New to me LX470

Joined
Sep 1, 2018
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183
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Florida
Fun. Moved the LX yesterday evening to make more room in the driveway for my other cars. Came back out to grab something about an hour later and it's dead. Open the door, and the alarm starts making half an attempt to go off. Eventually realize that the alternator is internally grounded and drained the battery down to 10.5 volts, while superheating the alternator casing. So that was fun. Explains the burning smell.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
Location
Florida
Alrighty. New alternator went in without too much trouble. Had to unbolt the power steering pump and took the alternator out the top. Step rails absolutely destroyed my hands coming off, but off they came. Snapped a bolt putting on the mud flaps (my fault, should've chased the threads).

Also decided to buy and mount a matching 33 inch spare tire since we're making a long trip soon, and it'll involve a fair bit off dirt roads and a couple days in windrock. I'd hate to have to limp to a tire shop on a 31. Advice I'd seen was right; a 33 will fit in the spare tire location. Just. Super tight!

Pics!





 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
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183
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Florida
Ordered all the parts that I (think) I need to repair my very slightly leaky front AHC strut and torn ball joint boots. While I'm in there, I'm going to install the parts I need to do a minor AHC lift of the vehicle: King Springs KTRS-79 and Japan4x4 AHC spacers. I'll adjust the torsion bars and ride height sensors to give myself about and inch and a half and see how it feels. I'm planning to get some extra weight in the form of rock rails, winch under the stock front bumper, and a tire carrier rear bumper sometime in the next year, so I'm going to less lift and lower AHC pressures for now. I'll try and snap photos before/during/after all the work.
 
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Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
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Florida
Just remembered a bit of maintenance that I did when I first bought this. Post this in response to a thread discussing sticking throttle peal in the DBW models of LC/LXs. Stiff/Sticky Throttle Pedal Thread

So, I kinda temporarily fixed this issue but probably not the right way. Unfortunately, I did it a couple weeks after buying the LX last year and didn't take any pictures. Going off of memory, so don't expect this to be exact.

When I first got my LX, I noticed the throttle pedal was kinda notchy; it wouldn't move smoothly through its range, but rather, seemed to skip as I increased pressure. It made it so that it was kinda jerky to drive at times, especially off road.

At first, I thought it was the large spring on the outside of the unit that appears to exert return pressure on the pedal, or the pedal position sensor at the top. Greasing all that didn't do a thing, and I hadn't yet stumbled upon the post in this thread talking about never greasing it unless you want to replace it.

Regardless, since that didn't help, I pulled the whole pedal assembly out. It's constructed with a bracket that holds the pedal, and the pedal has a rod that passes through the bracket. Inside the bracket, wrapped around the pedal pivot rod, is a thing. I really don't know what to call it, but it's a thing that is shaped like a cylinder, and is responsible for the majority of the pressure you feel when you press on the gas pedal. Inside this little thing are two complimentary pieces of plastic - one is fixed in place, and the other rotates with the gas pedal rod. Behind one of these pieces is a spring that you push against when you press the pedal.

What fixed my problem for at least the last year is to disassemble the cylinder and grease the sliding surfaces between the two plastic pieces that fit together. Years of wear had made those surfaces no longer slide against each other smoothly. Here's where I probably screwed up - I doubt plastic is a big fan of moly grease, which is what I used to grease the surface. I'm imagine something like graphite would probably be a better alternative, but maybe someone can chime in on what sort of lubricant should be used between sliding plastic surfaces.

One big note is that it is quite difficult to get the cylinder to come apart. The end cap is made of plastic with multiple sets of groove cast into it, and pressed together. The only way to disassemble the thing is to use some small screwdrivers or dental picks to pry the end cap off, and you will scratch it up good. It was clearly never meant to come apart, but I didn't destroy it in the process, fortunately.

Do at your own risk - worst case you can replace the pedal, but that ain't cheap. If it works, you just saved 400$; if it doesn't, not really much worse off.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
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Florida
Spent the day driving in pisgah national forest between NC and TN. Honestly one of the best tracks I've ever been down. A few challenging sections but nothing the lexus cruiser couldn't handle with some careful tire placement. Went alone, unfortunately, but me and the kid had a blast. Will definitely be back in the future.

Pictures to come.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
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Florida
Did an ahc lift using the Japan 4x4 spacers, king ktrs-79 coils, and cranked stock ahc torsion bars. I do love the way it looks, but I'm not super thrilled on the fitment. As was discussed extensively elsewhere, the spacers increase the amount of down travel the suspension has, which introduces some possible issues. With the front end completely relaxed (ie both front tires off the ground), the droop is stopped by the upper control arm contacting the strut. On the rear, again with the rear tires off the ground, the down travel is stopped by the rear sway bar contacting the struts. I also needed to do some minor bending of rear brake line brackets and lines to ensure there was enough slack in the lines.

I'll have to see if longer rear sway bar links are good or bad, and if the suspension geometry will limit travel if the links prevent contact between the sway bar and rear struts. For the front, maybe new upper control arms can solve the contact issue, but I'm not sure yet.

Anyway - pictures! Both neutral, second photo right after lift so I want to wait a few weeks before leveling it off. I didn't actually measure before, so no idea the actual lift, but it's obviously higher. I just took the rear to the max adjustment and slightly trimmed the front sensors before going to about 3/4 adjustment. That left my pressures around 6.2 f and 5.6 r. I haven't been able to feel a real difference in rear spring rate - it's certainly not a huge increase in rear stiffness!



 
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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
Location
Florida
Like the front mudguards! What kind are they? I don't want to spend $100 on oem Toyota and have a budget of about $25 for them
Sadly, with the lexus, there's no good cheap options. The lower rocker doesn't stand on its own well - the shape of it is smoothed by the mud flaps. One day I'll probably chop these up to put in floppy ones, but it'll be a while yet.

These are the OEM lexus ones, and I had to buy the flaps, brackets, bolts, and plastic clippys to fit it all.

Is that a sticker of the states in the back side window? Looks like you can mark off where you have been.
Yeah, it's generally used for RVs and such, but we managed to fit the USA and Canada onto that window. We've got big plans to hit most of these two countries, but I'm sure it'll take a few years!
 
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Sep 1, 2018
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183
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Florida
Well, wife and I went out with a friend to get some experience maneuvering the trailer around trees and such. We both managed to stuff up decently, with her taking a bad line through a mud pit and getting soupy mud into the passenger side of the car, and me trying to straddle some ruts and falling in in the worst possible way. I don't think we quite hit 45 degrees but it was close. We detached the trailer and my buddy dragged it backwards out of the mud. Then, he hooked to my rear end and very gently pulled me backwards while I turned to the right. We managed to get the front end to roll down the embankment and just like that, the car was level again. The shallow bits were only a couple inches deep...the hidden ruts were easily up to my knees.

My wife was not thrilled at the whole thing, and I'm pretty sure some poo came out of me, but all's well that ends well. We were mostly too busy trying to avoid a bad day to get too many pictures, but we snagged a few. Had like five hours of cleaning to do when we got home.


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Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
Location
Florida
Minor work continuing - trying to diagnose an intermittent difficult steering issue, so I greased the last u-joint in the steering shaft. That didn't seem to help, so I unplugged the bottom connector on the VGRS ECU (the connector that goes to the unit on the steering shaft). So far, all that's caused is the VGRS light to stay lit, but the rest of the vehicle systems are fine (no CEL or TRAC/VSC lights). If this solves my problem, I'll have to try and figure out how I want to solve it - most likely by replacing the two shafts with non-VGRS versions and removing the bulb for the VGRS light. Fun, right?
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
6
Location
Sacramento, CA
Hope you get that issue figured out without too much trouble! I like the build I picked up a similar LX and want to do tires and the ahc lift. Did you get the AHC spacers from Japan 4x4? If so how did you contact them? Appreciate the help!
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
183
Location
Florida
Hope you get that issue figured out without too much trouble! I like the build I picked up a similar LX and want to do tires and the ahc lift. Did you get the AHC spacers from Japan 4x4? If so how did you contact them? Appreciate the help!
Yes, I got them from Japan4x4. I'll have to look and see if I can find the email address for the guy that works there - something stedman. The tires are the easiest/best mod I think.

As far as the spacers go, I wouldn't do them if I had to do it all again. I wasn't going for a huge lift (around 1-1.5 inches), and the spacers present more problems than they solve in my case. The only thing they really do for you is give you the ability to go into 'high' mode after you do an AHC lift - which I don't ever really need. Their downside are many - they extend the suspension down travel, which makes the OEM upper front control arms contact the shock at max droop. Also, the front CV boots will rub the spacers if the wheel is turned and the suspension is slack. The extra rear travel is stopped when the sway bar hits the rear strut bodies, and the extra travel leaves the rear springs really close to falling out. You also need to bend the brake line brackets or get extended brakes lines for the rear as the extra travel is more than the slack in the line.

Instead, you can just do a simple (ish) AHC lift by adjusting the sensors to get the height you want, and adding king rear springs and cranked front torsion bars. Make sure you get techstream up and running first, though.
 
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