Thursday, December 20, 2012

2006 Lexus GS430 - D2 Air Ride Install

With all the maintenance addressed it was time to move on to suspension components. I was pretty set on getting a 3rd Gen GS after the accident. So set, that I had ordered my suspensions before I got the car. Like my previous setup, D2 and Ridetech was my choice this time as well. Only thing I did different was add ride height sensors and another compressor to speed up fill times on the tank.

Along with the coilovers and bags got some goods from Figs as well:

Also a good time to install all my other suspensions components:

SPC Upper Ball Joint (SPC part #67525 - IS300 upper ball joint)
{Figs just informed me that SPC released the ball joint that is specific for the guess I should have waited. New SPC part number is 67530. In order for the IS300 ball joint to fit the hole it had to be shimmed a little. Figs also informed me that the IS300 ball joint has an incorrect taper and can egg out the hole over time. So get the right part since it is available now. Figs also has the bushings for the Upper Control Arm now.}

Moog inner tie rods EV800244 (x2) 
Moog Outter tie rod Left ES800212
Moog Outter tie rod Right ES800213
Moog Ball joint Left K500123
Moog Ball joint Right K500124

Before getting the suspension stuff installed I wanted to go ahead and make a pod setup for the trunk. Trying to keep the footprint small so tried a couple of ways to mount things and this is what I thought might work.

Built the structure out of mdf, made sure all the parts fit well on the mount and in the car.

While the tanks was out, decided to get the tank painted before it goes in.

Wrapped the bottom mount with suede and the top half was wrapped in high gloss black. Wired everything up, all wires were soldered and heat shrinked also used loctite 567 for all the air fittings to ensure a good seal.

All wired and mounted.

The tank looked a little bland so threw this design together and cut it out to spruce it up a bit.

Onto the fun stuff. Matt helped me again for this project and Turbo Time let me use their facility to do the install as well and again it was going to be a long night.

First task: Front upper ball joint.

SPC Front upper ball joints for an IS300. Slight simple modification to the control arm to make it fit.

The outer ridge of the UCA was shaved down a bit to allow full range of motion for the adjustable ball joint.

The caster bushing from Figs Engineering slid in without any issues. Check out stock vs the polyurethane bushing video from Figs

Removed and replaced inner, outer tie rods and ball joints.

Installed coilovers. All the lines were ran through the frame rail underneath the car and tucked out of the way to avoid any issues.

Installed the Rear Figs LCA and the toe links.

The biggest hurdle in this whole ordeal was the installation of the ride height sensors. It might have been exhaustion kicking in but Matt and I had to take a break and walk away from setting up the ride height sensor. 

The sensor wires were ran through the inside of the car and everything junctioned off in the trunk.

In the rear this is where we ended up mounting the ride height sensor. A bracket was welded to the arm so that the sensor can be functional. 

In the front a bracket was welded to the LCA for the sensor to be functional.

When mounting the sensors there were a lot of issues we had to think of. 

1) The sensor not getting in the way of the wheels when wider wheels were put on.
2) The sensor being out of the way when the wheel is turned inwards
3) The rods attached to the pivoting arms not being in the way of any other moving components.
4) The range in which the sensor is functional.

For the range for the sensor to work it meant a lot of tweaking / cutting / re-drilling etc to get the sensor to read right. 

After a break and a much needed snooze we wrapped things up and dropped off the car to get aligned. 

Started at about 8:00pm on Saturday and got done about 10:00am on Sunday. A long weekend !!

Got the car aligned and at the ride height in the picture I am at -0.3 degrees in the front and -1.2 degrees in the back. 

A big thanks to Matt for helping me with this again and to Turbo Time for letting me use their facility. Also want to thank Phantasm for letting me cut my stickers for the tank, Import Motor Werks for getting my alignment done. Also a big thanks to D2 Racing and Figs Engineering for working with me to dial my suspensions in. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Eldridge IS300 - Fresh paint

Almost everyone in the area knows of Eldridge and his IS300. This car has gone through many changes over the years and he has always kept it fresh. Eldridge is also the co-founder of Stanced Lyfe and a fellow Team RPM member. For 2011 he acquired another set of wheels and a coveted Euroline rear bumper. Over the years the IS sustained battle scars, well battle scratches and the paint was in need of a spruce up. With the IS being his daily, downtime was an issue. We wanted to do a complete color change but with the time issue that idea got shot down. We still wanted to do something different for the IS and that's when the Steel Gray Metallic was suggested. The color stayed in the gray family so the door jams and engine bay did not have to be addressed but the color made a huge difference. In the sun the paint had a gold hue and at night it had a black hue. After Eldridge saw the different shades in the color he was definitely on-board. 

With the color picked out we scheduled a time when it was most feasible to be taken in to The Body Shop where Jeremy stepped up to the challenge of getting the car done over the weekend. Malcolm stopped by to lend a helping hand as well. The car was stripped down, all the dents, dings etc were fixed and the whole car wet sanded smooth to give the paint a good starting base. The rear bumper had to be modified to fit properly so that was done as well. 

We split the paint into two batches, first batch included the hood, front and rear bumper, sideskirts, door handles, front lip and side mirrors. The second batch was the car itself. Lets just say it was a long sleep deprived weekend, 24 hours of just prep time, 8 hours of paint time and then assembly. 

It was well worth it though, Color looks awesome on the car. Another weekend of wet sanding and polishing to make this gem shine even more.

Jeremy @ The Body Shop - for painting.
Malcolm - for helping out.
Eldridge - if he hadn't helped as well the car would't have been done in the time frame.