IS300 LS1/T56 Daily Driver Build by eng1nerd

By diyauto
( 6 )

6 minute(s) of a 59 minute read


IS300 LS1/T56 Daily Driver Build

Compliments of eng1nerd @


I started build threads over on and ls1tech a week or so ago and figured I would put one up here as well. The more people I can ask questions along the way the better. So here goes.

I have always liked the Lexus IS300 and when I saw the LS1 swap was not only possible but practical I decided that was the route I was going for my daily driver. I picked up a 2002 IS300 with 187k on the car for a great price. After that I found a perfect donor car, 2001 Trans Am with 113K on the motor, lots of go fast goodies and a freshly built top end.

My goal is to have the swap done by the beginning of August. I plan to retain cruise control, A/C, and all the stock gauges. I know to keep the temp and mpg gauge working I will have to keep the 2JZ ECU hooked up. I'd like to keep all the creature comforts of the Lexus with more power! The only thing I should be losing is traction control.

I've ordered swap headers and motor/trans mounts from Dedicated Motorsports that should be here any day now. I've also got several other small parts on the way. I got the motor and trans out of the TA today. Next weekend I'd like to get the motor out of the Lexus and set the LS in to get dimensions for the drive shaft, power steering, heat, and A/C lines. Wiring is the only part that has me nervous but I should be able to work through it.

For now here are some pics of both the donor and the project car.

I don't have any real progress updates today but I got a bunch of parts (I bet the mail and UPS guy hate me).

3" Electric Cutout

Cats and 3" flex hoses

4" to 3.5" reducer for the intake

Weapon R Coolant Tank

LS2 GTO oit pan, windage tray, pick up, and dipstick (should get this notched and welded at work this week.

I got these a while back from a buddy at work, they came on his CTS-V and he didn't like I got 'em.

I probably won't get much done this weekend since it's my wifes birthday. I'll probably just get the motor cleaned up and the oil pan installed.

So the first thing I did on the car today had nothing to do with the swap, oh well. I ordered a Chrysler antenna the other day to replace mine which was worn out.

You can see a bit of the donor car in the background in this one.

While the motor was out for piece of mind I replaced the rear main seal. I pulled the clutch and flywheel, which are Monster but have seen much better days.

I'll be looking into a new flywheel and clutch this week.

This also gave me a chance to confirm the cam.

Did the front main and timing cover for good measure while I was at it.

I didn't get any pictures of it but I pulled the intake as well to clean up the top of the motor and I think I'm going to paint the intake while I have it out. My goal is to get the motor out of the Lexus and set the LS in next weekend. Hopefully I will have my motor mounts and headers by then...


Nice car, sorry to see it got wrecked :(

Posted by MPower on 10/12/20 @ 1:55:01 PM