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ehancock

Ls400 Starter Repair

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My 91 LS400 starter is just about ready to take out, but the rear coolant bypass casting is so tight to the wiring harness I am frightened to pry it up. I am requesting some advice before I stretch the wiring harness up too much.

Anybody out there replaced a starter?

Ernie in Vancouver BC

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I have not replaced the starter, but I tore down to it to hot dip my intake manifold & air intake chamber & clean my throttle body. I agree it is real tight there where you described. It is in your best interest to disconnect engine wire from wire bracket on RH cylinder head, drain coolant, disconnect heater hoses from rear water by-pass joint & water by-pass pipe, & remove rear water by-pass joint ( 4 bolts & 2 gaskets ) for proper access to starter & its bolts.

Good luck...Just think how much you are saving by working on it yourself

Jeff

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I have my 91 LS400 starter apart now. I jacked the rear coolant bypass pipe up enough to get tools on the two bolts. It was very slow and difficult :wacko: removing the two starter mounting bolts. It is not necessary to remove the rear bypass completely, just jack it up without removing it. The wiring harness makes removing the rear bypass pipe almost impossible.

The problem with the starter appears to have been the ground side starter contact which was worn down so thin it was making intermittent contact. The positive side contact and the plunger contact plate appear to be worn only slightly.

The brushes and commutator are still in good condition, but it was definitely time to remove a huge buildup of brush dust which would have caused problems soon.

After 13 years and 240,000Km the starter does need attention. It is too bad it is such a huge job to do.

Putting it all back together is going to be a challenge, but I photographed things as they came apart so with patience it can be done.

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ehancock,

Could you e-mail me some of the digital photos that you took detailing the starter replacement procedure? I am going to perform the same repair soon on my '90 LS400.

Thanks in advance.

Mike

michael_maigret@yahoo.com

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ehancock,

Yes, please take photos with documentation. This would be a GREAT ADDITION to the Knowledge Base Section we are putting together. Be as detailed as possible if you can - you will have full credit for the work done. This will really help us LS'ers :D

pm me if you have any questions....

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It sounds as if the jury is still out on if you should drain the coolant and go the long route or jack up the harness and save that step. I'd rather hate to drain the coolant since I'm not sure what kind lexus put in when they flushed it last year. I believe it to be the long life since it's amber but with so many kinds available now some look the same.

I would also like the photos on how you did the starter as it's another one of the jobs on my long list.

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I forgot to mention what my starter does. When the car is cold and you crank the engine, it seems as if the starter doesn't disengage properly. I can hear it still running longer than it needs. Apparently it has automatic cranking or something. If anyone has had this problem, I'd be interesting in hearing what it is. I know in the old days on GM cars, this behavior was caused by a worn Bendix spring.

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I learned from a supra guy ( yes i know it isn't the same supra engine) that the v8 starter can be acess by using a few extensions and sliding them down under the mnifold with a light and a ray of hope to get to the 2 bolts rather than removing the manifold . Then pulling it out the back of the engine.

I have never tried this but it might make sense to someone who has torn it down.

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I just went through this. LS400 200,000 miles.

I took the coolant bypas pipe off but had to break the wiring cover off to do it.

My starter was'n disengaging either. The contact disk tilts due to the heavy wear on one side. I built up the worn contact with silver solder. Filed it flat again - probably better than new. The brush compartment needed cleaning also and some fresh grease on the gears. Don't loose the 1/4" dia ball on the end of the solenoid shaft.

I defy anybody to get the starter out the back. The firewall is only a couple inches away. I took the intake off.

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mjrav thanks for that info i'll probably wait until next summer and tackle it then since it is only occasional

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I just changed mine. A 91 LS 400 213,000mi. I did not remove mine. A word of warning: Be very careful with the black metal pipe that runs beside the starter. I moved mine around a bit and it started leaking. Luckily I had enough coolant in the system to be able to see it before I completely put it back together. It has an O-ring around the end that goes into the front of the engine. Pull the pipe out and change this o-ring while you are in there. It could save a lot of time and trouble later. It is probably very old (like mine) and very easily messed up. Also make sure you get new intake and manifold gaskets. Make sure those gasket surfaces are clean when you put in the new gaskets and put it back together.

There is a blue valve on the top front of the engine (Ported vacuum valve) be careful removing the vacuum hoses from this. mine was old and brittle. When I pulled on one of the vacuum hoses, it broke off ($50.00).

Your electrical connections are very old and very brittle. Be very careful with them. I broke several of them being careful.

Go out and get you some different sized vaccum hose pieces. You will need them. I had several snap like plastic. Very old.

Be careful to watch you lbs of torque on those intake and manifold bolts when putting it back together. They are not as tight as you might think and can be easily broken off. Not a good thing.

Careful moving or prying the EGR Pipe out of the way. It is old, very brittle steel and not easily removed if it tears. I pried mine just .5" out of the way and guess what? Now I have to replace it. Exhaust leak! 10 hrs labor. %@*$ $(*&^@ *(&@*&$ *@)! *@*#& #*#*& @* @*@!!

Bottom line from experience: This car is old, the parts are old, the rubber and plastic is very brittle. Be careful.

I hope my hard learned experiences help make things easier for you.

Good luck. May the force be with you. It's quite a job.

CL

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:D Yahoo. My 91 LS400 starter is fixed and everything is back together again. Starts and runs as new. However I see I have a leak starting from the power steering pump. Must attend to that.

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I just had the starter replaced on my 98 LS 400 (82000 miles). The total bill for the dealer to replace the starter was $855.55. Ouch! They replaced it with a rebuilt starter and gave a 12/12 warrranty. I was too lazy to try and do it myself. :cheers:

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It was the total for parts and labor. It sounds as if it is the same type of job that why I took it to the dealer.

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I have photos of my 91 LS400 starter replacement, but each file is 750Kb, so send a group of them from this board does not work. If ISGUY or someone who manages this board can they contact me somehow and I can set up to send a mess of photos.

Incidentally I posted info on the UK LS400 board too.

Ernie Hancock

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Ernie,

Sent you a PM if you want me to resize them for you - Then I'll send them back.

Just make sure if you do email them to me, send only 2 photos at a time - most things have no trouble if under 2 MB total. Using cable modem so speed is good.

99

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