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Old 06-05-11, 09:02 PM   #1
jlegan
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Hello all i am the onwer of a new to me 1990 ls400. I got the car from a friend for $1000 knowing about the power steering problem that is typical for these cars. It had been sitting for about a year and not started either. So i put a battery in it and still wouldn't start ended up being a fuel pump. Replaced that and car died on me while I was out and looks like it is going to need an alternator too, while i was looking at alternator I noticed that the front main seal is puking oil out of it too. My friend let me take the car and pay him later, I am mechaniclly incline to an extent do you guys think I should keep it and fix the problems the front main seal may be alittle over my head. the car is in good shape it needs interior seats to be recovered and a steering wheel is in rough shape but I like the car just dont want to pour alot of money into it. any help would be great
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Old 06-05-11, 10:29 PM   #2
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Your call if it's worth it to you or not. Frankly I'd rather have a $1000 car that I put another $2000 into replacing worn and overdue maintenance items than a $3000 car with unknown history. Especially in the used car market in the $5000 and under price range, most cars you get will be neglected. A solid LS needing wear and tear items will last a lot longer once you get it where it should be maintenance wise than a clapped out Civic that's 5 years newer.

My LS400 was $1300, I've put in a bit of money and sweat equity (junk yards have been my 2nd home lately), I think I'll be at $2500 including the price of the car when all is said an done, and I think it's worth it. Especially since the price of LS400s seemed to have jumped $1000-1500 in the last two months since I've purchased. I've even had someone leave a note on my door asking to buy it.

Front seal is a bit of a chore though...
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Old 06-05-11, 10:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jlegan View Post
Hello all i am the onwer of a new to me 1990 ls400. I got the car from a friend for $1000 knowing about the power steering problem that is typical for these cars. It had been sitting for about a year and not started either. So i put a battery in it and still wouldn't start ended up being a fuel pump. Replaced that and car died on me while I was out and looks like it is going to need an alternator too, while i was looking at alternator I noticed that the front main seal is puking oil out of it too. My friend let me take the car and pay him later, I am mechaniclly incline to an extent do you guys think I should keep it and fix the problems the front main seal may be alittle over my head. the car is in good shape it needs interior seats to be recovered and a steering wheel is in rough shape but I like the car just dont want to pour alot of money into it. any help would be great


when everything is in proper order, you cannot go wrong.
ask yourself this..is it better to spend $1200 on repairs for a vehicle you own, or for a down payment and still make payments every month.

its going to cost you, not like ferrari cost, but its more than a honda civic.


when all is said and done, the ls400 is one of the best out there.
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Old 06-06-11, 03:07 AM   #4
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replacing the front main is a major surgury on the motor, I wouldnt dare try if if your unsure if you can. but like the other post say the car is well worth it, my 96 LS400 has 184000 miles and is my baby im wanting to buy a second one, its that good.
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Old 06-06-11, 06:33 AM   #5
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thanks for the input everyone I am going to get an alternator today to see if I can get it on the road again. I think once I get it going it will be a great car like everyone is telling me
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Old 06-06-11, 07:44 AM   #6
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Once ya get the things fixed they are good cars. How many miles on yours? You're the only one that would know if it's worth putting alot of work into. I just posted this in another thread "90 ls400 (newbie)" about the crankshaft seal. (front main) Hope it helps you.
Changing the crankshaft seal itself is easy, getting to is time consuming and expensive b/c what you need to do is the timing belt/water pump replacement job located here. http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/timingbelt.html The only thing this doesn't show is the seals (cam and crank) but it's only another 15 minutes labor. Ya just need to pull off the timing gear on the crankshaft, (with a pulley puller) and the two camshaft pulleys. The seals come out pretty easy, even with a screwdriver, I used a paint can opening tool to just pry them out. Be careful not to scratch and nic the shafts.
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Old 06-06-11, 08:20 AM   #7
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Once ya get the things fixed they are good cars. How many miles on yours? You're the only one that would know if it's worth putting alot of work into. I just posted this in another thread "90 ls400 (newbie)" about the crankshaft seal. (front main) Hope it helps you.
Changing the crankshaft seal itself is easy, getting to is time consuming and expensive b/c what you need to do is the timing belt/water pump replacement job located here. http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/timingbelt.html The only thing this doesn't show is the seals (cam and crank) but it's only another 15 minutes labor. Ya just need to pull off the timing gear on the crankshaft, (with a pulley puller) and the two camshaft pulleys. The seals come out pretty easy, even with a screwdriver, I used a paint can opening tool to just pry them out. Be careful not to scratch and nic the shafts.
Mine has 186k on it and needs a power rack & pinnon also the steering is very firm and previous owners said some times it would lock up and he would pull the screen and clean it and it would work again. I think I am going to keep it I like the car and its paid for . A good friend of mine is an ASE certified mechanic who would help me with the timming belt etc...
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Old 06-06-11, 08:36 AM   #8
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Sounds good. I'm sure, with 186K on it, it will need a t-belt/water pump. Don't try to use the old parts, it's not worth it to save a few bucks on that job. I speak with experience. I saved $15 and had to redo the job 14K miles later in 3 feet of snow with 10* weather. Just read up as much as you can on any work you do to it and you'll find out what is good and, most important, what is bad. Welcome to Club Lexus.
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Old 06-06-11, 09:42 AM   #9
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Mine has 186k on it and needs a power rack & pinnon also the steering is very firm and previous owners said some times it would lock up and he would pull the screen and clean it and it would work again. I think I am going to keep it I like the car and its paid for . A good friend of mine is an ASE certified mechanic who would help me with the timming belt etc...
See if the correct fluid is in there (ATF, NOT power steering fluid) and that it's clean. Mine was making an awful racket on left turns and there is evidence of leaks on the resevoir/pump as well as the rack. Looked like power steering fluid. I've since fluished it out with ATF and it's no longer making noise and the leak doesn't seem to have returned, fingers crossed.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:28 AM   #10
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So I have started on the timing belt and water pump install and i am thinking i should go ahead and do plugs wires and anything else it may need. What kinda of plugs should I get and is there anything else i should replace while its apart?
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Old 06-10-11, 06:30 AM   #11
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congrats and welcome
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Old 06-10-11, 11:23 AM   #12
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Alot of people swear by the NGK plugs and OEM wires. (I don't but I'm different) You might as well change the distributor caps and rotors while ya have them off. Make sure you put the rotors back on in the correct direction. Some people put them on 180* off and then tear it all apart again to fix it. Idk how b/c they only fit correctly one way, even in the manual it says "Align the protrusion in the rotor with the groove in the pulley". Anyway, other then the cam and crank seals I mentioned, alot of people change the valve cover gaskets at the same time, they're know to spring a leak in the back. Some gasket kits come with the 8 spark plug tubes and the 16 new washers. I changed mine at the same time b/c they were leaking but you can still get to them later. Good luck with the T-belt job, follow the link I posted and if ya have any other questions as you go we're here to help.
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Old 06-16-11, 07:56 PM   #13
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ok well i need help got everything back together and start it up and runs fine until i give it some gas and it sounds like the engine is laboring too hard and it is also back firing through the intake. Could the timming be off, I checked plug wires, sensors..etc and everything is done right i think....
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Old 06-16-11, 08:36 PM   #14
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Did you line up the timing gears with the marks on the belt?

btw: I've never done at TB, but it sounds like you have timing problems or fuel problems (less likely).
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Old 06-16-11, 08:42 PM   #15
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yes I did......
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Old 06-16-11, 08:42 PM
 
 
 
 
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184000, 1990, 1996, 250, 400, 97, es, job, lexus, locks, ls, ls400, manual, miles, power, pump, steering, water, worth

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