SO YOU WANT TO TURBO YOUR GEN
Okay, so you've finished reading our basic terminology and modding the gen write-ups, eh? Full Bolt-ons not enough power for you? What's next?
A turbo, naturally. Let's talk about a few things before, during and after.
But first, check out to get the fundamentals down.
GRAB SOME POPCORN, LIGHT A CANDLE, YOU'LL BE HERE AWHILE.
Before: The first thing you need to know about the Lambda (BK1 3.8 MPI) and Lambda II (BK2 3.8 GDI) is that neither of these engines were built to be boosted from the factory. Changing an NA engine to an FI application has consequences, namely shortening the engine's lifespan. Even if you do everything right, turbos can and will decrease the longevity and reliability of the engine and all other drive train components. With that being said, we've seen several engines last longer than 70k miles so a proper tune and maintenance can make or break the build.
The Lambda engines are very powerful motors for their displacement, and they have some nifty tech but there ARE some downfalls of the stock blocks.
--1: The ring lands (Piston Ring housings) are fairly weak due to the design of the pistons. Hyundai used powder-pressed pistons as a form of cost cutting; they work well for NA applications but add boost and temperature and the pistons rings will expand more than they normally do. When this happens, too much pressure/temp will force the rings to butt up against each other. If they do, they will bend up or down and will crack/shatter the pistons.
The consequence of this is excessive blow-by (oil seeping past the crankcase and into the combustion chamber) and loss of compression. You'll see oil (white smoke) blowing out of the tailpipe... a lot of it. IF YOU SEE THIS, GET OFF THE GAS, PULL OVER, TURN THE CAR OFF AND DO NOT RUN IT UNTIL YOU REPLACE THE DAMAGED PISTONS/WHATEVER ELSE. If you don't stop immediately, you could score the cylinder walls more than can be honed. You'll either need to sleeve the block or replace it altogether if you don't listen and continue to drive it home instead of getting it towed, WE'VE SEEN IT HAPPEN.
With that being said, the stock boost levels with an Alphaspeed tune are fine for the stock rotating assembly so tune further than that at your own risk.
--2: Adding a turbo to the Lambda will increase crankcase pressure, so deleting the restrictions for the crankcase will be crucial to helping the engine breathe. Oil catch can kits will help that when installed properly. The driver and passenger valve covers both have vent ports that go to the intake; you can buy 3/8 hose from your local auto store and get a generic catch can with a baffle, route both hoses to the can via a Tee, then route the outlet side of the can to the intake where the original hose would go. (NOTE: With the RP turbokit comes a catch can setup and instructions on how to mount it.)
--3: OIL OIL OIL. We cannot stress this enough; just like a proper tune can make or break the build, so can oil. Once again, you're converting your car from NA to FI. Whatever oil you were instructed to use before must change now, to accommodate for the higher cylinder pressures, heat from the turbo AND the added cooling you need for the turbo itself.
Most aftermarket turbos use oil for both lubrication and cooling (Some use oil for lubrication and water/coolant for cooling). With the extra demand on the oil, you will need to switch to a fully synthetic oil after breaking everything in, as well you will need to monitor the oil continuously. For the Gen, we recommend switching to a 5w40 full synthetic oil (Oils to be used/avoided here) to ensure that you are not starving the motor of oil and that the oil quality exceeds the demands. Additionally, you will need to switch to the 2.0T OEM spin on oil filter (available from your local dealer, or from us).
The best ways to keep your engine health in check is to check your spark plugs during oil changes and do compression checks (compression testers are available at a local auto store, you just need a buddy to help crank the engine with the tester hooked up to the spark plug hole). We'll have a video on spark plug analysis and removal/replacement/gapping soon.
Regarding oil changes, your interval will also be shortened due to the added strain on the oil; plan for 3000-4500 mile OCIs (Oil Change Intervals). On top of this, Used Oil Analysis (UOA) is a great method to check your engine's health. During your oil change, take a sample of the oil (not at the beginning or the end of the drain process, but during the middle part). Sending the oil out to a reputable analysis company (Blackstone Labs is whom we use) will get you a detailed report of the wear metals and how the oil is holding up. This is MUCH more helpful than a visual inspection of the oil and the engine internals.
--4: Drivetrain. We've talked before briefly about the drive train slop in the Gen, let's focus on what to do with the added power you will have.
A: The two motor mounts and the trans mount are soft material that will flex easily and will allow the motor and trans to shift under power/decel. Stiffening the stock mounts will do wonders to stop the shifting. There has been some R&D on solid motor mounts, however your stock mounts are hydraulic fluid-filled mounts that absorb vibration and noise. Changing them to solid mounts will stiffen the rotating assembly but will also transform the car into a rattlebox.
B: For Manual transmission gens, a short shifter will help eliminate any flex in the stock bushings and the rattle in the stock shifter. There are many shifters out there that replace the stock shift rod itself, such as ATQ, Garageline, Torque Solutions, etc but these will not help with the actual slop of the shifter. These will help somewhat, if you pair them with upgraded shift bushings. The stock bracket that bolts to the chassis is weak material and will flex under load, possibly even snap. We've seen this happen several times as it is made out of powder pressed metal. A proper short shifter (in our opinion) eliminates this bracket altogether and bolts the shifter directly to the chassis. Shifters like Coolerworx and IRP do this, so we recommend checking them out. (NOTE: We are not advertising any brands or knocking others, simply stating what the different styles of shifters do, and what the actual issues in the drive train are).
C: Trans/Diff fluid needs to be replaced from the factory fluids as they are horrible for the Manuals (For autos, just replace the diff fluid, the auto fluid is good and only needs to be replaced at 100k or if you've cooked it). Quick short and easy, for manuals, they're drain and fill. Two bolts on cases. Fluids recommended, here.
D: Suspension setups are HUGE for the Gen. Putting the power down has always been an issue due to the stock setup; it's geared for driving comfort and GT driving, not track or drag. There are many write-ups on suspension online, so we won't cover that here. What you will need to do is get a proper set of coilovers and adjust them with an alignment afterward to hook and book. IF you decide to lower your Gen, you'll need to adjust your rear subframe with risers to align the suspension geometry and help stabilize the differential. You want the right angle of the driveshaft to the differential and diff-wheels so that the shafts aren't angled and strained.
D2: While we're on this topic, let's discuss the rear end. The stock rear subframe is OK for stock applications but it's a 2-piece cast and stitch welded design. This is in no way suited for high power output. We've yet to see someone destroy the subframe itself, but keep that fact in mind. The sedan subframe (09'-11' 4.6) is a bolt-on upgrade (you'll need a sway bar adapter kit to use the coupe sway bar) that is a one-piece tubular design. It's thicker and stiffer so it won't flex or fail under the same power levels. If you don't want to go that deep, then replacing the differential bushings on the stock subframe will help with diff flex. YOU DO NOT WANT SOLID BUSHINGS; the diff needs to flex to absorb shock, but it doesn't need to flex as much as it does with the stock mounts. Most bushing kits will come as a set of 4; don't be alarmed. The stock diff only has 3 mounts (once again, Hyundai cost cutting and driveability softness), so you'll need to mount the fourth diff bushing to the subframe and bolt it to the diff. You need to punch out the OEM diff bushings so you'll have to drop the subframe to get proper access. (Why not just get the sedan subframe, do the swap on the sedan one and then swap the subframe altogether?)
--5: Mods to CONSIDER. Let's go over some things that you can do to help your car with the turbokit.
A: Cooling; You will need a better method to cool all your fluids (NOTE: The RP turbokit comes with an oil cooler and all necessary hardware.) Adding a larger radiator to increase cooling capacity is recommended, and options we recommend are Koyo or CSF. Do not ask us about Mishi(Sh*ty)moto. (NOTE: with a larger radiator, you will have to trim your fan shroud for the RP turbokit. This will not affect fan operation or cooling, and it is covered in the RP video install series. There are no current Plug and Play (PnP) kits for the Power steering, manual trans or differentials. Expect R&D on those systems soon, or make your own; these aren't necessary just yet but also recommended for high power and demand applications.
B: Power mods: All of the modifications included in the RP kit are what you need to push power, however, there are some that can supplement the kit.
--Our partners at 3P8P are designing exhaust manifolds (headers) to work with the RP turbokit, but otherwise we recommend gutting the stock catalytic converters and running the OEM header/cats as opposed to aftermarket ones.
--Other mods to consider are the 3P8P "Stage 3" manifolds, which are ported for optimal airflow and the least restriction to the cylinder heads from stock manifolds. They are designed for FI applications specifically.
--Finally, adding water/meth injection to the intake portion of the cylinder head will help cool the intake temps and resist detonation/knock under higher boost at the same fuel octane rating.
--6: Mods to AVOID
A: Intake. The RP kit has its own intake tube and it comes with a filter.
B: Header, downpipes and secondary cats. The RP kit replaces the last two and the stock headers outflow all of the aftermarket options out there currently. Use the stock cats or the 3P8P headers when they come out.
C: Megan mounts. They're not designed right for the BK1 3.8 and the trans mounts angle the transmission up a few degrees. Like we said above, polyurethane your stock mounts.
D: Throttle body spacer/Manifold thermal spacer. Not worth your time. The "gains" you get from these are negligible at the power level you're making. Spend your money elsewhere.
There, that's the "BEFORE YOU TURBO" section.
Now let's make REAL power