Kia Soul Forums :: Kia Soul Owners banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The lack of available performance suspension components for the gen1 Soul has got me to start thinking out of the box. The gen1 Soul and gen1 Veloster are both Hyundai / Kia PB platform cars. I'm already using a lower motor mount meant for a Veloster (perfect fit).

On a visual inspection the rear axle is very similar (the same?). I haven't gotten a chance to crawl under a gen1 Veloster with a tape measure, but I did look up some measurements online. The track width for the cars is only 0.5" different, which could be any number of components between the rear axle and the wheel (stub axle, hub, brakes, etc), so even if the axle is 0.5" off that could easily be made to flex into the bolt holes on each end.

I've only seen one rear sway bar for the gen1 Soul and it seems like a risky bit of e-bay mystery meat for about $350. I can get an Eibach rear sway bar meant for $140 on Amazon. Before I do a YOLO purchase and just see if it mounts / works, has anyone barked up this tree before? If so, how did it go?

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
Just sell the Soul and get a Veloster. The second hand Souls sell pretty good.

The rear of the Soul doesn't need a sway bar. It's very stiff how it is, more than that and will lift the inside turn tire from the ground when turning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Not really sure a sway bar will help that much with a solid axle, it will reduce body roll slightly but Souls tend to have understeer so I would think you must have done a lot to increase your front grip before you even get close to having a neutral balanced car. It's a lot of trial and error unless someone who raced a Soul has a suggestion on how to get it balanced. I had an Audi TT AWD Quattro and after using Bilstein coil overs made for that car and all poly bushings everywhere some of them offset or adjustable it still took me 3 tries on the alignment rack to get it set up correctly with no understeer and just tiny oversteer induced with the throttle on the AWD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I had an Audi TT AWD Quattro and after using Bilstein coil overs made for that car and all poly bushings everywhere some of them offset or adjustable it still took me 3 tries on the alignment rack to get it set up correctly with no understeer and just tiny oversteer induced with the throttle on the AWD




snaptube vidmate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Not really sure a sway bar will help that much with a solid axle, it will reduce body roll slightly but Souls tend to have understeer so I would think you must have done a lot to increase your front grip before you even get close to having a neutral balanced car. It's a lot of trial and error unless someone who raced a Soul has a suggestion on how to get it balanced. I had an Audi TT AWD Quattro and after using Bilstein coil overs made for that car and all poly bushings everywhere some of them offset or adjustable it still took me 3 tries on the alignment rack to get it set up correctly with no understeer and just tiny oversteer induced with the throttle on the AWD
The rear bar on the Velosters, from what I read, help significantly with the cornering bump shimmy. I've got the car pretty much right where I want it handling wise with that rather significant exception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just sell the Soul and get a Veloster. The second hand Souls sell pretty good.

The rear of the Soul doesn't need a sway bar. It's very stiff how it is, more than that and will lift the inside turn tire from the ground when turning.
Wow, what a monumentally helpful suggestion. I'll file this in the appropriate place. Gee, what was I thinking!

Sigh. Why are you here if that's how you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
Why are you here if that's how you think?
You're unhappy with the Soul, you want a sporty car. Instead of spending the time and money to make it "better" (with disappointing results), you could look to get an used Veloster. Lower gravity center always wins in turns.
The tall gravity center Soul will always ride bad in turns (vertical torque will try to lean the car) and the rear solid bar suspension cannot be made "better" (without ripping it off).
Making the rear sway bar stiffer, on this short vehicle, will create other stability problems (like severe oversteer).

By forcing the rear wheels to be linked together with a stouter bar, the inside rear wheel is more prone to loosing contact with the road thus initiating the oversteer situation, which is generally then exaggerated by normal drivers by stepping on the brakes/or lifting off the throttle. This causes weight transfer to front to occur.
In extreme situation, the inner rear wheel can lift from the ground, I wasn't joking in my first post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You're unhappy with the Soul, you want a sporty car. Instead of spending the time and money to make it "better" (with disappointing results), you could look to get an used Veloster. Lower gravity center always wins in turns.
The tall gravity center Soul will always ride bad in turns (vertical torque will try to lean the car) and the rear solid bar suspension cannot be made "better" (without ripping it off).
Making the rear sway bar stiffer, on this short vehicle, will create other stability problems (like severe oversteer).

By forcing the rear wheels to be linked together with a stouter bar, the inside rear wheel is more prone to loosing contact with the road thus initiating the oversteer situation, which is generally then exaggerated by normal drivers by stepping on the brakes/or lifting off the throttle. This causes weight transfer to front to occur.
In extreme situation, the inner rear wheel can lift from the ground, I wasn't joking in my first post.
Who ever said I wasn't happy with my Soul? Because I want to make a minor tweak to further dial it in I should just bin it and start over?

Also, stop talking down to me like this is my first rodeo. What really sold me on my car when I test drove it is just how much it reminded me of my old Mk1 VW Rabbit, which would lift one wheel in hard cornering and instead of plowing through on understeer like most nose heavy front drivers would transition nicely into a slide at the limit. Why are you so afraid of oversteer?

Just because you have oddly low personal limitations doesn't mean others do. The only frustrating part of owning a Soul for me thus far has been the massively discouraging community that tends to knock down anyone who dares try to realize the full potential of these cars.

You genuinely have no clue who you're talking to and what I've experienced with this car and others.

I'm sorry I bothered asking here. Have fun wallowing in inexperience and stagnation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
It's been a few years since I drove a Veloster but I remember they had pretty bad rear bumpsteer. I drove one before I ever picked it up in the air so I thought something was wrong with it and then I saw it has a Forte/Soul solid rear with probably stiffer spring and sway bar and I just figured that's just how disappointing they actually are.
If you got your front end right where you want it I'm sure you can modify the sway bar to make it work and if it doesn't ride right you can just remove it. Where I'm at there are lots of Upull auto scrappers so a rear bar is probably around $15 to 20.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It's been a few years since I drove a Veloster but I remember they had pretty bad rear bumpsteer. I drove one before I ever picked it up in the air so I thought something was wrong with it and then I saw it has a Forte/Soul solid rear with probably stiffer spring and sway bar and I just figured that's just how disappointing they actually are.
If you got your front end right where you want it I'm sure you can modify the sway bar to make it work and if it doesn't ride right you can just remove it. Where I'm at there are lots of Upull auto scrappers so a rear bar is probably around $15 to 20.
Yeah I've gotten this thing set right where I want it (with surprisingly minor mods) except the bump butt-wiggle. It's interesting that you say the Veloster got worse in that regard with the sway bar, I've read it goes the opposite way when you add the aftermarket one. I'll definitely take that into account and not get too spendy if I try this.

From what I can tell from photos the rear axle setup is visually identical, Kia used this platform for quite a few things. I hadn't gotten under a Veloster with a tape measure and I was curious how close my eyeballing was if anyone has tried it.

This may be worth it just for the science experiment, thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
136521
136523

136524


Just for an idea of what I do with this thing for funsies, here's a road rally I was on last fall. I wasn't slowing the pack down. The gen1 Soul can be made to handle inconceivably good for what it is with very little effort, it's just that people generally don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
So I thought Veloster had a sway bar stock, maybe they don't, I am a tech at a Kia dealer so I have only driven 2 or 3 of them. I just distinctly remember the first time one got traded in and I had to drive it and I remember the rear bump steer because I thought they were cool looking and I had never drove one before that. When I inspect used vehicles that we are going to resell there is a complex down the road that has speed bumps and that is a great test track for me to see if there is anything unusual going on with the car before I even lift it up to inspect it for safety.
Those are AWESOME pics. Your Soul looks so in place with all the Porsches, looks like a Skyline and a GTI in the background too. I also like having a little fun in the corners, hence why my old TT had all those mods. You can see it a little in the storage unit behind my current corner carver.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
In your other experimentation with Veloster stuff, do you know if Veloster parts can be used to lower the car without sacrificing bump travel (similar to the way WRX struts can be used on a Forester)?. I'm tempted to lower the Soul a bit because its so tall and tippy and it makes me quite uncomfortable.

I also wonder if Veloster control arms would result in more front track width.

The suspension does indeed look the same (both are equally crappy lol), so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work.

I would be hesitant to add too much grip, it would be really easy to put this car on its roof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
In your other experimentation with Veloster stuff, do you know if Veloster parts can be used to lower the car without sacrificing bump travel (similar to the way WRX struts can be used on a Forester)?. I'm tempted to lower the Soul a bit because its so tall and tippy and it makes me quite uncomfortable.

I also wonder if Veloster control arms would result in more front track width.

The suspension does indeed look the same (both are equally crappy lol), so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work.

I would be hesitant to add too much grip, it would be really easy to put this car on its roof.
I'm not sure about mixing and matching components on that level. You've asked a lot of sub-questions in your short question so I'll try to list this out orderly.

1. Stock to stock, the gen1 Soul has a 0.5" wider track than the Veloster. I suspect that the suspension components are roughly the same, there's probably a difference in either the brakes, spindles, wheel offsets, or any combination thereof.

2. The gen1 Soul isn't nearly as tippy as you'd think. In my experience lot of the perceived roll, especially on the base car, can come down to tires. Either the sidewall is too tall, the sidewalls are worn, or both.

3. This is really a continuation of #1 - the most significant change in my car was fitting wider wheels with usable but shorter sidewalls. 225/45/17 Firestone Firehawks on Ford Fusion steel wheels, I'm about 1.5" to 2" wider footprint than stock. This took the handling (in my opinion) from 40% perfect to 75% perfect. Matching the rubber to the car makes massive worlds of difference. Downside is I go through a set of tires about every year; this is likely because of my driving habits.

4. Another 5% was gained by replacing the front lower control arms. Old bushing rubber is a control killer.

5. What brought the car from 80% perfect to about 95% was some cheap Manzo 1" lowering springs (variable rate) that I did not expect great things from at all, but holy crap was I pleasantly surprised. I was replacing the front struts and why the hell would I put the stock springs back on, figured I'd give it a mild lowering. The car settled closer to 2" lower and it mellowed it out on bumps, body roll is extremely minimal (the variable rate is key here).

6. If there's a way to roll my car on its roof, I haven't found it yet and not for lack of trying. Like really, really, really, really trying. Hard, and frequently.

If I have any success barking up the Veloster tree for some unavailable Soul components I'll post progress. This will likely not be a rapid project, I think it will involve measuring an actual car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Ah, I had the track widths backward, I thought the Veloster was wider. It has lower offset, wider wheels so it stands to reason that its underlying structure is narrower so nothing to be gained there (other than just using the wheels). Agreed on the bushings. A front end rebuild is on my to do list. The rubber in this car is shot, as are at least 1 of the motor mounts. But I expected that given its age.

RE: #2/6, take it to an autox, esp. with some 200tw tries, and you'll put it on its roof in the first slalom lol. (Its excluded from competition for this reason) But true, it is not as big a risk on the street.

I'll follow along to see what happens with the swaybar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ah, I had the track widths backward, I thought the Veloster was wider. It has lower offset, wider wheels so it stands to reason that its underlying structure is narrower so nothing to be gained there (other than just using the wheels). Agreed on the bushings. A front end rebuild is on my to do list. The rubber in this car is shot, as are at least 1 of the motor mounts. But I expected that given its age.

RE: #2/6, take it to an autox, esp. with some 200tw tries, and you'll put it on its roof in the first slalom lol. (Its excluded from competition for this reason) But true, it is not as big a risk on the street.

I'll follow along to see what happens with the swaybar.
That autocross thing is news to me, I follow someone on Instagram that does all sorts of that stuff with his Soul. Your milage may vary I guess, I've done found with my car it slides a little at the limit but it's never close to tipping even while hammering out corners keeping up with much more purpose built cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
One thing I found about lowering cars with a simple a-arm mcpherson strut set up is to never go lower than the a-arm being level, once you have the a-arm pointing up when you go too low all kinds of bad things start happening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
One thing I found about lowering cars with a simple a-arm mcpherson strut set up is to never go lower than the a-arm being level, once you have the a-arm pointing up when you go too low all kinds of bad things start happening.
100% agreed, this is why I kept it to the 1" (1.75-2" in reality) springs, it was more for the rate change than lowering the center of gravity. I do too many other things with my Soul than just driving fast around corners, I dig that I have a car that can turn as well as tow my Kayak trailer down gnarly rut roads in the woods. No need to put it in all the way the dirt on the bump stops unless you just want it to look low, and there's definitely an advantage in the ability to soak up irregular roads at speed and let the suspension work.

Function > form. Even with the coil overs on my MK1 Rabbit I kept them about half way up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Have you thought about relocating the battery to the trunk? There's plenty of room under the cover and taking a 40lbs battery from the front on a front heavy car and putting it in the rear preferably toward the passenger side would balance the car out a bit. Little subtle things like that can really help. I remember 20 or more years ago, a friend of mine used to race stock cars on a 1/4 mile oval and one of the best improvements he made was a wheel and tire combo that was 2lbs lighter per corner. He could not believe what a difference a small reduction of unsprung, rotating weight could make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Yay track-minded people! I'll be very curious to see how the Veloster rear sway bar fits if you're able to try it out. I'll scour my local Facebook groups and Hyundai group to see if anyone's willing to give one up for cheap. I also hate the rear-end shimmy in that god-awful twist beam rear suspension, and the Soul could definitely use some added rear stiffness to balance things out a bit. I've been searching for cross-platform options for a good while too, but haven't found much.

One thing that did help stability a bit was to widen the contact patch of the car- going to 235s on +50 offset compared to the factory 205s on +47 made the car feel more planted.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top