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91 Ls400 Upgrades (renew)


Edward R.
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Hello All !!

It`s been a while since I`ve been online. Anyway...........

I have a 1991 LS400 (95K miles), the leather seats are shot and so is the steering wheel. Carpet has seen better days as well. The rear sub vibrates with minimum bass (it`s annoying), the temperature display has 2 LEDs burnt out. However, the car is mechanically perfect. Anyway, all these topics I have found on this forum (found some excellent advice), but I still have some questions.

1) With regards to the sub, I was thinking that instead of buying a new head unit (killing the asthetics of the interior), I was thinking to get all new speakers all around and getting an amplifier for the speakers in the doors and a separate one for the sub. Doing all this in theory would improve the sound of the stock radio (I think it sounds fine for my tastes). HAS anyone done this? Any advice or specs I can use ?? Any particular speaker/amp combo recommendations??? B)

2) leatherseats.com seems to have fine replacmente leather for my interior, but I see no mention as to where they recommend to have it installed. I live in the Pocono region of PA, any advice?? I assume that the same "maestros" would install a new carpet?? Where can I get new carpets for my LS?? (Lexus Dealer?? :( )

3) Steering wheel (americanstitches.com), has anyone had any experience with them?? I do not plan on having the Lexus Dealer take out and install the new wheel, any "diagrams" or "tutorials" on how to take the steering wheel off without the Airbag blowing my head to kingdom come?? :(

4) I would like to install HID driving lights into the front bumper (just like they were available for the European LS`s .....not HID....) Has anyone done this???

OK, THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!! Appreciate ANY advice.

Forgot to mention:

The Volume knob of my radio is loose, how do I tighten it?? 1991 LS400

THANKS in Advance!!

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Welcome to the club:

1) Post this in the Audio forum. You may have better luck there. The head unit may only be compatible w/ the existing Pioneer amp, but I'm not sure.

2) I would start w/ your local upholstery shops. Most of them can get leather and carpet in various grades and colors that will work fine. Ask to see current projects as well as pictures of completed ones. Look at the quality of the fit and how even the stitching spacing and that should give you a good idea of the type of work that they are capable of.

3) I've heard good things about american stitches, but I've never used them. Seems pricey when you may be able to get one from a totaled car.

4) I didn't think the LS was available in Europe in '91 so I'm not sure what you're referring to on that one.

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4) I didn't think the LS was available in Europe in '91 so I'm not sure what you're referring to on that one.

Here the file attachment post-23350-1139332177_thumb.jpg

Note the clear driving lamps under the front amber turning signal light

I hope I did it correctly. Thanks for the advice B)

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My local Lexus dealer pointed me in the direction of a wonderful upholsterer. Your dealer might be able to do the same. Any competent upholstry shop will be able to install the covers from leatherseats (they run groupbuys with nice discounts on another Lexus forum that will save you a hundred or two....if you are looking to buy when they have them in effect.) I too wanted to have my guy replace my carpet. He said that he has never really seen an aftermarket carpet for a Lexus that was worth a damn. He said OE carpet will run about $1,000+installation. :blink: I ended up taking the carpet out of the car to clean it, and it looks pretty good now.

I had Americanstitches do the wheel in my old ES300. I am the only person that I know of that got such poor workmanship and quality from them. Most people love their work. I suppose no one is perfect. Expect to pay about $300 just to have them recover the wheel in leather, and I think $400-$500 if you want them to do leather and wood trim. When I got my LS, I decided to go a different route and get one out of a salvage car. I paid $100, and the wheel is in spectacular shape.

Taking the wheel off is simple, but you'll need a torx set and a steering wheel puller. The airbag is held in with two torx bolts, and there is a plug in for the air bag that you'll unplug once the bag is free from the wheel. Before you remove the wheel itself, make some sort of markings on it, so that you put it back on in as close to as it was before. Then, you remove the one nut, and let the steering wheel puller do the rest. It shouldn't take you anymore than 10 minutes or so. Take this with a grain of salt, I've removed two of my Lexus steering wheels without unplugging the battery, and I'm still here to talk about it. By all means, unplug it if it will make you more comfortable! One last thing, don't turn on the key while the airbag is unpluged because it will set off the malfunction light. ;)

Welcome aboard! :cheers:

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Here the file attachment post-23350-1139332177_thumb.jpg

Note the clear driving lamps under the front amber turning signal light

Sweet. I had no idea that was even an option. Are you sure that is a Euro option or an Asian one? I didn't think that Lexus was sold in Europe until the late '90's.

You would have to do some cutting of the bumper, and it would depend on whether you wanted them to be on a separate switch or controlled by the headlight/parking light control. I would assume that if you powered/controlled them by the latter then you would risk excessive draw on the headlight circuit and could blow a fuse or relay.

Most auto parts shops sell aftermarket driving lights for offroad use and I'm sure you could find something that would work.

Alternate option would be to replace your front bumper w/ a Euro version (or Jap version if they were available there) and find someone w/ the parts. Good luck on that though since we're talking about 12 years since the GenI was made.

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Sweet. I had no idea that was even an option. Are you sure that is a Euro option or an Asian one? I didn't think that Lexus was sold in Europe until the late '90's.

You would have to do some cutting of the bumper, and it would depend on whether you wanted them to be on a separate switch or controlled by the headlight/parking light control. I would assume that if you powered/controlled them by the latter then you would risk excessive draw on the headlight circuit and could blow a fuse or relay.

I heard that they were available in Europe (bumper driving lights). If I were to install the driving lights, obviously with HIDs, I would have to install a relay for them. Now, to turn them on, I would love to install a FACTORY LOOKING switch on the center consol to turn them on. Any ideas anyone? I believe Hella or PIAA make HID driving lights that are retangular. (I THINK they are legal) :unsure:

Alternate option would be to replace your front bumper w/ a Euro version (or Jap version if they were available there) and find someone w/ the parts. Good luck on that though since we're talking about 12 years since the GenI was made.

Sounds expensive dude, I think I`ll just break out the "Exacto Knive". :rolleyes:

Here`s another pic with the driving lights:

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I have purchased a complete leather seat kit from leatherseats.com and the materials look great. I have delayed having them installed for about a week while I replace the rear main seal on my 92 LS400. I have used a local custom auto interior shop here locally in Dallas and called them up to dicsuss installing the kit for me. tTey were well aware of leatherseats.com and katskins interiors and they had installed quite a few of them. My cost for the install is $300 and they say they can easily do it in a day. They advised that any good qaulity interior shop could do the install for you without any problem. Hope this helps!

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Edward R.

I can help you on two of your issues:

1) I have used americanstitches to redo my steering wheel it came out great I told them I was an owners club member and they gave me a 10% discount. I went with a wood leather combo and it cost me $425. If you go OEM leather its about $230.

2) Your rattling sub, take off the sub grill and third light assembly and see if rattle goes away. If not you have a bad sub. If the rattle does go away you have a broken grill. It is $235 at the dealer, I fixed mine by taking the grill apart and cutting all the holes out, and putting dynamat sound proofing on the top and bottom of the grill. I then recovered with the fabric. Now there is no rattle what so ever at full bass. You can re-amp your car with an aftermarket 5 channel amp, I just had this done to my '90 Ls. The fifth channel is for the sub giving you more bass. As far as speakers I have memphis 4" in the doors and an 8" sub. The amp was powered at 1000 watts.

hope this helps,

Sbguy

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I heard that they were available in Europe (bumper driving lights). If I were to install the driving lights, obviously with HIDs, I would have to install a relay for them. Now, to turn them on, I would love to install a FACTORY LOOKING switch on the center consol to turn them on. Any ideas anyone? I believe Hella or PIAA make HID driving lights that are retangular. (I THINK they are legal) :unsure:

Take a look on mine Euro LS. It's 1992.

Currently I don't have photo of the switch, but it is located on the left with light switch (one switch more on the same lever.

Tomorrow I'll make a photo and put on my web page.

www.ls400.waw.pl

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I too wanted to have my guy replace my carpet. He said that he has never really seen an aftermarket carpet for a Lexus that was worth a damn. He said OE carpet will run about $1,000+installation. I ended up taking the carpet out of the car to clean it, and it looks pretty good now.

Yeah, I`ll end up taking the carpet out and give it the cleaning, scrubbing of it`s life until I can eat off of it!!

I have purchased a complete leather seat kit from leatherseats.com and the materials look great. I have delayed having them installed for about a week while I replace the rear main seal on my 92 LS400.

THANKS for the recommendation!! Yeah, I really can`t find anyother place where they can "match" the original leather. Rear seal?? Where is that exactly, I never heard of it??

I have used americanstitches to redo my steering wheel it came out great I told them I was an owners club member and they gave me a 10% discount. I went with a wood leather combo and it cost me $425. If you go OEM leather its about $230.

THANKS for the tid bit!!!! I can`t thank all of you enough!! As for the rear sub, I`ll take it apart before replacing it, but I think I`ll end up replacing the damn thing to get better sound with the 5 channel amp I plan to get (after the advice here) :D

Take a look on mine Euro LS. It's 1992.

Currently I don't have photo of the switch, but it is located on the left with light switch (one switch more on the same lever.

Tomorrow I'll make a photo and put on my web page.

You have some "wicked" options on your LS. Too bad the adjustable lights, washable headlights, etc. weren`t available in the states! What`s that readout on the radio, never saw that before!!! Wow, foreign LSs seem to have all the goodies!! As far as installing driving lights, I`ll have to make due with some switch, because the switches on your LS are definately NOT for sale in the states. :(

THANK you all for the great advice, I hope I didn`t leave anyone out. I`ll have pics in the couple of months as I am in South America for the next several months. When I get back to the states, I`ll be sure to start up my projects thanks to my "friends" here at the forum !!! :cheers:

Welcome aboard!
B) , feels good to be Aboard!!
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