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bplaney

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Everything posted by bplaney

  1. What's there to do with a timing CHAIN? I just acquired an '06 GS300 with a timing chain and am looking forward to not needing to do anything to that part...
  2. Our 1999 Diamond Pearl White GS300 was hit by a college student in his Yukon Denali, right in front of a police station where we live. The rear driver's side door was demolished and the damage unfortunately extended into the rear quarter panel. Our GS was in excellent condition and only had 125k miles. The other driver was at fault (he immediately proclaimed "my mother's going to kill me" and said "sorry, I wasn't looking...") It was a four-Stop intersection and my wife (a very careful driver) was already in the middle of the intersection when this guy pulled out, not looking where he was going, but driving with his eyes and head turned in the direction of a police car nearby. We later discovered this guy's family lives nearby in a $15 million mansion (and he likely lives in a frat house on the nearby college campus) and that he is the last of a big brood of sons. The mother's a wealthy widow and her name was also on the insurance policy. (I know these details are irrelevant, but I can't NOT mention them...) Damage to his Yukon was minimal. They are insured by C***b. C***b provided us a brand-new loaner on their nickel and I'm still driving it almost a month after the accident. Their first settlement offer was appropriate to the Lexus' great condition, but I had put over $6000 into it during the past 25,000 miles, including a totally new AC system for $1200 only 7 months before the accident and a new brake controller and master cylinder (more than $3000) in 2010. I submitted my receipts and a spreadsheet of these items (none of which can be called "routine maintenance" expenditures), and they came back with a trivial bump to their offer, based only on the tires (which I've put 20,000 miles on) and acknowledging nothing else. I plan to hold out for at least $2000 more. We already have another GS300 (bought with cash), but as we are building a home, our lender told us (months ago) not to make any big expenditures. We had planned to drive the 1999 GS a couple more years and then hand it down to our son. We can wait a long time, and we'll just rack up miles on the loaner in the meantime. Anyone here have a perspective to share? would arbitration (if it gets there) provide me with a better settlement in this circumstance (wherein they offered more than the blue book value of the car but did not offer enough for the big-ticket repairs I made)? You would think they'd be in a rush to settle given that they are paying for this loan car as long as we use it. I have never had a settlement from any insurance company take so long as this one... Comments please!
  3. Our 1999 Diamond Pearl White GS300 was hit by a college student in his Yukon Denali, right in front of a police station where we live. The rear driver's side door was demolished and the damage unfortunately extended into the rear quarter panel. Our car was in excellent condition and only had 125k miles. The other driver was at fault (he immediately proclaimed "my mother's going to kill me" and said "sorry, I wasn't looking...") It was a four-Stop intersection and my wife (a very careful driver) was already in the middle of the intersection when this guy pulled out, not looking where he was going, but driving with his eyes and head turned in the direction of a police car nearby. We later discovered this guy's family lives nearby in a $15 million mansion (and he likely lives in a frat house on the nearby college campus) and is the last of a big brood of sons. The mother's a wealthy widow and her name was also on the insurance policy. (I know these details are irrelevant, but I can't NOT mention them...) Damage to his Yukon Denali was minimal. They are insured by C***b. C***b provided us a brand-new loaner on their nickel and I'm still driving it almost a month after the accident. Their first settlement offer was appropriate to the Lexus' great condition, but I had put over $6000 into it during the past 25,000 miles, including a totally new AC system for $1200 only 7 months before the accident and a new brake controller and master cylinder (more than $3000) in 2010. I submitted my receipts and a spreadsheet of these items (none of which can be called "routine maintenance" expenditures), and they came back with a trivial bump to their offer, based only on the tires (which I've put 20,000 miles on) and acknowledging nothing else. I plan to hold out for at least $2000 more. We already have another GS300 (bought with cash), but as we are building a home, our lender told us (months ago) not to make any big expenditures. We had planned to drive the 1999 GS a couple more years and then hand it down to our son. We can wait a long time, and we'll just rack up miles on the loaner in the meantime. Anyone here have a perspective to share? would arbitration (if it gets there) provide me with a better settlement in this circumstance (wherein they offered more than the blue book value of the car but did not offer enough for the big-ticket repairs I made)? You would think they'd be in a rush to settle given that they are paying for this loan car as long as we use it. I have never had a settlement from any insurance company take so long as this one... Comments please!
  4. I also have a 2006 GS300, and it does NOT have a timing belt; I made sure of that before I bought it. The owner's manual is very clear on this issue. I haven't had a single problem with mine since I bought it new on 03/04/2005. Nearly 8 years, and the car looks, feels, and drives like new. What an amazing car. Good luck. THANKS! I bought it. What a beautiful and comfortable car... I'm still curious as to why they would go back to a timing belt in '07... were they worried the timing chain would mean less revenue for the service department?
  5. Car looks great; 100k on odometer; would like to know: Does this car have a timing CHAIN? the seller says so and he also says that in 2007 Lexus went back to a timing belt (I'm curious why they would have done that...) Are there any special problems that turn up in these models? I had a '99 GS300 that had the commonly occurring rear main seal gasket failure. Did Lexus master this problem by '06? I will go through the recalls listings on lexus.com... Is there any major maintenance am I likely to need for this model with these miles? thanks!
  6. The AC started pumping out hot air a few weeks ago. Here are the facts about my system: 1. The clutch works - no funny noises, everything smooth 2. I put in leak sealant and refrigerant combo with leak detecting color into the low pressure side - no leaks. Pressure is 50 lbs. 3. I went to AutoZone and had them connect the diagnostic tool - NO ERROR CODES anywhere 4. I borrowed the gauge setup from AutoZone to test the high pressure side - 125 lbs. - and when I removed the fitting there was a puff of released gas (like when you remove the nozzle from your car tire's stem after filling it with air) and there was a green color to the mist, so I suspect that was from the leak detection color from the sealant/refrigerant. I don't know if the pressure should be higher than this, but there was pressure. Bottom line: the parts of the system around the engine compartment seem to be fine, and there are no error codes showing on the diagnostic tool. Any ideas???
  7. (I tried to search the forums for this; but "key" is only three letters and the search requires a minimum of four) The structural design of the keys from my car's time frame is awful. The metal shank doesn't go very far into the plastic housing, nor does it fan out after getting into the housing in order to absorb the considerable stress of the torque on that point every time you twist it in the ignition. So of course these things will break, and mine did (the second key is probably going to break soon too...). The lexus dealer wants $79 to repair it with a new housing (or $49 if my vanity is so lacking that I don't need a lexus logo on it). I think this is utterly ridiculous given that it's a result of their (probaby intentional) poor design. Has anyone out there found a cheap way to keep the key "together" that has broken this way?
  8. Thanks - this sounds like great advice...
  9. 1999 - and the GS forum doesn't seem to want to answer this question for me. I don't think radiator hoses age differently across models...
  10. I'm going to replace my serpentine belt over the next couple weeks. I've decided against replacing the water pump until (hopefully) the next timing belt replacement. At 109k miles, should I replace the upper and lower radiator hoses just because I will be flushing out the old coolant, so why not? I have no idea from the meager pile of service receipts that came with the car when I bought it at 97k miles whether those hoses were ever replaced. Is there a way to tell how much life is left in them?
  11. Can you supply a parts list for all the items needed for this job? Plus any special tools one should have. Do you need a front end alignment after replacine ball joints? -------------------------- TOOLS Deep sockets: 17mm and 19mm (best to be 1/2" drive) two M8-1,25 bolts - mine were 40mm long and had 12mm hex heads (these can be screwed into the two holes on the face of the rotor that lie within the circle made by the five lugs... if you screw them in a bit at a time, they function as a way to push the rotor away from the spindle, which can be seized there) Heavy duty Pulling Tool (don't use the "tuning fork" kind - it is ridiculously hard to do, and requires lots of hammering and ear plugs) Breaker Bar - about 24" long and will have a 1/2" drive Adjustable Torque Wrench - expensive, but it (and the breaker bar) can be borrowed from AutoZone for FREE (with refundable deposit) An adjustable hex wrench and a standard small ratchet are good to have handy also... you may need an adapter to deal with any possible size difference in socket drives Extra cotter pins A can of Brake Parts Cleaner is good to have to clean the interfaces between the suspension parts that will stay and the new LBJs. A large glass Pickle Jar is also good to have to put nuts and bolts into and lets you safely spray them with the brake parts cleaner and will capture that toxic fluid - and you can also hold it as a kind of shroud around the larger interfacing part ends to capture the spray blast safely. I think that's it. I followed the instructions for repairing the LBJs of a Lexus LS here: http://clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153536 It will tell you the torque settings and note that the LS has a 24mm nut involved, but the GS does not - 19mm is the largest I encountered. (not counting the wheel lug nuts, which are 21mm) more pictures of an LS lower ball joint replacement: http://picasaweb.google.com/pishta68/BallJoints# Also note that the long breaker bar and torque wrenches will not always fit inside your wheel well for some operations. You can deal with that by turning your steering wheel (if you have left your raised car in 2nd gear) to change the angle of the access. I discovered that keeping your car in 2nd gear will deplete the battery overnight if you leave it that way. Best to disconnect it if you plan to leave it up overnight. I don't know about the alignment. Mine seems not to need it. Good luck!
  12. I have searched through the forum for prior posts, and did not find any that specifically addressed the need (or not) for replacing the belt tensioner along with the serpentine belt. How to judge it?
  13. I'm going to replace my serpentine belt over the next couple weeks. I've decided against replacing the water pump until (hopefully) the next timing belt replacement. At 109k miles, should I replace the upper and lower radiator hoses just because I will be flushing out the old coolant, so why not? I have no idea from the meager pile of service receipts that came with the car when I bought it at 97k miles whether those hoses were ever replaced. Is there a way to tell how much life is left in them?
  14. You really have to worry once you find yourself spending a half hour looking everywhere for a wrench you already have in your hand! :chairshot: Love your avatar - that's the cover of "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop"! (with some Photoshop work on the sign in the background...) I just saw Jeff Beck perform a week ago near Dallas. Best guitarist on the planet - and he's better than ever at 65 years old!
  15. Done. First one took about 9 hours (due to having to stop every so often to borrow or buy yet another tool I thought I had but did not). Also, I was a bit timid jacking the car up and had not done that in a while. Plus my security lug cracked and I had to get a new set and have the old set removed (the key got damaged too) and replaced. After replacing my battery (which drained because I left the car in 2nd gear overnight), probably unnecessarily, I finally turned my attention to the second LBJ and completed that process in about 90 minutes. Aarrrrrgghhh!
  16. Can running the engine on regular gas (instead of premium) hasten the demise of the O2 sensors?
  17. Well, I figured it out. How stupid!!! Following the advice of a tutorial I found online, I put the car into 2nd gear after jacking it up for safety reasons. Little did I know that the car - even with no key in it - views being in second gear as some kind of special state that constantly requires it to sip energy from the battery. And to make it worse, I forgot that I had put it in 2nd gear, and I ended up buying a new battery without ever having given mine a fair test. Mine was traded in. I had wondered why the door locks were not responding normally to the key (I had to manually lock the car, it would not let me lock it electronically). I kept trying to start it with the shifter in 2nd gear, and I concluded the difficulty was due to the battery, not the fact that (of course) the car is not going to let me start it in 2nd gear!!! On the plus side, the old battery was almost 4 years old and was just a 3 year battery. But there had been NO indication at all of impending failure before I did this project. The car started strong all the time... I described the situation for the salesman, but of course I had forgotten to mention the 2nd gear thing - he did not know what could have drained it this way. So many pitfalls... you try to save a buck doing a hard job yourself, and you end up giving it back in some other way due to intellectual sloppiness...
  18. I have had my GS jacked up overnight with the wheel, rotor and caliper disconnected. Nothing on in the interior, trunk closed, headlights off. Something has been draining my battery - I could not activate the door locks with my remote key, and the manual cabin light is a dim glow. Does the removal of these items introduce a drain on the battery?
  19. I have a gs300 1998, i just bougtht 22 inch rims, 8.5 wide, with 245 30 22's and went to put them on yesterday and they did not fit, BECAUSE they hit the A-arm, so now i am going to try and put spacers on it,too see if that will work, in turn i also have to get longer bolts. i will let u know how it goes, i am trying to avoid having to lift the car if at all possible. I am planning on cutting out the splash guards and other objects in the way. I actually take offense to sharing the road with someone who has done this to their car - it is a safety hazard to ME. Such a car has greatly diminished maneuverability (wouldn't be surprised if one drove over the guardrail of a curved bridge simply because the turn was too sharp for those boxed-in front wheels…) These tires also blow out more easily and will cause the driver in such circumstances to lose more control over his raised, high-center-of-gravity vehicle than if he had been using factory spec wheels and tires. If that person happens to have his blow-out ahead of me on the highway, well, that endangers ME and my passengers, and anyone else behind the driver. I think low-profile wheels and tires should be banned from normal vehicles. I hope you are kidding, considering that probably 80% of people in there 20s drive home drunk every weekend, I could think of alot more things to be OFFENDED about. what a joke And there is no such thing as a low profile wheel drrrrrr You're right - I should have said "low profile tires" - but there is only one kind of wheel/rim that accommodates such tires, so I suppose it can be also called "low profile". And you're also right that I could/should be "offended" by people who drive drunk, but at least there are potential penalties for doing so. There are no prohibitions or penalties for turning your car into an even more dangerous killing weapon than it already is. THAT is offensive. I am certain the tire and rim industry are both absolutely complicit in the gradual evolution of tires and wheels for certain cars that used to have "normal" tires and wheels to the low-profile variety. I am sure their revenues are enhanced by the higher replacement cost and shorter life of such tires, and the certain ruination of the wheel upon getting a flat. Can you even purchase a sports BMW, or Astin Martin, or Lexus without low profile tires/wheels? These are now standard equipment!
  20. What size socket? I already went to the dealer - and I backed out of their service driveway when I was told they would charge me $30 just to take the nut off. Maybe I should just hit it with a hammer and split it into pieces? or could that damage the lug?
  21. My locking lug nut broke while I was struggling to remove it. Just a chip off the face that snipped off a tiny portion of the pattern. I resumed trying to loosen it, and it seems to make grinding noises that suggest the nut will completely break. I attempted to loosen this nut first, so the remaining four are still tight. The car is in my carport; I was starting the process of replacing the lower ball joints. Should I stop here and drive it to a dealer and let them remove it? I don't want to put another security nut in its place (that would mean replacing all four), so I will buy a stock nut and go without the security on this wheel… I have boring factory wheels anyway. Is it risky to drive the three miles to the dealer if this nut is compromised?
  22. My locking lug nut broke while I was struggling to remove it. Just a chip off the face that snipped off a tiny portion of the pattern. I resumed trying to loosen it, and it seems to make grinding noises that suggest the nut will completely break. I attempted to loosen this nut first, so the remaining four are still tight. The car is in my carport; I was starting the process of replacing the lower ball joints. Should I stop here and drive it to a dealer and let them remove it? I don't want to put another security nut in its place (that would mean replacing all four), so I will buy a stock nut and go without the security on this wheel… I have boring factory wheels anyway. Is it risky to drive the three miles to the dealer if this nut is compromised?
  23. I have a gs300 1998, i just bougtht 22 inch rims, 8.5 wide, with 245 30 22's and went to put them on yesterday and they did not fit, BECAUSE they hit the A-arm, so now i am going to try and put spacers on it,too see if that will work, in turn i also have to get longer bolts. i will let u know how it goes, i am trying to avoid having to lift the car if at all possible. I am planning on cutting out the splash guards and other objects in the way. I actually take offense to sharing the road with someone who has done this to their car - it is a safety hazard to ME. Such a car has greatly diminished maneuverability (wouldn't be surprised if one drove over the guardrail of a curved bridge simply because the turn was too sharp for those boxed-in front wheels…) These tires also blow out more easily and will cause the driver in such circumstances to lose more control over his raised, high-center-of-gravity vehicle than if he had been using factory spec wheels and tires. If that person happens to have his blow-out ahead of me on the highway, well, that endangers ME and my passengers, and anyone else behind the driver. I think low-profile wheels and tires should be banned from normal vehicles.
  24. I need a recommendation for an OBD tool. OBDI or OBDII??? (for a '99 GS). I know just enough to know there's too much to know! Since I use a Macintosh computer, Mac compatibility is a big plus; USB connectivity as well. Brands/models to consider and to avoid please. THANKS!!!
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