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1996 lexus ls400 rattling Help!!!

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Old 09-27-12, 01:16 AM   #1
wille77777
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Default 1996 lexus ls400 rattling Help!!!

Hey guys its awesome to finally get on this website seems like everyone here is a wealth of information. So I recently just purchased a 1996 Lexus ls400 that had 101,000 on it, just had its timming belt replaced as well as all the 90k maintenance. The previous owner was a mechanic at a local Lexus shop and everything has been well documented on Lexus.com. As well as the only reason she was trying to sell the car is he had passed away in a car accident and didn't need the car anymore. It is in absolutely gorgeous shape almost mint, as well as has all the bells and whistles like chrome Lexus wheels, self-leveling suspension all that. But just recently I have been running into a problem. when i am driving on a bumpy road i get this super irritating rattle in the front left side of the car like a lower ball joint. But i raised up the car and tried to see if there was any play in the wheel and there was absolutely nothing. If you guys have any suggestions I am all ears.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:54 AM   #2
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Could be upper ball joint. Try testing with a pinch bar.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:47 AM   #3
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Check the brake caliper slide pins the grease can dry out and you get metal on metal contact.
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Old 09-27-12, 11:23 AM   #4
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Welcome to Club Lexus.

Worn suspension parts is typically the first area to look. Is the battery secured properly? Is the hood stop adjusted? (These are the round rubber pads on each front corner. )
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Old 09-27-12, 11:38 AM   #5
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I have the same noise
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Old 09-27-12, 08:36 PM   #6
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I have the same noise. I'm ruling out the calipers because the rattle is still present even when the brakes are depressed.
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Old 09-27-12, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AussiLS400 View Post
Could be upper ball joint. Try testing with a pinch bar.
Is there a DIY?
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Old 09-27-12, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RA40 View Post
Welcome to Club Lexus.

Worn suspension parts is typically the first area to look. Is the battery secured properly? Is the hood stop adjusted? (These are the round rubber pads on each front corner. )
My battery is loose but the rattle is obviously felt in the suspension.

I checked for loose ball joints and tie rod ends but there is no play. I checked the the strut shaft bolts if properly torqued and they are. I also checked the USM bolts if torqued properly and they are. However, When I tried to move the tires sided to side, there is no play on both sides but when I grabbed both tie rod ends they are not tight, meaning, I can sorta turn them and then the metal to metal is present. Could it be my TRE are shot?
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Old 09-28-12, 12:27 AM   #9
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These are difficult to tell when bolted up to the car and the suspension is under compression. It may seem tight but when you free them, they are pretty sloppy. Any obvious signs of uneven/odd tire wear? Sometimes, trying to get an alignment the tech will tell you he can't dial it in and then you know parts need to be replaced. Much depends on miles and road conditions. The notorious strut bar bushings are #1 among the clunking suspension noises.

Just for my curiosity, when driving is the gear selector vibrating? For all I know, the engine mounts are completely toasted, so when you have these rough patches of road, the engine is knocking on the mounts. I can't think of a case on an LS400 but I've heard this with other RWD cars.

One of my neighbor's, he did hard burnout and following anytime he was hard on the gas, he felt this big thump-thump and over rough roads. After having me rev the engine, he noticed it shift in the engine bay, the hood insulation had a dent from the intake piping too. That accounted for about 2" of vertical movement. This was a built 454 Chevy and following he put in some robust mounts capable of holding the HP it was putting out.
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Old 09-28-12, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RA40 View Post
These are difficult to tell when bolted up to the car and the suspension is under compression. It may seem tight but when you free them, they are pretty sloppy. Any obvious signs of uneven/odd tire wear? The notorious strut bar bushings are #1 among the clunking suspension noises.
I had the front end on jack stands. Pushing the tires side to side but no there is no play, crawled under and both TRE feels sloppy. I have yet to remove my strut assemblies to check the USM bushings. Is it normal for the TRE to be sloppy and yet no play present?

I also tried to move the tires up and down to check for ball joint play but there isn't any. How do I exactly pinch the upper ball joint?
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Old 09-29-12, 04:31 PM   #11
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I finally figured it out probably the most random thing ever. so i jacked up my car and decided just to feel around if anything was loose and sure enough there is a bracket on my control arm that holds a rubber hose line and it was extremely loose. i tightened it and walla the noise is gone. hope everyone else's fix is as easy as this. thanks everyone for the help you guys rock.
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Old 09-29-12, 04:36 PM   #12
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thanks for coming back and telling us what it was!!
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Old 09-29-12, 04:39 PM   #13
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That's good news!

Mine will not be as simple as that because the clunking can be felt on the steering wheel.
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Old 09-29-12, 06:08 PM   #14
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My mechanic did the lower ball joint on ours. So as for a how to, one of the online videos should have the basics.

How long have you had the LS? Miles? Any known suspension work?
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Old 09-30-12, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RA40 View Post
My mechanic did the lower ball joint on ours. So as for a how to, one of the online videos should have the basics.

How long have you had the LS? Miles? Any known suspension work?
It's been two weeks since I bought it. The current miles is 176K. The PO had the front struts replaced approximately two months ago.
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Old 09-30-12, 02:18 PM
 
 
 
 
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