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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Since I got it several years ago, my Sportcross has had a terrible suspension groan in hot weather. Despite there being no play in the wheel when the car is jacked up, I think the issue is the upper ball joints, which seem to have no grease inside the boots. They're aftermarket adjustable ball joints, which unfortunately have no grease fitting. I'm not keen to spend $100 apiece for new non-serviceable adjustable ball joints, so I'm looking into other options.

It looks like there are also adjustable control arms (~$400), adjustable control arm bushings (~$80), and roll center adjusters (~$80). It seems like the roll center adjusters would still need to be used with one of the other options, so they're probably out. I'm leaning toward the control arms (because shiny... plus I need new ball points anyway) but I thought I'd see what you guys think since I'm pretty ignorant on suspension geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any time the suspension is moving. So loading/unloading or turning the wheel. Driving around parking lots. I'm not certain since the previous owner did it, but I want to say it's down 1.5-2", and I know it was done by replacing the springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've probably had the wheel off 5 times trying to figure out this issue, and nothing looks amiss other than the dry ball joints. Regardless of whether that's the issue, wouldn't you agree that it's an issue?

Does anyone have any opinions on the various camber adjustment options I mentioned?
 

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Front lower ball joints are a problem on these cars after a lot of mileage, I would definitely buy new ones. You can buy aftermarket replacement control arms with the bushings already installed, there's MOOG and Mevotech. I'd buy something like that if you don't want to push in new bushings to your old control arms.

The only front camber adjustment you're going to get besides the factory eccentric bushings in the lower control arms is by buying the Figs/Superpro upper control arm bushings or UCA aftermarket arms like Figs/Serialnine/etc...

RCA's are meant for lowered cars that need bumpsteer correction for the steering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I've done the lower ball joint on the side that is making the noise (probably should get around to doing the other side for symmetry), and that wasn't it.

Do you have a preference between those three options?
 

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Do all 4 balljoints. Doing only one side is pointless if you have high mileage, which 99% of the cars on here do. I bought the Figs upper control arm balljoints for the peace of mind when I was doing the front end bushings on my car. I know they'll last a while, just like all his products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So no opinions on the adjustable upper control arms? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the FIGS upper ball joints are non-adjustable, meaning my camber would be way out of whack without an additional solution.
 

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I have no opinions on UCA's since I don't have aftermarket ones. There's plenty of company's that make them....Figs/Serialnine/Cusco/Megan Racing/Godspeed/etc....pick your poison. I think it's a matter of how much you want to spend and the quality, because the lower priced ones may not last a while.

And no, the Figs upper balljoints aren't adjustable. I don't think that matters really unless you drive very mildly then you might get "some" extra tire wear. I have approximately -3 degrees up front and I drive pretty aggressively so I'm not expecting my tires to last long at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks! I didn't realize there were so many options. Looks like they range from $215 to nearly $800. I wouldn't imagine strength is an issue, as even the cheaper ones are made of beefy steel tube and plate, though the ball joints themselves could be of varying longevity. Strangely, seems that none of them say what ball joint they fit: I guess they all must just use the stock ball joints?

Off the bat I notice that the more expensive ones (SerialNine and FIGS) use rod ends instead of bushings. For my use case, I see this as a downside from a longevity and NVH standpoint.

I guess I'll dig around for people's experiences and post back as I do more research.

This car is primarily a daily, so it doesn't see a ton of hard use (though maybe I'd be more comfortable driving it hard if it weren't making questionable suspension noises). I think -3deg is more than I'd like, although I suppose I wouldn't say no to a bit more front grip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Seems like of the budget brands Cusco gets the most love, and everyone speaks highly of the FIGS if you can afford them. However, the only one I can find replacement ball joints for is Godspeed (the cheapest one, which people don't seem to trust). I think I'll go with Cusco if replacement ball joints are available.

Edit: Looks like replacements are $75/ea. Not terrible if they're good quality I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the recommendation! I actually came across that thread in the course of my research.
Are the Mevotech upper arms adjustable? I could only find non-adjustable ones from them, though it seemed like they made adjustable arms for the GS300.
 

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I'm a little late to the party here, but I don't see why you would need specialty parts to achieve a good alignment with about 1.5" of lowering...?

I am lowered about that much. My front suspension retains all the original arms/links - but all outfitted with fresh balljoints and Figs/Superpro bushings. I had no trouble aligning the car. I think I set my camber to -1º up front...

I believe Figs does not offer control arms with adjustable ball joints because they don't believe it to be a reliable means of achieving/maintaining alignment settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm pretty sure it's down 2"; the previous owner had it lowered and said that the adjustable ball joints were necessary to get the alignment back in. He was a mechanic at a Toyota dealership, so presumably he had a reason for the adjustable ball joints.

Is there a reason beside camber you'd want the adjustable ball joints? I think I read something somewhere about the caster and camber settings being tied together on these cars?
 
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