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New Lexus, Small Problems


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So I just posted a forum in the electronics forums about the sub amp, but basically, my girlfriend and I are sharing her new 1996 SC300. I have been racing for a few years now (It is a domestic, but sh!) so my mechanical inclination is pretty great and I feel absolutely comfortable doing just about anything. But I noticed that car has a few quirks I want/need to fix. We got the car in TX (where I live) and drove it for a few weeks to work out issues. I seafoamed EVERYTHING (crankcase/oil, intake/internals, and gas) and gave it a nice change of oil with RP 5W-30 (I think). We drove it 1100 miles to Denver, CO with NO (like, none) issues. Now that I am here, it has 124k, and still NO CEL or mechanical issues.

To save people from reading my life story, here are the issues the car has with 124k miles:

1. The car makes a clunking/popping noise from the front suspension SOMEWHERE. I cannot replicate the issue without driving the car over a bump or turning the steering ALL the way to the left or right in reverse. Any idea what that could be? I don't want to throw money at it, but I was probably going to order a poly bushing kit and just replace everything I can on both sides.

2. There is a mild oil leak at the back of the valve cover. It keeps the back of the head slightly wet and gunky. The oil level does NOT move. At all. I feel as if this was a pre-existing condition and just won't ever be 'dry'. When I changed the plugs, I tightened the valve cover bolts and noticed they were relatively loose. I still want to change the gaskets. Would this more than likely solve the issue?

3. The timing belt... Looked pretty new when I had the cover off, but I don't have the resources to change it right now. Are these motors intrusive? (IE: If the belt breaks, is it going to chew the valves up?) I really would like to change it, and I have a new Gates belt, but I can NOT make time right now being at school...

So that is all my questions! I really appreciate any advice. If y'all have any questions about the car, I would be more than happy to answer!



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