Chris69

Just Popping In To Say Hello

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I joined up a few weeks ago when I started looking for a new motor and made great use of your buyers guides before committing so thought it would be impolite not to introduce myself! Being a bit of a Toyota man I have always been drawn to Lexus and didn't really realize you could get such quality motors for not much money.

I really needed something to replace my old MR2, after 5 years as a daily runner it desperately needs a good rest and a proper restore so what better to replace it with than its ultra reliable cousin? Actually when I first decided on the notion of replacing it there were a few rules I had to stick to, kind of like a "Top Gear cheap car challenge!"

The main rules where: it had to be less than £1500, less than 100k miles, a fun car to drive, reasonably quick, 4 door and couldn't be German or French. Not a huge problem on that front seen as I don't like any french cars anyway, don't rate BMW's at all and Merc's are generally unreliable and slow. Audi could have been a potential if a classic quattro popped up but luckily it didn't and most of the range I do find a bit bland and boring. After trawling through many different makes and models the is200 just seemed to tick all the right boxes.

It was initially a toss up between the GS300 and the is200, that decision made considerably easier after driving the GS430, really put the 300 in its place but a bit out of my price range and would need something more special to justify an automatic. Im not slating the GS300 in any way, its a fantastic car, but driving a manual just gives me more pleasure out of the drive even if it is a bit slower. I have to say though that I'm still on the lookout for a GS430 in future, some machine!

Anyway back to my purchase..... I did sort of settle for the is200, Ive always thought it was a rather handsome brute and being RWD offers more than your run of the mill saloon.

On paper I have to be honest and say I was a little underwhelmed. Performance wise my MR2 is more than a match and regularly returned 36 - 42mpg, (46 on a proper eco-freindly polar bear hugging 563 mile trek around the UK!) I couldn't think how the is200 would get close but having driven a few now I can say i'm more than impressed, especially since its carrying around a few extra seats, a usable boot and all the luxury the MR2 doesn't have (like sound proofing for one!!) Low down it doesn't feel electric but the mid range poke more than makes up for it, it just effortlessly floats its way beyond what you really need.

The MPG figures don't really bother me at all, when discussing the rules I actually said: "MPG is just a figure for poor people and eco-weirdo's, I'm neither!" That was more to avoid deseasels than anything else.

So that being the case I moved on! Besides, now that I live within cycling distance of the office (and the fact that the morons whom I would share the car park with would scratch and dent it to buggery and back!) I don't really plan to use the car for commuting. More of a luxury toy and something to whisk me from Scotland to South Wales when I decide to visit home. I know its a thirsty beast but absolutely worth it!

At this point I feel I should apologize for all the waffle, I think its gone on long enough, and get to the point.

So the car itself, after being much messed about locally and dealing with some incredibly rude people I took a small gamble and trekked down to Leeds on Saturday to have a look at rather tasty looking 2001 is200 Sport in black with cream half leather, good service history, totally unmodified and (the icing on the cake truth be told) all 3 Keys. Yes, sadly some of the cars I went to see had only 1 or 2 keys. One I saw had only the Valet key..... oh dear! I just got thinking, this is a well looked after car! Less than 100k miles too.... I was a little skeptical as is generally my nature but decided I had to at least see it.

After a rather nice 4 hour train journey, seeing the car as it stood didn't throw up any nasty surprises, the gentleman selling the car was incredibly helpful and honest and sent plenty of pictures. A good look around and all the electrical checks ticked every box. At the time I didn't realize it had the built in sat-nav so that was a nice surprise, nicer when it worked faultlessly (even if it is hilariously out of date!) It drove exceptionally well, not even the famous clutch judder so I decided to buy it there and then, I did leave the option of a return train ticket just in case but it just wasn't needed.

Not quite the end of the day, I small faff with Scottish notes (I thought at the time it may be a problem) and a pop into the local town to pay the money directly into his account and all is well. A quick call to my insurer and away we go! A nice and incredibly relaxed 3 hour drive up the A1 to Edinburgh. I can honestly say its so nice to have a car with proper sound deadening and a steering wheel that doesn't shake violently after 65mph!

On the way home I stopped in to see a mate who has an OBDII scanner and software so we checked for codes and run some general diagnostics. Absolutely no faults at all, everything normal as normal should be. Very impressed, but not really surprised. I also managed a lend of his MOP.

Well like most car of its age I can say its not a perfect but the things it needs sorting are very minimal. Here's the very small list of, well I won't say problems but lets call them imperfections!

1. The O/S headlight washer jet doesn't retract and does feel a bit loose in its mounting

2. There's a strange hissing noise coming from underneath somewhere in the middle, can anyone shed some light onto what this might be? The exhaust doesn't sound or feel like its blowing but until its up on the ramps I wont know for sure.

3. Scuff on the N/S rear bumper corner that has been very poorly re-painted and the corresponding scratchmarks that havent been repaired. Not bad but a little deeper than what the MOP should really be used for.

4. Some small patches of surface rust coming through on the rear arches and rear sill, very slight at this point so will be treated asap. After the nightmare of the MK1 MR2 i'm hoping these don't rust inside out.

5. The bonnet stay clip is broken. I'm not sure why Toyota/Lexus stuck with this design of attaching it to the bonnet as this is such a common failure on the MR2's (probably most of the other models as well) as to be almost cliche. Rather than buy another one I'm looking into getting a gas strut or simply turn the existing one upside down and attach it to the main body instead.

6. Wheels, yes we have 4 out of 5 that need a re-furb. Not really a surprise!

So all in all, £1250 paid and with the above fixed I may be a little over £1500 but wont be by much depending on the hiss and the repair for the washer. With that done will be a near perfect car, very happy indeed.

There will be some pictures but I want to polish the car first, hopefully this evening if I get the chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome to the club. Sounds like a nice car. Can't wait to see pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, unfortunately no pictures just yet. Mop decided to throw a hissy fit last night and stop working half way through. Hoping its just a little moisture on the switch or something similar, have left it next to the radiators at home to dry out but have a feeling the motor is well and truly cooked.

Will finish off polishing this evening with or without it and try and get some nice pictures if I get time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all mine hisses and after researching found it is normal, please anyone correct me if im wrong! but its been doing it a year now with no probs including a MOT pass. read its normal on alot of 6 CYL cars? cant remember the reason now, i looked it up after i bought it.....

second of all i love the waffle, not enough of it on here IMO! :)

I had a checklist similar to you also, and i just kept going back to the IS200 everytime, it ticks them all for me too, and like ive said before on here, makes me feel that they had me in mind when they built it which isnt a feeling you get alot with a car. The only gripe i have is it is bit crampt and on the small side, but i dont actually need anything bigger so its just me being picky

I also had a similar experience too you actually, except my train journey was only a hour and a half. Just didnt like what i saw prior and waited 3 months until i found one i was happy with. Also similar defects, a poorly touched up rear bumper, minor rust visible on skirts and a ding here and there, but compared to other i had seen it was and is in very good nick and well looked after. Saying that Im thinking the looking after may of stopped after 2009 as thats when the Lexus invoices stopped and did need some maintenance doing that was a little overdue too but i soon put that right!

Surprised at the price you paid, a good example can make up to 1500 these days and anything around the 1k mark is normally in need of attention, but 1250 is inbetween i suppose. Makes me think i wont get as much as i thought when i sell mine next year :( oh well. Didnt buy it for the re-sale i bought it because it worth alot to me personally and makes me happy, which im sure is the case with most ppl on here except for the ones that bought one new and cant face the shock of losing out! lol

Going back to your car, about the nav since you have a 2001 you will have the later DVD based system that can be updated to the current year if im not mistaken, just need to change the DVD that is located in the boot on right side of spare wheel compartment. Anyway cant wait for pics and hopefully when you polish it you wont find any more minors. I kept finding ones on mine everytime i washed it paranoid i did it lol

Suprised at the MPG of your MR2, a friend of mine just sold his because he claimed it was costing him too much in fuel?

Anyway talk soon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh this might be worrying. maybe i should of brought it up on the LOC after all. Everything checks out including a pre MOT inspection about 6 months ago. No loss of power, MPG is normal and emissions check out. Ill look into it anyway. Comes from the passenger side on the side under rear door area like OP im guessing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll listen out for it from now on but it's not obvious on mine and I just drove 20 miles with all the windows open :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Itsnot obvious on mine. Only on tick over and im standing outside of car, quite faint

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, I do get a bit "into" my posts sometimes but glad it can be appreciated. Price wise, yes I think I did get a bargain, the previous sales receipt from Feb 2012 was £2k but on market value its hovering £1600 - £1850 still. The ones I saw around the 1k mark had little to no history, 125k+ miles and were very scruffy. though not thinking re-sale initially, hoping to keep it for a couple of years, but on the insurance side at least its not ridiculously low and they shouldn't instantly write these cars off over minor things. Big problem coming from MR2's as a lot of them are wrecks which seems to devalue them as a whole and really good examples are cast in the same mould. Have to really fight to get the car repaired and not written off should anything happen, even small repairs.

Glad I'm not the only one with the hiss, it is definitely more noticeable on the passenger side but if I kneel down I can hear it from the drivers side. I definitely wont notice when i'm driving, just when it's sat on the drive ticking over, you can hear it from a few feet away,probably exactly the same as Pete's. I assumed, being a strait 6, it was vac overflow venting or inrush similar to the 3SGE, or the fuel tank breather hose being a bit more obvious. I will also do the clutch check and see what happens.

Apart from that the maintenance has been steadily, stamped on and off up until Feb 2012 and has covered less than 2.5k miles since, with a service receipt for oil and filter in between and the oil is still absolutely golden. Will be doing another service in October for oil and filter, air filter, pollen filter ect. Fuel filter may be on the cards, whats the general life span and where about is it located?

Have found the DVD system for the sat nav, gave the boot a good clean out on Sunday.

The polishing is coming along, and I know what you mean about finding more and more scratches as you go, the amount of time I've spent trying to get rid of every single one is silly and probably the reason I haven't finished yet. Also happily the MOP only had some water in it I assume as its working fine now making life a bit easier. Being a bit more careful this time. The car needed another wash in the meantime because of the generally dusty air and bloody seagulls, I miss my garage! Hoping to give it another wash after work today and finish off the other side. Not ideal but I'm away this weekend and don't want to leave it till Monday. Not to say it will be rushed but I really don't like leaving a job half done. I also want to take some pics finally but I'm sure you won't mind waiting until next week if needs be.

Another nuisance, are bonnet rams readily available and where can I get a set? Quick searches in the usual places (ebay and google shopping) suggest they can only be bought from the states? Not a disaster but would rather support local supplier.

Just an aside, getting good economy from the MR2 was very easy for me but it depends on what roads you are on. Mine was always country a-roads and motorways with very little town driving. I made a lot of difference just by changing driving style. Keeping on top of maintenance is also very important, especially the brakes as sticking calipers are a common problem. Getting rid of one due to poor economy isn't really the norm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the LOC.

Bonnet struts if they are the hydraulic type can be regassed at SGS engineering in Derby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know but it's the standard solid strut with the plastic clip on the bonnet.

Anyway just a quick one to post some pics, slightly heavy but here they are:

2013-09-09184321.jpg

2013-09-09184352.jpg

2013-09-09184422.jpg

2013-09-09184542.jpg

2013-09-09184605.jpg

2013-09-09184621.jpg

2013-09-09184649.jpg

2013-09-09184704.jpg

2013-09-09184714.jpg

2013-09-09184731.jpg

2013-09-09184810.jpg

2013-09-09184820.jpg

2013-09-09184854.jpg

2013-09-09184918.jpg

2013-09-09184941.jpg

2013-09-09184951.jpg

2013-09-09185052.jpg

2013-09-09185121.jpg

Reasonably pleased with how its turned out but needs another wash and maybe a finishing polish and wax. Then need to clean the engine bay and sort a few of the issues out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!! That is one fine example of an IS200. :-)

I'd consider lowering it a bit - just to make it "pop" :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice. Fine example

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris and welcome to the forum

Ok this may be a silly question I have an Rx 350 and wondered what you used to get such a good finish on your car

Am nervous to do anything radical but my paint finish isn't that good compared to yours

And a lot newer I mightn't add

Regards

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the positive feedback all, I think the camera was very kind. There are still some light scratches that need doing but to really get the best I would need to touch up the bumpers and bonnets to remove the stone chips. Also the scuff on the back bumper spoils it a bit more. When they are sorted I may get it professionally detailed or go for a more aggressive polish myself to really get all the scratches out. Honestly though you can only see the majority from a few inches away, right up close so its just me being a perfectionist.

Not planning to mod this at all just yet really. I agree it would look better dropped a bit but don't want to compromise ride quality or reliability. When I lowered the MR2 my shocks and top mounts ended up being trashed within a couple of months so don't want to be dealing with any unnecessary issues until I fix the other motors.

Hi Chris and welcome to the forum
Ok this may be a silly question I have an Rx 350 and wondered what you used to get such a good finish on your car
Am nervous to do anything radical but my paint finish isn't that good compared to yours
And a lot newer I mightn't add
Regards
Jeff

Hi Jeff, I used Farecla G3 liquid compound followed by G10 finishing compound, machine polished with a light course head and buffed out. It is pretty dry stuff so plenty of water is required which makes a bit of mess. You can get just as good a result using good old elbow grease but the MOP makes life so much easier when you get used to it. To be fair I was starting with a pretty remarkable canvas given the age of the car, no car park dings at all and nothing really intense anywhere so I had a reasonably easy time of it. So long as you don't have any deep scratches (i.e can't really feel them if you rub your hand over them) or lacqeur peel a good polish should really make a difference.

I also found this forum page ages ago, it is a bit old and most of the pictures are long since gone but still gives some good tips for mopping.

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=63859

Hope that helps.

So this evening I've also finished the interior, polished all the glass including the rather filthy sunroof and cleaned off all plastics door locks, switches interior lights ect which really did make a big difference. The devil really is in the detail sometimes. The only thing yet to be treated is the sat-nav screen, ive never been keen using chemicals on them but dusting it every so often won't exactly be a hardship.

I've also had a go at cleaning the seats to remove all the stains and protect the leather.

For the Alcantara I found Car Plan Stain Valet safe to use and gave excellent results. Cut through everything perfectly including chocolate and grease.

For the leather I tried Lord Sheraton Leather clean and shine wipes which I got from the local Asda. The spray you can get was totally useless, I would avoid, but the wipes were pretty good. Plenty of elbow grease as you would expect after years of buildup on cream leather but lifted most of it away. I am stuck with a couple of very small yellow dots of what I initially thought was some sort of juice drink spray but it doesn't want to come away. Also a 1" line of red ink which seems like its there to stay. There are a few remedies I can try but will tackle them in a few weeks as I go away again on Thursday.

I also found some cigarette burn marks in the front ashtray, appalled! Will be trying to polish them out too!

That's all for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with OP about lowering. I wouldnt lower mine and compromise ride quality either, in fact i bought a SE for that exact reason

And Jeff not sure whats so special about the finish above. Quite easily achievable especially with darker colours. Maybe its just the IS scrubs up well? lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 355 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


      • Not really as Hybrid systems are always reliable
      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
      • I would not buy a Hybrid model over 5 years old