A Little Teaser of Things to Come

My little 2002 Hyundai, it seems, has a turbocharger in its future. Also! Horrifying and dangerous corrosion on vital safety components!

First, the horrifying problems.

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This part here, with the enormous rust hole. Yeah, no big deal on that one. It just holds the wheel on. Not shown is the even more horrifying rust almost completely surrounding the ball joint. This, kids, is that a messy single-car crash looks like beforehand.

The other side was almost as bad.

The other side was almost as bad.

I did discovery something cool when installing the new parts, though. See that cast iron piece that spins inside the rubber bushing? If I shim that, I can raise my roll center and dial out some anti-squat. Hmmm.

I did discovery something cool when installing the new parts, though. See that cast iron piece that spins inside the rubber bushing? If I shim that, I can raise my roll center and dial out some anti-squat. Hmmm.

In other news, I am officially old. For the first time in my life, I paid actual, real money in order to make my vehicle quieter. I bought a new exhaust and everything. It was not long ago, back before the ravages of time sapped my spirit and rendered me a desiccated senior, that I would have embraced a rusty exhaust as a “free racing pipe.” In my lamentations, I prostrated myself before the girlfriend, who empathized by remarking that “I prefer elderly Ben and anyway, you’ve been balding since you were 24, so it can’t really get much worse.”

Exhaust housing on the turbo. Taking this thing apart, I was amazed at how good the condition is. You normally don't get healthy turbochargers for $50.

Exhaust housing on the turbo. Taking this thing apart, I was amazed at how good the condition is. You normally don’t get healthy turbochargers for $50.

Intake side. This is the inducer. Super clean, the oil rings are evidently in good shape.

Intake side. This is the inducer. Super clean, the oil rings are evidently in good shape.

Wastegate.

Wastegate.

As a journalism major, I am of course extremely well versed in all engineering disciplines. However, even with my near omniscience, the racing team members were determined that I not attempt to radically reengineer the turbo with a TIG welder and die grinder. After only a few hours of cajoling and no more than a dozen threats, I decided to accept their opinions and restrain myself to minor porting.

Exhaust housing before porting.

Exhaust housing before porting.

Exhaust port after porting. Note that the crappy casting line is gone, as well as the random lumps on the left top and bottom edges.

Exhaust port after porting. Note that the crappy casting line is gone, as well as the random lumps on the left top and bottom edges.

I also opened up the wastegate a little bit. Hopefully this will keep my turbo from boost creeping and introducing 145 psi of magma-hot air into the engine.

I also opened up the wastegate a little bit. Hopefully this will keep my turbo from boost creeping and introducing 145 psi of magma-hot air into the engine.

Lastly, I got to play with this thing a little bit.

Just your typical 400 hp turbocharged Tiburon. I helped the team come up with the next stage aerodynamics package.

Just your typical 400 hp turbocharged Tiburon. I helped the team come up with the next stage aerodynamics package.

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6 comments

  1. My body could use the same repairs. 😀

    1. Just bring it on over to South Korea, I’ll bust out the welder and make everything better. 😉

  2. “I also opened up the wastegate a little bit. Hopefully this will keep my turbo from boost creeping and introducing 145 psi of magma-hot air into the engine.”

    Ben, I’m so impressed. You’re either a renaissance man or you went to a very fine school of hard knocks. How did you learn this stuff? I have difficulty enough finding and opening the lid to put in some oil.

    1. Thank you, 🙂

      Cars and motorcycles have been a hobby for me since I was in preschool. Some of my earliest memories are dangling off handlebars and crawling in engine bays.

      Since I love racing but have never had much money to put into equipment, I learned to improvise. Making a competitive racer out of stuff you find in the junkyard is both possible and a great opportunity to exercise your creativity.

      If you liked this, you might also enjoy the Daewoo racer I built with a bunch of middle school kids.

  3. Well done!!
    I love the idea of fixing cars. There was a time when we used to work on and service our own. Now I don’t know hardly anyone that touches there car besides driving it. Pity. 😦

    1. Oh trust me, there are plenty of us left. 😉

      Thanks for the comment.

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