I just did the timing belt and thought I would add some pix and service manual instructions to this thread. I posted the info on my web-site for work. I also work full time but for a $100/hour I'll do the job myself. I stretched the work out over a couple of weeks and it was quite leasurely.
Excellent thread content -- thanks to all three of you guys for some very useful info for the forum. KISMETSDAD, are you planning to leave your page up? If not, it would be great for the contents to be loaded here.
This is the kind of job that can be made about half as time consuming with some good directions. It's one of those that will take literally 2-3 times as long the first time you do it as it will the 2nd time, but most of us only do it once on a given engine type, so some good directions can be very helpful, and for some, may even avert disaster. I always try to get my hands on a service manual for something like this because that way you can be sure you have the right torque specs, sequences, etc., and in general do the job right.
2005 LS430 Flint/Black -- 19" LE37's, Tint
2003 GX470 Ash Blue/Charcoal -- Can't figure a way to improve on stock
1995 Supra T Black/Tan -- 24K miles, 900HP
2007 Audi A3 - 2003 LS430 - 2001 BMW M3 - 2001 M-B CLK430 (<- all sold)
I notice no one has posted to this thread in a while, but I just found it today.
I notice that there is some debate here as to should you use an impact or the sst bar. I worked as a mechanic for lexus back when these cars first started coming in for timing belts... I never saw an SST bar until I saw these pictures. EVERYONE in that shop used impact wrenches (on everything almost). These cars are just fancy Toyotas....always have been. They are far more durable and tough than people think, and they are VERY easy to work on once you get past the badge and the electronics on it. I hope that this encourage some people to do this themselves. Just remember... Line up your timing marks!!! By the way, a good trick if you are having trouble keeping the belt in place while putting it on is use a couple of those big (usually black) paper clips that are spring loaded to hold the belt to the cam gears... just remember to remove them after.
I also saw someone ask about cam seals... good rule of thumb on any Lexus made in the last 10-12 years or so. If it's not leaking... leave it alone. (This does not apply to water pumps)
If Lexus ever had an issue with the cam seals leaking...which by the way I've never heard of or seen... they would have addressed it in these later models. Those seals in this engine are probably better than any after-market part you can find (except Aisin who is rumored to supply them to Lexus).
My father has personally seen three LS400s to over 225K miles ('92, '96, '98) and none of them have ever leaked a drop of anything. As far as I can recall it is not standard procedure to change the cam seals on any year of LS4##. I will say though that I've been out of the auto industry since 05, so maybe that's changed.
By the way these 4.3L cars are WAY, WAY, WAY easier to do than the old ls400's (especially the early ones with twin distributors). I'm actually looking forward to doing this for the first time in over 5 years on my fathers's 04 430.
By the way, just a fun fact about my personal experience on these cars. My father has, as you can see here, owned 4 of these over the course of 14 years. In that time the TOTAL cost of non maintenance repairs between all of them is LESS than $2500 out of pocket. These are well made cars!!!
Central Pneumatic "Earthquake" from Harbor freight. This is the way to go when you need to remove that crankshaft bolt if you don't already have a good impact wrench. It's $80. I saw it in a SC430 thread about timing belt DIY. I have an older IR 1/2" impact that wouldn't budge the bolt. I bought this thing and it loosened it instantly! It is cheap looking and I don't know how long it would last with regular use but it does the job.
Just changed the timing belt and water pump on my 430 this weekend. Took a bit longer than I thought, and was not really as hard as I had imagined (esp after reading this thread).
Getting the plastic covers on and off and taking the radiator out took almost 2 hours for me (I am 6ft8 and 125kg so getting under the car is NOT easy) but once thats done the rest is rather straight forward.
Biggest leason learned while doing it is DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the alloy bolts for the water pump as they do snap. I had to learn the hard way and spent another solid hour getting the end of the bolt out of the block.
Many many thanks to those who wrote up this DIY. You make doing this change much easier.
out of all the cars I have worked on over the past 20 years this is the easiest DIY for timing belt change, they all require a good amount of elbow grease BUT the Lexus is engineered with absolute simplicity. I WISH other car brands would be so simple - but it seems most are engineered to just P!ss you off and take it into the dealer.
I have much experience with most brands of cars (except German Brands) and I'm here to tell any inexperienced DIYer that has doubts about doing this job - just follow the write up and repair manual to the tee and you will do fine. These cars are very easy to work on for any experienced Mechanic.
__________________ TLN Party Crasher #51
05' LS 430 Briarwood Pearl w/premium package
08' GS 460 Opaline Pearl w/ ML nav
69' Mustang fastback - rebuild project
i completed my timing belt and water pump service this weekend on my 2001 with 107,000 miles. it took about 6hrs of actual work. i replaced the belt and pump along with the idlers, tensioner and thermostat. my water pump had started to seep a tiny bit from the water hole and air hole. after seeing that im very glad i got to it when i did. i had actually put it off for about a year. this post and the factory service manual up on the laptop in the garage were very helpful.
I started this service last night. I have an extra car so I will take my 'sweet time with this' I have done same service on 2JZ GE before and it wasn't too bad at all so I have decided to this one as well. First time doing it on 3UZ FE so I will take things slow
Anyways I have a question regarding water pump. My Aisin timing belt kit came with water pump gasket but I haven't seen it being addressed in Toyota manual at all. I see 'packing sealant' in manual that needs to be applied to water pump contact surface but nothing about gasket alone.
If there is a gasket I would assume that no sealant is required or is it still necessary? I know sealant has to be applied to water bypass but wasn't 100% sure about WP. What is your guys' experience? I haven't taken water pump apart yet so I haven't seen it now but I bet you that there isn't any gasket there now but just sealant.....