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Buying advice on a 1996 LS400 please

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I am new to the world of Lexus and am quite keen on buying an LS400 that hasn't been used for 3 years. It used to belong to a friend of mine, although it's fair to say he wasn't very proactive when it came to looking after the car, but it has only done 80,000 miles, has a full service history (not main dealer though) and only 2 owners in 23 years. It's a car I have always fancied, but missed the opportunity when I was was offered it 3 or 4 years ago, due to other projects on the go.

I am used to working on BMWs and Mercedes, for which there is a plentiful supply of non-manufacturer parts, but the Lexus marque does not seem so well catered for.

Most of the electrics work, or try to, except the heated front seats, which I understand is quite normal. The upper LCD display is faulty - can that be rebuilt?

The car won't start at present, so there is either a fuel or ignition issue. The security light to the right of the steering column is not lit when trying to start, so I am assuming the immobiliser is not interfering with the fuel supply. Do the fuel pump relays play up on these cars? Is there anything obvious I should be looking at? The fuel level is low, but surely it should at least cough a bit if it was getting even a little 3 year old fuel.  Perhaps I should bung 5 litres and some injector cleaner in, just in case.

I was hoping to take the wheels off to check the brakes and suspension, but I didn't realise the nuts would be a monstrous 21mm, so I need to go back with more tools. Let's hope the security nuts don't thwart my efforts. The parking brake is on, so no doubt that will be seized.

From what I could see underneath the suspension components are very crusty and the bushes may be past their best, although they have never been mentioned by the MoT tester between 1999 and 2016, which is when the last MoT test was carried out. Assuming a worst case scenario what is involved in a full suspension rebuild front and back? I am assuming the parts can only be bought from the dealer, although I would use a local garage to do the dirty work.

I would only buy it if I can get it running and then get it taken on a low loader to my local garage, who will sort out the brakes, and anything else obvious, before putting it through an MoT test.

Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.


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