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Hi all

I have recently looked at an ls400 1997.  I noticed that the rear brakes need doing, the rubber for the foot brake was missing and the drivers side heated seat didn't work. Car had 152k on it with lots of receipts but no evidence of service history or cam belt change. Previous MOT had a few advisories like rear coil springs corroded and the rear subframe was corroded. MOT is until July. Is it worth a punt for £900. Anything else I should look for if I choose to buy it or if their is any close to me that people may have for sale. Your advice would be much apppreciated.

 

Thanks Marc

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15 minutes ago, marco24v said:

Hi all

I have recently looked at an ls400 1997.  I noticed that the rear brakes need doing, the rubber for the foot brake was missing and the drivers side heated seat didn't work. Car had 152k on it with lots of receipts but no evidence of service history or cam belt change. Previous MOT had a few advisories like rear coil springs corroded and the rear subframe was corroded. MOT is until July. Is it worth a punt for £900. Anything else I should look for if I choose to buy it or if their is any close to me that people may have for sale. Your advice would be much apppreciated.

 

Thanks Marc

The MOT advisories are really just the usual stuff, probably not much to be concerned about. It should be on its second cam belt change by now so no evidence of that would be a real concern. Other than that you want to see a nice clear engine oil, a reddish trans fluid and it wants to drive with no knocks or bangs, especially from the front end. 

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12 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

The MOT advisories are really just the usual stuff, probably not much to be concerned about. It should be on its second cam belt change by now so no evidence of that would be a real concern. Other than that you want to see a nice clear engine oil, a reddish trans fluid and it wants to drive with no knocks or bangs, especially from the front end. 

I couldn't find it on the receipts. The oil was like syrup and the trans fluid was red. Is it worth a punt? Im wondering how to tidy up the sub frame and fix the front heated seat. 

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15 minutes ago, marco24v said:

I couldn't find it on the receipts. The oil was like syrup and the trans fluid was red. Is it worth a punt? Im wondering how to tidy up the sub frame and fix the front heated seat. 

Do you know if it's a MK3 or 4? The subframe depends on the extent of the corrosion, it's not an uncommon advisory. The lack of a heated seat wouldn't be something that would put me off.  Do you have a reg number or photos?  It may be a car known to a forum member?

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£500 tops if it’s too rough sell it for parts.

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3 hours ago, The-Acre said:

Do you know if it's a MK3 or 4? The subframe depends on the extent of the corrosion, it's not an uncommon advisory. The lack of a heated seat wouldn't be something that would put me off.  Do you have a reg number or photos?  It may be a car known to a forum member?

It's the mk3 version 1997. The reg number is R476BNA

received_877408842591133.jpeg

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Looks ok in the photos.  How does it drive?  Cam belt is a big job so that's something to really consider. Any rust around the top of the windscreen area? Mileage is nothing for this engine. Upper and lower control arms are weak-ish points and not cheap so you need to know they're ok.  Check the boot for damp.  Steering column motors in both directions can fail, also expensive parts, although you can live with it in one position. Not history isn't horrendous for a 22 year old. I'd want to know how serious the subframe corrosion is.

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I would simply ask for a new MOT to be carried out while you're there watching it being done maybe

The corrosion just might be light surface stuff

The driver's heated seats only ever worked when new !

Then it's maybe worth the money + the cost of the new MOT

UCAs can cost a lot of money when they need changing though :zorro:

Engine and gearbox can last a million miles

Malc

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2 hours ago, The-Acre said:

Looks ok in the photos.  How does it drive?  Cam belt is a big job so that's something to really consider. Any rust around the top of the windscreen area? Mileage is nothing for this engine. Upper and lower control arms are weak-ish points and not cheap so you need to know they're ok.  Check the boot for damp.  Steering column motors in both directions can fail, also expensive parts, although you can live with it in one position. Not history isn't horrendous for a 22 year old. I'd want to know how serious the subframe corrosion is.

It drives really well. Kick down is spot on. Rear brakes could do with changing. Didn't see any rust there. This is what the MOT pulled up in regards to the subframe but its been like that for two years.

  • 23 July 2018
    Pass
    145126 miles
    3
  • Rear subframe heavily corroded
  • Rear brake disc worn, pitted or scored, but not seriously weakened (1.1.14 (a) (ii))
  • Rear coil springs corroded

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1 hour ago, Malc said:

I would simply ask for a new MOT to be carried out while you're there watching it being done maybe

The corrosion just might be light surface stuff

The driver's heated seats only ever worked when new !

Then it's maybe worth the money + the cost of the new MOT

UCAs can cost a lot of money when they need changing though :zorro:

Engine and gearbox can last a million miles

Malc

The corrosion looked light when I was underneath. The guy isn't going to put a new MOT on it saldy. 

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2 hours ago, marco24v said:

The guy isn't going to put a new MOT on it saldy.

even if you offer too pay for it ??

Malc

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1 minute ago, Malc said:

even if you offer too pay for it ??

Malc

No he just wants shot of it. He seems to thinks he can get a lot more for it but I'm not convinced. Some of the text exchanges have been hilarious. 

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Where are you in Durham.  I'm in Washington.  May be able to voice an opinion if we looked at it.

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4 minutes ago, 39buss said:

Where are you in Durham.  I'm in Washington.  May be able to voice an opinion if we looked at it.

I'm actually in Middlesbrough. Durham was the nearest locality but only a stones throw away from you. 

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your decision of course BUT upper wishbones sure ain't cheap and cambelt, pulleys and waterpump change are about an 8 hour job ..  10 yrs / 100k miles

if the service history shows lots of this done then maybe the asking price is ok  BUT if not done then you will know what you might be in store to expect

I've just spent the best part of £2k on mine this last year with my indy doing the stuff and getting proper parts from Amayama in Japan ( 50% of the UK Lexus /. Toyota cost )

BUT my  knowing this stuff won't need doing ever again ( maybe )

The Mk3 Ls400 does fail the MOT on the wishbones at about 160k miles onwards, depending on the driving and driver over it's life

Your decision whatever BUT as I said, a fresh sensible MOT will show you if the upper wishbones are likely to be a cause for immediate concern and a potential bank balance drain

Good luck whatever

Malc

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24 minutes ago, Malc said:

your decision of course BUT upper wishbones sure ain't cheap and cambelt, pulleys and waterpump change are about an 8 hour job ..  10 yrs / 100k miles

if the service history shows lots of this done then maybe the asking price is ok  BUT if not done then you will know what you might be in store to expect

I've just spent the best part of £2k on mine this last year with my indy doing the stuff and getting proper parts from Amayama in Japan ( 50% of the UK Lexus /. Toyota cost )

BUT my  knowing this stuff won't need doing ever again ( maybe )

The Mk3 Ls400 does fail the MOT on the wishbones at about 160k miles onwards, depending on the driving and driver over it's life

Your decision whatever BUT as I said, a fresh sensible MOT will show you if the upper wishbones are likely to be a cause for immediate concern and a potential bank balance drain

Good luck whatever

Malc

Thank you. You're incite and information has opened my eyes to the potential costs. Their is one up the road in Darlington for more money but the suspension parts and cam belt have been done so it may be worth paying more with full service history for piece of mind. 

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Without MOT to your satisfaction I would walk away.

Even if MOT fine, the Control Arms can still be in need of replacement.  My Mk3 needed both front arms done but got through 2 MOTs without failing, on them, I was happy to live with the slight vibration that it had (189K on clock).

Bigger issue with Mk3 for me was the stalling after 15 miles or more.  Was for sure the ECU capacitor problem, but got rid of car for spares and went for Mk4.

Having said that I spent no money on the Mk3 for the 5 years I had it, so was a bargain car to run.

 

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He's asking £900 for it, if he had the confidence it would pass an MOT he would spend an extra £50 to get it and and heighten it's selling potential enormously with a £950, 1 years mot sale ticket, an MOT fail on a 400 could mean thousands £'s needs spending on it, I would not consider buying a 22 year old car with no mot,  

 

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3 hours ago, Cotswold Pete said:

Without MOT to your satisfaction I would walk away.

Even if MOT fine, the Control Arms can still be in need of replacement.  My Mk3 needed both front arms done but got through 2 MOTs without failing, on them, I was happy to live with the slight vibration that it had (189K on clock).

Bigger issue with Mk3 for me was the stalling after 15 miles or more.  Was for sure the ECU capacitor problem, but got rid of car for spares and went for Mk4.

Having said that I spent no money on the Mk3 for the 5 years I had it, so was a bargain car to run.

 

The MOT is due in July. Ideally i'd like something with a longer MOT. The engine is spot on although I did notice some damp on the side of the radiator. It's £900 can I afford to be too picky?

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2 hours ago, Greer said:

He's asking £900 for it, if he had the confidence it would pass an MOT he would spend an extra £50 to get it and and heighten it's selling potential enormously with a £950, 1 years mot sale ticket, an MOT fail on a 400 could mean thousands £'s needs spending on it, I would not consider buying a 22 year old car with no mot,  

 

He told me he's had it on the ramps and everything seems ok but hes not an MOTer. I'd rather spend more and get something better to my liking. Does anyone have one on here for sale?😎

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4 hours ago, marco24v said:

I'm actually in Middlesbrough. Durham was the nearest locality but only a stones throw away from you. 

The LOC places any members between the Tyne and Tees in Co.Durham. Not quite strictly accurate but 30 miles between us on the A19.   

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2 hours ago, marco24v said:

He told me he's had it on the ramps and everything seems ok but hes not an MOTer. I'd rather spend more and get something better to my liking. Does anyone have one on here for sale?😎

Well I think you've decided against it?  If something else turns up be sure to post the details on here.

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Yeh don’t bother. Maybe a search and wait but £900 isn’t nothing...could be a lot for a pile...

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3 minutes ago, Tinonline said:

Yeh don’t bother. Maybe a search and wait but £900 isn’t nothing...could be a lot for a pile...

Very true. He's sold it so it'll £900 towards a good one 😁

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