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Purchasing 1993 LS400

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Old 07-02-14, 06:35 PM   #1
dame3780
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Default Purchasing 1993 LS400

Hey..just wanted to get some ideas and see if this is a good buy. I am looking at a 1993 LS400 with 185k miles. Paint is still in great shape and interior is also in good condition with no rips/tears in leather. The steering wheel is not worn either. I don't have any maintenance history but the seller states that it is original condition. He has only owned for 6 months which makes me hesitant. Original plates as well. $2850 is asking price. Good deal? What types of things should I look at when test driving this weekend?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-02-14, 08:34 PM   #2
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http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls40...questions.html
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Old 07-02-14, 11:51 PM   #3
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Definitely check the bushings on the front suspension. Strut Rod Cushions (bushings) cost about $100 EACH. Good luck.
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Old 07-03-14, 07:43 AM   #4
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A flipper selling a high-mileage 21 year old car with no service history - what could go wrong? I say run, don't walk, away.
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Old 07-05-14, 09:19 AM   #5
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Be sure to have it inspected thoroughly before purchase. It is an old luxury car and while well engineered, it still has many complicated systems which can require additional labor times. Used parts are hard to find and new parts are expensive.

Most of the "average" condition LS400's that I test drove recently all needed approx. $2,000-3,500 worth of repairs if you include labor, to get the car back to 100% mechanical condition. Roads are horrible in my area due to harsh winters and I found many LS400's with worn struts and springs. Evidenced by rear sagging, poor handling. Bushings worn/cracked. Power steering system leaks. Pump whining. Wheel bearings worn. Brake pads worn. Ball joints and tie rod ends worn. Engine running rough - tune up. Needs timing belt. Tires worn or does not have proper 97V rated tires Etc. Instrument cluster speedometer and rpm needle lighting going out. Door actuator(s) not working. Radio LCD and heater/cooling control LCD out. A/C recharge. Seat belt tensioner worn. O2 sensors out of calibration. ECU capacitors need replacement. Any one of these issues can be expensive to fix and previous owners often do not fix the expensive issues - passing it along to the next owner. Unless previous owners were meticulous and did preventative maintenance, planning to keep the car for the long term, well you are in for some surprises. With that said, many well maintained LS400's are still on the road being driven as daily drivers. However, such owners rarely sell them if in mint condition. A luxury car is potentially more expensive to fix so be sure to inspect. They are wonderful used cars if well maintained.

Last edited by Schramm; 07-05-14 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 07-05-14, 10:34 AM   #6
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Very nice narrative ^^^^^^
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Old 07-05-14, 12:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mappo View Post
A flipper selling a high-mileage 21 year old car with no service history - what could go wrong? I say run, don't walk, away.
Without even seeing it, exactly what I was thinking. As soon as you mentioned the current owner has had it 6 months and now wants to sell...red flags all over the place.
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Old 07-06-14, 10:23 AM   #8
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Agreed that sometimes the car could have problems, on the other hand, people buy these cars and then realize they are too soft, or boring for their tastes, I think some are drawn in by the V8 thing and then realize what a calm car this is. This 18yr old kid who bought my last Celsior had it up for sale like 3 months later as his buddies all had POS skylines with no hoods (drove 2.5hrs with no hood in a beat up skyline with full roll cage to look at it) and that car was in perfect condition, it was too boring for him.

I'd negotiate on the price if the test drive is good contingent on a mechanical inspection, I almost never get service history when buying a car, you might be able to get it for a bit cheaper and then its worth it.
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Old 07-07-14, 11:59 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Schramm;8612351]Be sure to have it inspected thoroughly before purchase. It is an old luxury car and while well engineered, it still has many complicated systems which can require additional labor times. Used parts are hard to find and new parts are expensive.

Thanks for the good input! The seller has been inconsistent with replies and the photos are not clear, so I am going to pass on this ride. I just am getting a bad vibe from him. I am still looking for an LS though, maybe focus on 95-00 models.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:06 PM   #10
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Let me reiterate. Even if you are a mechanic and can do the labor yourself, fixing up an "average" or "fair" condition LS400 to 100% mechanical condition can easily cost 1,000 to 2,000 above the initial purchase price. Often it is just normal maintenance that should be done in accordance with the owners manual. They are resilient cars and worth fixing up. However, in my opinion, it is well worth waiting for a well maintained lower mileage LS400 to come up for sale and pay more like $5,000 to $6,000 rather than paying lower entry $3,000-4000 for an average condition and then spending $2,000 fixing it up, buying new tires, etc. Finding a "mint condition well serviced LS400" is more common if say the owner dies, upgrades to a newer LS430 or LS460, or if a wealthy owner drives it for awhile decides they simply want a different type of car for utility purpose. Not common. Mint condition vehicles sell quickly, often within a week of sale. Unfortunately, most people who need a car cannot afford an extra and thus do not have the option to be patient.

I purchased a mint 1996 LS400 with 75K miles earlier this year! Paid $6,000. It has salvage title, but it was fixed properly; two doors replaced. We have since put about $1,200 into it, mostly tires and minor maintenance. It rides like new. I have been searching local ads every week since and the only few deals similar sold within days. Seen nothing with true mileage under 125K. In comparison, a family member purchased a 1995 LS400 with 200K mi this year for $2900. It was in average to fair condition. They spent about 2500 on parts and labor fixing it up. It is a nice car now, but still has higher miles and is more worn out than our own.

Last edited by Schramm; 07-07-14 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 07-07-14, 12:48 PM   #11
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The 95-00 models have significant improvements and features over earlier models. I like the 95-97 because it weighs 209 lbs less than earlier and 240 lbs less than later models. At 3650 lbs, the LS400 is not an agile car by any means, but weight does make a difference. The 98-00 is nicer still with extra options and minor soundproofing increases. Most notable it has VVT-i engine which improves gas mileage and adds 30HP.

KBB is an excellent reference, but I would gladly pay more than KBB value for mint condition vehicle that needs nothing and less than KBB value for an LS400 that needs a lot of work. Service history can be all over the place on these cars making valuation difficult given today's high cost of labor and parts.

Last edited by Schramm; 07-07-14 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 07-07-14, 01:32 PM   #12
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Shoot me the vin and ill see if i can pull any national maint history lol
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Old 07-09-14, 01:21 AM   #13
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I think the car is sold lol. They guy never responded to my request for VIN and it disappeared from online ad. I'm moving on...still searching.
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Old 07-09-14, 03:20 PM   #14
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Lots of good condition LS400's out there, just be patient!
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Air Suspension Controller/Radar Cruise
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Old 07-12-14, 09:07 PM   #15
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Default 1993 ls 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by dame3780 View Post
Hey..just wanted to get some ideas and see if this is a good buy. I am looking at a 1993 LS400 with 185k miles. Paint is still in great shape and interior is also in good condition with no rips/tears in leather. The steering wheel is not worn either. I don't have any maintenance history but the seller states that it is original condition. He has only owned for 6 months which makes me hesitant. Original plates as well. $2850 is asking price. Good deal? What types of things should I look at when test driving this weekend?

Thanks!!
I have a 1994 LS 400 with over 245K. It still runs strong. I would think that barring any unusual circumstances that would be a decent price.
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Old 07-12-14, 09:07 PM
 
 
 
 
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