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2015 Kia Forte5 SX 6M
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Hello all,

I bought a ‘15 Forte5 SX Manual sight unseen the other day (I have 7 days after I take delivery to change my mind) but haven’t been able to take delivery because of the winter storms. I’ve been pacing by the window waiting for the snow to melt. You’ll probably primarily see me in the performance forum. My goal is to get 250 to the wheels and since I come from RWD I’d like to get the steering closer to neutral. In the past I’ve driven a V6 Mustang and a Chrysler 300.
 

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Can be done although would require some heavier mods - FMIC, intake, larger turbo, maybe exhaust. Tune of course :)
The car is relatively light, so I would suggest to wait and let you find out how much more you need.

From my personal experience - even the "stock" tune changed the car drastically.
 
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It shouldn't take that much. Get a new midpipe or at least gut the second cat. Then get a hold of sxth about a tune. With just an intake, midpipe, and a tune your torque to the wheels could be in that 250 range pretty easily I bet. I think I've seen it said that their current stage 0 tune can put down 230-240 wtq.

As far as more neutral handling you have a few options. I would get a rear torsion bar and either koni yellow shocks for the rear or coilovers. I have the torsion bar and konis. They are adjustable to if you really want to experiment you can increase their stiffness and increase rear tire pressure in relation to the front. Just be careful and do it in small increments. Full stiffness rear shocks and 10psi over the front in the rear tires might make it too tail happy to be safe.

Your goal is 250 whp. But are you planning on racing? (drag, street, autocross, etc?) And how much do you want to spend?
What PLP said and maybe some wmi and a downpipe you could break 300whp. Of course there are costs with that.
 

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It shouldn't take that much. Get a new midpipe or at least gut the second cat. Then get a hold of sxth about a tune. With just an intake, midpipe, and a tune your torque to the wheels could be in that 250 range pretty easily I bet. I think I've seen it said that their current stage 0 tune can put down 230-240 wtq.

As far as more neutral handling you have a few options. I would get a rear torsion bar and either koni yellow shocks for the rear or coilovers. I have the torsion bar and konis. They are adjustable to if you really want to experiment you can increase their stiffness and increase rear tire pressure in relation to the front. Just be careful and do it in small increments. Full stiffness rear shocks and 10psi over the front in the rear tires might make it too tail happy to be safe.

Your goal is 250 whp. But are you planning on racing? (drag, street, autocross, etc?) And how much do you want to spend?
What PLP said and maybe some wmi and a downpipe you could break 300whp. Of course there are costs with that.
Is removing the cat to gut something I can do without grinding? If not I’ll probably just shell out for a mid pipe. This will be my first FWD car besides my wife’s Prius so it’ll be interesting to learn how it responds. I felt like my Mustang was too loose in the rear but it didn’t have traction control or stability control.

Plan is to daily with occasional midnight drags at the local strip and occasional spirited driving on local curvy roads.

I’d like to get 1/4 mile down to 13.x and it’d be extra nice to get the 0-60 down to 5.1, but I don’t want to have to build the engine or transmission so if that’s not realistic I’ll ask for your estimate on what’s possible with that constraint. Is the water/meth injection street legal? If I did that I’d probably have to invest in a windows laptop so I could flash between the meth tune and the ran-out-of-meth tune, unless there’s a built in failuresafe of some kind. Spending goal is as little as possible 😂 Every $ saved is money for the next project
By the way thank you both Phoenix and PLP for helping me get my bearings on this new car. I’m excited for it! Delayed because of the storms...I have to wait 2 more weeks.
 
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No problem at all. Glad to share any knowledge I have.

So if you were going to set your car up for racing other than in a straight line you would probably find that being front wheel drive is not as much of a detractor as you might think. You just have to set it up properly. With coilovers this would be easiest because you should be able to set up the weight balance more like what you would want. But, thats a lot of money and not what you are doing so...

First thing first, proper maintenance. How many miles does it have? You probably will want to change the oil. Go with something that is SN plus rated and an oem oil filter. If you are 50k+ miles then consider new spark plugs and ignition coils. Ignition coils you will just want the same ones you have stock but new genuine oem ones. For spark plugs, if you are going to get a tune beyond sxth stage 0 get hks m45xl. If you are going to get a stage 0 tune or stay stock go for the m40xls instead. If you dont plan on getting a tune right away then you might be able to skimp on the plugs and coils for now.

So as far as upgrades go. The best thing you can do is get a lighter set of wheels and better tires. These will improved everything about your car. Acceleration, braking, handling. Of course that won't increase horsepower and a new cheaper lightweight set with summer tires will cost you $1200 at least.
If you don't want to get wheels then consider better tires at least (not sure what the car currently has).

For intake, I've experimented with a few things. What I'm currently running now, and what is my preference, is a modified stock system.
The stock intake on our cars is 4.25" which is 0.75" bigger than the biggest aftermarket intake. That 0.75" is actually a TON of area. I bought a new oem lower intake box online from a kia parts store for $25 and cut out the fender side of the airbox below where the filter sits. This is a similar idea to removing the snorkle from the front of the airbox but if you do that then the airbox is just sucking in heated air from behind the intercooler. I also added a drop-in air filter.

As far as intercooler piping goes. Just get a hotpipe rather than the resonator delete. Its worth it and not that expensive. If you go with the modded intake above then you can reallocate the funds from a new intake to buying a hotpipe.

For the midpipe. I got mine done by a local shop for $100 out the door. That is cheap and it wont last as long as a quality piece but I'm ok with it. If you dont want to do that or pay to get one from evilla, get under the car, remove the front of the midpipe (2 bolts), and chip out the 2nd cat with a long screwdriver. There's writeups for that floating around. I haven't done it but its supposed to be very easy. Just make sure to wear eye protection and a mask might not hurt. No grinding necessary at all.

You don't need a tune for water/methanol injection. Whether its legal or not where you are I don't know. The ecu will adjust to the cooler IAT's and should add more ignition timing. What the limit on this is and what exactly you can gain I don't know. Supposedly you could get 3-5* more timing which could be 20+ whp. At least that's whats reported by the veloster guys.

The rear end on these cars is a common complaint. Get a rear torsion bar minimally. If that's not enough get new shocks or coilovers.

One other item which I havent tried is a new wastegate solenoid. It wont necessarily add peak power but it will hold boost better. Or at least thats whats reported. So power delivery is more stable and the car will be faster, maybe.

So,
oil change - regular maintenance cost
hks spark plus - $120
ignition coils - $200
intake - $300?
modded stock intake - $75
midpipe - $300?
gutted cat - free $
rear torsion bar - $200?
wheels and tires - $1200
wmi - $600
tune - $400

As far as your goals, 250whp and 13.x's is doable. Not sure about 5.1 0-60.

I would start with the oil change, if you need tires do those, gut the cat or find a local exhaust shop to make a midpipe for you, mod the intake, get a hotpipe, and get a torsion bar.

That is less than $400. With similar mods I logged my car for a few runs and had a tuner estimate my whp. They said probably around 190+. Which is about 10-15% over stock.
With a tune, depending on which tune and from where, 220-250whp easy. Maybe higher if they push it. With wmi and/or a fmic, another 20whp should be attainable.
 

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Going below 6 sec 0-60 is hard. Not only grip limited on the beginning, but it requires much more power than 250 HP to the wheels, and very fast shifting. You are talking about two shifts and while 1-2 is quick, 2-3 will take time. Sure, it is 0.2 second, but it matters a lot.
Besides, each shift makes the turbo to vent, unless you invest in more pieces to keep the pressure.
Yet still, 250 HP is not enough. Maybe you can get to 5.8 or so.


see here. You need about 300 HP to get close to 5.1 area. Golf R has 2.0 T. It is known VW underrates their engines.
 
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