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Is It Worth Getting This 1995 Ls400


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Hi folks

I am thinking about buying a 1995 Lexus LS400 for $2,500 from a family member who was the original owner of this car. The car has 105k miles on it and every service was done at the local dealership. (I checked) Overall, the car seems to be in decent shape needing some minor maintenance work to be done including replacing engine mounts, struts and ball joints. (Last dealer service notes on 4/18/05)

However, this car has transmission problems and the dealership tells me that it would cost $6,000 to install new transmission. (it only goes forward no reverse) I think this is way too expensive.

I called several local mechanics in Los Angeles area and they tell me that they can rebuild the transmission for about $2,000 -$2,500

So in my mind, this 95 LS400 will cost me about $5,000 (includes purchase price plus cost of fixing the tranny). Do you think it is worth the headache getting this car and fixing it assuming other repair cost won't be as extensive????

I plan to use the car for my long commute.

Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Jay

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Hi folks

I am thinking about buying a 1995 Lexus LS400 for $2,500 from a family member who was the original owner of this car.  The car has 105k miles on it and every service was done at the local dealership. (I checked)  Overall, the car seems to be in decent shape needing some minor maintenance work to be done including replacing engine mounts, struts and ball joints. (Last dealer service notes on 4/18/05)

However, this car has transmission problems and the dealership tells me that it would cost $6,000 to install new transmission. (it only goes forward no reverse) I think this is way too expensive.

I called several local mechanics in Los Angeles area and they tell me that they can rebuild the transmission for about $2,000 -$2,500

So in my mind, this 95 LS400 will cost me about $5,000 (includes purchase price plus cost of fixing the tranny).  Do you think it is worth the headache getting this car and fixing it assuming other repair cost won't be as extensive????

I plan to use the car for my long commute.

Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Jay

Although I never heard of this happening on an LS, i think its a good buy if its fixable for $2.5K. Or you can buy it and part it out and make twice as much at least :D

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Hi folks

I am thinking about buying a 1995 Lexus LS400 for $2,500 from a family member who was the original owner of this car.  The car has 105k miles on it and every service was done at the local dealership. (I checked)   Overall, the car seems to be in decent shape needing some minor maintenance work to be done including replacing engine mounts, struts and ball joints. (Last dealer service notes on 4/18/05)

However, this car has transmission problems and the dealership tells me that it would cost $6,000 to install new transmission. (it only goes forward no reverse) I think this is way too expensive.

I called several local mechanics in Los Angeles area and they tell me that they can rebuild the transmission for about $2,000 -$2,500

So in my mind, this 95 LS400 will cost me about $5,000 (includes purchase price plus cost of fixing the tranny).  Do you think it is worth the headache getting this car and fixing it assuming other repair cost won't be as extensive????

I plan to use the car for my long commute.

Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Jay

Although I never heard of this happening on an LS, i think its a good buy if its fixable for $2.5K. Or you can buy it and part it out and make twice as much at least :D

I was surpised also. I have a feeling that the dealership failed to maintain the transmission properly on this car. I spoke with service manager and he said that the transmission oil dried out and the seals were dry.

What do you think is a reasonable price to rebuild a tranny. Any recommended mechanics in Los Angeles.

Regards

Jay

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If you are not a hands on type person then I would not consider it. But if you are willing to do some of the work on the car yourself then I would consider it. Lexus parts are soooo expensive that paying labor besides is just too much.

Main thing to me would be the rest of the car. If the body, paint and interior are near perfect then the car would be a consideration. I'd say your expectation of spending $5k on the car is pretty close.

I bought a 95 that needed some work and did it all myself. I paid $4700 for the car and now have $6500 in it. And I did every bit of work myself.

Suspension work and little things.

But no tranny work. I'd figure at least $2500 to do a transmission.

And I don't buy the service managers story of seals drying out.

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Sounds like an excellent deal to me! Even if you have the dealer do the tranny for $6k and figure another $2k for struts, ball joints, and motor mounts, you are looking at a nice deal on a '95 with 105k miles for $10.5k. If you DIY, all of these figures will be much, much lower....

For the DIY route, Park Place Lex has the tranny(I'd guess rebuilt from the looks of the price) for under $2k. Lower ball joints are about $90 each, struts are roughly $50 each, and motor mounts are $90 each. If you do all of the repairs yourself, it would be an even better value! Keep us posted!! ;)

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Sounds like an excellent deal to me! Even if you have the dealer do the tranny for $6k and figure another $2k for struts, ball joints, and motor mounts, you are looking at a nice deal on a '95 with 105k miles for $10.5k.

According to Kelly Blue book, $10.5K for that 95 is a very sour deal.

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According to Kelly Blue book, $10.5K for that 95 is a very sour deal.

I stand corrected; I clicked retail($11.3k) instead of private party. ;) However, around here(as well as on Ebay), a '95 with 100k miles will fetch a lot more than KBB's pp price of $8,600. Plus, the ball park figures I gave for the suspension work were on the high end; I'm sure you can find a dealer that will do struts, ball joints, and motor mounts for well under $2k.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update,

I bought this vehicle and it is currently in the shop getting a remanufactured transmission. I feel good b/c the transmission mechanic seems really knowledgable. The LS400 however was a 1994 model not 1995. Regardless, interior is in great shape and all other aspects of the car looks really good. Thanks for inputs from everyone....I'll let you know how the car runs after the new tranny is put in.

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