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blake918

Please Advise With 1991 Ls400

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I found a '91 LS that I really liked today. It's this odd ball blue exterior with blue interior which I really like!...never seen 1 like this before! She has 160kmiles with a asking price of $6500. The only flaws that I could find were valve clatter, a dead rpm gauge, and of course the common dead lcd on the climate control. For the valve clatter...how much would it cost to get all 32 of these puppies adjusted/shimmed? Any ideas on why the tachmeter would be dead?? All other instruments work fine. Please shrare any/all thoughts! Here's a pic; it's always good to carry a digi cam!:DSC00215.sized.jpg

:cheers:

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Tough decision and really comes down to personal preference; however, if it were me, I would consider this to be overpriced for the age, miles, and known mechanical issues. Keep looking!

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Yeah, I was thinking about offering him $5k-$5.5k. The car is very solid with no squeaks/rattles, and despite the valve clatter, the car runs and shifts perfectly. I truley have never seen a cleaner engine compartment ever! The car has a the timing belt/water pump done, and I wish I would have gotten the VIN to call up my dealer for more info. The leather is as hard as rock, but I don't think it's anything a bottle of Leatherique can't handle!

I talked to JPI on AIM, and he said a valve adjustment would be $300-$400 which is a lot lower than I thought!...right on the money Roy! ;)

I just noticed in the pic that you can see the dead rpm gauge...the needle is pointing straight down! Yall know what causes this?

DSC00209.sized.jpg

:cheers:

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I have that valve problem, my machanic said it would be around $17 to $18 per valve or less. The LCD is not a big problem but that will be $200-300. Another thing that I have ran into and so it other 1st gen. Lexus owners. Drive this car to about 60mph-80mph and see if it vibrates or difficult to handle. Another issue that I have and seen others have is Strut Bar problem and sometimes bushing. Check the Kelly Blue Book Value. "www.KBB.com" One of the biggest things to see on these Luxury cars is that just about everything is powered. So check all the elecronic comonets there might be some that you migh not test. Like if all the switches work on each door and etc. The steering wheel has a cover on it, take a peak under the cover and see if the wheel covering is damaged, not a big deal but something that I would look at. If you want to remind yourself about little things, there are alot of website that have checklist on used cars. List of things to check when expecting a car. I don't know I you had a V8 before or not. The first time I called the owner of my car, she told me that it is very powerfull and eats a ALOT of gas more then a her SUVs, which would be LX470 and a subarban. If you don't put premium gas in it most likely you are only going to get around 10-11mpg. Also, it will be a good idea to pull CARFAX on it or give the VIN # to a Lexus dealer and they will tell you all the maintence done to it from a Lexus dealer.

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Hey Blake! That's not an odd ball blue colour, that car is the exact same as mine! There were a lot of them in that combination sold in Canada. I see it has the Trac system as well, which all Canadian cars had.

I think the colour is great, and the interior looks good too, especially against the walnut trim.

Whatever gas I use, it gets 22 MPG imperial in town, and around 30 on the highway.

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Hey Blake!  That's not an odd ball blue colour, that car is the exact same as mine!  There were a lot of them in that combination sold in Canada.  I see it has the Trac system as well, which all Canadian cars had.

I think the colour is great, and the interior looks good too, especially against the walnut trim.

Whatever gas I use, it gets 22 MPG imperial in town, and around 30 on the highway.

I didn't mean anything bad by it being odd; I guess I was thinking more of rare! I actually really liking the color! BTW, do you know what this color is called? Blue? Gray? Yep...it has the trac system and heated seats which I like! Being used to my front wheel drive, the knowing the trac is there is good if I ever press the gas to hard in the rain!

Thanks for everything guys...keep it comming!

:cheers:

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Hey Blake:

I'd recommend having your favourite mechanic take a look at it. Otherwise take the car to Lexus, and have them run a PreCertification Inspection. It costs around $150-250, but it's worth it, if you're seriously interested in the car. This way you can also get an actual estimate for the valve job, since JPI won't be able to do the work, unless you make a trip out there.

Good-luck

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My car has the odd ball color combo of burgundy exterior AND burgundy interior. Some leather panels in the seats are like cardboard also. PO may have had the car in the sun alot. I have not tried Leatherique but Lexol has not made any difference. I paid $3000 for my 1990 with 130m. I did get it for a little below market which seems to be around $5000. Timing belt and water pump are nice repairs to have gotten past. Clean engine bay means nothing. It may have been steam cleaned and now you don't know what has been leaking. I had complete service records and the PO (friend) used the car as his daily driver so I didn't get a used car inspection. You should get one from Lexus. Well worth the $200. I'll bet they'll find $3000-$5000 in repairs. The key system to check is the power steering. This is a known problem (check forum) and is a $3500 number. Cracked EGR pipe, a common problem and an annoying $800 repair. Depending on your area, always keep in mind, there are ALWAYS LOTS of used cars for sale.

glenmore

1990 LS 400

1991 MBZ 300CE

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Whatever gas I use, it gets 22 MPG imperial in town, and around 30 on the highway.

We are talking about a 1990-1994 cars with around 150,000 miles. Mine has 146,000 miles 1993. I have two other friends who have 1992 LS400 with around 140,000miles and they say the samething. This car might not be a gaz guzzler when it comes out the factory but over the years that V8 becomes something. And it gets 10.5 mpg in city on Premium. And type of gas does matter. I tested it on a 1992 Acura Legned LS, used unleaded and recored the miles then Premium. I got more miles per gallon on Premium than unleaded or whatever is lower then Premium, both of them in city and on the same route.

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Depending on your area, always keep in mind, there are ALWAYS LOTS of used cars for sale.

glenmore

1990 LS 400

1991 MBZ 300CE

This is soo true! I think I've found the replacement for my ES. It's a 1995 LS400...such a beautiful design(!!); it's a doctor's car that he used to travel between LA and MS on a regular basis, so the car has 225k miles with about 90% of them being hwy! You guys are probably freaking just like a lot of people when I told them about the mileage, but the 4.0 has no valve clatter whatsoever unlike the several first generation cars that I've looked at with 100k less miles! I think I'm going to get a compression test done before we sign the papers. Do yall know if Lexus's inspection covers the engine compression??

It's got a gorgeous black finish with tan interior. I'll need to get the driver's seat reupholstered but that's ok because I know an outstanding upholsterer(see my redone seats in the link in my sig!). The car drives 100%...the engine and tranny are soooo nice, and she's riding on brand new Michelins. She does have a few little quirks: 1) the drivers seat and both armrests(door and console) need reupholstering, the stereo LCD numbers are just about all gone, the drivers door will need new weather stripping, and the hood support struts are dead(what a shock!). The current owner kept up with maintinance pretty well; I think he said he had the power steering system redone recently and a few other things along with regular oil changes and a timing belt replacement at 110k. He has the recipts for everything, so I'm sure there's a lot more to find out! He's asking $6000, but I think we can talk him into $5500!

One 'real' problem he told me about is he had it detailed and they shorted someing out in the power outlet in the ashtray. He said that also knocked out the A/C and ambient temp. The best part is he's going to reapair it all before we finalize the deal.

Any commentary???......

:cheers:

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Keep in mind that if the t-belt was replaced @ 110K, @ 225 know that belt and waterpump & l/r idler pulleys have 115K on them and its DUE!

that service will be another $800.....just FYI. Find out from a lexus dealer to make sure

Good Luck Blake!!! Let us know...

99

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Hey Blake!  That's not an odd ball blue colour, that car is the exact same as mine!  There were a lot of them in that combination sold in Canada.  I see it has the Trac system as well, which all Canadian cars had.

I think the colour is great, and the interior looks good too, especially against the walnut trim.

Whatever gas I use, it gets 22 MPG imperial in town, and around 30 on the highway.

I didn't mean anything bad by it being odd; I guess I was thinking more of rare! I actually really liking the color! BTW, do you know what this color is called? Blue? Gray? Yep...it has the trac system and heated seats which I like! Being used to my front wheel drive, the knowing the trac is there is good if I ever press the gas to hard in the rain!

Thanks for everything guys...keep it comming!

:cheers:

I think what is odd is that it has heated seats and "TRAC", but it looks like it lacks the sunroof option. Does it? I really can't say 100%, but it looks that way in he photo.

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The 1991 has the sunroof ;) ! I see what you're saying though-it's hidden very well!

Roy, I was thinking the samething about the timing belt! It's definantly time! I just talked to my upholsterer, and he said no more than $500 to redo the driver's seat and make a new cover for the console! I'm bringing my dad to come look at the car on Saturday(!), and if he likes it, I'll become one of you guys! The car is mechanically top notch, and it won't take much to fix the leather, so that's good. I have a good feeling about this one and am keeping my fingers crossed! I'll definantly keep yall posted on my "quest to LS" :lol::lol: !

:cheers:

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Blake,

Sorry I couldn't get back to you on the wiper motor. The manual instructed to check for power and it didn't tell the exact voltage. So my guess, it's the motor. On the Ls400, Here are something stuffs that you need to look for: valve cover gaskets, rear main seal, motor mounts and transmission mount, rear knuckle bushings, lower ball joints, dip stick o-ring, cv boots.....it can get expansive it you bought the wrong car. Good luck with the buy. Let me know if you need any help.

JPI

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Thanks for chiming in JPI :D !...he's such an asset to the club and a real helper :D .He talked to me on AIM for an hour about my electrical gremlin in my ES! It's always good to hear from the mechanical expert! I think I'm going to hold off on the wiper motor on the ES; I'd rather save all of my money for(hopefully!) the '95 LS. JP, the car(ES) has been great...no battery lights. I leave the lights, a/c, and stereo on all the time with no problems; I watch the tach like a hawk with all of the above on plus the wipers.

99 just informed me that the 1uzfe is an interferance engine :o ...so the timing belt is a must(where as I can just wait for it to pop in the ES!)! I'm almost thinking about doing that before the leather repairs since the engine is nothing to take a gamble with! :D

I'm doubtful of any mounts being bad because the car was smoooth...no vibrations ever during any point during my 40 min. test drive! I floored it at 80mph and the car just hauled a@s; no flinching or anything like that. What's a lower ball joint??

You guys are great; thanks for chatting with me about my possible purchases!

:cheers:

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Blake, with regards to your early inquiry about compression testing. Good chance they won't do it, but you can work something out with the dealer, like when you're telling them you want a PreCertification Inspection testing done, but you also want a compression test done on the same tab. Most of them will probably look at you funny, but try to be convincing.

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I'm doubtful of any mounts being bad because the car was smoooth...no vibrations ever during any point during my 40 min. test drive! I floored it at 80mph and the car just hauled a@s; no flinching or anything like that. What's a lower ball joint??

Sounds like a good ride :D

Lower ball jont controls the "play" in the steering knuckle. As they wear, the front suspension will get loose, won't hold alignment, etc. The classic symptom of worn ball joints is "wheel shimmy". The LS has Upper suspenion arm that is a wishbone design. It connects to the upper part of the steering knucke while the lower arm is just single, staight design. These arms have "ball joints" for connection and rotate/swivel every which way to allow for bumps, turns, etc.

Also, a strut bar is connected to the lower sus. arm and it has "bushings" that wear out.

If you push down over the wheels (on the fender) and it doesn't pop back up nicely that is sign of worn struts. If you drive over a small pothole and hear a big "clunk" sound the struts are probaly shot as well as some bushings.

All of these things happen to our LS's over time. Just a function of normal wear on the suspension.

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I'm doubtful of any mounts being bad because the car was smoooth...no vibrations ever during any point during my 40 min. test drive! I floored it at 80mph and the car just hauled a@s; no flinching or anything like that. What's a lower ball joint??

Sounds like a good ride :D

Lower ball jont controls the "play" in the steering knuckle. As they wear, the front suspension will get loose, won't hold alignment, etc. The classic symptom of worn ball joints is "wheel shimmy". The LS has Upper suspenion arm that is a wishbone design. It connects to the upper part of the steering knucke while the lower arm is just single, staight design. These arms have "ball joints" for connection and rotate/swivel every which way to allow for bumps, turns, etc.

Also, a strut bar is connected to the lower sus. arm and it has "bushings" that wear out.

If you push down over the wheels (on the fender) and it doesn't pop back up nicely that is sign of worn struts. If you drive over a small pothole and hear a big "clunk" sound the struts are probaly shot as well as some bushings.

All of these things happen to our LS's over time. Just a function of normal wear on the suspension.

1993LS400 146,000 miles.

Sounds like you just drove me car!

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Thanks UCF3 ;) .

99, Thanks for the explaination...a very good one too! The '95 didn't display any of the symptoms that you listed. I took my hands off of the wheel and the car just kept tracking down the road nice and straight! The current owner told me that the dealer(Toyota I think) told him that he needs new shocks, but I kinda find this hard to believe because the car's ride was very controled at both 35mph and 85mph! B)

:cheers:

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These boards are great!

I just bought a 1992 LS 400 with only 60,000 miles. I have not seen any others listed with under 100K...and they still run great. :rolleyes:

I paid $5,800 and am the 3rd owner. It was first owned by the CEO of a Japanese company who was chaufered everywhere, but wanted his own car anyway. Itr was then boaught by another Japanese exec, here in the US on rotation. That was 1998 and it only had 20,000 miles. I went to Lexus dealer for service history, and the last time it was in Lexus shop was 1993? The man I got it from had to return to Japan, so he didn't have time to put it on the market.

Everything works.

Pearl White ( I will take new pictures, 1 I posted came out like a billboard it was so big)

Leather heated seats.

Moon Roof

Traction control

Nakamichi stereo & 6 CD changer

Heated Mirrors, Seat memory, etc.

people who see it think its a new car. The only things that I notice are the gas pedal is kind of sticky on acceleration, and I do hear a crunching/clunking noise from the front passenger side on large bumps and dips. I did that little test mentioned on these boards for shocks. Pushed down on each fender and they just come right up. no bounce.

I plan on keeping this car for a very long time, so I will keep it in shape. However, I plan on finding a regular mechanic or shop familiar with lexus, rather than a Lexus dealer. I can't afford their kinds of pricing. Plus I think they look for problems that may not exist. I had a friend who did the gold plate on Toyota & lexus emlems. She charges the dealers $75.00 per job. Toyota dealer billed customers $300. Lexus billed customers $500 <_<

From all I have read here, I think I got a great deal. :)

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Well, I can't let this great thread pass by. My compliments to my colleagues. Some of the best advice I could imagine. I start with Blake. Blake, the car looks sooooo good. Undoubtedly, it is a world class ride, but nothing is free. Here is the deal with the Lexus. They are undoubtedly, the best driving, high speed Interstate car made. They are stealthy (cops ignore them), they are fast, they handle excellent at extremely high speeds ( reported to me by a German who was on the Autobahn of course), and they are comfortable. The perfect car.

In order to enjoy the luxury of driving the best car in the world, you pay a premium when it comes to repairs. Luckily, even the original, 1990 LS400 is nearly bulletpoof when it comes to problems. The problem arises because since there are few problems on a car that there just isn't that many of, parts and labor are very expensive. Everyhting cost a LOT on these cars.

My advise, offer the guy five grand for the car (in cash). Go to 55 if you have to, but you won't. Glenmore said, shop around. Look on autotrader.com I saw many fine LS vehicles listed which were just as nice as you are looking to purchase.

Shop smart. Cars will always be for sale.

Again, welcome to LOC, the best board in the East.

Denny

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( reported to me by a German who was on the Autobahn of course)

Hehehe :lol: . I wonder who that German might be ;) ? I did shop some more, and I found a high mileage '95 that I fell in love with...it's the origional look that I like except they took out the ironing board and starch to make some attractive lines on the car, so I bought it!

Thanks for the welcome, but I'm no stranger here! I usually spend all of my time in the ES section ;) though . I agree LOC is the best club around!

My LS is out of comission for a little-while while we wait for the parts to come in for the timing belt job and a new ignition system too. So, I'll drive my other(ES) Lex while we reapir the LS, but as soon as the LS is up and running again, I'll have to part with the ES :( :( . What a great car; I'll miss it(it was too small for a 6'3 youngin like myself).

Happy LS motoring

:cheers:

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Oh, sorry man, I neglected to check your posts until now. I've only been in the ES once when I saw a couple 250's in a junkyard. Anywaym post a couple pix of the new rig when you get a chance.

Denny

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