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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! So, I'm coming from an integra. I'm a bilateral amputee so for daily driving I use automatic. The automatic on the integra is quite horrible. So in my quest to find something rwd and with a good auto in the $6k range, i stumbled upon the buttery smooth 2jz, rwd, sexy IS300.

After months of looking at my local craigslist I branched out and found one 2.5 hrs away and went and picked it up. Was asking $6500 and I bought it for $5500.

Bought it at 137k, 2002, Blue, new tires and rotors and pads, and two dents that honestly aren't bad. The rest of the paint is good except for some chips in the side moldings. Also has good tint, LSD, master and spare key, and heated suede seats (which i wanted so the hardware of my legs and running legs dont scratch the leather when hauling them, which is almost every day)

So right now I just have one picture. I also will post a picture of my timing belt, I'm 99% sure it needs to be changed but I'd like to get another opinion. I already have it scheduled to be changed anyway, but I'm curious.

Off the bat: yellow film for foglights, installed my subs, cleaned headlights a tad with some toothpaste, fixed gas lid so it popped open, maybe red film for the tails, not sure yet. Also still deciding on suspension mods.

More pics to come!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hey guys, so I really would like some input on the belt. I found out that separation isn't a bad thing which i originally thought was horrible. As of right now I'm avoiding driving the car because I have no idea lol. the belt honestly looks recently replaced but I'm not that experienced. The guy had it for twoish years and bought it around 100k~. So theres a chance it was changed at 90k.

So here are more pics, I would love so more input before I go spend $600 on top of buying the car itself and taxes off the bat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good looking car. Personally, if I didnt know when the belt was changed, i'd just change it. Peace of mind thing.
Thanks, I'll post some more once I do some things haha.

And i know, that's kind of how i feel. Originally I thought it was going to be $300 for just the belt and pump. But now I see that it's going to be over $500 and I'm hesitant, especially if I'm actually changing it like 50k miles early...
 

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Nice find! I'd probably do the cam, crank, valve cover and VVTi gear seals while you're in there. Definitely would hate to see those leak and they'd have to do the job twice practically $$$. Enjoy the car :).

PS- Can't forget about spark plugs and replacing the cabin air filter :) - those were the first things I practically did and was glad I did. Oh and ball joints and tie rod ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are more pictures. I'm starting to think it was changed on schedule 50k~ miles ago?

And thanks for the suggestions. That all sounds good but when I bought this I planned on maybe a $400 timing belt. So now finding out its $600 and then also all of those things you suggested are definitely going to have to wait lol. Don't plan on spending $1k+ off the bat.
 

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Nice looking example, I'm ex Honda as well and know what you mean about the trannies ;)

Err, not sure who told you de-laminating was ok but as an engineer anything starting to come apart at the seams is never a good thing. Looking at the pics you can see the teeth (the things that drive the pulleys) parting ways with the back of the belt (the bit that moves the teeth), any movement between them and you risk valves getting up close and overly personal with the pistons which will hurt the wallet a lot more. From the last couple of belts i have changed the writing on the back of the belt still looked new and there we some rubber nipples still hanging off from the manufacturing but i knew they were at their recommended change mileage so while it looked ok it definitely needed changing.

I know you would like to not spend the money but IMPO I wouldn't drive it until at least the belt is replaced, if you don't have the money you could risk leaving some of the seals till another time (i have had to do that a few times).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice looking example, I'm ex Honda as well and know what you mean about the trannies ;)

Err, not sure who told you de-laminating was ok but as an engineer anything starting to come apart at the seams is never a good thing. Looking at the pics you can see the teeth (the things that drive the pulleys) parting ways with the back of the belt (the bit that moves the teeth), any movement between them and you risk valves getting up close and overly personal with the pistons which will hurt the wallet a lot more. From the last couple of belts i have changed the writing on the back of the belt still looked new and there we some rubber nipples still hanging off from the manufacturing but i knew they were at their recommended change mileage so while it looked ok it definitely needed changing.

I know you would like to not spend the money but IMPO I wouldn't drive it until at least the belt is replaced, if you don't have the money you could risk leaving some of the seals till another time (i have had to do that a few times).
Well no one told me I just saw from pictures of brand new timing belts from other threads where other people were freaking out about it and they looked exactly like that and everyone was saying that's how they are even brand new.

So i'm still unsure but i'm gonna check it out with a toyota tech here soon in person so i'll see what he says. local guy in the car scene here.

Also, just ordered some clear front side markers and put on some of those fisheye circle mirrors on my side mirrors. When i bought my integra it had them on there and I thought they looked stupid but i got so used to them that I feel blind without them haha.
 

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I've never heard of a visual inspection for a timing belt. Replace it at the recommended mileage or if you don't know, change it anyway and document the mileage. I keep a pen and pocket-notepad in my glove box for this kind of thing.

We have an interference engine so it's wise to be safe.
 

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Well no one told me I just saw from pictures of brand new timing belts from other threads where other people were freaking out about it and they looked exactly like that and everyone was saying that's how they are even brand new.

So i'm still unsure but I'm gonna check it out with a Toyota tech here soon in person so I'll see what he says. local guy in the car scene here.
Welcome! That is a great looking car, nice catch finding one with LSD,heated seats and all those keys!

My timing belt had a similar grove in it and I did a lot of the same research you did as well. Came to the same conclusion about the grove being there even on some the new OEM belts. Disregarding the grove your belt still doesn't look like it is in that amazing of shape(did it take a mud bath?!). I would change it for peace of mind, job is pretty easy. It's money spent now or money spent later, or potentially even more money later if the belt snaps since it is of dubious age and condition.

See if you can borrow the crank pulley bolt tool from your Toyota tech friend if he has one to make life easier since if it is the first t-belt change for the car then that bolt is not going to want to come off at all. I've seen people use a chain vice grip and the accessory belt wrapped around the pulley to hold it if you want to try that route instead.

You can also go to MyLexus, create an account, and add in your cars VIN. It will show you all the maintenance done at a Lexus dealer(and sometimes Toyota) including the timing belt change(90k mile service) if there was one.
https://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/my-lexus/home.do
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Welcome! That is a great looking car, nice catch finding one with LSD,heated seats and all those keys!

My timing belt had a similar grove in it and I did a lot of the same research you did as well. Came to the same conclusion about the grove being there even on some the new OEM belts. Disregarding the grove your belt still doesn't look like it is in that amazing of shape(did it take a mud bath?!). I would change it for peace of mind, job is pretty easy. It's money spent now or money spent later, or potentially even more money later if the belt snaps since it is of dubious age and condition.

See if you can borrow the crank pulley bolt tool from your Toyota tech friend if he has one to make life easier since if it is the first t-belt change for the car then that bolt is not going to want to come off at all. I've seen people use a chain vice grip and the accessory belt wrapped around the pulley to hold it if you want to try that route instead.

You can also go to MyLexus, create an account, and add in your cars VIN. It will show you all the maintenance done at a Lexus dealer(and sometimes Toyota) including the timing belt change(90k mile service) if there was one.
https://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/my-lexus/home.do
Yeah I think I'm going to take it to a different friend who used to do amazing work on my Honda. He works at a local shop but isn't particularly a Toyota tech but he's definitely a good mechanic.

I did plug my vin in there and saw maintenance up until 2007, i think up til around 50-70k miles, can't remember exactly.

But I plan on getting it done next thursday or friday as that's as early as he can get to it. I've inspected the teeth multiple times after driving on different occasions and there hasn't been any signs other than the belt itself looking faded so I'm hoping it's not too long of a wait.

And thanks, it was slightly pricey but I figured i would probably never find another semi low miled one that had new tires and rotors and the seats, tranny, lsd, and a good color and everything still stock and what not so I decided to do it haha. I'm in love with it so far, seriously.

It handles amazingly compared to my integra and the interior is great quality. The torque is awesome as well as the tranny and engine, i was shocked at how smooth it really was.

I think I want to do L-tuned suspension with spacers on the stock wheels. I'm just worried I will still feel floaty possibly? I like feeling connected but don't want my car crashing over bumps like my integra slammed on coilovers.

Pic of my teg for the hell of it attached. Function and form coilovers, lip, civic SI exhaust, and wheels. Want more function this time around.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So we went in to do the timing belt. Finally after getting everything off, we saw 0 signs of wear on the belt especially with the lettering still intact. We saw green coolant. And we saw an NTN pulley. And the orangeish brown color wiped right off of the belt. This was the toyota tech i was with so he's seen a few timing belts.

At that point we both kinda concluded that it had been changed and I should just check up on it for wear signs and wait until the normal interval or a bit before if i'm paranoid. Nothing at that time was leaking either, although he said the rear main seal had a very very slow, not enough to even remotely worry about leak. Other than that everything was solid. So looks like I'll wait another 20-40k miles depending on how the belt wears.

Still got my clear sidemarkers coming in as well as yellow fog film. I cleaned up my headlights the other day and they look brand new. Might order red taillight vinyl soon too. Not sure what I want to do first that will actually cost money... like wheels vs suspension vs sway bars etc.

So there's my update!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would just keep an eye on it. This thread made me go check mine and I dont have any of the dirt and grime in there that you do. Any idea where that is coming from?
No idea, as it's been all covered up. It's just a straight orangish film/dust. I can wipe it right off with my thumb.

And yeah I'm definitely gonna check up on it here and there. It's just that it wasn't even cracking at all around the gears or anything and all the teeth are still intact and textured. And then the coolant and non toyota pulley. So yeah
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Installed clear corners today, need to get orange bulbs though. Ton of headache, took almost two hours.

Passenger side: 4 minutes. Easy as hell.

Driver side? Bolt towards me stripped and broke off. Ok not a big deal. Other bolt spun and spun in both directions. I spun it both directions for a long time hoping something would happen, hit it with PB because I didn't even know what to do at this point, tried to break it off with a hammer hoping it would end up like the first bolt, etc etc. So i finally had to just literally pull the sidemarker until it broke. Then i tried to get the screw out of the circle plate thing for a good 20 mins. Flat heads, pliers, hammer, it wouldn't budge. So i ended up putting my side marker back in with just one screw thing, but it holds very tight so I'm not worried about it. Just incredibly annoyed a simple job took hours. Same shit always happens to me.

Went to take the license plate off my integra, got one bolt off easy. Next bolt? 100% seized. I was turning and pushing in so hard with that phillips I started to strip the screw. so eventually my neighbor came over with a kit to drill out rusted screws. Even that shit couldn't get into the screw after trying several drill bits. 20 minutes later he just whips out vice grips and ends up getting it off that way. 30+ mins to remove a god damn license plate bolt. almost 2 hours for two bolts on a sidemarker.

Can't wait to update the thread when I change brake pads or get an oil change or something at this point lol. Who knows what'll happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yellow foglight vinyl and red tail light vinyl should go on soon. Also, what kind of LED/bulb would look good on the clear side markers? Just an orange bulb or some type of orange LED? Loving the clear corners though.

Also, I think I might get the AIT l-tuned front bumper. I could sell the old stock bumper to offset the cost a bit and be a happy camper!

AND, finally, for suspension, I want prokits but $265 + like $630 for tokico illuminas is like $900 for a 1 inch drop on springs... my friend has some godspeed mono rs 32 way adjustable coils he would sell me for $600 theyre brand new, but I read bad reviews on them. $900 just seems really steep for that!

I want a setup that I can backroad with. Honestly the stock suspension seems good but i think my shocks are blown, seems like it overcompensates. Like it bounces back too much and throws the car off. I just want something that is slightly lower, like 1 - 1.5 inches, that can handle backroads and still drive good.

Here's a pic with the corners. License plate was killing my vibe haha.

 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
SO! Put on a straight pipe. Friend had a leftover one from his IS, sold it to me. Paid a shop $40 to install and remove those old bolts. Love the sound. Drones a bit on the highway, will probably get a muffler of some sort in a couple months but I love the way this sounds right now and the magnaflow tip looks great.

Future: I think I'm going to go with an L-tuned front from AIT, no side skirts or rear lip, and eventually order a rear lip from ebay most likely. Just not a big enough fan of those side skirts to pay for them and then pay for them to get painted and put them on my own car. And I'm pretty sure I've decided on HP's and prokits for suspension. Just hoping it'll be a noticeable improvement in handling. Then once that is all on, if i still haven't come across good used wheels, I'll get some spacers.

The only aftermarket thing I'm interested (besides wheels/exhaust) is fender flares. Just some small ones that 3m on or something. Not sure where to get some that fit though, scared of the universal ones. But I really love the way those look even if it's not super aggressive. I've seen a few 300's on here with some mild ones, just don't know where from.

Suspension first most likely, then bumper, though.

Present: buying a 1/2 oz bottle of touchup and gonna dab some of the chipped sidemoldings. Gonna buy a relocator and drill holes in the bumper on the underside of the top of the grill so my license isn't just ziptied. Also going to see what I can do about this dent in one of the front fenders. Has a small rust spot but the dent itself looks like it can pop out. It's not hugely noticeable.

So there's ma update. Oh, also figured out M mode in 5th is the same as D. Convenient because then you don't need to slap it over when you want to use manual shifting for the hwy or something.


edit: just noticed ait is out of stock, what about this ebay seller?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Techno-R-Fiberglass-Front-Bumper-00LXIS34DTNR-001-VIS-Racing-/161917115334?fits=Model:IS300&hash=item25b3031bc6:g:MKEAAOSwcOFWbZtt&vxp=mtr
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Another update. Sad because no ones replying!

I put yellow film on the fogs and red film on the tails. Looks great, but the tails were 10000x harder than i expected. I dont know if the cuts werent precise or what, but there was NO way to get that thing on without a wrinkle. It's only noticeable up close but still. I might redo them or have a shop do it.

Loving all the small mods i've done so far though. License plate relocator should come in soon too.
 

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right on bro! keep it up. Show us a pic of your lights and wrinkle issue. suspension is expensive. try not to think of 1 inch drop for your buck, think of reliability and handling. it will tighten up for sure. go after sway bars next for a noticeable difference. good luck and I'm following your build so at least ill comment...
 
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