New TN User
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Hi, new member here. I have a 2000 ES300 with 320K miles on it that I recently parked for a rough running issue after warm-up. Also have a 1998 LS 400, a 1992 SC400 (needs rear subframe) and a newly acquired 2010 LS 460 AWD (140K miles).
The LS Of both vintages are noticeably quieter, the 2010 was priced only a few k more than the 2001-2006 LS models and had the AWD which my wife needed. The ride on the 2010 (air suspension) is the best of all the cars I've ever owned. The seats on both LS's are very comfortable, better than the ES.Only my '03 Buick Park Ave came near or beats it for softness (suspension, not the seats), most likely due to the taller sidewall tires and softer tuned suspension.
I just did the timing belt/water pump R&R on the 1998 LS (right at 177K miles) and must say it's easier than the ES, much more room to work on, but still difficult to hold the cam sprockets still while installing the belt.
Last summer I replaced nearly the entire front suspension on the 1998 LS chasing down an annoying front end shake. Turned out to be the huge bushings on the forward strut arms that extend out near the bumper.
At any rate, before I go on and on with my Lexus experiences, I would say you will not regret buying any vintage of LS, just be warned the newer ones have quite a bit more complexity, electronically speaking. For me, as a mechanic, it is filling me with anxiety about what the 2010 will bring me in the future.
Oh, one other thing, the engine on the 1998 LS 400 was overheated till it stalled 3 times on my wife driving home one day, all the coolant leaked out 15 miles from home. She limped it back and after the water pump and timing belt change, it runs fine. If that is not a testament to the quality/durability of the 1UZ-FE I don't know what is.
Good Luck, Mike