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Modifying The Is 300


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#1 smooth1

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:19 AM

Hello everyone. I just bought a 2005 IS 300. So, I'm gonna be working on it to make it even better. Because,,, that's what I do. the car has 21,000 miles on it now. It's silver with the Black leather interior. I am going to be doing some appearance mods first, then go into performance mods, and along the way we'll see what pops up.

I have already put new rims on the car. I went to 18x9's. I am very happy with that change so far. The handling is crisper and turn in response is much quicker!

Next I have purchased black headlight housings and Halo rings for the headlights. they should be in later this week. I will be installing those and for now, I want to just black out the tail lights until I find something I like better. I will be posting picks as I go along so everyone can see before and afters and so on.

I also am going to redo the brake system also. Now that I have new rims, you can really see the calipers and the discs, So i want to change to slotted or drilled, I haven't really made up my mind about that yet. Also, I'm looking into new calipers, or just repainting the stock ones I have. I'm adding steel braided brake lines, and new performance brake pads.

I also want to add a cold air intake, maybe an underdrive pully, and who knows, maybe look at a supercharger down the line.

So, it all begins here. If anyone has advice, maybe suggestions on mods that really work, let me know. I hope to learn and pass on the knowledge as I go.

I will be posting those pics later this week. Saturday, the car goes in for service, ( I want to convert it over to full synthetic oils and trans fluid first. Then I'll start putting all the stuff on the car.

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#2 Parking17

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:00 PM

From my experience with two of these cars, I would not recommend putting a cold air intake on these cars. Actually loose horsepower, unless you go with SRT, which is not smog certified in California, nor do they plan to be CARB exempt in any of the 50 states after contacting them. If you want real gains, probably have to go turbo down the line.

I just turned 40k on my '04 and will be converting to AMSOIL synthetic.
I did get demon eyes, however did not install yet due to getting the headlights out is a pain in the rear, gotta take the front bumper completely off. I'll eventually get to it, but they do look sweet!

Glad you're happy with the car and can't wait to hear about/see your mods.

BTW - a good dash kit completely enhances the interior.
Also, here is a link for caliper decals:
http://www.jvdgraphi...d-cs Lexus2.htm

#3 smooth1

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:03 PM

Are you sure about the intake? Man I have had a K&N intake on everything I ever owned. It even comes with a Dyno sheet showing the hp gain! and where the gain is on the rev band. why do you think you got less hp? and what systems were you using?

And the Demon eyes are SWEEEEEEEEET!!!!!! The first time I saw them I knew I was gettin em! I don't care if I have to set the whole weekend aside to install em, their goin in!!!!

The dash kits are a sticky decision if you know what I mean, :rolleyes: I know I want to do some highlights with Carbon Fiber, but I only want the real Carbon Fiber, not that stupid lookin imitation stuff that is just awful!!!! So I have to find someone who specializes in making carbon fiber parts and misc. and see if there is a cost effective way to go about it.

Hmmm, 15 dollar stickers to cover the calipers huh? great idea. Even if they don't last, it's only 15 bucks! I'll order those this week. Do you have them on your car? What do you think?

I'll be posting pics this week of my car. So we can all get a basic idea of where I started. It's funny, until I started to list the stuff I have done, I thought I haven't done anything to it yet. But I forgot, I also ordered a Hyper ground system and a hyper MR voltage system also. Those should be here in about two weeks. I wanted silver, so they have to make em.

#4 smooth1

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:37 AM

CIMG0637.JPG Here is a photo of the car the day I bought it. Very happy day!

#5 smooth1

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:40 AM

I have had the car now for 2 weeks. I've added 18x9 einki's ( only 18 lbs. each!), tinted the windows and put on the mini mast for the antenna. CIMG0648.JPG

#6 Parking17

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 10:39 PM

I used an AEM. Anything under 3000 on the tach and you have nothing. Basically, the cpu will not adjust the mixture for the added airflow on these cars. SRT system is the only one that has a piggyback unit that wires into the cpu, to make it work. It's about $500. Other than that, you're just spending money for looks, which for me, I rather take off fast from the line from the light if I need to. You can probably just order a good looking tube without the resonator and get a K&N drop in filter, but I would just make sure you leave the stock intake box.

About the caliper stickers, I went with red brake caliper paint which is really a dark orange, following the instructions. I wanted it darker, so after a coat of that, I put some 1400 degree engine paint, cherry red. After spraying that and letting it dry, I applied the white stickers, then put a coat of clear coat to seal it. After about 20k miles, still looks good.

Try NYC Dash. There are real fiber carbon kits out there for the dash. My dad got one for his Prius and I am almost thinking of removing my cherry wood and getting what he got. It's pretty killer.

As soon as I wash it, I'll post some pics of the exterior with the calipers.

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#7 smooth1

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 04:26 AM

Nice work. The gauge set up looks awsome. Next to you transmission control buttons, what are those 2 orange buttons? I can't quite make it out, looks like one turns on and off a radar detector/scanner? And what's the other? I don't have the heated seats either, so I was thinking of turning those blanks into something useful later.
I did notice there are subtle differences in our cars I think. I will have to go look at mine again to be sure. I think it's because you have the manual trans and I have the auto, but where your trac off/snow button is, mine just says trac control. and the snow button is on the center console next to a button that also says power. ( I like that setting with the trac control off. It really goes thru gears 1-3 like now!!)
Are you planning on running forced induction? I am seriously looking into a supercharger. It won't happen for awhile, but as I go along doing the modifications to the car I will keep that in the back of my mind. So for now it's just one step at a time.

Ok you confused me on the caliper color and coats also. Let me get this straight, you originally wanted your calipers to be red, but after you painted it you weren't happy with the color, so you painted them cherry red with high temp paint. So are your calipers red now or white? and what did you use for a clear coat?

My steel braided brake lines came in. So now all I need are the EBC green pads and one Saturday soon I'll bleed the system down, and install the brake lines, recoated calipers, new brake pads and rotors. that should finish that end for awhile.

And about the dash kits. I went to NYC Dash. They have nice kits, but I seriuosly want to be different. For example, on your center dash console, everything you have in cherry wood, that plastic trim that goes from the shifter all the way up and around the console and back bown the other side, you have your gauges on top now, but I have a dash tray there, all that I want carbon fiber. After I know I can get that , then I was thinking of the brushed stainless steel or billet Aluminum look for the face of the console. If I can get a billet face, then I think I want it to be a graphite color. I'm still toying with all the ideas. I have already located a carbon fiber custom molding fabricator. We haven't talked design ideas or prices yet. I know it's gonna be expensive. But hey you only live once right? I have actually done this before. I went to the junk yard and bought a center console out of a totalled Nissan 300Z for 50 bucks. I sent that in and they did a replication in carbon fiber for me. Cost me 600.00 plus shipping. But man was I happy with how that turned out. After that you can just buy a flat sheet of carbon fiber and shape it to just do highlights around the interior with.

#8 Parking17

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:24 PM

The calipers are cherry red with a clear coat of gloss applied after the sticker application.

Once I wash the car and detail it, I'll post some more pics. My wheels in this are kinda dirty.

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#9 smooth1

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:45 PM

Oh okay, yeah that looks great! very nice job. What did you use for a clear coat?

And by the way, kinda dirty??? You otta be ashamed!! LOL! Isn't there a car wash in your neighborhood? JK!!!! how long have you had it? What are you working on next?

#10 Parking17

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 01:05 AM

I never take it to the car wash. I wash it myself, along with doing my oil change, rotating tires, etc. I think I used Krylon clear coat. I also use Meguires Tech wax and Turtle Wax Ice.

#11 smooth1

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:44 AM

:) It's okay to use a touch free car wash. I just get the rinse and wash setting. Then I hop out and chami dry it. Keeps things shining between the real detail days.

Yeah, I do all my own work as well.

I just put a magnetic oil filter ring on, and one at the bottom of the oil pan. So my next two oil changes I will remove the pan completely and clean it out and regasket it. After that I'll wait one or two oil changes and see if there is anything at the bottom. Amsoil is great oil. I also just converted to a 25/75 coolant mix. I already noticed the car runs cooler. Next I'm looking at a heat shield. By the way, while I was under the hood, did you notice alot of play in your throttle cable? I noticed that in mine, so I tightened it up with the adjusters and it took every bit there was to get it back to tight again. When the car goes in I'll have them reset it, but after I fixed it, I did notice that the obvious result was better throttle response. Now I just touch the peddle and the tach jumps to 2500 rpms. Just a tip if you haven't already done so.

#12 Parking17

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:34 PM

Car is washed. It's so shiny, that in some pics, you can see me as a reflection. Enjoy.

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#13 smooth1

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:47 AM

OHHHHH!!, it's a Lexus IS300!!! Well then, now officially all the IS 300 community can once again publicly acknowledge you. :lol: JK!!

B) Lookin Good man!!! Nice ride. I too spent the better part of my Sunday in the garage washing the 3. Last week I took a clay bar to it, and put on two coats of sealer and 1 coat of wax. This time I washed the car real good, waxed it and buffed it. then I also used a teflon coating on the rims. ( The bottle says it helps reduces the ability for brake dust to cling to it) Seems to make sense, we'll see. They shine nice though. I figure until all the parts I've ordered come in I can spend my energy shining up the ride. the headlights should ( Better!) be here this week. I really want those on the car.

I'm also thinking of ordering the Apexi power programmer. Anyone using this? Every web site I go to seems to steer me right to this one. I looked into the uni chip, but that was a quick laugh. Isn't there something better than the apexi? or is the Apexi sent by the gods to the warrior IS300 owners???? And has anyone gone thru the super chip thing?

Thanks.

#14 bartkat

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:16 PM

Without going FI there's really not a whole lot of power you can get with NA mods.

#15 smooth1

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:41 PM

hey there bartkat, what a coincidence! I was just over at another thread looking into some power mod applications. You posted a web link to a Lexus performance shop that puts turbo and supercharger packages together. You posted the link like a year ago. Link still works for the info!! :D So after looking into it I have decided to go Forced induction after all.

Yeah, I've searched the web up and down to find out all the performance gains and pros and cons of each. There are some interesting combinations out there, but for the money, sure seems like alot and a crapton of work for so little. So, rather thatn waste my time and my money, I just tonight decided that I will return the Typhoon by K&N. I'll skip doing the ICU Programmers or a piggyback power chip of some kind, and go with the Raptor V supercharger.

My IS is an everyday driver. So I don't want to mod it to race only settings. I figure if I can get between 300-350 hp, I'll be happy. I was going to look into headers and exhaust, but I really like the quiet of stock, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do there. Also I want to put anti sway bars on to help stablize things. Maybe upgrade shocks and springs if I need to.

Right now I'm in the planning stage of all this, I want to have a definate starting point and a finish point. Even if I decide to add or change things later, I atleast want finish one thing at a time. Heck the halo's for the headlights aren't even here yet!

So, I figure it will take about four weeks for them to build the supercharger and assemble all the parts for the system. ( Piping, blow off valve, oil cooler / intercooler, etc.etc.) I figure less than five grand will cover it. And I will get to 300 hp atleast for sure with no problem! B)

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