Slouching Onwards to Automotive… Somthing or other.

It’s been that kind of summer. Between finally getting to the track and some general meandering around the province, I’ve put about 9000km on the ‘coupe this summer. That’s actually a big deal for me, as I commute to work by bike, so during the week, it’s not unusual for me to not even start the car for four or five days. Basically, all that mileage is cottage runs, and cruises.

The track wasn’t high mileage (obviously) but 90 minutes at basically wide-open throttle (I kid you not, I could WATCH the gas gauge drop) is hard mileage. So, I’ve ended up with a few more oil changes than usual during the summer too.

There’s just time for two more, as well – Right now, I need an oil change and then I’ll need one again next month.

Next month, you say? That’s crazy talk, three months for oil changes is the norm.

Except.

September27th, I leave for Tail of the Dragon.

It is 1686km one way. Tail of the Dragon (Deal’s Gap) is in Tennessee. I’ve no idea how much mileage I’ll do there, but then it’s 1686km home, as well. I figure that the bare minimum I’ll do in those five or six days is 4000km.

Now, THAT’S a driving vacation.

And right now, a bunch of you are muttering to yourselves that I’m nuts. And I’m not sure you’re wrong. But, with the help of someone who’s done it before, I’ve got a route that, while slightly longer, runs through some very scenic country that isn’t downtown Detroit.

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That should be some pretty glorious driving, even if it is fifteen hours worth. Each way.

Before that, though, I’ve gotta I had to deal with the car. (Had to – Ummm, I was gonna post this Friday afternoon, and it’s now Monday morning. Whattayagonnado?)

Like I said, oil change. that’s actually scheduled for 2pm Friday – Finally, I’ve hit my last “included” oil-change (20 of them at time of purchase, 7.5 years ago). Once that’s done, it sounds like Friday tonight was going to be burgers’n’shakes (and it was), our weekly car crew get-together. Saturday morning, I was up at 7am, and in the garage.

What’s on the agenda?

First, brakes. You’ve all read by now the Post-trackday work I had with the brakes. And through the awesomeness of friends, that got me back to “driveable”. I want better than that for the Dragon, though. So, I ordered up some EBC YellowStuff pads:

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I’ve also got OEM rotors for the back brakes, that are fresh(er than my R1 Concepts ones), and that combination should be prettty good.

once that’s done, I definitely have to change the brake fluid. It would have been nice to do steel lines, but that’s going to be part of the winter upgrade – I don’t have the cash or time right now.

I hate bleeding brakes. Passionately. So, I’m kinda hoping I’ll have some help for it. We’ll see how that goes. I’m pretty sure I can manage, I won’t be trying to get bubbles out of the system, just trying to clear the old and refill with new, so I don’t REALLY anticipate any problems.

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It’s not rocket surgery, after all. Also, found a “one man bleeder kit” at Canadian Tire, and that was $8 well spent, as far as I’m concerned. No bubbles from what I could see, and all the fluid was coming out clear, and clean…. after a few good pumps. #notaeuphemism.

After that, the car is basically good to go. If I have time, I’ll probably pull the AEM DryFilter, and wash it, along with the hydroshield. I have to remove the front bumper for that. While the bumper’s off, I want to tighten up the lip as well – since I realigned it, it seems to move around some. I’m not really worried about it falling off, but I’d like it not to scratch what’s left of my paint. So, if I get time for that, that’s on the agenda too.

Tire pressures will be set. To factory. Because that’s what you do.

After all that, interior cleaning and set-up. I’m going to have a ton of electronics charging in the car – multiple (GPS, four… maybe? Five? go-pros, a pair of Uniden walkie-talkies, my phone, oh, and my regular-issue dashcam.

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How to run all that?

Mount a 12V splitter – I have a stack of 12v dual-2.1a-USB sockets, which are perfect for charging pretty much anything, I just need enough 12v sockets to plug everything in. the only trick will be “where to mount the splitter”. So, I guess THAT’S on the agenda, too.

Actually, ended up being fairly easy:

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At the same time, I ran my longest USB cable under the console, and out the back, into the back seat. I want to do a video of the entire drive down, then speed it up, and set it to music – 1700km in 6 minutes or so. We’ll see how that works out. But I’m mounting it way in the back, rather than just in the windshield, so that, hopefully, it’s a little more interesting and personal. I think Andyman is going to do an exterior camera for this, so it’ll be interesting to see the differences.

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Roadtrips. They’re just the same and very different from what they used to be. All I used to take was a couple of big, spiral-ring map-books. And most people thought that was too much, too. Apparently, wifi/connectivity is hard to come by once we actually GET to TotD, but I’ll be posting as I go/when we stop. If you’ve any interest in the along-the-way antics and any updates I can do from Fontanta Village itself, feel free to follow me on @boozysmurf on Twitter, and/or @b00zysmurf on Instagram.

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Car Guy Recap: 2010 Genesis Coupe

So, I ordered my car on April 9th, 2009. After spending a lot of time going back to the dealership, and asking “where’s my car?” and recieving the response “No idea. It’s on a boat.” I took delivery of a 2010 2.0T 6MT Premium Genesis Coupe, on June 11th 2009. It was awesome.

Which, obviously, is the reason for this post. My car turns five today (Yes, it’s Friday the 13th. I picked the car up on Friday the 11th), so… time for a look back.

The second night I owned it, I did a cruise’n’shoot with @thirtyyearhouse. This would OBVIOUSLY set the tone for me owning the car.

Genesis - front 15 16ths desat+blue

2010 Genesis Coupe rear quarter

I had a really big plan for the car. Some of it was accomplished, some of it is still pending. It’s funny how life is like that, eh?

I drove the car basically stock for the first year. Tint got done (22%) via a group buy through Goldwing Automotive. Tint is required. Damn. Is it ever. I got a set of Pirelli SottoZero 240 winter tires in stock sizes (225/45R18, 245/45R18) from 1010tires.com and put ’em on the stock wheels.

Genesis in the Snow

Come the spring of 2010, then, I needed wheels and tires. It’s a pretty good plan, you know: get your winter tires on your stock wheels, then you HAVE to buy new ones for summer! CONVENIENT. I spent a lot of time researching. This is the first time I ever considered widening the wheels (I knew you could widen tires on cars, but I never considered widening the wheels in conjunction with that. Seems obvious, but there you are.

What I settled on was Petrol Vengeance wheels, and Hankook Ventus V12 EVO tires. Specifically:

19″ x 8″ wide wheels in the front with a +20mm offset, with 245/35R19 tire (stock is 18×7 +36mm, 225/45R18)
19″ x 9.5″ wide wheels in the back, with 275/35R19 tire (stock is 18×7.5, +36mm, 245/45R18)

So, a significant change in style, and size (and grip. The stock tires are all-season on the 18″ wheels, and while they’re adequate all-seasons, they’re not good by any means).

There's no Gas Here.

The wheels and tires are good. For me, the offset is perfect, pushed out to the fender, and pretty nearly the definition of flush (the word. As I would come to understand, “flush” can have very different connotations depending on which tuner lifestyle you prefer and subscribe to). Very good. BUT, they’ve accentuated the wheel gap. This, I would come to know, is known as “4×4 status”. Now, in all honesty, it’s not terrible. And a multitude would be thoroughly happy. But….

(you see where this is going, right?)

Yup. Lowering.

Again, this was my first time venturing into the world of lowering. I’d thought about it before, with other cars, but I’d never actually done it. My weapon of choice was, in deference to affordability, springs, rather than coilovers. What I bought was Eibach’s ProKit, which would give me about 1.5″ of drop, just enough to close up those wheel gaps.

And it did:

GenCoupe Profile

GenCoupe rear quarter

That’s pretty much how my car stands to this day, too (although not for long): it looks a lot lower in the front, however, due to some cosmetic changes there. We’ll get to that.

I wanted to do something under the hood, at this point. And, the most simple ones are, well, a cold-air intake, and blow-off valve. When I was done researching (it’s a thing I do, you may have noticed), I ended up with an HKS SSQV III and AEM CAI from G&M Performance. The BOV took some fiddling with, and I ended up running it off the stock solenoid, and letting the computer control it, rather than the preferred method of lining it into the vacuum line. On top of that, pulling the front off the car to do the intake (it means replacing the washer fluid bottle, AND the filter sits behind the bumper cover, rather than in the engine bay) was terrifying the first time. I was certain I was going to break it in half, because there comes a point where you just gotta pull on it REALLY HARD.

Still, all went well.

Sometime in the fall of 2010, I pulled into my parking spot forwards (which I never do) and scraped the hell out of the bumper cover. Some pissed off I was. I ran it like that through the winter, and come the Cambridge meet in the summer of 2011, I’d made arrangements with Uniq Performance to pick up a Prodigy poly urethene lip, pre-painted. that should cover the scrape nicely, and, I hoped, make the front look more aggressive, and interesting. About the same time, I was fighting with Korean Auto Imports (Aka KAI) about an IXION Grill (small digression here. IF you go to the link for the Ixion grill, click on the image of the blue car. That’s my car. I’ve never granted ImportShark permission to use that image, nor have I ever received a response as to why they’re using it without permission. So, I’d suggest not doing business with ’em. THey’re notoriously douchebaggy as vendors, and this is a good example). I’ll never do business with KAI again, after that fiasco. I did finally get the grill though, and I got it, and the lip, installed once I had a chance to borrow a driveway:

Before

During

After-2

04 - ixion grill

I also got, courtesy of Aadam‘s experimentations a new shift knob.

Totally awesome.

16 - New Shift Knob

More reading, and more basics. I started building myself a dual catch-can set-up. There’s a lot of reasons for this, and if you feel like it, you can read ’em here. What I ended up with was this:

Again, much like the BOV, and CAI, nothing in terms of actual performance gains, but one more step towards increased reliability and efficiency. About the same time, I got a set of modified fog light bezels from one of the guys on the site. I still wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted the car to look like, but I was intrigued. Basically,t he standard plastic bezels, cut to allow airflow, and painted to match the car. I put some mesh behind the cuts, and voila, a functional pair of intakes, one of which fed cold, clean air directly to the CAI.

And they’ve definitely grown on me. I’m still not 100%, I might end up going for some black/carbon ones, eventually, but they’re definitely good for now, and a pretty good match for the lip.

Breathing Deeply

At the same time, I got a smokin’ deal from another of the guys’ locally: an ARK downpipe and testpipe to straighten out the kinked stock exhaust, and remove the secondary catalytic converter. This got done up at Jay’s cottage. It’s only a 2.5″ piece, but again, gave me a ton of confidence with regards to working on the exhaust, which I’d not done before.

We got that dealt with in an afternoon, after running the car without any exhaust for kicks, briefly. No point with a picture here, nothing really to see, but here’s what the car sounds like sans-exhaust:

So, that opened up that avenue for me. What I really wanted was a proper exhaust. I’ve had my eye on the exhaust that TurboXS makes for a while: I’d followed a guy with one of them on during a cruise, and it sounded spectacular. So, in the spring of 2013 (see, we’re getting there now) I ordered it. That was a fun afternoon’s work, for sure! And, I’ve already documented that installation, so go read it here, if you want. It’s a sexy exhaust.

Which brings me to 2014!

I was still not loving the way the ARK pipe and TurboXS cat-back mate together. So, sometime during 2013 (and I forget when) I picked up a used TurboXS RacePipe: basically, it’d bolt to the stock primary catalytic converter, and replace all the ARK 2.5″ with a single 3″ pipe, to the TurboXS cat-back. Perfect. Except… we tried to install it (again, at Jay’s cottage) and it wouldn’t go over the bolts on the catalytic. It was CLOSE. It’d go on, but it wouldn’t go on far enough to seal, even with the nice, thick, TurboXS gasket. We tried reaming out the bolt holes with a drill, and that was going nowhere fast. So, I put it aside for after selling the house, and buying the new one, under the anticipation I’d have a garage that I could work in, and if the car was on blocks for two days while I worked on widening and re-re-re-checking the fit, that’d be ok. And sure enough, it was. With a hardcore bore/ream bit specifically for that kind of work, I finally got it opened up enough this spring that I could install it. And I’m MUCH happier now. I still have a mild leak, and I think that’ll be easily taken care of with a new gasket between the racepipe and the catalytic. It’s not enough you get exhaust in the cabin, you can just hear it wheezing a little through the exhaust, behind the front wheels. Not too shabby.

Where does it go from here, though?

Where it went was, in May, the whole Rigid Collars and stripped chassis bolt fiasco, and ATQ shifter bushings. I’ve also ordered (and has arrived in the city) the ATQ short shifter. That’s going in in short order, because I can’t wait.

Well, primary on my list is the suspension. The stock struts and shocks are nearly done. So, it’s time to do the right thing, and replace it all with a good set of coilovers. The real advantage here is that I’ve learned, thanks to the Quartermaster and his files what I really need.

I’m not a “slam it to the ground” guy. I understand the benefits of lowering the centre of gravity for handling’s sake, but, I’m not planning on running 4+ degrees of negative camber: I’m not going to be stretching my tires, and poking my wheels. What I want is for the damn car to go round corners REALLY FAST, and be able to soak up any bumps without making @thirtyyearhouse grind her teeth. What I need, then, is a set of adjustable, FULLY ADJUSTABLE coilovers. Not just ones that lower the car, but that I can adjust the damping on. I also want them to do the job right, so I’m moving up-market a little bit, to the most affordable set of inverted monotube. I’ve still never been to a track, but I do want to go occasionally. And I’ll be able to afford to, once the car is paid off next spring. So, affordable as possible, inverted monotube, adjustable damping and camber. Well, that’s the Stance SS series of coilovers. I could go more expensive, but I don’t have the need to. I definitely don’t want to go cheaper, because the ride quality IS important to me. So, there you have it. Stance SS Coilovers.

That was all my research. Which I promptly threw out the window the first weekend of June, and bought a set of HSD Coilovers (again from Uniq performance). Eveything I’ve read so far is that these are a] far beyond “adequate” and b] able to stand up to Canadian winters. Customer service with HSD has been spotty, but the product is known to be good. So, I got a decent price, and dove in.

Once that’s done, and that last payment is made, it’s time to FINALLY look at the engine.

Oh, wait. It’s not. The CLUTCH, the damnable clutch. at 60,000km (maybe 40,000miles) the clutch is definitely going. I know some guys have lasted as long as 100,000km, and some as few as 19,000km. And, honestly, I got a new one at 6000km, because of a bad throwout bearing that came from factory. So, new clutch. And not the stock replacement, either. Most likely, I’ll roll with a Competition Clutch stage 2, which comes with a matching, lightened, flywheel. That should be more than enough for what I want to see in terms of power and durability. And I got that at the same time as the coilovers (it was originally what I approached Uniq about, Rob just talked me into more stuff). The question now is whether or not I (with assistance) attempt to do the clutch in the driveway, or pay someone to do it for me. Likely, I’ll approach Extreme Autocare here in Ottawa and see what they’d charge me, and if it’s good enough then I’ll let them do it in a shop, rather than Colton and I lyin’ on our backs under the car, in the driveway. Makes sense? Makes sense.

Beyond that, I want an intercooler and the associated piping. Again, I’ve had three or four of these on my list for two years now, and the longer I’ve waited, the more I’ve learned about what I actually need from an FMIC (Front Mount InterCooler). And it appears, what I want and need is a Treadstone TR8 kit. That will provide enough cold air to any of the other upgrades I might want to do in the future, with this car. I don’t have 500hp dreams. I have 300hp dreams. And, yeah, maybe 350lb.ft sub-dreams. The TR8 is more than capable of helping to get me there.

Along with that will be injectors. Probably 750cc, although I’ll have to look a little deeper and see if 550cc will do the job.

So, that’s air, fuel, evacuation, and power transfer. And, honestly, once that’s tuned properly (likely with that BTRcc custom tune) there is every good chance that that will be enough for me. I can finish off the drivetrain (I still want a Limited Slip Differential in there, and maybe work on the paint. But I’m GUESSING, from what I’ve seen of other people, that all the stuff above, properly tuned, should be good for around 270hp to the wheels, and 300+lb.ft of torque. And that’s more than good. That’s enough to get into serious trouble. So, maybe, then, I save my pennies for tires, and track time.

In the meantime, I’m gonna keep enjoying my now five year old car. Oh, I am tempted by the trade-in with the new engine (40% bump in power) and transmission (more smoother naow!) and the better put together interior. But, at the same time, I LIKE my car. It’s not at all perfect (as you saw from the fiasco with the chassis bolt): the sunroof and seat both squeak, and that’s never been adequately dealt with: the interior on the newer cars is markedly better, too. And, there’s already rumours of a major redesign of the ‘coupe in 2015/16 (rather than the refresh they just did), AND it looks like the 2.0T will be dropped. At the same time, it’s likely the 2015 Mustang will be available, with a 270-300hp turbo-4-cyclinder, and that the Subaru BRZ-STI will hopefully have hit, too. But at the same time, I’ve got blood, sweat, and history in this car. Yes, it was the cardinal sin: never buy a car in its first run-year. But things have been good. I’ve met a ton of great people I wouldn’t likely have done if I’d not bought it, or maybe even if I’d bought it later than I did. I still get looks, thumbs-up, questions, and necks-snappin’ when I drive it. It’s… me. It’s definitely me. So, I’ll keep making it me, and not fall to grass-is-greener syndrome.

Once upon a time, I wrote about how damn spoiled we are that a multitude of sub-$30k platforms will run speeds that you couldn’t have had for less than the cost of a Corvette, fifteen years ago. I stand by that. I should maybe even repost it from the forum I wrote it for.

What is awesome is that, in the next few weeks, the car will be paid off. It’s mine. That puts a bunch of money back in my pocket. Most of that is going towards the new house I mentioned somewhere up there, but some of it will always be earmarked for more upgrades. The FMIC, injectors, and tune are definitely a thing that’ll happen. I’m also considering new wheels: I like the ones I’ve got, but it’s been four years, and it’ll be five on ’em by the time I can even think of pulling the trigger. That’s a bunch of time. And my goals with the car have changed. I’d originally wanted to do shows and stuff, but, honestly, I’m never gonna win a trophy: I don’t have the time, or money, to build a show-winning car. More realistically, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is have the car for me. And what “for me” means is driving it. And that means, the track. Which means if I’m replacing the wheels, I may keep the width, but drop down to lighter weight 18″ wheels, something serious. Like I said, I’m not really about stance, but there’s still something about big fat wheels and tires, with bulging, obviously-functional sidewalls, that turns my crank. Maybe 18×9/18×10 GramLights, or Enkei, and shave some eight or nine pounds off per corner? If I get really into it, maybe it will be time for an internal rebuild, and a turbo upgrade. Maybe. No idea what the next five years are gonna bring for the beast. I complain about the seat-squeak, but a set of recaro’s would solve that problem right away.

Finally, the greatest thing I’ve gotten out of the car, is a community. I’m part of the Durham Basterds, and Chapter 11:Section 62, I’ve become active in the more general KDM community (so, all Hyundai and Kia) as well as the Genesis Coupe specific ones. I’ve been making friends in the Scion FRS/Subaru BRZ communities, too. But the friends I’ve made through the Genesis specifically? They’re the same friends, all over again, that I made in high-school, and again in University. It’s startling, in fact.

I’ve been to 150+ car meets pretty much every year. Do I get along with everyone? no, but the vast majority, totally. And the ottawa crew spends an awful lot of time in my driveway, now that I have one. My place has become a defacto headquarters for the Ottawa KDM community, and I’m ok with that. In fact, I want it to get bigger. So it looks like this more often:

Untitled

Ok, I’ve said entirely enough. That’s five years with the car, it’s not going anywhere. Why?

Because it’s just this sexy.

Sunset on the High Road III