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Buying A 1992 Lexus Ls400 76000 Miles


mrfrostLS400
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Hey everyone,

I found a really good one for $7995 in my local area. Is that a fair asking price or should I see if he will go down? It is immaculate inside which is to be expected with only 76000 on it. I drove it and it was great there too. Thank you!

Alex

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Welcome Alex.

The price of $8k is steep for a 1992 but if it is in immaculate shape it will be worth far more than an average one.

I would have to actually see it and see maintenance records to determine what price is 'fair'. If it is in immaculate shape, I *might* pay upwards of $5k for it. Big 'IF'.

Look underneath as well. It might be fairly rusty which would detract from the value.

Yes, you should always try to negotiate a lower price. All he can say is "no". On your side is the fact that not many will be interested in a 92 at that asking price.

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That is really a lot for a 1992 even considering the low mileage. Luckily for you these cars are so well built that there is little to go wrong. Here is a list of things that always go wrong.

The power steering leaks and when it leaks it leaks on the alternator which is terrible. Also the power steering fluid can be sucked into the intake system via a vacuum based parking power assist feature which is connected to the pump. When that happens you get huge clouds of white smoke upon start up that smells like burning solvent. Easily corrected by blocking the connections. Other leaks include, but are not limited to, the "O" rings between the reservoir and pump. Bring a powerful flashlight and carefully examine the power steering pump area. Having a dealer replace all this is prohibitive. Having a side person do it means they better know what they are doing.

The LED display on the time and temperature display WILL go completely black. Replacements are between $200 and $400 and are simple to install with minimal tools.

Other low volume issues include AC, upper control arms but only after a couple hundred thousand miles.

Things to consider. You will need to have all the fluids changed. Oil, transmission, coolant, power steering, differential, and brake. Figure in a new serpentine belt. Not sure if you mentioned timing belt but being non-interference, not a huge issue.

Of course when all is said and done, you will own the finest car I ever owned. Best of all, in 2 years you own an antique vehicle which entitles you to all kinds of special deals on insurance and registration.

I'd bring 50 $100 bills with me.

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I talked him down to $5500. It is Blue on Blue. The power steering pump is leaking but not too bad. The temp/time display has started to black out from left to right. It has an occasional CEL with TRAC Off light with it (haven't looked into that yet). Everything else is fantastic. Still has the original first aid kit unopened and the tool tray tools have not been used even once. Once I get another sunny day I will take some pictures. Thank you for the information!

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Whenever I buy a car, I always prefer white. For a used car, I will take (in this order) white, black, gray, silver, blue. I would not ever buy a green car under any circumstances. NO, gold, yellow, tan, brown, or any of those other weird, off color things.

With a used car, sometimes you get what you get and all you can do is wonder what the original purchaser was thinking.

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Slickest car I have ever owned (17 to be exact). The BMW's I owned were nice but both blew up (air oil separator thing and blown head gasket). Love it. Needs tire rotation and balance but that is easy. I also found the original sticker in the glove box! I am going to get a speeding ticket shortly. Imperceptible engine note and sense of speed makes 65 in a 40 all too easy! Cannot believe this car was made in 1992.

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No, not traction control and no electronics involved. Not sure what Lexus calls it but the rear differential is the same as a Positraction differential on. chevrolet. Basically means that both rear tires dig for traction all the time. Called "Limited Slip" to provide the ultimate in traction. Traction control works by adding brake to slipping tires. Worthless in snow.

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Positraction is, I believe, a brand or trade name for a limited-slip differential. These are mechanical arrangements that use clutches, as I recall, and are aimed at reducing / controlling wheelspin on acceleration or in cornering where one wheel may lose traction. These differentials were a must back in the muscle-car days, and essential on the dragstrip. I don't think limited slips had much affect at higher speeds, and would not have approached the effect of electronic traction control.

In simplest terms, modern electronic traction controls rely on reducing power delivery to the spinning wheel or, under certain circumstances such as hard cornering and tight curves, applying the brake. Not sure if they just sense differences in traction or can read lateral acceleration. I think the latest versions in BMW M-series and similar cars is very complex.

If the earlier LS had an "old fashioned" limited-slip diff, the affect would be as described in the earlier post -- would allow high-power cornering without loss of traction and high lateral acceleration. As in "yee-haw!"

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Sorry I don't think there is a posi type differential offered on the LS400's of any year. The Trac system is integrated with the ABS meaning combined, so if a sensor sees a wheel turning faster than the other then the brake is applied to that faster wheel. Trac could not work correctly if there was a posi type system, things would be chattering up a storm.

http://lexus.sewellparts.com/oem-catalog/4101MCU728-PowertrainAndChassis-LS400-1992.html

If you look at the parts book picture there is no posi parts in the differential, its just a plane jane differential system. Again Trac system would not work with a posi.

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That makes more sense. I was surprised at the idea Lexus would provide a limited slip diff in the age of electronics, but thought maybe so on earlier models. I'm not sure any manufacturer currently offers mechanical traction control, especially since electronic systems manage so many other variables. Thanks for the clarification.

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