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Please Help. I need advice on adding mods to my ES300.

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Old 03-22-13, 01:05 AM   #1
BenES300
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Default Please Help. I need advice on adding mods to my ES300.

Hello members. I just got a 2003 Lexus ES300. The car is practically in mint condition. Before I go any further, please know that I think the car looks gorgeous in itself. Any Lexus looks amazing and I consider myself privileged to own one now. Having said that, I would like to add a few things to my car to give it that extra cool factor (the car has plenty of cool in itself already).

I am a graduate student and so money is limited for me. Please keep this in mind when giving me suggestions. Also with any suggestions, could you please give me links and/or prices.

I am attaching a picture of my car and will then attach several pictures of other Lexus' that I have seen that I like certain things about. So please feel free to help me out using those pictures to get an idea of what I like, floats my boat, tickles my fancy, oils my grill etc etc. (I know that most of them are IS's and not ES, but it still gives you an idea)

Here goes.

Ideally I would love it if my car was white or black. Guess what it is Gold as you can see from the picture. Since I am not going to spend 3-4k to paint my car and since I do not envision any duststorms in the near future that would sandblast my car and get insurance to cut me a check to paint it white or black, GOLD it is and that is what I am going to work with.

The first thing that I am doing is, I am getting tints put on all my windows. (Nanotechnology 20%'s on the rear 3 and 50%'s on the driver and passenger front windows.

I would like to add rims to the car but want them to be black. I would prefer complete black rims like in the red lexus picture, but might be willing to get a black with a white rim on it like the other pics. In addition to which I love the finish of the red IS. How do I get that finish?

1) The blacks would look stellar on a white lexus or a black lexus, but what do you guys think about them on my Gold lexus? Any ideas?
2) I was thinking of getting 18inch rims. However even on 18's I have seen people with regular tires and with thin tires. What is the difference? Which ones are cheaper? Will one be rougher than the other in terms of smoothness of the ride? Will 18's require more expensive tires if they are thin or will it cost me the same?
3) Will I need to lower my car if I was getting 18's? I really do not want my car scraping the tires and I do not need it to be where the tire is at about the same height of the curve of the wheelcutout. But I want it to have the look of the red lexus.
4) Are there any other not expensive modifications that you guys can think about for my car?

Thank you,

Benjamin.
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Old 03-22-13, 01:22 AM   #2
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Congrats on the car, she's a beauty.

Like you, I have this rather unfavorable gold (alabaster metallic) 2003 ES300.
For me the color has been such a hindrance on me wanting to really do any mods so I've so far just stuck with tints and installing HIDs (Headlights/Fogs).
However, I've grown to enjoy my car pretty much stock.
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Old 03-22-13, 04:00 AM   #3
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Congratulations on the new ride. I can't really help with the mods, but I can clear up the wheel/tire combo confusion. What you're thinking of is "low profile" tires. What determines the size of the tire sidewall is the size of your wheel. You can't have two different sidewalls on an 18" wheel, otherwise you will be messing with the speedometer. As a general rule, the overall diameter of the wheel/tire combo should always be the same as stock. There are calculators out there, that can help you decide on what tire will be appropriate with an 18"/19"/20" wheel - just search Tire Calc in Google. You could also go on TireRack and it will give you suggestions for "upsizing" your wheels.

As an example: The factory tire size for an 03 ES300 is 215/60/16. Its overall diameter is roughly 26 inches. An 18" wheel tire with the same overall diameter would be a 225/45/18.
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Old 03-22-13, 08:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrBooby View Post
Congratulations on the new ride. I can't really help with the mods, but I can clear up the wheel/tire combo confusion. What you're thinking of is "low profile" tires. What determines the size of the tire sidewall is the size of your wheel. You can't have two different sidewalls on an 18" wheel, otherwise you will be messing with the speedometer. As a general rule, the overall diameter of the wheel/tire combo should always be the same as stock. There are calculators out there, that can help you decide on what tire will be appropriate with an 18"/19"/20" wheel - just search Tire Calc in Google. You could also go on TireRack and it will give you suggestions for "upsizing" your wheels.

As an example: The factory tire size for an 03 ES300 is 215/60/16. Its overall diameter is roughly 26 inches. An 18" wheel tire with the same overall diameter would be a 225/45/18.
Thank you so much for the reply. If I understand this correctly the 16 in 215/60/16 refers to 16 inch wheels. So if I go to 18's I need to sacrifice 2 inches off of the sidewall right?

1) are those types of tires typically more expensive?
2) do they wear out faster? Or are they about the same?
3)I heard something about the ride being not quite as smooth when you move to 18's or 19's. Is that true or just fiction?
4) lastly do you have any idea how cheap I can go in terms of getting 18's like I the red Lexus without compromising quality.
Thank you so much.
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Old 03-22-13, 08:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by PuReChaos View Post
Congrats on the car, she's a beauty.

Like you, I have this rather unfavorable gold (alabaster metallic) 2003 ES300.
For me the color has been such a hindrance on me wanting to really do any mods so I've so far just stuck with tints and installing HIDs (Headlights/Fogs).
However, I've grown to enjoy my car pretty much stock.
Thank you for your reply.
The car already has really nice headlights and fogs on it. So what did you do different? Pics?

Last edited by BenES300; 03-24-13 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 03-22-13, 10:12 AM   #6
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Congrats on your purchase. Tinting your windows is a great start. Another cheap mod is changing your interior and license plate bulbs over to LED. Install is very EZ with lots of DIY threads on this forum. Bought mine from v-leds.com but you can get them on fleabay as well. If you like your stock wheels, have someone PS them in black to see if you like the match with your car color. If so, either plastidip them which is removeable or for a better finish, powdercoat them. A good rule to remember tho, do your maintenence before mods. Enjoy your ES!
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Old 03-22-13, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenES300 View Post
Thank you so much for the reply. If I understand this correctly the 16 in 215/60/16 refers to 16 inch wheels. So if I go to 18's I need to sacrifice 2 inches off of the sidewall right?

1) are those types of tires typically more expensive?
2) do they wear out faster? Or are they about the same?
3)I heard something about the ride being not quite as smooth when you move to 18's or 19's. Is that true or just fiction?
4) lastly do you have any idea how cheap I can go in terms of getting 18's like I the red Lexus without compromising quality.
Thank you so much.
Example: 215/60/16

215 is the width of the tread in millimeters. 60 is the aspect ratio, or the percentage of the tire width. 60% of 215mm is 129mm, and that's the size of the sidewall(roughly 5 inches). 16 refers to the diameter of the wheel.

Here is a more detailed explanation.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=33


1) Yes
2) No/About the Same
3) True. There is less cushion to absorb impacts. Your wheels will also be at risk.
4) Depends on the make and model. Can't truly say because I've never gone that route. The tires will be around $700-800 plus the cost of wheels and installation.
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Old 03-22-13, 12:58 PM   #8
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Wonder what would gold/bronze rims look like on a gold car?
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Old 03-22-13, 10:45 PM   #9
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Wonder what would gold/bronze rims look like on a gold car?
I did think of that. Tinted windows, bronze/gold rims on my gold ES300. I think it would look nice, however I have yet to find a pic of someone who tried it. I would need to see it before I invest in it.
Unless someone know someone, who's uncle has an ex gf, who's cousin's baby daddy's brother in law's stepson's highschool sweetheart does photoshop. and they can photoshop rims onto my car so that I know what I am working with. :-)

I saw these that I thought that these might work. Any idea where I can get these?

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Originally Posted by o2ES300 View Post
New Here.

2002 ES300
19x8.5 Axis Pentas 235/35
Tanabe NF210
Pioneer Avic z2
2 PPI 4 and 2 channel
Kappa speakers/Eclipse subs

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Old 03-24-13, 04:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PuReChaos View Post
Congrats on the car, she's a beauty.

Like you, I have this rather unfavorable gold (alabaster metallic) 2003 ES300.
For me the color has been such a hindrance on me wanting to really do any mods so I've so far just stuck with tints and installing HIDs (Headlights/Fogs).
However, I've grown to enjoy my car pretty much stock.
Did you ever consider painting your car white or black?
Also would you happen to have any pics so that I would be able to visualize what my car will look like once I get it tinted and if I decided to add HID's.
Thank you.
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Old 03-24-13, 04:12 PM   #11
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Wonder what would gold/bronze rims look like on a gold car?
Do you know anyone in this forum who is good at photoshop?
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Old 03-24-13, 05:06 PM   #12
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Do you know anyone in this forum who is good at photoshop?
Ask the PS guru's on CL's General forum section. They will help you out.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/photoshop-forum-112/
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Old 03-24-13, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedkar9 View Post
Wonder what would gold/bronze rims look like on a gold car?
tacky. very tacky
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Old 03-26-13, 04:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by A1Lexis View Post
Ask the PS guru's on CL's General forum section. They will help you out.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/photoshop-forum-112/
Thank you.

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tacky. very tacky
I agree. But have you thought about black wheels with a thin gold border/rim. :-)
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Old 03-26-13, 08:18 PM   #15
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1) The blacks would look stellar on a white lexus or a black lexus, but what do you guys think about them on my Gold lexus? Any ideas?




Before I got my custom wheels, I painted my stock wheels black. You could Plastidip your wheels to get an idea of what they would look like. It's non-permanent and peels off. I prefer a two tone wheel, though. You get the visual impact of the black while actually being able to see the details of the wheel.


2) I was thinking of getting 18inch rims. However even on 18's I have seen people with regular tires and with thin tires. What is the difference? Which ones are cheaper? Will one be rougher than the other in terms of smoothness of the ride? Will 18's require more expensive tires if they are thin or will it cost me the same?





I was really hesitant to get 18" wheels. I didn't want a rough ride, so I drove an M35 with the same setup that would be compatible: 225/45R18. To my surprise, that car rode as smooth or smoother than my car did with 16s, confirming that ride has much more to do with suspension and tire choice than tire sidewall, up to a certain point. 225/45R18 inch wheels still give a substantial enough contact patch to absorb road imperfections. With Michelin Primacy MXM tires, the ride is very smooth with very little vibration. I have driven an 2010 Audi A4 with 55R/17" wheels and it has much more vibration. I have ridden in a 2008 650i with 19" run flats and it is smoother than the Audi.

3) Will I need to lower my car if I was getting 18's? I really do not want my car scraping the tires and I do not need it to be where the tire is at about the same height of the curve of the wheelcutout. But I want it to have the look of the red lexus.




Expensive and unnecessary, even if it does look good, and will make the ride stiff. Keep the stock setup since you care about the ride quality.




4) Are there any other not expensive modifications that you guys can think about for my car?



Chrome License Plate frames.
LED taillights... love my Eagle Eyes LED tails. The stock taillights are the ugliest part of the stock 02-04 4ES by far!
You could debadge the front. Photoshop it!
There's a nice billet grille available in chrome and black on ebay for around 200 bucks.
Chrome trim for the lower fascia. I have some ready to try when it gets warmer.
There are chrome B pillars, if they are to your taste.
Get some PlastX and clear up some of the clear parts like the fog lights and headlights, though yours are pretty clear, it doesn't hurt to polish them a bit more.


Welcome to the forum!

Last edited by Chocolate; 03-26-13 at 09:20 PM..
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