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I have the sack you want to ride.
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some people may have heard of my Miata. His name is Rooster. This is not his build thread.

Rooster was a complete car in my head before I even started him. I had a plan and I've been executing against it since I pulled him in my driveway and took a wrench to him, literally, within 30 seconds after arriving in Dallas from Tampa, Florida.

The Don is not that.

The Don is my daily driver. A 2003 Lexus GS 300 Sport Design edition. I bought him in January of 2009 - just after we had our first child and just before I took my old black NB in for a brand new paint job. The need for a more child-friendly car and not to be daily driving my freshly painted NB drove the purchase decision. He has every option available from Lexus in 2003. The window sticker read in excess of $45,000 when the car was new. He's a nice ride. And I have no idea what he's going to turn into.

I've already dropped him on Tanabe springs with the addition of 18mm roll center adjusters at the front. The result is a raked stance with the front wheels tucked nicely into their wells.

He also wears 19" wheels front and rear. 8.5" width in the front and 9.5" width in the rear. 245 and 275mm wide rubber, respectively. It's a nice, aggressive-looking setup that fits without rolling or shaving fenders.

Well, a week from now I'll be dropping him off with Jeff Tsai at Performance Dynamix for a little bit of serious surgery.

Jeff is somewhat of a turbo GS300 guru. He's got a swapped VVT-i GTE car that made near 4-digits at the wheels and is currently being rebuilt. He's got another NA-T car that made over 800 at the wheels on pump gas. He knows these cars inside-out so I feel like I can trust him with my modest goals.

Two weeks from now I'll be picking up my car from Jeff with a NA-T setup making as near 400whp as is safely possible for a reliable daily driver. Compared to the roughly 180whp it makes stock, that will be a nice improvement.

So...I guess I'll keep notes on the project here. Like I said, I've got no idea where this is going but I have a feeling that the NA-T setup isn't going to be the end of it.


In the parking garage at work


The Don with Rooster - both heading out to Cars & Coffee in Dallas


The only non-Instagram photo that I have of The Don
 

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I have the sack you want to ride.
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Essentially we're going to put a thicker head gasket on, bolt on a turbo, injectors, WBO2, eManage Ultimate and intercooler and call it done. It's not terrifically hard to get 400whp out of a 2JZ-GE.

You're right - the SD has a great interior. Especially in the 2003 model year. I wouldn't have purchased this car without a black interior...it was a must for me. I'm so glad I did! It still looks somewhat modern and far less dated than the tan or grey interiors of the same vintage.
 

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Alexander Supertramp
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9,351 Posts
Wouldn't mind having this as a DD. After getting rid of my old Sentra I'm afraid to get a DD and waste even more money on go-fast parts :lol:

ps: it's not super urgent, but I can't reply because your inbox is full.
 

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Sounds good.

Since you'll need a larger fuel pump, you could install ID 1000 injectors, and the newer high volume Walbro and run E85. You could do this and be totally safe on the stock headgasket and not have to pay for the labor to do the HG. You'd also have better throttle response and tip in going into boost which would make for a funner car.

My buddy Kyle works at BoostLogic and runs his single turbo 1JZ on EMU, E85, ID 1000s and the walbro, and it runs really hard.

Omar is an admin at ClubLexus and runs his NA-T on stock compression with E-85 and made close to 700whp!!

Might think about a simple $50 transmission oil cooler since the na auto is at it's limit around 400-450.
 

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I have the sack you want to ride.
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since you'll need a larger fuel pump, you could install ID 1000 injectors, and the newer high volume Walbro and run E85. You could do this and be totally safe on the stock headgasket and not have to pay for the labor to do the HG. You'd also have better throttle response and tip in going into boost which would make for a funner car.


Might think about a simple $50 transmission oil cooler since the na auto is at it's limit around 400-450.
I'm not sure about E85 for this daily driver. I drive to random places a lot for work. Some times spur of the moment. So I'm often grabbing gas who knows where. I'd rather just have to worry about finding good 93 octane.

As for the tranny cooler - definitely. Later this year the tranny wil get built so I don't have to baby it through the gears as much. As it is, Jeff recommends lifting for each shift to ease the load on the transmission.
 

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I have the sack you want to ride.
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Well...yesterday I took The Don over to the local turbo GS300 guru. I pulled up to his house to find two IS300's, three GS300's (not including mine), one SC300 and one GX all in various states of repair. Most of them were running and not being worked on but some of them were dismantled and getting similar turbo work to mine.



The 2GS in front of mine in that picture made 800+whp on the dyno.

About 4 hours later I was texted this photo with a request to contact Lexus and find out if the water pump was replaced when the timing belt was done at around 90k miles.



Apparently they don't replace the water pump unless you specifically ask them to because if they leave the original one on you'll be back in at around 150k miles to get the leaky water pump replaced.

While it's apart I'm getting new cam seals, front main seal, water pump (probably), GTE head gasket and ARP head studs. Then he'll mount up the turbo, fab the intercooler piping, bolt up the exhaust, wire in the WBO2 sensor and eManage Ultimate and get it tuned. It's a lot of work...and he thinks he'll be done by next weekend.

Can't wait!
 

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I have the sack you want to ride.
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
He's done enough of these that he's got it down to a system. He can rebuild 2JZ's blindfolded. I feel like I'm in good hands.

Also...found out that I did, in fact, ask Lexus to replace the water pump back in 2010 when the 90k mile service was done. So that's one less thing for him to worry about.
 

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life is bitch!
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2,727 Posts
Ryan, didn't know you also knew kyle. he's my source for all the dumb JZ questions i seem to come up with while putting my car together too.
 

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I have the sack you want to ride.
Joined
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5,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
More progress. Took the head to the machine shop for vacuum testing and to make sure it's true. It needed just a hair of machining to get it perfectly flat. Took about .0004" off.

Before



After



Now there won't be any worry about a perfect seal on the new head gasket.

I'm not sure what he's planning to accomplish today but I'm guessing the head will be back on the block along with timing belt, etc. Maybe he'll even mount the turbo. This weekend can't come soon enough!

Meanwhile, I'm driving Rooster to work all week and loving it :)
 
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