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Hi friends, recently I have decided to get rid of my truck for the time being and will be looking for a sub 110k mile 2002-2005 is300 as I wanted something I could slowly build up with good platform prior to building a motor, i figured with the IS i can get the surrounding things out of the way prior to the engine (thus why I am not going with any LS swapped cars). The other issue was reliability and single turbo gtes seem pretty reliable from what im seeing. Anyway, after the car purchase, I will have some money left over for some upgrades (around 13k). I am already set on getting the tranny out of the way with the grannas kit and a t56. But aside from that, wheels, coilovers, control arms etc (I have heard the rear is decent in these cars) are there other things I could work on? Would I run into issues later during the swap if I decided to get the ecu and entire fuel system out of the way and just use it on the GE until I build up money for the swap, tuning? Also how are the brakes? would a brembo 4 piston front be a good upgrade or do you commonly pull 4 pots from a different lexus that fit on the is300 with minimal work.

Thanks and sorry for the crap formatting I am on my tablet eating chicken wings. My plans are (flex fuel sensor standard e85/91oct) 3.2ltr, billet caps, upgraded rods with 10:1 comp, get that sorted out then save up for a fresh head from headgames, probably a gen2 pt6062 cea and the rest will be cheapo parts like cxracing piping, intercooler, cracked manifold and also a china intake manifold. I just wasnt sure if me upgrading the entire fuel system , wiring harness and ecu prior to installing a built gte would be a bad idea? I want it to be a long project but once complete have a nice 550whp daily, ice cold AC and minimal poly bushings unlike my previous dsm builds which were horrible to drive and always broke. Thanks studs. reading through all the faqs now.
 

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I see no reason to get crazy on the longblock, with ~550whp as a goal. My car is just south of 500whp, and does it with 17-18psi on a totally stock GE-VVTi engine with GTE rods/pistons. You can hemorrhage money into stroker kits and cylinder head work - which is cool and all - but just not needed for ~550hp.

Personally, I'd rather save the money that'd go towards stroker/cylinder head (Headgames prices are freaking nuts), and buy higher quality components instead of the Chinesium stuff.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get the fuel lines all squared away in preparation for the boost, but I don't think I'd bother with the fuel tank hanger and/or pump(s) until actually needed.

In terms of ECU, you have 3 basic options: A parallel ecu arrangement where the OEM ecu does everything except drive the injectors and coils, a standalone that fully replaces the OEM ecu - giving up cruise control and your OEM instrument cluster, or the recent-to-market Link G4+ Xtreme that allegedly fully replaces the OEM ecu and is able to do everything the OEM ecu could.

Regardless which way you choose to go, I would personally wait to install until I had my turbo parts ready to go on. I would install the new ECU solution and get the engine all mapped out and running correctly MINUS turbo - then I'd add the turbo and re-calibrate as necessary. Frankly, 95% of the tuning work for a programmable ecu is done OFF boost, so tuning for the turbo is NOT back-tracking or doubling the work. It does, however, provide the advantage of being way, way less likely of breaking something from an improper calibration.

In terms of brakes, you have lots of options. The OEM brakes don't "suck", but they can certainly use improvement. You can get relocation brackets for your front calipers that allow a bigger front rotor. You can swap on Lexus LS400 calipers, or RC350/IS350 calipers. These are all big improvements. Or you can whole-hog and order a Racing Brake package from Figs. A popular rear upgrade is swapping to the Supra TT calipers/rotors. That's an expensive undertaking for a small improvement. Figs also sells sweet rear brakes, but it's not a cheap date.

Final thoughts for now: If you plan your build and properly budget for it, using quality components that work well individually and as a system - you can definitely wind up with a performance car that drives and rides really well. Do not fool yourself though, it's not gonna be cheap. (Hint: most of the parts won't be coming from China)
 

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I see no reason to get crazy on the longblock, with ~550whp as a goal. My car is just south of 500whp, and does it with 17-18psi on a totally stock GE-VVTi engine with GTE rods/pistons. You can hemorrhage money into stroker kits and cylinder head work - which is cool and all - but just not needed for ~550hp.

Personally, I'd rather save the money that'd go towards stroker/cylinder head (Headgames prices are freaking nuts), and buy higher quality components instead of the Chinesium stuff.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get the fuel lines all squared away in preparation for the boost, but I don't think I'd bother with the fuel tank hanger and/or pump(s) until actually needed.

In terms of ECU, you have 3 basic options: A parallel ecu arrangement where the OEM ecu does everything except drive the injectors and coils, a standalone that fully replaces the OEM ecu - giving up cruise control and your OEM instrument cluster, or the recent-to-market Link G4+ Xtreme that allegedly fully replaces the OEM ecu and is able to do everything the OEM ecu could.

Regardless which way you choose to go, I would personally wait to install until I had my turbo parts ready to go on. I would install the new ECU solution and get the engine all mapped out and running correctly MINUS turbo - then I'd add the turbo and re-calibrate as necessary. Frankly, 95% of the tuning work for a programmable ecu is done OFF boost, so tuning for the turbo is NOT back-tracking or doubling the work. It does, however, provide the advantage of being way, way less likely of breaking something from an improper calibration.

In terms of brakes, you have lots of options. The OEM brakes don't "suck", but they can certainly use improvement. You can get relocation brackets for your front calipers that allow a bigger front rotor. You can swap on Lexus LS400 calipers, or RC350/IS350 calipers. These are all big improvements. Or you can whole-hog and order a Racing Brake package from Figs. A popular rear upgrade is swapping to the Supra TT calipers/rotors. That's an expensive undertaking for a small improvement. Figs also sells sweet rear brakes, but it's not a cheap date.

Final thoughts for now: If you plan your build and properly budget for it, using quality components that work well individually and as a system - you can definitely wind up with a performance car that drives and rides really well. Do not fool yourself though, it's not gonna be cheap. (Hint: most of the parts won't be coming from China)


Understood, I figured around 25k and the price of what I buy it for. Over the course of several years I wont notice how wasteful I am being. I do appreciate the input about the brakes and fuel pumps. I just wasnt sure if I should just get the ecu (was going to get a 506) , id1050s, rail , pumps etc and all the lines out of the way. I only have experience with obd1 and ecus that were modded / socketed so a new expensive harness and an afternarket ecu might be a leap I wouldnt want to take. I would like to keep the factory gauge cluster with the option to add a display later.

As for the 550, I know horse power numbers are not the best to just throw out there "i want 800, how?" but I figured if I over built I could do a lower hp conservative tune and not have to worry about having to pull the head and mains at 50k miles if that makes sense. (I would still like to max out my turbo and injectors on the dyno just to do a few pulls and get some dyno queen numbers.) Thanks for your input!
 

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Think your on the right course, but set a goal and stick to it. Infinity 506, some ID1050x’s + top feed rail, and a good single turbo will do it on a gte or ge with upgraded rods/pistons. Dual pumps, stroker kits, and billet mains are nice but unnecessary at the power level you’re looking at. All the new standalone ecus have a Canbus output and are quite badass paired with a PerfectTuning, BTI, or similar gauge. You can have everything on one screen.
 
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