Tuning the Jaguar S Type

"It's definitely your Type!"

The S Type had a long production run and due to heavy depreciation there are some real bargains to be had. These make great tuning projects although the car was designed as a luxury car it is possible to turn them quite cheaply into track day cars.

One of the best things you can do to an S Type is some weight reduction, the more you lose the faster it will go and the better it will handle. In this introduction to tuning we'll look at the most popular mods for your S Type and highlight the best performance parts for your project.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Improving the handling should be your first priority in your S Type tuning project. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Turning our attention to the S Type's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

With the right choice of mods you can change your S Type into a hot hatch, beating more powerful cars on the track.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine tuning mods.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of mods for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road as it makes the car hard to control in slow traffic.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:
    Alloy wheels ,Lighter flywheel, Remap, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Sports exhaust.

    Typical stage 2 mods often include:
    Fast road cam, Power clutch, Ported and polished head, Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,.

    Typical stage 3 mods often include:
    Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

    Peak power is all well and good, but for a daily driven car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range. In this article we shall give a brief overview to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.

    One of the most cost effective mechanical modifications you can do on your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road cam. The intake and exhaust durations play a large part in your car's power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap for the best performance gains.

    Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power as this makes the car more thirsty. Using high octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Jaguar project after fitting other modifications.

    To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

    Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

    Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits are only beneficial to boost performance if the car's air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and its need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction. Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for S Type engines you should settle for a sports panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

    Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could reduce the flow rate. Stick to twin 2 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb, but this will depend on the engine you have and the sort of power gains you have wrung out of it.

    Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools In nearly all cases of S Type tuning your clutch will start to slip and this needs to be uprated - read our article on clutches for more information. Turbo engines are just crying out to be remapped. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective modifications for your money.

    We've also seen some tuners experimenting with twincharging applications and making some seriously high power gains.

    Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost increases exponentially with rpm. It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

    Alloy wheel upgrades.

    Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually less heavy than the steel ones. We should point out that, although they can look cool on the S Type, large alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this is due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. For this reason try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases without going larger than  18-19 inches.

    If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss S Type options in more detail with our S Type owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Jaguar tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

    Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

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    One Response to “S Type tuning”

    1. Andy says:

      Had my 2000 V6 3.0 s-type 4 years now, deleted the rear boxes and replaced with low range custom made sports with down turn chrome tips, sounds and looks wicked. It is the SE ( sports edition so no need for lowering, would i benefit from a cone air filter, and would it affect the ECU creating engine management light to come on..? Cheers.

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