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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - accessories / modifications

has anyone seen any modifications yet for the zr160?
does anyone know if the k+n for the 218vi will fit onto it or will the mgf one be better?
also does anyone know of a nice loud exhaust or any interior bits yet?
will the alloy heater controls fit from the satur mgf range?
will i ever be happy?

rob
rob

Hi Rob
Hows about a bit of "Feed back" on the 160 then. Did you sort that rattle in the back? hows it running, hows you dealer?
Mega

I've heard people mention that ITG filters are better than K+N on VVC's.?
David Harasym

I know two people who invested in ITG filters and found they increased Bhp when removed......one was on a Rover V8 and the other was on a F*rd 2.0 Pinto.
Yorkie

yep got the rattle sorted at last - swapped the parcel shelf and had the tailgate adjusted.
are the itg foam filters better than the metal gauze types (k+n). saw an advert for the new pipercross 'viper' range, 200ish but said to get an average of 10bhp

rob
rob

Rob where did you see Pipercreoss advert?
I dont think 200 is correct?

Kelvin
Kelvin

Are 'after market' dealers aware that some of these products may fit Z saloons?

I seem to remember, some years ago, trying to convince someone in the parts department at the local British Leyland dealership (now no longer in business) that a part that was listed as a Triumph part was the correct one for a Lotus Europa front suspension.

Also some third party replacements seem to be incorrectly labelled - had to take someone from the local accessory shop into the carpark to prove that a part that they had ordered for my Rover 400 was wrong.

John
JLD

Performance add-ons for MG ZR,ZS & ZT will appear somewhere, very soon.

A range of K&N Filters [Both cone and panel types] will be available, fully tested and evaluated.

ZS180 & ZT's with a Cone filter sound awesome!
ZR160 with a cone filter sounds real gruff without being too intrusive.

Don't bother fitting a cone type filter to a ZR-TD, it results in poor performance and loads of boomy noise!
Just fit a TuningBox, ZR160 brakes and enjoy!
Dave

Kelvin - the advert for the viper filters is in 'fast car' magazine feb 2002, page100
mpc are selling them in 'revs' magazine jan 2002, page 90 from 220.

rob
rob

Dave, will k+n be bringing out the new generation 2 kits out as well for the zr160?

rob
rob

There is a fundamental problem for the 160 engine when considering the change of an airfilter. This is simply because the relatively simple power gains that have previously been available have largely been taken up with the new design of induction system for the 160 engine.

The big, big, in fact massive problem for all of the MGF fittings has been induction air temperature. Indeed on some measurments I did with a temp probe in engine bays I found that even the FWD Rover 218iS had temps approaching that of the MGF. Essentially when for every 10 degrees C temp change you see about 3bhp change temps it makes sense not to ignore this area as it is going to have the greatest influence. Usually more than the filtration capacity of the filter.

When temps measured above the inlet manifold are well in excess of 100 degrees C at various cruise conditions when ambient temps outside are in the region of 20 degrees C it is easy to see how inlet air temps are always going to be too high.

On my own F some may recall that some simple plumbing changes to the air filter arrangement whilst retaining the standard airfilter box, with it's somewhat small intake pipe bore, provided 75% of the peak power gain seen by the K&N 57i, and trounced all in the torque stakes. The simple reason was measured in the fact that even on the rolling road the inlet air temps I was running was at least 12 degrees lower than any other.

I was then looking into improving the airflow and decided to use a Rover 820 air filter box. It is the same basic big box as used on many other Rover cars of the period, but had a much larger intake bore than any other, inc the O series turbo engines. This was progressing well, and I still have three of these in the garage, until I came upon the ITG kits. In some ways it was pleasing to see that these were using a filter box of almost identical size and shape to what I had been using, as this seemed to confirm my development route was sound. However the ITG had a much different intake nose design. The cold air pick up was also considerably larger.

Rather than follow my idea further I decided to visit ITG. The result was to try a friends standard car with one fitted and this raised eyebrows. Subsequent trial in another car confirmed the raised eyebrows with the gains felt and seen on the rolling road. Here was a system that caters for the two aspects of the induction system, 1, copious volumes of clean air and 2, this air being as close to ambient temp as possible and not heated by engine heat. The downside being that it was expensive.

I find it interesting to note that the likes of K&N and Pipercross are moving to the same principles of high flow airfilter drawing on a sealed cold air supply. Paying almost lip service to cold air pick up with a pipe or two terminating near to the filter is simply not effective enough.

Moving to the 160PS spec VVC engine sees that MGR have taken on board the limitations for the standard R200, MGF airfilter box in that it doesn't have enough peak airflow and induction air temp would be better if lower. I can't comment on the latter point as I haven't been able to measure the intake air temp on a current spec 160PS engine, but I suspect that in the FWD application the same cold air pick up pints will still be quite effective. On the max volume point you will note that the airbox has now got two cold air feed pipes, which should provide a significant boost to the higher rpm airflow needs.

This development means that dropping on a cone type of airfilter is likley to see reductions in torque and power in the normal driving rpm ranges. There may be a slight power gain towards the top but I really can't see this being that big. The only significant change is going to be in induction noise, which will be raised considerably.


MGR, by developing the 160PS spec engine has taken away much of what was previously easy 'slack' in the engine spec to gain power. It is no longer safe to assume what applies to a 145PS spec VVC will work with the 160PS VVC. It will probably work, but nothing like the way previous experience would indicate.

Rog
Roger Parker

Roger, if the development has been to such a degree - re the airbox / exhaust, would it be worth chipping or would mgr have set it to its peak?
i know the fuel, emmisions, etc have to be taken into consideration to get the cars enviromentaly friendly, but could a chip release much more power/ torque at the expense of these?
would fitting a straight through exaust / downpipe help or are these as in some other cars, developed so well that not much improvement will be seen?
cheers

rob
rob

Rob said-> "I know the fuel, emmisions, etc have to be taken into consideration to get the cars enviromentaly friendly, but could a chip release much more power/ torque at the expense of these?
Would fitting a straight through exaust / downpipe help or are these as in some other cars, developed so well that not much improvement will be seen?"

I guess in theory a reprogram of the ECM chip would release more power but the exhaust emissions would be higher together with increased fuel consumption and drive-by noise. This is exactly what the manufacturers want to keep as LOW as possible.

I doubt that fitting a straight through exhaust would be of much benefit either unless you wanted to arrive at your destination with a headache....
Dave

As a follow-up to Rog's statements, I've made up a simple heat shield around the K&N 57i cone filter on my MGF. Not only has this simple cheap mod made an astounding difference to the torque, but the fuel economy has improved about 10% as well.

Intake air temperature is crucially important- and have seen the differences it makes myself on RRs, and thus can completely corroborate Rog's observations.

Regarding the question is there any difference between different types of aftermarket panel filter, the honest response is that there is absolutely no difference whatsoever. We found this on the MGF on blinded power runs on a RR on the same two cars- a 1.8 MPi and a VVC.

From Matt's experience with his VVC powered 200BRM, the panel filters appear to be the best bet on the FWD cars- at least until ITG alternatives start to appear. (http://www.roverBRM.co.uk)
Rob Bell

A while back I designed my own cold air box for my Rover 220GTi turbo. It has been one of the most effective mods that I have done to date. I have some 30-40ft/lb of torque more that similar cars that are running the same boost levels with other similar mods. The improvement is bound to be greater on a turbo car, but as others here have found, it is definately a worthwhile mod.
You can find a pic in the projects section of my site of the box if anyone is interested at http://www.geocities.com/rover220gti_nz
Gary
Gary Boxall

>You can find a pic in the projects section of my site

Gary will this fit my ZS?

Kelv.
Kelvin

Kelvin
Hi. Happy New Year.
Without moving the battery to the boot,I doubt it,but Rog says that there is a fair bit of room under the battery tray so something could possibly be adapted. Due to the lack of Z cars here in NZ it is not something I can investigate myself unfortunately :o(
Gary
Gary Boxall

I was being sarky of course :-)

I will email you with something interesting!

Kelv.
Kelvin

Rob, give me a call some time with a view to bringing your car in for an evaluation of mods that can be made. I have fitted the MGF alloy heater knobs to the 200 series Rovers before with sucess. With regards to the air induction mods for various models, the ITG kit does work well but on the later cars (MGF) the bracketry is not correct,ITG are aware of this and are making the adjustments. I have redesigned this bracket to fit all MGF models and have drawings available but have not put it into production yet, external suppliers take up 60% of my day as it is. I have also done a preliminary induction design that can be adapted to other models, again this needs further development for clearance and bracketry design. Anybody interested please contact me to enable me to finalise design parameters.
Cheers Mike.
mike

if your open at the weekends then i could pop down with it as im sure your local - goldthorpe?
sure i've been to your old premises

rob
rob

Rob (Yorks)

I am always very very sensitive about 'chipping' a naturally aspirated engine. The essence being that alteration to the ignition and fuelling maps on an engine, that has only a road heritage, will at best produce a different feel and maybe another 3 to 4 bhp. The car will feel different but in essence the power and torque changes will be very close.

The simple thought to remember is that an engine produces extra power, and I refer to only significant worthwile gains of at least 10%, only if additional air (oxygen) is available to mix with the added fuel. Then if that is ignited at the correct time then you see increases. Simple chipping of a naturally aspirated engine, where the engine managment has no control over the maximum volume of air that the engine can inhale, simply tinkers with the settings and has little real effect. Experience with the VVC does indicate that the management system will cater and compensate for 180bhp without need for managment changes.

However as you make modifications that increases the potential max air volume that the engine can inhale in given time, then the further you move from the standard start point the less ideal the original mapping will be. I believe that the VVC engine can be taken to 180bhp with the standard settings, before it is more of a requirement to consider managment changes. Even so as you move away from standard the potential benefits from the managment changes will increase in a rough equal scale to the drop off of the suitability of the standard settings.

When it comes to changing engine mapping I have to say my ideal would be to replace the standard MEMS ECU with a plug compatable unit from the likes of Dave Walkers Emerald company, or perhaps the Luminition unit. However these do not, as far as I am aware, yet cater for VVC control so remain the preserve of the normal MPi engines.

Looking at the VVC engine I do suggest that of the simpler mods apart from the airfilter and cold air feed to the engine, the exhaust does hold some scope for change. However this is not a simple bolt on rear silencer and perhaps sports cat, if it is able to create the correct gas make up for the second lambda. (You could replace the cat with a pipe assuming that you can then provide the appropriate signal for that second lambda sensor so you don't default the system into a 'limp home' mode becasue the lambda signals are out of the normal operating window.)

No my thought would be to look at the manifold and downpipe and observe the principles applied to Elise and Caterham. I know that these mainly apply to non VVC engines with wild cams, but the effect the exhaust has is quite marked from experience on a non VVC 1.8 R200 which has longer than standard primary and very long secondary pipe lengths, toghether with better welding and mandrel applied bends on larger bore pipe. There is also some advantages to come from head work and since my last post I have a VVC head to take apart and prepare for detailed work before going back on, and retaining the VVC workings.

Rog
Roger Parker

Rog

to sum it up are you saying it would only be worthwile swapping the front pipe/ manifold before going deep into it by doing some head work?
With the car being a few months old and the warranty being for 3 years, i've been told that bolting on bits wont affect the warranty, but modifications would - a chip can easily be swapped back to standard.
I had a R25 1.6il last year, skirts/spoilers/lowered/alloys/colour coded (looked like mg but before they came out), which i fitted a k+n induction kit and supersprint backbox and when i sold it 2500 miles it felt slower than when i got it new, wasted money.
So instead of doing this again i want to be sure that what i do to the 160, it will be worthwile.

rob
rob

Hi,

has someone got already some details of techical data ?

I'm after the rims PCD and offset. Anything special due to the centre hole or something else ?

Regards
Dieter
Dieter Koennecke

got a reply from K+N to say they should be releasing the new generation2 filters for the ZR160 in march

rob
rob

Rob,

Exhaust changes will create some changes, but it is not clear whether a change for the better at one point in the rev range will not turn into a loss elsewhere. The standard manifold can be welded up on the outside and ground out on the inside, where it is welded originally. This will provide a useful increase in the available area for exhaust gas flow, but essentially when viewed on the rolling road there is still too much colour to the exhaust indicating it is still a little restrictive.

I am having to sit a little on a fence as changes to the system certainly has an effect and can provide more power, but when transferring modifications from the same engine in another chassis it is not safe to assume that the same results will apply. I already know that the 1.8 K in the 200/25 body does produce more power in standard form than the same engine in an MGF. This is down to differences in the standard induction and exhaust systems.

I would also err on the side that any exhaust improvements will be relatively small (circa 5 bhp at the wheels).

I take the point on warranty protection, which of course by restricting changes to external items will always result in only small changes to power, with perhaps greater changes to 'feel'.

Rog
Roger Parker

As Roger mentions, trick 4-2-1 and 4-1 exhaust manifolds have been developed for the Elise, and appear to work with impressive results to the point that gains in both power and torque (with the 4-2-1 at least) can even be seen with a standard head.

I make mention of this because unlike the Caterham, the Elise engine is mounted transversely, as it is on our cars.

Unfortunately this isn't a direct swop for the standard manifold on a 25/ZR by virtue of the position of the cat and exhaust system (they do fit MGFs though!). However, I am sure that the company that makes them would do you a "special"- see http://web.ukonline.co.uk/grahamf/index.htm

Dieter, the only bit of wheel data I know off the top of my head for the R25/ZR is that the PCD is 100 mm. No idea about the offset or centre hole size, sorry :o(
Rob Bell

well i caould always wait until the cars spot on then say sod the warranty and fit a nitros system with 100bhp jets- hhmm :-} tempting

rob
rob

Rog,

thanks. Was a quest in a german forum. I'll answer in this way.
Dieter Koennecke

If anyone visits the Autosports international then they can view both the Generation 2 K&N set up in a basic configuration, and the ITG R200/25 MGZR fully enclosed induction system. The MGB V8 featured in this months MG World has a configuration which is in essence what the generation 2 set ups will be like if you can't get to the NEC.

One thing that I am wary of and this is the fact that creating a 'fence' between one area and another in the engine bay is not as effective as completely sealing it. For that reason there will be a real potential for hot air to be drawn into the 'fenced' area during conditions of wide open throttle. This is when the huge volume of airflow is going to show up restrictions in cold air supply to the enclosed area and not being sealed will see air drawn from outside and as a consequence this will be hotter.

My whole point being that if your going to the effort of the change, then it's best to use a completely sealed unit where you are in control of the air supply. ITG was the first in the field and this is the one with which I have so far had superb results. On the oter hand there is the new Pipercross system that uses the same principles, and whilst I have no experience with their system the same princuple advantages apply as for the ITG so if it is any good it must at least reach the same performance levels. If this is achieved and the price is below 200ukp then this will be a winner.

Rog
Roger Parker

Roger, do you know if the itg filter is available for sale yet?

rob
rob

They were apparantely awaiting final delivery of the moulded end piece that connects to the front of the car, otherwise it's all done and dusted. I imagine availability will be only a few weeks away, perhaps less.

Rog
Roger Parker

Roger - who is the best person to suppy the itg filters?

rob
rob

Good question. PTP do a fair amount of business with ITG and MAY be able to offer a reasonable price.

Failing that I can only suggest perhaps contacting ITG direct. There may be something that Mathew can do via www.roverbrm.co.uk so that may be worth a mail.

Rog
Roger Parker

This thread was discussed between 28/12/2001 and 18/01/2002

MG ZR ZS ZT Technical index

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