Ping Elder

The LS 400 / Celsior, whatever.
How is it working out ?
Brother fancies something to replace the Saab, and so do I.
I'll explain our arrangement. I chuck a bit of money in for something that I
would never buy as a daily driver and I get to use it whenever I want, he benefits by getting a slightly nicer one. He's retired, so poor MPG doesn't really matter. We just have to agree on the car. LS400 looks a likely candidate just now.
All of the info I read says they're bombproof.
What are *your* experiences ?
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snipped-for-privacy@beeteeopenworld.com says...

Experience so far is good. But if things go wrong it could be pricey. I've been quoted, by a local import shop, not Toyta/Lexus, about 900, for an aircon regas, plugs, filter, oil, trans fluid change, rear axle fluid change and cambelt and tensioner (inc vat). They reckon 160 for the belt and tensioner and about 3 hours labour. Things is Toyota quote 11 hours labour, including removing the radiator and both dizzies and disconnecting the auto trans cooler, so they must be shortcutting somewhere.
Only bad point I have with it apart from the aircon is that the front has a wobble that comes in arround 60, fades a little about 70, comes back arround 80ish.
It could be balance, they are very sensitive to balance, the colways fitted don't always balance well, and they were slapped on for the MOT, driven there, driven back then it was parked and advertised so probably didn't get to wobble speed.
But it could be any of the track ends, or ball joints, or even the rack, or, daft as it sounds the trans mount. All of the above can look fine and be OK for an MOT guys wobble, but be worn enough for the car to vibrate.
The trans mount is an hours work on ramps and 40 for the part. At least my engine mounts are good. They are more expensive and more work.
If you get a Celsior rather than an LS the jap leather is over tanned and will be brittle.
Also there are 3 different models, the UCF1*, UCF2*, and UCF3* series. Mine is a UCF11 which is air suspension, UCF10 models got coils.
If the air suspension has a fault, UCF1* models have interchangeable shocks, the 2 and 3 series versions got massively different chassis fittings so you can't without majour butchering. Air shocks costs about 600 each to replace.
One trick to check if the air suspension is working is to switch off the pump in the boot when you go to see it, then go back in a couple of days. Switch it back, if the suspension goes up and the pump stops they are probably fine. If it stays on or they don't lift quickly it is probably kippered.
In the past, someone switch the air shocks on mine for coils. It could have been the airbags that failed, the hosing which hydraulic/pnuematic shops shops can sort, or the pump. It'd like to get mine working again as it is oversoft and a little sloppy on coils as it doesn't self level.
One other thing, the CD change cassette is the same as others by the maker, but the changers themselves are unique to toyota. There is no other swap out, not even other Toyota/Lexus models and they cost about 1200 to replace new.
There are some guides to hacking the wiring for the system amp to fit an Aux in or iPod input on the various forums.
Engine wise, bullet proof, but the valves are shimmed and should be checked every 60k as they can go out of adjustment. But basically Toyota say "come in next time you need anything else" rather than do a special trip. Mine has a slight rattle from the rear of the passenger side bank which is one of the those that tend to wear first.
Fluids can be pricey, you are supposed to only use Toyota antifreeze, but can you ethylene glycol, and the auto trans should use toyota type 2 or type 4, you can use Dextron 3 but it won't shift as smoothly or but not dextron 2 as it shifts like a pig. Toyota type 4 is about 25 for 4 litres (you need roughly 2 litres for a change) but you can only get it from Toyota/lexus during their parts counter hours.
-- Carl Robson Audio stream: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com:8000/samtest Homepage: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com
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says...

Experience so far is good. But if things go wrong it could be pricey. I've been quoted, by a local import shop, not Toyta/Lexus, about 900, for an aircon regas, plugs, filter, oil, trans fluid change, rear axle fluid change and cambelt and tensioner (inc vat). They reckon 160 for the belt and tensioner and about 3 hours labour. Things is Toyota quote 11 hours labour, including removing the radiator and both dizzies and disconnecting the auto trans cooler, so they must be shortcutting somewhere.
Only bad point I have with it apart from the aircon is that the front has a wobble that comes in arround 60, fades a little about 70, comes back arround 80ish.
It could be balance, they are very sensitive to balance, the colways fitted don't always balance well, and they were slapped on for the MOT, driven there, driven back then it was parked and advertised so probably didn't get to wobble speed.
But it could be any of the track ends, or ball joints, or even the rack, or, daft as it sounds the trans mount. All of the above can look fine and be OK for an MOT guys wobble, but be worn enough for the car to vibrate.
The trans mount is an hours work on ramps and 40 for the part. At least my engine mounts are good. They are more expensive and more work.
If you get a Celsior rather than an LS the jap leather is over tanned and will be brittle.
Also there are 3 different models, the UCF1*, UCF2*, and UCF3* series. Mine is a UCF11 which is air suspension, UCF10 models got coils.
If the air suspension has a fault, UCF1* models have interchangeable shocks, the 2 and 3 series versions got massively different chassis fittings so you can't without majour butchering. Air shocks costs about 600 each to replace.
One trick to check if the air suspension is working is to switch off the pump in the boot when you go to see it, then go back in a couple of days. Switch it back, if the suspension goes up and the pump stops they are probably fine. If it stays on or they don't lift quickly it is probably kippered.
In the past, someone switch the air shocks on mine for coils. It could have been the airbags that failed, the hosing which hydraulic/pnuematic shops shops can sort, or the pump. It'd like to get mine working again as it is oversoft and a little sloppy on coils as it doesn't self level.
One other thing, the CD change cassette is the same as others by the maker, but the changers themselves are unique to toyota. There is no other swap out, not even other Toyota/Lexus models and they cost about 1200 to replace new.
There are some guides to hacking the wiring for the system amp to fit an Aux in or iPod input on the various forums.
Engine wise, bullet proof, but the valves are shimmed and should be checked every 60k as they can go out of adjustment. But basically Toyota say "come in next time you need anything else" rather than do a special trip. Mine has a slight rattle from the rear of the passenger side bank which is one of the those that tend to wear first.
Fluids can be pricey, you are supposed to only use Toyota antifreeze, but can you ethylene glycol, and the auto trans should use toyota type 2 or type 4, you can use Dextron 3 but it won't shift as smoothly or but not dextron 2 as it shifts like a pig. Toyota type 4 is about 25 for 4 litres (you need roughly 2 litres for a change) but you can only get it from Toyota/lexus during their parts counter hours.
--
Carl Robson
Audio stream: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com:8000/samtest
  Click to see the full signature.
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snipped-for-privacy@beeteeopenworld.com says...

It really is a sweet ride. I've just discovered something too. The rear aircon is controlable seperatly to the front (from the front as well as the back).
Just for laughs I switched on rears and it was a lot cooler than the fronts and blew a lot stronger. The front fan is blowing really hard, but there doesn't seem to be much air coming out of the vents.
So on a hot day I'm going to see if I can cool the car using the rear aircon.
Yes it tends to be moans about prices of fixes rather than needing fixes that seems to be the problem.
--
Carl Robson
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says...

heh the fixes you mention are a hell of a lot cheaper than BM nikasil fixes i think i bet on the wrong horse :) i seriously do like the LS400's
so far i've been considering
LS400 Soarer with the same V8 as the LS Mustang V8 and weirdly a Lincoln town car? don't ask me why :) also i've seriously considered the mondeo jag x type with the 3 litre V6 and FWD in auto form stat wise it's as quick as my manual BM which would be a nice upgrade when i'm ready not bad money either!
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I would say LS400 Mustang but the town car and get a 300C if you want a yank saloon. At least they are sold native here.
--
Carl Robson
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says...

yeah the 300C to new and pricey still though :( they look cool in black with a set of chrome 20's though them 300C's
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snipped-for-privacy@beeteeopenworld.com says...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7621622662327174932
Lots of LS goodness.
--
Carl Robson
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snipped-for-privacy@beeteeopenworld.com says...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjLwnWhWri8
Might be useful.
--
Carl Robson
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says...

seen it before they tart it up a bit whack a HID kit into it and flog it still it looks alright and they didn't have to do a lot there was a 51 plate LS430 outside service today VERY nice bit of kit that!
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says...

The 430 is Spanking, the 460 is cool, but I'm liking the LS600 V8 Hybrid luxobarge.
http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/354/C7401 / http://reviews.cnet.com/Lexus_LS600hL/4660-10863_7-6508210.html
--
Carl Robson
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In

Wonder if it's easy to convert to LPG...
--
Pete M - Using the Scouse Side of the Force -
Golf GTi Mk2 2.0 8v
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snipped-for-privacy@bogoffwithzepressedmeatblueyonder.co.uk says...

Should be doable with a decent sequential system, but lexus ECUs are so tricky because they are so integrated and so locked down.
But http://www.cheaptoyotaparts.co.uk/ will LPG an LS400 for 1500 -- Carl Robson Audio stream: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com:8000/samtest Homepage: http://www.bouncing-czechs.com Now Playing at home:Horrors-Gloves http://www.myspace.com/theelderuk
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