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SC430 Gamble


2Tanks
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Fellow owners good morning. I’m Kev from Hampshire. I’ve owned 2 LS400’s over the past 16 years so definitely a Lexus lover. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a sensible SC for the past 9 months and recently won an eBay auction. 
This was the worst car ad I’ve ever seen, no plate visible, no mileage, just a couple of pictures of it in a small garage, roof stowed, covered in dust. 
VSC light on. New Battery fitted. MOT fail Sept 23, don’t have the time!
I took a punt for silly money. 

A mate and I trailered her home on Tuesday for £35 trailer hire plus petrol. In the interim the owners started her with a jump pack, raised the roof and sadly wiped her down with a damp sponge. She started with a jump and drove onto the trailer full of lumps although she ticks over nicely. I was surprised that the immobiliser 6 minute delay wasn’t required.

l have a silver over black Sept 03 example with 84k. MOT history confirms this mileage. 7 service stamps and invoices back to 2006. Cambelt change 9k miles ago (by an independent mechanic, untraceable, I’ve tried). The car moved to France with the owner in 08, on a private plate for 5 years.

Oil level is an inch over max on the dipstick. Battery or Battery drain means electrical work before working on the engine.

My first question (of many) is, I wonder if the switch in the armrest alongside the cigarette 12v outlet is standard? I hope to use the switch to power the stereo amp which I understand is a major Battery drain  

Am I mad?

Thanks for your comments

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You’re only totally mad if you paid too much for her 😂

Hopes you have a good budget and the time to sort out all the nuances 

Good luck 

Malc 

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47 minutes ago, 2Tanks said:

Fellow owners good morning. I’m Kev from Hampshire. I’ve owned 2 LS400’s over the past 16 years so definitely a Lexus lover. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a sensible SC for the past 9 months and recently won an Ebay auction. 
This was the worst car ad I’ve ever seen, no plate visible, no mileage, just a couple of pictures of it in a small garage, roof stowed, covered in dust. 
VSC light on. New battery fitted. MOT fail Sept 23, don’t have the time!
I took a punt for silly money. 

A mate and I trailered her home on Tuesday for £35 trailer hire plus petrol. In the interim the owners started her with a jump pack, raised the roof and sadly wiped her down with a damp sponge. She started with a jump and drove onto the trailer full of lumps although she ticks over nicely. I was surprised that the immobiliser 6 minute delay wasn’t required.

l have a silver over black Sept 03 example with 84k. MOT history confirms this mileage. 7 service stamps and invoices back to 2006. Cambelt change 9k miles ago (by an independent mechanic, untraceable, I’ve tried). The car moved to France with the owner in 08, on a private plate for 5 years.

Oil level is an inch over max on the dipstick. Battery or battery drain means electrical work before working on the engine.

My first question (of many) is, I wonder if the switch in the armrest alongside the cigarette 12v outlet is standard? I hope to use the switch to power the stereo amp which I understand is a major battery drain  

Am I mad?

Thanks for your comments

They don’t  have a switch in the armrest 👍🏻

Battery drain can be an issue with some examples , tracker fitted by dealer will kill a Battery in a week !

Possible boot lights staying in etc

Try locking it with the key, not the alarm will help.

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29 minutes ago, Malc1 said:

You’re only totally mad if you paid too much for her 😂

Hopes you have a good budget and the time to sort out all the nuances 

Good luck 

Malc 

Well, mmm. What would you expect to pay for a tip top example in silver over black with 90% history, 7 stamps, 84.000 miles?

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4 minutes ago, 2Tanks said:

Well, mmm. What would you expect to pay for a tip top example in silver over black with 90% history, 7 stamps, 84.000 miles?

Prices are so varied  I’d say 2.5k to 9k .

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11 minutes ago, 2Tanks said:

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See if you can trace the wiring back to see what it does 👍🏻

Pop the heated seat switch out and lift out the centre consul wood will help …no screws it just lifts out with a bit of fiddling.

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11 minutes ago, Bob King said:

Prices are so varied  I’d say 2.5k to 9k .

OK - I have maximum 6.2k in hand... 😊

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You should be OK at £2800.

I'm not mechanically minded but the SC430 engine if properly serviced and maintained is good for 700.000 miles - Yes 700K!

One tip I have is that before my last MOT I overfilled the oil on mine to just over the Max level. That probably would not harm but the owners manual says not to do this. I dipped and wiped the dipstick about 30 times until the level showed "Max". At  the MOT station they guys said that the car would not pass on emissions so they had to run the car for about a hour until some more oil had burnt off then the reading dropped to a Pass.

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2 minutes ago, 2Tanks said:

OK - I have maximum 6.2k in hand... 😊

Well then, with £6k spare in you’re pocket you might just have enough to sort it all out 👍

Malc 

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3 minutes ago, 2Tanks said:

OK - I have maximum 6.2k in hand... 😊

Driveshaft ABS reluctor rings are common with the older examples as are the oxygen sensors .

have a look on YouTube with a tutorial on how to put out the VSC light 👍🏻

If that’s doesn’t work get yourself an engine code reader 👍🏻

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7 minutes ago, Bob King said:

Driveshaft ABS reluctor rings are common with the older examples as are the oxygen sensors .

have a look on YouTube with a tutorial on how to put out the VSC light 👍🏻

If that’s doesn’t work get yourself an engine code reader 👍🏻

I've seen the trick with the paperclip as I researched the possible issues during the auction countdown. I do have an Autel 619.
I think the issues may be bigger with the engine, as there is a diagnostic report in the paperwork which itemises:
Random cylinder misfire 2,4,6 & 8
VVT sensor Camshaft position/sensor circuit range/performance problem (bank 2)

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Misfire can be the coil power packs it just identifying which ones need replacing or do the lot.

camshaft position sensors can be found new on eBay , not done one myself but again youtube will be your best friend for advise 👍🏻

if the oil has got very dirty over time it may have clogged the position sensors …….if the engine is caked in hard burnt oil inside ….this will be the time to bail out of the project ..or get a used engine .

 First no cost fix is get oil level correct 👍🏻👍🏻

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OK, I had a couple of hours with the family mobile mechanic.

Tasks, not necessarily in the right order Ern…
Drain excess engine oil, it is fresh and not dirty (however not being run for 6 months may mean the sludge is all in the sump), Jump start, remove each of 7 injectors in sequence all showed rougher running. One plug removed and checked. I looked through the paperwork history to see new plugs December 22. Interestingly quantity: 7

He drove it 2 miles on his trade plates to the local guru whilst I followed with a jump vehicle (just in case). His report seems great on its drive-ability and I now know all the rear lights work.

Diagnostics shows P0300
2, 4, 6, and 8 (Bank 2) plus  P1354 - VVT sensor.
This prompted the removal and cleanse of the drivers side oil control valve. It was a bit gummy so was cleaned and replaced. It is a pity the 2 are “sided” so we couldn’t swap them.  Engine light remains on, VSC came and went and came again. I’m going to find a replacement valve online to chase things forward.

There is a 0.5A drain with the car locked which increases a little when the “secret” switch is thrown.

Any advice truly appreciated 

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See if YouTube give any advise on the two engine codes.

i would inspect all the plugs and also check they are the correct plug for that engine , DENSO is the factory brand.

That switch wiring needs to be inspected .

Couple of guys on forum who had flat batteries all the time fitted a Battery remote cut off, no ideal but made the cars reliable again .

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Thinking you mentioned the previous owners only replaced 7 of the plugs ?   That’s a starting point for sure ……. might be that 8th plug has never been changed due to accessibility issues 🤔

Malc 

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On the ball Malc, one is very tricky to get to! It was very tricky to remove the front right pack which is why I reported we checked only 7.

i saw this too:

 

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The video I linked to above is incorrect. I've mixed up the code numbering. Sorry.
I have read online though, that there is a conical filter associate with this valve which also clogs. I'll be checking that out in the morning..

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Well, all things point to the VVT oil valve solenoid for Bank 2.
We removed it and flushed it with brake clean. It wasn't open circuit but since researching it should have ~ 7 ohms, but I didn't take note, so I'll have to re-check it. I also viewed a video where the guy connected a Battery and operated the solenoid which could be seen altering the inner slider and ports. He suggested lowering the working section into a mug of Liqui Moly cleanser and cycling it with the Battery for a deep clean. Other videos showed a second port which houses a conical filter but this is not obvious to me on the car.
I rang my local dealer's parts department 3 times without answer, so drove to a Toyota dealer nearby.
The part numbers have been updated. He has Bank 1 but Bank 2 might arrive by May 1st :tongue_ss:. Priced at around £190. I said I'd try a cheap or used unit just to confirm it solves, or even improves the situation before ordering both new. He was great and after some chat I was offered a further 12% trade discount. After getting home Lexus parts dept were still out to lunch!

I left the Battery on charge overnight with my noco genius5 which was still pulsing green this morning. There was enough to start her (reluctantly) and it took a minute or two until the timing seemed acceptable. I may need to flush out other components.

With all the rain I'm not surprised that the O/S cubby in the boot is very wet, as is the spare tyre well. The rubber at the corner of the back window is a little proud so I wonder if that is the point of ingress? 

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Your local Main Dealer Spares Depts …….. in Canterbury the Lexus and Toyota Showrooms, whilst separate and a few hundred yards apart,  are one and the same Spares Sections located in the Toyota Dept a few hundred yards down the road …… and zero mention of Lexus ……. guess the same proprietor 🤔

Could yours be the same set-up ?

Malc 

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That may be the case Malc at Guildford, but the Toyota dealer l visited near home is 16 miles away, so easier for the recce. 

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6 minutes ago, Bob King said:

Few of us here buy our parts direct from JAPAN, look up the parts you need here….

https://www.amayama.com/en

Bob. Great advice, thank you. 
Surfing there now. 
 

The oil valve solenoid part number has changed (according to Toyota spares) with one digit increasing by one 😊

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Now I would NOT recommend buying these pattern parts , but take the part number and check them on Amayama..

https://gbr.grandado.com/products/valve-variable-control-timing-solenoid-for-lexus-gs400-gs430-gx470-ls400-ls430-lx470-sc400-sc430-15330-50011-15340-50011?variant=UHJvZHVjdFZhcmlhbnQ6MjUwMDQ1NzQx&gad_source=1

parts come from Japan or UAE 👍🏻

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