MG TF Tuning

"TF = Tuning Fun?"

The MGTF is a great little sports car and can be great fun to hoon around a track in. The standard car was nicely set up but with some choice tuning mods the car can be greatly improved. It was aimed squarely at the Mazda MX5 class car and builds on the heritage of the earlier MGB and MBC models. The minor niggles levelled at the MG F mk1 have been ironed out and addressed.

One thing a lot of people complain about is the handling. Often this is because they are used to a conventional car and are sitting closer to the front wheels but the TF is crying out for a little lowering, some polyeurothane bushings and a few camber/toe tweaks to set it up for the track.  A relatively small drop of around 35mm will make a noticeable difference.

Tuning tips and articles

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

When you drop a car you need a stiffer spring and this can make the ride quality unbearable.

When TF engine mods are being done you have to be careful to keep the power band as wide as possible, the wrong mods will just raise the power band leaving a torque shy bottom end.

Find out the best ways for tuning your TF keeping your cars reliability but with more usable power.

Smaller engined 1.6 TF's do not usually provide much of a return in terms of power so choose a model with a more powerful engine engine - the 1.8VVC engine is a great starting point and has loads of aftermarket options for it. You could always do an engine swap if you have a small engine to start with.

MG TF Tuning modifications.

Your aim when tuning should be a nice flat torque curve and a wide power band as we are always mentioning. Whilst a lot of car part makers will claim peak BHP figures what you really need is a dyno plot showing the full torque curve. One of the most significant with the best cost to power gain, engine mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam.

The standard cams fitted to the 135 are pretty good and with a vernier pulley fitted you can dial in a little advance. If your car is making more power than standard then it will logically require more air and fuel so fuelling upgrades are important mods if you are serious about power.Using uprated injectors and a bigger capacity fuel pump deals with the fuelling issue.

MG TF intake and exhaust modifications.

Don't overlook the intake and exhaust. when it comes to car tuning as it is essential to get the cars breathing right. Ideally on the TF you should go for a 4-2-1 exhaust setup which will give more power and torque through the rev range. Janspeed and Pheonix make pretty good exhaust parts for the TF.

An induction kit will help increase the peak power providing you address the problem of it sucking in warm engine bay air by using a cold air feed. Exhaust selection should take into account the flow rate, rather than just the bore size, too small and you have a restriction, too big and the flow rate will dimish the point the engine scavanging suffers.See our article on performance exhausts for details of the issue around large bore exhausts and how to choose the right size for your engine.

Gas flowing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never just hope that a standard worn clutch will cope.

The largest power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make remapping difficult. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

It is worth noting that the Rover MEMS cannot be easily remapped so to get a custom map installed you'll need an aftermarket ECU or a chip upgrade. There are a few specialists out there now that offer a full MEMS remapping service like Z&F Tuning.

MG TF Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Large TF alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 17 inch rim size as the maximum.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss TF options in more detail with our TF 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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