Rover 400 Tuning

"Thank you for reading our Rover 400 tuning article."

The 400 is a great car modification project to play with. With the right mods your 400 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

The Rover 400 have loads of potential and with a few sensible modified parts like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving pleasure.

TorqueCars will look at 400 tuning and highlight the best modifications.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many 400 owners uprate the handling of their cars with suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you 400 dramatically benefitting your drive.

We would go to a maximum drop of 30mm - 42 mm. on most models. You risk grounding out if you go lower than this.

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

Spending just a little bit of money on the best engine and handling upgrades should transform your car into a high performance car.

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.

Power mods.

Typically these modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

R8 1990–1998

  • 1.4 L K-Series I4 (petrol)
  • 1.6 L K-Series i4 (petrol)
  • 2.0 L M-Series I4 (petrol)
  • 1.8 L PSA XUD7 TE I4 (turbodiesel)
  • 1.9 L PSA XUD9 A I4 (diesel)

HH-R 1995–1999

1995-1999

Engine swaps were popular, the 1.4 block was very similar to the 1.8VVC and there are lots of options for the 1.8 VVC including a turbo conversion.

The 2.0T Tomcat really made this a fast car but was not one of the easiest conversions to pull off.

Getting the right modified upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/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: Remap, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30mm - 42 mm.), Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel.

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

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

Your aim when tuning the engine should be a flat and wide torque output. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The Rover MEMS could not be remapped, but piggyback ECU's are around, ICON RACE was one we used.

The aim of our articles is to give a little insight into the world of modding performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best performance mods and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a solitary tuning mods goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The intake & exhaust valve timings play a large part 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 camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU to fully release the power gain.

Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it 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 Rover project after fitting other modified upgrades. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 400's uprated injectors.

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 usually a small power gain achieved by fitting an induction kit, they only work well and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

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

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. Your clutch can seriously let you down as you increase the power if it starts to break and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. The best mods that we recommend for your 400 are a tune/remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

Turbo engines are just asking to be flashed. You will see large power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is generally simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with revs.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could perhaps add water injection to minimise knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually less heavy than the steel ones. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good track legal slick tire can really enhance your cars handling. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the 400 big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

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 400 options in more detail with our 400 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Rover tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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