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About oldskewel

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  • Lexus Model
    1991 LS400
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    California (CA)
  1. Hi Abul, good luck solving this problem. Sorry to hear about your condition - hope it improves. It sounds like you're really intent on getting a soft ride, so here are just a couple of extra thoughts that might help: Speed rating - it will be hard, for liability reasons, to get a straight answer on this from any professional. But (flame retardant suit on, now), as a non-professional, I'll say that it seems like you'll need to stiffen the sidewall a lot to make the tire hold together for an hour at 130+ mph (or whatever). If you don't plan on doing much of that, you might consider a lower speed rating, which should have a softer sidewall. It is true that it will affect handling, but again, you have other concerns. Most reputable professionals will not install a lower-rated tire, so that's another obstacle. Is 16" the smallest wheel that will fit? My '91 has 205/65R15. Smaller wheel ==> higher aspect ratio ==> potentially softer ride. Now for something completely out of the box ... have you considered a different / modified seat? E.g., adding a suspension base to it. Edit - now I see you have thought of it. I'd expect that to help.
  2. I remember in the past where some smog guys would let you do a "pre-test" before the real test. You're right that once you fail, you're in trouble. I agree with SRK on the spark plugs being the most likely thing to help. Replace with OE ones. You should be able to find them (Amazon?) for like $6-7 each. Mechanic may charge you $12-20 each (times 8, so it's $$). It could also be the ignition wires. One way to check those is to look under the hood with the engine running in the dark. If you can see any flashes that indicates that the insulation is starting to go. But a better test would be to measure the resistance. Or just replace based on mileage. Like 90-100k, probably. If you're getting high HC, with no CEL, somehow unburned fuel is getting through the system. So spark plugs, ignition wires are main concerns. It could also be a leaking fuel injector, not so likely (I'm guessing here). Regarding other tips you may hear regarding "warming up" the car ... the key is to get the catalytic converters hot. When they're hot, they will be very effective at reducing HC's and NOX. So for example, you can let the car sit at idle for an hour and the engine will be up to operating temperature, BUT the cats will not be. To get those HOT, go for a good 15+ minute drive on the freeway putting down as much power as you can. It's not time, it's not RPM, it's power that heats the cats. It will be good to have an appointment so your car is checked before the cats cool down too much. Techron might help if you've got a leaky or slightly fouled fuel injector. The gas cap gasket sounds like it is working perfectly if you get a lot of pressure build up. No need to replace that. The air filter will not help your smog, unless it is completely blocked. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
  3. (all of this is based on the front suspension on my '91, but from Billy's post, it sounds like it's the same for you) To clarify some of the relevant parts from that drawing, for those it may help ... Part 48755 in that Sewell drawing is the "strut mount". I replaced mine with KYB part KYSM5176. The part above it (48553D) is just a cap. The "insulator" (boot, bellows, 48257B in drawing, 48157-50010 for my '91) is below it, with the top of the insulator providing a rubber cushion between the top of the spring and the bottom of the shock mount. The lower part of the insulator obviously tries to keep dirt, etc. off the strut. The "bumper, front" (48341 in drawing, 48331-50010) stops the strut from reaching its end of travel. If the insulator is intact, it may be hard to inspect the bumper without removing it. My bumpers were kind of chewed up and I replaced them. I can see that if the strut is not providing the damping it is supposed to, then the bumpers could get destroyed, and the strut could be hitting its end of travel, making a bad noise. I don't know if that's your problem. The strut mount (as it sounds like you figured) is made of two thick steel plates with rubber in between. Not much rubber by the way, I'd guess 1/2-3/4" thick at the thickest point, much less at the thinnest. Mine were completely intact, looked perfectly good, but since I had the new ones bought I replaced them. If this rubber were to separate, then yes, you would hear clunking sounds. If you read the KYB (et al.) propaganda, they'll tell you to always replace the strut mounts when replacing struts (at 50,000 mile intervals, by the way). So I guess they ARE considered a wear item. By the way, I did all four wheels, with KYB struts and mounts and Lexus everything else, and it rides great. I don't understand some comments you'll see around here that say the KYB ride is too harsh.
  4. http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/timingbelt.html Those instructions are of course for the full T-belt job, which this is not. When I did mine, I was in a huge rush since I was supposed to be on the road, headed to a snowboard race a few days later and needing to acclimate to altitude. I did feel lucky that the thing broke before I headed out on my trip. So I basically targeted the fan bracket and figured on the fly which of the steps in those instructions were really needed. Sometimes I figured wrong and had to do a step that I had previously skipped. I had the service manual as well, but that was not really any more useful. There are no instructions there on how to specifically remove just the fan bracket itself, which is unfortunate since it seems they all seem to fail between 150k-200k miles. From looking through those, and based on memory only, I'd say that steps 1-5 are needed. Not sure about 6. 7 is not. 8-10 are. 11-13 are not. 14-15 are. 16-17 are not. I don't remember for sure but I think I did need to do 18 and 19, but if I did, I did not need any special puller to get the crank pulley off. Note that the T-belt itself and any of the pulleys it rides on are not touched at all when just replacing the fan bracket, although they are exposed. Step 20 shows the fan bracket after all those other parts are cleared away.
  5. That sounds fair to me. I replaced the fan bracket on my '91 earlier this year. The fan bracket contains the bearing that the fan pulley runs on. It is that bearing that has failed. I think I paid around $120 for the Chinese non-OEM version (I needed to leave on a trip and could not wait for the real one), and had to machine it a little to make it fit. The OEM one costs around $200, I think. To replace it requires removal of tons of stuff. It seemed like I was half way to a T-belt job. So their $510 does sound reasonable. Any chance you need a T-belt soon? If so, you might want to consider doing it now. Distributor cap and rotor? Serpentine Belt? But it's pretty simple work, just removing parts until you can get the fan bracket out. An independent mechanic, or maybe you, could do it. No special tools or secrets required.
  6. A complete fluid drain by gravity is problematic because of the fluid contained in the torque converter. Unless the engine is running the oil in the converter cannot drain as well as oil contained in servos and fluid passages. At present we're limited to oil change parlors that offer a power flush (T-Tech) to get a complete oil change. It may be possible to drain the torque converter directly if the AT is designed for it. I discovered this when I changed the ATF on my mother-in-law's 1985 Mercedes 380SL. You drain the pan, and then rotate the torque converter (by turning the driveshaft, I think - it was a few years ago) until a small drain screw can be seen through an access port, looking straight up from below. Remove that plug and you drain the TC. Drained a total of about 7 or 8 quarts that way. Pretty cool, I thought. But that's the only car I've seen that on, and certainly my '91 LS400 does not have that capability.
  7. ...I can see that left rear one is leaking , and I keep hearing abnormal sound. It is time to find new repair shops in town :) Thank you for your reply In addition to finding the right place to work on the car, you can save a lot by avoiding unnecessary work. I replaced all shocks on my '91 at around 170k miles. After removing and inspecting, I'd say maybe one of them needed to be replaced, and probably none of the strut mounts (I replaced all 4). Sure it drove better when I was done, and it did not cost too much since I did it myself. But I bet it would have been fine to let it go for another 50k miles. So I'll recommend to have them carefully inspected by someone you can trust. But be wary of suggestions to just replace them all because one is leaking. It could be just that one shock and maybe one strut mount. If the shocks had been designed to last 80k miles (or 50k miles, like the shock/strut manufacturers would have you believe), it might make sense to replace them in pairs, or all 4 at this point. But if they're really designed to last 200+k miles (as it seems they are, at least for the Gen 1), maybe that is not the case.
  8. I think there's a typo in the torque specs. 7.5 N-m is about 66 INCH pounds, which seems to make more sense anyway.
  9. I agree, it should still run with the serpentine belt removed (I've done this, very briefly - just repositioning the car in the driveway), so there must be something else wrong. Without the alternator charging, of course you'll be limited by the battery on how far you can drive it off the lot. 20 minutes maybe? Also, pump up the front tires because you'll be wishing you had power steering. While you're working on it, you might want to check if the "fan bracket" bearing was damaged. They seem to wear out anyway around 150-200k, and require a surprising amount of disassembly to replace.
  10. I just fixed a similar problem on my '91. Everything the OP said was right for my car too. But in my case the fusible link was still OK. The problem was an open circuit between the fusible link wire and the brass bracket. Once I isolated this as the problem, using the OP's guidance and a continuity checker, I just had to gently crimp the bracket to refresh the contact with the fusible link. That did it for me.
  11. (assuming this is not a hoax, and if it is, it's entertaining for now, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt) Please keep us updated on this - interesting mystery here. If it were me, I'd tow the thing home and remove the pan to clear the sludge as you did before. Replace oil filter. Without worrying much about perfect sealing, replace the pan (because you're going to be removing it again pretty soon). Replace oil, run the engine (with it still jacked up, engine raised to allow pan removal, etc.) until it clogs again. Repeat. At some point, it should just run without clogging. Run some motor flush (Seafoam or other) in there during one or more of the oil changes. Then you can move to road testing, etc. as curiousB suggested. I think removing the valve covers, etc. will be a lot of work to allow careful cleaning of just part of the engine. Good job on stopping immediately on the low pressure warning.
  12. First clean the outside of the brake fluid reservoir so no dirt gets in. Then open the reservoir and suction out (e.g., with a turkey baster) as much old fluid as you can. Clean as much as possible. Then add new brake fluid to top up the reservoir. When sucking out the old stuff from the bleed screws, periodically check the reservoir and add more new fluid to make sure it never runs dry. If you make a mistake there, you'll have a lot of air in the system to bleed out. Also, when pouring in the new fluid, try to pour carefully with little splashing so you don't entrain air bubbles in the fluid. And don't shake up the bottle before starting - same reason. Once the bottle is opened, it has limited shelf life, so factor that in to your brake fluid purchasing.
  13. One possibility is that they did a T-belt job at 90k, but neglected to change those seals. Then when they started to leak, they replaced the seals and put in a new belt while they were in there. On my 91, the T-belt was done (dealer) at 90k, but with no new water pump at the time. The water pump went out at 122k, so it got a whole new T-belt job at that time (with new pulleys again, etc.). I bought the car at ~160k from my father in law (the original owner), and he would always just do what the dealer said needed to be done, so it was the dealer's oversight on not replacing the WP at 90k. So, especially if the service record says they replaced the T-belt, cam seals, and nothing else, I think the above scenario is most likely. EDIT - I just noticed - just like curiousB said. +1 on that.
  14. Glad it worked for you. The remaining parts, listed above in the edited original post are still available.
  15. It makes a lot of sense to me that something like a fuel filter is difficult to predict the lifetime. Getting bad gas all the time may make it clog in 10k miles (?), good, normal gas all the time can make it last 150k+. (like I said, I don't know, but this is what makes sense to me). The factory spec is replacement every 60k miles. So if I'm planning to wait until it clogs to replace it (mine has only 40k miles so far, and I'm careful about where I get gas; I also already have the part, just don't want to tear into things if I don't need to) ... 1. What symptoms occur when it starts to clog? Power loss at high power? 2. Anything that can damage the engine by waiting too long? 3. Could a clogged filter make the fuel pump any more likely to fail? Regarding the OP's question, I would expect problems throughout the range, but mostly at high power if the filter is starting to clog. I don't know about the '98, but for my '91, fuel filter replacement is a tougher job than on any other car I have owned.