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dasha1 last won the day on October 23 2014

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About dasha1

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  1. Had the tilt/telescope get stuck two times in the past 5-6 years in my 99. The first time it was in the shop and they were not sure what made it start working again. It got stuck again two days ago in the up position. Neither the tilt nor telescope function would work. I could hear a soft chirp when pushing the control but the wheel did not move. I disconnected the positive terminal of the battery for about 30 minutes, reconnected it, and, wala, the tilt/telescope began working again, just like new.
  2. Hey Giang, that's a sharp looking LS400 you have. These are great cars. I've had mine for 10 years and she still runs like new. I've maintained her well and she is so smooth and quiet and still handles like a dream. Unfortunately, you cannot separate the screen from the entire housing. The housing for the LS400 includes the LCD temp and clock displays and the housing for the GS400 does not. If your screen is not working or is otherwise defective, you need to replace the entire unit, i.e., part no. 86111-50070. You could try to find someone to repair it, but good luck with that. It seems like you might have recently bought the car and are still getting familiar with it? Did you try the brightness adjustment on the navigation screen? Press the "menu" button and I think there is a selection for screen brightness or screen options. You can adjust brightness and also contrast as I recall. You can also choose to have the screen display darker colors at night. Hope your solution is this simple! As to changing to the standard Pioneer, the HVAC is plug and play. The stereo is not. The harnesses are different. I bought a used Pioneer OEM radio receiver on eBay and it included the wiring harnesses. I had to splice about 20 or so wires. But it worked out fine. The wiring diagrams area available on this forum. But, you need the harnesses that came with the OEM Pioneer unit. Another issue with switching to the standard Pioneer is that the center vent for the LS400 with navigation is slightly different than with the standard Pioneer. You will be left with an unsightly 1/4 inch gap between the top of the HVAC control and the bottom of the A/C center vent. You can buy the correct center vent on eBay for around $30. Hope this helps. Please let us know how it works out.
  3. I have a 99 LS400 and just swapped out the Navigation screen for a standard OEM Pioneer stereo and standard HVAC control. The screen was malfunctioning, going blank about 1/2 of the time. I have a second navigation unit for my 99 LS400, including the screen, that works fine, except the backlight bulbs for the LCD clock and one of the temp displays are burnt out. The display is still fine, it is just more difficult to see at night. The navigation screen itself is is fully functional and works fine. It also has an OEM radio reciever that includes an auxiliary jack for iPhone. If you want the whole unit, screen + radio, PM me and we'll arrange something. Otherwise I will be listing it on eBay shortly. And no, the Navigation unit for the GS400 will NOT fit your car. Just take a look at the photo. Notice that it is missing the LCD display for clock and temperature at the top?
  4. You might also consider replacing the power steering air control valve. I've been told that this valve fails and leaks usually before the pump. Here is a link to this part at Sewell Lexus: http://lexus.sewellparts.com/accessories-catalog/Service/LS400-1996/4415.html By the way, you can get a decent discount at Sewell if you register there as a member of this club. For example, the price for a PS pump for members of this forum from Sewell is $534.11. parts.com is also very competitive. I share your sentiment about wanting to keep the car a long time. I have a 99LS400 with about 155K and hope to keep it another several years. I test drove a new LS460 a few weeks ago and it's just not that much smoother, quieter or better than my 99, imo. My 99 rides like new, though, since I replaced nearly every suspension part on it with OEM close to 3 years ago. I also had the PS rack rebuilt at that time, which also improves handling. I've now had going on 3 years in which my only expenditures for the car have been routine maintenance. Best of luck to you.
  5. yotoy82, I wish I had an answer for your car wandering in crosswinds. It happens in both my 98 and 99 LS400s. I replaced the upper control arms in the 99 with OEM (as well as the rest of the front suspension) and it still wanders a bit in crosswinds. I even adjusted the caster angle in an alignment on the 99, which made the steering feel tighter, but it still wanders. Both cars are fairly stable at 60mph, acceptable at 70 mph unless the crosswind is really harsh, and at 80mph and over I feel like I need to keep two hands on the wheel sometimes even when the crosswinds are not so strong. It's about the same in both cars. With no crosswinds, both cars track really well. I figured that since we have two of these cars that are nearly identical and they both wander a bit in crosswinds, it's just an inherent annoyance in the design. Keeping a close eye on alignment and correct tire pressure can help, as well as using great tires (Michelin Primacy MXV4) that are road force balanced, but it does not solve the problem, at least not for my cars. Perhaps one of the experts on this forum can opine as to this issue? Billy Powell, 1990LS400 (and many others to whom I apologize for not mentioning by name)? Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
  6. Thanks yotoy82 for the very helpful post. I have had a 91, 95, and still have 98 and 99 LS400s and agree with your comments entirely. I believe that the strut rod bushings in the 98-00 series wear out even quicker than in the 95-97 series, but the bushings can be easily replaced. In my 99, I replaced nearly the entire front suspension with all OEM parts. It rides like new except it is not as stable in crosswinds as I'd like. For the 98, I've only replaced the strut rods, front ball joints and had the steering rack rebuilt and it runs fine with 160K on it. The 99 is tighter but my wife actually likes the softer ride of the 98 better, and it handles fine. It's easy to get carried away with replacing parts that don't need to be replaced. I normally have an independent mechanic do the work and buy parts from Sewell. I used to use parts.com, but Sewell is about the same price and has better customer service. I completed a bunch of work on the 98 and 99 about a year and a half ago and since then have done essentially nothing except change the oil. It's nice to drive a car with 150K+ plus miles for over a year at a time and have nothing go wrong with it. The general consensus on this forum seems to be that Michelin Primacy MXV4 are the best tires for these cars. I agree that road force balancing is a good idea, especially if you drive on the highway at 80 mph or more. Good luck with your LS's!
  7. Well, I bought the Arnott upper control arms and had them installed in my 99 about 6 months ago. They improved the handling a little and some noises went away, which was expected since they replaced the 11 year old factory original UCA’s. But, I had some problems with the car wandering a bit at high speed (80+ mph) in crosswinds. It also bothered me that I had already spent a fortune on suspension parts, all of them Lexus OEM, and then compromised with aftermarket parts for the UCA’s. So, after lamenting about the issue for several months, I bit the bullet and bought some new OEM UCA’s. I got one of them on eBay for $270 and bought the other at Sewell for a little over $400. Ouch!!! Well, the OEM UCA’s are noticeably better than the Arnott’s. The car is now softer, smoother, and quieter over bumps. I took the car up to high speed and it seems more stable in strong winds. But the most noticeable difference over the Arnott arms is when cornering. For example, I have two floors of parking garage to circle around to get to my spot. I usually go pretty fast when entering or leaving the garage and I noticed that the car is now easier to control around the corners. Yet, at the same time, the car seems much smoother, silkier and softer when making the turns. It’s like riding on air when making a turn. (No, I don’t have air suspension.) So, I now have smoother and softer turns and more control all at once. Since I still have the 6 month old Arnott arms that were just removed and also still have the original 12 year old OEM arms that the Arnotts replaced, I took a close look at the parts side by side. The ends of each arm have an outer cylindrical housing, an inner cylindrical sleeve and an annular bushing therebetween. The 12 year old Lexus rubber bushing is a little thicker and adheres tightly to the cylindrical sleeve. By contrast, the Arnott bushings had separated a bit from the sleeves or may have been like that since new. I put a screwdriver shaft in the sleeve of each arm and moved the handle of it as though it were a joystick. Interestingly, I could move the handle with unlimited degrees of freedom with both bushings, but the Lexus bushing allowed far less movement than the Arnotts. It’s like this with all of the bushings I compared. It seems that Arnott did not quite copy the Lexus bushing design and allowed more movement in the sleeves. The Arnott arms are a whole lot cheaper than OEM. But, it seems that there was more engineering that went into the Lexus arms than meets the eye. Anyway, I thought my perspective might be helpful since I doubt anyone else would be crazy enough to buy a pair of aftermarket arms only to replace them 6 months later with OEM.
  8. Believe me, I always grab a beer when working on the Lex ...hey, wait a minute...that might explain all the half-tightened bolts. You are absolutely right. I can do w/o the heater. I have for the last 15 years. But I really wanna turn my garage into a man-cave. Gotta have a heater. Got a fridge out there already. The garage doors are insulated. Now, if'n I lived in balmy MD, I would not need a heater! I do believe it can be quite warm in the eastern shore of MD. I always wondered why in 1991 then governor William Donald Schaefer compared the Eastern shore to an outhouse. I've never been there, but the comment always struck me as unfair and unbecoming of a governor.
  9. WELL I won it, mail it to me, thanks. In my 95LS400 I just had the exact same thing happen. It was a nightmare, but once the shop I took it to replaced it (at $900!!!) the damn noise didn't go away! Come to find out, it was the rubber gasket that goes around the steering column at the firewall. Only cost $150 to replace that, which immediately fixed the problem. Crazy thing is that my buddy who owns the shop actually showed me the egr tube, and it was indeed split where it flexes, but that wasn't the noise after all! make sure you check that gasket before getting into the expense of the egr tube fix!!!! Thanks for that tip. I have a 99 that has noticeably more cabin noise since I had the steering rack rebuilt. I also have a 98 whose cabin is quieter than the 99's, and so I know something is wrong. Maybe the noise is from that gasket being misplaced or damaged when the steering work was done. I don't think the 99 LS400 has an EGR pipe. I will check out the gasket. I finally had my indy mechanic replace the rubber gaskets around the steering column in my 99. There are two parts that I had to order, one of the gaskets fits on the engine compartment side of the firewall (Lexus OEM part no. 45025-50040) and the other fits on the interior cabin side (Lexus OEM part no. 45026-40010). This repair cured the interior cabin noise that apparently sounds like the noises described above from a bad egr tube and it also cured a slight vibration that I was feeling in the steering wheel at idle. Only the inside gasket was bad (torn), but the tear was located on an interior portion of it that can't be seen unless the part is removed from the steering column. Anyway, now our 99 is quiet like our 98.
  10. I would agree that you're probably barking up the wrong tree with wanting a tank of gas. But you do have legitimate concerns about the repairs done to your car and if the car has been repaired properly. About two years ago I had my car at the Lexus dealer for several service items, including flushing power steering fluid, changing wiper blades, new battery, and several other items that I can't recall. After I picked that car up and returned to my office, I noticed that the wiper blades had not been changed and that the power steering fluid was overfilled. I called and spoke with the service department manager. I explained and he agreed that with the high prices that are charged by the dealer, I should at least be able to rest assured that the job had been done right. Otherwise, I explained, I could just take the car to an independent mechanic and pay half of the dealer charges. I then asked him how I could be assured that anything they had done to my car had been done correctly if two items I could check for myself were done incorrectly (or not at all). He acknowledged my point and asked me what I wanted him to do. I explained that I wanted him to drop a loaner off at my office and take my car back to the shop and have his best mechanic check everything that was done to it. After that was done, and any other problems they spotted were corrected, they could drop my car off again at my office and take the loaner back with them. He agreed. They corrected the PS fluid and replaced the wiper blades but found no other problems. At least I didn't have to waste another trip to the dealer, and I had their assurance that the car was in good working order. The point of this story is that the high price you pay at the dealer is accompanied by a mutual expectation that the job will at least be done correctly. However, even the dealer sometimes hires new (or incompetent) mechanics and mistakes are made. I would suggest that you consider calling the dealer and asking them to come pick up your car, drop off a loaner, and have their top mechanic inspect your car to make sure everything is in order -- and fix it if it's not. You shouldn't have to make any further trips to the dealer or waste any more of your time to rectify their mistake. Good luck and I hope your car is okay.
  11. I forget who taught me this, but it was long ago that I learned the trick of telling the repair facility before the work is started that I want all of the old parts back. I now by my parts online (parts.com or sewell, etc.) and have an independent mechanic do the work. I don't even have to ask any more -- the old parts are always in my trunk when I pick the cars up. This simple request up front for the old parts helps keep them honest. I've got a ton of used LS400 suspension pats in my garage.......
  12. I currently have a 98 and a 99 LS400. The 99 has exhibited the "hesitation" thing since I've owned it. When I approach an intersection and merely slow down, e.g., to 5-10 mph, but don't quite stop, once I start accelerating again the car hesitates momentarily and it will then "bang" into gear. The problem is annoying, but I've learned to live with it over the past 4.5 years. I now usually avoid it because I developed a very delicate touch with my right foot on the gas pedal. When I first got the car I asked the Lexus dealer about this issue and they said it was normal and not to worry about it. A tranny fluid flush and change did not help. Interestingly, though, my 98, which as far as I know has an identical engine and transmission, does not hesitate like the 99, or at least does so to a far lesser extent. That makes me think that there might be some adjustment that can be done to minimize the hesitation in the 99. If anyone has encountered this hesitation issue and has improved it, please let us know. Thanks. Oddly enough, I had the transmission flushed and filled several months ago and the "hesitation" issue in my 99 has been greatly reduced ever since. No more "banging" transmission when I do a "slow and go" through an intersection or slow turn.
  13. This might help: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=60944&st=0&p=391672&hl=dasha1&fromsearch=1entry391672
  14. Billy, you might have saved a little change if you'd bought those strut rod bushings at lexuspartsonline.com. By the way, parts.com is always cheapest for OEM parts, in my experience, but the part no. for those OEM bushings you bought doesn't register anything on parts.com. I hate it when that happens. Fsuguy was looking for the bushings for the UCA's. Don't know if there is an OEM part # for those.
  15. I think you can replace just the bushings, but it is a lot of work and the bushings won't be OEM. I figured that the ball joint had just as good a chance as being shot as the bushings and I didn't check it before I had the work done. Once the old OEM arms were pulled out I tested them by hand and the ball joints were as loose as the joy stick on an old Pac Man game. The ball joints and bushings were both shot on the lower arms, although, unlike the UCA, you can buy the lower arms and ball joints separately, at least on a 99. I first replaced the ball joints, which helped, and later replaced the arms, which tightened up the steering noticeably more. I don't think it would be worth the effort to replace only the bushings in a UCA in a 92.