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Control Arms: AWD v. RWD

 
Old 01-06-19, 12:55 PM
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213374U
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Lightbulb Control Arms: AWD v. RWD

Owning an AWD model myself, I was disappointed to hear so many people say that OEM was the only option for replacement control arms. A few quick searches and a couple emails out to distributors seemed to confirm what they said as I couldn't find anything that specifically stated it was compatible with the USF45/46 (AWD 460/460L, respectively) and could get no guarantees from sellers. So I started looking for replacement bushings, but still couldn't find anything for these. What's the deal? Why are these SOOO undersupported? Were production numbers really that low compared to RWD models? Well, I can't wait for answers that might never come and decided to make mine the guinea pig. I'd like to freshen up the suspension (not bad, but at 116K it could use it) before I list it for sale in the coming months and really want it to be 100% for potential buyers.

Today I began pouring over the parts pages at South Atlanta Lexus to see if I can get an idea of what I'm dealing with before just diving in and pulling stuff apart. I'd hate to make anything worse and be stuck going to the dealer. You can find the pages I'm referencing at these links: RWD here, and AWD here. To make things simple I pulled the diagrams out to compare them side by side.




The UCA's are identical!!! This was a great first finding as it opens at least some options from an arms/bushing standpoint.

Part #s and prices match for LCA No.1, but not for LCA No.2. This is where comparing the diagrams gets a little confusing and I'd like some help. Looking at the numbers boxed in purple it would appear that they're mixing mounting hardware between the 2; similar part numbers being applied to different control arms. And if 48623/24 is the difference, are they labeled correctly in the diagram? I can't see a difference between those arms but do in the ones labeled 48620. Am I seeing that right?

So for right now it appears that AWD guys only need to go to Lexus for the Left and Right No. 2 Lower Control Arms (48623/24), currently selling for $299/ea at the links above, and the other 6 arms can be sourced elsewhere or bushings can be ordered/replaced. If anyone can confirm my assumptions, or help me see the error in my ways, that would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I'll be ordering aftermarket poly bushings and tackling the 6 arms I can do without going to Lexus and just see how it goes

Last edited by 213374U; 01-06-19 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 01-07-19, 04:35 PM
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Great Job investigating the difference!! The 4 upper are usually the ones that wears the fastest due to all the twisting movement etc.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:47 AM
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Great post! Please be sure to follow up.
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Old 02-04-19, 07:41 PM
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As a little update to this, I stumbled across this deal for the 8 front control arms, originally priced at $900 with 3 sets left in stock:



Designed for RWD, but if my above assumptions are correct 3 of the arms (per side) should be a direct fit. Leaving only the lower control arm.

I know they're cheap and I doubt they'll hold up long, but for the money I couldn't think of a better way to validate what I found. If they work, I'll be ordering bushings for the OEM arms and will put those back in should these go south.
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Old 02-11-19, 06:32 PM
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Bad news folks, as of right now it looks like only 2 of the 8 control arms are an exact match. The forward upper control arms should be 1:1 but all others show differences. For the rearward upper control arms the difference is so small that they could "potentially" work, but it's in the overall length between the mount point and the ball joint (~1/8-1/4") and I'm afraid it will throw toe far enough out of spec that an alignment won't be able to get it back within spec.

I'll pull them from the drivers side and get some comparison pics for everyone but it may be a couple days. Will have to order the rearward upper control arms through Lexus so I'm in no rush to dive back in.
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Old 02-11-19, 08:06 PM
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Bit the bullet and ordered the OEM rearward arms for the USF45/46. Found them on eBay at just over $300/ea




I did go back and double check full part numbers and the forward arms are the same, so go with Febest and save yourself some money. For the other 6 you'll have to hunt for a deal on OEM parts.
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