Howplum

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About Howplum

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  • First Name
    Howard
  • Lexus Model
    LS400
  • Year of Lexus
    1996
  • UK/Ireland Location
    Buckinghamshire

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  1. Excellent idea Malc. I found the rustiest part of the rear brake pipes was underneath the retaining clips and above the splash shield by the rear offside door, none of which were immediately obvious without some dismantling, so could be missed at MoT time.
  2. It might be worth asking this company: https://www.watling-towbars.co.uk/ They listed one in 2009.
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhIM1a8oB_0 Prompt action is the order of the day. Hopefully polishing will suffice if caught in time.
  4. I found that Lexus couldn't give me a definitive answer about the lower panel colour, and using the website mentioned above, which I think is for US market, gave me UCA31, Light Metallic Grey, which turned out to be wrong. The correct code for my car was UCA76, Medium Metallic Grey, which I found out by going to a paint supplier, who had it listed as being for the bumpers. It might be worth speaking to a paint supplier, to see if they can help. I used Nu-Agane Paints in Bedford - 01234 355990.
  5. I have just been having another look at my exhaust and it is possibly worse than I thought. These are the rotten flanges, which I now can see are no longer attached to the front support: Because there is no provision for any centre support the weight of the entire system is taken by rear rubber hangers and these very rusty flanges and bolts, which I can foresee giving way in the not too distant future. I therefore had a good look at the rest of the system, which essentially seems sound enough after 24 years, although the centre and rear joint clips could do with replacing, because Lexus used steel bolts, even though the clips themselves are stainless steel. The clips for the front Y piece cover have all but disappeared as well. As well as a pinhole leak in the rear Y piece I also noticed the centre nearside silencer is starting to rust along the seam, which is underneath, whereas on the nearside the seam is on top - much more sensible but presumably something that wasn't considered at the time. I shall be going to see a couple of exhaust specialists this week, so I'll see what they say.
  6. I am thinking of trying this JB Weld HighHeat epoxy putty, probably as a temporary fix until I have time to address the issue properly. It gets good reviews, but I wondered if anyone had personal experience of using it. https://www.jb-weld.co.uk/highheatep I would than apply a VHT paint, such as the Rust-oleum Hard Hat 750o used by Phil, although I would prefer the brushable version. I have been in correspondence the the ever helpful Daniel at Lexus Parts Direct, and although the cats are NLA, he has a customer who is very particular, and he has used cats made by BM Catalysts, which are available on Ebay for about £100 each, with a 2 year warranty. Not too horrific. Apparently the studs in the manifold/cat flange, of which there are 6, are £8 each!
  7. Phil, it was an interesting experience, but there was a lot of sitting around! I was given the impression by the studio that they had done work before for Toyota/Lexus, and in fact there were a couple of Toyotas from their Heritage Fleet there as well, but nothing exciting. Regarding the cats, apparently these are no longer available from Lexus, although they sell the fitting kits for £110, which seems a bit steep, although I can't find any alternatives at the moment.
  8. Thank you for those very useful tips. I'm sure it will be worth removing the entire system and giving it a few more years of life, although it's a daunting prospect.
  9. On Monday, having given the car its longest run in many years, I have now discovered that there is an exhaust leak from where the nearside catalytic converter (CC) joins the downpipe, which I gather is quite common. Still, I suppose it hasn't done too bad for 24 years. It looks as though part of the CC's flange has completely rotted away. The offside is pretty crusty as well, but isn't blowing, yet. The rest of the system looks sound, although when the engine is cold there is a drip from the rear Y piece, although it doesn't seem to be leaking. Is that normal? For the eagle eyed amongst you, the triangular plate fitted to the rear Y piece is missing because the bolts snapped when I removed it to access other areas. A portent of things to come? I understand that my exhaust should be stainless steel, apart from the CCs perhaps, so I am reluctant to replace the entire system without exploring other options first. Ideally I would like to remove the entire system, replace both CCs and have localised repairs carried out where necessary. Easy to say, but I suspect but not so easy to do. Hopefully it wouldn't involve removing the manifolds to drill out the seized studs. I have read of new flanges being welded onto the CCs, or even having the CCs replaced by straight pipe, but as new CCs are available from £65 replacement seems the best option, bearing in mind the limited mileage and pampered life the car will now lead. There are a couple of exhaust specialists nearby who make custom systems in stainless steel, so I will be letting them have a look whilst resisting any attempts to sell me a complete system. I know there a a few topics on here about this problem, but I wondered if anyone has had experience of the cheaper CCs.
  10. Some of you may remember a topic was created a little while ago asking for an LS400 with an interior in good condition because Lexus UK has commissioned a company to do a 360o image. Well, my car was chosen, not necessarily because it is better than anybody else's, but apparently because I lived nearer the studio, although it was still a 2 1/2 hour journey to the south coast! So yesterday I set off at 7:00 a.m., having spent a couple of hours detailing the interior on Sunday afternoon, not knowing quite what to expect, although I had read somewhere that photoshoots can involve a lot of waiting around, which turned out to be true. The process is fairly straightforward. Basically they take 8 shots with a specially mounted camera, using several different exposures, and then a very clever piece of software stitches everything together after the images have been vetted. I did take a couple of external shots whilst the car was in the studio, which seemed quite forgiving of the less than perfect paintwork: Apparently someone will let me know when the final product is available, and I will then post a link.
  11. Just in case anyone is interested, I used this company for the badges: https://invictaspraychrome.co.uk/ It cost me £60 for all five badges, including VAT and postage, which seemed very reasonable to me, especially since the only other quotation I got was £140.
  12. So do I go the whole hog and have the wheel badges and new aerial ferrule done as well?
  13. I replaced the fuel flap solenoid today, so that now works perfectly. The old one looked a bit corroded. The restored gold badges arrived today, so they are now back on the car. They look MUCH better, but obviously are not to everyone's taste. I'll need to paint the inside of the grille emblem matt black to tone down the "bling" factor, as per the factory finish.
  14. Yesterday "Postman Pat" delivered my timing belt kit from Rock Auto, although fitting it might have to wait a while whilst I finish off some of my house DIY projects. It came in a box marked Aisin, although some of the parts are made by others, but all are made in Japan. However, the timing belt by Mitsuboshi did make me think of Chinese copies, but apparently they are a bona fide belt manufacturer, and have been since 1932. It looks a though the solenoid for the fuel flap is faulty so I have sourced a used one from eBay for £25. A lot better than the main stealer's price of £360!