Wednesday, July 18, 2018

dilema....

Ok guys and girls. I think it is time to get serious about this. So a couple of questions to put out there...

1. If I started a youtube channel or started Vlogging that you all would watch? I have been contemplating this for some time now. This would be car reviews, builds, and even how to videos. Also track days or scca days. Let me know what you think!

2. Different cars. I have been wanting to get my hands on a Genesis coupe for sometime, but I drove something the other day that might take me in a complete different direction. No its not a Hyundai but rather a Mazda Miata. So do I go for the smaller, lighter, and cheaper to build or stick to the Hyundai family?

I'd really like some insight from readers and potential watchers as we move forward. Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Well, to say the least... it has been awhile!

So...where do I even begin after such a long hiatus? I guess really it has to start with what I have been up to and really what I have NOT been up to. The last 6 years have been quite eventful to say the least. Bought a house, finally started a full time career outside the car world, and spending time with my family of course.

Yes, finally bought a house. it even has a two car garage that currently has NO cars in it. It sits with building materials, a lawn mover, snow blower, and all of my random tools that I have accrued while working on the house. The 2003 Elantra GT that I had for some many years finally when to the junkyard. After hitting 4 deer, almost all in a row, rust galore, and the motor having 297,000 miles it was time to say goodbye to it. I then took over my wife's 2004 Elantra GLS AUTOMATIC. My heart breaks a little every time I drive it. Its not that bad of course, I did manage to swap over the whiteline rear sway bar to it.  The break from the car world has not been completely devoid of car content and I have been trying to take the next step and get back into the car world. My house, however has taken up quite a bit of my time and money. This has left little room for new cars, hell no room for used cars either. To be honest new cars now are just not doing it for me,  but that is a conversation to be had on another day.

Why am I starting this blog back up if I don't even have a car to work on or even review? Honestly, it is for my own sanity. I need and outlet to kind of express the lack and frustration of not having a car that is fun to drive. I watch others on youtube and friends with their own cars. Hell, I even when to a track event with my buddy and his 2006 Porsche cayman race car. I think this track event reignited the fire that had been hidden by working too many hours and too many house projects. I am hopeful for a change soon.

When I graduated in 2011 with, I'm sure is my third career, I had three simple goals. First was to actually find a good paying job and begin the infamous life's journey of working 9 to 5 and having weekends and holidays off. Being in the medical field I should have known better. This could not have been further from the truth. I have been through three different per diem jobs. A weekend job and now finally in the last year or so a full time job. Second, was to find a house suitable for any car that I might take home. It needed at least a two car garage and some working space. Living space and a yard was a definite plus, but as a car guy my focus was my work space. This was obtained in 2013 and has been draining my pockets since. It needs it and will be an awesome little place for me and my family. Even if perhaps what I have in my head does not come to fruition, it will be close. Third was to get my hands on a Genesis coupe. I have been eyeing it since I worked at the dealership and saw them hit the showroom floor. I waited and waited then the 2014 R-spec came out in that pearlescent white, brembo package, limited slip differential and finally an upgraded transmission. But, alas my saved money went down on the house and new home for any car that I might have taken home. Years later and life as yet to give me the ability to obtain one. That is okay, because I think I might be going in another direction...

stay tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 year anniversary...

When I originally set out on this, it was supposed to be used to show the new cars coming out and voice my own opinion. Lately, I have found that I have just about zero time to keep up with everything that is going on in the Hyundai world. There has been ALOT going on, but between work and life, I can not keep up. I had high hopes for this and I figured that posting up in forums would have helped it along, but 13 followers? Really? O' well. So for now, I'll be concentrating on other things.

It has been fun and I might still post things here but it will not be nearly as active as it has been in the past.

See ya on the flip side! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Know your Vendor: Mike @ Import Shark!

So I think this will be the start of a new series of blog entries- Know your Vendor. I will hopefully be able to visit some of the more up and coming companies in the Hyundai Aftermarket.



This time around I was in Ossining, NY at Dream Toyz Auto Customz. I had set up a meeting with Mike from Import Shark. Import Shark has been around for at least a decade. The original owner and current owner were members of the original Hyundai forum. Fxtreme.org. This late 90's forum was based on the older RC Tiburon first introduce back in 1997.  Boy has Hyundai grown ALOT since then. Import Shark has been there the whole time! They have been supplying Korean based parts for just about every Hyundai we have had here in the North American market. They offer a full range of performance and styling parts. Exhausts and Turbo kits all the way to body kits and spoilers. If it is not on the website, I'm pretty sure that Mike can get it.



Mike's personal car is a fine example of what you car can look and perform like just by perusing through their catalog. He first started out with a 97' Tiburon and then onto a 00'. Mike took over Import Shark back in the late 90's. He has not looked back and has been one of many companies that have made a huge difference in the way we order and receive parts from Korea. Without guys like Mike we would have next to nothing. Unlike their neighbors to the east, the S. Koreans had no way of getting their products to the North American market. It was not until Mike and others setup shop and started funneling in parts that we were able to see what the KDM had in store for us. I know I and many others thank him for his hard work and dedication. I am pretty sure that it has not been an easy road to travel.


What was I talking about? Oh yeah Mikes first generation Genesis Coupe. While there were many different cars to look at while driving through northern NJ and southern Westchester county, nothing looked like that pearly white Genesis Coupe. The Aston Martin "stratus white" paint looked superb on this sunny day. I noticed it instantly on the corner. Mike gladly let me know that he painted the car himself.  I was drawn to the front of the car. The Hana front bumper, VIS Terminator CF hood, and color matched LED headlamps flowed very nicely with the lines of the body. I then checked out the rear of the car. The Vega rear bumper and blacked out Superlux LED tail lights looked really good in person. The VIS CF deck lid with matching Ixion CF lip spoiler was open to reveal a full custom trunk filled with JL goodies. Two 10" JL subs sat in a custom box with the three JL amps out in front. Real leather and suede covered the false floor and sub box. The guys at Dream Toyz did a fantastic job! He had the lambo doors opened wide, so naturally I peered in at the interior. It matched the trunk with Corbeau racing seats and racing harnesses, a custom backseat space with the Import Shark logo and storage pockets, where the back seats used to be, and a suede headliner. It was all very nicely orchestrated. It was then that Mike had mentioned that the doors will be getting some custom midbass enclosures and finished with more suede. Chris the shop owner had come out to introduce himself and show off some side mirrors he had been working on. These mirrors would actually house 170 degree camera's facing backwards and would project the image onto 4' screens that would be fiberglassed into the A-pillars. They are pretty sick and should make the exterior of the car look even smoother without the goofy mirrors poking out. The extra angle of the cameras will also ensure that there are no blind spots.




I then asked about the suspension setup and how he had managed to get it that low, but still manage to drive around town. Turns out that he has custom pneumatic front coilovers. Think Lamborghini. With the push of a button the front of the car was raised and lowered. The rear sits on a set of Neo tech coilovers. The Stern ST-1 wheels sitting on Falken 452 tires housed the custom painted Brembo brake kit. Eibach anti-sway bars and Luxon braces rounded out the suspension mods.


It was time to pop the hood.  Under which sat the very potent Theta II turbo. I instantly noticed the white cover and charge pipes. A Garrett GT2871s was Mike's turbo of choice. The expended exhaust gases were sent through ARK downpipe and test pipe. This all connected up to the Jun B.L. catback exhaust (korean only). The cold side was fed through those wicked white powder coated Injen charge pipes. This then fed into a CX racing intercooler and back to the throttle body. A Super Drift BOV released unused charge pressure. A Ralco 3 piece pulley set and a Jun B.L. catch can finished off the engine modifications. This is all controlled by a Korean tune. I then was like, What? Mike then proceeded to tell me that the Turbo and the ecu were sent to Korea. They were then installed onto a "like" coupe there and tuned. It was then uninstalled and put back onto his car. The car turned the rollers to a modest 305hp and 301 ft/lbs of torque. He decided to go with a conservative tune because of the automatic transmission. I can't say I blame him.


The car is awesome in person. If you ever get the chance to catch it at a show do so. Also get a hold of Mike. He is a cool down to earth guy who loves his Hyundai's as much as I do. It was nice to chat about the old forums and past forum members. Mike is a veteran just like myself. The new guys have some
 catching up to do! haha



Did I mention he also has a white Veloster turbo? Oh yeah...be on the look out! There are some plans for it as well.


And of course, Mike if you ever need a hand with anything...I'll be more then willing to help out.


photos courtesy of my Pops (Bob Baker). Thanks for helping me out!



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Challenge accepted!

Ok here is the deal...


First off, I know I have not written in awhile and for that I do apologize. Work has been kicking my arse, even though there has been a ton of things in the Hyundai world that have been happening in the last month. The release of four new cars (Azera, Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT) and hopefully I will be able to test drive some of these in the near future. Chrysler is to use a Hyundai automatic transmission in the new Dart and the new Santa Fe is about to be released. I think that is just about everything that matters to me. Back to the challenge. 

The topic on hand at the moment is a 100m challenge. Yes that is right 100m, though you have to run it not drive it. The challenge was simply how fast could you run the 100m? The challenged was issued by none other then our founder and site admin SuperGLS over at ElantraXD.com. Well, I instantly jumped at it and went for a ride. I found a football field that was marked out 100 yards. I know its not 100m so like somebody on ElantraXD pointed out, if you had one of the end zones it will be close enough...roughly 109 yards. So without further adieu I pulled out a stop watch and ran.  

I came to the end hit the button on the stop watch and somewhere between hitting the button and trying to stop...I tumbled down onto the field. I simply laughed at myself, looked around making sure nobody else was looking, and brushed myself off.  I walked back to the starting point and did it again. Success! I'm not sure how my time stacks up against others but I did it in 14.8 secs. I'm pretty sure that the foot long sub I had just an hour or so prior did not help and I am almost certain I pulled my tendon on the bottom of my foot. O'well, till next time! 


Things to come...


Ok, so I have a surprise for those of you that actually read this. I'm thinking of going in a new direction with this blog. I think I'm going to concentrate on the aftermarket for Hyundai and tomorrow I have an interview with somebody who knows a little about it...Stay tuned!! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just do it!


Go for a drive. I just did and it was wonderful. It started out as a trip around the block just to get out of the house and into the nice dusk air. I ended up about 10 miles away at an overlook on Rt 80. I watched the most gorgeous sunset and was then rewarded with an amazing maze of twisties to get back to Rt 80. Hahaha. When was the last time you went for a drive???


Speaking of drives...


June 18th marked the media release of the Veloster turbo, Elantra GT and the Elantra coupe. We should see  some real world numbers on all three of these cars in the up and coming weeks. It was be interesting to see how the North American cars fair with reviews from other countries. All of these cars have been on sale in Korea for the last couple of months and have already started a following. I know myself and many more have been following the Veloster turbo for quite some time. We are all stoked!!




BTW...red looks good on all of them.



A long drive that will not be made...


Is the one to go the Hyundai Pittsburgh meet. It is just not in the cards at the moment. I would have loved to come out and hang out with some of the forum members from multiple forums and have seen a ton of modded Hyundais. O well maybe next time. I do have you are all have fun and stay safe!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wheel size...does it matter?

Lets discuss...


First off, there have been some discussions on the forums of late about aftermarket rims and what size is appropriate for a particular vehicle. In this case it has been for the XD/XD2 Elantra. The original equipment for the Elantra are 15 inch steel wheels or if you bought the GT like I did then you got a 15 inch alloy wheel. The question that ensues is that people want to switch their 15 inch rims to 17 inch rims and will it improve performance? I did this. Without even thinking about it I did it. There is much more going on then I had realized at the time. I just knew I wanted to upgrade. What actually happens when you upgrade? First we must get used to a couple of terms. (disclosure...I just want to be upfront with everybody who is going to read this. I do NOT claim to be an expert of any kind when it comes to the physics involved in this process. I do however completely understand the process and will attempt to bring that understanding to you in a simplified way.  I also had no way of testing any of the ideas  that I have, as I currently do not have any funding at all to buy a new set of rims/tires to install and test.)

Some terms that you will have to be familiar with are...

1. Moment of Inertia- Measure of an objects resistance to changes in its rotation. This is whether you are trying to speed it up or slow it down. This is also called Rotational Inertia.
2. Angular Velocity- The speed and direction of a mass about the radius of a given circle. Being that we want to keep the diameter of both the smaller wheel and larger wheel the same, including tire, this does not really apply to much and should be the same for both wheels because we are not changing the gearing or anything else that could affect the RPMs of the wheel at a given speed.
3. Angular Momentum- Total momentum of all particles in relation to the center of rotation. These is taking into account the weight of the rim and tire. Since we are moving the weight toward the outside of the wheel there is a slight increase in momentum, but I do not feel it is statistically relevant. If we were NOT keeping the diameter of the system the same, then yes it plays a bigger role. Just look at DONKS and their enormous rims. (more on this later though)
4. Torque- Tendency of a force to rotate an abject around a given axis. For us this means the amount of energy needed to move the wheel and all other rotating parts for that matter.
5. Unsprung Weight- Mass of suspension, wheel/tire combo, brakes and all other tidbits that are not supported by the springs of the vehicle.
6. Performance- I feel it necessary to give MY definition of performance. I feel that performance is the combination of acceleration, handling, and braking. My opinion is based on this definition and I feel that the total package is worth more than any single item. Please keep in mind that there are always trade offs.



Lets upgrade...



Ok so the OEM alloys for the GT weight in at 19lbs with my Kumho 195/60 r 15 tire weighing in at 19lbs (this is about halfway through its treadwear, so it is not going to weigh as much as it did when new). This gives us a total of 38lbs for the combo of rim and tire. This is our base line weight. If we upgrade we should aim to have the wheel/tire combo in weighing less than the baseline. A lighter setup will decrease our unsprung weight and the suspension components will not have to work so hard to keep the tire planted to the pavement. With less weight it also means less energy to move it (moment of inertia concept). Obviously when the wheel is firmly planted to the ground this will help with traction. Improvements will then be seen in braking, acceleration, and handling over rough surfaces. Now what happened when I first upgraded to 17 inch rims the entire package was about 3 lbs lighter then the OEM setup. I was using a set of Konig Holes 17" rims that weighed in at 17lbs and the 215/40 r 17 for a total weight of 35lbs. I feel that any weight saved is good. There are people out there that will say that you moved the weight further away from the center of the axis and you need more power to turn it. While this is true but the overall radius did not change.  Even with the slight displacement of mass from the rim being pushed out. I do not feel that it is statistically meaningful. So if you would like to nit pick. Go for it. Now if the rolling diameter is changed significantly then yes by all means I would say that it makes a huge difference. This would increase your rotational inertia and would take more torque to move the wheel both in acceleration and cause more stress on the braking system.  Lets take the dreaded DONK. They use excessively large wheels 24" and larger. These large wheels are usually chromed and ridiculously heavy. For this I would say that the nay say'ers would be correct. But for our application I feel that the trade off of a lighter larger wheel out weighs any lack of acceleration. Again this goes back to my personal definition of performance. Then once you have larger wheels the tire is usually of a higher speed rating and is normally wider. This increase in contact patch increases your braking potential and can improve your handling as well (decrease in unsprung weight).


Can we take this further?...


Of course we can take it further. Larger rim also means that you can upgrade your brakes to a larger size. Be careful though when you do this because going excessively large will impact unsprung weight because of the added weight of the caliper and rotor. There are plenty of kits out there that are lighter then the OEM setup, but then you have to worry about other things like will your master cylinder be able to push the correct amount of fluid to the larger caliper. Without the correct amount of fluid, you will not utilize the full potential of the larger brakes and if your not going to get 100% out of the mod why do it? Veloster people I'm looking at you and wanting to use the Brembo set up from the Gen coupe. Braking is traction limited.  This means that if you go too big but do not have the contact patch to take advantage, the mechanical force of the brakes will overcome the limited traction and modulation of the brake pedal will be nil. It will become an on/off switch. This is not good for many reasons.



Suspension...


Most people want to lower their cars. If your anything like me you will want to take advantage of the new found suspension and upgrading to a larger tire with a lower profile tire will help you. With the stiffer suspension you put more pressure on the tire and are asking it to do more. Lower profile tires will not flex like the larger sidewalled tires. The larger contact patch will help with lateral g's and cornering will be improved along with better feedback through the steering wheel.


My experience...


It started a quite a big ago when I first bought my first set of 17's (Konig Holes...I know not the greatest but they were lighter and looked good). I also had TEIN super street coilovers from the Tiburon and a Whiteline adjustable rear sway bar (18mm-22mm...I have always kept it on 22mm). It was not till I had to switch back to my OEM alloys that the difference was really felt. The larger sidewall was not very stable at all. With my setup, I could actually feel the tires moving underneath me instead of the suspension working as it should. This was very apparent at highway speeds and changing lanes quickly. It was almost down right dangerous. I could literally feel the car moving over the tread. It was a weird feeling and I did not like it at all. Larger wheels were in order. With the OEM suspension you could not feel it the same way because the suspension itself is super soft and the car would lean rather then then relying on the tires as the suspension. It felt like driving on Jello or constantly going over uneven pavement. So when I needed to replace my front bearings I thought  to myself why not upgrade? So that is what I did. I went with a five lug swap. This would give me better options for wheels and allow me to go to a larger brake setup (needed five lug rotors, why not swap out the calipers too?). I choose the SE calipers from an 05 Tiburon because of their aluminum construction (opposed to the cast iron Elantra calipers) the aluminum calipers were much larger and weighed exactly the same. The aluminum would also dissipate heat better than the cast iron. The rotor did add an extra 2 lbs of weight but I have a feeling that the majority of that weight is located in the hat, so it should not affect the rotational inertia that much, if at all. My unsprung weight changed a little but not too much.  While my stainless steel lines helped with pedal travel on the OEM setup, pedal travel did increase with the larger caliper. The only bad thing at the moment are the OEM Tiburon 17's. They are heavier then the 15's and are probably detrimental to the scheme of things. Lighter wheels are definitely needed and would help significantly.

So the long story short, is that larger lighter wheels are worth the milliseconds taken away in acceleration by giving you a larger contact patch, less unsprung weight, and better steering feel.

On the drag strip though it is a different story all together.