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Lexus ISF


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Hello all,

So this week I've had a bad time with Instagram writing off my account due to it being hacked. As a result I lost years of memories and updates to my ISF. 

I managed to salvage some images, so I thought I'd create a 'build thread' on here to enable me to have a place to bank my photos and updates.

If you're a purist that doesn't like modifications, it's probably best you don't read on lol.


So what did I purchase:

- 2010 Lexus ISF


- Purchased with 54K on the clock

- Hayward and Scott SS system

- Alacantara steering wheel

- Takeda intake.


My plans for her when I initially purchased her, was to have a clean, standard ISF, that I could enjoy stock and not spend too much money on (whoops). I also wanted a car I could make fun memories with for me and my family, visiting shows, places and generally using the car more than my previous GS430, which was modified to a point where it was more for shows, than using to go everywhere.

Since then, plans changed, as they so often do.

I picked her up in Aberdeenshire from a lovely guy, which resulted in the best 9 hour drive home ever. Progressively becoming more and more adventurous with her abilities as the 9 hours went on.



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Then came the Maxton Design lip kit, purchased predominantly because of the cost of importing any other kit from abroad (ISF parts are hard to come by, modified parts even harder). I also managed the first road trip in the car to the 'outlaws' in lovely Wales where I was able to push the car and enjoy the twisty roads in the early hours of a beautiful Sunday morning.




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Then came the start of my maintenance run, ensuring the car had some areas tended to, to match the full history. Full Lexus radiator change by myself (my second one after doing the same for the GS430). I also sent the car to a local motorsport company for a full undercarriage strip and seal.





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A week later the car went for another trip to Wales with more smiles and once I returned home, more carbon was waiting for me.

Then the more expensive modifications started to take place with new coilovers added, to replace the tired OEM set up that started clunking during the return home from Wales.







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I then decided where I wanted to take the car, I wanted to make her lighter. The conclusion that making her faster with engine modifications was going to be incredibly expensive (Supercharger), and with the entire F range being a bulky mass slowing down what is a big engine, I decided to start saving weight as a way of making her more nimble, with a view of track days in the future.

The first modification for this was attacking rotational mass and addressing the issues with the staggered offset. So I went with 18's and 9.5" wide wheels all round. This was a proven upgrade in the States and a must for me. As much as I love the OEM wheels, the weak offset and larger rim size needed addressing, so I went and purchased some Wedssport SA25R'S.

I also decided to remove the Vlands for the better quality OEM units. The main reason being I preferred the images of older Supras, Skylines, that still retained their 90's lights and that sometimes, it's cleaner and simpler to be stock.






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The next step was a big one, purchasing one of the only new sets of 2014 OEM headlights in the country. Straight from Lexus with the appropriate brackets and all new bulbs. The issue was the modification to make these fit 100% into the car with the ability to have them dim when the headlights were on. Something that the MOT requires for DRL's, but something that isn't wired into our year IS's.

So I contacted a guy in London who walked me through the process to create custom OEM looking looms with relay, and then to wire them into the cars loom, completely hidden from view and inside the cars loom, to look like factory (sadly a lot of these images were lost after my account on IG was hacked and deleted).

The start of the garage decoration also commenced and some 'F' door lights purchased.





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I have always had an addiction with carbon fibre, it's always been something that looks so perfect with modified Jap cars (to me!).

Which brings me to the next big modification of last year, carbon bonnet and wings. 

Now although a questionable modification for weight loss on the front end, since the OEM bonnet is aluminium and OEM wings are not that much lighter than their carbon counterparts. These modifications did remove some weight over the heavy front end, but sadly the images I took of the weights has been lost. It was a marginal amount though and not life changing. I also had to make the ballsy move to cut into a freshly new carbon bonnet for the latches, as I didn't fancy losing it at higher speeds.





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One of the biggest modifications that cost the least than took place. A dechrome of the car, which made an incredible difference, which surprised me when I collected her.  I then took the machine polisher to her and ceramic coated the car for show season and a busy summer.





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After Devon was the addition of the carbon SARD wing, a bolt on wing that does not require drilling of any kind, which helped me decide if I wanted to keep it, without destroying the bootlid. All my modifications are designed so that I can retrospectively return the car to stock.






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Then came ExclusiveJDM's Full Scale show that had some incredible cars and a change of wheels. The Wedssport's never really sat well on the car for me, so it was time to have a lower offset (wider stance) and lighter wheels. So I went with some Enkei GTC01RR's as well as a caliper refresh to match them.







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Then it was a case of enjoying the rest of the summer inbetween some very long days and nights with work due to the wildfires, but with autumn closing in, the activities with the car started dwindling.






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The final post of 2022 was a random one for me. A Japanese car show, on December 4th, 15 minutes from my house! It was dry, there were no salty roads and I decided to take the ISF out for one last spin of 2022. Some lovely cars were present and somehow, the ISF walked away with a Best of Show award. Not something I expected or ever planned on. The ISF (and her siblings) has to be one of the most unknown and underrated cars, even amongst Jap circles! It was pleasant knowing that someone knew what it was and voted on it, which wrapped up my year nicely!






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So that brings me to 2023 and a new year modification that actually saved me more weight than expected, a carbon bootlid. Initially the SARD wing was to be sold, but the lip spoiler I had purchased to replace it was a bad fit, so the SARD wing stayed (for now).

Regarding weight loss, removing the spare and tools, as well as replacing the OEM bootlid was a large saving. Sadly less weight over the rear wheels means more sensible driving in less favorable conditions as she does step out more, but I enjoy the challange and the weight reduction thus far has transformed the car. So much so that even my friends with a DB11 and Gallardo have commented on how fun she is to drive, and how quick she is for what is a heavy sports saloon.





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....and finally, last weekend involved a drive out to Silverstone for a Coffee Run event. Having a few weeks away from driving the car really made me appreciate what she is and what she can do. Even nearly 2 years on and driving her is still an occasion and fun. I've toyed with replacing her, but to move to an RCF seemed like a waste of money for very little changes considering where the ISF is now and other than the run of the mill and common German equivalents, I find myself in the happy place of not wanting to replace her.

This year will see PPE headers and an RR tune, plus a full service and some more weight saving modifications, plus a trip to the south of France and plenty of shows.

Thank you for catching up and viewing my post.














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4 minutes ago, Shahpor said:

Nice build thread Rich 👍

Not to everyone's tastes, like you say, but as long as you are happy.

What is obvious is that you must have spent a fortune so far! 🙂

Thank you Shahpor.

Lexus created such an amazing car with the ISF, but I just cannot help putting my stamp on her. The best bit is having a place to store all the old OEM parts, so should there be a day I want to return her to stock, I can do.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

So after some time away, a decking project and a month in California, I thought it best to update the build thread I forgot I'd created!

So after having issues with discolouration in the lacquer of the SARD wing (I'm very fussy). I decided to remove it and to my delight I actually prefer the car without it and the unnecessary drag created by the wing.

I also got a drone and took some snaps!





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Modifications have been slowed by the decking and a holiday, as those both took priority, however I did manage to sneak in one upgrade before June and that was a brand new RCF mirror to update the older design. I also added a little F badge to the carbon bootlid.






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So with the trip to California came an unexpected upgrade, one I'd been pondering for a year or so. With the headers on my ISF cracked and the impending welding job on the horizon, I stumbled across gold dust whilst browsing eBay. A set of RHD PPE headers for £1k in California! So after a 10 hour round trip, an extra £65 spent on another suitcase, I had in the hold of my flight home, the modification I'd been dreaming about for some time!

Anyone that knows what these are and how much they cost to have custom made, shipped and taxes paid for, knows how much of a deal the £1,250 is I paid for them (fuel and a new case included in the total cost).



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As the headers run rather hot, the next step was to look into heat management and keeping temps down in the engine bay. So I shipped the headers off to Zircotec in Oxford to ceramic coat them.




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