cduluk

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Everything posted by cduluk

  1. Hi all: I need everyone’s input before making a vehicle decision. I have a totaled SC430 sitting in my garage (details below) and want to buy a 4-door replacement as a daily driver. I’m thinking an older GS430 or LS430, but I need your help with some SC-GS-LS compatibility. Further down is some background info detailing why I’m in this mess. But here are my questions before you read: (1) How many parts on the ’06-’10 SC430 are “swappable” with those of my ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) I understand they did something with the transmission in 06—did they change the transmission completely? Or just re-program the ECU? (2) How many parts on the ’01-’05 GS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) (3) How many parts on the ’06-‘07 GS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) The ’06 GS got the new body style, but I’ve “heard” that the engine is the same. What else is? Transmission? (4a) Regarding the ’01-’06 LS430, did they change the transmission or any other major components at any point in this generation? I know they changed the front/rear end with new headlights/tail lights, bumper, etc. But I’m not sure about engine/tranny parts. So for the LS430… (4b) How many parts on the ’01-’06 LS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) And is this the same for ’01-’03 and ’04-’06? Here’s some background info: In 2014, I bought a pre-owned 2003 Lexus SC430 for $11,000. It was PERFECT, never had an accident, had AMAZING service history, etc. I converted the front end to look like the 06-10 version (with new headlights, grilles, bumper, etc.) as well as the rear-end (replaced tail lights with 06-10 version). I also converted the gauge cluster to the ‘06-‘10 type, and dyed/cleared the interior wood to a darker maroon. Once I was done, and after spending thousands in upgrades, it looked and ran like a 2010! Here’s a pic of the interior once I finished converting it: In Jan 2016, my girlfriend was driving my SC430 as she followed me home (I was driving my other car). As we approached a light, she rear-ended me. Yup, I went from having two cars, down to 0 cars in one second. Here’s a pic of the aftermath: I brought both cars to my body shop and called my insurance. I used insurance to repair my main vehicle, however they were going to total the SC430 and only offered me $7,000 for it. I decided to drop the claim and keep the SC430 as it was, and had it towed in my garage where it’s been since that day. Here are some pictures of it: The engine WAS running after the accident, however my body shop removed the serpentine belt (no idea why) before I had it towed home. It has been sitting in my garage this way for 2 years. At the time, the body shop estimated that they could repair the front end for ~$6,000, but I never had it repaired. I didn’t take the insurance payout because I saw more than $7,000 and a possible use for its’ parts in the future. Here’s why: The engine, transmission, some suspension parts, lots of sensors, etc. as well as the tires and upgraded rims are in AMAZING condition. Even though the car has 180,000miles, it had been maintained at Lexus at every interval and then some. I downloaded the Lexus service history. See here for PDF: http://freepdfhosting.com/600ce0e8a9.pdf And here’s a screenshot of the CarFax header. The 2016 accident was never included: And I can’t see putting $6,000 into it for repair, since it’s only worth $7,000…. So here’s my BIG IDEA that I need your help with. My goal is to replace the SC430 with a used 4-door, and I’d like to keep this replacement vehicle for another 10 years or so, without spending too much on future repairs. So… What if I purchased one of the used 4-door Lexus’ I mentioned at the beginning of this thread to replace it—either the ’01-’05 GS430, ’06-’07 GS430, or ’01-’06 LS460? My thought is… since they share so many parts with my ’03 SC430, if anything decided to break (engine, transmission, sensors, etc.) I wouldn’t have to buy costly replacement parts—they’re right in my garage to be swapped! Do you think this would save me money 10yrs down the line? And which of the models/years vehicles shares the most parts with my SC430? Here are the questions I posted above listed again. (1) How many parts on the ’06-’10 SC430 are “swappable” with those of my ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) I understand they did something with the transmission in 06—did they change the transmission completely? Or just re-program the ECU? (2) How many parts on the ’01-’05 GS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) (3) How many parts on the ’06-‘07 GS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) The ’06 GS got the new body style, but I’ve “heard” that the engine is the same. What else is? Transmission? (4a) Regarding the ’01-’06 LS430, did they change the transmission or any other major components at any point in this generation? I know they changed the front/rear end with new headlights/tail lights, bumper, etc. But I’m not sure about engine/tranny parts. So for the LS430… (4b) How many parts on the ’01-’06 LS430 are “swappable” with those of the ’03 SC430? (ie: engine, transmission, sensors, ECUs, suspension, brakes/pads, etc.) And is this the same for ’01-’03 and ’04-’06? Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas!
  2. I just went through this with my '03. Some of the integers didn't illuminate so i bought a used one. The part numbers are different, but the units are the same.
  3. Did you get it fixed/replaced? If not, you can send it to me and i will fix it for you (free of charge, of course). I have spare parts from past experiments and know exactly what's wrong in your case... I've had that climate control unit from the '04-'09 RX330/350/400h apart a million times and know it like the back of my hand. You can PM me or email me for a quick response! :) cduluk@cox.net
  4. If you know the fuse is already blown, just check all of them (under the drivers dash i believe). If it's not currently blown, but you simply want to know which fuse it is, then intentionally blow the fuse and have someone watch for which fuse it is.
  5. I've seen the aftermarket kits for the leather. They're awful. They use this rubbery "pleather". I would personally look for a used OEM original seat on eBay.
  6. Got it! OK, so that's indeed on the part of the door that's just plastic (vs vinyl). I would suggest rubbing the scratched area with steel wool; You can go to home depot and get some steel wool, they usually come in clear bags with different "fine/coarse ratings" ranging from 0, to 00 to 000 or something like that. Get some that's really fine, and another that's a grade less than that. Experiment with each on the scratch and see what works best. End with the finer grit. Break off a piece of wool about the size of a quarter, rub it into a ball, and rub in circles over the scratch, while applying significant pressure. You'll see it smooth the surface out. Keep going until you are happy with the remaining size of the scratch, but not too much so it removes the "leather" pattern of the plastic. When you think the wool has done as much as it can, the surface will still appear "lighter" than the rest of the surrounding plastic. To get the surface to match, you can rub the affected area with a cotton T-shirt (wrapped around your finger) aggressively. The abrasion will make the surface match the surrounding area. And if you're as picky as i am, i would get a small "etcher" (they make ones using a can with pressurized air, attached to a cup of ground up walnut shells) and blast the affected area, along with a feathering of the adjacent plastic, to make it all match. Just make sure to mask-off the rest of the door (such as the wood, etc.) as the etcher will etch (dull) anything.
  7. No no nooooooo, for your purpose, you should NEVER use a rubbing compound or polish like Scratch-X, etc. Assuming you're truly referring to the textured hard plastic trim (vs vinyl or painted surface), use of a rubbing compound or polish will NOT remove even the smallest scratches. More importantly, it will only make the plastic SHINY as heck! This shine will be nearly impossible to remove, unless you use a pressurized air etcher (walnut shell) to dull the plastic. I've dealt with this stuff a lot... I can give you the best info, but first i'll need you to post pictures of the damaged area. If you can't figure out how to upload on here, you can go to tiny-pic.com, upload the image, and copy/paste the link into the text body here. I'll do my best to help! :)
  8. You can check on ebay for a used set, or get them brand new from parts.com (they only sell new, OEM lexus parts, and their prices are 99.9% of the time the cheapest anywhere). Used on ebay, they can fetch about $100 each. But make sure they're not damaged/bent!!
  9. OEM. try parts.com for the best price for OEM lexus parts. I've done a lot of business with them.
  10. You'll have to remove (pull away) the wheel well liner, then reach up to gain access to the rear of the bulb.
  11. parts.com They're all OEM Lexus parts, rest assured. I've done a lot of business with them. Best prices hands down.
  12. You need to remove the headlight from the car via the bumper. Then unscrew the ballast cover on the bottom and replace the ballast. Here is a picture to show where the ballast is. It's the big silver rectangular prism.
  13. Lexus had Denso (the headlight manufacturer) fix the design flaw in the RX headlights for the 2008 model year, however not all updated headlights made it on every 2008 RX. Lexus needs to inspect each headlight and cross-check the part numbers to ensure that corporate Lexus will pay them for replacing the headlights. All that was changed is the design of the vent ports on the back of the headlights.
  14. Rx400h, that sounds like a lot of car for the money! I'm not aware of any other manufacturers that offer a car with those features for such a small price tag! A buddy of mine has been looking to buy a mazda speed 3... what an animal of a car that is!
  15. Unfortunately it's not the brightness of the SMDs (a variation of LEDs) that illuminate the numbering of the cluster in the SC430, but the number of them. The SMDs Lexus use on all of their newer ('01+) clusters are extremely bright, and i have yet to find an aftermarket SMD working on the same voltage that's brighter. Have you considered installing a cluster for the '06-'12 SC430? I'm not positive, but i'd be willing to bet it can be easily modified to fit into the '02-'05 SC430.
  16. Oh yes, i'm sure there will be many projects! I just need the time. The thread on the new GS is located: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/topic/80137-just-bought-a-2011-gs450h-traded-in-the-rx400h/
  17. Hi all!! This weekend i traded in my 2008 Rx400h for a 2011 GS450h and wanted to share some details! It all started with some progressive mechanical failures with my RX400h that began a few weeks ago. I ended up having to put about $3,000 into the engine (coils, plugs, head gasket) and the inverter was beginning to leak. I decided to dump the car before anything else failed. In the past few years, i started liking the '07-'11 GS450h, but could never afford one (at least not one new enough for my liking). I just started my new job and have been saving, so i decided to make a move on one. I found a 2011 GS450h at a Lexus dealership in New Jersey (about 3.5 hours drive from where i live) with only 1,236 miles on it. Turns out, it served as a "demo" vehicle for the dealer from 1/1/2011 until now. It was never sold, never titled, just used for test drives, etc. Looking at the carfax and service history on the My Lexus site, i can see the slow increase in mileage month to month over the past 3 years. So i took the drive to see it on Saturday. The GS450h was still in NEW condition. The interior was 100% flawless, with a new car smell as potent as a brand new 2014. The exterior was very clean, also. It was as if someone put it into a time machine and teleported it 3 years into the future. The asking price was $39,000. Non-negotiable. Considering the fact that it's the ONLY '10-'11 (the most updated body style for that generation) GS450h in the entire country listed on auto-trader with that little mileage and in that condition, i'd say it was a good price. They gave me $17,000 for my RX400h which i thought was fair. I'm very happy with it so far! I've been after this model for a long time. The '07-'11 GS450h is the fastest Lexus ever built (to this day) besides the IS-F and of course the LFA. And BOY is it QUICK. I'm really not liking the newest generation Lexus' with that hourglass grill and BMW-esque interior. I'm glad i was able to find this car, as it's most likely the last Lexus i'll ever like! There's a REALLY funny story about my trip home... I'll post back later when i have some time. Here are a few pictures (more to come later). What do yoy guys think!?
  18. Thanks lenore! I ended up making a deal this weekend for that 2011 GS450h. Unfortunately i just don't have the time to sell it myself and deal with the hassle... I didn't get much, but at least it's gone. That car was a ticking time bomb! I'll start a new thread in the GS450h area of the forum in a bit! Thank you all for the help!
  19. My '08rx400h developed the white dust problem, and it was built in 10/07. I had the evap. core replaced a few years ago with no problems.
  20. I got the 400h back yesterday ($2,740 later). Everything seems to be working fine now, no more shudder upon start-up. I did the ISC reset procedure, and reset my mpg calculator on the dash. I'm going to see if my mpgs go back to normal. The sales person i've been communicating with for this '11 GS450h i was looking at in NJ isn't being cooperative. He's offering me s#!t for the trade and not budging on the price of the GS. Doesn't look like it's going to happen... Unless i invest $25,500. I'm not a happy Lexus owner right now!
  21. katzjamr, i have no idea... I doubt it though, as it wouldn't cause coolant to be leak into an engine cylinder. I do however wonder how much of a coincidence it is that two coils would go bad at the same time as the head gasket. My guess is that my first mechanic simply diagnosed it incorrectly. Lexus said the head gasket is bad and that the head is NOT cracked, so i'm happy for that. They promised that it'd be done tomorrow (Wednesday). Fingers crossed. I'll be heading down (for me in RI, it's down) to New Jersey to make an offer on a '11 GS450h on Saturday.
  22. I've always replaced the oil and filter twice a year (Spring and Fall) with synthetic (Mobile 1), and always used 93 gas with either Mobile or Shell... at least since i've owned it since 2009 (it had 44,000 miles on it when i got it; all previous service intervals were completed at Lexus). The only maintenance item that i didn't do was replacement of the transmission fluid. And i didn't get around to changing the spark plugs till now. Dealer still has the car. I'll call later today to get an update. I have my eye on another car in NJ that i'm thinking of trading-in the RX400h for. Right now my Rx400h's inverter is leaking. Since my 400h is out of the hybrid warranty, if the inverter goes, i'm out an apparent $7,000. For the moment, i can just wipe off the pink "foam" (dried up fluid) and it won't come back for about a month. I want to get the car back and dump it quickly before more problems arise. It's turning into a money pit.
  23. In the winter, it gets into the teens, and in summer months can get into the high 80s/low 90s. My car is always garaged though (over night). I live about 37 miles from work. The first 3 miles are residential and the remaining all highway. I've been making that cummute since September. Before that, i was going to college so i was driving ~7miles to and from school, twice a day for morning and evening classes. It's safe to say my 400h was abused... And i can't say i was the type to let the car warm up before i'd be giving it full throttle. To be honest, i'd purposfully run it hard the first few minutes of driving to warm up the engine to get hot cabin air.