LX450 Newbie - Intro thread

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by missbarilov, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    Hi everyone,

    Starting a thread on my very first truck. Got this LX450 a few weeks ago on CG from a tip-off here (thank you!) and am in the process of baselining it. Have a few questions that I would love to pose to the group, apologies in advance for my ignorance. All the photos are the way it looked when I got it back from the shop.

    Yr: 1997
    Mi: 204K
    Single Owner, Socal based, never seen dirt
    No lockers
    Rust on body / undercarriage: none
    Problems I saw when I picked it up: Rust in the radiator, blown valve cover gasket - spewing oil everywhere, warped brakes, one of the electric door locks don't work in the back
    Purchase Price: $4,000

    I immediately took it to Ken's in Thousand Oaks who performed a full inspection and also did the following:
    New OEM radiator
    Flushed system and replaced coolant with Toyota Red
    All new hoses on heater + coolant sys. (including PHH)
    New belts on fans
    New waterpump
    New Heater valve, thermometer
    New Valve cover gasket
    New rotors
    Total work so far: $3,200

    Front axle seals okay, front bearings were loose but tightened, Ken's guys said nothing else wrong with front axle

    Questions I am currently looking at:

    1) When I removed the running boards, I noticed that the cat and muffler seem to be sticking out. Is that something that once I get sliders will be protected? How do you guys not mash those bits into rocks all the time? Can someone recommend sliders that won't break the bank?

    2) What's a good flushing fluids for dummies thread?

    3) What is the best solution for the steering wheel - the padding is definitely worn on the top and the lining is completely gone. Ditto on the seats - I'm not looking to restore to original, but it's a bit of an annoyance to sit on frayed seats and wondering if there's a cheaper option than re-upholstering

    4) Is there anything else I should do while I'm at it to prevent it dying on me out in the wilderness?

    5) Am I already completely upside down on this thing and should I consider selling it and getting another?

    Finally, an annoying question but is there an easy fix for a sagging visor? It's bugging the heck out of me.

    Thank you guys! <3

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  2. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    Congratulations and WELCOME! :flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2:

    This forum has a search function that will answer all the questions you have asked. You will get lots of results, so be prepared to read.

    Sliders: There are a number of options out there, but the White Knuckle Off Road seem to be the most desired.

    Hopefully theshop opened the heater valve with the key on when they did the flushes for the cooling system. The brown junk is from mixing Toyota Red and green.

    If I do it again, I will be switching to green because of better availability in remote areas. (Flush lots with distilled water)

    There are a couple steering wheel recover threads on here. Short term, you can get a slip on cover from WalMart for a temporary fix.

    Seat covers are plentiful, but for cheap, short term, Cabela's has a set for $25 each front seat.

    Your truck looks like all the rest with very common issues.

    The sagging visor is a big issue and you can buy new ones for $250 each or something like that. Otherwise, since you appear to be aviation oriented, there is an aviator designed sunvisor that has been adapted to the LC/LX.

    You have aftermarket plug wires. That indicates that the PO or whoever you had do the work did not use the Toyota/LX parts. You can buy stuff from vendors on this forum (please support them) as well as Toyota dealerships. I use Toyota Parts | Toyota Online Parts | Genuine Toyota Parts | Toyota Parts Online because I can have the parts delivered to my door for less than I can drive across town.
     
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  3. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    Thank you! These White Knuckle sliders look awesome
     
  4. gummycarbs

    gummycarbs

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    1) sliders will be designed to protect the cats. You can have them cut, turned 90 degrees and welded back together. Probably not worth doing until you find yourself getting hung up on stuff.

    3) I think that a seat swap is the way to go. US market LC seats aren't particularly good. I'm currently working on Audi A4 S-Line seats for mine. You'll need basic fabrication skills (or a friend with them) though.

    4) replace the alternator and starter with new Denso units from Rock Auto. Rebuild the originals and keep them as spares. Order a Denso fuel pump and carry it as a spare. Buy a $40ish booster pack. With a spare fuel pump, starter, and booster pack it's really tough to end up stranded.

    5) so far you're describing pretty typical maintenance items. You have to either have deep pockets or mechanical skills to own an 80.

    6?) I think @Aloha Jen posted part numbers for new sun visors. Maybe you just need to tighten the mounting screws though (the fabric on mine has separated from the padding, so they're 'sagging' without actually sagging. I just took them off since I'm tall enough that they're not much use).
     
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  5. ZackR

    ZackR

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    I'm enjoying the super clean valve cover and radiator from the photos. :)

    Fluid changes are not rocket science but you can sometimes run into problems. I'd say the most important fluid to change out is the brake fluid, do you know if the shop handled that while the brakes were being done?

    How does the transmission fluid look? A full transmission fluid exchange is an easy DIY.

    The differential and transfer case fluids are easy to change but sometimes the drain and fill plugs are on way too tight (I needed an impact wrench for mine). Always loosen the fill plug first.
     
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  6. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    On the seat swap, you mean replacing the whole seat? How do you know which would be compatible?
    Thank you for this advice - super helpful
     
  7. gummycarbs

    gummycarbs

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    Yeah, I'm talking about swapping the entire seat. Compatibility depends on your definition of "compatible". ;) There's a comprehensive seat swap thread with proof that certain things work:

    COMPILED - 80 Series Seat Swap Thread

    I was going to go with Celica seats, since my goal was to lower the seat height. But then I saw the A4 seats and had to have them. The rails are about 2.5" further out on each side, which means I've got some work to do. Any seat swap is going to require at least custom bracket fabrication, unless you use a commercial solution like Corbeau seats with their own adapters. To minimize the amount of work necessary, look for seats that have their rails at around 19" wide.

    You could always go to a junk yard with a tape measure and wander around testing seats and measuring them. I spent a lot of time reading 'mud threads, looking at car interiors on Google Images, and checking car-part.com for available donor cars in my area.
     
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  8. Box Rocket

    Box Rocket

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    First off, good looking truck. Nice and clean.

    In addition to what you've already done I'd order a few things to put in a "spare parts" bin or bag that you keep in the truck. Order OEM ones of these but they'll be nice to have just in case and can help keep you from being stranded.

    Fuseable Link - Just a big fuse behind the battery. The new one will be a couple pigtailed wires with a plug on it. If the link fails out in the sticks you're kinda stuck so having a spare can be some good piece of mind.

    I also carry a set of extra knuckle studs. There are 4 of them on the bottom of each front knuckle (hub assembly) that hold the steering arms on. As long as you keep these torqued properly it's generally not a problem but if they get loose the studs can break off. Having a set of spare studs can keep you from being stranded in case these ever fail. It's a good idea to have a cordless drill with some left hand (reverse) drill bits to drill out the broken stud. The left hand drill bit should spin the broken part out and you can just install the new stud. Pretty simple....usually.

    As for seat swaps, there are a number of seats that can *work* but nearly all will require some custom brackets so they will attach in the factory locations. Some will also require some minor modification to the floor board in order to fit properly. It's a bit of work but can be much cheaper than having the stock seats recovered and in most cases you'll have a more comfortable seat. In the seat swap thread posted earlier, my seats are the black VW Jetta seats. So much more comfortable than the originals but they required both custom brackets as well as floorboard mods.
    If you didn't want to bother with any of that there are some aftermarket seats that will have a universal type bracket to mount the seats to that will attach to the truck in the stock locations. Corbeau seats are one of those who sell a bracket for these trucks.
     
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  9. Cass007

    Cass007 SILVER Star

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    Welcome and congrats on buying the BEST year!!!

    Here is a link to a wheel cover: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QLYA3XS/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AN5RXOEQLQXX5

    Another wheel option: A better bargain than Wheelskins for leather wrapping your steering wheel

    White Knuckle Sliders seemed to have the best CAT protection for a 97 IMO. They are hella heavy, so get a friend and some jack stands to help install. Sliders are like condoms, spend the money and get good ones or maybe be sorry later if they break or leave you unprotected.

    Lots of good advice already offered by people with way more experience than me. My advice to add is this: Don't go wheeling alone, get some functional recovery gear (straps, tow points, shackle) and invest in the top of the line AAA membership. If someone can tow you to the road, AAA can get you to the shop or home. These trucks are super hard to kill so get out there and enjoy it.

    Don't sweat being upside down in your truck money-wise, most people here are. It's done for passion, not for resale value. I rescued my Cruiser from the PO after it sat for 2 years without moving and dying a slow, painful suburban death. Slowly bringing it back from a heap to reliable off-road rig. Spent $2500 to buy it and already 4x that in parts and maintenance items since and much more to go.
     
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  10. fz1boxer

    fz1boxer

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    outstanding good-looking vehicle
    why is your valve cover so clean something must be wrong......
    needs more rust preventative applied liberally throughout
     
  11. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    valve cover gasket was blown so it got replaced.
     
  12. Aloha Jen

    Aloha Jen SILVER Star

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    Glad to see you made it on here! For sun visors, if you have the grey interior they sell them new from Toyota. They are not very expensive if you order from the right place. If brown interior, they don’t make them anymore. You can always do the visor magnet trick, I did that for years until in got brand new ones.
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  13. HardyDanger

    HardyDanger

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    wait, what? the back doors have power locks? This is news to me...added to my list, clearly at the bottom.
    Other quirks you might discover..
    Does your rear washer dribble when you activate your front washer?
    Are your front seat belts, frayed, floppy and or lethargic?
    Does your drive light work? Hint, it's the green "D"
    Does your moonroof leak, and how can you fix that with a weed whacker?
    Do your side mirrors shake?
    Does your rear defrost work?
    Why does my key fob work from only about 3 feet away?
    What the heck does the "power" button do anyway?
    Is there a weird thumping coming from the back somewhere?
    Do you smell gas when you start, or does your fuel tank vent went to take the gas cap off?
    Do you have an antenna? Does it go up? and down?
    Are your headlight adjuster windows all foggy?
    Who the heck is Mr. T and why was he so fond of the JIS screw head?
    What is considered tolerable/normal/abhorrent in terms of qty of oil drips when I park?
    Why does my heater still blow warm air even when its completely off?
    How do I get the center diff to disengage?
    If you're gonna tow, Mr. T left you a present back there somewhere to add in a trailer wiring harness.
    Why the heck to my headlights seem so dim, what the heck is an HIR bulb and what does John Deere have to do with that?
    Do I need my idler pulley?
    Do all your tires match (size and brand and tire pressure)? Why should I care?

    All these mysteries have answers here...welcome!

    Don't forget to get yourself one of these, the price is fair, and it's invaluable.
    For Sale - 40, 50, 60, and 80 series FSM for a hell of a price.
     
  14. Dubbinchris

    Dubbinchris SILVER Star

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    Welcome to the adventure that owning an 80 series is. You mostly wont regret it. A huge wealth of knowledge here on these forums.
     
  15. Bryanseye

    Bryanseye Inaffective Grammer Nazi SILVER Star

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    When you remove the fuel cap, is there pressure? When you had the air intake hose off, did you get a chance to check for splits? Both of these were unanticipated issues for mine in addition to the planned baselining.
     
  16. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    Oh this is awesome.

    Most of these make me feel better because apparently I got away pretty good. My headlights are super bright, the gas cap makes a sucking noise every time I fuel up, my antenna goes up and down like a champ, all my tires are the same 265s, and the valve cover gasket means no more oil leak when I park.

    The rest I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!!

    Fixed my drivers side rear view mirror shake yesterday with zip ties and got some magnets for the visors on amazon - the ones I got at lowes aren't strong enough :(
     
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  17. gummycarbs

    gummycarbs

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    It shouldn't make any noise.
     
  18. missbarilov

    missbarilov

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    What seems like air rushing into the gas tank - that's not good? I figured that it was a good sign that the fuel system was sealed to air (as gas burns up, there should be a displacement of air) but this is literally based on a kindergarden understanding of my fuel system :-/
     
  19. HardyDanger

    HardyDanger

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    It's most likely your Charcoal Canister. It's old and tired and clogged up, like grandpa with a sinus infection.
    It is the big black coffee can looking thing near your battery and your fuse box.
    It is a discontinued part. I replaced mine with an AC delco part....it's pretty easy. Though you'll want to buy new hoses lines too. I got a mixed diameter set from amazon... Good news is, I just passed CA smog yesterday with that part installed :) Search the forum, plenty of posts on fixing that....it's purty easy. There may be other parts that are gummed up too, but start with the easy one.
     
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  20. HardyDanger

    HardyDanger

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    it's a :banana: fix
     
  21. gummycarbs

    gummycarbs

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    The FSM explains how to check the charcoal canister.

    There's also a check valve in the tank that might be the cause (I don't remember which way the check valve allows air, or where it leads). It's a cheap part, but you have to drop the tank a few inches to reach it.
     
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