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Thread: Babs' IS-F: Drift Luxe

  1. #11
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    I'd like a JoeZ exhaust, but with the current exchange rate it'll be $2.5k landed.

    X-Force is a similar design and should be about $1200, so I think I'll give that a go.

    First "mod" will be rewiring the shifter, so that it's "pull back for change up".


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. #12

    Yup the price of mods for this car is freakin ridiculous! Where did you price that Joe-z exhaust from?

    Reading on some of the forums they say Chatswood Lexus is a supplier for them and Ppe headers too. Not sure if they still do it. (I'm in Bris) Would love to get my hands on a set, but the price.......
  3. #13
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    you sir always have the best decisions in vehicles! this is in my short list when the time comes.
  4. #14
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    Saw this on the weekend during a traffic jam so had plenty of time to appreciate how gorgeous this looks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalouie View Post
    I'd like a JoeZ exhaust, but with the current exchange rate it'll be $2.5k landed.

    X-Force is a similar design and should be about $1200, so I think I'll give that a go.

    First "mod" will be rewiring the shifter, so that it's "pull back for change up".


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    how do you find the shift? have you driven anything with dual clutch transmission to compare?
  6. #16
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Holy smokes, this thing is fast. (Many thanks to my good friend Reggie for these epic pics)


    It's been a month and a bit of ownership, and I did spend the first few weeks being a little intimidated of the car. It seemed to light up the traction control indicator all the time, and when shifting in manual mode, it would change gears with such violence that it would often bark the tyres, and in one notable occasion; spit the tail sideways with sufficient force, that a half turn of opposite lock was required to get it back. It felt heavy and a little wooden, and alternated between feeling like it didn't have enough grip at either end. Looking at the tyres, they *look* big at 19inches, but the actual footprint of 225/255 is actually exactly the same as my wife's bog standard IS250...which notably doesn't have a heavy V8 hanging over the front axle.


    But the funny thing was; when you got it on a winding road and you were driving properly, then it became a pussycat. Ie, when you're braking into corners and accelerating past the apex, it settled down a lot and the feedback started to really flow through. The traction control could be left totally off without fear and it's especially fast and really rock solid in the 3rd gear and upwards corners. In the tight and nadgety stuff it does feel big, but it still gets stuck into it and I think it's mainly a confidence issue on my behalf, because I'm used to much smaller and lighter cars.


    So yes, having lots of fun with this and it's got a lot of personality.

    But one driving issue I had, was dealing with the manual mode shift, which is set the wrong way, requiring a push-forward to change up. Sure, on a winding road it's more natural to keep your hands at 9 and 3, and use the paddles...but if you have a bit of oppy lock on, it seems more natural to reach for the stick rather than wait for the wheel to straighten and then pull the paddle. And without fail...I'd instinctively pull back for an upchange, which is probably as a result of way too many decades playing video games.


    A DIY solution to swap the gearshift around exists though, and the first step is to remove the side pieces on the centre console trim. You very gently prise the back part upwards...


    ...and work towards the front. The clips are oriented such that you pull the trim off diagonally backwards.


    Then you spin off the gearknob, and pop off the centre console trim


    Unplug the 2 wires for the seat heater and the light for the PRNDL plate, and the centre console trim can be set aside.


    To get a bit more room to work; remove 2 screws and the ashtray will come off.


    The wiring connector we need to hack, is that one right there, at the front of the gearshift assembly.


    Once you unplug the connector, you can see pink and light purple wires at the top...they need to be swapped around.


    First, you prise this pin lock bar upwards. The wiring pins have these tabs that stick up, and when this pin lock bar is clicked-down in place, the pins are locked in position. So you need to scooch this up by a few mm to unlock it.


    And now you can juuust about see in this pic...that the metal wiring pins are held in by these plastic locking tabs. What you can't see, is that each tab has a handy little ledge that sticks out.


    To release them, you get the smallest, 1mm wide screwdriver from your tiny-screwdriver set, and prise the ledge upwards, and this will allow the wiring pin to be wiggled out the back of the connector.


    And if you're like me...then you'll easily get the first pin out, and then in your impatience, you'll mangle the little ledge on the second pin's locking tab..mangle it to the point where that it ain't gonna come out for no man.

    ...and that's when retail therapy comes to the rescue. TOM'S Racing has a product which reverses the shift pattern, and after a little paypal action, the EMS Fairy delivers a box to your door. What a time to be alive.


    It's not really rocket science (and I think I won't be applying those stickers)


    It's just a male and female version of the stock wiring connectors and if you look closely, you can see that the red and brown wires swap over. Same result as the cheapass DIY version we were trying to do.


    It just plugs in between the stock plug and the gearshifter and that's it.


    While I was at it, I also got the splendidly named TOM'S Super Ram II Street High Performance Air Filter


    It looks to be the same as the R-Magic branded filter I have in the FD, which is made by Pipercross and is a washable dry-foam which needs no oil.


    In the FD, I reckon it does make it a tiny bit crisper on the throttle, but given that's an oldschool turbo and the ISF is normally aspirated, I doubt there'll be any discernible difference.


    First we pop off the engine cover to reveal the mess that was hiding underneath.


    The valve cover breather tubes are held in with spring clips, which have these ears sticking out, and you can just compress them with your fingers and wiggle the hoses off the intake pipe.


    Then the L-shaped intake pipe between the airbox and throttle body can come off..


    Then you undo these clips on the airbox and slide the cover back to swap the fliter elements. The old Toyota-branded one wasn't too dirty.


    A popular stage-1 mod is to replace the intake pipe with an aftermarket one, which frees up a small handful of hp. BTW that protruding box is like an echo chamber, to amplify the induction noise.


    But there's just a little hole that leads to the chamber, and the inside of the intake pipe is relatively smooth. So I think I'll be sticking with the stock piece for the sake of the noise; it doesn't look like it impedes the airflow all that much.


    Last mod for the weekend, is to do something about the rear brakes. The discs look very lipped and the pads are just an mm or so away from the pad indicator.


    The 2 piston Brembo-made calipers hold the pads in with two pins, and that cross-shaped pad spring.


    First, you gently tap out the pins with a 6mm drift and a small hammer.


    The pins have this spring loaded ball thingo at the end, which clicks into this internal groove in the caliper. So once you tap them out of the groove, you can wiggle out the pins by hand.


    Yeah, those are toast. The pads are Toyota-branded.


    New pads are Brembo. They are rated to 650C, so should be okay for light trackday use, but reputedly they dust up pretty bad, so I may just keep them as track pads. We'll see.


    Once I pull out one pad, I use it to lever the caliper piston back.


    Then I put a new pad on that side as a placeholder, while I lever in the piston on the other side. If you don't put a new, thick pad in there, the piston on the other side will pop out as you push in the opposing piston.


    Pistons all pushed in, the caliper is unbolted and hung from a hook, so that the hose won't stretch


    The discs have these M6 threads, so that you can insert some M6 bolts and as you tighten them the discs will push away from the hub. Oh...make sure the handbrake is disengaged before you do this, for reasons which will become self evident.


    Because once teh disc is off, you can see that the handbrake mechanism is a drum arrangement....


    ...that used the inside of the disc as a drum brake surface.


    The old discs were down to 26.8mm; min thickness is 26mm, so while there's some life left, we might as well swap them out.


    I actually don't like cross drilled discs as they're a bit more crack prone, and I notice that Lexus has fitted undrilled but slotted discs to the RCF and GSF, so I figure that's good enough for me. The new discs are DBA T2. That thing with the slot is a rubber plug that you swap over from the old discs; removing the plug gives access to the handbrake adjuster mechanism.


    And then we hit the road to break in the new pads and discs. The objective of this is to 1) bake off the resins from manufacturing that are inside the pad and 2) lay a thin layer of brake pad friction material onto the disc. To do this, you just find an industrial road where you can accelerate to 80 and brake hard down to 10km/h about 15 times in succession (without stopping). And then hit the freeway for about 5-10mins of cooling down, and that's that.
  7. #17
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexl8891 View Post
    Yup the price of mods for this car is freakin ridiculous! Where did you price that Joe-z exhaust from?

    Reading on some of the forums they say Chatswood Lexus is a supplier for them and Ppe headers too. Not sure if they still do it. (I'm in Bris) Would love to get my hands on a set, but the price.......
    Chatswood Lexus used to bring in JoeZ and offer it to their customers, and AFAIK they haven't done this for several years, since the exchange rate tanked.

    Quote Originally Posted by danga View Post
    how do you find the shift? have you driven anything with dual clutch transmission to compare?
    It's very different. On normal mode, it's a regular auto; very slurry shifts. But in manual mode, it locks the torque convertor and shifts with an ignition cut, so it actually sounds kinda like a manual change, and changes gear with a BANG and often it's enough to break traction. So yeah, very much Jekyll and Hyde.
  8. #18
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, but I won't be updating the build thread on this forum anymore. Everytime I log on, I have to spend an hour cleaning out all the spam posts, and ain't nobody got time for that no 'mo.

    If you'd like to follow the build, you can do so here: http://au.lexusownersclub.com/forums...enance-thread/
  9. #19
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    *jumps tp lexus owners club*
  10. #20
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Since the forum seems to be working again I'll pick up the build thread where we left off. So here are the posts we've missed:

    The Toyota IS500 got a bit of love on the weekend


    For...this! An X-Force dual exhaust, supplied at a very reasonable price by sparesbox.com.au


    So the first step is to remove the old system...


    First to be removed is the axleback section, and that starts with dousing all the rubber hangers with spray lubricant. They don't come out easy, as the "mushroom" on the end of the hangers is pretty big.


    It was easier to remove the hangers from the bodyside as a result. These are the hangers next to the diff.


    The hangers for the twin mufflers are much harder as you don't have access to spray the front with lube, and there isn't room to get a prybar in there.


    But I figured if I let the axleback section hang down...


    ...I can get my hand above the muffler to undo the three bolts that attach the muffler hangers to the chassis.


    Ever wondered why Lexus are usually pretty heavy? Well it's because they do things like make chunky muffler brackets that are held on by three massive M10 bolts. I'm not sure why they need to be so overbuilt, you could probably support the weight of the whole car from one of them.


    Axleback section out...you have the space and time to prise out the rubber hangers from next to the diff.


    The stock mufflers look massive and are heavy, but the choke point of the whole system is probably this squashed oval section that goes under the diff.


    Next step is to remove the centre section.


    The trans tunnel has two braces; one is easy to unbolt, but the other has bolts which are behind the plastic undertray


    But if you undo a few plastic scrivets, you can prise down the undertray enough to reach the bolts easily enough.


    Then you remove the two O2 sensors. The ISF actually has four; the other two are on the headers. For this, you'll need a Toyota/Lexus O2 sensor removal tool, which I bought off eBay for $80.


    Because the O2 sensor has a tubular shield around it, you can't get a spanner onto the hex. And a conventional O2 sensor tool is probably too long.


    And with the O2 sensors out, the centre section can be removed from the car, by supporting the back on a jack, while you unbolt it from the headers. The X-Force is a dual system, with one 2.5in pipe per bank, that merge together in an X. The stock pipes actually start out as also 2.5ins, but they merge into a central resonator, then into that squashed oval bit, before finishing in 2.2in pipes to the mufflers.


    Now, as to why you need the pipes to meet in an X...I think the Engine Masters boys do a much better job of explaining it than I could


    So the X-Force should be less restrictive on pipe size, but the new exhaust is catless, so the secondary cats are eliminated. This should remove quite a lot of restriction.


    The car itself still has two cats inside the headers though. And here you see that the headers don't use a conventional gasket; instead there's a crushable ring.


    The stock exhaust has a recess for the crushring...


    But the flange on the X-Force does not...I fitted a new oem crushring, and when you tighten it all up, the flanges don't actually meet when the ring is fully crushed. It doesn't leak, so I figure this is how it's meant to be.


    Fitting up the new exhaust is much quicker then removing the old one. I'd say the whole job took three hours, and 70% of it was getting the old one off.

    On a quality note...the X-Force system is VERY reasonably priced, and is half or a third of the price of alternatives from the USA (PPE, Borla) or Japan (HKS, ISS Forged). But there are some corners cut for the price. Firstly the gaskets are very flimsy, but given the weird hole to boltspacing ratio, I couldn't find alternatives. So they went on with a lick of Permatex Ultra Copper sealant.


    This was a little frustrating...whoever welded the resonators together, didn't remove the plastic wrap first. Now the resonators are pressed together and there is no option but to let nature take its course and melt the plastic once we fire her up. There's also lots of nasty paper stickers which take forever to remove. It fits and doesn't leak...but you won't be lying under the car admiring the welding porn.


    But...refit the O2 sensors, after giving them a couple of twists anti-clockwise (so that the wires are straight when it's done up).


    And we are done!


    The only fitment issues to note were very minor: one pipe fouled the diff mount...but when the muffler was bolted up, it pulled the pipe away from it and there's adequate clearance now.


    Another was that one of the hangers fouled the aero undertray that bridged the floorpan gap where the driveshafts are. But I made a little hole in it, and now they can co-exist.


    And oh...a bit of a lifehack...you can use a jacking puck for a Porsche 964. That generation of 911 had sill jacking points which were metal holes in the side skirt. There is no way that you can get a trolley jack under there without ruining the side skirt, so you can buy this padded metal puck that fits into a hole in the jacking point.


    ...and I fits perfectly into a handy-dandy hole in the middle of the crossmember. And the rubber padding means that the jack cup doesn't leave scratches on the crossmember too.


    Last thing before she comes off the stands, is to fit a new set of pads to the front. We'd fitted new Brembo pads and DBA rotors at the back a few weeks ago, but the front discs were pretty new at 29.5mm thickness (new is 30mm, worn is 28) and the pads were an unknown quantity.


    With the prospect of trackdays looming, I felt that brembo pads all round was a good idea. To remove the old pads, it's exactly like the rears, and you use a hammer and punch to tap out the pad locating pins


    Then unbolt this doohickey...which I think isn't for the purposes of retaining the pads in place, I reckon it's more to act as a strut brace for the very long calipers and to give some strength to the unsupported middle of the caliper.


    I have no idea what the old pads were...they're green but don't look like Project Mu green. By the way, the Brembo pads were sourced from https://www.brakesdirect.com.au/ at the shockingly reasonable price of $69. I think Lexus charges $600, so this is a massive saving. The pads are actually listed for AMG CLK63 but seem to fit just fine. FD3s front brake pad for scale.


    And with that...we test!


    Overall the car does feel more sprightly, and the sound of the new exhaust seems to be a good compromise. It's burbly at idle, but mostly disappears if the windows and sunroof are closed. The only downside seems to be that the great induction snarl is a little drowned out now. The stock exhaust is so silent that the induction is all you normally hear when the airbox flap opens at 3800rpm...but the exhaust overwhelms it now. But in return, there are all sorts of nice muscle car noises from idle to 4000rpm, so it's swings and roundabouts. Very importantly, it doesn't drone at freeway speeds and there is just a distant woofle...there is a little budda-budda-budda backbeat under load from 1500-2000rpm which is a little intrusive, but I'm thinking that as the system packs out with carbon from use, it might quiten down.
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