Hi All: Newbie here, long time reader, first time poster!! My 1999 RX 300, 204K miles, and 43k mile Japanese Engine import replacement at 187K miles, is due for Strut and Mount replacement. According to Lexus who did a damn thorough "World Class Inspection" and worth every $120 has a recommendation for the following replacement for noises under the floor board.
1. Replace Front Struts and strut mounts x 2
2. Replace Rear Struts and Strut mounts x 2
3. Replace Engine Mount...Front Right
4. Replace Torque Mount (Dog Bone)
I am no young buck but would like to attempt the replacement of the Engine Mount and Dog Bone myself., especially since funds are low and I'm living on a budget. I see the dog bone is cracked at the lower inner side and engine movement is visible during my own inspection, putting vehicle in reverse. I have a few questions for the brilliant minds on this forum.
1. I need to remove the dog bone to allow for replacing the front engine mount right?
2. I don't need to jack the vehicle up for this, right? Just use a 2 x 4 and hydr. jack, to jack the engine just enough to slide the front jack out and support the engine for that, right?
3. What about the rear engine mount? I bought this one as well from Rock Auto and thought I might as well do all the mounts at the same time. How do I replace the rear engine mount for this AWD RX 300.
4. Once I do the mounts successfully, I will order the Struts and do those as well.
Any ideas, suggestions, pictures, diagrams, instructions so that I don't screw up and have to ride a bicycle for the remainder of my life??LOL
My sincere thanks in advance for any help I can muster.
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The torque (dog bone) does not support the weight of the engine ... just provides support when the engine revs. You can remove and instal it while the engine is not running .
The engine mount would require supporting the engine. Lot of novices make the mistake of lifting from the oil pan. Some use wood planks to spread the weight . There is lift hook at the top (near the firewall) and most likely Lexus has special tool.
I would need a mobile lift to hook and lift in that case. Which makes it impossible to do this at home. I saw JohnLX's post and saw the support using the block of wood and a jack at the bottom and apparently there were no problems at all. IS there a rear engine mount as well??
Part # 12363A Torque Mount
12371A Rear Engine Mount
12372A Transmission Mount
12307 Front Shock Absorber
12361 Front Engine Mount
This easiest way to replace the mounts was to remove the Torque Mount first and install the new one last. After the removal of the torque mount, all other mounts need to be unbolted from the engine block. The front Engine Mount I had to remove to oil filter for enough torque to loosen the bolt for it. This one was the hardest bolt to remove. After all the bolts are remove I used a 2x4 to jack the engine up. It didn't take much for the engine to clear the mounts so I could replace them. I replaced all the other mounts at this time. Then lowered the engine. I did spread the weight across the oil pan.....since then I have helped two other people with the same vehicle do this. This create a leak in the oil pan seal. We replaced the seal afterwards as well. This has been the only negative to replacing the mounts this way.
Two recommendations from someone who has 'been there and done that.' When you order the struts and mounts, get OE mounts. You'll probably get KYB struts, which are great, but their mounts are crap. Go OE. Second, replace your sway bar end links. At your mileage they probably account for a lot of the suspension noise your are hearing.
Thanks guys. I just realized, I specifically ordered the hydraulic mount for the front end as it was displayed on Rock Auto Lexus catalogue. I opened the package and it is not hydraulic. There is no orifice for attaching a hydraulic hose, assuming the original does have a hydraulic hose that fits to it.
The torque strut (dog - bone) is Beck and Arnley, the other two engine mounts are DEA. Any thoughts? I am holding off removing the lower two mounts as I just noticed one of the 14mm bolts missing from the front end of the front mount. The torque strut is broken. What do you suggest ? Just replace the 14mm bolt and the torque strut since I have the correct one? And see how she performs? I did change the sway bar end links when they did the engine replacement. I'm almost sure the 14mm bolt went walk-about at that time, because I told the mechanic about the strange noise I never had before.
Thanks for any advice. i'll check in this evening. Have a great day, it's 80F in N. California!!
Just wanted to post an update. Shouldn't there be a cushion or stabilizer between the mount and the engine foot? Just pushed my fingers between the foot and the mount and there is a gap of about 1/2 and inch to 3/4". The SOBs probably left this one out as well. Surprised that LExus didn't catch it with their "world class' inspection either. So now I don't have an option. I need to get that front mount and insert the stabilizer on the new mount. Do I have to replace the front engine mount with a "hydraulic" part or can I wing it??
Thanks guys. Nothing like inspecting your vehicle yourself!!!
Thanks to JohnLexus, and another post by Bill Powell, I was able to change out my Front Engine Mount, the shock absorber next to it, the rear engine mount (the biggest pain in the rear......I had to drop the subframe) and the upper torque strut on passenger side. The car drives much better now. The loud clunking sounds have gone when driving, reversing and truning right. There is an occasional clunk when I turn left uphill, or turn right down hill. The Tranny mount looked OK and I had not ordered it. So that is the only mount not changed yet.
Anyone know what that gap is between the collared bolt on top and the access in the mount body? Should there be a gap there at all? I tried to move that bolt with the collar but it would not budge, so left it alone. Does that bolt fit snugly in the recess in a new tranny mount?? I don't know what purpose that bolt serves in the first place. The pictures on the parts catalogue only show the bottom of the mount, and no sectional drawing.
By the way I bought my mounts from parts.com, thanks to John. They were all OEM parts and perfect. Slightly more expensive than other websites but way cheaper than Lexus themselves.
Any feedback on that clunk as I've described is much appreciated. With the car jacked up, I turned the steering either way for a few times and it was as smooth as ever. So it's got to be tie-rod or the tranny mount.
While the car is jacked up you could easily check the tie-rod ends and ball joints, the ball joints are sealed so no regreasing is necessary...but if they were replaced with aftermarket at some point there would be a grease fitting on the bottom of the ball joint. Make sure the nuts holding the strut in place are tight one the strut towers. After i replaced mine and placed the car down they needed to be tightened up. Also, if you get the car back up check the lower control arm bushings....with 204k miles they might be deteriorating to a point were your hearing the clunking when you are turning the wheel.
Thanks John. Sorry, been out for a while. That popping, sound was most noticable when pulling in or out of a tight parking spot. I did an inspection with vehicle jacked up and found grease all over the right drive axle. Also sounds emitting from left wheel well. Guess what, I did change out the right drive axle at a garage ($264) but the sound hasn't gone away. i am pretty sure that it is the lower left ball joint now because i am now getting a shimmy on speeds over 65mph. How can I confirm if it is indeed the ball joint and is there a DIY instruction or sticky on replacing ball joints and lower control arm bushings? The bushings are visibly worn, but the sound vibrates along the control arm towards the left side and emits from the left wheel well.
New to this forum and seem to have similar issues to some of you. I was told by tire shop that the struts are leaking and need to be replaced. Recently, I have started to get a groaning noise when executing sharp turns in parking and driveway maneuvers. Is this the same issue?
A leak in the shock, impacts the softness/bounciness (more bouncy) of the cabin.
The moans and groans are different issue ...you have to narrow it down into metallic or rubber-under-stress. For metalic, you have to inspect all links and ball joints and for rubber you have to examine all boots most likely lube the rubber mounts and bushings.
You mentioned sharp turns ,,, I would look into CV joints ... assuming you have high milage vehicle.