In my final Mission LS replace, I lined off the customized chrome steel exhaust construct – the automobile’s first modification. Subsequent on the checklist was wheel choices and getting the automobile decrease to the bottom, and that’s the place we’ll choose issues up right now.
After I started LS 400s, I additionally began doing an web deep dive of modified examples. It’s no shock then that my imaginative and prescient for this construct got here from all of the superior VIP-style LS 400s and Celsiors (similar factor actually) rolling round in Japan and the USA.
A part of the enchantment for a lot of guys is the problem required to drive low on a regular basis, ie. with static coilover setups, however given the state of our roads right here in South Africa – riddled with potholes, pace bumps and stupid-angled driveways – I simply wouldn’t have the ability to take care of all that effort or threat damaging the automobile’s undercarriage day after day. I actually respect individuals who run vehicles low on static setups, however this doesn’t look enjoyable to me. And neither does this.
Air trip simply made sense, and fortunately, Speedhunters’ superior companion Air Carry Efficiency bought behind Mission LS and provided me with a full system for the automobile.
What’s nice about Air Carry Efficiency is their massive vary of car-specific kits. With the LS 400 having fairly a giant following – particularly in the US – they’ve an off-the-shelf system that may be fitted with none suspension modifications.
First up are the entrance and rear struts. These function double-bellow luggage, 30 ranges of dampening adjustment and threaded adjustable shock mounts. The fronts let you drop 90mm whereas the rear enable a peak lack of as much as 125mm.
Air Carry Efficiency additionally despatched me a 3P manifold and the whole lot that goes with it, together with the harnesses and digital controller. The 3P system controls and screens the whole lot by stress, which works nice for the LS 400.
Lastly, there’s a light-weight FLO billet air tank, twin Viair 480C compressors for faster inflation, and naturally all of the required air strains.
With the components prepared, it was time for the set up. This was a job I handed over to my associates at The Lowdown Co. to undertake. They do a few of the greatest work in South Africa, and I couldn’t watch for Mission LS to be down on its stomach.
I dropped it off for Stratten to start out working his magic, however as I had fairly a busy week I couldn’t stick round. He promised a number of updates alongside the best way, however basically the subsequent time I noticed the automobile it could be on the day the air trip was operational.
Based on Stratten, this was one of many best vehicles he’s ever put in an air trip package in. The struts themselves required just some bolts to be loosened, after which it was only a case of swapping them for the model spanking new Air Carry Efficiency items.
The adjustable prime mounts let you simply modify the stiffness of the suspension, though to entry the rears you’ll want to take away the again seat. Fortunately, Stratten set them up completely for me, so I’ve felt no have to make any changes so far.
With the Lexus being so in style within the stance and VIP scenes, one of many the primary items of significant info that I discovered on-line is that it is best to tuck the wire harnesses on each side of the automobile when going decrease. Stratten knew about this already after I advised him, so my info was ineffective in the long run. However hey, it’s at all times good to make certain as a sliced harness can be an epic fail.
After a number of days, Stratten gave me the decision I used to be ready for – Mission LS was prepared. I used to be super-excited and fairly beside myself as I’d been ready to see what this factor would seem like slammed ever since I picked it up.
It may need nonetheless been on planks, however after I noticed all of it laid out and tucking the wheels I used to be past happy.
In the meanwhile, the boot set up is momentary. Abdul from Autosound Gezina will quickly be performing some customized work in right here, and a part of that may embrace the ultimate show setup of the air trip elements.
I really like these big-bodied vehicles, however Stratten loves them much more. That is his personal Audi A8 undertaking, which has seen some loopy work performed to it to date. I can’t wait to see it completed, however within the meantime it’s nice that Stratten could make different individuals’s low automobile desires come true.
Again to Mission LS… Whereas I used to be at The Lowdown Co., the wheels have been eliminated a number of instances in order that clearances could possibly be checked because the suspension was aired down and up, as this was nonetheless the testing part.
Sure, I do know the wheels I purchased for the automobile are manner too slim, however after all there’s a plan. High quality, non-rep aftermarket wheels are very laborious to come back by in South Africa, so when I discovered these 19-inch Riverside Site visitors Star STRs for a great value, I knew I may make them work.
Their present – weak – widths are 8-inches up entrance and 9-inches within the rear, however after some measuring we settled on what they’d must be widened to. For the fronts, I’ll truly be utilizing the 19×9-inch rears as they’re. That simply leaves the 19×8-inch fronts to be widened out to 19×11-inch and used on the rear. Zahid from The Wheel Store Repairs & Customizing in Johannesburg – the particular person I purchased the Riversides off within the first place – will perform the rebuild and do a full refurbishment of all 4 wheels on the similar time.
I left the automobile with The Lowdown Co for a number of extra days in order that Stratten may end up all of the small issues, calibrate the system and set heights for me.
I picked the outdated lady up a number of days later, and seeing it slammed and out within the wild for the primary time was elegant. With each step of the construct, I simply fall an increasing number of in love with the automobile.
I’m a agency believer in driving as little as potential when you’ve got a slammed automobile, and because of this I knew air can be the easiest way for me to take pleasure in Mission LS to its fullest. That is my second automobile on air, and for me, the look you get with it and the performance of having the ability to drive over pace bumps with out leaving half your automobile behind is unbeatable.
One other factor I can’t imagine is how clean the trip is. The LS 400’s inventory suspension is akin to driving a comfortable sofa, however the Air Carry Efficiency system rides even higher.
What I’d actually love although is a woodgrain-finished controller to match my inside. I do know they don’t exist, however I can dream, proper?
Now that the Air Carry Efficiency system is in and dealing completely, Mission LS will lastly be going for paint. Trying beneath the automobile although, I believe we’ll have to alter the design of the exhaust to elevate it up greater into the tunnel.
The automobile can also be with out most of its inside proper now, as Autosound Gezina has began on a full retrim. As you’d anticipate, the seats have been fairly worn from greater than 20 years of use and virtually 300,000km.
Within the subsequent replace I’ll hopefully be paint choices and have the ability to share progress of the wheel widening.
For now, it’s again to the inventory wheels, which have been additionally not too long ago refurbished. I’m nonetheless in two minds about whether or not I ought to have hub-centric spacers made up for them, or go all-out and step them as much as 18-inch. Both manner, it’s loopy how totally different even a inventory automobile can look when you decrease it to this extent.
So to conclude this chapter, when it got here to the primary cause I selected air over coilovers for this construct, I dig the static look when a automobile is belly-scraping, however I’m simply not fairly up for that stage of ache. Air was positively the fitting path to comply with.