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1997 LS400 170K miles, Coolant Leaks, alternator not charging, ...

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Old 03-29-14, 05:56 PM   #31
ychen
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I am in big trouble now!! When I tried to remove the upper right (passenger side) freeze plug, it slipped off my channel plier and dropped down the pipe. It seems this plug is for the oil passage. Cowboy & other experts, where does the plug possibly go? From what I could see it dropped to the oil pump area or even down to the oil pan. I don't think I could leave it there since once the engine runs chances are it will hit and cause damage. Please help! Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:16 PM   #32
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yes, you have to get it out before turning crank (or starting engine of course)

but do not panic, it is not such a big deal to retrieve

you need a borescope to find where it went, and the right tool to retrieve it

I will post some links on where to buy these tools for a good deal in a few minutes

first check another one of the freeze plugs and determine whether it is ferrous (will a magnet stick to it?) and let me know

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Old 03-29-14, 09:26 PM   #33
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cheap borescope - there are really nice ones out there if you are well off, they are handheld with a great camera, but the cheapie will work for this

pick-up retrieval tool
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Old 03-29-14, 10:16 PM   #34
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Thanks, Cowboy. Yes, the freeze plug is ferrous! I was able to make simple tool with a magnet to fish it out. Thanks again.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:13 AM   #35
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I replaced 3 freeze plugs (bought 4) (two corroded ones and another good one. Since the upper ones are for the oil passage, after removing the upper right one, It appeared that it was in perfect shape, so I skipped the upper left one). replaced 3 seals (2xcam+1crank). Also I replaced the P/S reservoir o-ring. Yesterday I drained the oil, I found the oil drain plug is not the OEM one. It has "1/2" in the cap of the bolt (see pic). My guess is that at some point the oil pan was stripped. Should I be concerned regarding the oil pan & the drain bolt? Thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-14, 01:03 AM   #36
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the real question is does the current drain bolt/gasket setup leak now, and will it leak after future oil changes, if it doesn't leak now or start leaking in the future, then replacing the oil pan is not necessary. Unless it just bugs you to have a standard rather than a metric fastener on your car in a commonly accessed place, assuming that is what it even is. Did you measure it and verify that the 1/2 on the fastener is indeed referring to 1/2" ? - I have some doubt, because fasteners almost never have their head size printed on them but sometimes the thread diameter is. (i.e. it could be 1/2" thread diameter, but that would be one meaty drain bolt!)

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Old 04-20-14, 04:53 PM   #37
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I finally have put together everything together. New timing belt, Water pump & etc. Coolant leak has been fixed. Alternator has been fixed as well. When I tried to start today, it cranks, but won't start. A little refresh of the memory. When I bought the car 4 month ago, the car did not start easily. For example, it won't start the night before, an then it starts fine next mooring. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-24-14, 11:15 AM   #38
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The car starts fine now. It was due to the distributor rotor being 180 degree off. Now I am trying to resolve the error code P1600. I have changed the ECU capacitors with the recommended capacitors by Cowboy & Yamae. But the error code P1600 remains. Also the idle is low (500-600 rpm). It often dies when braking. Another problem is that I can't fill the gas tank up. I can only fill a couple of gallons of gas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-24-14, 03:52 PM   #39
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The code P1600 is generated when the back-up memory power supply circuit is not functioning.
To fix this needs a special skill analyzing the regulator circuit if the +B is properly supplied to the ECU terminal. Amateur DIYers only can make up to check the voltage at the terminal.
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Old 05-24-14, 04:48 PM   #40
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Thanks for the info. I bought another ECU from another 97 LS400. But I can't test it since 97 requires flashing. So my options is limited: Either send the current ECU to repair or try with the spare ECU and flash the key. Plus the spare ECU doesn't appear to be any better. In fact the spare one has more leak at capacitor C120.
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Old 05-24-14, 06:02 PM   #41
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It has been already 17 years since the car was made and it is natural that those capacitors are not in good condition anymore especially at places where the temperature is high. You can't expect a lot for a used ECU and also a 97 needs to rewrite the key code.

Did you already check the voltage at the pin #14 of connector A of the ECU? It is coming from the EFI fuse and it should be at the same DC level with the battery or a bit low. Less than 10V there often causes the P1600 problem. If it's higher than 10V, you need to check inside of the ECU but this needs an extra skill.
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Old 05-24-14, 10:27 PM   #42
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No, I have not checked the voltage of #14 pin in connector A. I don't know how to check it. Is connector A the larger one of the 4 connectors? How do you identify #14? Thanks.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:10 AM   #43
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That's the basic first step. If you can't act, you'd better ask a tec who can do it. The second step is much harder.
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Old 05-25-14, 03:14 PM   #44
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Ok, I did the test of the voltage according to this http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums...-trouble-code/. I has a voltage of 12.5v. So the harness is good. I opened the ECU again, I notice there is some corrosion at the pin next to the pin I tested (but not at the pin tested). what's my potion, clean up the corrosion? Would cleaning solve the problem? Thanks again.
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Old 05-27-14, 10:39 PM   #45
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In addition to error code P1600, it misfires. I was hoping the new capacitors would resolve the misfire problem. I just did a compression test today. All cylinders except cylinder #3 have 180+ PSI. When I tested cylinder #3, it would just continue one crank without stopping. Does this mean the valve is bad? I think the valve was bad before I changed the T-B. I was very certain that I did not bend the valve when I did the T-B. Before the T-B, the car had two coolant leaks (freeze plugs), Should I have performed the compression test before the T-B. Also, the old timing belt had cracks, but not broken and the engine ran (but poorly). So how did the valves at #3 cylinder get damaged? Overheat maybe, But then again, the engine doesn't appear to be leaking any longer. One more thing, though, I did notice that some water comes from the exhaust pipe when I first started it in the morning a few times. Head gasket blown (maybe) which caused the valve damage? I have wasted 6 months and $400 poorer? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-27-14, 10:39 PM
 
 
 
 
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1997, 400, alternator, bad, coolant, coolany, killing, leak, lecus, lexus, ls, places, power, pump, steering

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