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Head spinning.... need help understanding control arm issues

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Old 08-09-17, 08:23 PM   #1
dry-fly
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Default Head spinning.... need help understanding control arm issues

Let me say right off the bat, that I'm sorry to start another thread on something that has been beat to death, but... my wife and I are looking to replace our second LS (first was an original 1990, current one is a 2002). My local independent Lexus repair guys are scaring me to death over this control arm issue... and there clearly is one. There's just too much info out there and I can't find the basic things I need to know. Again, I apologize but I know y'all will have the answers. I'm looking at a 2011 LS. No air suspension. Exactly which bushings go bad? It sounds like this problem goes across several year models? Is there an aftermarket solution that is more dependable or has Lexus figured out a real "fix" for the suspect parts? I have my choice of 2-3 reliable Toyota/Lexus only independent repair guys close by, so I won't be having to deal with the dealership. Thank you guys so much for dealing with me and this thread..

Last edited by dry-fly; 08-09-17 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:52 PM   #2
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Its not that bad to be honest unless your buying the parts from the dealer

But yea not much straight forward info out there on aftermarket options other then a few scattered threads

Some guys replace the bushings only and some other went with aftermarket parts
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Old 08-09-17, 11:44 PM   #3
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I was afraid to get an LS460 for the same reason. The "control arm issue" is only an issue if you have the dealership do the repair. There are numerous after market options all for fractions of the cost of dealer parts. The repair is doable yourself of by any shop mechanic.

Last edited by JLAWS; 08-10-17 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 08-10-17, 05:30 AM   #4
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Seeing as how you live in Texas I assume you will buy a rwd model, which makes the control arm "issue" a lot easier.

You literally can purchase all 8 control arms as a package deal on eBay for $295 right now. That's damn cheap, I'm talking ridiculously cheap. As far as I'm concerned this issue is because, and only because, of dealer pricing to replace these components. All you need to do is buy aftermarket parts and have an independent install them, and then you're paying normal prices. Let's say I purchased all my control arms for $295 and then paid someone $400 to install them, that's $795 to rebuild your entire front suspension. That's dirt cheap.

The LS460 has 8 control arms up front, the top four tend to go bad around first. On the bottom I find that the rearward facing arms fail sooner than the fronts. It's not unusual to make it 100,000 miles before needing to replace these parts, but some people have had to have them replaced much soorner upon a dealer's "recommendation ". I have replaced mine myself with aftermarket parts - I'm 50,000 miles into them now and they are holding up fine - and I didn't replace all of them, but 6 of them.

This is the most overblown/hyped/misunderstood subject I've ever seen on any car.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:14 AM   #5
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Is it an issue? Yes. But it's not catastrophic by any stretch. I replaced all 8 of my front control arms, plus the ball joints AND 4 shocks for about 1200 dollars and that included labor. I used aftermarket parts. I could have just replaced the bad arms and ball joint for a fraction of that, but chose to just do everything and be done with it.
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Old 08-10-17, 08:50 AM   #6
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Thanks allot guys for your responses, it's making me feel better. One other question... what brand of aftermarket parts are y'all using? Is MOOG an improvement over stock?
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Old 08-10-17, 10:47 AM   #7
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Is there a good DIY video or write up for replacing the RWD LS460 control arms? I have never seen one.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:50 AM   #8
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Was just casually picking a service advisors brain at Sewell Lexus and she confirmed something I had read....in 2011 the bushings were redesigned. Is this true according to y'all?
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Old 08-10-17, 10:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dry-fly View Post
Was just casually picking a service advisors brain at Sewell Lexus and she confirmed something I had read....in 2011 the bushings were redesigned. Is this true according to y'all?
Yes, actually some 2010 models had the control arm redesign but unfortunately I have checked the service history on 2011 and 2012 models and several still had control arm issues/failures so the problem was not totally fixed in 2010-2011.
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Old 08-10-17, 12:29 PM   #10
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Hi

just adding my two cents worth:

Had mine (2010) replaced at 64000 miles. Only six done. All at dealer because I still had warranty. As you can see there are options if you are mechanically inclined.

My neice ice just had her Kia's done so it is not just Lexus.

Also, it is the bushings that are bad but changing those out seems to be the biggest issue if I understand this whole thing.

Don't be afraid of an LS 460 because of this issue. I love this car and I have air suspension as well.

Be be sure to have the car you like inspected especially the control arms and you shouldn't have any surprises.

Good luck

Cubby

Last edited by Cubbylex; 08-10-17 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Forgot to add year
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Old 08-10-17, 12:57 PM   #11
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Thank you guys for the replies again...
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Old 08-10-17, 01:51 PM   #12
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I DIY'd all my uppers after getting the 4 arms on ebay for ~$200.
Still great after ~8000 miles.

It's a minor issue with a major part. Really not a huge deal.
I think the initial shock of the dealer repair price just scared a lot of people.
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Old 08-10-17, 02:00 PM   #13
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I had a 10 year old 2007 LS460 - control arm bushings were still good when I sond it earlier this year. I bought an extended warranty when I got the car, primarily for that reason, but didn't use it for them (I did get a wheel bearing and water pump replacedso that paid for 1/2 the extended warranty)..
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Old 08-11-17, 05:19 AM   #14
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Can you guys post your aftermarket brands?
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Old 08-11-17, 06:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0133642 View Post
Can you guys post your aftermarket brands?
All I can tell you is what I used, and that was a combination of Beck Arnley and Mevotech. I haven't had a problem with either so far. It's been almost 50,000 miles and they seem to be holding up. Not sure what others are using but there's lots of stuff on eBay right now for cheap.

I'm not kidding when I say, this is the single most overblown thing I've ever read about on the internet (LS460 control arms). I mean every car needs to have suspension components replaced, the problem with the LS was the cost of repelcement from Lexus (which was absurd). This gave the car a bad reputation. But it's funny, you never hear of other parts of the suspension wearing away, like ball joints, sway bar bushings/links, tie rod ends. It's all control arms. I have almost 160,000 miles and I'm on my original tie rod ends and sway bar bushings....never seen that before on a car. Those almost always fail, but I think the control arms take the punishment on these cars due to their geometry, saving the other components.
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