Genesis Coupe: The Long Story of Getting a 27 Minute Upgrade

So, you go the TL:DR version (which, if I’m honest, still wasn’t exactly short) last week.

Go on. Go read that link first. That gives you the basics of the whole situation. You read it?

REALLY?

That fast? Hrrrm. Fine. I’ll trust you.

So.

I’d planned an extended weekend in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area, for those who aren’t familiar with it). It’s spring, the summer tires are back on the car, it’s looking and sounding ‘right’ again, and I do like a drive. The original plan had been to run down Wednesday after work, crash Wed/Thurs night for sure at a friends place, then maybe move onto my brother’s place Friday night, and one of the Basterd’s places on Saturday night. Thursday would be a catch-up-with-people day and evening, and Friday and Saturday would be car stuff. Then drive home on Sunday.

First issue: A storm rolled in on Tuesday, with heavy rain forecast for Wednesday. Some potential flooding on all the routes I was looking at taking. With a Cold Air Intake that sits behind the bumper cut-out, and six inches off the road, that could be bad. So, I decided to forgo Wednesday night, and leave early early Thursday morning. Which went well enough. Most of the time, I could roll with at least a window down, and just enjoy the drive. Not the sunny, windows down, sunroof open drive I’d hoped for, but hey, you can’t pick and choose sometimes.

reststop

I left around 5:30am Thursday morning, and it was decent. Until I crested a hill just west of Norwood on highway 7, and there was an OPP car going the other way. Now, I wasn’t speeding… badly. I was just following the pick-up in front of me at *mumbles* km/h. I lifted off the throttle, and saw him crest the hill going the other way. Held myself to about 85km/h and just kept rolling. About five minutes later, there’s an OPP car stuck to my rear bumper. Two minutes after that… Yup. Flashing reds and blues.

So, I pull over, keys out of the ignition, stereo off, windows down, and he comes over.

“So, where’s your front plate?”

Ahhh. SO, he rolled up behind me, saw I had an Ontario plate, and that’s the issue. Fair enough. Ontario requires you to have two plates, front and back.

“it’s right there, but it’s on the passenger side: that’s why you pulled me over?”
“Really? I didn’t see it, and yup, that’s why I stopped you.”
“Go take a look, really, it’s there, it’s just on the passenger side, screwed into the “TOW” hook hole.”
“Wait, what?”

So, he goes round the front, and starts poking at my plate. I get out, and go explain it to him:

IMG_20140517_140159

Long and short of that? Really cool, fairly young guy, no ticket, and he was interested in knowning where I got the attachment for the towhook. I’m happy to plug a Canadian company, so it’s RHO PLATE. He also mentioned that while he didn’t mind either way, in Toronto they may not look as kindly on my plate covers. Fair enough.

Back on the road, got to Missisauga without further issues, and Thursday in general was good! I got to catch up with peeps, and see my neice for an hour or two, which is awesome. Movies until far too late into the night, and then poof! It’s Friday.

Now, Friday, that’s where we get to the meat of things. you’ve read the GOOD part of my experience with ATQ. This is the bitter sweet.

I want to state right now, for the record, the issues that Tomi had were NOT HIS FAULT. They were Hyundai’s, quite honestly. He’s never seen a car as badly assembled as mine. Nor has he seen as much salt and crap built up in and arround the subframe bolts and mount points. So, when we discovered that, putting the passenger rear subframe bolt back in (or maybe even as early as taking it out) it was shredded, that’s definitely NOT on Tomi and his skills. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to get a bolt that looks like this back into the car in any useful manner:

old subframe bolt -detail

Also, because it was Friday, and we’d been waiting around for the rigid collars to be made (on site), we were already running behind by the time we discovered the problem. The first job was to find a tap/die set with a 14mm x 1.5 in it. Surprisingly difficult. By 9:30pm, we were opening boxes at Canadian Tire, and the staff were trying to usher us out the door, as it was closing time. Fortunatley, the kit we found was on sale for $99.99: a price I’m willing to pay to add a useful tool to my own garage. After dropping off food for his (understandably irritated) girl friend, we headed back to the shop… via the beer store. Because, OBVIOUSLY at this point.

Re-threading the sub-frame bolt was done and in it went… And as soon as Tomi applied any torque to the wrench, it just started spinning freely. Not going to work. And yeah, we pulled it out, and sure enough, stripped down again. The hole it was going into was clear, so after two or three tries, we gave up on that bolt.

By this time, it’s pretty late. At least 11:30pm. We’re about nine hours into that twenty-seven minute job. Tomi is unimpressed, I’m disheartened, and worried about even being able to get back to Mississauga to sleep that night, and considering where in the shop I set my tent and air-mattress up.

Which is when Tomi says: “hey, maybe I can MAKE a bolt”.

My response is pretty incredulous: Seriously, you can do that?

“I dunno. I’ve never done it before. But we can try.”

And he goes to work. And a single lump of steel becomes:

old subframe bolt, and new

That’s the new one on the right.

I gotta say, it LOOKS right. Hell, it looks better than the stock bolt. In it goes…. and… starts spinning freely. Both of us show disappointment. But, again, Tomi goes back to work, does some quick measurements, and hey, look at that, the new one is fractionally too long. A chunk gets chopped off, and it gets re-tapered and threaded again and in it goes. And the torque wrench clicks at 60lb.ft.

This is when the big grins start. The spec says 125lb.ft for this bolt. That’s a bunch. So, Tomi goes to work.

70lb.ft chunk-CLICK!
80lb.ft chunk-CLICK!
90lb.ft chunk-CLICK!
100lb.ft chunk-CLICK!

Holy shit. This is getting CLOSE. 100lb.ft is probably enough. But, hey, lets go for the gold. I dunno about Tomi, but I’m ACTIVELY holding my breath at this point.

110lb.ft chunk-CLICK!
120lb.ft chunk-CLICK!

Moment of truth…

125lb.ft chunk-CLICK! lets just check that again: Chunk-CLICK! chunk-CLICK! chunk-CLICK!

Huge sigh of relief, and the sound of me guzzling a beer.

I’ve said it to a few people: I spent a bunch of hours (many, many hours) that night talking with Tomi. He and I have HUGE ideological and political differences. But, I have no problem with that for a number of reasons. First, he’s a smart guy, and he’s willing to talk. We need more people on both sides who are willing to talk, and willing to come to an agreement (or agree to disagree). I had a lot of fun arguing with him about stuff. I think he was surprised that I didn’t hate his guts over his views, too. Second, he didn’t leave me to rot. Seriously, that’s a big deal. I can think of a couple of shops and individuals who would have just called it quits, and told me to tow the car to the dealership for them to put a new, stock bolt in. A lot of this is down strictly to his unwillingness to be beaten by a problem, which is why the parts he has for sale are so damn good. He gets it right, because, in his mind it HAS TO BE RIGHT. “Close enough” is not good enough. And that’s an attitude that isn’t anywhere near as common as it should be in almost all industries now. I have huge respect for his work-ethic and sheer ability to get around a problem without letting it beat him. This is a guy who is doing something really good for the community, and I’d like him to keep doing it. Which is why I’m buying all his shit.

So, back to the story at hand.

By the time he’d gotten the rest of the car buttoned up again, and we’d cleaned up the shop, it was 3:30am by the time I got out of there. Another forty-five minutes to drive from Guelph to Mississauga, and it was god-damn-late o’clock before I collapsed on the couch.

The next morning, I made a call. I killed the idea of going and visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece for the morning, and got an extra hour or two of sleep. I also made the call that I’d just head home that day. I was exhausted, stressed out, and just generally not in the best of moods. Yes, everything had worked out fine, but damned if I wanted to take a chance on anything else going wrong. What I did do, when I left Mississauga at 10am, was stop in briefly at the BTRcc tuning meet. Got to chat with a few good people in Chapter 11, and The Durham Basterds crews (both of which I’m a member of) and see SketchedOut’s car make 297hp/350lb.ft on the dyno, post-tune. For a 2.0T with bolt-ons: that’s impressive.

We also got a couple of pics of the Chapter 11 cars in attendance, with Iceman shooting from the roof (and waving at the security cameras).

Chapter 11 @ BTRcc

After that, I hit the road home, and was there by about 6pm. I was DONE.

The important things though. I wrote the TL:DR version of my review on the ATQ parts last week. I’ve gotten some more driving in since then, including a run out to the rural country where the roads are… well, what you’d expect.

So, post-honeymoon phase review. GO OUT AND BUY THE ATQ RIGID COLLARS.

I’m rolling at speed over railroad tracks that I have previously crawled over, and the suspension isn’t making suicide sounds. The whole car tracks truer, and more predictably. Yes, with the Eibach springs on, and five-year-old stock struts, it’s still a … sharp… ride, however, the bangs, thunks, and terrifying the-suspension-just-fell-out-on-that-pothole sounds are completely gone. The steering is more accurate and has more talk from it: I know what the road is doing in a way that wasn’t being communicated to me via the chassis previously. I’ve noted that there is a new rattle from the exhaust, but that is, I think, a matter of me ‘shortening’ the exhaust with the proper TurboXS racepipe AND straightening where it’s hung on the chassis (due to the rigid collars aligning everything). I know where it’s tapping the body, and I actually just have to lower it very slightly. That shouldn’t be a particular difficult job, but it also illustrates just how far out my car was, and now isn’t. there’s a good chance I can hold over for another season on the coilovers, unless a deal comes along (in which case, I’ll jump on ’em).

I’m also lovin’ the shifter bushings. The shifts, despite my super-light knob, are tight, linear, and I hit em without a thought. Once I get the ATQ shortshifter, I’ll be laughing.

So, that’s the “Long” version. Is there any surprise I went home early on my long weekend away?

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4 Responses to Genesis Coupe: The Long Story of Getting a 27 Minute Upgrade

  1. Pingback: Car Guy Recap: 2010 Genesis Coupe | Life, the Universe, and Everything

  2. Aamir says:

    Just went to get my uniq subframe collars put in…front went well. Tries to take out rear bolt and it is messed up. Mechanic did not want to touch the remaing rear. Cleaned thread and bolt went back in. I need to get it rethreaded and a new bolt. Also the collars labelled “R” would not fit into hole.

    Which shop did you go to for the install? I need help badly. Will also contact UNIQ

    • markramsden says:

      ATQ is where I had mine done, and Tomi Varga was spectacular in the fix, however, he did it all on the fly.

      The reality is, though, what you need is a] a new bolt from Hyundai, and b] to re-tap that subframe hole, so that it’ll take the new bolt. If I remember correctly, the tap is 14mm BUT, check with Hyundai for the spec when you get the bolt, you don’t want to re-tap the hole wrong.

      Sorry this has happened to you, I’d hoped I’d be the only one.

      What year Gen do you have?

  3. Aamir Khan says:

    came up[on this by accident…realized i had left you a message a long while back.

    2010 V6…i still need to get mine fixed. mechanic put the old bolt back in…but would like to have bushing installed . i will see if i can contact TOMI @ ATQ

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