MG MGF Tuning

"Thank you for reading this MG MGF tuning article."

The MGF is a brilliant project car to execute. The key to MGF tuning is doing it right - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

TorqueCars will look into MGF tuning and summarise the greatest mods that work. MG MGF are popular tuning projects and with carefully chosen uprated tuning mods like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will really maximise your driving opportunities.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for most drivers, is rated as a top priority mod in your MGF tuning project.

Putting some negative camber on the wheels and a degree or two of toe in to improve stability or toe out for better cornering, will dramatically improve your MGF in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 27mm - 43 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

Our aim in MGF engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Following our guidance for tuning your MGF you will create a practical but scorching car that will potentially beat bigger cars.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Engine Tuning.

These are the uprated mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

  • 1.6 L K-Series i4 110 hp 107 lbft
  • 1.8 L K-Series i4 120 hp 122 lbft
  • 1.8 L K-Series VVC i4 145 hp 128 lbft
  • 1.8 L K-Series VVC i4 157 hp 128 lbft

Getting the best sports upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start 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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Suspension upgrade (drop 27mm - 43 mm.), Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Remap, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, Power/Sport clutch.

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

Peak power is all well and good but for a daily driven car you need a wide power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction 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 modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a stand alone tuning parts goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The intake and exhaust flow play a major role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car challenging to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU for the best performance gains.

When pushing up the power you will need to uprate to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your MG project after fitting other modified modifications. Higher capacity injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the 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.  Contrary to popular belief there is often very little if any power gain achieved by fitting an induction kit, they only work well and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

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 MGF engines you should settle for a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can buy this will slow the exhaust rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting the head polished and ported will help get more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a pro with a flow bench. Your clutch can seriously let you down as the power goes up if it starts to weaken and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 45%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power leak through the transmission. The best mods in our experience for your MGF are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give large power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with 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. Alternatively you could fit water injection to cut down knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than the steel ones. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tires - ideally with a directional tread pattern tire. The drawback to large rims on your MGF is that you alter your final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on acceleration and performance.

Although some people have with bigger wheels without issues we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

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

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