New 1998 LX 470 Owner (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
96
Location
Louisville, KY
Greetings - let me start right out the gate by describing why and how I came to realize “This Might Be My Truck” as quickly as possible.

My partner and I are avid sailors and own a small Scamp RV. We currently drive a 2006 Jeep Commander 4.7. It’s been a decent truck (though the reason I’m leaving the XJ platform is entirely build and quality issues). I’m probably like many of you (Mom gets the nice new Honda CRV and Dad get the 15 year old toy hauler). That being said, I’ve never minded. In fact I kind of like the idea of an older TV... the dings and scratches just mean we live right! I’ve always found trucks with reasonable miles and searched for good deals always buying from individuals not dealer. I do some of my own maintenance, though I leave the tuff stuff to the experts.

So the Commander is getting “that oily smell” we all dread and I fear she has pulled our boat to the lake for the last time. We got our money’s worth - bought her 4 years ago for $3550 with new tires and away we went! She had made 6 trips towing to Florida. She had taken us to the lake and campsites faithfully in that time span.... But I’ve replaced a few parts along the way I.e. radiator, starters, brakes, alternator... lots of new parts went into a vehicle that in every experts opinion “isn’t worth rebuilding.”

Like I said I get very attached to my trucks . I don’t want to buy a used one every 4 or 5 years and a new one capable of what we need well.... that’s insane! I’ll put 50k in my 401k first!

So I made the decision to buy something we can drive now and build up over time. Hell I’ve even looked at Ford Powerstroke Diesels! Then I discovered the LX 470!!! Game on! Of course we ALL new about the Land Cruisers - my step son has an FJ 80 and he said “you should check out the 470. I did and to wrap this up - I just paid (or will pay tonight) $4300 for a 22 year old SUV with 233k on it!

Im literally lying awake wondering “what I’ve done? I know according to the market (I rarely see them for this price) I got a good deal but wow - I’ve always considered this number on the dash of a Jeep or Ford about the point they leave you stranded. But I’ve done my homework and understand - it’s about the service schedule and not the miles. CarFax is clean and shows a good maintenance history. The owner says there is one check engine light on from a small exhaust leak and one of the front rotors may be slightly wrapped, though he drives it everyday now. What’s a set of rotors installed typically run? Should I claw back $300 and shoot him 4K when I go meet him? I feel like $4300 was fair based on my research and where the market is and his discretion of the trick. Obviously it’s based on seeing and driving tonight... what are the other things I need to look out for? I heard the air shocks can get wonky but that I should repair not replace. Is it a reasonable assumption that if I buy this and have the brakes addressed that this could be be “our last truck?” We are in our early 50’s and will put about 5 to 7k a year on it and if she goes - we don’t mind rebuilding the engine, if god forbid it goes. We really don’t mind being that crazy old couple with the sailboat and the Land Cruiser with a million miles on it!

Sorry for the epic post - just thought you needed to full understand our intentions before we get started. I believe I’m going to get it tonight so ALL FEEDBACK IS ENCOUAGED! SOMEONE TRY TO STOP ME!
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
173
Location
Maryland
start with baseline maintenance, timing belt and water pump, heater T's, so on and so on. IMO I would get rid of the AHC suspension and swap it out for some traditional LC suspension. less to go wrong/break unless the AHC system has been maintained and its working flawlessly

congrats on your purchase
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
96
Location
Louisville, KY
start with baseline maintenance, timing belt and water pump, heater T's, so on and so on. IMO I would get rid of the AHC suspension and swap it out for some traditional LC suspension. less to go wrong/break unless the AHC system has been maintained and its working flawlessly

congrats on your purchase
Thanks Drew - so she’s home after a nearly 5 hours round trip from Louisville to Cincinnati (after work on a Friday I might add) but I believe after driving her it was worth the trouble. Aside from some confusion about the title and “how that works” I believe the young man I purchased it from seems to have represented it well with one exception. I can not get the H N L lever to engage. First, I know I should have done this on site but I was tired and there where other things we needed to cover e,g.the title thingy. Let me say first I suspect nothing wonky with the title the young man just didn’t do it correctly and the dad assured me he would take him in the morning and drive the title to me. They are a nice upper middle class Cinncy family - given the car fax and the fact that dad was involved I’m very comfy. We settled on $4100 btw.

So I hit the road and let me say - wow drives out right. No shakes or shimmy’s. I can honestly say it drove amazing for its age.

That being said - I’m up at 5 am going through it and of course that’s why I woke up at 5am “I forgot to ingarge the H/L.” So there I am in the drive trying at 5am. It feels as if it’s locked, vehicle in N try to engage, nothing. Do I need to beat this young man up a bit more when he heads down with dad? He represented as working or am I just missing something at 5am? I had a Jeep of memory serves that did something similar - I think it was a lever stuck under the vehicle - that was a mechical engage diff - this seems like mechanical as well. I’ll jump on my he threads and do my part but If something jumps out let me know - I still have some leverage.

Honestly - I don’t know if I’ve ever used mine on the Commander - just want to make sure it’s not a symptom of something worse to come.

The rotor seems very minor and hardly detectable and normal stopping conditions. Your feel it of course braking at 70. Will address and replace rotators or resurface if possible.

The power steering pump makes a bit of noise when it’s cold but stops when warn and doesn’t leak - I’ll check the level when the sun comes up Lol! Some other minor things but I wanted to put that out there before they deliver the title.

The sun is coming up and I’ll post pics soon - I think it’s a pretty rare color. More soon!
 
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flintknapper

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9,518
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Deep East Texas
Common for the linkage of the Tcase to become 'stuck' from non-use.

BUT....IF this vehicle spent most of it's life in Ohio....I would like to see pics of the undercarriage. IF you have bought a 100 series with a lot of rust, then woe be you.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
1,564
Location
Colorado
T case linkage should free up, might need some lubrication and persuasion. It's mechanical and is probably due to rust.

OEM rotors and pads are the best, about $250.

Would just exchange the power steering fluid and make sure the reservoirs filter screen is clean during that process.

AHC suspension isn't air suspension, it is a far - far superior pneumatic system that is very, very durable. Plenty of info here on how to test it and get it tuned up, but you will love the auto adjustments when towing your boat long distance.

Read through the common maintenance threads, but my advice is go through the cooling system - it's the only thing that kills a 2UZ. Swap in fresh fluids and go through the full front wheel bearing service yourself using details from this forum when you do the new rotors. It's one of the easiest things to do, yet is the most expensive over time because dealerships and shops screw it up royally.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
96
Location
Louisville, KY
Common for the linkage of the Tcase to become 'stuck' from non-use.

BUT....IF this vehicle spent most of it's life in Ohio....I would like to see pics of the undercarriage. IF you have bought a 100 series with a lot of rust, then woe be you.
I did give it a look before buying. Most of what I’ve seen this morning confirms I may have caught this one before it turns to cancer. I’ve only see a couple of “bad spots” on the edge of the frame around the wheels. I’ll get to these first. All of pans are intact withs some surface no rot. The frame is solid too. Don’t get me wrong - I know it’s a Northern car - but I think it’s manageable if I start now - post haste. it’s better than most I’ve seen from the North. Here are some pics.
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Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
241
Location
Texas
I disagree on pulling the AHC. At a minimum I would keep it until it gives you a reason to address it. At that point, I would fix it if possible because the system is really an impressive work of art. Many people pull it as soon as they buy it, but if you actually drive with it for a few months you will almost certainly come to love the flexibility and comfort it provides. Now if your hydraulic lines rust out that’s a different story, but don’t rush to pull it. Use it and appreciate it.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
190
I disagree on pulling the AHC. At a minimum I would keep it until it gives you a reason to address it. At that point, I would fix it if possible because the system is really an impressive work of art. Many people pull it as soon as they buy it, but if you actually drive with it for a few months you will almost certainly come to love the flexibility and comfort it provides. Now if your hydraulic lines rust out that’s a different story, but don’t rush to pull it. Use it and appreciate it.
Agree here. Functioning AHC systems ride beautifully. Most of the time, poorly functioning AHC systems can be fixed by flushing the fluid or possibly replacing the globes, both of which are cheaper than pulling the system and should result in a better ride. The main reasons to remove the system and go with springs/TBs and traditional shocks are:
1) You want/need to lift the car (you could explore moving the height sensors - I'm not an expert on how well this works but I've read of people doing this)
2) You will be carrying a lot of extra weight or towing a high tongue weight trailer (could consider adding airbags to the rear springs if the extra weight isn't permanent. This worked well on my 07 with AHC when I was towing a boat ... inflate the bags when needed, but deflate and get stock AHC the other 99% of the time)
3) multiple components of the AHC system are corroded, broken, etc so the cost of replacing large portions of the system far exceeds removing the system and going with traditional shocks..
 

suprarx7nut

The YotaMD Guy
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Unless the car is badly rusted, removing AHC is insane, IMO.

We can help you diagnose most every part of it and find good vendors for the parts. Converting is almost always more expensive and results in a worse ride. Terrible recipe.

Congrats and enjoy! You should love the build quality on this thing!
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
96
Location
Louisville, KY
Thanks for the encouragement. I will say there is some rust back there but I certainly haven’t dove deep enough to make any determination. It rides great in the medium possession and I’m going to leave well enough alone while I get on to more pressing issues.

I’m going to aggressively attack any rust first. At least stop the madness in the usual places. I was under the rear end today extensively. There is some rot behind the wheel wells I’ll deal with ASAP. This seems to be the worst area. The nice thing is the rails and all the pans are solid. I had a chance to pull the carpet in the rear half way to gain access to the passenger side panel. I popped the panel loose to gain access to the back quarter panel to pop out the only dent. In doing I peeled the carpet half way toward the driver side revealing twenty years of crap. Also revealing the first signs of some surface rust around wells where the jump seats attach. So my ADHD says I’m going to have to go ahead and pull that carpet out and treat / sand / paint that surface rust. I might as well while I’m back there. Probably from wet boots in the back.

The dent popped out pretty easily and I’ll take a bit of wrinkle and a couple of square inches of primer any day. I’ll add some pics soon. I lost my light a and that jobs not completely done.Thanks for the great advice on the AHC. I plan to flush the power steering system and the coolant system as soon as the weather warms up.

I plan to keep the driving to a minimum (as in a couple of times a week around the block up to 60 mph for few and back home. Im in no rush. It doesn’t need to be a daily driver currently and I’m happy to keep it that way even after she is brought up to her maintenance schedule. Thanks again for the encouragement.

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Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
96
Location
Louisville, KY
Thanks again - I’ll search for the color code today. I removed it he jump seats and back carpet to gain access to the passenger side rear quarter panel. In dong so I decided to go ahead and deal with any surface rust.
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RX
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This third photo is of one what I’d consider one of the worst spots - you can see where the silver molding “trapped” a lot of mud and junk (including salt). I’ll grind what I can away, back it and fill. It won’t look perfect - but as I’ve said before, I’d rather have a spot of primer on the paint than rust eating away. There are a handful of these spots that will need attention.
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Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
173
Location
Maryland
Thanks again - I’ll search for the color code today. I removed it he jump seats and back carpet to gain access to the passenger side rear quarter panel. In dong so I decided to go ahead and deal with any surface rust. View attachment 2580333RXView attachment 2580332

View attachment 2580334
This third photo is of one what I’d consider one of the worst spots - you can see where the silver molding “trapped” a lot of mud and junk (including salt). I’ll grind what I can away, back it and fill. It won’t look perfect - but as I’ve said before, I’d rather have a spot of primer on the paint than rust eating away. There are a handful of these spots that will need attent
if you wanna drive up to MD i have several rust free hatches for sale
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Louisville, KY
if you wanna drive up to MD i have several rust free hatches for sale
I appreciate that and may eventually go that route - for now I’ll keep it at bay as best I can. We are taking a trip up the east coast in the fall. I’ve been wanting to swing by Annapolis. The tall ship museum is on the list - curious what you would have to have for one? Thanks again.
 

flintknapper

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Better pop the carpeted 'panel' off the tailgate and look under it as well. While you have that off....check/change out the inner tail light bulbs as you have to remove that panel and two metal sub-panels to do that anyway. And be gentle with carpeted panel, it is NLA and back side (if gotten wet) will be easily torn.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
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Maryland
I appreciate that and may eventually go that route - for now I’ll keep it at bay as best I can. We are taking a trip up the east coast in the fall. I’ve been wanting to swing by Annapolis. The tall ship museum is on the list - curious what you would have to have for one? Thanks again.
I'm less than an hour from Annapolis, I used to live there. upper hatches by them selves I see about 300-400 depending on condition but all rust free
 

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