The Upgrade Guide for the Lexus IS300 Turbo Kit. Lexus had been taking on the German luxury boys for nearly a decade by the time the first generation Lexus IS300 arrived in showrooms across the United States. Lexus has always been focused on giving a dependable luxury experience, and the IS300 from 2000 to 2003 was no exception. While the original LS400 could be classified as a land yacht, the IS300 introduced a sportier attitude to the lineup.
While the IS300 has some other notable performance features, the real selling point was the 2JZ-GE powerplant, which produced 217 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque in factory form. That engine should be instantly recognisable from its use in the N/A MK4 Toyota Supra, where it became famous for its unrivalled strength and power potential. Of course, 218 horsepower from a normally aspirated engine isn’t exactly impressive. Some minivans are capable of doing so. The Lexus IS300, on the other hand, comes to life when performance upgrades are applied.
As previously noted, the 2JZ-GE engine found in 2001-2003 Lexus IS300s is one of the most capable engines available. This is where forced induction comes in. Installing a turbocharger on your IS300 is one of the best ways to gain 150-200 horsepower. Having said that, putting a turbo on your 2JZ-GE IS300 is an expensive and time-consuming task. Continue reading if you want to learn how to turbocharge your IS300 and find some IS300 turbo kit possibilities.
How Much Power Can An IS300 Turbo Handle?
When considering turbocharging your Lexus IS300, the first and most obvious question is how much power you’ll be able to extract from the 2JZ-GE. If you’re a seasoned Toyota fan, you’ll know that the 2JZ’s cast-iron block and aluminium head can endure a surprising lot of damage. With that stated, the 2JZ-GE found in the IS300 differs slightly from the turbocharged 2JZ-GTE found in the Supra, and some of those variances do affect the maximum horsepower statistics of an otherwise stock engine. The internals of the 2JZ-GTE are better suited for forced induction, with slightly different compression pistons, a different head gasket, and forged piston rods that can handle more punishment.
While power figures may not be as impressive as those of the 2JZ-GTE, it is reasonable to expect 350-400 hp on stock internals. The biggest constraint on an IS300 producing extreme power is its greater compression ratio, as adding too much pressure to already highly pressurised cylinders is a formula for disaster. It is commonly stated that 7-8 PSI of boost is the upper limit sans GTE rods and a GTE head gasket, as well as additional supporting upgrades.
In general, an IS300 with a reliable turbo kit and simple supporting upgrades will reliably produce 350-400 horsepower with little effort and without breaking the wallet. When the number reaches 450 or higher, additional, and costly, steps must be taken to prevent the engine or gearbox from failing.
Considerations for a Turbo Lexus IS300 Upgrade
Before you order the first IS300 turbo kit that catches your eye, it is critical to understand what components are included and how they will all work together in the end. Not all turbos are created equal, and size and build quality should be important considerations in your purchase. Aside from the turbo, you’ll also need to consider supporting modifications and a good tune. Because the first-generation IS300 is an ageing vehicle, you’ll need to consider the condition of your IS300 as well. The fact that the 2JZ-GE is a tank of an engine does not mean that it is without flaws.
2JZ-GE IS300 Turbo Dimensions
When putting together an IS300 turbo build, turbo sizing is an important consideration. The size of the turbo impacts both how much horsepower may be generated by forced induction and how that power is delivered. There is a significant difference in the amount of power that a T3 and T70 size turbo can produce. While a larger turbo can produce more power and run at higher boost levels, there are other factors to consider.
The most frequent turbo sizes for the IS300 are T3 and T4. A T4 flange turbo is used in the majority of aftermarket IS300 turbo systems. T4 turbos are suited for applications requiring 300-350 horsepower. While T4 turbos are larger than T3, their spool time is shorter, making them a good choice for a daily-driven turbo IS300.
While a massive T70 turbocharger will undoubtedly produce more power, the boost characteristics will not be ideal for a street-legal turbo IS300. Boost lag will be extreme in the lower rev range with a T70 or equivalent sized turbo. Because the turbine takes longer to spool, there will be little response low in the rev range, which some people dislike. A larger turbo, on the other hand, is the way to go if you’re willing to sacrifice low-end performance for a high horsepower output. A T70 turbo on an IS300 may produce more than 450 horsepower. To do so, you’ll need to replace nearly all of your 2JZ-GE internals, fuel system, and other supporting mods.
Fuel System for Lexus IS300 Turbo
The fuel system is one of the most crucial supporting systems for turbocharging a 2JZ-GE. Your fuel system will need to adapt for the additional airflow caused by the addition of a turbo to the equation. While the stock IS300 fuel system will work with a turbo application up to a point, turbo IS300s producing more than 300 horsepower will require additional fueling.
The most crucial upgrade you’ll need to consider is a more powerful fuel pump. The Walbro 225 is the most common fuel pump upgrade, and it can sustain up to 500 horsepower to the crank. Depending on how crazy you want your turbo IS300 to be, an improved fuel pressure regulator may be required in addition to an upgraded fuel pump.
It has been established that factory IS300 injectors are not the ideal solution for forced induction. The stock 260-290cc injectors can only produce about that much horsepower. In general, 1cc equals approximately 1rwhp. Larger injectors are therefore required if you want power in the 350-400 range. 440cc injectors are highly common in the turbo IS300 community, and they aren’t too expensive.
IS300 Turbo Engine Management System and Tuning
One of the most crucial components of turbocharging an IS300 is correctly tuning it. Unfortunately, the IS300 is notoriously difficult to properly tune. The stock ECU is picky about what it can handle with a piggyback tune. Piggyback solutions, such as an S-AFC, can be used for turbo IS300 applications, however most members of the turbo IS300 community believe it isn’t worth the hassle.
The other option, which is far more frequent, is to install an aftermarket IS300 ECU. A PNP wire harness adaptor is required when using an aftermarket ECU. As a result, the new ECU will be able to communicate with the auxiliary IS300 systems. Some PNP adapters enable the new ECU to run in parallel with the factory IS300 ECU, which is required on IS300s with automatic transmissions because automatics must be managed by the stock ECU.
The AEM Infinity IS300 506 is the market’s best aftermarket IS300 ECU. It enables you to make essential modifications to your air/fuel combination and includes engine protection techniques. You’ll also be able to modify your drive-by-wire system, cam timing, boost control, traction control, and pretty much everything else you can think of. As a result, you’ll need to see an expert who can make these changes to best meet the needs of your turbo setup. A quality dyno tune can be an expensive endeavour in general. However, it is absolutely necessary if you want to get the most out of your IS300 setup.
Lexus IS300 Turbo Kits at Their Finest
Alright. Finally, we arrive at the more exciting part. After you’ve determined your budget and objectives, it’s time to select a turbo kit. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and best is a subjective term. Because the IS300 is now over 20 years old, turbo kits are becoming increasingly scarce. The majority of the popular IS300 kits from more than a decade ago have subsequently been discontinued. However, there are a few strong contenders who stand out in different ways. As a result, we’ve selected a few kits that we believe offer an excellent blend of pricing, quality, and performance.
1) Lexus IS300 2JZ-GE Turbo Kit CXRacing
T4 GT35 Turbo, with or without ceramic dual ball bearings.
If you’ve done any research on IS300 turbo kits before reading this page, you’ve almost certainly come across the CXRacing IS300 turbo kit. The CXRacing kit is one of the most complete IS300 turbo kits available. Unlike many other IS300 turbo kits, the CX kit includes almost all of the turbo hardware, including a manifold, downpipe, turbo, and intercooler. It truly is the complete package.
For fitting reasons, several other IS300 turbo kits necessitate extra changes to stock hardware. Having said that, the CXRacing package retains the stock ABS unit. The turbo is also positioned backwards for increased clearance. The given GT35 turbo is classified as T4 and has a power output of 300-500 horsepower. The GT35 is a turbo with a 0.86 AR housing and a 4″ inlet that spools quickly for low-end power.
A direct fit front mount intercooler is also included with the CXRacing IS300 turbo package. The incorporated intercooler is intended to provide optimum cooling capacity. It can also be installed without requiring any changes to the front bumper.
The IS300 turbo kit from CXRacing is an excellent choice for anyone wishing to easily boost their 2JZ-GE. This kit eliminates the need to browse the internet for component turbo setups because all of the necessary hardware is included. At $2,332.81, you’re unlikely to find another all-inclusive kit with the same level of quality as the CXRacing kit.
2) DriftMotion Billet 2JZ-GE T04 IS300 Turbo Kit
Turbo: 67mm Billet Turbo with Garrett Internals / Available Area over Radius: 0.58 – 0.84 AR
For those who already have a downpipe and intercooler, the DriftMotion IS300 turbo kit is a fantastic alternative. In terms of quality, the turbo included with the DriftMotion package is hard to top. For ultimate strength, the T04 turbo has a ceramic coated exhaust housing and an anti-surge compressor housing. For an additional cost, the turbo can be equipped with either a standard aluminium cast compressor wheel or a billet 11-blade wheel. The billet wheel can handle more stress and pressure, making it an excellent choice for individuals with high-horsepower 2JZ goals.
In addition to the compressor wheel, the area over radius of the DriftMotion turbo can be adjusted to your liking. A smaller AR will shift the power and torque curve down in the rpm range, whereas larger ARs will do the opposite. Changing the turbo AR impacts how fast the turbo spools, with lower AR turbos spooling faster than higher AR turbos. It all depends on where you want the boost to come on and how that affects the characteristics of the 2JZ-GE in your IS300.
As previously stated, the DriftMotion kit does not include an IS300 turbo downpipe or intercooler. Those are components that must be obtained elsewhere. That isn’t always a bad thing, because most people have specific downpipe and intercooler preferences. The stock ABS unit must be relocated in order to install the package.
3) XS-Power Lexus IS300 Turbo Kit (2001-2005)
Turbocharger: 67mm T4 Turbocharger
Turbo kits for any car can grow rather pricey, and there is no real limit to how much you may pay. However, as demonstrated by the XS-Power IS300 turbo kit, this does not have to be the case. While it may not be the most expensive kit on the market, there have been several positive reports that the XS-Power kit will do the job reliably. Particularly when run at low to moderate boost levels.
It’s difficult to imagine that a complete IS300 turbo kit is available for less than $1,300. However, that is precisely what the XS-Power kit is. It includes almost everything you’ll need in terms of hardware. The turbo, manifold, wastegate, FMIC, piping, gaskets, chargepipe, and downpipe are all included. While the majority of the required components are included, some modification is required for the kit to work with an IS300. For example, the intercooler piping must be modified to match IS300 applications. For the large front mount intercooler to fit, the front radiator support will also need to be somewhat changed.
350 horsepower is a respectable figure to expect with the OEM 2JZ-GE head gasket. That is, without getting too entangled with other supporting adjustments. The majority of IS300 owners who have fitted the package believe that a turbo pressure of around 8 psi is the sweet spot for both power and reliability. Finally, some kit owners claim that the provided downpipe has clearance issues with the firewall. This may involve the purchase of a new IS300 turbo downpipe or the modification of the firewall.
Related : The Top 4 Race Seats for a Daily Driver / Track Day Car – Best Racing Seats
Summary of the Lexus IS300 Turbo Upgrade Guide
A crucial component stands between the Lexus IS300 and its full potential: a turbocharger. While the stock 2JZ-GE engine is very capable, it can be pushed far beyond its limits. Because the 2JZ-GE is such a powerful engine, it is an excellent candidate for forced induction. The best method to see big performance benefits is to turbocharge your IS300. Depending on your horsepower goals, IS300 turbo modifications might be quite costly. However, a “moderate” 75-100 horsepower increase is possible without breaking the bank. Things don’t get genuinely pricey until you exceed the internal constraints of the 2JZ-GE.
When it comes to turbocharging an IS300, there are several factors to consider. The most important ones are turbo sizing, fueling requirements, engine management, and tuning. All of these factors will influence how much power your turbo IS300 can produce as well as its dependability.
At this time, there are three primary turbo kits available for the IS300. IS300 turbo kits have gotten increasingly scarce over time. Many of the previous options have been discontinued or are no longer available in the United States. The CXRacing, DriftMotion, and XS-Power IS300 turbo kits, on the other hand, are all good solutions for distinct needs. The CXRacing configuration is the way to go if you want an all-inclusive kit. If you are prepared to find your own downpipe and intercooler, the DriftMotion package is hard to match. The XS-Power IS300 turbo kit is suitable for a low-boost IS300 turbo build on a budget.