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MG MGF Technical - Cup car 2 Road car

Thought I'd start this ... can we compile a definitive list of mods that are made on the cup cars which can be applied to road cars (without making them illegal for road use of course). List should span the technical range.
We can then narrow it down to make a list that really makes the *F* an even sweeter drive ...


assembly of
A- headlights incl. the wiring !!
B- 'standard' SS exhaust ;-)
C- engine cover plate :)
D- standard air intake system ?
E- Co-drivers seat and seatbelt

To reduce or enhance.

Not sure about the SRS system and Alarm ECU.
The fire protection system can be removed

Dieter Koennecke

I'm sorry, C- is included.
Dieter Koennecke

As far as I am aware the main difference apart from being stripped out, rollcage fitted and a more powerful engine is the chassis and suspension.

The chassis is seamed welded as well as stronger suspension mounts which is done at Mayflower on the same production line as the std F.
The suspension uses different suspension arms, or does on the back as can be seen on Dieters web page on the pictuires taken from Spa.
The suspension also has uprated shocks which could not be fitted unless the chassis is made stronger, thus Techspeed use detuned versions for the road cars.

Tom Randell

Me and the boys at Techspeed have been mulling over this one for years!

Doubt there is anyhing that you could take off the Cup cars to make a 'sweeter drive'.

Suspension is about the only thing and as you all know thats been done already.

Brakes on the cup car are too harsh and too expensive (IMO) for road use.

The engine is really the only other option but as its a dry sump unit on the race car you would need to do some hacking about to fit it in a road car - not impossible though.



Gaz, you could probably take the 'principles' of the Cup car and apply it to a road car. Here's an incomplete list of things I can think of:

1. Chassis

Replace front and rear subframes with stiffer seam welded items (available from B&G).
Add strengthening plates to the rear shock absorber mounts.

Unless modifying the engine, rear stiffening tube between the suspension turrets is not going to be an option, unless a less bulky item could be fabricated?

2. Suspension

Cup cars have no rubber at all in their suspensions (at least as far as I could see)- and therefore wouldn't be appropriate for a road car.

What would be appropriate is replacement of all the rubber bushes with stiffer items- such as the PU items sold by Mike Satur and B&G. This would include the roll bar and subframe mounts as well as tie-bar and wishbone bushes (etc etc- basically all rubber bushes!!!).

Disconnect the front and rear hydragas units in the same way as the cup cars. Teechspeed offer this conversion.

Add new shock absorbers. Don't need to be very stiff to make a significant improvement (remember that Hydragas spheres already have 'dampers' built in.

Modify the suspension geometry. You wouldn't want to use the cup car's. Race car teams can 'afford' to waste a set of tyres per event! Besides, Cup cars are set parallel all round for toe angles, with the exception of the nearside rear which is set to toe-in. This is because most corners on a race course are right handers. Not exactly appropriate for a road car! LOL

3. Trim

The carbon fibre interior is simply a high quality fake in a cup car! Copy it if you like :o)

Best bit from a cup car is the seats. You wont be able to use the central cubby boxes though- in fact you may need to remove them all together (the seats are too wide). Removing the standard seats and excess trim will save you approaching 100 kg. A faster car without touching the engine! :o)

4. Engine

Forget the Cup Car engine for road use. Emmisions and maintanence costs would be a nightmare, even before considerations of tractability. Better go for an alternative, such as the 160 bhp conversion by PTP, or the TurboTechnic supercharger (same power as a Cup Car, but shed loads more torque).

If I were building myself an F from scratch, this is the approach I would take. :o)

Rob Bell

Rob, all sounds good to me, and sensible ish aswell. by way of a warning for going to far, my mate at work had work done on his M3, 3ks worth. very low very stiff, solid bushes etc. he said it was amazing on the track. But now intends selling it a month later because its so horrible to drive on the road. so bit of a waste of time and ,money all round.

I hear what you are saying Matt- which is why I don't think that a 'Cup car for the road is practical.

I have ridden in cars with each of the suspension upgrades mentioned fitted, but not on the same car.

The Techspeed conversion is excellent. Firmer, but not harsh.

The PU bushes didn't seem to effect ride quality at all, on what was an otherwise standard car.

Haven't tried a car with seam welded subframes, but I don't see how that would make any difference?

I don't think that the conversion I've listed would be too extreme.

Having said that, this is something you'd do to a car that you plan to keep forever, because you'd simply NEVER get any of that money invested back... Insurance would be another problem, but that, as they say, is another story!

Rob Bell

I keep making the notes because i do intend to keep the car forever. only reason i would consider fitting the supercharger aswell.

as for insurance, 24 in london, bit of a nightmare with a standard F

Insurance is a bit of a mare for a 30 year old too. More so since I moved into an 'insurance black spot.' Nuts :o(

BTW just reading Mike Bee's note about BBR-GTi's engine stiffening upgrades. I wonder if these'll be required on the supercharged engine? Probably good sense, as I'd be keen to get the 1.8i head ported and larger valves fitted... :o)

Rob Bell

Instictivly you'd think the engine needs a bit of beefing up to take the supercharger. but torbutechnics seem pretty confident in their conversion and its reliability. an di know its early days but has anybody actually heard of a supercharger k series breaking as a result of the supercharger. there is quite a few out there now with the elise gang. i guess thats the place to ask.

just as a point of interest though, is it not the case that the early VVCs have a weaker bottom end (later VVCs being the same as the MPi) so might well need strengthening.

Rob - 'principles of cup cars', thats what I meant ... so I guess you also add 'sports' exhaust and cat bypass, tyres and 16" wheels.

Cup cars have a catalyst Gaz- a sports item with better gas flow characteristics than the standard item. If I were to choose this route of upgrading, a sports cat is the way forward.

IMO, all cars should have catalytic converters. Their removal [and replacement with a bypass tube] has such little impact on performance of modern cars that it isn't worth the bother to remove it. As I say, just IMO.

Rob Bell

>Disconnect the front and rear hydragas units in the same way as the cup cars. Teechspeed offer this conversion.

They do, and it really is very cool.

R737 (4 nipples) MPN

>>R737 (4 nipples) MPN

Got yourself a new registration number then?

Dont think it will be too long before PC Plod takes an interest....

P9 (2 nipples) VLS

I can see only one problem with thi four nipple arangment (apart from the obviouse)

with the standard set up you can be unfortunate and end up with a car that is lopsided. with the front and rear split aswell. a problem could result in the car being all over the shop, each corner with its own ride height. could be interesting. driving along with one of your wheels in the air.

how much for the front back split. one day i'll actually get round to talking to techspeed myself.


Had mine done as part of the conversion. Only had to pay thirty quid or so for the parts as they came from Rover motorsport I believe. The independant units do take a bit to set up, fiddley I'm told but mine have been very well behaved. Being independent they set them for best balance on each corner as well as height. Something you can't do when they're linked. I was warned that if the engine was really hot and you parked the car for a while you might notice one rear side (off if I remember, haven't looked for ages) go up a bit because of it's proximity to various hot bits (I hope the none technical are keeping up?) but you need to look carefully to notice. As soon as you've driven a bit the airflow cools everything back down so it's not a prroblem. Must happen on standard set ups as well. No extra labour was added for me. This is yet another thing that Techspeed do well. They don't add on every extra minute they work and every washer and gromit that they need to complete the job.

Paul - Who's got N1 PPY maybe I should buy it?


This thread was discussed between 19/10/2000 and 26/10/2000

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