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MG MGF Technical - Turbo Technics Conversion?

Has anyone had this conversion done or are there any reviews anywhere?

215bhp* @ 6500rpm
185lb/ft @ 6000rpm
5.5 seconds 0-60

Price is a little worrying 4800 + vat

Any thoughts/experiences?????

Phil Raby gave his impressions in MG World a few months ago. Plus Autocar and a few others have tested it. No long term tests, but the engine conversion always gained praise.

Remember to upgrade the rest of the car first though (or at the same time)- and this makes the 5k+ price the tip of the ice berg...

Rob Bell

I wonder what the performance figures are with a ported head, big valves and a new cams as well. A little expensive though, how do they justify the price?
Tony Smith

> how do they justify the price?

Captive market - try getting one from somewhere else!

I'm aware of some alternives in development, but AFAIK this is the only "packaged" supercharger out there.

There's always the BBR-GTI route though, but it'll no be cheap!

- Andy
Andy Gilhooley

So, are we saying therefore that this conversion would be a reckless choice to go straight into a road car without u/g to suspension/brakes etc....

I'll search out the afformentioned article......

Was talking to someone at Silverstone who has had the turbo technics conversion.

He was well happy with it - and was running it on an otherwsie bog standard car (other than lowering knuckles).

He said TT have done 26 conversions - which includes the ones that SP Performance did.

As part of the work, TT practically rebuild the engine - they have the car for two weeks. I suppose this goes someway to justifying the price.


If i can ever afford it, its what i would like to do. didn't somebody mention on a previous thread that early 1.8s wouldn't handle the conversion to a weaker bottom end. if its true its somethingto bear in mind.

mines a 99 car so i guess its got the strong bottom end.

Rob, what would you consider needs upgrading on the rest of the car out of interest.

would you reckon EBC greenstuff, lowered, decent tyres, still on 15" to be enough. or would you go onto to get better dampers and 280mm discs at the front etc.

Its all dream stuff though, at that price. and i can imagine having had the conversion done a lot of people will think you are daft.

Tony, i reckon trying to get more power than that out of a K series is a bit risky, so with the ported head etc it might be more powerfull, but i doubt it would last long. and the gearbox would probably start struggling.

what is the highest hp of any F, anybody lay claim to having the most powerfull one. (ignoring the BBR-GTi high pressure turbo, cos thats just silly)

Supercharger sits in the space used for the air con pump for those cars with that option. This means that for soem they would have to choose between aircon or supercharger.

The torque figures are dissapointing with the very high peaks. The whole point of a mechanically driven airpump (supercharger) is that it can be geared so it produces boost from idle and results in a very wide power band. This eliminates the downside of almost all exhaust driven airpumps (turbo) in being able to operate with the original rev band, but deliver power and torque of an engine that is 50% bigger in displacement.

I expect that the torque curve is quite flat, but TT are doing themselves an injustice if this is so and they are not highlighting this. Take the T16 turbo unit as a comparison. This delivered max torque (similar level to these TT conversions) at just 2100rpm with peak power at 6000rpm. A 3900 gap giving a massively wide power band. On the face of this these conversions have a very much narrower power band, which you would not normally expect on a supercharged engine. I bet it isn't but it's odd that this isn't indicated.

On the subject of the cost of such a conversion the TT site gives a clear indication that the engine is subject to major work, and I suspect that 'used' engines except those with minimal miles will have to be subject to some additional costs from other replacment parts otherwise TT won't guarantee the engine. This would make the conversion more unrealistic than it is now.

I have heard that there is another supercharged conversion (NOT BBR) being developed to mimic the cost element of the kits done for the MX5, which should see something about half the cost of the TT kit. Just watch the other prices tumble as and when this kit arrives!! Don't expect the same peak power although torque should be similar.


Roger Parker

Matt, I was talking to Phil about the car he drove, which was otherwise standard save for the conversion, brakes and lower suspension.

I found the car to be a little bit of a handful- not unsafe, but 'exciting'.

Depends on what you want from the car, but I'd like for it to be fully sorted.

For me, I would look to the suspension: Techspeed to a thoroughly engineered conversion for this and with uprated dampers and re-rated hydragas spheres it would sound to be the best option available. Cost is around the 900 quid mark. I'd also want to uprate the subframes (for seam welded cup car items) and bushes for improved geometry control. The Urethane items that Mike Satur retails would be ideal.

Then, if you have a car that has the performance of a junior Porsche and the handling to match (which with the above it probably would), I'd want the best brakes too. green stuff pads are very good, but they are not going to be a patch on a full pad/ caliper/ brake disc upgrade. My money would be spent on AP racing items all round.

If this recipe were followed, it'd be one awsome car. However the conversion total would probably be in the region of 10k. In context, this is not very much more than Mike's Supersprint conversion. Depends on priorities- as usual. The money would be better spent on said Porsche, but I'd rather enjoy watching the faces of drivers with 'superior' machinary being left behind!

Rob Bell

For a 1.8i these mods would still bring it in under the figure quoted for the supercharged VVC so I imagine the gearbox would still take it. The other mods are likely to improve reliability if decent parts are used (plus a few other decent bits).

The price is too expensive for me and I'm sure the supercharger will not help many of the problems with the K series anyway. I have to use this car every day so this is not likely to be a risk I would take.

For the price I'd get something faster in the first place. If I won the lottary maybe I'd go for the conversion just to see how far you can go. Anyway my F is a long term project so loads of time yet. I have had the car for nearly three years and the shopping list is still just as long as at the start.
Tony Smith

Rob i think you hit the nail on the head there as to why somebody (me) might do that to an F. to be different and to be able to suprise the odd person. lets just hope i never have that kinda money to waste.

I read somewhere though that you can't put 280mm discs in the 1.8i 15" wheels. so i would need bigger wheels...and well i think that would just push it ove the limit cash wise, so i might leave it!

I actually quite fancy the look of the BBR 160hp turbo conversion. seems a more reasnoble performance for a car and engine that size. and huge torque. all these things to think about and probably never do.


you can fit 280mm discs if you have vvc 15" wheels
although one thing I didn't think of at the time, you
won't be able to use the spare wheel on the front!
Need to swap a rear wheel round, I had this pleasure
at new year driving back from Devon to Slough with the
spare wheel on the back, it took ages at 50mph ;-(


i only got a 1.8 mpi though, if those are to small, but the vvc ones are ok, the vvc ones must still be quite a tight fit.

does anybody make discs between 240 and 280mm?


Matt, there is plenty of clearance with VVC alloys for 280mm conversions. The problem with 1.8i wheels are that they are insufficiently dished to allow clearance over the re-located brake caliper.

To my knowledge, there are no intermediate sized discs available for the F. The 280mm disc was pioneered by Rog for 240bhp Turbo Maestros- there didn't seem to be much point for going for discs any smaller!!!

Actually, non-availability of smaller discs may not be entirely accurate. HJW Motorsport (now sadly defunct) were advertizing various disc sizes for Maestros. As you know, the MGF shares it hub design with the Maestro, so if the supplying company could be tracked down, then maybe an intermediately sized disc conversion *might* be sourced.


Rob Bell

Hi Craig,

I just scuttled over from the Lotus BBS - Cos I like to know how you guys are popping K-Series gaskets, and of course the Turbo-technics conversion of the K-Series is applied to the Elise, there are new Elise related web-pages describing it better on their site. You might also like to know there is a "User group" of Elise TT owners at -

called EliseTT

If you register you can read the personal experiences of conversion owners, there are I think some 35+ out there now.

Oh, I agree with Roger Parker, it is high time that a nice turbo kit was on the market for the K-Series 1.8i and VVC, I keep trying to get Mr Corky Bell of Bell Engineering Inc USA to take an interest !! ! !

Ian Wheeler.
Ian W

This thread was discussed between 07/07/2000 and 17/07/2000

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.