Lx570 Rear Suspension Rebuild [Guide] (4 Viewers)

nwfl4runner

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So I decided it was time to refresh the entire rear suspension on my 2010 LX. I'm the third owner, figured it would give me an opportunity to learn its quirks. This job sucks, and the FSM feels like a bit of a letdown with this job. Good news is the right tools make for an easy job. Oh, and you'll need tools. Lots of tools. This is entirely a driveway job if you have decent sized jack stands with some height to them. No need for a lift.

Step 1 - Parts

I wanted to replace every bushing and bar. Toyota doesn't sell the LCA/UCA bushings to press in, and once you see the size you'll understand why. Just buy everything from Partsouq, it's a huge savings. Now my LX has lived its life down south, so I'm not fighting any rust whatsoever. All of my bolts could be reused. YMMV.

Panhard/Lateral arm - 48740-60150
Rear LCA (L/R) - I went @TRAIL TAILOR AL ones, because beef.
UCA (right) - 48710-60121
UCA (left) - 48710-60130
Coil (left) - 48231-60D21 (tiny)
Coil (right) - 48231-60D31 (big)
Spring Insulator (L/R) - 48302-60100 x2
Spacers (L/R) - 48373-60010 x2
Bump Stops (L/R) - 48306-60221 x2
Shocks (L/R) - 48530-69415 x2
Shock Bracket (top) - 48539-60020 x2
Shock Bracket (bottom) - 48505-60060 x2
Sway Bar Bracket Bushing - 48815-60241 x2
Sway Bar Bushings - 48849-60010 x2
Sway Bar Link Bushings - 48817-60020 x4
AHC Fluid - 08886-01805 x a lot

The following parts are recommended to be replaced if you disconnect the exhaust. Trust me you should.

Gasket - 90917-06093
Clamp - 90461-15017
Bolt - 90119-08B02

Step 2 - Tools

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1 - Big Ugga Dugga for the wheels. Little ugga dugga for smaller bolts
2 - 12mm flex head ratcheting wrench
3 - 3/8 ratchet with various sockets (10/12, etc). I have a cordless one and didn't use it much.
4 - Torque wrench (big boy, most bolts are 110ft lbs or so)
5 - 17mm/22mm/24mm sockets. I think I used a 19 at some point, but confusion set in.
6 - Anti-seize, and lots of it
7 - Some 3/8 extensions
8 - 1/4 flex head ratchet with 10mm for the exhaust shield
9 - 24mm high offset box wrench
9 -The cheapest most garbage 22mm high offset box wrench you can find and a grinder. Harbor Freight has a set for $19, you can toss the rest away if they offend your eyes. From right to left is a Proto, a Wright Tool, a Martin tool, and the Harbor Freight. The first three are beautiful tools, well made and a joy to use. None of them work. Cut the 20mm end off the Harbor Freight and you are SET.
10 - Dykem cross-check or other bolt paint to mark everything once it's done

IMG_4039_heic-M.jpg


Step 3 - The Work Begins

I'll tackle each of this in steps so it works depending on what you are looking to do. Assuming you will be tackling the entire job, here are the universal steps:

1 - Remove spare tire (you need that space)
1a - If you going to replace the shocks, now you should discharge the AHC fluid. Bleed the 2 accumulators at the rear until it sinks all the way down. There, easy.
2 - Loosen lug nuts
3 - Chock front wheels, jack up from rear axle, and put jack stands in front of Rear LCA mounts. You want the car high enough so that the axle can droop all the way once the tires are off.
4 - Tires off!
5 - I'd disconnect the battery to be safe with the AHC

Now you're ready to work.

A. Sway Bar/Bump Stops
If you are going to be working on the rest of the suspension, my advice is to remove this bar to give yourself room. Very easy to do. Bolts hold the sway bar links to the frame, just undo them 1 side at a time. There is some slight tension, don't be alarmed. Once both sides are disconnected, it will swing down/forward. Undo it from the rear of axle, and remove. The sway bar end link bushings unbolt from the top, replace, bolt back down. Very simple. The sway bar itself has a rubber bushing on each end. A small C-clamp and 2 sockets will get them pushed out. Little wd-40 and scotch-brite to clean as needed, then press bushings back in. IT will all go back together, but do pay attention to the arrows on the axle clamps that hold the bushings in place. Make sure the arrow is installed the same direction as it was removed.

I'll add bump stops here. 3 bolts to remove each side. Really just did it because I was there. Lather that anti-seize on the bolts as they go directly into the hollow frame.

B. Panhard Bar
This should be removed if you getting into the rest of this job as it just sits in the way. Crack the bolts, drop it out. 22mm holds it in place, loosen from the nut (not the bolt). To get it back in just jack the axle from the passenger side. (I'll edit to put torque here, I think it's 7x-80x ftlbs).

C. Rear LCA
Ugh. Don't bother fighting these, using ratchet straps, or any of that voodoo. The trick that worked for me was simply jacking the axle from the passenger side. I placed my jack on the LCA mount on the axle. First loosen the nuts attaching both ends. Don't loosen the bolt, only the nut. Then, begin jacking the axle slowly, checking on the frame mount. Eventually, when the angle looks ridiculous, the bolt hole will line up and the bolt will slide out. On the driver's side it's the same, keep jack on the PASSENGER side and the holes will line up. Installation is exactly the same. DO ONE SIDE AT A TIME! When reinstalling, you will need a 22mm crow's foot to torque the passenger side frame mount, because the gas tank is in the way. Torque is 110 ft lbs on axle and frame, but do this only once it's back on the ground.

Here's a picture of the removed arm next to @TRAIL TAILOR
60806719674__8135DFD0-97D0-4258-869F-E1F498DD00A2-L.jpg


D. Rear UCA
The driver's side is easy. Mark where the AHC sensor is connected, then disconnect. 10mm on the sensor, 12mm on the bracket holding the sensor wires onto the UCA. No need to unplug any wires. If you are not removing the exhaust, you will need a 1/2 drive extension to reach the frame side bolt. As with the LCAs, you will loosen the nuts, and then jack the axle up and down until the bolt lines up. Apologies in advance, I cannot remember which side I jacked from, but the holes WILL line up. Don't sit there and smack away with a hammer (tried that).

The passenger's side is a pain. Toyota/Lexus made the gas tank 1/2 cup too big, so you can't get a socket on the frame side nut. This is where you need your 22mm offset box wrench. 10mm bolt hold's the sensor on, make sure you mark it.

IMG_4034-L.jpg


As with the driver side, jack the axle up and down, and the bolt hole will line up. As with the LCAs, DO ONE SIDE AT A TIME! To reinstall, jack the axle up and down until the bolt holes line up. I installed the frame side first as I was by myself, and then the axle eventually lined up. Torque is 110ft lbs, but don't torque until it's on the ground. I couldn't get a torque wrench onto the passenger-side frame bolt, so it was good and tight +1. That's what Dykem is for.

E. Coil Springs
To make this job easy on yourself I recommend you loosen all the UCA/LCA bolts to take the tension off the axle, disconnect the sway-bar, and remove the panhard. Disconnect the bottom shock bolt (17mm). Now you can droop the axle enough on the driver's side for the tiny coil to drop out. On the passenger side, you really do have to disconnect the rear brake lines to the axle. 10mm flare-nut wrench and some clamps. You will need to bleed the rear brakes afterwards. If you don't the lines get way too tight given the height of the passenger side coil. Out with the old:

IMG_4037_heic-L.jpg


I installed OEM spacers as well, to take some pressure off the AHC. They are made to fit between the spring insulator (cone) and the coil. Perfect fit. To reinstall, just gently lower the axle just enough to get the coil in, and then ensure it's seated correctly on the frame, and jack the axle back up. The spring rate on these coils is pretty low, they will compress by hand with a little effort. Once they are seated against the frame, clock them till they fall into place on the axle.

Now, all of that is just the appetizer. The big time fun is the shocks. Special place in hell for whoever designed the access to these.

F. Shocks
To tackle this job, you must first discharge the AHC pressure.
First, here is a picture of an old removed shock. The top metal is just a cover. Give it some gentle persuasion with a hammer and it comes off.

IMG_4042_heic-L.jpg


The shock on the LX passes through the frame with bushings above and below.

IMG_4041_heic-L.jpg


The top plate on the bushing exposes the upper shock threads where the AHC line attaches. It is secured by 2 12mm nuts which you couldn't reasonably reach if your life depended on it. Now here is where I and the FSM depart. To make your life easier, just disconnect the exhaust at the muffler. It's a 12mm bolt and good tug.

IMG_4031-L.jpg

IMG_4029_heic-L.jpg


The blue circle is where you need to reach to get at the top shock bolt. Here's a view of the bolt from the most awkward iphone picture I've had the displeasure of taking.

IMG_4006_heic-L.jpg


With the exhaust disconnected, you now have much better access to the bolts. With that in mind, this job because MUCH easier. First, remove the lower shock bolt (17mm) but don't disconnect the shock from the axle. WITH THE AHC BLED, using a 12mm flex head wrench, disconnected the 2 bolts on each side that hold the AHC line onto the top of the shock. You cannot reach them from outside the frame. It's a game of feel. Next, grab the AHC connector and gently move it back and forth and it will pop off. Don't force it, just twist it back and forth.

Now you will use your Lexus SST (Harbor Freight cut 22mm offset wrench) to disconnect the 22mm nut you see above. It will take a million turns as you have no room. You cannot reach it from outside the frame. After a year and an incredibly sore shoulder, it will come loose. Now you can remove the top plate, bushing, and bottom plate from above the frame. Disconnect the shock from the axle, and slide it down and out. Careful - they still have fluid in them, and when you compress them it's shower time. When it was time to reinstall, I got concerned that I was not able to get the top bolt tight enough, and that I didn't have a good connection with the AHC line. You cannot torque the bolt down with the vehicle's weight on it. There just isn't any room. So, I took the shock to the bench and did some measurements.

Here is the shock with just the nut tightened all the way down to the lip of the shaft.

IMG_4011_heic-L.jpg


Now here is the same shock with the bushings in place. I ugga dugga'd it to ensure it wasn't going anywhere.

IMG_4012_heic-L.jpg


In both cases, the nut actually bottoms out on the shaft, and there are 5 threads showing. I was confident that no matter how much of the tube above the threads was exposed, the nut should bottom out when I reinstalled the shocks. The new shocks come with bushings, but from the factory, the bushings are actually glued to the metal mounting plates. If everything is installed correctly, when you go to line the shock up to reinstall, you have about half a thread to get the nut started out, and when I tried to use the new bushings with the old plates, I cross-threaded that sucker the whole way down. Getting it back off was fun. To make life easier, order the new plates with the bushings already attached. It makes lining up and reinstalling the shocks so much easier, and they are cheap.

IMG_3973_heic-M.jpg

Here they are with the new bump stops.

Next comes reinstalling these things. The FSM says install them on the axle first, but for the life of me I could not stop them from spinning, and with a buddy holding a rubber pipe wrench around the shock body, I just couldn't get the top shock bolt to tighten down. Something about the angle was all wrong. So instead, I left the bottom of the shock off the axle, and tried tightening them that way. Sure enough, if you pass them through the frame, you can start the top nut and tighten it all the way down (5 threads showing, nut bottomed out) with almost no effort whatsoever, just a bunch of tiny turns. I know, the FSM says to torque the nut with the vehicle on the ground, tension on bushings, etc. All I can say is, if you want to do that, you're a better man than I, because I couldn't make it work. This way, the nut goes as far as it can, and is a breeze. My philosophy from working on Toyotas for years is if I'm fighting to do it, I'm doing it wrong.

With the shock nut fully tight (you will feel it, it will STOP), reattach the AHC lines, tighten the 12mm bolts. Tight +1 works for me. The bottom of the shock acts as a limit strap to the axle, so now to reattach you may need to jack the axle up somewhat. The shock will feel tight and hard to move, but just give it some persuasion and it will slip right over the bottom mount. Anti-seize away, then 17mm bolt back on.

Now, put everything back together piece by piece.

Step 4 - Button Up

With everything reattached, it's time to put the car back on the ground, bounce it around, and then torque everything. You can reach all the bolts with a torque wrench except the passenger frame UCA and upper shock bolts/AHC line bolts. Good and tight +1. Now fill up your AHC pump with fluid, and turn that bad boy on. You will get an abnormal oil pressure error. For this, I think you need a Techstream (at least I did). Some people say start/restart and drive around.

What worked for me was firing up Techstream with the engine on, clearing the DTC, and then going to the AHC Test utility and cycling the front suspension. When I forced it to raise the front suspension, with no DTC, it worked, and then started filling the rear shocks.

Keep an eye on the AHC pump fluid level (light behind the reservoir), as the level will drop fast. Now go through and bleed the AHC fluid, and you are good to go.

When you go to reinstall your spare, consider some new spare tire cushions (51979-60020). I was missing a few, there are 6 in total. Mine were worn out!


Anyway, hope that helps any LX owners out there who want to tackle this job!

Edit: You may see what appears to be some Total Chaos UCAs in the picture, and I'll hopefully have a fun install of that to go over in another post!
 
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Joined
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I've done suspension refreshes before but never as thorough as this. You're a better man than I to spend the time and effort, but your car will be as tight as new and pay dividends going forward.

Couple questions,
- How many miles on her?
- Which bushings look to have taken the most wear?

Great tutorial and thread. :cool:
 

tincan45

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Wow. Great post. 🙏 🙇‍♂️ 🙏

Did you prime or flush the shocks before installing? I've seen others flush them first to avoid any contaminants....just curious.
 
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Looks like you'll be doing the front end also with those UCAs? Looking forward to that tutorial. Should be a bit easier with just 2 control arms per side on the front end.

Except maybe the steering rack. Wonder if the steering rack bushings are readily accessible. Could be a big job.
 

nwfl4runner

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So you've done suspension before . . . where did this one rate on the annoying as hell factor?

Infuriating the first time through. Closest I've come to taking it to a dealer to do suspension. The cross-threaded shocks (both sides, TWICE) was a lot to stomach. That being said... when it all clicked, it became a 3/10 job at most. If you follow the cliff notes of "remove exhaust, jack axle up and down, new bushings plates for shocks" you can knock it out in almost no time.

Wow. Great post. 🙏 🙇‍♂️ 🙏

Did you prime or flush the shocks before installing? I've seen others flush them first to avoid any contaminants....just curious.

Thanks man! I thought about it, but was working by myself so the less weight the better. And, I was so worried I'd mess up the install, when they sat flush I was too excited to undo them to fill! They come with a plastic cap over the top, and I made sure to clean the area around where they pass through the frame to minimize the risk.

Looks like you'll be doing the front end also with those UCAs? Looking forward to that tutorial. Should be a bit easier with just 2 control arms per side on the front end.

Except maybe the steering rack. Wonder if the steering rack bushings are readily accessible. Could be a big job.

Yup! Minor spoiler alert - the UCA bolt on the Lexus sucks. Forget about getting it torqued thanks to AHC lines.
 
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Thank you for the detailed write up. I have recently bought a 180k lx570 and I think the suspension needs to be rebuilt all around. Couple of questions.

1 - How much did it cost for you to rebuild the rear suspension?
2 - How long did it take you to tackle the whole project?
3 - I am hearing about partsouq the first time, do they sell genuine parts?
4 - Do you plan on rebuilding the front and doing the writeup on that?
 

nwfl4runner

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Messages
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Thank you for the detailed write up. I have recently bought a 180k lx570 and I think the suspension needs to be rebuilt all around. Couple of questions.

1 - How much did it cost for you to rebuild the rear suspension?
2 - How long did it take you to tackle the whole project?
3 - I am hearing about partsouq the first time, do they sell genuine parts?
4 - Do you plan on rebuilding the front and doing the writeup on that?

1 - for everything it would have been under $1k for all OEM, but I went with @TRAIL TAILOR LCAs which were more expensive.
2 - A few days of going slow and tackling parts at a time. Once you know the tricks it will take far less time, especially where to move the axle to get bolts lined up
3 - 100% and they ship super fast
4 - yup, waiting on one last shock to ship then it’s go time. Going to be making room for larger tires too!
 
Joined
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Looking forward to your guide for the front suspension rebuild. I plan on rebuilding both front and rear of my 180k 2011 LX570.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
San Jose
1 - for everything it would have been under $1k for all OEM, but I went with @TRAIL TAILOR LCAs which were more expensive.
2 - A few days of going slow and tackling parts at a time. Once you know the tricks it will take far less time, especially where to move the axle to get bolts lined up
3 - 100% and they ship super fast
4 - yup, waiting on one last shock to ship then it’s go time. Going to be making room for larger tires too!
Did you ever get around to rebuilding your front suspension? I was hoping to get some help from your write up.
 

CharlieS

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Thanks for the guidance, used it to address a leaky shock! Here’s the 22mm socket i made to address that PITA nut. View attachment 2477906
I dig your ingenuity. That bar seems like it would for well fitting in that narrow space where you need to work. How did it go for you?

I used a flex head ratcheting spanner that was good, but the combination of your long steel bar attached to the working end of the flex head spanner would probably be a great "special tool". I needed two different sizes 22 mm and 19mm as I recall (one for stock top nuts and one for aftermarket top nuts).
 

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