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Old 19 Jun 2008, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tuning guide

Tuning really depends on your budget, no mater what model car you have.

I’ve gone from a more or less standard car (my00 classic auk turbo) to one that’s got very few parts left in original condition, but to do that I’ve had to throw a shed load of money at it.

Shall base the upgrade stages on a classic UK turbo for now.

So first things first, decide what you want from it, do you want to do easy mods that will help the performance, or do you want to eventually go the whole hog?

The basic engine mods start at decatting, updating the air filter and remapping. On a classic at this stage an uprated panel filter is by far the best option instead of an induction kit.

Generic chips aren’t worth it (excluding the PPP kit) the maps are either too general to make large differences, or they can cause serious running issues risking the engine reliability.

The basic cost is roughly £1000-£1500 ish to get to this stage, and should boost performance from 215bhp 215ftlb to 260bhp 260ftlb (as a rough guide, exact figures vary from car to car).

Next are basic suspension changes.

Up rating the rear anti roll bar will remove some of the generic under steer present in impreza's. (Roughly £150)
Drop links will stiffen up the connections between roll bar and the car (roughly £100 per end of the car)
anti lift keeps stops the front end from going up and down as much, however this means a geometry set-up is required. (Combined roughly £200-£300)
Strut braces will reduce body roll (£120 front upper, £120 front lower and £100 rear)
basic upgraded springs (stiffer) (£250)

then basic brake changes

Also brakes should be uprated, 4 pots should be a minimum (although post 98 cars will have them as standard)
uprated fast road pads (£140)
uprated brake lines (£50-£80) further improve braking response
uprated grooved disks (£140-£250)

for all of the above your probably looking at £2000-3000

After that it start to become more involved and much more expensive, but also depends on model.

Bake upgrades mentioned above are a must, and possibly the introduction of a uprated 6pot brake kit (£1200 -£2000)

Full uprated suspension, including dampers and springs (£800 for a full kit), adjustable is possibly the best option at this point, they tend to allow even stiffer settings but also allow for softer to be used when required.


Power wise you’re looking at changing the turbocharger, fuel pump and a remap to suite, however you'll hit a limit at around 320bhp on this set up.

Roughly an addition £3000 (total £5000-£6000)

to get to where I am now (340bhp)

you'll need, uprated turbo (£250 for a second hand one up to £750 for a brand new vf34), front mount intercooler (£450), induction kit (£100), uprated oil cooler is advisable (£450), a full set of gauges (£650 for defi's), some cars also need new large fuel injectors (£400),

also your at the very top limit of the gearbox, an uprated on is either a straight cut ppg or similar kit (£3000) or a switch to a 6 speed gearbox (£2000). The standard clutch won’t cope and will need up rating (£450).

The standard ecu may become a problem at this level (£1500)

now as a rough guess your up around the £11,000-£13,000


Once your past this point then your talking serious money

the engine isn't up to the job, rods block and pistons can't take the boost pressures and will need replacing. Head bolts won’t be strong enough, headers will be restrictive, as well as all the parts mentioned above becoming also not up to the task.

A full custom rebuild to get to that sort of power your talking (very rough guide), with various of the above mentioned parts

£7000+ for 400bhp
£12000+ for 450bhp
£15000+ for 500bhp

and the cost per bhp goes up and up, past this point its so variable as to the cost you can't give guess figures, they have to be priced up professional.


The price shown is rough guide and varies dramatically depending on tuning company and market prices for parts.

However what I can tell you is there are some off the shelf engine that can give mega performance and for what they are aren’t overly pricey (in context anyway lol)

Scooby clinic do an off the shelf SC450 package which iirc is £12,000 plus vat for a 450bhp engine, including suitable clutch and gearbox. which is very good value indeed, but is a whole different ball game as far as performance goes.

So it goes back to the question, how far do you want to go, and what’s your budget.

Hope that rough guide helps.
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Last edited by 2002pete; 06 Nov 2011 at 06:56 PM.
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