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Old 01-18-12, 11:22 PM   #76
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I think he means the front and rear suspension. Mitsu is right about how to check balljoints also.

A lot of cars start off at positive 3 degrees of camber, depends on weight and other factors. You kind of have to play with that and tire pressure to find the best wear for the tires, but the disadvantage of this is you won't have the look of neg camber, I don't know if that is a big deal to you or not, but i am learning with VIP cars you want to have the negative camber look, and thats cool, but I really think you will find the wandering in giving yourself a little toe in, like a half a degree to 1.5 degree. if it were me, I would start at the factory lexus spec for camber and toe. then go for a drive. It wont cost you much for an alignment, probably less than 100 bucks, and this should be the tell tail for you. Then you can adjust until you get closer to the camber you want, and the wandering and bump steer that you can live with
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Old 01-19-12, 06:19 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottgolf View Post
I think he means the front and rear suspension. Mitsu is right about how to check balljoints also.

A lot of cars start off at positive 3 degrees of camber, depends on weight and other factors. You kind of have to play with that and tire pressure to find the best wear for the tires, but the disadvantage of this is you won't have the look of neg camber, I don't know if that is a big deal to you or not, but i am learning with VIP cars you want to have the negative camber look, and thats cool, but I really think you will find the wandering in giving yourself a little toe in, like a half a degree to 1.5 degree. if it were me, I would start at the factory lexus spec for camber and toe. then go for a drive. It wont cost you much for an alignment, probably less than 100 bucks, and this should be the tell tail for you. Then you can adjust until you get closer to the camber you want, and the wandering and bump steer that you can live with
I just have to fix some of the wrong numbers here, its killing me!

No car starts off with positive 3 degrees of camber. Most cars have camber settings between 0.0 and -1.5 degrees. There may be a car or two out there (truck perhaps) that calls for a slightly positive camber, but not 3 degrees.

Also, a half degree of toe is quite a bit! a half degree of toe will cause tires to wear probably 80% faster than they should. I recently had a car in the shop with 1.2 degrees of total toe in the front, and it had noticeable wear on the front tires with only 150 miles on them... Most cars call for somewhere in the 0.0 to .2 total toe range, which means half of that per side...
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Old 01-19-12, 06:35 PM   #78
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well that is where i start with my car, its flat tire wear is positive 3, we run neg 2 in front and neg 2.2 rear with a .5 of toe out, and flat at .5 in
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Old 01-19-12, 06:49 PM   #79
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well that is where i start with my car, its flat tire wear is positive 3, we run neg 2 in front and neg 2.2 rear with a .5 of toe out, and flat at .5 in
positive 3 degrees on a street car?

that is NUTS!

flat tire wear would be 0, because the tire would be exactly perpendicular to the ground *a 90 degree angle*

positive 3 degrees would be just as bad, or worse, even, than running negative 3 degrees... not to mention the car would handle TERRIBLY!
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Old 01-19-12, 06:58 PM   #80
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no, i guess its not a street car, it is about 2300 lbs lighter than the ls too, so that could be a factor i don't know, but that is where it starts
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Old 01-19-12, 06:59 PM   #81
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i did look up some streetcar specs and your right, i am wrong and admit it.
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Old 01-22-12, 04:59 PM   #82
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Not sure if it's related to your issue but my LS430 was just in for service and they found the front caster bushings ripped and replaced both at 81k miles.
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Old 01-22-12, 06:08 PM   #83
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front caster bushings - never even heard of them .... probably not checked.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:46 PM   #84
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caster_angle

If the bushings are worn, I don't think it would show itself in an alignment. However when the car is in motion, and the bushings are subjected to driving forces, this may change caster more than allowed which might explain your wandering.
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Old 01-23-12, 10:43 AM   #85
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caster_angle

If the bushings are worn, I don't think it would show itself in an alignment. However when the car is in motion, and the bushings are subjected to driving forces, this may change caster more than allowed which might explain your wandering.
Thanks waijai, for the suggestion abd the wikipedia link, and I will DEFINITELY get this checked too - next time I take the car in.

What I still don't get is why the car drive almost perfectly on the 17" wheels and snow tires.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:00 AM   #86
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I am not familiar with your summer tire setup, but I'm assuming your 17" setup has beefy tires?

Perhaps (and this is only an assumption) your winter tire setup absorbs more energy, instead of it getting transferred through the suspension to the possibly worn caster bushing?
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Old 01-23-12, 12:38 PM   #87
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I am not familiar with your summer tire setup, but I'm assuming your 17" setup has beefy tires?

Perhaps (and this is only an assumption) your winter tire setup absorbs more energy, instead of it getting transferred through the suspension to the possibly worn caster bushing?
The winter wheels are aftermaket Fast, tires are 225 / 55 / 17 Firestones WinterForce.

I will get BOTH the caster bushing and wheel bearimg checked. Thanks again
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Old 01-23-12, 06:40 PM   #88
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Stu, I remember hearing about a Technical Service Bulletin on the lower control arm bushing. I never did find the TSB itself though. These links talk about it some:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls43...lem-found.html

Here Lynzoid confirms that he had knowledge of a TSB, but for what year? when?
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls43...er-mounts.html

I just put new tires on my '01 and boy, what a difference. I have chromed, stock 17" wheels and the old tires were thin and rounded. My car would not hold a line well along with not holding traction even in dry conditions. The new Michelin MXV's are precise, quiet and my overall handling is very satisfying.

I sure hope you find your problem soon!
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Old 01-23-12, 06:58 PM   #89
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Hi Bon,

Thanks for the links. I have probably never had the lower control arms bushings or the front caster rubber mounts looked at by anyone who would know if mine were OK or not

I haven't given up yet, but I do wish something would break, seize up or at least start making noise so the shop could find and fix it!
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Old 02-02-12, 02:48 PM   #90
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I actually have the DWS in 235/50/18 on my 94 LS400 and they have been amazing for me. I can let the wheel go on a flat/straight and the car tracks completely straight. I've actually really enjoyed driving on those tires for the last few years so I don't expect that they're necessarily to blame.

What I will say though is that the steering on my LS430 feels very different from the one on my LS400 in that the 430 seems softer/looser generally but with a much stronger pull to centre. I have been blaming the tires that came on my 430 for that since i bought them (stock 17's with MXM4s) for that "looser" feel compared to my 400 with RX 18s and the Conti DWS.

Since we live so close if you like I could stop by some time and let you have a highway spin in my car to see if you feel the same thing with the wheels/tires I have on right now...

Not to add another possibility to the pot here but what about the steering damper?...

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