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Old 02-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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97 Lexus 450 Good Vehicle?

Hi, been shopping for a good 4x4 to use for hauling girl and kids, and do long road trips with mild wheeling...and maybe be more practical than my lifted pickup....been looking at 4Runners and 4 door Tacos....but a 97 Lexus 450 popped up for sale, 4" Manafree/OME lift, 35" BFG ATs, 100k miles....looks clean as heck, way clean, has all service records, and doesnt look like it was wheeled or beat at all....

I know NOTHING about them and asked since with my limited knowledge thought it was like a Land Cruiser, if it had front/rear lockers....he said it doesnt...and asked if it was regeared...its not...

So, is this vehicle worth looking into at all? I skimmed some reviews and they said it didnt get good mpg stock, so lifted 4" with 35s and stock gearing it might be a pig on gas?

He is firm at $9500, wouldnt even send me pictures or talk to me unless I agreed if I did have interest, that I would not bargain at all....so its $9500 for a 97 Lexus LX450, no lockers, not regeared, 4" lift and near new 35 BFGs ATs....is it even worth considering??

Thanks guys
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have one great vehicle. Check out this site below. Its more 80 series specific.

http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's low miles for a fzj80. Might be worth $9500 if he's taken care of, and has proof of, all the maintenance.
Head gasket is a pretty common issue for those motors.

In my area, there are two 97 LX450's, both with lockers, for sale on CL for ~$6000, and both are all stock.

I'm actually thinking about buying one. I had a 1993 land cruiser, and regret getting rid of it a few years back.

BTW, the only differences between the Land Cruiser and the LX450 are:

Badges (Toyota vs Lexus)
Softer shocks on the LX
Body cladding on the doors
Little more plush interior


These are VERY reliable vehicles, and they are built like tanks. However, they retailed for over $50k in 97, and parts are still rather expensive.

If I were you, I would hold out for one with lockers. Its a great addition, and will help hold its value, as only ~5% of all LCs and LXs over here got the locker option.

Also, stock gearing is 4.10
35" tires are too bad on them without regearing, unless you're in the mountains. Expect ~12-13mpg either way.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are only planning on mild wheeling, then don't worry about not having lockers. But, as most end up doing, you will become addicted to this thing and mod it to no end. You can always add ARB air lockers if you want. Regarding the price, it sounds like a pretty good deal to me. A clean LX450 with only 100k is rare, especially with all the maint. records, then add the cost of the lift and new tires, and $9500 is right where it should be. I love my LX450, on 35s it takes me wherever I point it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks for the feedback guys!

pictures look super super clean, inside and out....

yea i was hoping it was regeared and had the lockers haha..that wouldve been sweet....

13mpg isnt where Id want it to be, but I still will check it out...it looks pretty damn nice...meaning good condition, as well I havent seen any on 35s around here and it looks kinda stout and would be fun to take out on the trails...
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I believe you have been given good advice based on the posts above.

Quote:
He is firm at $9500, wouldnt even send me pictures or talk to me unless I agreed if I did have interest, that I would not bargain at all....
This tells me he wont mind if you are thorough about your questions

Head gasket done (as stated above). If not, you can take a block test kit with you and test on site or (even better) if you are serious put down a deposit and send in a blackstone oil test. He may complain but... he has "rules" so you need to be thorough... you dont want somethin that needs $$$ work right away. (heads up... I dont know how long it takes Blackstone to do a test but its only $25 bucks)

Will you be doing most or all of the maintenance? If not, it will be a bit more expensive to own.

FAQ on the site linked above will give you some good info:
http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-te...tenna-mod.html

- Front axle service? Tends to be expensive if a shop does it...
- PHH done? If yes, I would say its a good indication the owner knows of the other little problems
- Is he an IH8MUD board member? (thats where the link above takes you)

Edit: Report back!
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This should be helpful also.

http://www.sleeoffroad.com/newbie/newbie100.htm

TJK
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, nope he isnt a member thats for sure...when I originally asked about lockers, gears, tire size, he was dumbfounded...he said he bought it off a mechanic so he emailed the guy he bought it from, them cut and pasted his answers and forwarded them to me...probably typical some rich LA person buys a lifted vehicle because it looks cool, then doesnt drive like a caddy so they wanna sell it....

Thanks for all the tips, If I go look at it I will investigate these issues, and I need to read up more on those links before talking to him again....but yea he sounds clueless, bought it, didnt use it, getting rid of it...being firm on price probably means he bought it for that a few months ago and is just trying to break even Steven
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i love 80s. get over to mud and read up. these trucks can be expensive. i wouldnt own one if i didnt plan to do the majority of the maintenance and repairs myself. and i buy my truck again every year with the money i spend in gas.

the wife took my 96 now and wont give it back. and the more i DD a cruiser the more i wanted to wheel one. i am buying my second one tomorrow, a 94, to become my next trail truck. no elockers cause i want to run 37+ rubber. some have had issues with the rear. i want to chop the rear like this one:



good luck with your purchase. im sure you and your family with enjoy it. mine does.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thats awesome
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's the one I am building. It's a '94 with the lockers and 156k miles on it. It was completely stock when I got it.



Still in the process of fitting a 'not recommended' Warn 8074 winch to a new ARB bullbar:



I added a MAF 3/2 level lift susp kit and I have a set of 35s to go on it soon.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've had '96 and '97 4Runners and currently have a '97 LX450.

The LX is awesome, I would never get another 3rd gen 4Runner over an 80 series Cruiser.

I'm getting 15mpg highway and 13 in mixed driving. Not much worse than a
3rd gen. Especially considering the increased displacement, extra weight and full time 4wd.

Funny that whenever these threads come up some one will post they can buy a clean 80 with lockers for $6k. When questioned the ads never materialize or they have over 200k are are beat. $8-$10k seems to be the price range, nicely modded trucks go up from there.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Cool locked with low miles for $6k

I just thought I'd chime in. I bought a clean LX 450 last night for $6450. It has working lockers, 141k, good leather, paint, service records from Lexus. It needs a few minor things fixed, but for any 15 year old vehicle that's the case. If not, it would definitely have a premium price and wasn't inspected close enough...

I've been looking at all the cruisers around here (Portland, OR) for over a month and passively in close metro areas and this was the right one. There is a 96 LC here for $12500 with 128k. I was going to look at it, but don't really like the bluish interior and it had way more fake wood trim on the Lexus, which I don't really like. The Lexus only has it by the shifter and on the doors. From all the cruisers/LX's (and 4runners) I looked at, this one wins. Big time.

I just sold my 97 jeep tj the day before. Locked, lifted, winch, 33's, chromoly axles, etc. Way too much to list here... this will replace it and fit the baby on the way.

Probably just going to lift it 2.5" and out some 285's in it. Still family friendly, looks great and would probably rival my old built jeep just built like that. And it was pretty bad a**.

Anyway, I guess it is possible to get it locked and low miles for 6k.

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Old 02-18-2011, 11:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I love my 80
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poorhouse View Post
Funny that whenever these threads come up some one will post they can buy a clean 80 with lockers for $6k. When questioned the ads never materialize or they have over 200k are are beat. $8-$10k seems to be the price range, nicely modded trucks go up from there.
not really.

Mine was $6k. Locked with 156k miles on it and in decent shape.

The trick is finding one where the owner doesn't really know what they have
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I love my 80
Indeed.

Did you do any more work on yours?
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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No, was busy getting the buggy prepped for koh. Seriously considering selling the buggy and just wheeling the 80. Edit, I lied... Let me bump the thread

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sure there are deals out there. I doubt you guys would sell for $6k though.

I stand by my comment, $8k-$10k is market value for a nice, lowish mileage, well maintained 80.

If the OP hasn't figured it out yet, 80's are awesome vehicles.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I just picked up a 94 with 188K miles on it and factory lockers for $6000. The guy selling it had been anal and spent a shit load of money on it. It has a 5+ lift with 35" BFGs,Marks partime kit,rebuilt front axle with new everything including locking hubs. Put amsoil in everything. He added a non usa factory extra fuel tank. He also handed me a folder with service receipts that go back to when it was almost new and even threw in a factory service manual. It looks brand new in and out except for a little paint fade. I love it and would recommend you get one, just look for the good deal, they're out there.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breakrocks View Post
I just picked up a 94 with 188K miles on it and factory lockers for $6000. The guy selling it had been anal and spent a shit load of money on it. It has a 5+ lift with 35" BFGs,Marks partime kit,rebuilt front axle with new everything including locking hubs. Put amsoil in everything. He added a non usa factory extra fuel tank. He also handed me a folder with service receipts that go back to when it was almost new and even threw in a factory service manual. It looks brand new in and out except for a little paint fade. I love it and would recommend you get one, just look for the good deal, they're out there.
That sounds like a great buy!
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I forgot it also has a safari snorkel.
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