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Old 06-15-13, 07:41 PM   #1
eng1nerd
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Default IS300 LS1/T56 Daily Driver Build

I started build threads over on my.is and ls1tech a week or so ago and figured I would put one up here as well. The more people I can ask questions along the way the better. So here goes.

I have always liked the Lexus IS300 and when I saw the LS1 swap was not only possible but practical I decided that was the route I was going for my daily driver. I picked up a 2002 IS300 with 187k on the car for a great price. After that I found a perfect donor car, 2001 Trans Am with 113K on the motor, lots of go fast goodies and a freshly built top end.

My goal is to have the swap done by the beginning of August. I plan to retain cruise control, A/C, and all the stock gauges. I know to keep the temp and mpg gauge working I will have to keep the 2JZ ECU hooked up. I'd like to keep all the creature comforts of the Lexus with more power! The only thing I should be losing is traction control.

I've ordered swap headers and motor/trans mounts from Dedicated Motorsports that should be here any day now. I've also got several other small parts on the way. I got the motor and trans out of the TA today. Next weekend I'd like to get the motor out of the Lexus and set the LS in to get dimensions for the drive shaft, power steering, heat, and A/C lines. Wiring is the only part that has me nervous but I should be able to work through it.

For now here are some pics of both the donor and the project car.






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Old 06-15-13, 07:42 PM   #2
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I have always liked the Lexus IS300 and when I saw the LS1 swap was not only possible but practical I decided that was the route I was going for my daily driver. I picked up a 2002 IS300 with 187k on the car for a great price. After that I found a perfect donor car, 2001 Trans Am with 113K on the motor, lots of go fast goodies and a freshly built top end.

My goal is to have the swap done by the beginning of August. I plan to retain cruise control, A/C, and all the stock gauges. I know to keep the temp and mpg gauge working I will have to keep the 2JZ ECU hooked up. I'd like to keep all the creature comforts of the Lexus with more power! The only thing I should be losing is traction control.

I've ordered swap headers and motor/trans mounts from Dedicated Motorsports that should be here any day now. I've also got several other small parts on the way. I got the motor and trans out of the TA today. Next weekend I'd like to get the motor out of the Lexus and set the LS in to get dimensions for the drive shaft, power steering, heat, and A/C lines. Wiring is the only part that has me nervous but I should be able to work through it.

For now here are some pics of both the donor and the project car.






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Old 06-15-13, 07:43 PM   #3
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I don't have any real progress updates today but I got a bunch of parts (I bet the mail and UPS guy hate me).

3" Electric Cutout


Cats and 3" flex hoses


4" to 3.5" reducer for the intake


Weapon R Coolant Tank


LS2 GTO oit pan, windage tray, pick up, and dipstick (should get this notched and welded at work this week.


I got these a while back from a buddy at work, they came on his CTS-V and he didn't like them...so I got 'em.


I probably won't get much done this weekend since it's my wifes birthday. I'll probably just get the motor cleaned up and the oil pan installed.
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Old 06-15-13, 07:45 PM   #4
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So I had another busy day at work today (been that way a lot lately). I wasn't able to get the oil pan welded, but I did get it cut and the panels to be welded in are ready for Monday.

We used the band saw for the vertical cuts in the pan.



Then moved over to the mill with a slitting saw for the horizontal cuts.


Finally have the clearance needed for the subframe, just need to fill it back in so it will hold oil.


I'm also going to have to cut a good bit out of the baffle to match the new shape of the pan.


Minus the welds this is what the pan will look like when it is done.
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Old 06-15-13, 07:46 PM   #5
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So the first thing I did on the car today had nothing to do with the swap, oh well. I ordered a Chrysler antenna the other day to replace mine which was worn out.


You can see a bit of the donor car in the background in this one.


While the motor was out for piece of mind I replaced the rear main seal. I pulled the clutch and flywheel, which are Monster but have seen much better days.


I'll be looking into a new flywheel and clutch this week.

This also gave me a chance to confirm the cam.


Did the front main and timing cover for good measure while I was at it.


I didn't get any pictures of it but I pulled the intake as well to clean up the top of the motor and I think I'm going to paint the intake while I have it out. My goal is to get the motor out of the Lexus and set the LS in next weekend. Hopefully I will have my motor mounts and headers by then...
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Old 06-15-13, 07:51 PM   #6
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sub'd.................
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Old 06-17-13, 11:20 PM   #7
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Good luck man I'm looking at doing a LSx swap sometime in the near future. Let me know how it goes I know it's going to take some work but ever since I've seen a swapped IS300 with a LSx swap I've wanted to do it. I've got a 2005 is300 and hopefully after I get the LSx swapped in ill end up boosting it. If you have any advice I'd appreciate it.
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Old 06-19-13, 04:44 PM   #8
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My headers came in today and I must say they look awesome!




Here you can see the clearance for the steer column.


I laid out roughly what I have in mind for the exhaust system:

Headers > Cats > Flex Hose > Y-pipe >(maybe a resonator, not shown) > Cutout > Factory Lexus Muffler (also not shown)



While I was in the garage I took care of that ugly, dirty grey color on the intake. Since I will be running a set of red Corvette covers I figure this should go well flat black.
Before:


After:



I also heard from Dedicated Matt today and my motor mounts were getting welded up so it is game on for this weekend. My wife is out of town and the garage is all mine, the motor is coming out of the Lexus, bay is getting cleaned and I will probably get started on chasing wires.
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Old 06-19-13, 04:53 PM   #9
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Man, o Man! This is going to be SIIIIIIIIIICK! Can't wait to see more! Thx for sharing...SUSCRIBED!

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Old 06-22-13, 07:01 PM   #10
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Today was when the real fun began. After stopping by the Lexus dealership and giving them way to much money to have a spare key made (don't know if it can be programmed after the swap) I backed the car in the garage for it's last night with the 2J. All the fluids got drained, radiator, and core support came out to make room for the motor and trans on the way out.














At this point it was time to come out of the garage and get a bath.





And just for fun this was the pre-clean-up carnage in my driveway/garage.



I also ordered a few more parts when I came in for the night. Walbro fuel pump, K&N filter, and battery relocation kit are on order. I'm going to Clutch Specialties this week to drop off my clutch and flywheel to have a custom set made. I should be spending most of tomorrow sifting through two wiring harnesses and maybe moving my ABS module.
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Old 06-26-13, 08:11 AM   #11
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After your done with the build would it be possible for you to put up a list or somewhat everything you needed for the build? Good luck seems to be going along pretty well. Hope the wiring is as easy as the rest of the project has been. Are you sticking with the stock ecu?
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Old 06-26-13, 08:22 AM   #12
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Subscribed! This thread has so much win!
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Old 06-26-13, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostdIS30 View Post
After your done with the build would it be possible for you to put up a list or somewhat everything you needed for the build? Good luck seems to be going along pretty well. Hope the wiring is as easy as the rest of the project has been. Are you sticking with the stock ecu?
I've been pretty good about keeping track of what all I needed/ordered so that should be pretty easy when it is finished.

I'm keeping the stock 2JZ ECU for engine temp, gas guage, and A/C control. I'm also using the stock LS1 ECU but it will get tuned when the car is up and running.
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Old 06-28-13, 02:56 PM   #14
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With any luck tomorrow this will be the last time my teaser pics are just parts. I got my battery relocation kit, Walbro 255 fuel pump, and most importantly my motor and trans mounts in the mail yesterday.





I also got my oil pan back from being welded today. It took longer than I hoped but is just in time for the weekend.



The goal for tomorrow is, after picking up my clutch from being rebuilt, install the flywheel and clutch, motor mounts, mate the trans and motor, then set it in the car. I'm sure it will need to come back out at least once for wiring and other odds and ends but I want to see it resting in its new home.

I'll be sure to take pics tomorrow as I go.
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Old 06-29-13, 05:54 PM   #15
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After my buddy showed up this morning first stop was picking up the clutch from being reworked, and the fly wheel/pressure plate from being resurfaced. It went together pretty easy.



Dropped the old oil pan and windage tray in favor of one that agrees with the cross member. Took a look at the bottom end while it was apart and everything looks good.




I'll throw this out there for anyone interested in this swap. When putting the motor in REMOVE THE INTAKE. We didn't and while it fits it is a huge PITA. It didn't occur to either of us until after it was in that we would have had a lot more room with that out of the way.



The other part that is pretty tricky is getting the headers installed. The passenger side wasn't bad other than having to drop the k-member to get it in. To get the driver side in we had to pull the steering knuckle (need to anyhow since is runs through the header) and the fuel lines to get it in.


Here is how it sits now.



I still have a lot of work to do in details and wiring but the heavy lifting is all out of the way. I also started looking at how I was going to get cruise control routed and working...for now I think that is going to be on hold. I'm going to get the swap done and the car back on the road then dig into adding cruise back in later. I'll leave all those pieces of the harness in place for later.
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