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How Does Lexus/Toyota Do It? - To any potential Lexus owners

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Old 12-02-13, 06:28 AM   #1
sayow
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Default How Does Lexus/Toyota Do It? - To any potential Lexus owners

As I have previously posted, I purchased a cheap "beater" of a 1996 Lexus LS 400 from a small town dealer that was closing up shop. I bought the car merely as an afterthought, really as a "sweetener" to a 2000 Jaguar that I wanted, so I am admittedly new to the brand.

The LS smoked at start up and leaked PS fluid. The dealer did not connect the two (nor did I until this fine forum /bow) and really wanted me to take on the car thinking it was rings, pistons, valve seals or something else along the lines of a four figure fix. Needless to say, $5 and an hour later, that problem is no more!

I like to think I have a stable of other relatively nice vehicles. I have a few Indy pace cars, a 2001 Corvette Z06, a new F150 and a CTS. I only mention this because they are all domestic (mostly) and generally speaking when a domestic car reaches 200k (or less), you feel like you pretty much reached the end of life and got your monies worth (although I do have another 95 F150 farm truck with 250k that runs great).

So I take on this LS with over 240k on the clock and although a one owner car, it was NOT a garage queen. Paint de-lamination, dings and scratches but runs and rides BETTER than my Jaguar, Corvette and CTS which have 109k, 44k and 40k respectively!

At this point, I am convinced not only that none of my other cars will perform at 240k miles like this LS, but that I did not just get lucky with this car. The Lexus LS as a model, might be the SINGLE greatest engineered and most reliable car that has ever been built (engineered) by human hands!

What does Toyota/Lexus do that domestic makers and even Nissan and yes Honda do not? Honda's certainly run a long time and can be argued to be as reliable, but when you factor in fit, finish and other components like transmissions, head and other gaskets, electronics, suspension, et al it seems to be to be no contest.

How does a car with 240k STILL idle so smooth you could put that glass of water on the engine and see no ripples? How does a car with 240k burn NO OIL? How does a car with 240k leave no oil spots in my garage? NOT a DROP after sitting a week? How does this car with almost a quarter of a million miles still shift so smooth you would think it was a brand new car? All on original components?

I recently had the LS on a lift to plug the PS and went through all the ball joints and suspension and noticed two things... one everything appears to be 100 percent original and two, aside from a moderately worn set of rear bushings and shocks that perform fine but look worn to hell, the underside of this car is in surprisingly good shape.

As a final comment, I just bought my wife an ES 300 coach edition beater for her daily commute with 221k and it runs great. I bought a 93 LS that has been severely abused for $450 to restore and I am hunting for a 98-00 low mileage LS to pamper and keep until I die.

I am a Lexus convert, not sure I will ever buy another brand.... ironically my Jag is now the afterthought.

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Old 12-02-13, 06:38 AM   #2
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Japanese "zero-defect" engineering and assembly practices!
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Old 12-02-13, 06:40 AM   #3
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I really agree completely, not sure how they do it. I bought my LS as a beater and only plan(ed) to keep for the winter....I suppose we will see about that still. It did leave me stranded one day but hasn't acted up since. There was a really nice 99 locally (detroit) for 3,500 that looked to be a steal not sure if it is still for sale.

I think you made a typo on your zo6, 2001 was the first year for the fifth generation!

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Old 12-02-13, 06:48 AM   #4
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I really agree completely, not sure how they do it. I bought my LS as a beater and only plan(ed) to keep for the winter....I suppose we will see about that still. It did leave me stranded one day but hasn't acted up since. There was a really nice 99 locally (detroit) for 3,500 that looked to be a steal not sure if it is still for sale.

I think you made a typo on your zo6, 2001 was the first year for the fifth generation!
Yep, its a Quicksilver 01, got it confused with my Jaguar. Thanks. I should remember because mine is the only year with less than 400 HP
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Old 12-02-13, 07:05 AM   #5
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very nice! 385 hp isn't half bad. I would trust those lsx motors to stand the time as well.
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Old 12-02-13, 07:37 AM   #6
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I am having a REALLY hard time finding a near mint 98-00 for a reasonable price in this area. Seems like there are practically steals in other cities but here all the dealers and even the few individuals selling want top dollar for the nice ones.

I am being picky though, only want:

White or Black (MIGHT go silver if black interior)
Tan, Ivory or Black interior (no grey) and MINT
Has to be under 150k (prefer under 100k)
Timing belt/water pump done and service records
2 owner or less
Clean car fax

Would like Nav and chrome wheel options but not a deal breaker

I have found a few in my area but they are closer to 150k and priced at 8k.

Might have to fly to Detroit... or Chicago... or Dallas lol
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Old 12-02-13, 12:48 PM   #7
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Bought mine and had no intention of keeping it long and now I love it.
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Old 12-02-13, 01:32 PM   #8
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Lexus didn't make its motto "The (relentless) pursuit of perfection." for nothing By the way, come down to FL, there are a few nice 98-00 examples on the market, including a 1998 model with 90k miles. Downside is, it's brown w/ tan interior. Here is a link to the ad on Craigslist. Also check out eBay auctions.
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Old 12-02-13, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayow View Post
I am having a REALLY hard time finding a near mint 98-00 for a reasonable price in this area. Seems like there are practically steals in other cities but here all the dealers and even the few individuals selling want top dollar for the nice ones.

I am being picky though, only want:

White or Black (MIGHT go silver if black interior)
Tan, Ivory or Black interior (no grey) and MINT
Has to be under 150k (prefer under 100k)
Timing belt/water pump done and service records
2 owner or less
Clean car fax

Would like Nav and chrome wheel options but not a deal breaker

I have found a few in my area but they are closer to 150k and priced at 8k.

Might have to fly to Detroit... or Chicago... or Dallas lol
You are dreaming! You are unlikely to find a "mint" or anything close to that in the Midwest snow belt that includes Detroit and Chicago and your Missouri. You're talking about a 14 1/2 to 16 year old car after all. A Florida car is your best bet for finding one in extremely nice condition - a car owned by someone - maybe a retiree - who drives maybe a few thousand miles per year. The really nice ones, however, often don't hit the market but are passed to relatives or friends.

I think you need to learn more about these cars. Avoid the OEM navigation system like the plague -- no updates for it since 2004 which were really from 2003. Don't even think about buying one with air suspension - cost of repair can easily exceed value of the car. If you are considering a 1998, remember than many did not have HID headlights. My advice is to find a 2000 with a late manufacturing date. My 2000 LS400, for example, was manufactured in June 2000 (about 205 from the last LS400 made) and has fewer problems than the 1998, 1999 and early 2000 and more standard features (e.g. "Brake Assist") than the 1998 and 1999.
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Old 12-02-13, 07:21 PM   #10
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http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/cto/4213617804.html

Here is the one that I wish I would have bought
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Old 12-02-13, 07:28 PM   #11
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It's all in their manufacturing methods, using the "lean manufacturing" and "just in time" inventory systems which they pioneered. There's a book written by Jeffrey Liker called "The Toyota Way" which i would recommend to anybody who is a Toyota/Lexus enthusiast.
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Old 12-02-13, 09:28 PM   #12
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It's all in their manufacturing methods, using the "lean manufacturing" and "just in time" inventory systems which they pioneered. There's a book written by Jeffrey Liker called "The Toyota Way" which i would recommend to anybody who is a Toyota/Lexus enthusiast.
I am very familiar with the "Kanban" developmental methodology that spawned from Toyota manufacturing, limiting work in progress, empowering engineers with changes over management and adopting a visual workflow.

Ironic that having used Kanban for many years in the software world, knowing the genesis and yet I never looked at Toyota cars personally....
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