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Odd suspension creaking/clunking

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Old 01-08-14, 02:38 PM   #1
epk1001
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Default Odd suspension creaking/clunking

First off, I would like to thank all of the members in the stickies about doing lower ball joints as well as tie rods in this forum. I am a senior in college (and therefore broke) who barely makes enough at a local fast food chain to pay the bills, let alone cover major car repairs. when my front passenger side started grinding, after finally getting over a partial meltdown and getting on here I realized my lower ball joint was the problem and thanks to everyones input in those threads, I was able to replace my LBJ's and my inner and outer tie rods and save myself over 900 dollars and thats including the alignment! The guys who did my alignment even gave me a pat on the back, saying they never seen a DIY get so close to getting alignment in spec by hand alone, and it was my first ever DIY!!

Anyways on to my next problem... my car drives almost like a dream again, but theres a odd clunk from my passenger side when I hit small bumps but no noise when Im turning or when Im going at higher speeds. Ive done a bit of research and heard upper strut mounts, and when I called to ask the guy that test drove my cars alignment, he agreed and said he heard the same noise briefly. Ive also heard of an issue arising called "memory steering" or something to that effect where the power steering can overcome the lack of flexibility in the mount but this also prevents the car from naturally steering back to straight and requires the car to manually be steered out of a turn which seems to be the case for me. I work full time and so I have not had much chance to research the subject on the forum yet, so if I have overlooked an obvious thread, I would appreciate being pointed in that direction.

But with my new LBJ and tie rod assembly in place, it would make sense that the issue would only be uncovered now, as my old LBJ and tie rods were just waiting to fail (both could be moved like joy sticks with no effort whatsoever) so the new stiffness would make sense. I also apologize in advance for any seemingly dumb questions or statements I make, I am very new to the automotive DIY world, but in most regards am very quick on picking up on mechanical aspects and find this work very rewarding and fun. I look forward to any and all responses
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Old 01-08-14, 03:19 PM   #2
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Old caster Bushings make clicking noises too, just wanted to let you know and old shocks could start to be going out too, those would make noise as well
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Old 01-08-14, 06:54 PM   #3
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sounds like it could be front swaybar bushings may need to be replaced and possibly even endlinks too
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Old 01-09-14, 01:14 AM   #4
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SC4Paulo:
Old shocks could definitely be a cause, Other than the parts I put in, everything on the suspension is the original parts. With 150k on it, Im actually pretty impressed with its longevity. Ive actually got a copy of the lexus repair manual, but I fail to see any "caster bushings" is there another name I should look for? Could it be my upper control arm? I kept thinking I should replace them as I was already doing the lower work too.

PerryChad1:
I think you may be onto something, could you give me some insight into what to look for? This may help identify the problem, I noticed whenever I was driving from work earlier that as I straightened out after left turns, I could feel the wheel pulling back to a natural forward position, but when I turned left, I had to manually put it back in a natural forward position myself half the time. I even let go of the wheel on some turns (2 lefts and 2 rights) to see how the wheel acted and the wheel smoothly turned in a left turn but the right turn was rather jerky and just sorta stopped before it reached a neutral direction.

Thank both of you for your fast replies!
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Old 01-09-14, 10:21 AM   #5
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^^ epk1001 ive been looking for "caster arms" as well and no automotive shop know what they are. but i know you can buy bushing kits for our cars usually 70-90 for all bushings in the front end. but i want new arms.
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Old 01-09-14, 01:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GS3KID View Post
^^ epk1001 ive been looking for "caster arms" as well and no automotive shop know what they are. but i know you can buy bushing kits for our cars usually 70-90 for all bushings in the front end. but i want new arms.
Well GS3KID, if I understand correctly, and hopefully one of the much more knowledgeable souls on the forum will correct me if I am wrong, but the "caster arm" is actually just one of the lower control arms "control arm #2" that is used with setting the caster of your alignment. All new bushings? Where are you seeing that? Id like to take a look! Im about to start the semester and its going to be an especially heavy one so Id like to take the time, while school is still out or at least while its light enough of a load, to do whatever work I can to maintain the suspension as well as doing a tuneup if possible, def. going to be doing my filters and hopefully spark plugs. my radiator has a crack either in the bleeder hose or in the bleed over tank, Id like to find and patch/replace it. But thats my cross to bear
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Old 01-09-14, 10:16 PM   #7
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Trailing arm #2 or something along those lines were the name of the castor arm on the LCA, there are a few kits out there that carry the kits as well as Sewell Lexus, they sell the caster bushings separate.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:21 PM   #8
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Yeah Lexus.sewellparts.com and another site carid.com are places where I get most of my stuff.
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Old 01-10-14, 07:02 AM   #9
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if your steering wheel wants to pull back when your turning the steering rack is bad. the spool valve inside cant over compensate for the pressure. if you need more help text me.. will get faster response. ill pm you my number.

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Old 01-10-14, 01:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by perrychad1 View Post
if your steering wheel wants to pull back when your turning the steering rack is bad. the spool valve inside cant over compensate for the pressure. if you need more help text me.. will get faster response. ill pm you my number.
Ill be checking my inbox after posting this, Perry. Thanks so much! Although, I may have misspoken when I said its "pulling" back... What is I meant was that the car is naturally going back to a neutral forward position, the wheel naturally straightening out after a turn without my having to help. Sorry I wrote that message quickly before work yesterday and didnt have time to proof read it before I submitted the post to the thread.
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Old 01-11-14, 01:00 AM   #11
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I redisovered the simple truth in the phrase "Trust but verify". Even though the mechanic who checked over my work said he looked over it all and it was all torqued in spec, turns out he didnt check everything.. After taking off my tire, I reached behind to shake on all the joints and, low and behold, the caliper moved. Turns out, whenever I had initially tightened the caliper retaining bolts on the passenger side, the top bolt's threads must have locked up, I dont know how the h*ll I missed that, I even got it to torque spec too! So I tightened it down and made sure it was done right this time, and did the drivers side too just to make sure I didnt make that mistake more than once...

I guess I was just too excited to finally get her off the stands and on her own 4 feet again by that point and I got sloppy. But theres no more knocking, however I would still like to check the sway bar bushings. The end links were solid though. Does anyone have any tips as to any other parts I should check for wear before they become an issue?

Last edited by epk1001; 01-11-14 at 01:08 AM.. Reason: just realized I didnt explain the beginning of my post
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Old 01-15-14, 09:35 AM   #12
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I've replaced everything mentioned. Upper control arms, both lower control arms, lower ball joints, sway bar links & new struts & strut mounts & it still clunked. Clunk went away when I replaced the rack-n-pinion. Smooth as butter now.
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Old 01-15-14, 09:35 AM
 
 
 
 
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