OK, so I was asking earlier whether I needed to do both bearings. I decided not to do my other bearing at the time. Turns out, my other bearing started making noise last week, so I decided to do it before the car started to sound like a freight train.
Don't understand why these bearings don't last, car has 135K now....
Also, did anybody have a trick for tightening the 4 bolts that hold on the axle/bearing assembly? I used a swivel socket and various lengths of extensions to get the best possilbe angle, but for the two forward bolts I needed the swivel at a good angle....I am not that comfortable with torques if I don't have a nice straight socket on there....
I've not heard any definite info regarding how these bearings get worn. My last LS430's bearings went between 200-250,000 miles. This one was just on 200,000 when I got them all changed as a preventative measure.
I have heard of them going much earlier. I have also heard from guys who have done far more miles with no problem.
I did read a couple of posts saying that driving over pot-holes causes them to go. My feeling is that simply driving over a pot-hole won't, in itself, cause the failure. What I guess happens is that the geometry is adversely affected. The wheels are then FIGHTING against the weight of the car causing hugely increased friction within the bearings leading to very early failure.
We sometimes read of people replacing bearings with them then going again in a fairly short space of time. IF the cause of failure is not remedied THEN simply changing the bearings is pretty much a waste of time.
So, my advice would be to check the geometry and bush condition, even tier balance, as this may be the cause. Then AFTER the new bearings are fitted and any worn bushes replaced, get the geometry/balance corrected to avoid a premature recurrence.
With the assistance of this thread which I printed out for instruction, I replaced both my hubs today. It was quite a simple DIY for my 2005 LS with 173,000 miles. Thanks Club Lexus.
Only things to add are this entire bracket (first photo) is removed with a 10mm bolt which takes the small wire with it, no need to disconnect anything when you hang the caliper out of the way from the upper arm.
I also took photos from the rear looking forward of the back side of each hub to show the position of the ABS sensor wires. There was some earlier discussion about facing aft or whatever and I just wanted to make sure I installed each hub the same way the old ones were.
It took a bit of pounding to break free of some corrosion and I wire brushed the holes when they were empty. Once the bolts are out you can hit a punch to the hub mounting hole in order to give it a little twist, then just pound on the wheel mounting part on opposite alternating sides, since the whole thing is going to the dumper.
New hubs completely eliminated the whining noise I was experiencing at speeds over 45 mph. It was much louder turning right than straight and no noise turning left. Turns out the left hub was the one that was bad and made noise even when spun by hand after removal. All parts purchased from Sewell Lexus.