Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > Lexus Model Forums > LS Models > LS400
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

Suspension problems 96 LS400

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-12, 09:20 PM   #1
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default Suspension problems 96 LS400

I bought this car back in June of 2011. It is a one owner with what I believe to be the entire service history. The car has been well maintained and has had all the proper fluid changes, brakes, tranny service, cooling system flushes, and timing belts. The car is in outstanding cosmetic condition inside and out and has obviously been loved, garaged, and taken care of.

I knew when I first bought it it needed some work on the suspension. I quickly joined the forum and was advised that the strut rods and lower ball joints were usually the main culprits at this age and mileage that cause poor handling and drive quality. I replaced them and it helped tremendously. I have been driving it daily and it now has about 139K miles. When I replaced the strut rods and lower ball joints, I also replaced the brake pads and the transmission mount (which took care of the vibration at idle). While I was at it, I visually looked everything else over and it appeared to be in solid shape.

Here are the problems:

The front end will still wander from time to time. One thing that I recently noticed is that if I turn the wheel almost to the lock and turn in a circle, the front end will jerk as though it had slipped a few inches on ice or run over a few marbles (if that makes sense). It feels to me like maybe the upper and /or lower contol arm bushings may be completely shot or possibly the upper ball joint (which I checked when I did the lower ball joints). It just isn't right. It also needs new struts but the strut mounts don't appear to be too badly worn. The tie rod ends are tight and the belt is good and the power steering operates smoothly. I'd certainly like to hear any ideas before I just throw $350-$400 on upper control arms plus whatever the lower control arms cost and then find out the problem is something else.

To add to the drive-ability problems, the *** end will just seem to step to one side when it encounters uneven surfaces. This can get a bit unnerving at highway speeds and it is especially bad when I am carrying four adults. It can easily be felt by the driver as well as the passengers. It just feels like the back end will suddenly shift a bit to one side prompting a slight change of direction that has to be corrected by the sloppy front end. In other words, it just isn't a pleasure to drive this car.

I performed the same visual inspection of the rear suspension components when I did the front end work (on a lift) and everything looks good and all fasteners are tight. I am left to assume that there are severely worn bushings in the rear as well. I am hoping someone can relate to this and suggest a few parts to replace instead of me throwing hundreds of dollars at completely replacing all of the rear suspension links.

Any ideas about what I can do to put the glamour back in driving this car?
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 09:43 PM   #2
RA40
Moderator
Trader Score: (6)
 
RA40's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: California
Posts: 15,146
Default

After swapping the parts out, did you get an alignment?

Struts mounts are very durable.
Check the rack bushings.

Depending on the conditions and weather extremes yours has seen, plenty of rubber parts may be saying it is time unfortunately. Check the carrier bushings as well.
__________________

Mike
RA40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-12, 10:52 PM   #3
PureDrifter
BahHumBug
Trader Score: (9)
 
PureDrifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 22,336
PureDrifter
Send a message via AIM to PureDrifter
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureDrifter
you're overpaying for your parts. is there some particular reason you don't want to use one of the forum sponsors like Sewell or Carson? LBJs are ~$130 for a pair, Strut rods (complete, not bushings) are ~220/pair. all OEM.

go to a mercedes or BMW dealership and see if they don't mark up pricing from MSRP. Dealerships make the bulk of their money off of service and parts sales, and most have no incentive to lowering their markup (which is all pure profit)
this car when in proper shape delivers a better ride than any car of its era short of a rolls. The cost of this is that the suspension is full of relatively softer rubber components, and some of those components need to be changed after ~100-150k miles.

your specific "skipping" problem sounds like it's more likely a power steering (solenoid or control) issue vs. a mechanical one. the control arm bushings wouldnt create such an issue unless they were deteriorated to an extreme degree, and in such instances would have significant play.

another thing to look at very closely is to retorque the front subframe mounting bolts, as that's part of the standard service routine.
__________________
1. Black on Black 1999 LS400 PM-spec
-Maya-Megan-Magnaflow-LSportline-Xenondepot-Hankook-Duce-Platinum VIP-Figs Engineering-R1Concepts-
2. 1989 Toyota Supra white package
Current Status: -500 Internal System Error-
3. Black 2004 IS300 -Manaray-HKS-Eibach-
4. Ebony Teal 1995 LS400 11-8-06
PureDrifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 01:03 AM   #4
LScowboyLS
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
LScowboyLS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 4,067
@vatoloco
Send a message via Yahoo to LScowboyLS
Default

Quote:
this car when in proper shape delivers a better ride than any car of its era short of a rolls.
I recently rode in a Rolls of the same year and mileage as my 1996 LS400 - and the Rolls wasn't even close in any category of ride, handling, or anything else (except being overpriced when new)



Quote:
another thing to look at very closely is to retorque the front subframe mounting bolts, as that's part of the standard service routine.
any way you could give us a standard set of things that are recommended for our cars that aren't obvious? - I mean I know to do all of the normal things in the maintenance schedule, but would have never known to retorque the front subframe mounting bolts - never seen that anywhere but here, would love to know the other things to do to my 1996 LS400 to get some big gains in getting it back to "like new"

Last edited by LScowboyLS; 02-04-12 at 01:08 AM..
LScowboyLS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 01:56 AM   #5
PureDrifter
BahHumBug
Trader Score: (9)
 
PureDrifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 22,336
PureDrifter
Send a message via AIM to PureDrifter
Default

lol that's because a 20 year old rolls with 100k miles will ride very differently from an LS400 with 200k miles.
__________________
1. Black on Black 1999 LS400 PM-spec
-Maya-Megan-Magnaflow-LSportline-Xenondepot-Hankook-Duce-Platinum VIP-Figs Engineering-R1Concepts-
2. 1989 Toyota Supra white package
Current Status: -500 Internal System Error-
3. Black 2004 IS300 -Manaray-HKS-Eibach-
4. Ebony Teal 1995 LS400 11-8-06
PureDrifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 08:24 AM   #6
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

Quote:
After swapping the parts out, did you get an alignment?
Yep. Twice.

Quote:
Check the rack bushings.

Depending on the conditions and weather extremes yours has seen, plenty of rubber parts may be saying it is time unfortunately. Check the carrier bushings as well.
I'll take a look at the rack bushes while I am changing the valve cover gaskets and EGR pipe but the rack would have to be just hanging by a few threads for it to account for the slop that I have.

What are the carrier bushings? Let me know and I'll check them if I can.

Quote:
your specific "skipping" problem sounds like it's more likely a power steering (solenoid or control) issue vs. a mechanical one. the control arm bushings wouldnt create such an issue unless they were deteriorated to an extreme degree, and in such instances would have significant play.

another thing to look at very closely is to retorque the front subframe mounting bolts, as that's part of the standard service routine.
I wish it was my power steering but it is not. This is definitely some mechanical slop somewhere in the suspension system.

Tell me more about the subframe. This is the first I have heard of that. I put in the new ball joints and strut rods several months ago and haven't been under the car since but I don't recall anything that looked to me like a subframe. If there had been, I would have checked the bolts and bushings. Pleas advise.


My "skipping" problem may or may not be a symptom of the handling problems that I have. I just thought I should mention it. The real problem is the overall handling problems. I haven't heard any comments about the rear end. I'm wondering if the slop in the rear end is also presenting itself through the front end. In other words, making the front veer off course.

It was suggested when I bought this car that I replace the strut rods and lower ball joints. I did and it improved the car to the point it was driveable. What about the rear? Is there a single point of failure that renders the rear end useless?

Maybe I'm expecting too much from this car but I don't think I'm being overly critical of it. Can I assume that when it was new this car would run in a straight line down the highway?

Questions:

Do the front upper and lower control arms have to be replaced or can I just rebush them and replace the upper ball joints?

What is wrong with the rear end? Does the rear ride on a subframe mounted to the unibody? If so do those bushings usually fail allowing the *** end to flop about and make the car wander?

Am I having a unique problem? I figured I would be having common issues but I'm starting to think that my situation is uncommon. On that note, I should say that this car does not appear to have ever been damaged, curbed, etc. When I performed the previous work on it, it was pretty apparent that the suspension was all original and no fasteners had ever been removed so I don't think that it has ever suffered suspension damage.

Thanks for the ideas an please keep them coming.
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 08:30 AM   #7
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

Quote:
What is wrong with the rear end? Does the rear ride on a subframe mounted to the unibody? If so do those bushings usually fail allowing the *** end to flop about and make the car wander?
Now that I think about it- it does seem like the rear end gets kind of wormy under hard acceleration. Hmmmm
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 08:34 AM   #8
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

I should probably also mention that there is no vibration at any speed.
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 12:40 PM   #9
PureDrifter
BahHumBug
Trader Score: (9)
 
PureDrifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 22,336
PureDrifter
Send a message via AIM to PureDrifter
Default

sounds more like rear carrier bushings...

front control arms can be rebushed but the upper ball joints are NOT end-user replaceable, and no RUBBER bushings are available afaik.

Rear UCAs are relatively cheap, and the lowers are too. lower ball joints for the front can be ha separately.
__________________
1. Black on Black 1999 LS400 PM-spec
-Maya-Megan-Magnaflow-LSportline-Xenondepot-Hankook-Duce-Platinum VIP-Figs Engineering-R1Concepts-
2. 1989 Toyota Supra white package
Current Status: -500 Internal System Error-
3. Black 2004 IS300 -Manaray-HKS-Eibach-
4. Ebony Teal 1995 LS400 11-8-06
PureDrifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 01:11 PM   #10
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

I found this diagram and I have a couple of questions.

Is it feasible that the subframe bushes would already be completely sloppy?
Which of the control arms or bushes would be most commonly worn out?
Where is the carrier bushing?
Attached Images
 
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 01:29 PM   #11
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

Quote:
another thing to look at very closely is to retorque the front subframe mounting bolts, as that's part of the standard service routine.
I just read your previous post again and I think I misunderstood. When you said "front subframe mounts" I took it to mean a "front subframe". I see now that you were referring to the front bushes on the rear subframe. That would certainly be an easy fix if they have just worked loose. I don't have time to check them right now. Well, okay, I have the time but I'm too busy sitting on my *** right now. When I muster the desire and energy to go put this car on ramps and crawl under there, will I be able to access the bolts from there or do I need to go in from the trunk or under the seat? Will I have a clear view of the bushes so that I can tell if they are badly worn?
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 05:13 PM   #12
PureDrifter
BahHumBug
Trader Score: (9)
 
PureDrifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 22,336
PureDrifter
Send a message via AIM to PureDrifter
Default

actually i meant the entire of the front subframe, which is hard-mounted to the frame. but both the front and rear subframe mounting points are supposed to be retorqued every 30 or 60k miles as part of the routine services.

the rear subframe bushings could be dead, but it's not common.

searching for "carrier bushing" in this forum will give you a lot of information. It's not available from lexus but the aftermarket polyurethane bushing won't hurt ride quality much at all (if it's noticeable at all) and is easily available. It is the bottom-most bushing on the spindle itself (no. 9) that connects to the rear strut rod (no. 14).
__________________
1. Black on Black 1999 LS400 PM-spec
-Maya-Megan-Magnaflow-LSportline-Xenondepot-Hankook-Duce-Platinum VIP-Figs Engineering-R1Concepts-
2. 1989 Toyota Supra white package
Current Status: -500 Internal System Error-
3. Black 2004 IS300 -Manaray-HKS-Eibach-
4. Ebony Teal 1995 LS400 11-8-06
PureDrifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 06:51 PM   #13
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

Thanks. I'll do a bit of research.
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 07:57 PM   #14
Goofaroo
Rookie
Trader Score: (0)
 
Goofaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 67
Default

I bet that is the culprit for a big part of my problem. I'm going to order the Adus 505 bushings. That looks like it could be a quick fix. What about the rear strut rod bushing? Would it be feasible that it would need replacement as well at 137K?
Goofaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 11:03 PM   #15
PureDrifter
BahHumBug
Trader Score: (9)
 
PureDrifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 22,336
PureDrifter
Send a message via AIM to PureDrifter
Default

the bushing you're replacing is the one that dies commonly. the one on the strut rod(rear!) doesn't really see the same stress as the carrier bush or the front strut rod. AFAIK no bushings exist, and you have to replace the bar (though it wasnt overly expensive last i checked) if there's significant tearing/play.
__________________
1. Black on Black 1999 LS400 PM-spec
-Maya-Megan-Magnaflow-LSportline-Xenondepot-Hankook-Duce-Platinum VIP-Figs Engineering-R1Concepts-
2. 1989 Toyota Supra white package
Current Status: -500 Internal System Error-
3. Black 2004 IS300 -Manaray-HKS-Eibach-
4. Ebony Teal 1995 LS400 11-8-06
PureDrifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 11:03 PM
 
Reply
 
 
 

Tags
1996, 400, 91, arm, control, diagram, front, lexus, lower, ls, ls400, problems, rear, sc400, suspension

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:47 AM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Service | JOBS


Get all contact info

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2