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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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.
I already filled the trunk with an oontz pump trunk floor replacement since Kia cheaped out on my spare tire by not providing it, plus I drive my kids around in it so a battery in the passenger compartment may not be wise. If this was a pure track car yep, it'd probably be in the right corner and the whole interior would be in the bin, the latter I did with my 82 Rabbit.

One of the odd surprises was after installing a Curtis trailer hitch, a small but noticeable amount of the butt wobble went out of the car in corners. I suspect this is acting as a bit of a backdoor frame brace.

Agreed on the wheels, you really can feel the difference on these cars since you're not working with a ton of power. I had base model Dodge Stealth wheels on my car for a minute when I first got it, but they made the car feel like it was driving in wet cement (heavy wheel and tire combo plus tall, mushy sidewalls). Switching to a relatively light set of steelies was felt immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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.
Yeah these things respond to wider rubber for sure. I almost feel like my 225s might be too wide as I lost some of the gradual transition to a drift at the limit and the controllable throttle-off oversteer but the tradeoff is the limit went way up. I now have to be very conscious of exceeding it because it begins to mildly plow exceeding cornering grip limits.

I might have to impulse buy a swaybar now, my curiosity keeps getting more severe the more I talk about it.
 

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Yeah these things respond to wider rubber for sure. I almost feel like my 225s might be too wide as I lost some of the gradual transition to a drift at the limit and the controllable throttle-off oversteer but the tradeoff is the limit went way up. I now have to be very conscious of exceeding it because it begins to mildly plow exceeding cornering grip limits.

I might have to impulse buy a swaybar now, my curiosity keeps getting more severe the more I talk about it.
235 is an OEM fitment, so I'd say that 225 isn't too wide, at least from a chassis fitment point of view. I honestly would love to shove a set of 255/60-15s under the car, but for some reason it's nearly impossible to find a cheap 15x9 +60 to +65 offset wheel. Go figure. Probably wouldn't fit on the inner portion of the wheel well without thinner struts or some enthusiastic massage work, but it'd look damn cool. And I have a BRZ and CRX to spend money on before the Soul...

Did you go 225 on the stock wheels? Maybe the wheel isn't wide enough for the 225 carcass?

On the sway bar, looks like Progress and Whiteline offer rear bars for the Veloster. Based on the pics from Progress, it seems like the bars bolt on underneath the spring perches? Maybe if fitment isn't perfect from the Soul to the Veloster (I'm betting it's the same), a nice thick steel plate might work as an adapter.


Progress is 19mm and Whiteline is 18mm?

 

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I already filled the trunk with an oontz pump trunk floor replacement since Kia cheaped out on my spare tire by not providing it, plus I drive my kids around in it so a battery in the passenger compartment may not be wise. If this was a pure track car yep, it'd probably be in the right corner and the whole interior would be in the bin, the latter I did with my 82 Rabbit.

One of the odd surprises was after installing a Curtis trailer hitch, a small but noticeable amount of the butt wobble went out of the car in corners. I suspect this is acting as a bit of a backdoor frame brace.

Agreed on the wheels, you really can feel the difference on these cars since you're not working with a ton of power. I had base model Dodge Stealth wheels on my car for a minute when I first got it, but they made the car feel like it was driving in wet cement (heavy wheel and tire combo plus tall, mushy sidewalls). Switching to a relatively light set of steelies was felt immediately.

Lot of good thoughts and info going on here.
I have a 2013 gen 1 I bought used certified, for less than bluebook. Felt like a marshmallow when I got it. Found some great mods from SSD, unfortunately they don't make them any more it seems. Front strut tower brace, their lower pan frame is brilliant, it ties in attached on the two main front clip bolts, and bolts to the stiffening ribs of the bellypan of the unibody. Stiffened the whole car up and did not sacrifice suspension travel, lost that butt wiggle and body twist.
They also made a great bolt on cat back exhaust, used all stock mounts with no mods. This did wonders for it's breathing, recently added the K&N air intake system, upgrade from their flat filter in the box! I'll be thinking on your wheel and tire notes when it's time for new bologna skins!
 

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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.
So the Fusion wheels are the 17 x 7.5's correct? I see that lug pattern matches, is it a no brainer on the offset as no spacers? You don't strike me as someone who would go that route. Appreciate any input. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
235 is an OEM fitment, so I'd say that 225 isn't too wide, at least from a chassis fitment point of view. I honestly would love to shove a set of 255/60-15s under the car, but for some reason it's nearly impossible to find a cheap 15x9 +60 to +65 offset wheel. Go figure. Probably wouldn't fit on the inner portion of the wheel well without thinner struts or some enthusiastic massage work, but it'd look damn cool. And I have a BRZ and CRX to spend money on before the Soul...

Did you go 225 on the stock wheels? Maybe the wheel isn't wide enough for the 225 carcass?

On the sway bar, looks like Progress and Whiteline offer rear bars for the Veloster. Based on the pics from Progress, it seems like the bars bolt on underneath the spring perches? Maybe if fitment isn't perfect from the Soul to the Veloster (I'm betting it's the same), a nice thick steel plate might work as an adapter.


Progress is 19mm and Whiteline is 18mm?

225 wasn't on the stock wheels, they are 17" Ford Fusion steelies (soon to be replaced, see a few posts down). I had the same thought on the swaybar, if it's close enough it can be coaxed into fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Lot of good thoughts and info going on here.
I have a 2013 gen 1 I bought used certified, for less than bluebook. Felt like a marshmallow when I got it. Found some great mods from SSD, unfortunately they don't make them any more it seems. Front strut tower brace, their lower pan frame is brilliant, it ties in attached on the two main front clip bolts, and bolts to the stiffening ribs of the bellypan of the unibody. Stiffened the whole car up and did not sacrifice suspension travel, lost that butt wiggle and body twist.
They also made a great bolt on cat back exhaust, used all stock mounts with no mods. This did wonders for it's breathing, recently added the K&N air intake system, upgrade from their flat filter in the box! I'll be thinking on your wheel and tire notes when it's time for new bologna skins!
Do you have a photo of their frame brace? I have a welder and this might be fun to make my own. Thank you for the heads up! I tried to make my own strut brace but I'm a bit stuck on the shock tower mounts since Kia decided to put so much stuff requiring relocating on the driver's side strut tower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
So the Fusion wheels are the 17 x 7.5's correct? I see that lug pattern matches, is it a no brainer on the offset as no spacers? You don't strike me as someone who would go that route. Appreciate any input. Thanks!
Correct, the wheels are from a Ford Fusion, 2010-2012. Same centerbore, bolt pattern, and the spacing is a bit better (they sit nearly flush to the fender). I just found a different set of Ford Fusion wheels on craigslist though, aluminum 18x7.5, so they're likely going to be replaced soon. Don't mind the crude photoshop, I'll have them physically on the car this weekend to test fit and tire size. They are in dire need of refinishing and new tires before going on permanently. I'm debating between 225/40/18 (stock OD for my base, but liability level thin sidewalls) and 225/45/18 (stock OD for ! models)

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Correct, the wheels are from a Ford Fusion, 2010-2012. Same centerbore, bolt pattern, and the spacing is a bit better (they sit nearly flush to the fender). I just found a different set of Ford Fusion wheels on craigslist though, aluminum 18x7.5, so they're likely going to be replaced soon. Don't mind the crude photoshop, I'll have them physically on the car this weekend to test fit and tire size. They are in dire need of refinishing and new tires before going on permanently. I'm debating between 225/40/18 (stock OD for my base, but liability level thin sidewalls) and 225/45/18 (stock OD for ! models)
Wow those Fusion wheels look nice! I looked up both the 18x7.5 and the 17x7.5 for that model year Fusion- the offset is +44mm. 225/45 only takes you to 26.0 inches in diameter, and 235/45 was a stock fitment at 26.3 inches, so I'd recommend just going tall to fill in that wheel well more and give you more sidewall to play with. It'll look cooler, give you a slightly larger contact patch, but make your gearing a bit taller... and hopefully a half inch more in radius won't cause you to scrub the inside of the fender since you'd be sitting 12-13mm farther outboard than the OE 235s on +62. Maybe it won't matter? I'm a "love the fully stuffed wheel well" look kinda guy.

Oh, how much do the Fusion wheels weigh? Both the 17s and 18s?
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Wow those Fusion wheels look nice! I looked up both the 18x7.5 and the 17x7.5 for that model year Fusion- the offset is +44mm. 225/45 only takes you to 26.0 inches in diameter, and 235/45 was a stock fitment at 26.3 inches, so I'd recommend just going tall to fill in that wheel well more and give you more sidewall to play with. It'll look cooler, give you a slightly larger contact patch, but make your gearing a bit taller... and hopefully a half inch more in radius won't cause you to scrub the inside of the fender since you'd be sitting 12-13mm farther outboard than the OE 235s on +62. Maybe it won't matter? I'm a "love the fully stuffed wheel well" look kinda guy.

Oh, how much do the Fusion wheels weigh? Both the 17s and 18s?
I plan on taking the bathroom scale outside tomorrow when I try them on for fitment, I'll let you know. My snow tires were significantly taller so I don't think there will be a huge issue, fortunately the (shot) tires that were on the wheels when I bought them are also 225/45/18 so I'll know for sure soon.
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I plan on taking the bathroom scale outside tomorrow when I try them on for fitment, I'll let you know. My snow tires were significantly taller so I don't think there will be a huge issue, fortunately the (shot) tires that were on the wheels when I bought them are also 225/45/18 so I'll know for sure soon.
Sweet, appreciate it. If they're any kind of decent weight, I might try and grab a set to prepare for the next set of tires, whenever that might be. ;) For reference, the 16x7.5 +50 RX-8 auto wheels I'm running now were just under 19 pounds each.

If that pic was on the 225/45, I'd say just go with that size. It looks good. If the gearing is too tall, the solution is always to add boooooooooooost. :D
 

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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.
Honestly, from looking at mine, the rear suspension seems much more limiting than the front camber curve change due to lower. You can stiffen that up and make it work in a way you can deal with it, but the rear suspension seems to be the limiting factor. According to my google searching, the rear shocks only have ~4" of travel (!). Typical strut car has around 7". Even the terrible rear suspension of my B15 Sentra had 5" (which was definitely limiting in rallyx from time to time).

When dropped 2" I can't imagine how much bump travel is left in the car, but it can't be much?

I'm not sure what the travel limiter would be if the shock travel was fixed. I imagine there isn't much bump in the rear before the axle would interfere with the bottom of the body - probably done so for cargo capacity reasons.

25" is pretty much the ideal size for options/fitment if you want to go faster. Plus, it keeps the car less likely to roll over. I'm not sure what people are running these days, but a 17x9 with a 255/40 used to be the go-to option for a 25" tire car (primarily due to STR autocross popularity).

If you are happy with relatively narrow 18x7.5s, you can also grab factory Soul wheels for $dirt cheap from your local auto recycler. The early Fusion offset seems to be nicer though. I kinda dig the Fusion steelie look, I may actually look out for a set of those.


On a related note, how do you deal with TPMS on these cars? I've honestly never played with a car that had TPMS.
 

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Ran into this site on the web crawling today
Seems he is doing soul specific rear sway bar along with strut, pan braces and other goodies.....

Have not had a chance to put mine in the air to get pics of mine, did check with SSD and they are not doing them anymore.....
 

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If you are happy with relatively narrow 18x7.5s, you can also grab factory Soul wheels for $dirt cheap from your local auto recycler. The early Fusion offset seems to be nicer though. I kinda dig the Fusion steelie look, I may actually look out for a set of those.


On a related note, how do you deal with TPMS on these cars? I've honestly never played with a car that had TPMS.
I have the rims, "Fusion steelies" coming, along with shocks, struts and springs. So I looked on Amazon and found a set of TPMS units already programmed for the car.

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Do you have a photo of their frame brace? I have a welder and this might be fun to make my own. Thank you for the heads up! I tried to make my own strut brace but I'm a bit stuck on the shock tower mounts since Kia decided to put so much stuff requiring relocating on the driver's side strut tower.
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SSD strut brace 1 bolt shred with strut on towers and 1 drilled, 2 under bar tabs to firewall.
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Front frame attaches in common with front clip to unibody, the 2 uni channel bolts are bolts with an L tab welded so they wont rotate. These are in factory holes and were fished into place with long wires with a helicoil type end to thread bolts to.

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Rear frame bolts at 2 factory points and 2 uni channel bolts fished into place like the front frame points. Hope these are helpful, PEACE.
 

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When dropped 2" I can't imagine how much bump travel is left in the car, but it can't be much?

I'm not sure what the travel limiter would be if the shock travel was fixed. I imagine there isn't much bump in the rear before the axle would interfere with the bottom of the body - probably done so for cargo capacity reasons.
I'll have to get under mine and measure...
25" is pretty much the ideal size for options/fitment if you want to go faster. Plus, it keeps the car less likely to roll over. I'm not sure what people are running these days, but a 17x9 with a 255/40 used to be the go-to option for a 25" tire car (primarily due to STR autocross popularity).
255/40-17 is still the sweet spot- I just put a new set of S-04s in that size onto my BRZ. 17x9 all the way! I think I'd still want taller for the Soul so it doesn't look funny, but the shorter gearing with the shorter tire would help too...
Ran into this site on the web crawling today
Seems he is doing soul specific rear sway bar along with strut, pan braces and other goodies.....
Just about everyone I can find online that advertises a Soul rear bar is using a Forte/Veloster bar and claiming that it fits the Soul. I think there are only 2-3 actual rear bar manufacturers out there, and none truly say they're Soul compatible. Just need to get those measurements!
SSD strut brace 1 bolt shred with strut on towers and 1 drilled, 2 under bar tabs to firewall.

Front frame attaches in common with front clip to unibody, the 2 uni channel bolts are bolts with an L tab welded so they wont rotate. These are in factory holes and were fished into place with long wires with a helicoil type end to thread bolts to.

Rear frame bolts at 2 factory points and 2 uni channel bolts fished into place like the front frame points. Hope these are helpful, PEACE.
Those are nice! All SSD hardware for the 1st gen? I wonder if the attachment points are the same in the 2G chassis.
 
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