2002 LX470 in search of dirt (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
33
Location
California
You know the story. I’ve been lurking here, wanting to buy my first 100 series, to haul the wife and kids into moderate wilderness.

With my budget constraints, I was leaning towards a Mitsubishi Montero or a newish Dodge Durango. Did the math and since I enjoy learning and hacking on my cars, I figured it was worth keeping an eye out for an LX (not a cruiser).

I think I got pretty lucky on this one. 2002 LX470 with 135k miles, negotiated for $13k.

Really clean outside. Averaged 7500 miles per year and it seems to have been all paved...
2D57742A-8A43-4C5C-9A79-EF97DA1E7D1D.jpeg


Under hood is like a new car. Do people detail their engine, maybe for selling?
C24192DA-5DB7-411E-87BE-BB60A853F1A8.jpeg


Undercarriage is clean too. Other than the exhaust, there are only a few specks of rust.
FCA59791-F432-47B1-9034-6C6E6CFFF84D.jpeg


Most obvious sign of age are the ripped front seats but I can totally live with that!
5F4393C7-FDD7-4334-8F16-0EEDA2BFAF97.jpeg


Brought it to a Lexus dealer for an inspection and they said the water pump and a shock is seeping but otherwise solid. I don’t have the PO’s maintenance history so I’ll be doing some sleuthing and asking question of you smart and experienced folks.

FYI I’m fully expecting the unexpected because I’m usually not this lucky. But until then, my biggest issue is having people judge me as a Lexus owner since I’m more of a beater car guy! I bought this not because it’s a luxury vehicle, but because it’s a 4x4, so I guess I need to find some trails and dirty this up!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
843
Location
NWFL
Great looking LX. I gave up on keeping my engine bay and chassis clean, but that one looks clean enough to eat off.

my underside has grease flung everywhere from lubing drive shafts and mud caked everywhere haha. I can't even work on anything without coming up with a bunch of dried mud on my face.

You will occasionally get the "why are you off roading in a Lexus" person but so what. I got heated seats and leather with my 2" lift at the push of a button you plebs. Beige Lexus Legion for life.

Make sure your heater T's are replaced, and get some decent tires, pull those running boards off and send it.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
843
Location
NWFL
Great looking LX. I gave up on keeping my engine bay and chassis clean, but that one looks clean enough to eat off.

my underside has grease flung everywhere from lubing drive shafts and mud caked everywhere haha. I can't even work on anything without coming up with a bunch of dried mud on my face.

You will occasionally get the "why are you off roading in a Lexus" person but so what. I got heated seats and leather with my 2" lift at the push of a button you plebs. Beige Lexus Legion for life.

Make sure your heater T's are replaced, and get some decent tires, pull those running boards off and send it.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
33
Location
California
Thanks for the responses. Just two weeks into ownership, I already have a story to share!

As I’m cluelessly driving the highway, a woman honks next to me and makes strange hand gestures. Despite this being Southern California, I don’t think she is road raging. Did I leave a coffee mug on top of the car? Is my fuel flap open? Is my tire flat?

I pull off the Highway and then I hear the rumble. Indeed my tire is flat. Hmm. Ok. I’ve been here before. Let’s get out the jack and spare tire.

Oh wait. Where is the jack stored? I never checked that. Did I tell you I’m usually not very lucky?!! Jack is missing. Ok I guess I’ll have to call roadside service for a flat repair.

Oh wait. How do I lower the spare tire? I haven’t gotten to that part of the owners manual yet! But I know there’s a hoist since I’ve had cars like this before so I’m thinking roadside service can handle it.

Oh wait. What’s this about a special key for lowering the spare? I don’t have the jack, the crank, nor the key.

Four hours later, the tow truck drops her off at home and my neighbors are probably thinking I bought a lemon!
BC4CEB9E-CA79-4139-8811-05A78C645787.jpeg


Thanks to this forum, I figured out I can unbolt the hoist from the crossmember to access the spare. So that becomes my first “repair” on this car. I suppose it’s a nice easy first task.

Here is the hoist installed back on with the spare removed.
D2D42D69-8D5F-4F35-88F3-5642B8CF34E2.jpeg


I am back on the road now and my next task on this car will probably be to pry that lock off the hoist! Note my avatar... which is a little reminder of my introduction into this LX world :)

3658CC4E-C039-4B9C-84AE-F543DC03F11A.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
843
Location
NWFL
Thanks for the responses. Just two weeks into ownership, I already have a story to share!

As I’m cluelessly driving the highway, a woman honks next to me and makes strange hand gestures. Despite this being Southern California, I don’t think she is road raging. Did I leave a coffee mug on top of the car? Is my fuel flap open? Is my tire flat?

I pull off the Highway and then I hear the rumble. Indeed my tire is flat. Hmm. Ok. I’ve been here before. Let’s get out the jack and spare tire.

Oh wait. Where is the jack stored? I never checked that. Did I tell you I’m usually not very lucky?!! Jack is missing. Ok I guess I’ll have to call roadside service for a flat repair.

Oh wait. How do I lower the spare tire? I haven’t gotten to that part of the owners manual yet! But I know there’s a hoist since I’ve had cars like this before so I’m thinking roadside service can handle it.

Oh wait. What’s this about a special key for lowering the spare? I don’t have the jack, the crank, nor the key.

Four hours later, the tow truck drops her off at home and my neighbors are probably thinking I bought a lemon!
View attachment 2531034

Thanks to this forum, I figured out I can unbolt the hoist from the crossmember to access the spare. So that becomes my first “repair” on this car. I suppose it’s a nice easy first task.

Here is the hoist installed back on with the spare removed.
View attachment 2531035

I am back on the road now and my next task on this car will probably be to pry that lock off the hoist! Note my avatar... which is a little reminder of my introduction into this LX world :)

View attachment 2531088

View attachment 2531036


Dang man , I just found out about that stupid little locking thing for the spare when I was building my rear bumper. I searched all over the truck for that thing and thought I was boned. Then I found it tucked into a pocket in the tool kit.

I don't need mine anymore if you want it.....
 
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
87
Location
Birmingham, AL
Good looking truck! It'll serve you well. At 135k... it was kind of someone to sell it to you for less than a new Kia just as the breakin miles are done.

And gosh that's clean underneath. I guess that's what they mean when they say "california car..."
 

3_puppies

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 2, 2002
Messages
14,447
Location
Helena MT
@lxj1 it's all good, nobody got hurt, but maybe your pride alittle. learning experiances.
I've stopped to help a guy 1 afternoon years ago, dropped the spare and it was flat,
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,450
Location
Colorado
Very nice. Good find.

If you aren't sure what the maintenance history is on it, you can get a good idea without having to have arbitrary work done.

Sign up on the Lexus Owners website. Claim the vehicle (input your VIN) and you'll get access to all of the Lexus owner and service history stuff, plus some extra details. It's free.

If big ticket items aren't documented, you can get a good idea at least:

Timing belt: Pop off the belt access cover. At 135k and 20 years old you'll most likely be able to confirm its been done with a visual.
Wheel bearings: best to just pop the flange off and look at the grease. If it's looks fresh, check pretension and button it up with a new snap ring (get the whole kit from cruiser outfitters if you want everything on hand for a great price). If the grease is old, you can get everything you need to tune them up for like $30. Get a tub (pound) of grease per side, you'll want the extra.
Spark Plugs/Coils: Lots of stuff on here about them but really low hanging fruit to check and confirm yourself (expensive repairs come from these being done wrong). Check torque and buy a spare to keep in the car. When they fail you can keep driving, but they take two minutes to swap and you'll be happy to have one when it stumbles and throws a code.
Cooling: You'll have heard about the T fittings. Cheap and easy.
Drivetrain: put a few pumps of grease in the u-joints and a couple pumps in the slip yolk. Don't overdo it like the FSM says and pump it until it starts expanding, a few (5-10 pumps) is fine if done every oil change.

Paper towel test and smell test fluids. Grab a white paper towel and q-tips and pull some fluid from the dipsticks and rub them on a white paper towel. You can pretty easily see what is good fluid is and what is old. This works "ok" for gear lube, but dark gear lube doesn't always mean bad gear lube. Trans fluid and coolant should smell kind of sweet.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
33
Location
California
Thanks, all. Feeling welcomed! I have read all your comments and will respond and have further questions, but I'll take it one at a time. I've learned that laundry lists of technical questions ends up with subpar responses!

Sign up on the Lexus Owners website. Claim the vehicle (input your VIN) and you'll get access to all of the Lexus owner and service history stuff, plus some extra details. It's free.

Yes, I did that prior to purchase. Appeared to have been taken to the same dealer for the first 100k miles and received regular maintenance. But the details provided were a bit crytic and there is no info from the last 35k miles. So I'm going to trust my own eyes.

Timing belt: Pop off the belt access cover. At 135k and 20 years old you'll most likely be able to confirm its been done with a visual.

I did not see those stickers that show when it was replaced, but upon inspection it looks pretty good. Is this likely relatively new? I would think if it had 135k original miles on it, it would be a bit more cracked.

1608597407574.png

1608597982065.png
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,450
Location
Colorado
Thanks, all. Feeling welcomed! I have read all your comments and will respond and have further questions, but I'll take it one at a time. I've learned that laundry lists of technical questions ends up with subpar responses!



Yes, I did that prior to purchase. Appeared to have been taken to the same dealer for the first 100k miles and received regular maintenance. But the details provided were a bit crytic and there is no info from the last 35k miles. So I'm going to trust my own eyes.



I did not see those stickers that show when it was replaced, but upon inspection it looks pretty good. Is this likely relatively new? I would think if it had 135k original miles on it, it would be a bit more cracked.

View attachment 2531266

View attachment 2531293

Take a look at the heads on the nuts and bolts on the tensioner, water pump, cam covers, fan clutch, etc. For tool marks to indicate someone has been in there before.

FYI if you found the dealership, you might try calling with the VIN for service records. My first gen Tundra came with few records, but I found it was serviced for 100k at a dealer in San Jose CA. I called them and a service advisor walked me through what they had in their system. Might be hit or miss depending on what they are doing and or how backed up the shop is.
 
Last edited:

GTV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
788
Location
Si'ahl
I did not see those stickers that show when it was replaced, but upon inspection it looks pretty good. Is this likely relatively new? I would think if it had 135k original miles on it, it would be a bit more cracked.

View attachment 2531266

View attachment 2531293

That’s the serpentine belt. You need to have a look at the timing belt behind that, hidden under the inspection covers.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
545
Location
likely in the salvage yard
As others have stated -When you have the water pump replaced do the full timing belt service at the same time. Change your heater T's asap. Weeping shocks are usually corrected by getting your AHC pressures within spec.

Never let the dealer touch your AHC. When they do it's mostly misdiagnoses and horror stories.

 
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
33
Location
California
Timing belt: Pop off the belt access cover. At 135k and 20 years old you'll most likely be able to confirm its been done with a visual.

Here’s a peek into the driver side timing belt access cover. Does this look 135k miles old?
BD73E1E3-DA39-4454-AA6F-B33B880A5C6F.jpeg


I assume a view of the ribbed side would be better. If so, any tips on the easiest way getting that view?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom