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Trying to buy a 97 sc400. Please help

Old 11-03-17, 09:16 AM
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Default Trying to buy a 97 sc400. Please help

hey everyone, Iím looking at this 97í Lexus sc400

i like it bc itís clean and looks stock. I want this as a project car.
Few questions,

it has a 1uz-fe engine, what is that? Can I get gains out of it?

Do these cars last?

Are the maintenance a lot of money?

what usually go wrong with these cars?

Please let let me know if this car is over priced or good price?
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Old 11-04-17, 03:40 PM
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1uz are very good engines but its crazy expensive to mod compared to the 2jz and the LS engines. I have a 99 SC400 and i have no intention of modding the engine in any way. Maintenance will make these things last forever, ive seen someone post a pic of an SC with 600k on the odo on the original engine. Price is pretty fair considering mileage and assuming that its in as good of a shape mechanically as it is cosmetically. I'd still try to haggle it down as much as i can but thats a good price. I would say that if you plan on buying that car, get it and keep it mostly stock. Maybe some light modding ( intake, exhaust, suspension, brakes ). 97 is in that weird gap year where they updated the design on the exterior of the car but didnt add VVTI and the 5speed auto trans until 98. i remember they also changed the construction of the engine internals in the newer years which made the a bit weaker thus making them less robust when modding. i cant remember if that change was done in 97 or 98 though.

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Old 11-04-17, 05:20 PM
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The 1UZ is a bulletproof motor if taken care of. It is smooth running motor with 250hp for 91-96 model years and 290 for 98+. As mentioned above, the 97 is an odd year with the updated body kit, however, it still has the 4 speed auto transmission. The 98+ SC400 got the VVTI-I motor with 5 speed auto trans and 290hp.
Depends on your plans for the car there is very little low budget upgrades to make big power. Custom supercharger or turbo setup will be big $$$. There is PPE headers $1,200, Cams= $2,000, BFI intake $120, and exhaust $280-$800. Other than that not much engine upgrades for big power.
There is the SC300 where you can swap in the 2JZGTE motor for more power. However, it is still pricy to do it right.
So, if you just want a nice smooth car to cruise around in the SC400 is a good option, if you want big power get a SC300 and build it. It is the same chassic.
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Old 11-04-17, 09:41 PM
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Check for undercarriage rust since it's up in Illinois, although it looks clean. And if u want this as a project car forget about purchasing/wasting more money on a perfectly good looking vehicle that only needs new rims and tinted windows.

1. Already answered first ? No mods needed on Sc400
2. Yes they last
3. Yes parts maintenance are expensive and are being discontinued
4. ECU capacitors giving faulty codes and need to be refurbished and numerous other things that u can check here
5. As far as price not sure, if it's in excellent condition and or needs any new parts/issues where u can deduct the price.

Last edited by Teal Sc400; 11-05-17 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 11-04-17, 11:02 PM
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Honestly after buying an SC400 from Illinois as a project car, I wish I hadn’t, the rust just gets really annoying to deal with. But what I’d do if I had a nice budget to blow would be swap in the lower compression 1UZ and turbo that with the addition of a CD009, it’s been done before, just that it’s expensive.
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Old 11-05-17, 12:24 AM
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^ that would be totally awesome.
The guy i sold my 95SC300 to actually had an early model LS400 that he turboed and had it make 450+hp with totally custom suspension and other restorations. He told me he spent over 50k doing that so that option flew out of my particular window but if you got the money to blow on it its your call. Also 100% agree with everything being said about rust, I didnt even look at the location of the car when making my first post. Living in Florida i just run away from any car that spent its life up north when im looking for cars to buy.
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Old 11-05-17, 01:07 AM
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Put it on a lift before you buy it. Also for that sort of $$$$ I'd expect the paint to be original and really damn nice, interior to be really nice with minimal flaws(ie leather should be nice, supple, no rips), car runs/drives great. As it is for sale by a dealer, I wouldn't expect service records, but look under the hood for a sticker indicating a timing belt repalcement.

At $6,000, I'd expect this to be a lovingly kept, well cared for, original paint, original interior, maybe 1 or 2 owners type of car. I know how dealers can be, they fix up a ****ty car to sell you for lots of $$$, fix a clean but wrecked car to sell you for lots of $$$$, I'm always suspicious of dealers, they make their $$$$ by falsely representing a car.
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