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Stability in Crosswinds

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Old 03-31-10, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Stability in Crosswinds

We had 15 MPH winds from the south today, with gusts up to 28 MPH. When headed east on I-96, I felt that the crosswind gusts made my LS feel a bit wobbly at 75 MPH. Has anyone else experienced this?

Tonight, I checked my lug nuts and all are tight. The tires were a bit overinflated at about 35 PSI instead of 33, so I let out some air. (I have 18" wheels.) I'll have to see if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-31-10, 05:53 PM   #2
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My LS is significantly more susceptible to crosswinds compared to my 99 Acura RL. Its easy to deal with as the car is pretty massive but I do feel the wind pushing it sideways. As wonderful as it is, the LS is definitely a boat.
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Old 03-31-10, 09:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jabberwock View Post
My LS is significantly more susceptible to crosswinds compared to my 99 Acura RL. Its easy to deal with as the car is pretty massive but I do feel the wind pushing it sideways. As wonderful as it is, the LS is definitely a boat.
That is about the only thing I hate about the LS430...

When I had my LS400, I could haul down interstates through crossswinds and not be affected near as much, or at least it felt much better- probably due to the lower stance. Not sure if you guys noticed, but the LS400 is much shorter when parked next to the LS430.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:34 AM   #4
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I know on the standard DTS (non-performance), you can replace the rubber end links on the sway bar with stiffer urethane to help tighten up the ride. Does anyone know if this is an option on the LS430?
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Old 04-01-10, 12:31 PM   #5
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I also experience instability while driving either car of mine in cross winds and for the life of me cannot figure out why. Have previously owned early Q45's which were as stable as a rock in these conditions and I expected the same with the LS's.
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Old 04-01-10, 02:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by caddyowner View Post
We had 15 MPH winds from the south today, with gusts up to 28 MPH. When headed east on I-96, I felt that the crosswind gusts made my LS feel a bit wobbly at 75 MPH. Has anyone else experienced this?

Tonight, I checked my lug nuts and all are tight. The tires were a bit overinflated at about 35 PSI instead of 33, so I let out some air. (I have 18" wheels.) I'll have to see if that makes a difference.

This is interesting that this thread has come up. When I was heading north on the I15 I really felt the crosswinds a few times. I also felt gusts from semi trucks when I passed them on undivided highways a lot more than I thought I would. I was very surprised and thought I might have been letting my nerves convince me something was wrong.

I had the PSI over 33 also for mileage purposes and I moved it down and I didn't feel any difference. My pre buy inspection didn't show anything wrong with control arms or suspension. Lugs were all tight, OEM dimension tires. It's not a particularly narrow car either.

Wasn't this exterior designed in elaborate wind tunnels to achieve the low coefficient of drag and hwy mileage it has? I seem to remember a commercial that showed a dimpled undercarriage as the LS spun skewered from hood to trunk with simulated wind gusts passing over it.

They seem to have missed something perhaps.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:45 PM   #7
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LOL If the lug nuts are loose enough that you are being blown around on the road, you're going to have much bigger issues within a few thousand feet.
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Old 04-01-10, 03:54 PM   #8
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By the LS430 being a large slab sided car, the wind cant help but to get caught up by the big body panels on this car. I've experience the same on windy days but just but just summed it up to the side profile of the car. The wind tunnel design was for forward moving LS's not side ways. LOL. This is another nit we have to live with which i really dont mind at all.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:08 PM   #9
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Would you think that lower the car will help out at all?
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Old 04-01-10, 04:27 PM   #10
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I wouldn't think so because the wind would still hit the large sides. Lowering would just allow most of the air to go over the top than under.
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Old 04-01-10, 04:51 PM   #11
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I had more cross-wind issues with a 2000 E320. MBs recommended tire pressure for sustained high speeds was 6 PSI higher than their usual pressures. That pressure virtually eliminated the buffeting. With my 2004 LS430, I have had very little problems with cross-winds. The car's cornering response is quicker with +4 PSI, but buffeting is not affected.

I would check the 4-wheel alignment, especially after pothole season.
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Old 04-01-10, 05:21 PM   #12
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With all these crosswinds conversations, are we talking about the Lexus LS or THIS LS...
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Fligh...-LS/1619466/L/

My belief on these "crosswinds" sensations/phenomonons are similar to the surfr's thoughts-----> because of the side profile of the car. I also believe how "aerodynamic" the car is and the car's low drag coefficient pertain and relate strictly when the vehicle is driving forward, and are completely irrelevant in this conversation.

Ask a truck driver what he'd fear more.....driving his tractor trailer (rig only) on a windy bridge, or his tractor trailer with a traditional box-type trailer on a windy bridge? (in both scenarios, the vehicle's drag coefficient is HORRIBLE...but it's the huge side profile that makes the vehicle unstable w/crosswinds.)
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Old 04-01-10, 05:30 PM   #13
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Lowering the tire pressure to 33 psi appeared to help the situation. We had similar conditions today as yesterday. (15 MPH winds from the south, with gusts to 25). I could still feel the gusts aand buffeting when passing trucks, but the wobbly directional feel was gone. There was no movement within the lane.
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Old 04-01-10, 05:35 PM   #14
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If there were urethane sway bar bushings available for the 430, I wouldn't put them on. I had them on my LS400 and took them off. They made the ride harsher and transmitted the road (in a bad way) through the steering wheel. I also had urethane bushings on the upper and lower control arms for a while and removed those as well. They also have a tendency to squeak over time and need to be lubricated periodically in many cases.

I also own an LS400 in addition to the 430 and it does do quite well on the highway. I've noticed some buffeting as well with the 430, but nothing I can't live with. If you want to experience some cross wind issues, try driving a GX470 on the highway! I've owned both an 04 & an 08 GX and they can be a challenge at times in a crosswind. On a scale of 1-10, with the GX being a 10 in a crosswind, I'd rate the 430 a 2...

Do 430 owners who put the air suspension in sport mode notice any improvement with crosswinds in that mode? The GX has four air suspension settings from comfort to sport. When on the highway in a crosswind, putting the suspension in the firmest sport mode does help.

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Old 04-01-10, 06:29 PM   #15
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I once owned a 76 VW mini-bus. At times it was more like sailing than driving.
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