New Member Research Phase - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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New Member Research Phase

Hello all, I have been following this community for sometime now and the time has finally come to start my project so I started a profile. I’m breaking ground, literally, finishing ground work for my shop right now, and what better for my first project, an IS300, the car I’ve wanted since 2002! I found and purchased a SportCross, 1 owner, initially I wanted a manual to boost and bag, but after my friend manual swapped his IS300 over a weekend I decided to add a manual swap to my list and this opened the door to getting the SportCross. Im super excited to start this project but I’m reaching out for more specific reading material now, I'm following some posts but if you think one fits my build please share the link here, I’ll start a build thread when my shop is done or use this as my platform to keep it all in one place. The target, a bagged boosted manual with VIP styling and 500whp on a dyno, but still a reliable daily driver... since it will be daily I will not worry too much about body or interior for now, but this is a pretty clean platform. I’m driving it daily now while I finish the shop and I love my IS! I’ll post pics soon and right now I’m deciding which tranny to swap and if I will GTE swap or pull and build my GE block. I have a feeling I will pull and rebuild my GE as I would likely end up replacing most of the stock GTE bolt on parts. I’m considering the R154 trans, I haven’t looked at air ride though yet, I plan to manual swap, then boost, then bags. Open to comments or links to relevant reading material. Thanks all!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:19 PM
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Different people have different expectations of a daily driver, but personally I don't think a heavily modified 500hp IS300 makes a good daily driver. Not that there's any one thing wrong with it, but it's really difficult to integrate all of the various modifications into a system that works so seamlessly that it's workable (or enjoyable) as a DD. I really like my modded IS, but it's just not something that I want to deal with day in and day out. I have a second, stock IS300 that is my daily runabout - and it serves that purpose much better than my modded one.

I'm an engine guy, and engine hardware/internals is my favorite aspect of cars, so for ME, a GTE has almost zero advantage over a GE. The way I figure it, I can buy a quality set of rods, bearings, pistons and rings for the GE (that'll be better/stronger than GTE internals) for less cash than it would cost me to buy a GTE. You can buy used GTE rods/pistons for next to nothing, and your GE will be right on par with a stock GTE. VVTi is proven to broaden the powerband, and spool turbos quicker, so it's a no-brainer to use it. Most people are gonna be buying a manifold and single turbo anyway, so the GTE's twins are not usually an advantage, and you don't recoup much when you sell them. The GTE does have the intake manifold advantage though.

Regarding trans, you'll need an R154 or AR5 (an R154 variant) as a minimum. Not sure what all goes into choosing the right AR5, but there is a "comprehensive AR5 swap" thread here that you should read through thoroughly if you're considering it. A CD009, V160 or T56 swap would definitely be sweeter than either R154 or AR5, but it'll make an expensive project a LOT more expensive.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 03:00 PM
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Welcome! Sounds like a nice ambitious project. I'd also be really interested to see pics and details of the shop you're building!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodgdon Extreme View Post
I'm an engine guy, and engine hardware/internals is my favorite aspect of cars, so for ME, a GTE has almost zero advantage over a GE. The way I figure it, I can buy a quality set of rods, bearings, pistons and rings for the GE (that'll be better/stronger than GTE internals) for less cash than it would cost me to buy a GTE. You can buy used GTE rods/pistons for next to nothing, and your GE will be right on par with a stock GTE. VVTi is proven to broaden the powerband, and spool turbos quicker, so it's a no-brainer to use it. Most people are gonna be buying a manifold and single turbo anyway, so the GTE's twins are not usually an advantage, and you don't recoup much when you sell them. The GTE does have the intake manifold advantage though.
Very sober, down-to-earth post. I can surely relate, and I agree all the way.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 08:47 PM
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Dude that's cool, sounds expensive tho. I'm not really familiar with these cars, so I'm probably wrong. I live in California and I would never be able to have something like that be road legal
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