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2001 Ls430 Intermittent Mark Levinson Amplifier

Dave N

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Had a issue with my 2001 LS430 in which the Mark Levinson Amp that controls all of the audio sources would basically work randomly when it felt like it. I had the problem for about a year and found that there was no pattern at all to when my system worked. In the end, I tried eBay and a bunch of parts guys on the web, who were all grossly overpriced. I tried local junkyards & found the part at one, but it too was overpriced. I called Sewell Lexus in Dallas & they sold me a reconditioned amp with a swap on my old one for about $700. I thought that was a lot, but when you consider that it was reconditioned, and in fact, upgraded to 2002 specs (the new amp has the part no. for the 2002!) (the 2001 had major problems & the 2002 didn't), in the end, it was a bargain. Since I replaced it, it's been absolutely perfect ever since. To replace it, you essentally have to remove all of the inside carpeted panels on the passenger side and top of the trunk, but once you do that, it's easy to replace. It is bolted in with about 3 bolts, vertically about where the trunk hinges. I found someone's photos on the web of doing this install, which helped. Also, a strange thing.... when I installed the new amp, I wanted to test it before I bolted it in & laid it on the bottom of the trunk, and plugged it in. Boy was I upset when it didn't work. Aparently it needs to be grounded, because once I bolted it in, it lit right up & has worked ever since. Don't mess with the old amp! Get a reconditioned one. If you pick one up from a junk dealer for a 2001, it will surely be subject to crapping out, just like the original one did. Hope this helps someone out there. Dave N

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