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96 Ls400 Front Suspension Squeeking


yotoy82
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I know this is a common topic again and again. So I changed out the lower ball joints, both sides. I changed the strut bars (new bars with bushings already pressed in). Haven't had time to get the alignment done, it drives like a dream now, sharp, feels good, nice and tight like it should, no complaints, no noises (when cold). When I started driving it around and it warmed up some more, the squeeks came back.... On the drivers side. It was on the passenger side before changing all these parts. So I go to the car wash, spray them both down. Voila, noise gone. Drive some more, car warms up again, noise comes back again, this time on the passenger side (going over bumps, into my driveway etc). Pushing down on the front end like anyone would do to check the shocks, and that squeeking noise is there. I go inside a few hours come back and no matter how much I bounce it up and down, that squeeky noise won't come back.

Does anyone know what the squeeking sound could be? I've basically changed everything except the lower control arm and the upper control arm. The sound seems to be coming LOW though and the upper control arm looks great, car drives perfectly. I've read on some other threads it could be the sway bar bushings? The car has 200,000 miles on it and those haven't been changed before, but my local mechanic raised the car on the lift and played with the sway bar trying to push it around and said it was really tight, didn't need changed. So I dunno, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, or possibly the guy who installed my lower ball joints and strut bars didn't do a good job?

Anxiously waiting any expert replies because don't wanna get an alignment done only to find out I need to change something else and have to get another alignment all over again! Thanks.

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Secondly, anyone know why from 95 onwards Lexus doesn't sell Lower Control Arm Bushings separately? The 90-94 models have them. The control arm looks pretty similar, will the lower control arm bushing from a 94 model work on a 96?

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It could be swaybar bushings. Mine squeek after a car wash. Humid weather sometimes does it for me. Factory replacement bushings or Moog are rather cheap. Since yours are original you may want to change them anyway but why not when it is doing it shoot some WD40 on them real good and see if it goes away ,,that way you'll know it was them or not. I bought Energy suspension urathane bushings but havent installed them yet and they have grease fittings to boot.

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It could be swaybar bushings. Mine squeek after a car wash. Humid weather sometimes does it for me. Factory replacement bushings or Moog are rather cheap. Since yours are original you may want to change them anyway but why not when it is doing it shoot some WD40 on them real good and see if it goes away ,,that way you'll know it was them or not. I bought Energy suspension urathane bushings but havent installed them yet and they have grease fittings to boot.

Thanks for your reply. I took it back to the guy who installed it and says it looks like the sound is coming from the new sway bars, he said he would put some lithium grease on them and see if that helps. You wouldn't think that brand new sway bars and bushings would make noise when they get hot like that, I hope some grease helps?

I'll go ahead and change the sway bar bushings. I wish I had bought the original Lexus ones, they were like 11 bucks each at sewell, but 44 plus shipping seemed a bit high so I got MOOGs at rock auto I think it end up costing me like 30 bucks for all 4 if I remember correctly. I thought MOOG parts were even better than oem sometimes, but to my surprise when I got them, they said MADE IN INDIA. Now, they LOOK ok. But had I known to save 18 bucks or so I'd be getting Indian parts, I woulda went ahead with the original Japanese Lexus ones that at least last 10 years, 100,000 miles. But shipping back to Rock Auto and getting a refund and then ordering again from a Lexus dealer is a pain so I guess I'll grease these moog india ones and hope they work fine.

I was going to try some WD-40 but I read online that WD-40 slowly destroys rubber?

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Well, my guy traced the problem. I guess this would benefit EVERYONE who changes the sway bar and/or bushings on their 1995-2000 LS400's due to a squeaking sound. The problem is nothing to do with the actual sway bar bushing, its the bolt that goes through the bushing. Mine was rusted, so that causes the squeak. Took some sandpaper and cleaned the rust off, spread some grease over the bolt and slipped it right back in. Viola! Instantly no more squeaking!

I'm surprised no one ever figured this out. Mechanics will all tell you replace this and that part. If I had known, I might not have even wasted the 200 on sway bars with bushings already pressed in and the money on labor to install it. But my car swayed a ton in the wind and the bushings were cracked so I guess there was some benefit from it.

Otherwise, just getting the bolt out isn't a huge job, clean the rust off of it, slide some grease on it and push it back in and tighten it up. No more squeaking!

Or you can just buy a new bolt from Lexus. Hope that saves someone else some trouble.

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  • 2 years later...

Well, my guy traced the problem. I guess this would benefit EVERYONE who changes the sway bar and/or bushings on their 1995-2000 LS400's due to a squeaking sound. The problem is nothing to do with the actual sway bar bushing, its the bolt that goes through the bushing. Mine was rusted, so that causes the squeak. Took some sandpaper and cleaned the rust off, spread some grease over the bolt and slipped it right back in. Viola! Instantly no more squeaking!

I'm surprised no one ever figured this out. Mechanics will all tell you replace this and that part. If I had known, I might not have even wasted the 200 on sway bars with bushings already pressed in and the money on labor to install it. But my car swayed a ton in the wind and the bushings were cracked so I guess there was some benefit from it.

Otherwise, just getting the bolt out isn't a huge job, clean the rust off of it, slide some grease on it and push it back in and tighten it up. No more squeaking!

Or you can just buy a new bolt from Lexus. Hope that saves someone else some trouble.

I'm confused. Which bolt are you talking about? The bolt that secures the sway bar mounting bracket to the frame? Or the stud on the end link that goes through the end of the sway bar?

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