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[ M o d i f i c a t i o n s ]

[Philosophy]

The driving design philosophy is simple: Less is More. Pick colors that are seldom used that work well together. Don't over do it, don't under it. Create something never seen before, out of familiar parts while at the same time making it more modern and able to pass as a brand new car. In other words: Put a fresh spin on a timeless design while still meeting the standards for fit, finish, and style as set forth by our friends in the Relentless Pursuit. ;)

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[History]

The car was bought in March of '04 in Lantana which is about 75 miles from me in Miami. It was a bone stock '92 5-speed in pearl white. The previous single owner was an older woman that had maintained the car religiously at the dealer. It was the perfect base for the project.

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[Body]

The body kit is Wald Executive. Now discontinued, expect a two-month wait out of Japan until they run out. Horrid fitment issues but they were resolved with custom work. The spoiler is a Spoiler Depot '92-'96 lip style with no light. The body is painted a pure white top-shelf PPG base (DCC) with nothing added to it. It's the purest form of white as it's the base that all colors are made from. The result is a flourescent white not seen on factory finishes. Most OEM whites have some yellow in them and aren't purely white -- this was exactly what I wanted to avoid and why I strayed from the stock Diamond White Pearl. When parked next to a white Mercedes, the MB looks yellower in comparison. The accent color is a gunmetal that jumps off the white paint for a striking contrast. The gunmetal is featured in all the lights in the front (mains, highs, fogs, and corners), the grille, the emblems, and even on the lower center portion of the front lip. Minimal grille mesh was used over the ducts adjacent to the fog lights.

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[Illumination]

The lights are all custom opened and de-chromed. Gunmetal replaces all surfaces and the stock projectors were swapped out for a set of Hella bi-xenon (HID high and low beam) BMW E39 HID projectors. I added a custom trim ring to the projector which was a can of tuna for cats (yes, you read that right). The new headlights alone give the car a much updated appearance. The fogs also sport gunmetal bezels and untouched reflectors to remain functional. The corners are custom made with a gunmetal dimpled surface with a clear Lexan cover and 3-LED amber illumination. The city lights inside the headlights are also LED. Out back is a set of '97+ tails with the amber portions traded out for red and smoked reverse lenses to streamline the design. Brake light duties are carried out by LED technology: sixty-four high-flux LEDs reside in the tails while a 48-LED strip replaces the stock high-mount stop light and is located in the moonroof. A switch reactivates the stock high-mount stop light on the rear deck when the moonroof is closed for rain.

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[Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tires]

The suspension is completely overhauled. Tein CS coilovers handle height and ride while Daizen anti-sway bars keep it flat. All factory rubber suspension bushings were replaced with Daizen soft urethane bushes to keep the suspension in line. Daizen camber correction bushings reside on all upper control arms to keep tire wear and handling in check with the aggressive lowering. Wheels and tires are Volk Racing Progressiv Spoke in staggered fitment of 19x8.5" front (+43) and 19x9.5" rear (+38) with Bridgestone Potenza RE750 245/35-19 and 275/30-19. The rear arch lips were cut out to allow clearance for the big rollers. A Supra TT donut spare resides in the trunk for short term emergency spare duties while a full size custom gunmetal-finished Supra front rim handles longer term situations. LS400 4-piston big brakes painted low-gloss black help keep everything under control.

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[Interior]

Interior sports a brand new carpet, floor mats, console, ash tray, shifter bezel, door panels and custom speaker grille mesh. Leatherseats.com Shale leather replaces all stock leather surfaces. The saggy net on the back of the front seats were shaved for a clean look. All wood trim sports a custom Gunmetal Burlwood. The center console bezel is refinished in gunmetal to alleviate the usage of brown in the interior. Custom-made matching shift and e-brake boots sport black leather with silver baseball stitching. These are topped with a black and chrome MOMO ebrake handle and shift knob with matching stitching. An Alpine IVA-W200 finishes off the modern theme inside. The climate control is also new and sports a cold cathode lamp in white. The green and amber indicator LEDs were swapped for blue and red respectively which match the blue LED buttons in the new headunit. The cluster was refitted by L.L.S. with a white 32-led backlight and white waterfall needles. The brown brick of a steering wheel was swapped in favor of a black '01 3-spoke steering wheel complete with chrome emblem airbag to tie the interior chrome accents together. The airbag and cruise control remain fully functional. The rear-view mirror was swapped out for a '99 SC unit which features automatic self-dimming. The windows are tinted 20% to keep the new interior cool and UV-free.

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[Turbo System]

The goal for this setup was mild power (~400hp) with factory Lexus driveability. For quick spool and good off-boost performance the stock compression of 10.0 was retained. At the heart of the system is a Garrett T67 boosting 12psi that sports a polished compressor housing and ceramic coated turbine housing wrapped in a T4 blanket. The turbo discharges into custom-welded polished 2.5" aluminum pipes leading to the 12"x24"x3" intercooler hanging out front. Intercooler discharge pipes of the same size carry cooled air to the throttle body so long as the blue-anodized 50mm Tial blow-off valve is closed. All charge pipes are beaded and clamped together with blue silicone hose connectors and t-bolt clamps. Viton 6mm vacuum lines keep the BOV and wastegate in proper working order. Oil is fed to the turbo via -4AN steel braided line and returned to the pan thru a -10AN line.

On the exhaust side of things we have a Toyomoto tubular exhaust manifold dumping into the turbine. Exhaust gasses exit via a 3" v-band welded to a custom fabricated 3" downpipe and midpipe. From here the system splits into two 2-1/4" pipes with a Magnaflow 2-1/4" resonator on each side. The exhaust is finished off with a pair of Blitz Nur-Spec polished stainless mufflers. Wastegate duties are handled by a Tial 40mm gate which recirculates all bypassed gasses back into the 3" exhaust stream for quiet, Lexus-like operation. A Boostlogic ABS heatshield is in place to keep related underhood accessories cool.

Fuel mods include a Walbro in-tank pump and 550cc injectors. An AEM EMS controls everything via MAP sensor and permament wideband 02 sensor. The ignition system is all OEM except for Denso Iridium spark plugs gapped down to .025". Stock driveability is enhanced with a Centerforce Dual Friction clutch. It features OEM pedal pressure with zero chatter while holding back ~400 ft/lbs of torque.

A custom made oil catch can by ISRacing in Australia keeps vapors from the valve covers under control while a custom ISR coolant reservior mounted by the battery replaces the bulky factory unit displaced by the intercooler.

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[Sound System]

I designed the audio system as a stealth SQ setup. The goal was high quality sound and strong bass without any visible boxes, amp racks, inch-thick cables, capactors, specialty batteries or any of that noise. To satisfy my criteria I chose to run a small sub in a small sealed enclosure, an amp to power it, and the amp for the front stage -- all tucked away into the gas tank compartment to facilitate a 100% unmolested trunk.

For the headunit I chose the Alpine IVA-W200 DVD/MP3/CD touchscreen double-DIN unit. It supports 5 gigs worth of MP3's on a DVD with searchable folders and all. It also features provisions for back up camera, auxillary cam input (front bumper cam), HD Radio, full speed iPod connection, Satellite Radio, TV Tuner, CD Changer, etc, etc. The bezel is a custom design and build utilizing the factory headunit faceplate for a perfect factory fit. I removed the face from the stock headunit and cut a hole in it the same dimensions as the Alpine. I then recess-mounted it into the bezel which was tricky since the screen folds down to expose the disc slot. Bondo fills in the factory holes from the buttons in the faceplate. Flat black paint finishes off the bezel for a factory finish.

The front stage consists of a pair of JL Audio XR525-CSi 5.25-inch 2-way components. They are mounted in custom baffles in the factory front door speaker pod locations while the JL tweeters reside behind the factory grilles. I incorporated custom factory style plugs for plug and play installation. The rear speakers were removed as they are not necessary. For tight bass I chose an 8" Rockford Fosgate Punch P28S2 subwoofer. I went with this particular sub for it's high power handling and most importantly it's small enclosure compatibility. Its ideal sealed enclosure size is .25 cubic feet. I designed and built an MDF box with exactly that internal volume that fit right above the left side of the gas tank under the rear parcel shelf.

The JL's are powered by an Alpine V-Power MRP-T220 2-channel amplifier. This provides a solid 50 watts RMS per channel. The sub is pushed by an MTX Thunder 275x bridged to 150 RMS watts at 4 ohms. Wiring is a single 8-guage supply feeding both amps. Total system wattage is 250 watts RMS and you'd never know it when you listen to it. SQ is incredible and bass is tight and cabin-filling considering the low wattage. The volume seems endless and the bass can be cranked up to rattle everything in the car with the right music. The overall results far exceeded my expectations for just one sub and a pair of two-ways.

The cabin is soundproofed with Elemental Designs eDead v.3 sound deadening liquid. The doors are fully coated as well as the back seat floor & side walls and rear parcel shelf. Further anti-vibration measures were taken by adding felt spacers to the entire rear deck cover and anti-rattle spacers within the rear deck grilles.

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[Security]

The investment is protected by a Clifford G5 system that also arms the factory anti-theft system. Further protection is offered by a LoJack Vehicle Recovery System. My key is custom embedded into the Clifford fob for a seamless, OEM feel. The one-piece unit also operates the factory trunk release -- a luxury not offered in the '92 models.

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