Hey guys- I've been around on the forums for a while now, but have never actually been too involved as I've never owned a Lexus before- that is, until now. My name is Damon and I'm from Michigan. I'm known on most forums as CamryOnBronze, but that username was too long here. :lol:
Before I get into my GS project, here are a couple of my past builds:
'94 Toyota Camry- basic bolt ons like springs, wheels, front lip, carbon hood and trunk, exhaust, etc. This was my first car in high school about ten years ago:
'99 Toyota Solara V6 5 speed- TRD supercharger with full JPP exhaust, Kaminari lip kit, coilovers, Gram Lights, black interior swap with Sparco seats, Rotora BBK, Defi gauges, etc. I love this car but sadly it was rear ended and rendered a total loss back in 2008.
'93 S13 240SX: After the Solara was totaled, I built my S13 240SX. I was fortunate enough to have the car grace the cover of Modified Magazine back in 2010. This was my most involved project yet with a decently modified SR20 swap, shaved engine bay, and full kouki 180SX aero. I completed all of the work myself over a span of four years and was pretty proud to have learned so much over that time.
'03 Evo VIII: I decided to part out my S13 shortly after the birth of my first daughter. I wanted something I could take her and my wife to car meets in, so I picked up an Evo and did some work to that including ARC goodies, Tomei exhaust, and a host of genuine Voltex aero components partially funded by my time as a freelance writer for Modified Magazine (RIP):
Even though I love my Evo to death, my wife and I are expecting our second little girl next month and I really want to buy her a nicer, newer vehicle for kid hauling duties. I decided to sell the goodies from the Evo and put it up for sale in order to buy her a new car. With some of the cash I had left over, I decided to take on a new project...
Which finally brings us to the part you are most interested in- my GS build. I decided to pick up a 98 GS400 from a friend of mine. He bought the car at auction from Ohio in late 2012 with a blown engine. The car had dropped a couple valves, one of them contacting the piston. Not too surprising since the car had over 200k miles on it and was probably not well maintained.
Though it wasn't the color combo I was after, I was able to trade my wheels and tires from the Evo for the car, blown engine, and an MKIII Supra R154 transmission. The car itself is in decent shape. It definitely has its fair share of dings and the interior has seen better days. I hope to address that stuff all in due time.
Here's the car after I took delivery of it last Saturday:
It's going to be a slow process simply because I don't have the free time I did before I had kids, but it should still be a fun build. I've placed an order for a few items needed for the swap including the engine, so I'll be updating this as items arrive.
It will primarily consist of parts collection for a while until I get everything I need, then I can really start to tear into the car. The plan is to run the Aristo 2JZGTE VVTi engine with the stock twins and ECU to start, along with the R154 swap and supporting modifications from Drift Motion. Once the car is running I plan to get into wheels, aero, suspension, and interior work.
Thanks for checking out the start of my build- hopefully I will be able to turn this into something awesome! I have already found tons of great information here. Seems like an awesome community!
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Here are the goodies I have at the moment. Pleae excuse the iPhone photos- I'll use my DSLR as much as possible to document the build:
MKIII Supra R154 transmission. This will clearly need a lot of freshening up, but I plan to take care of all of that before it actually goes into the car. Lots of supporting drivetrain parts to order from Drift Motion to get this ready to rock.
Exedy twin disc clutch for 1JZ. Got an awesome deal and I just couldn't pass it up. So the clutch/flywheel portion is out of the way:
Aristo 2JZGTE swap with auto trans, ECU, and uncut harness: I ordered this earlier today from an importer in New York. When that arrives I can order some replacement items and spend some time freshening that up as well. It's going to take some time, but the extra work and cash should pay off when it all comes together.
1JZ R154 Bellhousing: Ordered an OEM bellhousing to mate the transmission to the engine via eBay today as well, so that should be showing up next week too. Expensive day! lol
Good stuff... I love your old S13, reminds me of Koguchi's black one from a while back except his was on the Blitz 02's. Anyway, looking forward to seeing what you do with it!!
Ah yes, another Koguchi fan! haha. His car was definitely a major inspiration. I wouldn't mind a set of 03s for the GS...
Originally Posted by BoostinSc3
Good luck that nice ima be up there with you lol
Thanks! Seems like the swap is getting more and more popular as these cars come down in price.
Originally Posted by Sevenevez
cool, nice grab on that Green is a rare color. i dig your Solara too, surprised more people don't mod those as they have nice lines. Looks like you know what you're doing and welcome to the Forum
Thanks! I was always surprised that I didn't see more of them as well. It was a fun car with the manual trans and supercharger, even though it was still slow haha. And good to know on the green color- I didn't see many like this for sale and it kind of growing on me!
Your build was one of the ones I was reading through while searching for my GS- love it! Great attention to detail.
Originally Posted by tmf2004
subscribed on this one... Looking forward to the build....
Thanks! I've seen your name around here a lot in my research, haha. Wish my car was white!
Originally Posted by SADDLE
Nice build you have planned here. Good luck!
Thanks, hopefully I can follow through with it! Motivation is definitely high right now at least haha.
I dropped some more cash this morning and ended up pulling the trigger on a black interior swap for sale here on the forum. I shouldn't be messing with the interior just yet, but I can't stand how dirty and worn my tan interior stuff is. I'll still have a couple missing pieces to source, but it should be fairly complete. Excited to get that all cleaned up!
I started removing the interior on Monday night to have some room to work on installing the clutch pedal and whatnot when the time comes. Now that I have a black interior on the way, I feel better about the things I took out. I'll have to follow through and remove it all now at this point:
Yeah... not so pretty.
I also removed the automatic gear selector component- won't be needing that!
Looking forward to this looking far less gross in the coming weeks!
nice job already man. you can get that carpet looking proper with some resolve and the seats should clean up nice too with a lil elbow grease. cant wait to see this build come along
The leather on the seats is pretty cracked up I'm afraid. Thanks for the tip on the carpet. Fortunately I ended up buying a black interior swap to replace this stuff with, so I won't have to mess with that!
Originally Posted by tmf2004
that's what you call gutted . not waisting anytime I see. those were some good deals on that black interior in the classifieds.
I am pretty happy with what I paid! Could have been worse I'm sure. I should have devoted that cash to engine and drivetrain stuff, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. It's much easier to take the car apart than it is to put it together, lol.
Originally Posted by hcharlesc3
Nice progress. Looking forward to the finished product.
Originally Posted by tdciv
looks like this will be a great build keep it up
Originally Posted by clos430
Looking forward to seeing the progress on this one. I always enjoy quality built threads and looking at your past builds this should be a good one.
Appreciate that, hopefully I can do the platform justice!
Originally Posted by LiCelsior
nice build so far! man if u still had that ARC UICP i think my friend would have bought that.
Thanks! Believe it or not I sold that pipe for $850. Pretty insane what that stuff goes for, haha.
Not much to report here. I ordered a Hyper Rev on the Aristo for some inspiration, as well as the MAF sensor for the swap. There's a chance the engine could be here today according to the tracking, but my guess is this stuff will all start to pile in next week. Hoping to work on getting the car on stands this weekend!
I'm not getting into exterior stuff much yet, but I do want to run an Aristo front grille. Anyone have any tips on tracking one down? Most of the ones I find are for the first generation. Is this a tough part to track down these days?