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Everything posted by squarehat

  1. I've always heard of them referred to as C-BEST settings (Customizable Body Electronics System). I know I've seen a list posted around here from time to time. For the ES, I think most of the more advanced features were introduced in 2002 for the re-design (things like "pathway lighting", where the headlights stay on for 30 seconds after closing the drivers door, etc)
  2. Hey dude thanks for the info! I'll have to call around about removing the old mirror. Is the adhesive really that good? You'd think a shot of rubbing alcohol and a couple hits with a chisel would work..I don't understand how the windshield would break from that. ← It's some very strong adhesive--I (and the shop) tried solvents much stronger than rubbing alcohol, with absolutely no luck (the guy at the auto glass shop said this was perhaps the strongest adhesive he had seen). I would tend to shy away from using a chisel--it's thicker than a small putty knife, and it has no "give"--one tap too hard and you've got a major problem :o In regards to the question about the compass vs. non compass retrofits for an 00-01, I've seen the swap done within a same model, same body style ('02 RX mirror with compass into '99 RX, '02 GS mirror with compass into '98 GS, but never a confirmed instance across different models). You need to make sure the screws for the headliner mount are identical, and that the wiring harness matches (I think it's just a two wire quick-connect harness, I suppose splicing could be used as a last resort).
  3. The toughest part of doing this mod on a 92-96 is that you'll have to change out the windshield mount for the mirror, as they used a odd, square shaped mount with incredibly strong adhesive (97-99 use a "universal" mount, so it's a much easier mod on those cars). I had to call at least a half dozen auto glass shops before I could find one willing to pull off my Lexus mount--most places said I was nuts, and that the windshield was certain to break. I finally found a shop willing to do it (for free, no less!, and it happened to be a shop that the dealer used for repairs, so I figured I'd go for it). The technician carefully worked with a rubber mallet, tapping a small putty knife gently under the mount, while applying counter pressure to the appropriate spot from the outside of the windshield. Luckily, the windshield didn't break, and he even glued on the new button for me. Even though he refused to charge me, I slipped the guy a nice crisp $20 for his 5 minutes of work--I had finally found somebody willing to do what shop after shop said was "impossible." I bought mine from a Nissan dealership--it was an accessory for the 350Z and features auto-dim, compass, and a 3-channel HomeLink transmitter. Wiring is fairly easy--take the screws out of the little center sun blind and the driver's side sun blind, so that you can tuck the wire under the headliner. Then, carefully remove the A-pillar trim, and a little piece of wire mold that goes between the side of the the dash and the driver's door. That should allow you to drop the wire into the fuse panel area, where you can use fuse taps to attach it to a source that's switched to ignition (models with HomeLink have a second power lead for the HomeLink transmitter that's wired for "always hot"). By the way, the 2000-2001 ES used an autodimming mirror with a custom mount that suspends the mirror from the headliner, not the glass. This would be very tricky to mount and make look "stock." You're much better off going with one with a "universal" windshield mount, like the ones for Nissan/Infiniti, GM, Toyota, and some newer Lexus models (the 02-present ES and 03-present GX use universal-mount Gentex mirrors, too) :) I love this mod--I'm just envious of the newer cars that have the outside mirrors dim, too.:D That would be very handy when a Yukon pulls up behind me at a light just to the left of me, putting it's entire headlamp reflecting back through my outside mirror...
  4. Exactly. Cars with newer projectors exhibit a phenomenon called "color flicker." Viewed off-axis, the lights appear deep blue to violet, but straight on axis they look white, even with a slight hint of yellow. The light on the road is pure white except for a fine band of purple at the very edge of the cutoff (about an inch, visible on a dry, concrete road). I'll be riding in my friends Jag X-Type, and we'll pull behind a white car at a stoplight, and I'll be able to see a very fine purple stripe projected across the trunk lid. Some newer cars with halogen projector lamps exhibit color flicker (particularly the Saturn L Series and new style Solara), though they flicker to blue off axis (vs. violet for many cars with discharge lamps), but look like standard halogens when viewed dead on.
  5. What year is your ES? On my '96, the front wall of the trunk covering the wiring harnesses for the taillamps is more of a heavy nylon felt than a plastic.
  6. His sig says it's a 93--I don't think the 3VZ-FE was ODBII compliant--was it OBDI?
  7. The ES was refreshed a bit in 2000. Besides the changes you've mentioned: *Xenons and a leather/wood steering wheel became available as options *The grille and front bumper changed *The audio and climate controls received wooden faceplates I believe side airbags were added in 1998. Vehicle Skid Control was added as an option around 2000, as well.
  8. I feel your frustration . I have a split seam on the top of my rear bench of my '96, too, even after constant conditioning with Leatherique, Hide Food, Lexol, Zymol, you name it. Years of non-conditioning by the original owner, and the way the black upholstery absorbs the sun have done the top of the seat in. In fact, the leather shrank so much that the seat cushion is bent on one side, leaving an unsightly gap between seat and package shelf (reference my thread about that a couple weeks ago, where I initially thought the seat was misaligned-it wasn't) I'd love to find a local shop willing to replace the bad sections of leather, since the rest of the bench (and the front seats) look incredible for a car with 107,000 miles. As far as holding the upholstery on, the rear backrest seat cover is attached to the metal frame by means of upholstery hog rings. They can be removed with tin snips, and new ones can be installed with special hog ring pliers.
  9. I believe the only 2004 Lexus models with Bluetooth capability are the LS 430 and the LX 470. Unfortunately, I don't think you'd be able to interface your Bluetooth phone with the car (unless I'm reading your post wrong, and the Motorola kit comes with a Bluetooth receiver to plug into your sound system).
  10. Thanks, guys :) I'll try and pull the bench tomorrow and re-align the 3 hooks at the top. I'll keep the tilting forward trick in mind.
  11. On my 96 ES, the rear backrest seems misaligned when looking in the back window. On the driver's side, there is no gap between the backrest and the parcel shelf. From just to the left of the high mount stop lamp all the way across the passenger side of the car, there is about a 1/2" gap between the seat and the shelf, exposing the ugly yellow foam beneath the seat. I tried adjusting the bolts (the 12 mm bolt on each side that fits into the "U" shaped anchor at the bottom of the backrest) but this didn't help. Do I need to adjust the 3 hooks at the top that hold the backrest in place? Or do I need to hit the seat with a mallet or other blunt object to force it into place? Any other 92-96 owners with the same issue? Thanks :)
  12. I'm right with you, amf I used the Radio Shack contact cleaner spray on all of the sockets this weekend. I replaced both turn signals this morning (single filament 1156 bulbs) and both sidemarkers (168 wedge base bulbs). The license plate bulbs (168 wedge) and all 4 stop/tail lamps (1157 dual filament) have been all replaced over the past month. All bulbs are the proper type, properly secured, and properly sealed in their sockets. As of now, all systems are go, knock on wood :D . Immediately after I replaced the left 1156 turn signal bulb, I hopped in and flipped on the hazards, and it worked normally again. All tail/sidemarker brake lamps are good, too, and I have not seen the dreaded yellow warning light since using the contact cleaner (when the turn signal blew, I got the hyper-blinker arrow instead).
  13. Alright. I pulled every single bulb out of both taillamp assemblies, and used the contact cleaner. The tail/brake lamps are working fine now. Unfortunately, after a day of things working perfectly, my left rear turn signal now doesn't work. I guess I'll be dismantling everything again tomorrow and changing the turn signals on both sides. Is the change in resistance (or voltage, I'm no electrical engineer :D ) from the other bulbs working again "shocking" the turn signal and knocking it out? There seems to have been a domino effect over the past month--changing two taillamp bulbs knocked my license plate bulbs out, so I changed both license plate bulbs and the other two tail/stop bulbs. Then after replacing the license plate bulbs, I had problems with both tail/stop bulbs on the passenger side working intermittently. I'm wondering if I should change the backup lights and the two little wedge sidemarker bulbs while I'm at it tomorrow, so that I can have fresh bulbs all around, and not worry about it anymore. Though I've gotten quite proficient at neatly removing/replacing the rear trunkliner :D
  14. Sorry, the 97-01 are completely different in size, shape, and bulb type :( You'll want to find lamp housings from a 95 or 96. 92-94 headlamps are the same shape and use the same bulbs, but they have lighter colored chrome inside and don't have the 3 lines across, and the 92-94 tails are slightly wider--they go all the way to the license plate and have an extra marker bulb above the turn signal). Also, the amber strip on the 95-96 tails is different than the 92-94. So you're best off sticking to the identical 95-96 parts.
  15. Nah, a hardware store probably wouldn't be of too much help for a screw that delicate. The two things I can think of that use screws that small are eyeglasses and watch cases. So, an eyeglass store or jeweler may be able to help. If the dealership won't sell just the screw, I always see random used keys up on online auction sites...you could always buy the key for spare parts (screw and plastic cover).
  16. Since your profile says you're in Cleveland, kyle-- the far West side (Lorain County at that point) has both :). The Wal-Mart and Costco in Avon both have gas stations. I don't think I've seen a Wal-Mart or Costco in Cuyahoga County with a gas station (BJ's Wholesale Club in Middleburg Heights does).
  17. Thanks for the input, guys. The wires are neatly tucked, and the insulation is in perfect shape (in fact, I just pulled/replaced both lamps again yesterday.) The oxidized contact hypothesis is definitely a possibility. Perhaps something happens once the circuit heats up, causing the connection to be good enough to light the lamp back up (or it randomly gets jostled into electric contact somewhere along the drive). Hopefully I will have time to take the assembly apart and clean the contacts this weekend. I'll keep everybody posted with the results.
  18. I have a '96 ES with a puzzling tail lamp problem. I get a tail lamp out indicator light on the dash when first turning on the lights, and going around back reveals a non-illuminated taillamp on the passenger side (the 96 ES has two dual-filament stop/tail lamps on each side). I have replaced both bulbs on each side, along with the license plate bulbs on each side (haven't touched the reverse lights or turn signals yet). Here's the puzzling part. After about 15 minutes of driving, the taillamp out indicator goes out, AND the bulbs all work normally again (I'ved hopped out of the car with the engine still running/lights on to validate this). What could be the issue here? Bad wiring harness on the passenger side? Or could it be a more serious electrical problem (perhaps the system doesn't get enough voltage to run all of the lamps until the alternator has been running a while, though I'm not noticing any dimming of the headlamps, or problems with the audio or climate control, nor any other warning lamps). Changing bulbs doesn't seem to do much help... Thanks!
  19. Bought a pair in March 02, the left one burnt out in March 04, and I replaced both at once. So I got 24 months, and I do a fair amount of night and inclement weather driving, so the lights get a lot of use.
  20. Jeff. Last summer (May through November), I ran 215/50-17 size Sumitomo HTR+ all seasons. The ride wasn't much harsher, but handling improved dramatically over the stock 15's. Unfortunately, they're stacked in the corner of my garage, as two of the rims (were on the passenger side) bent from a hitting a submerged pothole near the curb on a dark, rainy night. I'm holding out until I can lay out the money for 4 new rims of higher quality.
  21. sk, was that when the engine went to distributorless ignition and added Acoustical Control Induction System (ACIS), the Lexus equivalent of BMW's VANOS I?
  22. What color is the top of your car? I used to have a color chart (at least for the '96s) that gave the cladding color for each body color. I'll look for it (I think CL used to have them posted online, too). I still have a scuff on my bumper from brushing against a pillar in a parking garage that I'd like to fix the "right" way (just used touch-up paint). There's a guy at the Lexus dealership near me who touches up the trade-ins before they're put back on the lot, he quoted me $150 to respray the front bumper (which is cheaper than a bodyshop).
  23. I'm very interested to hear how this turns out. I've been interested in Sirius for a while now. I've heard similar things about antenna placement, too. A friend of mine keeps telling me I'd have to set the antenna a foot back from the top of the rear window, because he claims the antenna supposedly needs a foot of metal on all sides to work. However, like yourself, I want the antenna in the OEM "shark fin" location, like you'd see on a BMW, Audi, or LS 430. Painting wouldn't be an issue for me (my car is black onyx). Not sure if painting would interfere with reception (plenty of cars have their GPS antennae color-keyed to body color, but not sure how that signal compares to a Sirius signal in strength/attenuation) There's a G35 sedan that I park nearby at work every day. It has a Sirius antenna (not sure if it's factory installed, port/dealer installed, or aftermarket), and it's got the 1 foot offset from the window I mentioned. It's also matte black on a silver car, and it's got one of those plastic wiremolds hiding the foot or so of wire (like the wiremold for the wire on the inside autodimming mirror). If it were factory, I would hope Infiniti would have run the wire straight up into the antenna instead of across the roof.
  24. 2GZ has it right on how to tell if your car is a Coach Edition. Your profile says you have a '99--one of the 3 models years Coach Editions were made on the ES (96, 99, 01). (Additionally, there was a Coach Edition LS in 97 and a Coach Edition RX in 02).
  25. My apologies, too, for not reading the 1999 part. Well, hopefully Lexusk8's and my instructions will be helpful to the 92-96 owners that read this :D
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