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Been an mgf owner for a couple of months now and i love the performance of my 99 T BRG non vvc.However without going to great expense or extensive (head)reworking what are the best upgrade options available to me eg after market exhausts and filters.Do any of the so called superchips work? Cheers kev.


It depends on budget but the best upgrade is an air filter with the best one being the K&N 57i kit for /BHP gain but is not the best but is under half the price of the competition which are enclosed systems which offer very little extra BHP gain compare to the extra cost.

Exhaust offer a much smaller BHP gain but you cannot beat the extra gain in exhaust note.

Air filter and exhaust make a good combination.

The main thing when considering mods is insurance as some companies charge you for even changing an air filter.

As for superchips not had any experience and is not one which appears on the BBS much.

Hope this helps.

Tom Randell

Don't bother with a chip that only alters ignition. There are other options available, chip wise, that can alter fuelling as well - but to be honest, your money would be better spent on other areas of the engine.

What performance engine tuning boils down to is budget and what kind of performance you are looking for.

For example, there is a very different approach if you want an engine with stonking low and mid range torque versus a high-rev screamer.

Then there is the the question of whether it is worth spending the money on engine tuning when your money may be better spent buying a car that is faster to start with (ie you ought to buy a VVC etc). Certainly this approach has considerable merit, as you'll get more of your money back come re-sale, and the car will be cheaper to insure to boot.

But assuming that you are eager to tune your engine, what can you do? In an (approximate) order of increasing cost/performance, we have:

1. air filter (enclosed: ITG Maxogen/ Pipercross Viper/ Taipan etc) - 100-300
2. exhaust (MS Janspeed/ Phoenix/ Milltek) 250-300
3. 52mm TB 100 (approx) - very small power gain, but excellent throttle response.
4. 3.2bar FPR 45 (no power gain, but much better throttle response from low engine speeds)
5. 4-2-1 exhaust manifold 400
6. Alternative cams (High performance derivative [MGR] (eg TF135)/ Piper/ Kent - plus similar options from Mike Satur and B&G) - 300-700
7. Piggy-back or replacement ECU (to make best use of mods mentioned above) 300-500 + set up costs

Then you are into big budget mods - such as cylinder head modifications and multiple throttle bodies, airboxes and associated gubbins. - as much as you want to spend.

Forced induction options are also available - you pay for what you get in terms of engineering: don't expect change from 6 grand if you opt for either a turbo from Brodie Britain or a Supercharger from Turbotechnics...
Rob Bell

Bloomin 'eck - has anyone seen anything of a VVC with super/turbo charger on it? Or with any of the modification that are mentioned above...thats mad!

btw - the 57i - does it decrease the 0~60 by anything noticable on a vvc?

A VVC with mild porting, a warm exhaust cam, and the bolt on mods mentioned above should provide a power output of somewhere close to the magic 180 bhp mark.

Turbotechnics supercharger conversion on the VVC *starts* from 215bhp.

Brodie Britain Racing can provide you with a turbocharged engine with a 300bhp output.

Where do you want to start John, and how much do you want to spend? ;o)

Regarding 0-60 times - extremely difficult for inexperienced folks to record reliably - so no data available there. Probably something very modest like 0.1sec difference... A 300bhp turbo on the other hand will lop whole seconds off that 6.9 sec headline figure... assuming that all that power isn't lost in wheel spin!!! LOL
Rob Bell

FPR? Wot's one of those when it's at home?

Guessing that the middle word must be pressure (as it seems to be measured in bar)?

J Wakeham

Fuel pressure regulator. More here:
Rob Bell

Thanks for the advice shall be looking at the k&n & maybe a new exhaust as mine sounds like its blowing.Cheers !

I have a supercharged 1998 MGF.

Amazing performance.
M Frost

Hi Kev

I have done pretty much everything on Rob's list, plus a big valve head, so if you want to try before you buy, or a chat about individual items, let me know.

I'm in Livingston.
Alastair McLeod

Hi everyone,
M Frost, Alastair McLeod:
Did you've done your engine prepared or you did it yourself?
I own a French MGF Cup: same body as the English one but standard K series 1.8i.

I'm going to work on my car to change its interior in an MG F standard confort with leather...

I also want to improve the performance of my F, including a big valves head kit. My goal is to go upper than 160HP.
My exhaust pipe is a noisy Cup one, and I've got a K&N like. That's all for the French MGF Cup... not very funy!

I 'm studying the oportunities of tuning the K engine on this excellent website:

As I don't want to spend the money I don't have in a VHPD, I' m searching for a head with as big valves as the VVC, + piper cams 740. I still don't know if a 52MM throttle body will be enought or if I need an expensive direct multi throttle bodies kit.

The Emerald ECU seems to be excellent for working on the engine. Do you know the price of this item?

What do you suggest to me?
G.T. Guillaume


Go to to see the Emerald pricing, but I'm not sure if Dave Walker is yet offering the M3D for the VVC.

By the way, if you would be happy with around 170-175bhp and a nice flat torque curve, all you need to do is have your VVC head ported by Dave Andrews along with cleaning and matching exhaust manifold and inlet manifold. This, plus a bit of breathing with the 52mm throttle body, an after-market exhaust and a suitable enclosed air filter, will give you the 170+ result. This is what my VVC has and it's been on several rolling roads to confirm the output. This is also with the standard ECU, which on earlier cars will cope admirably.

If you warm up the exhaust cams DVA believes it should do more. Add a 4-2-1 manifold and you could hope to improve the torque as well. These would be my only other mods if I had some more money! I might stretch to an Emerald M3D assuming Dave Walker comes up with the VVC version. I doubt I'd go for the Multiple throttle bodies, as my car is an everyday car as well as a track car. One person I know has gone with the full multiple throttle body package and has found it very noisy.



Dave Livingstone

Hi Dave,

Your trackdays sound excellent. I have in mind the idea of federating MG F DayTracks For Froggies... We definitly have to open a new thread for you to teach us how to organise such events. As French owners are affraid of going on tracks...
With your modifications, do you really feel the difference in sensation? Or do you feel it only on a track with chronograph?

Sorry for my bad English... I don't have a VVC. The French Cup has a terrific 1.8i K16 standard 118 HP !!!

I pick up this infos for a 180HP on Dave Andrews' webpage:

16 valves (tuned into 31.5/26) 220
Head insertion 180
Head Cams 260
Springs 58
Dual Throttle bodies/induction kit 440
Exhaust 300
Manifold 140
Shims/dowels etc 25
ECU 500
Mapping 200
Gaskets sundries 100

= + 2400 !!!
Expensive but valuable as the VHPD isn't far from those perf but more than 2 times the price of it!

I'm afraid about fiability and stability of a such modified Engine.
Did you heard about it?
G.T. Guillaume

Dave's car is awsome - you just have to see the power/torque curves! As an option for the VVC, it is a no-brainer of a decision to make. :o)

But I think that GT was thinking of using a VVC head with solid cams with a Piper solid cam conversion kit?

The 'problem' with this is going to boil down to cost. It may actually be cheaper to get your existing 1.8MPi head ported, which will flow better than a standard (and what can be quite expensive) VVC head. Thus, it becomes a question of pricing up your options, and what you ultimately want: it is true to say that a ported VVC head will be 'better' than a ported MPi head - but you'd need to rebuild the remainder of the engine to tolerate a 8-9k rpm rev-limit that that extra power would necessitate.

As your goal is a readily achievable 160bhp, go for a ported MPi head, cams, a standard inlet manifold and a 52mm throttle body. An Emerald M3D is not essential, although it is desirable. Chat with Tim - he's got what is effectively DVA's 13a kit - and sees an easy 165 bhp. The M3D ECU really improves mid-range torque - and for this alone, it's worth it. :o)

Hopefully, Tim will be along soon to give us his impressions...
Rob Bell


>>Sorry for my bad English... I don't have a VVC. The French Cup has a terrific 1.8i K16 standard 118 HP !!!

Not at all - my mistake. It was the mention of the VVC head that did it :-)

OK, for an MPi the same sort of work that has been done on my car (plus warmer cams) will give you around 160bhp - the example of this is Tim Woolcott's car. He, hopefully, will be along soon to give you more detail. Tim has now also gone for the Emerald M3D and found it worthwhile, but you must get it mapped correctly and that would ideally need a visit to Dave Andrews in glorious Norfolk - not an easy place for you to get to.

The 180 level mods are what Kingsley went for (he's the person I mentioned with the throttle bodies in my previous post). Last I heard of his rolling road performance he had some sort of problem that wasn't letting him reach 180 - it was more in the 170 range. I'm not sure of all the details on Kingsley's mods (e.g. cams) or whether he eventually found the problem in his underperformance. Maybe he too will see this thread.

The results of any of these approaches are certainly noticeable over a standard engine. For roadwork you want maximum torque. so be wary of too much high-end power as this may rob you of some useful mid-range grunt.

As for track days, we're going well after just a year and a half of existence and now have over 400 MG owners on our list of interested entusiasts. Something like 40% of these are MGFs :-) Maybe one day we'll have enough interest to try a day at one of the French circuits. I believe that they can be quite reasonable, but of course we have to add the expense of getting there. This might allow you and some of the other guys over there the chance to join us. Of course you are always welcome if you come to the UK. Keep an eye on our events page at or add your name to our newsletter at

Good luck, whatever mods you go for,
Dave Livingstone

OK - too long a post and Rob got in there first :-)
Dave Livingstone

Rob Bell ? Are you the one from ???

I have the impression of arriving from my Island ;)
Your website is a mine !!! Thanks a lot for it. I think that yours and Dieters German Website are the best.

For the prices, I think that you are right... I have to buy a kit including a head as:
B&G, Mike Satur, Moto-build or John Wilcox...
+ 52mm throttle body or Dual Bodies
+ set of cams
+ manifold

I think that the Emerald ECU is not a waste of money, as you can keep it and tune your car...

How much would that cost if fitted into my car?
G.T. Guillaume

Mine is the Cheetah developed by Sthephen Palmer.
M Frost

I too have a TT supercharged MGF, it superb (and for sale if anybody is interested). Clever head work etc is no substitute for increaced capacity and a 200bhp supercharged mgf will be quicker than a 200bhp "tuned" mgf as it produces more torque

Mine is number 0004 I wonder how many there are out there, an other owners follow this site?

Thanks GT :o) Yup, that site is indeed mine. Dieter and I have been playing with mad MGF ideas for years now! LOL Other excellent technical sites - in case you haven't seen them yet - include Erik's and Tony's:

Back to engine tuning! Other kits to consider are from folks like Oselli, Peter Burgess, Power Train Projects (Erik has a PTP kit on his car), Janspeed, Race Speed and Sabre Developments (cue Paul who's just had his VVC head fettled by Sabre!)

And that still doesn't make the list comprehensive!

It is incredible the number of companies who have an interest in K-series head modification - for that interest we can thank our Lotus friends! :o)

Costs vary enormously. So do the ultimate effectiveness of that tuning. It makes finding someone to work on your car for the best value for money very hard.

Two company names that come to mind from researching the Lotus forums as companies that provide good value for money ported cylinder heads with very good, reproducible results are DVA Power and Race-Speed.

Cost wise? Typically for 160+ bhp, with the specifications you mention GT, a cost of 2000 GBP would not be unreasonable.

The downside for DVA Power is that Dave Andrews is a one man band, working from his home workshop. Because of his excellent reputation, he is massively busy - so if you want work done by him, be prepared to wait!

Race-Speed have recently come through a period of financial difficulty, but the company itself has a good reputation and offers cylinder head/ tuning kits with good, reproducible results. All the work/ development was performed in conjunction with Janspeed, so the pedigree is certainly there. I think that there are now a few MGFs with their heads fitted now - and Steve is ideally placed to provide an opinion on his RS140 equipped F. :o)

If you are interested in a supercharger conversion similar to the one that Mike Frost has on his Steven Palmer Cheeter, then you'll be happy to hear that it is still available from Turbotechnics:
Rob Bell

Nigel wrote:

>> Clever head work etc is no substitute for increaced capacity and a 200bhp supercharged mgf will be quicker than a 200bhp "tuned" mgf as it produces more torque <<

When you say 'capacity' i assume you mean air, as opposed to c.c. other than this (pedantic) clarification, very true indeed. :-)

Good luck with the sale.

Scarlet Fever

>>a 200bhp supercharged mgf will be quicker than a 200bhp "tuned" mgf as it produces more torque

Very true - I just wish I could have afforded the 6K that TT wanted or that MG had produced the supersports :-(
Dave Livingstone


Sorry for not responding sooner.

The kit which I have from Dave Andrew K13 (Big valve head) is a nice piece of kit and really transforms the car.

When choosing a head decide what your ultimate goal is. There is little point going for the DVA K13 head if you don't intend extras like MTB's and even hotter cams in the future. 160bhp can be achieved, the K13a with smaller valves will give a decent power output and almost half the price. The K13 full loaded with MTB's, air filter, manifold and exhaust will give somewhere in the order of 200bhp where as the same bolts on's on the K13a will give more like 185 ish.

The K13 head will run on MEMS but I think my own MEMS1 struggled a little, the MEMS3 would cope rather better. This is where the Emerald come in. Throttle response is fantastic and really makes the best of the head flowing work.

If you have other questions please email me woolcottt (at)

Thought Tim would get along soon :-)

>>my own MEMS1 struggled a little, the MEMS3 would cope rather

Interstingly this is the reverse of what I understood from the the Daves (Walker and Andrews) i.e. that the earlier MEMS were less constrained by emission controls and were coupled with some overspecced components (injector jets come to mind) that were later changed. Hence later MEMS cope worse with tuning.
Dave Livingstone

The thing about MEMS3 is that it can be reprogrammed Dave, via the OBD2 connector: MEMS1.9 doesn't offer this 'facility'. Otherwise, you are absolutely right: MEMS3 equipped cars use smaller injectors for example - which actually makes MEMS1.9 equipped engines more suitable for tuning from this point of view.

As ever, nothing is as simple as it first seems...
Rob Bell

Yes, maybe Tim was including the OBD2 reprogramming capability - OBD2 - always makes me think of star wars!
Dave Livingstone

May the force be with you C3PO ;o)
Rob Bell

Here's one possibility for a performance upgrade - - after all Elises are always quicker than us on track ;-)
Dave Livingstone

LOL Dave!

Actually, if you remounted the rad at 45 degrees so that it vents though those vents, and then seal off the underside of the front bumper apperature, you'd dramatically reduce front end lift...

Unfortunately, the bonnet would be as rigid as a used chip bag after fitting that thing though... LOL
Rob Bell

Hey all!

I just took a drive with my best friend's turbo charged MX-5. It was awesome!!!!! (and scary too...).

I visited TT's website and I noticed that the Mgf TT conversion does not apply to F's that are fitted with aircondition.Does this apply to LHD Fs as well?

Greetings from Athens!
Theodossis Kazas

The problem is the positioning of the airconditioning compressor - it sits in exactly the place the TT supercharger needs to be installed. So one is mutually exclusive of the other, I am affraid - and it matters not whether your car is LHD or RHD.

Sorry :o(
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 08/06/2004 and 18/06/2004

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