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My Lexus LS 400 Overview of car and problems

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Old 05-27-13, 03:28 PM   #1
Crybicki
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Post My Lexus LS 400 Overview of car and problems

I've never been too active on any car forums but after I bought my LS 400 in September 2012 for $1900, I fell in love with it. And after doing lots of different things to it, I thought I would come and post some of the problems I have had, some that I have now, and my general overview of this model. I had trouble finding some of the things I have run into on my car in the forums, so I am hoping that this helps someone out eventually.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

When I bought my car, the issues were: no power steering, RPM gauge not working, Faded/ripped leather seats and console, driver window motor was bad, needed a tune up and some other miscellaneous but simple things.

The day after I bought my car, the starter went out. That was the first thing I fixed on it. After that I went through and did a tune up that consisted of an oil change, air filter, NGK spark plug wires, new spark plugs (don't remember brand), new serpentine belt (VERY easy on this car), new battery and a radiator flush (took hoses off, dumped fluid, reclamped, refilled).

The original spark plug wires:

Click the image to open in full size.

The next thing was rebuilding the rear brakes completely; rotors, calipers and pads.

Click the image to open in full size.

I do have some advice regarding calipers here: if you still have original Toyota calipers on it, KEEP THEM. The calipers that you would buy from an auto part store are always rebuilt and remanufactured. The finish on the Toyota calipers will prevent rust forever. The new ones--will not. I bought both rear calipers and ended up returning both because the pistons inside of them were scratched and damaged. Instead I bought a caliper rebuild kit for both of my calipers and cleaned them up and reused them.

The worst part of my car is the leather. Unfortunately, how it looks now is how it looked when I bought it. The previous owner did not take good care of the car. I did completely remove the back seat and scrub it down real good with cleaner, but the front seats are ripped to shreds.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I am investing in seat covers, but haven't found leather ones that I like yet.

Most recently, the weekend of May 19, 2013, my car broke down for the first time. After much trial and error, I discovered that both of my catalytic converters on both sides of the exhaust had broken up and sent honeycombs into my exhaust, blocking one side and dropping debris into the rear pipes. Also, I had one coil pack go bad, and one of my rotors inside the dsitributor cap had literally exploded.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


After replacing both distributor caps and rotors, and the coil pack, I ended up having to hollow out the catalytic converters (we have no emission standards in Florida). This was a temporary fix and I plan to replace the cats with new ones soon, either OEM or aftermarket. While having the exhaust down, I replaced all the old steel bolts in the exhaust so that it would be easier to take down later on. I also did the fuel filter at this time, and I think it may have been an original Toyota part that had never been replaced. It was pretty nasty when I took it out.

Click the image to open in full size.

I plan on doing the timing belt next, as it hasn't been done during its time with me, as well as the other coil pack, a transmission flush, the front brakes, and I also need a new radiator overflow (mine has a very, very small hole at the top, but doesnt leak).

CURRENT PROBLEMS:
Now for the problems I have right now: my right brakelight switch is acting up, the tail light works, but the brake light does not; my RPM gauge still does not work, still no power steering, its either the pump or the EasyAssist motor that is installed on these models; No A/C, the air compressor is bad; my struts and strut mounts are bad and the shocks will be replaced when I do those too; when I hit second gear my traction control system acts up and turns off and shows up on my instrument panel; my acceleration is not very good, may be from the cats being hollowed out.
Thats all that I can think of right now, but there are two things that I need help with, as I can't find anything on the forums about them:

one of the vacuum hoses coming off of my power steering has been cut and I cannot find out where it originally went to. If I can find that, I can replace the hose with a new one.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I found a valve on the back of the headers on the direct opposite side of where the non-cut vacuum hose is, but there is a rubber cap on it, so I am not sure if that is where the hose goes or not.

Click the image to open in full size.

My other problem is, I am missing part of my air filter:

Click the image to open in full size.

Does anyone know what this part is called and if I can buy it on ebay or something? Or will I need to go to a junk yard?


Overall, I absolutely love this car. It gets great gas mileage, about 21-24 and I do a lot of highway driving for school. It is incredibly comfortable to ride in, front and back, and rides very smooth. It also drives and runs great even with the issues that I have. The engine and transmission are so strong and that is what sold me on this car when I first bought it. If you are ever considering buying this car, if it has been taken care of, and if you have a little money to do all the necessary maintenance, I would certainly recommend choosing this one. I plan to have this car for a very long time.

This concludes my very first post on Club Lexus, and I hope that this helps someone in the future! Thanks for reading!

Chris Rybicki
Oviedo, Florida
1993 Lexus LS 400
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Old 05-27-13, 04:12 PM   #2
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good progress man
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Old 05-27-13, 05:04 PM   #3
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Great first post! Welcome to Club Lexus.
It looks like you have a 1st Gen car.What year is it? (Some parts, e.g.brakes changed from year to year within a generation.)
Two things:
1. What does the exhaust sound like with the hollowed-out cats?
2. Regarding the cut Power Steering hose, check the stickys for "Power Steering bible".
My guess is that a previous owner fixed his Air Control Valve (may not be the exact name) problem by blocking off the hose.
Enjoy your car!
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Old 05-27-13, 05:52 PM   #4
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Honestly, I don't know what the plastic piece is called that directs air towards the filter. Check out the link below. You can also get a discount with CL membership.

http://lexus.sewellparts.com/oem-cat...S400-1993.html


Edit: I think I found it for you:



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Old 05-28-13, 06:33 AM   #5
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and... I"m pretty sure that your missing hose from the PS pump connects to the air intake before the butterfly...I don't have my car with me... but pretty sure it is looking to get filtered clean air...there should be a nipple on the engine side of the black box on the passenger side... I think you can see it in your picture... the hose, I believe, should go there. The other hose connects to the intake and the vacuum is initiated from there...so looking to pull in clean air from the other one.
I'll have to double check to be sure...or I'm sure someone can correct me, soon enough.
Wow... a lot of work on an older car, but you've come a long ways already...
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Old 05-28-13, 07:20 AM   #6
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The vaccum hose goes to the valve on the ps pump. It leaks and should be deleted if it hasn't already been done. The intake side of the hose should be plugged. There are two lines so one plug on the plastic intake and one plug on the end of the manifold.

I see that plastic intake piece every time I go to a pick n pull with an LS, I would suggest looking there.
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Old 05-28-13, 09:56 AM   #7
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Wow! Thanks for the post/info.. I will be following this thread....
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Old 05-28-13, 02:26 PM   #8
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Welcome to Club Lexus and a big thanks for detailing your progress in the maintenance.
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Old 05-28-13, 03:17 PM   #9
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http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums...r/#entry462268

Here is a link to a thread for a fix on the dead tach problem. I haven't tried on mine yet but this is a far better fix than I have seen previously. I know someone who did this on a gs and it worked.
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Old 05-28-13, 07:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene01 View Post
Great first post! Welcome to Club Lexus.
It looks like you have a 1st Gen car.What year is it? (Some parts, e.g.brakes changed from year to year within a generation.)
Two things:
1. What does the exhaust sound like with the hollowed-out cats?
2. Regarding the cut Power Steering hose, check the stickys for "Power Steering bible".
My guess is that a previous owner fixed his Air Control Valve (may not be the exact name) problem by blocking off the hose.
Enjoy your car!
The car is a 1993. I will post a video very shortly of what the exhaust sounds like. It isn't too bad, but it certainly doesnt sound like a muscle car!
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Old 05-28-13, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j2b4o View Post
http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums...r/#entry462268

Here is a link to a thread for a fix on the dead tach problem. I haven't tried on mine yet but this is a far better fix than I have seen previously. I know someone who did this on a gs and it worked.
Wow! A very detailed post on that. Thankyou very much for that! I am adding this to my list of "To-Do's"!
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Old 05-28-13, 07:29 PM   #12
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Sorry--still learning the forums, but just figured out how to multi-quote! Ha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lavrishevo View Post
Honestly, I don't know what the plastic piece is called that directs air towards the filter. Check out the link below. You can also get a discount with CL membership.

http://lexus.sewellparts.com/oem-cat...S400-1993.html


Edit: I think I found it for you:

93 94 Lexus LS400 Air Cleaner Intake Duct Pipe Hose Upper Center Front 10513 | eBay
Thats the piece! Thankyou! I had looked on ebay a couple months ago but was never able to find it. You rock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legender View Post
and... I"m pretty sure that your missing hose from the PS pump connects to the air intake before the butterfly...I don't have my car with me... but pretty sure it is looking to get filtered clean air...there should be a nipple on the engine side of the black box on the passenger side... I think you can see it in your picture... the hose, I believe, should go there. The other hose connects to the intake and the vacuum is initiated from there...so looking to pull in clean air from the other one.
I'll have to double check to be sure...or I'm sure someone can correct me, soon enough.
Wow... a lot of work on an older car, but you've come a long ways already...
Thankyou for the advice! I will check this out tomorrow when I hav daylight and will let you know what I find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j2b4o View Post
The vaccum hose goes to the valve on the ps pump. It leaks and should be deleted if it hasn't already been done. The intake side of the hose should be plugged. There are two lines so one plug on the plastic intake and one plug on the end of the manifold.

I see that plastic intake piece every time I go to a pick n pull with an LS, I would suggest looking there.
I planned on going to a junkyard very soon to grab a few things so I will have to look for that. Thankyou very much!
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Old 05-29-13, 11:53 AM   #13
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Default Traction Control issue

I made a video of my instrument panel to show my traction control issues. I am going to make a new post about this unless I find somewhere else to post it.
You can sorta here the exhaust here, but I will make another video so that you can hear it better.

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Old 05-29-13, 01:52 PM   #14
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The front air intake is called "Hose Air Cleaner No.2" and there is another part that fits over this and part of the filter housing called "Cover Air Cleaner"
Mine also had these parts missing and I bought used for around $30.00.
Great write up BTW.

With the Trac fault pull the fault codes with the wire jumper method detailed on www.lexls.com. A common cause is a depleted Trac nitrogen accumulator causing the pump to over run.

Last edited by steve2006; 05-29-13 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 05-30-13, 08:05 AM   #15
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It may be ABS related. You've got a brake light on on the dash. Is the parking brake all the way released?
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Old 05-30-13, 08:05 AM
 
 
 
 
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