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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys -

First of all thank you for having a great forum where we can all learn the best way to mod our cars as we love Lexus/Toyota! I have been reading these forums for a long time and finally decided to make my first post and ask for some advice here on my project car. I have a 2005 Lexus IS300 Sport Design with 220K with the 2JZGE with an Auto transmission and basic bolt-ons. I love this car and it has been a dream of mine for longer than 5 years to boost it. I've basically replaced every exterior engine component and am looking to rebuild the motor to hold some boost. So far I am looking at an OEM Lexus/Toyota Engine Gasket kit (any other suggestions here that are worth it?) along with a thicker head gasket (2mm?), Wiseco pistons, Eagle rods, ARP head studs and possibly a Stage 1 or 2 BC cam if needed (maybe not?). Do you guys think that this will be sufficient paired along with a CX Racing ball bearing turbo kit and a standalone tuner aiming for say 10-12 PSI? I will likely run the motor without a turbo kit for a few months before piecing it together, after which I will put it on and tune it with a rebuild Auto transmission with a shift kit. Eventually I plan on doing a manual swap with a R154 trans or a nice 6 speed I can find that will fit nicely (already have manual LSD diff. on the car - any suggestions on manual trans. options?). My goal is 420 WHP. What do you guys think and what is your experience with your own rides and handling boost? The idea is to have twice the stock power and have a nice reliable daily driver that will be fun to drive.

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Thank You for your help,
kaiz3n
 

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With 220k I say keep it how it is. Or refresh everything then boost it. Everyone with an IS300 says "oh I'll do x once I boost it," take care of any maintenance then take a goof long think about what you really want to do. If anything I'd do a manual swap and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
With 220k I say keep it how it is. Or refresh everything then boost it. Everyone with an IS300 says "oh I'll do x once I boost it," take care of any maintenance then take a goof long think about what you really want to do. If anything I'd do a manual swap and call it a day.
Hello _zaclemore,

Thanks for your feedback. I was looking to get an answer to see if the internal engine components I plan to build the motor with would be sufficient, and if it would be any issue driving the car like that with lower compression for a few months before boosting it. I see here you have a Built NA-T, what parts did you use to build it internally, how much boost is it holding, is it a daily, what kind of tuner are you suing, etc?
I appreciate your help here.

kaiz3n
 

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So far I am looking at an OEM Lexus/Toyota Engine Gasket kit (any other suggestions here that are worth it?) along with a thicker head gasket (2mm?), Wiseco pistons, Eagle rods, ARP head studs and possibly a Stage 1 or 2 BC cam if needed (maybe not?). Do you guys think that this will be sufficient paired along with a CX Racing ball bearing turbo kit and a standalone tuner aiming for say 10-12 PSI? I will likely run the motor without a turbo kit for a few months before piecing it together, after which I will put it on and tune it with a rebuild Auto transmission with a shift kit. Eventually I plan on doing a manual swap with a R154 trans or a nice 6 speed I can find that will fit nicely (already have manual LSD diff. on the car - any suggestions on manual trans. options?). My goal is 420 WHP. What do you guys think and what is your experience with your own rides and handling boost? The idea is to have twice the stock power and have a nice reliable daily driver that will be fun to drive.
Head gasket thickness depends on what pistons you choose and how much gets shaved off your head and/or block during the rebuild. It's not as simple as simply saying 2mm.

Wiseco pistons, eagle rods and ARP fasteners are all good stuff.

No need for aftermarket cams when targeting the 400-500whp range (or even higher, honestly)

The CX Racing turbo kit works, but is all Chinese mediocrity. The manifold is thin wall, the turbo is cheap, the intercooler has poor fin density, etc... But it works. Personally I'd piece a kit together - it'll cost more but you can choose higher quality parts.

Your auto will do the job ok; you'll want to increase line pressure via some valve body mods. R154 works fine but they're getting pretty pricey to end up with a very old and somewhat clunky trans. 6 speeds are expensive. Your options basically come down to a Nissan CD0009 or a Tremec T56. Including clutch and all the other bits and pieces, you'll be into a 6spd swap for at least $5k unless you have special hookups.

Your project vision, to include a turbo system, ECU w/ tuning, good transmission - will cost an easy $10k with you doing all the work and shopping for good deals. Personally I think an LS swap is a better plan - it'll be cheaper, shave weight off the car, easily make mid-400hp, and do it with a lot more bottom end torque.

Regarding it being your daily: You've got a ~20 year old car with 1/4 million miles - and now you want it to put out twice its original power. What you're talking about can be done, but it's either gonna cost cubic yards of money, or it's not going to be a super reliable daily driver. Most of the folks around here with turbo'd IS300s have them as a toy, not a dependable daily.

Last, this is a very mature platform, and this ground has been covered a lot. Please do spend some time searching the forums for (a lot) more info on this topic.
 

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would be any issue driving the car like that with lower compression for a few months before boosting it
This would not be an issue. However I think you should do it in reverse: get the turbo arrangement installed and running properly under low boost. Buy a good used GE-VVTi longblock and build it while you continue to drive your car. Plan for an appropriate time to swap the new engine in. Don't flog the stock engine (with turbo) in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
This would not be an issue. However I think you should do it in reverse: get the turbo arrangement installed and running properly under low boost. Buy a good used GE-VVTi longblock and build it while you continue to drive your car. Plan for an appropriate time to swap the new engine in. Don't flog the stock engine (with turbo) in the meantime.
Hey Hodgton, Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it and your patience as I'm asking lots of questions which have probably been answered before as you mentioned.

* Do you know what formula I can use to calculate the Headgasket thickness which will be optimal for my build? This is what I'm looking at for about $1400 Wiseco Pistons & Eagle Rods Supra MK4 2JZGTE 86.5mm 8.5:1 K550M865AP/CRS5590T3D | eBay
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* Do you know what would be a good source to piece together a turbo kit from and do you have any recommendations for what I am aiming for in terms of HP?
As a heads up, I think I will build the motor (1) and boost it (2) on the Auto trans, and when I get tired of it and have more Cash flow, will swap it to a manual trans (3) - three phases.

* Any recommendations for the necessary valve body mods for the Auto trans to be able to shift nicely and hold the 400-500HP range?

* Any suggestions for a good standalone ECU w/tuning and a plug-n-play harness for the car? Is the Haltech 2000 a good option?

* Also wanted to ask if a GTE Gasket kit would work for the GE?

* Is there anything super important which I may be missing here when it comes to building the motor specifically?

Thank You for all your help. I am very grateful to receive any advice here which will help me get one step closer to achieving the project.

Kindly,
Kaiz3n
 

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your piston selection: 86.5 mm pistons is only if your block gets honed oversize. if you have the tools, measure all cylinders to see if they’re still straight, if not, gotta send it to machine shop.

once again gasket thickness will depend on the condition of your block and head, for example if head needs 2 or 3 passes of machining to grind down to complete flatness, equals however many mm shorter to make up for thicker headgasket.

check power house racing or suprastore for turbo kits

for ecu check link g4x, ecumaster has plug n play but link can even make your coolant and fuel gauge work

yes gasket fits ge

you’re missing entire fuel system, u need injectors, fuel rail, fuel pressure reg, pump

do a search here and supraforums will get most of your answers
 

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* Do you know what formula I can use to calculate the Headgasket thickness which will be optimal for my build?


* Do you know what would be a good source to piece together a turbo kit from and do you have any recommendations for what I am aiming for in terms of HP?

* Any recommendations for the necessary valve body mods for the Auto trans to be able to shift nicely and hold the 400-500HP range?

* Any suggestions for a good standalone ECU w/tuning and a plug-n-play harness for the car? Is the Haltech 2000 a good option?

* Is there anything super important which I may be missing here when it comes to building the motor specifically?
Here is a compression calculator. https://www.summitracing.com/newsandevents/calcsandtools/compression-calculator

Stock bore/stroke on a 2J is 86mm x 86mm. Combustion chamber is 44.2cc, piston has a 9.5cc dish. Pistons are usually about 0.005" below the deck but it's more accurate to measure this directly. Personally, I'd target between 9 and 9.5:1 compression for pump gas - but you'll need to juggle piston dish, head gasket thickness, deck clearance and combustion chamber size (after machining head) to nail down exactly what it will be.

Regarding all the turbo parts: We're talking about 2Js, so there are myriad options. Way too much to go over all of them - but if it were MY project... I'd get a Borg Warner S257sxe or S261sxe turbo, I'd wait until SPA Turbo comes out with their new log-style sidemount cast manifold, I'd buy a Treadstone or Garrett intercooler (Treadstone cheaper but pretty good, Garrett more expensive but better), and I'd fabricate the charge piping and downpipe myself - or find a welder/fabricator.


I'm not an automatic trans guy - so I can't offer much advice on mods to the valvebody.

ECU is a rabbit hole topic - You'd be better served to read through the forum and find the threads that discuss them more thoroughly. The Haltech 2000 is a fine unit, but it won't natively do drive by wire - which would mean you'd need to switch to a cable throttle (and lose cruise control) or do a work around using an H-bridge. Personally I'm a fan of Link products because they are beyond versatile. But that can also make them more complicated. Don't forget to consider who is going to tune it. They might prefer, or have lots of experience with something in particular.

Building your engine: You gotta decide if you're simply swapping in new rods/pistons - or if you are trying to do a full rebuild. And if you're doing a full rebuild, how thorough and fancy you want to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
your piston selection: 86.5 mm pistons is only if your block gets honed oversize. if you have the tools, measure all cylinders to see if they’re still straight, if not, gotta send it to machine shop.

once again gasket thickness will depend on the condition of your block and head, for example if head needs 2 or 3 passes of machining to grind down to complete flatness, equals however many mm shorter to make up for thicker headgasket.

check power house racing or suprastore for turbo kits

for ecu check link g4x, ecumaster has plug n play but link can even make your coolant and fuel gauge work

yes gasket fits ge

you’re missing entire fuel system, u need injectors, fuel rail, fuel pressure reg, pump

do a search here and supraforums will get most of your answers
Good Day persocon and Thanks for your feedback here!

I think I understand how to calculate the headgasket thickness, which really depends on how many passes of grinding the head will take to make flat. I'll look into the G4x for the IS300, thanks for the idea. Glad to know the GTE gasket kit from the Aristo will fit my 2JZGE! If I am aiming for 420whp, is the entire fuel system necessary or can I get away with stock, or injectors only?

Thanks again.
Kaiz3n
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Here is a compression calculator. https://www.summitracing.com/newsandevents/calcsandtools/compression-calculator

Stock bore/stroke on a 2J is 86mm x 86mm. Combustion chamber is 44.2cc, piston has a 9.5cc dish. Pistons are usually about 0.005" below the deck but it's more accurate to measure this directly. Personally, I'd target between 9 and 9.5:1 compression for pump gas - but you'll need to juggle piston dish, head gasket thickness, deck clearance and combustion chamber size (after machining head) to nail down exactly what it will be.

Regarding all the turbo parts: We're talking about 2Js, so there are myriad options. Way too much to go over all of them - but if it were MY project... I'd get a Borg Warner S257sxe or S261sxe turbo, I'd wait until SPA Turbo comes out with their new log-style sidemount cast manifold, I'd buy a Treadstone or Garrett intercooler (Treadstone cheaper but pretty good, Garrett more expensive but better), and I'd fabricate the charge piping and downpipe myself - or find a welder/fabricator.


I'm not an automatic trans guy - so I can't offer much advice on mods to the valvebody.

ECU is a rabbit hole topic - You'd be better served to read through the forum and find the threads that discuss them more thoroughly. The Haltech 2000 is a fine unit, but it won't natively do drive by wire - which would mean you'd need to switch to a cable throttle (and lose cruise control) or do a work around using an H-bridge. Personally I'm a fan of Link products because they are beyond versatile. But that can also make them more complicated. Don't forget to consider who is going to tune it. They might prefer, or have lots of experience with something in particular.

Building your engine: You gotta decide if you're simply swapping in new rods/pistons - or if you are trying to do a full rebuild. And if you're doing a full rebuild, how thorough and fancy you want to go.
Good Day Hodgdon - thanks for your reply here!

I appreciate the link to calculate my aimed compression for 9-9.5:1 for 93 octane pump gas. Also, thanks for the Turbo/Fabrication ideas here, I'll need to do quite a bit of research to piece the turbo kit together. It seems like Link would be the way to go for tuning as it's more versatile and can do lots of native options on the car which of course would be better.

As for building the engine, I am aiming for a full rebuild but not trying to go fancy - I just want versatile and the motor to be able to withstand the aimed HP. Would rebuilding the block with new pistons, rods, studs, gaskets and seals and sending off to a machine shop in the process for the head machining not be considered a full rebuild? If it's not considered a full rebuild, what would be considered a full - building the head as well? Also, that said, would the build I've described be sufficient for the aimed 420whp?

Quick question - Would stock GTE pistons with forged rods work well together? I found a set of new GTE pistons for 500 with shipping on ebay + the eagle rods would be about $1100 total - if that works it would be perfect.

Again, thanks for your help here. Kindly appreciated.
Kaiz3n
 

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I just want versatile and the motor to be able to withstand the aimed HP. Would rebuilding the block with new pistons, rods, studs, gaskets and seals and sending off to a machine shop in the process for the head machining not be considered a full rebuild? If it's not considered a full rebuild, what would be considered a full - building the head as well? Also, that said, would the build I've described be sufficient for the aimed 420whp?
Rebuilding with all those parts would be a rebuilt short block. Going through the head also, would make it a rebuilt long block. What you are talking about would easily be capable of handing your aim of 420whp - and a lot more. If you'll honestly be happy in the mid-400whp zone, what you're talking about is pretty serious overkill.

Quick question - Would stock GTE pistons with forged rods work well together? I found a set of new GTE pistons for 500 with shipping on ebay + the eagle rods would be about $1100 total - if that works it would be perfect.
This would work fine; it's been done quite a bit. However, you'll first need to know if stock GTE pistons are suitable size for your old, worn cylinders. The only way you'll know is to remove your head and measure/inspect your bores. Here is where you have to decide between "this oughtta work fine" and "let's do this by the book":

This oughtta work fine: Buy a set of used GTE rods/pistons, run a dingleberry hone through the cylinders, sling some new rings/bearings in there, and call it good. (I'd definitely shave the head down if you go this route).

By the book: Tear down the engine, have it align honed, deck-plate bored/honed oversize, use GTE or new forged rods with new oversized forged pistons, get the crank polished, rotating assembly balanced, etc etc.
 

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Rebuilding with all those parts would be a rebuilt short block. Going through the head also, would make it a rebuilt long block. What you are talking about would easily be capable of handing your aim of 420whp - and a lot more. If you'll honestly be happy in the mid-400whp zone, what you're talking about is pretty serious overkill.



This would work fine; it's been done quite a bit. However, you'll first need to know if stock GTE pistons are suitable size for your old, worn cylinders. The only way you'll know is to remove your head and measure/inspect your bores. Here is where you have to decide between "this oughtta work fine" and "let's do this by the book":

This oughtta work fine: Buy a set of used GTE rods/pistons, run a dingleberry hone through the cylinders, sling some new rings/bearings in there, and call it good. (I'd definitely shave the head down if you go this route).

By the book: Tear down the engine, have it align honed, deck-plate bored/honed oversize, use GTE or new forged rods with new oversized forged pistons, get the crank polished, rotating assembly balanced, etc etc.
^This if on a tight budget.

Definitely check your cylinders. I measured it at 230k miles and almost all of them were a few thou larger at the top, and slightly out of round. Like 2 or 3 (0.002-0.003”). A new set of pistons that’s stock bore diameter on worn cylinder walls makes no sense, personally. For what it’s worth, I bought gte pistons and rods, then thought better of it. But I was also aiming for 800+hp. Used gte pistons and rods will work fine. Check your cylinder bores.

With regards to ecu, the emublack is pnp and seems to work good. The link+panic harness is truly pnp and deletes the stock ecu. The aem infinity is mostly pnp, I think? The Haltech Elite 2000 if they offer it with a pnp harness will work. none of them, except maybe the link, will control the pseudo DBW. The stock ecu will retain that function.

You do NOT need to switch to drive by cable. The Haltech elite 2500 with DBW control doesn’t even connect to the stock “DBW” throttle body. I’m pretty sure cruise control will still work if you stay auto and don’t manual swap.
 

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I measured it at 230k miles and almost all of them were a few thou larger at the top, and slightly out of round. Like 2 or 3 (0.002-0.003”)
Pretty typical.

I don't understand why piston manufacturers don't offer +0.004" (give or take) pistons... Something that allows you to put a fresh hone (actual hone, not a dingleberry) on used factory cylinders and achieve proper piston/wall clearance with new forged pistons without needing to bore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rebuilding with all those parts would be a rebuilt short block. Going through the head also, would make it a rebuilt long block. What you are talking about would easily be capable of handing your aim of 420whp - and a lot more. If you'll honestly be happy in the mid-400whp zone, what you're talking about is pretty serious overkill.


This would work fine; it's been done quite a bit. However, you'll first need to know if stock GTE pistons are suitable size for your old, worn cylinders. The only way you'll know is to remove your head and measure/inspect your bores. Here is where you have to decide between "this oughtta work fine" and "let's do this by the book":

This oughtta work fine: Buy a set of used GTE rods/pistons, run a dingleberry hone through the cylinders, sling some new rings/bearings in there, and call it good. (I'd definitely shave the head down if you go this route).

By the book: Tear down the engine, have it align honed, deck-plate bored/honed oversize, use GTE or new forged rods with new oversized forged pistons, get the crank polished, rotating assembly balanced, etc etc.
Thanks for your reply to everyone!

After the feedback from you guys and doing research around this and other forums, as well as talking to my mechanic who will be supervising the build, this is the final plan. We will be getting the machine shop to align hone the cylinders and this is the progress:

Bought the following parts, on the way:

1) Full GE gasket kit from Driftmotion - this should bring the head to a decent shape as well unless stuff is bent / misaligned at which point I might have to buy aftermarket head parts such as valves / retainers / etc?
2) ARP Head studs, Main studs and Rod bolts from Driftmotion

Awaiting to see the shape of the block/head to buy the next parts:
3) Forged Pistons - possibly GTE however might go oversized + aftermarket if we have to hone the cylinders a reasonable amount to make sure they are straight / even
4) Forged Connecting rods - possibly GTE rods however am awaiting to see the shape of block/head to pair these with the pistons
5) Performance Main & Rod bearing sets - King?
6) Thicker head gasket - again, possibly the GTE 1.6mm however, need to see how much we need to shave off the head to get it straight and then calculate an optimal compression ratio of 8.5:1 to about 9:1. Considering the Cometic 2mm HG here to try and get close to the GTE compression ratio and be able to handle boost reliably.

After building the motor I'll be driving it N/A to break it in and also to see how it will run without boost. Then, in an estimate of 6 months will be pushing ~12 psi reliably via:

1) Standalone ECU - will do more research here but budget is $2000-2500 + pnp harness. I want to retain as many stock ECU functions as possible.
2) Independently sourced turbo kit with a thick manifold and a good quality, medium sized and quick spooling turbine - definitely need research here
3) Fuel system / Injectors - will do more research here as it appears I will definitely need some sort of fuel modification, want to see what's been tried and tested with a similar setup.


Again, Thank all of you for your help and contributions. I will keep updating this post with the progress of my build, hopefully it can help someone down the line who also wants to do a similar build on an auto (for the time being) transmission and a total budget of about $10k.

Kind Regards,
kaiz3n
 

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machine shop to align hone the cylinders
An align-hone is when the main bearing bores are honed to ensure all 7 form a straight and round tunnel.

Forged Pistons - possibly GTE however might go oversized
The stock GTE pistons are not forged. That said, if your intent is to have a machine shop do a real hone on your cylinders - they're going to end up too big for even standard size forged pistons. You'll need to go oversize if you want a real hone, because they'll remove at least several 0.001's of an inch - and that's on top of the several 0.001s of bore wear you already have.

Fuel system / Injectors - will do more research here as it appears I will definitely need some sort of fuel modification, want to see what's been tried and tested with a similar setup.
A 255 lph Walbro "high pressure" pump will do mid-400whp no problem on pump gas, but not on E85. I have a thread where I show how to fit one of the big "Hellcat" Walbros into the stock hanger assembly. I recommend Injector Dynamics for injectors. Pricey, but good.
 

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none of them, except maybe the link, will control the pseudo DBW. The stock ecu will retain that function.
They will all control the DBW setup. It’s definitely an oddball though. It takes a lowside output @230hz and 50%DC to engage the DBW motor clutch but other than that is VPA1&2, VTA1&2, M+, M- just like a “normal” DBW set up. Cruise control will depend if the aftermarket standalone supports it….AEM considers the Infinity a “Motorsports” ecu and does not support cc. Haltech, Link, and maybe the EMU Black should.
 

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They will all control the DBW setup. It’s definitely an oddball though. It takes a lowside output @230hz and 50%DC to engage the DBW motor clutch but other than that is VPA1&2, VTA1&2, M+, M- just like a “normal” DBW set up. Cruise control will depend if the aftermarket standalone supports it….AEM considers the Infinity a “Motorsports” ecu and does not support cc. Haltech, Link, and maybe the EMU Black should.
All the ecu I listed has DBW support. The PNP harness for the IS300 they come with do not ,however, with the exception of Link w/ Panic wire harness. The Link replaces the stock ecu completely where the others are a parallel setup. When I bought my ecu, there wasn’t anyone running the stock DBW with a standalone. If it’s been figured out, that’s awesome. Definitely makes tuning easier versus going with a cable TB personally.

The Haltech supports cruise control for sure. They didn’t want to but too much demand. Having enough inputs with cruise control may become a problem with the Haltech though. The link retains all oem functions as far as I know so it’ll also do cruise control. The emublack does as well according to their website.

One more thing, I don’t know how the Haltech will do when it takes 50% DC to get TPS to change. It does a auto calibration so it freak out.

Edit: I checked the Link/Panic ecu. I don’t think it’s automatic compatible. Maybe someone who has one will know.
 
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