The world is a crazy chaotic place, and like many others I have found myself with some free time. My classes have all been moved to online only, and I was furloughed from my job at Lexus on March 20th. No idea when we will fully open back up.

But hey car stuff! My 1998 LS400 decided it did not want to be a self-propelled machine anymore and spat all the bolts out of the #1 cam pulley about 6 weeks ago. Interference motor, all the valves are destroyed.  I did a new timing belt, water pump, and other goodies to this car back in March 2019, and I did not touch the cam bolts. I had plans to put some BC coilovers on it, a real exhaust (not a 3" straight pipe, but now I miss it), some 18" wheels, and do a full paint correction on it. Life has other plans;

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Illustration for article titled Quarantine things, longish post

That is not supposed to be crooked, and I think one of the VVTi cam seals is leaking now too.

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So the 98 will either need a new engine, or I will sell it. A part of me wants to try swapping the engine, even though I don’t have the space or tools to do so and I’ve never used an engine hoist. Another problem is that VVTi 1UZ’s go for about $1,000 which is just too pricey for me. Not sure what I’ll do, my eyes are peeled on craigslist, FB marketplace and all that for LS’s or 1UZ’s.

This leaves me with my rusty but trusty 1997 LS400; 222,000 miles and most of the rubber bushings are completely shot. We’ve had some warm-ish weather lately and with all this free time, I’ve started replacing the rear bushings for the trailing and lateral arms. I’m putting in some polyurethane bushings since they’re cheap and easy to install without a press. The trailing arm bushings were GONE and that alone made a big difference, lateral arm bushings will be here in a few days;

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I also painted the valve covers while replacing the gaskets on the old boat this afternoon. They’d been seeping for like 2 years and the burnt oil smell was very un-Lexus like.

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Stay busy and sane Oppo!

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