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Replacing Headlamp Bulbs In 98 Ls400 - Repair Manual?


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#1 Hutch

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:20 AM

Hi, I replaced my bulbs in my old 94 LS400 which was a pain but I did it. Now I have a 98, does anyone know the procedure? Is it more difficult because of the auto leveler thing? Should I do all the bulbs while I'm in there?

Also, anyone know where to find a repair manual for under $50?

Thanks

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#2 1990LS400

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 12:49 PM

I just now looked in the two volume repair manuals (section BE-35) for my 2000 LS400 and I don't see any detailed headlight removal instructions. The drawings of the headlight units in the manual look much like the headlight units in the 1990 LS I had for many years. The attachment points look similar so I assume you would just remove the whole unit like you did on your 1994 LS. I know some people remove the batteries and other stuff in the engine compartment to access the bulbs in earlier LS models but I don't know if that can be done in your 1998 LS. I found I could jerk a headlight unit out of my 90 LS in less than five minutes. The biggest pain was popping off the side lights without breaking them - they get fragile as they age.

I would think you would want to replace all the bulbs - otherwise the HID color will likely not match from side to side assuming that your 98 LS has HID. I assume yours has HID since I don't think the non-HID 98-00 LS has autoleveling. The high beam bulbs should be pretty cheap and there is also those tiny parking light bulbs which are also known as "city lights". If you have HID and none of the bulbs are out, I'd recommend not replacing them until one fails. My understanding is that HID bulbs don't degrade with use as much as halogen bulbs do.

If your headlights lenses look worn and you take the units out to replace the bulbs, it would be the perfect time to refinish the lenses. Per the following thread, I used a Crystal View kit earlier this week and the results were stunning: http://us.lexusowner...showtopic=50816

Although I refinished the lenses because they looked worn, I was amazed at how much better the light output was when I was on a dark interstate highway last night. Remarkable difference.

#3 Hutch

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 02:56 PM

I'm not sure if I actually have to remove the headlights as with older models. Just thought that someone here had done it before.

#4 PJP

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:28 PM

Hi, I replaced my bulbs in my old 94 LS400 which was a pain but I did it. Now I have a 98, does anyone know the procedure? Is it more difficult because of the auto leveler thing? Should I do all the bulbs while I'm in there?

Also, anyone know where to find a repair manual for under $50?

Thanks


I am sure that you have already resolved your headlamp issues by now, Hutch. However, for future reference and for those who will need to know how to do this, I'd like to give you exactly what it takes to replace an HID lamp in a 1998 to 2000 Lexus LS-400 headlight assembly. I just replaced my left (driver's) side lamp, and it was fairly simple. The HID lamp itself is the most expensive cost to this procedure, and the entire headlight assembly definitely does not need to be removed. You can do this in a fairly short period of time. It took me about 30 minutes, and that was because I had never done it before.

There is a small triangular shaped plactic cover right in front of the battery, bridging from the radiator to the battery. It snaps out by just pullig straight up on it. Set it aside, then you'll have to first remove the battery, as there is no way to access the back side of the headlamp assembly without removing it.

Next, there is a gray plastic cover over the backside of the lamp compartment, you simply turn that cover about 1/8 of a turn counterclockwise and remove it. It has four keyways in it, and an arrow pointing to the top position so there is no way you can reinstall it incorrectly.

Under that cover there is a smaller metal cover over the actual lamp connection. A metal clip on each side (right & left) holds it in place, and you only have to spread (pull) each clip away from the cover (outward) to remove that metal cover. Then the actual power connector is turned slightly counterclockwise, pull straight back and off the lamp itself.

Now you are down to the lamp, and you will have to look for two long spring clips (one on each side) that overlap the flange or lip of the lamp base holding it in place. These two spring clips are snapped in place at the top of the lap as you look down on it, so once you have identified them it is easy to see where each one is snapped into a spring-metal hook. Once you unsnap these two clips from their spring-metal hooks, you will be able to remove the bad HID lamp by pulling it straight out.

By the way, if your old lamp blows apart into numerous pieces, I would try to remove as much of the glass debris as possible, as it could cause damage or blow your new lamp. I used a piece of sticky tape on the end of a pair of hemostats. Then I used a can of compressed air (Dust-Off) to blow out whatever fragments may be left on the inner cone of the lamp assembly. Realize that if your old lamp did break-up into many pieces, you will probably not be able to get them all out, and you will see some small pieces of glass sitting at the bottom of your lamp assembly, looking through the front lense cover of your headlight. If you know of a good way to remove all of them without removing the entire headlamp assembly, please let me know as well.

In replacing the HID lamp, you must first remember to NEVER touch the glass part of the lamp itself. Its lifespan will be short-lived if you do. Only touch the lower plastic portion of the HID lamp when installing it. Insert the new lamp the same way as the old one came out. To insure correct installation, just keep the open keyway (in the plastic base of the new lamp) at the top so that it aligns with the key on the flange of the insertion hole. The spring clips are still attached to the assembly, so now just pull them back up and over the lip, or base flange, of the new HID lamp, and re-clip them into their perspective hooks. Reinstall the power cable to the new lamp, just the reverse of how it came off. Then install the metal cover that will snap into its clips on each side.

Finally the gray plastic cover goes on last, covering the entire assembly and connection. When putting that last cover back on, simply re-align the keys to the keyway openings (there's four of them) in the headlamp assembly. Insert the cover in those keyways and make a slight (1/8) turn clockwise to lock it in place. Again, the arrow on this cover should be on the top and pointing toward the engine hood. In the case of it being the driver's side, you then reinstall and reconnect the battery, and replace the snap-on cover, etc.

FYI: You do not need to replace both sides when only one HID lamp has blown, as they do not lose their intensity over time, and the remaining old lamp should match-up in its intensity with the new HID lamp once the replacement is done. I would be certain, however, to get an authentic replacement HID lamp directly from Lexus, otherwise your 'after-market' new lamp could appear to be yellow in its intensity instead of white like the original HID lamp that is still working on the other side. There are many good plastic polishes that you can buy at any of the 'automotive parts' outlets that will help improve your HID intensity and clarity.

I hope this helps anyone else needing to know how to replace a Lexus HID lamp in their headlight. I believe that this same procedure would apply to all LS models from 1998 to 2000. The replacement task is much easier than it appears, and again, does not require removing the entire headlight assembly.

#5 landar

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the detailed info, PJP!! And welcome to the club.  :cheers: :D

#6 1990LS400

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 08:08 PM

Hi, I replaced my bulbs in my old 94 LS400 which was a pain but I did it. Now I have a 98, does anyone know the procedure? Is it more difficult because of the auto leveler thing? Should I do all the bulbs while I'm in there?

Also, anyone know where to find a repair manual for under $50?

Thanks


I am sure that you have already resolved your headlamp issues by now, Hutch. However, for future reference and for those who will need to know how to do this, I'd like to give you exactly what it takes to replace an HID lamp in a 1998 to 2000 Lexus LS-400 headlight assembly. I just replaced my left (driver's) side lamp, and it was fairly simple. The HID lamp itself is the most expensive cost to this procedure, and the entire headlight assembly definitely does not need to be removed. You can do this in a fairly short period of time. It took me about 30 minutes, and that was because I had never done it before.

There is a small triangular shaped plactic cover right in front of the battery, bridging from the radiator to the battery. It snaps out by just pullig straight up on it. Set it aside, then you'll have to first remove the battery, as there is no way to access the back side of the headlamp assembly without removing it.

Next, there is a gray plastic cover over the backside of the lamp compartment, you simply turn that cover about 1/8 of a turn counterclockwise and remove it. It has four keyways in it, and an arrow pointing to the top position so there is no way you can reinstall it incorrectly.

Under that cover there is a smaller metal cover over the actual lamp connection. A metal clip on each side (right & left) holds it in place, and you only have to spread (pull) each clip away from the cover (outward) to remove that metal cover. Then the actual power connector is turned slightly counterclockwise, pull straight back and off the lamp itself.

Now you are down to the lamp, and you will have to look for two long spring clips (one on each side) that overlap the flange or lip of the lamp base holding it in place. These two spring clips are snapped in place at the top of the lap as you look down on it, so once you have identified them it is easy to see where each one is snapped into a spring-metal hook. Once you unsnap these two clips from their spring-metal hooks, you will be able to remove the bad HID lamp by pulling it straight out.

By the way, if your old lamp blows apart into numerous pieces, I would try to remove as much of the glass debris as possible, as it could cause damage or blow your new lamp. I used a piece of sticky tape on the end of a pair of hemostats. Then I used a can of compressed air (Dust-Off) to blow out whatever fragments may be left on the inner cone of the lamp assembly. Realize that if your old lamp did break-up into many pieces, you will probably not be able to get them all out, and you will see some small pieces of glass sitting at the bottom of your lamp assembly, looking through the front lense cover of your headlight. If you know of a good way to remove all of them without removing the entire headlamp assembly, please let me know as well.

In replacing the HID lamp, you must first remember to NEVER touch the glass part of the lamp itself. Its lifespan will be short-lived if you do. Only touch the lower plastic portion of the HID lamp when installing it. Insert the new lamp the same way as the old one came out. To insure correct installation, just keep the open keyway (in the plastic base of the new lamp) at the top so that it aligns with the key on the flange of the insertion hole. The spring clips are still attached to the assembly, so now just pull them back up and over the lip, or base flange, of the new HID lamp, and re-clip them into their perspective hooks. Reinstall the power cable to the new lamp, just the reverse of how it came off. Then install the metal cover that will snap into its clips on each side.

Finally the gray plastic cover goes on last, covering the entire assembly and connection. When putting that last cover back on, simply re-align the keys to the keyway openings (there's four of them) in the headlamp assembly. Insert the cover in those keyways and make a slight (1/8) turn clockwise to lock it in place. Again, the arrow on this cover should be on the top and pointing toward the engine hood. In the case of it being the driver's side, you then reinstall and reconnect the battery, and replace the snap-on cover, etc.

FYI: You do not need to replace both sides when only one HID lamp has blown, as they do not lose their intensity over time, and the remaining old lamp should match-up in its intensity with the new HID lamp once the replacement is done. I would be certain, however, to get an authentic replacement HID lamp directly from Lexus, otherwise your 'after-market' new lamp could appear to be yellow in its intensity instead of white like the original HID lamp that is still working on the other side. There are many good plastic polishes that you can buy at any of the 'automotive parts' outlets that will help improve your HID intensity and clarity.

I hope this helps anyone else needing to know how to replace a Lexus HID lamp in their headlight. I believe that this same procedure would apply to all LS models from 1998 to 2000. The replacement task is much easier than it appears, and again, does not require removing the entire headlight assembly.


I'm sorry but I don't agree with your suggestions.

Why would you dismantle the engine compartment merely to change a headlight bulb. The headlight units on the 98-00 LS are as easy to take out as they were on the earlier LS400. A headlight assembly can removed and replaced in five minutes without altering the headlight aim.

You actually removed the battery and had to reprogram your radio, clock, etc.? Wow! Why?

When one HID bulb fails, most certainly replace both -- for multiple reasons. The color of the bulbs will not match if only one is replaced. If one fails, the other is likely to fail soon. Most recommendations are to replace headlight bulbs in pairs.

The intensity and output of HID bulbs degrade over time although they can keep working for many years after their light output diminishes.

The exact same HID bulbs sold by Lexus dealers can be obtained from other vendors at a fraction of the price.

"good plastic polishes"? Lexus headlights have a clear coat layer that, once it degrades, must be restored with appropriate products unless you want to "polish" headlights every few months.

#7 Jeenavegas

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:18 PM

I just saved myself a whole lot of money by following your instructions, thank you so much!! Now, can you give me a heads up on how to change the passengers side just as easily as now the two lamps do not match in color.

Thanks[/quote]

I am sure that you have already resolved your headlamp issues by now, Hutch. However, for future reference and for those who will need to know how to do this, I'd like to give you exactly what it takes to replace an HID lamp in a 1998 to 2000 Lexus LS-400 headlight assembly. I just replaced my left (driver's) side lamp, and it was fairly simple. The HID lamp itself is the most expensive cost to this procedure, and the entire headlight assembly definitely does not need to be removed. You can do this in a fairly short period of time. It took me about 30 minutes, and that was because I had never done it before.

There is a small triangular shaped plactic cover right in front of the battery, bridging from the radiator to the battery. It snaps out by just pullig straight up on it. Set it aside, then you'll have to first remove the battery, as there is no way to access the back side of the headlamp assembly without removing it.

Next, there is a gray plastic cover over the backside of the lamp compartment, you simply turn that cover about 1/8 of a turn counterclockwise and remove it. It has four keyways in it, and an arrow pointing to the top position so there is no way you can reinstall it incorrectly.

Under that cover there is a smaller metal cover over the actual lamp connection. A metal clip on each side (right & left) holds it in place, and you only have to spread (pull) each clip away from the cover (outward) to remove that metal cover. Then the actual power connector is turned slightly counterclockwise, pull straight back and off the lamp itself.

Now you are down to the lamp, and you will have to look for two long spring clips (one on each side) that overlap the flange or lip of the lamp base holding it in place. These two spring clips are snapped in place at the top of the lap as you look down on it, so once you have identified them it is easy to see where each one is snapped into a spring-metal hook. Once you unsnap these two clips from their spring-metal hooks, you will be able to remove the bad HID lamp by pulling it straight out.

By the way, if your old lamp blows apart into numerous pieces, I would try to remove as much of the glass debris as possible, as it could cause damage or blow your new lamp. I used a piece of sticky tape on the end of a pair of hemostats. Then I used a can of compressed air (Dust-Off) to blow out whatever fragments may be left on the inner cone of the lamp assembly. Realize that if your old lamp did break-up into many pieces, you will probably not be able to get them all out, and you will see some small pieces of glass sitting at the bottom of your lamp assembly, looking through the front lense cover of your headlight. If you know of a good way to remove all of them without removing the entire headlamp assembly, please let me know as well.

In replacing the HID lamp, you must first remember to NEVER touch the glass part of the lamp itself. Its lifespan will be short-lived if you do. Only touch the lower plastic portion of the HID lamp when installing it. Insert the new lamp the same way as the old one came out. To insure correct installation, just keep the open keyway (in the plastic base of the new lamp) at the top so that it aligns with the key on the flange of the insertion hole. The spring clips are still attached to the assembly, so now just pull them back up and over the lip, or base flange, of the new HID lamp, and re-clip them into their perspective hooks. Reinstall the power cable to the new lamp, just the reverse of how it came off. Then install the metal cover that will snap into its clips on each side.

Finally the gray plastic cover goes on last, covering the entire assembly and connection. When putting that last cover back on, simply re-align the keys to the keyway openings (there's four of them) in the headlamp assembly. Insert the cover in those keyways and make a slight (1/8) turn clockwise to lock it in place. Again, the arrow on this cover should be on the top and pointing toward the engine hood. In the case of it being the driver's side, you then reinstall and reconnect the battery, and replace the snap-on cover, etc.

FYI: You do not need to replace both sides when only one HID lamp has blown, as they do not lose their intensity over time, and the remaining old lamp should match-up in its intensity with the new HID lamp once the replacement is done. I would be certain, however, to get an authentic replacement HID lamp directly from Lexus, otherwise your 'after-market' new lamp could appear to be yellow in its intensity instead of white like the original HID lamp that is still working on the other side. There are many good plastic polishes that you can buy at any of the 'automotive parts' outlets that will help improve your HID intensity and clarity.

I hope this helps anyone else needing to know how to replace a Lexus HID lamp in their headlight. I believe that this same procedure would apply to all LS models from 1998 to 2000. The replacement task is much easier than it appears, and again, does not require removing the entire headlight assembly.
[/quote]

#8 David Anderson

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 02:56 PM

Revisiting this because I still need  to change the bulbs in my 99 ls400 and I can't find any info on how to change out the bulbs without removing the battery etc. I removed a couple of bolts but the headlight assembly will not budge.
Thanks for any help.

#9 steve2006

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

Have a look at the link below and then click the headlight picture to enlarge it, you should then have an idea where the mountings are.

http://www.headlight...eadlight-p-3984

#10 David Anderson

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

thanks for that...now I have an idea of where to look for the mountings.

#11 billydpowell

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:31 AM

sorry, my link didnt work.
I tried to send a link to download the service manual, (98-2000) but it failed. send me your regular email and I will try to email it to you.

#12 David Anderson

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:49 PM



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