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Project AARP Casino Cruiser - LS400 5spd drift car build

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Old 12-24-12, 11:13 PM   #1
nismo4life
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Default Project AARP Casino Cruiser - LS400 5spd drift car build

Prologue:

Ever since my early teenage years I always had a fascination with these cars. When my dad got one all I wanted to do is have a twin turbo one of my own. As I grew older and less naive I came to the realization of the cost, skill, and time required to do such things and my day dreams were then archived into the basement level of my imagination for more important things like girls, video games, attainable vehicles to take their place.

That was 11 years ago, and time allows for drastic changes to occur in ones self. These in my case came in the form of skill level, abilities, knowledge, funding, motivation, and desire. Unfortunately for me the last few, and most crucial changes were things I was lacking, and it took a pilgrimage on foot across northern Spain to pull the emergency stop cord on the train that was set on auto-pilot and make me realize that I was doing nothing more than just throwing away precious time to enjoy myself. When you have nothing more to do than walk for 33 consecutive days and follow yellow arrows, you start to reflect a lot on yourself, and at some point in that month I must of clicked the B button of the elevator and found all my teenage ambitions that I had long ago discarded so easily.

I'm now 25, have owned over 10 vehicles and in doing so acquired a large amount of knowledge and capabilities of working on vehicles from being too cheap to pay a mechanic, so with a little help from some near and dear friends I am going to make 2 of my early life dreams happen.
  1. I always wanted a 5 speed LS400. The cars were so awesome, aesthetically appealing, extremely uncommon in the tuning world (VIP is not tuning), and are mechanically a tank.
  2. I grew up watching Initial D, and Option/Best Motoring dvd's. Drifting seemed like the coolest thing in the world to me.
Lets see how this goes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are 2 goals for this project:
  1. Stay <$6,000 including the car

    and

  2. Remove 800lbs while still retaining a semi quiet cabin.

Friends, I present to you my AARP Casino Cruiser.

1992 Lexus LS400
-165,xxx miles
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The car is a boat, though it drives like a dream. The keyless entry still works. The power tilt column still works. The heated seats still work... This car is literally a tank, everything works flawlessly and it is in such good shape that I almost feel bad about modifying it and drifting it, but hey they're all pretty much mint so I don't have a choice haha. $2,300 is what I paid.
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Last edited by nismo4life; 01-08-13 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 12-25-12, 05:45 AM   #2
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Nice looking 92, and as far as I know about the wheels they are from the 94 anniversary model LS400. I just purchased one and I'm having a difficult time finding 1 center cap for these wheels.

Last edited by ExpoGeorgi; 12-25-12 at 05:51 AM..
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Old 01-08-13, 03:02 PM   #3
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Update 1 12/27/2012

Today a big chunk of the swap kit arrived from Collins Performance in Florida. Kit included: Bell housing adapter for a KA24DE 5 speed/or Z33 6 speed, 1 piece Chromoly flywheel, 6 puck clutch setup, modified TOB, Pilot bearing adapter, and hardware for the clutch/flywheel. Total was $1074.13. Now at $3374.13.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next week I'll begin pulling the 4spd Auto as well as doing some mild weight reduction and pulling the TRAC/ABS systems from the vehicle and I'll have many more photos. Hope you guys enjoy seeing this as much as I am working on it.


And for what its worth, I had to prove to a few people who didn't believe me that the car could in fact get up and sideways under its own power even on the dog of an auto 4 speed. I don't condone or approve of anyone drifting on the street. It endangers peoples lives and there is absolutely no way to do it safely no matter how ignorant you want to be about it, that's why I took a spin down to Mexico and filmed this in a parking lot at the Corona factory. Note: I have 0 real life drifting experience.

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Old 01-08-13, 03:03 PM   #4
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UPDATE #2 1/4/13

Ok so small update, have some good news and bad news. The bad news is I can't toss the Lexus on jackstands yet to start tearing it apart because my brothers rally car is in the garage and I'm not going to park the car all the way in the back, or on the other side of the garage (Its a very large basement level garage at the office my parents rent out) while my tool box and everything is in my bay which blocks his race car from getting out in the next week or two.

The good news is look what I picked up. $100 a piece!

Both are KA SOHC 5 speeds. The one in the back came complete with speed sensor, shifter, slave cylinder, and slave line. I needed one badly and both popped up and I figured since I pretty much grenade nothing but trannys in cars than I might as well grab a spare :laugh:.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also ordered a Momo hub that should be here next week to toss my Monte Carlo 350mm from my MK2 on, as well as a SAGA digital scale with a 360lb rating. Want to keep a close watch on how much everything I remove weighs.
Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for an exhaust. Most likely going to go this route especially since I found out Lextreme sells cat flanges for dirt.
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Old 01-08-13, 03:04 PM   #5
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Update #3 1/8/13

Well I didn't get too much stuff done, but for the sake of having a consistent coverage I wanted to bump this. Momo hub came in so I went it and in the process attempted to see if I could keep CC. No luck on keeping the clockspring on the hub, though the MKIV Supra hub fit on the Lexus like a charm. Wheel does seem a little out of place, but its extremely comfortable compared to the boat wheel it came with >.<.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now the next trick is to figure out cruise control. Double checked the cruise control and it still worked as it should even with the ground not connected on the harness, so I'm going to splice the wires to get rid of the clock spring. Just need to find a pin out for both since the wires going into the back of the clock spring are one set of colors, and the plug that goes into the other side are other colors. Nothing matches up which is un-japanese car like lol. Does anyone happen to have the schematics for the wiring going to the column pre/post clockspring? Would be nice to have it too so I can wire up a new horn button on the dash somewhere.

Click the image to open in full size.

How I'd like to mount it. Tons of room in there and even an empty threaded hole I can put a bolt and nut through to not have to use zip ties.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also started to do some gutting. Removed all engine plastics and did some observations. Decided that ABS, TRAC, EGR, A/C, the stock clutch fan and entire radiator setup are coming out. Found out MKIV Supra radiators fit with little modification needed so I'm going to run an eBay rad that comes with a sheet metal shroud with 2 10" fans mounted onto it. All in all I'm hoping to save about 150lbs from all that stuff combined. I have a good feeling that I should be able to get close to that goal.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also gutted the trunk and cut 2 mufflers off. Just in that stuff alone I'm guesstimating ~100lbs. Only things I left in the trunk are the 1 piece of interior against the back because its covering the gas tank, and the floor board piece that I put back in. It folds like 6 times so its pretty small, but it provides a flat floor in case I end up wanting to carry anything and its only a few lbs. Worth it in my opinion.

Click the image to open in full size.

Brother got the rally car registered today and he's going to emissions tomorrow, so after that it should be garaged in his shop and I should be able to put the pig on jackstands and start tearing it apart. Will update this either tomorrow of Friday with how that goes. Also ordered some poly steering rack bushings, and a MAF adapter so I can start figuring out a custom CAI. That stuff should be here next week.
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Old 01-08-13, 03:17 PM   #6
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why do allthat work on a hub that was never meant to work instead of just buying the correct HKB hub that will work+keep your cruise control?

I mean, it's not like they're overly expensive or anything...

mkiv supra rad might come close to fitting iirc but you'll need custom rad hoses since 2jz inlet/outlets are different.
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Old 01-08-13, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureDrifter View Post
why do allthat work on a hub that was never meant to work instead of just buying the correct HKB hub that will work+keep your cruise control?

I mean, it's not like they're overly expensive or anything...

mkiv supra rad might come close to fitting iirc but you'll need custom rad hoses since 2jz inlet/outlets are different.
Looked around and didn't find anything other than a Works Bell hub and those are money. How much is the HKB? I got the Momo new for 55 bucks. Any clue as to where I can get those 2 sheets with the pin outs? Also does anyone know what the other plug on the cruise control harness is for? It wasn't plugged into anything on my wheel.

As for the rad hoses you're absolutely right the hoses won't work, as wont the overflow hose. Its a hardline with a banjo fitting on the side, the Supra has the traditional nipple off the radiator cap.
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Old 01-08-13, 04:04 PM   #8
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search around, i remember listing a few different HKB hubs. Generally the hubs go for <$100 new.

HKB's japanese website should have a master list.

For all the wiring you plan on doing, buying the factory wiring diagrams is probably not a bad idea.
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Old 01-08-13, 04:47 PM   #9
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i never seen a nissan tranny mated to the 1UZ. i always thought a toyota tranny would work best. good luck with your build!
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Old 01-08-13, 05:24 PM   #10
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Nice whip mane, hope all goes well
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Old 01-08-13, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureDrifter View Post
search around, i remember listing a few different HKB hubs. Generally the hubs go for <$100 new.

HKB's japanese website should have a master list.

For all the wiring you plan on doing, buying the factory wiring diagrams is probably not a bad idea.
That's in the the ~$40 dollar manual, not the 200 dollar 2 volume set correct? Its not that much wiring either, just 6 wires. Btw curious, the unit in the passenger corner of the engine bay. Its that cruise control or is it some kind of TRAC device? I've never seen 3 throttle cables on a tb before, 1 goes to the firewall and the other disappears into the back of the motor somewhere. I figured that latter one is the CC.
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Old 01-08-13, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmy0tool View Post
i never seen a nissan tranny mated to the 1UZ. i always thought a toyota tranny would work best. good luck with your build!
The guy who sells the swap kit put a 1uz into his 240. He said he's had some 1uz auto's laying around and they're nearly the same length shifter to bell housing, so if that's true I can avoid having to get a 7" shifter extension made, and I don't have to use that stupid T56 style hydraulic TOB.

And thanks.

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Nice whip mane, hope all goes well
Thanks.
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Old 01-08-13, 06:13 PM   #13
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Nice pick up. Can't wait to see the final product. You might want to install a clutch pedal before you get too far ahead of yourself.
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Old 01-08-13, 06:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo4life View Post
That's in the the ~$40 dollar manual, not the 200 dollar 2 volume set correct? Its not that much wiring either, just 6 wires. Btw curious, the unit in the passenger corner of the engine bay. Its that cruise control or is it some kind of TRAC device? I've never seen 3 throttle cables on a tb before, 1 goes to the firewall and the other disappears into the back of the motor somewhere. I figured that latter one is the CC.
yeah the cheaper one is usually the wiring diagrams.

No idea what you're referring to, pictures would help.
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Old 01-08-13, 06:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo4life View Post
That's in the the ~$40 dollar manual, not the 200 dollar 2 volume set correct? Its not that much wiring either, just 6 wires. Btw curious, the unit in the passenger corner of the engine bay. Its that cruise control or is it some kind of TRAC device? I've never seen 3 throttle cables on a tb before, 1 goes to the firewall and the other disappears into the back of the motor somewhere. I figured that latter one is the CC.
That's the cruise control. The one that disappears behind the motor goes to the transmission.
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Old 01-08-13, 06:25 PM
 
 
 
 
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aarp, build, bumping, car, casino, cruiser, drift, driver, ka24de, lexus, ls400, pulling, reduction, transmission, weight

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