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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got it in my head that I need to make this car fast and that means going beyond FBO and complimentary tune or I won't be happy with it and will try to sell it at a big loss (Kia depreciation) and get something else.

I've been talking to a few VT owners and they all agree that to get any serious power out of this motor is to either upgrade the turbo from a number of vendors who offer the service or go big turbo altogether. I looked at the pricing for upgrading it it isn't that much cheaper from the big daddy of EFR 7163 which seems to be the model most people run in pursuing 400-500HP. Granted, a big turbo alone won't get you there without proper reinforcement mods but it's better to have it when you need it then need it and not have it.

I just hate having to do things twice which is already haunting me. I bought a FMIC without the upgraded core and was told I'd only be able to get to about 300HP. I'm not sure how that will affect my future plans if I go forged internals/big turbos. I don't want to spend the money on upgrading the stock turbo and feel the itch for more and having to go big turbo so that money will be all for naught.

Keeping it within the FT family first, what have you guys heard about the stock turbo and upgrades to it. Can it get to 300-400BHP reliably? Big turbo sounds nice but I'm not 100% sold on it just yet. Not to mention the lag as well. I saw claims of 350HP (bhp or whp, not sure) from the upgraded components. Been also reading about the fallacy of chasing high HP numbers. It isn't all about fancy dyno numbers but usable power so may be a smaller upgraded turbo will serve that department better than a big turbo setup.

What do you guys think?
 

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Can it get to 300-400BHP reliably?
That's the key word.

So, I thought same. On the other hand I was like - nah, where can I really use this power?

Well, I finally got myself into tuning it. Mine is almost stock, except plugs, intake, and some other tiny things. No internals, no FMIC (which I doubt is going to make a big change), or such.
I must tell you - tune changes a lot. This thing is a completely different beast now.

I mean, it is not 400 HP car, but that extra few HP (hard to say what was there before and what is now, as it was not dyno tune) made huge impact.
For normal driving - it is still same car. For pushing - I cannot really use the power on highway, except a few times in 3rd or 4th gear, but even then I must be careful.

So, I hear you, I also want more power, yet then I found wheels could not really handle it well.
Going back - I would rather get Focus RS (since yours is MT you would not care) and have real power and good traction.

This tiny 1.6 can get you some great power, easily 200 HP from liter, but it will not be so reliable anymore. It is pushing this motor far beyond its life.
You mentioned depreciation. Once you put forged internals, big turbo, and such, you are not selling it. Also, you might be facing motor replacement at some point.


I cannot say I struggle with budget, but being a head of family of 4, I must make decisions where I put money.
I would love to have 2.0T, AWD (meaning Golf R), or heck, Audi S4. But then I am thinking - and what will I be able to do with this 300 HP? Now, having maybe 230 HP to the wheels (MAYBE) I cannot really open it up as often as I would like to.

But, if I had the budget, I would go this way.

Forte may stay as daily driver. Or get rid of it. Or trade it in for Optima (you get 2.0T). I am sure you can get some great discount on it.

Or I would rather look into older cars - say Mazda Speed, or Subaru, or Audi (get 2.5T). With this displacement you are happy to begin with. Also, being older platform, less complicated, more things can be done. Also, more parts are available. VW/Audi - man, tuning is everywhere, parts - common across many models. If not budget at the time of car change, I would have been driving Golf GTI today.
As of today - I go to VW, since I could afford it.
But then again, for serious mods - getting some car that can easily handle it.

Forte is not for that power. You also deal with rear suspension that can be slightly tweaked, but never as good as competition.

Sorry for long post... and very chaotic; there are just too many things in this topic.
 

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beyond the tune if you want more power you would need to rebuild the engine with stronger internals and gaskets gets pretty expensive.
it would be better to get another faster car than to stress this small engine. i think 2.0L or more would have been better but i feel this car is pushed already and the tune just makes it even worse as many VT's with tunes tend to get blown engines maybe even faster.
 

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beyond the tune if you want more power you would need to rebuild the engine with stronger internals and gaskets gets pretty expensive.
it would be better to get another faster car than to stress this small engine. i think 2.0L or more would have been better but i feel this car is pushed already and the tune just makes it even worse as many VT's with tunes tend to get blown engines maybe even faster.
You hit the nail on the proverbial head. I referred to the horsepower hangup of my former SRT4 "folks" with their dyno-chart hangup as the Freudian Dyno Trap. Don't expect a $20K KIA car to easily, readily or reliably handle 400+ hp. Just not designed for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
beyond the tune if you want more power you would need to rebuild the engine with stronger internals and gaskets gets pretty expensive.
it would be better to get another faster car than to stress this small engine. i think 2.0L or more would have been better but i feel this car is pushed already and the tune just makes it even worse as many VT's with tunes tend to get blown engines maybe even faster.

Jusge me if you must but I am in many ways seduced by the cool videos on YouTube with people running 500-600hp GTIs, Evos, STIs ect. Not fully comprehending the amount of money and effort put into getting there. To my way of thinking, a deficit of .4 litre isn't a big deal, perhaps I'm naive in that sense since I'm new to car modding and many of the terms still seem like French to me. I get what plp is saying about usable horse power. I have gigabit internet at home but my day to day usage doesn't even break a 10th of that.

In all honesty most of us should be happy with just the stock levels. Even the golf r and focus RS. are approaching ludicrous numbers. The performance from those two in stock form can already be considered obscene. I think part of it is my propensity to be addicted to things.

I will see what a stage 0 or stage 1 tune will be like. May be ST or STI EVO numbers will be enough. Lots of those European hot hatches already yield bags of fun in their stock form and they're under 300hp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
beyond the tune if you want more power you would need to rebuild the engine with stronger internals and gaskets gets pretty expensive.
it would be better to get another faster car than to stress this small engine. i think 2.0L or more would have been better but i feel this car is pushed already and the tune just makes it even worse as many VT's with tunes tend to get blown engines maybe even faster.
You hit the nail on the proverbial head. I referred to the horsepower hangup of my former SRT4 "folks" with their dyno-chart hangup as the Freudian Dyno Trap. Don't expect a $20K KIA car to easily, readily or reliably handle 400+ hp. Just not designed for it.
I'm relying on you and others wealth of experience. The very thought of having a blown engine and having the car in the shop for untold weeks if not months is enough to raise the hairs on my ass or is it neck? You guys know how freaked out I was when they took longer than a few days to get the new down pipe installed so I hate being parted from my car. I already have the fmic just waiting for it to be installed. After that I'll get a tune and see where the nimbers are and how it drives. A tune will likely transform this car like PLP said. The only way I could get a good return is going through Kia again trading up and if they bring out a new model with the new 2.0 turbo engine on the i30n / Veloster N, I'd give it some thoughts.

Clearly there is a lot to consider when trading up or down, I saw how sexy those frs with the rocket bunny kits are but then see that a run of the mill turbobkit for the car is $5000-8000 USD it gave me pause. I use to loath that car but some of them kitted up look damn sexy.
 

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I'm relying on you and others wealth of experience. The very thought of having a blown engine and having the car in the shop for untold weeks if not months is enough to raise the hairs on my ass or is it neck? You guys know how freaked out I was when they took longer than a few days to get the new down pipe installed so I hate being parted from my car. I already have the fmic just waiting for it to be installed. After that I'll get a tune and see where the nimbers are and how it drives. A tune will likely transform this car like PLP said. The only way I could get a good return is going through Kia again trading up and if they bring out a new model with the new 2.0 turbo engine on the i30n / Veloster N, I'd give it some thoughts.

Clearly there is a lot to consider when trading up or down, I saw how sexy those frs with the rocket bunny kits are but then see that a run of the mill turbobkit for the car is $5000-8000 USD it gave me pause. I use to loath that car but some of them kitted up look damn sexy.
Forte5GT - I remember one guy quite clearly, (who blew up his 400+ hp SRT4 engine the afternoon we met) he managed to get his impeller off the turbo and had a guy CNC grooves in the impeller to grab more air. He reported favorably about the mod. So "some" hp increases don't have to cost an arm and a leg and require risky engine mods. That would be something to try. Others ceramic coated the turbos, used wraps and blankets, ported wastegates etc etc - so look at some cost effective engine & HP strategies. Don't be a victim of wasting money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Forte5GT - I remember one guy quite clearly, (who blew up his 400+ hp SRT4 engine the afternoon we met) he managed to get his impeller off the turbo and had a guy CNC grooves in the impeller to grab more air. He reported favorably about the mod. So "some" hp increases don't have to cost an arm and a leg and require risky engine mods. That would be something to try. Others ceramic coated the turbos, used wraps and blankets, ported wastegates etc etc - so look at some cost effective engine & HP strategies. Don't be a victim of wasting money.
I'm not too sure but that sounds like what an upgraded "stuff" turbo is, no?

Does wrapping the pipes help? I see these wraps on AliExpress for pretty cheap but it looks like aesthetic looks more than a performance one.
 

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I'm not too sure but that sounds like what an upgraded "stuff" turbo is, no?

Does wrapping the pipes help? I see these wraps on AliExpress for pretty cheap but it looks like aesthetic looks more than a performance one.
Wrapping controls unwanted heat warming up the engine bay; heat can easily drive electronics in to a failure or past temperature design limits.
 

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The very thought of having a blown engine and having the car in the shop for untold weeks if not months is enough to raise the hairs on my ass or is it neck? You guys know how freaked out I was
Man, that is the risk. If you keep it civil enough, you can still somehow manage to get it under warranty, if they don't find out. But again, that is the risk you are taking. If you are still covered, think twice what you can do and what you can afford to happen.

A tune will likely transform this car like PLP said
It will. I was really surprised. Of course it comes with a cost.
Cost in a few parts and much more expensive petrol. Is it worth it? For the few moments, I'd still say yes. Besides the better cars require med or premium petrol anyway.

Does wrapping the pipes help? I see these wraps on AliExpress for pretty cheap but it looks like aesthetic looks more than a performance one.
Uhm... no, they do not really help.
Unless you are really racing in very hot weather. Sure, you may drop the temperature by 1 degree, maybe 2. It still makes no difference whatsoever. Of course, if you start thinking - one degree here, two there, two more there - that is a total of 5 and that could be something.
But think what is happening in this pipe. It is metal (and some plastic/rubber). What is the heat transfer? On the inlet to the turbo - the colder it is, the better, but with the volumetric air flow, there is not enough time to get much of heat from the pipe.
Then, hot pipe - you want it to be heavy enough to take some beating from the road, but also thin enough to pass heat out quickly. It gets hot. Really hot. In stock I was reading (on summer) way above 100 C after one or two WOT (and that was entering IC).
Then, IC is the main thing that cools the air down. From there you have short run to the manifold.

So as you said, wrapping is more esthetics. You must really think where you want wrapping, where it might help, and where it might actually harm.


Good luck with your project.


But before you go any further, I would suggest you to take Optima 2.0T for spin. See how it feels. It is much heavier, but much more powerful at the same time.
Maybe look into other brands. Drive them and feel what they are like.
Forte is quite light, so it helps in overall driveability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@PLP the only car I would consider trading it in for RIGHT NOW is the Genesis Coupe. It's the car I test drove before I bought the Kia. The practicality of the hatch won me over. Actually, after the Gencoupe, I saved up some more for about another 20 months and went back to test drive the Elantra GT which I thought was pretty nice then Kia unveiled the Forte5 and I was in love. I remembered coming here to check out the car from other members and thought, wow, what a looker.

At this point, I'll do boltons up the ying yang and hope it satisfy's me enough. The initial investment of the USB OBDII device + tune is quite high. The local shop runs dyno tuning twice a year for the BTR tune so until their next event I may just build up the bolton inventory and see what I can get at the dyno event.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@PLP the only car I would consider trading it in for RIGHT NOW is the Genesis Coupe. It's the car I test drove before I bought the Kia. The practicality of the hatch won me over. Actually, after the Gencoupe, I saved up some more for about another 20 months and went back to test drive the Elantra GT which I thought was pretty nice then Kia unveiled the Forte5 and I was in love. I remembered coming here to check out the car from other members and thought, wow, what a looker.

At this point, I'll do boltons up the ying yang and hope it satisfy's me enough. The initial investment of the USB OBDII device + tune is quite high. The local shop runs dyno tuning twice a year for the BTR tune so until their next event I may just build up the bolton inventory and see what I can get at the dyno event.
 

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I have an 04wrx, and an f5. Wife has an optima turbo. Out if all 3 the WRX is the fastest. Custom turbo, regeared transmission, etc. Then the optima is next. But the optima is made to be a smooth power delivery, while the WRX is explosive. But the f5 will keep up with the optima from a start, but due to the taller gearing on the optima that car is much faster at higher speeds. Also gets better mpg than the f5 on highway driving, but the f5 it's better for around town.

So let me get into each car individually.

WRX, had it since 04 and have touched everything in that. Bigger rear brakes, regeared transmission (1+2 +FD), custom turbo, struts, spings, mounts, bushings, sway bars, tune, etc, etc. Is say this car is well over the 300 mark. It's fast, it's ineffecient, but it's the best handling car as well as the fastest. But my least favorite to drive as a daily. Also I need to upgrade the radio at some point on this guy.

Optima, stock, I need to change the radio here also. Had the infinity system but did not get the nav. Car has lots of power but delivers it smoothly. It's also really quiet. But it also had lots of creature comforts and even though it's lowered it had a very smooth ride. Wife loves it. I enjoy it quite a bit as well especially in the highway. Traction control kicks in allot even with new tires but still accelerates straight. But it's heavy. WRX and f5 will outback it on smooth roads. Overall, happy wife and a good compromise for me. Only vehicle wife like more was the Volvo xc90 v8 we had. That thing was a beast. 315/325 with awd and sounded beautiful (added for another frame of reference)

F5 is my favorite to drive. MT it's very close to the WRX after modifying it. Both have short throw shifter now but f5 feels much tighter, and nicer in regards to engagement. WRX does have a lighter clutch setup though so that also affects that. There f5 power delivery though is much more linear though. Not smooth like the optima but not explosive like the WRX. And the traction is almost always a problem with the stiffer mount. But my favorite part is the turn in. The WRX even with grippy tires, does not feel as good as the f5. The WRX still handles better,. But it's a bit piggish even with it being lowered and with the huge sway bars. It's almost like the f5 has a solid ratio rack while the WRX does not. The f5 is 15:1 I believe while the WRX is 16:1 and the rack moves a tad also. Design flaw of the 04 impreza. Also the ride is much smoother and it's not as harsh or loud... Yet.

The reason why I went on description with you is because you come across as new to the car game, and to show you hp is only one aspect of a car. The WRX was my daily for many years. I have had cars with more and less hp than these. But it's about the package. Kinda like a spouse. Having a hot one is great, but you'll get bored if they are not mentally engaging, paranoid if they are not trustworthy, afraid if they are abusive etc etc etc.

With the f5 you will need to consider your end goal (power, comfort, a/c), what happens if it's not obtained (trade in, have a place to park it while it's down, storage fees, cash reserve for broken parts), the journey to get there, etc. I wish you well on your journey and will be happy to share any of my experiences with you.

For the computer analogy since you sound like you might know something about that with your gigabit reference. Processors can be slowed down to conserve energy, but ram always uses the same power no matter how much it's used. So having a bunch of horsepower can be throttled with boost and fuel and air, things like weight, rotational mass, engine size, tire width, and compression ration etc are always there. Just something to think about ?

On a final note, do as much of the work as you can. It's really rewarding to most people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's true, I am very new to car modding and I'm sure there are aspects I have failed to consider. At the same time, I think it's one of those things you need to experience for yourself to find your answers and see what you are comfortable with. Like I said, the prospect of having parts broken and/or car down for a long time is no fun so I have to take that into mind on how far I will push it gong forward. The Stinger is a nice car but it's not really my taste. If you told someone you went from a Volvo V8 to a F5, they would see it pretty odd as well. Different demographics for sure. I also park downtown and it would look like a big hassle to find parking spots. It also looks like a high maintenance car, if I'm honest. Big, luxurious, premium, you name it. Car like that will garner a lot of attention. I'm all about low-key.

The WRX does sound like a riot. 300whp sounds about right power wise but that's AWD.

We'll see. Nothing is written in stone.
 

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The Volvo went cause it was up in mileage and the a/c had what you call black death. And I had just replaced the alternator and starter (and the alternator going out was the weirdest thing on that car, transmission would not shift Windows would not too down but car would drive and I was stuck in traffic but anyway) to the tune of 500 each plus install (cause I refused to work on that one). It also had 150k miles on it.

At the same time we also had a pilot. Wife needed an SUV for work so I made sure she had one at all times, hence why we had two. Once she changed jobs we got rid of both the SUVs and went back to cars. She is still up there with the 274hp on the optima. And the f5 has more creature comforts than the Volvo. I was going to get an optima as well but no MT option. And I also looked at the Genesis coupe. But with to kids I was not a fan of two doors. With 4 it takes them forever to get out as it is lol.

But all that aside, I agree you should experience as much as you can on your own, just know we are here to help.

My goal for the optima is to just clean it up power wise. Not loud, just a bit more power and keep it under warranty

The f5 however is similar, but I want it a bit louder and more fun to drive. I want to be able to keep up with the optima and Subaru ?
 

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A larger turbo would not make the car less reliable on it's own. This car runs a very small turbo due to the small engine, which is why we have so much heat. Running a larger turbo at the same boost should create less heat and make more power safely given a proper tune. You would however lose some powerband on the low end.

A rebuilt turbo would do very little for the car IMHO. You need a larger housing as well as an upgraded wheel. I have yet to see a decent dyno with a rebuilt stocker.
 
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