2002 lexus Sportcross

This is a photo diary of my V8 swap progress, I'll try to add text as I can.

A quick FAQ can be found here: V8 FAQ
Install a 99 300+ GS400 1uzfe engine into a 2002 IS300 Sportcross.  

This is how it looked when I started. Never wrecked and in near mint condition.

Header flanges, I had these water jetted. I expect to build an equal length long tube set of headers for this car.

Misc parts that were sand blasted and painted. The yellow is a Honda CBR pearl yellow.

Left rear, waiting to get glass & trim removed

Left side

Right side engine bay, most everything is loose.

Right Rear, essentially the only bodywork I have.

The new engine, 310hp 99 GS400 1uzfe.

Another stock engine bay

Left engine bay.

Day 1 end. 3 hours into the project.

2jz comming out.

Making room.

1uz Bolted up.

Engine bay clean, nearly ready to degrease and prime.

End of Day 2. Roughly 10 hours into the project.

Engine bay clean and scuffed. Need to mask off and blow paint.

Rear ready to finish scuffing and tape off.

Body is straight, need to finish wet sanding and prime.

End of Day 3.

Help arrived, we both put in 12 hours each. Total time to date is 34 hours invested into the project.

left exhaust cutout, ready for plastic welding.

roughed in, post welding

smoothed out, ready for glazing.

on the car. Dual exhaust on a sportcross! :)

More cleaning, most of the car taped off now.

End of Day 4.

Not too much happend to discuss. More sanding sanding sanding. We're both going to need new elbows by the time this is done. Got the dual bumper cutouts done. Future cutouts need to make sure the left & right is symetrical. I based my measurement off the cavity in the body. *note* dropping doors is bad, this added another 40mins to repair the corner of the door. PDR tools rock, they are priceless for working behind panels. Also learned that glass removal is best done with a heat gun and cutting tools. Time clock is another 12 hours(24 with two people) on the car plus 2 supporting hours (driving around) Total on car: 58 man hours so far.

Engine bay masked off. I hope the aliens don't come looking for their car.

Difference in color, the photos don't pick up on the pearl or paint depth that wasn't there before.

Engine bay base coat on, clear is next..

Engine bay painted & cleared.

Sides cut in and cleared.

End of Day 5. 3/29/06

I spent about 12 hours today, including paint work. My helper was good for about 9. (he watched me paint quite a bit). Clock is currently at 79 man hours... Watch the time betweeen coats. Solvent pops are bad... Several small parts will need to be wiped down and reshot. Clean your paint gun. Mine shot some trash into the corner of the engine bay. I'm glad it wasn't on the top of the hood or something. Fill in the faux grills and build the paint booth and blow the car is the project for Day 6.

End of Day 6. 3/29/06

No new photos, we didn't really have time. I'll get some of the project first AM and post tomorrow. Day 6 spent the morning driving around picking up parts and taking care of pressing issues. We got back around 4pm and put a solid 11 hours into sanding cleaning, prepping and building the paint booth. All the parts are in primer. A few pieces to touch up in the morning and then shoot paint. Total time in the project: 102 hours (including 1 hour to pick up parts)

The paint booth. :)

Another paint booth.

Pieces parts with base coat on. Waiting for the clear.

Left rear yellow, base coat 1

Left front yellow, base coat 1

Left front yellow, 3 base coats on, ready for the final. I always put the bumpers on the car for the final coat so that the pearl flip and color matches.

End of Day 7. 3/30/06

Another 13 hours for me and about 5 for my helper. (he watched me paint :) ) Total hours to date: 120 Paint work is done, minimal cleanup work. I've still not mastered keeping a 'wet' edge, so I have quite a bit of overspray to buff off. None the less, This is the smoothest paint I've laid. I'm very pleased and can't wait to see it in the daylight tomorrow. I will also take a few photos of the car tomorrow. Day 8 will be assembly of the engine bay and maybe stabbing the engine. I will also reassemble the door handles and get the doors working. I will also be cleaning up any overspray before everything cures. By day 9, it shoudl resemble a car again.

Beginning of day 8, it started raining so we needed to push the car back inside.

Interior reassembled except for the cargo area. I still need to colorsand/buff the paint, but otherwise it's looking good.

End of Day 8. 4/1/06

No real hassles surprises. We ran out of window-weld. Right window will have to wait a couple of days. There were a couple of "where does this go" questions, but everything was found and assembled. No spare parts for the interior. Yay! We took a dinner break and went out to eat on top of ran a few errands. I figure we both put in 10 hours each today. Total time to date is 140 man hours. Day nine will finish assembly of the engine bay and drop the engine in. Probably not the last time it's comming out, but we need to get driveshaft measurements for Monday morning. I expect we will get the headers finished up and maybe a Y-pipe done.

Engine bay assembled and waiting for the engine.

Engine assembled and ready to go in. *note* header is for fitment only, but ended up not fitting.

Engine installed and bolted in.

Right side of engine bay

Left side of engine bay.

Left side of car

End of Day 9. 4/2/06

Today was a long day, we ended up with 16 hours each into the car. 32 man hours, for a total of 172 hours... The engine went in and came right back out. We ended up needing to work on the tranny. So out it came. I survived the internals of a toyota Automatic transmission, I needed to do some parts swapping internally to make everything work correclty and make sure that it was up to future power potential. Tomorrow, everything will bolt in. Hopefully for the last time. Day 10 will be dropping the engine in early in the morning and start hooking things up. Looks like I can modify the stainless header on the right side. I may not get that lucky on the left, it's looking like I will have to build one from scratch. I'm getting excited about the car, I can't wait to drive it around.

ABS bracket, (I spent about 3 hours on that sucker)

ABS and PS mounted. Just need the PS hoses tomorrow.

Entire engine bay.

Entire engine bay, radiator in place.

Tranny cooler and PS line cooler

End of Day 10. 4/3/06

Another long day. 15 hours, 30 man hours. Total for the project is 202 hours to date. Motor went right in, driveshaft hooked up. ABS module remounted and lines tweaked to fit. PS reservior also fits now. Tomorrow is finishing off the PS lines, build the exhaust and wiring day. I doubt we will try to fire it off until Wednesday. Just depends on how things go. :) *Note* I am not pleased with the Koyo radiator fitment. The stock radiator cap doesn't fit without modifying the radiator, not to mention, the radiator is also about 1/2" too tall. I'm worried about clearing the stock hood insulation.

End of Day 11. 4/4/06

No new pics today, the only thing visually that changed was the radiator hoses. I didn't feel they were worth taking a photo of at this point. Right header is done, all I need to do is flange the collector and mount the O2 sensors. Rear coilovers are installed, exhasut is planned. I put in a solid 12 hours today, plus about an hour running errands. Andrew didn't put in many, maybe 4 hours. Total to date is 219 hours.

Left header prototype. This thing was a bitch to build, I'm not 100% happy, but it looks decent.

Left header under the car, Notice how two pipes go over and two under the steering knuckle!

Right header, this started life as an SS autochrome tundra header. I had to rework it quite a bit, it would have been easier to just start over, but I decided to just go forward with it for now.

End of Day 12. 4/5/06

We got a solid 12 hours in today. The total hours to date is 243 man hours...*gulp* Today was a reasonably productive day. The coilovers are in. The LSD is in, PS lines are hooked up, headers are done and installed. Exhaust, and fuel line is tomorrow. Then it's onto the wiring.

End of Day 13. 4/6/06

I got a solid 14 hours in today. Andrew got about 7 in. (4am at the time of this writing) The rest of the time was spent in the car chasing parts. The total hours to date is 264 man hours... Not as productive as yeasterday, but I did get 90% of the wiring done. I have about 6 wires that I need to either terminate or find a home for. Unfortunatly, the wiring diagrams are not clear about where test connector wires route to... Fluids are all filled up, we still need to bleed the brakes. I touched(repainted) up a couple of mistakes I made while buffing. Air intake is pretty much done, however the air filter is smaller than I would like it to be. I suspect I'll be moving my PS reservoir soon. I'll have new photos on day 14.

End of Day 14. 4/7/06

Today was a reasonably short day. The car started and idled on it's own. There are lots of bugs to work though(as expected) and an exhaust system to build. I spent roughly 6 hours, my helper spent about 5. For a total of 11. So 254 hours into the project at this point. I won't be doing any work on Saturday the 8th. I have several things planned with the wife and also need to clear my head before I dive into the wiring diagnostic phase. I will probably finish out the exhaust on Sunday, buff the car on monday and take a few days to study diagrams again. I'll try to get new pics up in a day or so.

End of Day 15. 4/9/06

Y-pipe for the exhaust. I installed two resonators behind this. I've ordered two 2.25" flex sections to fit into the y-pipe, but they are not here yet. I spent the morning with my wife and trimmed the trees. I hit the car about 3pm. I got the Y-pipe done and resonators installed. Afterwords, I went back to the wiring. A few more gremlins are gone. Ambiant temp works, shift indicator works, fuel economy works. I still need to figure out the cruise control, trac ECU, coolant temp gauge, reverse circut and I'm sure a few more items, but I've not tested everything. Help left on Sat, so I'm back on my own. Time spent today was 11 hours. Total for the project is 265 hours...

End of Day 16. 4/10/06

I only managed to spend about 4 hours on the car this evening. I fixed a vacuum leak, built the last AC line, recharged the AC and worked on the exhaust. The right side muffler is in place, piping to the left side is as close as I can get it until I can get an answer regarding a different muffler choice. A center outlet would be best for the left side, otherwise, I'll have to clearance the spare tire well with a piece of leather and big hammer. Evap system is 95% complete. I have only one VSV to wire in and mount. I also swapped out the coolant temp sensor but couldn't test it due to a neighbor's complaint of the loud car. (needless to say, I need to finish the exhaust) :) I'll have the car 'on the ground' tomorrow with the exhaust hooked up. I may even take a spin around the block with her. Total project: 269 hours.

End of Day 17. 4/11/06

Exhaust system, I still need to add some hangers, weld the tips on and tweak it a bit, but it's hanging.

Reasonably complete engine bay. I still have some wiring, PCV hose and some other stuff to hook up, but you get the idea. :)

The car is mostly complete. Fender liners, clearance lights and trim still need to be assembled. As well as the paint colorsanded & buffed. Today was mostly spent working on the exhaust system. It's all hooked up, 3 o2 sensors are in place, the 4th.. well I'm not sure where the wiring needs to be run. I'll sort through that after I solve the other misc electrical gremlins. I have to park it for a while, I have paying jobs stacking up. TIme to earn a little money before I can play more. I did drive it today. It ran fine as long as I manually shifted it. The traction control is getting in the way otherwise.

End of Day 18. 4/13/06

I snuck in some spare time on the car today. Got the coil-overs to stop rattling. Hooked up 4 wires. Cruise control works, ABS works, E-shift works. Yet still no coolant gauge. Check engine light *should* be on, but for some reason it's not. I'm going to pick up a scan tool tomorrow and see what's going on. Misc things: header is rubbing against the steering column. Causing it to bind a bit sometimes. I'll have to shorten the bolt as much as possible and dimple the header a bit. I will also have to fix an exhaust rattle when I'm back under it. The project is pretty much done. I have no more DTC's stored in the computer. There are a couple of rattles and misc things to work though, but all in all she's done outside of 'refinement'. A cold air intake is high on the list, as well as getting the car all polished out. Once complete, I'll post up some new photos of the entire finished product. The project took about 150 hours. I feel comfortable saying that I would be happy to be hired to do this project for someone. Email me for details as there are many different choices to be made that greatly effect the cost. Depending on the options selected and cost of the engine and parts, one could expect the total project to be in the 10-14k price range. Finished pics:

The details of the crash/repair from 7/16-06 to 11/27/06 can be found here: Crash pics 2/22/2008 It's been a long time since I updated this thread. Most worthy updates is that I've driven the snot out of it for a year with out any issues outside of changing the oil. I can't really complain about that. I've found a new wiring harness for the 4.3l motor and need to verify if an ECU will work or not. I've purchased the new accelerator pedal sensor and newer style throttle body. Incidentally, I flipped the throttle body over and found that it looked quite a bit cleaner upside down. I'll be welding up the holes and flipping it over. This allowed me to lower the hood bump down a bit for the SC. TRD supercharger is finally here!

While talking with one of the owners of New Concept, they turned me onto a sheet metal wizard that was local in Dallas. Khamla of Kustomz Knlimited in Garland started working his magic on making necessary modifications for the blower. I'll have several update photos of this process and the supercharger proces in a few days, but here is the start of it before it's welded together:

Almost done, just need to fill and smooth everything now.

Photo on the left shows the under side, I seam sealed and clenaed up the support that needed to be removed. Pic right shows the paper template that we started with.

Making the first cut on the left. Right side is smoothing out the hammer marks in the English wheel.

This one is out of order, but shows the minimal clearance needed. I still had to go back and trim more for the intake pipe. Hood is on & painted, I need to finish sanding/buffing it, but it's 'done' The front bumper is shortly to be replaced. I'm finishing up paint work this week as well as trying to get some paint on my Mustang. Once the hood is painted and the new front bumper is painted, I'll be on a holding pattern for the AEM F/IC and Tundra injectors that are now 'lost' in the mail...

A big thanks to Sewell Lexus for their outstanding service and putting up with my varied parts requests even when I don't order things. A huge thanks to Glenn and Mark at Toyota of Richardson for the discount on all my Toyota parts. Of course, I can't thank Fred enough for picking up his cell phone when I need to run one of my wild ideas by him. Of coruse, be sure to check out their inernet deals at or call 214.238-4463 Special thanks to Kurt Keating of Toyota of Colorado Springs CO for a super deal on the TRD Supercharger. He can be reached at: 719-329-5541 if you need any Toyota parts.

Here it is with the blower mounted and running:

Worked on the car a bit today 1/1/09, came up with a new header for the right and will be redoing the left this weekend. nearly 6 hours into the left header, still need to add the collector, o2 bung and cat to it. This picture on the right is where I relocated the ABS to. After driving it a bit, it really is chatty, I should insulate it a bit more in the future.

So, after a long time with this car just sitting, I decided to hire some help. Wayne came by and helped do the bulk of getting this exhaust done. I put the finishing touches on it and made all the brackets. I added some heat shielding since this photo

Irony of all this, I did not take photos of the engine going together. However, I did snap some photos of the pistons and rods: Short of it: I went with a 4.7 liter block, bored it and stroked it to 5.2 liters. Compression was set at 9.5:1 with understanding that I wouldn't be running less than 10psi of boost. With all this together, the transmission mount was letting things flop around, so I simply welded a metal bar on the end to prevent some movement. Basically this limits the trans movement to about 1/2-3/4" and will prevent the mount from failing.

I did a transmission build, well actually 3. One minor mistake that required disassembly and cleaning of everything, one failed part (sprag) and the 3rd time to get it right. This is the biggest part of the transmission differences. The output shaft and housing. (for some reason I didn't take one back together) All parts bolt in, you just need to disassemble two transmissions and swap the approprate parts.

If you want to see what happens to a SPRAG when you blow it apart:

All the transmission photos can be found here Wiring photos are complete here: The best part of this swap is that it's 100% obd II. No crazy stuff with emissions. Think it was easy? Try it, especially with out using the IS300 ECU.

A working diary can be found on, of clicking here:

FAQ and parts list here: