Performance tuning for the Rover 220 Gti


Getting the best performance from the Rover 220 GTi

Rover 200 brakes are not brilliant - the standard 220 GTi has vented disks I mated this to EBC Greenstuff pads - excellent pads make up for the usual breaking problems- redstuff pads needed a little warming to work best (about 100-200c) so I went for the standard Greenstuff pads and the plus is that now I don't have to clean the alloy wheels so much as they are low brake dust pads). I replaced the brake fluid with a synthetic fluid and the hoses are now braided - the brakes do not fade at all now - pretty impressive stuff!

Radiator - The engine does not like too much heat - they can be completely ruined but they do run pretty hot - a brand new pattern radiator has made a fantastic difference along with tons of antifreeze and coolant and when cruising on the motorway the engine temperature drops right down..

The old radiator had more
holes than a golf course!

The new radiator really
helps with cooling.
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Clutch - A racing clutch more to reduce running costs than to increase performance feels nice and heavy and responsive and puts the power down instantly!

The old clutch pictured above with almost smooth contact plate

The new power clutch with fetching Blue Spring things!


Gearbox - Got a low ratio (brand new custom built!) reconditioned box from a 420 Turbo with a Torsion Diff with a really slick gear change feel to it.

Electric Water pump - I suspect that the mechanical water pump saps a lot of power from the engine and on the motorway the engine temp drastically drops down so fuel efficiency is not quite all that it could be - hot engines give better fuel & performance! The option open to me is an electric water pump which is controlled remotely and pumps harder if the engine temp rises and slower if it drops - they also draw very little power. Trouble is that the unit in the 220 Rover also drives the power steering.
with some kind of cold air induction feed - I may fabricate a funnel myself to supercharge the air flow - or I may just get a turbo T16 tomcat engine conversion instead.

Cams -probably not for road use as they stop the car from idling well at under 1000 revs - the 220 engine already hates crawling in slow traffic - constantly pulling the car. The crawling problem stopped when I added an FSE fuel boost valve!

If the Rover 2.0 engine overheats you can guarantee head problems.

Stiffer suspension - Nope - the standard 220 GTi set up is fine - comfortable and almost 0 body roll - rather than lower the car I think I may get some 17 inch Compomotive TH3 rally style white alloy wheels with mega low profile Pirelli PZERO's to maintain the standard dimensions. (The turbo benefits from a softer front suspension - especially in the wet - this much I have learned but weather (he he pun intended) this would help my 220 GTi I don't know although the 220 GTi is much lighter than the turbo.

Re-chipping the Rover MEMS - Can't find a cheap chip replacement option so I will go for an ICON race system - this is fairly cheap (£225) and can be easily unplugged for long journeys with Auntie Nora!!! Basically it lies to the MEMS about the sensor readings and takes the MEMS output and again lies - to the engine components retarding or advancing the ignition timing the ICON race processor is much faster than the MEMS one so makes better calculations.


I must congratulate Shell on it's OPTIMAX fuel - the car really does fly when I put it in - and I am told so I believe that it cleans the engine as I drive - the hydraulic valves can stick and a good fuel help to stop that problem from happening.

The engine is cleaned and detailed and the exhaust header/manifolds have been polished to maximise the gas flow.

The air filter was a straight piper cross panel air filter which helped - I liked the roar of a full induction kit but felt happier with a panel filter.

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