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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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473 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my build thread! This thread documents the build process of my 2007 Toyota Camry LE. This car was the first car I owned and was given to me by my father in 2011. The car holds a lot of sentimental value to me and represents my growth as a car enthusiast. Many lessons were learned using this car, and I do not intend to ever sell the car. I've divided this thread into sections so you can read about major parts of the build process.

If you would like to follow my build on Instagram, you can follow me @kanmuridavid.
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Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tail & brake light Car


EXTERIOR
  • Custom 1.5" metal wide body, including widened rear doors and rear quarter panel radius
  • Custom 2011-2015 Lexus GS F Sport front bumper graft
  • JDM 2011-2015 Lexus GS F Sport fog light garnishes
  • Skipper Japan 2011-2015 Lexus GS F Sport front lip
  • Sarona Design eyelids
  • Custom rear bumper graft with molded OEM Camry SE rear lip
  • Aimgain International 2015-present Lexus RC200T/350 Type II rear diffuser
  • OEM 2007-2011 Toyota Camry trunk spoiler
  • ABS plastic roof spoiler
  • WeatherTech window deflectors
  • Piano black door pillars
  • OEM 2007-2011 Toyota Camry SE side skirts
  • OEM 2007-2009 Toyota Camry SE upper grille
  • 2011-2015 Lexus GS F Sport lower grille
  • Authentic metal TRD Japan badge
ENGINE PERFORMANCE
  • 2GR-FZE engine from TRD Aurion (1 of 537)
  • TRD Aurion ECU
  • Frankenstein Motorworks headers with PTP Turbo Blankets Lava exhaust wrap
  • Custom 3" TIG-welded stainless steel exhaust
  • Vibrant Performance Ultra Quiet resonator
  • Dual Vibrant Performance STREETPOWER mufflers
  • K&N Typhoon short ram intake system
WHEELS AND SUSPENSION
  • 19x10 +4, 5x114.3 bolt pattern, 60.1mm center bore, R disk Work VSXX step lip with polished hardware
  • 245/35/19 Toyo Proxes Sport tires
  • Airforce Suspension fully adjustable, 36-way dampening air struts with pillow ball mounts
  • AccuAir E Level management
  • AccuAir VU4 valves
  • Dual 3-gallon aluminum air tanks
  • Dual 444C VAIR air compressors
  • Dual water traps
  • 3/8" air lines
  • H&R camber bolts
  • OEM Camry SE rear seat brace
  • Ultra Racing trunk brace
BRAKING SYSTEM
  • Lucky Brakes 8-piston front calipers
  • Lucky Brakes 6-piston rear calipers
  • Lucky Brakes 380mm two-piece front rotors
  • Lucky Brakes 356mm two-piece rear rotors
  • StopTech braided stainless steel brake lines
INTERIOR
  • OEM 2007-2011 Toyota Camry SE black interior swap
  • TRD Aurion cluster
  • JDM Auto Club carbon fiber steering wheel
  • Toyota Aqua GR Sport shifter
  • Pioneer AVIC W8500NEX head unit
  • JL Audio HD900/5 amplifier
  • JL Audio 12W6V3 subwoofer
  • Morel Hybrid 602 component speakers
  • BlackVue DR900S-2CH dash camera
  • Uniden R3 radar detector
  • Sprint Booster throttle controller
  • Backstopper rear parking sensors
LIGHTING AND ELECTRICAL
  • Morimoto XB LED fog lights
  • Bi-Xenon Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 HID projectors
  • Morimoto XB35 HID bulbs
  • VLED V3 Triton LED turn signal bulbs
  • Diode Dynamics SmartTap CF18 flasher relay
  • CG Distribution LED rear tail lights
  • iJDMTOY 2015-present Lexus RC200T/350 LED reflector light
  • Full exterior LED conversion
  • Odyssey Extreme Battery
  • Stinger Electronics digital battery terminals
SPONSORS
  • Toyo Tires
  • Odyssey Battery
  • Lucky Brakes
  • BlackVue Dash Cameras
VIP STYLE MAGAZINE FEATURE

In 2021, the car was featured in VIP Style Magazine. VIP Style Magazine is the leading magazine for VIP-style cars in Japan. My car was featured in the VIP in the US section, which showcases VIP-style builds in the United States.
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ORIGINS

This car has been in my family since day one. My father picked up the car from a dealership in Maryland in 2008 before driving it back to Connecticut, where I lived at the time. I learned to drive and received my driver's license using this car. When I graduated high school in 2011, my dad gifted me the car as a present, becoming my first car.



In the summer of 2013, I became very interested in car modification after watching some Mighty Car Mod videos on YouTube; however, I knew nothing about cars at the time. Therefore, the majority of modifications I did had questionable taste and functionality. In my sophomore year of college, I brought the car to Texas, where I began to meet fellow car enthusiasts who mentored me through my car journey. In 2014, I decided to remove the modifications I had done and start from scratch.


THE CONCEPT

The idea for the Camry as it is seen today started with a photoshop that my friend Sonny created. We had jokingly edited together pictures of Lexus front bumpers over the Camry's front bumper. One of these photoshops really stood out. It was a picture of the Skipper Japan GS350 F Sport photoshopped over a Camry. We played around with a concept for the rear bumper using an Aimgain International rear diffuser for an RC350 F Sport.
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Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle registration plate


I was sold on the concept; however, the trouble was finding a shop that could create this idea. I was able to find a shop in McKinney, Texas called Jose's Auto Body that has done many similar projects in the past. The first step before we could begin was parts collection. I used exclusively authentic parts. The bumpers were OEM parts from Toyota. I also purchased authentic Skipper Japan and Aimgain International aero pieces from Japan.


THE BODYWORK

Both the GS350 F Sport and Camry bumpers were cut in half and riveted together so they could be molded together. Although these bumpers are made of polyurethane, we reinforced the back of the bumpers with fiberglass. The bumpers are still able to flex like stock bumpers. The width of the bumpers were perfect. The bumpers did not have to be extended or shrunk to match. This meant the GS F Sport lower grille fit perfectly with no modification. To match the bumper to the wide body, a new fiberglass tab had to be created.



The rear bumper was much easier. The OEM SE rear lip, which did not originally come on the car, was molded to the bumper. The bumper was then cut to fit the fiberglass diffuser. An opening was created to allow for a quad-tip exhaust. Similar to the front bumper, the back of the bumper was reinforced with fiberglass. The bumper light openings were custom made with fiberglass.



The hardest part of the project was the widebody. All panels were widened using metal. The entire car was widened by approximately 1.5 inches. To provide sufficient clearance for the tires, the fenders were cut a few inches up from the current fender line. The trimmed sheet metal was then used to create the basis for the new fender line. Sheet metal was then welded by hand to create the widened flare.
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Tire Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Tread


The rear quarter panel required much more work because it required modification to the door. To allow the car to have as neutral of a rake angle as possible, the rear quarter panel was radiused to allow the rear ride height to sit lower. Sheet metal was then handcrafted to create the shape of the door and flare.
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THE ENGINE SWAP

In 2018, I was able to obtain the rare 2GR-FZE engine. This engine is a supercharged 3.5L V6 rated for 323 BHP. This engine was originally only available in the TRD Aurion, a TRD factory vehicle sold only in Australia. A total of 537 TRD Aurions were made. The 2GR-FZE engine was later available in the Lotus Evora S. The engine features an Eaton TVS supercharger developed by Harrop Performance.



The TRD Aurion and the XV40 Camry share the same chassis. Despite this, no one had ever done the swap on a Camry. I came upon this engine when browsing Australian eBay. The car was listed for sale by a wrecker who had pulled it from a rear-ended TRD Aurion. Luckily, I was able to arrange freight shipping from Australia to Houston, Texas. However, it was not without headache, but that's a story for another time.



While the engine was out of the car, we did a complete service of the engine. In addition, we reconditioned parts of the engine. The engine had done approximately 90,000 miles. The following was completed prior to the swap:
  • AC Delco Supercharger Oil
  • Gates Micro V Drive Belt
  • NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs
  • OEM Engine Mounts
  • OEM Power Steering Pump
  • OEM TRD Aurion Bypass Valve Hose Fix
  • OEM TRD Aurion Engine Cover
  • OEM TRD Aurion Supercharger Badge
  • OEM Water Pump
  • OEM Lotus Evora S Metal VVTI Oil Line
  • OEM Lexus Metal Oil Cooler Lines
  • Mobil One 5W-30 Oil
  • Toyota WS Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush


Because no one had done this swap before in a Camry, it was unknown if the engine would bolt into the car without modification. Furthermore, we were not sure if the ECU from the TRD Aurion would plug into the body side of the Camry's harness. Luckily for us, the swap was extremely straight forward. It was basically plug and play. The only other thing we had to do was reset the immobilizer.



To reset the immobilizer, we put the key in the car with the ignition on. On the OBDII port, we bridged pin number 13 to pin number 4 (ground) using a paperclip. This initialized the reset. Then we waited 30 minutes, and after those 30 minutes, the immobilizer was paired to the immobilizer chip in the key placed in the ignition. The car started after doing this.

 

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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I may have seen your car in a few shows around the Austin area. Very clean and unique build!
The car definitely has been around a while! I think the last time I was in Austin was for Wekfest in 2020. I do want to go back though. I have a lot of friends in Austin!
 

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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I remember seeing this on toyotanation years ago when you were working on the swap. Probably the only nice camry of this Gen that I have seen. I have a 2007 LE v6 and can't wait to get rid of it when I get the GRC or other car in the next year or so lol.
Haha the V6 is an absolute tank! The sixth generation is in my opinion the best.
 

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Haha the V6 is an absolute tank! The sixth generation is in my opinion the best.
Oh it's pretty powerful and very reliable for sure. I'm also averaging 29mpg lol. I think I went 480 miles on the last tank. It drives like a boat though and is just missing a lot of premium features that were actually present in other cars at the time. I feel that toyota is finally slowly catching up in tech and luxuries to other manufacturers. I only drive it in the warm months so it only has 65k miles and is pretty much immaculate except like 2 door dings. It did ok in the snow with snow tires but with regular all seasons I couldn't safely get it to the end of the street which is why I am pursuing something AWD for my next car. The 4runner is great but im tired of 13-16mpg and having to find large parking spaces lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh it's pretty powerful and very reliable for sure. I'm also averaging 29mpg lol. I think I went 480 miles on the last tank. It drives like a boat though and is just missing a lot of premium features that were actually present in other cars at the time. I feel that toyota is finally slowly catching up in tech and luxuries to other manufacturers. I only drive it in the warm months so it only has 65k miles and is pretty much immaculate except like 2 door dings. It did ok in the snow with snow tires but with regular all seasons I couldn't safely get it to the end of the street which is why I am pursuing something AWD for my next car. The 4runner is great but im tired of 13-16mpg and having to find large parking spaces lol.
Yeah the car has an insane stock ride height and is very softly sprung. I think I dropped the car by 2 to 3 inches. Also had to stiffen the car by quite a bit.

The car handles decently, especially with the added grip and width. Of course, the chassis was never designed for that much work, so when you really push it, you can feel the flex. I plan to add some bracing to help with it. I already added the SE rear seat brace and a Ultra Racing trunk brace.

You're dead on with the tech. The LE was super minimalist. But I think that was the Camry's secret to reliability.

I would definitely say what I've done to the car hasn't made it a track monster or anything. Although it is much faster. I like it as a late night highway runner. It still loses traction with 245s in first gear and sometimes second. My plan is to eventually put an LSD in the transmission. That should greatly improve some of these complaints.
 

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I've loved your build since the first time I saw it at a meet in Houston, then at shows and I've definitely seen you driving it. Amazing build and quality. You almost had me buy a Camry years ago when I saw yours. Lol.
 

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You're dead on with the tech. The LE was super minimalist. But I think that was the Camry's secret to reliability.
That's the secret with a lot of Toyotas. I always saw a lot of journalists harping on the 5th gen 4Runners about lack of modern tech and the same with the Tacos and Tundras but that's what people love about it. It's simple and reliable
 

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That's the secret with a lot of Toyotas. I always saw a lot of journalists harping on the 5th gen 4Runners about lack of modern tech and the same with the Tacos and Tundras but that's what people love about it. It's simple and reliable
This is the part people forget or those that are new to the Toyota lineup. The longevity is in part to them keeping things simple.
 

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That's the secret with a lot of Toyotas. I always saw a lot of journalists harping on the 5th gen 4Runners about lack of modern tech and the same with the Tacos and Tundras but that's what people love about it. It's simple and reliable
I sort of agree with this to some extent as I drive a 2018 4runner that is decently modded for offroad. I would say 100% i like it because of its reliable simplicity, but I think its at a point where the gap is not quite as large. I feel that in the 4runner, at the time i bought it maybe the tech was 5 years behind its time but I am willing to make that tradeoff for reliability when I am 100 miles away from civilization. in the camry I feel it was >10 years behind its time in tech and comforts which is way too large a gap. It is reliable, but at a large cost imo.
 

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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I sort of agree with this to some extent as I drive a 2018 4runner that is decently modded for offroad. I would say 100% i like it because of its reliable simplicity, but I think its at a point where the gap is not quite as large. I feel that in the 4runner, at the time i bought it maybe the tech was 5 years behind its time but I am willing to make that tradeoff for reliability when I am 100 miles away from civilization. in the camry I feel it was >10 years behind its time in tech and comforts which is way too large a gap. It is reliable, but at a large cost imo.
You're most certainly right. There's a reason I have a new head unit and a bunch of electronics in the car for various things haha. Recent Toyotas have made a huge step forward though.
 

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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Man. What an amazing build. Bravo. I'm blown away by the supercharged v6 swap.

So the big question is, what does dad think about the car now?
Haha. He is the type to like LS400 grandpa spec comfort, so his comment was "too many Gs".
 
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