I will try to make it short... but it wont be...
1991 LS400. 300k
When I bought car, rear drivers out of align. Had to replace locator arms which were bent. Backyard mech had trouble with bolt, and ended up damaging fram/chassis while grinding. (other shops called it frame chassis, but its the part locator arm is hooked up to, not really frame/chassis). ANyway.. replaced locator arms, did not put eccentrics back on. Had it aligned at another shop. They were not able to 100% align it, but close. Steering wheel is not of by 15 degrees anymore.. just a bit.
All summer drove ok. Fast forward to December in Edm AB Canada...
The roads are now icy. The car wanders/sways. It is not just fish-tailing. It is sawying. I think we would have noticed sway in summer also. My wife hit a curb by pulling too close. Not too hard.. but hard enough to blow a tire. Those were summer tires, on summer rims.
Have new snow tires installed on original Lexus rims. Swaying is now less frightening, and more controlable, as a result of winter tires... but still exsists. So we have ruled out bent rim or seperated tire.
I know I need some upper control arms, and will get them soon. Best price so far is $600 for 4 used ones in Edm AB.
I dont think this would cause sway/wander though.
It doesnt happen only on bumps/rough roads. In fact it is most noticeable on good roads. Also dont notice till about 5o km/hr. (About 30mph)
Jacked car up. Front pass side has play in wheel. Top to bottom AND side to side!
Could that cause sway? I have had clumks from 3 or 4 wheels bcuz of control arms for some time, but never sway untill now.
Is it possible that it always swayed, and we never felt it in the summer? I think not, but....?
Or more likely some more damage was done when curb was hit? Nothing looks bent or broken.
Any advice would be appreciated greatly. We want to keep the car, and if we have to spend a thousand dollars to fix we will. This is my first Lexus, but have had many imports, and did all work DIY. I dont have a manual, becuz Lexus wants $700, and cant find after market one.
My wife (with kids) use to drive the car, but it feels like a death trap now, and I am now driving them around in my 3 seater truck, which doesnt work well for 4 people.
Thanks a million