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fjcfarrar

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Everything posted by fjcfarrar

  1. The clue is in what you found. If a flat battery charges very quickly it has a low capacity - and is effectively U/S. All batteries gradually lose their capacity to store charge - usually failing after 5 - 8 years. A good battery will take quite a long time to charge i.e. if totally flat 100 Ampere-hour battery is charged at 4 Amps it will take 25 hours to reach maximum charge. The battery indicator only tells you what the battery voltage is. This does correspond to the amount of charge for a good battery but does not in itself give any clue to whether the battery is actually good. The same applies with Hygrometers built into batteries and using Hygrometers to measure the battery acid - this can only tell you that the battery is as charged as it could be given its remaining capacity - which could be minimal and still give good Hygrometer readings. Only a proper charge/discharge tester can evaluate if a battery is good or not. Realistically, most Garages do not have proper charge/discharge testers or do not understand how to use them; so the best clue if you suspect the battery is dying is to check the battery voltage by using the battery indicator to check the voltage without the engine running an hour after parking up for the night, and again the following morning. The indication should scarcely drop with a good battery. Also if you do not want a dash-cam to operate when the car is switched off, wire it to a fuse/circuit which is only "live" when the car 's systems are switched on (the feed to the sound system is an example). In these circumstances devices like a Lukas 290 is completely un-necessary and just adds expense and an unreliability factor to the equation.
  2. If the scratch is so faint that you can see it in sunshine but can't feel it at all with a fingernail, jewellers rouge (available on eBay etc.) may minimise the scratch without doing harm. You may need to use a power buffer/mop because the rouge is a very fine abrasive and cuts very slowly when applied by hand. It is also very difficult to get splashes of the rouge out of clothing. The compounds used to make modern windscreens may be tougher and thinner; but particularly when the windscreens are new and before the action of light etc. on the glass effectively modifies the surface, are much more vulnerable to scratching by whatever the wipers etc. pick up from microscopic grit and brake-dust particles thrown up from roads.
  3. Perhaps its because I'm getting old (no! I've actually got old), but am I alone in thinking that Lexus have dug too deep into the ugly bucket to come up with the looks of the RCF? I think it is just too much "in your face". All the their current crop have a touch of the 1950's Dan Dare look about them with too many whiplash lines and style points as if conceived by a huge committee where everyone was able to add their own favourite styling cues irrespective of the effect on the whole. And overdone on the RCF - perhaps today's take on the huge tail-fins and tons of chrome of America's yesteryear. For me, less is more. By chance, above this a picture of the IS200 which had timeless, subtle stying and still looks good and not desperately from nearly two decades back. I don't see that in the RCF. I am not surprised Top Gear didn't like it. They didn't like the ISF either - I think wrongly with the ISF with their twaddle about it constantly changing gear, and maybe time will prove them equally wrong about the RCF whether it is ugly or not.
  4. Beware of relying on the TomTom for ultimate speed accuracy, errors exist due to its update rate and straight-line-projection calculations, it is probably not much better than the speedo.
  5. There was a lot of initial demand for the Ultrasonic blue which didn't become available until quite late - by which time it was no longer as fashionable and less than a dozen have been sold in the UK. Rare - yes; desirable not necessarily.
  6. With only 225 or so ISFs on the UK roads, most registered before 2010, and only 4 sold in 2014; you need to weigh-up the importance of the various upgrades. The mechanical LSD makes very little difference over the very capable electronic version except in competitive driving. Some will prefer the slightly softer suspension on later models. The boy-racer ultrasonic blue colour was in great demand from non-ISF buyers and only became available on later models with very few sold (particularly with the white leather upholstery). The steering-linked headlights were dropped on later models - it was no great advantage for night driving anyway. Late models have better audio connectivity and SatNav, plus improvements in instrument and control layout. There are no UK options except the sunroof, although for a while the Mechanical LSD was optional. ISFs seem very reliable and long-lived, so you pays yer money and takes yer choice.
  7. The wheels are made by BBS, but neither BBS in the UK or USA seem aware of this (so assume it must be a Japanese subsidiary) and said in any case they would not release the paint colour code or supply any touch-up paint. In fact they were completely unhelpful and ignored enquiries unless pressed. For tiny scratches and slight kerb/rim scrapes, Gloss black touch-up from Halfords barely shows - or at least looks better than exposed bright metal on these nearly black wheels.
  8. The Lexus diesel engines never had the agility of response needed for the technology used in their auto gearboxes which were closely integrated with the electronic control systems for their petrol engines. An auto gearbox unique to the IS220/200 range would have had to be developed; but their emphasis on low emission vehicles shifted towards the greatly superior hybrid technology.
  9. On Thursday 16th the Lexus recall site showed my 2008 ISF was subject to the fuel-pipe recall and made enquiries with Lexus to see if it was urgent enough to need to be done before my next service & MOT is due next spring. Initially they advised I should contact my Dealer - but subsequently emailed me on Saturday to say my ISF is not affected - and sure enough the recall site has been updated to say the same.
  10. "If these prices can be achieved" .......... Optimist!
  11. Really any Ford made before about 1985. They were cheaper than anything else and still rotten value for money. Spares were cheap and available everywhere because they were so frequently needed. It wasn't until the late 70's they worked out that their cars had to start in the mornings. Things have changed now though and Ford models compete with everything in their class and usually win or come close.
  12. Absolutely no issues from April '08 to date with nothing replaced except tyres. A pleasant surprise has been how economical it is for the engine size - and realistically, the auto gearbox is so good that the manual mode seems fairly pointless although good fun proving to yourself that the auto actually does a better job in virtually every situation. My only mild gripe is that having gently scraped my nearside rear rim-edge a couple of times parking in tight spaces with obtrusive kerbs, revealing bare metal that really sticks out like a sore thumb against the blackish coating, am disappointed that Lexus have no touch-up paint for these wheels, even in the US - nor amazingly do the wheel manufacturers. On the other hand, small rim-scrapes are just about adequately hidden with ordinary black touch-up paint.
  13. The US workaround to play DVDs when moving demonstrates why so many of our American cousins feature in the Darwin Awards. In the UK not all laws seem to make sense; but it is totally reasonable that it is an offence to have a device fitted or adapted to display video images which are visible to the driver when the car is in motion. We choose to have laws like this protect our f**kwits from themselves - but like those forbidding the use of hand-held mobiles by drivers, they are seemingly too difficult to enforce.
  14. What you say about more air can mean more power is correct. But you are assuming the OEM intake restricts airflow. It doesn't. Lexus are not complete amateurs. What you can get is a change in the noise from under the bonnet - and with some of the aftermarket intakes, slight flow restrictions which makes things worse. Gains are hard to measure with rolling roads because there is no ram-air effect with a stationary car. The same limitations are pretty much true of aftermarket exhaust systems, although some can produce small power gains at various rpm - the big gain is a less subdued exhaust note which really can be worthwhile.
  15. I don't disagree with anything you say except that gaining something like 50 or so BHP is going to give only an imperceptible change in how it drives. Already top speed and acceleration are both limited by rear tyre grip with the wheels running faster than the speed achieved because of straightforward slip between tyres and tarmac. At the same time an extra 50 BHP on tap is never going to be a big disadvantage. The degree of restriction imposed by the ISF exhaust system is not great enough for a system with slightly less restriction to benefit performance but may be really worth it for a fuller V8 sound. As for induction, I have never found induction roar to be very exciting and systems which aim to improve power or efficiency by cooling the air entering the engine to increase its density rarely work in practice because the air enters the engine and is then heated within the manifolds etc. before entering the combustion chambers such that having it a bit cooler at entry to the manifolds is swamped by the very large heat sources between there and the combustion chambers. Maybe separately refrigerating the incoming air could produce more worthwhile gains, but even these would be offset by the power taken up in refrigerating the air. Our friends in the USA have gone to town with many power-improving modifications which are effective but do not provide pro-rata improvement in the car's performance. I suspect they are happy just to burn tyres quicker. More power leads on along the path of improving suspension, brakes and tyres until a completely different car is born...... None of this is intended to spoil anybody's effort to make their car suit them better but to contain a reminder that genuine performance improvements generally don't come from cheap induction and exhaust trinkets and low-cost tweaks - when I say cheap, not in actual £sd but as a proportion of the cost of real, significant improvements. Even these come with the rider that significantly increasing power output from any particular engine comes at the expense of its life and reliability.
  16. Just remember that there are no effective ways of making the IS200 more economical, so don't waste money on pointless nic-nacs like Induction Kits, Exhaust modifications, Filters etc all of which claim to improve mpg but do not and don't stand up to proper testing. The only ways to minimise fuel consumption are the usual - correct tyre pressures, everything running properly, brakes that do not bind etc., and keeping the weight of crap you lug around down to a minimum. Most importantly learning to drive it like a smooth six and not like a stolen Fiesta on a track day. Enjoy it. The IS200 is a great car and set new standards.
  17. I agree that the stock ISF sound is a little too restrained - but the novelty of a nicer noise would soon wear off so I don't feel inclined to got for "improved" induction and louder exhausts which will not yield anything in the way of performance or efficiency. Any restriction in flow in either is minimal so any improvement can only be correspondingly minimal. As if men in sheds (even Japanese sheds) are likely to have been able to significantly improve anything that Toyota's almost limitless resources and lengthy development would not already have achieved - particularly by only applying a few bits of cheap tubing etc. The Noise however, is rather different and is really just a matter of preference. It can usually be altered without making anything worse (or better). Whatever floats your boat and only empties your wallet within your limits.......
  18. Just using my ISF for daily drives, supermarket trips etc., I average about 24 mpg (from fuel bought against Odometer readings) but given a heavy boot, the immediate consumption display has gone down as low as 4mpg. MPG is very much down to how it gets driven. I use Sainsburys 97 RON fuel for convenience although my experiments have shown that "premium" fuels make no difference whatever that can be detected without special measuring equipment to anything except increased cost. In nearly 6 years now there appears to be no adverse effects to using "cooking" fuels.
  19. Am not too bothered by the silver "carbon fibre trims, but always thought the spacer between the rear seats looks like some lump of plastic found in a 1970's scrapyard that happened to fit the space. I don't mind a pointless filler that discourages people from trying to sit on the divider - but did it have to look so cheap and out of place? It surely must have cost a lot of money to find something quite that tacky.
  20. Wheel spacers provide an expensive opportunity to fit wheels to make an IS200 both look stupid and handle badly. But it is a free country.
  21. A factor has to be that the ISF has not really been popular in the UK in the first place with a total of 224 sold in 5 1/2 years - just an average of 41 per year and new sales falling steeply each year. While there is no special reason for this; the ISF is rarely on the lists of people looking for a car in this category despite unparalled reliability and excellent performance. It is a tight point whether rarity & exclusivity is so very different from plain unwanted except to the few that know what the ISF is and can do - and rather depends on whether you are buying or selling ..... Me, I don't care; I bought mine to keep. It still brings a smile to my face after 5 1/2 years.
  22. In 5 years of ISF ownership, the ISF seems perfectly happy with any fuel which will go down the hole in the back.
  23. The advice above is probably sound. Good luck with Insurance. Most of the usual insurers now name and include most tracks on a list where they refuse or invalidate insurance for the ISF.
  24. I had a little Fiat that I used to thrash unmercifully, and when it got old and tired I decided to see what woulfd happen if I never did anything to it except replacing actually broken parts, no oil changes (and no parts broke), no servicing. 200000 miles later the body rotted off the engine which remained perfectly healthy. Although that is extreme and not recommended, it is fair to say that for the lightly stressed IS 200 engine, changing your oil yearly will be fine using the standard types of oil which will not break down with 12Months & 5000 miles. Fully synthetic oils have lower viscosity & better lubrication properties and could give you marginally better fuel consumption - but if your oil-pump is worn could also lead to problems because synthetics are "thinner" and some oil-pumps not originally designed for synthetic oils can struggle to provide adequate pressure and circulating oil-volume.
  25. Our friends in the USA have been tinkering with ISFs for a while now, and although they have been able to add the odd 100 bhp or two, this has been found to make almost no difference to performance which at the power levels involved is limited both by aerodynamic drag and losses in traction through tyre-slip. Extra power will simply wear tyres out much quicker using a lot of extra fuel in the process. A fairly radical redesign would be needed to gain appreciable better performance using a lot more power and improved traction and more slippery body-shape techniques such as done in the Veyron. I think that puts the value of new headers into context. Similar to that of go-faster stripes.
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