Hyundai Genesis Coupe Tuning Review & Interview! A Story how Blanton Payne felt in Love in tuned Genesis Coupe at SEMA and made it a Goal to get One!

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The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has Become a Favorite of the Tuning Houses!

Only a decade ago the idea of tuning a model of Hyundai was a real joke. With the debut of the Genesis Coupe, everything was changed. This Korean sporty coupe has become a favorite of the tuning houses and gearheads.

With adding more performance and power to the sportiest Hyundai, it could become a street car that can be taken on any track or road course.

This time we meet one of the biggest enthusiasts of custom made Genesis Coupe. Our interview with Blanton Payne will help you out if you have a goal to put your “Geny” in the tuning process or give you ideas for your further plan.

Review Hyundai: What are the main reasons why you decide for tuning of your Genesis Coupe?

Blanton Payne: At SEMA in 2008 I fell in love with the brand new Genesis Coupe from HKS 2.0T at the Hyundai exhibit. I immediately set a goal to own one! I have had my 2010 Genesis Coupe R Spec for almost 3 years now, and it has continued to impress me through numerous performance upgrades, autocrosses, and even a swap project.

Review Hyundai: Were you competing with your Genesis Coupe and if so, what was the results?

Blanton Payne: I started autocrossing with SCCA and Equipe Rapide (ER) shortly after I bought it. I ran the first full season in STX class with the 2.0T. The Genesis proved to me how great it could perform when I finished the SCCA season in 5th after beginning the season in 15th place. Plus out of the various 5.0 mustangs and M3 BMW`s that I ran against in ER, I was the only one that didn’t trailer my car!

After the race season, the tuning began. A few days before the Genesis`s 1 year anniversary with me, I took it to a Dyno to see what it was putting down…We did 3 pulls on the Dyno, increasing the boost on each one. It was on the 4th pull that it went right to 25.8 psi. Before I could even get out of the gas, all 4 pistons and rods were out of both sides. The poor little 2.0T was done for.

I put all of the factory parts back on, and trailed her to Hyundai. After plugging it up to their computer, they informed me that they would not cover it under warranty… couldn’t hurt to ask right? Within 2 hours of having it back in the garage I had the entire car ripped completely down. I was trying to decide if I should replace the 4 cylinder, or try something else…

Review Hyundai: What is your tuning process story? 

Blanton Payne: I discovered a company out of Florida called Enjuku Racing that was building a LS1 swapped Genesis to showcase at SEMA. I began emailing Ken from Enjuku Racing and said I would love to meet with him at SEMA to talk over a kit. I think Ken was surprised to see me standing at his booth on opening day ready to talk swap. Enjuku at that time did not have any plans for building an LS swap kit. Ken said he might be able to mock up some parts for me to see if it would be worth building a kit. I was to be their guinea pig, and I couldn`t have been more excited.

Ken provided the new motor mounts, transmission mounts, shifter relocation plate, driveshaft, and drive plate to join the driveshaft to the rear end. I found a used 2000 Camaro SS to get the engine transmission ECM and radiator fans. Enjuku builds an oil pan that is a perfect fit for the car, but $900 was more than I felt like spending. I found a GTO oil pan for $200 and did a few modifications so that it would clear the steering rack.

Total bill for the oil pan was $300 and some time, a savings of $600. Ken also advised that I would need to upgrade the radiator. We used the stock Genesis radiator, which was actually bigger, and the fans from the Camaro (which bolted in to the factory tabs). The hoses for the Genesis and the Camaro are actually the same diameter, so no issues there! A GTO Hearst short throw shifter put the shifter right up in the stock opening, and she shifts just like factory.

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Review Hyundai: What was your goal, to build a “drift car” or a “race car”?

Blanton Payne: When I started this build I told myself I wasn’t just going to build a drift car or a racecar. I wanted everything to work just like it was factory, a high hope for most swap projects. Being that it is still my daily driver I needed it to function just like it did before, but still hit the track every weekend!

We made the power steering work just like factory by using the Camaro`s pump to drive the Genesis`s steering rack. The AC works BETTER than factory after we hooked up the Camaro`s AC pump to go through the Genesis`s condenser. The car didn’t come with cruise control from the factory so I even added that.

There is nothing from the outward appearance of the car to give away it`s been swapped. I still have the stock exhaust tips and there are no holes cut in the hood. I’ve added Megan Coilovers which are visible, but they are for performance.

Review Hyundai: What are your further plans, how much your project cost and what is your advice for the custom made cars owners!?

Blanton Payne: My next plans with the car will be primarily about appearance. I`ve paint matched the inside of the headlights, upgraded and added gauges, and inserted a Nexus Seven tablet into my dash, but I also want to upgrade wheels and tires. Being that Enjuku Racing`s car was a supercharged LS motor I want to do a Turbo LS for more power, and upgrade suspension eventually.

My advice for owners who want to enhance their cars, whether it be for racing or showing, sums up to a very simple question- is your car just some car, or does it reflect some aspect of who you are? I am an autocrosser, a car enthusiast, and a risk taker and I think my Gen shows that. It is one of 3 in the world, only 1 of which is in the United States with me.
Ken and the team at Enjuku Racing have an incredible, bolt-in, weekend-swap kit for a fair price. If you`ve ever wanted something else out of your car this is THE way to go. I couldn`t be more satisfied with the end result, and it`s been over a year since its transformation.

The car now has over 15,000 miles since the swap. It is my daily driver, has done a Track day at Eagles Canyon Raceway, as well as over 150 autocross runs!

Thinking about this swap? Here`s what you`ll need:

-Enjuku swap kit: engine mounts, trans mount, drive shaft, drive shaft rear plate, and shifter plate.

-LSX of your choice and T56 Transmission with ECM and 1998-2002 Camaro or Firebird radiator fans (If you`re planning on using the stock Genesis radiator which I did, I think only the 2.0T will cool the LS1.)

-GTO 2004-2005 Oil pan cut and customized to fit steering rack (Check eBay) $300

-LS Shorty Headers Customized to fit steering shaft (once again, check eBay) $250

-You will also need to upgrade the clutch master cylinder witch you can get from Enjuku around $250.

-GTO 2004-2005 Hurst comp plus shifter. $250+

As far as wiring harnesses go you can find one anywhere from $750-$1,800. I used Chace Bays because they did the first Genesis for Enjuku. HOWEVER, my experience with them included 3 different harnesses and 5 months of frustration because I wanted to be able to pass emissions. In the end it was still wrong, and Enjuku was nice enough to re-wire half of it. From what I have learned since then from other wiring companies it is a fairly simple harness that any company who knows wiring can do.

All in all as swaps go its very simple, and if you had all your parts, engine, transmission, and wiring you could do this swap in a weekend!

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