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Tamar writes:

Hello Sajeev,

Hailing from Myanmar, I’ve a first-gen Toyota Mark X. Forbidden within the U.S., and of curiosity to many JDM lovers, I occur to suppose it’s only a stretched Lexus IS 250 (however not fairly a GS). It’s bought the two.5-liter 4GR-FSE engine, and I’ve had this chilly begin rattle for just a few seconds each morning, and generally through the day as nicely. The difficulty’s well-known and attributed to the cam gears within the VVTI system. Mine is a 2005 mannequin with greater than 100,000 miles on it, so I wouldn’t need to spend a considerable sum of money if it’s not crucial.

So, if there are makeshift fixes that’ll maintain it up till I let it go in a yr or so, I’d wish to know. If it’s a actual subject that threatens engine failure, I’ll get it fastened. What would you do?

One other drawback: I believe the Mark X is nicely made and principally a pleasant automotive, however I’ve gripes with its (shock!) steering really feel. So I swapped out the steering rack bushes with aluminum ones (fairly hardcore, huh?). The on-center really feel improved an entire lot, and I now have this hands-on-asphalt really feel in a Toyota midsize sedan. The issue is, as soon as I begin to flip the steering wheel (this being electrical steering), it’s floaty and I nonetheless can’t really feel how far I’ve turned the wheels! I by no means thought a automotive with a lot suggestions on middle would have issues with really feel whereas off-center. For higher steering suggestions for the EPS system, I’m pondering of pulling the fuse for the electrical steering. I appeared for the reply on the interwebs however couldn’t discover any — would operating the electrical energy steering system with out energy help hurt the innards of the system or not? I discover lots of people encouraging it as an fanatic’s choice, however no point out of potential hurt to the steering system or not.

What say you?

Sajeev solutions:

How cool is it to get a Piston Slap question from Myanmar? Very cool, as latest occasions encourage me to get one other stamp on my passport.

To your first question, chilly begin rattles are annoyances at this level on the depreciation curve. The discussion board posts you talked about mirror the “drawback” I’ve with my ’95 Lincoln Mark VIII. Simply final week I famous how Houston’s triple digit climate (i.e. scorching oil) successfully silenced my rattling timing chain guides upon chilly begin. Certain, there are chain information upgrades to Ford’s Modular V8, however contemplating these motors are good for nicely over 250,000 miles earlier than shedding important quantities of energy…why trouble?

Run artificial oil and let the motor rattle when chilly. It’s not gonna change something for a protracted, very long time. If the motor’s new to the artificial stuff, it’d leak in just a few spots (oil filter adapter gasket), however hopefully it’s no worse than after I made the swap on my Mark VIII. That’s a small value to pay for the additional safety.

Your second query?  Go forward and pull the fuse (or disconnect the wiring harness) to the help motor. If frequent sense and GM remembers are any indication, these methods are designed to function even when the motors fail to supply help. However your tiller will certainly hate you tugging towards that poor leather-based wrapping with each labored yank on the wheel.

In contrast to my energy steering-free Ford Sierra, the Mark X is a heavy automobile with an engine above the turning wheels. Because the tires are considerably bigger (and the tiller smaller) than old-school rides with no energy help, only a single maneuver into a decent parking spot shall make you remorse this choice.

I wouldn’t even do the aluminum bushings — I hate pointless NVH — however since you probably did, I reckon you’ve finished all you’ll be able to to enhance the Mark’s obscure electrical steering. Maybe someday there might be a superior motor improve for all methods!

[Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

Ship your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no particulars and ask for a speedy decision should you’re in a rush…however be reasonable, and use your make/mannequin particular boards as an alternative of TTAC for extra well timed recommendation.

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