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1996 LS400 timing belt change. Advice on brand choice please.

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Having got my project through its first MoT since 2016, my thoughts are turning towards doing the timing belt, which was last done in 2007 by the supplying main dealer, although the car has only covered less than 30,000 miles since then. Neither the water pump or pulleys were changed at that time. The total mileage now is just under 80,000.

I'm tempted towards using a genuine belt and water pump, which comes to about £200, but on Lexus Parts Direct's website they also offer two cambelt idlers with different part numbers at about £109 each. The pictures are same though.

https://www.lexuspartsdirect.co.uk/parts/lexus-ls/lexus-ls-phase-ii-1995-2000/lexus-ls-2-engine-service-kits/lexus-ls-phase-2-cam-belt-idler-no-1-4l-petrol/

https://www.lexuspartsdirect.co.uk/parts/lexus-ls/lexus-ls-phase-ii-1995-2000/lexus-ls-2-engine-service-kits/lexus-ls-phase-2-cam-belt-idler-no-2-4l-petrol/

On the other hand, Autodoc have a Gates kit for £164 which hopefully includes everything I should need.

https://www.autodoc.co.uk/gates/13671360

However, this is where I am confused, because the Gates kit includes what I assume to be a tensioner and an idler pulley whereas Lexus Parts Direct's website offers the aforementioned idler pulleys numbered 1 and 2, but no tensioner, albeit with the same pictures.

Before sending this I looked at a tutorial online and it looks as though number 1 pulley is an idler whereas number 2 is a tensioner, despite Lexus's terminology. Am I right.

Anyway, does anyone have any experience of the Gates kit? From what I've read I understand they are a good make, but first hand experiences would be useful.

 

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You normally reuse the tensioner, compress the plunger back and fit a suitable pin to lock it until ready.

The kit comes with the tensioner pulley which is acted on by the tensioner above once the belt is on and the pin pulled out but if you want to replace the tensioner it can be purchased separately.

Looking at the diagram the tensioner is highlighted in orange with the tensioner pulley above it, the other idler pulley in the kit is mounted on the other side of the engine

Aisin is the OEM figment but Gates are a good brand.

48349616-FDFC-4002-A5B3-69EE54199A4C.png

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Gates kits have been mentioned so many times in the positive that I've had no hesitation in ordering one, which I'm having fitted this week.  Mine has only covered 15k since its last change but as it was 10 years ago I can't take the chance. 

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31 minutes ago, steve2006 said:

Looking at the diagram the tensioner is highlighted in orange with the tensioner pulley above it, the other idler pulley in the kit is mounted on the other side of the engine

Thanks for that clarification Steve, it all makes sense now, although it means that Lexus Parts Direct have the wrong picture on one of their idlers, which is what confused me.

For the limited mileage I will be doing I'm tempted to go for the Gates kit.

 

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I've been doing a bit more digging and found that Rock Auto do an Aisin kit which includes a tensioner for £140, although, Import duty, VAT and shipping will be added to that. Bearing in mind that Aisin are an OEM I think that may be the way to go.

 

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I recently ordered from Rockauto and was well impressed.

They include the VAT so no customs delays and the expedited delivery is only a little more. ignoring the weekend and UK bank holiday I ordered Friday and got the stuff Tuesday lunchtime. Just bear in mind that most UK card companies and banks charge a non sterling fee unless you have one of the special deal cards.

Plus you get a fridge magnet with every order 😀

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A timing belt has a mileage and a time limit for its service, whichever comes first, for most manufacturers. Be sure not to exceed either of them.

For a timing belt that may snap for whatever reason and it may cost you a full engine overhaul or a replacement engine, in case the engine valves have an interference operation,  I would never take the chance. Aisin is the original manufacturer for Toyota and I always use without any reservation.

Chris.

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I was going to make a silly comment about a Ls400 sized fridge magnet ......  but decided against that :unsure:

after all, this is a very sober Forum

Malc

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2 minutes ago, Malc said:

I was going to make a silly comment about a Ls400 sized fridge magnet ......  but decided against that :unsure:

after all, this is a very sober Forum

Malc

Don’t you start calling my Rockauto fridge magnets 😀

888CA5A1-430D-4076-8B62-DE37019C197D.jpeg

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Howard while you are at Rockauto I would grab a serpentine belt at the same time if it hasn’t already been replaced.

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I was reading that Gates belts are supplied OEM to VW and others.

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2 hours ago, steve2006 said:

I recently ordered from Rockauto and was well impressed.

They include the VAT so no customs delays and the expedited delivery is only a little more. ignoring the weekend and UK bank holiday I ordered Friday and got the stuff Tuesday lunchtime. Just bear in mind that most UK card companies and banks charge a non sterling fee unless you have one of the special deal cards.

Plus you get a fridge magnet with every order 😀

Hi Steve, Have you got a link for the kit to fit my one?

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