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Hyundai Tuning - Question It

Eric Hsu
Nov 1, 2011

Nostradamus’ words have been deemed prophetic. He became world renown when publishing collections of prophecies including this theorem: “One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.” Eric Hsu, on the other hand, best sums it up with a theorem of his own:

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“Cheap asses + cars = cheap ass cars”

The end.

Send your worst to:
questionit@importtuner.com
and put your helmets on.

Why is Hyundai the bastard of the tuner world?
I have had my eye on Hyundais for some time. Their design team always knew how to turn a head but with their Tiburon 2.7L being there flagship sports car all I could do was shake my head and wish they would create a sports car with some real power. So when I heard Hyundai was producing a V-6, 300hp, rear-wheel-drive Genesis coupe for around $25K, my ears perked up and when I testdrove it I fell in love. It’s clear Hyundai has done their homework this time and produced a car the Western market would love. Yet, it seems like this car remains under the radar of the tuner world. Why is that? The Lambda RS 3800 engine started off as a Mitsubishi 6G75 V-6 engine. Is it safe to assume the Genesis engine can take the same kind of abuse as the 6G75 and produce 500 bhp with stock internals? Has anyone designed a forced-induction kit for the 3.8L Genesis coupe or will I have to follow the crowd and buy a 350Z?
-Wes Young
Baltimore, WA

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Like you said, Hyundai tuning is pretty much under the radar so I’m not too familiar with Hyundai tuning myself. Up until recently, Hyundais were only passenger cars of mediocre quality. Today, Hyundai’s lineup of cars and engines are starting to garner the respect a world-class car manufacturer deserves. Starting is the keyword here. This is probably why Hyundais are still the redheaded stepchild of the tuning world.

I’ve heard from a friend about a company named Power Axel that provides tuning software for Hyundais, and ARK Performance also supplies Hyundai performance parts and accessories. The Hyundai 3.8L Lambda engine isn’t derived from a Mitsubishi 6G75. I would guess the Lambda is derived from a Nissan VQ35DE upon initial inspection. Those two engines bear an uncanny resemblance, but that’s just my opinion. The 3.8-liter is pretty robust from the factory and can definitely handle some abuse. Rhys Millen uses the engine in his Formula D drift car and while the engine isn’t stock, it makes tons of power and torque (much like a VQ35 does). I’ve heard of a supercharger kit using a Rotrex supercharger as well, but I am unsure of how well it performs. Don’t forget that Google is your friend.

Project Restoration
I recently purchased an ’89 Nissan 240SX for a restoration project with a modest move to increase power output from the factory SOHC engine. My plan is to swap in a dual cam KA, however, as expected with a wiring loom that is nearly as old as I am, some of the plugs are missing and others are completely smashed. Rather than hunting down a dual cam in a junkyard somewhere and ruining a good harness that someone else can use, I was wondering if you had any sources for these connectors, and others like them, that didn’t involve ordering in bulk of thousands.
-Farva,
via importtuner.com

OEM connectors are difficult to purchase because of exclusive agreements with connector manufacturers and the car manufacturers. Like you discovered, you’ll need to buy them in manufactured lots, which are usually in the thousands of pieces. You’ll also need to purchase them from a distributor who is not involved with the automotive industry. You can try Boomslang Fabrication for small quantities of ECU connectors, but honestly your best bet is going to be buying a new or used engine harness from a twin cam KA. Not only does everything plug right in, but you’ll also only need a small modification at the dash harness connector to make everything work.

Mitsubishi Monster
I picked up my ’06 Lancer Ralliart nine months ago and am looking to do an engine swap. I’ve been looking at putting in a 4G63 and turning my Ralliart into an EVO, but have no idea if there are better options out there. I’m a 19 year old with more time than money and live in the Chicago suburbs (I think I’m one of the very few tuners around here; if not, I don’t know where they’re all hiding). If you could give me an optimal choice and an economical choice that’d be much appreciated; then I’ll see what I can do. Thanks guys, I know you’ll be a lot of help!
-Robert Zill,
via importtuner.com

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Optimal choice: Buy a new car such as a used ’03 EVO VIII. Economical choice: Buy a new car such as a used ’03 EVO VIII. The early Lancer Ralliart chassis doesn’t even share engine mounting positions with the EVOs so you’ll need to do some cutting and welding to get a 4G63 in there. Once you get the engine mounted in there, you’ll still need to rewire the car, build an exhaust, add an intercooler, bigger radiator, some sensors, and more. Trust me: Sell the car, get a loan, and buy an EVO. You’re welcome.

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Wanted: JDM Parts
I recently just got my hands on a ’94 Nissan Skyline GTS that’s legally titled and everything, but I have one problem: The previous owner ran into a ditch avoiding a turkey in the road. Now the front end is messed up; it’s not that bad but I still have to pull it and replace parts like the front clip. Do you guys know of anyone or prefer a certain company to get a hold of an R33 front clip (without the engine). I’ve found out that a lot of engine shops won’t sell a bare front end so I’m left with having to pay $3,500 for a complete front clip with engine. If you know anyone who has a front end laying around from a previous swap or something let me know please
-Daniel D
Gulf Breeze, FL

This is part of the reason why insurance companies total cars with massive front end damage. You probably should too, but if you are insistent on repairing the car, then your best bet is probably to scour www.gtr.co.uk for somebody willing to take the time to cut off some framerails and ship them to you. GTS’ are a dime a dozen in the UK. In fact, a good friend of mine recently gave his R33 GTS shell away. He had a sign on it for about three months that said, “Free car”, but nobody took it. He finally got around to putting an ad up on GTROC and somebody came and bought it for $300 quid. Once you get your framerails, you’ll need to spend a massive amount of time making sure the rails are straight before you weld them. This is a time-consuming operation if you don’t have a frame jig. Without a frame jig it will be difficult to get it perfect. To enhance your chances of a reasonably straight repair, make sure you get a copy of a factory Nissan service manual. Inside of it are critical measurements for the chassis. Take your time and get it right before welding or you’ll be the owner of a giant piece of junk.

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Trans Conversion
I own a ’92 Integra LS auto and it’s become my new project since I decided to total my ’99 GSR. I’ve managed to pull everything off the GSR for a swap. When going from an auto to manual conversion, what would be the best pedal assembly for my ’92 LS? The DC2’s trans was a hydro, but it will be converted over to a cable. Which leads to my next question: What is best clutch cable for this application? I want to do this the right way the first time, being an import geek for the last 13 years I’ve learned my lessons on not taking the shortest route.
-Will Anderson
Richmond, VA

Well let’s see...how about a clutch pedal assembly and cable from a ’92 Integra LS? You’ve been playing with imports for 13 years, but you couldn’t figure that one out? I’m not sure if these questions are getting filtered enough. Scott?!

Pipe Dreams
I have a ’95 Civic and am looking to put a swap in it. Eventually, I would like to turbo it, but for now it will be built using basic bolt-ons. Money is a huge factor, because I am still in school. Also, it has to get good mileage because it’s a daily driver travelling just shy of 80 miles a day. I have heard an Integra LS B18B1 swap is the way to go, but my uncle has a ’97 Civic Type R with a B16 in it and it flies. What do you guys recommend?
-Billy Smith
Dallas, OR

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It depends on which ’95 Civic you have, but if you have an Si, the addition of a turbo would be an excellent way of adding a good amount of power without the expense of an engine swap. Naturally, a B-series swap plus turbo would be even better, but a turbo D-series can still offer a respectable amount of performance. Edelbrock used to offer a very comprehensive turbo kit for the D-series Civics so I would try there first. You can also try Greddy for a turbo kit that offers a lot of bang for the buck. No matter which route you go, make sure you have the fuel system (injectors and fuel pump) and ECU or piggyback ECU modified for turbo use. This will ensure long reliable service even with an aftermarket turbo system.

By Eric Hsu
31 Articles

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