The Truth About Cars » LS400 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 04 Sep 2015 19:38:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » LS400 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1997 Lexus LS400 Coach Edition (with Bonus Failed Anti-Tow-Away Note) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/junkyard-find-1997-lexus-ls400-coach-edition-bonus-failed-anti-tow-away-note/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/junkyard-find-1997-lexus-ls400-coach-edition-bonus-failed-anti-tow-away-note/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119017 Three years ago, after becoming obsessed with 1990s Japanese luxury cars and, failing to find a non-thrashed Infiniti Q45 (or even a nice J30), I bought a very clean 1997 Lexus LS400 Coach Edition. It’s still my daily driver and still in great shape, but you always have a need for a few bits and […]

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33 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Three years ago, after becoming obsessed with 1990s Japanese luxury cars and, failing to find a non-thrashed Infiniti Q45 (or even a nice J30), I bought a very clean 1997 Lexus LS400 Coach Edition. It’s still my daily driver and still in great shape, but you always have a need for a few bits and pieces when you drive an older car. The early LS400s are extraordinarily common in low price, self-service wrecking yards these days, but the UCF20 1995-1997 LS is still worth enough that it’s a rare sight at U-Wrench-It.

Last winter, I finally found one in a Denver yard, and it has stories to tell.
21 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Even five years after moving to Colorado from the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m still not fully on board with this snow-covered-junkyard business.

13 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

This car had all the signs of a rapid fall from luxury-car glory; there was plenty of body damage outside and trash inside, but it still had all the original dealer paperwork and factory inspection certificate.

60 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

I’m pretty sure that the TO BE TOWED note I found was written by an enraged apartment manager or neighbor, after the car became immobile due to some expensive-to-fix mechanical problem, and that the angry response was written by the car’s owner. As we all know, heartfelt notes to tow-truck drivers don’t work.

42 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

But according to the auction sticker, the car starts.

There is nothing sadder than a broken wind-up crab toy crawling through the junkyard slush.

64 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The only part I really wanted for my LS was the factory radio, because the LCD display on mine has some bad pixels. However, I learned from parting out an SC400 on eBay that certain 1990s Lexus parts are worth good money, so I grabbed a few more bits.

 

21 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 29 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 30 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 33 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 41 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 42 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 43 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 47 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 49 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 50 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 55 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 60 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 64 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 66 - 1997 Lexus LS400 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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90s Japanese Luxury Car Purchase Dilemma Solved: Going VIP! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/90s-japanese-luxury-car-purchase-dilemma-solved-going-vip/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/90s-japanese-luxury-car-purchase-dilemma-solved-going-vip/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 19:15:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=431098 Back in September, I wrote about my search for a 1990s Japanese luxury car as a daily driver, with the Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS400, and Acura RL as the main contenders. Five months later, I’ve made my choice. It’s a 1997 Coach Edition Lexus LS400 in nice shape, 120,000 miles. Man, this car has class.. […]

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Back in September, I wrote about my search for a 1990s Japanese luxury car as a daily driver, with the Infiniti Q45, Lexus LS400, and Acura RL as the main contenders. Five months later, I’ve made my choice. It’s a 1997 Coach Edition Lexus LS400 in nice shape, 120,000 miles. Man, this car has class.. The reason I’m getting this LS is to allow me to immobilize my ’92 Civic long enough to swap the Integra GS-R engine into it, which means I won’t be doing any customizing that takes it out of commission for long periods. That doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving it dead stock, of course…
I’ve become fascinated by the Japanese VIP Style fashion for car customization, spending a lot of time looking at the Junction Produce site and various Japanese VIP car publications. I won’t be doing anything particularly radical to my Lexus in terms of ride height or suspension mods (I want it to ride the way Toyota intended), but I will need some better wheels, and Celsior grille and badges… and a fusa.

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Piston Slap: The Oxygen Network http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/piston-slap-the-oxygen-network/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/piston-slap-the-oxygen-network/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2009 23:54:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=337744 TTAC Commentator xyzzy writes: One of the O2 sensors on my 1998 Lexus LS400 recently failed, throwing a P0161 OBDII code (at 175K miles). I’ve cleared the code and verified it comes back, so I don’t think it’s a transient failure. I haven’t yet replaced it, but I have noticed that my gas mileage, as […]

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Beats me! (courtesy:autoland.us)

TTAC Commentator xyzzy writes:

One of the O2 sensors on my 1998 Lexus LS400 recently failed, throwing a P0161 OBDII code (at 175K miles). I’ve cleared the code and verified it comes back, so I don’t think it’s a transient failure. I haven’t yet replaced it, but I have noticed that my gas mileage, as reported on the trip computer, has improved significantly since the failure. Before it was 23-24 mpg, now I’m looking at 26. I know that one of the functions of the O2 sensor is to help regulate mixture, so I’m guessing the mixture is now leaner without one of the O2 sensors. I’ve noticed no discernable change in performance of the car. Assuming I can clear the error code before taking it in for OBDII emissions inspection, is there a downside to just leaving it and running aggressively lean (if that’s in fact what’s happening)?

Sajeev answers:

If your O2 sensors have 175k on their tickers, you’re asking the wrong questions. But the answer to all questions is the same: replace the O2 sensors. That’s all four of them, partner.

Running old O2 sensors is like running an out of tune carburetor. Some manufacturers recommend changing them after 50k for peak efficiency, but I’d recommend every 100-150k for any application. (i.e. When your ride goes in the shop or you are motivated to spend some quality time underneath it.)

Even if the sensors are “good,” you can’t clear an OBD-II error code and pass an inspection: do so and the service tech gets a message saying the vehicle isn’t ready to test. So they’ll take your money for the privilege, then promptly fail your car…and ask you to come back after a week of driving. And, again, the code shall magically resurface.

Or conversely, it behooves you to do the right thing. Bite the bullet, and do a tune up (O2 sensors at the bare minimum) on this car.

[Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com]

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