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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First time poster, long time lurker, any help is greatly appreciated!!

So I have about 5-7K to play with,

I've owned my 02 IS300 5spd for almost ten years now, shipped her out from California to NYC, and shes in desperate need of a refresh. Wont pass nys inspection because of a bad cat converter, and I'd like to update the wheels, engine and suspension and just fix everything I've been putting off for years. I've decided I cant part with my 02 for a n 05 M3 or IS-F. Would rather update the IS to feel and look better, and drive safer ie not wobble after 80mph.

I'd love to get this look with the wheels and suspension. I've read through the forums for literally a year trying to figure out the perfect size to buy. I believe he's running 18x9.5 up front and 18x10 in the back. Now heres my question - I have never purchased aftermarket wheels, been dreaming about it forever but I am the only person I know that is a car enthusiast, so you guys are my only hope in asking questions, also I want to get the wheel sizes right when I order. Can someone please give me a tip on what offset to get to achieve this look? Also what suspension setup would you recommend for NYC driving that gets me close to looking like this? I know I'll need the fenders rolled as well, so if anyone can please recommend a shop they trust in the New York area, that does fender rolling or even can advise me on how to invest in this cars future, it would be greatly appreciated.

As far as engine and brake updates, what would you do if you had about 5K to play with after wheels and suspension? Apologies but some novice questions are coming up:

Can I update the exhaust, headers etc and eliminate the cat converter or what to do to pass inspection?

Can I get turbo for around 5K, with install, either engine swap or a kit?

Whats the best route to go to for updating brakes?

Thank you!
 

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I have used Petrolwerks on Long Island (where I live). I would suggest calling them and asking to speak with Mo. He is the owner, and the one that you should talk to. They do crazy work at his shop and they are VERY familiar with our platform and swaps. I would call him, and talk to him about your budget and plans. You dont have to use them, but he can give you a good idea about which way you should go.
You can also talk to the guys at Camber Toe. They are in Nassau County and the next shop I will be bringing my car to. They are an awesome shop, especially for suspension work. One of the owners drives and IS300. I would use these guys before Petrolwerks for most work, but would use Petrolwerks if going turbo.
Before you go spending money, talk to both of those shops. Again, tell them your budget, and your goals, and go from there. both shops will be able to help you with wheel fitment as well.
Hopefully, everyone you speak to mentions making sure the car is up to date with all maintenance first.
If you wind up just doing some bolt-on's, I would contact Sparktec Motorsports an ebay vendor. They also have a website, but have hands down given me the lowest prices on parts by far, have awesome customer service, and ship super quick.
As a New Yorker (albeit from Long Island) this is what I highly recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have used Petrolwerks on Long Island (where I live). I would suggest calling them and asking to speak with Mo. He is the owner, and the one that you should talk to. They do crazy work at his shop and they are VERY familiar with our platform and swaps. I would call him, and talk to him about your budget and plans. You dont have to use them, but he can give you a good idea about which way you should go.
You can also talk to the guys at Camber Toe. They are in Nassau County and the next shop I will be bringing my car to. They are an awesome shop, especially for suspension work. One of the owners drives and IS300. I would use these guys before Petrolwerks for most work, but would use Petrolwerks if going turbo.
Before you go spending money, talk to both of those shops. Again, tell them your budget, and your goals, and go from there. both shops will be able to help you with wheel fitment as well.
Hopefully, everyone you speak to mentions making sure the car is up to date with all maintenance first.
If you wind up just doing some bolt-on's, I would contact Sparktec Motorsports an ebay vendor. They also have a website, but have hands down given me the lowest prices on parts by far, have awesome customer service, and ship super quick.
As a New Yorker (albeit from Long Island) this is what I highly recommend.
Thanks GXElover - have an email out to Cambertoe. Really appreciate your recommendations. Good point to make sure everything on the car is up to date before investing $.
 

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Thanks GXElover - have an email out to Cambertoe. Really appreciate your recommendations. Good point to make sure everything on the car is up to date before investing $.
No worries and best of luck. Camber Toe is pretty good about getting back to Facebook messages, and calls.

90k mile maint. can be around $1000 between parts and labor. If you are already having a steering issue, you obviously need to have that checked. And of course the brakes. Take care of those things then see where your budget allows you to go.
 

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for wheels, tires, suspension, alignment, etc , hit up my boys at Intrack Tires / Performance in Jamaica, Queens. Ask for Vern, or Jason.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys, just ordered my Enkei Rpf1's at RavSpec today. Sizing is F 18x9 +35 R 18x10 +38.

I'll be dropped 1.4" all around on Eibach Sportline's and Koni Yellow's. Cambertoe (via GXElover) suggested I go with this particular spring setup with front and rear strut bars vs BC coils for the harsh Brooklyn roads.

Will these tire sizes work nicely/stretch with these wheels? And (sorry dumb question but) should I go with an all season tire if this will be my main year round setup?

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
F: 215/40/18
R: 245/35/18
 

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Discussion Starter #8
for wheels, tires, suspension, alignment, etc , hit up my boys at Intrack Tires / Performance in Jamaica, Queens. Ask for Vern, or Jason.
Thank you, heading in next week for some help with tires!
 

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Hey guys, just ordered my Enkei Rpf1's at RavSpec today. Sizing is F 18x9 +35 R 18x10 +38.

I'll be dropped 1.4" all around on Eibach Sportline's and Koni Yellow's. Cambertoe (via GXElover) suggested I go with this particular spring setup with front and rear strut bars vs BC coils for the harsh Brooklyn roads.

Will these tire sizes work nicely/stretch with these wheels? And (sorry dumb question but) should I go with an all season tire if this will be my main year round setup?

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
F: 215/40/18
R: 245/35/18
Yes on the all seasons
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes on the all seasons
Definitely. Any idea on sizing? For some reason the shops are confused by these sizes. I don't know a ton about wheels but would I need the tires stretched on these? PS I know this is a noob question, hopefully someone hits me back so I can learn these things lol thank you
 

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Yeah I'm working with the same amount of money. Doing all the 90-100k stuff and replacing everything with better parts. Along with bc coilovers and some poly bushings and better sways.
 

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Definitely. Any idea on sizing? For some reason the shops are confused by these sizes. I don't know a ton about wheels but would I need the tires stretched on these? PS I know this is a noob question, hopefully someone hits me back so I can learn these things lol thank you
What I suggest you do:
Go to tirerack.com
Search for a wheel set up that is specific to your stock wheels.
Choose the wheel size the most closely fits what you are looking for.
The options that come up SHOULD be the correct offset for the wheels
AND when you select the wheels, it will show you tire size options as well

From my personal experience this first winter with my car here on Long Island...I would put snow tires on the stock wheels (what I did) and then put either all seasons, or summer tires on your larger wheels.
 

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I'm not a pro or anything, I actually just started doing things to my is300 after 5 years of driving, but 5k to play with after wheels and suspension.. oh boy, since yours is manual already, that would be my first thing on the list.

My next step would go towards an engine swap with a 1jz gte since it's not so expensive and still have some money to play around with and it already comes with a turbo, after that it's hard to tell which direction you would like to go, either more power so now you need a better transmission, or just stay as it is and try to stay at that 300hp mark.

Also I might want to get a piggy back emu such as greddy e-manage ultimate with the 1jz plug n play harness, that way I can learn how to tune the car up to it's optimal performance and try not to blow anything. Other than that, good luck on your build, looking forward to some updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah I'm working with the same amount of money. Doing all the 90-100k stuff and replacing everything with better parts. Along with bc coilovers and some poly bushings and better sways.
I'm at about 152K now and never did the 100K tune up so this is a long time coming. Nice that the Dezod Green Headers should take care of my Cat Converter Codes and help me pass inspection which is why I finally started to invest in upgrades after owning it for 10 years now. Good luck on your build! I decided against the BC's because of our NYC roads, just too rough! I'm going to look into the bushings as well, think we have those scheduled to be worked on as well. I had some serious buyers remorse at first, but this car was my dream car at 18 and with some thoughtful upgrades it can continue to look just as beautiful as anything else (is-f, m3) which were two other cars I was looking at instead of fixing the cats and dropping money on an aging chassis, but with what I've seen on craigslist these are greatly built cars and I can see myself owning it forever.


What I suggest you do:
Go to tirerack.com
Search for a wheel set up that is specific to your stock wheels.
Choose the wheel size the most closely fits what you are looking for.
The options that come up SHOULD be the correct offset for the wheels
AND when you select the wheels, it will show you tire size options as well

From my personal experience this first winter with my car here on Long Island...I would put snow tires on the stock wheels (what I did) and then put either all seasons, or summer tires on your larger wheels.
I got this message back from TireRack about my "aggressive" wheels haha - not sure if these sizes sound right either.

Hi Daniel, I have done some checking and our fitment team recommends the following sizes:

Tire Size / Overall Dimeter / Rim Width Range / Notes

235/35R18 / 24.5" / Rim Width Range...... 8.0 to 9.5 inches / None
255/35R18 / 25.0" / Rim Width Range...... 8.5 to 10.0 inches / Note: "Rear Only" and fender lip modification required if wheels have a lower offset than 55mm!


I'm not a pro or anything, I actually just started doing things to my is300 after 5 years of driving, but 5k to play with after wheels and suspension.. oh boy, since yours is manual already, that would be my first thing on the list.

My next step would go towards an engine swap with a 1jz gte since it's not so expensive and still have some money to play around with and it already comes with a turbo, after that it's hard to tell which direction you would like to go, either more power so now you need a better transmission, or just stay as it is and try to stay at that 300hp mark.

Also I might want to get a piggy back emu such as greddy e-manage ultimate with the 1jz plug n play harness, that way I can learn how to tune the car up to it's optimal performance and try not to blow anything. Other than that, good luck on your build, looking forward to some updates.
That was my original thought, and what I hope to be able to do by next year or as soon as I save up some more after this (stage 1) build if you can call it that haha. I was quoted by some shops in LI for as much as $10k for the swap. They told me to save my money and buy a faster car from the beginning instead of investing in the IS, told me to go with a subie sti '05. As far as our ECU's go, the shops I've been reaching out to have been telling me ours are virtually impossible to work on etc. and bla bla just get a new car. But I like our cars, I love them, and Im psyched to finally be putting work into it, I think the car knows its going to be upgraded soon, its feeling a little old and ready for a blood transfusion! Cheers guys
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also here's my part list so far after the initial checkup on the car at Cambertoe:

Eibach Sportline Kit with Koni Yellow's and Eibach front and rear sways included with kit
Dezod Green Headers
Enkei Rpf1 - F 18x9 +35 R 18x10 +38
Tires? - You know my confusion level on this already
SS Brake Lines by Cambertoe
Pads - Upgrading but not sure on brand yet
Spark Plugs - Thoughts?
OEM Special Edition Headlights - almost bought on ebay but decided to hold off until I find out how much labor will be. A pair runs about $475 looks like on ebay (+10hp)
 

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That was my original thought, and what I hope to be able to do by next year or as soon as I save up some more after this (stage 1) build if you can call it that haha. I was quoted by some shops in LI for as much as $10k for the swap. They told me to save my money and buy a faster car from the beginning instead of investing in the IS, told me to go with a subie sti '05. As far as our ECU's go, the shops I've been reaching out to have been telling me ours are virtually impossible to work on etc. and bla bla just get a new car. But I like our cars, I love them, and Im psyched to finally be putting work into it, I think the car knows its going to be upgraded soon, its feeling a little old and ready for a blood transfusion! Cheers guys
Smart people, that's what I told my nephew. Many times the IS3 is bought because it is cheap. Engine swaps/building is not cheap at all unless you are doing all the work yourself, and even then, quality parts are expensive.

I think you are going about it the right way by doing suspension work first. Keep your goals reasonable and don't go in over your head (that is, unless you have an unlimited or huge budget to work with. Then it's go crazy time).

Good luck and welcome to the forum (even though you've been here since 2014).
 

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Just some maintenance 2 cents which I learned after a complete build... invest in cases of oil and filters to keep on hand. Lately I've been thinking of buying spark plugs in bulk too.
If you plan on keeping the car a while it's nice to stock up and save on the most common maintenance items for the long run. It could save enough dollars for that name-brand performance part you always wanted but couldn't afford.

My big lesson learned was to look into the future and stop being wasteful in the short. I didn't buy fancy lights, wheels, accessories or anything for nearly 10 years. Not even an air freshener. Basically, I saved enough to start building what I originally envisioned.

Just my experience as a 14 year owner.
 

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My big lesson learned was to look into the future and stop being wasteful in the short. I didn't buy fancy lights, wheels, accessories or anything for nearly 10 years. Not even an air freshener. Basically, I saved enough to start building what I originally envisioned.
I agree with this. I pretty much dumped $15k into the motor and drivetrain from the start. Everything else is much cheaper and easier to do once the car is up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Rims came in! Decided to pick up the oem 03 sportdesign headlights after finding a good deal on ebay :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree with this. I pretty much dumped $15k into the motor and drivetrain from the start. Everything else is much cheaper and easier to do once the car is up and running.
Very much appreciate the advice. Did you do a swap?

Just some maintenance 2 cents which I learned after a complete build... invest in cases of oil and filters to keep on hand. Lately I've been thinking of buying spark plugs in bulk too.
If you plan on keeping the car a while it's nice to stock up and save on the most common maintenance items for the long run. It could save enough dollars for that name-brand performance part you always wanted but couldn't afford.

My big lesson learned was to look into the future and stop being wasteful in the short. I didn't buy fancy lights, wheels, accessories or anything for nearly 10 years. Not even an air freshener. Basically, I saved enough to start building what I originally envisioned.

Just my experience as a 14 year owner.
Great advice, I waited 10 years as well to start doing anything to the car, but since the cats are bad I thought its as good a time as any to start upgrading.

Smart people, that's what I told my nephew. Many times the IS3 is bought because it is cheap. Engine swaps/building is not cheap at all unless you are doing all the work yourself, and even then, quality parts are expensive.

I think you are going about it the right way by doing suspension work first. Keep your goals reasonable and don't go in over your head (that is, unless you have an unlimited or huge budget to work with. Then it's go crazy time).

Good luck and welcome to the forum (even though you've been here since 2014).
Thank you!
 
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