Kia Forum banner

41 - 58 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
I am a tuner, not a guy that has had cars tuned...
I appreciate you sharing your insight to tuning cars. I did hear about the heatsoak with the SX's due to the smaller intercoolers. That part does worry me. Summers here can be brutal. You're probably right and to leave well enough alone. But being a guy, who's into cars, it's hard to do that. :) Perhaps I'll look into the throttle booster - just for the fun factor and then stick with cosmetic stuff... like getting the suspension better suited for handling by lowering it a bit. Black out some of the chrome trim, etc... Again, i can't leave well enough alone - I don't like stock looking cars. I have to be different. lol
 

·
Registered
17 Sportage SX, 13 STI
Joined
·
39 Posts
I appreciate you sharing your insight to tuning cars. I did hear about the heatsoak with the SX's due to the smaller intercoolers. That part does worry me. Summers here can be brutal. You're probably right and to leave well enough alone. But being a guy, who's into cars, it's hard to do that. :) Perhaps I'll look into the throttle booster - just for the fun factor and then stick with cosmetic stuff... like getting the suspension better suited for handling by lowering it a bit. Black out some of the chrome trim, etc... Again, i can't leave well enough alone - I don't like stock looking cars. I have to be different. lol
I’ve heard of this throttle booster before, but never used it. Is it the device that makes the throttle mapping even more aggressive?

I have messed around with suspensions even more. Shock dynos, custom 3 way adj coil overs (High speed comp, low speed compression, rebound) etc...,

Almost all OEM shocks use large bump stops to make the spring rates progressive in their last about 2” of compression. If you lower the car with springs alone I can almost guarantee that in anything other then very smooth pavement your SX will be slower and harder to control. It might feel sportier, but I would gladly race you on a track and I’ll take the stock suspension.

Now, if you are going to get new shocks and struts (Which I’m sure don’t exist for this chassis) then that is an entirely different story.
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
I’ve heard of this throttle booster before, but never used it. Is it the device that makes the throttle mapping even more aggressive?

I have messed around with suspensions even more. Shock dynos, custom 3 way adj coil overs (High speed comp, low speed compression, rebound) etc...,

Almost all OEM shocks use large bump stops to make the spring rates progressive in their last about 2” of compression. If you lower the car with springs alone I can almost guarantee that in anything other then very smooth pavement your SX will be slower and harder to control. It might feel sportier, but I would gladly race you on a track and I’ll take the stock suspension.

Now, if you are going to get new shocks and struts (Which I’m sure don’t exist for this chassis) then that is an entirely different story.
The throttle boosters just actuate the butterfly in the throttle body without lag versus the standard delayed/sluggish opening. I'm not sure our SX's actually need it, but my wife's A5 can sometimes can give you a stranded feeling when pulling out into traffic.. there's so much lag with the throttle when flooring it, it's scary.

What about these coilovers.. I was checking this site out: 2017 Kia Sportage Performance Coilover Kits - CARiD.com

While were at it would do you think of this: AEM® - Aluminum Gunmetal Gray Cold Air Intake System with Red Filter
 

·
Registered
17 Sportage SX, 13 STI
Joined
·
39 Posts
What about these coilovers.. I was checking this site out: 2017 Kia Sportage Performance Coilover Kits - CARiD.com
The AST stuff is nice stuff. I would need to compare spring rates to OEM rates, but usually they do their homework correctly.

With a high quality damper (and AST does high quality dampers) you can usually run a much higher spring rate, but with very little ride degredation. The downside, they are not cheap.

Usually from what I have seen, cheaper coil-overs are rarely worth it. Generally you need to spend $2000+ to really get stuff that has the proper valving to really improve the handling of a car, and yet keep or improve its street civility, this is after all an inexpensive little family hauler, not at all a sports car, or even related to one.
 

·
Registered
17 Sportage SX, 13 STI
Joined
·
39 Posts
AEM is another reputable brand. Usually they also do their homework for intakes, which means it keeps the OEM MAF calibration, but make sure you check first.

13 hp gain is probably very very optimistic. ie: they dyno'd the OEM set-up at 5pm, then swapped to the AEM one at 8pm, temp dropped 10 degrees in the meantime and the car picked up more hp (partially cause it is cooler outside). or: ever looked at a non-smoothed dyno graph, it has dips and peaks all over. So the OEM one had a dip at XXXX rpm and the AEM one had a peak at XXXX rpm, the difference? 13 hp!!!! In reality, those sorts of intakes usually are a bit louder (you can hear the the turbo and by-pass valve more) and IME you may see a gain somewhere in the area of 3-8 whp. Which is not nothing, in fact you might almost feel it, but it is not huge.

Many modern cars run off of a requested torque table. So if airflow mods are done, and the engine as a whole is now a more efficient air-pump, the ECU will actually lower target boost (or sometimes even slightly close the throttle) so as to achieve, but not exceed the requested torque. I don't have experience tuning KIAs, so please don't quote this as gospel, just a general truth in tuning modern cars. But, on many modern cars if you make physical changes to allow the engine to flow more air, you need a tuner to make the tuning changes to work along with those mods.
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage
Joined
·
957 Posts
I am a tuner, not a guy that has had cars tuned, but a guy that has on many occasions tuned cars, on real dynos. I did it for money for a while, but figured my day job paid more so I just do it for myself and friends. I have tuned about 40-50 cars. Done probably 2000-3000 different tune revisions. Are there people that know more then me, of course, but most know less as far as tuning goes.

Taking out any restriction on the intake will allow the motor to flow more air, which (if tuned correctly) will result in more hp. How much? Hard to say.

ANY air filter results in a restriction, you can test this on a dyno with a vacuum gauge post air filter but pre-turbo.

The last car I did this test on had a slight vacuum at WOT with the factory airbox/filter, and changing it resulted in maybe 3-5 whp. Nothing huge, but 3-5 is better then 0.5% on most cars.

When that same car had a bigger turbo (with about 30-35% more flow potential then the OEM one) then the factory airbox filter assembly resulted in about 35-40 whp loss over the higher flow unit.

Lesson, factory intake was pretty good. Aftermarket one traded some noise for a few WHP bump.

The OEM exhaust also tends to be half decent nowadays. Sure there might be 5-10whp gain (again, this might require tuning to realize the potential) but the real gain is the cat(s). So if you want to be illegal and pollute, take the cats out and possibly gain a decetn amount of whp (again with proper tuning).

OEMs (in this case KIA) usually leave some room for error on the table. These cars may not be in the ideal mechanical condition when they are 5,6,7+ years old, so they don't go too close to the edge. Specificially with things like turbo shaft speed. (will you always have top shelf synthetic oil in there?) Also, will you keep the valves clean from deposits that are common to GDI cars? All things being equal, on a car that makes 240ish hp, there is usually about 10+ whp on the table from a tune alone, maybe another 15 or so if you tune it for 91 or 93 octane gas. There is also usually a big mid-rpm bump in torque that could be exploited if one wanted to. But then that opens up the possibility of transmission or other driveline problems.

FWIW the Sportage SX already has shown signs of intercooler heatsoaking in hot temps, even though the car is factory stock. Then the ECU pulls timing and it drops a ton of power to protect itself. So in temps that aren't too hot, is it possible to get more whp? Sure. Will it then heatsoak even faster in hot temps? Yup.

If you tune for 91/93 gas alone, don't increase boost levels, just a little bit extra timing and AFR tweaking, then I would argue the motor/intercooler is likely fine.

As soon as you raise boost, then the intercooler is likely the limiting factor.

I could go on, but I got better things to do. I own an SX, and I have decided not to tune it, not enough proven examples to worth the risk IMO. Just spend the money and buy a faster cross-over if that is what you want IMO.
In my limited experience with tuning -- only 30 cars or so as part of car clubs -- what I've found is that in today's modern cars, air flow is pretty much maximized and giving it more airflow (without tuning) provides virtually no benefit since the ECU doesn't use the added airflow. In older cars, or track cars which are tuned, you can play with the airflow and get some added hp, but not that much. Your assumption that ANY restriction affects performance (without tuning) is just not totally true with today's cars. Manufacturer's leave very little on the table today or they wouldn't be competitive. Yes, they do leave a safety margin for both age and misuse, like pulling heavy trailers, running in high heat or extreme cold, etc. For the vast majority of people, I would not recommend playing with these safety margins unless you regularly have the equipment to test your setup. So, my friend, be careful you don't make assumptions for all cars, especially ones in the last 3-4 years or so. Typically, most tuning is done on older cars that are modded, not new ones off of the showroom floor. I would especially be careful on tuning our cars as these engines seem to be running close to their optimum. So how many tunes have you done on 2017 to 2020 Sportages and what were the dyno results????
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #48
The AST stuff is nice stuff. I would need to compare spring rates to OEM rates, but usually they do their homework correctly.

With a high quality damper (and AST does high quality dampers) you can usually run a much higher spring rate, but with very little ride degredation. The downside, they are not cheap.

Usually from what I have seen, cheaper coil-overs are rarely worth it. Generally you need to spend $2000+ to really get stuff that has the proper valving to really improve the handling of a car, and yet keep or improve its street civility, this is after all an inexpensive little family hauler, not at all a sports car, or even related to one.
I do love the easy adjustability you get with coil-overs. On my 528i I installed a set of Ground Control's and it took it from sloppy, floating down a river feeling, to I think I can keep up with an F1 car in the twisties..haha, i exaggerate a bit. But what a difference it makes. And yes, you get what you pay for. It's a hefty price to pay for the good stuff, but worth it in the long run.
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
AEM is another reputable brand. Usually they also do their homework for intakes, which means it keeps the OEM MAF calibration, but make sure you check first...
Thanks for all your insight. This one looked like a nice set-up. In all my years i've never done more than a K&N filter, but this one intrigued me. I think mainly too because I genuinely don't like the sound i'm hearing from the engine compartment of the SX. It sounds plastic and uninspiring to me... So I would love to get it to sound more throaty and deep. Any added HP would only be a benefit after that.
 

·
Registered
17 Sportage SX, 13 STI
Joined
·
39 Posts
In my limited experience with tuning -- only 30 cars or so as part of car clubs -- what I've found is that in today's modern cars, air flow is pretty much maximized and giving it more airflow (without tuning) provides virtually no benefit since the ECU doesn't use the added airflow. In older cars, or track cars which are tuned, you can play with the airflow and get some added hp, but not that much. Your assumption that ANY restriction affects performance (without tuning) is just not totally true with today's cars. Manufacturer's leave very little on the table today or they wouldn't be competitive. Yes, they do leave a safety margin for both age and misuse, like pulling heavy trailers, running in high heat or extreme cold, etc. For the vast majority of people, I would not recommend playing with these safety margins unless you regularly have the equipment to test your setup. So, my friend, be careful you don't make assumptions for all cars, especially ones in the last 3-4 years or so. Typically, most tuning is done on older cars that are modded, not new ones off of the showroom floor. I would especially be careful on tuning our cars as these engines seem to be running close to their optimum. So how many tunes have you done on 2017 to 2020 Sportages and what were the dyno results????
And you actually have experience with tuning software, sitting on a dyno and changing the parameters on your car?

Like this?
 

·
Registered
2018 Kia Optima FE 2.4L
Joined
·
10 Posts
tuning a naturally aspirated engine without upgrades gets little for your $$$. turbo'd engines can get a lot of xtra performance safely if tuned correctly, thats more boost, correct fueling + timing adjustments + you WILL feel the difference. kiss your warranty BYE + the xtra stress power can cause stock parts failures in the drivetrain as well as the engine internals. Kias are great but for a car to be hot rodded the VAG volkswagenautogroup offerings are best IMO. go to the GOAPR.com site + see what real gains can be made with a direct injected turbo engine can do. i have used their tunes $$$ on a VW + now Audi both 2001 vintages but direct injected engines can be tuned more due to its knock resistance, if you wanna play you gotta pay$$$
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage
Joined
·
957 Posts
And you actually have experience with tuning software, sitting on a dyno and changing the parameters on your car?

Like this?
I am not a tuner. But I've been at the dyno when a tuner makes mods. We did it in our clubs all of the time. Years ago it made a much bigger difference than today. IMO, current engines NEED a safety margin. One of the reasons people buy Kia's and Hyundai's is that it has a long warranty. My Kia dealer told me that there are people who tune the SX in particular and they bring the cars in with problems. He said his crew is now familiar with the problems in tuned cars and he has voided the warranty of a couple of them. I just don't think it is worth the risk with a Sportage. But it is your money, I guess. The benefit of tuning is so small today for the cars I've seen that it is just a waste of money... Again, manufacturer's don't want to leave any performance on the table and their safety margins are calculated to make the long warranty profitable.
 

·
Registered
2018 Kia Optima FE 2.4L
Joined
·
10 Posts
due to todays laws + warranties vehicle computers control EVERYTHING + unless you have forced induction running low boost it takes parts + $$$$ to get more out of a naturally aspirated engine + noboday wants to pay the $$$$ for premium fuel needed for better performance!
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
due to todays laws + warranties vehicle computers control EVERYTHING + unless you have forced induction running low boost it takes parts + $$$$ to get more out of a naturally aspirated engine + noboday wants to pay the $$$$ for premium fuel needed for better performance!
My car is a turbo and I can get performance out of it, albeit, at cost. But nothing's free is it? And don't assume 'nobody' wants to pay $$$$ for premium gas. I did it for more than 20 years and still do for my Audi and my BMW... because it's required and it is what it is.
 

·
Registered
2018 Kia Optima FE 2.4L
Joined
·
10 Posts
audi like VW is well supported by tuning + parts upgrades + as noted $$$$, checking out GOAPR will show what can be safely done if your willing to $$$$, they even have milder tunes which THEY warranty $$$$ because manufacturers quickly void them unless its something they supply $$$
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage SX AWD
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #57
audi like VW is well supported by tuning + parts upgrades + as noted $$$$, checking out GOAPR will show what can be safely done if your willing to $$$$, they even have milder tunes which THEY warranty $$$$ because manufacturers quickly void them unless its something they supply $$$
I know all that. I've owned Audi's and VW's all my life. You can mod them and jeopardize your manufactures warranty too. I guess I don't understand why people are saying you can't mod or upgrade the Sportage - like it's a sin or something. From what I understand the Sportage has the same 4 cylinder engine the entry level Stinger has... and they are moding the sh*t out of that car. I didn't buy my Sportage for the warranty, like i'm discovering, everyone else seems to have made their purchase for. I wanted a fun, reliable, different looking suv... and one day, mod it a bit to heighten all the senses.
 

·
Registered
2017 Kia Sportage
Joined
·
957 Posts
I know all that. I've owned Audi's and VW's all my life. You can mod them and jeopardize your manufactures warranty too. I guess I don't understand why people are saying you can't mod or upgrade the Sportage - like it's a sin or something. From what I understand the Sportage has the same 4 cylinder engine the entry level Stinger has... and they are moding the sh*t out of that car. I didn't buy my Sportage for the warranty, like i'm discovering, everyone else seems to have made their purchase for. I wanted a fun, reliable, different looking suv... and one day, mod it a bit to heighten all the senses.
I'm sure you know that even though the Stinger may have the same basic Theta II engine, performance cars generally have updated bits that can handle mechanical stress, different cams, stronger pistons, etc. It also has an 8 speed auto vs. our 6 speed auto. Thus, pushing the Stinger engine can be done more safely than our engine. I don't really know if this is the case, but given my experience rebuilding engines, I suspect it is.... It would be interesting to find out....
 
41 - 58 of 58 Posts
Top