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cabowabo

1997 Lexus SC400 - A poor mans Supra, but better

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So, after being turned on to the SC chassis by our very own GONK, reading up, test driving, deciding if I REALLY like the car...I pulled the trigger. Plans are pretty simple; Coilovers, wheels, Supra TT brakes, and very likely a CD009 6 speed swap unless I just completely sell out and keep the 4 speed auto. Have had this car a week and absolutely love it. Tanabe exhaust is on the way to let the 1UZ sing the song of its people and if not satisfied, we'll head over to an exhaust shop to cut out resonators and build a proper cat-back. As is this thing is already performing perfectly as a DD/Grand Tourer, but ulimtaely I'd like to have it in a position that if I'd like to go romp on it around Thunderhill, Sonoma, Laguna Seca, *insert Cali track here*, without towing, it can handle it.

 

 

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First mod is done! Tanabe Medallion Touring axle back with what appeared to be hilariously large exhaust tips while uninstalled (as evidenced by the fisting). The ease of install bodes well for future projects, not even a little bit of surface rust underneath and the exhaust flange nuts came off like the system was put together yesterday. I expect the new mufflers to get a little deeper/mellow over the next few hundred miles, but already thinking the resonaters gotta go. With three cats in the system it still seems pretty quiet, but will evaluate in a month or so.

https://youtu.be/T3BKXOXKeaI

 

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Exhaust looks and sounds good. Better jump on those transmissions fast; I've heard they have so many swap kits now for them their becoming quite rare.

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1 hour ago, IanIsInGarage said:

Exhaust looks and sounds good. Better jump on those transmissions fast; I've heard they have so many swap kits now for them their becoming quite rare.

Well dang, if the CD009 gets or is too pricey there's always AR5. 

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3 hours ago, Hollywood said:

That exhaust sounds A+ proper.

 

Almost. Pretty sure I'll be deleting the resonators to let a little more rowdiness through.

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3 hours ago, KevinDB said:

you don't say...

 

Bah, just a buncha fear mongering! 😛 Even if I delete the resonators it'll still be way less loud/rowdy than basically every Mustang GT / Vette / *insert hemi powered vehicle here* on the road. I've honestly heard a whole crap load of decently loud to OBNOXIOUSLY loud exhausts since moving here and none of them have been pulled over on the side of the road. The SC will easily fly under the radar for all but the most aggro officer.  

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22 hours ago, cabowabo said:

Bah, just a buncha fear mongering! 😛 Even if I delete the resonators it'll still be way less loud/rowdy than basically every Mustang GT / Vette / *insert hemi powered vehicle here* on the road. I've honestly heard a whole crap load of decently loud to OBNOXIOUSLY loud exhausts since moving here and none of them have been pulled over on the side of the road. The SC will easily fly under the radar for all but the most aggro officer.  

Haha yep.  Dunno 'bout the sac but SF to MtV I had no issues in 3 years. Commuted daily by rowdy motorcycle.  LEO was not prominent and pretty chill.

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Today, the resonators met their end. I'm very pleased with the outcome! Added the missing volume and rowdiness a 4l v8 should have, but with 3 cats / 2 mufflers it's still plenty comfy on the highway and for DD duty. 

Resonators

 

Resonator delete

 

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Welp, haven't really been doing anything with either car over winter. Been lazy. But, decided it was time to get rolling on both and wanted to go ahead and get the Lexus setup so I can re-focus on the Miata for rest of the year. Original plan was to run Bilsteins with coilover sleeves and was even going to have them revalved at Inertia Lab, but about a month after ordering and the fronts already having been dyno'd I was informed the rears are no longer being made. Called Bilstein diect and sho nuff. Got those refunded and just went with HKS Hipermax. To be honest, they just look like every other BC variant (monotube adjustable body, custom anodized color, cheap), but whatever, the spring rates are right sitting at ~800f/500r. Supra guys run them quite a bit for DD/light track and don't have anything bad to say about them. If I could get the Xida/Tractive equivalent for Supra then I'd do it, but it's either china coilovers, KWv3 or start spending big buckaroos. Maybe we'll revisit suspension later down the road.

With suspension out of the way the only thing left was deciding on wheels. My go to pick was Kansei KNP (hypersilver with polished lip mmm), but I just didn't really want to spend 2k on a wheel and tire package. So, with the braintrust that is TJ's Discord I've ended up here; 18x8.5et44 and 18x9.5et46 AMG monoblocks that have 215/40 and 235/40 Conti ECS on the way for that mad stance and awesome summer tire handling y0. For those in the know, yeah, Lexus is 5x114.3 vs MB 5x112, so I also have 32mm spacers on the way to convert bolt pattern and also get the offset nice and flush. Before that stuff arrives I need to do two things; Move passenger/front ABS harness and roll fenders.

 

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Fender roller arrived and first set of tires mounted. 235s and wheel adapters should show up tomorrow, so fender roll/pull and test fitting this weekend, then coilovers show up next week. I'm getting very excite. Need to clean the wheels up a bit too, have been lazy. 

 

 

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Everything I read said SC headlights cloud/yellow from the inside, apparently I got lucky. The look and complete lack of visibility at night was killing me so was planning on eventually sending them out to be disassembled, cleaned, polished (inside and out), and resealed, but figured what the hell on trying a McGuires hand polish kit. Did not disappoint. Hopefully the protective spray actually holds up but I'm thinking about just using clearbra to make sure they stay clear.

 

 

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HKS hotboi coilovers have arrived. Will likely knock these out next weekend, then still need to roll fenders bc the only work I did on the car last weekend was 20 minutes of cleaning headlights. The wheel adapters will need longer studs pressed in as the AMG wheels have a really thick mounting surface and lugs only get about 4-5 turns 😞

 Miata Xida Gen2 for reference, Supra shocks are beefy 

 

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33 minutes ago, Hollywood said:

springy boys for your fat boi

800f/500r on Miata = race setup

800f/500f on SC400 = DD comfort setup

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Bad news: The SC400 got hit while street parked by some dipshit that took off and left no information at 2am.

Good news: It can now become the hotboi DD poser drift car it was always meant to be. 

 

Spent today getting suspension installed, fenders rolled, and wheels installed. Will dial in ride height and shock body length tomorrow. There's a harness in the driver front wheel well that I don't feel like moving, so need to install the shock without springs and set the shock body length so the tire won't rub the harness, then decide if that's enough bump travel. We'll see, worst case I go through the steps to pull the harness through and re-route through engine bay. Initial impressions of HKS shocks is a little "busy", but a lot better damping/control than OEM shocks/springs. Leaning way more sporty, but still very much Grand Tourer. Will play with shock settings and see if can dial out the "busy" ride, I suspect they're set pretty firm right now.

With bolt pattern adapters / spacers the wheel effectively come out to 18x8.5 +12 front and 18x9.5 +14 rear, with 215f/235r for that stance y0.

Remaining projects before the Miata gets home; valve cover gaskets (stinkin bad with hot motor!), Install headunit from miata and run speaker wire to bypass OEM amp + retain sub, and beat out the fender enough to slap some body filler and primer on. 

 

 

 

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Ride height dialed in for maximum scrape all the things and look amazing doing it. Love this car and will get it fixed proper eventually, but the busted fender ain't taking any wind out of my sails.

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Ugh.   I hate hit & runs...   wonder if someone in the area has any cameras aimed near where the car was parked?

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2 hours ago, Matt93SE said:

Ugh.   I hate hit & runs...   wonder if someone in the area has any cameras aimed near where the car was parked?

Neighbor across the street did, but cheap model that didn't have good enough night vision for anything useful. 

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Suck.  could you at least recognize the size/shape?  like SUV or compact car?    not that it helps much, but if you can rule out looking for a banged up F250 and focus on smaller cars, those evening bike rides through the neighborhood might be fruitful. 😉

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1 hour ago, Matt93SE said:

Suck.  could you at least recognize the size/shape?  like SUV or compact car?    not that it helps much, but if you can rule out looking for a banged up F250 and focus on smaller cars, those evening bike rides through the neighborhood might be fruitful. 😉

Nope, no useful info from video. I already went down that line of thought. In Cali I would get uninsured motorist coverage if I could identify, but already gave up on that. Have accepted and moving along, she'll get proper fix in due time. 

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dammit man.   I figured you looked at it already, but it was worth a shot to mention anyway.

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Welp, the only studs in the right length, knurl, and diameter / thread pattern were ARPs. Knocked the old ones out with a mini sledge, then zipped these on with impact and stud install tool (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000ETUD22?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_image).

The SC400 now has better wheel studs than the racecar. Makes sense.

 

 

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