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Thaddeus

Thinking About A 98-9 Ls400... Some Newbie ?'s

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Hi, I am looking to replace my wife's old Volvo 740 and I am seriously thinking about buying an LS400, probably a 98 or 99, hopefuly with no more than 60K miles. I have some questions:

(1) Are the bodies on these cars galvanized? i live in the salty north and I'll never buy a car again that isn't.

(2) What regular maintenance should be done on these cars at around that range? tranny flush? timing belts? Other? What are the costs of these?

(3) Is ther anything on these cars that is typical to go out? I've read some other posts and read some stuff about 90-94, are the 98-99's subject to any design flaws/

(4) Are there stiffer shocks/springs available to make the car handle more like, say, a MB or BMW, and can an owner install them himself? What are the sources for these parts? Cost?

That'll do for now. Thanks in advance.

Thaddeus

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(1) Are the bodies on these cars galvanized? i live in the salty north and I'll never buy a car again that isn't.

>>>Yes. One of the strongest, rust-proof sheetmetals I've eve seen on a car

(2) What regular maintenance should be done on these cars at around that range? tranny flush? timing belts? Other? What are the costs of these?

>>>60K serv minor - oil change, air filter, spark plugs, brake fluid

timing belt should be done at 90k

(3) Is ther anything on these cars that is typical to go out? I've read some other posts and read some stuff about 90-94, are the 98-99's subject to any design flaws/

>>>No. They are last of the old body style (2001+ Ls430 true redesign), benefitted from 10 years of improvements and refinements. For example, gen 1 (90-94) have problem with

instrument light going out, power steering pump leaking fluid over alternator, etc

(4) Are there stiffer shocks/springs available to make the car handle more like, say, a MB or BMW, and can an owner install them himself? What are the sources for these parts? Cost?

>>>Yes. Lextasy.com procarparts.com about 320 for lowering springs

That'll do for now. Thanks in advance.

Thaddeus

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60K service also includes:

Coolant change, differential gear lube change, throttle body clean, minor ATF fluid change (pan drain of 2+ quarts), oil chnge, torque bolts to spec, PCV valve, inspect belts, air filter, cabin filter, etc..

Per Lexus, spark plugs are changed at 90K.

Cost is $550 for dealer, $400 for import shop - KC, MO area prices....

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98-99 LS doesn't have a ton of Aftermarket parts. The car is built correctly with slightly stiffer shocks and coilovers--to feel like the newer Beamers and Benz's.

I suggest you test drive one, and put it through the cornering test.

Since you live in a Snow Zone, be prepared to buy snow tires, if you're planning to drive it during.

Since the car is for your wife, I would also suggest the ES, RX, and GS Series. They are all well designed cars.

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My 98 rocks. From everything I have been reading here the first gen models have their share of problems. I do not see a lot of issues with the 98. I researched well before I bought mine. The 99s had some electrical issues from what I read. The car is solid as a rock. Does not corner like a Benz but rides like a dream. Good Luck.

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