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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've liked the looks of the IS300 since I bought my CL TypeS in 2001. At the time I wanted an automatic and stock performance and that wasn't really the IS300 at that time.

Now I've sold my CLS and am in the market for a manual trans car with good aftermarket performance potential. I prefer RWD or AWD and I have a fiending for turbo power.

My self-imposed budget for the car is $30k, and the lower the better (the more to put towards mods or keep in the bank). The car can cost $30k, but then it'd be a while before I mod it.

My thinking is to go forced-induction with an IS300 but I am trying to determine the cost.

I know with most non-FI cars... to FI them you should expect ~$10k (including installation) to do it safely and properly. Generally there's a turbo kit, fuel system upgrades, plugs, intake, exhaust, transmission (clutch, flywheel, pressure plate) upgrades, tires, and maybe even brakes.

I'm not looking for 400+whp. 300-350whp is more than enough for me.

Not knowing a lot about the IS300 I'm not sure if it's worth considering going FI or not - I don't see too many people here with turbo kits and the ones who do seem to have a solid $15-20k invested in their mods. I see people switching the stock block for the GTE Supra block and even swapping in a 6spd transmission. That's definitely going to up the cost of parts and labor for going FI by a good margin so the $15-20k makes sense, but I certainly don't have that kind of money to put towards modding my car. Hey I have to start saving for a house too. =\

So if I'm in the market for a car that looks good AND has good performance in the under $30k range, should I really be looking at the IS300?

It fits the initial budget and I love how it looks but I'm not sure it meets the performance needs I have. I could go with an Evo8 or STi but I don't much like the looks of either of them, and that's the same reason I wouldn't go for an RSX TypeS (even though I work at an Acura dealer) - I don't like the image it gives (it's a high-schooler's car) and I don't think it looks all that great either. Plus it's FWD.
I certainly wouldn't want to drop $10k into one to turbo it safely and have spent $30k on a compact coupe with image problems. =p

The Evo8 and STi have the performance and I can tolerate their looks but they're much lower quality and definitely have their own personality.

If the TSX was RWD that'd be near the top of my list but it's FWD.

The s2000 is almost perfect except I don't really want or need a convertible or the (bad) attention it brings and while it's awesome off-the-showroom-floor, it is very hard to ever make much performance additions to one on the cheap because it's at its limits stock in many ways. And I tend to get tired of a level of performance after a few months and like to up it.

The only other cars I've thought to consider are the 350Z and WRX. The 350Z I didn't think much of (not a fan of V6s. anything but a V6 please.) but it was "fine" on the test drive. Nothing special. Very poor visability btw - hard to see who's behind and beside you.

The WRX was a fine car but it is troublesome if you start modding it. ECU issues, trans issues, etc.

So I am back to the IS300 which I think looks great, I have yet to test drive it but I'm sure the 5speed is a nice car to drive (and I hope to test drive one soon), but I'm at a loss for performance upgrades that don't have me emptying the bank account. I'm looking for a car with a more mature but still stylish and sporty image like I feel the IS300 has, but I want it to have more performance to get that respect, which would be especially cool on a car like the IS300 that many people think of as slow. To be able to blow the doors off someone who was a moment ago telling his buddy in the passenger seat "oh those things are slow watch this" is always worth it. ;)

So are there any worthwhile performance upgrades for the IS300, say, under $4-5k in price that would add a good amount of performance to the car safely and while keeping it reliable, or is it really only a high income player's game who can afford to drop $15-20k to turbo an IS300?
 

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You can definitely get it under $30 K, as it's a slow seller & they're willing to deal.

A $10 K budget would give you room for a complete stg 1 (w/ upgraded transmission, tires, everything). This would give you in the range of 280 rwhp (approx 330 hp).

There are over 55 people w/ FI here, & 5-sp owners w/ Stg 2 or higher should swap to the Getrag 6-sp. People spending $20 K for everything are Stg 2 & higher.

In terms of handling & braking, the IS300 is as good as any other luxury sports sedan (ie 330i, G35).

You can go $7 K w/ a stg 1 (including tires) but w/o upgrading the transmission (not really needed for stg 1).

Trust me, most people didn't spend $20 K (the majority have stg 1, $10 K for everything).
 

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hmm...this is tuff

the is300 is your car if you want to spend 30k, but if you want to go the f/i route you need to spend about 7-10k+ or more to have a reliable f/i setup and if you get a manual instead of an auto it would even cost more because our w55 cant handle a lot of power.

i was planning on going w/ f/i (turbo stage1) for about 5k, but after everything i read on the forums its too risky because something will bound to go wrong sooner or later. I dont know its a hard decision maybe a supercharger would be cheaper and more reliable? Right now im thinking to just go w/ na mods and when i save up money after a couple years ill just go for the turbo for the heck of it, but then i dont know if i will like my is300 that much anymore to drop all that money into it...sigh

if you want a reliable sporty and fast car for about 30k all i can think of is the 350z, imo the infinty g35 coupe is better, but then you dont like V6's and yeah the subaru's are ehh too cheap and ugly

i really cant think of any other car maybe a used 300zx? used supra?
this is hard im going crazy :crazy: eventhough your the one thats buying investing in a new car

GOODLUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
JPis300 said:
You can definitely get it under $30 K, as it's a slow seller & they're willing to deal.

A $10 K budget would give you room for a complete stg 1 (w/ upgraded transmission, tires, everything). This would give you in the range of 280 rwhp (approx 330 hp).
What is the transmission upgrade you mentioned? Do you mean swap to a 6speed?

You can go $7 K w/ a stg 1 (including tires) but w/o upgrading the transmission (not really needed for stg 1).
That dollar figure sounds acceptable. and 280whp would be nice. What kind of times would it run with that much power?


was planning on going w/ f/i (turbo stage1) for about 5k, but after everything i read on the forums its too risky because something will bound to go wrong sooner or later.
Are the things that go wrong due to abuse and hard driving or are they basic unavoidable problems related to the fact that the engine is now turbo'd? Like I wouldn't be doing burnouts and clutch drops so would I experience these problems you mentioned? What sort of problems?

Thanks.
 
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