ultimatequinoxe

Wobbles at speed - ball joints?

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Evening all! I hope you're all keeping warm and dry! :D

Well I'm on my 3rd old Lexus. This one being my second gs300 (2000). I just bought It yesterday. It is exceptionally clean but has a couple of tiny niggles I want sorted.

So in this section - wobbles at speeds of 60+. Comes and goes as speed increases. I'm pitching play in ball joints over wheel balance at this point as the wobbles remain at any high speed and one of the discs is warped (new set en route) so I figured the brake wobbles have knackered other things leading to other wobbles, most likely ball joints :D

No audible creeks or knocks low speed. Maybe, just maybe, a tiny light clunk when turning a tight roundabout and the weight shifts one side to the other. Not seeing any abnornal tyre wear as yet. Steering feels as it should, wheel is about 2 degrees off centre in a straight line. Corners well. Cant say if it wanders as it was windy as a retirement home on the drive back last night.

Is ball joints sounding like the right path or is there something else with this symptom I should be checking?

Ps) gs300 se standard, X reg (late 2000) 145k on the clock, decent history. Now to post other questions in their relevant places :)

 

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Wobbles that come and go usually indicate wheel balancing.  I had a shudder that started at 65mph on mine that disappeared at 80mph and that turned out to be a rear wheel imbalance.

It should be quick and easy to check, so if it was me I would probably have a look at that first anyway.

Just don't let them fob you off by doing only the fronts.  When mine did it the garage insisted that only the front wheels could cause the problem and rebalanced them twice.  It was a Lexus main dealer that did the rears for me.

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Thanks for the reply :)

I'm just sorting out a trolley jack or bottle jack as mines bust, I'll check all the joints anyway as that's free (can't check wheel balance for free?) and if all checks out, I'll get all 4 balanced and get all the tracking done too.

 

I've had a good many cars with wheels out of balance, and this doesn't feel much like wheel balance I must admit, but it is logical. I guess I am sceptical because the Merc I just sold had the exact same wobbles at the same speeds and I changed all 4 wheels and the problem was there all the same. Come MOT test, lower suspension bush and play in ball joints were advisories. Just hate the idea of chucking a few hundred to get all of it done, never really knowing if I needed to spend that much or not :D

 

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, I shall work my way through the process asap once the new discs arrive and I fit them (hoping to gawd the calliper sliders aren't seized like my last GS300).

 

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Don't get me wrong, it is quite possible it is the ball joints.  Also, as you say, it is free to check them so why not.  Nope, unfortunately, wheel balancing does require a trip to the tyre fitters.

It can be frustrating to figure out, but I am sure you will get there in the end :smile:

If your slides aren't seized then you are the lucky one :smile:  I would get some grease and lube them up even if they are in good condition.

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What can happen: your tyres go out of balance as they wear and need a rebalance.

But check the tyres for uneven wear as this points to lower control arm bush wear. Ball joints are worth replacing after years and mileage if they've not been done.

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I agree with the recommendations of all other members.

Tire unbalance usually occurs between 50 and 60 mph. But if there is a steering damper fitted on the car, probably this will not be noticed.

Check that the steel belting of the tires is sound and not ruptured. Jack each wheel up and rotate them. Make sure that there are no bulges anywhere on the tire and that its circumference is fairly true. With time and increased mileage there will be a noticeable wear of the rubber at the bulge points. This will not be visible at the beginning.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, check that there is no play at all on the bearings of each wheel.

 

Regards,

Chris

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I had an issue on my previous car, a Honda CR-V, it started mildy but over time got worse, it took quite a while to track down.

Basically it started to vibrate around 35-40mph and by 55mph it disappeared.

By the time it was fully diagnosed, it was quite a violent shudder, both my local garage and Honda were baffled, needed both front drive shafts replacing.

 

Vince

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Thanks again everyone! Much appreciated.

Well, yesterday I changed the front discs which were warped. Also, being British weather and outside, and my luck, it starting pouring down when taking the last disc off and my windows were down as it was sunny and warm just minutes before. Went to turn the ignition on to bring the windows up and the battery was flat. So after a moment of "why me!!!!" as my car filled with rain, I took a spare battery off another car and got my windows up. Soon as I did that, it stopped raining! :D

Anyway,  Sods law. The wobbling is a fair bit less now after the brake discs which is unexpected. Still there but barely noticeable at all. Looking at the front tyres (not had the backs off yet) I could only find a slice into the drivers side tyre which is not good, but not very deep (going to get a replacement asap anyway) and light wear on the inside compared to all the other tyres which seem to have been replaced at the same time and not long ago. However they're not what I would call quality tyres, noisy at speed, and I can see where balancing weights were, but are not there anymore - I wonder if cheap tyres done by cheap garage may be the case and as said, and not properly balanced. So I'm certainly on to that - I would have been straight away if it were not for my previous car having wobbles for other reasons.

Looking underneath when doing the discs, and on such I was super lucky that the sliders were still sliding, however the pistons on the drivers side were reluctant to push back. The car certainly is a OAP type thing, inside and outside very clean and cared for, likely never gone above 50mph or 2k rpm. So it seems to be the original exhaust and the brake discs were very old and weak. The joints, bushes and arms are okay.... but looking pretty darn old.

 

Anyway, wheel balance on all 4 and hope for the best - oh and sort this tyre out too, but if a shame as its got a lot of tread left and matches the other 3 but hey hoo.

PS) Anyone selling a second hand Stainless steel (preferably) mid section and back boxes? 

 

20170918_165656.jpg

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Hi everyone again, sorry to resurrect this old  thread but I hate googling something and finding unresolved posts so thought I'd cap this one off for the archives.

I had all 4 wheels balanced and one of them was badly out so that made a vast improvement, however still very slight wobbles at higher speeds. More recently a low speed knock can be heard from the front suspension so as yet I've not tracked it down but the cars due for an MOT so I'll know for sure then. My money is on a lower ball joint as the wobbles increase a little on long bends (at speed) but not so much at lower speeds (if at all) so weight and speed variable wobbles.

 

Thanks again to everyone for the advise! :) 

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