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Old 01-14-12, 11:52 PM   #61
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Im having the same problem. I have a 2002 LS430 and it also wonders on the highway. I replaced both lower control arm bushings, and the rear sway bar, and i just had an alignment done. It help a vary little but over a period of about 1 month it got worse. Has your car been in a wreck?
I asked everyone who did an alignment if the car had been hit, and they all said no.
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Old 01-17-12, 10:55 AM   #62
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I am glad to hear you had this issue AND got it fixed. Just wondering, how did you or the shop detirmine is was a wheel bearing causing the wandering ?

My car now has the snow tires with 17 inch wheels and although it wanders a little bit on some roads, its a HUGE improvement. I drove on the highway in a heavy rainstorm the other day ... and the car drove perfectly - straight as an arrow. I don't get it at all. I am really not sure why it drives SO MUCH BETTER / STRAIGHTER on the smaller winter wheels and winter tires, but it does. Other than being 17s, my winter wheels have a 35 offset and the tires are 225/55 so they are taller and narrower.

I was planning on selling my 18" OEM wheels and tires, but I will be pissed off if I do and the car still wanders afterwards because my issues are caused by a worn wheel bearing, or some other small suspension part, or due to the camber being out ...... I am debationg buying summer tires for my winter wheels and then buy new winter wheels next winter, lol
Well, if the bearings are loose/worn then I would expect larger tires and wheels would have more leverage and would thus make the problem seem worse (if the amount of play is say .001" at the bearing, then the amount of play could be (Iím guessing) 0.1" at the tire surface for the 17" rims and perhaps 0.15" for the larger ones). I determined what the problem was due to a noise issue. When cornering, a rumbling sound could be noticed that was louder when turning left than when turning right. That indicated the bad bearing hub was on the right side. If the left hub is bad, the noise when cornering would be reversed. The hub assembly is available on EBay; the job is not hard except for getting the old one out, the steel hub assembly tends to get stuck in the aluminum arm due to corrosion.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:34 AM   #63
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you are lucky you had the some noise to help identify the problem. My wheel bearing are silent, and I have no noise here or anywhere else helping identify what is causing the wandering.

I need to find the cause - without spending thousands of dollars replacing parts that are not worn out.

Thanks for trying to help.
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Old 01-17-12, 04:18 PM   #64
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alright what you guys are describing is an issue i understand very well. If you have already checked out your wheel berings, balljoints, tie rond ends.. then here is your answer

Here is the deal. Some tires follow the line better than others. in racing we call this "following the track" it means the same thing as your "wandering"

You guys don't understand this but your settings on your alignment are so far gone that the more you set them with negative camber, and toe out the worse this problem becomes. caster can be another issue, but probably not related to this "wandering problem".

Trust me, I have over 20 years of real racing experience, not street race or dirt track stuff either. You see, we set our cars up similar to yours, but you guys go even further than we do.

Does anybody here understand bumpsteer? and how to make it worse? same deal with this wandering problem.

Your Answer: get new tires or set your alignment right, and see what happens.

I am sure i will get flagged for this, but goodyear are the worst about "following the track"

Also you are creating uneven tire wear. I can't say how for fear that I will offend you and get in trouble, but here is the fact.

When your tires are all worn out on the inside it makes this problem worse.

With the specs you guys run on street tires, I am surprised that you can even get 500 miles out of a set of tires

If you don't believe me come to topika kansas or the black farms in the summertime on a track day, i have a ralt "looks like an indy car" that I will let you drive and show you.
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Old 01-17-12, 04:46 PM   #65
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alright what you guys are describing is an issue i understand very well. If you have already checked out your wheel berings, balljoints, tie rond ends.. then here is your answer


Your Answer: get new tires or set your alignment right, and see what happens.

I have had two, new sets of tires and 3 alignments, in the past year, but the problem remains, although the car is much better on the winter tires and wheels
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Old 01-17-12, 08:10 PM   #66
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ok, stu this is a good sign, it helps us narrow things down. now there is a finite amount of things we can check. do you have a pry bar and a Jack?

Here is what we need to do,

1st, change the toe and the caster. you need the car to toe in a little, not much, you can not have toe out. i don't know where yours was set.

Jack the car, and really use safety jacks, your safety is the most important and what we are going to do could be dangerous if not jacked safely. or if you have access to a frame lift even better if you have a local garage or something.

yank on the front wheels as hard as you can. see if you ccan find any play. usually if you feel any knocking around its a wheel bearing usually.

now if it feels good and tight

I would take the wheels of next

we need to yank around on the tie rods, see if the ends have play in them or knock around. If you need help, or don't know about tie rods, just ask, I can take pictures and show you where the are at.

If that is tight, I would take a pry bar and have a look along the wishbones. see what you can find that will jiggle for you. Something will. Now that we have ruled out the tires.

I seriously am curious to know how this works out.

With race cars, the more worn the tires the more they follow the road, its from all the negative camber and we toe the cars out a degree or so to increase turn in but this is the opposite of what you want, and will create symtoms just like the ones you got.

Also, one more thing I would look at is the sidewalls, do you know people who have cars that drive straight with the same tire brand and size you are? if so, that will help us .
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Old 01-17-12, 08:19 PM   #67
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scottgolf, I appreciate your write up, but even though I have not found a good diagnostic mechanic yet, I am not going to try to do this myself. I need an expert, not a novice like me.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:22 PM   #68
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Also, stu, here is something I don't know, but it would help us to reduce this problem.

Please chime in. Does anybody have a car with similar specs and ride height? what I wonder is are you sure it is possible to make the cars not follow the track with similar spec.

I would be curious about this, because this could be a really good lesson in physics. Please keep us posted as to how this works out. I personally would be surprised if you can get them to drive straight with that much negative camber.

Also if you guys are using eurathane bushings this will cause a car to wander or "follow the track" these are pretty easy to change usually you just burn the old ones out with a torch and push the new ones in, but sometimes they require a press on some cars. I don't know how the sway bars are on the LS
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Old 01-17-12, 08:24 PM   #69
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Stu I totally understand and you are a wise man. I wish you lived in des moines, I would just have the guy that takes car of my race car look at it for you for free, if its possible to get it straight, he can do it.
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Old 01-17-12, 08:52 PM   #70
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I understand that there are all sorts of people without wandering problems and running much more negative camber than you are, but, at the same time, I have felt the effects of going from proper negative camber, to medium amounts of negative camber, to pretty extreme negative camber... I can definitely tell you that as you increase negative camber that a car will DEFINITELY "tramline" or follow road imperfections MUCH MUCH MORE than a car with the factory recommended camber settings...

Now, is this the problem, maybe, it might not be the entire problem, but it may be part of the problem...

If I were to bet on it, I would say it is partially your Continental tires fault and partially your negative rear cambers fault.

That is, so long as you don't have any loose or worn parts, which it sounds like you do not. Question about the ball joints on the front though - how were they tested? With ball joints like those found on our cars, you can't just lift the car and grab the wheel and shake. You have to jack the front of the car up by the control arm so that the tire is off the ground only a few inches. Now, get a pry bar and use it to lift up on the tire from underneath. While you are doing this, have someone look for vertical movement in the ball joint itself... You CANNOT test these any other way, as with the car lifted by the chassis, the droop in the suspension puts the ball joint in a bind and even if it is completely loose, feels tight...

What concerns me is why your rear camber is in so much to start... #1 reason for improper camber is lowered ride height, perhaps weak springs... I'll try and remember to look up proper rear ride height for your car tomorrow at work...
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Old 01-17-12, 10:42 PM   #71
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mitsuguy, good info on the balljoints. right on man
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Old 01-17-12, 11:12 PM   #72
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mitsuguy, I am going to fix the camber- I need to buy the adjustabe arms, and probably sell the 18 inch wheels and tires eventually, or just kep them for the next owner. My car is stock height, so I have not idea why the camber is off.

I will definitely make sure the next time the car is in for anything to get the ball joints checked this way. Thanks !
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Old 01-18-12, 01:17 AM   #73
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also, on the ls 430 can you change the toe on the rear? ideally if you could toe the front in a half degree that is usually enough for the fronts. I don't think just toe in on the rear will fix your problem, but just one more setting to make sure is right or close. a little toe in in the rear can help with stability at speed, but i wouldn't go crazy with it, but a little might help your situation especially if you lower it.

Sorry, I had already assumed your car was lower when I gave previous advice.
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Old 01-18-12, 12:23 PM   #74
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I will have to say, I really think you will be wasting your money on the adjustable control arms, that will not cause wandering, the rears are in spec. Mitsuguy is right, adding more camber will give the car a rail like ride, however -1.8* is factory for a majority of vehicles, because under weight, the car naturally cambers in.

Mitsuguy brought up a point I wanted to make as well about balljoints, you need to start, or have someone start going through f/r for play. Unless the car was hit lightly and bent one of your arms, it will most likely be related to failed bushings.
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Old 01-18-12, 12:59 PM   #75
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I will have to say, I really think you will be wasting your money on the adjustable control arms, that will not cause wandering, the rears are in spec. Mitsuguy is right, adding more camber will give the car a rail like ride, however -1.8* is factory for a majority of vehicles, because under weight, the car naturally cambers in.

Mitsuguy brought up a point I wanted to make as well about balljoints, you need to start, or have someone start going through f/r for play. Unless the car was hit lightly and bent one of your arms, it will most likely be related to failed bushings.
interesting about the camber .... you may both be right., I sure don't want waste my cash.

What are you saying " you need to start, or have someone start going through f/r for play" what do you mean exactly ? whats f/r mean /

If the control arm was even slightly bent, this would be screwing up the allingment - correct ? If this is correct, is it pointing to failed wheel bearings as Mitsuguy suggested ( or what you referred to as bushings ? or are these the same things with different names)
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Old 01-18-12, 12:59 PM
 
 
 
 
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