What to Do to My AWD 1997 Lexus LX450?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Joshua ONeil, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    Hi, I am BRAND new to this forum, so if I am posting in the wrong thread or am infringing on proper forum etiquette please let me know.

    My questions are regarding the AWD ‘97 Lexus LX450 (currently with roughly 150k miles on it) that I just purchased, and since I did not see a thread for Lexus LX and they are basically the exact same vehicle as an FZJ80, I figured this was the best place to post my questions.

    Anyways, I will be using this as my DD (daily driver), as I plan on selling my Jeep soon, and I’m just wondering what upgrades and maintenance issues I should take care of either right away, or down the road? I don’t plan on doing a ton of off-roading... maybe some light to moderate stuff here and there, and it’ll mostly be used for city and highway driving. However, I was thinking about eventually possibly selling this vehicle to make some money on it since I got it for a decent price on a no reserve auction on eBay, so that I can get a proper FZJ80 that has a professionally rebuilt engine. So, my main question is if I want to add value to my LX and eventually sell it for more money (I still plan on keeping it for at least a few years before selling), should I be looking at adding lockers? If so, which lockers would you suggest and roughly how much should I be looking to spend including the cost of installation?

    Also, I know these vehicles have some HG (head gasket) issues, so is this something I should look at replacing right away? Or should I simply have a mechanic look at it and tell me what condition it is currently in? If I need to replace the HG it seems silly to me to get an OEM HG since the ‘97’s are very prone to issues. Does anyone know if I should just go with an OEM HG, or are there better aftermarket options out there? If so, what other HG’s would you recommend?

    I’m also interested in adding a supercharger, but I read in another thread on this forum that Toyota no longer makes these superchargers? That post I read was a few years old though, so is that still the case? If so, does anyone know where I can buy one used? Or does anyone know of any aftermarket ones that I can trust not to do any damage to my engine? Or is this simply an upgrade that I should not worry about, and just leave the engine stock without a supercharger?

    I would also like to add a new set of large tires, and since my LX needs new tires anyways I figured this is the perfect time to make the switch. I was thinking maybe 33’s? Not exactly sure on what size yet, but if anyone has recommendations on wheel/tire sets that not on fit, but also look good and won’t cost me an insane amount of money? What is the largest I should go if I’m still looking for a decent highway ride since this will be my DD please let me know. I know with larger tires the highway ride will obviously suffer some, and I’m ok with that, I just don’t want it to be drastic. Or do you think it is simply foolish for me to want to get large ties and still expect a decent highway ride, especially when I will only be doing light to moderate off-roading? I’d appreciate any suggestions.

    Also, does anyone know of a good Toyota/Lexus mechanic in either the greater Milwaukee area or in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that is both a great mechanic and someone I can trust?

    Then lastly, the leather on just the bottom seat portion on the driver’s side is ripped, and so I would like to get it reupholstered ASAP. So, again, does anyone know of a good interior guy in either the greater Milwaukee area or the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that you would recommend?

    Hopefully, that isn’t too much crap for 1 post, but I’m really excited about finally owning my first LC (well, kind of an LC lol). I’ve always been a Jeep guy, but after years of owning Jeeps I’ve finally (and thankfully) realized that was only due to my ignorance of how the reliability of Jeeps are basically s***, and just how much longer LC’s can last when well maintained. Not to mention how much better LC’s are in both quality and reliability. So, any help would be greatly appreciated in any of the questions I have, or any suggestions you can think of. Clearly, I am still quite the newbie at all of this. I don’t think I’ve ever posted on any forum... ever! lol. Also, if you guys have any other suggestions regarding what I should and/or shouldn’t do to my ‘97 LX450 please feel free to chime in.

    Thanks a ton!
    Joshua
     
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  2. baldilocks

    baldilocks Battle Ground, WA GOLD Star

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    All your answers are already in the archives as you have very straight forward questions.

    Welcome to Mud. In fact, the 1997 HG was less prone to problems than earlier models because the gasket was re-invented sometime after 1993. The same issues arose for all manufactures when asbestos was outlawed and the gasket makers didn’t have a good answer yet. And, the very long aluminum head of the inline 6 is more difficult to keep sealed than others.

    You would be well served to spend a few weeks searching and reading the archives. Not only will you find answers to your plethora of concerns, you will also learn a lot of other good to know stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  3. clx16

    clx16

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    Search for baseline suggestions. There are a lot of threads and very good ones. Better than I could write up. Post some pictures of inside, and out, under, and under the hood. People can get an idea on what you might want to do, both cosmetically and mechanically.
     
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  4. nigelsiam

    nigelsiam

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    Spend a week or 2 going through the 'search' and FAQ section. You will come out the other end more informed and more excited. So are you in Milwaukee or Minneapolis?

    Welcome to the club
     
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  5. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv

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    What's wrong with you guys cut this guy a break.. He is about to loose thousands of dollars on a new addiction, he also mentioned he is selling his Heep!!! And yet no one here has given this poor guy the official Mud welcome and greeting? :bang:
    :flipoff2: Here yo go bud.. :flipoff2: Welcome to ih8mud! :flipoff2:
     
  6. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    Awesome! Thanks a lot man! I’ll start searching and reading through the archives ASAP! I appreciate the input.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  7. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    Great idea! Thank you!
     
  8. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    I’m mostly in Milwaukee, because of school but I spend a lot of time back in Minneapolis too. Thanks your input!
     
  9. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    Lol... thanks buddy!
     
  10. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    I know this is a stupid question, but how do I “search for baseline suggestions”?
     
  11. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  12. Joshua ONeil

    Joshua ONeil

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    And to be honest, I don’t really mind. I hate lazy people too that just want people to answer their questions instead of having to do any work themselves. I think I just need to figure out how the hell a forum works and the best way to navigate through the copious amounts of information.
     
  13. customcruiser

    customcruiser Old Member

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    If you can't find the search button just start working your way through the pages and look at the titles.
    You will find posts on things you haven't thought of yet
     
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  14. nigelsiam

    nigelsiam

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    Hit me up next time you are in MPLS. Would be cool to see your rig.

    screenshot-forum.ih8mud.com-2018.07.11-23-43-26.png
     
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  15. subzali

    subzali

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    At the top of the 80 series section is a FAQ. Great place to start.

    Do a black stone oil analysis. It will tell you if your head gasket is going. The head gasket design has been updated since the original so it is generally considered best to replace with the current one available through Toyota.

    33s fit without a lift but also look good with a 2 1/2” OME or equal lift and will minimally affect driving power.

    Lockers are great, personally I would just drive it and wheel it until you feel the need for lockers and then add them at that time.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. Dave 2000

    Dave 2000 Not all Land Rovers are useless! SILVER Star

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    Welcome :flipoff2:

    I would start with when was the last inspection? Any advisories? This will give you an overall idea of general condition.

    Next find a decent mechanic, if he (or she) is around these particular models they will know what to look for, pay for a thorough service, see what that brings up.

    To qualify that last paragraph, yes using the information here and assuming you have a decent jack and stands, and a basic tool kit you could carry out this yourself and is a good way to familiarise yourself however, unless you are car savvy a good mechanic will see things you simply will not recognise as to perhaps being an issue in the future. If you have the knowledge then go ahead and get in there.

    Whilst I agree swotting up with the search facility will help from a knowledge point of view however, you can get drowned and soon become 'search dizzy' as you get pulled from pillar to post, even the most basic threads can get contaminated.


    Regards

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  17. subzali

    subzali

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    Oh and yes the super chargers are discontinued. There was a group buy a couple years ago direct from Magnusson for a few more, but again all those have been sold. The bolt on turbo kit being developed seems to be the most likely option going forward for additional power.

    I think by now everyone accepts the LX450 as a true Land Cruiser. That argument took place when an LX470 graced the cover of Toyota Trails way back in the day. Just accept the “pink panty” persona and you’ll be good.
     
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  18. Red Merle

    Red Merle

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    Good to see another Wisconsin person here :)

    As others have said, just go through the normal baselining process and plan on spending about $2K to do all of the things that probably need to be done to get the truck up to speed. Front axle rebuild, all fluids, oils and grease should be checked and either swapped out or topped off. Check for issues with the rubber hoses for the cooling system and vacuum lines.

    33" tires look great on a stock set up and you won't have any trouble with rubbing if you stick with that size and you can still get the spare under the rear end without having to air it down.
     
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  19. Heckraiser

    Heckraiser

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    You will not make any money daily driving it in wisconsin. Lock it in the garage and douse the whole truck in ATF if you want to preserve the value :flipoff2:

    IH8RUST
     
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  20. Red Merle

    Red Merle

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    If it's rust free now, he can keep it that way if he sprays Fluid Film or bar chain oil on everything underneath and pumps it into the rocker panels and doors. My Tacoma is still 100% rust free and i have been driving it through 6 far northern winters. I just go through the car wash a lot in the winter and spray the oil at least twice per year.
     
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