Prepurchase issues- no center diff and other issues

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by sjpitts, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    My brother and I just went and test drove a 1996 LX450. It looked like pretty clean truck, but the price was kind of high and it had a few issues.

    First, the AC was not working well. The compressor was turning on an off. This started once it was turned on. I think it may have been low on R134. It must have a leak because the dealer said he had it recharged a few weeks ago.

    Also, when we went to test the low range and lockers they did not work. Well, the low range worked, but there was no center diff light. I never saw the center diff light. Not when I started it. Not when it was shifted into low. What is the chance that this is just a burned out light? How can we find out if it is just the light, or if it is a problem with the center diff lock? Any way to test it?

    And one more problem. The diff locks never engaged either. The lights would flash and flash, but they never stopped flashing. I know that they could be frozen, but could this also be related to the center diff problem? If the center diff does not engage will the diff lockers still engage? Or is it more likely that the actuators need to be rebuilt??

    The dealer wants a pretty high amount. 14k. The mileage is good-- 125k, but with all these issues it seems overpriced. What do you guys think? What can we tell him it would cost to have a dealer fix the diff locks? And what should we do about the center diff lock issue?

    Thanks

    Jared
     
  2. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    Hey Jared

    As for the diff light, i just went through this and folks gave me s*** and told me to search, even though i already had and didnt find my answer!

    I wont do that to you, cause it irritates the hell out of me when others do it without even fully reading the post! I am convinced they do it just to boost their post count! :D

    Anyway, i did come across this in my search that may help you out as far as your diff light question:

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=44416&highlight=Diff+Lock+Dash+Light

    Seems to be a common problem! If you REALLY like the truck other then these lights, Offer the dealer a much lower amount (say around 11k or so) and tell him you'll take care of the non working parts! :D He most likely wont know what to do!

    Seems if that sensor on the tcase goes, NONE of the lockers work, good news is the sensor is only like $50 or so and its an easy fix! I am going to pull mine tomorrow!

    I wouldnt vote this truck out, if that is the ONLY issue! How does the tranny shift? How do the inner knuckles look? Etc...
     
  3. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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    Walk away. I bought my Lexus for less than that with 98K miles and everything checked out.

    Or take it somewhere to have it checked out for repairs and see if he will deduct it from the price.

    I would have it fully checked,

    Pull the Lexus service recoreds. You can get them from any Lexus dealer with the VIN
     
  4. mooker82

    mooker82

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    Unless the truck has had the center diff switch installed the center diff indicator light will not light up even in Low range I think.
     
  5. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    Umm, not sure that is 100% true, at least on the 93-94's the ABS AND the Center Diff Lock Light come on (or are at least supposed to) when the tcase is put into low!

    Someone should verify this for the later models though
     
  6. TX_TLC

    TX_TLC

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    You are correct Mangler...

    14K sounds high to me...for 125K and non func. lockers. I would offer 10-11K and see what they do.

    Like Romer said pull the Lexus maintence..

    Good luck!
     
  7. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    front/rear lockers will not engage if the center diff is not engaged. Sometimes the center diff can be "sticky", for instance mine always worked and then one day I put it into 4lo and drove for about two miles on a gravel road before it finally engaged/light came on, always worked fine since. That wouldn't neccesarily be a deal killer for me. At least on the 93 model the center diff light should come on when in 4lo.
    My AC compressor cycled frequently which was annoying, becuase the idle would fluctuate, but it always cooled fine, wasn't big enough of a problem for me to ever fix it.
    Seems like it could be a decent deal if you could get a couple grand off the price.
     
  8. mooker82

    mooker82

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    Doh. I could not remember if mine did or not. Its been a while and I only put mine in 4Lo on the test drive without the CDL switch installed.
     
  9. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I'd be way more worried about the a/c than the diffs. The diffs will not be expensive - bulletproof stuff that's simply grundged from lack of use. The a/c could be up to a couple grand. I'd buy it if the dealer agrees to have the a/c repaired by an independent shop (that warrants their work) or by the Toyota Dealer at his costs.

    DougM
     
  10. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    Ditto that!
     
  11. LandyLover

    LandyLover

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    I can only speak from my experience but when the fan speed is on low, it seems that the AC cycles on and off, causing the revs to change when the compressor works. Did the AC never blow cold, even on high? As for diff locks, they flash on and off because they havent yet engaged (only when in 4low). You need to turn the wheel until they engage - the front usually engages long before the rear. Im almost positive they are interlocked with the CDL so they wouldnt engage unless the center diff was locked. I'd bet they work fine. Could you feel if the center diff was locked when you were driving? Was it harder to steer/Could you sense the drivetrain "loading"? This would give you a clue to whether the CDL worked or if in fact you have a burned out light.
     
  12. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    Thanks for the advice. Some clarifications: The AC did not cool properly. The outlet temps were in the 80's in the begining. After driving around for a while it dropped to the high 60s, but it never really cooled like it should. I really think it is a freon issue. I don't think this is a huge issue unless it is leaking from the compressor. Still, we are going to make sure this gets checked out.


    I am not as worried about the diff locks as I am about the center diff lock. Even if the actuators are frozen they can be fixed. We spent about 20 minutes trying to get the diff locks engaged, moving slowly around a dirt road. So they are either frozen, or the center diff lock problem is keeping them from engaging. I am inclined to think that it might be the center diff lock that is the real problem.

    And this (the center diff lock issue) is really what worries me, because I really don't know anything about it. I am worried that this could be a real problem, but it also seems like it could just be the light, or it could just be the sensor, but I really don't know how to tell.

    So let me ask some follow up questions. Should you see the center diff lock when you start it? If you don't see it, does that mean that the light must be bad-- or would you not see the light if it was a sensor on the center diff lock? Any other way to tell?

    And now that you mention it-- I never saw the ABS light either. I put it in low range several times and never saw the ABS light. Maybe it really is the sensor on the t-case-- that would seem to the be the common feature.

    And wait-- one more--- I never saw a 4 low light either. What would cause all three of those lights not to turn on?????

    Thanks

    Jared

    PS-- Mister Mangler-- I think you really did have a similiar problem to the one discussed in your thread. It looks like I might need to try the same paper clip trick that Brentbba used. I don't have a 96 FSM, but I do have my 94 FSM. Are the t-case and indicator lights going to be wired up the same????
     
  13. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    The ABS and center diff lock light will come on together when in 4lo (once it locks), the fr/rr will not work if the center diff lock is not actuated/engaged (indicated with the dash lights). Not sure if the center diff lock flashes when you start the vehicle, sorry...
     
  14. Heffenoche

    Heffenoche

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    I would not buy it unless they took care of the a/c and gave you at least 90 warrantee on the a/c work.

    As far I price I think that can vary some depending on the part of the country. In my area I would expect the 14k to be pretty close to the original asking price. After negotiating they wouls probably let it go in the $11k+- range.
     
  15. Eskimo

    Eskimo SILVER Star

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    As was said, the A/C is a much bigger deal.. if it's the evaporator, that can get over a grand, quickly.
     
  16. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    That is a real good point. We will have to make sure that this is checked out closely.

    Jared
     
  17. AZCruzinLX450

    AZCruzinLX450

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    Diff Lock Issues

    I would take it to the Lexus Dealer to Diagnose it. When I picked up mine 2 years ago it had 34k on it and I had the same problem. I took it to 3 dealers(2 Lexus and 1 Toyota) and finally Lexus said that the center accuator was damaged and needed to be replaced. They told me that they have replaced the accuator before but weren't successful with the repair. What? They recommended that I replace the transfer case at a cost of $5200. I asked them due to the low miles if it was a manufactures defect and if they would goodwill the repair. They called Lexus and overnighted the case and I got it for free. Spend the $100 bucks to get it diagnosed. Bring the estimate to the guy. If it's the same problem leverage the cost of repair and get a smoking deal. Then buy a good used case and repair the problem.

    As for the AC. i had the same problem. The AC switch was bad in front of the battery. I replaced it and with a recharge it works fine. Cost about $75 and I did it myself.
     
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