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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I've been lurking around here for a while, and have yet to find a detailed post on a 3SGE Altezza swap on a LHD Lexus IS200/IS300 for a streetcar build. Decided to list down my project so hopefully my build can help those that are planning to do the same.

137987


TL;DR, if you plan on doing this swap buy an entire Altezza halfcut including the rear end. It'll make your life so much easier and save money, trust me.

And just to get it out of the way, I didn't get an Altezza instead of an IS because right-hand drive cars are not allowed in the Philippines. There are a few Altezzas in the country that have been converted to LHD, but I don't want to drive a converted car. Also, where's the fun in that? Anyway onto the build.

137989


I used a 2000 Lexus IS200 as a base car for the swap. It came with the slow AF 1G-FE and automatic tranny. After two years of use and fixing the suspension, I decided to do the 3SGE swap this year since the engine was getting tired and misfiring quite badly. The swap is currently ongoing, but it wasn't as easy as removing the old engine, dropping in the new one, and calling it a day. Worse yet, I only bought the engine and transmission since my friend gave it to me at a good price.

137990


Since my car was automatic, I had to source a set of manual pedals and a clutch master cylinder. Unfortunately, the RHD pedals don't fit perfectly onto my LHD car, and I only ended up using the clutch pedal and master. So I'm currently stuck with the big brake pedals until I find a workaround. The shop doing the shop has suggested I cut it up, but if you guys have any suggestions that would be really helpful.

137991


For the engine itself, I had it refreshed before installing it in the car. I'm currently using the original IS200 crossmember. It sits without any modification, but it's a bit too forward. As a result, the shifter doesn't lineup center and the propeller shaft was short by around 3-4 inches. The mechanics are trying to find a solution for it since we still have space to move the engine back nearer the firewall. At the same time, we will also try using an Altezza crossmember if all else fails. I will update you guys on how it goes.

137992


There's also the issue of the headers and the steering column. Japan-branded headers for the 3SGE won't fit in a LHD drive car since they won't clear the steering column. I'm not too sure about the factory headers, but they probably won't either. You'll have to fabricate a custom one to do so. Thankfully, my friend still had his old setup before swapping to a 1JZ.

137988


The other problems I still need to solve are relocating the ABS, finding a long enough throttle cable, and having the wiring sorted out to work with a Link Monsoon standalone. The location of current ABS gets in the way of the stock airbox as well as any aftermarket filter kit. I'm planning to put it behind the passenger strut tower, similar to the Altezza, since I'm relocating the battery to the trunk either way. For the throttle cable I might just use whatever works.

If you guys have any questions regarding the build, don't hesitate to ask! 😃 I'll try to find the photos of the parts I used as well for reference.

137993


Also, picture of my car before we started the project ✌ Cheers!
 

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2005 Lexus IS300
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Hello!

I've been lurking around here for a while, and have yet to find a detailed post on a 3SGE Altezza swap on a LHD Lexus IS200/IS300 for a streetcar build. Decided to list down my project so hopefully my build can help those that are planning to do the same.

View attachment 137987

TL;DR, if you plan on doing this swap buy an entire Altezza halfcut including the rear end. It'll make your life so much easier and save money, trust me.

And just to get it out of the way, I didn't get an Altezza instead of an IS because right-hand drive cars are not allowed in the Philippines. There are a few Altezzas in the country that have been converted to LHD, but I don't want to drive a converted car. Also, where's the fun in that? Anyway onto the build.

View attachment 137989

I used a 2000 Lexus IS200 as a base car for the swap. It came with the slow AF 1G-FE and automatic tranny. After two years of use and fixing the suspension, I decided to do the 3SGE swap this year since the engine was getting tired and misfiring quite badly. The swap is currently ongoing, but it wasn't as easy as removing the old engine, dropping in the new one, and calling it a day. Worse yet, I only bought the engine and transmission since my friend gave it to me at a good price.

View attachment 137990

Since my car was automatic, I had to source a set of manual pedals and a clutch master cylinder. Unfortunately, the RHD pedals don't fit perfectly onto my LHD car, and I only ended up using the clutch pedal and master. So I'm currently stuck with the big brake pedals until I find a workaround. The shop doing the shop has suggested I cut it up, but if you guys have any suggestions that would be really helpful.

View attachment 137991

For the engine itself, I had it refreshed before installing it in the car. I'm currently using the original IS200 crossmember. It sits without any modification, but it's a bit too forward. As a result, the shifter doesn't lineup center and the propeller shaft was short by around 3-4 inches. The mechanics are trying to find a solution for it since we still have space to move the engine back nearer the firewall. At the same time, we will also try using an Altezza crossmember if all else fails. I will update you guys on how it goes.

View attachment 137992

There's also the issue of the headers and the steering column. Japan-branded headers for the 3SGE won't fit in a LHD drive car since they won't clear the steering column. I'm not too sure about the factory headers, but they probably won't either. You'll have to fabricate a custom one to do so. Thankfully, my friend still had his old setup before swapping to a 1JZ.

View attachment 137988

The other problems I still need to solve are relocating the ABS, finding a long enough throttle cable, and having the wiring sorted out to work with a Link Monsoon standalone. The location of current ABS gets in the way of the stock airbox as well as any aftermarket filter kit. I'm planning to put it behind the passenger strut tower, similar to the Altezza, since I'm relocating the battery to the trunk either way. For the throttle cable I might just use whatever works.

If you guys have any questions regarding the build, don't hesitate to ask! 😃 I'll try to find the photos of the parts I used as well for reference.

View attachment 137993

Also, picture of my car before we started the project ✌ Cheers!
Excuse my language but this car is fucking beautiful.
 

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Should be a good swap, the 3GSE has similar HP (and torque wasn't far off) to the 2J but is way lighter so better weight distribution and handling, all the performance Altezza's were the RS200 with 3GSE.

I thought the crossmembers were the same, are you sure you cant use standard Altezza 3GSE engine mounts? I know the rear end of the IS200 and the RS200 was the same, so if you need an LSD the RS should be a bolt in. Both the IS200 and the RS200 use the J160 manual so if you are using that box the manual prop shaft should slot straight in.
 

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That car is clean man. Wish my paint was as nice. I don’t know much about the 3SGE except it’s pretty much like 2/3’s of a 2JZ so I bet it’s fun to drive. That one got VVTi on both cams, too.

So off topic but asking the real questions here lol...what is the “house” your car is in? Looks too nice to be a garage. Some kind of a showroom?
 

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2004 Lexus IS300
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View attachment 137990

Since my car was automatic, I had to source a set of manual pedals and a clutch master cylinder. Unfortunately, the RHD pedals don't fit perfectly onto my LHD car, and I only ended up using the clutch pedal and master. So I'm currently stuck with the big brake pedals until I find a workaround. The shop doing the shop has suggested I cut it up, but if you guys have any suggestions that would be really helpful.
Hi, I'm currently doing a manual swap on my lhd IS300. I used the Xcessive clutch pedal with the master cylinder they sell. It fit great but it is a pretty simple set up without all the springs and switches the oem pedal has. For the brake pedal, i kept my stock auto pedal but cut it up to the size of the oem pedal pad. It was a pain trying to put it on but it looks oem and works great. I also added some black silicone in the back side where the pad goes over the pedal after it was installed for extra security. Had to do the same thing with the clutch pedal since it was also a bit too big to fit the oem pedal pad. Here's a picture.

You gotta be careful though not to burn the carpet like me when cutting with a grinder, lol. 🤦‍♂️

I've always thought the Altezza's were very cool with the 3sge and better weight distribution, awesome build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Should be a good swap, the 3GSE has similar HP (and torque wasn't far off) to the 2J but is way lighter so better weight distribution and handling, all the performance Altezza's were the RS200 with 3GSE.

I thought the crossmembers were the same, are you sure you cant use standard Altezza 3GSE engine mounts? I know the rear end of the IS200 and the RS200 was the same, so if you need an LSD the RS should be a bolt in. Both the IS200 and the RS200 use the J160 manual so if you are using that box the manual prop shaft should slot straight in.
I assumed the crossmembers were the same too since the 3SGE fitted right onto the IS200 crossmember. But for some reason, the engine is currently sitting a bit forward. This is also what my shifter looks like at the moment, and that's already in neutral 😓. But thanks for the suggestion on the mounts! I just found out from my friend that the 3SGE was fitted in an AE86 prior to me owning it.

138008


Also didn't know the rear end of the IS200 and Altezza were the same. At least now it can just get the 4.3 LSD and axles rather than an entire rear end. Thanks for the tip! I already have the prop shaft too so hopefully when we adjust the engine later everything should fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That car is clean man. Wish my paint was as nice. I don’t know much about the 3SGE except it’s pretty much like 2/3’s of a 2JZ so I bet it’s fun to drive. That one got VVTi on both cams, too.

So off topic but asking the real questions here lol...what is the “house” your car is in? Looks too nice to be a garage. Some kind of a showroom?
Thanks! It looks nice in the photos because of the edits. I just wish it was that clean in person haha! And yeah, I drove my friend's 3SGE-swapped IS before building mine. It handled a lot like the FRS/86/BRZ but had the practicality of a sedan.

Also, that's the Lexus showroom in Manila. Had the opportunity to display it there when we did a shoot for Lexus when they revealed the new IS. We actually had all generations of the IS there!

138009
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, I'm currently doing a manual swap on my lhd IS300. I used the Xcessive clutch pedal with the master cylinder they sell. It fit great but it is a pretty simple set up without all the springs and switches the oem pedal has. For the brake pedal, i kept my stock auto pedal but cut it up to the size of the oem pedal pad. It was a pain trying to put it on but it looks oem and works great. I also added some black silicone in the back side where the pad goes over the pedal after it was installed for extra security. Had to do the same thing with the clutch pedal since it was also a bit too big to fit the oem pedal pad. Here's a picture.

You gotta be careful though not to burn the carpet like me when cutting with a grinder, lol. 🤦‍♂️

I've always thought the Altezza's were very cool with the 3sge and better weight distribution, awesome build!
Wow, that setup looks so clean and OEM. Wouldn't suspect it had the Xcessive stuff on. Also seeing how you were able to cut up the brake pedal so neatly, I'll probably end up doing the same to save time and effort.

And thank you! Yes, the Altezza handled really well, and it is mostly due to the 90% of the engine sitting behind the front strut towers. I'm saving up for more suspension bits as well so I can have it properly tuned and corner balanced.
 

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How easy is this swap if I can source an Altezza halfcut? Aside from the mentioned above ( abs, headers ) everything will be just drop and go ? Assuming everything needed will be on the halfcut Altezza.
 

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How easy is this swap if I can source an Altezza halfcut? Aside from the mentioned above ( abs, headers ) everything will be just drop and go ? Assuming everything needed will be on the halfcut Altezza.
A lot will depend on what trans you are going to use as this will probably mean a different driveshaft if you are going to use the Altezza one, it will be an A650e if it is an auto or a J160 if it is a manual. With the cut i would also assume you will have to splice in the Altezza wiring loom from the engine into the one in your chassis (you are going from a 1gfe 6 pot to a 3sge 4 pot). None if it is impossible, just depends how much time and money you want to throw at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How easy is this swap if I can source an Altezza halfcut? Aside from the mentioned above ( abs, headers ) everything will be just drop and go ? Assuming everything needed will be on the halfcut Altezza.
In terms of fitting the engine and the drivetrain, it's fairly easy. The Altezza 3SGE bolts directly onto the subframe of my IS200 without requiring any modifications. If your halfcut comes with the Altezza rear end, driveshaft, etc you can swap it in, and it's a bolt-on process too. The only issue I encountered was that the stock headers didn't clear the steering column. I also had to go through the trouble of converting my car to manual since it was an automatic. But assuming you get a complete halfcut, putting everything in place should be easy.

The difficult part is the wiring, which is what I'm working on right now.

A lot will depend on what trans you are going to use as this will probably mean a different driveshaft if you are going to use the Altezza one, it will be an A650e if it is an auto or a J160 if it is a manual. With the cut i would also assume you will have to splice in the Altezza wiring loom from the engine into the one in your chassis (you are going from a 1gfe 6 pot to a 3sge 4 pot). None if it is impossible, just depends how much time and money you want to throw at it.
As Pnut00 explained, that's exactly what I'm doing right now (splicing Altezza wiring loom to chassis). At the moment, my car's moved to the electrical shop for wiring since the mechanicals are complete. I'm also making life harder for myself since I want the ECU moved inside the cabin instead of its original place in the engine bay. I'll be running a standalone (Link Monsoon), so I want to keep it safe from most things.

PS. Sorry if I haven't updated the thread lately. Been swamped with work, need to earn more to fund this money pit lol. Will update the thread by tonight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's been a while, but here's the latest on the car.

Basically, most if not all of the mechanical work is complete, and it's now at the wiring shop.

138506


Kept the engine bay as stock as possible to give it that OEM+ look. Even went to source a stock airbox and radiator with fans and coolant reservoir. Please excuse the vacuum hoses, I couldn't find OEM ones so I'm just using a generic black hose lol. Will fit a catch can in the future as well.

138507


For some reason, the power steering reservoir wouldn't bolt on with the existing lines, so we had to do some welding to adapt it. Haven't tested it yet but hopefully no leaks.

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I also had the ABS relocated behind the passenger shock tower (where it is originally on the Altezza). Because of that, the battery will now be relocated to the trunk. Same with the power steering, we haven't fully bled the system since the engine doesn't run lol. The wires will have to be extended too, but I'll get to that later. Just praying nothing leaks.

138509


For those planning to do a similar swap, here's where we mounted the clutch master. I used a JDM Altezza clutch master, and it works fine. You'll just have to drill holes. Also, there's a part of the firewall which seems ready to accept the clutch master cylinder.

138510


Managed to fix the issue with the shifter too. Since the engine and gearbox were fitted in an AE86 before, they apparently moved the angle of the shifter. Thankfully my friend had a spare J160 tranny lying around and gave me the shifter assembly for free. Couldn't find an OEM shift boot locally, so it's exposed for now. Worst case, I'll just have my friend's upholstery shop whip me something that works.

138511


So far the biggest issue I have now is the clearance of the exhaust manifold. It's too close for comfort to the steering column and other hoses and won't clear it. I'll have them modify it once we get it running. Since it's basically beside the powersteering and brakes, I'll also be putting heat wrapping to hopefully keep the temps down. No wonder Toyota didn't offer this in LHD models lmao.

138512


Don't have new photos of the car at the electrical shop since we're in lockdown again, but effectively it's going to get a full rewire. I got a Link MonsoonX standalone ECU and I'll be running it from inside the cabin. According to my wiring guy, they'll have to adapt both the engine harness (which isn't long enough to reach a lot of places) with the factory body harness. TL;DR, it's a wiring nightmare. Then there's the issue of the standalone, which I'll be relocating inside the cabin. I don't want to risk it by placing it in the engine bay where the factory computer box is located.

138513


So yeah, I'll try to update this thread more often. I don't know when the wiring will be completed, but hopefully, it won't take too long.

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If you guys have any questions so far regarding the swap feel free to ask away. I'll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge!

138515


Cheers, and hope y'all are safe ✌ Also, here's a sneak peek of the shop that did the mechanicals.
 

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Interesting to hear the pain of someone trying to go the opposite to the 2J turbo swap, its the exhaust side that catches them out over here with the RHD Altezza and steering box. Those headers dont look factory, probably made for a RHD car so I would expect there will be some mods needed to fit to the LHD steering location. Looks like a tiny engine in there after seeing the longer 1G/2J, you can see how the weight in the car is now moved back quite a bit with not as much hanging over the front of the wheels any more. ;)
 
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