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CleanSC: The Reveal

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Old 03-21-05, 07:19 AM   #1
CleanSC
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Default CleanSC: The Reveal

I've been promising this for many months now so at long last, here it is for all to see.

I bought my SC exactly one year ago in March '04. It was a bone stock '92 5-speed in pearl white. I already had a vision of what I wanted to create and even had the mods all picked out. That summer was spent entirely on the car. What you will see below was basically done in 6 months with some minor details and fine tuning taking place after that.

Before I explain the mods, let me explain why I chose to design the car the way I did and how it ties into my modding style.

My design philosophies are simple: Less is More. Pick just two colors that are seldom used that work well together. Don't over do it, don't under it. Create something never seen before, out of familiar parts while at the same time making it more modern. Make sure it could pass as a brand new car. In other words: Put a new, fresh spin on a timeless design while still meeting the standards for fit, finish, and style as set forth by our friends in the Relentless Pursuit. Oh yes, and the best part: Do it all under $20,000.

On to the mods:

The body is a pure white top-shelf PPG base (DCC) with nothing added to it. It's the purest form of white (it's the base that all colors are made from -- just with no pigments added to it) and it's almost flourescent. Most factory whites have some yellow in them and aren't purely white -- this was exactly what I wanted to avoid and why I strayed from the stock Diamond White Pearl. When parked next to a white Mercedes, the MB looks yellow in comparison. The accent color is a gunmetal that's incorporated everywhere else and just JUMPS off the white paint for a striking contrast. The gunmetal is in all the lights in the front (mains, highs, fogs, and corners), the grille, the emblems, and even on the lower center portion of the front lip. Minimal grille mesh was used over the ducts adjacent to the fog lights.

The lights are all custom opened and de-chromed. Gunmetal replaces all surfaces as well as a set of Hella bi-xenon E39 HID projectors. I added a custom trim ring to the projector which was a can of tuna for cats (yes, you read that right) that I pilfered from the recycling bin. The headlights alone give the car a much updated appearance. The fogs sport gunmetal bezels and untouched reflectors to remain functional with PIAA Plasma H3 bulbs (perfect match to my LED markers). The corners are a custom made with a gunmetal dimpled surface (acrylic lighting panel) with a clear Lexan cover (Home Depot rules) and 3-LED amber illumination. Don't be fooled, these look OEM. The city lights are also LED. Out back is a set of '97+ tails with the amber portions traded out for red to streamline the design. Brake light duties are carried out by LED technology: sixty-four high-flux LEDs reside in the tails while a 48-LED strip replaces the stock high-mount stop light and is located in the moonroof. More details on my LED retros are here: https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=151168

The body kit is Wald Executive. Two-month wait out of Japan. Horrid fitment issues but they were resolved with custom work. See this thread for details: https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sho...hreadid=127054 The spoiler is a Spoiler Depot '92 Style with no light.

Suspension is handled by Tein CS coilovers, Daizen sway bars, Daizen camber correction bushings, and Daizen bushings all around. Wheels and tires are Volk Racing Progressiv Spoke in staggered fitment of 19x8.5" front (+43) and 19x9.5" rear (+38) with Dunlop SP9000 245/35-19 and 275/30-19. The rear arch lips were cut out to allow clearance for the big rollers. Under the hood you'll find a Trust strut tower brace.

Exhaust is Blitz Nur-Spec and air induction is managed by A'pexi. LS400 4-piston brakes help keep everything under control. This was by far my favorite upgrade. I built the LS kit with calipers, pins, new premium pads and new rotors for a grand total of $191. Best $191 I ever spent on this car. The power upgrades were kept to a minimum as forced induction is in the works handled (as of now, plans may change) by AEM and Toyomoto.

Interior sports a brand new carpet, floor mats, console, ash tray, shifter bezel, door panels and custom speaker grille mesh. Of course leatherseats.com Shale leather replaces all stock leather surfaces. The saggy net on the back of the front seats was removed for a clean look. All wood trim was removed and refinished in gunmetal to tie in the theme on the exterior. The center console bezel is also gunmetal to alleviate the usage of brown in the interior. Custom-made matching shift and ebrake boots sport black leather with silver baseball stitching. These are topped with a black and chrome MOMO ebrake handle and shift **** with matching stitching. The radio is a newer Pioneer unit (SQ is improved and you can actually rewind CDs) with a white LED retro for the display. The climate control is also new and sports a cold cathode lamp in white. Details here https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=120816. The green and amber indicator LEDs were swapped for blue and red respectively. Cluster was done by our one and only OLT in all white. The brown brick of a steering wheel was swapped in favor of a black '01 3-spoke steering wheel complete with chrome emblem airbag to tie the interior chrome accents together. The airbag and cruise control remain fully functional. The rear-view mirror was swapped out for a '99 SC unit which features automatic self-dimming. The windows are tinted 20% to keep the new interior cool and UV-free. The a/c runs on R12 and will continue to do so as long as my R12 reserve of 14 cans lasts.

The investment is protected by a Clifford G5 system that also arms the stock system. Two alarms are better than one. My key is custom embedded into the Clifford fob for a seamless, OEM feel. The one-piece unit also operates the factory trunk release -- a luxury not offered in the '92 models.

All mods were done DIY in my garage or at friend's facilites. From the paint job, body kit, and suspension to the leather, lighting upgrades, interior refresh/refinish and alarm install. Even the pics and text in this thread. Jack of all trades, specialist in none. As they say, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

The entire investment including the cost of the car is less than my goal of $20,000. In forced induction form, this will be under $25k. Taking advantage of CL's group buys and vendors coupled with 100% DIY labor made obtaining that goal possible. It's a nice number to throw at non-believers with newer cars that cost twice as much yet are half as impressive (or reliable).

In the end I am very pleased with the results. My 13 year-old car is now beyond the level of brand new luxury machines at less than half the operating costs. Most of this I have to credit to Lexus for running this model all the way into 2000. Because of this they provided me with the best parts to pick and choose from to help modernize the original design. Props to them for providing such an excellent base to build my ideal machine upon.

Special thanks to the folks that helped get me started: Mike (Manaray), who delt with my hundreds of questions; Steve Ganz and Gordon/Bobby for selling me almost everything that's on the car at great prices and catering to my special needs; Rich (lex400sc) for helping me as a n00b a year ago and especially for his site which was a constant source of info; and Todd and TM Engineering for the Daizen parts and tech support. And certainly can't forget the rest of the CL group for providing a place to share all this great information.

If there's any questions, please post them here and not thru PM. I get many PMs a day from different people asking mostly the same things. Post here to keep it all organized and easy to see for all.

Shut up and show us pics already!


As I bought the car one year ago:




And 6 months later:


Last edited by CleanSC; 06-27-05 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Gallery linking was changed by system. Links fixed.
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Old 03-21-05, 07:20 AM   #2
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Old 03-21-05, 07:20 AM   #3
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Old 03-21-05, 07:28 AM   #4
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INCREDIBLE!!

If your goal was premium OEM quality style and substance, you've hit it ....right-between-the-eyes!

Best white SC ever!

"So fresh...so clean."

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Old 03-21-05, 07:29 AM   #5
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The interior work impresses me the most since it is nearly impossible to restore a 13 yr old car's leather to look almost brand new.

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Old 03-21-05, 07:31 AM   #6
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great job with the car man.
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Old 03-21-05, 07:44 AM   #7
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Wow. I've been waiting to see more pics of your car. It looks great. What are your plans for forced induction?
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Old 03-21-05, 07:55 AM   #8
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Absolutely stunning
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Old 03-21-05, 08:12 AM   #9
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all I can say is "WOW!" Mad propz man
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Old 03-21-05, 08:16 AM   #10
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very nice very white one question where did you get the door panels i've been lookin for them for awhile now
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Old 03-21-05, 08:23 AM   #11
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Your car looks great man, I wish my car looks like that.
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Old 03-21-05, 08:25 AM   #12
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Yes your paint is very beautiful, and the rest of the colors of the interior provide a good contrast, especially those blue things you have in your headlight. I have no idea what they are, but they sure look good especially when the lights are turned on. I hope thats not the cat tuna can effect you were mentioning earlier!

Your body kit is beautiful too, its very clean and smooth flowing. Nothing like the garbage that I have been seeing for a while on the site. Very good choice.

One thing I noticed in the interior is that you left the brown top color. I would think it would flow better if you had the top trim dyed black just like the color of your steering wheel and other upgrades, that would look more consistent. I know you mentioned that you like simple 2 color arrangements "less is more", so dyeing the top trim may prove very wise.

Overall excellent exterior very good interior.
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Old 03-21-05, 08:48 AM   #13
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Ey man... WOW.. haha your car is amazing. I'm loving the whole new look.

- Romeo
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Old 03-21-05, 09:00 AM   #14
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nominate for COTM!!!
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Old 03-21-05, 09:15 AM   #15
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Wow, thanks for all the props, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twizt2
If your goal was premium OEM quality style and substance, you've hit it ....right-between-the-eyes!
That was exactly the goal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ef9
Wow. I've been waiting to see more pics of your car. It looks great. What are your plans for forced induction?
Simple kit, to flow as cleanly as the rest of the car. Modest gains, this is not a track star or street killer. Reliability #1. Looking at maybe 8 to 10 psi, and all managed by AEM standalone. I am looking at Toyomoto hardware. No cluttered boxes, piggybacks, fuel lines, or even a MAF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop977
very nice very white one question where did you get the door panels i've been lookin for them for awhile now
I noted in the write-up that they are brand new purchased at the dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abdul10000
One thing I noticed in the interior is that you left the brown top color. I would think it would flow better if you had the top trim dyed black just like the color of your steering wheel and other upgrades, that would look more consistent. I know you mentioned that you like simple 2 color arrangements "less is more", so dyeing the top trim may prove very wise.

Overall excellent exterior very good interior.
Thanks for the kind words. I had considered the upper black conversion like you mentioned. The SC actually does come like this from factory starting in 1997. Lower ivory coupled with upper black. I was interested in this route but several things kept me back. First, I will not dye any interior panels. If I were to do it, it would be done with factory parts. Plus the conversion would have to include the dash, upper door panels, rear side window panels, seat belts, rear deck, and misc. parts. The dash would have the airbag in it which I can't use and don't want for the passenger side if it will do nothing there. Finding these parts are next to impossible considering the HUGE demand for black SC parts. The only thing that really bothered me about the brown was the steering wheel and ebrake handle. Those alone removed enough brown to make me happy.

Plus, I'm not a huge fan of black. Black interiors are very highly rated on this board but they just don't do it for me. I find tan much more luxurious and fitting in this case.

I am still considering the upper conversion. However it won't be to black, it would be to ivory. The entire interior would be one color: the light tan on the lower existing portions. This would be done by wrapping all the components with genuine ivory leather much like in the new MB's. Will I do this, probably not. I'm quite content with the current result. But if a get a cheap line on a spare dash I just might. I'm more interested in forced induction at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aliga
nominate for COTM!!!
LOL thanks, Gazi. I was already sent an invitation for that. We'll see what happens.

Again, thanks for the love, all!
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