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Parrot of Doom

'98 400 Xenon Headlamp Question

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I've been commuting over the Woodhead bypass for the last week (an unlit hilly single carriageway across the Peak District, between Manchester and Sheffield). While driving at night, on a few occasions, oncoming traffic has flashed me, presumably because one or both of my headlamps are very bright. At first I thought it was people who didn't like Xenon lamps, but now I'm beginning to reconsider. Things I know:

1) The motors on the levelling mechanism work, I can see them cycle when I start the car. I can also see the lamps slowly changing angle as I drive, it's quite noticeable on the back of a white van, for instance, as I go over bumps.

2) The car body seems lower at the back - by around an inch or so. This may be because I have an lpg tank and spare wheel in the boot, or perhaps the springs have broken.

3) The headlamps look fairly horizontal and at the same height when parked on flat ground and shone against a wall

4) The beam cutoffs aren't anywhere near as defined as I've seen on other cars with projector headlamps

5) The lenses are pretty clear, and the washer mechanisms are fine

6) Experience tells me that while driving, the headlamps may well be a little high - I can't see much of a pool of light on the road ahead.

Tomorrow I'm going to check the two height sensors on the car's offside, as well as the rear springs. Does anyone have an alignment guide for the headlamps? I'm fairly certain that the previous owner had the bumper off to repair something or other, as it's a slightly different colour than the rest of the car. Perhaps he didn't reinstall the lights correctly - in which case, perhaps I just need to angle the lamps down. is that done with the plastic screw on the top of each lamp housing?

Also, I noticed that there is no rubber seal or strip between the bumper and headlamps (there's one between the bonnet and headlamps) - one would presume that that area would be sealed against water ingress. Can someone check to see if their car has them there?

/edit - found an official Lexus alignment guide

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Hi,

You may well find the rear height sensor link has snapped - they are a bit prone to this. The front links tend to stay intact. If this is the case, look at the following site for repair information. -

http://evansweb.info/2009/11/23/ls400-ride-height-sensor-repair

After I replaced my rear link I had to adjust both headlamps, and found the easiest way was to take the headlamps out and adjust the beam a quarter turn each time until the correct setting was achieved. I chalked a mark on the brickwork to make it a bit easier. Trying to adjust the lamps when they are installed was too difficult for me. Perhaps if I had small hands it might have been possible.

From memory, I don't think there is a rubber strip between lamp and bumper, but I will check in the morning for you.

regards,

Alan

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Have just checked on mine and there is no rubber strip between the headlamp and bumper. The gap is minimal - you could probably just about slip a knife blade in there. The adjustment for the lamps is on the rear of the housing, and not very accessable.

Regards

Alan

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Access to the rear of the lamp is very limited. I had to remove thelamps to replace mybeam bulbs

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Have just checked on mine and there is no rubber strip between the headlamp and bumper. The gap is minimal - you could probably just about slip a knife blade in there. The adjustment for the lamps is on the rear of the housing, and not very accessable.

Regards

Alan

Thanks for that. I've just checked the rear height sensor (I recall the front sensor was fine a few months ago when I last looked in there) and it is, indeed, broken. I've bodged a quick repair that won't last long, so I need to replace it pronto.

6795429633_094a2747f9_z_l.jpg

The SGS solution is elegant, but I'm wondering why a piece of Mechano and a few soft fat rubber grommets wouldn't do exactly the same thing.

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£70-£80 for a new part from Lexus - obviously that's too pricey for what it is so I'll sort it out myself.

Also, the shock absorber boot has gone. Money money money...

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That's amazing when you think about it, other drivers flashing you to let you know your rear height sensor rod has broken, thats Lexus quality for you! :lol:

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A pal of mine is going to fashion me a dog-bone shaped piece of sheet metal with holes for the bolts. I'll use soft rubber grommets to give it a little bit of play. I ain't paying £80 for a crappy bit of metal :)

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It is 24 carat gold plated for £80.00 though isn't it?

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This is the bodge I cobbled together:

6802275117_01512d705f_z.jpg

Tesco value meat skewer! And the best part is, being stainless steel it won't rust :) It'll do until my mate can sort me a neater job.

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SGS want £35 for a new part, which is perfectly reasonable, but as my mate is fashioning one for me I turned their kind offer down.

They're going to regas my bonnet struts though, about £25 each. I think that's excellent value. They'll let me know if they can't be re-gassed (age, exposure etc).

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