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jbrubaker

Which Ls400 To Buy

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Looking at a 92 LS400, 100,000 miles and a 96 LS400, 99,000 miles.

I can compare all the features vehicle to vehicle, about $6K difference in price (which is probably negligible, but the question I have is this - are there significant differnces in engine, ride, electronics, etc. between the two?

Thanks!

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I was in your same situation a little while ago-searching for the right LS. I drove approx. 6 first gen cars and 1 second gen car(which I bought!). While the first gen cars are extremely nice, I like the second gen better for a few reasons. First and formost the seats...the seats are extremely springy in the first gens imo. The 96's seats only have a negligable amount of springyness(this was a suprise to me because the ES had no springyness at all!) to them. All of the gadgets inside are pretty much the same with the exception of the cd changer location-which was moved to a second glovebox in '95. The ride in the 95-96 is more controlled to me-I drove several first gens before picking a second gen car. And lastly, the exterior styling is just about the exact same. For the 95, the lines are much sharper which I like more and the tail lights are much more compact. Essentially, they took the 90-94 and made a great car even better for 95-00!

The engines are the same. I'm sure they made minor revisions, but they both have the 1UZFE.

I see you also have a '94 ES...the LS is in a completely different leauge. Most notable is the interior and exterior space and ride quality. The ride is awesome; it feels like a tank humming down the road with complete smoothness. Either gen you get, you'll be very happy with your purchase!

:cheers:

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The power steering pump design was changed in 95+ models - a good thing since the gen I's leak profusely....Although only time will tell for the Gen II & III's.

Suspension design was also upgraded for the Gen II for, supposedly, a more durable front end before replacing ball joints, struts, etc...

The engine went up to 270 HP and: is no longer a "non-interference" type. A little more leg and interior room.

99

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Blake pretty much said it all. Another potential problem on the 90-94s- is the instrument cluster and needle lights, as well as the LCD on the climate control. However, I have read a couple of reports of this problem even on the 95s-96s, but not nearly as much. I guess I have been lucky, as my 90 does not have these problems, unless they was already repaired before I bought. Both are great cars- and if the 95 seems like it is worth $6000 more- then buy it. As a price comparison- there was a local 95 LS400, in MINT conditions with 100K for sale here a couple of weeks ago for $10,000. Good luck with your purchase.

99LS- Not to change the subject- but I have been reading here and on the other Lexus club that the 90-94 LS400s do not have an "interference" engine. Can you point me to where you got that info? I am concerned, as I have no idea when that belt was changed on my 90 LS, with 228K. Thanks!

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99LS- Not to change the subject- but I have been reading here and on the other Lexus club that the 90-94 LS400s do not have an "interference" engine. Can you point me to where you got that info? I am concerned, as I have no idea when that belt was changed on my 90 LS, with 228K. Thanks!

This is correct....

90-94 are "non-interference" or "free running" engine; valves will not damage if timing belt breaks...

I talked to KC Lexus, an independent KC foreign "lexus, honda" shop, St. Louis Lexus service dept., and two (2) Dallas area shops. Every one of them verified the Gen I were "non-interference" engines. Of course, no one wants to have the T-belt snap on them - even if you have a gen I.

I had a 85 Accord that broke the timing belt...car just went to idle with no other effects...I pulled off the road, called the tow truck, and sent her in. It was about $175 to change it out; and the Honda was back in business.. :D

Check your Vin# out with Lexus, they'll tell you if any Lexus dealer changed it....

I think their pretty strong for 125K, the other problem would be the water pump giving out @ anytime also <_<

99

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JPI told me that the 95-97 is also a non-interference setup, but he said it's not a good thing at all to just let it pop ;) ...he said possible serious damage could occur.

:cheers:

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Yeah, the first Gen LSs are non-interference engines. I can confirm that for you as well.

Regarding the timing belt, i would suggest checking out the Workshop tutorials section. I believe there are some instructions on how to take the covers off the LS. If not, PM me.

jbrubaker:

I also recommend the 96 over the first Gen. One of the significant differences, better suspension on Gen II, and more aftermarket parts available. Overall, better car.

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Even though I have Gen. 1, I would buy the Gen. 2 if I had the money. Because the Gen. 2 looks more luxurious. Never driven it, so don't know about how the suspension, ride, etc... Four years makes a huge difference in the Book value, "The more expensive the car the more value change over the years."

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Thanks for that info. That is encouraging news. It is possible that it was changed by an independent repair shop before I got it, as the previous owner had stated to the mechanic to replace all belts as necessary. I have had the VIN# ran through my local Lexus dealer and some of it is gibberish and not very clear as to what was completed. Nevertheless, I have not seen anything about the timing belt on that printout.

I agree that the 95-up does have a more up-scale look. If it is worth the extra $$$$ to you to get the 95-up, I would go ahead and get it.

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So if I am correct in reading all the above (and thanks to all those who contributed, it has helped me make my mind up), then the second Gen started in 95?

I passed on a car on auction yesterday, and after reading all the above, kicking myself swiftly. '96 LS400 with every option, $10761 delivered to my door. :chairshot: What was I thinking!

But anyway...

'95 is second gen, correct?

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So if I am correct in reading all the above (and thanks to all those who contributed, it has helped me make my mind up), then the second Gen started in 95?

I passed on a car on auction yesterday, and after reading all the above, kicking myself swiftly. '96 LS400 with every option, $10761 delivered to my door. :chairshot: What was I thinking!

But anyway...

'95 is second gen, correct?

Yes...

95-97 is the second generation LS - Gen II!

Under $11K for the 96!!!! --depreciation at its best....what condition @ mileage?

That's $12K LESS than I paid for my 99 ($23K)!!! But, 98-00 is the Gen III models and will hold value a little more <_< . Oh well, I could have paid ($33K) from a dealer - that's what they wanted :pirate:

99

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Looked good! Mileage was 99,230.

Only thing I did not like was that it had already had 4 owners and service records only went to 20K, and had been all over the US (ohio to Texas to CA back to Texas to Utah.

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i dont know about any serious damage whentiming belt snaps in. engine will just stop and this is what happend to a friend of mine. you also can predict when water pump will seize since like 15-20k miles in advance it will start making this whining noises from the pulleys that will alarm you that the time has come. i personally like gen II-III Ls since they have the best shape.

PS i have 132k miles on my 96 and it is still going strong and the only thing i changed was tmingbelt/water pump assembly and all filters.

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It probably isn't a good idea to buy a car that has had four owners and been all over the country. Sometimes this is done to "clean" titles of flooding, wrecks and other stuff that is undersirable.

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As a 1994 Gen 1 owner, I highly recommend the Gen II if your going to make a purchase. Althought the Gen I is a great car, there are some substantial improvement like suspension! Spend the extra money and go with GenII.

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