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1997 Radiator, Spark Plugs, choose which maintenance parts?

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Old 04-27-14, 08:27 AM   #1
MauriceJ
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Default 1997 Radiator, Spark Plugs, choose which maintenance parts?

I am updating my "like new" 1997 LS400. I want Toyota OEM or equivalent parts, except perhaps for the radiator.

I have searched other threads for answers. I would like some specific recommendations.

I will replace my radiator, since the drain plug leaks.

What brand of replacement radiator do you suggest? Anything that is a better fit than others? (I want to avoid a radiator that does not fit the mountings, but less expensive than a new one from a dealer.)

I am also replacing essentially everything under the hood that is a maintenance item, such as timing belt, seals, water pump, hoses, serpentine belt, all tensioners, distributor caps, rotors, plug wires, all ignition parts, etc. (I am also going to replace the ECU capacitors.) I am going to do all of the work myself, I have been wrenching on my Toyotas for about 30 years.

What brand/part number do you suggest for the spark plugs? (I have seen some discussion threads where some of you disagree as to the proper iridium plug.) NGK or Denso.

The car runs like new. It gets about 29 MPG on the road. I want to keep it that way. (It has about 170,000 miles.)

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-27-14, 01:31 PM   #2
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you don't have to replace the whole radiator if just the drain plug leaks, you can replace just the o-ring...

I prefer NGK > Denso for plugs
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Old 04-27-14, 05:31 PM   #3
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I just put Denso SK20R11 plugs in mine at 109,000, thinking I was still running on original plugs. The plugs I pulled out were also SK20R11, so I re-checked the service history and found that they had been installed at 58,000. They looked as good as a plug can look with 51,000 miles on them.
I recommend the Denso plugs without reservation.
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Old 04-27-14, 06:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the fast responses.

As to the radiator drain plug leak, I have already been to a Lexus dealership. The parts counterman did not want to mess with it. He said that Lexus no longer provides radiators or related parts for a 1997. I went to a Toyota dealership and was told that if I bring in a part number, they might be able to get it, but they don't have Lexus part numbers in their books. (The radiator has a Toyota badge attached to it.) I also bought some generic O-rings of what appeared to be about the right size. None of them worked.

Anyway, this afternoon I found a Lexus part number for the drain plug. I will try that at the Lexus parts counter. I also see that Dorman has a drain plug part number for this radiator.

As to the spark plugs, what I see in some of the older threads is that there is a difference of opinion as to the proper gap. It occurred to me after I posted my questions - that a little common sense tells me to go pull out one of the plugs and see what is in there. Since I have owned the car for only 3 years, I don't know what is in there. Since it runs perfectly and is very fuel-efficient, I want to put the same plug (or at least the same gap) back in there.
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Old 04-28-14, 01:53 PM   #5
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looks like you can buy the o-ring (packing) by itself.
http://lexus.sewellparts.com/oem-cat...S400-1997.html

9671119007
PACKING (FOR RADIATOR DRAIN ****)

as for the plugs, most NGK and Denso come pre-gapped. i run NGK myself, over the counter stuff from autozone which is much cheaper and is still as effective as Denso OEM plugs.
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Old 04-28-14, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MauriceJ View Post
Thanks for the fast responses.

As to the radiator drain plug leak, I have already been to a Lexus dealership. The parts counterman did not want to mess with it. He said that Lexus no longer provides radiators or related parts for a 1997. I went to a Toyota dealership and was told that if I bring in a part number, they might be able to get it, but they don't have Lexus part numbers in their books. (The radiator has a Toyota badge attached to it.) I also bought some generic O-rings of what appeared to be about the right size. None of them worked.

Anyway, this afternoon I found a Lexus part number for the drain plug. I will try that at the Lexus parts counter. I also see that Dorman has a drain plug part number for this radiator.

As to the spark plugs, what I see in some of the older threads is that there is a difference of opinion as to the proper gap. It occurred to me after I posted my questions - that a little common sense tells me to go pull out one of the plugs and see what is in there. Since I have owned the car for only 3 years, I don't know what is in there. Since it runs perfectly and is very fuel-efficient, I want to put the same plug (or at least the same gap) back in there.
that parts guy sucks. toyota/lexus still sells most mechanical parts for all LS400s! glad you found the part number!
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Old 04-28-14, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omarg View Post
that parts guy sucks. toyota/lexus still sells most mechanical parts for all LS400s! glad you found the part number!
Agreed

You can get a Denso radiator for about $90 on Rockauto as well.
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