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Help needed please


GADGELT
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Hi everyone,im the proud owner of a lexus sc430 which i,ve had for a year and 3 months,never had any trouble with it whatsoever until recently when it just died on me driving to skegness for our holiday,cut a long story short been reliably told its the camshaft variator and that parts alone come to £2,300 ! is there another name for this part as i have been trying to locate one but having no luck at all. i love the car and really dont want to lose it but obviously cant afford that sort of money so hoping to find a second hand part from a low milege car and a good mechanic who can do the work,any help would be really appreciated,thanks alot,Gary,ps this is a pic of my car

IMG_20201210_194637.jpg

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Hi Gary, sorry to read of your dilemma, but others will be along to advise shortly.

In the meantime consider joining Lexusworld.com where the vast majority of SC Members reside.

Good luck.

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Hi again John,i joined lexusworld thankyou but for some reason its not letting me post on there yet,maybe i have to wait awhile as everytime i try to leave a post it just comes up saying please leave a valid message,anyway will try again tomorrow,thanks again,Gary

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A quick wikipedia search reveals the 2001 SC430 has a 3UZ-FE engine, which has VVT-i. "Camshaft variator" sounds like it would be part of the VVT-i system, though none of the literature uses that term. Very crudely summarised, the camshafts will have two profiles and a sensor will cause an actuator to receive increased oil pressure, which shifts the cam.

It seems possible to buy a whole 3UZ-FE for about £1k: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384336285250

The VVT-i is entirely in the heads, so could just buy them instead, for approx £350-ish. Each side of course as it's a V engine, so there's two heads.

(For only £8995 you can add some more horse power )

I'm not too sure about how much it should cost, but it seems like £2.3k is perhaps on the high side. My first suggestion would be to take it so some place like https://www.japex.co.uk/servicing/lexus-service-specialist/  which claims to be good at VVT-i problems for a second opinion. They don't seem to be too far from you, I don't know if you could get it there.

Edited by dublet
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If you get your hands on a part number (ask whoever diagnosed), check across the Lexus/ Toyota line-up, some parts were/ are used across multiple cars of that era. If you want new, rockauto would be my site to suggest, US warehouses but with Fedex shipping, can be here in a week. Ordered loads for my LS400 and will continue to do so as required.

In terms of camshaft variator, I would agree with dublet, most likely a VVTi component. Could be something silly like a sensor/ solenoid or one or several parts. The high price tag either denotes a) its a git in labour to get to b) it is multi-part replacement or c) both!

If you get stuck, fire more questions/ thoughts below, more people in the know will surely chime in!

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2 minutes ago, hockeyedwards said:

 The high price tag either denotes a) its a git in labour to get to b) it is multi-part replacement or c) both!

High prices, even in parts can suggest a "we don't really want to do this, but we'll do it if you pay through the nose". Or perhaps Lexus dealership prices. Which given the age of the car, might even fall into "we don't really want to do this".

As it's likely head work, I wouldn't think it would be too inaccessible i.e. could do it without removing the engine. But the V does double the amount of work.

Have to say though that the VVT-i system is more clever than it is complicated, as in, it's a clever system with not actually that many parts. But you know, I'm not a mechanic.

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1 minute ago, dublet said:

High prices, even in parts can suggest a "we don't really want to do this, but we'll do it if you pay through the nose". Or perhaps Lexus dealership prices. Which given the age of the car, might even fall into "we don't really want to do this".

Ahh yes you are correct, I forgot that option haha!

2 minutes ago, dublet said:

As it's likely head work, I wouldn't think it would be too inaccessible i.e. could do it without removing the engine. But the V does double the amount of work.

Having just done a valve replacement on a 3cyl, for such a small engine, the procedure for the head removal was a sod and a half. It was first time doing that engine but I've come across simpler and more complex higher capacity ones in the past. Haven't done a 430's so can't comment on ease, about to take on a rebuild of my 400 though....

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5 minutes ago, hockeyedwards said:

Having just done a valve replacement on a 3cyl, for such a small engine, the procedure for the head removal was a sod and a half. It was first time doing that engine but I've come across simpler and more complex higher capacity ones in the past. Haven't done a 430's so can't comment on ease, about to take on a rebuild of my 400 though....

Well, on the plus side, it's not got a turbo or super charger, so none of that plumbing to get in the way. Another plus is that it's no boxer engine, so the heads aren't tucked away at the remote end of the engine bay. No four wheel drive gubbins or hybrid system to complicate matters either.

Not saying it's easy, but it could be a lot worse.

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