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New LS400 purchased - let the fettling begin!


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1 hour ago, Malc said:

be the last one you'll ever buy tho'

Malc

I wouldn’t mind buying it at all but Phil’s went dodgy at 20k and Phil reckons it’s a design fault with too much grease rather than something breaking or faulty. I’ll follow Phil’s advice, take it out, clean and maybe apply a bit of contact grease on the contacts, but not too much.

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So latest issue and it’s a bit of a story.
Yesterday I put some Toyota fuel/injector cleaner in the tank and filled it up. Drove home, parked it up and decided to put the Optimate Battery conditioner on it for a few days and use the IS250 to go to work.
A few days ago I bought a black first aid/storage box that was missing for the passenger seat and it arrived today. As soon as I got home I went to the car to see if it’s the right one, opened the passenger door and put it in. Result……and was chuffed it fitted fine.
However, I noticed the inside of the car smelled of petrol. Brilliant………another issue to deal with!! Spent a bit of time sniffing around the engine bay, inside the car and in the boot. Seemed like it was worse in the boot.

I had to have a look straight away so had something to eat, turned the car round on the drive so the boot was in front of the garage and I could see what I was doing. The previous owner had replaced the fuel tank which was a clue and only happened cos the tank was full. So out with the lamp for better light and took the rest of the boot lining out so I could see the fuel tank and all the pipe work. Looked around the filler pipe etc but couldn’t see anything there. Next thing was the gauge assembly where it went into the tank about 2/3 up and is sealed with a gasket and 6 screws. Petrol evaporates quickly so I was looking for stains, under the fuel gauge sender there seemed to be staining so looked closer and sure enough it’s was weeping fuel slightly at the bottom. Bounced the car to slosh the fuel around and I could see the weeping quite clearly. Got the screwdriver out to check how tight they were, maybe when the tank was replaced the screws were not tightened enough or have been disturbed. Couldn’t really tighten them so out with the ratchet and an 8mm socket. They were not tight using the ratchet, I tightened them up gradually working round all the screws bit by bit like tightening up wheel nuts just holding the ratchet at the socket end of the ratchet otherwise you can put too much torque on and strip the threads. Not something I wanted to do with a full tank of fuel. I spent a while gradually tightening all the screws, leaving for a bit then repeat until the gasket was compressed and I was happy I’d tightened them as much as I dare. Result is that I think it’s stopped the weeping or a hell of a lot better but I will get a new gasket and also keep checking in the boot for any sign of weeping again until I get the new gasket. There is also the breather on top of the tank but that seemed ok.

It is possible where the fuel pump enters the tank on the other side behind the rear seat is also weeping because I know that has been replace so will take the rear seat out at the weekend and check.

Oh what fun old cars are!! But it keeps me occupied🙃

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Forgot the photo of the tank and the gauge sender unit on the tank and a picture of the drivers rear arch viewable from inside the boot with the rh lining and toolbox holder removed. This is the area on the Mk4 that can rust and rot.

17199427-7A73-457D-ACFF-3053E48DF1D2.thumb.jpeg.0f0295a63723d875f9155c1bd88350f8.jpeg

E0304733-26D6-46BF-AD8E-A8774AC2989F.thumb.jpeg.d8d173ab0b14680db73d15cde001b698.jpeg

 

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3 hours ago, rich1068 said:

Good to hear you finally got one! :thumbsup:

Thanks Richard, it needs a few things doing on it. Bodywork and rust/corrosion wise it very solid with none of the common issues, just like your old one😉

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I spoke too soon abut the fuel leak, checked this morning and it's still weeping. New gasket needed and some Permatex gasket sealant on the new gasket to make sure it wont leak again.

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23 hours ago, Razor61 said:

£122.50 for a new ignition switch from LPD

Yeah it is a generic switch not made by Toyota and when I did some research it  is even fitted to some european cars and cost around £40.

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3 hours ago, Razor61 said:

I spoke too soon abut the fuel leak, checked this morning and it's still weeping. New gasket needed and some Permatex gasket sealant on the new gasket to make sure it wont leak again.

Unlucky but a new gasket should do it. ambermarine says it’s a generic switch…so is the right fit?

Is it a bite the bullet future proof action of getting an OE part? Ayamama could get a good price from abroad or the parts direct division of Lexus Swindon worth a try.

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2 minutes ago, Tinonline said:

Unlucky but a new gasket should do it. ambermarine says it’s a generic switch…so is the right fit?

Is it a bite the bullet future proof action of getting an OE part? Ayamama could get a good price from abroad or the parts direct division of Lexus Swindon worth a try.

Sorry my error…the part was the ignition switch so a gasket for the fuel float likely to do it. 🙄🤭

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On 1/5/2022 at 5:58 PM, Razor61 said:

I wouldn’t mind buying it at all but Phil’s went dodgy at 20k and Phil reckons it’s a design fault with too much grease rather than something breaking or faulty. I’ll follow Phil’s advice, take it out, clean and maybe apply a bit of contact grease on the contacts, but not too much.

Paul when you dismantle the switch be careful, there are two spring loaded ball bearings on each side of the mechanism running in a groove on the casing

They will launch  into oblivion if not captured as the mechanism comes out of the casing .The grooves are visible if you shine a bright light at the casing, that way you can catch them in the escape mode.

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1 hour ago, ambermarine said:

Paul when you dismantle the switch be careful, there are two spring loaded ball bearings on each side of the mechanism running in a groove on the casing

They will launch  into oblivion if not captured as the mechanism comes out of the casing .The grooves are visible if you shine a bright light at the casing, that way you can catch them in the escape mode.

👍🏻 maybe I can take you up on your offer of your old switch then just in case? I'll send you a PM.

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Car went into Lexus Bolton this morning and the result of the Health Check was very good overall and I had a good look underneath whilst on the ramp. It’s excellent underneath as described by the previous owner so no worries there at all.
Couple of things need doing that I didn’t know about:
Front drivers side spring needs seating properly, the bottom end of the spring isn’t located against the ‘stop’ on the strut and is on the top of it. This accounts for the noise I’d been hearing and thought it was a broken spring somewhere. Wheel off, spring compressors on to release the tension just enough to move the spring into the correct place will sort it out.
Slight leak on the transmission pan which will be sorted when it goes into Lexus on Monday for other work.
I picked up the new boot seal (I’ll fit it when the rain stops) and the replacement key had arrived as well which will be programmed next week as well.

As with the last LS400, Lexus Bolton and I have decided on a plan of work to get things sorted. It will cost a few quid but will be worth it now I know the car is worth spending on. You may wonder why it will cost a few quid but it will become clear below……..


Plan of work for next week at Lexus Bolton:

New key will be programmed.
Transmission fluid replaced along with new filter and pan leak will be sorted by default.
The biggest expense will be for checking the valve clearances and adjusting as required with new shims. All the different sized shims are available at the moment but if I leave it 6 months or longer then they may not be. Better to bite the bullet and get it done now.
I couldn’t live with the tappet noise anyway even though you can’t hear it in the car, I expect the engine to be smooth and quiet after, as it should be.
I’m lucky that Lexus Bolton have 2 Master technicians who have worked on the LS400 and know how to do the valve clearances and anything else, not all Lexus dealers have this.
 

Update on the ‘VSC Off’ issue. When the ‘VSC Off’ light comes on after starting the car - if I turn off the ignition and then startup the car again the ‘VSC Off’ doesn’t come on and stays off. That means there’s probably nothing wrong with the VSC sensors etc, maybe it is the ignition switch at fault.

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4 hours ago, Razor61 said:

The biggest expense will be for checking the valve clearances and adjusting as required with new shims.

Blimey, that's going to be needing a ££££ Lottery Win then :unsure:

Malc

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21 minutes ago, Malc said:

Blimey, that's going to be needing a ££££ Lottery Win then :unsure:

Malc

Maybe not, it will probably be £££ and not ££££😉 but will let you know the eventual cost. Its mostly labour plus how many shims are needed @ something like £20 a shim. I did read a post from the USA about this and the cost ended up at $1700 or so, Lexus split the cost with the customer.
I’m told it can be done without removing the camshafts and I trust what the the master technician at Bolton says, on the last LS400 I needed a new front brake shield. Manual says the wheel hub and bearing need to be removed but the master technician has a method of doing it without removing the wheel hub and bearing and he did it no problem. There is no substitute for experience, as the saying goes.
I bought the car for less than advertised so I have some money to play with to get it how I want it.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again, Lexus Bolton have been great. As part of the RRG group they were one of the first to sell the LS400 in the UK from their Toyota dealership (Stockport I think) and a lot of the staff transferred to Lexus Bolton when it opened so they have experience from the beginning. People who know the cars (not just the newer ones), experienced mechanics/technicians, service staff, parts staff, sales etc. I don’t think you get that with all Lexus dealers.
 

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Well, where do I start………….let’s start with the noisy tappet.

Lexus Bolton stripped off all the stuff needed then removed the valve cover off the problem cylinder head, checked the valve clearances, adjusted one with a new shim and re assembled. When they ran the engine the noise was still there so stripped it down again. The cause of the noise turned out to be collapsed/broken/disintegrated collets on one of the valves. So new valve spring and collets fitted on that valve. Mechanic was amazed that it hadn’t caused a major failure. In view of that, all the rest will be checked on the other bank of cylinders along with the valve clearances just to be sure. 

Timing/cam belt had been replaced but the water pump hadn’t been replaced since new, the idlers had belt residue on them and some corrosion but no real play in them so in theory could be cleaned up. However, being the way I am, I had the whole lot replaced while the work was being done including a brand new timing/belt. Maybe ott but I will have documented proof from Lexus of all the work and I can drive anywhere without much worry.

Spark plugs were not genuine so a new set have been fitted, I planned to do them anyway. New key, transmission fluid and filter changed, new gaskets for the fuel tank (Lexus will fit the sender gasket next week to fix the fuel leak when it arrives), exhaust flanges will be or have been coated with VHT paint (provided by me), new oil filter fitted (I managed to mangle the end a bit when I changed the oil and filter a week or so ago cos I forgot I had the correct filter wrench and did it with a universal one)

I think that’s it and will get the car back next week sometime. I’ll then fit the new boot seal when the weather is ok but I need to spend some time cleaning and sorting out some surface rust on the lower bit of the boot lip and then rub down and paint it all. I want to remove the lower trim on the rear window but the ends are still stuck down so will have a think about that.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Razor61 said:

surface rust on the lower bit of the boot lip

That was the wrong description, it’s not on the boot itself but on the seam where the boot seal clips/fixes to on the bottom.

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I’ve now got the car back after all the work. There was one valve clearance too tight and one too loose on the rh bank looking from the front of the car. Opposite bank has been checked as well and they are within spec. Engine is quiet now as it should be and driving it back to work and then home it seems quicker and more responsive and better than the Mk3 I think due to the vvti. Although I don’t think the engine is as quiet as the non vvti engine, just my opinion. Gearbox is nice and smooth, it was before but I think it’s a bit better.
VSC off issue I think has been resolved, when I went to Phil (Ambermarine) to pickup the ignition switch he showed me a sticker on the fuse box on his car which had the instructions to reset the VSC after the Battery has been disconnected. Press the brake pedal when starting and keep it pressed for 20 secs, or something to that effect. Thanks Phil👍
I’ll sort out the front spring at the weekend which isn’t seated correctly and sort the boot seal.
Exhaust flanges have been sprayed with VHT paint so will not corrode away, I’ve bought a used SatNav/Audio unit as a spare and I’m looking for an instrument cluster assy to buy as a spare. Phil recommended this and I’ve followed his advice.
There is some noise on the suspension going over speed bumps, pot holes and rough surfaces but nothing bad at all by any means. I notice it but passengers won’t. I’m not going to fit all the suspension arms, uca’s and other suspension bits I have yet, I’ll drive it until the summer and have a proper look then.
Fuel tank sender gasket will be done after it arrives next week so after that it should be all sorted and ready to enjoy, I did enjoy driving again today and it reminded me just how good they are.

The last time I bought an LS400 I bought mainly on mechanical condition and external body condition without knowing the potential rust/corrosion areas to check. Turns out it had rust/corrosion issues. This time I bought mainly on body/chassis condition, checking the potential rust areas and all the preventative work that had been done underneath etc, which is all spot on. Turns out it had mechanical issues which have been sorted out now, maybe next time I’ll buy one without any issues at all……………if Phil decides to sell his car😀

 

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