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I never thought I would but I’ve got the itch to buy another LS400, not one for ££££’s but rather a project car to work on and bring back to a good drivable condition. I still have lots of new parts so I might as well put them to good use😀

I looked at a 97 LS400 last Sunday morning. It is a 1997 LS400 mk4 DHP, Alpine Silver, 118k, grey interior, new alternator fitted and overall condition is pretty good considering it has been stood for a few years on a paved driveway with only the front wings and the boot showing rot and rust that I could see. But there are issues, exhaust at the cats is knackered, big holes in the boot wells either side but easily fixable, VSC light and brake light on iirc, brakes need attention with at least new discs needed, passenger front wing has large rust bubbles and drivers side starting, steering fluid cooling pipe rotted, front bumper needs repair and painting, it needs a thorough clean everywhere to remove the moss and dirt to see what needs to be done. But apart from the boot and wings it’s very very good, also no sign of any rust on the top of the windscreen. The rear arches are pretty good with surface rust at the bottom so will be ok after treating etc. Suspension is ok I’m told and it passed it’s MOT recently in March.

There are 2 wings for sale on eBay in the correct colour and in good condition so that would sort the wings issue, holes in the boot can be welded, rear arches etc treated as they are not rotted and the rest is mechanical stuff but I need somewhere to do the work. Plus the car will need transporting because of the exhaust and brakes, car is 175miles away. Price is now £1300 (was £2000 then £1500) and I’ve thought about how much I’m prepared to pay to make it worth my while. I concluded it’s worth £750 to me but I could go to £900, do you that is a fair price considering all the work that needs doing plus anything else I come across? And also, am I mad even thinking about doing it..........

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Not mad at all if you can find space to work on it.

At 118K the front suspension might need a good look at (at the very least - new ARB bushes), if UCAs need doing then starts to get serious.

So it is really a low mileage example that should be worth spending on and maybe you end up with a nice car that is getting close to classic and worth more than you paid and spent on it.

A local stainless steel specialist might be able to sort out the back boxes (and check the Y-piece) for a fair price.

VSC light might be my only 'uurghh' moment!!

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No, not mad at all. I paid £400 for my project, albeit with no MoT, and I've spent about £2,000 getting it to drivable condition, although I'm not done yet.

Do all the electrics work? If the heated seats still work that's a bonus.

Cambelt and tyres perhaps.

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I would be concerned at how much rust there is on a late 98 when Lexus more or less had sorted all of the rust traps by the time they got to the mark 4 What you can see is substantial and what you can't see may be the same . The exhaust issues will be expensive  and the underside around the area of the subframe could be bad if there is so much rust elsewhere.

I know I am talking as the owner of a 50 k minter but that example you are viewing as only twice the mileage and looks to have been living in a harsh environment with little up keep, personally I would look elsewhere.

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it's never mad to pursue one's passion ...  it might be expensive and a total waste of money ... after all, it's only a car and possibly a moneypit.....  but never MAD to do so ....  just a waste of money perhaps

Malc

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Thanks for all your input and in answer to it

5 hours ago, Cotswold Pete said:

At 118K the front suspension might need a good look at (at the very least - new ARB bushes), if UCAs need doing then starts to get serious.

I’ve got all new OEM suspension parts front and rear including front UCA’s, apart from the rear UCA’s which I sold a few months ago. VSC light on is a concern but I’ll sort it one way or another.

5 hours ago, Howplum said:

Do all the electrics work? If the heated seats still work that's a bonus.

Cambelt and tyres perhaps.

Electrics all work and I’d do a cambelt and water pump change, which I think is a given anyway, plus new tyres. Wheels are in good condition.

5 hours ago, ambermarine said:

I would be concerned at how much rust there is on a late 98 when Lexus more or less had sorted all of the rust traps by the time they got to the mark 4 What you can see is substantial and what you can't see may be the same . The exhaust issues will be expensive  and the underside around the area of the subframe could be bad if there is so much rust elsewhere.

From what I saw it was just the wings and one is a lot worse than the other. The drivers side has small bubbles that’s all, if I proceed I’d buy both wings off eBay, rust treat, paint the inside and fit. All the rest is pretty good and I’ve seen pictures of the underside as well. I’ve no reason to doubt the seller at all and he was very honest about everything, he has had the car on a ramp and inspected by a mechanic as he is in the automotive trade but on the commercial side. I’m undecided at the moment but if I do go ahead I will have to keep it somewhere away from the house and not on the drive for months on end as that will keep reminding the Mrs of something she really really does not want😚

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55 minutes ago, Razor61 said:

as that will keep reminding the Mrs of something she really really does not want😚

just the car then :wink3:

Malc

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2 minutes ago, Malc said:

just the car then :wink3:

Malc

Ha ha, probably not just the car🤣 believe me it would cause issues if I decided to go ahead. Maybe I need to be economical with the truth for a while but travelling 350 miles there and back to pick it up.................may not be easy to hide🤔

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Just now, Razor61 said:

350 miles there and back to pick it up....

deliveroo busy ! :wink3:

Malc

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10 minutes ago, ambermarine said:

Your call, seem to be convinced its worth the risk so go for it .

I think it is worth the risk based on what I found on the mk3 I had before but I’ll need to have a good think about it and find somewhere to put it while I work on it. 

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It was only a few years ago when a series IV with MOT in a reasonable condition was fetching less than £1000.00

Just shows prices are on the up.

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Personally, I think - yes you are mad.

But it depends on your age, health, ability and what plans you have in life..

Life threw me a curve ball by my LS400 breaking down in France, just before the second (?) lockdown, having driven the 1200 mile return trip some eighteen times without incident, and it having a clean MOT no advisories. I had to have something over here to drive so bought what I thought was a good Corolla, one owner, 70k. Turned out having to have quite a lot doing to it and I no longer do things myself if it involves lifting wheels etc. Then realised that it was not going to be comfortable for me to do the 1200 mile trip as not automatic.  1.4VVTi Great for short  journeys, economical and chain belt driven.

So, bought the GS300 130k miles, and have spent similar on parts if not more as the Cambelt was last changed at 68k in 2008. Daren't risk a long drive in it. MOT pass with no advisories, but needed two rear discs and pads, a Front Caliper, and I've got two new front ball joints even though mechanic says don't need replacing. Just don't trust "no advisories" any more and this has been a strain added to a deteriorating health situation.  The VSC light goes out and then comes on, which may be no more than a faulty petrol cap (sounds extraordinary but that’s what people have found) Hoping the Brake work will solve issue. Cheapy Cap arrived from China today – not tried it.

Do wonder why I chose another Lexus as spent a similar amount and more on the LS400 back in 2014 and had umpteen slepless nights. Same now.

Never had same trouble with W140, SEL, or SEC but they don't make them as reliable after 1998.

Guess I have just been missing the LS – and still am! Will I ever get it home?

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6 hours ago, runsgrateasanut said:

I no longer do things myself if it involves lifting wheels etc.

I'm at the same stage, Stuart. Advancing years and creaky joints mean that I, normally, let my local garage do all the work. About 6 months ago, I was driving down a motorway when the TPMS indicated a deflating tyre. I pulled into a service station and had a look - there was a nail in a rear tyre.

This was the first flat I'd had in years and, being on my way to a booked tee time, I decided to do it myself. To say it was a struggle is an understatement, and my body suffered for days. In future, I'll wait for assistance.

BTW, what was the problem with your LS?

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I had a major haematuria after lifting out the 8.5J spare wheel from the GS a couple of months ago.  Unbelievably difficult to do and shouldn't have attempted it. 

My LS problem is a rusted through rear Track Control Arm which was never mentioned in any MOT's. Luckily it broke away when I was doing just 15mph and locally to our French abode. Recovered to the home rather than a nearby Garage which would have meant it stood outside since August 2020. Just able to drive it into the Garage. Hopefully no oink has broken into the Car or Cottage?  Anxious times.  

ps There is a link in the thread " is the Car terminal"  with photo.

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I've not changed a spare wheel for many years .....  just call the ever super efficient RAC  ( they get 10 out of 10 always :thumbsup: )

Once had the joy of trying to change the spare on the Mk1 I had ........  god knows how the jack held the car up ........... never again, put the fear of god up me ........  RAC take a few minutes once they're there ....  used them a few times for flat tyres ....  too many nails around methinks 😲

3 hours ago, Tulpen said:

To say it was a struggle is an understatement, and my body suffered for days. In future, I'll wait for assistance.

Malc

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I've been trying to think when, before that incident, that I'd had a flat tyre. It was in the late '80s, before my first LS.  Believe me, I have definitely learned my lesson. Next time (if there is one) the golf can wait.

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