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stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/2/19 7:05 p.m.

In true stanger_missle fashion, I bought a car on a whim that I don't have a lot of knowledge on: a 2010 Kia Forte Koup EX.

It seems pretty compentent as a fun communter. What are some things I should look out for? The CDV is going to come out ASAP as it makes it damn near impossible to drive smoothly coupled with the aggressive throttle tip in.

The shifter is kinda meh. I'm thinking bushings will help that. Maybe a short shifter?

The Theta II seems pretty spunky. Any mods you would recommend?

What would you do to make it a fun but still comfortable commuter?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/3/19 6:16 a.m.

I'm guessing it seems like Bob hasn't responded to this yet (11 hours later.)

I'm betting it's more like he's still writing. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/3/19 7:01 a.m.

OK.... well this is definitely in my wheelhouse. First things first... get yourself a set of Bilstoni's. Bilstein front struts and Koni sport rears from a Veloster. Set the rears half turn up from full soft. The ride is MUCH improved over the stock crap Kia gave it originally. Stock spring rates are really pretty good for a commuter/daily driver. 18mm rear sway bar will make it more entertaining should you choose to do a track day. IIRC, all the Koups got the SX brakes (sedan's only got the big brakes on the SX and the Forte5 got the big ones due to weight) so a set of Porterfield R4S will be perfect (and your only option up front). Great initial feel/bite and fade resistant. Plus they'll last forever on that thing.

Engine... well, you've got the small block (2.0) but its still got decent-ish power. You won't get a ton of power out of it but I'd run a Kinetics cat-back, don't bother with changing the cat stock is fine, the header is actually pretty good stock (if you had the big block 2.4 I MIGHT suggest a better flowing aftermarket as the 2.0 and 2.4 share the same as long as its not a cali-car). Intake is a little small pre-filter box. You can open the intake tract into it or just go with an aftermarket. Be sure to wrap an aftermarket, they do get hot. 

Wheels, you can run an 8" wheel on this platform. Rules kept me to a 7.5 and honestly I wish I would have said screw ir and gone 8's with 235/40/17's. 

If you choose to go coilovers, let me know. I have the top plates from mine still so you can go a little less expensive with non-adjustable tophats and I can hook you up with mine. I've kept them this long thinking I'll get another First gen Forte for a track only car but the finance manager doesn't seem to agree with me. 

I can't think of anything else... they're super simple, durable and can be quite fun with a few key pieces thrown at them. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/3/19 7:03 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Inlaws were still at the house last night or I would have been all over this! 

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/3/19 7:18 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Thanks for the suspension suggestions.

Any recommendations for a rear bar? Will a bar off of another Hyundai/Kia fit?

It looks like I won't be getting wheels anytime soon as I just bought 4 brand new BF Goodrich Advantage T/A Sports in the stock size (205/55R16) tonight. I found the passenger side front tire worn to under the wear bars.

Do the front subframe and shock tower braces make any difference in these cars?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/3/19 7:55 p.m.

Don’t bother with the braces. This is a pretty stiff chassis. Any aftermarket rear bar for a first gen veloster fits. This platform never had a rear bar. 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
1/4/19 3:20 a.m.

Keep in mind genesis wheels... I think sedan ones... are in the junk yards at 18x8"... although with et 33... or an 18x7.5et39.  So, there might be some poke.  Otherwise Optima wheels are out there at 18x7 for even cheaper, iirc

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/4/19 6:59 a.m.

I think my Koup has a bad brake light switch. It also has 4 open recalls frown. TCS light randomly stays lit. That also means that the brake lights are not activating which is a little unnerving while in heavy traffic.

I just bought the $10 switch on Amazon so I won't have to wait for the dealer to get it in. Seems easy enough.

After tires, I think brakes are next. Then maybe suspension. I might remove the clutch delay valve this weekend so I can actually drive this damn thing.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/4/19 7:11 a.m.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/4/19 7:16 a.m.

In reply to sleepyhead :

While OE wheels are nice, the 17" wheels I feel are a better option. Keep in mind, on the Koup (and SX Sedan/Forte5) the smallest wheel you can run is a 16" wheel because of the front calipers. There are a couple of wheels that barely fit but rule of thumb 16+".

Also, Acura TL wheels from 04-08 are 17x8 +45 and RDX wheels from 07-11 are 18x8 +45. 

One otherthing... tune it. Seriously. You won't gain a ton of power, (5-10whp) but the throttle delay and throttle input becomes MUCH more linear and feels more natural and the car will improve economy because standard WOT fuel maps put this thing in the mid-9's for AFR. Stock tuning is terrible. BTR in Chicago is a good resource for that as they have done more than a few. Sure, it's $500 to have it custom tuned remotely from Korea but it's worth every penny. 

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/4/19 7:45 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

I was going to ask you about tuning next. The stock throttle mapping is berkeleying horrible. I'd happily pay $500 just for better throttle mapping haha.

Does the Theta II have an Achilles heel? It seems like a pretty decent little 2.0L. I need to change the oil soon because I have no service history on the car frown.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/4/19 8:24 a.m.

In reply to stanger_missle :

The variable intake runner motor will fail. They redesiged it in '12 to something much beefier. Mine died at 66k (just out of warranty) but it cost less than $100 and took 5 minutes to change. Unlike the timing chain honda's these don't really suffer from the chain stretch . I've seen these with 250k miles. They're pretty simple, port injection, timing chain, simple things to fix. Change trans fluid and change it often. I fell into 25-30k mile intervals. It only holds 2.7-ish quarts, I used the OE Unicorn blood fluid as it seemed to work best but it was expensive. I tried others (redline, RP, Synchromesh etc) and none lasted any longer and some were actually harder to shift cold. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
1/4/19 5:38 p.m.

Every time I consider snagging some different OEM wheels I realize that by the time I buy them ($100-200) and add the cost of tire mounting (usually $100), I'm only ~$50-100 away from just buying a new set instead that's lighter, wider, and more awesomer.

 

You aren't local, but I might unload my Veloster wheels soon.  They are heavy 18x7.5 so I doubt you'd be interested though.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/5/19 11:16 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I appreciate it but I'll probably run the stock 16s for awhile.

I have been snooping around on Craigslist for stock Hyundai/Kia wheels that are bigger than what I have now. There are a few sets off of Optimas for pretty cheap. That will come later though.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/5/19 11:30 a.m.

Last night, I tested the brake light switch. I was able to get it to fail almost every time by slowly applying the brakes while watching for the brake lights to light up the garage door. That would explain why the TCS light comes on randomly. That's pretty berkeleying scary considering I have been driving the car in heavy traffic and have already had a few panic stops on the freeway due to stupid motherberkeleyers.

I did some research and there was a recall for the switch. The recall on my Forte is still open but I just ordered a new switch on Amazon since I don't have time to take it to the dealer. It seems easy enough to change out.

I also ordered a bunch of LEDs for the cabin and exterior of the car. One of the mirror lights was out as was one of the license plate lights, the main dome light, and the trunk light. I'd like to add some foot well lighting as well since it's a black hole down there at night.

Bob, do you have access to KGIS?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/6/19 4:26 p.m.

Not anymore.  I did at one time. 

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/6/19 4:42 p.m.

Damn. I guess KGIS used to be free but now it's a subscription service.

I replaced the stop light switch which cured the random no brake light issue and the TCS light has stayed off. It still had the OEM switch installed.

I'm getting more used to the clutch. I had to move the seat back to where I can juuuust depress the clutch pedal all the way. It's still a little herky jerky sometimes and I only stalled it once today haha.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/6/19 5:36 p.m.

The most important mod:

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/7/19 2:13 p.m.

First time using Tire Buyer and I'm impressed. Of course I didn't see they had a warehouse in Tampa until after I checked out. So my tires arrived in one day. I still had to pay $30 shipping though frown.

 

No furniture. You know, priorities laugh.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/7/19 2:23 p.m.

In reply to stanger_missle :

I stalled mine at least weekly even after 3+ years of ownership. Even after doing the mod, the clutch feel on the stock DM flywheel is horrific. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/7/19 3:22 p.m.

In reply to stanger_missle :

I use Tire Buyer a lot.  It is the consumer site owned by ATD (American Tire Distributors.)  ATD is the company who delivers the tires to many of the shops in your area and for my area they deliver the tires to WalMart too.  

You said you paid $30 in shipping.  These were likely not brought by a Fed Ex/UPS type truck but rather brought by ATD's own truck.  If you choose to have the tires shipped right to one of their locally contracted shops (a shop they are likely going to anyway that day) they will ship them for free on their truck.  

Also, for popular choices that they have in stock, if you order before 10:30 am they often offer same day drop off to the tire store of your choice.   

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/7/19 5:14 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

The 2.0 has a DM flywheel? Ugh, that explains the clutch feel even more. Is there a solid flywheel replacement? I really want to love this little car but that clutch is like a cat turd on top of a cupcake. It ruins it.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/7/19 5:23 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Right you are John. I did some sleuthing after the tires got delivered and Googled the shipping address. It belongs to an ATD warehouse not more than 10 miles from my house. Street view showed a sign for "Will Call" on the building so I'm assuming I can pick up my order at that location.

I didn't realize ATD was as large as they are. They have a huge distribution network. I wish they would advertise more so more people would buy from them instead of the more well known tire warehouses.

I almost had them ship my tires to a local shop for free but I don't know when I'll have time to get them mounted otherwise I totally would of done it that way.

I will definitely use them again.

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
1/7/19 5:48 p.m.

In reply to stanger_missle :

If you buy from them through eBay they will ship to your house for free.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
1/7/19 6:00 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

Good to know! Thanks.

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