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Hi guys,

Hope someone can offer some advice :)

My father passed away in 2018, leaving behind his beloved LS400. It's been sat since then, so I know if it's started then there's a good chance that the drive belt will simply perish, so I'm not going to do that.

It's an R reg, 1998 I think, so wondered if you could give me some idea of it's value. A few 'unsavoury' types have knocked on the door offering £50 or £100 to buy it (for scrap value, I assume!). Any ideas what it would be worth? Or is it worth my time getting it on a low loader to the nearest garage and getting it all up and running again? The bodywork is in decent condition, and I know the engine was running fine before it was left to sit.

I know it'll need new tyres (as they've been sat for almost 3 years!), and from memory possibly something done with the exhaust - I seem to recall my Dad mentioning an exhaust bandage would be needed at the very least, along with a new Battery, and now a new timing belt.

Cheers,
Rich

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1998 Grey Lexus LS 400 4.0 4dr for sale for £4250 (autotrader.co.uk)

Here's one example of that year and model.  Obviously it all depends on condition and how much you are prepared to invest.  But I would guess there's many here who would be horrified at the idea of it going for scrap!!

Might also be useful to look up some of the original reviews to get some idea of how well it was regarded.

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Thanks for the reply Len!

Yep, the link worked - may well be worth spending a bit on it then to get it in roadworthy condition again. I know that when I last drove it, it was a phenomenal car - so much raw power, but such a smooth ride too.

That's kind of why I've asked here - I don't want to see it going to scrap either, but it's at what point do I draw the line. I'd rather it was either roadworthy and used, or went to someone who appreciates it for what it is, rather than just being seen as a quick £100!

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Really good question! I'm honestly not sure off the top of my head, but can check when I go down to it this evening, and post back on here. Last MOT in March 2017 was 166k, so it will be a couple of k more than that at the most. 

 

Should add that it passed the MOTs from 2014-2017 with no issues as far as I'm aware, and was pretty well looked after by my Dad whilst he had it. Which is also partly why I feel a little guilty for letting it just stand.

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33 minutes ago, rharper83 said:

Really good question! I'm honestly not sure off the top of my head, but can check when I go down to it this evening, and post back on here. Last MOT in March 2017 was 166k, so it will be a couple of k more than that at the most. 

 

Should add that it passed the MOTs from 2014-2017 with no issues as far as I'm aware, and was pretty well looked after by my Dad whilst he had it. Which is also partly why I feel a little guilty for letting it just stand.

I thought I'd point out that some pictures would be useful too!

I also presume it's been on a SORN.  I suppose it also  depends on whether you fancy keeping it once it's back on the road and how much of the necessary work you can do yourself.  And I think you rightly mention the belt and Battery.  It's also likely that all the fluids should be replaced.  Personally I wouldn't even chance turning it over until you were sure that nothing had seized, unlikely though that may be.

On the other hand, if it was a runner in 2017, not much will have deteriorated in a Lexus since then.  Which is why this site exists!

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50 minutes ago, rharper83 said:

Really good question! I'm honestly not sure off the top of my head, but can check when I go down to it this evening, and post back on here. Last MOT in March 2017 was 166k, so it will be a couple of k more than that at the most.

So if it's done, say 170K in 23 years, that's only about 7,400 miles a year (I think)!  Well, as many will tell you, that's nothing for a Lexus.  Sounds like you could have a little gem on your hands.  Here's hoping anyway.

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I would say give the rear arches a good poke to see what is going on, as rust sets in when you're not noticing. 

Possibly charge up Battery and check all the electrics work (which they should) but always good to know if steering column fully works and radio etc.

Car will take about 15 mins after Battery re-charge to bring all the ECUs to life so that you could fire up the engine, but like already said, do not fire up until someone decent mechanic looks at it first.  

At its current mileage it should be fine, but the running gear may need looking at with bushes wearing and possible control arm replacement (which is the not-cheap bit).

If you need a Lexus expert, I use Osaka in Newport, which is a bit of a hike south for you, but once the beast is running they are good for getting the fettling in really sorted, or Japex in High Wycombe come highly recommended.

 

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Awesome, thank you so much guys!

Will get some pics over the next day or so (will be too dark tonight when I go down to it!), but will take a selection and post them here.

Yeah, it's been SORN since Jan 2018, sat on my parent's drive (hardstanding, so little to no water ingress from below, hopefully). It's been cleaned periodically, but hasn't since the back end of last year (lockdown!).

It was a daily driver until the end of 2017, so it's been well used (well, obviously not given the mileage, but it was driven daily). I gave it a good run up and down the dual carriageway (about 30 miles) just before it was parked up.

Definitely a great plan of action from you Pete - will see if I can get it on a lowloader to a nearby garage (they serviced it and looked after it when it was in use, and the owner was a good friend of my Dad's (in fact, my A1 is in there now with a broken front spring - potholes!), so will chat to him later about it when I collect my car.

Some great food for thought from you guys here, I really appreciate it. As promised, I'll come back with some pics in the next day or two 🙂

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1 hour ago, rharper83 said:

to a nearby garage (they serviced it and looked after it when it was in use,

seems a brilliant thought ........  if anyone knows best about your car then the guys there should .....  provided they are the same engineers still .......... thinking they will relish the thought to have the car back for re-commissioning ..........  could be relatively simple and inexpensive ........ might just be a new Battery and a couple of hours labour to check stuff over .......  the service records should reveal lots about the car too ....  especially checking when the cambelt was last changed etc

Malc

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10 minutes ago, Malc said:

seems a brilliant thought ........  if anyone knows best about your car then the guys there should .....  provided they are the same engineers still .......... thinking they will relish the thought to have the car back for re-commissioning ..........  could be relatively simple and inexpensive ........ might just be a new battery and a couple of hours labour to check stuff over .......  the service records should reveal lots about the car too ....  especially checking when the cambelt was last changed etc

Malc

Hopefully they will 🙂 It's the same guy that's still there, so fingers crossed! Will chat to him later on, and see what his thoughts are too. Cheers!

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Nice to read this post Rich and to see that you are doing the right thing by your Dad - checking with the forum is the best way.

A pristine LS400 just sold for £19,000 on The Market 

https://themarket.co.uk/listings/lexus/ls400/835b2fb1-e81f-43ee-a3e4-573bbd50fbfd

Don't get too excited, but I do regret giving my LS400 to my older brother 15 years ago as then I valued it at only £700. It was a P reg with circa 100,000 on the clock. They are getting very 'collectable' especially in Northern Europe (Denmark etc.).

There may be a metal tag/plate under the bonnet at the front where, if the timing belt was done by Lexus, it may state the mileage when changed, otherwise find the receipt in the paperwork as someone buying would otherwise assume it needs doing (and likely the water pump too).

The belt is suggested changing every circa 70,000 miles after the first change at 60,000 but a lot will depend on usage, time elapsed and the conditions of storage. Circa 170k mileage, you will be ok to start if on your 3rd belt?

Exhaust fix is more of an issue to get it done cost effective, but there are some import options from Rock autos and a couple of places in UK that will repair and you will find a thread for that on this site

Best of luck.

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Whether you keep it or not I would definitely recommend getting it through the MoT before making any decision about its future. Hopefully the garage you mentioned can give you an idea of the cost involved. If there any advisories, or whatever they are called nowadays, they can be dealt with later, either by you or a new owner.

It would be a good idea to check that all the electrical items and instrument displays work.

There are several links under the Buying Guide to give you some idea of the most common issues.

I would also recommend keeping it if you can, but I might be biased!

Mine was bought as a project, and despite the various issues, it's the best car I've owned since I started driving in 1964.

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You mention you think the Car passed its last three MOT's with no advisories.  You can always check this, just in case there was something likely to be expensive.  Any potential buyer will do likewise.

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

 

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18 hours ago, DaKa said:

Nice to read this post Rich and to see that you are doing the right thing by your Dad - checking with the forum is the best way.

A pristine LS400 just sold for £19,000 on The Market 

https://themarket.co.uk/listings/lexus/ls400/835b2fb1-e81f-43ee-a3e4-573bbd50fbfd

Don't get too excited, but I do regret giving my LS400 to my older brother 15 years ago as then I valued it at only £700. It was a P reg with circa 100,000 on the clock. They are getting very 'collectable' especially in Northern Europe (Denmark etc.).

There may be a metal tag/plate under the bonnet at the front where, if the timing belt was done by Lexus, it may state the mileage when changed, otherwise find the receipt in the paperwork as someone buying would otherwise assume it needs doing (and likely the water pump too).

The belt is suggested changing every circa 70,000 miles after the first change at 60,000 but a lot will depend on usage, time elapsed and the conditions of storage. Circa 170k mileage, you will be ok to start if on your 3rd belt?

Exhaust fix is more of an issue to get it done cost effective, but there are some import options from Rock autos and a couple of places in UK that will repair and you will find a thread for that on this site

Best of luck.

Thanks Damien - and definitely hoping to do the right thing by him. He was a member here in fact, I think his username was Jim Pike (that wasn't his actual name - long story!)

£19k! That's insane. If it was worth £3-4k in roadworthy condition that'd be a damn sight more than it is now 🙂 I know how you feel about the regret - my dad had a P100 pickup too that he used for work, and we let that go for what he paid for it, but in decent condition they are fetching upwards of £5k - plus it would've been useful for me to use to get my garden and drive done! Family peer pressure though, that's why I'm pushing back on the Lexus!

Will check for the metal tag as I don't recall seeing one, and see if the local indie that always looked after it can remember too. If it was done not long before being 'stored', is it likely to be ok to start, without too much of a risk of shredding it?

 

15 hours ago, Howplum said:

Whether you keep it or not I would definitely recommend getting it through the MoT before making any decision about its future. Hopefully the garage you mentioned can give you an idea of the cost involved. If there any advisories, or whatever they are called nowadays, they can be dealt with later, either by you or a new owner.

It would be a good idea to check that all the electrical items and instrument displays work.

There are several links under the Buying Guide to give you some idea of the most common issues.

I would also recommend keeping it if you can, but I might be biased!

Mine was bought as a project, and despite the various issues, it's the best car I've owned since I started driving in 1964.

Totally agree with the MOT, thank you! I think even if I have to spend £1k or so on it, it'll still be worthwhile doing. Thanks for the buyers guide link too, will keep me busy going through that 🙂

I'm partially tempted to keep it as a project/toy (apologies if I offend anyone calling it a toy!) - I've got the drivespace at my house, and it would be a nice second car. I'm 37, so even with 18 years no claims (which sadly I can't put on a second policy!), the insurance is still 3x the price of my Audi - so that's the sticking point at the moment. 

10 hours ago, runsgrateasanut said:

You mention you think the Car passed its last three MOT's with no advisories.  You can always check this, just in case there was something likely to be expensive.  Any potential buyer will do likewise.

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

 

That's where I checked yesterday to get the mileage, and also how I knew about the MOT history - but thank you for the link too, it's appreciated. I also checked last night, and it is currently 168k - so I was correct in saying it was 166 + a few k 🙂

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As far as insurance is concerned, don't give up yet. It is old enough to be considered a "classic" by some insurers who will offer a limited mileage policy for a reasonable premium, depending on your estimated mileage and other factors.  I have just transferred from Adrian Flux to Classicline, but in both cases the premium was under £200.

One of the advantages of a specialist policy is that they are "net rated", which means there is no No Claim Discount (NCD) to worry about, although obviously your driving history will be reflected in the initial premium. It also means your NCD is retained for your everyday car.

Think carefully about the mileage limit you choose though, once you get behind the wheel you might be tempted to do more than you thought!

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This subject is close to the heart of anyone who as owned one of these cars and I have owned two for a total of twenty four years they are already a part of the motoring industry in the name of game changers and to own one is a  honour that more and more people seek, so you hang on to it not just for your Dad but for you and be grateful he saw the future of these fabulous cars.

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36 minutes ago, Howplum said:

As far as insurance is concerned, don't give up yet. It is old enough to be considered a "classic" by some insurers who will offer a limited mileage policy for a reasonable premium, depending on your estimated mileage and other factors.  I have just transferred from Adrian Flux to Classicline, but in both cases the premium was under £200.

One of the advantages of a specialist policy is that they are "net rated", which means there is no No Claim Discount (NCD) to worry about, although obviously your driving history will be reflected in the initial premium. It also means your NCD is retained for your everyday car.

Think carefully about the mileage limit you choose though, once you get behind the wheel you might be tempted to do more than you thought!

Oh that's a really good thought - thanks! Hadn't thought of the "classic" route at all. Will definitely check out Adrian Flux and Classicline, cheers!

Totally agree about the mileage limit. I think at the very least 2-3k miles/year would be the bottom range, as you're right; it's such a lovely car to drive so would definitely be tempted to do more, even with the 20-25mpg that it gets!

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3 minutes ago, ambermarine said:

This subject is close to the heart of anyone who as owned one of these cars and I have owned two for a total of twenty four years they are already a part of the motoring industry in the name of game changers and to own one is a  honour that more and more people seek, so you hang on to it not just for your Dad but for you and be grateful he saw the future of these fabulous cars.

Such a lovely post, thank you! I'm glad I posted here asking for advice, as I think you've all convinced me that, if for no other reason than sentimental ones, I should get the car sorted and keep it (at the very least in the short term!).

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It doesn't sound like you need convincing, but.............

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
 
The Lexus slogan, "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection", came about after the US image consulting firm visited Lexus designers in Japan and noted their obsessive attention to detail.
 
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7 minutes ago, Howplum said:

It doesn't sound like you need convincing, but.............

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection
 
The Lexus slogan, "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection", came about after the US image consulting firm visited Lexus designers in Japan and noted their obsessive attention to detail.
 

Sounds very apt! 😉 

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On 4/13/2021 at 12:21 PM, rharper83 said:

Oh that's a really good thought - thanks! Hadn't thought of the "classic" route at all. Will definitely check out Adrian Flux and Classicline, cheers!

Totally agree about the mileage limit. I think at the very least 2-3k miles/year would be the bottom range, as you're right; it's such a lovely car to drive so would definitely be tempted to do more, even with the 20-25mpg that it gets!

Hi.

Hopefully we could help out with a competitive insurance quotation.

Regards,

Dan.

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