2002 LX470 in search of dirt (1 Viewer)

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I am too busy being furious about how clean and rust free that undercarriage is

Haha. As others have said here, this is what a California car looks like. But we definitely pay a “sun tax”!

And lest you think I’m spoiled, I’ve paid my dues with my other car that required literally 100 hours of welding and metalwork to replace the rust. And I’m not even done with that yet.
 

flintknapper

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Haha. As others have said here, this is what a California car looks like. But we definitely pay a “sun tax”!

And lest you think I’m spoiled, I’ve paid my dues with my other car that required literally 100 hours of welding and metalwork to replace the rust. And I’m not even done with that yet.

Then you are deserving of it.

One thing is for certain.....the one you got 'put the C in Clean'.....very nice.

Congrats.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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The timing belt picture has a little shine to the outside edge of the belt like there might be some oil on it, did/do you see this too?

That belt doesn't look new, but it can be hard to say. I changed my neighbors timing belt and the works with him and at 180k his belt looked perfect. He's the original owner and never knew it was something to change until he came over when I was doing mine.
 
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The timing belt picture has a little shine to the outside edge of the belt like there might be some oil on it, did/do you see this too?

That's just a glare from the light. After a little more research here, I got better views from the right side access cover. I know you all know these details and the info is repeated here many times, but my memory is a sieve and my patience for searching here is limited, so I'm documenting in my own thread :)
  • On the airbox, open up the air filter cover, detach MAF, unscrew 2 10mm bolts, remove 4 hoses, remove clip at the throttle body, remove airbox.
  • On the timing belt access cover, remove 4 10mm bolts. The odd one in the middle is not detachable from the cover (I think... and so far I haven't figured out the sequence to completely move the cover out of the way).
OK, so here are a few shots. No visible cracks. Teeth look unworn and fit nicely into the grooves. I did not turn the crank (can I?) so was not able to find any manufacturer markings.

Would it be reasonable to conclude based on this visual inspection that it has been replaced? If so, I'm thinking it has AT MOST 35k miles on it, given Lexus maintenance history up to 100k miles does not mention a timing belt and the current mileage is 135k.

1608684093480.png


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I’ll assume a non response about my timing belt inspection means there is no immediate alarm. So moving on to another topic.

How do you inspect the water pump for leaks? Dealer said it is “weeping”.

I took the skid plate off and peeked from under. I know pink is bad and I didn’t notice any so I’m wondering if the dealer’s assessment was based in this. Apologies for my ignorance, I’m still getting oriented.
8C5E86A9-B8D4-48FA-BE0F-5FD9519BA0D6.jpeg
 

flintknapper

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Belt looks fine (most will). The 'concern' (if any) is usually with the water pump, the tensioner or one of the pulleys. If any of those fail (seize) then that takes out the belt.

All water pumps have a 'weep hole' that is designed to let coolant 'weep' out when/if the seal in the water pump is failing. It is meant to help WARN of an impending, more serious failure. But in reality....water pumps rarely hard fail....but do so over a long period of time. The trouble with a leaking WP on these vehicles (because of where it is located) is that the coolant gets thrown all around inside of the covers by the belt. This will eventually find its way into bearing seals (pulleys).

At the bottom of your engine near the Crank there is small slot that allows coolant and oil to escape from the timing belt area. You should be able to inspect that area and note whether it is wet. It can be a mixture of oil and coolant (not just coolant) in some cases.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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I'd ask again as it may have been missed - did any of the bolts/nuts on the covers, water pump, etc, have tool marks on them?
 
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Does the belt have any markings on it?
No but I only looked at the portion visible from the top of the covers. I assume I’d be looking for new markings as evidence of a recent replacement?

I'd ask again as it may have been missed - did any of the bolts/nuts on the covers, water pump, etc, have tool marks on them?
In the prior photo, I believe there is a decent shot of the bolts for the thermostat housing, which may show marks from prior repairs. Does that help?
 

AlpineAccess

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No but I only looked at the portion visible from the top of the covers. I assume I’d be looking for new markings as evidence of a recent replacement?


In the prior photo, I believe there is a decent shot of the bolts for the thermostat housing, which may show marks from prior repairs. Does that help?

The thermostat is often replaced at a different interval than the timing belt. My thermostat failed (open) after about 50k, so I replaced it - takes about 20-30 minutes including bleeding the cooling system again. Their springs weaken over time too, so if its been in there for 15 years it might have been swapped too, without doing the timing belt. You can do the thermostat without removing anything related to the timing belt.

I'd do what I could to chase down if the dealer can confirm if they did it or not by calling them. On the timing belt/cam covers I don't see any tool marks. I'd assume it hasn't been done.
 
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From all the belts I have seen that does not look like its only 35k old. Not to alarm you, but I would start the process of either planning for self work or budget for shop replacement. They have been know to go many mile's pass your's on one belt, but to what end? Is it worth risking your new purchase? I just changed mime due to 9 years passed not mileage. What I have now is the warm feeling is that everything under the "covers" on my new to me 250K 20 year old ride is now good for another 100k. Two schools of thought, I come from the preventive medicine world. I change the timing belt on every car when i get them, that includes my 2000 RAV4 with 210k and the 1988 MR2 with 310k. some just run it till it breaks. To each there own i guess.
 
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But until then, my biggest issue is having people judge me as a Lexus owner since I’m more of a beater car guy! I bought this not because it’s a luxury vehicle, but because it’s a 4x4, so I guess I need to find some trails and dirty this up!

Why??? Own that sh*t! I love that I have a Lexus! I'm always ribbing my Jeep buddy about how my 21 year old Lexus has stuff his newer Gran Cherokee doesn't! Plus there's just something about it. Feels almost stealth. Yeah, you'll get Lexus comments, but whatever. You can do the same trails as the people poking fun so who cares!

Great find by the way. And really good price for how clean it is.
 
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If the timing belt has been replaced by a dealer (or reputable indy) there should be a 'sticker' somewhere under the hood in the engine bay area.
I already looked around and none to be found. Sounds like the sticker is common practice.

From all the belts I have seen that does not look like its only 35k old.
What exactly are you looking at to make that conclusion? Just trying to learn. Thanks
 

flintknapper

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You will occasionally get the "why are you off roading in a Lexus" person but so what. I got heated seats and leather with my 2" lift at the push of a button

^^^^

Same people wouldn't even blink if it wore a Land Cruiser badge. I guess they have no clue that they are the SAME vehicle with the exception of a few added features on the LX. So performance wise....they are pretty much identical.

BOTH vehicles (when new) were expensive and 'high end' 4WD vehicles.....so I'm not really sure where the 'snobbery' gets applied to the Lexus.

When shopping for a 100 series....I was looking for a straight up Land Cruiser because I like the front end on them better. But what I found was:

1. Land Cruisers were harder to find.
2. Priced higher than the LX470's I was finding.
3. Had more miles on them (on average).
4. Had WAY less maintenance records.
5. Were not in as good a shape (on average).

In the end I opted for the Lexus. One owner (lady driven), dealer maintenance, fairly low miles, rust free, perfect interior, always garage kept. Bought it for $8800.00

Never had anyone say the first word about it being a "Lexus". But if they did.....I think I can live with it.
 
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What exactly are you looking at to make that conclusion? Just trying to learn. Thanks

A little hard to explain but the side of the belt that you see starts to develop a "shadowing" for lack of a better term. You can see a color change that is a direct pattern to the cam teeth. While all belts get this over time, my observation is that if your belt was changed at the factory intervals of 90K It only has about 45k, seems more worn that I have seen in the past. If I was a betting man, that's the original belt. This is not to alarm you there are documented cases on this forum with 200k on a belt, but coupled with no service records from what I thought I read in your post, and no sticker under the hood. I have a 1988 MR2 that has a sticker on the hood from 1994 hard to read, but still there, plus one more and the one I put on last year. I have not met a mechanic that would not put a sticker after a T/B change just not a quality touch. So, while all that and $5 gets you a Starbucks or so I have heard, its your ride and your $$.
 
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At the bottom of your engine near the Crank there is small slot that allows coolant and oil to escape from the timing belt area. You should be able to inspect that area and note whether it is wet. It can be a mixture of oil and coolant (not just coolant) in some cases.
Is this the weep hole under the crank?
F577E5A3-66F7-4705-B3E2-0C76C842270D.jpeg


If so, here’s another shot of the area under that hole, looking for coolant remnants.
52D6344C-5597-42A9-A55B-EECA4A0FDDE1.jpeg


I am totally willing to replace the water pump, timing belt and surrounding parts for peace of mind, but I just want to get a sense of how urgent it may be. My situation seems to suggest it should be a high priority but not my absolute first.

I was not impressed with the dealers inspection report. I could have provided the same info without pulling out a tool. So I’m wondering if their recommendation for a water pump replacement was lazy and based on knowledge of this engine, not an actual assessment of my car.
 
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flintknapper

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Is this the weep hole under the crank?
View attachment 2534347

If so, here’s another shot of the area under that hole, looking for coolant remnants.
View attachment 2534355

I am totally willing to replace the water pump, timing belt and surrounding parts for peace of mind, but I just want to get a sense of how urgent it may be. Evidence seems to suggest it should be a high priority but not my absolute first.

I was not impressed with the dealers inspection report. I could have provided the same info without pulling out a tool. So I’m wondering if their recommendation for a water pump replacement was lazy and based on prior experience of this model, not an actual assessment of my car.

Yes, that is the spot and it looks bone dry to me. I would not expect to find any significant leaks from your water pump, cam seals or crank seal. Though you would not know the condition of the tensioner pulley or idlers.
 
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I am too busy being furious about how clean and rust free that undercarriage is
Yeah it's clean for sure. I had to restrain my shock when I first inspected the car. But if it makes you feel any better, we pay a heavy "sun tax" over here. I'm happy to trade mortgages and property taxes with any non-Californian :)

Anyway, over the last month, I've done some baselining a little bit at a time since I don't know the recent maintenance history:
  • Motor oil change to Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic 5w30 and filter to Denso 90915-YYZD3 (taller than OEM)
  • Front diff, rear diff, transfer case oil change to Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Oil 75w90
  • New allen head fill/drain plugs for the rear diff and transfer case, to match the front diff and avoid stripped heads.
  • Power steering fluid change to Mobil 1 Multi-Vehicle ATF.
Next task: Transmission fluid exchange and filter cleaning. Although mine is an 02, I'm going to put in the 03+ pan gasket (#35168-60010) and avoid the FIPG since it sounds like that is ok to do. If that is a big no-no, I'd appreciate any warnings. Thanks!
 

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