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 Lexus IS300

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gold94corolla
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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:36 pm

So here's what the car looked like when it got home.... pretty dirty lol

IMG_5933 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_5932 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_5931 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_5930 by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Now I'll be able to post actual work pics...

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:12 am

wow thats dirty lol

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:39 pm

Once I got home from the huge trip, it was time to do a bunch of clean up and maintenance all over again (like changing the oil)

Sprayed the car with the hose to try and remove as much dirt as possible without touching the car

Dirty Car by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Didn't work very well lol... gonna have a lot of cleanup work to do!!

This new low-profile jack from Harbor Freight was waiting for me when I got home. Why I didn't get this 10 years ago is beyond me. It's a must have!! Works so nicely lol.

New Floor Jack! by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Problem #1: There was a terrible rattle going on in the ceiling somewhere. So I took it all apart! Removing the headliner is relatively straightforward... just remove pieces and clips until it comes out, then fold it in half to remove out the front door. The tricky part is that all of the wiring is attached to the headliner, NOT the roof, so it has to come out with the headliner (gotta remove the wire harness all the way to the fuse board)

Then the sunroof itself comes out with 6 nuts... just gotta be careful getting it out.

Headliner & Sunroof Removed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Sunroof removed:

Sunroof Removed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

I took it apart to get the carpet out and cleaned it really well, got all that dirt off!

As it turns out, one of those 6 nuts holding in the sunroof had come loose, and the separation between it and the metal was making the bad rattle. Tightened it all up and no more noise!!

Next, removed the wheels for deep cleaning. Lots of bugs and road bits stuck to the insides.

Cleaned Rear Wheels by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Cleaned Front Wheels by gold94corolla, on Flickr

With the wheels off, I could address Problem #2: The rear sway bar was popping REALLY bad. And I had JUST put in brand new end links!!! Well, turns out, I did too much driving before the nuts could actually set in place, and they had both come loose in the back (green arrow).

Loose Sway Bar Endlink Nut by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Tightened those up, and no more noises! Whew, the parts were still good. Also had to tighten up that lower nut from when I installed the coilovers, turns out it's been loose for years lol.

With the wheels off, I did a deep clean on the suspension components and generally everything inside the wheel wells. I used the wheel&tire cleaner, sprayed it on everything and used a brush. WOW it all looked brand new again! Even some of the stock components looked nicer than I had ever seen lol (like the brake lines actually have white stripes on them!!)

Cleaned Rear Suspension by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Cleaned Front Suspension by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Cleaned Front Suspension 2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

That cleaning fixed the weird squealing noise I was getting out of the front left brake above 40 MPH... guess it was dirty.

Problem #3: The exhaust was still barely touching the lip, so it was vibrating against the screw holding on the rear lip. Fixed that by lowering the exhaust hanger with some extra nuts between the hanger and the car (green arrows):

Exhaust Hanger Spacers by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Now it's perfectly in the lip opening... oh, and I cleaned the exhaust with the wheel&tire cleaner, took all the dirt right off of everything! (including the lip lol)

Perfect Exhaust Fit by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Next was to address Problem #4. With the wheels still off, I removed the front bumper so that I could put the stock head lights back on. The custom bixenon apparatus in the projectors had completely failed on both sides and needed to be redone.

Front End Removed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

And for whatever reason, one of the LED DRL switchback modules shorted out, so I had to use the fogs as DRL (signals still worked). Had to return this module to V-LEDs, they sent another for free! (lifetime warranty FTW)

Bad LED Switchback Module by gold94corolla, on Flickr

With the front off, it was time to wash the engine and get all that baked-in dirt off.

Dirty Engine by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Used engine degreaser and a brush..... much better:

Cleaned Engine Bay by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Engine Bay Cleaning by gold94corolla, on Flickr

more to come

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:57 pm

Continuing where I left off...

I got pulled over in Texas so they could search the car, and he didn't put the trunk carpet down right so it didn't seal. Well, I learned why the drain holes are normally plugged up. Dirt and pollen got all over everything, coated all of the stuff I had in the trunk.

Dirty Trunk by gold94corolla, on Flickr

So I pulled everything out ... all the carpets, the rear seat, the subwoofer..... and then hosed it out.

Gutted Trunk by gold94corolla, on Flickr

While the tail lights were off, I put the stockers back on, so that I could eventually mod the LED tails.

OEM vs LED Tail Lights by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Looks like this half cleaned, and with the stock lights back on

OEM SD Head lights 1 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

OEM SD Head lights 2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

OEM Tail Lights by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Then I figured what the heck, why stop there? Decided to gut the entire interior, everything except the main dashboard. Every single piece of plastic, carpet, and sound deadening came out and got thoroughly cleaned.

Seats Removed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Floor Carpet Removed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Gutted Interior 1 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Gutted Interior 3 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Gutted Interior 4 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Gutted Interior 2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr



I washed the floor carpet like this.... turns out there was a cup of coffee spilled in the back! Got all that junk out, like new again!

Carpet Washing by gold94corolla, on Flickr



I had to put all the parts in the basement, since the pollen was in full force outside (no point in putting it back in the car, freshly washed, until after the pollen)

Lots of Interior Parts by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Ended up putting just the driver's seat, floor mat, and armrest back in so it was driveable. Drove like this for a long time lol.

Ready to Drive by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Then I re-ran the wires for the rear door LED strips by drilling a little hole for the wires to run through, instead of pinched in the door seal.

Rewired Door Lights by gold94corolla, on Flickr



Last but not least, was washing the outside of the car. Finally, all clean again!

Car Finally Washed by gold94corolla, on Flickr


The suspension was so much higher without all that weight in the interior lol

Car Finally Cleaned by gold94corolla, on Flickr


The car definitely drives quicker and louder without all that in there, but it did get old pretty fast.



Oh, and I forgot to mention, that in order to put the stock headlights back on, I had to replace one of the low beam HID reflectors since I had broken one of the mounting tabs.

Opened OEM SD Headlights by gold94corolla, on Flickr


So that's it for "post-trip recovery", stay tuned for more mod-like activities.

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:10 pm

Aw man, the stock tails look terribly dull in comparison.

Btw, i thought this pic looked superb

IMG_2173-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

and this

Chevron by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Man I feel bad for missing out on your posts. how'd you like Cali? You should move here!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:19 pm

Hey Kenny! Thanks, glad you finally had time to catch a glance at the posts... too bad we couldn't meet up when I drove out there! Hopefully next time (year???)

Cali was great actually, and almost like a dream... couldn't believe I was there with my car, in the middle of all the life there. It was a great feeling! But no, I don't think living there would make sense with all the weird laws and taxes lol.

Building the new tail lights as we speak! Can't wait to remove the hideous stock ones lol

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:45 pm

Quote :



So, for the update that I wasn't looking forward to.... as most of you already know, less than 24 hours after taking this pic, I manage to side-swipe the back corner of a huge bus that was sticking out into my lane and didn't swerve enough to avoid it. It was just enough to clip the entire side of the car, from one bumper to the other.

Wrecked Back Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Wrecked Front Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

It knocked of the mirror, and destroyed the fender and two doors. The front door handle was broken so that it didn't work anymore, but the windows still worked fine. Front door doesn't close properly either, but still no leaks.

Bent Door by gold94corolla, on Flickr

It clipped the front tire a little, but not the front wheel..... but the back wheel did not escape damage.

Damaged Rim by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Of course there was no damage to the bus's bumper, but it left this weird film all over that I was able to easily rub off, leaving perfect paint underneath, not even a scratch lol.

Weird Film Stuff by gold94corolla, on Flickr

After rubbing it all off the paint and wheels, and taping the mirror back up, I was ready to go lol.

Cleaned Front Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Cleaned Back Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Cleaned Side by gold94corolla, on Flickr

I got over it pretty fast.... stuff happens. No reason to get depressed about it, though I still have to fix the damage.

I did get a new mirror on Ebay though ($150), and I swapped my blue cover on so that it at least matched.

New OEM Mirror by gold94corolla, on Flickr

New Mirror Installed by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Still need a new fender and new doors, not really looking forward to replacing the doors lol.

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:57 pm

Dang, that's just how life is honestly. I'm just glad to hear you're fine and that you're not beating yourself up about it. Great thing is that there's no rear quarter panel damage (aside from the film). Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:14 pm

Yeah I was really thankful that the quarter panel was untouched really, looks fine still! Yeah it really was a lot of damage for something so stupid and dumb lol

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:22 pm

Opened up the projector retrofitted head lights because the projectors needed to be redone







Then I bought a brand new set of OEM replica head lights so that I could have brand new lenses. Ended up using everything in the new head lights except the painted bezel.

One side opened



Other side




Put the painted bezels in the new head lights, put the chrome bezels and new HID reflectors in the old head lights, and closed them with the old lenses to create a complete set of head lights for backup, so I could sell the rare black chrome ones I just put back on.




Installed 4300k HIDs in the high beams using the stock Denso ballasts (remember the low beams are powered by adjustable Bosch ballasts that are somewhere else in the engine bay). The blue arrows point to the components I installed for the high beam HIDs. The red arrows point to the low beam ignitors (they are external to the ballasts), and the green arrows point to the LED DRL switchbacks in the signals.





I then experimented with a set of OEM LED DRLs from a 2IS. I had to trim them a lot to get them to fit, and ended up trimming it too short. It looked kinda cool, but really wasn't worth it in the long run.









Made an inventory of all my extra HID parts lol







Next up were the fog lights. Again, the lenses were ruined from the road trip, just like the head lights. So I bought some brand new OEM Depo replicas on Ebay for $200 something, and took them apart to swap in my painted bezels, just like I did with the new head lights.

Old vs New fogs



The new lenses are so much clearer!!!



Even the yellow projector lenses look a lot clearer, and sure enough, the output is a lot sharper as well. (old is on the left, new on the right)




Done!






Perfectly clear, looks so much nicer (too bad the rest of the car looks like garbage lol)







I guess that's enough pics for one post lol

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:24 pm

More stuff!

So since I had that accident and destroyed the mirror, I was looking for replacements. I ended up ordering a pair of power-folding JDM mirrors with blue-tinted wide-angle blindspot eliminating mirrors. They have an amber LED signal built in, so I can get rid of the ghetto ugly signals I had before lol




There are 15 LEDs facing out the front, and 3 LEDs facing down the side




The lens carries the 3 LED side lights all the way out the back, so the signal can be seen from any angle



I still had to buy the USA mirror, because I'm planning on swapping the mirror bases so that they have the correct viewing angle (LHD instead of RHD).


Taped up the mirrors for painting




Painted




And clear coated.... I have never done clear coat before, but this is the real deal stuff. It has activator and must be used within 24 hours. I am hugely impressed with the outcome for spray paint!!






The clear coat leaves behind this reflective dust lol... gotta wear a mask when spraying.




Since I had to use the rest of the clear coat, I redid the front lip paint.

Sanded



Primered



Painted (this is usually how it looks when I'm done and installing it back on the car)



But now, clear coat!



It didn't come out as well as the mirrors, probably because the mirrors had been painted and cleared before. The front lip came out with some serious orange peel.






So I decided to learn wetsanding!

Practiced on the mirrors (since I wanted to do another coat of clear anyway for durability). This is after 1000 grit and then 2000 grit.



I thought it was fail, but then realized I needed to buff it with compound to get the shine back. I used Meguiar's Ultimate compound and a microfiber cloth by hand to clean it back up, which actually worked nicely.



So I did the same thing on the front lip. 1000 grit, 2000 grit, and the compound with the machine buffer. Then sprayed another coat of clear, and it came out almost perfectly (well the orange peel was gone, just a lot of pitting from years of rocks)



I then hit up the mirrors with another coat of clear






Again, I had half a can of clear coat left, so I had to use it up.

I bought another Altezza grille from Japan, one that was in perfect shape (mine had been modified with Bondo somehow and was coming apart).

Painted it (this is what my first grille looked like when I installed it... just paint, no clear)



Clear coated!!! Pic doesn't do the mirror shine justice.



No orange peel on the grille, since it was already painted/cleared from the factory.

Still had more clear coat, so I redid the rear lip. Sanded, primered, painted, and clear coated it.



Came out great, but again with some orange peel. I had just enough clear for one good coat, so I'll do what I did with the front lip and wetsand/buff it, then spray another layer of clear.


At this point, this what the car looked like. No lip kit, stock lights, and "stock" wheels back on. I sent the Works in to get rebalanced, since the one got a little chunk taken out of the edge. Thought the rebalance would help, but it didn't lol, so that was a waste.





lol, the car looks so high off the ground with no interior or lip kit

more to come

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:26 pm

Holy cow that clearcoat is unbelievable! Great work, Chris. Guess you don't need Maaco anymore, eh? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:23 am

LOL yeah I'm really trying to avoid sending the car to get repainted, I really want to be able to learn how to do all this stuff myself!!

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:27 am

After many many years of having a 7" screen in the car, I FINALLY installed a backup cam!!!

I bought this one, due to it's flush-mount shape:

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_40487_Crimestopper-SV-6820.EM.html



When it arrived, it came with everything needed (including the hole saw and enough wire for a large truck lol)

Crimestopper Rear-View Camera by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Wanted to install it under the trunk bar with the license plate lights, so I removed that piece (which required gutting the inside of the trunk lid). The only place to install it was on the left or right side, to avoid the lights, mounting bolts, and lock. I picked the left side to match more where I sit in the car.

Choosing a Camera Location by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Drilled a hole in the plastic, inserted the camera wire, stuck it on with the included double-sided tape pad, and tightened the nut.

Rear-View Camera Mounted by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Next, I used the hole saw bit to drill into the trunk to run the wires. The poor saw bit broke just as the hole was completed lol

Hole Drilled in Trunk by gold94corolla, on Flickr

I couldn't be more happier with the fitment!!!!! 100% spot on.

Rear-View Camera Installed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Barely visible under there

Rear-View Camera Far Away by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Standing at the trunk, it's slightly visible if you are looking to see it (I never see it though lol)

Rear-View Camera Up Close by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Ran the wires along the stock wireloom, and ultimately to the front of the car. (the wire is marked with green dashes)

Rear-View Camera Wiring by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Connecting it to the headunit was a simple matter of plugging in the video RCA, and connecting the ground and electricity to the reverse light power (which was already connected to the head unit, very easy).

Turned it on, and it worked perfectly, first try!!!! Perfect output and alignment.

Rear-View Camera Works! by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Instantly loved it lol, I couldn't be happier with how this DIY came out. Should have done it years ago!


Oh, and I've got this JDM upper dash compartment, but in order to use it, I'd have to remount my ScanGauge somewhere else, but I can't think of a better location. Oh well for the compartment!

JDM Dash Tray Fitted by gold94corolla, on Flickr

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:06 pm

More random mods!

I replaced the old ugly hazed dome light cover with a new clear style, looks so much nicer!

New vs Old Dome Light Lens by gold94corolla, on Flickr

New Dome Lens Installed by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Still got the two 5000k LED boards soldered in there, super bright

New Dome Lens Lit Up by gold94corolla, on Flickr

I got a new set of sidemarkers, they were supposed to be smoked, but they didn't look very smoked to me. So I easily broke them open and painted them flat primer black to match all of the other lights. Also redid the paint on the head lights, since it was looking scratched up (top 3 pieces are painted in the pic)

Head Lights and Side Markers Painted by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Sidemarkers came out very nice looking

Completed Side Markers by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Comparison to what I had before

New Side Marker Comparison by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Installed (I had to color the LED bulb inside from aluminum to black)

New Side Markers No Tint by gold94corolla, on Flickr

I didn't like that look, it didn't quite match the darkness of the fogs, and the lens ripples were too obvious. So I had to put a light tint over them after all (it was a dark tint on the old sidemarkers)

Comparison again. Came out almost identical, though the new isn't as yellow looking and isn't chrome inside.

New Sidemarkers Tinted Comparison by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Much better match this time!

New Side Markers Tinted by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Yeah that was basically a waste of time, but I wanted to see if the smoked sidemarkers would be smoked enough, and then they worked, I had to improvise.




I replaced the original chrome ball shift knob with this OEM Lexus knob out of an F-Sport, because it was perfect for my car.

New IS-F Sport Shifter by gold94corolla, on Flickr

New IS-F Sport Shifter by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Re-mounted the sub to the back of the baffle board as to increase clearance, since I think the foam was hitting the metal

Re-mounted Sub by gold94corolla, on Flickr


Then I put all of the interior back in, because I was tired of the road noise, heat coming up through the floor, and generally not having an interior lol.

Re-built Trunk by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6488 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6489 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6491 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

At some point before this post, I forgot to mention that I lowered the coilovers by a full two turns on all four corners, since it looked stupid without the lip kit and extra high due to lack of interior weight.

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:25 pm

So I went on another vacation after my trip around the country. The pics I'll be posting at this point were taken in late June/early July. I got a bit ahead of myself earlier with the modification pics, but whatever.

The new fog lights are installed in these pics, but not the new side markers or reverse camera (to give you an idea of time line)

I was able to take my bike with me because it fit easily inside without any interior installed lol

Easy to Fit A Bike by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Oh, the vacation was to Elk Neck State Park peninsula at the top of the Chesapeake Bay in North East, Maryland. So the pics again try and capture the scenery.

IMG_6157-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6160-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6161-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6162-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6163-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IMG_6167-2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

At North East Lighthouse by gold94corolla, on Flickr


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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:02 pm

More pics

IS300 At A Dock 2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 At A Dock by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 In The Country by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Rear by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Rear Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Front by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Front Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Church by gold94corolla, on Flickr


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gold94corolla
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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:19 pm

Took some pics of the lights

3000k HID fogs only (custom wired)

Fogs Only by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Fogs + 5000k HID low beams

Low Beams & DRLs by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Low beams + white LED signal lights (DRL in dim mode)

Low Beams & DRLs by gold94corolla, on Flickr

White LED DRL (bright mode) + fogs

Fogs & DRLs by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Rear lights

Rear Lights by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Rear Lights Angle by gold94corolla, on Flickr

Sunset pics!

IS300 On The Bay by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Sunset 1 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Sunset 2 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

IS300 Sunset 3 by gold94corolla, on Flickr

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:33 pm

Experimented with some light painting, using the LED head light off of my bicycle lol.

A few shots came out pretty well, considering I had never done this before. Only real problem was that the camera wouldn't really focus.












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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:19 am

thats actually quite cool

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:45 pm

Took some pics of the head lights since there were pretty good roads out there with almost no one on them.

Low beams are stock reflectors, regular ballasts, and Osram 5000k Cool Blue Intense bulbs.




High beams are 4300k bulbs with Denso ballasts.




again







In GIF format







oops

UFOs by gold94corolla, on Flickr

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:47 am

they are ridiculously bright..
I really need you to make me a set Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:33 am

lol i was thinking the same thing. chris im trying to get a job down in maryland so i can get outta jersey finally. if i do im bringing you my headlights to work your magic lol
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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:25 pm

Guys the head lights are STOCK!!!!!!!!! lol

Can't wait to get the bixenon projectors back in though, it's gonna be even brighter!!

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PostSubject: Re: Lexus IS300   Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:24 am

noway, seriously? they are ridiculously bright

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