate when IN OD and just cruising at set speed?

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It has been and it perfect in every way- except for this vibration and sound when it shifts out of overdrive.

So do you mean it vibrates only when you "hit the gas" to pass someone and it downshifts to accelerate?

Does it ever vibrate when IN OD and just cruising at set speed?

No, the vibration is pretty much all of the time- at speeds between 40-60 mph. The speed range seems to be getting broader. It seems to also do it worse when it is first driven. It vibrates at steady speeds, as well as during upshifting. The vibration does not seem to be linked to the transmission. When I leave- I get on the highway and when I get to about 35 or 40- it started a slight, faint and quick vibration. After I hit about 65 it stops. Also under rapid acceleration at those speeds it does not do it if I recall.

That sound I mentioned does not have a vibration with it, as far as I can tell. It is only that "vveeerrrrt" or (sort of like grinding gears) sound, as if running over wake up strips when I initially press the accelerator 1/2 way down to make it rapidly shift out of overdrive and into 3rd gear. When it gets to 3rd gear- it stops. Sometimes it does not do it and only does it at speeds between 40-45.

I am not sure if that downshifting sound and the vibration is connected or not. Other than that- the transmission shifts perfectly and even when it has that sound- it is shifting just fine.

It seems very strange to me. I am going to try to get it to a mechanic this week, as it is very annoying. Thanks again.

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So, it never "shutters" or whatever in 3rd gear?

I had to go back and "edit" my last post.

Yes- it also has the vibration in 3rd gear, as well as 4th. Even upon acceleration.

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Well, sounds like the tranny is basically OK......

The rear axles that "T" of from the diff. are supposed to be checked for torque every 5K on my 99LS. torque is 61 ft. lbs.

I'm sure the mechanic can check all the torques along the driveshaft too.

My guess is a worn bushings on the rear lower suspension arms.

Let us know what you find out. Like you, I hope it's a Minor $ repair <_<

99

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this might help.. i had that same kind of problem when the car shifted. it started out to be a kind of vibration and then started to make a popping sound when the tranny shifted, so thought for sure the tranny was going out so i took it to my mechanic and i turned out to my fortune that it was just a 15 dollar rubber bushing that went out on the differential mount in the rear end. so when the car torqued it was hitting metal on metal.i had the bushing replaced for a total of about 40 bucks, and the problem ceased. haven't heard it sense.

about the vibration problem,,my car is a 92 with 140k on it and drives like a dream, the only problem i've had with the drivability or comfort of the ride was the bushing. also in my oppinion comparing a honda to a lexus is like comparing apples to oranges---they are both cars and both fruits

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it seems that those problems are moslty with Gen I cars. i think its because they are aging and there is no cure for this. gen II LS doesnt have this problem.

Not yet anyhow!?!

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My '93 also has a 50 mph vibration. Smooth as glass over 70.

After wheel balance, new tires, new brake rotors and pads, new tires (michelin)

still had the vibration. So I got smart and took my dial caliper to the axles, drive

shaft and wheels. Sure enough the right rear axle was out of round by 50

thousandths. Everything else was no more than 20 thous. After replacing the

axle the vibration was better, but still noticable and the axle is still 30-40 thous off.

Go figure! My point is that you may find the source of the vibration by simply

measuring and inspecting the drive train components. The ls400 has a complicated

drive train with two drive shafts, and independent rear suspension. Lots can go

wrong.

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