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Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys. Here's the deal. Pretty soon I'm gonna have around 6 grand to spend on a new car.

At the moment I have a Rover 220 SDi for everyday use and a TVR Chimaera for fun. The TVR has been plagued with problems though so although I've only had it a couple of months its going to be sold.

I want a nippy little car to use every day and have some fun with at the same time, and at the moment I'm torn between the Cooper S and Fiesta ST.

A big deciding factor is tuneability. From what I've read getting 190bhp or so from an ST is relatively easy, but what is the Cooper S like?

How easy would it be to break the 200bhp barrier, and how is this done?

thanks for the help
Ben
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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822 Posts
I made 201 BHP from just £300 (and the engine was down on compression at the time!) :)

You don't need a conversion just the right combination of parts :)

I would suggest:

1. Health Check:
Engine Leak down, compression test and base dyno £35-50
2. Supercharger/Boost:
Alta 15% or 17% reduced pulley and colder range plugs (NKG Range 7 iridium) £300 fitted.
3. Cooling:
GRS Motorsport Intercooler £399 (easy DIY fit or minimum labour charge, i did my intercooler in 15 mins)
4.Post mod check
Follow-up dyno to see the difference £25

That should see you anywhere between 215 to 230bhp for under £800 depending on how healthy the car is to start with. Along with a lot of low down torque.

Conversion kits are an easy way to spend your money, most of the time they do what they say on the tin but the money isn't put to its best use your better off spending the money on the right mods. Most stage 1/2's don't include an intercooler and the stock one is rubbish!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cheers guys, sounds awesome! more power per £ than I was expecting!

I made 201 BHP from just £300 (and the engine was down on compression at the time!) :)

You don't need a conversion just the right combination of parts :)

I would suggest:

1. Health Check:
Engine Leak down, compression test and base dyno £35-50
2. Supercharger/Boost:
Alta 15% or 17% reduced pulley and colder range plugs (NKG Range 7 iridium) £300 fitted.
3. Cooling:
GRS Motorsport Intercooler £399 (easy DIY fit or minimum labour charge, i did my intercooler in 15 mins)
4.Post mod check
Follow-up dyno to see the difference £25

That should see you anywhere between 215 to 230bhp for under £800 depending on how healthy the car is to start with. Along with a lot of low down torque.

Conversion kits are an easy way to spend your money, most of the time they do what they say on the tin but the money isn't put to its best use your better off spending the money on the right mods. Most stage 1/2's don't include an intercooler and the stock one is rubbish!!!
thats awesome dude, where would I get the pulley from?

Also, in terms of the intercooler, I was surprised that the GTT package didn't include one, that GRS one sounds like a good bet but how had is it to fit a front mount one? I guess with that scoop in the bonnet it isn't really necessary?

My mum's got a cooper S which is completely stock and its an awesome little car, so with 50-60bhp more it would be crazy!

Is there a noticeable increase in power from an exhaust system? I'd probably have to get one because a) I don't really like the coke cans and b) I'd want it a bit louder!

cheers guys
Ben
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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cheers guys, sounds awesome! more power per £ than I was expecting!



thats awesome dude, where would I get the pulley from?
Most Mini Tuners do a pulley change and the price varies from £280 to £300 it should never be any more than that if they know what they are doing. 1320Autos, ThinkMini are the ones that spring to my my mind, many others do the same.
Also, in terms of the intercooler, I was surprised that the GTT package didn't include one, that GRS one sounds like a good bet but how had is it to fit a front mount one? I guess with that scoop in the bonnet it isn't really necessary?
The GRS is a top mount and goes in the same place as stock so dead easy, add another 10-15 mins to fit the underbonnet air diverter. Graham at GRS (I think) does free fitting if you collect.
My mum's got a cooper S which is completely stock and its an awesome little car, so with 50-60bhp more it would be crazy!
I run over 235bhp at the moment it does give a face splitting grin and an arse puckering scare at times lol :D

Is there a noticeable increase in power from an exhaust system? I'd probably have to get one because a) I don't really like the coke cans and b) I'd want it a bit louder!

cheers guys
Ben
Not massively from a cat back some have noticed a 10bhp at most over stock with high power applications. A manifold however (either 4-1 or 4-2-1), offer a lovely crackly, rorty note and about 10-12ft/lbs low down the power band (I have the Janspeed). I have a JCW exhaust, its expensive but the best looking out of the after market ones... see attached pic.

Good luck :)
 

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There are many ways of going about this - take your time and look at the options, read the tuning section on here, take a look at the site sponsors websites, talk to the tuners about WHAT YOU WANT to achieve and HOW you will USE your car.

You will find that everyone is open to discussion and as usual on any forum there are different opinions expressed by members - some of which are tinted by close allegiance to a tuner or the fact that they have spent cash so what they have must be the best :D

One of my GPs is running an independently certified (RR result) of 260 BHP and 215 ft/lb of torque. Yes I have spent a fair few £ssss but I have got what I wanted a very fast road car that is also happy in traffic.

The mods on my car come from GTT and MINIMOTORSPORTCENTRE (ex JCW chief engineer Tony Franks)

One other thing to consider is where you live - are you close to any of the tuners, this can be a deciding factor as taking into account travel time and costs could have a big impact on your total spend on mods to achieve your overall aim.

Good luck and be sure to come back with questions - however do not expect to get a unanimous answer from the members on here as we all have different experiences and preferences.
 

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Fiesta ST is a good looking car. however they are cheap and plasticy inside. I was in one a while back and amazed that they still use the same elctirc mirror switch as i had in a 1983 Mk3 Escort. Engine wise the ST is underpowered out of the box. even with say pumaspeed's 190 conversion it still feels underpowered. Hadnling is good but its not a finished articel.

With 6k your going to be hard pushed to or rather l;imited on choice of ST you can get. personally if i was you i would look at the Focus ST 170 which is better than the Fiesta and is more affordable at that level.

Again on the cooepr S you will be limited on cars. for 6k its going to be an unwanted colour such as Yellow, or Gold and will also be poverty spec. I still think for a cooper S you need 7-8k as a minimum.

I'll also throw another car in the mix. If i was lookign to spend 6k on a good handling fastish hatch i would go for a Puma Racing. Nothing FWD can touch them on the handling front. Also check out the Seat Ibiza FR 1.8 Turbo. For 6 k you can get a 4 yr old one with about 30k on the clock, the 1.8T engine remaps from 150bhp straight to 210/220bhp. And has more gizmos than the mini or fiesta with climate standard, ESP on some. build quality is excellent and if you want to push beyond 220bhp then the world is your oyster, Theres a few 350bhp ones which is 5k to get to that level.

Actually thinking about it, 6k to spend would see me going for a 1.8T Ibiza FR. or stretch to 7k and you can have a cupra which is 180bhp and remaps to 230/240 and also has 4-pots standard. Go have a look
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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All very good points, locality of your minispecialist is paramount. Why spend all that on traveling when it could be on mods? ;)

Seen as you are only spending £6k on the car I assumed you budget was limited and my advice was based on that. The tuner I use produced a car with 241bhp and 210ft/lbs on the same dyno as Snowie with a fiver under 2 grand spent on the engine, ever since then I have trusted them with my car with fantastic results. :)
 

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There is a lot of value it want AntFR say here about the Seat Ibiza FR

I had one for 10 days as a hire car and i must say that I was very impressed with its performance and driver feel as a standard motor - tuned it should be a nice beast.

Back to the original question about MCS tuning --
What I am not clear on, is do you have 6K to spend on the car or 6K on top of what you have to spend on the car to spend on tuning.

Tuning a MCS can get addictive and 6K can fly out of the window very quickly unless you are clear in terms of what you want to achieve and at what cost.
 

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dyno-mite, might not....
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snowie i would want and expect 300bhp if i was spending 6k on mods :wink:

benny i think has short and longer term goals for his car if i read between the lines correctly
do you see yourself putting more cash into the car at a later date?
some people change pully's like others change pants,
you do not want to spend twice on a budget, :)
so
15% pully best bang for buck if 200 bhp is your final target
or
17%, intercooler and plugs for 220+

around 250 bhp has been achived by some without head work,
but then every hp after this becomes lots of £
 

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THE STICK
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A GTT 220 kit car (thats just a pulley, airbox and plugs, no change to the stock IC) ran 14.7 on the quarter mile in 21 degree heat on sunday!

Thats good for a virtually stock car!

I run a big spec now and still only use a JCW GP intercooler and 98% of the time it keeps things cool enough, if ambient temps are below 18 degrees then its just as cold after a hard run or a quartermile as a GRS or GTT one. Its once temps climb above 18 degrees ambient that its better to have a big IC that finds it easier to bleed off higher intake temps.
 

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Nearly there
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3,142 Posts
If your going for an exhaust go for a miltek; cheaper than a JCW and easier to get hold off (if its not a Works car), puts less back pressure on the head thus less heat reducing engine wear and IMO a better note.
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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A GTT 220 kit car (thats just a pulley, airbox and plugs, no change to the stock IC) ran 14.7 on the quarter mile in 21 degree heat on sunday!

Thats good for a virtually stock car!
That is... whose car was that? As we've already seen engine health varies quite a lot. I think Tristo saw 216bhp from just a sub £300 pulley and plugs change so thats very believable :D

I run a big spec now and still only use a JCW GP intercooler and 98% of the time it keeps things cool enough, if ambient temps are below 18 degrees then its just as cold after a hard run or a quartermile as a GRS or GTT one. Its once temps climb above 18 degrees ambient that its better to have a big IC that finds it easier to bleed off higher intake temps.
What are your IAT's? I'm running the GP i/c and will be getting a scangauge soon. What are you using to to test the temperatures? It would be good for me to have something to compare to before you change your car :)
 

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JCW 250
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I made 201 BHP from just £300 (and the engine was down on compression at the time!) :)

You don't need a conversion just the right combination of parts :)

I would suggest:

1. Health Check:
Engine Leak down, compression test and base dyno £35-50
2. Supercharger/Boost:
Alta 15% or 17% reduced pulley and colder range plugs (NKG Range 7 iridium) £300 fitted.
3. Cooling:
GRS Motorsport Intercooler £399 (easy DIY fit or minimum labour charge, i did my intercooler in 15 mins)
4.Post mod check
Follow-up dyno to see the difference £25

That should see you anywhere between 215 to 230bhp for under £800 depending on how healthy the car is to start with. Along with a lot of low down torque.

Conversion kits are an easy way to spend your money, most of the time they do what they say on the tin but the money isn't put to its best use your better off spending the money on the right mods. Most stage 1/2's don't include an intercooler and the stock one is rubbish!!!
Why did they bother with all the changes for the JCW kit when a pulley and IC would have got similar BHP and torque? :confused:

It seems like a 15% pulley and improved IC mods are the best value increase in BHP for a MCS
 

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Turbo Schmurbo...
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Why did they bother with all the changes for the JCW kit when a pulley and IC would have got similar BHP and torque? :confused:

It seems like a 15% pulley and improved IC mods are the best value increase in BHP for a MCS
In fairness to JCW they achieve it with less boost you get a head, new supercharger and a lovely exhaust system. That said for £3000 you can do a lot better head wise ;)
 

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IJ 2009 - Team 81
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3,223 Posts
Sorry off topic.

Hi Benny. Just spotted this thread and recognised your name from mg-rover.org where I have recently registered. Just bought a Rover 220SDi for the business mile munching. Going great at present.

I see you are in good company above, with some good feedback going your way. Tuning the S to the figures you are talking about is reasonably simple. Oh and the MINI is a much better car than the Fiesta. Much more Kudos with the fairer sex too ;)

Have a search on the internet and you'll find loads of MINI forums, a couple of recent additions too.

Sure you'll make the right decision. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

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Overly excited!!
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1,364 Posts
In fairness to JCW they achieve it with less boost you get a head, new supercharger and a lovely exhaust system. That said for £3000 you can do a lot better head wise ;)
I certainly wouldnt bother with the JCW head. ITs polished on the exhaust side, not even ported as far as I know. I can polish my exhaust, but it wont help performance.

for the cost, there are a lot of other heads out there that you would see improvements with, and a cam change at the same time would be viable for the cost of labour being near enough the same.
 
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