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OK guys here's my problem! ( and I am sure I am not the first guy to join this forum because I need help but I will apologize anyway and thank you in advance for your anticipated advice! )
Since I'm new to the forum I think the least I should do is share the "backstory" before launching into a request for help.
My wife and I enjoyed our 1997 LS400 for many years. Yet in spite of years of ownership the car still had only racked up 55,000 miles and other than the usual maintenance items like brakes and oil changes and a new battery and tires last year we've had no issues ever. It's just a superb vehicle in Jade Mist with with standard chrome or polished exterior trim in place of the gold trim often seen, and factory chrome rims that really set it off nicely. Still ran like new and even looked almost new in and out. I'm a fanatic about detailing and keeping my cars looking perfect as can be and doing regular oil changes, etc.
Then my youngest son got his drivers license and started his freshman year at college. He needed a car.
My son is 6 foot eight and weighs 275 pounds ! (Yes, he's a BIG guy, and a really good kid and were very proud of him) We tried getting him into all kinds of vehicles but incredibly the '97 Lexus LS400 was a perfect fit for him as long as he put the seat all the way back and down.
So we gave up the Lexus to our son who loved it, absolutely LOVED it, as any kid should getting a car like that as his very first car. (I got a '64 Chevy way before owning a '64 Chevy was "cool" that burned a quart of oil every couple of miles, and no I am NOT exaggerating, and was broken down more than it was running most of the time, but we do better for our kids, right?)
A couple weeks ago, just after the odometer had turned 60,000 miles, he ran into the rear of a truck that had slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting a dear. Yes, he should have been farther back on the wet, rain-slicked roads, but thankfully no one was hurt. In fact, incredibly, the truck wasn't even damaged.
But the Lexus? The insurance company came up with an estimate of $7700 to repair the car, and that, as they say, was "all she wrote", and they totaled the car, in spite of my repeated argument for repairing it.
After fighting and losing, I took the check they offered to settle the case, which was lower than I would have ever sold that car for, and then bought the car back from them for a rather small amount of money.
Why did I buy it back? (No one seems to understand this....I'm hoping you guys do.)
I couldn't bear to see that beautiful low mileage perfect running Lexus (I drove it to the body shop from the scene of the accident) sent to the salvage yard.
So I own it, in this smashed up state. Don't have any pics to post at the moment but it's the drivers side front, including but not limited to the hood, fender, headlight, grill, and all the stuff those things are attached to. No frame damage and the passenger side of the front is still perfect, except for whatever parts are shared, like the grill and hood, etc.
Anyway, finally, here are my questions:
What year LS400's have compatible body parts? Mine is a 1997 and the 1996 and 1998 "look the same" but are they REALLY the same? In other words, if I were to go to the junkyard, what years will work for my car other than 1997?
My other idea is to buy a high mileage example of a compatible year and strip off the parts I need and then part out what's left or just junk what's left. Good idea or dumb idea?
Please understand I will NOT be doing ANY of the work myself. I'd be bringing the parts or the parts car to the body shop and paying them to do the work. I have a long relationship with the owner and I know he would be fair in what he would charge, but he can't work for free and I wouldn't expect him to, of course. So if I buy a parts car, I'd be paying him to disassemble one car to reassemble the good one, i.e., double the labor. But I think it might be possible to buy a whole parts car for $1000 or less. Not much less, and maybe even a little more, but not much more.
Of course, I could just part out the car I have. But that's not what I want to do. I want to see my car back on the road, although it will have a salvage title if and when that happens, so the value will be even further diminished than it already was when I settled with the insurance company. I don't really care about that because my intention is to keep the car and drive it, not sell it.
Am I making a mistake doing this? Should I just give up on the car?
I'm really looking forward to your much appreciated advice regarding my situation and regarding which your cars are compatible with mine.
Thanks so much, in advance, for your anticipated help!
I have a question regarding the front-end headlight and bumper support bracket, highlighted here in red:
More specifically, I am wondering about the locations of where the sides of this bracket bolt on to the car, and how.
I already know the following:
- For the 3 central mounting points on the bracket, each have 2 bolts that attach to the frame.
- This bracket can not be removed entirely without first removing the headlights and bumper from the car.
I have attached photos to aid in the understanding of my question.
I was able to figure out this problem, with the aid of a section from the Repair Manual, sent to me.
The bolts located on each side of the bracket attach to the fenders:
[DISCLAIMER: These photos are not mine, and are from Lextreme.com and Ebay]
I searched but found nothing to answer my question about my 2015 ES 350 I just bought.
I bought this a few weeks ago,.. 2015 Lexus ES 350 with 17k Miles --
I've been monitoring the in car fuel economy computer and trying different things.
I average about 17-18mpg. It's driven 'light' -- As I'm obviously trying to maximize the mpg right now as it seems low esp. with regulations and so on.
I don't expect 35mpg or anything,.. but I have a 2008 350Z which I've added 100hp to and I get better fuel economy with that sportscar than this Sedan? I don't get it to be perfectly honest.
Is this just the way it is? Normal? Or what do you guys get from your 2015 (or that same engine anyhow) fuel economy on ES 350's?
I've kept it in ECO,.. tried all the modes and honestly the fuel economy doesn't seem to really change any despite mode -- which I found odd.
Even when I drive it ridiculously.. like popping in neutral (it's an auto of course) down long hills.. being mindful of accelerator from red light, up hills, coasting as much as possible and so on -- it doesn't pop up to 25 or 30mpg on the meter or over X dozen, or hundred miles.
The average over last 3 weeks of about 500-600 miles has been 17-18mpg of granny driving in ECO mode.
So if this seems definitely abnormally low for ECO Mode:
What is normal range for City, but driving very non aggressively, driving on average?
As it has a bumper to bumper of course.. if something is off, I'd like to figure it out to some degree before bringing it in and just complaining about fuel economy :)
My last Lexus was an RX 330 -- and it got horrid fuel economy.. 12-14 mpg it seemed.. I just attributed that to weight of SUV and being in full time 4WD etc.. This is different and has the Normal, Sports, and ECO(nomy) modes -- so I'd expect something more around 24-25mpg average with 'granny' driving around the suburbs if you will.
If 17-18 ish mpg is normal.. then so be it.