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Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Desertmaster, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    To All of you,

    Recently I had a long saga with the local dealer regading front Axle rebulit on my Rig (97, LX 450), currently 91K miles.

    With the help of most of you I was able to get my rig back operating just fine until today:

    I was making a right turn without stopping (yield sign) and a loud squeek noise came from the right front kunckle then followed by a loud grown just as I was making the attempt to stop everything disappeared (no more noises), I stopped anyways then I crawled underneath the rig to check for whatever might be the source of the noise but everything looked intact, so my assumption will be internal.

    But As I proceeded driving with cautious, the noise never got duplicated at all or came back at all.

    What I have noticed later in the day is when I am attempting to pick-up in first gear I felt like something was overturning in the front , better discribtion will be like an engine / transmission mount is broken like feel, and you feel something like moves up and down only as you are picking up and the rig is in forward motion then it proceeds down the road fine.

    Also the same happened when I took it over gravel and proceeded over small pumps I was feeling like the axle is grabbing then letting go then grapping for good, it is like a skip feel in the front end.

    If you place your hand on the tramsmission shifter not the transfer case shifter, you will feel the skipping on pick-up as well as when proceeding over pumpy roads, I felt it on the highway going 60 miles/hour as I was approaching a dip in the highway that is 3 yards long, I felt the let-go and grap feel again as my hand was on the transmission shifter.

    Do I have something really major had gone wrong.

    Hope my discription is suffecient.

    Note: I checked the U-Joints and the drive shafts everything is good under there. no play whatsoever.

    Any ideas please ????

    Al
     
  2. shocker

    shocker

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Based on what I've read in your description, motor mount or front diff would be my guess.  

    Motor Mount:  Pop your hood, start her up, and shift her back and forth between neutral and drive (foot on brake the whole time) while someone else stands outside and looks at the engine.  If it rocks like a weeble-wobble (I'd say over 1/2"), there's your answer.

    Diff: Drain some of your front diff fluid to see what it looks like.  Greasy and/or chunky peanut butter, there's your answer.
     
  3. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Shocker,

    Thanks for your reply, failed to mention that the front axle work was completed by the dealer 2K miles ago, so If I would check the diff. fluid/oil do you think with 2K on the gear oil will still give us some indiactions ????

    I will perform the engine mount test later tonight as well.

    Thanks

    Al
     
  4. shocker

    shocker

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Well, if something solid was left in the diff, or if they forgot to refill it with fluid, or not enough fluid, I guess there could be a problem. But that would involve quite a bit of noise that you did not experience. Still might be the case, though.
     
  5. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Shocker,

    They did repalce the AXles (long and short) at the time, I had to go back to them due to the fact that grease was still mixing with the gear oil every 200-300 miles on the rig, complained enough till they got it fixed correct. (3 times/attempts at fixing it to be excat).

    My concern is: the noise that I have heard earlier today could it be due to something let loose in the knuckle and it is causing this wholel thing ???, keep in mind no noises since I have heared it this morning so far.

    Assuming the oil is contaminated as you discribed, are you suggesting that a new front diff. unit is required at this point ??? or the seals had busted again and I need to rebuilt the front axle all over again????


    Thanks

    Al
     
  6. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al, from my experience, it's easy to get lost speculating on what's causing front end noises. take it one step at a time. Eliminate the motor mount and check your diff fluid and then let's move to the next possibilities.
     
  7. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al, if you need a recommendation of a tech to look at it I got a guy close to my house which is quite a drive but he'll resolve what ever is wrong the first time! Check out his web site at www.cruisersolutions.com
     
  8. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Ok, I have eliminated the Engine Mount, it is fine no weeble-wobble motion whatsoever.

    On the otherhand, and I can not belive it this time, the diff. oil is greenish in color, I think something failed again or the dealer did not do the install correctly after going in there 3 times, still the oil gets cotaminated with the grease in the knuckles, although it is not a creamy and chuncky like a peanut butter like.

    So my guess something let go in there, and that expalins the noise this morning and the skip feeling in the front axle.

    Also noticed when I take a left or right turn the skip becomes more evident, it happens only on pick-up (first gear) then it is fine and it does not interfere with the transmission performance (tramsmission does not skip when it happens).

    I am torn because Lexus / Toyota should warrenty their work for 12k or 12 months whichever comes first, and I am also considering Rick's advise to go up to NH, (and it is a drive for me Rick) to have them diagnose the problem.

    If they do the work I have to pay up the cash $$$ or have toyota/lexus locate another dealer who will honor the work that was done 2K miles ago.


    Anyways, with that have been said any thoughts on what it could have gone wrong this time ??

    Thanks to all again

    Al
     
  9. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al, with the noises it is making I would not drive it 60 miles until someone has tried to diagnose it. Plus you may be in for a big repair bill so that any warranty may be critical. Take it back to Lexus. In fact, if you have AAA get them to tow it in.

    As for green in the diff oil again, how bad does it look? Is it possible you didn't get all the grease out last time? Take a look at the greased up diff photo Rogue posted on my thread about overflowing diff fluid. It's got me thinking that if you had anywhere near that much grease in the diff I doubt that a simple flush would get rid of it.
     
  10. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Semlin,

    Thanks for the reply, although it is not deep green, you can still see the hint of the golden diff oil in it.

    I drove home and as usual I am a very slow highway driver by nature did not exceed 60 miles/hour on it for 16 miles and again no noises are coming from anywhere, except for this morning and it disappeared, noise never came back, just the front axle has some sort of skip or overturning as I tried to describe the problem and it was not consistant at all only twice coming home as I made a sharp left turn and another sharp right turn after few miles from each other and you really have to pay attention to feel it as you are in first gear picking-up, and I am always watching for things like that anyways.

    Do you think it is something with the diff. unit at this point or possibly the axles/birfields, they have changed both last time, yes they have changed the birfields as well ????


    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks

    Al
     
  11. semlin

    semlin rocker

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al

    I don't know what it is but don't take any comfort from the fact it sounds fine on the highway, or that it went away for a while. Take it in and have them find out what it is.

    when my birfield went I got two warnings. Both came when turning sharply right in town. It was not like you describe but a sharp series of pops. After the first time I drove it over 50 miles on the highway and in town includign several right turns and I was just getting home when it happened again. The next morning it happened one more time and then I couldn't turn at all either way without a crunching noise and I had to coast into the nearest mechanic. One dead birfield.

    I have no idea if it's your birfield but I do know I'm glad it happened to me right near a mechanic at a time when I didn't have anything pressing at work.
     
  12. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    AL, I still have to get my beach pass for this year. I'm no expert with these front ends but I'm willing to look at it with you if we can get together while I'm down there or possibly another time say half way. At this point I'm not sure when I'll be down there but it might be as soon as tommorrow. I know that NH is a haul but I do think they can once and forall take care of it for you. The bill won't be anywhere near what Toyota's was and you could submit it and see what happens.
     
  13. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Rick,

    Good to hear back from you, I got my beach sticker back in May, have been there once so far this year, the weather as you know has not permited us to enjoy a decent trip down there so far.

    I will be more than happy to have you look at it and get your honest openion on the matter, I would love to see you tomorrow if you are coming down as I am palnning to give the Lexus National Rep. a call in the morning Pacific Time (around 11:00AM eastern time) to see what they can offer at this junction.

    But if you are not definite, half way through is fine with me Rick. (remeber, your openion counts no matter what).

    I will be approaching Lexus tomorrow with the thought of having the work handled out of their shops, and get re-imbursed but I doubt that they will accept that solution although I am willing to negotiate with them on it.

    But if you want me to wait on placing the call till you see it, I will do that as well.

    Just let me know what you think, I am game at this point.

    Thanks

    Al
     
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    I wonder if it's something stupid like one of the inner axle shafts was not fully seated in the birf or if maybe the snap ring retaining the inner axle has failed or was ommitted. If the inner shaft is "floating" it could run "out" of the sealing surface allowing cross contamination as well as bad noises................ :dunno:

    I'm not a technician, just a parts geek :ugh:
     
  15. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Dan,

    You are being very humble by saying you are not a technician, just a parts geek. Ithink you are both) ;), and a nice guy on top of it too.

    I hope you are correct, but I had the noise once and now it is like a skip, or overturn in the front axle.

    I wish if I can describe it better, it has no noise associated with it, just that feeling of a broken engine mount not the noises that comes with that type of damage, again just the feeling of the overturn/skip then everything is fine after that, it happened more today when I asked for a quick pick-up vs slow pick-up from the rig as I am on a stop sign, something normally I do not do at all, I was just testing it.

    Thanks Dan for your thought, I hope you are correct, as I flinch when I think it is the Diff Unit or the third memeber if I am calling correctly.

    My concern is also with the oil contamination, something must had gone wrong this morning with the inner seals otherwise why would the oil get conatminated ???

    Sorry Guys,

    I feel like everytime I face an issue I get everybody scratching their heads, I do not mean to do that, and I hope I can meet most of you on better terms and ocassions.

    Thanks

    Al
     
  16. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al, if you don't mind PM me a phone number that I might reach you if I'm down there and have the time tomorrow. Can't remember the town either but do remember it to be north of the Cape right? I'd call Lexus tomorrow as planned and I'd hope that they would understand that the truck needs to be seen by a specialist and swallow their pride and admit it's not likely a dealer. You just need somebody who can go in there and at a glance know what's going on. Dealers usually just don't do enough of these to master that ability. Remember your time is worth something as well and you've already invested heavily.
     
  17. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    &nbsp:Dan, I became friendly with a parts geek down in Woburn MA when worked locally there. I can't tell you how many times he knew the answer to my problems. He had special insight..................usage reports :G
     
  18. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Rick,

    Just PM'd you my phone # and some basic directions, let me know if they are not clear.

    Thanks

    Al
     
  19. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Al,

    Your problem is most likely with the RF birfield or something like C-Dan mentioned. However, there are a couple of things you said that might point to the ABS sensor and/or the brake caliper. ABS brakes sometimes "groan" when they are cycling on and off rapidly. I know you're limited with tools and mechanical experience but take a look at the RF brake caliper and make sure everything looks OK and that it is securely attached.

    The ABS sensor is a plastic cylinder approx 1" in diameter with a connector on the top and wires leading back into the engine bay. There are 2 bolts that attach it to the top of the knuckle. Remove 1 bolt securing the wiring and 2 securing the sensor. Gently pull it straight up and clean the magnet on the end. Let us know what it looks like (e.g. some metal shavings is OK, broken plastic tube is not OK.) It should have a lot of grease on it since the birfields were recently done.

    Don't be too worried about a little discoloration in the front diff fluid. From what you described, it doesn't sound bad to me.

    -B-
     
  20. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    Re: Something Major Have Gone Wrong  

    Beowulf,

    Thanks for commenting, I will be getting together sometime today with LANDTANK, I will have him point me exactly
    to the sensor location although looking into the technical write-up on this site I think I got it figured out, but I will make sure that Rick points it out for confirmation.

    But do you think the skip/overturn feeling in the front axle could be due to the ABS sensor being damaged (just a thought).

    C-dan could be correct, as you know how relaible the dealer was (did the job 3 times in 2 months period just to get it done right & I doubt that now), wish I knew about the guys up in NH before I took the rig to the dealer.

    Thanks

    Al