'97 LX450 differences from '97 TLC?

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Mar 28, 2003
I've seen all the info in here about the LX450 being the same but I wondered if that continued to apply to the '97 rigs since it was the TLC anniversary edition?
A friend is shopping a '97 LX450 and I'm hunting down some info for him.

Any particular-to-model things to look for/look-out for?

Did these all have the same locker/elocker/no-locker options as the 93-98 TLC's? By the way, when exactly did the FZJ80 model quit and the 100 take over?
There are differences, I don't know them all but suspension, enhanced convience and sound proofing are basically it from what I understand. If he talks with Lexus dealers they might be quick to talk about parts grading, we've discussed it before on the SOR forum, for me I think it's BS. This probably will sound silly but for me I wanted a "LANDCRUISER", one in better than average shape and it had to have e-lockers. Realistically either truck is a great purchase just prioritize what your looking for first so as to help with impulsivity. And the 100 series started in the 1998 year offering.
Christo's newbie guide covers the major differences. From time to time we become aware of some that aren't mentioned in that guide. For example we recently learned there are subtle differences in the mud flaps. In general, the LX's have some different "cladding" on the exterior (e.g. plastic cover on the rear bumper, sides, etc.)  The LX's also come with clear front side markers.

The differences that most people mention:
6 disk CD (not available on any LC)
subwoofer in center console ?
climate control (only on 40th and CE's in 97)
softer springs

Many people (dealers) say the leather in the LX's is a higher quality than the leather in the LC. For the life of me, I cannot tell any difference. I think this is urban legend along with the other things landtank mentioned.

Not all 97's are 40th editions. Some were Collectors Editions; most were plain-jane.  :G

Some/many people with 40th editions have complained about the climate control. The complaints vary from "it doesn't work at all" to "it doesn't work like expected."

The LX's had the same diff-lock option though I don't know if they were bundled with other options and I don't know how they were priced.

1997 is the last US FZJ80 series. 1998 began the US UZJ100 series.

The Toyota literature says the 97 models have "improved FI mapping."  It is assumed this was a 96 to 97 improvement. From what I can tell, nobody sees this in their MPG so it must be a VERY minor improvement.

For everything that matters, the 96-97 LX450 and the 96-97 Landcruiser are the same vehicle.

In addition to what Beo. said:
. The leather on the LX does differ from the LC (softer).
. LX models come with wood dash all around
. That (coin?) holder in the center console replaced by a subwoofer. However, no more third row seat speakers & subwoofer (wonder if wirings still there - anyone ???)
. You'll more likely to find fr&rr diff lock option in an LX than in a LC
. LX came with longer warranty from factory - not that great but I've had antenna mast, door lock module, and a few windows replaced under this.


>> LX models come with wood dash all around  <<

If this is the "wood" trim then it was an available option on the Toyotas.  I hate mine (OEM Toyota) and every time another piece turns yellow and delaminates it gets pulled/chisled off.

>> You'll more likely to find fr&rr diff lock option in an LX than in a LC  <<

I also believe this to be a fact.

Other differences:
Lexus logos on the engine, wheel caps, and badges.
Different alloy rims.

Beo's Uninformed Opinion Follows:
Lexus differentiates their product by providing exceptional customer service. Dealers provide loaners for owners with Lexus vehicles that are in for service. This gives the Lexus owner a sense of pride in the marque and they love to tell their friends they are in a loaner because their vehicle is being serviced. New owners are more likely to have their vehicle serviced on a regular basis by their dealer. The new Lexus buyer, in general, is more affluent than the average new car buyer. The new owner is more likely to have everything fixed immediately and to take better care of their investment. I could be wrong. :G

In addition to what B said re the climate control....

I have a 97 40th and the climate control absolutely sucks. Plus, you can't really override it manually - it just sucks. Let me say again that it sucks. &nbsp:Do not get the 40th.
JUNK !!!

Welcome back man!

Hope you're feeling better.

The woods in the LX's are a real deal - won't delaminate or turns yellow. I've seen a few LC's that have yellow woods; must be a different supplier or something...I just don't know why.

Oh, did I mention those repairs cost me $0 ;) :)


I could manually override any functions in the auto climate control; what's the problem that you encountered - considering these units are the same on both LX's & LC's ?


The woods in the LX's are a real deal - won't delaminate or turns yellow.  I've seen a few LC's that have yellow woods; must be a different supplier or something...I just don't know why.

The wood trim option on the LC is a thin veneer with a clear plastic coating. The Lexus has real wood.  Another difference that we're learning today. Thanks Dan & Frank!

The climate control on my 97 40th doesn't have a clue. Riding down the road I have one hand on the wheel and one hand on the adjusting slide.

Welcome back Junk!

The LX comes with a first aid kit, does the LC. LOL LX has a built in phone option, not sure about the LC. BTW, I must be the only LX owner that the climate control works :G
Thanks B. Thanks Photo.

Who cares about the wood. Take your frickin junk offroad and you'll have more wood than you can handle. :eek: :slap: :D

Only thing about the Lexusopy is you'll have to ditch all your white panties and keep to the pink frilly ones like T wears. Hell, next thing you know someone will want to know what the diff is between an 80 and an el camino.
I only have about 2.5 weeks and 4K miles experience with my LX 450, but it's climate control system works perfectly in all modes (as does everything on the vehicle). Given my experience with the wretched "automatic" climate control systems in Mercedes 123 and 126 cars, I was worried - but there is no comparison. I live and learn.
RWD and other LX owners,

>> The LX comes with a first aid kit... <<

Didn't know this either. Where is it?
I'm not sure if the first aid in to original location (bought the truck used) but it was in the rear passanger side compartment at the rear of the truck. My in-laws ES came with one too so maybe it's a Lexus thing. I can scan the owners manual with a picture of it if you like. Bob
AAAHH, wher the F is my first aid kit, I am bleeden ta death,
My first aid kit came in the center console. I've also seen these kits velcroed to the rear wheel well, or inside the USDS rear compartment where the spare tire tool kit is. Oh, if you have the towing package, you'll find a tow hook kit inside the USPS rear compartment. :D (I know, some people are going to :tear: )

Upp, that's were I keep my first aid kit - in with the jack. That and a big flashlight. Small flashlight in the center console.

The woods in the LX's are a real deal - won't delaminate or turns yellow.

Is it really? I've always thought that mine looked so plasticy and fake - it's actually wood under a zillion cotes of clearcote or something (epoxy?)?

Cheers, Hugh
For those of you that insist on OEM bandaids, there is now a TOYOTA version of the first aid kit available. It is a PT420-03023. Suggested price $29.00 :G

:beer: (no bottle opener though)

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