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Electronics Blown For 92 Ls400


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I've been looking for a nice Lexus to buy.

I found one with 140,000 miles but according to the owner,

when he put a stereo system in the panel lights, headlights,

sunroof, heater/ac and trunk were blown. (trunk doesn't open

unless you use a little gadget he has) He said he replaced

the distributor but that wasn't the issue and wants to get it

off his hands. It's only 2g and I'm getting it looked at by a


My question is if this electric problem is the only problem,

is this a good buy and is it cheap enough to fix? I figure a low

mileage LS400 would be a good reliable car for a while as long

as I can fix the dash lights and the heat and ac and sunroof.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm going tomorrow to

have the mechanic inspect the car.

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The fact that he said he "replaced the distributor" means he doesn't know what he is talking about or what he is doing. My advice would be to keep looking for another LS, as this one may be damaged beyond an easy repair.

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The above advice is probably good since electronics are nightmares. I wouldn't consider 2 grand a good deal for a 92 with these problems. BUT, it might be something as simple as a dead short from when he installed the radio. As mentioned above, replaceing the distributor for this issue seems really a strange move. I guess I should ask IS the fuse blown and does it blow right away when a new fuse is installed, IF the wiring has a dead short it will blow every fuse you put in and my guess (although I don't know) is that all of the things with issues like the trunk, sunroof etc. are on the same circuit. I would start by taking out the radio and looking around.

Try to buy the thing for a grand and maybe you will be lucky. I would not pay 2,000 for it as it is. There are many old LS400's around for sale at pretty good prices.

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I'm waiting till next Thursday to take it into the mechanic. He said he's going to try and see if he can fix the short this weekend. My main interest in it was the low mileage, as I feel once the short or electronics are fixed, I'll have a good running lexus for at least another 50,000 miles. Every other lexus I find is 180,000 miles or higher for $2500+, no matter the year. What's the most something like this could cost to fix? If my net cost is under 2500, I think I'd still be happy.

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Don't underestimate the amount of money you can pour into an LS400 with 140,000 miles. Between 140,000 miles and when I sold it at 183,500 my 90 LS400 needed most of the normally replaceable front suspension parts replaced. IMO, the 92 LS400 you are considering would have to be darned near perfect to be worth $2,500.

For comparison purposes, I sold my 90 LS (photo attached) about this time of the year in 2003 for $4,500. It looked like new inside and out, everything worked except the bulbs in two radio knobs, it was completely up-to-date in maintenance including the full 180,000 mile service including timing belt and water pump replacement, all front normal wear suspension parts had been replaced (see above), the A/C had been professionally converted to R134a, it had excellent summer tires and an extra set of wheels with snow tires in excellent condition, etc., etc. The engine compartment was spotless. It drove like new and people who didn't know Lexus thought it was new.

In contrast, the 92 LS you are describing sounds like it is on "life support". Forget about it. In fact, forget about buying any LS400 before the 1993 model year. The 1993-up LS400 has no many improvements that it makes the 90-92 look very bad. Read this -->

Be patient ... a better (93-up) LS will come along.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I find this extremely funny because i am the guy he was going to buy the lexus from haha. i did not tell him that i replaced the distributor thinking it was the problem. i told him that i replaced some of the fuses that kept blowing and was going to replace the integration relay and hopefully that might be the problem, it wasn't... the problem was that the alternator blew some wire, circuit, or relay in the car and the gauges, moon roof (when trying to put it down), parking breaks, and fan motor all don't work right now. i still have the car haha and could use some help so if you guys know what the problem might be that would be awesome.

thanks for your time guys

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