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Annoying Clunk Sound- Strut Bar (The Mother thread)

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Old 09-03-03, 01:26 PM   #31
RA40
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Default Strut rod arm bushings

When I had the car by the dealer today for a front suspension/brake check, this was one of the items they had for recommended service. The price is $834.

Are the bushings available separately or does it facilitate replacing the whole strut rod arm? How difficult a repair is this for a DIY job?

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Made a call and the strut rod arm itself is $125 each with bushing. I have a press but I'm not fond of pressing in bearings or bushings if it is depth critical and does not have a stop. I'd rather install a factory set arm for ease.

Looking at the service manual, it requires removal of the strut assembly to access. Now what I'm curious about is...does the steering knuckle -have- to be disconnected to remove the strut? My thought is that by removing the steering knuckle it allows the lower arm to give more clearance by being disconnected. If I compress the spring 1" or so, this should allow removal of the strut without disconnecting the steering knuckle.

In similar I also think that by disconnecting the half-shafts for the rear allow it also to give more clearance. My thinking is if I'm going to remove this much up front, I'm going to put in the Eibach Pro kit springs at the same time. The last Toyota procedure had removal of the half-shafts but by removing the sway bar brackets I was able to install the springs easily.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-24-03, 09:11 AM   #32
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The bad news is that there are no bushings for strut bars.
Why did the dealer recommend service?
I had to replace mine because I was getting a loud "clunk" each time I accelerated from stop and especially while starting to brake. Unless you have the same, there is no reason to replace them.

I bought mine for $75 each from a dealer. Currently they are $95.07 @ http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...12&catalogid=2

P.S.
As it happends, I also have a 97 LS400 Coach

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Old 09-24-03, 01:32 PM   #33
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The car clunks when going over sharp road variations and that was why he recco'd the strut bar fix. He relayed it wasn't an urgent fix but should be planned for a future service visit. Thanks for the resource, I'll place an order for some.

How many miles do you have on yours?
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Old 09-24-03, 02:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by RA40
The car clunks when going over sharp road variations and that was why he recco'd the strut bar fix. He relayed it wasn't an urgent fix but should be planned for a future service visit. Thanks for the resource, I'll place an order for some.

How many miles do you have on yours?
You are welcome.

Mine had 120K before they had to be replaced.
Again, strut bars are there to restrict the front suspension from moving back/forward when you press brake pedal. That's all! So, if you do not hear a loud metallic noise when braking, then it's not them!
Mine made no noise when going over the bumps.
Actually, it seems to me that your dealer is about to begin the process of trial by elimination. Not something one would want to do on LS400.

There are plenty of other things that can make the noise that you are talking about. None of them are strut bars. Sway bar is the most likely culprit. Check the sway bar bushings before doing anything. It's also the cheapest fix.

Good luck.
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Old 10-22-03, 10:15 PM   #35
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95-97's are notorious for eating up strut rod bushings. It's a lousy design. Instead of incorporating the twist into the metal rod, the bushing itself is twisted, so it's always strained and prematurely cracks. I just replaced both sides. Yes, they caused a clunk when braking, or hitting speedbumps, pulling into driveways, etc. They can also cause a shimmy when driving/braking. Buy the parts online ($95 each), then take it to any reputable shop, expect 1/2-1hr per side. $834 is ridiculous. If you're handy with a wrench, do it yourself. Not too hard. Just be sure to mark the eccentric bolt up front before you dissassemble so you can get the toe aligned back to spec.

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Old 10-27-03, 05:15 PM   #36
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I figure I'll replace the strut rod arms when installing the springs and strut cartridges. I've ridden in a couple other 2'nd gen LS's that also clunk. To think my past Toyota's haven't had this type of problem. Only had to replace a tie rod and that was at 150K miles.

It does feel "loose" when encountering bumps and such.
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Old 10-27-03, 07:19 PM   #37
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$327.50 TWO STRUT RODS AND LAbor - Have to do it. Good luck
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Old 08-21-05, 03:37 PM   #38
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Unhappy And the front goes clunk

Drove over a mean series of speed bumps today and on entering and exiting, I felt just how loose/worn the front end has become. Yesterday I check the front by pushing/turning, pulling to see if I could detect any play in either the tie rod ends or the ball joints...it felt solid. Today's episode I am thinking it is going to be the upper and lower arms.

I dunno if the design of our lower ball joints is similar to the second gen GS...over there, thsoe guys are reporting 50-60K useful miles before replacment and about the same time it also hits the lower arm bushings.

I know Grand has gone through his how about the rest of you...how is the front on yurs and at what miles?
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Old 08-21-05, 03:47 PM   #39
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hi mike mine still original on the upper and lower control arms at 137,000 miles,,, ive already replaced my strut bar bushings, tie rod left and right along with replacement of a rebuilt steering rack, plus i renuilt the power steering pumps had the power steering hose replaced by a hose shop, so fa so good, no clunks, but like second gen LS theres no aftermarket POLY bushing for the upper and lower control arm like the first gen by daizen or vlamos, my celica pushing 440,000 miles
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Old 08-21-05, 09:46 PM   #40
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I think our old school cars have a simplier more durable suspension.

It's annoying...when the suspension compresses then extends back, there is an obvious clunk that I can feel through the car. LMS had it on the rack to inspect...they couldn't determine what may be causing it. My suspicion is one of the arms and if so, I hope it's the lower since it costs less.

I noticed some migration of power steering fluid on two of the smaller hoses that come out of the lower portion of the reservoir. I may have to change those to see if it stops that. It's not dripping but I do wonder if this is the beginnings of a PS pump rebuild. More stuff

To keep up with the aging Lex, I'm projecting minimal $1K annually but I suspect that $2K will cover it. Mine has 96K miles so far. (Wanna spend the $$ on other stuff not maintenance )
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Old 08-22-05, 06:17 AM   #41
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RA40,
It depends how the car was driven in its previous life before you purchased it. Mine is a 95 with 135k miles now, and everything is rock solid. There is life beyond 50-60k for the suspension for the LS.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:14 AM   #42
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At 60K mine had the beginnings of the clunk. Maybe back then I could have taken care of it sooner though two shops examined the strut/caster bars and said it could wait. The road I drive it on is typical for So. Cal. Not particularly bad but here and there it will encounter a pot hole or something.

In reading about the lower ball joint, this seemed to occur with frequency on the second gen GS's. This gave me reason to wonder if the suspenion shared a similar wear issue on the LS. .001" or so may not seem like much but in certain instances, it can be. We'll see...what part solves what.

Thanks for the input...
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Old 08-22-05, 08:52 AM   #43
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I wish Lexus would either do a better job with these upper control arms, or at least reduce that ridicules price. In my previous car (Lincoln Mark VIII), upper controls arms were always a problem every 40-50K, but they were only about $80 a piece. I cant for the life of me understand why our upper control arms would cost $300+, unless they had a lifetime warranty. The aftermarket hasnít been kind to us either. Im already seeing serious wear on my upper control arm bushing
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Old 08-22-05, 09:22 AM   #44
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im almost to 120,000 miles and i dont have any problems i assume all pars are original since i bought it 2 years ago ith 70,000 miles on it
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Old 08-22-05, 12:14 PM   #45
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I wonder if the Ball Joint portion of a UCA is really as unreplaceable as we have been lead to believe?

It looks to me like they are being replaced in other import cars. I have never tried to remove the existing Ball Joint much less press another one in , but it does look possible.
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