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vibration and steering issues

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Old 06-05-11, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default vibration and steering issues

Now that I have put a few miles on this car I'm getting more familiar with it and have noticed a few problems. It is a 96 LS400 base model with 130K.

When I first start it cold it has an oscillating low frequency vibration from the engine. It starts right up and idles at about 1500 RPMs until it warms up and settles into an idle of about 650 RPM. It almost feels as if it might be misfiring on one cylinder but I'm not familiar with V8 engines enough to know. Is it possible that it would have just a very slight miss if one cylinder was not hitting properly or would it be very obvious if was cylinder wasn't hitting? Once warmed up it seems to run smoother but I wouldn't say it is as smooth as it could be. I will pull the plugs when I get a chance and see if they all seem to be firing but any input on what it could be would be helpful. I'm kind of splitting hairs here and most people wouldn't even notice it but I'm sure that this thing should idle smoother than what it does.

There is also some driveline lash and vibration. At a stop shifting from drive to reverse there is a bit of a thump. Nothing bad but I'm guessing it has more driveline slop than it should. It also has some vibration at almost any speed that seems to vary from hardly noticeable to downright irritating. Any thoughts on this? U-joints, carrier bearing, tranny mount, engine mount? Is there anything in particular that would be very common to need replacement at this mileage?

As for the steering, I am ordering sway arm bushings, strut rod bushings, and lower ball joints. Is there anything else that would commonly cause this car to wander and tramline that I should consider replacing at 130K?

It also pulls to the right but I'm not going to get it aligned until I get the above listed parts replaced. I'm hoping the strut rod bushings are contributing to that problem. The steering feels very tight although I'm not ruling out worn tie rod ends.

As for the struts, strut mounts, and springs- the car seems not to have much noise coming from the strut mounts and the ride height and dampening action still seem to be within serviceable limits.

This is a nice clean car that has never been crashed so I am confident that it just needs a bit of maintenance to bring it back to it's original glory. I am planning to take it on a long trip in July but I would sure like to get the steering and vibration issues under control before I head out. As it is this thing would not be much fun to drone down the highway in and that is the main reason I bought it. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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Old 06-05-11, 02:13 PM   #2
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The tranny mount is very easy to replace. It's about a 15 minute job. The bushings that you're going to replace will make a difference, most definitely. You're on the right track.
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Old 06-05-11, 03:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MicahBerry View Post
The tranny mount is very easy to replace. It's about a 15 minute job. The bushings that you're going to replace will make a difference, most definitely. You're on the right track.
yes, this is true, tranny mount for sure, and see if your spark plugs AND wires have ever been replaced.... 15 years is a long time.. good luck on your trip.
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cold, cylinder, engine, frequency, kind, lexus, low, ls400, misses, steering, thump, v8, vibrate, vibration, warms

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