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Thumper28 01-08-13 08:14 PM

2006 IS250 LS1 Swap
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I've wanted to do an engine swap for several years now and something always seemed to get in the way. Well now the time has come. About a year ago I was given an LS1 longblock from a 2001 Camaro SS. The engine hydro-locked and bent a connecting rod. What started out as a budget rebuild with a new rod, gaskets, and piston rings turned into a year long several thousand dollar rebuild. Don't get too excited when I say a year long build, my second daughter was born the same week I was given the engine so I was a little preoccupied with family and work life.

When I first got the engine I had every intention of swapping it into an IS300. I saw what ATSMATT did and I was blown away. It was an awesome swap and about the cleanest install possible. However, over the year that I was rebuilding the engine, the second gen IS's were dropping in price and the more I looked the more I liked the second gen design over the first (even though I think the IS300 is an awesome car). I finally found a pretty good deal on a 2006 Glacier Frost Mica IS250 and I bought it. It ran fine so it was a shame to tear it apart but I had to stick with the plan.

I'll definitely have some IS questions along the way so I'm glad I can rely on the Club Lexus community fro help. I hope you enjoy the build thread.

Mentally preparing for the swap
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Engine covers removed
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Bumper and headlights removed
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That was enough damage for night 1.

projectdna 01-08-13 08:18 PM


Vossen Wheels 01-08-13 08:41 PM

This is going to be epic! I know of a local IS300 with an LS in it, and the car is amazing. Definitely tuning into this one, I can't wait to see more progress! :thumbup::thumbup:

Joshohoho 01-08-13 08:51 PM

oh... a chevy engine... nice.... I'll subscribe your thread too!

Thumper28 01-08-13 08:54 PM

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My day one pics were from about 2 weeks ago. I have had roughly 4 work sessions on the car and after I finish posting for those 4 sessions then unfortunately my post rate will slow down a little. As I mentioned earlier I have 2 kids and a full time job so my time in the garage is limited.

Day 2 focused on electrical diagnostics. I am trying to keep as many features working as possible which I don't think will be easy. I purchased the electrical wiring diagram manual for the car which has already proven to be a huge help.

I removed the entire dash and center console. I knew I would need access everywhere so I figured why not knock it out in 1 night instead of removing it piece by piece throughout the project.
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I was able to diagnose most of the electrical circuits on my list. My only failure to date is that I have not been successful at activating the electric power steering (eps) without the engine running. The eps ecu only has 5 inputs; power, ground, ignition, and 2 inputs from the can bus. The can bus inputs read roughly 2.5V each when the engine is running but since it's most likely a digital signal I'm not quite sure how I would replicate the signal.

At this point I'm thinking about replacing eps with a hydraulic setup for several reasons. First I already have the power steering pump on the LS1, second I have heard about some problems with the IS eps so now would be the best time to mitigate the risk, and lastly I can probably sell my working setup for significantly more than the cost of a new hydraulic rack. I'll resolve this a little later but if there are any eps experts out there please drop me a line.

To finish off this somewhat boring entry I'll leave you with a little eye candy
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Thumper28 01-08-13 09:14 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I sort of combined day 2 and 3 in the last post. The initial electrical testing took pretty long and I'm sure I have more of that to come.

Day 4 and 5 were awesome. My buddy Jesse came over and we tore into the engine. On day 4 we drained the fluids, removed the front cross members, removed the radiator, and detached pretty much every connection to the engine. We had call it quits for the night because the manifold bolts were seized up and I was out of PB Blaster and butane for my torch.

Here's how the engine looked after day 4
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After breaking the exhaust manifolds from the rest of the exhaust and detaching the fuel system, we decided to remove the intake manifold in order to buy us some more clearance when we pulled the engine.
Attachment 429490

We then supported the transmission, removed the transmission cross member, removed the lower engine mount nuts and after a quick spot check we started lifting out the engine. With a little shaking and bumping the engine lifted out pretty easily.

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Here's the last pic of the night, It's a big engine bay, almost looks like I can fit two LS1s in there.
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IS250TW 01-08-13 10:04 PM

oh wow.... Im excited to see this... Subscribed!!

JDKane527 01-08-13 10:51 PM

Very nice, subscribing to see the final product.

Are you planning to retain interior functionality as well or strip the interior and go full track car?

Vq4life 01-09-13 06:36 AM

****n Awsome Cant Wait !!! Ls1 Swaps Are Always Badass.. My Friend Has A Ls3 swapped into a 350z Its A Monster Hope This Is Possible Would love To Do This.. These Engine respond so well to boltons and tuning!!!!

mikellucci 01-09-13 12:56 PM

Awesome! It's about time someone did this! I completely agree in that these cars have dropped so much in price we are bound to see more die hard modders start tweaking. I plan to do a swap in the near future when my IS can be our 4th car

Will you be undertaking any major wiring to keep comfort accessory features working or just using the car to DRIVE with no frills?

badx33 01-09-13 03:29 PM

oh yes this is looking very interesting., Good luck.. what part of florida are you from?

Thumper28 01-09-13 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by badx33 (Post 7693724)
oh yes this is looking very interesting., Good luck.. what part of florida are you from?

Thanks for the good luck I'm sure I'll need it. I live in the West Palm Beach area.

RX7 RAGE 01-09-13 05:51 PM

looks good dude

Toxicxk23 01-09-13 05:52 PM



Thumper28 01-09-13 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by mikellucci (Post 7693364)
Will you be undertaking any major wiring to keep comfort accessory features working or just using the car to DRIVE with no frills?

I am trying to keep as much much as I can. My primary concerns are with the ABS, the electric power steering as I mentioned in my earlier post, and the instrument cluster. There is a good chance I'll have to retrofit the cluster with aftermarket gauges.

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