May 2003 Featured Car
Screen Name: rominl
Profession: Circuit Design Engineer
Car model: Lexus GS400
Car year: 1998
Engine size: 4L V8
Color: Spectra Blue
- Mobile 1 5W30 Synthetic Engine Oil
- Redline 75W90 Synthetic Differential Gearing Oil
- Toyota Type IV Transmission Oil
- Borla Exhuast Stainless Steel Tips
- Tein HA Coilover Suspension. 8/6 (front/rear) settings. Drop to 1 finger gap.
- TRD STB
- TRD Front Lower Brace
- TRD Blue Racing Stabilizing Sway Bars
- AP Racing 6 Pistons Big Brakes upgrade, Black color
- Street Racing Brake Pads
- 13.5” Drilled/Slotted Vented Rotors
- Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines
- Stillen Drilled Rear Stock Replacement Rotors (Brembo re-badge)
- Stillen Rear Stock Replacement Brake Pads
- Motul RBF 600 Factory Line Brake Fluid
- Self Painted Black Rear Calipers with Lexus Logo Stickers
- Philips 6000K HID Headlight Conversion with Philips Ballasts
- Lexus OEM Yellow Fog Lights
- Polarg M4 Front Driving Light Wedge Bulbs Stock Replacement
- PIAA Platinum White 51W Light Bulbs in Fog Light Housing
- Clear Lens Side Marker with Polarg M4 Superwhite Bulbs
- Polarg M2 Superwhite Backup lights
- All around 5 windows Titanium 32% Tint
- Factory Spoiler
- Partially Self Chromed OEM front grill
- Xpel Headlight Protection Kit
- Zaino Car Wax Sytem
- Polarg Superwhite Bulbs in all Housing
- Trunk Cargo Net
- Volk Racing AV3, 19”x8.5” +39mm front and 19”x9.5” rear
- Yokohama AVS Sport, 245/35/19 front and 275/30/19 rear
- Gorilla Wheel Locks
What led you to buy a Lexus?
It all started out with a great deal. My girlfriend’s coworker was leaving the country and was selling this Spectra Blue 98 GS400. He is quite well off and didn’t want the hassle of going through the dealer, so he was offering to sell the car at the dealer trade-in price. The deal was too good to pass so we purchased the car.
We knew the car is a very nice one, but we never imagine it to be this good. It’s strong, with low mileage (when we bought it the car had only 32K miles), and it has tons of potentials. When we were considering the car we already started thinking about what modifications we would do to the car.
The car is very comfortable and has plenty of luxury to play with. It has more than enough power for decent driving without worrying about passing people on the freeway. The ride is smooth as silk and the built quality of the car is top notch. There are some tiny rattles but nothing that I can’t live with. It does not have premium audio or NAV, but it has one of the cleanest dash designs I have seen. The armrest design is the best I have tried so far, and the dashboard design is purely awesome.
On the aftermarket support side, I was amazed at how many parts are available to our cars as I do more and more research. I couldn’t believe how much better this car could be, and that’s what motivated me and my girlfriend to keep on modifying the car. On one side we have changed out a lot of parts on the GS400, but we are still keeping the classic look of the car and maintain its quality.
Besides cars, my girlfriend and I like to play tennis and watch movies/drama. We usually play tennis every weekend, some very important ways for us to keep away the fat. We are also big fans of Chinese and Japanese dramas; we can never watch enough of them. Movies are something we love too, and we watch plenty of them too.
I am also a computer freak and love to play with all kind of computer equipments. I have no less than 7 computers at home (for 2 people…) and plenty of monitors around. My girlfriend, on the other hand, likes to cook some dishes during the weekend.
And last of all, we love to travel. We are at the stage of spending most of our time working since this is the peak time for us to earn money, but eventually we hope we can take one or two trips every year.
Ideally I want to make my car a show car + street car. I don’t want my car to be overdone by putting every single part out there, but rather just some essential modifications that will give a taste of aggressiveness to the car. From the look wise my car is pretty much set already; rims, brakes, and lights. Eventually I want to get the TTE front spoiler lip, L-tuned side skirts, and L-Sportline rear roof top spoiler to complete the look of the body.
On the street car, I want the car to be able to go through the most part of the city without much hassle, and be able to out run most of the cars out there. That’s why I am more focused on handling and braking rather than power, since the car already has plenty of power for road use. For performance modification, the L-tuned steering wheel ECU and the Tom’s rear brace are what I have on the list.
I will not put any engine modifications on the car, including exhaust system, intake, supercharge, or turbo charge. The GS400 is built for comfort and quietness. By changing the handling I have already made the car not as comfort, so there is no way I will put in any engine parts to make the car any noisier.
Audio and Video setup is something I would want to go into too. As usual I don’t want anything overdone. I don’t look for a loud system, but I want quality. I would like to keep the trunk space, but change out all the speakers on the car and put in an extra amplifier. I would definitely look for sounds quality more than anything. And last of all I want to add in a DVD system badly. I would put in 3 screens, two behind each of the front seat headrests, and one in the central console.
Why you chose to modify your Lexus?
If anything it’s the potential of the car that inspired me about modifying my Lexus. The built quality of the car is so well that it can take a lot more than what’s already on the car. Some cars their engines or transmission won’t be able to take in turbo-charge or supercharge, but the one on the GS300/400 is well capable of that. The chassis is strong enough so even with stiffer handling setup I would not have to worry too much about rattling and squeaking.
And since it’s a RWD system, it opens up a lot of potentials for modification too such as brakes and rims/tires. And most of all the aftermarket support in terms of product choices is awesome too. When you modify a car, you want to have choices, rather than sitting there and get the only possibility out there.