JZX110 Mark II Build – Part 1 – Welding and Bashment

My old JZX100 Chaser was one of my favourite Japanese road cars I’ve owned, and I’ve always had a bit of an itch to scratch since getting rid of it some years ago. JZX110’s were always a little out of my league pricewise as they look shit as standard in my opinion, and modified ones were fetching around £12k. But three years on I decided to revisit the idea, and ended up buying what is possibly the only JZX110 Mark 2 IR-V Manual in the country.

It was a bit of a turd to be honest, and has blatantly been ripped around Japan, crashed a bit, then extremely badly bodged back together and sold on to the UK. However it is a genuine manual IRV model, and although still a hell of a lot of money for a crappy crashed japanese taxi, it wasn’t £12k, so it’s project time.

The first couple of weeks were spent correcting these terrible repairs. It looks like the front passenger wheel had hit a curb and pushed the wheel through the passenger footwell. All the parts had been replaced, but the repair to the passenger footwell was done with filler… Not impressed! All of it was pulled out, the metal straightened and welded up properly.

So then on to the fun stuff. I bought a set of wheels from the Driftworks Wheels For Sale Section of our forum, that had absolutely no chance in hell of fitting under typically Toyota weak arches. They are 18×11 ET -15 Weds Kranze ERM. I fitted a set of 255/35/18 tyres, and started cutting out the inner arches and beating the crap out of the outers. This picture was taken before the arches were finished. The car will sit lower than this, and the goal is total clearance under compression – no rubbing.

Running a car as low as I intend always messes up geometry, and as there’s not a lot of call for JZX110 alignment arms, we don’t have any on the shelf at Driftworks. So it was time to get creative.

At the ride height I want, we measured nearly 5 degree’s negative camber, so some quick measurements and calculations were made using a basic camber gauge and a tape measure, and I came up with the recipe to get my desired 2 degrees camber. 22mm removed from the lower arm in a section that retains coilover/ARB mounts, as well as the standard eccentric camber adjustment mechanism on the outboard end for fine adjustment.

I’m competent enough at welding this type of part, but when Craig from Dynotorque next door tells you to “get out of the way, I’ll do it” you say “crack on” and let him work his magic.

In this picture you can see the shortened lower arms, and I had a mega smug grin on my face when the camber measured exactly 2 degree’s both sides.

You can also see the posh new HSD Coilovers; these are the same fitment as JZS161 Aristo / GS300. The kits normal spring rates are 12kg front and 10kg rear. After some careful calculations (getting Dan to stand in the boot and bounce up and down, then seeing what springs we had in our spares box 😉 ). I’ve decided to start with 18kg front and 22kg rear. I’m sure there will be some fine adjustment here, but we’ll have to wait and see how it drives first.

So then we’re onto the front. Again I bought some wheels that I knew wouldn’t fit from the Driftworks Wheels For Sale Section. They are Volk GTN 2 piece wheels in 18×10 ET13. This picture is taken part way through bashing the arches to get more clearance, and is after the front suspension modifications I’ll go on to mention next.

So a classic problem on the front of this double wishbone set up is the upper wishbone slamming into the top of the inner arch/strut mount. This car has some rubber lockwired onto the top to act as a bumpstop, another sign of quality workmanship eh! The Japanese sometimes cut the top of the arch out to allow the arm to move higher, but I wanted to correct the problem properly. The car came with some Nightpager 30mm roll centre correction blocks fitted. These correct the lower arm angle, but introduce a change in dynamic camber change as they can’t change the upper arm angle. I decided to chop the upright reducing the length by 30mm, and also weld it offset to increase camber. My goal was circa 4 degree’s camber.

Here you can see it mounted up again.

While I was there I decided to get a bit more steering angle as they are crap as standard. I chopped the steering arms removing 12mm and changing the angle to reduce ackerman. Here’s a picture of the way we ensured we got the same angles left to right – In this picture it’s only TIG tacked.

And mounted up after being super MIG’d – You can see we were very careful to retain the correct tie rod end mount height so as to not introduce bump steer.

I couldn’t quite get the wheels to lock over enough to hit the kinked tension rods, so some lock spacers were in order. Unfortunately Nissan spacers aren’t the same, so we had to turn some up out of the centre metal insert of a Driftworks polybush.

This was all done after some careful measuring as I have previously broken the rack seals on my JZX100 by using too big a spacer, and I didn’t want to play that game again.

I’ve done the rear arches to look very similar to my V10 M3 arches. I love the step to the back bumper. Again the arches are no where near finished, but it’s a cool pic.

How feckin low would a car have to be for the standard front bumper to look low enough? Thank god there’s a Vertex kit on the way!

So here’s where we’re at now, we’ve literally just landed it on it’s own feet and driven it outside to stand back and review the retardedness. The car needs loads more work to finish the arches after testing properly for tyre clearance, then the rear inner arches welding up. It also needs that super embarresing exhaust chopping off, and the bit I’m most excited about to get the finished look is that I’m currently having a Vertex kit made in Japan that should be air freighted over in the next few weeks.

I’m really feeling painting the car metallic grey, but I also like the white. What do we reckon?

More soon hopefully. Thanks to Craig for the welding, and Dan for the bashment help!

– Phil Morrison

25 thoughts on “JZX110 Mark II Build – Part 1 – Welding and Bashment

    1. Hi, good read, your pretty hands on, hey I would like to turn my 2003 irv into a manual, where do I start, what gearbox will fit etc. Cheers Mark.

  1. i passed up buying a jzx100 mark2 here in canada a few months ago really regret it now. can’t wait to see the finished product

  2. how thick are the rack spacers that broke the seals in your steering rack in your 100 ? and think are the rack spacers you are currently running

  3. I’m pretty sure that it was 10mm on one side that broke the seal in my JZX100. The ones I’ve made for the 110 are 6mm, and I’ve measured the inside of the rack to make sure it’s okay.

  4. Those wheels are immense. Any step by step guides to the arch work? I got my arches flared and the 18×10 et -9 with a 225/40 still catch the arch. Any other spare 22kg springs in that box for sale? 🙂 I have HSD’s with the standard springs.

  5. cool car, will ye start producing some adjustable arms for the jzx series after this???????? could do with some that are a little more affordable than just all the jap stuff.

  6. I am SO getting that upper wishbone mod fabbed on my JZX90. I was considering having my strut towers boxed, but this seems like a more beneficial mod. I have seen 326power sell modified items like that, but I don’t think they move the mounting point out like you did.

    Silly question. why are you going 18k front and 22k rear? Last I saw, the Team Magician JZX110 runs 24k/22k, and it seems to work pretty well.

  7. Chubby: The springs were just what we had lying around. It will almost certainly be changed once I’ve tested the car, and it’s likely that I will choose rates a bit softer than the Team Magician car as it’s not a competition car.

  8. What an excellent write up. I love your zero compromise commitment to getting it to the height you want… So many of these are white from the factory and they come standard in metallic grey too so I’m gonna take a brave pill and say I think it would look great in Audi Sprint Blue (or something very similar.)

  9. you should Deffo paint it in a pearl red color similar to the Spirant JZX100 chaser… Color is magnificent and would look ace on a huge car like this!

  10. Just gave me ideas i have never even thought of regarding the suspension work! Will give them a go on the Altezza. Brilliant write up!!

  11. Nice, Phil! After shortening the lower arms, did the normal toe links adjust in spec or were aftermarket ones needed?

  12. Pingback: IS300 front camber - my.IS - Lexus IS Forum
  13. Pingback: Front Suspension turret mods - my.IS - Lexus IS Forum
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