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My '06 Toyota Aurion SX6 Sportivo


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Welcome, and cheers for viewing my build thread! I bought this car in May '15 and didn't really plan on doing any mods to it, but as we all know, things often don't stay standard for very long. I've always liked these cars, so when I finally had the chance to buy one I opted for this '06 SX6 Sportivo model.

It came with 18" TRD wheels, but apart from that it was all stock. It's not very often you see modified Aurions here in New Zealand so it leaves people wondering what the hell it is, while still blending in as a family sedan at the same time. The car now wears 19x9.5" Vertini Magic concave wheels, along with an array of other mods that contribute to the overall look of the build.

This post will stay updated with the most recent mods & photos, but the rest from post #2 onward are in chronological order.

So far the spec list is as follows:

* Stock 2GR-FE V6 3500cc 24v Dual VVT-i engine.
* Custom made 3" cold air intake setup.
* Simota extra long pod filter behind LH fog light.
* Potent Booster throttle controller.
* Aurion 2012+ GSV50 full metal VVT-i oil line.
* Aurion 2012+ GSV50 full metal oil cooler line.
* TRD style billet aluminium oil cap.
* Custom bronze carbon fiber wrapped engine cover.
* Large 2L polished aluminium oil catch tank.
* Aftermarket ducktail roof spoiler.
* Carbon fiber bumper lip extension.
* Aftermarket colour coded reversing camera.
* Aftermarket concealed front bumper camera.
* Genuine Toyota optional towbar & wiring.
* Genuine Toyota optional weathershields/monsoons.
* 35% opacity window tint.
* Bodykit Kingdom headlight eyelids.
* CREE LED headlight, park light and fog light bulbs.
* Chrome trim around fog light surrounds.
* Aftermarket red 'Heat Emblem' in Toyota boot badge.
* Aurion 2012+ GSV50 'AURION' 1-piece rear boot badge.
* 2009+ Toyota Landcruiser Prado 'V6 Dual VVT-i' sticker.
* 'V6 24 VALVE' stickers on rear doors.
* Aftermarket Japanese Mitsuba Alpha dual front horns.
* Lexus GS450h engine bay horn for factory alarm system.
* Personalized license plates - 00 01 00.
* Facelift Aurion extra-long license plate bracket.
* Carbon wrapped Euro style license plate frames.
* Smoked vinyl wrapped lower tail light sections.
* LED rear bumper reflectors.
* Eonon GA5164F Android GPS/USB/Bluetooth headunit.
* Aftermarket Bluetooth mic mounted in roof console.
* Genuine Toyota optional LED blue footwell lights.
* Toyota Blade Master G leather steering wheel.
* Lexus IS-F genuine Magnesium working paddle shifters.
* Genuine Toyota optional carbon fibre steering wheel logo insert.
* Custom bronze carbon fibre wrapped centre console.
* Custom bronze carbon fibre wrapped A/C controls.
* Aurion ZR6 silver door trim and chrome handles.
* Chrome trim around silver dashboard inserts.
* Aurion Grande carpeted centre boot trim.
* Genuine Toyota optional rubber moulded boot tray.
* Aftermarket 6x9 to 6.5" front speaker adapter pods.
* Lexus GS450h Mark Levinson 6.5" front speakers.
* Aftermarket white LED door courtesy light units.
* Aurion Grande auto dimming rear-view mirror.
* Valentine One radar mirror mount & hardwire kit.
* Novatek A118 HD dashcam concealed behind mirror.
* UltraGauge OBDII display unit (speed, RPM, temps etc).
* Altezza aluminium footrest pedal (to match OEM pedals).
* Carbon fiber dash vent surrounds.
* 19"x9.5" (32p) Vertini Magic Concave alloy wheels.
* 225/40/19 tyres (front) & 235/35/19 tyres (rear).
* Rolled rear fenders.
* Rays chrome wheel nuts and lock nuts.
* SPC 17mm front camber bolts.
* SPC 15mm rear camber bolts.
* Znoelli dimple drilled/slotted rotors front & rear.
* Bendix GCT stealth brake pads.
* PBR brake calipers painted red.
* Dobi Sport SL springs (front), King Spring SL springs (rear).
* Aftermarket shocks & swaybar links.
* Alutec aluminium front strut brace.



































Edited by Full-Throttle
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I've managed to get a number of things achieved this weekend on the Aurion.

The first thing I did was remove the rear spoiler to redo the original double-sided tape between the spoiler and bootlid, as the original tape had become dry and unstuck which was letting water into the boot and causing the spoiler to shake. I was going to just use normal double-sided tape and cut it to the right size, but rather than risk it leaking again I decided to buy the genuine Toyota replacement tape which is already cut to size. The two bits of tape cost me $97 though :o, but saved me a lot of stuffing around.

The next thing crossed off the list was the installation of a top roof spoiler. I had it painted locally and installed it using double-sided tape and a strip of urethane in the middle to be on the safe side. It's a difficult thing to take a photo of, so the pics below don't really do it justice, but it seems to give the rear end a more 'complete' look. I had the same sort of roof spoiler on my '93 Corolla, so decided I'd put one on the Aurion too. It doesn't really do anything aside from being more aesthetically pleasing, but helps to separate it from other Aurions on the road :)

This one was my favourite upgrade from the weekend - The installation of a 2006-2012 Toyota Blade Master G steering wheel. I managed to pick this up for an incredibly low $50 NZD, complete with the airbag, and it's in as-new condition. The biggest feature of this steering wheel is it's paddle shifters on the back. Made of brushed aluminium, they have a very solid feel, and with blue colouring inside the - and + buttons it matches my SX6 badge nicely. It was fairly easy to install, but I had to add two extra wires to the factory Aurion clockspring and run them to the gear shifter in the centre console. While I was there I decided to do the reverse + & - mod, so that I can pull down to upshift and push up to downshift, as I've never liked the way Toyota have configured it from factory. I did have to swap over the airbag igniter on the back of the horn pad as the Blade only uses a single stage charge compared to a dual stage charge like the Aurion. The only issue I need to solve with the Blade steering wheel is that there's no DISP button to cycle through the display on the cluster, so I'm going to have to try and turn the radar cruise control button to function as the 'DISP' button. One bonus of this wheel is that it has the optional carbon fiber look Toyota symbol badge in the middle of the airbag B)

Next on the cards was the addition of an aftermarket reversing camera. I got this cheap on AliExpress and the silver colour is pretty much identical to my Aurion's factory Silver Ash Metallic. It was a bit tricky to install as it gets held in by a threaded stud and a nut, which meant I had to drill a hole and remove the plastic garnish. I got it as flush as possible against the garnish, but due to the shape of the garnish there's still a small gap at the top, so I'll have to fill that in with grey silicone. I also have another camera which looks the same (except black in colour) which I plan to install on my front bumper, which should make parking the garage much easier (as the car only JUST fits), and will stop me damaging the lip/bumper on high car park curbs etc.

After that job it was time to remove my factory 6x9 front speakers and replace them with aftermarket 6x9 to 6.5" speaker brackets, paired with Lexus optional Mark Levinson speakers. The size of the magnet on the back is huge in comparison, and they sound much more defined than the factory 6x9's. I must admit, considering how light and cheaply made the factory Aurion 6x9's are they did sound surprisingly good, but the new ones are definitely more my cup of tea.

While I had the door panels off to install the speakers I swapped over the inner door handles to the ZR6/Presara chrome type handles, and changed from the boring black SX6 vertical hand grip surrounds to the silver ones to match the rest of the interior. Two very small changes that made such a difference :)

Last but not least, I swapped the intake hose with a GSV50 Aurion (latest shape) hose as it looks much tidier and doesn't have the ridiculously large non-removable intake resonator like the factory one has. The GSV50 resonator is simply clamped on and can be removed if desired, and by being a lot smaller it made a noticeable difference to the intake noise under full throttle. When I had the hose off I decided to also remove (break off) the factory carbon filter on the underside of the intake box cover, allowing the engine to breathe much easier instead of having to go through the carbon filter first. This likely would have contributed to the additional intake noise too.

Anyway, enough talking from me, here's some pics ^_^























Edited by Full-Throttle
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Small update: I just managed to get the radar cruise control button on the steering wheel working as the DISP button, so am now able to cycle through the various displays on the cluster again (cruising range, fuel consumption, outside temp, average speed etc). It was one of those jobs that I knew I needed to done but was scared of blowing anything up (mainly the cluster). I ended up adding an extra wire to the one terminal on my clockspring that didn't have a wire in it and splicing it into the purple wire from the same plug which goes to the cluster. It was a bit of a gamble, but to my delight when I turned the key and pushed the radar cruise button the display cycled through :D. Very pleased to have it fully functional now, as watching the 'outside temp' all day had gotten pretty boring :lol:

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Since installing the steering wheel I've been wondering what the paddle shifters were off as they're metal with blue + & - symbols embossed into them, compared to the plastic paddles with black + & - symbols printed on them like every other Blade Master G steering wheel I've seen so far, but after some research last night I finally discovered that the paddles are from a Lexus IS-F and are made of magnesium! :o. It appears to be a popular, albeit expensive, modification in Japan for cars that have factory paddle shifters as the metal IS-F paddles can be bought brand new from Toyota. It's purely for aesthetics only as it doesn't make shifting any faster, but a small detail that I'm grateful to have B)

Speaking of aesthetics, I installed some headlight eyelids this weekend. I was on the fence about putting them on, but now that they're fitted I must say that I quite like them :)




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I managed to squeeze in one more upgrade before the day is over by installing these optional LED footwell lights. These were a genuine Toyota factory option in Japan for the 2006-2011 Camry, but since the Aurion uses the exact same interior they fit perfectly :)

The lights turn on when any of the doors are opened and go off/fade out after 24-seconds when the doors are shut, or 8-seconds after the car is locked. I had to cut the holes in the plastics for the lights and run the wiring, which ended up taking a lot longer than expected, but the end result is a much brighter interior and another thing to cross off the list ^_^






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A couple of very very minor upgrade this weekend. I decided to add a footrest pedal to match the original Sportivo brake and accelerator pedals. It was removed from a 98-05 Toyota Altezza (same as the Lexus IS200/300). I also swapped the original single factory metal horn in the engine bay for the alarm to a plastic snail type horn from a Lexus GS450H. Not something I hope to ever have to hear go off, but the sound now matches my 2x aftermarket Mitsuba Alpha horns behind the radiator grille, so if that doesn't alert me to someone trying to break in then nothing will :lol:



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I managed to get around to installing my front camera today. This is the same unit as my reversing camera except in matte black, and will help to get into my garage without hitting the wall with the front bumper (since the Aurion only JUST fits in today's modern garages). It gets activated by pressing the AV1 button on my aftermarket headunit. The hardest part of the install was getting the wiring through the factory rubber bung in the firewall, mainly because the RCA plug is much larger than an ordinary wire. So what I ended up doing was poking a straightened out coat hanger through on it's own first, and attached the opposite side of the cable to that and then pulled it back through into the engine bay. Should make life a little bit easier getting into the garage, when parking in front of high concrete car-park curbs/bollards and when going down steep driveways B)

I also decided to see what a facelift instrument cluster would look like, but I wasn't a fan so quickly swapped back to my original pre-facelift cluster:






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I think the facelift cluster is much nicer - certainly makes it easier to read your speedo and revs.

I certainly agree that the speedo and revs are much easier to read on the facelift cluster (I guess a lot of people must have complained about it on the pre-facelift moddel, and something that took a little getting used to when I first got my Aurion) but it just looks so 'bland' in my opinion. Very generic and like every other late model car out there. The bright blue bands and floating numbers give the earlier cluster a certain 'wow-factor' that I just didn't get with the revised version.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got my TRD center caps in the mail today. It's funny how the smallest things can sometimes make the biggest difference. Now, usually people would cringe at someone doing this, but in my defense the wheels actually are genuine TRD 18" Kappa's, and only some of them came with TRD center caps (which were rather bland looking), so these aftermarket caps definitely make it that little bit better :). The first photo shows the original center caps as a comparison:





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I got the VVTi oil line replaced today (the one on the back LH side of the engine) as over the last few days I've noticed a few drops of oil on the garage floor, despite cleaning it up every day, so after reading how common the problem is with that poorly designed hose/line I decided to get it checked out by a mechanic to diagnose it properly on a hoist - Sure enough, it was that infamous line causing trouble, so I ended up replacing it with the full metal line that Toyota brought out for the last of the facelift models and latest GSV50 shape, so it will never leak again. It cost me a couple of hundred bucks in labour, but it's a fair trade off compared to thousands of dollars for a new engine, so all-in-all I'm happy :)

These photos are courtesy of Google Images as a reference to the line I'm talking about:



One more very minor addition that arrived a couple of days ago - OEM style shank-type lock nuts. Finding lock nuts to suit factory alloy wheels was harder than I expected as most of the lock nuts on the market are made to suit aftermarket wheels, so lack the built-in washer and shank style flute that recesses into the wheel. After shopping around on a few international sites I finally managed to find a set on AliExpress, so these should help keep the wheels safer from any would-be thieves :ph34r:





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  • 2 weeks later...

Usually I'm not a big fan of stickers but when I saw these 'V6 DUAL VVT-i' stickers I just had to have some. They were originally for the 2009+ Toyota Landcruiser Prado with the 1GR-FE engine, but can be bought from an Australian seller on eBay very cheaply and in 10-different colours. I opted for the metallic silver (hard to tell in the photos below as they make it look white) and they go with the rest of the car nicely. I've only put the one sticker on the rear windscreen for now, but if I can find a suitable spot for the other one I'll use that too :)




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I got these aftermarket LED door lights in the mail today. They're designed to be a direct plug-and-play replacement for the original door lights and are a lot brighter and, of course, whiter B). Installation only took about 10-seconds per light. They fit a number of different Toyota/Lexus models, so if anybody is interested in getting a set for themselves here's a link to where I bought them: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2pcs-Super-Bright-6000K-White-Car-LED-Door-Courtesy-Light-for-Camry-Tundra-Land-Cruiser-for/32238275181.html





And a random shot at the gas station :lol:


Edited by Full-Throttle
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I decided to install some King Springs 'super lows' today. Handling around corners is now so much better, with no real effect on ride quality. The rears came down 45mm from the factory height and the fronts came down 25mm (hoping that they'll settle to a slightly lower height after a few weeks). All in all I'm very happy with the outcome :)







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I wired up my Aurion Grande (Presara) auto dimming rear-view mirror today and installed a Novatek A118 HD dashcam. The rear-view mirror is the same type as in most late model Lexus models and the display dims to various different levels of brightness depending on the ambient light outside and if somebody has their headlights on behind you. Pretty cool thing to watch changing as it goes from crystal clear to a light blue colour depending on the light.

The dashcam I bought from AliExpress and opted for one that not only had a good resolution but was also compact enough to stick to the front windscreen without the use of a suction cup mount. The unit is tucked away behind the rear-view mirror and can be hooked up to the 'AV IN' port of my aftermarket headunit (sadly my RCA cables were a little bit too short after going down the pillar and under the dash, but I plan on getting a joiner to make it reach). It comes with a little plastic piece which hides the wiring, similar to the one for the rear-view mirror and when mounted the lens just pokes past the dotted section in the middle of the windscreen, so it gives a very OEM-like appearance. Due to the reflection off the glass you can't even see it from the outside of the car unless you go right up to it, so I took these photos using a polarizing filter in order to actually see it, lol:







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Damn those Recaro baby seats cant be cheap!

Yeah they're certainly not a cheap car seat to buy unfortunately, but one benefit is that they can fit most kids up to 12-years old, so it's about 3 different car seats in one which helps to offset the price a little :)

You need a TV. :P

Haha, we have two fairly large TV's in the house and that didn't seem to help. Might as well cut 'it' off now. What do they say? Two's company, three's a crowd.....so four must be asking for trouble :lol:

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