LS430 Steering Issue Advice

Oct 9, 2018
I have a 2002 LS430. It has 101K miles.

I just replaced both the inner and outer tie rods because when I placed my hand on any tire and turn the wheel back and forth abruptly, I feel a shift/thud. I can feel this through the steering wheel, too, but it's more muted. When I got under the car, I held the tie rod assemblies with my hand and felt that same shift/thud (someone was in the car turning the wheel back and forth for me). So... that's why I replaced all the tie rods -- figured might as well do them all but figured it was the driver inner.

Welp, I have the exact same issue - absolutely zero change. My steering rack isn't leaking one drop. It has no dead spots or changes in resistance left and right.

I guess I'll try replacing the steering rack bushings, but can this be anything else? It's a double wishbone, so the other suspension parts aren't really manipulated much when you turn the wheel in a parked state. I do have already a new rear lower control arm bushing and new lower ball joints (those solved a "warped rotor" feeling that is common with these cars... actually just the bushing solved that but I decided to replace the ball joints because they were caked with oil grease so... preventative).

I do have one bad strut (the front passenger side) that clunks something fierce over bumps. Sadly it's a 8 month old Lexus part that seems to have failed already. If you manipulate the suspension up and down and place one hand on top of the strut tower you can feel it clunking. The top nut is tight. It's leaking a ton of fluid.

I really don't think the shock is causing this steering issue, though. Oddly enough the car tracks fine. The shocks are getting replaced - again - Tuesday.