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Considering Buying An Ls400


Caddylack
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Right now my daily driver is a 94 Caddy Fleetwood. It's the biggest and most comfy car I've ever been in. It's RWD and it has the LT1 Corvette engine under the hood. It's more of a hot rod than a luxury car. However, I think the time has come to move on. I want something more refined, and something slightly smaller with better handling. I don't wanna sacrafice my beloved V8 and RWD.

So, I've been looking for cheap luxury cars lately and I'm seeing alot of LS400's. I like the look of these cars and the interior is nice. The only thing that worries me is the high miles. Alot of the cars I've found have close to 200k on them. I was wondering how long these engines typically last, and if it even makes sense to buy a Lexus with like 180,000 miles on it. I figure I can get about $4000 for my Caddy, so that's my budget for the new car. Ideally, I'd spend like $2500-$3000 on the car so I'd have a little cash leftover for a stereo and maybe some rims.

One thing I was wondering about... can you turn off traction control in the LS400?

Thanks for any and all feedback. If all goes well, I'll be a regular on these forums soon.

Matt

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180k aint nothin on a maintained ls400. Even neglected ones can still run great with a tune up and fluid change.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1990-LS400-...1QQcmdZViewItem

this will give you an idea of how long ls400's last. Keep in mind the car still runs fantastic.

Make sure not to get air suspension btw.

If its been taken care of and maintained, the car will be nearly bulletproof.

Just check for clunks in the suspension (usually just bushings), leaky power steering (the main ls400 fault), and all other problems are minor fixes. I trust my ls over any other car of the same vintage.

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First off, the Fleetwood's a cool car! My last big car was a '96 Roadmaster, which is the same platform, just a shorter wheelbase and different front sheet metal. It had the same engine, and was FAST!!! (As you know, imagine your car with a couple hundred pounds less metal..) The Lexus is a huge step up in refinement. I loved the Roadmaster, but was blown away by the typical GM cost cutting (plastichrome buttons, cheap feeling switches). The LS400 also handles better. It's honestly not as fast, though, but is still quite quick. Unless you spend all your time at full throttle, you won't notice the loss of power. (and I'd hope you don't, with gas prices were they are..)

So, can traction control be turned off or is it always on?

It can be turned off, as far as I know all of the cars with traction control have a "trac off" button. The traction control isn't very obtrusive, though, in my experience. It's fun to turn it off and do burnouts, but for daily driving it makes sense to leave it on. It's a nice safety check in case you do something stupid.

I ended up with a 1995 LS400 with 149k miles on it. It runs beautifully, and I wouldn't hesitate to drive it cross country. I got an amazing deal on it, because it has some dents in the body. I got it for less than you could sell your Caddy for!! But that's kinda hard to come across.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll like the car. The parts costs aren't too bad if you get them online, they're really not any more than what I was looking at getting parts for the Roadmaster. (the LT1 isn't a cheap engine to fix!)

-David

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Well that's cool that you're familiar with the B/D-body cars. I was pretty sure the Lexus was gonna be slower in straight-line performance (especially since the Caddy is modded). That's not a big problem. If it was all about speed, I wouldn't be driving big sedans.

What kind of performance parts are available for the LS400?

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So, I've been looking for cheap luxury cars lately and I'm seeing alot of LS400's. I like the look of these cars and the interior is nice. The only thing that worries me is the high miles. Alot of the cars I've found have close to 200k on them. I was wondering how long these engines typically last, and if it even makes sense to buy a Lexus with like 180,000 miles on it.
I wouldn't worry about high miles. The powertrain in the LS is VERY strong, and it is capable of high mileage with basic care. I put over 2500 miles on my 296k mile LS last week (went to Michigan and back). The car did fine, and my fuel mileage was excellent (highest was 27mpg, and lowest was 25.)!

I would, however, familiarize yourself with the problems (and repair options) that the power steering, electrical, and suspension componets will most likely face.

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Well that's cool that you're familiar with the B/D-body cars. I was pretty sure the Lexus was gonna be slower in straight-line performance (especially since the Caddy is modded). That's not a big problem. If it was all about speed, I wouldn't be driving big sedans.

What kind of performance parts are available for the LS400?

Not a whole lot directly, but there is a lot of development underway for the 1UZ-FE engine that it has. 1uzfe.com has some info on doing an intake port/polish. (Well, info on having someone do that, at least!) and lextreme.com has some stuff on forced induction that sounds amazing. I do know these engines can handle 500+ (And some claim 1000+!!!) horsepower with *stock* internals, because they have 6-bolt mains, forged crank, and other amazing bits of factory goodies.

I already wanted an LS, then spent an entire evening reading 1uzfe.com, which is just one guy's web site, and that sold me on the engine alone. I even bought a second LS to "play with" to see if I can come up with some serious power.

It's not like the LT1 where you can go to Jegs or Summit Racing or anywhereintheworld.com and get a million and a half performance parts. But they are out there and the engines can handle it. (And there's no optispark to deal with!!! :-)

-David

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