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Replacing Distributor, Rotor + Cap, Plug Wires, Etc..


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#1 teamer

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:24 PM

Has anyone ever changed their Distributor, Cap & Rotor on their LS400? Mine has over 108k miles and since it has over 100k, I think it would be best to replace the Distributor Cap + Rotor along with the plug wires. I've seen posts about changing the wires+plugs, but, strangely I have not seen anyone talk about changing out their Distributor, Cap & Rotor.

I was planning to buy OEM, but when I called the dealer, they told me it would cost over $800 just for the distributor alone.

Aftermarket - prices are much more reasonable - but, I do not know how well these would work if they were aftermarket. Some brands I've seen are Bosch, Beck Arnley, etc..

Any experience with these?

Thanks!
TEAMER

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#2 larryp

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 07:00 AM

I wouldn't replace a distributor unless there was a confirmed problem with it. Same goes for plug wires. Both these items will typically last much longer than the 108k you have. Replaced my plug wires at 200K when i did timing belt, water pump, etc. but even then there was no problem with them. Inspect the caps and rotors for signs of wear and replace if questionable. This is a relatively inexpensive maintenance.  :cheers:

#3 teamer

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:43 AM

larryp, Thanks for the response.

I know that plug wires get worn from high heat and usage and results in higher resistance which does not give the full current to the plugs. Similarly, the distributor - cap and rotor wears out over time which also affects the current output.

I've been told that the distributor (entire assembly-cap & rotor) should be replaced when you replace plug wires (every 100,000 to 150,000 miles).

Since these are relatively low cost (especially on US domestic models), I think it is a good idea. However, I was shocked to find out that Lexus charges over $800 for the distributor when they normally sell for $50-$60.

I know the old adage, " if it ain't broke, don't fix it" may apply for some things. However, I think in this case, it does affect your performance and if it keeps your engine running at peak conditions, then I think it's worth it.

#4 sonyman

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:51 PM

I don't know who told you to replace the distributor assembly but that's nonsense. No one does that as preventative maintenance. A "tune-up" includes plugs (NGK or Denso), wires (OEM), distributor caps and rotors (OEM preferrably for both). Use iridium or platinum plugs and leave them in along with the wires for 60k or 90k, as specified by the maintenance schedule. It's a good idea to change the wires when changing the plugs as the resistance goes up over time in the wires, and they may be damaged during removal to access the plugs. The distributor caps and rotors do get pitted and corroded over time so it's a good idea to change them at least every 90k, which I believe is the specified interval anyway. A lot of these components will continue operating beyond these intervals so they may have been neglected by the previous owner, so it would probably be a good idea to perform a tune-up per the above text. I changed everything in my own LS400 at around 78k miles simply due to their age, and did notice an improvement in performance even though nothing was worn too far out of spec.

#5 oldskewel

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:55 PM

...
I've been told that the distributor (entire assembly-cap & rotor) should be replaced when you replace plug wires (every 100,000 to 150,000 miles).
...


I think the confusion here is in what "the distributor" means. The "cap & rotor" is not the "entire assembly." The actual distributor may really cost a ton of $$, and may last forever (on my first car, I replaced everything on the whole car except the starter and distributor!). The distributor cap and rotor are definitely wear items that should be replaced periodically (60k mile intervals for the LS?). They should cost ~$60 for the set (2 caps, 2 rotors).

Ignition wires should last longer (between 60k and infinity), maybe 90k or 120k or whenever a problem is detected.

#6 wiseguy2706

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:55 AM

Does anyone know how to remove the serpentine belt on a 95 sc300?

#7 jcrome04

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:41 PM

Does anyone know how to remove the serpentine belt on a 95 sc300?


Yes...




You ask in the SC forum B) lol


and Caps/rotors are very very cheap. Just kind of a PITA to get to them I think. I'd like to replace mine...

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