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sidmon

Potential Ls-400 Purchaser!

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Just got rid of my Volvo Estate (dont laugh) and have purely driven Swedish cars for the last few years. Intended to get another Estate for a trip through europe to Denmark in the middle of August, but have had trouble finding anything suitable that I have liked. Have only got a month to find a suitable vehicle now and have always fancied an LS-400 and I have managed to persuade the Mrs that she'll still be able to get a fair bit of luggage in them (not sure if this is true though!). I am looking at a '97 or newer and I want one with the 5 speed auto box which I am reliably told is any 400 from October '97 onwards. I have a few questions after doing a bit of homework:

How will I know it has a 5 speed autobox apart from physically listening for 5 gear changes.

Should I be looking for any red keys or arent the keys chipped.

From what year did they have air conditioned seats.

I keep seeing the engines in the 400 referred to as different from '97 until it changed to the LS-430....what difference do they have and is it always an improvement and is it true the engine is non-interference in the event of cambelt failure.

How do I test a car for worn control arms and is this a problem at both the front and the rear and at what mileage does this usually occur.

Are the dash lights still a £1000 job to repair of they fog up and how common is this on the age of vehicle I am looking at.

Where would be the best place to get the car maintained (I usually maintain all my own vehicles but accept that this will probably not be possible with the Lexus) I am in the West Midlands and assume that a Lexus specialist will not be available anywhere near my area so what would the best main dealer be near me (I dont mind driving) to look after the beast.

How decent a sound system can I expect with them? this might sound trivial but is always an important part of vehicle ownership for me. If my LED Zepp don't sound good with the volume jacked up...it aint no good to me! The Volvo Premium sound system was good but I would expect better from Lexus.

Many Thanks for listening to my babble! :duh:

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Just got rid of my Volvo Estate (dont laugh) and have purely driven Swedish cars for the last few years. Intended to get another Estate for a trip through europe to Denmark in the middle of August, but have had trouble finding anything suitable that I have liked. Have only got a month to find a suitable vehicle now and have always fancied an LS-400 and I have managed to persuade the Mrs that she'll still be able to get a fair bit of luggage in them (not sure if this is true though!). I am looking at a '97 or newer and I want one with the 5 speed auto box which I am reliably told is any 400 from October '97 onwards. I have a few questions after doing a bit of homework:

How will I know it has a 5 speed autobox apart from physically listening for 5 gear changes.

Should I be looking for any red keys or arent the keys chipped.

From what year did they have air conditioned seats.

I keep seeing the engines in the 400 referred to as different from '97 until it changed to the LS-430....what difference do they have and is it always an improvement and is it true the engine is non-interference in the event of cambelt failure.

How do I test a car for worn control arms and is this a problem at both the front and the rear and at what mileage does this usually occur.

Are the dash lights still a £1000 job to repair of they fog up and how common is this on the age of vehicle I am looking at.

Where would be the best place to get the car maintained (I usually maintain all my own vehicles but accept that this will probably not be possible with the Lexus) I am in the West Midlands and assume that a Lexus specialist will not be available anywhere near my area so what would the best main dealer be near me (I dont mind driving) to look after the beast.

How decent a sound system can I expect with them? this might sound trivial but is always an important part of vehicle ownership for me. If my Led Zepp don't sound good with the volume jacked up...it aint no good to me! The Volvo Premium sound system was good but I would expect better from Lexus.

Many Thanks for listening to my babble! :duh:

Hi, I took ownership of my first ls400 just a couple of weeks ago, moved to that from an XJ8 in great condition but wouldn't look back, from what I have gathered during my research I would go for the 98 onwards not 97 as this seems to have been a change year, the 98 onwards had the sat nav and will probably hold value better, I believe the aircon seats came in the 2001 facelift along with a few other goodies, As a new Lexus fan my knowledge is hazy and I stand to be corrected by the more knowledgable out there. :tomato:

Given the amount of advice given to those looking to purchase an ls400 which concerns making sure cam belts are changed at the correct time I would suspect that failure of one amounts to a lot of pennies to put right. :crybaby:

I too like my music to sound right and havent been in any way dissapointed with the ls400 system, complete with a sub woofer in the rear shelf your LED Zepp should sound just fine.

Nice big boot also, its obviously no estate but more than serviceable certainly enough room for a couple of bodies.

Sorry my knowledge isnt greater, but hopefully it's a start.

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Ok, well first off get new with high mileage rather than older with low mileage, mileage isn't an issue on 400's, infact town pottered ones will have much higher wear on consumable items than the a high miler thats cruised the motorway all day, as an example my dad's 98 LS400 currently has 160k on it and suspension, exhaust, pretty much everything bar pads, servicing and tyres is all original, and it's only just got round to having its first set of new discs.

The 5 speed auto box comes in the MKIV which started on the later R reg ones with rounded headlamps, as regards to listening or feeling changes to work out how many it has, you'll soon realise once driven one that this is impossible as the 400 is a proper Lexus and one doesnt feel or hear engine or gearbox note changes, if anything all you should hear is the sound from your audio system which was a several thousand $ upgrade to base models in the US but came as standard over here!

Luggage space isn't the 400's strongest asset as it's a passenger car not a family car, although very wide there not a terribly deep boot, I would say the boot is around 2/3 the capacity of my Camry although its plenty big enough for a set of golf clubs and a couple of suitcases.

Happy shopping!

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Welcome to the club.....................Chips should be along later with all your questions answered, and more :D

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Welcome.

Your questions have been answered before, we have an excellent "search" facility available on the forum!

Also, try making use of www.lexus.co.uk and that lists the specs for every single Lexus ever sold in the UK, so you can compare and contrast.

Try www.clublexus.com which is a US forum, but has much more focus on LS400s and GS300/400s than the UK.

With regard to your questions,

Lexus improved each LS model, the 98+ models have ironed out a lot of the original issues

aircon seats came in LS430

You can't hear or feel the engine or gearbox in a LS that is in good condition

You can maintain the LS yourself if you are handy with the old toolbox! See here for tutorials http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/

If you are buying a 98 model, it will probably be out of the main dealer network anyway, so as long as you use Lexus parts you are fine.

Control arms and the like can get worn from 70-80k, depending on how hard it's been driven. It's a heavy car, and suspensions wear out way before engine or gearbox. You need to get a mechanic to inspect the suspension for wear before purchase.

Sound system is average.

Just bear in mind it was a 50k car new, and maintainance costs are much higher that IS or GS models, unless you choose to DIY.

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Welcome to the club.....................Chips should be along later with all your questions answered, and more :D

:D :D

Hi and Welcome to LOC sidmon :)

Nice one Peter :D

As to the Engines i believe after 97 the Engines had variable valve Timing which bumps the power and torque up a fair bit,the mk4 would be the one id go for if i buy another LS.

Ive read on the US forums the mk4 was not a good build quality as the rest of the models :unsure: (id still buy one)it might be worth looking through the US forum as theres another load of info for you.

Out of interest what Volvo models have you owned?

My father has own a fair few Volvo 164s a Great quick car in a straight line(and EFI fuel injection back in1974 ;) )

I owned a 760 Turbo Intercooler manual with O/D for a while,Great car apart from the Turbo Lag :D

Chips..

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Had a 3.0 24 valve V90 that I did all my own maintenance on. Where is the best Lexus servicer in my area (ish) I hear that Lexus Sheffield are very good. :duh:

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Going to go and have a look at a '95 in the next few hours. Any last bits og advice? How will I know its the 4 speed auto not the 3 speed?

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Look at the rev counter and watch the revs fall a bit as the gearbox changes up!

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Hi,

The mk1 version of the LS400 when it first came out had a 4 speed auto :)

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You can also tell it is 4 speed auto as the gear shift will have 1 2 3 and D.

I used to have a Rover 800 fastback and thought I would miss the big boot. LS400 boot space is pretty good actually, I can get a mountain bike in it, only needing to remove the front whell. I have had 2 mountfield lawnmowers in it, just folded the handles down, and of you were to remove the spare wheel it has a cavanous depth too.

This link will give you a good pictorial comparrison between the models.

the 3rd column is the Mark III 1995-1997.

http://www.lexls.com/info/lsgenerations.html

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You can also tell it is 4 speed auto as the gear shift will have 1 2 3 and D.

I used to have a Rover 800 fastback and thought I would miss the big boot. LS400 boot space is pretty good actually, I can get a mountain bike in it, only needing to remove the front whell. I have had 2 mountfield lawnmowers in it, just folded the handles down, and of you were to remove the spare wheel it has a cavanous depth too.

This link will give you a good pictorial comparrison between the models.

the 3rd column is the Mark III 1995-1997.

http://www.lexls.com/info/lsgenerations.html

My 94 Celsior has the overdrive switch on the shifter, on giving you 4 speed and off giving you 3 but I always leave it switched on unless decending a steep hill when engine breaking is needed.

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Car was a bit of a dog. Advert said 137k when I got there it had 152k! Rear tyres werent new as promised and car generally was fair to good condition at best. The search still goes on!

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