This Labor Day weekend I finally put the finishing touches on my wife’s Lexus ES300. You see, about 5 weeks earlier I had started the seemingly simple task of removing the cylinder heads, and replacing them with a rebuilt pair I had practically stolen from a seller on eBay.
The goal of course, was to fix the valve stem seal leak(s) and what I thought was a valve cover leak “once and for all”. Suffice to say there were some complications and unanticipated distractions during the several weekends it took to get it done.
The result? I’ve replaced the two broken motor mounts I found, got the pretty new heads installed, replaced the timing belt, installed new spark plugs, and replaced the master and slave cylinders for the hydraulic clutch. The car is running much better, and no longer billows a big blue cloud of smoke when being started up.
However, the passenger side axle still has a broken CV boot which I have a replacement for, but may not get to for another couple weekends and…. The oil leak I had assumed was the valve cover gaskets turns out to have been something else. At the moment I’m suspecting the oil pan gasket, I’m hoping to fully diagnose it and possibly tackle the replacement next weekend. I’m going to take this weekend to relax!