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NM98LS400

Front End Clunking And Bushings

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Ok, I have a 98 LS400 with approximately 76K miles on it that I bought this year. Everything about this car is great. The only problem that I have is with a clunk from the front end, most noticeably coming from the passenger side. I usually hear it when going slow (<30mph), and when I'm going over rough asphalt, prominent speed bumps, or the transition from the street to my driveway (has a rolled over curb). It appears that these road conditions that cause rapid compressions of the suspension system are the conisistent precursor to the "clunk." Other than that, the front end is very tight and smooth. I just had the front struts replaced by a trustworthy mechanic who specializes in Japanese vehicles. This took care of some of the problem, but not all. When I took it in again, he showed me that the front bushings on the front trailing arms were dry and cracking (not the upper or lower control arm). He told me that everything else checks out ok without tearing it apart. He checked the ball joints, sway bar bushings and control arms for looseness and didn't find any. He also made sure every nut and bolt on the front end was tight. My questions are, is it possible to replace the bushings on the trailing arms with changing out the whole part, and does anyone have any other idea as to what could be causing my annoying clunk? Thanks for the help.

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Hello and welcome. Sorry I do not have the answers to your question, but I also have the "clunk" from the front suspension sometimes when I go over a bump- but considering my car is a 1990 and has 229K, I guess it is time that something goes. I am suprised however that yours is failing at such low miles and only being 6 years old. It must be a design flaw on these cars, as it really does not seem to be an issue on most other automobiles. <_<

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I had to replace both front axles on my 96 es300. They were seperated by a year apiece. If it happens when you turn your whelll I bet that is the problem. Repair by a good mech. cost me about $200.00 apiece.

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My guess is your pointing to the strut bar that connects (@ 90 degree) with the lower suspension arm. This strut bar does have a large bushing that can be pressed out and replaced - although I imagine a new strut bar is much easier...

this strut bar bushing is attached to caster adjust cam & bracket; then ties into the lower suspension arm with two bolts.

Is this what your talking about?

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The dealer will tell you that the bushing are not availabel by themselves, rather they are included with the strut arm as a unit. Then they charge you over $800 to replace the strut arm. I couldn't find the bushing anywhere and they look fairly simple to replace. I got sick of the clunk and pull to the right and paid the bass yards. I will admit that it made a huge difference so it was worth it to me. Clunking and pulling in the car grew old on me quickly.

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The reason I said you could push out the old bushings is because it's right in my 1999 Lexus repair manual on how to do it................

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Hey Agent 99,

I figured that was probably the case. Can you believe the dealer told me I had to replace the whole strut arm? I specifically asked them about the bushing only replacement, and they told me it wasn't an option.They charged me for it, but upon close inspection, I see they only replaced the bushing. PMO.

They also told me I had to replace the whole wishbone upper control arm because you can replace just the ball joint. Well I looked at it closely, and I don't see any reason why I can't? Does the arm get weak or something? looks fine to me. I have all the tools. Wish they had put grease fittings on them, they'd last forever.

Denny

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Hey Agent 99,

I figured that was probably the case. Can you believe the dealer told me I had to replace the whole strut arm? I specifically asked them about the bushing only replacement, and they told me it wasn't an option.They charged me for it, but upon close inspection, I see they only replaced the bushing. PMO.

They also told me I had to replace the whole wishbone upper control arm because you can replace just the ball joint. Well I looked at it closely, and I don't see any reason why I can't? Does the arm get weak or something? looks fine to me. I have all the tools. Wish they had put grease fittings on them, they'd last forever.

Denny

Denny,

I bet your right on the money with this bushing too........

I mean - it's gotta be the way its made at the factory....press the bushing in - right??! :lol:

Here's the removal.......

remo.pdf

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Ok, I have a 98 LS400 with approximately 76K miles on it that I bought this year. Everything about this car is great. The only problem that I have is with a clunk from the front end, most noticeably coming from the passenger side. I usually hear it when going slow (<30mph), and when I'm going over rough asphalt, prominent speed bumps, or the transition from the street to my driveway (has a rolled over curb). It appears that these road conditions that cause rapid compressions of the suspension system are the conisistent precursor to the "clunk." Other than that, the front end is very tight and smooth. I just had the front struts replaced by a trustworthy mechanic who specializes in Japanese vehicles. This took care of some of the problem, but not all. When I took it in again, he showed me that the front bushings on the front trailing arms were dry and cracking (not the upper or lower control arm). He told me that everything else checks out ok without tearing it apart. He checked the ball joints, sway bar bushings and control arms for looseness and didn't find any. He also made sure every nut and bolt on the front end was tight. My questions are, is it possible to replace the bushings on the trailing arms with changing out the whole part, and does anyone have any other idea as to what could be causing my annoying clunk? Thanks for the help.

It could be a number of things--ie all that's been mentioned so far. I might as well toss mine in as well.

I also believe it's the strut tower bushing, or a bad shock in that corner. try to duplicate the problem at home by lifting the car and turning the steering wheel from one side to the other. See if it clicks. If it does, you've narrowed it down to the strut tower, and most likely the bushings connecting to strut tower and the rest of the car.

These guys are on the right track.

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My guess is your pointing to the strut bar that connects (@ 90 degree) with the lower suspension arm. This strut bar does have a large bushing that can be pressed out and replaced - although I imagine a new strut bar is much easier...

this strut bar bushing is attached to caster adjust cam & bracket; then ties into the lower suspension arm with two bolts.

Is this what your talking about?

99lsguy,

You hit the part right on the head. The bushings at the front of those bars are what look pretty worn (cracking). My mechanic told me that they are aprrox. $85 from the dealer (which isn't too bad considering it's from the dealer) for the each complete bar. I would like to know if there are aftermarket bushings that can be pressed in, and if its worth the trouble considering the new replacement price of the bars.

Everybody,

Your input is great, keep it coming! B)

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NM,

I don't know about aftermarket bushings or where to get.... :(

Sounds like you've got a fair mechanic to do this...which is great. My guess is even if you find the bushings for , say, $35 each, it will cost another $35 (each) in labor to press them in/out and such.......

I'd get the ones from the dealer. Keep the old ones for later..........

Those strut rod bushings really take a beating I suppose, they've always bit the dust on every Gen of LS made. Maybe that's why the rides sooooooooooo good when their good :lol:

Let us know what happens.........

:cheers:

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Guys! THese clunks do NOT come from suspension! Replace front wheel hubs. Almost guaranteed fix for LS430.

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