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About Ronald

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  • Lexus Model
    1993 ES 300 w/ 5-speed manual
  1. Use 5W-30 oil instead of 10W-30. Your starter and battery will love you for this. As noted above, be sure to clean the undercarriage if you encounter road salt. This is very important. Also, if you elect to go through a car wash, be sure the car is dry before you leave it overnight. You may have to open the doors and trunk to wipe off any water along the body. The doors will freeze shut if there is water close to contact points. Take my word on this. Otherwise, this is a very reliable car and should give you no problems. The leather upholstered seats will be very cold if you park outside, but that's what the seat heaters are for. Also, be sure you close the ski pass through on the rear seat. When you open the trunk, in a cold Chicago wind, you'll know what I mean.
  2. You're welcome, but thank you for your kind post. This Lexus ES 300 I own is the hardest car I ever worked on, psychologically, because with the other cars I had, a '99 VW Passat; '92, '87 and '83 Honda Accords (btw the '83 Japan built Accord was the sturdiest- no rattles); '72 Datsun 510 with the SSS engine and a POC Pinto; I felt I could screw up and no one would care, especially with the POC Pinto. With this Lexus, I want to be sure I get the job right and I imagine that's how anyone else would feel about working on his or her own Lexus. I don't want to lead anyone astray as I wouldn't want to be looked upon as "Oh, I wouldn't trust what he posts". Even an oil and filter change makes me slightly nervous. Thanks again.
  3. The Camry hood struts fit?? I wish I had known that. Lexus told me the parts were not interchangeable! I paid those guys $189 to replace them while I needed some belts replaced. Yikes!
  4. I have a five speed manual and have had no transmission related problems. There is some mild torque steer when you floor it in first gear on a wet surface. For acceleration of the manual, Lexus listed in its literature 0-60 8.0 secs; 1/4 mile 16.2 secs @ 86 mph "under controlled conditions with a professional driver". "Car and Driver" tested a '92 or '93 Camry SE (the only V6 Camry with an available five speed manual) and posted 0-60 in 7.7 secs and 1/4-mile 16.0 secs @ 88 mph. In 1994, Toyota no longer packaged the five speed manual with the newer V6 because it could not meet emissions standards with a manual tranny with that engine without significant cost. Also, the demand for that combo was not big enough for Toyota to certify it for US sales. That changed in either 1997 or 1999 (I can't recall) when the Solara was available. If you want a pocket rocket beater, get a Solara with the manual tranny/V6 and then have a TRD supercharger installed. TRD claims it adds 52 horsepower and 55 lbs-ft of torque with 87 octane gas! I am sure the chip fiddlers can get even more performance by adjusting for 91 octane.
  5. The brakes do last a long time. I had them replaced three years ago. I got 100,000 miles out of mine and a local brake place charged me about $200.00 for all four wheels. The price would have been lower if I had opted for regular pads instead of Lexus pads.
  6. squarehat, what is the load rating of the tires on your rig? I would like to get 17 inch rims for my '93 to fit bigger brakes, but I cannot find a tire load rating of 92 for tire size P215 50 VR17. The highest load rating I have seen for that size is 90, which means the tire needs to be inflated at 34 psi to maintain the correct load of a 92 tire at 28 psi. The next size up P225 50 VR17 tires have a load rating of 93, but the tires are so big that they look like they will rub the fenders.
  7. Thanks for the help. The front lights are much easier than I thought. Where did you get the Sylvania Silverstars? Yes for the trouble of replacing the rear bulbs, I plan on replacing all of them instead of just the burned out one. I don't want to go through that disassembly six times on each side! Any suggestions for the reverse lights?
  8. It sounds like the engine is running lean, which would explain the retarded timing (knock sensor being zealous) and the hot exhaust (lean burn). A lean mixture increases the propensity of an engine to knock. Is there away to do a pyrometer test and measure the temperature of the exhaust gas and the catalytic converter? This might cost some bucks, but I would have the other oxygen sensors and other feedback sensors checked. It's been awhile since I read the manual, but I think there is one in each exhaust manifold and maybe a fourth one somewhere else. The problems sound like the lean burn issues of the pre-catalytic converter 1974 model cars with their built in retarded timing. Some people used to fiddle with their carburetors, illegally, by fitting richer idle and power jets to get around the hesitation upon acceleration. With the SFI these days, the correct stoichiometric mixture is not an issue, unless the feedback circuits have a problem. I don't know how mixtures are checked these days, but I remember the carbureted Hondas used to have an inlet on the intake manifold for a propane tank attachment. If one added propane to the mixture and the idle cleared up and the exhaust temp was within specs, the mixture was judged to be too lean and adjustments were made.
  9. For panel and cap pulls, I found it was best to use a flat blade/slotted-head screwdriver covered with a few layers of electrical tape. This door panel removal procedure is much easier to perform than I have written: I just made it a little more detailed if you haven't done this before. I have done it several times to adjust the driver's side window to make it seal better, something the techs can't seem to do correctly. 1. Lower driver's side window completely and remove key from ignition so you won't hear the key in ignition warning. 2. Take the taped screwdriver and insert it carefully in back of the door handle pull holder and carefully pull the plastic piece back and up to unseat the locking edge and then pull it out. 3. There are two screws to remove. Remove the cap on the upper right hand side (upper front when you face forward out the windshield) of the door panel to expose the screw and remove screw. Be careful not to crack cap. USe the covered screwdriver to do this. In the arm rest, remove the felt rubber cover and remove the Philips head screw. You may have to buy some soft double sided tape to replace the cover later. 4. There are two pins on the left/back edge of the panel. Remove the pins first. Here again use the same tape covered screwdriver you used for the cap before. Remember which pin goes where as they are different lengths. Then remove the pin seats. Once again, remember which seat goes into which hole. 5. Feel along the bottom of the panel and you will note an indentation on the door frame. Insert the taped screwdriver under the panel on either side of the indentation and pull out the panel carefully. Repeat this procedure on the other side of the indentation. 6. The pins holding the panel on the door will stay in the panel, but be sure not to lose any. 7. Along the upper edge, the panel is held by four or five flat metal blades. Pull the panel out slowly along the length. I prefer to start from the front of the door and work backward. Note the location of the metal piece in the door panel and how it seats over the metal blades on the door. 8. To complete the removal, you will need to undo three wire locking connectors: the power window controller, the door courtesy light and the power lock switch. I would recommend wearing gloves as the power window switch console has a sharp edge just behind the connector. I have the scars to prove it. Be careful not to stab the woofer when working by the speaker. There will be a plastic water shield you will need to peel away if you need to any window work. There will be a metal shield that is held in place by three screws behind the plastic shield. When replacing the door panel, be sure you replace the shields if they have been removed. Replacing the panel is essentially the reverse of removing, but I would recommend that after you place the upper part of the panel on the metal blades that you align the upper most pin of the backside of the panel with its hole and tap the panel in. That pin is most susceptible to being bent. The other pins should follow suit. Here, Lexus did a great job of building this because you won't have to jiggle the panel back into place. It goes back in nicely. I hope this helps.
  10. The offset number is stamped on the wheel. For most Lexuses (Lexi?) it is 45 mm. The only exceptions I know of is the 1993-1998 GS 300, where it is 50 mm for the 16 x 7.5 rim and the 16 inch wheel for the 1993-1994 LS 400. The other dimension to consider regarding aftermarket wheels is the actual thickness of the mounting point of the wheel to the studs. If that "pad" (for lack of a better term) is relatively thick, it will affect the true offset and make it more positive, i.e., as noted earlier, change an advertised 45 mm offset to a true 35 mm. The rule of thumb I was taught is to stay within 10 mm, but I really wonder if a front drive car should stay within smaller limits, say 5 mm. If you notice some Honda accords, they also have a 45 mm offset, but because the mounting "pad" is so thick, the outside face of the wheel actually extends beyond the width of the tire. That is why many Hondas have badly scratched stock rims by curb rubs. American Racing used to have a lot of information about the wheel dimensions for cars, but I don't know if they still do.
  11. Wear gloves. There is hot oil coming out of the filter and your hand might bump the exhaust manifold. I also recommend getting the special cap wrench (SST) to take off and put on the filter. I got mine for $4.00 at the Toyota dealer. Be sure the SST fits the oil filter before you leave the shop. Toyota changed the filter shape slightly in 1998 so the old SST does not fit the newer filters. The directions note the need to tighten the filter 3/4 turn after the gasket seats when replacing a new filter. This is accomplished much more easily by viewing the markings on the cap wrench than to guess. If you don't mind your oil filter having a Toyota label instead of a Lexus label, you can save yourself a bunch of cash by ordering the filter in bulk from various places on the web. I usually pay $3.50 to $4.00 apiece by buying ten. The cost from the Lexus dealer is about $7.50 to $10.00 for a filter. Also, you MUST replace the crush washer/drain plug gasket whenever you drain the oil pan. They usually cost about $1.00 apiece, but if you are willing to look, they can be had for less. Good luck.
  12. I liked the Quart's about 15 years ago, but I haven't heard them since. I thought their sound was very smooth compared to the US speakers I heard (Polk, Boston Acoustics, a/d/s). If they bolt in without modifications, I might seriously consider them. Focal makes great drivers for home speakers. I did not know they were in the auto sound business. Thanks for the heads up.
  13. Anyone have any suggestion to replace bulbs on the headlights and taillights on a '93 ES? I tried to do a search on the forum site and all I got were error messages. The Lexus service manual provides very little guidance on this, but my guess is the whole front light assembly needs to removed to get to the backside to remove screws that hold the bulb seats in place. Otherwise, one has to fight the battery on the driver's side and the air conditioner on the passenger's side. For the taillights, which nuts needed to be removed to remove the assembly? I removed the cloth cover in the trunk and I was unhappy to see that there a number of nuts and bolts, my guess about ten on each side. Also, does the license plate light assembly need to come off to remove the taillight assembly? Also, to get to rear bank of sparkplugs, does one need to remove the intake manifold or is there way to maneuver to get to the rear center plug? Or should I just let the dealer do it and pay the big bucks for the plugs? The NGK plugs are much cheaper at Auto Zone or BAP Geon than at the dealer. Thanks.
  14. Based on my experience, you may have to go whole hog and buy a new receiver and new remotes. Figure about $100.00 for each key/remote and $565 (parts and labor) for the under dash receiver. As for new keys, the Lexus dealer may be the only show in town. They will have to special order them. I do find that the special order and the new receiver to be quite a hassle with Lexus. When I needed to replace a key and fob for my VW Passat, the dealer was able to grind a new key in front of me and service was able to re-program the new fobs for $40.00 total labor. The fob and key was $45.00.
  15. Can anyone recommend a good choice to replace this woofer? I am not so enamored with the paper cone, although the big plastic dust cap does look good. I would prefer a bigger magnet assembly and a polymer cone as well. Butyl surrounds maybe.