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About jsmith8918

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  1. By the way, Rookie, do you have a contact phone number or email for C'dan (Cruiserdan at Toyota American) that you could provide? I'm ready to tackle a few more jobs on my LX450 and need some parts. Thanks.
  2. Well, here's the update for me: I finally got my P0401 to go away. When I bought my LX450 (used with 100,800 miles on it), the previous owner provided a slip of paper from the dealer showing that they had diagnosed my P0401 and came up with a recommendation to replace the EGR Vacuum Modulator. I did that myself (piece of cake), but unfortunately that only made the P0401 go away for a few days. I then removed and tested and cleaned the EGR valve itself (a little bit more involved), but same results. I finally replaced the VSV for EGR and the CEL has been off since then (about five weeks now so far)! (Just in time for my state-mandated smog test, too!) I chose to replace mine by following the directions in this thread recommending removing just the Throttle Body rather than the whole Air Intake Chamber Assembly, and that was some good advice! The job was easier than I had anticipated even though I took my time to replace every vacuum hose I could reach and clean everything I could get to while I was at it. Sure enough, once I got the VSV for EGR off and tested it per the test given in my Lexus Repair Manual, it failed so I feel confident that was the primary culprit all along. (Although, thinking back, I do recall the EGR Vacuum Modulator also failed, so maybe I had two culprits. Hmmm.) A few hints from my experience: when I went to the dealer to buy the VSV for EGR, they were able to pull up the two different VSV's that are both located right in that area: the VSV for EGR and the VSV for Fuel Pressure Control. Unfortunately, their computer didn't give these descriptions to those parts. All their computer said was "VSV" for one of 'em, and "VSV" for the other one as well! I had to actually point to the upper one on the screen and say, "It's that one." And no, they are not the same. To sum up, I thought it only proper to post my update here, and I want to thank you guys for giving me the information I needed to dive in and finally get rid of my P0401.
  3. I just developed a similar problem with my LX450 where the fuel light would occasionally glow dimly even though the needle showed the accurate level. Now, about a month later, the light is on all of the time, but the needle still works fine (for now).
  4. Thanks, everyone, for all of the helpful information on how to do an antenna replacement. I replaced mine yesterday. I had the "O, you poor guy" scenario. I pulled out the mast and it only had about three inches of the plastic toothed cable on the end (rather than the several feet of cable that I was hoping would have been there). Here's what I did on my '97 LX 450: Took off beauty ring. Had wife extend antenna using button on dash while I pulled up and out. If it doesn't come all the way out, it could be because the widest metal tube on the bottom of the antenna is intended to stay inside the rest of the motor/shaft assembly for electronic grounding purposes. Sometimes this rusts in place. The replacement antenna that I bought said that, in these situations, you may need to apply a penetrating oil solvent to this area and allow to work overnight. I didn't have that problem because mine came right out with just a slight pull and a little wiggling. Seeing only three inches of toothed cable, I knew the rest had broken off and was inside the motor housing requiring me to activate the O-you-poor-guy scenario. Open hood. Locate general area. Notice heatsink thingy. Remove heatsink (12mm bolt). Notice one 10mm bolt holding antenna motor housing assembly (located just below the small access area/opening in the fenderwell). Remove that 10mm bolt. Don't worry about antenna dropping into unaccessible parts. It will drop, but you'll easily be able to pull it up again by any of numerous wires. Here's one part I did different at this point that I thought helped. Look into hole in fender that antenna mast had come through. Use a flashlight. If your is like mine, you may notice a white plastic zip tie securing the antenna cable up near the top of the mast. Cut the zip tie (NOT THE ANTENNA CABLE). This little step gave me just a little more maneuverability when it came down to getting the motor housing in position to pull through the hole in the enging compartment. OK, now the tricky part. While standing near the front passenger side wheel, reach through that access area in the engine compartment with your right hand and feel around in there. Explore what you've got to work with and where your motor/shaft assembly is sitting. Not much room, huh? And you probably realize that opening is way smaller than it should be. Now manuever your motor/shaft assembly so that the shaft end comes up and over and into the area towards the rear of the vehicle. You should end up pointing the end of the shaft to the rear of the vehicle with the motor housing end close to the opening through which you're reaching. I found it easier at this point to disconnect the two electric wiring quick-clips. (Mine were pretty gummy and took some effort to disconnect.) I don't suppose this part is mandatory, but I found it freed up some very-much-needed wiggle room to get that housing through that hole! A little wiggle, a little pulling, a little rotating... and there it is! You should be able to pull the motor assembly through the hole. It will (hopefully) still be tethered from the inside by the antenna cable so it won't come all the way out. Remove the screws holding the two halves of the housing together (including the screw right in the center). Even after the screws were out, these halves did NOT want to separate for me. They were held tightly together by just about the gummiest substance I've ever dealt with other than Liquid Nails! Just keep at it. Once I got the halves apart, I found the rest of my toothed antenna cable wound inside the housing. Removed cable. Halves back together. Screws back in place. Assembly back in the hole. Beauty nut attached loosely to hold it in place. Replace 10mm bolt. Replace heatsink and 12mm nut. Get a friend. Now you've completed the O-you-poor-guy part. If you were lucky and had the whole cable on the end of your antenna when you took it out, you could have jumped right to this part. Alas, not everyone can be so lucky. Mentally note position of motor in relation to shaft inside that area. The motor is positioned on the shaft towards the rear of the vehicle, or on the rear-facing side of the shaft. You need to thread the toothed strip into the opening with the teeth facing toward the rear of the vehicle. Get a helper inside with you holding antenna outside. Have helper turn on radio. Listen to motor. Then turn off. As motor activates, feed plastic toothed strip down into shaft until it engages. Then turn radio on and off several times to allow it to calibrate itself. Then tighten beauty ring, but not too tight or, like mine, it may interfere with antenna's ability to fully extend. Sit back and be satisfied. You're done.
  5. Rookie, Did you do your VSV replacement yet? If so, did that go as planned? Did it take care of your pinging? I noticed you mentioned you got yours from C'dan; are they factory and C'dan is a distributor, or are they considered aftermarket through them? Thanks. jsmith8918
  6. OK, I'm looking for suggestions and improvement ideas for my LX450 specifically regarding cup holders and the rear view mirror. Regarding the cup holders, I've got one tiny holder attached to the center console between the console and the driver's seat, and then two cheesy fold-up ones mounted to the back of the center console above the CD player. The tiny one by the driver's seat is so small that it won't accommodate our toddler's sippy cup, and the back ones have both been broken by my toddler's inattentive car-seat climbing practices. In fact, just last night I took out the two fold-up ones and have a somewhat promising area to work with if I choose to mount something different. Any suggestions? Regarding the rear view mirror, I just don't like being restricted to such a small area of view using the factory mirror. I've seen some of the aftermarket wide-angle novelty mirrors. Has anyone tried one of these? Have you found them to be useful or junk?
  7. Are you sure it's not the normal dripping of condensed water from air conditioner use (which usually drips down by the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side, almost as if under the glove box)? Although this would be just straight water rather than coolant.
  8. Ditto on wanting to see DIY instructions. It looks like eBay has a ton of aftermarket retractable antennas for about $30 that they claim are satisfactory as direct replacements for the expensive Lexus units. Anyone try one of these yet?
  9. Here's what I found out today: most non-factory repair facilities now do the drain-and-fill rather than flush. I thought this was due to environmental concerns, but I found out today that apparently the flush causes corrosion of the heater cores that the drain-and-fill prevents. And regarding the fluid: use the red fluid from Lexus. Apparently the green fluid is not compatible with (and actually attacks and corrodes) the Lexus head gasket material! So in summary: Drain and fill (don't flush), and use the factory red-colored coolant rather than switching to the green fluid.
  10. This may not be exactly right for your application as it is actually in the manual for the Toyota, but it could serve as a starting point if nothing else: P0420: System detected: Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold Possible Trouble Areas: 1. 3-Way Cat. Converter Problem 2. Ophen/Short HO2S Circuit 3. HO2S Failure Hope this helps.
  11. For the LX450's, some have the rotating switch on the dash while others (like my '97) do not. The switch was not a standard feature.
  12. I'm always prefer to do a job myself if I have a choice. For those of you who have done your own front brake job on the LX450, how was it? (Mine is a '97 if that makes a difference.) I'm reading my Hayne's repair manual for the '97 Landcruiser and it looks pretty straightforward and almost even easier than front brake jobs that I've done on most other vehicles (including three prior Jeep Cherokees and a current Honda Civic). I'm looking to do a minimum of a pad replacement, with the possibility of also having the rotors turned and also flushing out all of the old brake fluid. (I'm planning to leave the rear brakes for a later date.)
  13. 10 feet to get your remote to work? That sounds about right for mine, too, even with a new battery! Is this typical for the rest of the LX450 owners?