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Old 18-09-2010, 22:02   #1 (permalink)
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Modding the L-Series Guide

I though I would throw a rough guide together to show the paths and potential power to be had from the derv engines.

Feedback and suggestions very much welcomed.
(might be worth making a sticky to save some frequently asked questions? )

Put simply, the standard solid 262mm setup is not adequate for spirited driving, so first thing I would change would be the brakes to at least 262mm Venteds with decent Discs and Pads. I use 282mm's off a ZR160 / ZS180 and I cannot complain. They stop the car brillaintly and are what I would recommend.

First thing first would be to fit a boost gauge. Very usefull when running to check for boost leaks / spikes and other boost related problems. A decent boost gauge is essential when trying to adjust the boost.

SDI injectors. Gains 30-40bhp alone on standard map - The simplest way to get big gains from L-series for cheap is to fit some. Available in the older Rover diesels (200/400/600 SD or SDi engined) Identified by having 110 stamped on the shaft. Usually selling for around 50. It is necessary to replace the brass sealing washer when changing injectors. Might cause a bit of excess smoke and you might loose an MPG or so, but it will completly transform the driveability of the car. Fitting these injectors will more than likely increase your boost a bit also.

Adjusting boost. Gains around 5bhp - 19PSI is the number you are aiming for. There are a few ways to increase the boost. Either by adjusting the actuator, or by fitting a boost controller. Adjusting the actuator is easy and free, however might cause issues with 'boost creep' where the actuator opens slowly taking a short while to reach full boost. Boost controllers are relatively easy to fit, and are fairly accurate. It has been proven on a dyno that the standard turbo set to 19PSI produces more power than when it is set to 22psi. Due to size of the turbo, and the temperature of the air being forced though. Running much more than 19PSI may also dramatically reduce the life of your turbo. I wouldnt expect huge gains from adjusting the boost pressure, but it will help reduce smoke, and will add a few bhp also. If you are planning on fitting SDI injectors, I would not touch the boost until they have been fitted. When I fitted my injectors my boost climbed to 18PSI on its own, so just needed a tweak to get it perfect.

Air filters - When at a high level of power, an open cone would help increase the air flow at the top end. Low down the standard setup gives a bit more grunt. Either will be fine.

Decat & Exhaust Gains 10-15bhp - You can either remove the insides of your cat, or get a De-cat pipe made up for best results. It is important that it is 2.5" Dia though. Ones for a ZR160 are not. Really only the backbox is restrictive. the standard intermediate pipe does not have any silencers so isnt too bad, but the best bet is a custom made 2.5" catback ssytem. It wont do any harm fitting a Janspeed ZR160 backbox, but this is only 2.25" pipework, but still better than the standard setup.

Remaps. Gains 20bhp+ The best way to tidy up your car after all the mods. A decent remapper should be able to finish your car to around 150-160bhp and 240-250lb/ft torque. Almost anything you can think of can be done on your map. I had 141bhp before the remap with all the above mods, and 158bhp after. I also got it set so when on less than 80% throttle the fueling is greatly reduced, so I have hardly any smoke and the car is very economical when driving normally, but I still have all 158bhp on tap whenever I put my foot down. It is worth noting that the standard clutch is only rated to 250lb/ft, so I would get your torque limited to 250 to prolonge the life of your clutch. Kevlar clutches are available if you fancy pusing the boundarys.

Limited Slip Diff - With all the extra power, you might want to consider a Limited Slip diff to help torque steer, and to help the car go round bends. Torsen Type B's available from the Turbo PG1 box's and also the BRM's. Quaife LSD's are also available if you have more money to spend.

Total: around 160bhp & 250lb/ft and 50mpg

At this point you are pretty much at the limit of reliable power. Anything over this gets expensive, with hybrid turbos, or NOS, and Kevlar clutches you will be looking at thousands of pounds to get more than 170bhp.
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