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Woody_Gentry

Regular Member
  • Content count

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About Woody_Gentry

  • Rank
    New Club Member

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  • First Name
    Stephen

Profile Information

  • Lexus Model
    LS400
  • Lexus Year
    1995
  • Location
    California (CA)
  1. Power Steering Resevoir Screen Missing

    OK, so you guys have been so amazingly helpful to me in solving my LS400 steering issues, I thought I would give a little back. My slow speed steering was making noises and was hesitating. So here is stuff I have learned: See photo attached. This is the filter screen that goes around the solenoid. By the time I took this photo I had already cleaned off an almost 100% clog, every screen window was clogged. Also, my guess is that the clogs caused the screens to bust through to flow what fluid I was steering on. Most likely this part caused my issues. Does Lexus sell this miserable little part? Not that I could find. Sooo… my thinking was that if I ditched (eliminated) the screen completely, the hydraulic fluid would flow without restriction, albeit unfiltered. Use a tooth pick to remove the upper o ring from the solenoid, then just work the nylon screen circle off. I reasoned: what good is a clogged screen with holes in it? Mine probably hadn't done much filtering for a long time. My thinking also was that it is relatively easy to get the rack rebuilt, also new hoses and pump are now cheap on ebay. Important: I had my rack rebuilt. The rebuilder didn't have this screen as part of the rebuild kit, so he reused my clogged screen! Same problem even after the rebuild. So what real function is this screen anyway? If I destroy something without the screen (doubtful) I'll fix it. I elected to ditch the screen and take my chances. My power steering problems are now GONE! I went to Harbor Freight and bought both their Nitril o ring set AND I bought their Viton o ring set. The small top solenoid o ring had a match in the Viton set and the big o ring on the solenoid bottom had a match in the Nitril set. I used Mobil One full synthetic grease in putting the solenoid and o rings back in. Be careful with the big o ring at the solenoid bottom. You need to grease it to stay in place up in the rack slot. Put it up into the rack, right at the bottom of the hole, before you screw in the solenoid. Close call: My old o ring was still up in the slot/hole. I found out I was about to put the new o ring on top of the old one! You'll see what I mean when you get into the project. Guaranteed leak, or worse if you forget to pull out the old o ring before you screw in the solenoid. Next issue: The Lexus power steering calls for ATF and NOT power steering fluid. My solution was to use Tractor Fluid from Walmart. This stuff is clear, about the consistency of oil, and I use it in various other hydraulic steering I own, Ford 7.3L truck, etc. Quick lube places will ALWAYS refill your LS400 Lexus PS pump with power steering fluid. Wrong! Tractor fluid worked great for my LS400, and is cheap at Walmart. My guess is ATF would work fine as well. If you still have trouble, use Tractor Fluid. The labor to do this solenoid screen elimination took me about 1 hour max. This ain't rocket science. Oh, another important issue: Ditch that vacuum sender on the bottom/side of your power steering pump. As best I can tell, it does NOTHING but cause trouble. Trace back the vacuum lines and plug them with the little rubber caps you can buy at Autozone. You don't want a vacuum leak. That vacuum sender thing will leak power steering fluid directly onto your alternator. This will destroy your alternator and you will be stuck somewhere. Also, you'll start your LS400 one day and get a cloud of white smoke vacuumed through this ridiculous vacuum sender thing directly into your intake. I actually had a valve job done on this Lexus thinking the white smoke was valve seals ($2000. fix) before I learned about this miserable Lexus PS mistake vacuum sender. Unscrew the vacuum sender and take it down to Autozone. The sender threads match one of the replacement plugs they sell for an engine oil pan. I used Teflon tape on my new Autozone plug and screwed the plug into the power steering pump vacuum sender hole. Problem solved. Good luck. Woody
  2. Dash Lights Stay On After Car Is Turned Off

    See the previous post about the corroded plug in the trunk. These picture may save you a lot of mistakes. Cheers Woody
  3. Dash Lights Stay On After Car Is Turned Off

    SOLVED: (at least for me.) I have a 95 LS400 Lexus. Like Lars in Denmark 10 years ago, my dash lights stayed on even with my key out. I was driving around and pulling the battery cable each time I stopped to avoid draining the battery. Soo, I did what Lars suggested and checked the plug in the trunk that was once used for a car phone. (Right side in my car.) Yes indeed, mine was green and corroded. Water pools in this area of the trunk and can cause wire corrosion. To fix that issue, I carefully connected the individual wires to one another thus eliminating the corroded plug. Be careful when touching with this plug. The wires are so bad they will fall out of the plug leaving you not knowing which wire goes where. The colors on each side of the plug are different! Be careful. Take pictures! Important: My plug fell apart leaving me with no idea how to rebuild the wire connections. I actually found a wrecking yard that had a 95 LS400, and sold me the plug. $25. bucks, but my guess is it will be increasingly hard to find one of these plugs if your's falls apart like mine did. I am attaching 5 photos of the plug I bought. Hopefully you can see the photos below on this post. Maybe do one wire at a time with the plug still attached. This wire is the type that is REALLY hard to solder, so I stripped back some insulation and twisted the wires together, on by one. Then I soldered the twists and covered each with shrink wrap. When done, I nylon tie wrapped the bundle up out of any future water. Suggestion: Drill a hold in the bottom of this trunk area so water can't pool in the future. Also, check to see that the water tube is properly routed out of this area. This tube (I think) comes from the moon roof so it transfers water any time it rains. This DID NOT solve my problem. I then changed the ignition switch. This DID NOT solve my problem. Next I connected the battery cable and saw that the dash lights come on, key out, as expected. One by one I then pulled fuses to see if one would make the dash lights go out. Bingo.... ALT-S was the culprit. There was a short in my ALT-S wiring thus letting 12 volt backwards into the ignition even with the key out. ALT-S is the wire that senses the voltage for the alternator. My first thinking was that the diodes in the alternator failed and leaked 12 volt back up ALT-S. To test this I UNplugged the plug from the back of the alternator and then put the ALT-S fuse back in. Dash lights came back on, key still out. So the short was between the plug and the fuse thus eliminating the alternator as the problem. The short was in the wire, somewhere. OK, so it determined the culprit wire was white with a blue stripe, so I bypassed it and created a new wire link. This DID NOT solve my problem. Solution was a plug I had replaced on the back of the alternator. (common ebay available pigtail part.) The original plug gets old and crumbles, so I got the correct pigtail on ebay and had a shop solder it to the existing wires. The shop F'd this up. There was a short between shrink wrap of the splices. The wires were individually shrink wrapped, but the guy took a large shrink wrap and squished the 3 splices together. Looked good but shorted out in time and backfed 12 volt up the ALT-S wire thus keeping my dash lights lit. I hope this helps.