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Discussion Starter #1
Steering feels super stiff in my 02 is300.

About 6 months ago, noticed my rack was leaking. Got an ebay used rack for around $100, had it installed by a shop only for the steering to feel horribly stiff afterwards. Shop told me it should loosen up a little after driving. Brought it to a different shop a week later that said it was definitely a bad rack. So they swapped it out, assuming with another used rack, steering still felt horrible. Brought it back three times to the same shop, complaining about how stiff the steering was. They changed out my lower ball joints. Didn't change anything. Went to a different shop, had my power steering flushed. It felt a little better for about a week then back to stiff.

I'm running rpf1 18x9.5 up front on 225/40, in the rear 18x10.5 on 255/35 with no spacers. The tire/alignment shop I use recommended 39psi up front and 35psi in back, does that same super high?

Not sure what to do next, I'm thinking either the power steering pump, wrong psi, or worse, another rack which would be my third this year, maybe get a new one instead of used. Never changed my upper controls and could probably use a full bushing refresh up front, because its never been done and have 183K miles on it, but its so bad I almost sold the car last week because it feels like a witch hunt trying to figure out the problem. Any help greatly appreciated! Happy with how the car looks finally, but hate driving it with this issue, I'd compare it to driving a 15ft uhaul or some huge truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got a used pump from a friend that worked just fine, will install next week, it didn't come with this little banjo bolt, is this necessary to replace? Can't seem to find the part number anywhere.. Is this bolt needed just for the lexus gs not is? Pic is from ebay and not the pump I got.
 

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side note: look how much more cooling and fluid the GS power steering has... I'll be installing a power steering fluid cooler. it bubbles over at the track

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I installed one on my car because there was no room for the factory cooler. It seems to make the pump whine. I think it's restrictive. The GS and IS coolers seems to be close to the same size.

As for the banjo bolt. You just use the one that's already on your IS. I'd have to compare the tanks too. Maybe swap them over. The GS has far more room under the hood than the IS.
 

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If the power steering system checks out, I'd look at replacing the upper ball joints. Especially on a low car that has probably had the upper control arms smashing the shock tower at some point. As you might know already, the upper and lower ball joints hold the spindles in place allowing them to rotate with any steering rack movement.
 
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