Ownership Verified: Four more litres of displacement ('92 LS400)

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I wish front plates were as small as on Italian cars.
 

MXM

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Decided to finally solve the issue of intermittently leaking sunroof. Firstly checked that draining channels work, and they seem to be completely clean. Yet when I pour enough water over the closed sunroof, the water ends up in the headliner. It was not obvious where the water was coming from, so I had to disassemble the interior a little bit. Finally I can see the problem!

(caution: video may cause an urgent need to take a piss)

The sunroof channels are not overflowing, there is another issue.



The black plastic corner piece is concave. The water gets guided on top of it by, presumably, capillary action along the sunroof seals, drips into the "bucket" formed by the plastic piece, and then continues along the green arrows. It's mainly coming over that piece of foam, which should be sealing when the little spoiler lowers on top if it, as the sunroof is closing, but it's worn and doesn't seal. But even if it was ok, the water would still find a way inside, because the outer edge is rather high.

There is a factory service bulletin regarding the issue, even:


The right hand side is pictured, I believe.

So the new piece does not have this concave shape, and guides the water into the channel right away. Unfortunately it's not available through the dealer, so I'm over(fort)nighting it from Japan. If that doesn't help, I'll just silicone the shit out of every possible water path.


In other news, ordered a big timing belt kit, including waterpump and bunch of other stuff, planning to do that job in a month or so.
 

MXM

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So the new piece does not have this concave shape, and guides the water into the channel right away. Unfortunately it's not available through the dealer, so I'm over(fort)nighting it from Japan.
Out of production, order cancelled :( So an ugly kludgy solution then.
 

MXM

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Here's a better illustration of the "bucket" formed by the corner pieces, presumably warped by the years of tension caused by the spoiler pressing down, and exposure to sun whenever the roof is open:



I blasted them with heatgun, and tried to straighten as much as I could:



But just in case, I also sealed all contact points, to make sure there is no path for the water. In addition I filled the "bucket" with more silicone to make a slope, so the water returns to the surrounding channel. I didn't use regular sealant silicone here, but a thing called Sugru, because it has consistency of modelling clay. It sets fully in about 24h, and becomes like a stiff rubber. Really a wonder substance, highly recommend if you've never played with it before :)

This is how it looks with spoiler up and down


And a close up



So, did it work?


You bet, it did! :D
 

MXM

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Started a timing belt job, but as I'm taking things apart, it's beginning to look like I need to order a bunch more parts. It doesn't seem likely to me that this car saw a whole lot service in the last 15 years ;)

The radiator looks really horrible. Although it doesn't leak, it doesn't seem wise putting it back in. The ignition wires were really stuck, both on the spark plugs and on the distributor cap. I had to literally use pliers to remove them. And in fact, one of the contact pins was so corroded, that it snapped inside the cap socket. So I guess I better get a new set of wires and distributor caps.

The problem is that many things are much more economical to order from US or Japan, even with import taxes. Somehow parts availability is a bit shit for LS in Europe. I'm going to try and disassemble everything over the weekend, so I can see what else I might need.
 

Lastsoul

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Amazing that it still works so well despite of neglect. Not many high end cars achieve that!
 

MXM

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Amazing that it still works so well despite of neglect. Not many high end cars achieve that!
I was thinking exactly the same. The safety margin here is massive.

Had another wrenching session today. Adding to the shopping list: distributor rotors and spark plugs. Both quite worn. And the plugs came out with a lot of effort, I was scared I'd strip the threads.

Current situation:



The crank pulley bolt is being difficult. My ghetto methods didn't work, so I need to make or buy a tool to hold the pulley in place while undoing the bolt. And then another issue entirely is getting the pulley out ;)
 
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Lastsoul

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That era was make or break for Lexus. They absolutely HAD to show their product was at least as good as the other luxury brands, so overengineering was a must.
Good point, and that's why I adore the LS400. They had only one chance, and they nailed it.
 

MXM

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Throttle plate, evidently covered in Vantablack:



The inside of the manifold is similar:



Then I took the cam covers off. Uh oh, the left one is a bit darker...



The valvetrains differ in colour as well. Here's the right side and the left side:



Anyone has an idea why there might be such a difference? This is the basic schematic of how the covers ventilate:



The right (clean) side is connected directly to intake, just before the throttle valve. The left (dirty) side has a PCV valve to the manifold. I bought a new PCV valve just in case, but even if it's stuck in open position, what is causing all the dirt? Backfire?
 

MXM

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Valve clearances:


Specs for inlet are 0.15-0.25, for exhaust 0.25-0.35. The values in the table show the largest feeler gauges that fit, and I have them in 0.05mm steps, so the red values are technically out of spec. The difference is minimal though, and adjustment means ordering new shims, so at the moment I'm thinking of leaving it as is. But on the other hand, I'm already this far into it, and I might squeeze a few extra hp by adjusting it to minimum gap? ;)
 
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MXM

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I never posted the update it seems, but the belt job was successful and the car is happily running. Also passed inspection with no faults.

Meanwhile autumn came... crazy amount of leafs on the car every morning.



For a change - not everything on the LS is beautifully engineered. Here's the water inlet to the radiator. The piece covering the thermostat is plastic, and it has melted! Not completely, but it's soft enough for the water to start making holes and seeping/spraying through. Looks so bizarre.



Got a replacement for 55? from the dealer. Costs half as much in US, but shipping and import duties.. oh well, this was rather urgent anyway.



And now the next season is upon us. Have to deal with this crap on my windows in the mornings now.

 

MXM

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Oh wow, didn't realize I haven't posted here anything last year. Short recap:

During last year's wintermeet the left rear quarter was reshaped a bit against a snow bank, which was straightened and painted during the summer. Careful inspection also revealed that there are several panels that have been repainted. This car has seen some shit during the last 10 owners 😄

Crashed:3555001 (@nicjasno took the photo)

Fixed: 3555002


I also started debugging the non-working aircon, and it has started working (briefly) after refilling it. Unfortunately there's a leak, and someone has tried to debug it before, because there's a UV-indicator fluid in the system, which helped me locate it ;) I bought the seals and a new receiver/drier, but... didn't actually install anything. Will do that this spring hopefully.

There was slack in the suspension, changed some bushings in the front, still have to do the rear. Otherwise chooching well.

I was going to put it on sale after getting the Panda, but after this winter I changed my mind, for now anyway. While Panda is hilarious to drive, but I'm starting to appreciate the feeling of serenity and isolation that Lexus provides, and I can't think of anything else that could match it for the money. So I can't let it go just yet.
 
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