DruLS

Andy's LS430

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Hi everyone, 

You may have seen me over on the introductions page, but if not I'm Andy and I've just recently purchased a 2005 LS430 with only 65,000 miles on the clock. 

While in fairly good condition, it does have a few issues that need to be taken care of. Is is nearly 15 years old after all. A lot of what I'll be doing to the car is preventative maintenance, as I need this car to be as reliable as possible (which shouldn't be too difficult in one of these). 

I'm planning on having the car converted to LPG fairly soon. I have a long commute so the cost of the conversion should take me less then a year to recoup. With the local LPG station near my home selling for 57p per litre and the one next to my work selling for 63p, I'll have the benefit of driving a full size luxury car with Toyota reliability and the running costs of a diesel family car.

I was going to wait until I had the car properly detailed before I made this post but decided I should show the car first the way I got it.

So here it is in its current state. Please forgive my parking job, I'm still getting used to driving such a big car. 

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This is a big upgrade from my 2006 Volvo S60 D5. I can't fault it too much though, I bought it for 4k 3 years ago, doubled the mileage and it's now on 150k with life still left in it. But as dependable as it was, it's terrible to drive. I drove the old girl after a week of being in the Lexus and the difference is shocking. How I did 75,000 miles in that thing is beyond me. 

So, back to the Lexus. A low mileage example, but with a few faults. The car was advertised as having full service history, but it turned out to be partial. I already knew it needed a cambelt service so was ready to negotiate. In the end I'm happy with the deal I got, and it leaves me with some pennies left for a few jobs that need doing.

So today I gave the car a full service using all genuine Lexus/Toyota parts. Oil, filter, new spark plugs, air filter, cabin filter and a new Battery

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Thanks to Daniel at Lexus Parts Direct for getting these out to me so quickly and helping me find the correct parts I needed. 

Thought I'd use the ramps today so save time using my big heavy trolley jack and axel stands. I'll reconsider this next time. You need a feather touch to get this beast on a set of ramps, it was fairly dicey. Note the scrape marks on the driveway, we slid a bit. And take no notice of the oil stains. That's from my old car, and I'll finally clean that now I have a car that has no leaks (and yes I checked). 

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The car looked like it had been serviced fairly recently. Cheapo air and cabin filters I'd never heard of, but at least it had a MANN oil filter and NGK spark plugs. The existing filters looked pretty new, and the spark plugs didn't look too bad but I changed them out for good measure anyway. 

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The underside of the car is what can best be described as "mildly crusty". Looking at the history of the car it seemed to have lived in Scotland. Nothing too bad. Suspension components seem fine for now, drives very nice. I am concerned about how long that exhaust has left, but we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it. 

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Some other goodies have come in the post. Mainly some supplies to restock my dwindling car cleaning kit. I hadn't been cleaning the old car as much as I should have been.

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There's more than this, it came in two boxes. The car could do with a good machine polish, but for now I'm going to give it a proper wash, clay bar it, apply some wax etc. Also going to focus on the interior as it needs some love. I've got interior fabric cleaner, leather cleaner and conditioner etc. I think she should polish up nice for nearly 15 years old. 

I also picked up and xCarLink iPod adapter, and a Brodit mount to go with the existing holder I have for my phone. Still awaiting on some parts for this so more on that later.

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Tomorrow I'll be giving the car a proper clean, and hopefully if I have time changing the serpentine belt which looks like it's had better days. Euro Car Parts don't stock too many decent parts for the LS430, but they do have ContiTech belts and are currently having a big sale so I've got one reserved. 

The car is booked in with Lexus next week for a full cambelt service and water pump replacement. They gave me a very good price, comparable to an indy with the added bonus of being given a courtesy car.

Next weekend it's booked at a garage local to me for an alignment/suspension geometry, and to check that the wheels are balanced right. There's a bit of a wobble at around 70MPH. Also going to see if they can re-gas the air conditioner, the recent weather we've had has revealed that the A/C isn't blowing as cold as it probably should.

I've ordered a separate cooler for the gearbox which hopefully should prevent any failures in the future. Not sure when I'll get to fix this, but I'm thinking I might swap out the radiator and flush the gearbox at the same time. 

Really the only other issues it has is the electronic steering wheel adjustment doesn't work properly, and one of the rear lights is letting in water. 

And fingers crossed, some time next month it's going to have the LPG conversion all finished. 

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Welcome Andy. A good write up and an enjoyable read. Car looks great.

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Hello Andy

That's a lovely looking car - same colour combination as mine - silver/grey does not age at all in my opinion, hides dirt and imperfections very well and cleans up easily.

Im looking forward to seeing the car after you have finished valeting it.

I think I have seen the reg somewhere - was it a members car?

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47 minutes ago, cruisermark said:

That's a lovely looking car - same colour combination as mine - silver/grey does not age at all in my opinion, hides dirt and imperfections very well and cleans up easily.

I think I have seen the reg somewhere - was it a members car?

It wasn't the top of my list of color combinations but I do like it now. Would have preferred a black interior though. I've always had black cars before which look great, providing you wash, polish and wax them about every 30 minutes.

I have no idea if the previous owner was a member, I only joined the forum shortly before buying the car. I don't have the new log book yet but based on the Bluetooth settings and past private plates it was owned by somebody called Roy. 

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The car check I did said I'll be owner #4. Perhaps it was first registered to Lexus but it appears it was bought in '06 by Mr 13 TT who kept for 3 years, while Roy has had it for a decade! He must have liked it. Both of them actually seeing how both of those plates are currently assigned to a Lexus LS460.

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well done, may you have very many happy years and smiles of motoring

Malc

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Sorry for the lack of updates. The car has now been running happily on LPG for a few months, and I've had the filler tucked away behind the filler cap so no ugly holes in the body work.

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I did come close to a disaster the other day. I started hearing a clicking while driving and figured I'd picked up a nail. Until closer inspection and I saw this.

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There are cracks on all the spokes, most of which have gone all the way through. Not sure exactly how it happened but I have a new set of refurbed wheels on their way. I was planning on having a stainless steel exhaust made up for it but that'll have to go on the back burner for now. Me and a friend are taking this car across Europe next year so it needs to be in top notch order by then.

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Just out of interest how easy was it to replace the plugs?  I've done an LS400 but not a 430.

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43 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

Just out of interest how easy was it to replace the plugs?  I've done an LS400 but not a 430.

It wasn't very hard at all, just a lot more time consuming as this is my first V8! I did make the mistake of unbolting a bracket that held in one of the plastic covers to get further access and ended up breaking the bolt. Luckily the cover was only for show, but I'd recommend getting a swivel socket so you don't have to make the same mistake I did.

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3 minutes ago, DruLS said:

It wasn't very hard at all, just a lot more time consuming as this is my first V8! I did make the mistake of unbolting a bracket that held in one of the plastic covers to get further access and ended up breaking the bolt. Luckily the cover was only for show, but I'd recommend getting a swivel socket so you don't have to make the same mistake I did.

Ta, I guess it's pretty much the same engine as my mk4 and I remember that being easy enough.  You'll love a European drive in it, we did Austria in mine in May and it was brilliant.  The chances of seeing another one are slim!

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Picked up a set of freshly refurbished alloys today from Paul Frost at Lexus Spares Direct, looking so much better then my old ones. Tyres are due on tomorrow.

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Can I be rude and ask what you paid for the wheels?

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I'd be very concerned that the type of wheel that cracks like your old one's aren't really fit for purpose

Driving anywhere at any time with those style / type of wheels would worry me endlessly

Malc

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1 hour ago, The-Acre said:

Can I be rude and ask what you paid for the wheels?

Asking price was £500 but negotiated to £450. I needed two wheels anyway and they would have needed a refurb after so seemed like a good deal to me. If you want a set you can go to the same Lexus Spares eBay page, they'll have them ready in a few days.

 

12 minutes ago, Malc said:

I'd be very concerned that the type of wheel that cracks like your old one's aren't really fit for purpose

Driving anywhere at any time with those style / type of wheels would worry me endlessly

Malc

These are genuine Lexus wheels that came with the car from the factory. I still don't understand how it happend. Perhaps a poor quality repair at some point in the past? I can't find any evidence that this is a common issue. I was always under the assumption that good quality alloy wheels bend on impact and only the cheapo ones crack. Either way, I'll be sure to keep a close eye on these new ones. It didn't look like that wheel would have held on for much longer and that could have been a disaster.

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The car is looking a lot better now with a fresh set of wheels, and driving much better on a decent set of tyres. Quite happy. Although I did hear the tyre fitter on my dashcam call it an antique ☹️ ...I prefer the term vintage.

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I reckon you misheard him, he probably said "unique" 😁

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7 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

I reckon you misheard him, he probably said "unique" 😁

I think he was just upset he couldn't figure out how to reset the TPMS, heard him messing around with the touch screen trying to do it. To be fair the reset button is in a stupid place.

I would have loved to take a Celsior in and listed to them try to decipher the Japanese system 😂

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1 hour ago, DruLS said:

I think he was just upset he couldn't figure out how to reset the TPMS, heard him messing around with the touch screen trying to do it. To be fair the reset button is in a stupid place.

I would have loved to take a Celsior in and listed to them try to decipher the Japanese system 😂

The Celsior is actually really odd because although the main menu is in Japanese, most of the switches are in English!  

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19 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

The Celsior is actually really odd because although the main menu is in Japanese, most of the switches are in English!  

I used to have a Japanese spec VW Bora but that was fine because none of the buttons had words, just icons. And the cluster can be changed to UK mode easily. The owner's manual however was useless!

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If any of you guys know a thing or two about catalysts and O2 sensors, I'd appreciate it if you could take a look at my thread here - having a couple issues with the car at the moment.

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Well, today I've ripped out the centre stack for about the 3rd or 4th time since I got this car. I'm a pro at this now 😂

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If anybody is thinking of buying the XCarLink adapter to save a bit of dosh, DON'T. It was so bad I just ended up not using it. I mean the thing worked, but there would be constant noise/hiss in the background. Using it with my Iphone (which required a big ugly adapter because the cable supplied used the iPod 30 pin connector and the other end was propriatary so you couldn't just use a lightning cable) would introduce terrible interferance that seemed to be based on what was on the screen (more white seemed to cause more noise weirdly enough). Using it with my iPod classic, I could hear the hard drive spin up through my speakers! XCarLink support claimed this was normal! And it didn't support song text/title support while not important, is nice.

So I did what I should have done in the first place and got the GROM USB3 adapter. Let me tell you this thing is great and perfect for my needs. I wanted a setup that allowed me to use my iPod classic (which I still use because it allows me to store thousands of songs which I rip from my CDs in ALAC (Like FLAC - lossless CD quality audio)), my Iphone (which I mainly use for Podcasts, Spotify, Internet Radio and as a sat nav) without the need to keep switching cables. And I still maintain the full use of the CD changer which I still use. When you first select the CD2 input, you have a couple of seconds to use the track skip buttons to change the input. The voice of a rather nice sounding lady will call out "USB, iPod, AUX" etc over the speakers.

But you can customise this how you want as there's a few add-ons available such as a Bluetooth module (for steaming and calls) and a DAB radio tuner.

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Sound quality wise it's amazing. Somehow it seems to sound better then the CD player. I don't know if it's a different EQ or something but I had to turn the bass down because it was booming. Still crystal clear though.

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So this is the current setup. The top mount is where my phone goes (it's not there as I had to use it to take the photo). The holders I use are fantastic. You clip the cable into them so you simply dock your device in, no faffing with cables.

If anybody is interested in these mounts, they're called Brodit ProClip. Essentially they comes in two parts, a mount for the car and a holder for your device. You look up your make and model and you'll be presented with different mounts designed specifically for your car. Then you look for a holder for your particular device, be it a phone, iPod, sat nav etc. You attach them together and you have the best mount money can buy.

I realise I must sound like a sales rep for GROM and Brodit, but I just really like these products.

However, one issue with the Brodit mounts and the LS430 is that they offer only one mount (the one my iPod is on). Generally they offer several solutions for each car but not this one. It's not a good location for a phone which I use as a sat nav as it's far too low down and would require you to take your eyes off the road. It's fine for the iPod though. I searched everywhere for another solution but all the other mounts I could find were for LHD cars such as the Panavise mount and this wouldn't have worked properly in a RHD car. After a long time spent on Google I did managed to find a possible solution from some obscure company called Dashmout. This is the Dashmount 71521 and appears to be compatible with the LS430, GS300 and GS350. I had no idea if it would be compatible with my Iphone holder but at only £15 I decided to take the gamble and I'm so glad I did. It lined up perfectly with my Brodit Iphone holder. The mount itself simply slips between the gap between the dash and the centre stack. It's just held in place by friction but does include a strip of double sided sticky foam also. It's very sturdy and doesn't flex or move at all which I'm very pleased about.

Not much else has changed as of yet. I did swap out the number plate lights for these ones from amazon.

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Don't be fooled by the photo. They're nowhere near this bright and obnoxious in person it's just a bad photo. The brightness is just right and makes the rear end look a bit more modern.

I also took a gamble on a full set of interior LED lights. They come from China as a kit and so are cheaper then buying the bulbs individually.

Kit for cars with rear vanity mirrors
Kit for cars without vanity mirrors

I'd like brighter interior lights, but sometimes these LED bulbs can be incredibly white and cold so I may end up not using them. But they were cheap enough to take a gamble.

I've also been getting some quotes for a new stainless steel exhaust system as the current one is shot and leaking. Luckily my MOT guy let it slide as it wasn't dangerous and he knew I'd get it fixed. No way I'm paying Lexus money so custom it is. I'm going to go for something a little more sporty as long as it's not too loud. I don't want to ruin the car by making it really loud but at the end of the day I have a V8 and at the moment I can't hear it!

I'm also waiting on deliveries for some components I'll be using to make some minor modifcations to the headlights and fog lights. I'm hoping it turns out nicely but I'll keep that as a suprise until it's done.

P.S. - Does anybody happen to know what kind of bulbs these switches use?

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I noticed the power / snow button stopped lighting up the other day. The bottom row of buttons has never illuminated since I got the car and I only just found out today that they're supposed to!

Anyway, thanks for reading and have a good weekend. 😊

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Excellent result Andy, but why not just post the photos directly in here?

Clicked on the first photo and it took me to Imgur and, silly me, I then thought that clicking on the 'Next Post' button would take me to the next photo in your sequence - but it was something to do with a lion!

Each time it opens a new window to Imgur which then needs to be closed down to come back here and click on your next one, which does the same thing again, whereas uploading them here in your post allows us to see them all in one operation, in sequence.

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7 hours ago, Herbie said:

Excellent result Andy, but why not just post the photos directly in here?

Clicked on the first photo and it took me to Imgur and, silly me, I then thought that clicking on the 'Next Post' button would take me to the next photo in your sequence - but it was something to do with a lion!

Each time it opens a new window to Imgur which then needs to be closed down to come back here and click on your next one, which does the same thing again, whereas uploading them here in your post allows us to see them all in one operation, in sequence.

Urgh. I wondered what you were talking about for a while there. I used at least what they called the "direct link" and when I clicked the photos in my thread it would just open the photo in the browser, not go to the Imgur website. Turns out it does that if you're logged into your account because I just tried it in a private window. Too late to edit now. Thanks for the heads up though.

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Big day for the LS today. New radiator and coolant flush, AC condenser, gearbox oil cooler and aux belt. Didn't even get around to doing the oil change. The whole reason the front clip is off is I wanted to make some changes to the headlights but didn't even have time to do that. I did replace all the bulbs with some nice Osram ones though.

I did notice that I need new bushings for the anti-roll bar. There's also some seepage coming from the steering rack but nothing too bad.

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Which radiator did you get, is it a direct fit or do you have to modify it?  Have you got any symptoms re the ARB bushes?

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3 hours ago, The-Acre said:

Which radiator did you get, is it a direct fit or do you have to modify it?  Have you got any symptoms re the ARB bushes?

Only the best parts for my car, so of course I went with this genuine eBay radiator.

The fit was perfect everything matches to the old one and the quality seems pretty good. I think others have used this before. Beware there appears to be two different designs for these cars, one with the radiator cap and one without so this one may not work on yours.

As for the ARB bushing, car seems to drive fine but it's probably been like that since I got it. I'll let you know if I notice any difference when I change them.

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