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This forum needs a little off-season discussion.


So after a year of autocrossing this car, I'm curious if the consensus is still '...needs a rear bar'? Anyone try both front and rear over this past season to see how the car reacts to each?


Also curious if anyone tried shocks, DS legal exhaust, etc.


Any thoughts on 2020 DS pax? Is this car going to be permanently buried now?
 

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After 20 events with the car, yes, a rear bar is needed. In fact, I was thinking about going bigger, from a 22mm up to a 24mm. But first, I'm planning on running a staggered setup like 255/35/18 fronts and 235/40/18 rears running 71Rs. Going to play around with this setup for a bit before I commit to a bigger rear bar.

I have plans on getting the aFe catback but I'll have to see my budget after buying tires. There's a lot of cracks all around the Pirellis from the cold last winter so I need to get new daily summer tires for next year ON TOP of my new 71R setup. aFe claims a 10HP/10ft-lbs increase with their catback and seeing that the stock unit is 2.5" and aFe's is 3", I can see it having a small gain. Although I don't think a 10HP gain would happen. Some guys just lob off the muffler to lose some weight but I can't run the car like that. The drone will drive me nuts.

As for shocks, our stock shocks are pretty advanced. The problem with the current SCCA ruling is we can't mess with them. But there's a current rule in SS that lets those guys use an aftermarket controller to control their magnetic ride damping. From what I know about why they added this rule last year is to test it out in a class before opening it for all of the Street classes. I don't know if they gotten enough data from SS but I do hope they implement it to all the Street classes for 2020.
In the mean time, check out the suspension controller available to us (Mando ECS10 is what it's called). The thing connects to your phone via Bluetooth and you can change the damping independently front-to-rear through their app. And best of all, Mando is the same company that makes our shocks. You can seriously go way stiffer than N mode and softer than normal mode.

Car is 100% a DS car. Especially if you look at both driver's times at NATS this year, both guys were faster than the GS NATS champ with the co-driver just missing out of the last trophy spot by .008.
 

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Figures I'll update this thread and see who's still around. I know the COVID has been real downer with events being cancelled left and right. But summer is almost here and events will start to pick back up again here soon.

So for this year, I have some 265/35/18 71Rs on all 4 wheels. Good news is they don't seem to rub with a 1.2G pull. Only thing bad was it took my friend about 2 hours to mount... I owe him lunch and dinner for quite a while now. It's a pinch and looks hilarious but tire rolling over too much shouldn't be too much of an issue. As for rain/daily tires, I have Michelin PS4S. Just stock sizing on the stock wheel. Ride quality is MUCH better and I have more trust in these in the rain than the Pirellis.

I have also went up to a 24mm bar along with replacing the end links SPL Parts rear links. Hard to say how well the 24mm bar works as I haven't done an event nor slapped the 71Rs on yet since install. I will say replacing the previous Whiteline end links with the SPL Parts end links makes the rear end very predictable. Like you know what it's going to do now compared to the Whitelines that had poly bushings on the bottom.

Lastly, I did get the aFe catback and put it on back in Februrary and have had nothing but issues with it. Even trying to deal with their customer support on it is a headache. It's gotten to the point where I put the stock axleback back on the car but left the 3" midpipe in since I don't have any issues with that part. Crazy enough, I notice a little bit of turbo lag. Even in N mode, it's still somewhat there but feels closer to when I had the aFe axleback in. With Borla announcing their own catback system for these cars, I'm just going to wait for that.

Anyways, hopefully this season gets started soon for you guys out there. I signed up for a 2 day event out in Indiana so I'm hoping to be able to run that event. Here's some pics of the tires and how they sit and the end link.

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I'm keeping the stock cat-back but I did order the Afe down pipe to hook up to it. I hope it works out well.

Nice posts about the set up too. U confirmed what I had thought. Thank you! :)

Best regards,

-Mike
 

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Hey Piro,

thanks for sharing, i am looking for a similar build, a few questions:

the aFe - what are the issues with it? i was thinking of the Borla but with everything that is happening, i'm wondering if they will be introducing new product any time soon. the mid-pipe is working okay? any differences in sound with just the midpipe?

The sway bar and end links: I may have missed it, but what's the make and model for both? I was thinking of spherical bushings for the rears as well.

I haven't auto-x'ed for years, but thought maybe i'll keep it in street class level of mods for a year or two, so really finding this thread helpful.
 

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Hey Piro,

thanks for sharing, i am looking for a similar build, a few questions:

the aFe - what are the issues with it? i was thinking of the Borla but with everything that is happening, i'm wondering if they will be introducing new product any time soon. the mid-pipe is working okay? any differences in sound with just the midpipe?

The sway bar and end links: I may have missed it, but what's the make and model for both? I was thinking of spherical bushings for the rears as well.

I haven't auto-x'ed for years, but thought maybe i'll keep it in street class level of mods for a year or two, so really finding this thread helpful.
The issues I have can be broken down into 3 categories.
1. Design of the active exhaust valve - The active exhaust valve is just like a throttle body valve on how it opens and closes. Of course, when the valve is closed, you should expect it to be muffled and somewhat quiet right? Well, there is a hole in the middle of that valve and it makes it loud all the time. It's even louder than the OEM exhaust in N mode and quite drone-y. Like it defeats the point of having an active exhaust. I even bought a snake bore camera that connects to my phone just so I can find out why it's so loud. I also covered my foot over the right side exhaust on a cold start that idled at 1800RPM and it was much more tolerable when over 90% of the exhaust gases can actually go through the muffler.
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2. Quality control - I bought mine with the chrome tips. The passenger side exhaust tip has what looks to be weld splatter on it. I didn't think much of it at first but the 2 splatter spots have started to rust. ON A CHROME TIP! I don't even know how this passed a quality control inspector...
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3. Axle back is defective - This one is the biggest issue and seems to keep getting worse. Since install, I've had this rattling coming from it. Didn't notice it at first until my friend told me there's some rattling but I just blew it off because it wasn't loud. At idle, it didn't rattle at all so I didn't care too much. But then it kept getting louder as I kept driving. Would do it only on deceleration but would start to do it on acceleration too. Sent them an email and they sent me new mounting hardware for the active valve to try. None of them worked of course. Even spent some of my own money on some screws and nuts to see if more pressure would help but nothing worked. Sent them an email and they said they're sending another set of mounting hardware. Waited 2 weeks and received nothing. Then what tipped me over the edge was it started to rattle at idle. Last email I sent them, I told them I already removed the axle back and to send me a return box and to NOT SEND ANYMORE MOUNTING HARDWARE KITS because nothing, not even my own hardware, is working. Even requested a new axle back. There was no response after a week so I sent another email. This time, got a reply with them saying that they are sending me new hardware... It's already been 8 days from today since that last email and still no hardware... I don't know why it's so hard to get a replacement axle back but I've been at it since February or March with them. I'm just going to throw in the towel and eat my losses. Here's a video of the rattling issue. My friend even said "Your muffler bearings must be shot" and it really does sound something like that.

After all of this, I'm staying FAR away from aFe products. I was planning on getting their downpipe in a few years time but after this $1100 mistake of a catback, it's a nope from me. Yup, $1100 down the drain. That $1200 stimulus, thankfully, made up for this mistake and it felt like a free catback. Midpipe is completely fine though. Only fault I can find with it is the cheap China resonator they use has robot welds that look way better than the welds on the whole catback. It is slightly louder with just the midpipe but the OEM axle back is still restrictive so N mode is hard to hear on the freeway with the windows rolled down.

For the sway bar and end links, the sway bar is Whiteline and the end links are SPL Parts. Currently, Whiteline makes the biggest bar for these cars.
Currently, SPL Parts is doing R&D with Genracer on many parts for the N, including spherical bushings for the rear trailing arm. Right now, no one makes one for these cars. Of course, COVID cancelled racing so R&D is on hold until the TC America series starts back up.
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I bought their down pipe but I sold the axle back I had purchased. I sold it before I even installed it. Took 120 dollar hit but I just didn't want rattling.... I can't see the down pipe being that bad. I'll let you know. I do have their Momentum intake and it is awesome. One of the best mods i did so far.

Br,

-Mike
 

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Super helpful, thank you for sharing! I Will probably pick up the same sways and end links for now. The use of the oem exhaust adjustment was what made afe appealing, but that video totally sealed the deal. I’ve had borlas and magnaflows before so i’ll try to stick to brands i know. Best of luck woth the rattle and (hopefully) the season!
 

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I can add to the aFe is awful to deal with. I bought an intake for a VW TDI from them (dumb buy, but I was doing dumb things to the car), they specifically advertised it as throwing no codes. It threw codes. When I contacted them about it, they were basically like "tough luck." never again will I buy an aFe product.

The shop I've been working with on my car works closely with SPL, they have a BRZ that is basically all SPL suspension. I wish I could get SPL to use my shop/me to test with, I'm only a couple of hours of Austin.

This year, I'm running in STU. I haven't found it necessary to go to the 24mm whiteline bar and have been satisfied with the 22mm on the middle setting. With the chassis bracing I've done and the bar on the middle setting, the car feels well balanced, but I might take it to the highest setting to get a little more rotation out of the rear end. I'll definitely be swapping out my whiteline endlinks to SPL though, I can echo the same sentiments you had about the whiteline endlinks, they make the rear end feel a little "numb".

I'm hoping to start looking into aero packages for the car this coming off season. The shop I'm working with works with a small aero shop that will come and scan the car to get a good baseline to custom make splitter and diffuser. Not sure what I'll be doing for the wing yet, but I'm definitely installing a splitter and rear diffuser.
 

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I'm pretty sure the downpipe is fine. Just with my experience in their quality control and seeing bad customer support after product purchase is pretty terrible, I just cannot buy or support them anymore. Cutting my losses and just selling the axleback for cheap locally.

Although what 22mm bar has 3 positions? Only ones I could find are 2 way or non-adjustables.
 

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I'll post after I install it and let you all know. As of right now I am still waiting for it. Another reason I went with it was they were offering a 21% off sale on basically everything. I just had to buy it at that point since it was relatively cheap. I hope I made a good decision?.....

Br,

-Mike
 

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I'm pretty sure the downpipe is fine. Just with my experience in their quality control and seeing bad customer support after product purchase is pretty terrible, I just cannot buy or support them anymore. Cutting my losses and just selling the axleback for cheap locally.

Although what 22mm bar has 3 positions? Only ones I could find are 2 way or non-adjustables.
Every adjustable bar with two positions has a middle by doing one side on the tightest setting and one on the softest.
 

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Here's an update from last weekend's 2 day event.

Day 1 sucked. My nerves just wouldn't calm down for some reason so I couldn't get a good feel of the car. I wasn't the only one since many others were having issues with driving on course. And some of these guys are NATS champs.

Day 2 was a lot better. Car feels absolutely great with the 24mm bar and solid end links. I thought it was going to be too much oversteer but it felt great. Rear was set to 42-44 psi and could be lowered to gain some stability in the slalom.

The 265 wide tires though, it rolls over the same amount as the 255/40 I ran last year. Even ran the same pressures on both at 34-36 psi. 265 is really only worth it for the tire height. I know 255/40 rubs along the fender and 255/35 doesn't but 255/35 is a much shorter tire than OEM so you end up losing 1mph. 265/35 also doesn't rub but you don't lose too much speed. Think it was under 1mph loss.

Overall, I am really liking this setup and I'm going to stick with it for a while and work on my driving. Anyways, here's a video of this past weekend. I know I made a lot of mistakes but I should be getting back in the groove of things this year if events keep on going.

 

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Here's an update from last weekend's 2 day event.

Day 1 sucked. My nerves just wouldn't calm down for some reason so I couldn't get a good feel of the car. I wasn't the only one since many others were having issues with driving on course. And some of these guys are NATS champs.

Day 2 was a lot better. Car feels absolutely great with the 24mm bar and solid end links. I thought it was going to be too much oversteer but it felt great. Rear was set to 42-44 psi and could be lowered to gain some stability in the slalom.

The 265 wide tires though, it rolls over the same amount as the 255/40 I ran last year. Even ran the same pressures on both at 34-36 psi. 265 is really only worth it for the tire height. I know 255/40 rubs along the fender and 255/35 doesn't but 255/35 is a much shorter tire than OEM so you end up losing 1mph. 265/35 also doesn't rub but you don't lose too much speed. Think it was under 1mph loss.

Overall, I am really liking this setup and I'm going to stick with it for a while and work on my driving. Anyways, here's a video of this past weekend. I know I made a lot of mistakes but I should be getting back in the groove of things this year if events keep on going.

hey where and how are you mounting the camear? and have you gotten an alignment to see what you can maximize for stock?
 

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hey where and how are you mounting the camear? and have you gotten an alignment to see what you can maximize for stock?
Mount is a Tackform. Works great! Even have the image stabilizer turned off on the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 camera I use and all my videos do not have any shaking. Prior to this, I spent about $50 on misc GoPro mounts and addons and nothing I tried I liked. So if you like the view from seeing my video, I would suggest spending the money once on the Tackform mount. It's worth it.

I haven't done any alignments yet since I got a basic alignment for winter. Since the COVID hit, the shop I want to take my car to (does great custom alignments) has been closed and just reopened recently but completely booked for a while.
 

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really, that mount doesn't move up and down? do you have it anchored on anything? that's interesting... it looks woobly.
 

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really, that mount doesn't move up and down? do you have it anchored on anything? that's interesting... it looks woobly.
It can move up and down or forward and back, depending on how you want it adjusted. And it mounts directly to one of the headrest polls by tightening 4 bolts that clamps to it. The whole mount is made out of steel and doesn't have any rattling, shaking, etc. The middle sections that adjust have teeth that lock into place when tightening the thumb screws so nothing wobbles there. If you see the camera moving around, shaking, it's because of me in my seat and/or the chassis taking a beating.
 
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