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Old 03-04-08, 03:05 PM   #1
cm0nkey
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Default Lower Ball joint failed today - with pics

Ok,

I bought this 1998 GS400 used with 140k miles about 2 months ago.
Before buying I read all the threads on the lower ball joint issues, so I had the dealer put the car on the lift. During my inspection I saw the jointed looked very new, the rubber was solid and shiny looking the suspension all felt very tight.

During the last few weeks I have noticed creaking noises from the Front Drivers side tire area, however it only occurred on days we went from HIGH to LOW temp's quickly - I am in Dallas.

Anyway, today the lower ball joint failed while I was doing about 35mph. It went Bang, then just sounded like I had the brakes on full (Tire was perpendicular) so I changed lanes and stopped as seen below.

Repairs, so far looks like I need:
1. New Ball Joints FR/FL
2. New Front Tires
3. New ABS sensor, you can see the wire is cut
4. Quarter panel work
5. New tire rods
6. Alignment

*********
Updates:

Ball joints repaired by local shop, not sure if they are the same 98 model or the 01+ model.
Car is throwing three codes, probably due to the ABS / Speed sensor that was cut - see this post - http://www.clublexus.com/forums/suspension-and-brakes/340249-code-thrown-after-ball-joint-failure.html

Codes:

C1210 - No learned (adaptation) VSC Sensor/36
C0200 - FR Whell Speed Sensor Malfunction (Cald,Cam, RX3, Cel.)
C1223 - Malfunction in ABS Control System (RX3) / 43

*********


More Pics, etc:
http://www.chrisandnat.com/projects/.../BallJoint.htm






Last edited by cm0nkey; 03-24-08 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:18 PM   #2
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Wow! I am glad to see that you weren't hurt...If you was on a freeway doing 65+...
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Old 03-04-08, 04:24 PM   #3
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Woah, that doesn't look good.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:08 PM   #4
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Wow.. I think those are some of the best pictures I have seen. The ball looks very dry as though the lube had been clean out somehow.

Not that the pics that you have posted are not good but, I think we would all benefit from some more pics of the ball joint.

My brother thinks.. he is an ASE mechanic with a brain that it is a lube/ heat issue.

I am glad your okay. I bet you need some new drawers?

BP
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Old 03-04-08, 06:17 PM   #5
cm0nkey
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Originally Posted by TRD911 View Post
Wow.. I think those are some of the best pictures I have seen. The ball looks very dry as though the lube had been clean out somehow.

Not that the pics that you have posted are not good but, I think we would all benefit from some more pics of the ball joint.

My brother thinks.. he is an ASE mechanic with a brain that it is a lube/ heat issue.

I am glad your okay. I bet you need some new drawers?

BP

I will post better pics once I get the parts back - I am keeping them.

To be honest I really do not understand what is so complicated about making this safer, I will post pics of this later.

- So everyone is replacing with OEM Lexus ball joints i guess?
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Old 03-04-08, 06:21 PM   #6
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Holy crap I better do mine soon. Were there any signs leading up to this? Popping noises when your car shifted weight in turns? I'm getting that intermittently now with around 90,000 miles on my car.

Sorry to hear (and see) you get it fixed soon
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Old 03-04-08, 06:22 PM   #7
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sorry to see that, glad your ok though.

I'm lucky I just DIY'ed replaced my balljoints n tie rod ends last saturday. However, I still get the creaking squeaky sound on my driver side and i have no idea what it is, and my front suspension/steering feels nice and tight after i changed out my balljoints. time to change our my steering rack bushings and sway bar bushings next weekend to see if that helps. I might even change out my control arm bushings, but i'm a little reluctant on that since it requires a visit to a mechanical shop; just trying to fix one thing at a time and pinpoint my squeak.

good luck with the repair, looks like u need new tie rod ends and replace the bushings also while ur repairing ur car.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:24 PM   #8
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oh btw, i was getting popping noises whenever i turn my steering wheel prior to changing out the bj's and tie rods, now that problem is gone. driver side still squeaks on road imperfections tho, nomatter how small or large the bump is, my driver side still squeaks...not too loud tho, like, i would notice the squeaks but the passenger wont. still need to get that checked out..
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Old 03-04-08, 06:28 PM   #9
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Glad you are okay, those pics are SCARY to look at.
I'm getting mine done this month when I get some other things installed....
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Old 03-04-08, 06:34 PM   #10
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Wow, looks a little worse than mine...glad your ok. Mine happened at work (Irving) in the parking lot lucky for me.

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Old 03-04-08, 07:11 PM   #11
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Can a mechanic tell me why this idea has not already been put into production..

Here is what I am thinking, create a simple product like below that attaches to ball joints. The product will secure the joint in the likely event of a faiure.

To be honest shouldnt something like this be installed from the factory??


I have 2 patents in the works, if you guys think this is legit and I will look more into it.. This just seems so simple and stupid that I must be missing something.


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Old 03-04-08, 07:35 PM   #12
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EXACTLY what happened to me

its funny because the service manager at my local dealership and the owner of a specialty lexus shop DONT KNOW about this issue
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Old 03-04-08, 09:44 PM   #13
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Ouch! Ball joints guys! If you haven't already had them replaced, it would be a good idea as the picture explains above. Good no one got hurt...
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Old 03-05-08, 06:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cm0nkey View Post
Can a mechanic tell me why this idea has not already been put into production..

Here is what I am thinking, create a simple product like below that attaches to ball joints. The product will secure the joint in the likely event of a faiure.

To be honest shouldnt something like this be installed from the factory??


I have 2 patents in the works, if you guys think this is legit and I will look more into it.. This just seems so simple and stupid that I must be missing something.
You are definitely missing something. Cables of sufficient size to prevent the upright from moving will be quite large, and they could present a binding problem to the steering if they were to get tangled up in any way. Keep in mind the instantaneous forces on suspension components are measured in tonnes, not pounds, so using a small, lightweight wire rope won't be a good option.

Ball joint failures are not common to all cars, in fact, they're really rare. They are unfortunately common to the GS according to a Lexus service advisor who happens to be a good friend. This is not unlike the SC bushing problems that don't exist on Supras, but definitely do exist on the SC. Patenting your idea isn't a bad thought, but I would not expect to see a lot of traction in the marketplace for something like this because it is such a rare failure across all models and manufacturers.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:26 AM   #15
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This is why i always emphasize that all 98-00 GS should get new balljoints, especially if you dont know if they're original or not. Putting the 98-00 balljoints next to the 01-05's, they look a bit different. All the 01+ GS i've done never had any play in the balljoint. It's usually the 98-00 GS that has some sort of play. Thankfully, the ones you buy from Lexus are the same ones as the 01-05 balljoints.

I haven't really seen any 01+ failures. But who knows, there are always exceptions.
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