"Champagne Dream" 1996 Lexus LX450

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Sep 8, 2022
Olney, MD
I have been lurking for a month or so, but thought I should introduce myself and my truck before I start asking for advice. I picked up this triple locked 1996 Lexus LX450 in August from a dealer in Florida through eBay. It will be a weekend, scouting, camping, occasional snow, and maybe Outer Banks beach trip vehicle for myself and my two kids. My fiancée isn't in love with the truck yet, but maybe she'll come around. I had it registered as historic, so definitely won't be a daily driver. It was originally a Texas vehicle, so very little rust on the underside. The interior could use some restoration and I may eventually repaint the exterior. I am getting ABS and Check Engine (EGR) lights on the dash, so I'll have to investigate those issues. I'll update this thread as my journey progresses. I welcome any advice or comments they community may have.

1996 Lexus LX450
Triple Locked
Color: Champagne Pearl
Miles: 204,594
Purchase Price: $13,500

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Previous Owner Mods:
ARB Deluxe Winch Bumper
OME Lift Kit
XF Off-Road 17x9 Wheels
Mastercraft Courser 295/70/17 Tires
Pioneer AVH-X490BS Head Unit
Rear View Camera
Tow Hitch

Baseline Maintenance/Repairs:
Oil Change and Filter Change - 15W40 ✅
Transmission Fluid Flush ✅
Front/Rear Differential Flush ✅
Coolant Flush ✅
Power Steering Fluid Flush ✅
Front/Rear Wiper Blades ✅
StrongArm Hood Struts ✅
Toyota OEM Tailgate Struts ✅
New Front/Rear Bulbs ✅
K&N Air Filter ✅
New Front/Rear Brake Calipers ✅
New Rear LPV ✅
New Brake Power Booster ✅

Future Mods/Repairs:

Land Cruiser Products Battery Bracket/Anti-Stress Fusible Link ✅
Marine Battery Terminals ✅
Replace All Exterior Door Handles ✅
New SCS F5 Wheels 16x8 ✅
Michelin Defender LTX M/S 285/75/16 Tires ✅
Land Rover Discovery Cup Holder ✅
IPF Off-Road Lights for Front Bumper ✅
OEM Luggage Rack Delete ✅
Replace Front Vent Registers ✅
Replace Front/Rear Speakers ✅
Switch Console to LC 80 ✅
Interior SuperBright LEDs ✅
Replace "D" Light ✅
Redline Leather Transfer Case and E-Brake Boots
New OEM Shifter Knob
OEM Dash Cup Holder
BH3D Rear Cup Holders
OEM Center Differential Lock Button
Mosley Motors Dark Brown Seat Leather
Rust Proofing and Undercoating
OEM Drive Belts and Idler Pulleys
OEM Battery Carrier
OEM Fuel Filter
Troubleshoot RS3000 or Install Viper Keyless Entry
New Power Antenna Mast
SmittyBilt Winch for ARB Bumper
Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack
Dobinsons Rear Bumper with Swing Outs
Craft Customs Steering Wheel Restoration with +1/4" Diameter
Misc. Interior Trim Replacement
Repaint Champagne Pearl or Custom Color
Chrome Delete
LS3 Engine Swap
Last edited:
Aug 14, 2017
Brevard, NC
Nice! I am considering the exact same vehicle except it is bone stock. It also has the same issues as yours (ABS and Check Engine). Any advice from mud on these? Are they common issues? I have an LX470 and LX570, but 80 Series are new to me. Anything to look at for in the LX specific ones?


Sep 8, 2022
Olney, MD
When I bought the truck, I had it sent directly to Land Cruiser Heaven in Hagerstown, MD to go through their inspection. Unfortunately, it had to sit for over 6 weeks before they could get to it. They completed the inspection and did some brake work so I could drive it home safely. I know there are mixed reviews about that place. It sounds like they are good for ordering parts, but not great for service and repairs. Here are the results from their inspection. I will prioritize the issues and try to find a shop closer to home to do the repairs. It seems like a lot, but they said that overall it was a good vehicle and the engine was fine.

Inspection Report:

Inspection TaskFindings
Braking - 35mph to dead stop (does it brake straight or does it pull)Non drivable
Braking - 50mph to 30mph (any vibrations on pedal or steering wheel)Non drivable
Alignment - Does the vehicle drive straight or does it pull?Non drivable
Acceleration - Does the vehicle shift smoothly or hard shifts?Non drivable
Inspect Valve Cover for leaks or damageNone provided
Inspect Distributor for leaks or damageNone provided
Inspect Oil Pump Cover for leaksLeaking
Inspect Air Filter Condition (Original or Aftermarket)Aftermarket and dirty
Inspect Air Intake hose for any visible cracksGood condition, is hard
Inspect Ignition Cables Condition (Original or Aftermarket)Oem ones, replaced in 2011
Inspect Spark Plugs Condition (Original or Aftermarket) (Maximum Electrode Gap on Used Plug (1.3mm .051 in) If greater replace)1:0.35, 2:0.35, 3:0.035, 4:0.035, 5:0.035, 6:0.035
Inspect Fuel Filter Condition (Original or Aftermarket)no leaks, no evidence that was been replace recently
Inspect Oil Filter Condition (Original or Aftermarket)old, no evidence that was been replace recently
Inspect Engine Belts, Pulleys and Tensioners for Noise and WearAftermarket, idler pulley missing, wear noise at the vehicule star
Inspect Power Steering hoses for leaks and hardnessnot evidence of leaks, the lines are hard, suggest preform service
Inspect Power Steering Fluid Level and Conditionlow level
Inspect Oil Level and Conditionlow and no evidence that has been replaced
Inspect Brake Fluid Level and Conditionlow, dirty, suggest brake flush
Perform Engine Compression Test (192 PSI or More ,14 PSI Difference or Less B/W Cylinders, Minimum 142PSI)None provided
Inspect Throttle BodyAcceleration cable is ripped
Inspect Hood StrutsNot working
Battery Condition and TerminalsAftermarket and rusty
Inspect Engine Coolant Level and ConditionNone found
Inspect RadiatorNone found
Inspect Radiator hoses, bypass hoses, and heater linesNone found
Check Alternator Charging VoltageNone found
Inspect Front Main Seal for LeaksLeaks at the seal and the oil pump cover, suggest front engine tune up
Inspect Power Steering PumpNo visible leak, high pressure line is wet,
Inspect Power Steering hoses condition and leaksNo visible leak they are wet, lines are hard
Check Oil Pan for leaksLeaking suggest reseal
Inspect PHHNo Leaks suggest replace
Check Motor MountsNone found
Inspect rear heater lines and hosesNone found
Inspect Knuckles for leaksLeaking
Inspect gear oil level and conditionLow
Inspect brake linesNo visible leaks, but suggest replace soft lines
Inspect Tie Rod EndsNo play, but dry
Inspect wheel bearings for playno play
Inspect Rotors, Pads and Calipers (Pads Minumim Thickness 1.0mm) (Rotors Minimum Thickness 30.0mm)brand new rotors and pads, but vehicule doesnt brake correctly, suggest replace caliper with the knucle service
Inspect Front control arm bushingsAftermarket
Inspect sway bar links, bushings and panhard rod bushingsNone found
Inspect shocks and springsNone found
Inspect Front drive shaftGood condition, suggest grease universals
Inspect transfer case Oil Level and Conditiontransfer case oil pan is leaking
Inspect Rear Main Seal for LeaksLeaking
Inspect rear drive shaftGood condition, suggest grease universals
Inspect Rear Upper and Lower Control Arms BushingsBusted
Inspect Rear brake rotors, pads, calipers and brake shoesnew rotors, new pads vehicle doesn't brake correctly
Inspect Load Proportioning ValveLeaking
Inspect Brake linesno cracks, no leaks, but suggest replace
Inspect Gear Oil Level and ConditionLow
Inspect Rear Shocks and SpringsNone found
Inspect Sway Bar links, bushings and Panhard Rod BushingsNone found
Inspect Exhaust System for leaks, rattles and leaksExhaust mounts old at the mufller, not visible leaks, but suggest replace all the mounts
Inspect frame for rust or damageNone found
Inspect malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) (Check Engine Light) (put scanner and add codes)No check engine lights, ABS light come on/off
Inspect Air Conditioner (blowing cold)No a/c, Ac compressor disconected
Inspect Moonroof operationworking correctly but the garnish is broke
Inspect 4WD Operation (locking Center diff lock and if equipped axle lockers) (put vehicle in N. shift transfer case to L Diff lock and ABS light should turn on) (If lockers equipped, with vehicle in L and Diff lock engaged turn locker dial to the Right)Front Diff lock doesn't engage
Inspect Power Antenna OperationBroke
Inspect DS and PS Power Seat Operation if equippedNot working in both sides
Inspect hazard light operationNone found
Inspect Turn signals, headlights high and low beam, brake lights, running lamps and backup lightsNone found
Inspect Dash cluster for normal operation (RPM, Speedometer, Oil Pressure, Voltage, Fuel Level, Engine Temp)None found
Inspect Horn OperationNone found
Inspect Power Window Operation - From Main Switch and individuallyNone found
Inspect Power Door Locks (inspect each door locks and unlocks correctly)None found
Inspect Radio and Speaker OperationRadio Work, but the radio antena is not operable
Inspect HVAC system for any odorsNone found
Inspect Power Mirror OperationNone found
ClockNone found
Inspect Front and Rear wiper and wiper spray operation, Inspect wiper bladesNone found
Inspect Rear Hatch OperationNone found
Inspect Door Courtesy LampsNone found
Heater Operation as well as rear heater (Blowing Hot)None found
Condition of Seats, center console cover, and door arm restsFront row is ripped
Inspect Exterior for any visible damageNone provided
Condition of Carpet, rips or wetnessNone found
Condition of HeadlinerNone found
Condition of door panelsDriver door inner handle cover is broke
Condition of Steering WheelNone found
Inspect tires - Check PSI and tire wearGood condition

Here are the Repairs:
Replace rear LPV with new
Brake Bleeding
Remove & Replace Rear Disc Brake Caliper (Both Sides)
Remove & Replace Front Disc Brake Caliper (Both Sides)
Remove & Replace Brake Power Booster Unit
Jan 1, 2020
Looks like a good rig with some needed maintenance. Will You not be working on this truck yourself?

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