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goldtop last won the day on September 29 2014

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About goldtop

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  1. Yes, after chatting to the MOT guy I decided to do the one. Had it been a front suspension spring, I'd have been more inclined to do the pair as there's far more going on at the front. Will see if it looks/feels wonky! Curiously, the delay has been the wipers. I had already bought some generics online using the registration number - they don't fit, I'm told. So the mOT garage ordered some - they didn't fit either. So I went down to Lexus and got the Toyota-branded ones. Not too spendy anyway, and I need to get the MOT redone before the retest window ends up costing me another £45. Should be sorted on Monday. Looking forward to doing some miles in this one after seeing it sitting idle and forlorn for so long. In others news, I've been driving the car that caused this change - the 2006 RX400h bought from one of our forum buddies. About 500 miles so far. I like it, but ... it's no LS. The LS400 Mk4 was about £49000 new in 2000, and the RX400h was about £36000 in 2006. It shows: not as well engineered nor as luxurious. I'd sort of hoped that the RX might feel like an LS with a hatchback. Not close, even though some of the switchgear and ops are broadly the same. Of course, with just 56,000m, the RX feels 'tighter' and definitely more modern. I'm still getting used to the hybrid system (why is it doing that? What the f*** does that mean? etc) 🙂
  2. MOT result: fail - on that rear spring, as expected. Also on the wiper blades. Can't complain about that. Bonus Q: should I replace both rear springs, or just the broken one? Both seems the sensible approach, as the other non-broken one is the same age, but the MOT test centre thought only the broken one.
  3. Hmmm... just sprucing it up for the MOT and now that I've moved it, I think that one of the rear springs may have broken - not much gap for fingers between the arch and tyre. I found an old thread here, and it seems to be exactly the same sort of posture. £50 each plus labour. I'm hoping the MOT garage will do that (they did a full brake replacement on the other LS.) I've got the two HUUUGE workshop manuals, so they don't have to guess at all the necessary work.
  4. Some more photos (because I'm so chuffed!). That's after round one of washing. Got to get into the door jams and every nook and cranny this weekend. If anyone has a recommendation of a cleaner that's appropriate to use for the engine covers (which are super dusty after 3 years), please let me know. Don't want to use something that might burn off and stink. MOT on Monday. Insured at £192/pa (no spare NCB left to use 😞 )
  5. Tricky. One of the reasons I was happy to stick with the LS400 was that the 430 and then the 460 just seemed to have more issues. I would go and drive it, and see if it appeals to you. If it does, then make a cheeky but friendly offer, making it clear that you are taking on a big risk. Such a car with high miles and any issues is a hard sell, and buyers like you won't be coming along very often.
  6. 🙂 I remember that. It's been parked outside my business unit all this time. (Partly as security, because some unsavoury types had ram-raided the roller-shutter doors on neighbouring units.) My neighbour has always been doubtful of the Lexus (typical BMW/Mercedes owner - bought a diesel and then stuck 'AMG' badges on it), and was surprised that this LS started so easily and then ran so smoothly. When I just moved it back and forth to check the brakes, and it was fine, I could just about see that he was recalibrating his prejudice. 🙂 All this has been prompted by me buying a fellow forumite's RX400h, and needing to shuffle things around. I'd been feeling guilty about neglecting this LS for so long. Makes me extra happy to stay with the marque.
  7. Yes, essential recommissioning + MOT first and then it will be interesting to see how it feels on the road. My other mk4 is a DHP model, but this is the standard LS which should ride a bit softer.
  8. Blimey - your memory is good! Yes, he (the seller) was a BA engineer at Heathrow and he used it to commute from Bedfordshire/Herts. He did everything you'd want, from cambelt/waterpump to spark plugs and a stainless steel replacement for the Y-piece and even £100 at Lexus for the latest CD-ROM for the satnav. Have attached a couple more photos from back then. (I'll add some that show the current state tomorrow.) This might sound a bit stupid, but I bought it back then because we were about to do a long Euro road trip and I was nervous that my other LS (2000 model) would fail the MOT = cancelled road trip. SO I bought this as a back-up. Naturally the other LS was fine and I've driven that one ever since. I've been popping in here now and then, but as that LS was running so well, I had little to say. But when I started this one up today, I just had to share. 🙂
  9. ...and - of course - it started on the first turn of the key. Did you even doubt it? Perhaps needed a couple of extra seconds to get the fuel from the tank, but to say I was chuffed is an understatement. 🙂 It ran smoothly but quite rich (guessing from the exhaust smell) for a few minutes but then that settled down. Came up to temp; warm air into the cabin. Even the brakes are OK, although I might get them skimmed. It's a '97/98 Mk4 that I bought and put off the road while driving my other LS. (Silly, but it seemed to make sense at the time.) Photo is from just before I parked it up. Just got to get a deep clean done to get the muck/leaves/etc and see how it goes at the MOT station. Cost so far: £80 for a battery. More to follow!
  10. £8000 from a Lexus dealer - especially if the Approved status means you can nail them into attending to all outstanding issues and get a no-quibble warranty - doesn't seem super expensive to me. The SE might still have satnav and/or Mark Levinson stereo if the original buyer specced them. I'm buying an RX right now too (replacing a V8 LS400 in my case), so my knowledge is limited. I suspect I've been looking at the same adverts as you.
  11. 🙂 As a tangent on the whole 4WD/SUV thing, as I was musing about the RX on the drive home, the LS was almost blown off course by the bow-wave of a Rolls Royce Cullinan tanking past at a huge rate of knots (it's that same "J55 8OND" plate on another even posher car). First time I'd seen one - what a monster. Looks hugely imposing from front and sides, but with a comically understated back-end.
  12. Really pleased to be buying this lovely RX and staying in the Lexus fold! I joked with Richard that my Dad always told me "never buy the first car you see"... and guess what I did? 😮 I'll be swapping over from a mk4 LS400. My heart tells me to keep the LS, which has served us so well. But with a second LS (as spares/security) and a weekend car, with a silly project car tucked away in a lock-up ... so I'm not sure how I'll shuffle them all. (Also to add: Richard is a great chap, too.)
  13. Is there an agreed LS400 greeting when passing each other on the road? Does a barely detectible nod suit the understated nature of these cars? Perhaps a Roger Moore-style raised eyebrow? I was in the MX5 Owners Club for a while and frankly had to leave because the greetings were far too effusive. Some people actually waved and expected one to wave back!
  14. Not sure if this is relevent: the version of the satnav CD in my '98 Mk4 is somehow better than the one in my '00 Mk4. Not just the road data, but it includes some sort of 'breadcrumb' display (useful for backtracking in an are you don't know). Should check this out more closely - might be a display option I've overlooked. Any ideas?