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Towing With Is-F


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Hi Guys, just replaced my VW Phaeton with a 2008 IS-F. I have the car for business and personal use and need to fit a towbar. Has anyone got any experience of this? I don't know if my car is completely standard, but it seems pretty low at the back. Any advice would be great.

I've been following the posts on this site for a while now and you guys obviously know what these cars are capable of. Maybe I just need to raise the rear suspension a little.

Also my car vibrates at speeds above 50 MPH and pulls to the left. Do you think tracking and balancing?

I love cars, especially this one, but have little mechanical knowledge.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Hi Guys, just replaced my VW Phaeton with a 2008 IS-F. I have the car for business and personal use and need to fit a towbar. Has anyone got any experience of this? I don't know if my car is completely standard, but it seems pretty low at the back. Any advice would be great.

I've been following the posts on this site for a while now and you guys obviously know what these cars are capable of. Maybe I just need to raise the rear suspension a little.

Also my car vibrates at speeds above 50 MPH and pulls to the left. Do you think tracking and balancing?

I love cars, especially this one, but have little mechanical knowledge.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lexus do not advise towing with the auto box.

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Hi Guys, just replaced my VW Phaeton with a 2008 IS-F. I have the car for business and personal use and need to fit a towbar. Has anyone got any experience of this? I don't know if my car is completely standard, but it seems pretty low at the back. Any advice would be great.

I've been following the posts on this site for a while now and you guys obviously know what these cars are capable of. Maybe I just need to raise the rear suspension a little.

Also my car vibrates at speeds above 50 MPH and pulls to the left. Do you think tracking and balancing?

I love cars, especially this one, but have little mechanical knowledge.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lexus do not advise towing with the auto box.

The lexus is the only one of the fast four (IS-F / M3 / RS4 / C63)that you can fit a towbar to, so was the only option.

A 2nd car for towing isn't an option so I will just have to replace the auto box when it fails, as with every other car I have had.

I know it's a little unusual, but is there any way to raise the rear suspension by approx 20mm to accomodate the additional weight?

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for towing with autobox it is advisable to fit an additional oil cooler for the transmission. What are you going to be towing.

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Hi Guys, just replaced my VW Phaeton with a 2008 IS-F. I have the car for business and personal use and need to fit a towbar. Has anyone got any experience of this? I don't know if my car is completely standard, but it seems pretty low at the back. Any advice would be great.

I've been following the posts on this site for a while now and you guys obviously know what these cars are capable of. Maybe I just need to raise the rear suspension a little.

Also my car vibrates at speeds above 50 MPH and pulls to the left. Do you think tracking and balancing?

I love cars, especially this one, but have little mechanical knowledge.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lexus do not advise towing with the auto box.

The lexus is the only one of the fast four (IS-F / M3 / RS4 / C63)that you can fit a towbar to, so was the only option.

A 2nd car for towing isn't an option so I will just have to replace the auto box when it fails, as with every other car I have had.

I know it's a little unusual, but is there any way to raise the rear suspension by approx 20mm to accomodate the additional weight?

for towing with autobox it is advisable to fit an additional oil cooler for the transmission. What are you going to be towing.

Dave1, thanks for the suggestion of an oil cooler. I will search for one this week.

I have two trailers, one is a light weight aluminium camping trailer and the other is a 6' X 5' X 5' (approx) box trailer which I transport office equipment, so nothing too taxing. The phaeton gearox made it to 150k without a problem.

A friend suggested that replacing the standard rear shocks with coil overs may allow me to raise the ride height. Does this seem like a possibility?

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

fjcfarrar, thank you for your suggestion, I will post a question on a US forum and try to speak to Lexus US. I am most concerned about the additional weight on the rear of the car, causing the rear tyres to contact the arches. Whilst I don't want to spoil the cars looks or handling, I would like to raise the rear of the car by approx 20mm. It will never see a race track and other than the usual blast up the dual carriage way, it will be driven quite sensibly.

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

Isn't that only in sport and manual mode that it locks up the torque converter after 1st gear?

fjcfarrar, thank you for your suggestion, I will post a question on a US forum and try to speak to Lexus US. I am most concerned about the additional weight on the rear of the car, causing the rear tyres to contact the arches. Whilst I don't want to spoil the cars looks or handling, I would like to raise the rear of the car by approx 20mm. It will never see a race track and other than the usual blast up the dual carriage way, it will be driven quite sensibly.

Don't know a huge amount about modifying the IS-F but I'm sure there must be adjustable suspension kits out there for it that may allow raising the ride height slightly - again something maybe the US forums may have more information on.

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

Isn't that only in sport and manual mode that it locks up the torque converter after 1st gear?

fjcfarrar, thank you for your suggestion, I will post a question on a US forum and try to speak to Lexus US. I am most concerned about the additional weight on the rear of the car, causing the rear tyres to contact the arches. Whilst I don't want to spoil the cars looks or handling, I would like to raise the rear of the car by approx 20mm. It will never see a race track and other than the usual blast up the dual carriage way, it will be driven quite sensibly.

Don't know a huge amount about modifying the IS-F but I'm sure there must be adjustable suspension kits out there for it that may allow raising the ride height slightly - again something maybe the US forums may have more information on.

I think if I had bought a good IS-F, towing would not be a problem. I didn't realise that there was anything unusual with mine.

It appears I have bought a wreck! Someone has bought a damaged car and made a cosmetic repair. The front crash bar is bent and incomplete, front bumper etc is 10mm too far back and rear wheel is way out of allignment (two rear tyres shredded within 200 miles). The offset on the rear wheels puts the edge of the rear tyres in contact with the arches.

I will get my money back from the garage and get another from a Lexus dealer.

Thanks for all input and look forward to discussing this again when I have a straight car.

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I think if I had bought a good IS-F, towing would not be a problem. I didn't realise that there was anything unusual with mine.

It appears I have bought a wreck! Someone has bought a damaged car and made a cosmetic repair. The front crash bar is bent and incomplete, front bumper etc is 10mm too far back and rear wheel is way out of allignment (two rear tyres shredded within 200 miles). The offset on the rear wheels puts the edge of the rear tyres in contact with the arches.

I will get my money back from the garage and get another from a Lexus dealer.

Thanks for all input and look forward to discussing this again when I have a straight car.

So sorry to hear that, it sounds as if it's had a major accident and would suspect there's been some dodgy dealing going on, perhaps without the involvement of any insurance company. Was it a bit of a bargain by any chance, and was the paintwork in surprisingly good condition for the year and/or mileage? Was it running on the OEM rims or had they been replaced with something cheaper?

If you really want a towcar I'd suggest you look for something more suitable with a manual gearbox.

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

Isn't that only in sport and manual mode that it locks up the torque converter after 1st gear?

fjcfarrar, thank you for your suggestion, I will post a question on a US forum and try to speak to Lexus US. I am most concerned about the additional weight on the rear of the car, causing the rear tyres to contact the arches. Whilst I don't want to spoil the cars looks or handling, I would like to raise the rear of the car by approx 20mm. It will never see a race track and other than the usual blast up the dual carriage way, it will be driven quite sensibly.

Don't know a huge amount about modifying the IS-F but I'm sure there must be adjustable suspension kits out there for it that may allow raising the ride height slightly - again something maybe the US forums may have more information on.

I think if I had bought a good IS-F, towing would not be a problem. I didn't realise that there was anything unusual with mine.

It appears I have bought a wreck! Someone has bought a damaged car and made a cosmetic repair. The front crash bar is bent and incomplete, front bumper etc is 10mm too far back and rear wheel is way out of allignment (two rear tyres shredded within 200 miles). The offset on the rear wheels puts the edge of the rear tyres in contact with the arches.

I will get my money back from the garage and get another from a Lexus dealer.

Thanks for all input and look forward to discussing this again when I have a straight car.

I hope you don't have to remind the seller that a car-trader is legally responsible for undeclared faults with the vehicle and not you as the buyer - particularly if the vehicle is unroadworthy which this one seems to be. He can't even hide behind "as seen & without guarantee", "selling on behalf of a third party" or "just selling a few cars on the side" etc.

Hopefully you will get a proper refund without having to involve Trading Standards etc.

I just suspect a whiff of fraud here, and given that the vehicle may not even be roadworthy; if it has a recent MOT, I would not be happy about that either, particularly if was issued by this dealer or an associate.

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Oil-cooler is probably not necessary because ISF only uses torque converter in 1st gear - but check with Lexus. Also doubt if rear suspension needs raising or spring assists - just a towbar with a raised towball if anything - but again check with Lexus. Would think Lexus US is more likely to have experience of these issues.

Isn't that only in sport and manual mode that it locks up the torque converter after 1st gear?

fjcfarrar, thank you for your suggestion, I will post a question on a US forum and try to speak to Lexus US. I am most concerned about the additional weight on the rear of the car, causing the rear tyres to contact the arches. Whilst I don't want to spoil the cars looks or handling, I would like to raise the rear of the car by approx 20mm. It will never see a race track and other than the usual blast up the dual carriage way, it will be driven quite sensibly.

Don't know a huge amount about modifying the IS-F but I'm sure there must be adjustable suspension kits out there for it that may allow raising the ride height slightly - again something maybe the US forums may have more information on.

I think if I had bought a good IS-F, towing would not be a problem. I didn't realise that there was anything unusual with mine.

It appears I have bought a wreck! Someone has bought a damaged car and made a cosmetic repair. The front crash bar is bent and incomplete, front bumper etc is 10mm too far back and rear wheel is way out of allignment (two rear tyres shredded within 200 miles). The offset on the rear wheels puts the edge of the rear tyres in contact with the arches.

I will get my money back from the garage and get another from a Lexus dealer.

Thanks for all input and look forward to discussing this again when I have a straight car.

I hope you don't have to remind the seller that a car-trader is legally responsible for undeclared faults with the vehicle and not you as the buyer - particularly if the vehicle is unroadworthy which this one seems to be. He can't even hide behind "as seen & without guarantee", "selling on behalf of a third party" or "just selling a few cars on the side" etc.

Hopefully you will get a proper refund without having to involve Trading Standards etc.

I just suspect a whiff of fraud here, and given that the vehicle may not even be roadworthy; if it has a recent MOT, I would not be happy about that either, particularly if was issued by this dealer or an associate.

Thanks Guys,

There were after market alloys but not the right ones. I think they are Rimlux, but can't find much info on the web about them. HPI check showed car was clear, but a subsequent check with another (cheaper) car checker shows it as stolen and recovered. I guess it was damaged prior to being recovered, then bought from salvage by the worst and most unscrupulus mechanic alive, who made it look good, without having any concern for the safety of any future owner. Perhaps an MOT would have revealed the extent of the damage, but this car is not yet 3 years old.

Hopefully the garage will do the right thing and reverse the deal. I will happily take my Phaeton back and do a deal with my nearest Lexus dealer. If not, I have a very clever web developer, who will create a factual web site showing the quality of cars you can expect to purchase from them. I have plenty of pictures and repair quotes etc.

At the moment, I am hoping that the garage made an honest mistake and bought the car unaware. As they are sales only, this could be the case. I am sure that when I meet them tomorrow, how they propose to resolve the problem will reveal all.

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There were after market alloys but not the right ones. I think they are Rimlux, but can't find much info on the web about them. HPI check showed car was clear, but a subsequent check with another (cheaper) car checker shows it as stolen and recovered.

At the moment, I am hoping that the garage made an honest mistake and bought the car unaware. As they are sales only, this could be the case. I am sure that when I meet them tomorrow, how they propose to resolve the problem will reveal all.

The wheels should have been a clue as a set of four OEM BBS wheels are around £5K so obviously damaged and replaced with cheaper. Best of luck tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vamos, sorry to hear about that. I'm guessing it was the white one?

I went to look at that in Newcastle. The guy convinced me that he has simply hit a roundabout curb with it. I insisted we drive to Newcastle Lexus for them to put it on a ramp. The verbal report contained the word bargepole!

Did you buy it private from the guy in Newcastle or trade?

Don't let this bad one put you off, the ISF is a cracking car!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vamos, sorry to hear about that. I'm guessing it was the white one?

I went to look at that in Newcastle. The guy convinced me that he has simply hit a roundabout curb with it. I insisted we drive to Newcastle Lexus for them to put it on a ramp. The verbal report contained the word bargepole!

Did you buy it private from the guy in Newcastle or trade?

Don't let this bad one put you off, the ISF is a cracking car!

No, this is a Mesa Red one bought from a garage in Keighley. The garage specialises in high performance cars, so I thought I would be OK. Turns out they are the most dishonourable people I have ever met. They have refused to take the car back even they are legaly obligated to do so and offered an amount of compensation less than the amount it will cst to bring the car back up to a high standard. Fortunately, it can be repaired, so will take them to court.

Hope you found a good one in the end.

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Vamos, sorry to hear about that. I'm guessing it was the white one?

I went to look at that in Newcastle. The guy convinced me that he has simply hit a roundabout curb with it. I insisted we drive to Newcastle Lexus for them to put it on a ramp. The verbal report contained the word bargepole!

Did you buy it private from the guy in Newcastle or trade?

Don't let this bad one put you off, the ISF is a cracking car!

No, this is a Mesa Red one bought from a garage in Keighley. The garage specialises in high performance cars, so I thought I would be OK. Turns out they are the most dishonourable people I have ever met. They have refused to take the car back even they are legaly obligated to do so and offered an amount of compensation less than the amount it will cst to bring the car back up to a high standard. Fortunately, it can be repaired, so will take them to court.

Hope you found a good one in the end.

Sorry to hear this story, I hope you get yours costs back and this dealer gets taken to the cleaners! :tsktsk:

Once your case is cleared you should name and shame these cowboys to protect other LOC members.

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