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topdog2

Ls400 Smokes

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hi i'm new to the club and thinking about buying a 1991 ls400. it has 150,000 miles on it but is a strong running engine. my concern is that when i started it up, white smoke came out of the exaust and continued to smoke a little while the engine was running(about 15min) but no as much. my other concern is that i heard a ticking sound coming from the engine. question...would a oil change and intake cleaning fixed this. i planned to have the car checked out this week. any comments or advice?

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I would 'back away' from this car----the old school taught that this was antifreeze--from a leaking headgasket or cracked block; there are ways of confirming this with air pressure and bubbles etc.

The cost of a head problem is just too much to consider.

Look for a better car----don't start off in the hole !!!!

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On the other hand, I think it depends how much you can get the car for. I'd imagine the asking price wouldn't be more than $5k? The needed repair could help you save even a few hundred more.

(Assuming it actually is a leaky head gasket...please verify before you buy)

A head gasket isn't the most trivial thing, but a DIY'er can do it on this car. A head gasket is a FAR better problem than if it were burning oil.

Most of the labor applies to both heads, so I'd do both at the same time for just a little bit more money. If you can find a decent regular (non-Lexus Dealer) mechanic, it shouldn't cost much more than, oh, $600-$700 plus $130 parts.

AllDataDIY.com says the following for Gen 1:

Parts

. OEM Part

. Price Cylinder Head Gasket

2 - Right Bank 1111550021 $62.50

2 - Left Bank 1111650011 $62.50

Cylinder Head Gasket Replace

Labor Skill Level. Warr.. Std.

One Bank B 8.4. 11.8

Includes: Clean Carbon & Make All Necessary Adjustments.

Both Banks B 10.0. 13.7

Includes: Clean Carbon & Make All Necessary Adjustments.

So, IMO, it depends on the deal, and what the problem actually is. You can save money buying a fixer-upper if you know what the problem is and how much it will cost to fix before you make a deal.

Joe

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5k? thats too much

i have a guy in my area with a decent 91 ls400 with 200k miles and he asks 3k but you can lower it up to 2500 i think:)

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White smoke (steam) is normal upon start-up and may last a few minutes if it is cool or damp outside. All cars do this if it is cool/cold out. Did it smell like anti-freeze? It is kept steaming and/or overheated- I would say it is a bad headgasket.

The engine "tick" is probably normal. My car has it and I have heard most other LS400 owners mention that their car has it as well. BTW- My 90 LS400 was a 1-owner car in excellent condition, but it has 225K miles. I just bought it the other day for $3800. Hopefully this information will help you.

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I just purchased a 91 for 2800.00 and Im having the same problem the car runs strong but it smokes upon

start up. For a newer engine I.ve been quoted 4 to 800 dollars but the installation thats another deal 1200 to 1900 dollars labor Im ordering the manuals for the vehicle they should be here soon and Ill probably tackle this problem myself. the car runs very strong though thats what has me stunned. also the oil isn't milky at all.

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Get a cylinder pressure test and a leak down test done and an emmision test.

For less than a $100 ( the most) it will give you one of the best and most definative guidelines of the engines usage ,life left and need of repair state.

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I just purchased a 91 for 2800.00 and Im having the same problem the car runs strong but it smokes upon

start up. the car runs very strong though thats what has me stunned. also the oil isn't milky at all.

Good news! Your engine is fine. The white smoke at start up is caused by power steering fluid entering the intake manifold because of a faulty air control valve on the power steering pump (sometimes also called an idle up valve). The valve is about $63 at 1sttoyotaparts.com part#17630-16040. You just unscrew the old valve and screw on the new valve and reconnect the two vaccuum hoses to the valve. Search the LS400 forum archives for more info. using "air control valve" as your search words.

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We ran a thread on here a few months ago about this white smoke problem too. I think it ended up being water condensation that had built up in the fuel system. A bottle of Heat fixed it if I recall. I would suggest starting with a $1 dollar bottle of heat before proceeding forward. Who knows, might be the best $1 dollar you ever spent. White smoke is an indication of water in the tank, as well as the other suggestions from the guys.

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My mechanic who used to work at a Toyota dealer says that the emissions test result is a pretty good indicator of engine health (we are talking about CA Smog test - apparently one of the toughest).

I guess it makes sense because any burning of oil or coolant or blowby would be picked up by smog test equipment. But what we are looking for are very good emission test (very low levels of emissions) results not just passing the test. Does it make any sense??

When one buys a used car, the owner might agree to do the smog or he might alrady have the smog test but usually it is tough to ask to get the vehicle tested for sompression etc.

Also, i suspect that a full compression test for the V8 might run more than $100; just getting to the plugs take some time.

Get a cylinder pressure test and a leak down test done and an emmision test.

For less than a $100 ( the most) it will give you one of the best and most definative guidelines of the engines usage ,life left and need of repair state.

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