Modding upgrading and tuning the Hyundai Smartstream engine!

Find out about "Smartstream Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Hyundai Smartstream

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Hyundai Smartstream engine!"

TorqueCars are always getting posts asking about how to improve the Smartstream from people wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to Smartstream modifications. So let us look into Hyundai Smartstream mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Here we detail the best approach to Smartstream tuning and provide tips on the optimum modifications. Hyundai Smartstream really good project engines and with the right mods like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will substantially maximize your driving pleasure.

Just because particular upgrades are popular with Smartstream owners it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll concentrate on the best upgrades that will give your Smartstream the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the common myth of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

Smartstream induction kits

Improving air intake on the Smartstream

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich losing power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the primary aim to any engine upgrade project to push air into the Smartstream engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the Smartstream when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp at a much lower level.

Intake headers take the air from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a large improvement to fuel mixing and power on the Smartstream.

We often see air intake manifolds are crying out for performance upgrades, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good air intake manifolds.

Increasing the Smartstream valve size, doing some port matching and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, this will afford you increasing the bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

Smartstream performance cam tips.

Some Smartstream engines even from the same production line will vary with some working better on different setups or needing less aggressive camshaft durations, but porting and flowing the head should reduce the differences and give consistent results.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will make differences on the torque gains you'll hit.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large torque gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to push up the torque throughout the rev band, you may lose a little low end torque but the high end rpm power will be higher.

Race camshafts, push up the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a road car you must carefully try to optimize your bhp range to your typical driving style.

You will never have found a Smartstream Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Smartstream

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 Smartstream parts:

Sports exhaust manifold, Intake headers, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 2 Smartstream parts:

Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit.

Stage 3 Smartstream parts:

Twin charging conversions, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

The Smartstream engine blocks make great tuning projects and we're finding that there are increasing numbers of upgrades and tuning parts out there.

ECU mapping should help to to establish the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your Smartstream.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but power output may rely on the upgrades you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Smartstream

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the Smartstream.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes major power gains.

When your motor is turbo charged parts are going to make more power and most turbo engines are made using stronger components.

However every engines will need better parts at higher power limits

Research these limits and fit higher quality components to cope with the power.

There are many people spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the Smartstream only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine block catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's been finished.

Large capacity turbo chargers will usually experience low end lag, and small turbo chargers spool up more quickly but don't have the top end bhp gains.

Thankfully the market of turbochargers is always moving on and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large bhp and torque gains, although more complex to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Smartstream

Don't omit to improve the fuel system when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. It is important to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 15% when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides you some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended Smartstream performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is still ok even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: it's over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a faster flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Cat bypassing (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the Smartstream

Like most engines an Smartstream, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the Smartstream, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned Smartstream this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your Smartstream why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about Smartstream tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their Smartstream.

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