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threepwood last won the day on June 3 2018

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About threepwood

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  • Lexus Model
    1992 LS400
  • Lexus Year
  • Location
    Florida (FL)
  1. Thanks to all. For unknown reason, without doing anything, it hasn't done this again since i made the post. Guess I should go knock on wood.
  2. Thanks. It does go 'click' when it doesn't start. Going to try picking up the starter relay directly next time it happens. That will at least eliminate the ignition switch. Will also check the cable where it bolts to the starter. As I recall now, that has come loose before. Thanks again.
  3. First, I can not believe I have to tear the entire intake structure of the engine apart just to replace a starter. Maybe Chevy's aren't as bad as I thought. That being said, every 8th or 9th time I try to start my 1992 LS400 It just clicks. But try 2 or 3 more times and it starts right up. Replaced battery, that's not the issue. Could it be a bad spot on the starter? Or maybe the ignition switch? Any thoughts would be appreciated, as have no intention of going after the starter without being 100% certain it is the problem. Thanks.
  4. Just saw this. Hope I am not to late. I'm sorry to say this sounds just like my ECU (Engine Control Unit - it;s behind the glovebox) capacitor issue. Mine is a 1992 LS400 and I went crazy replacing things until someone here pointed out the post where all these ECUs have bad capacitors and will fail sooner or later. It's so common people on ebay are selling capacitor 'kits' for less than $20. But you do need to know how to unsolder and resolder the new caps in. It is very easy. I'm told a new ECU cost more than the car is worth. Don't buy a used ECU from a junk yard, I did and it was also bad. My thought is it is probably the reason the car was junked. Good luck.
  5. Sorry it took so long to reply. I have replaced the fan belt and tensioner, no real change. But I have found in the lexus manual that in fact, the voltage regulator changes output as it heats up. The book says : 13.7 - 14.7 @ 77F and can drop to 13.2 !!! - 14.0 at 239F. I added the exclamation points! So I have quit, and consider the current alternator acceptable. And for several weeks now it has charged the battery so I think I'm good. Many thanks for all your help.
  6. Ok, here what's going on now. Autozone felt so bad about the last alternator they ordered me their 'Premium' version of this alternator, which they say is a new alternator, at no additional charge. It does, in fact, look like new. I put it in and it starts out at 14.4 and then as the car heats up (or maybe the battery gets recharged?) it drops to 14.0 but never goes below 14.0. I took it back to AZ and they tested and said they consider 14.0 to be a good voltage regulator. So no issue. But I really need to know if this is the way the Lexus voltage regulator is supposed to work. All my other cars run 14.4 all the time, but I have never checked this before. So can anybody answer this question????? Thanks.
  7. Well, guess what. I drove the car to autozone while the voltage was down to 13.5 and they put their tester on it and confirmed, another dead Alternator/voltage regulator. This is quickly becoming ridiculous. I have lost count on the number of alternators I've put in/out. This time i'm going to ask them to bench test the new one before I leave the store. This one was dead out of the box, acted like this from the moment I started the car. And once again, never a bad battery idiot light !!!!! Guess I need to look for a nicer looked permanent volt meter :o(
  8. Ok, I need some advice from a good electrical guy. Here's what's going on - I put the new alternator in. Checked the idiot light for battery before putting it in and it was good. Put a voltmeter on the battery. 13.3 volts on battery. Started car, 14.2 volts. A little low I thought. Start driving around and as long as i keep driving voltage keeps dropping slowly. It bottoms out at about 13.5 volts, just slightly above the battery voltage I started with. I have never seen this from an alternator. It is acting more like a battery charger. On my ranger truck it's 14.4 continuously, regardless of how long I drive the car. Is this normal for the Lexus???? I have never put a voltmeter on before so I don't know if something else, maybe the ECU, is controlling the alternator ?????????? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as with only 1 good arm (still) I don't relish the thought of pulling this d*** alternator again. Thanks.
  9. Thanks, at the moment the car is in pieces in the driveway as I took (1 handedly!) the alternator out and exchanged it again for a new/rebuilt at autozone. Just don't have the drive to rush putting the new one back in. But when I do I will also check the connection you suggested.
  10. Well, I fell off my roof Sunday onto concrete steps. 3 broken ribs, 5 staples in scalp, and a fractured spacula. So for the next 6 weeks it will be real pain (not just the pain of owning this car) while it just sits in the driveway.
  11. Not a clue. It definitely was not a leaking PS pump this time though. Autozone did not even want to test it. They said just take it out and bring it in for an even exchange (lifetime warranty - highly recommended).
  12. Alternator was not charging below 1000 rpm. I know this because most of the idiot lights on the dash board lite up and would go out above 1000 rpm. Checked with voltmeter and confirmed. So yesterday morning I replaced the alternator for the 3rd or maybe 4th time, hard to keep track. But it's a lifetime Autozone alternator so all it cost me was my time and I'm, unfortunately, getting pretty good at it. I'm so confident this fixed it I decided to give the old girl a long trip to a dinner party (30 miles 1 way). Mostly 60+ mph highway speeds but then suddenly traffic comes to a dead stop. Remains dead stop for almost 45 minutes as we move inch by inch by some road work they decided to do during rush hour! Idle at a stop in gear was 400 rpm, and I had checked before I left with voltmeter to make sure it was charging at that speed. It was. AC was on. The car never overheated. And yes, I transferred the heat shield to the new alternator. Now the strange part. Suddenly the radio died. I mean went blank and would not turn on or play a CD. Odd, but I had read they do fail. Then suddenly every time I would step on the brake the dashboard speed and rpm needles only would go black ???? JUST THE NEEDLES, NOT THE ENTIRE DISPLAY! Let up on brake and needles light up again. A few more stops and every time I step on the brake ALL the dashboard lights go out! Then traffic lets up and the car barely accelerates, feels like it is stuck in 5th gear. I had to use drive 1 and 2 to accelerate and stop the horn blasting people behind me. I get to the dinner party and park it. 1 hour later I come out and it will not start, dead battery. I get a jump and the car eventually starts. Measure voltage at battery and it's 14.5, normal for this car. (Yeah, I carry a multimeter in the trunk. Along with a jump starter, jumper cables, a spare ECU, a spare TPS, spare brake lights, 2 spare fan belts, a spare AC compressor, a spare ignition coil, the phone number for GEICO towing, and probably more I can't remember). Start driving it and it runs perfectly all the way home, EVEN THE RADIO STARTED WORKING AGAIN !!!!! This morning I get up and it starts just like normal with 14.5 volts on battery, so the 30 mile drive home fully charged the battery. I can only guess the stop and go overheated the alternator even with the heat shield in place and the low voltage to the ECU caused it to go nuts. ECU has already been replaced with a good capacitor version so it's not likely the ECU. Of course, since there isn't any real voltmeter or ammeter in this car there is no way to tell for sure. And the idiot battery light has never come on in advance for any of the other alternator failures so I'm not at all surprised it didn't come on this time. And it's not the trunk wiring as I have fixed that issue and rechecked the fix this morning. I'm ready to stop calling her the old lady and start calling her the old witch 🐵 I'm thinking of fabricating a better heat shield if no one has any better suggestions.
  13. Update - Replaced alternator and issue was resolved. Charging at idle again.
  14. 92 LS400. ~180k on it, but can't say for sure as Odometer quit at 157k (ah, just another known issue, eh?). Have replaced alternator 2 times before, both due to power steering leaks, but the failures were different than this time. Previously, they just quit and all idiot lights on dash came on. This time idiot lights come only below 1000 rpm. volt meter on battery shows it is not charging below 1000 rpm. There isn't any belt noise, but I have.....Changed belt out belt with spare I took off just because of old age at the 100k service,, removed. cleaned and replace both battery terminals, Applied belt dressing, applied tremendous pressure with engine running on tensioning pulley (quite a dangerous trick I don't suggest if you don't know what you are doing). Although I have never seen an alternator fail in this manner, My conclusion is bad alternator again, this time NOT associated with leaking power steering. Any other thoughts before I pull it ?