Notices
Build Threads Details on Club Lexus 2GS owner vehicles

TK's Finding the Perfect Balance DD - Build Thread

 
Old 05-15-19, 08:21 PM
  #1  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default TK's Finding the Perfect Balance DD - Build Thread

Welcome to my build thread! I've decided to start one for the first time in my life after living on multiple car forums from different platforms. This thread is dedicated to finding the perfect balance between styling, performance, and comfort in my new daily driver.

A little back history into getting into Toyota/Lexus:

I've owned an '03 IS300 which was my DD, then turned project car, and now whenever I feel like driving a sportier car car. Then I picked up a pretty rough condition (mechanically/cosmetically) '01 GS430 that had issues that I thought I could fix and restore, however I was in over my head, so that car got sold off. Now I have this '01 GS300 which is my new daily driver! 195K when I picked it up, 3rd owner now, and the previous owner was a Russian guy which kept the car up to date with maintenance, etc... It's got a few dings here and there, but definitely a lot cleaner than most in my area.


First day I went to go look at it:




The day I brought it home:

toneekay is offline  
Old 05-15-19, 08:36 PM
  #2  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

The next day, I decided to run the car through the automatic machine wash... Bad mistake! The driver side view mirror cover exploded off into a million pieces! Apparently they were so sun damaged that they became brittle, and the impact of the brushes in the car wash just ripped it right off.

So, I did what anyone would do when parking outside and the forecast calls for rain the next few days.









During this time, I found a used pair off eBay for a decent price (replaced both sides since sun damage/paint chippings/etc):

toneekay is offline  
Old 05-15-19, 08:46 PM
  #3  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Picked up a set of used GS F-sport 19" wheels. Unfortunately this set came off of an AWD model so all rims are 19x8 +45.




Test fitted them the same day to see what size tires I would need/want since 3 of 4 tires had sidewall blowouts. The previous owner had on three Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02 (235/40/19), and one Bridgestone Potenza RE050A (practically brand new).





Anyways, this past weekend, I had my buddy mount on a set of brand new Falken Azenis FK510 in 245/40/19 (somewhat meaty in the front).





Also did a quick alignment for me to fix my front driver side toe. Everything was in good decent spec, except the rears had about -2 camber, and the fronts were close to 0. However, we didn't get to touch the camber though since he was there BS'ing with me for 4 hours already and I knew I'd come back for another alignment after some future suspension mods.

toneekay is offline  
Old 05-15-19, 09:12 PM
  #4  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

After leaving the shop that day, it was a night and day difference on the feel of the car. The previous owner had some brand new albeit cheap tires on the stock 16's, and these new wheels just outperforms them in every way entirely. These are my first Falken tires, and I must say, I think I'm a fan now. I've gone through plenty of Continentals, Michelins, Kumhos on different cars, and I have to say these Falkens are among those that I'd buy again.

Just a quick review for those that are interested:

Falken Azenis FK510 - 245/40/19
- Steering response is "tight"
- You feel like you have control of the car when turning, switching lanes, going around curves
- Dry grip is excellent so far, and I can't wait to see how well they'll perform once broken in even more
- These tires feel "soft," and absorb the road imperfections really well
- Low tire/road noise
- Great bang per buck


Anyways, now that that's out of the way... After feeling how much better the car felt after getting new rubber on, I got the itch to make the car more responsive and have a bit less boaty/swaying feel. I ended up finding that Daizen sway bar bushing thread which most reviews swore the bushings will yield 20-30% better body roll, etc etc etc...So, for the $30 or so, I figured why not? They came in yesterday, and I got to installing them today.

Pulling off my old rubber bushings... They looked to be in pretty good condition.






So... My thoughts and opinions on these...

If you had beat up sway bar bushings, and then threw these poly bushings on, you'd probably notice the difference most people are claiming to have/gained. In my case, I saw very minimal changes. I took the car out once prior to changing the bushings on a closed road, and did some aggressive maneuvers, and then once more after the bushings were installed. The car felt the same... I GUESS you can say that when rebounding from a swerve, you have less body roll (very minimal change) at the point when you turn the wheel back the other direction? I mean, that's all I could take from it. I haven't driven on the highway and/or merged at high speeds though, so maybe there's a difference at that point. I'll know more tomorrow on my way into work.

I did not have plans to upgrade a bunch of parts on this car since I wanted to find that good feel balance in a DD, but it looks like I just may have to... I've yet to decide whether I want to get lowering springs or go full coilover. My shocks look and feel pretty healthy, and the ride on stock suspension is a helluva lot better than my IS... But if it comes to it, that's one way I can reduce the boat feeling body roll.


That's all for now... My quick intro and progress up to date! Thanks for stopping by, this is going to be a slower thread, but stay tuned for more! =]
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-16-19, 06:26 AM
  #5  
Muffinizer
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Muffinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 680
Received 94 Likes on 86 Posts
Default

If you want a balance look at H&R sport springs and Bilstein B8s. The H&R springs are progressive so they get stiffer as they compress. I have those on my car and yeah you'll give up some comfort but it still soaks up the big bumps really nicely and is the perfect balance of sport and comfort for a DD like my car. That combo will lower your car about 1.5" which isn't unreasonable. I have no rubbing issues on my 18x8 +45 and 18x9 +38 wheels front and rear. Pair that with some upgraded sway bars and you won't believe how well it handles over the floaty stock suspension.
Muffinizer is offline  
The following users liked this post:
toneekay (05-16-19)
Old 05-16-19, 07:31 AM
  #6  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Muffinizer View Post
If you want a balance look at H&R sport springs and Bilstein B8s. The H&R springs are progressive so they get stiffer as they compress. I have those on my car and yeah you'll give up some comfort but it still soaks up the big bumps really nicely and is the perfect balance of sport and comfort for a DD like my car. That combo will lower your car about 1.5" which isn't unreasonable. I have no rubbing issues on my 18x8 +45 and 18x9 +38 wheels front and rear. Pair that with some upgraded sway bars and you won't believe how well it handles over the floaty stock suspension.
Yup, this was the route I looking towards next, progressive springs over coilovers. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that I can still achieve what I want without having to drop $1000+ and my only mission is to just find the perfect spring over stock shocks. I'm looking into upgrading those yet until the stock ones blow out and/or leak, which from one of my posts above I mentioned they looked really healthy for their age.

Mind if I ask what size tires you're running on your setup, and how much camber you're running? I'm afraid my 245/40 up front is a little "big" without any camber at the moment, and want to get an idea of how yours is sitting.
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-16-19, 09:42 AM
  #7  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

So a little update on the Daizen Sway Bar Bushings...

Yesterday I noted that I felt very minimal "performance" at lower speeds (up to about 30-40 MPH and aggressive left/right swerves and turns; I want to say there was <5% performance increase... The car felt like it was less bouncy left and right. Well this morning, on my way to work, I can say I do feel more of an increase in performance at higher speeds (60+ MPH). Lane merging at those speeds were better than before; I feel like the car didn't feel like it was super tall and feeling like it was "tipping" over when merging lanes. I also felt like I was a little more planted going around larger turns/curves on the highway, not riding on rails type planted, but a firm plant where I don't feel like the car would slide out for whatever reason.

Overall, for $30 on a stock suspension setup with sticky tires (non-stock wheels), this is a good purchase. This is my honest review coming from great condition stock rubber bushings to poly bushings.
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-16-19, 01:43 PM
  #8  
Muffinizer
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Muffinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 680
Received 94 Likes on 86 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by toneekay View Post
Yup, this was the route I looking towards next, progressive springs over coilovers. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that I can still achieve what I want without having to drop $1000+ and my only mission is to just find the perfect spring over stock shocks. I'm looking into upgrading those yet until the stock ones blow out and/or leak, which from one of my posts above I mentioned they looked really healthy for their age.

Mind if I ask what size tires you're running on your setup, and how much camber you're running? I'm afraid my 245/40 up front is a little "big" without any camber at the moment, and want to get an idea of how yours is sitting.
I think all in including the suspension parts I replaced I spent $850 on my suspension upgrade. Probably $650 for springs and coils alone. Also if you're going to upgrade to stiffer and lower springs get some shocks that are meant for that. Shocks need to be valved for the shorter stroke length to provide proper damping when the springs are shorter. Sure you could run your factory shocks with lowering springs but they will wear out faster and the ride won't be nearly as good as it could be.

I'm running 245/40 R18s in front and 265/35 R18s in rear on 18/8+45 and 18/9+38 Enkei RP03s. No rubbing even at full compression and I have BFG Comp 2 A/S tires which are really meaty. Camber wise I have around -0.5 front and -1.0 rear due to lowering but the toe is in spec front and rear. So far I've gotten around 15k out of my tires but they're starting to show some camber wear.
Muffinizer is offline  
Old 05-16-19, 09:21 PM
  #9  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Muffinizer View Post
I think all in including the suspension parts I replaced I spent $850 on my suspension upgrade. Probably $650 for springs and coils alone. Also if you're going to upgrade to stiffer and lower springs get some shocks that are meant for that. Shocks need to be valved for the shorter stroke length to provide proper damping when the springs are shorter. Sure you could run your factory shocks with lowering springs but they will wear out faster and the ride won't be nearly as good as it could be.

I'm running 245/40 R18s in front and 265/35 R18s in rear on 18/8+45 and 18/9+38 Enkei RP03s. No rubbing even at full compression and I have BFG Comp 2 A/S tires which are really meaty. Camber wise I have around -0.5 front and -1.0 rear due to lowering but the toe is in spec front and rear. So far I've gotten around 15k out of my tires but they're starting to show some camber wear.
Not bad, literally a full inch shorter wheel than mine, however just as wide in the front. I was mainly concerned about the front not fitting without any fender rolling and minimal camber when I decide to drop the car.

Speaking of that, I'm trying to keep costs low since I still have plenty of other suspension parts (mainly bushings) that need addressing first. I'm going to ride out on stock shocks prior to upgrading... The way I see it, the manufacturers build these springs with rates based on the stock shock in mind, and although mine are old, but I'd rather grasp a feel of how they'll ride before they blow out completely (knock on wood). This way, I'll know if I need to get similar to stock shocks or beefier ones to compensate for the lack of dampening or complement the already good enough dampening of an OEM stock-like shock.

It's just how I read in another thread with someone adding a FSB on their car and achieving that perfect feel, versus installing a FSB + RSB which may or may not feel good when both installed. Anyways, I'm very particular with my builds, and like to gradually "build" things slowly as I see fit. Hope this all makes sense, I tend to ramble late at night lol.
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-17-19, 12:44 PM
  #10  
Muffinizer
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Muffinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 680
Received 94 Likes on 86 Posts
Default

I have both a front and rear strut tower brace. The front brace did almost nothing in my opinion. The rear brace made a huge difference in making the back of the car follow the front and be a lot less floppy over bumps and dips. I would strongly recommend the rear brace before the front. The rear just takes a little bit more work to install because you have to remove the carpet in the trunk and cut holes for the brace to go through

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sus...tml#post472967
Muffinizer is offline  
Old 05-17-19, 12:51 PM
  #11  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Muffinizer View Post
I have both a front and rear strut tower brace. The front brace did almost nothing in my opinion. The rear brace made a huge difference in making the back of the car follow the front and be a lot less floppy over bumps and dips. I would strongly recommend the rear brace before the front. The rear just takes a little bit more work to install because you have to remove the carpet in the trunk and cut holes for the brace to go through

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/sus...tml#post472967
OH I meant Front/Rear sway bars, not strut bars lol. Honestly I don't even think I would go any further than springs (or maybe sway(s)) IF I can get the level of comfort and handling I want. I don't want the car to be super stiff, since that's what I have my IS300 for. I still want SOME of the Lexus quality ride, but less "sloppy" if you get what I mean.
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-17-19, 07:19 PM
  #12  
tmf2004
5% Club. Killing it!!!
iTrader: (15)
 
tmf2004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: FL
Posts: 21,897
Received 32 Likes on 32 Posts
Default

subscribed...
tmf2004 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
toneekay (05-17-19)
Old 05-21-19, 06:57 AM
  #13  
TrueGS300
Lead Lap
 
TrueGS300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 436
Received 52 Likes on 47 Posts
Default

Too add my thoughts on the suspension discussion, I think with these cars sometimes less is more. We have to remember we have large cars with comfort oriented suspensions and though we like a little more performance, we do not want to lose what makes the GS a GS. Otherwise why aren't we driving an IS300 or SC300? I found that a set of Tein street basis z coilovers and a Megan front swaybar are all that was necessary to make the car handle far better than it's power level can outperform while maintaining a nice ride. It gives the nice lowered look we like, and is properly valved and spring rated for the car. I only ever noticed body role from the front which is usually more inherent to rwd vehicles. I wouldn't want to cut anything on the interior of a GS to make a strut tower bar fit. But that's just me. I have had strut bars on vehicles in the past, but only ever felt like I just added weight considering how much more a set of coilovers and swaybars does. The addition of strut bars makes the car so stiff and unforgiving. These are actually "chassis braces", like under car braces etc. They should be in their own category since steering, suspension, and chassis upgrades are different things. These are what all out race cars use when the normal suspension upgrades aren't enough and comfort has zero factor in the car. Like putting a full cage in the back. Strut bars are an easy sell for aftermarket companies because they are an easy install and marketed as a suspension upgrade. I consider them chassis stiffeners and don't have an interest in them anymore because I don't think they are a worth while mod for a daily driver. I'm sure they can be noticeable on this car, but I'm not sure in a way that I'd like is all I'm saying. Chassis stiffening is quite overkill for a GS IMO.
TrueGS300 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
toneekay (05-21-19)
Old 05-21-19, 08:25 AM
  #14  
toneekay
Rookie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 94
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by TrueGS300 View Post
Too add my thoughts on the suspension discussion, I think with these cars sometimes less is more. We have to remember we have large cars with comfort oriented suspensions and though we like a little more performance, we do not want to lose what makes the GS a GS. Otherwise why aren't we driving an IS300 or SC300? I found that a set of Tein street basis z coilovers and a Megan front swaybar are all that was necessary to make the car handle far better than it's power level can outperform while maintaining a nice ride. It gives the nice lowered look we like, and is properly valved and spring rated for the car. I only ever noticed body role from the front which is usually more inherent to rwd vehicles. I wouldn't want to cut anything on the interior of a GS to make a strut tower bar fit. But that's just me. I have had strut bars on vehicles in the past, but only ever felt like I just added weight considering how much more a set of coilovers and swaybars does. The addition of strut bars makes the car so stiff and unforgiving. These are actually "chassis braces", like under car braces etc. They should be in their own category since steering, suspension, and chassis upgrades are different things. These are what all out race cars use when the normal suspension upgrades aren't enough and comfort has zero factor in the car. Like putting a full cage in the back. Strut bars are an easy sell for aftermarket companies because they are an easy install and marketed as a suspension upgrade. I consider them chassis stiffeners and don't have an interest in them anymore because I don't think they are a worth while mod for a daily driver. I'm sure they can be noticeable on this car, but I'm not sure in a way that I'd like is all I'm saying. Chassis stiffening is quite overkill for a GS IMO.
I agree 100% with this. No offense to anyone else in this thread that likes/wants the stiffer suspension, however for me, like my thread title says... Finding the perfect balance in comfort and handling for this chassis is key. I don't mind if I still have body roll, but I do want to feel somewhat planted for the most part while taking turns, driving around curves on the daily, etc... I still want to maintain that "luxury" feel, without having to feel every little imperfection from the road that comes with a stiffer chassis.
toneekay is offline  
Old 05-21-19, 12:28 PM
  #15  
Muffinizer
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Muffinizer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 680
Received 94 Likes on 86 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by toneekay View Post
I agree 100% with this. No offense to anyone else in this thread that likes/wants the stiffer suspension, however for me, like my thread title says... Finding the perfect balance in comfort and handling for this chassis is key. I don't mind if I still have body roll, but I do want to feel somewhat planted for the most part while taking turns, driving around curves on the daily, etc... I still want to maintain that "luxury" feel, without having to feel every little imperfection from the road that comes with a stiffer chassis.
I understand that viewpoint. From a ride perspective I would say my car is similar but slightly softer to a new 3-4 series with the M package in terms of ride comfort with lowered suspension, sway bars, chassis braces front and rear, and strut tower bars front and rear. That's right about where I want to be for my DD. The biggest thing I'm not in love with is my Tom's exhaust. Now that I've had it on my car for a few years its starting to drone really bad on the highway around 70-80 mph which is really tiring on a road trip. Be careful when choosing an exhaust if you're going to take long trips in your car. Hopefully the 3.76 LSD I have will lower the RPM enough that this won't be an issue anymore.
Muffinizer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: