This has been a storm year that I’ve felt forever since Project LS received an air suspension installation for its air-lift performance. Truth be told, it’s also been a while since the interior redesign and audio installation I’m about to share with you today was completed, but we’re finally here.
Since I got the Air Lift kit installed by the guys at The Lowdown Co. A few months ago, I actually put a few miles on my Lexus. I have to say, it was really fun too. The LS now rides better than it did with the stock suspension, and even with the flaky, dull, better-seen paint, the amount of attention the car gets is staggering. And that’s before I put her on her stomach when I’m standing anywhere.
In this latest round of upgrades, I’m leaving the LS project at Autosound Gezina, where Abdul and his team will take care of a custom audio installation and update the stock interior.
When it came to installing the boot, I gave Abdul completely free. I knew he already had some ideas in mind, and his work was second to none, so my car was definitely in good hands.
First, the original panels and spare wheel had to be removed, then Abdul’s youth began to mock the case.
Next, the rear beam rack was cut to create slots for loudspeakers to shoot through. The preferred track used to be through the center console in the rear seat, but on the LS 400 that’s where the fuel tank sits.
Prior to the installation, my VW Caddy was returned to stock and sold, which means I can reuse all of my Rockford Fosgate audio equipment in my Lexus. To this I added an extra subwoofer along with a few other small items like sound off and new wires.
While completing the audio installation, the seats, steering wheel, shift knob and center console were removed from the vehicle so they could be retrimmed.
We decided to use genuine leather in a color similar to the original Lexus material so that it matches the rest of the interior as closely as possible. For a custom touch, a diamond stitch pattern was added to the seat centers.
The car stayed at the Autosound Gezina for a few weeks, so when I finally got a call from Abdul saying it was all over, my excitement levels were at an all-time high.
Upon seeing the installation for the first time, I was completely amazed. I never thought the big boot of this old tank could look so elegant.
The setup features dual 10-inch Rockford Fosgate Punch P2 tweeters displayed on the back, while two woofers that power the entire system are hidden for a clean look. The pneumatic lift performance manifold has become the cornerstone of the entire installation process.
Then there’s also Viair’s dual compressors and a 5-gallon FLO tank with some custom made solid lines. Abdul wanted to keep the design elegant, so he used leather throughout and some silver air vents with black accents.
To finish it off, both side panels feature an infinity mirror with the Autosound Gezina embossing effect, and LED lighting.
The sound system sounds great, and the width of the air suspension is just the cherry on top. I don’t regret for a second that I left the entire design process to Abd, because it came out so much better than I could have imagined.
Sliding inside, the re-trimmed seats are just as I wish they were. The color matches all the untouched interior parts like the dashboard, door panels and headliner perfectly, and with the new fitted padding it’s very comfortable.
Detailed double stitching paired with a diamond pattern give the interior a more modern feel.
I decided to keep the OEM steering wheel, but had it re-trimmed along with the shift knob and center console lid.
Finally, the original head unit has been removed and replaced with a dual DIN Sony unit that has more control along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While all of this was complete, the ascetic at The Wheelshop had the opportunity to complete some work on the two-piece Riverside Trafficstar STR wheels I purchased a while back.
The 9-inch rear was installed at the front of the car, and the previous fronts now benefit from new barrels that have been increased to 10½ inches in width, so they are in the rear. The setup isn’t perfect yet, with the fronts still needing a bit of spacing and the rears could do with more passive camber, but we definitely get there.
I’m not sure if this will be the final color for the wheels either, but I definitely feel a lot more about them now than when I got them. The quality (read: asymmetric) options for new and used wheels are very limited here in South Africa, so it’s definitely the kind of case you can get.
At this point I’ve owned Project LS for a year, and I have to say I’ve enjoyed every part of the build process so far. Lexus has a lot more character now, and even with its rough exterior, it’s my favorite car to drive. I thought I might have re-sprayed it by now, but since the plate beater and I were so busy with work, this just didn’t happen. Every time I mention it to people I meet, almost all of them say keep the paint the same, which I find interesting. I still think a respirator is needed, but I’m eager to hear what you guys think – let me know in the comments.
The one that bothers me the most is that damn penis, though – it’s she has Togo.
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