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Cheap Non-lexus Parts

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Recently bought a '95 GS300 Mk 1, but it now looks like my first Lexus is turning into a bit of a :tsktsk: . Besides little niggles like a leaking air-con o-ring, I've now had a quote from Toyota for replacing the front lower suspension arms due to excessive play in the ball joints. £560.68, plus £141.00 labour. Ouch!

I'm about to have a trawl of the net to see if I can find suppliers of non-genuine alternative parts, but I thought I'd "pop my head round the door" here first.

Can anyone here recommend any good suppliers? WD-40 ain't going to keep my steering quiet forever!

Edited by ColinBarber

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Thanks. One of my mates is a pretty good mechanic, I'll see him this weekend. He can have a look to see if he's up to the job. If he can fit them (or if I can find a garage prepared to do the job), I'll be back in touch.

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Not too many third-party parts are available due to the numbers sold but it's worth trying to source parts from the US. Have a look in the LS forum as many of the owners there get their parts that way.

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I think Maneesh knows of some cheap suppliers in the US. It maybe worth dropping him a PM. He drives an LS.

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its a GS chaps :P

Yes, but the supplier of the LS parts may also be able to get parts for the GS :P

Of course, Prolex-UK are worth contacting... :whistling:

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I think Maneesh knows of some cheap suppliers in the US. It maybe worth dropping him a PM. He drives an LS.

Yes, I have bought all my parts from the US over the past 18 months, and they all fitted fine.

See details below. They provide only genuine Lexus parts. I personally have not been able to source cheaper parts. If anyone can, please let us know.

www.lexus-parts.com (based in Texas, USA)

Got 15% discount by mentioning Lexus Owners Club

I contacted Darrel Diller on ddiller@sewell.com

00 1 214 353-2826 is his number (8 hours time difference!)

Exhange rates are so good at the moment that my lower control arms were approx. £125 each including postage and duty and VAT (quoted over £230 here even with discounts). I managed to get my lower ball joints for about £22 each too from the US from a different supplier (Olympus Online in Washington DC). Unfortunately, they only do lower ball joints for the LS400.

Check with Darrel, as sometimes the lower control arms come with lower ball joints too in one deal.

They are super efficient and offer very quick shipping via UPS (I ordered Friday avo and parts arrived Monday morning!). Bear in mind that probably best to call rather than email, and he can't dial international, so after you place the order, call back after an hour or two to make sure your card went through etc.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you get stuff from Sewells. If enough of us start using them, perhaps we can negotiate bigger discounts/group buys etc...?????

Oh, and they will be able to do practically anything for your Mk1 GS, since the Mk1 LS and GS models were more or less designed for the US market.

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Mk II GS's as well Maneesh? Always worth making a note just in case!

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Mk II GS's as well Maneesh? Always worth making a note just in case!

Yep! They have parts for any model sold in North America, including GS Mk2...

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Well, good news so far. Spoke to Darrel, apparently the ball joints are available separately from the arms, at $58 each with $83 shipping. That works out at £108 plus VAT, duty, etc.

Just need to double-check with the local Toyota garage that these are the right bits and that the arms aren't needed after all!

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Glad to hear you are saving yourself a few quid! :lol:

Keep us updated on how much you finally saved compared to buying bits over here - will prob help other GS drivers.

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Well the latest is that it's not the control arms.

According to North Road Garage, it's the lower wishbone ball joint that we're dealing with here. They think the ball joint is fixed on the older wishbones, but replacable on the newer wishbones, so it could depend on whether the wishbones have been replaced in the past. The service manager suggested getting in touch with Lexus Cardiff to clear things up (as Toyota dealers can't access the Lexus section of the Electronic Parts Catalogue (EPC) without the authorisation key), so I've just sent them an e-mail. Will keep you all posted.

BTW, in case you were wondering, Sewells are 8 hours BEHIND us, so if you're going to ring them, ring them in the evening (I rang at 8pm BST).

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Hmmm, I don't know about GS300s of that age, but wonder if the lower ball joint really is fixed to the arm. That's very expensive to replace then if that's true!

Sewells usually are open around 8am. I managed to get through to them around 4pm (UK time).

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Hmmm, I don't know about GS300s of that age, but wonder if the lower ball joint really is fixed to the arm. That's very expensive to replace then if that's true!

...hence the £560 parts estimate! Darrel reckoned the ball joints have always been available separately, though. Fingers crossed!

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Just placed an order for the two lower front ball joints. Rang Darrel, then sent all the details by e-mail.

I'll post the final cost in pounds once I get my credit card bill, I'll know by then how much duty, VAT, etc. to add on top.

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Update:-

Parts have now arrived. Part numbers:-

43330-39486 (which replaces 43330-39396) RHS

43340-39376 (which replaces 43340-39306) LHS

Total cost inc. shipping: $195.08 = £108.61 plus £25.17 import duty = £133.77.

What you get for your money:-

GS300%20lower%20ball%20joints.jpg

(if the image doesn't show, you're probably running PeerGuardian)

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What are the hold things in the plastic bags?

How does this compare with buying the ball joints from the UK?

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In the bags are new castle nuts and split pins for the new ball joints

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How does this compare with buying the ball joints from the UK?

Don't know. The part numbers are there, try ringing a Lexus dealer and asking for a price, quoting those part numbers. I can't find them on the Toyota EPC (anyone got the 09/2002 version? I've got the Lexus dealer key for it) so I don't think a Toyota dealer would be able to dig them out.

My guess is that the price would be pretty close, due to the $80 shipping bumping up the cost of buying from Sewell Lexus.

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Did you remember to ask for 15% discount? With the 15% discount, good exchange rate and their low prices anyway, I have found even after shipping and VAT and duty that I'm still getting stuff way cheaper than UK prices.

My upper control arms worked out at under 200 each fully inclusive, and here they are closer to 350 each.

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Hold on! Why doesn't Toyota buy their parts from one of these cheap suppliers? They could even get a discount for volume purchases. Toyota parts have never been expensive, though Lexus parts are.

The answer has to be that the cheap parts are not up to scratch. James May off Top Gear did a feature on an XJS recently where a company had upgraded old XJSs and replaced a lot of the components as well as uprating the performance. According to May the Jaguar from new was unreliable and the low cost components were not only unreliable, but they strangled the performance. The car was built to cost and reliability didn't matter once it'd come off the sales forecourt. Arguably, then it was a false economy as far as the owner was concerned, but a nice little earner for Jaguar in servicing and replacement parts.

So to take a Lexus and replace all the components with cheap ones is to totally wreck the car which Autocar's sister magazine in Germany stated was the best of the Japanese marques when it came to sticking to 'agreed procedures' and that take any Japanese car and it would beat a German car on reliability; something which Mercedes seems to have given up on recently.

I mean what's the point, just buy a Jag.

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The answer has to be that the cheap parts are not up to scratch.

all has to be taken into perspective really - if its parts that are for a car that is still popular and there is still a demand for them/spares etc then the manufacturer will still commision parts for them, normally the "cheap parts" are made in the same factory but come out in a different box and are a lot cheaper.

if its for older cars then there may well not be viable for the manufacture to keep producing parts, so 3rd party groups produce parts, and maybe not to original spec??

anyway in EU pattern parts have to (i believe) match the quality of OEM parts

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The parts that Exobex will have received are genuine original Lexus parts. Sewells are a massive Lexus dealer in the US. Lots of folks in the US forums use them too, since they are competitive with their pricing.

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Hold on! Why doesn't Toyota buy their parts from one of these cheap suppliers? They could even get a discount for volume purchases. Toyota parts have never been expensive, though Lexus parts are.

The answer has to be that the cheap parts are not up to scratch. James May off Top Gear did a feature on an XJS recently where a company had upgraded old XJSs and replaced a lot of the components as well as uprating the performance. According to May the Jaguar from new was unreliable and the low cost components were not only unreliable, but they strangled the performance. The car was built to cost and reliability didn't matter once it'd come off the sales forecourt. Arguably, then it was a false economy as far as the owner was concerned, but a nice little earner for Jaguar in servicing and replacement parts.

So to take a Lexus and replace all the components with cheap ones is to totally wreck the car which Autocar's sister magazine in Germany stated was the best of the Japanese marques when it came to sticking to 'agreed procedures' and that take any Japanese car and it would beat a German car on reliability; something which Mercedes seems to have given up on recently.

I mean what's the point, just buy a Jag.

these cheap suppliers may not be toyota branded thats why is not officially used by them.is like saying use pattern parts that is widely used in the independant garage industry in UK like a cambelt that is non mazda would not last as long as a genuine mazda one being the non geniune one only last 50ish k whereas the genuine one last 100k so it would not look good for the company. As for Lexus parts being expensive yes but you find that if you order parts from Lexus it say 'genuine toyota part' even a lexus grille with a lexus badge on it, so basically there the same parts but at a higher price. i dont think pattern parts & geniune parts are neccesarily from same factory all the time...........

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