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MG MGF Technical - How to increase the horse power

Dear fellow mgf lovers,
I have recently purchased an MGF 1.8i.
Although I am very pleased with the car in general terms I still wonder if there is way to increase its horse power with a kind of an engine kit.
I have allready tried to find an answer to my question in Greece but didnot succeeed.
I thank you in advance for your answers

There are engine kits around, but really these aren't worth the money that you pay. The cheapest performance upgrades you can get are:

K&N 57i air filter (70-80), adds around 8bhp for 1.8i, 15 for VVC
Performance exhaust - I have the Mike Satur Daytona, which is around 340 and adds around 5bhp.

After that you are going into the depths of replacement Cam shafts, flowed cylinder heads etc..

There is an ICON superchip available for the F, but the general thought is that it actually doesn't do anything. Someone tested one on a rolling road and saw no difference at all with it on or off.

You can look through, their online catelogue should give you some idea what you can do and Another place to try is



Steve Childs

I wouldn't say engine conversions arn't worth the money...The Mountune F which came down to the Essex meet a few weeks ago had 158BHP from a standard 1.8i & going by the people who had a ride was a lot nicer power delivery than a exhaust & air could ever offer....tis more money at 1800 but if you want that sort of power you have to pay for it.

Just look at Jason Whites funky F :o) 190bhp I think that was.


Dave, ok, I didn't mean they weren't worth it, but 1,800 is a lot to spend & the risk of reliability. Accepted, if its done properly there is no reason that it would threaten reliability, but if its not done properly, you could end up with a bill for a new engine.

Besides, Lazaros is in Greece, the UK is a bit far to drive for a reliable engine tweaking session! ;)

Steve Childs

I have had my F Tuned. Yes it does cost but so do all the other goodies for the F. I had Exhaust and K&N Cone fitted first. I did not noticed any difference just a lot of noise. I then went for the cams. This made the biggest difference. I noticed it straight away. But it cost 700. The problem with tuning is that you have to make the engine breath more freely. This means that you have to have the exhaust and air filter done first. Cams on there own will not surfice. The 1.8 K seriers engine was originally produced for engine sizes 1.4 to 1.6. They produced a 1.8 with the same engine with a longer stroke but retained the same cyinder head, hence the engine suffers from breathing problems. Like some one with ashma.

>> but 1,800 is a lot to spend & the risk of reliability. <<

Mountune 158 bhp kit was developed for Lotus and is sold by them as the Elise Sport 160. Therefore, this is a reliable conversion as it has been road tested by maniacle Elise drivers driving thier cars as they were intended - on the limit!

Scarlet Fever

>> Mountune 158 bhp kit was developed for Lotus and is sold by them as the Elise Sport 160. Therefore, this is a reliable conversion as it has been road tested by maniacle Elise drivers driving thier cars as they were intended - on the limit! <<

Ah, ok. Point taken!

Steve Childs


Seemed that the idling etc in the MG was a lot more stable...the Sport 160 Elise's are not that happy in traffic....

D (where's my frisbee)

Spent the weekend with Techspeeds demo car. It has the PTP 160 bhp 1.8i engine conversion.

I first drove this car about 18 months ago and was not impressed by the engine.

PTP have done some more work on it because its absolutely fabulous now. It feels noticeably more powerful and torquey that my VVC. The car does have a close ratio gearbox (same ratios as the R200 BRM I believe) and I think that accounts for some of the difference.

I would be interested in seeing a rolling road chart for the engine beacuse it packs most of its extra punch lower down the rev range, making it much more useful than a VVC. Overtaking is a piece of cake, quick change into 3rd and your past before you know it.

N208 SVC

Oh the brakes, the brakes, the AP Racing 4 pot caliper brakes. Fan bloody tastic. Going from 60-0 is as exciting as 0-60. Not cheap at 1500 but I'm very, vey tempted.

The Mountune guys said they'd had a few idling problems with their stuff - though I don't recall what they said they'd sone to sort it. I do remember thinking when it was stopped that it didn't sound too steady. But then that's not the point, is it?

Ed Clarke

Rough idling is usually down to incorrect cam timing, I use a high lift inlet cam in my daily driver and idling is perfect, setting it up took some time as it is a compromise between top end power and bottom end torque, vernier cam gears help.

Hi Lazaros

I am sure you are aware that tuning can be complicated and expensive business depending on exactly how much you want to get out of your car.

Alot of talk here about cams and things- which is fine if you decide to go down this route, but this is the start of larger expenses.

So if you are just starting out to get a little more 'pep' from your engine, I'd recommend that you try relatively cheap things that you can bolt on to your engine- and remove easily at a later date.

In order of preference then:

1. A replacement air filter. Many here have found the 57i K&N kit to offer the best performance (as SteveC has alluded to). On a 1.8i 8 bhp and a VVC 15 bhp. Cheap for less than 100 GBP- and the best power/money spent ratio.

2. A replacement exhaust. Choose carefully, and an exhaust system can liberate upto 5 extra bhp on the 1.8i. Mike Satur's Daytona exhaust was the best in this regard- see Mike's web site for current prices. Budget for circa 300 GBP for an exhaust system.

3. A cat bypass pipe. These maybe illegal in certain countries, so do check. Only modest gains were observed in our hands, in the order of 1-2 bhp. Whether this is worth the extra hastle of legal implications is up to you.

4. Untried as yet in the MGF, but an option certainly worth considering is an extractor exhaust manifold- a 4-2-1 design works well for improving mid-range torque and would suit the characteristics of the MGF well. At 400 GBP all in, it is margainly more than an exhaust system, but *should* result in a similar gain.

Once you've tried these bolt-on goodies, by all means look into new cams and better breating heads- but these are expensive and somehow, I get the impression that you are not really in the market to spend huge amounts of money on your car just yet...

Rob Bell

Please can you give me PTP's website address as I heard they are the people who carried out the work for the Lotus 135 upgrade which was very good. I am interested in the 165 kit you road tested with Techspeed as the driveability sounds very good as does the power.



Can't find their website address - I know they do have one.

Their telephone number is 01455 622229.

N208 SVC

Roger Parker

This thread was discussed between 10/05/2001 and 19/05/2001

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