New LX570 Wanders

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So I'm the proud new owner of a 2008 LX570. It's got about 115K miles on it and a beautiful machine. The one problem that I cant seem to work out is some erratic steering. The roads I travel on are pretty irregular as there are grooves from studded tires, but I don't think thats an excuse. It steers perfectly straight, then juts off to the right or left, like the alignment is out and pulling that direction, then it's back to normal steering perfectly straight. I got an alignment done at Toyota last week, but it doesn't seem to have improved anything. Has anyone else experienced this or have an idea what it may?

Regardless, it's replacing a GX470 and I love the upgrade. Thanks for your help. Cheers,
Lindsay
 
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The one problem that I cant seem to work out is some erratic steering. The roads I travel on are pretty irregular as there are grooves from studded tires, but I don't think thats an excuse. It steers perfectly straight, then juts off to the right or left, like the alignment is out and pulling that direction, then it's back to normal steering perfectly straight. I got an alignment done at Toyota last week, but it doesn't seem to have improved anything.
Really sounds like your caster is off. I had similar steering issues with my 76 CJ5 (although it's a straight axle vehicle) that has a 2.5" lift. Caster was '0' and '-1*'. It should be 5-7 degrees positive. I need to add 6* shims to the from spring packs to keep it from darting all over the road.

I'm not familiar with what the sweet spot is for your vehicle, and hopefully someone will know the answer. But if all your steering components are tight, you've got a geometry problem.
 

Markuson

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So I'm the proud new owner of a 2008 LX570. It's got about 115K miles on it and a beautiful machine. The one problem that I cant seem to work out is some erratic steering. The roads I travel on are pretty irregular as there are grooves from studded tires, but I don't think thats an excuse. It steers perfectly straight, then juts off to the right or left, like the alignment is out and pulling that direction, then it's back to normal steering perfectly straight. I got an alignment done at Toyota last week, but it doesn't seem to have improved anything. Has anyone else experienced this or have an idea what it may?

Regardless, it's replacing a GX470 and I love the upgrade. Thanks for your help. Cheers,
Lindsay

I see you are in Aspen. Might be worth having it aligned at Slee in Golden. They aligned my 2008 LC in August after it had been improperly aligned on a long road trip to Wisconsin...and it was perfect after that, including rough stuff in Ouray, Moab and then home to San Diego. They spent considerable time...but it was perfect after that.
 
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are you running wide tires? I noticed that with my 12.50" width tires if there is a grove to find in the lane I'm in (in the road) these tires will find it and track it until I redirected it. Doesn't happen on every road though
 
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As Hack references above positive caster will cause the wheels to act like a gyroscope making them resist turning causing the vehicle to track straighter. However, you could also have other issues with worn steering components.
 
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I thought it was the caster too. I looked at the report they gave me and it says the caster has been set to 3 degrees, maybe it need to go further? I will follow up with them, and if I get nowhere will probably take markuson up on going to Slee. They do a great job on everything. Thanks for all your input
 
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I thought it was the caster too. I looked at the report they gave me and it says the caster has been set to 3 degrees, maybe it need to go further?

Was that positive 3 degrees or negative 3 degrees? I'm assuming it is positive, which may not be enough. But I don't know what the OEM alignment specs should be. Like I posted, my CJ5 needed 6* shims added to the spring packs, to increase caster into the 5*-7* positive range. Not enough positive caster and the vehicle will 'dart' left/right without warning. In extreme cases, it can cause 'death wobble'. Sort of like pushing a shopping cart when the wheels start shaking.

I've got the same questions as post #4:

Are you running larger tires/wheels than were stock? if so:

What brand/size tire?
What brand/size wheel? How much backspacing on those wheels?

In post #4, Willy commented on road characteristics of wide tires. When I had my 1999 Corvette C5, it would 'hunt' all over a lane. Wide, low sidewall tires will do that. Similar issue with my 2009 Saturn Sky Redline. On certain roads, they both seemed to want to 'get back on the rails' or 'into a track'. Always felt like they were darting left/right on certain roads. However, neither were the severe or even dramatic darting, that was occurring with my lifted CJ5 on 32x11.50-15 TSL/SX tires. That was near 'death wobble' at speeds above 30 mph. Now it tracks fine all the way up to 60-65 mph (haven't been any faster).

I'll be interested in what the final cause/remedy to your issue is.
 
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Was that positive 3 degrees or negative 3 degrees? I'm assuming it is positive, which may not be enough. But I don't know what the OEM alignment specs should be. Like I posted, my CJ5 needed 6* shims added to the spring packs, to increase caster into the 5*-7* positive range. Not enough positive caster and the vehicle will 'dart' left/right without warning. In extreme cases, it can cause 'death wobble'. Sort of like pushing a shopping cart when the wheels start shaking.

I've got the same questions as post #4:

Are you running larger tires/wheels than were stock? if so:

What brand/size tire?
What brand/size wheel? How much backspacing on those wheels?

In post #4, Willy commented on road characteristics of wide tires. When I had my 1999 Corvette C5, it would 'hunt' all over a lane. Wide, low sidewall tires will do that. Similar issue with my 2009 Saturn Sky Redline. On certain roads, they both seemed to want to 'get back on the rails' or 'into a track'. Always felt like they were darting left/right on certain roads. However, neither were the severe or even dramatic darting, that was occurring with my lifted CJ5 on 32x11.50-15 TSL/SX tires. That was near 'death wobble' at speeds above 30 mph. Now it tracks fine all the way up to 60-65 mph (haven't been any faster).

I'll be interested in what the final cause/remedy to your issue is.
It is 3 degrees positive. I am going to look into increasing that to 5 or 6 degrees as well as get new tires (winter tires) to see if that makes the difference. I am running large low profile tires, but they are stock (285x50x20), and am decreasing to a 265x65x18, so hopefully that will also have some positive influence. Thanks for your help. I'll keep you updated.
 
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I am running large low profile tires, but they are stock (285x50x20), and am decreasing to a 265x65x18, so hopefully that will also have some positive influence.
The wandering you described, seems to be a characteristic of low profile tires. My 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit has 265/50R20 tires. The Summit will occasionally do what you describe if the road surface is wavy, although not a aggressively as my Corvette or Sky did.
 
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So in a very unscientific approach I did both suggestions as once. I got a set of 18" rims (I think from a tundra) and put some thinner (265x65xR18) winter tires on and then got the car dropped at the dealership to push my caster out. They increased the caster from +3 degrees to +4.2 degrees and between these two changes the car drives like a dream. All wondering characteristics are completely gone. I was very appreciative of the Toyota dealership who worked with me and did the second alignment for nothing. If you're ever on the Western Slopes of Colorado I would highly recommend Bighorn Toyota in Glenwood Springs. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. It sux buying a $30k dream car and being disappointed, so I really appreciate the help.
 

Markuson

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So in a very unscientific approach I did both suggestions as once. I got a set of 18" rims (I think from a tundra) and put some thinner (265x65xR18) winter tires on and then got the car dropped at the dealership to push my caster out. They increased the caster from +3 degrees to +4.2 degrees and between these two changes the car drives like a dream. All wondering characteristics are completely gone. I was very appreciative of the Toyota dealership who worked with me and did the second alignment for nothing. If you're ever on the Western Slopes of Colorado I would highly recommend Bighorn Toyota in Glenwood Springs. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. It sux buying a $30k dream car and being disappointed, so I really appreciate the help.

So nice to hear resolution! Always great to see excellent service at various shops as well. :clap:
 

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