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Swap Engine From 1992 Ls400 Into A 1994?


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Hi All,

I own a 1992 LS400 that got nailed in a rear end collision. Insurance totalled it out, and I kept it for $450.

A used car lot not too far away lists a 1994 LS for $1850. It had an "electrical fire on the top of the engine." The ad says the body exterior and interior are in fine shape. So ... would there be any nasty issues paying someone to swap the engine from the '92 into the 1994 chassis? The engine ran great at 140K miles. It does need the power steering pump replaced. I assume it might make sense to do the water pump and timing belt while the engine was out.

Thoughts, ideas, advice? Bad idea? Good idea? What would I expect to pay for the work in the Chicago area?


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First of all... how strange... I had personally never heard tell of an engine fire on a Lexus... electrical or fuel (except one). I thought that engine fires was only on Jaguars, Range Rovers, Hummers and Porsches? ;)

I cannot even imagine what could catch fire on the top of the engine.... the ONLY LS400 I seen with an engine fire was due to the alternator- which makes sense, due to the leaky PS pumps shorting them out. I am suprised we do not see more of this. I guess that was just one that went a little too far. If I was a betting person, I bet the 94' LS you mention that had the fire may have been caused by a leaky PS pump and shorting out the alternator.

Make sure the fire was not too bad and no other wires on the cars chassis was not damaged. Make sure no wires running into the car was damaged either. If not too bad, I do not see why mechanically that the engine in the 94' LS would not be OK... just replace what was damaged in the blaze. Again, it all depends on what caused the fire and how bad/hot it was. If it roasted the engine bay, I would steer clear and let that one get parted out and smashed at the crusher.

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  • 2 weeks later...


If you observe the engine carefully engine drivers side, there is this rubber house near the brake fluid reservoir, in mine it has a black rubber hose that goes to the fuel rails, if that rubber hose ruptures that is a good place for a fire to start. So inspect those with a mirror every year, if you see a crack replace immediately. The same goes with the brake rubber hoses that the manual states they should be inspected with a mirror, if cracked replace immediately.


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