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Old 11-21-11, 11:35 PM   #1
Stu
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Default Highway wandering

my 430 is perfect .... almost. It refuses to drive straight without a many tiny corrections. Just drifts where it feels like on the highway to the point that driving 80 mph is scary. In one year, it's had two sets of new tires. Now on Conti ExtremeContact DWS. Its had 4 (yes) alignments and replaced the steering bushings for no good reason, didnt change much. I am going to take it for its fifth allingment soon and put on the snows. If anyone sees anything odd in this aligmnent ( its the most recent ), please help

Click the image to open in full size.

What would you do. The car is mint, 62,000 miles, and I am starting to have evil thoughts. Appreciate everyones help.
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Old 11-21-11, 11:40 PM   #2
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Check the steering shaft u-joints for play. There's one that's mounted on the column right by the brake pedal, and there's another one in the engine bay right before the column bolts to the steering rack.
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Old 11-22-11, 04:40 AM   #3
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Stu, Sorry to hear the car is still a PITA. I saw a nice certified Audi A8 on the net 06 or so for 27,500 with 50 k on it.
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Old 11-22-11, 08:28 AM   #4
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have you bought the shorter control arms for the rear? i have found that anything more negative than -1.1 camber on each side wears the tires on the inner edges pretty bad. although it wont really change drivability i would rather you get some life from your tires.
another thing is they are still being a little moderate on the rear toe, i would rather see you at around .20 degrees on each side with a total of .40. that would set the thrust angle more aggressive and give it a straighter line feel to it.
im not sure how much you want to get into it either but the pass side could use a little more caster. the problem is you have to buy a bracket and bushing to change it, unless they are able to loosen it slightly and push it over a little.
im sorry you are still having this problem with the car.
i hope this helps
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Old 11-22-11, 08:33 AM   #5
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what tire pressure do you run by the way?
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Old 11-22-11, 12:38 PM   #6
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Are you running 245/45/18? Wide tires tend to grab the road alot causing the car to pull. Try 235/50/18. Those are "narrower." Also check on you rear sway bar links. My links were worn. I bought Moog links off ebay and they are alot more beefier compared to oem. The car handles a bit better.
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Old 11-22-11, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdls View Post
Check the steering shaft u-joints for play. There's one that's mounted on the column right by the brake pedal, and there's another one in the engine bay right before the column bolts to the steering rack.
I will have this looked at, thanks.

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Originally Posted by warminwisc View Post
Stu, Sorry to hear the car is still a PITA. I saw a nice certified Audi A8 on the net 06 or so for 27,500 with 50 k on it.
Yes, its too damn bad, but I am going to get it resolved. Audi makes a great car, but I suspect it will give me multiple more serious issues, lol.

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Originally Posted by azcamber View Post
have you bought the shorter control arms for the rear? i have found that anything more negative than -1.1 camber on each side wears the tires on the inner edges pretty bad. although it wont really change drivability i would rather you get some life from your tires.
another thing is they are still being a little moderate on the rear toe, i would rather see you at around .20 degrees on each side with a total of .40. that would set the thrust angle more aggressive and give it a straighter line feel to it.
im not sure how much you want to get into it either but the pass side could use a little more caster. the problem is you have to buy a bracket and bushing to change it, unless they are able to loosen it slightly and push it over a little.
im sorry you are still having this problem with the car.
i hope this helps
No, I have not touched the control arms. Tire life is desireable, but my first priority is to eliminate this drivability issue. I will buy the parts needed to fix this - I want to keep this car ! I posted the alignent readout, but don't understand it, however I will print it and chat with whoever does the next alignment. Thanks for your help again.

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what tire pressure do you run by the way?
I run 33 psi all around. I have tried all sorts of pressures and it's best at 33 psi

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Originally Posted by JLAWS View Post
Are you running 245/45/18? Wide tires tend to grab the road alot causing the car to pull. Try 235/50/18. Those are "narrower." Also check on you rear sway bar links. My links were worn. I bought Moog links off ebay and they are alot more beefier compared to oem. The car handles a bit better.
Yes, its on 245/45/18 in the summer and a narrower/taller 17 inch tire in the winter. You're right in your thinking as the car steers truer on the winter wheels/tires. I will sell the 18s and run 17's next summer, unless I get this fixed. Thanks for your help.


If you think of anything else, please post it. The Lexus dealer and the independant shop have not been very helpful in getting this resolved. Thanks again !
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Old 11-22-11, 02:49 PM   #8
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What wheels are you running? Factory Lexus or aftermarket? Wondering if there's an offset issue.



OFFSET
The offset is the location of the flat mounting surface of a wheel relative to the wheelís centerline. A negative offset indicates that the mounting surface is toward the center of the car, and a positive offset that it is toward the outside of the car. It will appear that the wheel is pulled in toward the center. Offset will lead to more problems than just making the wheel appear to be sticking out of the fender. It can lead to rubbing problems when the suspension is compressed or the wheel is cut to turn. Offset also affects the steering geometryís scrub radius, possibly leading to problems with the torque steer or the self-centering characteristics.

Offset can also affect the suspensionís motion ratio, which determines directly the effective spring and damper rates. In a heavily loaded vehicle, offset can potentially affect wheel bearing life. This problem though is seen more in trucks than in smaller cars. This is why using the proper offset wheels are essential.
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Old 11-22-11, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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What wheels are you running? Factory Lexus or aftermarket? Wondering if there's an offset issue .....
The 18 inch wheels are OEM Lexus wheels. Oddly, the 17 inch winter wheels are aftermarket, and the wandering is LESS with these afternmarket wheels.
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Old 11-22-11, 03:37 PM   #10
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Not to be obnoxious (well maybe a little), but how do you drive? When my dad was in his 80s, he still drove his 20xx cars like they had the loose steering of cars from the 60s. His hand sat at 12:00 and constantly moved back and forth to "correct" the track. He picked one of my nephews up from the airport and about made him sick due to the motion of the car. He called his mom to say that grandpa was a menace on the road. My sister laughed and said that he'd always driven that way.
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Old 11-22-11, 03:55 PM   #11
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Caddy, that's a fair question, I have always driven sport and luxury cars. My family and friends love my driving, as it's always smooth and safe. I am 100% sure this is not my lack of driving skill - it's the car for sure !
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Old 11-22-11, 04:29 PM   #12
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Try the front bushings. It made a big difference in my '02 UL. Steering was much firmer with a reduced need for corrections. In addition, the car found and held its "center" quicker and easier. I think the whole job was 275 to 300 at the dealer.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Try the front bushings. It made a big difference in my '02 UL. Steering was much firmer with a reduced need for corrections. In addition, the car found and held its "center" quicker and easier. I think the whole job was 275 to 300 at the dealer.
I've already replaced them. The old ones looked perfect, and I didn't notice much change after they were replaced.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:49 PM   #14
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Does the handling change after rotating your wheels? One of my buddies had a bent wheel that was causing similar problems with his 04 DeVille. Of course, some DeVilles (and now DTSs and Lucernes) continue to have suspension shakes no matter what you do.
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Old 11-22-11, 07:00 PM   #15
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Is + toe means toe out?

If it is, that's your problem. You want toe in to go straight.

Those shops that works on those "specified range" is a joke, I learned that when I was a kid before I got my license helping my mom align her 1st car at like a firestone shop. Half of that "specified range" is bad.

Go find a real alignment shop.

My LS430 with 88k miles with all original bushings, go straight like an arrow at 130 mph, I can even take my hands off the wheel.

How many times you get it align doesn't matter if those same morons keep adjusting it to the bad settings.

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