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my search for 97 LC & LX450=more LX's & cheaper?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by offroadkid, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. offroadkid

    offroadkid

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    I've decided I want a 97 LC or a LX450. In my search on autotrader.com, I find that there are more LX450's, and they tend to be cheaper than the LC's. Maybe this is just because most LX450 owners don't wheel their rigs, therefore they are not in such demand? I'm definately not complaining, just very curious about this wierd phenomenom I've discovered. I remember a long time ago, (when I used to work at Lexus), saying, "I'll never own a LX450, only a Land Cruiser!!" Anyway, what are your thoughts why I'm finding more and cheaper LX's? No matter what one I get, I'm going to put it to use for what it was meant for!!
     
  2. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    My unbiased opinion 8), go for the deal and get the LX and use the $ you save to do a few upgrades (eg to OME).

    I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in Canada, they all (seemed to) come with stock lockers; they have likely had a gentle, on-road life; hopefully have been well serviced by a dealer; are effectively the exact same truck, save for a few additional 'nice to haves'; etc.

    I have really grown to love wheeling mine - I was out a few weeks ago in my basically stock truck going up a dirt trench that really tested articulation. There was a group at the top watching as all sorts of trucks gave it a shot - H1s, D110s, Discos, H2s, D90s, etc. After seeing lots of trucking having a difficult time - we cruised up nice and slow, tires on the ground (most of the time), no spining wheels - with our two kids in the back. People were absolutely stunned that a 'Lexus' could do 'that' - I love it!

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  3. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    looked at the possibility too.

    Conclusion was that I would rather get the TLC than the Lexus.
    Reasons:
    - Lexus a bit more expensive on average from what I saw
    - Ride softer (but that's easy to fix apparently)
    - Lexus parts and service appear more expensive for the same thing basically.
    - and primarily, because I do not have a Lexus nearby and the local Toyota service guys said that a lot of the parts are *not* the same on the Lex and the LC so they would not touch those, and that in general they would not guarantee repairs made with Toyota parts in a Lex.

    The latter factor (no Lex dealer) was too much of a complication for me so I pretty much gave up on the idea. YMMV of course.

    Eric
     
  4. Hwn built

    Hwn built

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    If there is any in Hawai'i under $15k then I would pick it up...

    Also, I prefer Toyota not do work on my Cruiser cause I can get it done cheaper and have an excuss to do something worthwhile.....
     
  5. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    Some interesting comments...
    I had a LC a couple years ago. It was a '94. Sold it and bought a '97 LX450. I wasn't looking for a Lexus, per se, but found one with lockers and went for it.

    THE LX 450 IS THE SAME AS THE LAND CRUISER.

    With some minor exceptions...
    1) body panels -- this is obvious...LX has them, LC doesn't. This means that the quarter panels and the doors are not necessarily interchangeable -- unless you want to drill the LC doors/quarter panels to fit the LX plastic body panels...uh...that should be body armor not body panels. :D
    2) corner bumper pieces on the LX are fatter than the ones on the LC. This is only a problem if you get an aftermarket rear bumper (like slee's). The mud flaps will not fit flush -- so if this is a problem...you get toyota mud flaps or run without them.
    3) grill and head lights are different. Headlights are not interchangeable between the two. But I suppose if you swap the grills and the headlights, you'd be okay.
    4) stereo is different. LX comes with 6CD changer under the center console and no in-deck cd player. And it sounds a hell of a lot better than the LC set up...but not neccesarily as good as some aftermarket stereos/speakers.

    The rest of the differences are either cosmetic or not worth mentioning. I've also heard that some Toyota dealerships will not guarantee work on Lexues. Seems real stupid to me since THEY'RE THE SAME VEHICLE (with those few minor exceptions I mentioned).

    The reason I bought the Lexus is that it happened to be a better deal than any Toyotas I found at the time. And it was certified pre-owned from Lex, so I got the warranty got extended to 100k miles and it covers everything except the clock and chromed parts ??? (9k miles left before I'm on my own for most repairs :mad: ). They've already fixed a bunch of stuff for me at $0 charge to me.

    As for why the LXs are less expensive? Don't know. Probably has to do with where you live and how many are out there. As I recall, you're in the general south bay area of CA -- I'd say that you're running across a bunch of ex-silicon valley dot-com soccer mom rigs and the soc-moms are moving up to LX 470s.

    It's true that Lexus parts are more expensive...if you buy them at Lexus. I buy my parts from my favorite Toyota parts guy. The only Lexus parts I've gotten have been thru the warranty. Funny thing...all these "Lexus" parts came in TOYOTA packages.

    My $0.02...get the best rig you can find for the best price (one with lockers, of course).
    LC vs. LX shouldn't make a difference.

    So -- you gonna keep the '91 too?
     
  6. offroadkid

    offroadkid

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    Good replies!! I should have asked you in the first place for advice Doug!! No, we're not keeping our 92, it's for sale after Christmas. Or Whenever we find our 97 LX or LC w/ lockers and low miles!! I don't know what the reason is they are so abundant around this valley, but I wouldn't be upset if I ended up getting a LX. Tell me again, what setup are you running on yours? Thanks.

    I found a 97 w/lockers, 50K miles, for $15K in Concord. I called the guy last night, he says it has a "salvaged title". Apparently there was some damage to the rear quarter panel. Sounds very tempting, but also scary!!
     
  7. wob

    wob

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    [quote author=offroadkid link=board=2;threadid=8952;start=msg77731#msg77731 date=1071842526]
    I called the guy last night, he says it has a "salvaged title".
    [/quote]


    Run Forrest, Run!!!!!!

    :D
     
  8. ginericLC

    ginericLC Wagon Wheeler! SILVER Star

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    My dad bought a 97 LX450 after owning a 91 and a 94.

    If anyone tells you the service parts are different they are full of it. As matter of fact, I used to buy all of my Toyota parts for my Land Cruisers at the Lexus dealer because they were cheaper than the Toyota dealer. Toyota dealer would not give a discount but Lexus would. Yes as Doug mentioned there are some minor differences in trim and stereo, the stereo upgrade is much nicer than the Cruiser. The Climate control is different too, but it is the same as the 40th anniversary Cruisers.

    He's here visiting for the holidays and would like to comment.

    I am Eric;s dad and he talked me into the LX as it was the best deal with lockers, etc. The stereo is great. I talked to our Toyota dealer before I got it and they said not problem if you every would need service. They don't see many LCs after they leave except for oil change. Mine is a 97. The only problem is at church they pasted the collection plate by twice until I explained it was a 97 and not new and just s LC crossdressing. I guess I would rather it say LC but I also have more care for $2000 less.

    Thank you. Craig
     
  9. ginericLC

    ginericLC Wagon Wheeler! SILVER Star

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    The dealer my dad bought his LX from had 3 Land Cruisers. A 94 LC, a 97 (non 40th non Collectors but with lockers) LC, and this 97 LX. The Lexus was about 2k cheaper than the 97 LC and it had 18k less miles on it and was in much better shape cosmetically and maintainence wise. The dealer's explaination was that folks who buy a Lexus buy them for the name and to look rich. After a body style change a used LX450 doesn't make you appear rich, it makes you appear as a has been. He said the difference is that almost everyone knows somebody who has had a LC at sometime in their lives. It stirs up memories and they think, I should someday get a LC. So when they become available they buy them. He also said that there is no typical LC owner. They could be a college student or a retiree. They could be any from any occupation. When he refers to LCs he is talking about 80 and 100 series. And when I look around, I know he is right, I never know who is going to walk over and get into the LC in the parking lot. And when I say that I mean any LC model.
     
  10. offroadkid

    offroadkid

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    Yeah, I found a 97 LX450 up north in Sacramento. It has 65K miles, was a beautiful dark green, and they only wanted $19,000. I called the owner, but as I had guessed, it's gone already. :'(
     
  11. syrinxstar

    syrinxstar

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    You're a victim of corporate marketing if you think there's a real difference. Having said that, it'd be a lot cooler if my rear plate said "Land Cruiser". :D

    As Doug said, buy the best rig for the best price. I also got mine for about $2k less than other LCs in the area and it was in much better condition.

    :cheers:
     
  12. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    [quote author=syrinxstar link=board=2;threadid=8952;start=msg77781#msg77781 date=1071849200]
    You're a victim of corporate marketing if you think there's a real difference. Having said that, it'd be a lot cooler if my rear plate said "Land Cruiser". :D
    [/quote]

    I totally agree with this. Aside from some cosmetic differences, I challenge you to find one 'Lexus' part on these trucks. Every part I have ever ordered comes in a 'Toyota' bag, all the parts I have played with on the truck are stamped 'Toyota'.

    That being said, I think in regions where there are lots of Toyota and Lexus dealers (often joint dealerships here, or - owned by the same company) there is likely 'direction' provided by corporate to put the business in the 'right place' to minimize channel conflict. I had some major frnt end work done by a Toyota dealer in a town of 20,000 with no problems,....YMMV
     
  13. BB

    BB

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    offroadkid,

    I just picked up a 40th Anniv. edition at the auto auction in Hayward, CA. It was a lease return thru Toyota Financial and in really good condition. I was looking for a few months for an 80, and saw a lot of variations in price. This deal just kinda fell in my lap. The broker I used to get the truck said these do come up pretty regularly at this auction, and can be picked up reasonably if you happen to show up on a slow day when the bidding isn't as frantic. Also seemed like there were a lot of used ones in the San Jose area at dealers a month or two ago. Keep looking, they are out there. If you want info on the auction, I can give you the name of the guy I used. Contact me offline.
     
  14. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    offroadkid. Don't touch that salvage title. Think about how much damage it would take to an LX450 for it to be written off, especially if it occurred a couple of years ago when the truck was worth north of $30k.

    For those who are really offended by the LX450 logo on the tailgate, you can always just buy the landcruiser logo and replace it. Cost is under $200.
     
  15. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    salvage titles are an interesting issue. Yes, in general stay away, I would think. However, there are some interesting deals that can be had. Insurance companies may work in strange ways sometime and may total a vehicle with only comparatively mild damage. Probably up to whether the adjuster is in a good mood or not. I know of one case where a truck was standing near a fire and got "singed" on one side. Basically, only some plastic ornaments were damaged, I could not even see any damage to the paint. The truck was declared totaled and sold at very low price. Cost of repairs: couple of hundred bucks for plastic trim, possibly a bit of painting down the line, maybe not.
    I'm sure there must be more of these around.
    E
     
  16. CruiserNow

    CruiserNow

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    [quote author=offroadkid link=board=2;threadid=8952;start=msg77731#msg77731 date=1071842526]
    I found a 97 w/lockers, 50K miles, for $15K in Concord. I called the guy last night, he says it has a "salvaged title". Apparently there was some damage to the rear quarter panel. Sounds very tempting, but also scary!!
    [/quote]

    Offroadkid, do not buy a vehicle with a salvage titile. It would be very hard to sell it in the future if you ever want to upgrade. Before we buy a used vehicle (while we were "hunting" for an 80) we would subscribe to Carfax.com It shows if the car has ever been in an accident or if it has a salvage title. It also shows where the car has been registered or the number of times it was registered etc. I think it is money well spent.
    You can get it for 30 days unlimited search for $24.95 or if you have AAA sometimes there is a discount.
    Before I even take the time to drive more than 30 miles to look at a car, I would look it up on Carfax.com(ask the seller for the VIN#) to see if everything is "kosher".
     
  17. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    Carfax is a great tool for general knowledge on transfer of titles but not the end all be all of wether it was in a serious accident. unfortunately I know of many vehicles that have had major work done to them with no insurance claims showing on carfax, you have to understand that carfax is only as good as its records. not every insurance claim is reported the same way. some companys do not report to carfax. the best thing you can do is to take the vehicle to a GOOD body shop, bring a six pack and ask the manager or the painter to take a look at it and tell you if it has been repainted. I have been working on cars for a while and have seen some pretty crappy paint jobs on some pretty nice cars.
    for those of you who dont want to bribe body shop poeple to looka t your cars take a minute and look at the following areas for texture disruption.
    1. behind the rear glass on the 1/4 panels. this is where most (even some goodshops) will blend clear to avoid giong into the roof.
    2. check the belt mouldings(top edge next to the glass) expecially under the mirrors for overspray.
    3. look at the a pillar (between the windsheild and the front door) look low on here as it is a common blow by when they paint the fenders.
    4. open the hood, look along the edge of a fender and see if there is a hard line from paint on the fender outside to the inside. probably wont be able to see it but you should be able to feel it.
    5. while you have the hood up look at the radiator core support. check for any weld marks on this and any difference in paint colors. also look at the aprons(where the fender attackes to) these are signs that there has been heavy front end damage.
    ok enough of that. now any of these things are nto a no go dont buy it. the only no go and run away would be if you see all fo these things on the same truck. these are all common mistakes at shops wich let you know that there was some damage there at some point. knowledge is power and power is king!!!!.
    Dave
     
  18. offroadkid

    offroadkid

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    Thanks again for the replies everyone!! I'm not going to get the salvaged one. I asked the guys at my work, (I work at a dealership and we have a bodyshop), and they all advised against it too!! I'll just keep looking. My Dad is VP of Automotive Services for AAA, and he says they have a few lots full of theft recoveries, so he'll search for me, and my old General Mgr. came by today, and he works for an auction here in the bay area, so he'll keep an eye out for me also!! I went and looked at a silver 96 LX 450 with 79,500 miles today for $18.9, beautiful, but no lockers. :doh:
     
  19. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    [quote author=offroadkid link=board=2;threadid=8952;start=msg77731#msg77731 date=1071842526]
    Tell me again, what setup are you running on yours? Thanks.

    [/quote]

    I have the OME heavies -- front and rear. ARB winch bar, no winch yet. Slee's diff skid plate, sliders, and rear bumper. MTRs (285/75). That's about it for now. Have the wiring harness and the CDL switch that I need to get around to installing. Pretty basic stuff. It's on a '97 LX. One quick way to tell the difference between a '96 and '97 LX is that the '96 have the 4WD emblem on the rear tailgate -- the '97s came without it.

    I'll let you know if I see one that you might be interested in. What's your upper range for mileage and price? I won't waste your time with anything without lockers of course.

    Cheers,
    Doug