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95-96 Ls400... Need Buying Advice


miamistyle
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I'm looking at a 95-96 LS400 and would appreciate any info and known issues to look for. I know to check if timing belt and water pump replaced every 80/90k miles and scheduled oil changes. I also plan on aksing for all records and maintenace and will be doing a car fax.

What should I check 'visibly' and listen for? Any buying advice is welcomed and appreciated!

:cheers:

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The one area that probably takes the most abuse is the suspension. Listen for any creaks/clunks/other abnormal sounds and be sure that the car glides down the road smoothly and quietly. Check for p/s leaks too, and if you are looking at a 95-96 make sure that it has the revised ECU in it. Other than those few areas, they are really quite trouble free cars that are built to last a long time.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search!

:cheers:

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The one area that probably takes the most abuse is the suspension. Listen for any creaks/clunks/other abnormal sounds and be sure that the car glides down the road smoothly and quietly. Check for p/s leaks too, and if you are looking at a 95-96 make sure that it has the revised ECU in it. Other than those few areas, they are really quite trouble free cars that are built to last a long time.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search!

:cheers:

Thanks for the tips! How would you check for revised ECU?

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Aside from the poor driveability, you can either find it on a Lexus service recipt (look for the part numbers in the link below.), or you can peel the carpet back and take a look. ;) When you're bored, here is a lot of information to read up on as far as the ECU is concerned:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...ost&p=95901

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Well after looking at many LS400's, I finally found one that looks and drives great. '96 LS400 113k with Nakamichi system, factory chrome rims and brand new looking leather. By far the nicest LS I've seen. Got it down from 9K to $7500.

The only problem is whenever at a slow speed and I hit a big bump, it seems like the shock is busted. I really like the car, but want to know what I am geting into as far as repairs go.

I have 2 Questions:

1. Any idea what new front struts go for on a '96? How about labor?

2. At 60mph the tach read 3k RPM, is this right?

I really could use some help I told him I'd get back to him tommorow. THANKS!!!!!! :wacko:

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1. Any idea what new front struts go for on a '96? How about labor?
You will probably pay about $120/strut for Lexus parts. It's a very simple, straight forward job...for the fronts we spent about an hour per side with an air ratchet (if you have to sit there and compress the springs by hand, it's going to be longer.). Talk some more about the busted feeling; is it making any noises? If you can duplicate the noise by slamming on the brakes, it's probably not the struts.
2. At 60mph the tach read 3k RPM, is this right?

I really could use some help I told him I'd get back to him tommorow. THANKS!!!!!! :wacko:

60mph should be less than 2k rpms. 2,000 rpms in my '95 is about 62mph (75 is something like 2400.). ;) When other people drive my car, they always seem to slide the shifter in to 3rd rather than 4th, maybe that happened during your test drive?
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1. Any idea what new front struts go for on a '96? How about labor?
You will probably pay about $120/strut for Lexus parts. It's a very simple, straight forward job...for the fronts we spent about an hour per side with an air ratchet (if you have to sit there and compress the springs by hand, it's going to be longer.). Talk some more about the busted feeling; is it making any noises? If you can duplicate the noise by slamming on the brakes, it's probably not the struts.
2. At 60mph the tach read 3k RPM, is this right?

I really could use some help I told him I'd get back to him tommorow. THANKS!!!!!! :wacko:

60mph should be less than 2k rpms. 2,000 rpms in my '95 is about 62mph (75 is something like 2400.). ;) When other people drive my car, they always seem to slide the shifter in to 3rd rather than 4th, maybe that happened during your test drive?

The busted feeling I tried to describe is a clunk when you go over a speed bump or small pot hole.

As far as the tranny at 3k, now that you mention it, I think I had it in D3! Isn't that the first place the gear goes from Neutral?

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sounds like to me it's your strut rods...you agree Blake?

If you turn the wheel all the way to the left or right, and then look at the suspension arms in the front of the wheel, you'll see a pretty thick cast iron rod attached to the lower control arm and the front of the car. If you lay on the ground and peak just under the front lip of the corner of the bumper, you'll see where that rod attaches to the car, and you'll see the black rubber bushing it attaches with. You should also see a dial bracket for alignment purposes. These strut rods are usually the first to go, and when they start to go, it really degrades the car's ride, especially over bumps...it's a jarring effect. Very typical repair, especially at that mileage and age.

I agree with Blake on the suspension being probably the top issue. These cars are sprung so softly, that their suspension components move, a lot! It's not like in a sports car where you have minimal movement of the control arms and such. These control arms bend, twist and adjust at pretty dramatic degrees. Trade off is that famous lexus ride...cost is those rubber bushings get eaten up. But in all honesty, at 11 years old and 100k miles, who wouldn't expect a few suspension bushings to wear out a bit on any car. :cheers:

www.lexuspartsonline.com or any other from www.parts.com or www.irontoad.com.... probably $300 in parts. It's an easy DIY project if you're the type. I would say this as a word of caution on the car...if you are not a DIY type, then expect to pay pretty heavily for labor. You see Toyota...the mechanics see Lexus. Even the dealerships act like this, just call up a Toyota dealership and price a quart of transmission fluid..then call the lexus dealership and price the exact same fluid....you'll see what I'm talkng about.

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sounds like to me it's your strut rods...you agree Blake?

If you turn the wheel all the way to the left or right, and then look at the suspension arms in the front of the wheel, you'll see a pretty thick cast iron rod attached to the lower control arm and the front of the car. If you lay on the ground and peak just under the front lip of the corner of the bumper, you'll see where that rod attaches to the car, and you'll see the black rubber bushing it attaches with. You should also see a dial bracket for alignment purposes. These strut rods are usually the first to go, and when they start to go, it really degrades the car's ride, especially over bumps...it's a jarring effect. Very typical repair, especially at that mileage and age.

I agree with Blake on the suspension being probably the top issue. These cars are sprung so softly, that their suspension components move, a lot! It's not like in a sports car where you have minimal movement of the control arms and such. These control arms bend, twist and adjust at pretty dramatic degrees. Trade off is that famous lexus ride...cost is those rubber bushings get eaten up. But in all honesty, at 11 years old and 100k miles, who wouldn't expect a few suspension bushings to wear out a bit on any car.:cheers:

www.lexuspartsonline.com or any other from www.parts.com or www.irontoad.com.... probably $300 in parts. It's an easy DIY project if you're the type. I would say this as a word of caution on the car...if you are not a DIY type, then expect to pay pretty heavily for labor. You see Toyota...the mechanics see Lexus. Even the dealerships act like this, just call up a Toyota dealership and price a quart of transmission fluid..then call the lexus dealership and price the exact same fluid....you'll see what I'm talkng about.

Right you are! It was the sturt rods.

I took it in to the Lexus dealership and they said it was the control arm bushings. Took it to an independent Lexus shop he slammed the brakes as Blake said and it clunked something terrible which as I see now is strut rods.

I am going to try to do this one myslef along with front brake pads. Pads and strut mounts parts & labor from my guy would run me $500. I can get the OEM parts for $200. I'll be doing some searches on here to find out procedure. If anybody knows of a good write up, please let me know.

Thanks guys!

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I'm looking at a 95-96 LS400 and would appreciate any info and known issues to look for. I know to check if timing belt and water pump replaced every 80/90k miles and scheduled oil changes. I also plan on aksing for all records and maintenace and will be doing a car fax.

What should I check 'visibly' and listen for? Any buying advice is welcomed and appreciated!

:cheers:

One typical suspension check would be the strut rod bushings. To check these you must have the car on level ground and in drive, then let the car roll to 3-4 mph and hit the brakes quick and fairly hard. If they are bad you will hear a loud clunk in either the front left or right side or both. I only mention this because the dealer quoted me around $900.00 at Scottsdale Lexus to replace however, I found the factory bushings at the Sewell lexus dealer in Dallas Tx. for $40.00 ea. Dealer phone number is 1-866-775-3311 and ask for Ryan in the internet parts as they have the by far best prices in the nation and Ryan is really a fair guy when it comes to prices & shipping. THIS IS A LEXUS SO PLEASE ONLY USE FACTORY PARTS IF YOU LOVE YOURS AS MUCH AS I LOVE MINE! Trust me when I say there is a big difference and it is well worth it. Most after market parts make me feel like a car has been butchered together!

Just to give you an idea I bought touch up paint, 2 idler pulleys, 1 tensioner, 1 T-Belt, cam and crank seals, 1 (new not rebuilt) water pump, 2 engine mounts, 1 trans mount, 2 strut rod bushings, 10 oil filters, 1 cabin filter, 1 air filter, 1 left tweeter cover, 1 fuel filter, 1 brake res. cap, and 8 iridium plugs out the door w/shipping for around $900.00 (all factory parts). I would like to know if there is a better deal out there. The 95 and up is an interference engine so it would pay to use the best parts on the timing system and not try to cut corners unless you don't mind going back in in 30 or 40K! other than the typical services due I would make sure to check that EVERYTHING on the car works properly (make a check list before you go looking). Depending on what you are spending and how many miles you are willing to settle for I might be inclined to pay the dealer 1 hour for the dealer inspection. These cars can be sweet to own but they can also nickel and dime you to death if you happen to get one that has been neglected! Never the less probably one of the finest and most dependable cars on the road. Also, the Vin check is definitely a smart move although you will have to take the cars owner with you because lexus wont give out any info to anyone but the current registerd owner (at least that's what they told me at 3 different dealers). Good luck!

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sounds like to me it's your strut rods...you agree Blake?

If you turn the wheel all the way to the left or right, and then look at the suspension arms in the front of the wheel, you'll see a pretty thick cast iron rod attached to the lower control arm and the front of the car. If you lay on the ground and peak just under the front lip of the corner of the bumper, you'll see where that rod attaches to the car, and you'll see the black rubber bushing it attaches with. You should also see a dial bracket for alignment purposes. These strut rods are usually the first to go, and when they start to go, it really degrades the car's ride, especially over bumps...it's a jarring effect. Very typical repair, especially at that mileage and age.

I agree with Blake on the suspension being probably the top issue. These cars are sprung so softly, that their suspension components move, a lot! It's not like in a sports car where you have minimal movement of the control arms and such. These control arms bend, twist and adjust at pretty dramatic degrees. Trade off is that famous lexus ride...cost is those rubber bushings get eaten up. But in all honesty, at 11 years old and 100k miles, who wouldn't expect a few suspension bushings to wear out a bit on any car.:cheers:

www.lexuspartsonline.com or any other from www.parts.com or www.irontoad.com.... probably $300 in parts. It's an easy DIY project if you're the type. I would say this as a word of caution on the car...if you are not a DIY type, then expect to pay pretty heavily for labor. You see Toyota...the mechanics see Lexus. Even the dealerships act like this, just call up a Toyota dealership and price a quart of transmission fluid..then call the lexus dealership and price the exact same fluid....you'll see what I'm talkng about.

Right you are! It was the sturt rods.

I took it in to the Lexus dealership and they said it was the control arm bushings. Took it to an independent Lexus shop he slammed the brakes as Blake said and it clunked something terrible which as I see now is strut rods.

I am going to try to do this one myslef along with front brake pads. Pads and strut mounts parts & labor from my guy would run me $500. I can get the OEM parts for $200. I'll be doing some searches on here to find out procedure. If anybody knows of a good write up, please let me know.

Thanks guys!

You can get just the (factory) bushings with out the rod from Sewell lexus in dallas Tx. for about $90.00 (for both) shipped to just about anywhere in the US. Talk to Ryan in internet parts sales at 1-866-775-3311. I have never done the job but am getting ready to do it and I understand that they will need to be pressed in. Good Luck!

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sounds like to me it's your strut rods...you agree Blake?

If you turn the wheel all the way to the left or right, and then look at the suspension arms in the front of the wheel, you'll see a pretty thick cast iron rod attached to the lower control arm and the front of the car. If you lay on the ground and peak just under the front lip of the corner of the bumper, you'll see where that rod attaches to the car, and you'll see the black rubber bushing it attaches with. You should also see a dial bracket for alignment purposes. These strut rods are usually the first to go, and when they start to go, it really degrades the car's ride, especially over bumps...it's a jarring effect. Very typical repair, especially at that mileage and age.

I agree with Blake on the suspension being probably the top issue. These cars are sprung so softly, that their suspension components move, a lot! It's not like in a sports car where you have minimal movement of the control arms and such. These control arms bend, twist and adjust at pretty dramatic degrees. Trade off is that famous lexus ride...cost is those rubber bushings get eaten up. But in all honesty, at 11 years old and 100k miles, who wouldn't expect a few suspension bushings to wear out a bit on any car.:cheers:

www.lexuspartsonline.com or any other from www.parts.com or www.irontoad.com.... probably $300 in parts. It's an easy DIY project if you're the type. I would say this as a word of caution on the car...if you are not a DIY type, then expect to pay pretty heavily for labor. You see Toyota...the mechanics see Lexus. Even the dealerships act like this, just call up a Toyota dealership and price a quart of transmission fluid..then call the lexus dealership and price the exact same fluid....you'll see what I'm talkng about.

Right you are! It was the sturt rods.

I took it in to the Lexus dealership and they said it was the control arm bushings. Took it to an independent Lexus shop he slammed the brakes as Blake said and it clunked something terrible which as I see now is strut rods.

I am going to try to do this one myslef along with front brake pads. Pads and strut mounts parts & labor from my guy would run me $500. I can get the OEM parts for $200. I'll be doing some searches on here to find out procedure. If anybody knows of a good write up, please let me know.

Thanks guys!

You can get just the (factory) bushings with out the rod from Sewell lexus in dallas Tx. for about $90.00 (for both) shipped to just about anywhere in the US. Talk to Ryan in internet parts sales at 1-866-775-3311. I have never done the job but am getting ready to do it and I understand that they will need to be pressed in. Good Luck!

if you have not pressed out and in bushings before, i think the extra $150 bucks for the entire arm assemble is worth the hassle. but none the less, that is great news for us 95+ owners who have had to buy entire arm assemblies in the past for just the bushings, as were you guys with the 90-94's could buy just about any bushing you needed and pressed them in. :cheers:

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