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Ideas For Fixing Front Suspension?


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Right, here's my issue. My 92 LS400 presents the following symptoms when driving: It's been ok until last summer.

-front of car rises when accelerating, dives when braking

-entire front of car seems to oscillate up and down (as if shocks were worn) - not bad on very very smooth roads, but very noticeable on uneven surfaces. Especially noticeable at low speeds (below 40). Front of car feels tight but not planted to the road. Has been getting worse each month.

-Steering wheel has vibration through it particularly when braking since front of car seems to vibrate too when braking

-Clunking noise from front suspension very apparent when making left or right turns, particulary when turning the wheel full lock at low speed

-Engine vibration felt through brake pedal, shifter and steering wheel especially at idle (interestingly the vibration increased at idle the harder I pressed the brake pedal whilst in D?)

-Loud groaning (sounds like plastic rather than metal) sound from front suspension when driving cold car over speed humps

-Constant tyre wear on outside edges of front tyres (always happens since I bought the car)

To give you a background, this is what suspension items I have replaced since I have owned the car (last 55,000 miles/6 years - mostly stop start city driving).

All 4 wheels balanced and 4 wheel alignment done (this month)

New Dunlop tyres on front (this month)

New front upper control arms (last month)

New rear axle carrier bushes - polyurethane - (last month)

New Michelin tyres on rear (6 months ago)

New front brake discs and pads (6 months ago)

New shocks all round (6 months ago)

New strut bar, and strut bar cushions, drivers side front lower control arm (4 years ago)

New front springs (4.5 years ago)

All parts have been OEM.

I know that my rear upper control arms are very much worn as well.

After reading lots of posts on the website, I'm thinking that perhaps the front lower balljoints are really worn out which would be causing the front going up and down.

The engine mounts and transmission mount are likely to be split or worn out too given the mileage, but would that present itself as anything apart from vibration?

I'm planning on changing the front lower ball joints, engine and transmission mounts and rear upper control arms. I'm getting all the parts dirt cheap when I'm over in the US next month.

What do you guys think? Do tie rod ends need to be changed when replacing ball joints?

Could it be as simple as my anti roll bar bushings? Is an anti-roll bar the same as a strut bar which I already got changed?

Total mileage is 168k right now. I do enjoy the car very much, and plan on keeping it a few more years since I have spent some money on it.

Thanks so much guys. I realise in advance that some people's advice may be to

get rid of the car, but I've already considered that, and ruled it out. It's cheaper to get parts from the US and maintain it with a non-Lexus dealer.

P.S The car also exhibits vibration throughout the car (particularly on passenger side) from exactly 84mph (reminds me of the back to the future car!). A mechanic told me that the driveshaft prob needs replacing. I reckon it's one of the engine mounts though.

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sounds like you should replace the front lower ball joints first and see what happerns,see what improves in the way it drives

Maybe like you also say replace the engine and transmission mounts.

Let us know how you get on mate....good luck.

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Yes the suspension of the LS400 is softer than other cars, but it's normally tight enough so that the car doesn't noticeably dip or rise when accelerating or braking. It's something that has got progressively worse, so I suspect it's due to wear and tear of some bush of some kind.

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Here is my two pennorth.......rising and diving suspension- check them

shocks and springs again

Vibration when braking check if you have lost any balance weights and

that no calipers are seized or seizing.

Clunking when turning ,do them ball joints,I saw an LS broke down with

the nearside one collapsed,not a pretty sight.Heavy car sitting on them.

Odd tyre wear,ball joints or tracking??? :unsure:

Rest ...check all suspension bushes,anti roll bar bushes etc.

Hope it's not too scary..... :ohmy::crybaby:

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