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Timing Belt Replacement '98 Ls400


Lexuses71
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My '98 LS400 only has 34K total miles on Bought it 2 yrs ago as the deal was too great to pass up. it. I was very, very lucky in that when I bought it, the car had extremely minimal wear/tear and had 20K miles on it. I just had a 5K service done with a factory auth. mechanic I 've done business with for years (so I do pretty much trust him, much as you can), and he tells me that not because of the mileage, but the car's overall AGE, I should consider doing the TB/WP.

He quoted me between $500-700 for the whole job, which I find to be very reasonable. I'm leaning towards having him go ahead and do the job, even though the car runs like a Rolex and nothing seems to be wrong. But I do understand his logic that over time, the belt does start developing those little hairline cracks. Last thing I need or want is a snapped belt with THIS engine.

Any opnions or suggestions???? <_<

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The timing belt change interval is 90,000 miles or six years. I had mine replaced a few months ago at 90,000 miles and almost exactly seven years from the in-service date. The old belt appeared to be in excellent condition. $500-700 sounds unusually cheap. Would the mechanic replace the water pump and other parts normally replaced when he changes the timing belt?

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I was quoted around the $500 mark on my 00 LS which included the water pump. My 90k service is due now but I am going to wait a few more thousand miles myself. I will get it done somewhere between 95 and 100k, but hey I am a gambler. I ran my 94 to 218k miles and it might had a belt change before I bought it with 134k but no sign of it being done. However I was told the 94 engine would be ok if the belt broke. After that year it would do major damage.

So to answer your question... The real question is are you one of those better safe than sorry guys or are you one of those gambler kind of guys. If there is a way to inspect the belt and check the condition I would do that. While that is no guarantee it will at least help you make your decision maybe.

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I was quoted around the $500 mark on my 00 LS which included the water pump. My 90k service is due now but I am going to wait a few more thousand miles myself. I will get it done somewhere between 95 and 100k, but hey I am a gambler. I ran my 94 to 218k miles and it might had a belt change before I bought it with 134k but no sign of it being done. However I was told the 94 engine would be ok if the belt broke. After that year it would do major damage.

So to answer your question... The real question is are you one of those better safe than sorry guys or are you one of those gambler kind of guys. If there is a way to inspect the belt and check the condition I would do that. While that is no guarantee it will at least help you make your decision maybe.

Usually, just have the timing belt done, and ask while inside motor, replace the water pump.

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

I'm at 75k miles currently on a 96 LS. At the rate I'm putting on miles, I'll reach 90K by March. I think I'm gonna go ahead and do mine early just for peace of mind. I got a quote from my local Toyota dealer of approximately $ 700 for the belt and the water pump. I'd rather spend that than spring for a new engine, especially in light of the fact that I gotta do it in the four months away.

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The timing belt change interval is 90,000 miles or six years. I had mine replaced a few months ago at 90,000 miles and almost exactly seven years from the in-service date. The old belt appeared to be in excellent condition. $500-700 sounds unusually cheap. Would the mechanic replace the water pump and other parts normally replaced when he changes the timing belt?

Yes, the $700 higher end price includes the water pump and belt and associated fluids & labor.

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

The problem is ... the vast majority of gamblers lose in the long run. It is an age old story - the tortoise (the conservative) and the hare (the gambler).

It is ironic that the success of 1% of gamblers is what keeps the other 99% of the losing gamblers going.

“Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” - Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

I like "punks" - they make us tortoises happy and wealthy.

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So to answer your question... The real question is are you one of those better safe than sorry guys or are you one of those gambler kind of guys. If there is a way to inspect the belt and check the condition I would do that. While that is no guarantee it will at least help you make your decision maybe.

Robert, nope, I am not a gambler whatsoever, especially when it comes to vehicles. So, it looks like I'm goinmg to do this in the next weekor two, max. Thanks for your wisdom and response.

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If it were a 1990-97 LS400, I would say wait until at least 50-60K, or 2-3 more years, but with the 98' being an interference engine, I am not sure I would mess around. I would at least get it changed before the next year or so.

Good advice, I'll take that!

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

I'm at 75k miles currently on a 96 LS. At the rate I'm putting on miles, I'll reach 90K by March. I think I'm gonna go ahead and do mine early just for peace of mind. I got a quote from my local Toyota dealer of approximately $ 700 for the belt and the water pump. I'd rather spend that than spring for a new engine, especially in light of the fact that I gotta do it in the four months away.

And we can't put a price tag on "peace of mind", now can we???? I think I now have my answer, even though it sounds like I might be able to squeeze a few more liles out. Bottom line is: Why take the chance???

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

The problem is ... the vast majority of gamblers lose in the long run. It is an age old story - the tortoise (the conservative) and the hare (the gambler).

It is ironic that the success of 1% of gamblers is what keeps the other 99% of the losing gamblers going.

“Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” - Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

I like "punks" - they make us tortoises happy and wealthy.

Sage advice on gamblers. Actually, that 1%/99% ratio applies to a few other things like the stock and real estate markets. Everybody and his mother piles in on the hopes of "getting rich quick"

Folks forget that the system ain't set up for everyone to get rich!

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This same subject has been bandied about before ad nauseum. The bottom line is as

Robert Thomason has stated...are you a gamblin man? I have a 98 with 66k miles. I am gambling

that Lexus made the belt to go much farther, time-wise, than advertised.

See this thread:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...;hl=timing+belt

The problem is ... the vast majority of gamblers lose in the long run. It is an age old story - the tortoise (the conservative) and the hare (the gambler).

It is ironic that the success of 1% of gamblers is what keeps the other 99% of the losing gamblers going.

“Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” - Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

I like "punks" - they make us tortoises happy and wealthy.

This isnt exactly like the odds of rolling the dice in Vegas but I see your point. The gamble is for/against Lexus quality and durability

from a time perspective. We all know that Lexus gets high marks in this area. I did talk to the Lexus mechanics and

they were not concerned that the time period was overdue on the belt. Just the mileage. That said, whether the belt is nearing the end

of the trail would depend on how the car was maintained and driven. Well-maintained/serviced and easily driven would favor

a less conservative view on changing the belt.

Now, Lexuses71, is that a pic of your ride in a burgundy color? Tan leather, perhaps? Man, that thing is gorgeous. Get the belt changed and

we will all sleep better. :rolleyes: The $700 price is a bargain especially if OEM Toyota parts are being used. You dont want non-OEM parts in there or its

a bigger crapshoot than just letting it go.

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Lander said:

"This isnt exactly like the odds of rolling the dice in Vegas but I see your point. The gamble is for/against Lexus quality and durability from a time perspective. We all know that Lexus gets high marks in this area. I did talk to the Lexus mechanics and they were not concerned that the time period was overdue on the belt. Just the mileage. That said, whether the belt is nearing the end if the trail would depend on how the car was maintained and driven. Well-maintained/serviced and easily driven would favor a less conservative view on changing the belt.

Now, Lexuses71, is that a pic of your ride in a burgundy color? Tan leather, perhaps? Man, that thing is gorgeous. Get the belt changed and we will all sleep better. :rolleyes: The $700 price is a bargain especially if OEM Toyota parts are being used. You dont want non-OEM parts in there or its a bigger crapshoot than just letting it go."

Landar, thanks much for the compliment (and yes, the interior is tan and pristine, still smells like new leather), some days I still cannot believe the luck of being in the right place at the right time regarding finding this car. Like many of you owners, I do get a lot of compliments on this car because of the overall condition and the maroon color is unusual.

So (back to bidness here).......

Yes, the $700 price does include pure factory Toyota/Lexus OEM parts.

I have made the appt to get the belt/wp done end of this week. That will take care of the peace of mind factor. Meantime, I just treated myself to a new set of Zilinx 18" Modenas on Riken Raptor 245/45-18ZRs and man, did that tighten up the car, much more sporty, but not too flashy and feels like more MEAT on the road. Smooth as silk and got one hell of a deal. Been peeping those rims for over a year. I will put up pics shortly.

Appreciate everyone's input on this. We all know in our guts what the smrt thing is to do, but we all feel better after running the idea by others who can relate and/or have been there already.

And BTW, Clint is my main man!

Lander, here are a couple of pics of my LS......

post-13124-1193803225_thumb.jpg

post-13124-1193803234_thumb.jpg

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The timing belt change interval is 90,000 miles or six years. I had mine replaced a few months ago at 90,000 miles and almost exactly seven years from the in-service date. The old belt appeared to be in excellent condition. $500-700 sounds unusually cheap. Would the mechanic replace the water pump and other parts normally replaced when he changes the timing belt?

Yes, the $700 higher end price includes the water pump and belt and associated fluids & labor.

Pricing out genuine Toyota parts brings the price just for the parts to almost $500

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I just bought a nice 95 LS400. 58k miles.

I had a Lexus dealer check it out and he said that the timing belt was cracked. He also said that they recommend to changing the water pump, crank seals, cam seals, tensioner, idler pulley at the same time. The estimate was a whopping $1800!

Luckily, I was able to buy all of the parts from Toyota, but those parts still came to $660!

Well, I bought all of the parts and had a local mechanic install them and the overall cost came out to over $1000. To be safe, I had all of the parts replaced as I was led to believe that this is how LS's are supposed to be maintained.

I am not sure if this was routine practice for changing timing belts on a LS, or if I paid a lot of money for a peace of mind that may not have been necessary. (I recently changed the timing belt on my Camry for $200).

I have already changed other parts to try to make the LS in new condition and the costs are adding up. That is ok, as long as she runs for a long time without additional repairs. I love driving this car so I don't mind maintaining it.

This was a couple of weeks ago and I just found this forum today. I wish I learned about this place a little earlier.

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melon,

Congrats on your Lex and welcome to the 'club'. You did the right thing especially since the belt was cracked. Replacing the other parts was smart. The only other step I

might take when I do mine is to rebuild the starter while in there.

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What are the years for the interference design or better yet, when did the interference design go away? I wasn't aware that any of the Lexus engines had that trait.

Know though that cracks across a serpentine belt are perfectly normal and that they often occur soon after installing even a brand-new belt. It's an unscrupulous mechanic that shows that kind of cracking to a customer and tells him the belt needs replacing. It's only when the cracks run length-wise that the belt is in danger of failure. :)

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What are the years for the interference design or better yet, when did the interference design go away? I wasn't aware that any of the Lexus engines had that trait.

Know though that cracks across a serpentine belt are perfectly normal and that they often occur soon after installing even a brand-new belt. It's an unscrupulous mechanic that shows that kind of cracking to a customer and tells him the belt needs replacing. It's only when the cracks run length-wise that the belt is in danger of failure. :)

The 1UZFE was the same from 89 through 97 all non interference motors. break a belt, repair belt. idlers and water pump while you are in there. Timing belts will dry rot over time even if you dont use them. like he said lateral cracks are ok, longitudinal cracks are bad. Case in point: Ferrari F40, interference notor big time. We had in our garage an F40 with 640 miles on it, it was a garage kept queen gathering dust on the top shelf. we had to start it up and hot lap it once every month just to keep the thing operational so when the owner wanted to cruise it, it would be ready. He never did, but...Anyway, the mechanic/curator of the collection was scared everytime we started it up as it had a BELT as opposed to the Lambo 5000S's chain. We would have to pull the Ferrari motor to replace the belt, not fun, but that belt was SO old that he thought it was going to shred at any moment. Sold it to Vegas collection before it broke. That is called a thread jack...but a fun one to recite.

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melon,

Congrats on your Lex and welcome to the 'club'. You did the right thing especially since the belt was cracked. Replacing the other parts was smart. The only other step I

might take when I do mine is to rebuild the starter while in there.

Thanks, Landar.

As far as the starter is concerned, how often should one replace this? I usually have sold my previous cars before a starter needed to be replaced but if I recall correctly, they break without warning and will leave one stranded.

Not to hijack the thread....is the life of the starter mileage based or time/mileage based like the timing belt?

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