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Everything posted by newtoncd

  1. I have a friend that is a Master Toyota tech, he refers to them as "Botched" spark plugs ... :-)
  2. To give some perspective, the independent I use in Denver ( -- just in case you want to check some prices) charges $189.95 to replace the timing belt (they add another $200 for the water pump, but check it first to make sure it needs to be replaced. They also did a four-wheel alignment and charged $69.95. I got a battery from NAPA for $85 and put it in myself. If the brake price include rotors, that isn't a bad price. Otherwise, it would be about $100-$150. I guess what I am trying to say is, shop around ... find a shop that specializes in Toyota/Lexus and save a lot of money.
  3. With the RX330, the fourth letter of the VIN designates FWD vs AWD. -JTJG is Japan mfg, FWD -JTJH is Japan mfg, AWD. I am guessing the RX300 should be the same.
  4. What kind of rotors did you put on? We purchased our '04 RX330 new and have had warped rotors about every 30K. I kept on replacing with OEM parts, then I finally changed to a different brand (Mountain) and so far so good.
  5. I haven't either, Toyota water pumps last a very long time. The big question, can it make it to ~200K for your next timing belt change? The labor to replace the pump is the same as the belt. Again, doesn't matter to me which route you take, I am just bringing up things to consider. The reason I replaced both the water pump and timing belt was because the cost for those two items was $450. I had additional maintenance performed at the time, which raised the cost to around $750.
  6. It is a difficult decision. I had ours replaced at 93K (wife was getting ready to take a long trip) and I didn't want to take any chances, but that was way too early. The belt looked to be in good shape. I know you don't feel comfortable with an independent that specializes in Toyota, but how about the Toyota dealer? If your quote from Lexus is $1900, I am guessing the Toyota dealer will be about $1300/$1400 or so. As for the interval, RX is right, it could go much longer; I just wish the engine wasn't an interference design. Then, while it isn't fun, it just leaves you stranded. Our 4 cylinder Camry belt broke, I had it towed to the shop, belt replaced and was back on the road in a few hours. BTW, if this helps at all, a friend of mine is a Master Toyota Tech, who I trust implicitly. He recommends around 110K on both the timing belt and water pump. As usual, YMMV.
  7. The timing belt can *probably* wait until 105K, maybe to 120K; however, if it breaks before, it could damage the engine. The 3.3L V6 is an interference design. As for the plugs, they are good for at least 100K. You just save some labor cost if you have them done at the same time. The water pump is another one of those, can it make it to 200K for your next belt change? If it isn't replaced now and it fails at say, 150K, the engine could be damaged. So, you don't have to replace the water pump, it is just recommended because replacing the water pump is cheap insurance. Also, if you are going to the dealer, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere. I use an independent that specializes in Toyota/Lexus and the cost was about $700 for the timing belt, water pump, Iridium spark plugs, coolant exchange and serpentine belt. My quote from Lexus was about $1600 for the same package.
  8. The timing belt (no water pump) is $189 at the shop I use that only works on Toyota/Lexus. I am guessing that is about 2 hours labor. Add in a water pump & serpentine belt and it ups the price to ~$425.
  9. Which makes sense, the Amsoil viscosity @ 100cst is 10.3, same as PP. Agreed, Amsoil is an excellent oil, as is PP. Last UOA I had with PP and a Mobil 1 EP filter (5,000 mile interval) showed excellent wear.
  10. Good point newton. Are you a BITOGER TOO/..... :D Sure enough, since Jan 03.
  11. With Toyota moving towards lighter weight oils (i.e. 5W20), I would stay with 5W30 PP, but I only run Syntec in my A4, not our RX330. I think the only difference you might notice is a bit lower mpg. Either are excellent oils. My thought process: With Syntec 0W30's 100cst at 12.1 and PP's 100cst at 10.3, I would stay with PP. A 40 weight's oil is 12.5 at 100cst; A 30 weight's oil is 9.3 at 100cst. So, Syntec is almost a 40 weight oil and PP is low-to-mid 30 weight. Again, just my $.02, since I run PP in our RX. YMMV.
  13. Did your friend give you a deal on that? That is extremely reasonable. He lives in another state, otherwise he probably would have ... :-) But, this was an advertised special at a shop that specializes in Toyota/Lexus. The actual coupon was $189 for a timing belt replacement, however, if you add the water pump (and who wouldn't), it added about $250. Add in the serpentine belt and there you have it. Oh, and yes, they only use OEM parts ... I can't believe the dealer wanted $1200 .... wow.
  14. What 1990 LS 400 said is true. The VVT-1 engines are interference engines. it is something that has been debated repeatedly on the Lexus forums. Because it is variable timing there may be times that you don't suffer damage because of a broken belt but don't ever count on that. Gates says the VVT-1's are interference, take it to the bank, rather than going to Las Vegas on this one. They are an extremely durable belt and extremely good parts (including bearings), but as 1990 said, belt breakage CAN happen because of other reasons. A good friend of mine is a master Toyota tech ... he recommends changing the belt at approx 105-110K on the 3.3L V6. I know others have recommended a longer interval, but I took my friends advice because it was relatively inexpensive (~$450 for belt/water pump) -- compared to a belt breaking. As usual, YMMV.
  15. I had ours done at an independent (it had 91K on it) and it was around $450 including timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt (OEM parts). But, do keep in mind, the 04 RX330 is an interference engine, so I wouldn't wait for the belt to break. A friend of mine that is a Toyota tech said he recommends around 105-110K on our 3.3L V6. YMMV.
  16. We just had ours replaced on our 2004 RX330 with rain sensor and Nav. Total was $251 from Safelite.
  17. I know this isn't an Audi forum, but Audi recommends no more than 4/32 difference in tread on AWD cars. Also, in my experience, Discount Tire follows that rule and won't install a single tire with 3 worn ones on an AWD vehicle.
  18. Navigate to Sewell Lexus' website, they have an excellent price on the DVD ($199) and easy to follow instructions. The latest data version is 9.1 and you have a generation 4 system. There is always an option for eBay or CL, but I think the Sewell site is the way to go; YMMV.
  19. He said factory manual. When I had ours replaced on our '04 RX330 (preventive @ ~90K), the shop said it was a good preventative measure due to the fact it was an interference engine; that is why I originally questioned what kind of engine it was. After we were chatting, I then contacted my Toyota master tech friend to confirm.
  20. FYI, I spoke with a master Toyota tech, he confirmed the 3MZ-FE (VVTi) engine is interference. "As for your 3.3, yes, that is an interference engine and I wouldn't push it past the 100-110K mark, just because the expense would be high if it failed. Do a water pump at the same time, add fresh coolant afterwards (Toyota red/pink) and new drive belts, ie PS and alt/AC."
  21. I thought the 3MZ-FE engine was an interference design, am I mistaken?
  22. I just paid $398 for Mountain rotors and OEM Toyota pads at a shop that specializes in Toyota's (on our 04 AWD RX330). Sorry, I misread the initial post, mine was $398 for the 'front' axle, the rears would have added at least another $300 more. Sorry about that.
  23. I just paid $398 for Mountain rotors and OEM Toyota pads at a shop that specializes in Toyota's (on our 04 AWD RX330).
  24. Continous?!? I am having to replace my Rotors now, because they are warped. This is the first time that i am having to do this. Your post sounds a little scary, what would cause this, or in your case, what would cause it to be "continous" is this a known issue on RXs. One cause of warped rotors is over tightening the wheel lugnuts. Yup, Discount Tire always uses a torque wrench they rotate the tires. They have it to set to 80lbs. When the pads were replaced (this last time), the tech said the calipers look great ... I am hoping it doesn't happen again, but we will see. I probably need to stay away from the mountains or drive my A4.
  25. I run 35psi in ours and rotate every 5K. For others that were interested, Bridgestone offers the treadlife mileage warranty replacement at 4/32.
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