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Tuning 1800 K S/S - simple answers please!!!

Darren P

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I am considering purchasing an 1800 K S/S. This will be fitted with the new EU3 engine. I know this has been discussed countless times on here before, but I was wondering if someone could give me some info, in very simple layman terms, on getting this engine up to 160-170 bhp, with a view to going to 190 bhp eventually...


My prime concerns would be driveability and reliability, as I plan to use the car a fair bit (although it will not be my daily driver) and also to take it on track days...


As far as I can see, my obvious options are Roger King or DVA. However, I have also heard that the EU3 engine could be trickier to tune. It would be a great help if someone could lay out the items and costs involved in getting to the bhp that I want, and any problems faced when tuning the EU3...


Again, sorry for asking the same question as has been asked many times before. Feel free to post links to any topics that may cover this. I have looked back but most topics tend to be quite technical and not at all straight forward (which I know this question isn't either!!).






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Most important is to avoid getting a factory built car that ties you into an emissions test at MOT time. Kit built are currently exempt.


The EU3 is not the tuners' terror that some people make out. The EU3-ness of it comes from the electronic control. If you are tuning, it just becomes an engine with reciprocating bits, valvegear and sensors feeding an aftermarket ECU - nothing EU3 in that. The only issue is hooking up an ECU to the existing sensors - we have been spoilt for a few years with plug compatible ECUs for the old style engines, but there is nothing that difficult about it. For 160/170 bhp you are going to need some porting done and the cam spec will have to go up. It can probably stay with a hydraulic cam profile at this level which keeps maintenance simple.


Throttle bodies/porting (possibly to suit VVC valves)/cams/ECU/wiring/rolling road session to set up.

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darren i am in the same situation as your self

from information i have gathered the problem we have is the

ecu. no one has came up with a simple way of changing it or a cost effective way of changing it i think until they solve this we are stuck question.gif

you may find oily or more knowledgeable members will add to this or peter teeth.gif


fredid=blue> smile.gif


Edited by - fred on 21 Feb 2002 11:31:56

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A query for Peter.


I spoke to Karl at Emerald about getting my 1.8KSS up to 160/170bhp, and he said that all i need is TB's new cams and an M3D. Only going over 170bhp would i need some porting to be done.


Are you saying that to get 160/170bhp that porting is required?


Sorry to start confusing people.





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Emerald have been working on a kit to get the best out of a hydraulic cammed k-series on TBs. Whether they got up to the 170bhp mark is the big question and I remember reading one account in CCC which showed the power going *down* when a porting job was thrown into the mix.


I find that last bit quite hard to believe as the valve sizes and unfinished ports are restrictive for the 1.6, let alone the 1.8. I feel sure there is some optimisation of cam timing that could demonstrate benefits from porting still with hydraulic cams. If you can get into the 170bhp bracket without it then perhaps it is a moot point.


General reckoning is SS cams with TB conversion = 150-155 bhp


Wilder cams releasing another 15-20bhp? I don't know. Sounds a bit too easy. In the general way of things, the flexibility is likely to suffer a bit with a high rev lunge at the peak power figure. These are my suspicions and are not based on knowledge of Emerald's development data.

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The only problem at the moment is the plug compatibility of the EU3 loom Karl is working on this as we speak since he has a lot of potential sales riding on this one. Remember Emerald although one of the best aftermarket ECUs around in terms of ease of use programability ans service are only a two man operation and it does take them time BUT they always come up with the goods I'm afraid you just have to be patient.


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Sorry about the tardy reply..


The Emerald kit was tested on a 1600K, it comprises TBs, an M3DK and 633 profile cams and as stated porting of the head made little difference at that level. That was a huge surprise to me since I have never yet seen a K series that didnt benefit from some head work since they are woefully under valved. I'd say 170BHP would be easily obtained from either 633 or BP285H cams, some head work including bigger valves, an ECU and some detail work on the plenum. Add TBs to the mix and you would be looking at nearer 190-195. The 633 cams can retain the existing springs so if necessary they can be fitted without removing the head, the BP285Hs need shorter springs to avoid boxing. Without the headwork 160 may be on the cards but the delivery will not be overendowed with torque.


On a budget the head could be reworked using turned down VHPD valves (I have about 100 of them) and the stock exhaust valves (modified) with carefully worked exhaust ports. This would save some money and at the 160-170 level would not be detrimental to performance.



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Whatever you might spend your money on... the results will be as stunted as super glue on your zipper, if you fail to flow your head.


You really need view the bog standard K series head, as it left Rover, then view DVAndrews site to see how the Gods might have intended it. You will realise that on the standard "cooker", the front door might be opened but the kitchen door is only ajar.


What ever your expenditure, it must start with volumetric efficiency... and it is the foundation of tuning - and if you find that hard to believe, try sticking a potato up the end of your exhaust. Possibly the spud might get cooked but the engine performance will only go down!





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