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Hi, my on/off quest to find a good LS400 at a reasonable price continues this morning and will be looking at the one in the link below. Not much time I know but I would appreciate any thoughts and information anyone may have. Apparently, the car was garaged for 6 years that’s why there is a gap in the MOT history. I’ll have a good look and report back the outcome in this post later.

I’m always looking at LS400’s for sale, the Mrs definitely does not want me to buy one as they are a very big car and refuses to even consider driving it. So, I keep wavering between ‘I should be sensible and buy something else’ and ‘stuff it, I want one so going to buy one and deal with the consequences after’. At the moment I’m in the ‘stuff it........’ mode hence looking at this LS today😀

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F202767659245

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I remember this car. The person who owns it wanted to do a straight swap with my ls430 but ls430 is worth more so I wouldn't just straight swap it. 

The ls400 needs a cam belt replaced, it's way over due, it was last replaced in 2004, he admitted that it hadn't been replaced since and will need doing. It did have an issue with the y section of the exhaust but he said that's now been fixed.

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Have a look at its past MOTs

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Thanks for the information guys, especially on a Sunday morning. I’ve just arrived and it’s raining......looks like it will clear though. I’ve looked at the MOT history and doesn’t look bad to me after being garaged for a few years but I’ll have look at the car at least. Condition is more important to me as I can do most mechanical stuff myself. Cam belt is a bit of a worry just for the cost of having it done which I guess will be around £500 ish if I do it myself or around £1,000 if I get someone to do it.

Anyway will have a look and take it from there.

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Lexus have a fixed price for replacing a cam belt, I think it's £395

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but it's usually done with a new water pump at same time

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If you want the waterpump done then it's just £99 extra because the engine will be stripped anyway so all you pay for is the waterpump, I think it's £99 extra or it may be £105 extra

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I didn’t realise that the cost for the cam belt was that price, the price I put was an educated guess for replacing cam belt, water pump, thermostat and all pulleys/drive belts etc. Everything that is worth doing at the time.

So, after have a good look at the car and talking to the seller below are my findings, for what it’s worth as I’m not a mechanic but have good experience.

Engine oil is good and a good yellow colour. Transmission fluid is red, I’ve seen a better ‘red’ on another car but it’s by no means brown at all. Forgot to check the coolant colour though but I suspect it’s fine. I couldn’t see any signs of the power steering pump leaking from looking down on the right hand side of the front. Couldn’t see any signs of leaks on the drive. Car was cold, started no problem and was super smooth. Everything electrical looked to be working, windows, steering column, sat nav, audio, lights etc. Didn’t check the aerial or the dash illumination with the lights on, just forgot really. Boot opened fine with the key, spare wheel present along with toolkit and torch. 2 x keys with one the 3 button master key. User manual and all other books present, Lexus stamped service history up to 64,000 miles, cam belt replaced in 2004 64,000 miles with sticker to that effect on the engine. No warning lights on the dash that I could see. Y section on the exhaust has been done/fixed, I could easily see that. The pipes that sit between the radiator and front of the car and run horizontal were corroded, not looked up what these are. Some small circular rust areas on front suspension top mounts, engine bay pretty clean but could do with a good clean especially in the corners at the bottom of the windscreen, looks like crud from leaves etc after being sat in a garden for 6 years. Had a look under the car as best I could and looked fine but as it’s been stood in a garden for 6 years I suspect there will be corrosion somewhere, brake pipes etc would be a concern until up on a ramp and checked. Brakes looked ok, lipping on front discs but none on the rear discs. Rear brakes looked like they have been worked on but I suspect they haven’t been bled correctly, spongy pedal until pumped and then they are harder. Not sure if they just need to be bled or it’s a master cylinder issue.

Bodywork:

Car was still wet after the rain but it looked spot on with no rust anywhere apart from a couple of small chips on the edge of passenger front and rear doors and a small chip on the boot edge. Some rust on the drivers door, inside outer edge at the bottom where the bottom rubber seal is attached but just inside and not outside. Wouldn’t take much to sort at all. Drain holes in the doors looked fine with water draining out after the rain and testing the windows. There is a blackish colour inside the drain holes but I think this is the Waxoyl. The owner told me it had been Waxolyed and to be honest it shows because of the condition externally and round the doors etc, underneath might be different though. Original wheels are pretty bad (no surprise though) but the wheels on the car are pretty good. Carpets and interior were in excellent condition and all electric adjustments work. Not sure about the heated seats but I suspect they will work because everything else does. One thing that puzzled me is that there looked to be a colour difference between panels, boot lid to rear quarter. Rear quarter to doors. Bonnet to wings and wings to doors. But it seemed to change depending on the angle but didn’t ever look ‘right’, if that makes sense. Maybe it’s the particular colour as some of the cars I’ve seen for sale in this colour look similar.

Test drive:

Car isn’t taxed or insured so couldn’t do a decent test drive. However, I did do a small test drive round the corner to a supermarket and drive it round there. Seemed very smooth and changed gear fine. Most roads in the UK are not exactly smooth so I did drive over some bumps and small potholes, no clunks or knocks that I could detect. As mentioned above, the brakes need attention to be up to standard in my opinion.

That’s all I can remember from this morning. Overall I think the car is in excellent condition and could very easily be made ‘mint’. But, there maybe more small blemishes when examined in the dry. I don’t think there will be much though at all. It runs very smooth given the lack of a proper test drive. A proper test drive may throw up some mechanical running gear issues but without taxing the car you wouldn’t be able to find out. This car was for sale on eBay approx 6 months ago and I remember it, ‘been stood in the garden for 6 years, put new Battery on and it started first time’ was part the description. The current seller bought the car but I can’t remember how much it was up for or what it sold for.

Where does that leave me? Well, I’m not wild about the colour but it’s pretty good and would look stunning when detailed etc. Bodywork is excellent so no issues there. Interior is excellent and everything works. It needs work on the brakes. Timing belt, water pump along with the pulleys etc need doing. Suspension may or may not need attention, suspect it does. Gearbox seems fine, it may not be but I suspect it is fine. Possible corrosion underneath after being stood for 6 years in a garden (where in the garden though....who knows) but may be fine if the underside has been Waxoyled, which I presume it would have been. I’ll have a think about it some more and maybe put in a really cheeky offer. I think given the ‘essay’ above, if I could get it for £1,000 it would be be worth buying and sorting out all the issues that need attention. What do you guys think? Is £1,000 a bit too cheeky😉

if anyone has any questions about the car I’ll answer them, if I can remember😀

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Not cheeky at all. He was trying to sell that about 3 weeks ago, like I said he wanted a straight swap with my ls430, but my ls430 is worth more than what he's asking for the ls400, but he seemed like a nice guy. Offer him £1000 and then go from there. 

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1 hour ago, messi said:

Not cheeky at all. He was trying to sell that about 3 weeks ago, like I said he wanted a straight swap with my ls430, but my ls430 is worth more than what he's asking for the ls400, but he seemed like a nice guy. Offer him £1000 and then go from there. 

He is a nice guy and the car is pretty pretty good to be honest. Offer went in at £1,000 and rejected, £1,100 rejected so that’s it for me. I think you have to do the math and work it all out without emotion to arrive at a figure that works for you. Which is what I’ve done I think. I’ll wait and see if I get one at a price that works for me or back to BMW and another M3😉

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If you have no luck, you can always buy my ls430

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Paul

You are being a bit more than cheeky the car is a good example of a LS400 and if you look at the going rate for top examples like mine I reckon 1700 would have got you this  car .The mark 4 was the last and best and they are not getting anymore plentiful as people recognise that .

I think you missed a trick there but if you are mentioning BMW or other marques do really want a Lexus?

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looks a bit alright to me tbh if it has a new clean MOT and the underside hasn't suffered from garden rust affect

factor in £££ dosh for the cambelt pulleys and waterpump , coolant too, then not too expensive at £1500 maybe :whistling:

Malc

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11 minutes ago, ambermarine said:

Paul

You are being a bit more than cheeky the car is a good example of a LS400 and if you look at the going rate for top examples like mine I reckon 1700 would have got you this  car .The mark 4 was the last and best and they are not getting anymore plentiful as people recognise that .

I think you missed a trick there but if you are mentioning BMW or other marques do really want a Lexus?

Maybe I was being cheeky but a car is only worth what someone is prepared to pay. £1100 is what I’m prepared to pay so that’s it as far as I’m concerned. I’ve owned 2 x M3’s, a 2002tii, 728i, 528i and latest a M140i from new which got knicked, damaged and recovered so sent it back to the PCP company plus a Saab 9000 and a 900 Turbo and an IS200. So it’s fair to say I am predominately a BMW guy. But, I’ve always admired the LS400 for the quality/engineering and would like one but at a price that makes sense for me otherwise I’ll go back to a BMW M3 or a 335i M Sport. Relatively expensive fast sporty drivers car v cheap big comfortable well engineered car that will last forever, I know they are opposites. So the ‘big comfortable well engineered car that will last forever’ has to be cheap for me, that’s the way I look at it.

The car I looked at today maybe worth £1500 - £2000 to someone but not to me.

 

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6 hours ago, Razor61 said:

the price I put was an educated guess for replacing cam belt, water pump, thermostat and all pulleys/drive belts etc. Everything that is worth doing at the time.

Yes I meant all of those things done but I could only think of the  water pump.

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Messi, have lexus given you the price of - '' it's £99 extra or it may be £105 extra'' - for a Lexus approved pump on an LS400?? with both fitted by Lexus?

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5 hours ago, Razor61 said:

Maybe I was being cheeky but a car is only worth what someone is prepared to pay. £1100 is what I’m prepared to pay so that’s it as far as I’m concerned

I don't think you're being cheeky, but I think you are being unrealistic. I've no doubt that you'll find one at that price but it'll be in a worse condition, which leads me to wonder if you really want one anyway or if you'd be more comfortable sticking with your BMWs?

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I'd have rejected your offer as well!  And as Herbie says, you're being unrealistic.  Maybe 3 years ago, but now so many people are aware of these cars and finding a good one with your budget may prove a fruitless quest!

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hmmm.......  I remember 8 years ago I paid £1400 for mine with 123k miles and Full Lexus Service History ( the last one btw ) from ACLex on here

and I didn't get the cheapest available by far on pricing but I know I did from quality and everything else that matters to us Ls400 owners :yahoo:

and I'm thinking she will last another 10 years maybe too hopefully

Malc

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Thanks for all your comments, it's very interesting to know other peoples opinions and get their advice for which I'm grateful.

To put the record straight concerning my interest in purchasing a Lexus LS400.

Am I hell bent on buying an LS400? No I'm not. Would I like one? Yes I would.

If I end up purchasing one I would be using it daily to commute 25 miles to work and back, 50 miles per day. This being the case, I may not be able to live with it as a daily driver. I think I would but I won't know for sure until I do it. So I want to spend around 2k to find out. If the car I looked at yesterday didn't need a cam belt etc, I may have done a deal near the asking price because cosmetically it is in excellent condition. Take off the cost of the bits for the cam belt work, around £500?, that makes it £1500 and absolutely needs to be done asap if I'm running it daily to work and back. Another factor is I'm not that wild about the colour at all to be honest and ideally would prefer Silver or Gold maybe, these colours seem to be more desirable and I prefer them. The brakes need attention plus maybe suspension work. I could easily spend another £500 for this work, just my opinion of course. So that brought me to the figure of £1,000.

If I could not live the car as a daily driver then it would stand me at 2k so wouldn't break the bank as a second car and if I decided to sell it then I could stand waiting for a while until it sold.

There is another light purple 1998 MKIV for sale on eBay (link below), it's done more miles but description says it's excellent and drives like new for £1,050 so am I that far out or unrealistic with offering £1,100? I haven't seen the car of course but it's very close to where I live so may have a look.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/lexus-ls400/254346126030

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I think they'd take the extra £50 on the purple one if you haggled hard! (MOT history doesn't look too bad tbh)   I got mine for a similar commute, slightly longer actually and it was great for arriving home relaxed and enjoying the journey both ways. My journey was 85% motorway outside of rush hours so cost wise OK but I might get a bit twitchy if it was very stop start or really 'twisty'.

A change of job means mine's just going to be used for one long work journey each week and holidays but I'm hooked on it now so it's a keeper even if it's a bugger to park near my house.  I paid £850 for mine, the exhaust was blowing and alloys were awful, a couple of bits on bodywork need seeing to, a good history but also due a cambelt soon.  It's a 'rolling project' but I do love it..

Ben

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1 hour ago, Razor61 said:

There is another light purple 1998 MKIV for sale on eBay (link below),

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/lexus-ls400/254346126030

I would find out what was done to deal with handbrake, I had mine alls sorted out a couple of years ago )before it got to be MOT problem.  Not cheap sorting out rear brake binding problems from my experience, but now i can park on any hill you like, and no binding on release.  Took a few days for my local garage to source new handbrake cables, so maybe same here, as it took 4 days to re-MOT and pass in May.

Worth a punt and it has original tool kit intact, so either owners never worked on it, or they loved the car well.

The wheels look a bit more raggy than I would like, and check the boot spare to see what state that is in, for boot leak syndrome

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4 minutes ago, Cotswold Pete said:

I would find out what was done to deal with handbrake, I had mine alls sorted out a couple of years ago )before it got to be MOT problem.  Not cheap sorting out rear brake binding problems from my experience, but now i can park on any hill you like, and no binding on release.  Took a few days for my local garage to source new handbrake cables, so maybe same here, as it took 4 days to re-MOT and pass in May

Worth a punt and it has original tool kit intact, so either owners never worked on it, or they loved the car well.

The wheels look a bit more raggy than I would like, and check the boot spare to see what state that is in, for boot leak syndrome

Good advice thanks, I'll probably go and have a look, curiosity will get the better of me but I won't write another essay on what I find...………….

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check when and if the UCAs have been replaced ever and with genuine parts ..  it's reached that sort of mileage tbh

big expensive job, the parts are £250 each even from Amayama ( all-up costs tho )

Malc

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9 hours ago, Razor61 said:

There is another light purple 1998 MKIV for sale on eBay (link below), it's done more miles but description says it's excellent and drives like new for £1,050 so am I that far out or unrealistic with offering £1,100? I haven't seen the car of course but it's very close to where I live so may have a look.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/lexus-ls400/254346126030

Just to clarify the bit above. It should have read as below because it sounded like I was willing to offer £50 more than the asking price for the light purple car..............ha ha. I don’t think I would do but you never know!

“There is another light purple 1998 MKIV for sale on eBay (link below), it's done more miles but description says it's excellent and drives like new for £1,050 so was I that far out or unrealistic with offering £1,100 for the car I viewed yesterday. I haven't seen the car of course but it's very close to where I live so may have a look.”

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