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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, I have a few questions regarding starting engine mods. I definitely need to do more research but I'm getting stuck so maybe some of you can clear up a few questions I have. Thank you in advance.

My main question is: How can I maximize power output on my engine without tuning it? Or to rephrase it, How can I free up all available power in the engine/put it to use without needing a tune? I'm avoiding the tuning rabbit hole due to the cost.

Currently my only engine "mods" (do these even count?) are a gutted oem airbox, the IC resonator delete, and poly engine mounts.

On to my more specific questions:

I've been looking into replacing the hot and cold pipes with stiffer materials so they won't flex under boost. Not doing a full FMIC since that's too expensive for me. I already plan on making a DIY cold pipe out of some metal piping and silicone couplers, so thats covered. Which hot pipe would you guys recommend? I've been looking into the 845 motorsports and SXTH element pipes, but if you guys know of a better one, please let me know.

I've also just bought a ADD w1 single catch can kit. I probably should've done a bit more research before buying, but is that worth while? Everyone seems to think so, but I just saw a forum post about venting the PCV to atmosphere. Is that a better idea than buying a whole catch can kit? I suspect I need to understand that forum post a bit better but I'm hoping there is a simple answer. :)

I'm still new to engines/engine mods, so forgive me if these are newbie questions. I have done research on these already and haven't found a solid answer that I understand yet.
 

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2016 Veloster Turbo DCT Ultimate
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without tuning you're not going to see much difference. You might get the car from 170whp to 190whp or so. But the mods aren't being maximized until a tune.

But I made a little video about what to do to make more power (with that tune :p), same steps of what you're looking for.

 

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The ECU is a "learning" ECU that has a set of targets that it's looking to hit, and it will work around mods to keep hitting those targets. You can do basic mods and notice a bit of an increase or just an overall happier engine, but you won't start really adding power until you tune. SXTH has their dual catch can kit on clearance right now. Might want to sell the ADD and grab that instead. And message trdtoy about hotpipes. I'm in the process of getting one from him right now.
 

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My main question is: How can I maximize power output on my engine without tuning it? Or to rephrase it, How can I free up all available power in the engine/put it to use without needing a tune? I'm avoiding the tuning rabbit hole due to the cost.
I've seen stock tuned g4fj Kia Forte's dyno up to 220whp. Veloster Turbo tune should be fairly close to the same as far as what the stock tune can do. I've seen a fair amount of dyno's on stock tunes between 200-215whp.

Easy answers on how to get there - make the engine breath easier and keep IAT's lower. The 220whp stock tuned Forte was "full bolt-on", so downpipe, exhaust, intake, intercooler and intercooler piping (no water methanol if I remember correctly). At a certain point (around 210-220 whp) the stock tune will limit how much more power you can make but you might be able to add 30-50whp without a tune.
 

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A good intake, hot pipe, and gutting the oem cats is enough to hit the oem tune limiters in some gen 1 cars in some conditions. More flow than this or in colder air it will for sure hit limiters easier. Without a tune most will be limited to ~205-210 whp before the throttle chops and cuts power significantly.

You say you want to stay away from a tune because of cost yet adding more parts cost than tune cost is and for less gains. This makes no sense to me unless that's not the reason or you're just misinformed.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A good intake, hot pipe, and gutting the oem cats is enough to hit the oem tune limiters in some gen 1 cars in some conditions. More flow than this or in colder air it will for sure hit limiters easier. Without a tune most will be limited to ~205-210 whp before the throttle chops and cuts power significantly.

You say you want to stay away from a tune because of cost yet adding more parts cost than tune cost is and for less gains. This makes no sense to me unless that's not the reason or you're just misinformed.....
There were a few other reasons why I wanted to stay away (reliability, legality, it’s a daily). I think I heard a few horror stories a while ago about tuning/modifying the engine in this car and I told myself to avoid it. The desire to modify has overrun that though.

My hope originally was that I could free up as much power/efficiency as possible with better flow and heat management, but it doesn't sound like that would net me the power gains I'm looking for. Something around full bolt on plus a tune makes the most sense to me given my situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The ECU is a "learning" ECU that has a set of targets that it's looking to hit, and it will work around mods to keep hitting those targets. You can do basic mods and notice a bit of an increase or just an overall happier engine, but you won't start really adding power until you tune. SXTH has their dual catch can kit on clearance right now. Might want to sell the ADD and grab that instead. And message trdtoy about hotpipes. I'm in the process of getting one from him right now.
I went go to cancel my ADD order and get the Sxth dual cans, but I can't ship it to California! Damn emissions laws won't let Sxth do that for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
without tuning you're not going to see much difference. You might get the car from 170whp to 190whp or so. But the mods aren't being maximized until a tune.

But I made a little video about what to do to make more power (with that tune :p), same steps of what you're looking for.

Thank you for that video! It was super helpful in understanding what I need. I think I'll be going for the full bolt on route like many others :)
 

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I got a limited experience , but my understanding is, that for example- I could put on a fuel line that provides more flow, bigger volume, but the ECU dictates how much fuel to spray in into the engine. Same with the air. It surely doesn't hurt , especially if there are issues with the fuel line or air volume available, but the ECU will always set the limit how much of each.
It's like computers. I could put in 32 GB of memory, but in the windows I set up to use only 16GB and do not have access to the rest ever. The rest of the RAM is pointlessly sitting inside the computer. It's not faster, because the computer is bottlenecked and the restrictions needs to be removed to have access to more memory.

My fuel line sends 3x as many fuel than the regular fuel line to the compressor , but the ECU says "this is the amount to spray in" so my rest of the fuel delivered to the regulator is sitting there in the fuel hose for no point. Same with the spark- get the best ignition coils and spark plugs, but at the end the ECU will say "this is the amount of spark and this and that time" , so I may have a dependable spark plug that is capable a lot more, but it's unused beyond the ECU programming.

There are certain parts can improve - maybe perhaps it was put in there, because of budget considerations or because it's hitting that "just about enough" when the car was designed, so you can improve a bit more air flow with with a bigger cone filter, and the smaller OEM was put in to find a balance between "good enough" air flow and trying to suppress noise level at the same time.
Same with the hot pipes and the exhaust. Plus they have to abide regulations with the cat so the car is put together as a "good enough" this way and also passes the regulations and doesn't make a whole lot of noise. You add a bit of performance by compromising either of these , that's sure possible, but the ECU was tuned to the "good enough" settings anyway.
 

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Yes. The ecu is trying to target a power level. It'll do what ever it needs to do to hit that power level.

Upgrading the fuel pump, or slapping a huge turbo on the car (not recommended lol) will help the stock ecu get there faster... maybe... but everything after it reaches its target power is wasted potential.

Would be the equivalent of you buying a million dollar kitchen when all your 6 year old asks for is chicken nuggets and ketchup 😁.
 
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