I bought my Tiburon in the summer of 2014 after finally parting ways with my 1997 Honda Civic DX that I dearly loved. Having had my Civic since I was 16 and being 22 at the time I thought it was time for an upgrade to something sportier and most importantly..... a manual. The Tiburon was by no means my first choice and I can honestly say was one I never considered. I'd always enjoyed the looks of the Tiburon but as it didn't dominate the Fast and Furious screen and was relatively beatable in Need For Speed Underground one it wasn't on my radar.
I began my search for a new cart with the typical culprits: Civic Si, Acura RSX-S, Genesis, Eclipse GT and GSX, Impreza WRX Sti and etc. However, after realizing many of these cars were out of my price range, mostly because people want too much for their "mint condition" used cars and a relatively low budget I was a little fed up with looking. However, at the time my friend was a lot manager at my local Hyundai and had a black 2007 Eclipse GT with under 80,000km for $8500.
I was more a fan of the older 99' GSX AWD Turbo charged Eclipses but I figured the upgrade to a 3.8L V6 with 250+bhp and ft/lbs of torque and 6 spd manual would be a good compromise. I know many people are hugely opposed to the looks of those Eclipses but I never actually minded them. Anyway needless to say I was prepared to spend outside my budget and set up a loan to buy it, I'd had enough of my Civic and an automatic at this point.
But given I'm not driving an Eclipse you can imagine this fell through. I had looked at the car and decided to buy late on a Friday afternoon. I told my friend at Hyundai to put it at the back of the lot and that I would go to the bank on the Saturday and be in that afternoon to buy it, and then I left to drive home, primed with the satisfaction of my pending new car. However on the way home I received a series of phone calls from my friend telling me a used car dealer was looking at it, had test driven, and then subsequently purchased my future car to be. Needless to say I was pretty outright pissed off.
The next day he rang me up saying they had just got in a silver 08 Tiburon GT if I wanted to come look at it. Still pretty peeved I declined until I had picked him up from Hyundai later the next day. First thing I did upon seeing the car was look up the performance specs. Needless to say I wasn't too stoked on the 172bhp and 181 ft/lbs, instantly comparing it to the Eclipse I had just missed out on. We took it for a drive nonetheless. Needless to say during the test drive the Tiburon seemed to pull nicely and seemed satisfactory to me. By satisfactory I really do mean satisfactory as I still wasn't overly impressed by its numbers.
But, Monday morning came and we took the Tiburon to my dad at work (has been a technician for over 30 years) to check that mechanically it was all good. My dad instantly loved it, and highly recommended I buy it after seeing the condition it was in. However, I still wasn't overly sold. Long and short, I bought the car in cash the next day. $3500 later I was the owner, although at this point not 100% proud one, of a silver 2008 Tiburon GT with 167,000 km on the dash. I still wished it was more powerful (having never actually driven it) and wasn't completely sold on the aesthetics of the front end.
In the weeks following my purchase I constantly compared the Tiburon numbers for numbers with other cars that were faster 0-60 and in the 1/4, those with more power, that were also in my price range. I particularly felt disappointing after seeing a Cobalt SS had more bhp, torque and was quicker. Thus obviously the ambiguous Google searches "for how do I make my Tiburon faster" began. Needless to say those led me to this wonderful place, which at first was hugely discouraging as I found countless threads dedicated to saying the Tiburon was a waste of money.
However despite that I'd decided I was going to go ahead anyway. After researching, trying my hardest to avoid getting flamed as a "noob" I'd decided to go I/H/E and that was it, nothing more, couldn't afford it. I'd planned to buy one part each year for finances sake and then by the time I managed to complete my I/H/E build I'd be ready to buy something more substantial (of course the Genesis was my first thought). Well that didn't last. After seeing just how much new aftermarket performance parts cost I decided to look into second hand parts. I found a DC Sports cat back exhaust just down the road in Toronto for $500. A great deal I thought. Coincidentally the guy I bought it from also had a AEM cold air intake for sale. Having saw that CAIs were going for $350+ brand new I worked a deal where I ended up with both the exhaust and intake for $650. I was satisfied with the power increase and sound from the CAI and the exhaust and began to love the Tib a little more. That was it no more parts for a year for me (for context this was sometime in May).
Of course only weeks later I found a set of DC Sports headers out of California for $250. I had them shipped to Niagara, NY, had some lovely "modified" conversations with the border agents and pin the end only paid $340 to get them from California all the way to Toronto. Well.... I wasn't done there. By September 2015 I was craving more power after having essentially completed my I/H/E about 2 years quicker than I intended, safe to say I was bit by the mod bug. I had seen so much about NGM on the forum I decided to delve further.
I'd heard so much about the upper intake manifold I thought that that would be a perfect completion to my I/H/E and enough power for the Tiburon. I began looking for a NGM stage 4 and a bigger throttle body to boot. Unsurprisingly after researching and finding NGM no longer existed I struggled to find either of these as many before me had experienced. Of course since I had started looking into NGM I stumbled upon the Sniper kits, it was all downhill from there.
By this point I had grown a little more informed, and just in time as I began seriously looking for supercharger. I knew I didn't have enough technical knowledge to pursue something as extensive as the Assassin so I focused on the Sniper series. Again given my lack of knowledge in relation to tuning I decided a Stage 0 would be best as I saw little benefit to a Stage 1, and didn't have the know how or funds for tuning a Stage 2.
Before I knew it I had bought a Stage 0 for $2200 ($1800 USD at the time). The biggest factor in this decision was the fact I got a 70MM NGM Tri-flo throttle body for an added $50. I was over the moon. I'd got my I/H/E, a upgraded NGM upper intake manifold and throttle body along with a supercharger all for under $3000.
My affection for my Tib came gradually and grew over time, kinda like that best friend that wasn't your first choice to take to the prom, but the one that was there for you after when that bombshell you craved broke your heart. I actually grew to enjoy the looks of the front end. I now appreciate the Tiburon more than I ever thought I could have when I bought it. I love its increased power, I love the simple leather interior, I love the fact it looks hands over fist better than other car that cost exponentially more, love that it only cost me $6000 to get it the way I wanted it. More than anything I appreciate my Tiburon. I appreciate it for the opportunity it has given me to learn
Supercharged 2008 Tiburon GT (5sp. Manual, 2.7L V6)
NGM Sniper Stage 0 Supercharger
NGM 70mm Tri-Flo BBTB
DC Sports cat back
DC Sports Headers
NGK 1 range colder iridium spark plugs
NGK Performance spark plug wires (blue)
Mishimoto 2 port compact baffled oil catch can
Custom FMIC/ Water to air heat exchanger system with AN fittings and braided lines (in progress)
DC Sports Front strut tower brace
17" Fast Wheels "Rennen"
Tuscani "T' badges
30% black window tint
OEM high rise spoiler conversion
Hana Motors front bumper
Dual DIN Kenwood stereo w/ 300 watt integrated amp
Plans/ ideas for the future:
Side mounted 10" JL Audio sub
Our very first day, the then:
And the now:
Aftermarket Shift Knob
Fidanza HY5 flywheel
Custom billet steel motor mount inserts
Chassis supports and upgraded rear sway bar