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Old 04-18-11, 12:39 PM   #1
BrettJacks
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Default New car, pretty happy

I just bought a 1992 LS400 on Saturday for $3,200. Only has 112,000 miles, and from what I've read, i can expect a lot more miles from her. So far i'm generally impressed with the ride, handling, power, comfort, and appearance. There are a few things however I would like to address:

1) The radio antenna. Doesn't go up, the motor runs when you start the car and turn it off. I suspect it's the mast, is that hard to fix? (Scale of 1 to 10)

2) Tachometer. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. What causes this?

3) Key. I have what the manual calls a subkey. It's the only key i have to the car. What is the cheapest way to obtain a master key?

4) Alarm. When I turn the key in the lock to unlock the door, sometimes(But not always) the alarm goes off. WTF is up with this? Annoying as hell, especially if you're at somebody's house at night(when I discovered the issue). What causes it, how do I stop it?

5) Suspension. The NORM light is always blinking for the ride height indicator. Pushing the button does nothing, and i have tried the switch in the trunk too.

6) Lighting. Maybe this is all just a bad ground, but i notice some of the lights on the control panels don't light up. Also have a burnt out taillight. Is all of this related?

Other than these things, I really enjoy the car and I don't regret the purchase. It still has pretty new tires on it, looks in great shape, and rides really nice. I have ordered some hood shocks, since the hood won't stay up.

Thanks in advance for the help
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Old 04-18-11, 12:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to CL, use the search feature as much as you can. This will explain how to fix your antenna. http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/audio/powerantenna.html
Check out all the tutorials on lexls.com and you will find some of your other problems. Check out the lighting section, it might be your lighting issues.
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Old 04-19-11, 09:01 AM   #3
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Have a question on that tutorial(tried searching, but couldn't find an answer). It mentions holding the TAPE and AM button to eject the antenna. I don't have a factory radio. What do I do?
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Old 04-19-11, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettJacks View Post
Have a question on that tutorial(tried searching, but couldn't find an answer). It mentions holding the TAPE and AM button to eject the antenna. I don't have a factory radio. What do I do?
In that tutorial there is 2 ways to change the mast, (easy way) steps 1a -1f, or (hard way) steps 2 - 22. If you can pull your antenna mast up "I think" you would be able to do it the easy way by just turning the ignition on and off, as to raise and lower the mast. If not then, as the last sentence in step 1 says;
If you can't install the new antenna mast this way your drive cable is probably broken and you'll need to follow the steps below to get the pieces out.

you would have to do it the hard way, steps 2 - 22.
I'm not exactly sure how it works b/c I haven't done mine yet. It's on my list of things to do.
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Old 04-19-11, 05:55 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums,,,,

1. Radio mast,,, most likely broken drive cable as mentioned. Tutorial will show you how to replace. If you hear it runing and yet it isn't moving,,cable is broke.

2. Tach,,,common problem, especially on the older first gen's. Check the stickied section under dash circuit board. Most likely bad capacitors and need to be replaced.

3. Key,,, you have the valet key. Master key can only be ordered from dealer. Will have to give them your vin # and proof of ownership. Some locksmiths can cut you a key. With the first gens (which is what you and I have), there is no transponder in them for multiple features so you CAN get away with having a locksmith cut one for you. The only thing that the master key, first gens only, have in the way of key function was that you could arm/disarm the factory alarm by pushing the little button on the side. Pretty much can get the same effect by just putting the key in the door.

4. Alarm,,,most likely the relay in the door is worn out, especialy in the drivers door since it would have the most use with the key being constantly inserted and removed. Sometimes the key will disarm the alarm from the drivers door, sometimes it wont (mine does this); I have just come to live with it. Only way around it is to unlock the door on the passenger side since that relay should still be good. You CAN replace the relay; not sure how intense it is to do so, as I never did my own. Without having that factory alarm disabled tho, the car will just be one big paperweight that will not start until the alarm is disabled. Was a failsafe feature built into the system so that even it someone managed to get the door open, unless the car recognized that factory key and disarmed the alarm, then it WOULD go off.

5. Looks like your car had air ride suspension. Is it still there?? look under the fender to see if there is an airbag sitting on top of the shock. The air system is expensive to replace, and most of the time, when they went bad, most owners, just went to a traditional shock/spring setup. System may have just been unhooked, yet they car still thinks it is there. Will have to investigate and report further on this one.

6. Burned out lighting on dash,,,possible burned out bulbs. Would start there first. Burned out taillight and dash lights not linked unless you are talking about the indicator is lit to let you know that there is one out. Most likely,, just need to replace the defective taillight bulb.
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Old 04-20-11, 11:06 PM   #6
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1. I got a mast coming in the mail. Should be here Friday.

2. Just gonna let the tach go. Don't really need it that bad.

3. Now when you say you can have a locksmith cut it, are you referring to the master key for sure? The one with the remote? I just emailed Lexus of Henderson, NV(closest dealer to me), and they quoted me $64 for a master key with no remote function, and over $340 for a master w/remote plus $120 for labor...... rip off

4. I've been opening it from the passenger side to avoid the alarm. Where can I find this relay? I've read the article about removing the door panel, and I think I can do it, but i don't see any relay listed on Ebay.

5. Haven't checked the shocks yet. Does it still have a coil around it if it has air bags?

6. Replaced light bulb in taillight.

New developments: I got my new hood shocks today and it's really nice to not have to hold the hood up anymore.

Also, the title arrived in the mail today........rebuilt title. What does this entail for me? Is this going to have any repercussions? I guess this is my fault for not running carfax on it. I got quoted $30 a month for full coverage on the insurance, so that's not bad, especially since i'm a 21 year old male. Car seems really nice anyways, runs smooth, rides smooth.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:30 AM   #7
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The "rebuilt" title doesn't matter for you, unless you try to sell it. It means the car was totaled and fixed. Noone wants to buy a car with a rebuilt title b/c it's a pain to get through registration. (Depending on the state) If it's already a rebuilt title Idk why you didn't have a problem with it.
$30 a month for insurance? Or is that $30 extra for full coverage? What state are you in?
When you get a new key from the dealer, or wherever, you need to reprogram the remote entry ECU in the trunk. I know it's not hard but someone else would have to tell ya how. Or, if you search for "how to reprogram master key" you'll find something on it.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:46 PM   #8
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Registering it was a breeze(except for paying the $300)
Yes, that is $30 a month for full coverage. no extra. $30 is all. I'm in Utah.
Is there nowhere else that sells the master key except for the dealer? I don't know if i want to pay $350 for one.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:09 PM   #9
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also, will a remote key for an ES300 work for an LS400 or do they use different systems?
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Old 04-21-11, 11:39 PM   #10
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How hard would this be to install?
http://www.viper.com/P-412V/Viper-21...s-Entry-System
I think i might buy this, and then just get 2 non-chip keys cut. What are the odds a local locksmith can cut a key?
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Old 04-22-11, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettJacks View Post
How hard would this be to install?
http://www.viper.com/P-412V/Viper-21...s-Entry-System
I think i might buy this, and then just get 2 non-chip keys cut. What are the odds a local locksmith can cut a key?
It shouldn't be too hard to install as long as ya follow the directions. I think if you can strip some wires and use a screwdriver, to take trim off, you have the knowledge to do it. It seems like a good system, the reviews are good.
On a side note; I can't believe you're paying only $30 a month for insurance, especially being 21. If I got a quote like that I would put insurance on my car.
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Old 04-22-11, 11:14 PM   #12
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Yeah, i was surprised by the insurance price. I'm 21 years old, but have had 0 accidents and 0 tickets since i got my license. That price is for full coverage. If i was just getting liability it would only be $17.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:44 PM   #13
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Update: The antenna came in the mail today. I ejected the old antenna, and there was maybe 5 inches of cable still on it............
But because time was short, we tried inserting the new one without taking the motor apart. It took the antenna, but will only retract it about 3/4 of the way. I'm confused now. I figured it would only be able to retract it maybe a couple inches, since so much of the old one is still broke off. I'll probably leave it like this until I can get time to take the motor apart(not looking forward to that). It's nice to get radio reception now.
As far as the key/alarm goes, this is my plan. There's a locksmith in St. George(about 80 miles away from me) that can cut me a master key(without remote) for $30 a piece. I'm going to cut 2 of them, and then I'll have the Viper Keyless entry installed. I can get it at Best Buy for $130 with free installation. After my next paycheck, I will be doing the brakes. They are squealing on me, and the inspection showed that they were at 8/32 and 10/32.
Overall, still pleased with my purchase.


EDIT: Btw, in reference to my prior post about the suspension, i have checked and it appears it's been converted. I assume the presence of coils around the shocks means that the airbags are no more? It would make sense considering that it was totalled at some point, and the owner may have just put normal shocks on at that point.

Last edited by BrettJacks; 04-23-11 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 04-23-11, 04:37 PM   #14
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Update: Satisfaction rating has moved. Yesterday, was at 90%. Today it's around 50%. Went to run to the store to pick up a case of Mountain Dew, and noticed that the steering is frickin hard. it takes some strong-arming to get the wheel to turn full circle, but intermittently only. Took it for a spin, noticed sometimes it turned fine, sometimes it was difficult, and it usually makes a noise, which i'm sure is the pump. I parked it, checked the resevoir, filled it, and it still does it. summufabeech. I think i just got raped. The PO told me he just put a new PS pump on it. I'm calling BS.
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Old 04-23-11, 04:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettJacks View Post
Yeah, i was surprised by the insurance price. I'm 21 years old, but have had 0 accidents and 0 tickets since i got my license. That price is for full coverage. If i was just getting liability it would only be $17.
I have a 92 and thats what i pay for just liability. Mine has 209k on it now. I had the dealer cut a new master key for $80.00. Did the the viper remote entry for a hundred not a bad deal works just like the factory.

I sent in my gauges last summer got a sweet deal on ebay from Reman in MA for $65 bucks only took them a week. Was a bidder repair may want to look them up see what they want for it now. Was a breeze to remove lucky its not my daily driver so i didnt miss it being gone. You do have to reset the ABS light but thats easy too. You can find how to do that at lexls.com.

We anyway enjoy your new ride i do.
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Old 04-23-11, 04:43 PM
 
 
 
 
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