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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had my SX for almost 2 weeks now. I've been reading and searching and reading more. Not to mention buying buying buying.

I decided to document what I'm doing in case anyone else is interested. So here's the scoop:

2002 IS300 Sportcross
Onyx Black with tan interior
Non-LSD, heated seats, full leather
3rd owner, car spent 11 years in Washington DC
Full Lexus service history, 67,450 miles when bought (9/12/15)
Purchased from Darcars Fairfax Used Cars (typical used car lot)

The car sat at the dealer for 3 months and I was eyeballing it the whole time. I'd never driven an IS before so I decided to go see it and take a drive.
I threw out a low offer, raised it a bit on my way out the door, and they took it. I was not prepared for that. I do not need another car. However, my mom is going to need one in a few months when her lease runs out. I think it would be a good car for her.

So I got it home and I am planning on doing a Wheeler Dealer style mild restoration. I plan to replace everything with stock parts to make it factory fresh - as much as a 14 year old car can be.

The good:
Lots of wear parts previously and recently replaced. All major services completed. Engine, trans, cooling system, running gear all in great shape. No rust. No accident history. It's got a solid foundation to build on.

The bad:
Get comfortable - 11 years in DC have taken their toll. Both bumpers need repair and repainting. All 4 wheels are curbed all the way around and wear 3 brands of tires (though they all have a ton of tread - one has a chunk coming off the sidewall). 3 wheels are bent. Left fog light is white and the right is yellow. The right front splash shield is missing. It has small dents and some paint loss all over, though it appears it was at least partially repainted at some point - possibly before the prior sale. It made an awful noise coming from the front end when I bought it.
Driver's seat has a large tear in it and worn side bolster. The dash is all scratched up. The interior in general is just dingy and grimy.






 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My plans include:
Timing belt service
New OEM wheels and tires (Continentals) and alignment
Replace/recover driver's seat
Repaint front and rear bumpers
Get some paintless dent repair
Get the splash shield and retainers
Tint the windows
Get another key
Do something with the stereo to get Bluetooth

Progress

What have I done so far?

I replaced the brake pads and turned the rotors on the car (which were like new).



I changed the oil (last done in June 2013)

Got a replacement key (the only one I got was held together with scotch tape).

Got a new shifter from a... I dunno, it wasn't what I ordered but I like it.



Got fog lights shipped from Malaysia - yet to install.


Misc:
I don't understand why the original cigarette lighter is so freaking expensive.
I'm missing a part from the rearview mirror where it meets the headliner but I can't seem to see anything that looks like it belongs there.
Sportcross parts are hard to find.
The previous owner loaded stuff in this thing. The RR door has this blue mark on it that won't come off, even with Magic Eraser


After replacing the brakes, I still get a random rubbing noise when turning sharp from the front and a grinding noise coming from the back at low speed - both on the right side. I checked the shields in front but I haven't taken the rotors off the back yet.
Car hesitates when first taking off, seems like a common issue. I cleaned the MAF and got a CEL, cleared it, but the hesitation persists. I will probably have to learn to live with it.

More to come as I get further into it.
 

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Can someone tell me what holds this in? It had a plastic pop-it that did not belong. I see the hole is threaded, but nothing I have fits. I don't see anything listed in the parts diagrams.
ToyoDIY.com is your friend :)


"Every single bolt in a japanese car is 10 mm"
-Mr. Regular

So, I'm guessing you're looking at an M6(x1.00) bolt with washer (10 mm socket).

Also, while you're at it, you should check out http://lexus.solar3.eu which has the entire repair manual for the 1st gen IS, stuffed with troubleshootings, step-by-step guides and much more. It's an old design, so you gotta use Internet Explorer to view the site, or the IE-tab extension in Google Chrome.

Good luck and welcome!
 

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Sportcross parts are hard to find.
From the front doors forward everything is the same as a sedan if that will help your search.
If you have anything sportcross specific that you need and can't find then there is a guy in the UK who parts these cars out.
PM me if you want his name and info.

That car's bumpers are scratched up in exactly the same places mine were. But hey, at least they used it!
Also that radiator looks pretty green, might want to keep an eye on it.
The gunk on the dash can be removed with Armor All wipes or various other cleaning products, see this thread for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ToyoDIY.com is your friend :)

So, I'm guessing you're looking at an M6(x1.00) bolt with washer (10 mm socket).

Also, while you're at it, you should check out http://lexus.solar3.eu

Good luck and welcome!
Thank you for all of that. I just got back from a junk yard and found the bolt.
I will definitely take a look at the manual.



If you have anything sportcross specific that you need and can't find then there is a guy in the UK who parts these cars out.
PM me if you want his name and info.

The gunk on the dash can be removed with Armor All wipes or various other cleaning products, see this thread for more info.
I am hopeful that I have everything I need or have a lead on everything. The only SX part I am missing now is the rear wheel. I may be able to track it down after ordering and returning one already (17x7).
And I may have solved my dash problem.
Thanks for the input.

I should have an update here in the next couple days.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
As I eluded to above, I made a trip to a junk yard yesterday and picked up a few parts. The yard is in a town about 3.5 hours from me in Lynchburg, VA, so I wanted to maximize my time there. They have 3 ISes all with heavy damage.

Here's what I got:



Full two-tone dash
console
some for-the-time-being floormats
another door pull
a black arm rest (which I will probably sell to recoup some of the cost)
all the clips and screws for the splash shield
front door weather stripping
the pieces that go with the splash shield
left front marker light
ignitor (which I may also sell or maybe keep as a spare)
black passenger seat switches (sell)

Grand total, including entrance fee: $112

I should have taken pictures of my car before I went down because I didn't think I'd need the lower dash panel on the driver's side - but as my interior is tan, that part is tan on my car. So essentially I will be retro-fitting to a 2001 dash. I ordered the panel on eBay last night for $24.

I ordered the splash shield itself a while ago, that's the box in the second picture.

I also ordered a DVD stereo and a backup camera. My mom requires Bluetooth and I figure she would benefit from a camera, even I have a hard time judging where the bumper is.

There's still a terrible grinding sound coming from the right side, both front and rear. I attempted to remove the rear rotor but was thwarted. I'm not sure if the rotors are rubbing or if it's the wheel bearings. It sounds more like a metal rubbing noise and can be duplicated spinning the rotors with the car in the air. It doesn't go away when I take the calipers off. It's a lot louder when I first start driving, then after about a mile you don't hear it anymore. I'm perplexed.

I got quotes for the rear bumper and everyone said I should replace it. Easier said that done. I ordered one and the company cancelled the order saying it was too big to ship. I suspect they didn't actually have it in stock. Now I plan to try to fix it as much as I can myself by sanding it, putting some filler in, and painting. I've painted a bumper before and it came out really well. So we'll see.

That's about it for now, still trying to source a driver's seat or find an upholstery shop around me that'll work on it. More as I progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
More steps forward today.

I got the splash shield in. Unfortunately it didn't come with the threads to install that little flap that hangs down in front. I also determined that the underbody tray is missing a substantial amount of material


I replaced the cracked side marker. In case anyone wonders, it's the same one used on the sedans.
Before:


After


I replaced the yellow fog light with a clear one. I now have 3 yellow fog lights since I ordered them from Malaysia before finding the clear one. I went with clear because I figure people will think the yellow is aftermarket or weird, so my mom doesn't need the extra attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
While I had everything apart, I decided to test out the black paint I bought on the front bumper and see if it matches. It seems to. Plus I got to practice my sanding. I believe I will be searching out a rotary sander for the rear bumper.
I sanded the upper corner but didn't paint it, I figure at some point I need to do the whole bumper anyway. The lower part came out good, not great. I'm not careful enough around edges and take off paint.
Before:


After:




And finally, I re-replaced my rear door pull. This is the one from the junk yard. I had ordered one on eBay and it had spots on it that I couldn't get off.
Before (original):


After:
 

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Awesome to see you basically restoring the car, Ive been on a hunt for a few parts too. Nice find on the dash, I've been eyeing the one of eBay but it doesn't have the center console and its $160 for shipping. Are you looking to swap your interior to black? I noticed you bought a black armrest
 

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I am basically doing a lot of the same repairs/restoration. I've spent hours and hours looking for as many DIY projects, to save some money, and build some familiarity with the car. My previous owner was a kid, with a dog, who lived on a dirt road, and did not maintain the interior of the car at all. It's tough to find some of the things I need, because I don't want to violate the new member policy, so I just continue searching. Good luck with your project, and I look forward to seeing your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Awesome to see you basically restoring the car
Thanks. I was stoked when I got the total from the cashier at the yard. They tend to want the stuff gone more than they want money for it so I basically got half the stuff I brought home for free based on their price list. I would LOVE to do a black swap but with the scarcity of Sportcross parts in general, there's no way I could do it on a budget. I almost bought the black seats from the car I got the dash from just because they were in such good shape. If they had been heated I probably would have. Not sure what I'd do with them though. I bought the armrest to sell to try to get some of the money I spent on the parts back.

I am basically doing a lot of the same repairs/restoration.
I hear you about the rules. Part of why I am doing this post is to get closer to the post count. Though I notice this forum is a little... quiet. I'm sure at one time it was raging but as the cars get older the projects get completed then sold and things start to quiet down. I hope once I'm allowed in I'll be able to find some of the stuff I need but I'm not holding my breath.
Dirt road and a dog? Yuck, you've got your work cut out for you. But fortunately for us both this is a great car to be doing this with. Everything is simple to work on and has some of the old Toyota build quality DNA left in it. Patience is the key, that and being able to drive it while in progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I took today off and I figured it would be a good day to at least prep the rear bumper for painting. I have a lot of repair work to do first.

But the first sign something was wrong was when I hit wipers to get the moisture off the windshield and they did nothing to clear it. The inside of the windshield was wet.
Then as I was taking things off the rear to get the bumper off, I noticed there was a little water on the passenger side. So I started disassembling.



Oh great.



I'm hoping it was due to a clog on the drain for the hatch. I have cleaned that out and poured some water over it and it's not presently leaking.
I also took part of the headliner down and chased the sunroof drain pipe to where it connects to the mechanism and poured water though the pipe to see if it was clogged, it wasn't. Fingers crossed that the problem really was the hatch drain.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
This bumper is the very definition of "better to replace than try to fix." But $1000 is just too much for me to spend on one relatively minor area. I've sanded it all down and put 2 full tubes of Bondo for bumpers on it. I am not the master of this stuff. Some of it didn't get enough curing agent and won't dry. But, it is looking a whole lot better than when I started. My neighbor came by yesterday and gave me a card for a place he took his car to have the bumper fixed. I am going to take it out there to see what he says. He did my neighbor's for $250. I'll happily pay that since after spending $200 on supplies, I still have no way to add flex agent to the paint.

This is what it looked like after about 30 minutes of sanding. I have a 33 gallon air compressor that just cannot keep up with the amount of air that gets put out spinning the wheel.


This is round 2 of the bumper Bondo.



While waiting for the air pressure to build up one of the many times I took some steel wool to the exhaust tip.

Half done


Done


And next on the agenda, next week I plan to do the dash swap and stereo install. Here's the new setup:


And again while waiting for the air pressure to build I went ahead and installed the backup camera. I had to place it farther to the left than I wanted but there wasn't a flat surface to mount it otherwise. It sticks out about 1/4 inch, not ideal but it will still serve its purpose, I hope.


Also, the last wheel is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I am praying it is actually 7.5" this time. If so, I got the tires Friday night so I can take it to get everything mounted and get an alignment. I may have them check on the grinding noises too. Stay tuned.
 

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Your posts almost sounded like you were talking about my car. I bought a SportCross with black exterior and tan interior a couple months ago that spent 13 years in DC, which resulted in scratched bumpers, curbed wheels, and even gouges out of the tire sidewall rubber. Having owned pristine automobiles, I actually am more than fine with the cosmetic issues, as I am never too concerned where I park it, etc. So, most of my attention since buying it has been making sure everything is in excellent mechanical shape. I hope it is not an odd question, but are you the "Land Ark" poster on truthaboutcars? I visit the forum daily and your username seems familiar.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Your posts almost sounded like you were talking about my car.

are you the "Land Ark" poster on truthaboutcars? I visit the forum daily and your username seems familiar.
That's hilarious. Did you buy yours in Fairfax too? That would be too much.

I often think of how much better my life would be if I could actually deal with a beater. But I'm a tinkerer, so it'll never happen.

And yes, I am Land Ark on TTAC. I actually intended to post all this in the user forums but for whatever reason I can't get the posting page to load anymore. It's a great site for the most part, a nice change from Jalopnik.


And as for a quick update I dropped the bumper off this afternoon. $200 to fix it and I should have it back possibly tomorrow. We'll see if I get what I pay for.
 

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That's hilarious. Did you buy yours in Fairfax too? That would be too much.

I often think of how much better my life would be if I could actually deal with a beater.

And yes, I am Land Ark on TTAC. It's a great site for the most part, a nice change from Jalopnik.
I bought my IS from the original owner who lived in Foggy Bottom. The purchase was an ordeal (the seller almost backed out of the sale after we agreed on a price and I paid nearly $300 for a PPI), but it went through and I think it was a good deal.

Life really is better for me not being paranoid about dings in parking lots and chips from rocks on the highway. I am satisfied just making sure it is pristine mechanically.

I too have migrated more from Jalopnik to TTAC. I seem to learn a thing or two quite often. For better or worse, I have perused those sites for years, but never was interested in taking time to make an account and contribute to the comment sections.

My new wheel just arrived. Supposed to be 17x7.5 but it was not. So frustrating.
Have you considered having your wheels repaired? I honestly did not know that was an option until I started watching Wheeler Dealers some years ago. Anyway, I would love to know if somebody has a good experience, because I do have some wheels with curb rash that I would like to fix. I just don't have a repair shop I trust, but these shops seem to have good reviews:
Ye Ole Wheel Shop
Kwicksilver in Fairfax
 
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