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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Air Filter for MG ZS 120

I will be a "proud" owner of a 2001 MG ZS 120 saloon on the 1st of may. A friend of mine recommended i should get a K&N "Panel Filter" for the car, which he put on his Elise (which uses the same power plant). so the question is - can i get such a filter for my MG ZS? and will i have problems with insurance? or does anyone have any other recommendations?

any feedback will be much appreciated

thanks

Darren
Darren

I beleive that there is now a K&N cone filter kit available for the ZS120. Contact K&N - someone else here wil be able to give you their contact details. I think it was different from the kit for the MGF as space in the ZS is limited around that region.

As for panel filters - I don't know!
David Bainbridge

Darren,

Welcome to the club :-)

The ZS 120 uses a 1.8 K series engine and this has been in service in the MGF and the current TF as well as the ZR. There are a number of filter options for the F, some (but not all) of which will apply to you. There is a link to Peter Burgess site on one of the random banner ads that appear on the top of these pages and there is some information on there about his trials with a ZR, but for me i would stick to the OE assembly and just (as your friend has suggested), replace the filter element with a more efficient one - for the time being anyway. Queue K+N, Piper X, ITG etc.

You could also check out Rob Bell's personal webspace as he has loads of information about the filter options available for the F:

>> http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com <<

Or, (risking the inevitable comments!) you could re-post your question on the MGF board (they aren't as bad as you may think on there!) ;-)

SF
Scarlet Fever

Hi SF. I'm Darren's friend who suggested the panel filter. I had a K&N panel in my S2 which, as you said, is a direct replacement for the rubbish paper one Lotus (Rover?) stick in the K by default. The reason I suggested it was because the car will breathe better for it (the Elise certainly did) and be noticably more responsive (well, it was on the Elise, anyway) and that you don't need to tell the insurance as it's a like-for-like replacement.

I assumed, as the ZS shares the same 1.8 Rover K, that the airbox is the same. I think the Elise has the same OEM airbox as the MGF, which I assumed was standard for all K powered cars. ie the rectangular black box with the clips. Would this be correct?
MC MartyP

Thanks for all your feedback.

i am ultimately looking at improving the cars performance where i can without screwing up the insurance - and also not to worry the wife. i have not yet had the chance to give the car a good raz/run, and so do not yet really know whether it does require a little tweaking here and there - anyone who has owned one may feel that the car is as good as it needs to be, if so - let me know.

cheers

Darren "Demon"
Darren

Darren, I've had my ZS 120 since October 2001 and in that time have tried a few different filters.

I replaced the paper filter with a K&N panel. This freed up some power (probably only a couple of bhp at most) but also improved the throttle response.

I have also tried a Pipercross induction kit (open cone). This does give more noise but offers little (if any) benefit over a K&N panel. Indeed in slow moving traffic it may lead to a reduction in power as it draws in warm (less dense) air. If you use an open cone it will need a good cold air feed, but these do not tend to work too well at low speeds.

A good panel will cost around 35, double that will get you an open cone.

HTH

John
JLD

>>>anyone who has owned one may feel that the car is as good as it needs to be, if so - let me know.

I have an F with K&N cone and a ZS120 with no mods. I have to say that the effect the filter's had on the F makes it a very tempting proposition for the Z.
David Bainbridge

>> assumed, as the ZS shares the same 1.8 Rover K, that the airbox is the same. I think the Elise has the same OEM airbox as the MGF, which I assumed was standard for all K powered cars. ie the rectangular black box with the clips. Would this be correct? <<

Not sure on this one, what i can tell you is that there are at least three different versions of the rectangular OE airfilter box in various F/TF guises, i shall elaborate.

MGF (1.6 MPi, 1.8 MPi and VVC) - Standard rectangular air box linked to 48mm plastic throttle body and resonance box.

MGF (Trophy 160) - Modified rectangular air box (with additional air intake) linked to 52mm alloy throttle body and resonance box.

TF (135 and 160) - Modified rectangular air box (with additional air intake) linked to 52mm alloy throttle body - no resonance box.

As to which of these is fitted to the Zeds, or even if they have thier own design i am unsure, but i suspect that diven it is producing 120 ps, i.e. the same as the old 1.8 MPi MGF, it is the same as this (Standard rectangular air box linked to 48mm plastic throttle body and resonance box), although i doubt the Zed has the resonance box.

In an F a K+N 57i cone filter was independantly tested and was proved to produce +8 bhp on a 1.8 Mpi. Given that a large part of these gains were produced by the cold air feed pipes and the fact that the Zed's engine bay is likely to be a lot better cooled i would hazard a guess and say that on a Zed a K+N cone would be worth around +5 bhp.

Traditionally in an F the panel filter is worth less than the cone, but this is because of the cold air feeds to the cone installation. I suspect the panel filter element on a Zed would be the same as in an F, and although i have no independant figures for them, i would hazard a guess at +3 bhp.

Note, these guesses are peak figures at specific points in the rev range (around 5500 rpm), the panel filter, as has been alluded to previously, may perform better than the cone in other circumstances (like urban driving where underbonnet temperatures may rise and there is no dedicated cold aor feed to the cone).

You have to remember that cold air is denser and therefore contains more oxygen, more oxygen = more powerful combustion and therefore more power, so an enclosed system like a replacement panel element is effectively shielded from the hot engine bay temperatures, whereas a cone draws air directly from the bay and therefore is more affected.

The ideal would be an enclosed cone with a short, direct 'ram-air' like cold air induction feed. This will isolate the filter from the engine bay and be fed external cold air in as direct a manner as possible. I'm sure someone could fashion something out of say for example an old Rover 820 air box from a scrappy... ;-)

HTH

SF
Scarlet Fever

Even the on the KV6, the air intake filter housing differs between the ZS, the ZT 160 and the ZT190, so in all probability, there are variations on the K cars.
Martin
Martin

>>The ideal would be an enclosed cone with a short, direct 'ram-air' like cold air induction feed. This will isolate the filter from the engine bay and be fed external cold air in as direct a manner as possible. I'm sure someone could fashion something out of say for example an old Rover 820 air box from a scrappy... ;-) <<

Kevin Neal did exactly that on our last Emerald RR jaunt - and turned his lovely ZS180 into a ZS190... ;o)

More details on the 820 mod at http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/airbox_pix/airbox_pages/airbox.htm - although this is for an MGF, it would be pretty straightforward to fit one of these to any Zed :o)
Rob Bell

Blimey, they like to complicate things, don't they? The Elise (S2) K series has the alloy throttle body - prob 52mm - but the S1 has the plastic one - hence the reason most S1 owners get themselves the Trophy 160 TB as soon as possible as the plastic one has a habit of sticking. S2 owners don't bother with the Trophy as the standard TB is so much better.

I would guess, though, that K&N do the panel filters for most derivatives of the K. Darren picks up his ZS today, so I'll have a nose under the bonnet (if he doesn't mind, of course) tomorrow to see which airbox is fitted. Generally the 57i cone filter gives most insurance companies the willys so I can understand reluctance to install one. The standard panel on the Elise made a world of difference to throttle response and improved the sound a wee bit. I doubt there were any discernable power gains though.
MC MartyP

Hi All

Ok, I have decided to purchase the replacement K&N air filter, discussed above. Does anyone have any comments about this?

Speaking to people who have this filter (in their elise) have said that the endgine sounds better, and performs better - with better throttle response.

Obviously putting in the new air filter will make the car "breathe" better, but will it make the fuel mixture too rich and risk upsetting the engine over a long period of time? I don't want to do anything i will regret later.

The air filter in question can be found here... http://www.race-speed.com under the "Elise > Induction" section. The website seems to be down at the moment, but keep trying.

Thanks in advance... Demon
Darren

Darren, I have tried a panel filter on a 120ZS,Pipercross foam, which Px made for me after I sent 'em a airbox for dims. This works better than the paper item but I then tried a Px Viper , this is a enclosed filter system, this made a quite dramatic change, giving a better throttle response and power gain. I have just fitted a 'Vader' filter which has a high flow stainles steel mesh filter media in a carbon enclosure ...this is even better giving better throttle response, virtually no throttle 'lag', can recommend this type as the better of the ones I have tried. Works extremly well on my 1.8i MGF aswell.
Mike.
PS can photo this install and e-mail if you want.
mike

A photo will be great thanks. I must say the the actual throttle is very responsive on the ZS, obviously will be compared to my wife's 1.6 Escort Encore! I just want to give it that extra umpf ;op

Thanks
Darren

I could be wrong but I think with a cone you should by rights inform your insurance, but with a panel you don't have to.
Q C Tastic

This thread was discussed between 23/04/2003 and 19/05/2003

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