Got a '99 LX in very rough condition.... I might have made a big mistake? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 7, 2020
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Prescott Valley, AZ
3 days ago I bought a '99 LX in very rough shape from my neighbor. The body has a few dings and dents that do not concern me too much. It has 310k miles on the clock but is filthy inside, both front seats are ripped, carpet is very very dirty, windshield is cracked, one headlight lens is broken as well.
Some of the interior switches do either not switch on or off. Big item is that the ignition switch is messed up somehow. When I put the key in, and turn, I can remove the key in any position and reinsert it back also. Trying to engage the starter is a hit or miss, mostly it clicks first (like the sound when your battery is about empty) and you try again a few times and it cranks and starts. Of course I can remove the key here too after the car runs. I did not get keys with the remote unlock feature. I have to manually lock (only works from the driver's side door) and unlock (only works from the passenger side or tailgate lock) the doors.
Hand brake does not move at all. Everything electric seems to work so far. The driver's side window auto up feature closes the window and then drops it down about 1.5" again...
The horn has been disconnected by the prev. owner as it started blaring at night (why is this always happening at night, just like with the smoke detectors...). The alarm horn still works as I found out.
Tires are older on the car and are 17" (265/70/17) not sure if the rims are OEM or not. I think I do not like the rims anyway.
I used to have a '97 EB Expedition, which my son commandeered a few weeks ago (he just bought his first home in Minot, ND as he is stationed there and flies B-52s) and I wanted to replace it and hence the LC which was in a similar price range.

My questions are:
- I would like to address the ignition issue first to make the vehicle more reliable. I have read a bit about it in the forums, but not enough to understand the issue fully.
- I would like to make the had brake functional again for obvious reasons.
- Then I would like to address the "sticky" switches somehow
- I am trying to get the carpet shampooed and maybe new seats or get then refinished (probably $$$$)
- Down the road I want to get new wheels (even steelies) and a mild lift, either body or suspension and a nicer front and rear bumper and some fender flares
I'd like it to be a fun dog car that I can take occasionally into the back roads of Northern AZ. So far I don't "trust" the car yet....

Attached is the first pic with one of my 2 GSDs and the other 2 pics are what I would like to have the car look like, just maybe a bit smaller wheels/tires. Any pointers or help will be greatly appreciated. This is my very first LC and I understand I have a lot to learn.
Of course I want to keep the cost at bay as well.
Some of my other hobbies include flying R/C planes, brewing my own beer with our great well water, playing with our 2 GSDs, taking the RZR for rides and getting our yard installed eventually.
Thanks in advance for your patience and advice.
120800980_337521874179875_6037787349782286049_n.jpg
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120834029_1490372317823967_8258545019877002572_n.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2017
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SF Bay Area
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. If the bones are good, and you're willing to put a lot of hours into it then keep it.

If not, then you might want to cut your losses and find a less problematic vehicle.

A few things off the bat:

- The ignition tumbler is a known fail point. This thread is a good starting point about repair / replacement: busted ignition

- The starter ticking occasionally means your starter motor is going out. It is located right in the center of the V of your V8 and sucks to get to. There are a ton of threads on this if you search. You can replace the whole unit, or replace the contacts inside. Either way it's not a fun job. Not difficult, just time consuming.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
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232
Mistake only based on what you paid for it.

It sounds overwhelming but I don't think you are in too bad of shape.

The ignition, yeah get that fixed - the interior, you can get some pretty good covers that look like the original leather from lseats and it won't set you back too much (all cost is in the eye of the beholder).

Hand brake? don't waste your time. I'm pretty sure they the majority of ours are useless out there.

For wheels, search your local craigslist/offer up for Tundra rims - you can probably get those cheap (>$250, with tires in some cases). Steelies are nice but not needed when the others are so abundant.

Sticky switches and body parts... look for a part out or eBay, you can likely find most of it.

Then we get into the forum special, which is baselining your truck to make it reliable... Heater T's, water pump, spark plugs - you do most of that and it will be rock solid (assuming some maintenance was kept up - its got 300k, some of it would have had to have been done).
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. If the bones are good, and you're willing to put a lot of hours into it then keep it.

If not, then you might want to cut your losses and find a less problematic vehicle.

A few things off the bat:

- The ignition tumbler is a known fail point. This thread is a good starting point about repair / replacement: busted ignition

- The starter ticking occasionally means your starter motor is going out. It is located right in the center of the V of your V8 and sucks to get to. There are a ton of threads on this if you search. You can replace the whole unit, or replace the contacts inside. Either way it's not a fun job. Not difficult, just time consuming.

That info for the starter is very helpful. I see if I can source a new starter and have at it
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
That's not rough condition!

Any underside rust?

Everything you stated is fixable with forum resources. It is an LC not an LX correct?
Not too much rust other than surface. It has been an AZ almost all of its life. And yes it is an LC, my bad, as I said I am new to this.... Thankyou!
 

jLB

May be in need of a 12 step LC/LX program.
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Dec 2, 2014
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F
3 days ago I bought a '99 LX in very rough shape from my neighbor. The body has a few dings and dents that do not concern me too much. It has 310k miles on the clock but is filthy inside, both front seats are ripped, carpet is very very dirty, windshield is cracked, one headlight lens is broken as well.
Some of the interior switches do either not switch on or off. Big item is that the ignition switch is messed up somehow. When I put the key in, and turn, I can remove the key in any position and reinsert it back also. Trying to engage the starter is a hit or miss, mostly it clicks first (like the sound when your battery is about empty) and you try again a few times and it cranks and starts. Of course I can remove the key here too after the car runs. I did not get keys with the remote unlock feature. I have to manually lock (only works from the driver's side door) and unlock (only works from the passenger side or tailgate lock) the doors.
Hand brake does not move at all. Everything electric seems to work so far. The driver's side window auto up feature closes the window and then drops it down about 1.5" again...
The horn has been disconnected by the prev. owner as it started blaring at night (why is this always happening at night, just like with the smoke detectors...). The alarm horn still works as I found out.
Tires are older on the car and are 17" (265/70/17) not sure if the rims are OEM or not. I think I do not like the rims anyway.
I used to have a '97 EB Expedition, which my son commandeered a few weeks ago (he just bought his first home in Minot, ND as he is stationed there and flies B-52s) and I wanted to replace it and hence the LC which was in a similar price range.

My questions are:
- I would like to address the ignition issue first to make the vehicle more reliable. I have read a bit about it in the forums, but not enough to understand the issue fully.
- I would like to make the had brake functional again for obvious reasons.
- Then I would like to address the "sticky" switches somehow
- I am trying to get the carpet shampooed and maybe new seats or get then refinished (probably $$$$)
- Down the road I want to get new wheels (even steelies) and a mild lift, either body or suspension and a nicer front and rear bumper and some fender flares
I'd like it to be a fun dog car that I can take occasionally into the back roads of Northern AZ. So far I don't "trust" the car yet....

Attached is the first pic with one of my 2 GSDs and the other 2 pics are what I would like to have the car look like, just maybe a bit smaller wheels/tires. Any pointers or help will be greatly appreciated. This is my very first LC and I understand I have a lot to learn.
Of course I want to keep the cost at bay as well.
Some of my other hobbies include flying R/C planes, brewing my own beer with our great well water, playing with our 2 GSDs, taking the RZR for rides and getting our yard installed eventually.
Thanks in advance for your patience and advice.
View attachment 2460435View attachment 2460436
View attachment 2460438

My quick thoughts:

First off the title says "LX" but the picture says "LC" :)
Filthy inside - Elbow grease and a Bissell spot cleaner (~$100 on Amazon) worked wonders on our old LX​
Ripped up seats - SOR Tuff Duck seat covers:​
Cracked headlight _ @ranma21 sells the Depo replacements​
Bad switches - depends on which switches, but I've had pretty good luck with Q-tips and rubbing alcohol (if you can find it during the coronapocalypse)​
Ignition cylinder - sounds like it needs to be pulled and repaired/replaced.​
Failure to start - sounds like worn starter contacts, time to rebuild or replace the starter.​
Driver's window - sound's like the "pinch protection" is a little off and needs to be reset​
Lack of master keys - @Mauser is the guy to talk to about "zeroizing" the ECU. I used 1010keys off of eBay for Lexus replacement keys. @suprarx7nut is the guy to talk to for his YotaMD key shell replacements.​
Horn issue - clock spring or water intrusion from windshield or sunroof drains​
Wheels are not factory, I'd be looking for some (2nd gen) Tundra steel or aluminum OE wheel takeoffs.​
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
Mistake only based on what you paid for it.

It sounds overwhelming but I don't think you are in too bad of shape.

The ignition, yeah get that fixed - the interior, you can get some pretty good covers that look like the original leather from lseats and it won't set you back too much (all cost is in the eye of the beholder).

Hand brake? don't waste your time. I'm pretty sure they the majority of ours are useless out there.

For wheels, search your local craigslist/offer up for Tundra rims - you can probably get those cheap (>$250, with tires in some cases). Steelies are nice but not needed when the others are so abundant.

Sticky switches and body parts... look for a part out or eBay, you can likely find most of it.

Then we get into the forum special, which is baselining your truck to make it reliable... Heater T's, water pump, spark plugs - you do most of that and it will be rock solid (assuming some maintenance was kept up - its got 300k, some of it would have had to have been done).

I paid 3.5k for it.

I will read and check into the ignition switch and starter as was mentioned earlier. Thank you for the Iseats pointer.

So the hand brake is a common thing I guess then? I will leave it alone

Switches I can deal with over time I guess....

Apparently the heater T has been replaced as it was leaking already. I am due for a timing belt and wp change and this will be one of the first tings to do along with the starter. Spark plugs and maybe new coils is on the list as well along with all fluid changes...

Thanks again

Any idea or pointers for where to get the fender flares and bumper in the last pics?

Body lift or suspension lift? What is easier and more cost effective?

F


My quick thoughts:

First off the title says "LX" but the picture says "LC" :)
Filthy inside - Elbow grease and a Bissell spot cleaner (~$100 on Amazon) worked wonders on our old LX​
Ripped up seats - SOR Tuff Duck seat covers:​
Cracked headlight _ @ranma21 sells the Depo replacements​
Bad switches - depends on which switches, but I've had pretty good luck with Q-tips and rubbing alcohol (if you can find it during the coronapocalypse)​
Ignition cylinder - sounds like it needs to be pulled and repaired/replaced.​
Failure to start - sounds like worn starter contacts, time to rebuild or replace the starter.​
Driver's window - sound's like the "pinch protection" is a little off and needs to be reset​
Lack of master keys - @Mauser is the guy to talk to about "zeroizing" the ECU. I used 1010keys off of eBay for Lexus replacement keys. @suprarx7nut is the guy to talk to for his YotaMD key shell replacements.​
Horn issue - clock spring or water intrusion from windshield or sunroof drains​
Wheels are not factory, I'd be looking for some (2nd gen) Tundra steel or aluminum OE wheel takeoffs.​

You rock, thank you for all the links and ideas. I do have some work cut out. Would you know off hand if it is better/cheaper to rebuild or replace the starter?

You rock, thank you for all the links and ideas. I do have some work cut out. Would you know off hand if it is better/cheaper to rebuild or replace the starter?
And yes LC of course.....
 

ramangain

Clarksonian disciple
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You rock, thank you for all the links and ideas. I do have some work cut out. Would you know off hand if it is better/cheaper to rebuild or replace the starter?
First resuscitate her and bring her back to life, functionally. Then worry about adding muscle mass
 
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Bakersfield, Ca
Any idea or pointers for where to get the fender flares and bumper in the last pics?

Body lift or suspension lift? What is easier and more cost effective?


Look like an overseas (japan) vehicle so those bumpers and flares might not be available here

There is an ARB sticker on the front bumper but I have no experience with them lol
 

JunkCrzr89

Competent Ignoramoose
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The peeps above have given you some good advice, so I’ll not run through the list of items. To reiterate - everything you’ve listed is fixable, and if you’re mechanically inclined, then you can do it for relatively cheap. However, Taking it to a shop to repair those items will rapidly exceed the costs of what you paid for the truck (btw, $3.5k is a good price in the currently inflated market).

The photos of the “ideal” Cruiser that you posted are atypical. That guy is in Japan and running 37s, which he stuffed using a combination of suspension “lift”, body lift, fender cutting, and tubbing. He also regeared both diffs. The front bumper is an ARB Sahara that he removed the hoop from. No idea where he got the flares. Collectively, achieving this will cost $$$$. Definitely not the best use of your cash right now, considering the dilapidated condition of your cruiser. Focus on baselining first, in the immediate future.

Also, consider joining our local Cruiser club, Copper State Cruisers and
AZ- Copper State Cruisers There are a some Cruiser guys in the Prescott-Flagstaff area, that may be willing/have the time to help you with repairs for pizza and beer in return. With some advance planning, I’d also be happy to come up from Phoenix to help you. My in-laws are in town and staying with us for the next month, so I don’t need much of an excuse to gtfoh and head north for a couple days as an escape.
 
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Sacramento area, CA
If you do your own t-belt there are number of good threads on what do and what to replace like water pump and the coolant hoses to oil cooler.
If you are doing your own starter, careful, some of the fuel lines you need to remove are a stiff plastic that kinks easily. You could send in the fuel injectors for cleaning and testing. Here is one site to show what they do, but seems like most cities have a place or two that does this work.
Cleaning fuel injectors outside engine works better than injection cleaner
The vacuum lines might need replacing so check those.
 

jLB

May be in need of a 12 step LC/LX program.
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You rock, thank you for all the links and ideas. I do have some work cut out. Would you know off hand if it is better/cheaper to rebuild or replace the starter?

It's going to be cheapest for you to rebuild it, if you have the time and tools.

The only real problem with the starter is that it's a bit of a PITA to get to, and not something that you'd want to re-do multiple times if you don't have to:




Nothing that you've mentioned (so far) has indicated that you have a problem with this, but because of the miles, I'd recommend checking the condition of the CV axles and drive plates (front axles and hubs).

I'd be verifying ball joints, tie rod ends, bushings, steering rack long before I was worrying about tires, lift, flares, and bumpers.

Flares thread:

One of many body lift threads (most around here seem to be 1/2" to 1")

a source​

Suspension Lift:
Lots of threads on here. Really doesn't add clearance for larger tires, unless altering the bump stops as well. Realistic limit of ~2" in front, and ~2.5-3" in back, much beyond that gets real expensive for minimal additional height.​
 
Last edited:

jLB

May be in need of a 12 step LC/LX program.
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First thing I would fix is the ignition and starter, second would be handbrake as I use it everyday-call me crazy if you wish. LOL. 😜. Cheers🍻

With this "stickied" at the top of the forum:


the handbrake would be fairly high on my priority list as well.
 
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So the hand brake is a common thing I guess then? I will leave it alone
If you stray off the flatland into the hills and mountains you need a hand brake. Park it on a steep hill and let the auto trans hold the car and two things can happen - it pops out of park and rolls away or the weight of the vehicle locks the shifter in park. Force the shifter and something else may break.
 
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Also worth mentioning about the handbrake, if the overly complex and failure prone brake booster system goes out and you don’t make an immediate stop, you’ll be relying on that handbrake to keep you from smashing into whatever’s ahead of you. I’d fix it.
 

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