FNG Intro - 1999 LX470

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Jan 29, 2022
Freeport, Florida, USA
Just joined the site after picking up a 99 LX to refurbish and play with. 185k miles and in pretty good shape. One interesting thing: It has an OEM winch inside the front bumper. I think everything works. Drivetrain is sooo smooth. $8k.

Already learned a lot from this site, so thanks.

First few things to tackle:
  1. timing belt plus all the 'while you're in there' stuff including starter
  2. front fogs/turn signal lights
  3. suspected leaking power steering reservoir
  4. front driver's lean (I'm hoping it's just a torsion bar nut adjustment)
  5. wandering steering
  6. front end wear components (sparked by #4 and popped upper ball joint boots)
  7. front AHC inop - hmmm, I think I want to save it instead of scrap it
  8. recover seats, carpet, door leather, steering wheel
If anyone reads this and the to-do list spark any ideas or 'wish I had known' type tips, please let 'em fly...thanks in advance

I look forward to being a part of the community...

PXL_20220123_222708472 (2022-01-29T19_59_14.749).png
Welcome! I'm intrigued about that OEM winch. Let's see pics!

1. Timing Belt job - IMO, do all the bearings, including the fan bracket. They're easy while you're in there and likely dead/dying.
4. Probably so.
7. Get yourself a running techstream setup. Lots of AHC problems are cake once you're over the hurdle of plugging in the cable/software.
Today I thought I'd take care of some thing easy, the cabin air filters. Ended up being absolutely packed with leaves and other detritus. Had to fashion a hose to shop vac out the nastiness. Nothing's easy...
7 is probably related to 4. I second the techstream recommendation and also check the AHC thread for other thoughts/tricks. I also recommend the AHC be retained unless it is excessively rusty.

Wandering steering might be related to the ball joints, but is more likely your steering rack or steering rack bushings. Don't jump the gun on any of this though--the AHC issue and lean could have your alignment off and could cause some wondering issues. As long as it drives "ok" in the mean time, I'd get the AHC sorted and then get an alignment sweep done to see what's what. Certainly take a look at stuff while you are crawling around to see if there is anything obviously wonky.
Making progress...

Leather kit looks great, much better than OEM @FJ60Cam

Carpet color looks better than OEM too and went in fairly easily. I think it will be quieter too with the rubber backing @dnp @Tupelo Honey

Cup holder is a functional and aesthetic improvement @CruiserDM

Steering wheel from CruiserParts.net

Now if only the valve cover gaskets I ordered during the Toyota dealers parts sale would come, I could go for a drive

Just out of curiosity is this LX the one that was for sale in the panhandle area?
Yep, why do you ask? Got any inside knowledge?
No, just jealousy. Wish I bought that one instead of mine. Haha You ever decide to let that OEM winch go please reach out. I will come and pick it up.
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Making great progress but spending too much probably.

The motor baseline work is complete. Finally got the new valve cover gasket to replace the first one I f***ed up and got it in nicely and no leaks.

Flushed AHC, completed diagnostics, and got everything within spec. No globes for now!

Now onto the chassis. Upon close inspection, as expected, all bushings and wear parts gotta go. Parts are on the way. In the mean time, I installed the new-to-me Tundra wheels and some new tires scored on Craigslist. I know I will ruin them if I drive much with the chassis wear parts so far out that I can't get a good alignment, but I couldn't resist. Pic below.

I also picked up a Tenhulzen alignment kit and did some testing with that. The alignment is not far out of spec. But, again, with the chassis wear parts so far out I can't get a good alignment, so no adjustments right now. She'll just sit in the driveway for now.

I'm starting to think about the bumpers and cladding. These have clearly been repainted at some point, and poorly so. Both bumper covers are loose and have missing or broken mounting tabs. This car has the factory winch so I'd like to be able to find an OEM front bumper cover that is meant to accommodate that or get the one I have refurbished and/or reworked. I don't need a full off-road bumper set but not ruling it out yet.

Anybody have any tips on finding a front bumper cover made for the factory winch? I must not be searching the right keywords. Also, any tips on how I can find a factory build sheet for this car or info about USA LX470 with factory winches?

I don’t think the winch is original to the LX. Likely retrofitted. Any close up pictures?
If that isn't fancy as all get out. I really do not have clue what is fancy. Like at all.
Just going by the “less than perfect” cutout in the bumper, I’d say the winch is retrofitted.
What, you don't think those sweet cuts were made by the skilled hands of Mr. T?

You may be right. I kinda think it's a replacement bumper cover. I'm seeing evidence of a little front end love tap at some point

Anyway, it's gotta go - the bumper and or cover I mean. I might rebuild the winch and keep it. For the next searcher, here's some interesting stuff on the winch I have discovered:

When super wife says 'it's cayute but the bumpers are ugly' I hear 'yes, it makes perfect sense to spend up to 4k on bumpers'
Calling dibs before anyone else.
Well s***.

While I am in here refurbing the front end bushings, I thought I would install a TJM bumper. Yeah, those jobs go together, right? I have had a lot of "learnings" as I've fought the control arm bushings and the ball joints. So I should've known that this "OEM" winch had some surprises for me... The frame end caps were cut off to install the winch-specific intrusion beam. So now I have to try to find some of those or fab replacements or weld the bumper mount on. And I've never welded before. Oh and of course the winch cable is totally f***ed.

Ok, vent complete.

Maybe TJM has seen this before. Off to the Google I go...

Weird. I just looked and mine does not have end caps either. I wonder if that is a Lexus thing? Makes sense to have it welded for strength. Maybe a local welding shop can help at least get some caps on there so you can proceed. Also, maybe time to hose down the cable with some lubricant spray. Unwind completely and then recoil?
Got the bumper installed after welding on the new frame caps (5114360070 and 5114460060) and reinstalled the factory electric winch with new dyneema. I haven't locked in the bumper yet because I'm not satisfied with the fit... I think I'll ream out the main mounting bolts to enable a bit more adjustment before locking it in with the final bolts.

Also, knocked out:
  • Sunroof seal and drains - no more leaky
  • Rear brakes - everything replaced; big difference
  • Steering rack bushings - these bushings were absolutely shredded; EPIC difference
  • Retuned AHC
  • Driveshafts lubed
And I've currently got the headlights open on my bench for the @Luke111, lbbuiltwerks.com, upgrade. I'm excited about this one! No more driving by candlelight

Parts in the shop for next projects:
And on the list for later:
  • Window motors
  • Transmission flush
  • Hood support bar spray foam trick
  • Reroute AC drain
  • License plate surround gold trim delete
  • Rear bumper?
  • Front bumper light upgrades

Caught some fish too!



Look at you and all that sweet progress! Fantastic work on that bumper as well. I will need your guidance one day on the sunroof situation. And I am curious about the whole not driving by candlelight thing. I did the Lasfit setup. It is okay but I am pretty sure dodging the pedestrians at the beach is not going to be at the top of my list anytime soon. Also, nice fish.

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