2003 lexus gx 470 cheap fixes and repairs

This is how I fixed many issues on my Lexus GX 470 – Part I

My new-to-me used 2003 Lexus GX470 looked great in its first pictures. But because it is a twenty-year-old truck with 200,000 miles, it was not perfect. I’ve itemized a list of its issues, and now I’ll show you how I fixed them. I’m trying to do this with a reasonable budget because the older I get, the less I enjoy spending money on cars. Thankfully, I have Ace Performance to help me with most of these repairs.

Faded hood: 

My solution for the faded hood was simple – vinyl wrap. But nothing is ever simple. The wrap I ordered, matte black with a subtle topographic map design, was delivered to the wrong address after FedEx placed the wrong label on it. Then, FedEx retrieved it and attempted to deliver it to the shop, only to deliver it to the wrong place again. Except this time, it went completely missing and was never found. Further, FedEx refused my claim and would not refund my purchase.

The place that I ordered the vinyl graphic from, Ichthus Graphics, generously refunded me the money. In the end, I had it wrapped locally by Wachusett Design in a color that almost perfectly matches the paint. Some wet sanding was required. The cost was $400, which included the vinyl and the removal of tints from the front windows.

Ripped driver’s seat leather: 

I had choices here. The best thing to do was to order new leather seat leather replacements from lseat.com. These are quality seat cover replacements (replacements, as in the originals have to be removed), and their reputation is excellent. However, the lead time for those was about three weeks. And then, it is quite a bit of work to install them properly.

The second option was to buy cheap replacement covers from eBay. But I couldn’t find one that matched the interior perfectly, and the lead time was still long as they were coming from China. Installing those would require a significant amount of time. There were American-made options, but the cost rivaled those of lseat but did not include the backrests.

In the end, I went with the cheapest and fastest option. I had the leather repaired by the same person who fixed the steering wheel on my Prado. The repair person said that the repairs wouldn’t last and wouldn’t be perfect. I was fine with that, as his repairs were much better than the ripped seat. He also repaired some chips in the dash. The cost was $250.

But! As the man said, the repairs would not hold up, and they started bothering me. I ordered Chinese replacement leather covers from eBay for both of the front seats and a whole cushion for the driver’s seat. The cost was around $160 for both. Yes, I tried to save some money, and I ended up spending more. To be fair, the seat looks better in real life than in this picture.

Front half-axles: 

The inner boots, where the front axles go into the differential, were ripped. This wasn’t difficult. Ace Performance replaced both axles with remanufactured units. Why remanufactured and not brand new? Because the remanufactured were about a fourth of the cost. I hope I don’t regret this decision, but I probably will.

Upper control arm: 

The driver’s side ball joint had some play in it despite the new Ironman 4×4 suspension. I talked with our own Ross, and he mentioned something about a recall on those. I contacted Ironman4x4. The company truly stands behind its products. Even though I am not the original owner, they delivered a new set of control arms in less than a week. I was impressed and may have found a new favorite aftermarket company.

Dark tints: 

The dude who wrapped the hood removed the tints off the front windows. The GX passed the state inspection. There is still tint on the rear windows and the top of the windshield. I’m not sure what, if anything, I’ll do with those. It kind of pained me to remove a new-ish high-quality tint. But the windshield tint strip does bother me. Since I have a chip in the windshield, it will come off in time.

Oil pan gasket: 

Because it was cheap, I just replaced the whole oil pan. Sometimes, a pan may get warped when being removed, or is already warped. In those cases, a new gasket may not suffice. I did not want to do this twice.

Deep Cleaning: 

Q Car Care detailed the GX for me. This included polishing of the paint and shampooing of the insides. I did not bother with something like ceramic coating as it’s pricey, and this is an old vehicle. I don’t need to protect the paint, I just want it to look decent. Feel free to correct my reasoning here. The cost was $300.

To be continued…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

One response to “This is how I fixed many issues on my Lexus GX 470 – Part I”

  1. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    i bought an upholstery set for a Mercedes W124 coupe from Lseat. the color match was okay, but the quality of the material was leagues behind the original, to the point that i decided i’d rather have had the flat and cracked original upholstery in place instead.

    i hear good things about Lseat for Miatas, E36s, and some other cars, so maybe this is particular to the Mercedes seats. they were quite plush. to their credit Lseat accepted my return with no hassle, even when i filed for the return at night on the 30th day.