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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, just looking for some thoughts on what really improved with the '16 models. I currently own a '14 auto VT with 102,XXX miles on the clock. Now that it is out of drivetrain warranty I'm wondering what to anticipate in the next 20k or so. The car has been a champion for reliability trough the years I have owned it but still, I don't think I will keep the car for any longer than 120k. There is a nice '16 VT manual in the area for a good price with 48k on the clock. I've been really after a manual from the start but the stars didn't align at the time. Is the '16 platform a good one to modify with full bolt-on? I have not driven any VT manual yet, what's the box like? There is also the question of waiting for the 2nd gen to have depreciated a little. But honestly, I don't believe the styling is as good. Nor does my driving style appear to require the suspension improvements the 2nd gen brings. I find the VT rear end entertaining lively around my local minor mountain roads. Thanks in advance..
 

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Should be decent to start with. Nicer interior and hopefully upgraded stock parts in the engine.

My 14 turbo with 120k in it just eats up the normal maintenance stuff. I do a lot of brake jobs though (racing)
 

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Plugs, coils, fuel line, internals, tune are the major improvements with the 16's. The 15-17 manual VT are the better base to mod from if wanting the most power.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Should be decent to start with. Nicer interior and hopefully upgraded stock parts in the engine.

My 14 turbo with 120k in it just eats up the normal maintenance stuff. I do a lot of brake jobs though (racing)
Your car as a case study seems to present the '14s as capable of reaching 120k even with spirited, if not aggressive, driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Plugs, coils, fuel line, internals, tune are the major improvements with the 16's. The 15-17 manual VT are the better base to mod from if wanting the most power.
I did recently learn about the coil upgrades in these later models. Have they been improving the tune every year from factory? What about the two cat thing. I've almost committed to changing the downpipe on my car as it looks easy enough to do myself because I don't have to change the turbo elbow. The '16 would have me want a garage to do it with the full downpipe some the the vendors offer.
 

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i'm also aggressive with maintenance. except coils. trdtoy is probably shaking his head at me right now :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i'm also aggressive with maintenance. except coils. trdtoy is probably shaking his head at me right now :)
I have read a lot of trdtoy's posts and I do get the impression he(?) is a great advocate for very regular preventative maintenance; which I can respect.
 

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I did recently learn about the coil upgrades in these later models. Have they been improving the tune every year from factory? What about the two cat thing. I've almost committed to changing the downpipe on my car as it looks easy enough to do myself because I don't have to change the turbo elbow. The '16 would have me want a garage to do it with the full downpipe some the the vendors offer.
Yes tune has been updated sometimes multiple times a year from the oem. The turbo back changed on the 16+ MY cars. No need in replacing the lower DP section in the 13-15 VT as gutting will do the same for less time and $. No need in replacing the entire DP unless going for 260+ whp as not needed if gutting the oem cats. Best time to upgrade the entire DP is when going for 260+ whp or swapping to a stuffed turbo. And then you should highly consider 3" DP and exhaust instead of 2.5" due to $ spent at the time vs power gains.

i'm also aggressive with maintenance. except coils. trdtoy is probably shaking his head at me right now :)
If I had a bobble head video of myself I'd post it a lot on here as well as on FB and IG due to what I read or see being done or not being done based on what I know about these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes tune has been updated sometimes multiple times a year from the oem. The turbo back changed on the 16+ MY cars. No need in replacing the lower DP section in the 13-15 VT as gutting will do the same for less time and $. No need in replacing the entire DP unless going for 260+ whp as not needed if gutting the oem cats. Best time to upgrade the entire DP is when going for 260+ whp or swapping to a stuffed turbo. And then you should highly consider 3" DP and exhaust instead of 2.5" due to $ spent at the time vs power gains.
I just know that the catalytic converters are a really good place to start to find power. I don't live in a county, or have a friendly shop, that would allow me get away with having no catalytic converters at all. I would probably go with a 200cell and keep everything 3". The stuffed turbo would probably come after that.
 

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Being catless will still pass even in areas where it's illegal. And if not then it will pass in areas where it is legal. But if you want to spend the extra $ then a 3" DP with high flow cat would be the best option. Only with a 3" exhaust though otherwise pointless to do. Also waste of $ when doing stuffed turbo separately from the DP as they're part of the same job. Will save hundreds. Similar to doing head studs but not installing the stuffed turbo or DP at the same time since all part of the same job. Key is to save enough to bundle mods when possible to save the most $ for the same end goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Being catless will still pass even in areas where it's illegal. And if not then it will pass in areas where it is legal. But if you want to spend the extra $ then a 3" DP with high flow cat would be the best option. Only with a 3" exhaust though otherwise pointless to do. Also waste of $ when doing stuffed turbo separately from the DP as they're part of the same job. Will save hundreds. Similar to doing head studs but not installing the stuffed turbo or DP at the same time since all part of the same job. Key is to save enough to bundle mods when possible to save the most $ for the same end goal.
I don't know about that, if required, states typically make sure inspections are done in the county of registration. That inspection includes a visual check for a catalytic converter. I could pass the OBDII but a blind mechanic could probably feel for a catalytic converter. There is the technicality that I could register the car with a PO Box in a 'no-emissions-testing' county but that's probably asking for more trouble than it is worth.

Yeah good point about DP bundle, I still had the idea of doing the DP installation myself when I wrote that but with the full elbow style it's too much trouble.

Any comments on the r-spec wheel offset changes. My source says regular turbo is at 49 mm and the r-spec gains 5 mm to be at 54 mm. This will probably give it a slight negative scrub radius, right? Noticeable? They really gave the r-spec whole new wheels?
 

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Inspection does not have to be in the county it's registered. If you get it inspected in a county where no emissions then less chance they check the cat visually. If in a county with emissions then higher chance of a visual Inspection. Most do not check for a cat unless they have a reason too such as a very loud car or CEL related to the cat or emissions. Then when they do check it will be a quick look to see not removing the exhaust and looking into the pipe. Having a piece different than the oem style in there will raise concerns in itself to look into things deeper. I've worked on a lot of these cars that are catless and have not heard of any hassle yet at inspection time unless they had a CEL which means they would not pass anyway and should never have gone.

Yes the elbow change is trouble and costs extra time and $ to swap out the DP. Like I've stated before aftermarket is not needed below ~260 whp when a gutted oem DP is just as capable without raising any red flag from a visual standpoint.

Same wheel specs turbo and r-spec.
 

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in mass, every county has the same requirements set by the state. as a mass resident, if i lived near the NY border, i could get my car inspected in boston if i was there and it was convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info you two. My other train of though comes from having more sentiment for the car I have. It's about a $9000 gap between the two cars I've talked about here. What could I do to my car for that money. Could I keep it going to 200k miles with something like ~250 whp and a manual swap? With this direction in mind I wouldn't care about the question why, but how. Is a dream spec, reliable, 1st gen VT an attainable thing?
 

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Do not suggest manual swap as it will cost too much $ and time and potential issues. If I can take a VT from stock to 250 whp for less than 2k and reliable I believe you can make it do the same for less than 9k. How long at that level from this point will be determined by the engine current health and the quality of the current and future maintenance mods and tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do not suggest manual swap as it will cost too much $ and time and potential issues. If I can take a VT from stock to 250 whp for less than 2k and reliable I believe you can make it do the same for less than 9k. How long at that level from this point will be determined by the engine current health and the quality of the current and future maintenance mods and tuning.
I've been on that '13 reliability post just recently with plenty of suggestions for preventative maintenance but no one really talks about the later models wearing out. Say my maintenance was good, and coils, plugs, pvc valves, catch cans, coolant,... and all those high mileage wear items were taken care of, what am I looking at for catastrophic failure points? Would it be something like piston rings or the turbo bearing? Consider this with 250 whp.
 

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Head bolts, head gasket,, engine internals usually just after or same time as the head bolts and head gasket, turbo wear with high mileage, piston ring wear with high mileage.

Keep in mind you can't prevent wear you can only slow it down regardless of power made. You can replace things that would break that will not at 250 whp though. How it makes 250 whp is also more important than making 250 whp itself. Can actually have a car making more power be safer and more reliable than a car making less power. All about the mods, maintenance, and tune. Heard of these cars on the stock tune coming apart right? Hope my points make sense.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Head bolts, head gasket,, engine internals usually just after or same time as the head bolts and head gasket, turbo wear with high mileage, piston ring wear with high mileage.

Keep in mind you can't prevent wear you can only slow it down regardless of power made. You can replace things that would break that will not at 250 whp though. How it makes 250 whp is also more important than making 250 whp itself. Can actually have a car making more power be safer and more reliable than a car making less power. All about the mods, maintenance, and tune. Heard of these cars on the stock tune coming apart right? Hope my points make sense.....
Yes, thank you, really helpful. I had in mind that I would try to keep the engine sealed until parts were absolutely necessary. That may not be possible if the order of wear isn't right. Ideal case is that I would build the engine to make the power later. I think that in a lot of cases, people break the engine trying to get too much power out of it before strengthening it. A see-what-I-can-get-away-with mentality. I don't want to do that.
 

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Keep in mind the top cause of engine failures are poor maintenance and high cylinder pressures and/or pressure spikes.

Reactive or bare minimum maintenance will lead to everything failing sooner than if doing proactive or preventative maintenance.

Head bolts are made to hold the head onto the block but the more pressure and heat the more the head bolts stretch which will eventually blow the headgasket or cause misfires. Misfires themselves cause pressure spikes which is worse than high constant pressure. Similar to boost spikes being more dangerous than slow boost rise and holding high boost.

Many other things can cause high cylinder pressures as well and misfires. Heat in general or carbon buildup in the engine. Something else overlooked is cylinder fill and empty efficiency and even cam timing. Or even how drive pressure for the turbine and the exhaust and intake on the car can alter cylinder pressures and misfires. I could do one hell of a write up on this and much more but it would go over the heads of 99%+ on the forum and would even blow away the <1% that would follow that I'd not shared sooner or had knowledge into any of this.

Maybe I'll get bored one day and write something up to open some eyes and blow some minds but in the meantime I just hope people can trust what I say will not lead them astray.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Keep in mind the top cause of engine failures are poor maintenance and high cylinder pressures and/or pressure spikes.

Reactive or bare minimum maintenance will lead to everything failing sooner than if doing proactive or preventative maintenance.

Head bolts are made to hold the head onto the block but the more pressure and heat the more the head bolts stretch which will eventually blow the headgasket or cause misfires. Misfires themselves cause pressure spikes which is worse than high constant pressure. Similar to boost spikes being more dangerous than slow boost rise and holding high boost.

Many other things can cause high cylinder pressures as well and misfires. Heat in general or carbon buildup in the engine. Something else overlooked is cylinder fill and empty efficiency and even cam timing. Or even how drive pressure for the turbine and the exhaust and intake on the car can alter cylinder pressures and misfires. I could do one hell of a write up on this and much more but it would go over the heads of 99%+ on the forum and would even blow away the <1% that would follow that I'd not shared sooner or had knowledge into any of this.

Maybe I'll get bored one day and write something up to open some eyes and blow some minds but in the meantime I just hope people can trust what I say will not lead them astray.....
I would read it. This is really helpful, thanks. You have a '15 auto VT, is that putting out significant power? How is the transmission holding up?
 
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