• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

5 Neutral

About br1anstorm

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • First Name

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Lexus Model
    IS 300 Sportcross
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location
  1. Wheel and tyre-size options for IS300 Sportcross

    Update for anyone interested. I ended up deciding to put 205/55 R16 tyres on all four of those standard Lexus wheels (which are incidentally 6.5" wide). I chose Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance tyres. I have just tried them out. Much quieter, with a much better ride quality, scarcely any thumping over cats-eyes, and the grip and handing both on dry and wet roads feels better than the previous Michelin 45-profiles on 17" wheels. The change was definitely an improvement and worth doing.
  2. Is300 Door (Wing) Mirror Staining

    Hello Don (T800). I just revisited this thread after some time away, and saw your post. There are three options: buy a replacement OEM mirror glass unit from a dealer. Ludicrously expensive, even more so if you get the dealer to fit it; go the "scudney" route and source a replacement from a breaker (either the glass, or the whole unit - latter is easier for a breaker to supply and not too costly); go for the quick and dirty option - especially if the MoT is imminent - and get a stick-on replacement glass from suppliers on the well known online auction site for a few quid. It just sticks on top of your existing faulty mirror with double sided tape and is perfectly legal. Me? I went for options 2 and 3..... in fact the stick-on mirror is still in place two years down the track, and the replacement unit from a breaker is still on my garage shelf. One of these days (or when the stick-on one falls off), I'll do the proper replacement!
  3. Wheel and tyre-size options for IS300 Sportcross

    Thanks Steve - that site is very helpful (so I've bookmarked it!)
  4. Wheel and tyre-size options for IS300 Sportcross

    Thanks John - very helpful. The set of 16" wheels I plan to use are standard 6 spoke Lexus IS wheels (ie the OEM ones as fitted, I think, to some versions of the IS300). See attached pic. I can't immediately recall the width - I think they are 6.5" - but they are certainly intended for the OEM 205/55 R16 tyres. Having now browsed a lot of tyre suppliers online, you're absolutely right that it's a very common size, so lots of choice... I still have the Goodyears and Dunlops on my shortlist. But I am now thinking quite seriously about the Michelin Cross Climate. More costly, but the reviews seem to suggest that it really does deliver in both summer and wet/cold winter conditions, and there is a promotional deal on Michelins this month. As I'm in the Scottish Highlands, I think it might well be worth trying them (even though I try hard to avoid using my Lexus when there is snow/salt/slush on the roads). More browsing needed to source the best deal!
  5. I need the advice of experts and enthusiasts, in doing something which seems to swim against the tide. I have a 2002 IS300 Sportcross. It comes with 17" wheels as standard, with fairly low-profile tyres: 215/45 R17 on the front, 225/45 R17 on the rear. The alloy wheels are scabby and corroded, and the current Michelin Premacy tyres are due for replacement. So now is the moment! Most people who change wheels and tyres seem to want bigger wheels and even lower profile tyres. Fair enough - for appearance and perhaps hard cornering. I want to go the other way. I want to fit 16" wheels (I have a set) and deeper profile tyres. The reason is mainly to improve the ride and reduce vulnerability to bad road surfaces, potholes, and the thumping of cats-eyes..... So this is where it gets complicated. What tyres do I fit? I want to change the rolling-radius as little as possible in order not to affect the speedo and odometer. I also want decent quality tyres that aren't noisy, wear reasonably well and are good in the wet (I have Falkens on my 4WD and they are horrible when it's slippery). I plan to put the same size tyres on all four wheels (I don't carry heavy loads in the Sportcross so can't see the justification for slightly wider wheels on the back). The brilliant guidance on the website includes a calculator for tyre-size options. That appears to suggest that I could fit either 50-profile tyres: 215/50 R16 or 225/50 R16, or if I wanted taller 55-profile ones, 205/55 R16 or 215/55 R16. So.... first question - what size/profile should I go for? My instinct was to choose 215/55 R16 all round, but that's a really rare size (I can only find Kumho KH31 in that size). The manufacturer alternative spec (and standard on the IS200 Sportcross) seems to be 205/55 R16. What do others think? Second question..... what brand? My shortlist is Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance, Dunlop Sport Blu Response, or maybe Hankook or Kumho. I think Michelins are too costly (I'm not a high mileage driver), and Yokohamas and Bridgestones too soft and wear out quickly. I have no knowledge of Uniroyal and little experience of Contis (except on an older Merc where they were OEM). Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated, especially from those in the trade!
  6. Steve - thanks for that. Very interesting. The parts-catalogue/diagram PDFs that I have appear to be different - either because they are for later models (up to 2005) or from different online sources - because none of them shows this. Thankfully, I don't need to change the oil cooler at present. But it's good to know my car has one, and that I now know how to find it!
  7. I've been hunting around for information on this mysterious question of auto-transmission oil coolers on an IS300..... and this is the first and, so far, only evidence I have found that I'm not the only owner who has been puzzled, and my car is not the only one which is weird. I have a 2002 IS300 Sportcross (auto transmission). I have just changed the radiator. I sourced a new replacement, complete with the two connections to the lower tank for the auto oil-cooler lines. But when I got the under-shield off and looked - just like James (n1tr0_9), I found my car had no auto-tranny oil lines and no oil cooler connections into the bottom of the rad! Nevertheless I went ahead and installed the replacement radiator, leaving the two oil-cooler connections blanked off. Put it all back together, and the car runs perfectly, as before. I haven't - yet - removed the other undershield panels to go looking to see where and how the other auto transmission oil cooler is located. Having it "bolted to the side of the engine" doesn't exactly suggest it is well placed to cool the oil! How does it actually work? Is there a water/coolant circuit loop which also connects to it? Can anyone offer more details of exactly where this oil cooler is, or any explanation of when and how it was reconfigured. Do all IS300s up to the 2002 model - or later? - have their auto-oil cooler separate from the radiator?
  8. radiator needed

    More forum discussion and details on radiator replacement here
  9. Aftermarket Radiator - Any Recommendations

    I need to post a follow-up to my earlier message (above) of 20 October. Since posting it I have gone ahead with the task of replacing the radiator - and the aircon condenser - on my 2002 IS300 Sportcross auto, and I have discovered quite a few interesting things. the OEM replacement radiator (made by Japanese supplier Denso) is horribly expensive (£200-plus); perfectly good alternative replacements can be got for around £120. One of the better ones, according to my research, is made by Nissens, a Danish firm. It can be confusing to source a radiator for an IS 300 versus an IS 200, as many parts-catalogues and websites appear to suggest that they are different. In fact the same radiator will fit, and work, in either. The thing to check is the core-diameter (26mm or 16mm). Both can do the cooling job perfectly well; the other thing to check is the auto-transmission oil cooler fittings - as per the details in my previous post. However - see my story below. My story? I sourced a replacement from Euro Car Parts. Made by Koyo, and (on special offer) under £70. Labelled for an IS200, and with 26mm core. I bought the one for an auto 'box, with the oil cooler fittings. But..... when I got under my own 2002 IS300 auto to remove the old rad - surprise! I found no auto-trans oil cooler pipes connecting into the bottom tank of the rad. The workshop manual and parts catalogue appeared to suggest that there would be oil-cooler connections into the rad. I was a bit confused by the fact that a pipe came forward from the engine bay area and made a separate, independent cooling 'loop' in front of the a/c condenser (just behind the grille). It seems that this is a power steering fluid cooler loop - but I need to double-check. So I'm still baffled. Why has my car got no auto-trans oil cooler pipes (or at least not visible below and behind the radiator? Had the radiator already been previously replaced once before I acquired the car, and a 'manual' rad fitted and the auto trans oil pipes cut or capped off? Seems unlikely. I replaced the radiator anyway, without having to mess with auto-trans oil connections, and the new one works fine. But I still have this nagging worry - why does my auto box apparently not have an oil cooler circuit? The aircon - well, that's another story for a separate thread....
  10. I made a move in the other direction, from Mercedes to Lexus. Not quite like-for-like: I had a 1990 Merc 560 SEC, and sold it to buy a 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross. My Merc was solid, bullet-proof and superb at transcontinental journeys. But its thirst for fuel was epic if you drove with vigour, and maintenance work - though rarely needed - cost an arm and a leg. The Lexus - solidly built, agile, powerful, comfortable, versatile, reliable. More economical on fuel. So far (touch wood) has not needed major maintenance work. One more warning. Mercedes (any model) for a good 10 years from the mid-90s were a disaster area for rust. The problems coincided with the shift, in MB, from being a car-making company run by engineers to being a business run by bean counters and marketing men. All their range of cars suffered quality problems as a result. If you must buy a Merc, buy a well-looked after example of your favoured pre-1992 model, not a more recent one.
  11. radiator needed

    I have just bought a Koyo radiator from EuroCarParts. It's got 26mm core, and seems well-made. It's half the price of the Nissens one (which I also looked at - it seems good) and about a quarter of the cost of an OEM replacement from a dealer. One point to watch is whether you get the version for manual or auto. Auto vehicles need to have a radiator with a built-in transmission oil cooler. These can be used in a manual car: it just means leaving the oil-cooler, if there is one, unconnected.....
  12. Aftermarket Radiator - Any Recommendations

    This thread is quite old. But just in case anyone is browsing..... The original poster Gary (Gaz-is300) clearly has an IS300 - which I assume has automatic transmission. Marcus (beard) who replied, mentioned fitting a Japspeed radiator to an IS200. He doesn't say whether manual or auto. It's important to note that IS300s, and IS200s with auto 'boxes, must have a radiator with a transmission oil cooler as well. The oil cooler has two separate, additional, pipe-connections at the bottom (the oil cooler circuit is separate but the cooling tubes go up into the main radiator core). It's possible to fit a radiator-with-oil-cooler (the one for auto vehicles) to a manual car: you just ignore the oil-pipe connections at the bottom. The radiator will work fine. BUT it is not possible or sensible to fit a 'manual' radiator into a car with an auto box. The Mishimoto welded high-performance alloy radiators, and I think the Japspeed one too, are engine-coolant only. They have no tranny oil cooler. So they should not be fitted to a vehicle with auto transmission - or if they are, then a separate tranny oil cooler has to be installed as well. There are a number of alternative aftermarket radiators available at various prices (all cheaper than the Lexus OEM ones....). Usual core diameter seems to be 26mm or 16mm. Both apparently work well. High-flow (40mm or whatever) is only needed for serious competition use.
  13. Replacement radiator for IS300

    Bump.... I'm bumping this up in the hope that it might inspire a reply or comment from LOC technical gurus, and because I've had PMs from other forum members asking if I have got any more information yet. I'm still wondering whether an IS200 and IS300 radiator are actually the same - or at least interchangeable. Any responses would be welcome!
  14. When replacing the a/c condenser recently (and that's a whole separate story....) on my 2002 IS300 Sportcross auto, I noticed what looked like a slight weeping leak from the radiator. It's not impossible that the tubes/fins might have been damaged in the process of removing the old a/c condenser, as it's a tight squeeze. So I have been looking into getting a replacement radiator, and I'm getting a bit confused by the astonishing range of specifications, brands, and prices. Leaving aside the custom-welded high performance aftermarket rads (which aren't cheap), it seems there are various differences in what is available. 1) auto v manual. Radiators for auto transmission vehicles have to have a transmission oil cooler - which means a small separate cooler along the bottom of the rad, with two "extra" hose connections for the oil lines. Rads for manuals don't have this. But... it seems that manual vehicles can use the rad for auto vehicles, and just leave the oil cooler unconnected. Obviously it's not possible to do it the other way round (you can't put a rad for manual-only into an auto vehicle). Problem is, a lot of aftermarket suppliers don't make clear whether their product has the oil-cooler or not... 2) tube size. The Lexus OEM radiators apparently have 25 mm diameter cooling tubes, whereas almost all aftermarket ones have only 16 mm. Some say that in most conditions this doesn't make much difference to cooling-performance. Anyone care to comment? The difference is that 25mm rads are only available as Lexus OEM and twice the cost of aftermarket alternatives, which are mostly 16mm or don't specify. 3) IS300 vs IS200? An older thread here asked the question whether their radiators were the same. The answers were not clear: one said the "fan cowling" was different (but this isn't part of the radiator....!). Another said the Lexus parts list had the same number for both. For the IS300 I have found 16400-46560 and 16400-46561, and also 16400-46720 and 46721. Can anyone confirm definitely whether an IS300-auto radiator and an IS200-auto radiator are in fact the same? This matters because there are lots of listings on eBay and from parts-suppliers for IS200 rads (a much bigger market) and few of them indicate whether the item will fit an IS300 (which are much scarcer...). If they are the same, I can browse for an IS200 one, as there are many more to choose from! 4) Alternative suppliers and part nos. The range of brands and prices is huge. Does anyone have a reliable cross-reference list? I believe Lexus OEM radiators are made by Denso. Cost around £245 from a dealer. I have seen aftermarket items from Nissens (Danish) p/n 646924, cost £130-ish; Koyo (Japanese, sold by Euro Car Parts) p/n 203820450 - not clear whether this fits both IS200 and IS300 - cost around £100. Other makers include TYC p/n 2356, Spectra CU2356 - and there are others. Has anyone had experience - good or bad - of particular aftermarket brands? I don't want to get a replacement which doesn't last.... but £245 for an OEM item seems unreasonable.
  15. Short Story. I Need Another Lexus

    Interesting to read this thread. Trevor/Lost it, For what it's worth, I'd say first, it's worth looking seriously at both the IS300 saloon and Sportcross (estate). The latter isn't really any "bigger", and the styling not to everyone's taste - though for some it is more practical. And if we're getting into owner-psychology, then the 300 (a tad more thirsty) and the estate (a tad more "staid"), and both rather rarer than the IS200, are less likely to have been dropped and cropped or tarted-up and thrashed. Second, don't dismiss the possibility of finding a good one through a dealer/trader. Book value for almost any IS300 is under £5k. A dealer is answerable under the Sale of Goods Act and other legislation in the way that a private seller is not, so has to take care to ensure the motor he sells is straight. Also, there's a better chance that a good Lexus IS300 will have been traded in for a new(er) Lexus or similar. So there are bound to be some one-owner, good-condition IS300s around. Main dealers probably won't now be re-selling cars as old as the first-gen ISs under their used-approved schemes. Some pass their good but older trade-ins to selected traders. But I'd suggest you ask your local Lexus dealer(s) ,and indeed other quality-marque dealers, to help track down a decent used IS300. Confession: I bought my 2002 IS300 Sportcross three years ago from a Lexus dealer. One owner, always serviced and maintained at that dealer, reasonably low mileage..... but also reasonably low price as it was 10 years old and the dealer - who had taken it in part-ex for a new model - clearly hadn't paid out huge money so was content to sell it on for a modest margin. The car has been flawless.... Good luck and good hunting......