Help - Lights Out On A 1994 LS400

Would appreciate any helpful information to fix or replace the dashboard lighting on the 1994 LS400. It started to go out about a year ago. At the
beginning it would be out when the car was cold but it would turn on when it warms up, eventually it just went totally out. I heard this is not a uncommon problem for Lexus. Local dealer wants more than $1000 to get it fixed. I hate to spend this much on an old car. It runs fine but just can't see the mph, gas level, etc. Any suggestions ?
Thanks Joe
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Joe Liu wrote:

What is it about usenet that disables a person's ability to use search engines?
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Joe Liu wrote:

www.ebay.com: "Lexus Instrument Cluster"
In my opinion, Lexus should have produced a cheaper fix for this very common problem. My local Toyota/Lexus repair shop was asking $1800 for the parts only, when the only sympton was a no instrument cluster light/gas meter reading on cold mornings. Last summer I shipped the cluster to Jim Walker, who did a good and quick job - a 10 day roundtrip between Finland and US. Thank you Jim!
If Lexus makes a poor electrical design that almost certainly breaks down in ten years, they should have the humbleness to produce a reasonably priced fix to compensate the flaw. If they wanted to, they could produce the fix for $18 instead of $1800 (for the parts only).
In my opinion, it is not honorable nor polite to benefit from design mistakes at customers expense.
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Jyrki Alakuijala wrote:

It isn't personal... it's just business.
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Jyrki Alakuijala wrote:

technology will always be expensive. if you wanted an unlit needle with a backlit speedo, you could have bought a hyundai.
all kidding aside (read: not kidding) yes, it's expensive, because you can't buy the gauge separate from the cluster.
do you have any idea how friggin complicated it would be to replace a microbalanced neon light on the gauge shaft so that it would continue to work properly? i've had them apart, and it would be nearly impossible. fortunately, the fuel and temp gauges are available separately from the cluster, they just slide in the sides.
--
Ben Jerew AKA PolarPuppy
ASE Certified Master Technician
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You had them apart. However, in a 1993/1994 LS 400 the usual problem is a gradual power supply failure. The OP was referring to this problem, not to the fading of the instrument cluster hands.
Lexus usually repairs the OP's problem by replacing the power supply. The price for the new power supply is around $2000 here in Finland. Some old-timer LS hobbyist and small workshops in US repair these power supplies for some side income. They change probably $5 worth of components, but charge around $200 for the obtained knowledge, work and postal fees.
If I buy a new power supply for $2000 from Lexus, changes are that it has the same design fault as the original did. In my opinion, it is a rip off.
Lexus should have a $500 option to fix the instrument cluster by having a Lexus electrician to replace the $5 worth of components on the power supplies, instead of replacing the whole power supply for $2000. The bad quality of the instrument cluster power supply was their fault in the first place, and they should recognize this. They can't even claim that they could not do it: several 3rd parties are doing it today. They could subcontract one of these 3rd sites and make the life of a Lexus owner a bit simpler.
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