Topic: Hyundai Elantra total domination
I know there a few other Elantra teams out there and I wanted to document how our car is set up and also seek input from other teams seeking total domination from their Elantra. We run the Kim Jong Elantra out west in about 4 Lemons races per year, as well as terrorizing the local Porsche club autocross. We have 3 complete years on the car so here’s what we have done and some tips. And some things we still haven’t done, but maybe will. Our car is a 2005 “XD” chassis. This means eXtra D**k.
This car was built as a response to Judge Phil wanting more Hyundais (Where have all the Hyundais gone?), coinciding with the launch of the Korean Luxury Loophole. The XD Elantra ain’t luxury, but it is Korean. The theme directly panders to Phil’s fascination with dictators. The car definitely fits the ethos of Lemons.
Our goal is maximum track time and fun, coupled with being good natured idiots. We have won I got Screwed, Class C, and the Alex’s Lemonade Stand under 2 liter. We have hopes for a Class B win someday, if in the words of Judge Steve “You stop stepping on your own dicks.” Unlikely, they are very long.
The car is pretty much stock. Mods listed below. No secrets. The Hyundai line up is extremely cross compatible using identical suspension and motor mounting points across much of the range so some of this may apply to the Sonata and Santa Fe. The Tiburon is nearly identical.
Tires: Falken Azenis 205/50 15s on a 7” wide rim
We get one race out of a set of fronts. We use old fronts on the rear and they last awhile.
Cold pressure front: 32psi - this warms to about 38 psi hot.
Cold pressure rear: 24psi - maybe this gains one or 2 psi. The rears don’t do that much in this car, more on this later.
We ran the original blown shocks for the first couple of years, and they sucked. No damping at all. We got a cheap Set off RockAuto that has made a world of difference.
We stumbled into a set of sleeve coil over conversion parts allegedly from a Honda Civic and modified the stock perch to accept the sleeve coilover setup out of scrap steel. This box of crappy Ricer parts had allegedly been kicked around for years from friend to friend with no one finding any use for them.
Front springs: approximately 375 lb ones that came in the box from the Honda. These are bent but the rate seems about right. We would go stiffer if we had other free springs.
Rear springs: about 325 lb. They are too stiff. Car is bouncy in the back but they were free.
With this ghetto coilover kit there is nothing keeping the spring in place when there is suspension droop, so we drilled a hole in the strut tower and tie the lower spring perch up with some rope to keep just a hair of preload on the spring.
Front sway bar: stock and connected (possible mod: stiffer springs, and disconnected front bar)
Rear bar: Tiburons came with a stiffer rear bar. When we acquired a Tiburon (see Buttonwillow 2017 wrap up video for I Got Screwed) we took off the rear bar from the Tiburon and put it on The Dear Leader. This helps getting the car to rotate, but is far too lively in the wet. Best to disconnect it if there is rain.
Front Control arm bushings: front bushing has no problems. The rear bushing goes to mush and tears. For years we were just going through cheap/free control arms for this bushing. Moog has a decent press-in bushing.
Front: Timken/SKF/stock ones will go 2-4 races. Autozone specials will last one whole race before puking grease and having some play. This is a budget exempt safety item for a reason. Inspect and/or replace before every race. We have some pieces of steel square tube and some shims to quickly press these bearings in and out with. Several circlip styles were used, and some are difficult. Knipex makes a nice large snap ring plier that’s perfect.
Rear: get nice ones. We’ve only had to change these once, but we check them for play every time.
Front camber: -2.5 degrees (we had run about -3 in the past but this wore out the inside of the tire and didn’t give more grip.
Rear camber: -2.5. I like the car more planted, and more rear camber helps. One of our drivers is a former pro who wants less in the rear for a more tail happy car. Sometimes we have first timers so we leave it with a conservative set up.
Brake pads (front): Raybestos ST43
Front rotors: Stock size. We change rotors out about every 2 races
We have one air duct for cooling air going to each front rotor. We need to weld a place for the hose to mount onto the disk heat shield for even better cooling.
In testing with temperature sensitive paint we are seeing brake temps around/over 1000 degrees on the outside edge of the rotor. Everywhere else is sub 600 degrees. We should be between 600 and 800 with those pads. We get about 4 races out of a set.
Potential swap: Tiburon 5 bolt hubs with bigger rotors. And a Tiburon (or Elantra GT) rear hub set-up to run disk brakes in the rear.
Rear shoes: whatever. Shoes go for at least 3 races
Rear wheel cylinders: watch out! Two styles were made. I think pre-February 2005 and post-February 2005. The in er diameter changed, but also something with the mounting or something so you can’t cross over without switching hubs, etc...
Brake fluid: DOT 4. We bleed every race. We’ll bleed Saturday night at Sonoma, if it was dry and we were braking hard.
Stock! This motor has solid lifters. Be sure ti check valve clearances. The special tool for doing shim swaps has allegedly been discontinued by Hyundai / Kia. I was recently able to get a tool marketed for Toyotas on EBay. We’ll see how that works.
Oil: Run 20w-50. The factory manual suggests this for high-temp driving. We have not installed an oil cooler but did see 300 degree oil temps at Buttonwillow a few years back, but that was on 5w-30. We haven’t seen a hot race in awhile, but I’m sure the thicker oil will help.
We are now on Transmission #2.
Factory fluid: 75w-90 (if I remember correctly) look in the manual so you get the correct spec. One of the common types will degrade the brass synchros. It will dissolve the brass. Be sure to get the recommended fluid or it will roast your synchros.
Hyundai put in an in-line anti-stall valve in the clutch circuit. I think this is in the hose in the engine compartment. There are directions online for removing this valve. This slows the flow of clutch fluid which prevents awesome burnouts, and causes more clutch slip.
The car has a pull clutch. If you don’t know what that means look it up. Otherwise you’ll need to do your clutch job twice, like I’ve had to.
Expander type pliers are your friend for removing the throwout bearing.
Transmission swap: I’m on the fence of whether or not it’s faster to pull the whole motor/trans, or drop the subframe to get to the trans. It looks like you would be able to get the trans out without dropping the subframe, no. You. Can’t.
Fueling/ Gas gauge: Ours stopped working correctly at Sonoma. We now have a Kim Jong Un sticker covering it up. Probably from the fuel sloshing in the un-baffled tank and bending the sender unit float arm. We just go off of time and mileage. We get a little over 2 hours out of a full fuel fill. (I think about 12 gallons). We get about 10-12mpg under good racing conditions. We removed the fuel filler neck and cut out the tiny hole to make room for bigger fuel dump hose. This allows for more fun track time and less waiting for jugs to empty. The less time spent fueling the better, especially from a safety perspective.
Good luck. I’m sure there is more to come.