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    Getting Your Hands on an SC400

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    fruhling
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    Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by fruhling on Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:46 pm

    Hey,

    So I don't yet have an SC400, but I want one. I've looked on craigslist and I have some leads for 1995-ish cars. I'm wondering:

    1) Is there a better way to get my hands on a SC400 other than craigslist (I've tried a couple of lexus forum sales, but they're all out of date)

    2) What kinds of problems are common in SC400s that I should look out for?

    3) What kinds of problems are common in SC400s that are easily fixed and shouldn't scare me away?

    4) After I purchase my new SC400, what maintenance should I do right away? (Assume it has at least 150k miles on it, and that the previous owner was not a an enthusiast, I'm on a budget here).

    5) How much maintenance can I do myself?
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    SC400slide
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by SC400slide on Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:33 am

    Craigslist is about the best way to get your hands on an SC. Everywhere else will be overpriced/dealership criteria.

    Common issues include PS leak above alternator. If an SC has this, get ready to replace the alternator as well as the PS pump. Thermostat may be stuck open so it doesn't fully heat up, there may be white smoke for the first few minutes of a cold startup (failed vacuum valve in the PS system), ignition coils will eventually go out. Replace 02 sensors as Lexus eats them like candy. There area few more but they're minor.

    Thermostat, easy cheese to replace, vacuum valve isn't too big, you can either replace it (part costs north of 100 bucks,) or just keep it simple and plug it. 

    Oil, plugs, wires, filters, fluids, nothing out of the ordinary.

    You can do most of the maintenance yourself, it depends your skill level. Some people can replace their transmission and swap it will a manual W58, or cannot even remove an oil filter.

    Good luck and feel free to post your build thread WITH pics of the car! Smile

    Don't forget to use the correct designated forum! Good luck!
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    fruhling
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by fruhling on Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:37 pm

    I'm not sure that there is a correct forum for this topic, so I'll just continue to post on this thread.

    I took a look at a 1993 SC300 today, from a post on craigslist it looked great online, but when I went to see it, it was in shockingly poor condition. The first thing I noticed was the terrible condition of the paint, upholstery, speaker covers, and passenger door (which was falling apart on the inside). The AC/audio display was broken, and I couldn't turn on the AC. I took it for a test drive anyhow. The engine sounded labored, and it felt sluggish. I stopped to look under the hood, that's when I noticed the bad smell and white smoke pouring out of the exhaust. Although sparklingly clean, I think that there was something severely wrong with that engine.

    Nevertheless, I loved the styling of the car. it's the first SC I've seen in person, and I was very excited to see how beautiful the lines are. Although this particular car had been criminally abused, the original quality of the interior components was still discernible. Additionally, while the engine was in bad shape, the car was still fun to drive. I can't wait to take a look at SC400s and 300s which are in slightly better shape. 

    Has anyone had any similar experience when trying to buy an SC? Is it really hard to find one with ~150k miles which needs no more than $1000 worth of work that needs to be done? How long do people usually have to hunt before they find a good car? Lastly, how hard is it to replace cosmetic interior components so that I'm not constantly staring at broken plastic?
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    SC400slide
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by SC400slide on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:27 pm

    fruhling wrote:I'm not sure that there is a correct forum for this topic, so I'll just continue to post on this thread.

    I took a look at a 1993 SC300 today, from a post on craigslist it looked great online, but when I went to see it, it was in shockingly poor condition. The first thing I noticed was the terrible condition of the paint, upholstery, speaker covers, and passenger door (which was falling apart on the inside). The AC/audio display was broken, and I couldn't turn on the AC. I took it for a test drive anyhow. The engine sounded labored, and it felt sluggish. I stopped to look under the hood, that's when I noticed the bad smell and white smoke pouring out of the exhaust. Although sparklingly clean, I think that there was something severely wrong with that engine.

    Nevertheless, I loved the styling of the car. it's the first SC I've seen in person, and I was very excited to see how beautiful the lines are. Although this particular car had been criminally abused, the original quality of the interior components was still discernible. Additionally, while the engine was in bad shape, the car was still fun to drive. I can't wait to take a look at SC400s and 300s which are in slightly better shape. 

    Has anyone had any similar experience when trying to buy an SC? Is it really hard to find one with ~150k miles which needs no more than $1000 worth of work that needs to be done? How long do people usually have to hunt before they find a good car? Lastly, how hard is it to replace cosmetic interior components so that I'm not constantly staring at broken plastic?
    This forum is fine for the time being. This forum is quite new so we're still moving things around and getting it together.

    I have 2 SC400's and both were in the similar condition as that one. I've had one for about 2 years now and I'm still working on getting it to 90%. 

    To be honest, it is quite difficult to locate an SC that has less than 150k AND in good condition...unless it is a one owner/owner that knows what he has and takes great care of it. Most of them are bent, bitten, and broken (for lack of a better term) Something else you gotta know, these cars aren't cheap to fix. Mechanically (like the 1UZ, 2JZ engines, AE340 trannies, other major parts are not so expensive. It's the interior parts that pack the heat. Good door panels cost 400 bucks a piece USED, window trim interior pieces are 500 in good condition USED, the cluster is about $150 to have it sent off to be rebuilt, the center vent on the dash is over 1k to order online, VERY hard to find one that's not cracked, both of them on my SC's are in fact cracked. You will learn that these cars aren't some fart can Honda. Lexus parts aren't cheap.

    The difficulty isn't replacing the interior parts, as aforementioned, it's the price. Or rather, even finding the pieces you want to replace. That's why when an SC is being parted out you jump on that like it's going out of style and grab the pieces you want/need without any procrastination presiding. 

    Don't get me wrong...these SC's are extraordinary, they are for enthusiasts. IF taken care of, they are more reliable than a 2 year old Chevy. 

    They were about 15 years ahed of their time when they were released. Amazing cars.

    If you are out here in the west there are a good amount of cheap good SC's in Texas, California, Nevada...GL on your search!
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    Snocone
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by Snocone on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:33 pm

    Yeah, pass on that SC300...sounds rough. Make sure to post pics when you do get your SC! Smile 

    -snocone
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    fruhling
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by fruhling on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:28 pm

    I finally got my SC, although I spent a couple thousand more than I wanted to. I think it's worth it though. I got it from a guy who'd had it for four and a half years, he had maintenance records for the whole time it was under his care. It had a pretty good tune up a couple of years ago, and the engine sounds great. It only has 117k miles on it, no after-market parts other than breaks, hoses, etc. and the interior is in excellent condition. I'm so excited, she's a real beauty. I'd post some picks, but I tried to log in to the site where the images are supposedly hosted, after I clicked "host an image", and it didn't let me in. Oh well. Suffice it to say, she is gorgeous. Well worth the wait. Now I just have to replace a power steering hose, and put on fresh brakes, and she'll be ready to roll. (I've even given her a name, she's Stella).

    I'm planning on doing some maintenance myself, but I'm a total newbie at car repairs (Stella's my first car). I'm pretty confident about the brakes, they don't seem too complex, does anyone have advice about the steering hose? I'm more hesitant about this because it's going to be under pressure.
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    SC400slide
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    Re: Getting Your Hands on an SC400

    Post by SC400slide on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:23 am

    I replaced almost all of the PS hoses on my SC400 just December. Just drain it by removing the lower PS hose on the pass side underneath the car. Just follow the lower/upper hoses. One will lead to the PS pump, another will lead underneath the engine and plugs into the rack and pinion on the drivers side. Just make sure to have rags beneath the hoses at all times to catch any fluid. Also, the SC400 DOES NOT take power steering fluid in it's PS system. It takes dextron transmission fluid inside the PS system...if you put PS fluid into your pump it will ruin your system. Also do NOT let the ATF get to the alternator which is nestled underneath the PS pump. This will ruin the alt.

    After you get all of this done you'll need to bleed your brakes. Use this tutorial. It's on an LS400 but they're the same engines.

    http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/steering/psflush.html

    Regarding posting pics, upload to Photobucket, then go to your library, click share links and the one on the bottom will be HTML...double click it and it will copy and then paste it here in the photo url upload.

    Good luck!

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