DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
12/1/13 7:24 a.m.

I just did a time trail event with the Spark Racing Team at the Korean F1 track and I've got some observations I think you guys might find useful.

a. The track is marvelous. Tons and tons of high speed corners, lots of tricky sequences, lots of runoff and beautiful facilities. I'm pretty much in love with the pits. It's nowhere near as much a horsepower track as I feared it would be. In my 140~ hp, 2500~ lb car, the peak speed was only 147 km/hr.

b. As predicted, the 2.0 motorswap has transformed my Nubira from by far the slowest car on the straights to still the slowest car on the straights but kind of sort of competitive. I think this might have something to do with the god-awful cylinder head exhaust ports dumping into the god-awful manifold that dumps into an exhaust pipe necking down from the stock (god-awful) 2.0L oem downpipe to the stock (and even more god-awful) 1.5L oem catalyst/muffler/tip. Nothing says racecar like a 1.5 inch pea-shooter.

I'm going to buy a cylinder head out of the junkyard this winter and port the living crap out of it. If nothing else, the completely functionless, blocked off from the factory nozzle things in the head that obstruct at least 25% of the port volume are getting cut off and welded shut. The car might even rev past 5800 rpm this way.

I think that will go nicely with the race header the Spark Racing shop is making me and the custom intake I'm making. 160-170 hp might not be out of the question. If I get that much, I'm only 20 hp down on the big boys in my preferred TT200 class. I don't think this will be a problem, for reasons I'll explain a little later.

c. This engine puked a quart of oil out of the breather during a 30 minute session - almost the exact same thing the 1.5L did. Nobody but me seemed very concerned about this. Do I just need to install a catch-can/accumulator and forget about it? I'm probably getting an accusump when I come back to the states this winter, so I think that should cover my oiling needs.

d. I think my cooling mods are working. The car actually barely got up to temperature even while I was beating the living crap out of it for half an hour straight. Granted it was cold (45 degrees) outside, but still. I actually might need to block off some of the oil cooler for the winter because the car doesn't achieve normal temperatures, like ever, when I'm just putzing in cold weather.

e. I may need a brake upgrade. The slotted stockers were getting pretty smelly and turned blue. I have to check, but it looks like the 278 mm (vs 256 mm) rotors and associated calipers off a Chevrolet/Daewoo/Holden Epica will bolt on to my stock uprights. I might just grab the entire upright and, in doing so, replace the stupid wheel bolts with studs that render mounting the wheels much less of a pain in the ass.

f. I think I'm on to something with my suspension setup. My car is very sensitive to weight distribution and ride height changes, but with a .75 inch drop in front, a 1 inch drop in the rear, 9kg springs all around and no sway bars, this is one ridiculously sweet handing econobox. Basically suspension tuning in which I control roll stiffness by adjusting the roll centers. By keeping the car relatively high (and by lucking into some unusually factory geometry) I've been able to maintain good camber curves, high roll centers and close roll couples. While the car does roll a little bit (2.7 degrees total roll), it's not nearly as much as you'd expect and the transitions are very, very crisp.

The car is so adjustable, so neutral, so easy to toss around and it has just stupid cornering speeds. This is three track events now on this basic setup and in all three I basically corner as fast as comparable cars on whatever the next level of tire is. I have summer tires and my cornering speeds are about the same as guys on r-compounds (I actually reeled a few of them in during the twisty parts of the track). When I had crappy all seasons, my cornering speeds were right around what competitors with summer tires had. Nobody on street tires was even close. Not the BMWs, not the Genesis Coupes, not the Tiburons or Tuscanis, nothing.

More things I love about this setup include the ridiculously lite overall tire wear, the way I can run very little camber (about -1.5) without beating up the outside edges of the front tires and the fact that, in spite of being a FWD sedan with a 63% front weight bias, it wears the rear tires almost as much as the fronts.

I will never go back to slamming cars and putting on big swaybars. This works just so, so much better. I might need to bump up to 12 kg springs when I make the jump to r-comps, but the current setup is just wonderful. I really, really recommend trying it yourself.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer Dork
12/1/13 12:33 p.m.

I recently picked up a Spectra5 that I plan on autocrossing next year. Are there any aftermarket parts made for them for the KDM?

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
12/1/13 12:42 p.m.

What year/engine?

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer Dork
12/1/13 12:53 p.m.

Over here they only came with the 2.0. SX trim. It is an 07. I really like the handling. I was just hoping to improve it a little.

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
12/1/13 8:24 p.m.

Over here, it's called a Cerato and, unfortunately, all the KDM versions are less sporty than the version you have.

For suspension tuning, those are actually pretty good setups. I would recommend you not lower it very much (or at all) because that platform (same as the Tiburon/Elantra, btw) gets ugly fast with more than about a 1 inch drop. The hardcore racing guys over here run 12kg front/14kg rear springs with the stock front bar and a huge aftermarket rear bar, the brand of which I cannot recall. Whileline offers one, if I remember correctly. For a street application, stock height, 7kg front and 5kg rear with some poly bushings and that Whiteline bar out back should make for a nice handling little car with a firm but non-punishing ride.

As for the engine - get cams and a flash. The stock cams on those beta engines are stupid. 282/278 cams, 11.5:1 pistons, header, Airram intake and mapping makes 200 hp on those engines and they do not come apart with the extra revs. You could probably dispense with the pistons and run a quiet exhaust and still see 180 hp out of it.

I can't remember how the brakes are, but same generation Tiburon hubs/brakes swap on if you need more. The biggest limitation for the racing guys is that they can't fit a ton of tire - 235/40/17 is the biggest I've seen under stock (modified) fenders.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer Dork
12/7/13 6:23 p.m.

Thanks for the info.

I have always thought that these should be a decent autocross car as it is classed in the slowest class here. Against the na Mini.

I just need to find some stock 16" wheels first.

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
12/7/13 7:01 p.m.

I don't know if it's allowed, but anything elantra or Tiburon will bolt on.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer Dork
12/7/13 7:18 p.m.

that is good to know. The rule book only classes it in the stock category. Can't do much there.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
12/7/13 7:53 p.m.

On the engine puking oil. What kind of crankcase breather does it have ? Too much crankcase pressure is usually the cause, Do a leak down test to see how much blow by you are getting. Try running your oil level a quart low. It worked on my flathead Plymouth.

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
12/7/13 9:04 p.m.

I actually don't know what kind of breather it has.

MCarp22
MCarp22 HalfDork
12/7/13 9:45 p.m.

The short version is, you need a vent hose from the block to the intake manifold to relieve crankcase pressure. That should help the oil drain out of the head, as it won't have to work so hard. Most high revving 4cyls (SR20DE, VTEC hondas, etc.) use this and it works.

Our Preferred Partners
63M9ZsBoMb2PSSQdbLWKir9GXOjtYr5wwGCOwjkj8BF7oLstW8jkrZNZ8tMaUEDf