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GTE ECU will not work on a GE Motor without repinning and everything. It might be even more of a headache then running the GE ECU with a piggyback. Also, tuning for 600 is right if you have a base map or a tune already. If the shop is doing the wiring and tuning from scratch (this is assuming they know how to work with that standalone) you are still looking at a minimum $1000 without the ECU. Also with a "turbo kit" usually the turbo sucks and you'll have to replace it super fast. Then check all the welds in manifold and what not and maybe even have to do some work to make it fit. They aren't always perfect. Like Nuke said, you'll need exhaust work....downpipe to connect to the rest of the exhaust. If you have factory exhaust, going to have to replace that with 2.75in or 3in because you are turbo now, stock exhaust is restrictive. A general rule for turboing any car is have a power goal, and build the car that can withstand twice as much power so you aren't maxing out anything on the car. Good luck because shit will break :).
 

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Discussion Starter #43
From what I've seen, prices are going UP on JZ swaps. The price of a 1jz vvti has almost doubled in the past 2-3 years, for example.

OP - this car is your daily. The IS300 is a pretty reliable car, but I still wouldn't go too crazy with modifications. Make sure you're caught up on maintenance first. A turbo kit alone is going to cost you roughly $4-5k (if not more), unless you go with cheaper options or get lucky and find someone selling a kit used. Aside from the CX Racing kit, there is no off-the-shelf kit for this car, which means you're sourcing parts individually and piecing together a kit. Parts add up quick.

If it was me, my focus would be making sure the car could get me from A to B without any hiccups. Then maybe upgrade suspension (coilovers, sway bars). Put a headunit and subwoofer in it.

If you're still not happy with it, you could manual swap it? A manual swap might be more involved than you're hoping to be, but it would be a cheaper option that would still wake the car up a little bit (in stock form, a manual IS300 is way more fun to drive). A manual IS300 with coilovers, sway bars, and a short shifter is a fun little car and it maintains factory reliability.
Thanks for the advice. I've noticed that 1JZ/2JZs are a lot more expensive than forum posts even just a few years old say they were then.

If I turbo it, I'm definitely going to be mostly using cheaper components. I've found enough people saying that they did a reliable, mild turbo build for around $3000 that I'm confident I can follow in their footsteps. We'll see if that holds up once I finish my parts list.

It's just never going to be as fun going around corners as my Corvette, so I'm not super interested in going down that path. I'll probably do sway bars, but I don't see myself doing the expensive suspension mods like coilovers.

What this car can offer that my Corvette cannot (aside from the boring stuff like practicality and reliability) is the experience of driving a turbo car. I agree that boosting isn't the "right" choice for most IS300 owners, but I just can't shake the itch for boost.

This probably isn't relevant to the thread, considering budget and amount of effort the OP is interested in putting in... But...

I think the correct amount of power for the IS300 chassis is ~350whp, and I think the way to do it is an LS swap. I actually bought an LS3 w/ 6spd manual, and then started looking for a nice clean virgin car to swap - but ended up buying a turbo car instead.

While I like the turbo car and it's a lot of fun, I think my original plan was better. An aluminum block LS and T56 trans combo saves over 100lb, as opposed to a turbo setup that will usually add 50-100lb. It's easier to pass the 450whp mark with a turbo 2J, of course, but if you're happy in the 350-400 zone, the LS will do that easily with OEM reliability and provide explosive bottom end torque that makes zipping around town a whole lot of fun.

Another consideration is engine calibration. GM spent millions developing the tune to start perfectly, make good power, never detonate, get good fuel economy, meet emissions regulations, etc etc etc. That is something you are NOT going to match when paying some dude $500 to "tune" your turbo 2J in a day or two.
Interesting perspective. While I'm all for the LS and swapping it into anything that moves, I just couldn't bring myself to do that. Sure, the 2JZ might not be very competitive nowadays, especially in low-boost applications, but it is such a legendary engine I'd hate to get rid of it. More so, I don't think I could bring myself to do an engine swap with as rare as the SportCross is. I will say, I think my next car will be an LS swap!

$1900 will only be if you buy the CX racing kit, which includes generic parts of unknown quality.

You can't tune the GTE ecu (or the GE ecu, for that matter), which means you'll need either a piggyback or standalone, and then a tune.

Don't forget exhaust work as well.
Have people had issues with the CX Racing kit? I thought it had a pretty good reputation as far as the budget kits go.

Thanks for the info on the GTE ECU. After a bit more research I think a piggyback will be the way to go. And thanks for the reminder about exhaust, too.

GTE ECU will not work on a GE Motor without repinning and everything. It might be even more of a headache then running the GE ECU with a piggyback. Also, tuning for 600 is right if you have a base map or a tune already. If the shop is doing the wiring and tuning from scratch (this is assuming they know how to work with that standalone) you are still looking at a minimum $1000 without the ECU. Also with a "turbo kit" usually the turbo sucks and you'll have to replace it super fast. Then check all the welds in manifold and what not and maybe even have to do some work to make it fit. They aren't always perfect. Like Nuke said, you'll need exhaust work....downpipe to connect to the rest of the exhaust. If you have factory exhaust, going to have to replace that with 2.75in or 3in because you are turbo now, stock exhaust is restrictive. A general rule for turboing any car is have a power goal, and build the car that can withstand twice as much power so you aren't maxing out anything on the car. Good luck because shit will break :).
Yeah, the GTE ECU was just a thought, but I think I've ruled that out.

I thought $600 was a little generous; in most areas I've heard a dyno tune is in the $300-$500 range. The added cost for wiring is only with a standalone, right? At any rate, before I move forward I'm definitely going to find the shop that would be tuning it, figure out if they're comfortable with piggybacks, and get an estimate. But it occurs to me that I might want to take on tuning myself if I'm shooting for less HP than originally intended - I've learned enough from tuning my Corvette that I think I could take that on.

Regarding the CX Racing kit, I'm unable to find anything conclusive saying that it's a bad buy. At the very least, the consensus seems to be that everything except the turbo, wastegate, and BOV are well-made. I find a few people who bag on it because of the low price, but I find much more people saying that they installed it and it's been a quality kit. I did find a really informative post pointing out some issues they could see. It looks like that's right after the kit was released though, and a critique of the parts isn't quite the same as reports of actual problems with an installed kit. I'm still looking for negative reports, though.

I almost entirely believe in "you get what you pay for", but I don't like automatically ruling something out because it's cheap. I hate the crap that Harbor Freight mostly sells, and yet I'll be buying a HF floor jack.

That said, I want to make an informed decision, so I'd love to hear any negative experiences people have had with the CX Racing kit. I'm still doing my own research, and I'll update here with anything definitive I find.


Tomorrow morning I'm starting the drive across the country, so I don't expect I'll be posting back here much next week.
 

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To get to 300-400 hp while maintaining factory reliability and smoothness you need to find a really good 2gz shop to do a swap. I am lucky and have one nearby that really does amazing work and really takes their time sourcing the motors. They would do the full swap with the stock ecu from the aristo in japan and then tune the turbos to get my desired 350-400 hp.... this option is 6500 all in for me here where I am at but by far gives you the best platform moving forward. Factory reliability if you stick to stock turbos and ability to go to 1000+ hp in the future if you get the boost bug...
Where is this shop?
 

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I thought I'd put my 2 cents in... I read through the thread. In my opinion there's no way you're going to get what you want for $5k - since you want it to run nicely and have stock-like reliability. I also don't think it makes that much sense to be so against swapping your drivetrain since its not that big of a deal.

Here are your options:
-Boost the stock GE
-Boost the stock GE with GTE internals
-1J swap it
-LS swap it

Personally I'd LS swap it.

I know other people have mentioned it, but engine management can take up a large portion of your budget alone. The greddy emanage isn't a very good solution since its pretty limited, and hell, most of all of the cheaper options aren't good for the same reason. Not sure how your local laws are for inspections, but this may make the LS swap easier. Where I'm at (Texas) they hook up to my OBD2 port, it reports that its a 2003 Express van, and then they put a sticker on my car lol.

Little stuff adds up very quickly. If you're planning on anything good (including good engine management) I believe that $8k in parts is more believable.

I also don't think cars (even sport crosses) are that sacred so I don't mind doing what I need to do to get to my goals.
 
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