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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.

I've just joined the forum so this is my first post. I own a Lexus IS200 Sport (2001) and am using this as my first project car as I learn to become a mechanic. I'm in the early stages right now just doing basic stuff like changing fluids and filters so I've got a long way to go! Anyway, as I'm on this subject, there's one thing I can't seem to be clear on so I was hoping to clear it up here.

I know the gearbox requires Semi-Synthetic 75W-90 GL-5 oil, but what about the Limited Slip Differential that these Sport models have? I've been looking on this forum & the Lexus Owners Club where there's a bit of a mix of answers! Some people say you use the same oil in the LSD but others say you only use the same oil in the differential if it's the standard version, not the LSD and that you need a much thicker oil for the LSD version. I then checked AutoData which says 90 Semi-Synthetic GL-5 but it doesn't specify that it's for the LSD version so I don't know if it's just referencing the standard model as when I put my plate in and chose the car it didn't specify it was the Sport version. So I'm left feeling pretty confused about what to buy here! Does anyone know for sure?

Thanks ;)
 

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75-90 GL5 rated is what you use. You can use standard or synthetic. Standard will need to be changed sooner than the other. The synthetic will hold up better the heat. Just a matter of service interval and use. You are the one that knows how you are using it and servicing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
75-90 GL5 rated is what you use. You can use standard or synthetic. Standard will need to be changed sooner than the other. The synthetic will hold up better the heat. Just a matter of service interval and use. You are the one that knows how you are using it and servicing it.
Thanks for the reply. I was also looking into the synthetic thing and that was confusing. Aside from the fact that oils have a lot of variation in what's in them and what exactly they're good for, I heard that synthetic oil can 'glaze' the diff or something along those lines. Any ideas on that?

Thanks.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I was also looking into the synthetic thing and that was confusing. Aside from the fact that oils have a lot of variation in what's in them and what exactly they're good for, I heard that synthetic oil can 'glaze' the diff or something along those lines. Any ideas on that?

Thanks.
No, Internet BS.
 

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I have been told by a local Toyota tech just to make sure it is LSD oil, or the LSD wont behave right and wear prematurely. I think mine is 80-90 from memory, I toyed with going to a thinner 120/140 to see if it would change the way the LSD bites, but couldn't be stuffed in the end.

Non LSD aren't as fussy as they don't have the finicky LSD bits to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I was originally going to buy some oil for LDSs but those oils tend to specify they're for plate type LSDs. I then I found out that the IS200 Sport has a Torsen LSD and these apparently don't need that kind of oil with friction modifiers in it. What do you reckon?
 

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I use Mobil1 75w-90 but mine’s an IS300 with lsd. You’re correct that Torsen style lsd doesn’t need the friction modified fluid. Clutch style lsd need the special fluid. I don’t know what style diff an IS200 has. We never got them here in the states. I think your trans is a J160, which is also not one we got. W55 was the stock MT here, but you’d probably be ok with some Redline or Mobil1 75w90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm pretty sure it is a Torsen one. It might even be the same one that's on the IS300. I've ordered some Motul Motylgear 75W90 Technosynthese Gear Oil for both the gearbox and LSD. Hopefully it'll do the trick. Cheers.
 

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Yes the IS200/RS200 came with torsion LSD option, but has a smaller gearset so on the info plate it will say something like A01B for yours where the IS says something like B01B. On both the 'B' on the right is the LSD option (torsion from OEM), the A on the left side is the smaller gear set (maybe 6"?) where the IS300 got the larger (maybe 7").

IS200 manual is a J160, auto is a A340 4 speed. The RS200 came with J160 manual and the auto was the same A650e as the IS300 but with a slightly different spring pack in the solenoids from what i have read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info :) I just had a look at the plate in the engine bay and it says A02B. That's good to know because it's another way of confirming it's the sports model.

Slightly off topic but does anyone have any idea if you can put a different gearbox in the manual IS200 without any heavy modding? I've never really enjoyed the way they shift. You have to rev the engine pretty high/rev match to get a smooth change. Then again, maybe that's just because the engine slows down a lot inbetween shifting.
 

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Funny, usually most ask about going from the W55? to the J160 cause it is smoother than the other options, but given the same box is used on the revvy RS200 3GSE and the i think on the Honda S2000 your comments about revving dont surprise me much. Sure its not just a worn trans or clutch making the shifts difficult? Have you changed the manual trans fluid yet?

Personally I am not familiar with a "Sport" version of the IS200, like the others I havent heard of them before but that could be a release for a certain country (what country are you in?). Over here the regular version is the Jap import Altezza is the IS200 with the slow 6 pot 1GFE, the "sport" version is the RS200 with the 3GSE which like to rev.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't changed gearbox oil yet so I'm hoping that will help. It's got a short-shifter on it that's not stock so I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it because it also sometimes clunks a little when selecting 1st or 2nd gear, sometimes 3rd too. But I have noticed other people saying the same thing about these boxes so maybe it's just how they are. I remember when James May reviewed the IS200 on Top Gear he said it thuds a bit when you shift. He seems to be reviewing the Sport version in this video as he talks about the LSD + I spotted the buttons for the heated seats. I'm not sure the standard version had A/C either.



I'm in the UK and the Sport version has some advantages over the standard model. I don't know them all but here's some of them: LSD, adjustable sports suspension with a lower default ride height, different steering wheel, different rims, heated seats, different pedals with a metal coating.. They both have the same 1G-FE engine though so there's no power difference. It's more of a ride/handling difference and some luxury addons. I think there's another model inbetween the standard and sport models called the 'SE', though I'm not sure on that..

We also have the IS300 over here with the 2JZ engine but I think most/all of them are autos :( Though you can do convert them of course. Other than engine & drivetrain stuff, I think they're essentially the same as the IS200. I know I've bought IS300 suspension parts from the USA and they've fitted just fine on my IS200.

Cheers.
 

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The reason why you have such a poor driving experience with the IS200 6spd is because they have a dual mass flywheel like the IS300 W55. Once you get rid of that it will drive a lot better but it does make more noise than stock. I'd keep the gearbox and swap the engine to a 3UZ if I were you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeh I've heard that before and was considering getting a single mass flywheel but they aint cheap.. I'm thinking I might just tidy this car up, enjoy it for a little while longer then move on to something more powerful. I'm not sure yet. It's a cool car but it has been eating my money a bit, especially as I've got to pay mechanics to do most of the work at this stage.
 

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Yeh I've heard that before and was considering getting a single mass flywheel but they aint cheap.. I'm thinking I might just tidy this car up, enjoy it for a little while longer then move on to something more powerful. I'm not sure yet. It's a cool car but it has been eating my money a bit, especially as I've got to pay mechanics to do most of the work at this stage.
Well that will be the case with any car if you aren't able to work on it yourself. I'd suggest making friends with someone/people who can show you how work on your car. I used to go to a shop that you could rent hoist time, I'd go there so much that I made friends with the local mechanic and he'd give me tips all the time. Anything over my head I'd pay him for his time to fix my car
 
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