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redhawks2

Replacing Air Suspension

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Hello...I want to convert my air suspension on my '90 to standard struts. Anybody know of a mechanic in the Orange County, CA area that will do this for me?

Thanks much!!! :)

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I´m from Orange country, too and Want to replace suspention, too. I just looking for somebody, too. I will let you know if I find somebody for good price

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Do you know about somebody, who can replace timing belt + water pump for a good price ??

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Thank you buddy, I will ask to somebody else too. And if I will find someone good. I will let you know. Bye now

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This is my second post.

I'd like to thank the forum's creators for giving me the opportunity to learn so much about Lexus vehicles.

My wife and I once owned an 88 Merc 560SEL and the thing was a money pit. We don't want to experience that situation again.

I am carefully considering importing from Japan a 1990 Celsior that has 43000 miles on it. It is supposed to be in "immaculate" condition, and that's the way it looks in the photos of it that I've seen. Before buying it I can pay for a professional inspection of the vehicle in Japan, and I will do that if I get more serious about the vehicle.

The price of the vehicle to our driveway, even including taxes, safety inspection and registration, is about $7000 CAD. (We live in Canada and we understand that US residents cannot import these vehicles into the US, but I may be wrong on that.) Year-for-year, Lexus vehicles are much more expensive than their US counterparts, and to get a vehicle of this year and miles one would have to spend between two and three times this amount of money in Canada. It would be more reasonable to import even from the US than buy locally, but likely the miles would be much higher on a US vehicle.

I am 56 years old and I am a do-your-own-car-repairs person from way back. My wife and I own a 92 Accord and I've recently replaced all of its struts and springs (I own a spring compressor), upper arms w ball joints, lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, several bushings, timing belt, balance belt, tensioners, water pump, and various seals. I have also had the dash apart, repaired the daytime running light module and fixed the heater temperature control - a job that even a Honda "technician" could not successfully perform.

If we purchase another luxury car, as the need arises, I fully intend to personally do every repair to it that I can.

Finally to the reason I'm posting - The car I'm interested in has air suspension and I have learned that the replacement components for this system are very expensive. I checked some on-line vendor prices of the "regular" suspension components - struts springs, etc. - and they seem to be quite reasonably priced.

So, if I buy an older LS400 that has air suspnesion, when that system needs repair, can I simply remove the struts and springs and replace them with the "regular" struts and springs that would be on a car of the same year, but one not equipped with air suspension, and is this a job that the DIY'r can perform without special Lexus-only tools, and without modifying the suspension of the vehicle in any way?

I have learned from this fourm about the power steering pump and lcd issues. I certainly will have those specifically looked at before purchasing any older LS400. Is there any way that the original lcd could still be functioning properly on a 1990? That is, if the lcd is in fact still working properly, is it likely that it is still original to the vehicle?

Thanks very much for any information. :)

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.....

Finally to the reason I'm posting - The car I'm interested in has air suspension and I have learned that the replacement components for this system are very expensive. I checked some on-line vendor prices of the "regular" suspension components - struts springs, etc. - and they seem to be quite reasonably priced.

So, if I buy an older LS400 that has air suspnesion, when that system needs repair, can I simply remove the struts and springs and replace them with the "regular" struts and springs that would be on a car of the same year, but one not equipped with air suspension, and is this a job that the DIY'r can perform without special Lexus-only tools, and without modifying the suspension of the vehicle in any way?......

few years ago, I had my mech done just that on a 94 LS400 I used to own. if you purchase the "straight" conversion kit such as the one from Strutmasters', and follow Lextreme's tutorial:

http://www.lextreme.com/ascon.html

it shouldn't be too hard to DIY, and no modifications required.

I recall the most difficult thing my mech had to do was to remove the back seat in order to get to the rear pair of struts. other than that, the job was pretty straigt forward.

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This is my second post.

My wife and I once owned an 88 Merc 560SEL and the thing was a money pit. We don't want to experience that situation again.

I am carefully considering importing from Japan a 1990 Celsior that has 43000 miles on it. It is supposed to be in "immaculate" condition, and that's the way it looks in the photos of it that I've seen. Before buying it I can pay for a professional inspection of the vehicle in Japan, and I will do that if I get more serious about the vehicle.

The price of the vehicle to our driveway, even including taxes, safety inspection and registration, is about $7000 CAD. (We live in Canada and we understand that US residents cannot import these vehicles into the US, but I may be wrong on that.) Year-for-year, Lexus vehicles are much more expensive than their US counterparts, and to get a vehicle of this year and miles one would have to spend between two and three times this amount of money in Canada. It would be more reasonable to import even from the US than buy locally, but likely the miles would be much higher on a US vehicle.

So, if I buy an older LS400 that has air suspnesion, when that system needs repair, can I simply remove the struts and springs and replace them with the "regular" struts and springs that would be on a car of the same year, but one not equipped with air suspension, and is this a job that the DIY'r can perform without special Lexus-only tools, and without modifying the suspension of the vehicle in any way?

I have learned from this fourm about the power steering pump and lcd issues. I certainly will have those specifically looked at before purchasing any older LS400. Is there any way that the original lcd could still be functioning properly on a 1990? That is, if the lcd is in fact still working properly, is it likely that it is still original to the vehicle?

Thanks very much for any information. :)

You seem to have done some homework, and that's good. Buying a right hand drive Celsior is not good. The idea that a good 91 or 92 LS is two to three times what you will pay for the Celsior is not correct. Good LS's of that vintage are available in BC for 8-11k. The 90 was never sold in Canada. Do not buy an LS with air suspension. Your homework should also have told you that mileage is not so important as service history on these vehicles. Save yourself some trouble. Buy locally, and buy a steel spring car.

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You seem to have done some homework, and that's good. Buying a right hand drive Celsior is not good. The idea that a good 91 or 92 LS is two to three times what you will pay for the Celsior is not correct. Good LS's of that vintage are available in BC for 8-11k. The 90 was never sold in Canada. Do not buy an LS with air suspension. Your homework should also have told you that mileage is not so important as service history on these vehicles. Save yourself some trouble. Buy locally, and buy a steel spring car.

SRK,

Thanks for taking the time.

I'd just love to be able to get a low-mile BC car in great shape in the price range you mention, but I have been checking AutoTrader for quite some time and, from what I have seen, almost all BC 400's of around that year are either very high mile, or very high priced. Unless the engine and transmission are new, or very low km, I will not buy an LS unless it has low kms. If you happen to run across one, please post it.

Although I'd certainly try to determine that the oil had been changed regularly on a car having 30 or 40K miles, I must say that if a 91 LS that has never been driven in the harsh Canadian climate, or road conditions, is in need of much more than oil changes or brake pads, I would probably conclude that I'm considering the wrong model vehicle.

Theoretically, at least, a car having that mileage (other than a Benz, of course) should not need a single drive-train or suspension repair. A Honda of that year and having that mileage almost certainly would not need a thing done to it, other than brake pads. I know this because I've been driving one, in and around Edmonton, for 15 years and 200K km. Hell, I just changed the power steering and alternator belts for the first time a couple of months ago and I've changed the pads only twice. The first 8 years of its life were in Grande Cache, where it never was garaged. Any car would consider Grande Cache a frozen hell on earth.

Anyway, although our car still runs great, and will probably go at least another 4 or 5 years after the work I've done to it, I'm 6'6" tall and I made the mistake of sitting in an 02 LS430, and, unfortunately, I was extremely comfortable in that car. The entry fee was way too high, and that's why I'm considering an older LS.

Here's a link to the car I am/was considering:

http://www.terra2imports.ca/import-japan113207576990436.htm

Do you happen to know anything about this company?

Do you happen to know anyone who's imported a vehicle from Japan, and, if so, how did it work out for him or her?

Again, thanks for taking the time a trouble to reply, SRK. I appreciate it.

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I know several people locally who have imported cars from Japan, and a couple of young 'uns in Edmonton. The cars all seem a bit beat up. They guys here bring in Skylines, and I got a ride in one of the twin turbo ones. Seems fast.....Anyways, there is no problem registering them, but it is a weird feeling for the passenger to sit next to the yellow line without a steering wheel. Your wife will hate it for sure. I have driven in England, and also have driven double decker RHD buses here. It's better to have LHD here.

I'll send along the ads for any good LS's I find.

SRK

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SRK, thanks for that offer to keep your eyes open.

As far a right hand drive goes, it's no big deal. My wife and I drove a manual-transmission car through London and the English countryside and it didn't bother either of us. Of course we were driving on the Left side of the road.

There is one advantage to right hind drive - parallel parking! Maybe my wife would finally have to courage to re-learn how to parallel park.

Before writing this post, I took a look at the strutmaster conversions for the LS. I think they're a remarkably good price and, if they actually work well in the car, they look like they'd be a snap to install. I hope anyone who has used them chimes in to report how they like them.

On Monday I'll probably be going to look at a high-mile LS400 just to find out if it is as comfortable as the 430. In a way I hope that it is not, because that would put a stop to this madness for a few years.

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Theoretically, at least, a car having that mileage (other than a Benz, of course) should not need a single drive-train or suspension repair.
I don't know if I'd hold my breath on that since the car is 16 years old, and that's asking a lot of any car. Suspension bushings are probably the biggest trouble spots for these cars, and if that pristine looking '90 isn't clunking already, it probably won't be long before it does. Also, have them check the timing belt because it probably should have been changed just because of the age.
On Monday I'll probably be going to look at a high-mile LS400 just to find out if it is as comfortable as the 430. In a way I hope that it is not, because that would put a stop to this madness for a few years.
I think that you'll get what you are hoping for! LOL I'm a couple inches shorter than you, and my knees are pretty much on the dash in my '95 (I find the first and second gens to have very similar dimensions.). The lack of driver's legroom is my biggest complaint about this car. Headroom is tight was well. Were you comfortable in your W126?

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Blake, thanks for the reply.

You're right, I did not consider the typical time limit on timing belts, but if the owner of the vehicle had followed that requirement, he/she should have changed the belt probably twice by now, if the limit is 7 years, that is. This should be an easy thing to determine from the car's maintenance records.

I think what you say about the suspension bushings may not be true, however. Rubber that is shielded from the elements - sunlight and heat, in particular, should not harden or deteriorate with the mere passage of time. The heat and constant stress of miles are what kill rubber. But maybe I'm all wrong on this, and the bushings on even a zero-mile, 15-yr-old car would also have to be replaced and, because you have pointed it out, it is now something I will certainly have checked out on any older vehicle that I'm thinking about buying. Thanks.

What you say about the 400's leg room causes me some concern. I have very long legs (38" inseam), even for someone of my height. I'm normal height from the waist up, so headroom is almost never a problem for me. I was very comfortable in the 02 LS430 that I sat in a while back, but maybe the model's leg room has improved over the years. Tomorrow I'll be able to tell in about two seconds whether the 400 will be suitable for me, and I'll report it here.

I fit quite well in the W126 chassis, but the W140 that replaced it was a dream come true in the leg-room department - the best I ever had. Unfortunately, it was a nightmare in the reliability department so I wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot ................. thick wallet!

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Hey Tony! I'm just saying that it's a very good possibility based on my own Lexus experiences (none of them are with ultra low mileage though.) and what I've read about on this forum. Lexus will not sell you a plain ole bushing except for the strut rods, and those upper and lower control arms aren't cheap (aftermarket polyurathane is an option though...unless the upper ball joint is bad, then you are at the mercy of the parts department!)!! I guess just be prepared is all that I was getting at, and don't let the mileage tell you everything because we have some members here with low mileage first gens that have had some problems despite the mileage.

With a 38" inseam, I think you are going to have some trouble. I have a 33" inseam (I'd say that I have slightly more length in my torso than legs.), and I could certainly use about 5 more inches of legroom to call myself truly "comfortable" (I've unbolted the seat and mocked it up to tease myself.). I love Lexus cars, but the lack of interior space is going to make it very easy for me to replace this car with another brand in a few years. But hey, I'm a glutton for punishment and it gives me something to !Removed! about for the time being! LOL Here I am in my '95...to give you an idea of what you are up against:

post-1461-1163393077_thumb.jpg

I've always really liked the MB 140s, especially the way they look. I've heard that they are very spacious in their head and legroom dimensions. I'm anxious to go sit in one now just for the fun of it!

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Blake,

Yes, prepare yourself to smile and be amazed by the amount of leg room and cabin space in a W140. A 1992 500SEL was the one and only car I ever sat in whose seat I did not have to put all the way back to its rearward limit. Although I could have easily driven the car that way, I felt more comforable by moving it FORWARD maybe an inch or so.

But whatever you do, don't try to manually adjust the rear view mirror in a W140, because that little slip-up is going to set you back about $400.

From your photo and your description of how cramped you feel in your car, I'd say my LS400 advernture is about to come to a screeching halt.

Thanks for letting me know how you feel.

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With a 38" inseam, I think you are going to have some trouble. I have a 33" inseam (I'd say that I have slightly more length in my torso than legs.), and I could certainly use about 5 more inches of legroom to call myself truly "comfortable" (I've unbolted the seat and mocked it up to tease myself.). I love Lexus cars, but the lack of interior space is going to make it very easy for me to replace this car with another brand in a few years. But hey, I'm a glutton for punishment and it gives me something to !Removed! about for the time being! LOL Here I am in my '95...to give you an idea of what you are up against:

post-1461-1163393077_thumb.jpg

You really look like you don't have a lot of room in the picture. I'm a fairly big guy with a 32" inseam and I'm extremely comfortable in my car. As a matter of fact, I'm so comfortable that I'll never go back to driving a mid-size vehicle again.

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Blake,

Yes, prepare yourself to smile and be amazed by the amount of leg room and cabin space in a W140. A 1992 500SEL was the one and only car I ever sat in whose seat I did not have to put all the way back to its rearward limit. Although I could have easily driven the car that way, I felt more comforable by moving it FORWARD maybe an inch or so.

I've got a relative who only buys Mercedes cars, and I've driven most of them, and I do the same thing with the seat! haha It takes some getting used to to drive a car while being comfortable. You mentioned an Accord in your initial post, is that your daily driver or your wife's?

I hope my input hasn't completely put the kibosh on the LS. I''m looking forward to hearing if you can manage to fold yourself up in to a LS! ;)

You really look like you don't have a lot of room in the picture. I'm a fairly big guy with a 32" inseam and I'm extremely comfortable in my car. As a matter of fact, I'm so comfortable that I'll never go back to driving a mid-size vehicle again.
Yeah, it's a tight fit for me! I used to drive an ES300, and that was even worse than the LS is, much worse actually. Like I said, because of this, I'll be shopping around when I put the LS to pasture in a couple years. Reliability will be secondary to comfort this time.

I suppose actual lengths of the inseams can vary from manufacture to manufacture (I usually get my pants taylored anyway--it is well worth the marginal costs if you don't have an average build.). I'm 6'4. ;) You'd be surprised that a lot mid-sizers and some small cars are actually very comfortable--sit in a mid 2000's VW Passat, it's a very, very comfortable, the Jetta and Beetle too (almost any European model has good seat travel). The thing that really gets me is that the LS has ample space to let the seat slide back another foot, but they choose not to.

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It snowed here today and I couldn't get to the car, so I still don't know if I fit.

I can barely drive the Passat and Beetles of the years you mention. I can do it, but it's very uncomfortable for me. If the 400 is even smaller, it's probably out of the question for me.

Nevertheless, I'm still going to try to sit in a 400 in the near future and I'll post my findings.

The 92 Accord is our one and only car. It has pretty good leg room - unlike the generations of Accords that came after it. I can fit in the new EX, but it has only about the same room as our present car.

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Just a short reply regarding leg room. Have you tried the Volvo 700 or 900 series, or the SAAB 9000? They both offer more leg room than many

other cars, but the rear seat passenger in the Volvo has to suffer. Leg room in the back seat of the SAAB 9000 is bigger, though, similar to the Mercedes W140 SWB (-92 to -98 S-klasse).

Newer models, like S or V 70 and SAAB 9-5 does not impress the same way.

I'm 185 cm tall, 34" inseam (Levi's... :) ) and I find the leg room more than sufficient in my -95 LS 400. If something, I'd like the possibility to lower the seat a bit further.

But I come from driving a Mercedes 190 with sport seats. ;)

/Alexander from Sweden

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