Friday, December 27, 2019

LS460 - Engine Maintenance & Mishaps

So my plan when getting the car as I do with all cars is to change out all degrading, wear and tear parts so that it is reliable and I don't have worry about things for awhile after it is done. With 155000 miles on the motor I figured it was time to change a couple of parts. 

Belt Tensioner - Dayco (89380)

Idler pulley - Dayco (89537)
Serpentine Belt - Bando (6PK2100)
Water Pump - Aisin (WPT187)
Thermostat - Aisin (THT005)
Coolant recovery tank cap - Gates (31541)
Radiator - Denso (2219223)
Gates Lower radiator hose (23477)
Gates Upper Radiator Hose (23478)
Idler pulley upper- Dayco (89537)
Idler pulley lower - Dayco 89580
Toyota Super Long Life Coolant - 00272SLLC2 x 3
Toyota Valve Cover gaskets - Right - 11213-38030
Toyota Valve Cover gaskets - Left   - 11214-38020
Toyota Spark Plug Gasket (11193-38020) x 8
Toyota Throttle Body Gasket (22271-50050)
NGK Plugs DFH6B-11A
K&N Air Filter 33-2381 x 2
Amsoil Performance improver  APICN (x2)
Amsoil Signature Series 0W-20 oil x 10 qts
Fuel pump spacer gasket (23224-38010 x 2)
Fuel pump insulator (23915-46011 x 2)
O-Ring (90301-A0029 x 4)
Pulsation damper gasket (23279-74010 x 4)

Above was my parts list. The idea was to change the radiator, water pump, pulleys, belts tensioners, all the gaskets involved with valve cover, throttle body, basically anything that I was removing which was a wear and tear item got replaced with new parts and all the old parts got cleaned in the process. The valve cover gasket had a slight leak to it and the fuel pump gasket had a pretty decent amount of oil seepage that I could see, so new valve cover gaskets, fuel pump spacer gasket, insulators, o-rings and spark plug gaskets were in the to do list.

It started off well, removed the radiator support, fans, radiator, water pump etc etc and everything went fairly smoothly, in an hour or so most parts were off. I did spray most of the bolts etc with PB Blaster and all the plastic clips and connectors with WD40 the night before so that it would make things easier to remove and plastic connectors and clips less susceptible to  breaking. These plastic pieces especially are over 12 years old at this point so anything helps.

When it came time to remove the tensioner, the center bolt was seized on there. I tried soaking it etc but it wouldn't budge. I did manage to get the bolt off eventually except and chunk came out with it. Where the bolt is mounted to the timing chain cover stress cracks formed I guess during the process of un-seizing the bolt and by the time I got the bolt out everything had cracked and the cast aluminum cover broke off.

I've checked everywhere for another instance of this happening but I think this is an isolated incident caused more due to user error and lack of experience than anything else.

Well, no point crying over spilt milk so was trying to research what can be done to fix the issue. After some reading there were two options, first was change the timing chain cover or second see if the piece could be welded in. The welding I thought would work because there is no oil pressure behind the cover and also from images of the cover I saw the chain and other parts were a ways away from possible harm due to the heat cause by welding. I thought it was worth a try as opposed to taking off the timing chain cover which would involve removing everything else around it to get to it. Called a buddy of mine to see if that was something that was doable. He said it was worth a try too, so he came the next day with a welder etc to try to fix my mess up. I tried to clean along the cracks etc as best as I could with with a wire brush, and lightly sanded the area and cleaned it off with brake cleaner etc. Well long story short it was not working as planned and we ended up not being able to weld. The oil behind the cover could be to blame for not being able to get any good welds. So we tried and it didn't work. Thanks Danny! Since this was not going to be a weekend project anymore I just had it towed to the shop and asked Danny to fix it.

So in order to change the timing chain cover the alternator, compressor, valve covers, basically everything attached to the cover which is a lot of things, all needed to be removed.
I was traveling out of the country while this was getting done but Danny kept me updated on the progress. With the timing chain cover removed, he sent me a video of the timing chains which had some slack in it

Video showing slack

Maybe it was the heat during welding, maybe it just stretched over time. Either way didn't want to just put the cover back on with that being an issue later. Labor to put the chains on while everything is apart anyway is far less than if it needed to be done again later. So another list of parts were ordered

Timing Chaiin Cover Sub-Assy with Oil pump - 11310-38070
Timing Chain Cover Gasket 11328-38030 (X2)
Chain Sub-Assy 13506-38030 (x2)
Chain Sub-Assy, NO.2 13507-31020 (x2)
RH - Damper, Chain Vibration, NO.1 - 13561-38040
LH - Damper, Chain Vibration, NO.1 - 13561-38050
RH - Tensioner Assy, Chain, NO.1 - 13540-0S010
LH - Tensioner Assy, Chain, NO.1 - 13540-0S022
LH - Tensioner Assy, Chain, NO.1 - 13560-0S011
Tensioner Assy, Chain, NO.2 - 13550-0S011
RH - Slipper, Chain Tensioner - 13559-0S030
LH - Slipper, Chain Tensioner - 13559-0S040
Oil pump gasket 15193-0S010
Oil filter housing O-ring - 96722-24030
Front main seal - 90301-A0005
Cam Timing Control Motor O-ring 90301-92004 (x 2)
Timing chain cover O-ring  90301-35006
Water inlet gasket 16325-38020
Water outlet gasket 16341-38030 (x2)
Water inlet housing O-ring 96761-35035 (x2)

The valve covers and other parts were put in the CUDA to get cleaned while they were out.

Everything related to the timing chain was changed. When everything was getting put back together all the other gaskets etc were put in too. 

The new radiator went in as well and with everything put back together she is purring like a kitten with no oil leaks. 

I know it might be excessive but the car is in otherwise good condition and I want to keep it for a long time without any major headaches.Knowing everything was done gives me peace of mind. I want to thank Danny for fixing everything for me the way I would like and dealing with my OCD-Ness. Also Jeremy for letting me use his shop where I tinker with my cars!

-AJ Abraham

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Saturday, December 21, 2019

LS460 - Smart Tap Indicator's Install

So most euro cars from the early 2000's and almost all new cars has this cool feature, you half tap or soft tap the left or right indicator and it flashes for a series of 3 to 5 flashes and automatically switches off. This in essence doesn't require you to engage the left or right indicator and then disengage it when merging etc. I know it's a trivial feature but I really liked it and well my car didn't have it.

After a little research etc I found a company called Diode Dynamics that makes a flasher relay that does that! This flasher relay also would fix the hyper blinking if you changed your turn signals etc to led's as well. Follow the link and read about everything it can do. I primarily just wanted the 'Smart Tap' feature, the others are a bonus in my eyes and I can think of a couple of mods that it will help me out in.

Anyway, I digress, onto the install:

The flasher module sits behind the cluster on the upper portion of your dashboard as you will see in the pics below. You can go from under neath and contortion yourself into doing it that way but I'm not much of a contortionist so I chose to do it by taking out the cluster etc. To take the cluster out there are two plastic screws you have to remove to remove the trim, and then there are four bolts that hold the cluster in the dash. I chose not to disconnect the cluster but you can do so at your own risk. There was enough slack in the wiring for the cluster to come out and sit on top of the dashboard. 

The picture above is what you will with the cluster out of the way. Now if you look you will see a blue colored plastic cover. This is the flasher relay! 

It is held in by a plastic clip to the frame. Use a panel popper and you can pop it off the frame. I also used a small plastic pry bar to actually wedge between the wiring and the frame so that I can sneak the flasher relay between the wiring harness and the frame and can access the wiring and plug it is connected to as shown in the pics below.


I transferred the clip across to the smart tap flasher and installed it. Install was reverse of disassembly.

-AJ Abraham

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LS460 - Gummy / Sticky Trunk Button Fix!

Picked up an LS460 that had the horrible gummy trunk button issue. Instead of buying a switch and cover I chose to spend only $6 and get just a cover off of ebay and thought I'd just point out a couple of tips and tricks while doing this swap. The trunk buttno fix has been pretty well documented so I'm not going through the process to show you how to remove and install etc just google it and you shall find what you seek.

With the trunk trim removed go ahead and clean the area behind the trim. Mine wasn't too bad and chances are neither will yours but the edges etc are hard to get to and this lets you clean it unobstructed.

The same goes for the back of the trim itself. I cleaned it and because it is plastic I went ahead and just gave it a quick spray down with 303 aerospace or any sort of conditioner on the whole trim and the clips.

 My key access hole was pretty disgusting so I cleaned that and thought it was an appropriate time to spray some silicone grease into the key hole itself.

As you can see my switch cover was pretty melted and it kinda filled in all the cracks and crevices of the switch itself making the switch inoperable. The only way to open the trunk was through the switch inside the car or the keyfob. 

Dismantling the switch is not rocket science it comes apart as in the picture above, again do so at your own risk but it is pretty straight forward. scrape all the rubber off the parts etc. Tip: once you scrape most of the rubber off you can use brake cleaner on a rag to wipe up any residue etc. 

Once all the goo is off putting it back together is reverse of disassembly and viola you have a working switch. I think the switch is like $80 which is really not a bad price. But if you don't have an hour to kill I'd just get a complete switch and swap it out. Good luck...

-AJ Abraham

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