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Hi all,

I've joined up as I'm currently looking to get some 430 into my life.

I'll try not to go on too much, hopefully someone can confirm whether all of my theories so far are correct!!

I've been driving an MX5 for around 17 months now and I do love it, it's wonderful at what it does. However, being small and me doing motorways every day, it's a little worrying at times. Been amazed at how many times people just pull out on me as though I wasn't there. Starting to feel a bit vulnerable.

So, I started to tell a friend at work at how I fancied something a bit bigger, safe, sturdy, reliable, fun, classy, comfortable and he immediately said that I had to buy an LS400 and it's the only car that fits the bill. He literally spent a couple of days solid talking about the car and this was enough to make me read up more.

Upon reading more, I got to thinking the LS430 was more for me but I would also need to go LPG as I drive 50 miles per day for work and running it the regular way would send me to an early grave.

I had been looking for one already converted but was aware this would cut down my choice of cars massively. I had thought the conversion would cost around £2500 but have seen ones recommended in other threads here for half of that, so I'm thinking having it done myself and having full choice of cars makes more sense.

Also, after owning a Mazda 6 MPS recently and paying 450+ annually for tax, I just refuse to do that anymore, it's just absolute theft for no good reason. This means it looks like 2001 is the most recent car I can have. I'd love to buy newer but not to pay double whammy on the tax.

So what I'm after is a nice clean 430 with full history, lowest miles as possible, cream leather, all in great shape and on the lower tax bracket. Oh and it must have the full luxury package with the fridge in the back and the crazy sound system (of course).

In the last couple of weeks I've thought many cars would be a good idea including 730d, 530d, 330d, GS450h and would have actually bought a gas converted Daimler if it hadn't of literally just been sold! Always come back to the LS though, sounds a superb package.

If anyone spots one and would bear me in mind, I'd be highly appreciative. I live in the Lakes area and am not scared to travel, a day out of my life is nothing for the right car.

Really looking forward to joining the ranks properly and seeing this incredible sounding car for myself!!

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Hi Graham,

Thanks so much for your post, that's really useful.

I was going off Autotrader which had everything after a certain point in 2001 as being £405 per year.

I've just checked the reg of a 2004 car and sure enough, it comes back as £270pa

This does open the options as you say, brilliant!!

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Hi Stevie

My advise is go for it, buy one that you like with low mileage and send it for LPG conversion. There are many installers out there and it's a quick payback. 10 k miles traveled will most likely let you save the amount that was invested.

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Hi Patryk, I'm pretty sure the conversion would pay itself back in a year, I worked out I'd be saving around £100 per month on fuel and that's just for work commute mileage.

Just looking for one currently. The price seems to change quite rapidly at around 2005. There is a lot for the 3500-6000 sort of price range and then they seem to leap to around ten and above. I saw a cracking one advertised in the blue that I'd really like but they want 11000 for it!!

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Hi Steve.

Just a word of warning if you buy one that is already converted make sure that if you don't know what your looking at take someone with you that does because there are lots of mobile bombs out there just waiting to explode.

You will need the LPG Certificate of Conformity, this allows you to register it with DVLA and your insurance will almost certainly want to see it, make sure as well that your present insurance co will accept the modification. You do need to tell them otherwise should you claim on the policy they will almost certainly refuse to payout.

I know it sounds like a lot of things to do but its nothing compared to the savings each time you fill up.

Good luck, Mike

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Thanks Mike, I'm going to go for one which isn't done, I think it limits the choice too much to look for converted ones and hopefully I'll end up taking it to a good place to do the work.

I did one of those Internet comparison searches for insurance and I ticked an extra box to say it was LPG converted so hopefully when I ring the best place, they'll be cool with that.

I'll also ring my current insurer Adrian Flux and see if they can beat it, they seem to quote cheaper if any modifications are done rather than not.

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Thanks Mike, I'm going to go for one which isn't done, I think it limits the choice too much to look for converted ones and hopefully I'll end up taking it to a good place to do the work.

I did one of those Internet comparison searches for insurance and I ticked an extra box to say it was LPG converted so hopefully when I ring the best place, they'll be cool with that.

I'll also ring my current insurer Adrian Flux and see if they can beat it, they seem to quote cheaper if any modifications are done rather than not.

Item number: 320944812493 This is on e..y near Pontefract so a nice run out and not too far for you.

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Your friend at work who banged on about the LS400 is a very wise person (and probably a member of this club).

Low mileage is always desirable, but the general advice about buying LS400s seems to be that a good service history is more important - and the same probably applies to the 430. But with luck you'll get both.

Good luck with your search, and let us know how you get on.

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That blue one on eBay is nice yes. I'd noticed that one at work on Friday but was massively put off by the advert itself.

It does sound like a great car though.

Initially I'd not wanted to buy a private one because of the fact I'd then be left on my own with a very complicated vehicle should anything big go wrong. I think when buying from a garage, the same is generally true anyway though. Only benefit to me of garage purchase is part ex potential.

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Can anyone tell whether this car should have the Mark Levinson system?

It's hard to tell but it does seem to only refer to rear luxury pack:

http://users.autoexposure.co.uk/cjjccarsales/search.cfm?Mode=0&Category=PRESTIGE&StartRow=26

It's at the end of the two pages, couldn't seem to get a proper link from looking at the car directly.

The black leather is really growing on me (not literally).

Should this car have had cambelt done?

Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is a nice LS400 very local to me so I'm going to see that tonight after work. Would mean getting a lovely car and even having some cash in the bank from the MX5 which is great.

Even if it lasts until next year, that's a great introduction to the cars and would let me know whether it's worth investing more into an LS430 or not.

So knowing how I operate, I could well have an LS400 tonight :)

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I was in a very similar place in January.

We also had an MX5, and were looking at LS430s.

The more I researched, the more I veered towards a 400, mainly because of it's simplicity and legendary reliability.

Eventually I drove the Mazda 100 miles up the M4 and did a straight swap for a 99 LS400 from an eBay dealer.

On a snowy and bitterly cold January day, the return journey was hugely more comfortable and probably used about the same amount of petrol (the MX5 was not averse to a heavy drink in my experience and the LS averaged 30mpg according to the computer).

Seven months later, we have no regrets, and don't miss the Mazda at all.

Good luck with your search.

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That's funny how we both want to go from a car so small to a car so big!!

It would certainly be nice on my commute for the trucks to fear me for a change!! :)

One annoying thing (though not LS related) is that whn I did the online insurance quote, I guessed at six years no claims. My previous insurer emailed me to say I have 11. So I updated the quote and prices are exactly the same. So an extra five years of jolly motoring with no incidents has counted for zip!!

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This local one actually has 181k miles on the clock but has had all new tyres, new cats, belt done last year, recent ancilliaries under the hood, MOT till May 2013 and it looks nice. It's up for 1795 so it seems like a nice little punt, most I can lose is 1795 if it all goes south so that's not bad at all, can live with that :)

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That's funny how we both want to go from a car so small to a car so big!!

If I'm honest, I never really took to the Mazda, despite always fancying one, and had had a string of medium/large cars and estates before scratching the MX5 itch.

Maybe I left it too late, as I'm an old git now, but I also found it a bit lacking in performance, though the handling was fun when in the mood.

Don't try and apply logic to car insurance - I had to pay extra for running on lpg for some reason - they are a law unto themselves.

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True about the MX5 performance, it's not a quick car by any means. I did have a temptation around six months ago to go for a S2000 to make up that performance difference.

Really looking forward to driving the LS in a short while! It's going to feel like a tank compared to the MX!!

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So I went to drive the LS400 last night, interesting car for sure.

Inside it didn't feel as plush as I thought it might, a little 90s Japanese of course but certainly comfortable. Lots of space inside and it certainly went well. The chap from the garage drove it first and going from a 30 to a 60, he demonstrated the kickdown and how the car takes off, it went off like a rocket!!

I drove it and was surprised how quickly I took to the 'autoness', first time driving one and it felt great to just do that little at junctions!!

Only faults are the front heated seats don't work and the seat memory doesn't work. The rear heated seats work, it has the premium sound system, the air con was icy cold and all else seemed well.

Looks like we may well do a deal with the MX5. I would end up with around 300 less than I hoped for but that's not so bad in this game.

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I've just bought it this morning and decided to keep the MX5 also. I won't bother doing LPG to this one but would if I buy a newer one in the future.

I pick her up on Friday, looking forward to taking her for a proper spin!

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