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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am going to try to make this as short and sweet as possible without boring anybody to death.

I have had my 01 IS300 for just over 2 years now, and in that time it has destroyed at least 3 sets of tires and needed 3 full alignments. For reference, 90% of the time I drive like a little old lady and the car is riding on stock springs and shocks (93,000 miles on the car). I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but even I know a car shouldnt need an alignment more than once every 2 years or so. So finally I had a friend who is a mechanic of over 25+ years get the car up on his lift and give the suspension a full once over. After almost an hour under the car he says the suspension looks flawless, no bent pieces, no missing bolts, no worn joints or excessive play in anything, and still the car is on its way of chewing up the latest set of tires! Simply put it is destroying the inside edge of the tires, almost like the inside edge of the tire is being dragged as I drive. And strangely every time I have had it aligned, my toe and camber have been wandering and way out of spec, and I'm guessing that is what has happened again. So I looked around online and found an article on daizensporttuning.com that talks about known suspension issues on the IS300 and the symptoms match what I have been experiencing 100%. Here is a short excerpt from the web page.

"2001-2005 IS300 - Susceptible to an "invisible" failure of the front lower control arm bushing (#2 lower control arm), most commonly indicated by excessive tire wear and wandering at highway speeds


2001-2005 IS300 - "Softening" of the drivers side steering rack bushings, resulting in sloppy steering, and unstable centering at higher speeds

IS tire wear issues

Oftentimes by 40-50,000 miles, you may begin to see accelerated tire wear, especially on the inside of the front tires.

Most shops immediately give a knee-jerk diagnosis of needing a camber correction kit, but this is oftentimes not necessary, especially if you have approximately negative 1.5 degrees of camber or less, and especially if your vehicle is not lowered more than 1.5-inches. As mentioned , the most likely cause of this tire wear is a bushing issue, specifically the bushing on the #2 front lower control arms. Over time, the rubber in these bushings goes soft, and causes havoc with the toe settings of the vehicle. Pretty soon the car is wandering and darting all over the road, especially at highway speeds, and you are getting only 6-8,000 miles on a pair of front tires."


So after reading this I am getting ready to order a new steering rack bushing, and front lower control arms. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced similar issues, and if replacing the control arms resolved it, or if maybe I am looking in the completely wrong direction.

Thanks for reading and thank you in advance for any help / advice. :)
 
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bump! would like to know as well...

alignment is causing me issues as well :(
 

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You may be onto something here. I have this rather strange pull when I accelerate at highway speeds. Thought it was the lower ball joints, replaced them and still have the issue. I have been suspecting my lower control arm or upper control arm (driver side). Got a new upper control arm and will be changing that to see if that's the issue.
I however do not have excessive wear on my tires, they seem to wear fine, but the car is not as stable as it was a year ago on the highway. Darts around a bit more often and follows grooves more even with a fresh alignment and same brand tires as before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats exactly how mine is on the highway. People probably think I'm an asshole the way it acts when I change lanes. I am thinking I am going to bite the bullet and spend the cash on the TRD arms, but I was hoping to see if anyone else had found a fix for this. Thanks for the input / bumps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, my local Lexus dealer wanted over $200 each, thanks for the tip. Calling them now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Still waiting to hear back from Carson on the TRD arms. Afternoon bump for any more ideas :)
 

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I had this exact problem, and it took me months to figure it out. I'm surprised it's not better documented here. I was getting a monthly alignment until I finally figured it out (thanks firestone lifetime alignment).

The problem is that the lower control arm is slipping where it connects to the subframe. This will increase negative camber slightly, and throw the toe way off.

When I disassembled the front suspension to have a look, I found that the bushings themselves actually didn't look that bad, but the bushing is surrounded by a grooved metal surface. It's purpose is to be pressed against the subframe by the camber eccentric bolt, and lock the adjustment into place. This surface was very worn and had very little texture to it.

To solve the problem, I ordered new Lower Control Arms, and replaced the worn ones. But before I installed the new ones, just to be safe, I used a dremel to add some texture to the inside of the subframe tie in points, where the grooved ring meets the frame. I then got an alignment, and asked them to tighten the camber eccentric bolts extra tight (I watched, it was definitely beyond factory specs). Haven't had a problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Exactly what I needed! Thank you! + Rep :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ordered the new control arms from my local Lex dealer here in CO yesterday afternoon. Should be here Saturday and I can hopefully install them on Monday. Will keep everyone updated on what I find when I pull the old ones. Thanks again for everyones help :)
 

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You may be onto something here. I have this rather strange pull when I accelerate at highway speeds. Thought it was the lower ball joints, replaced them and still have the issue. I have been suspecting my lower control arm or upper control arm (driver side). Got a new upper control arm and will be changing that to see if that's the issue.
I however do not have excessive wear on my tires, they seem to wear fine, but the car is not as stable as it was a year ago on the highway. Darts around a bit more often and follows grooves more even with a fresh alignment and same brand tires as before.
What was your fix? I am having the same problem, even before I installed my eibach/prokit.

M
 

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+rep all around for this thread. I am having the same issues as KPONTI, and it's is unnerving!
 

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Ordered the new control arms from my local Lex dealer here in CO yesterday afternoon. Should be here Saturday and I can hopefully install them on Monday. Will keep everyone updated on what I find when I pull the old ones. Thanks again for everyones help :)
Any update?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nothing yet unfortunately, my usual shop has been backed up for months and I haven't had any time on the lift to install the new arms. I am hopin to get them on this week and then new tires and an alignment. I will get pics of the old arms uploaded when I swap them. Sorry to keep everyone wating.
 

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I too feel that my car is more shaky on highway and I am getting weird tire wear on driver front tire.
 

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Took it to mechanic today. Test drove it, and he saw what I was talking about--pulling to driver's side upon accelaration.
We swapped the front tire left-to-right, and it wasn't as pronounced, but still present.
So, could it be the tires, or the bushings?
We looked at the bushings--he didn't see any major free play in them. Suggested MAYBE to replace the front lower control arm bushing and the front suspension lower arm bushing...

but dealer doesn't sell these separate. Even then we're not sure that's the issue.
Could it be simply a tire issue that has been wearing badly all this time?
Anybody know where I can get the bushings?
M
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately the bushing isn't sold on its own, which is why I had to buy the entire new front lower control arm. Normally $225 a side, but I sweet talked the parts lady down to $175 a side. I have noticed recently wear beginning on the passenger side front as well, although not as severe, so I am going to replace both left and right front lower control arms. I am installing the new ones today after work. I will try to get some good pictures of the old arms versus new arms for everyone, maybe pinpoint where they are failing. This tire and alignment issue has been plauging me since the first day I have owned the car, really hoping this is the fix.

Updates to follow :)
 
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