Elise – VVC Ported Upgrade

  Engine, Engine Conversions, K Series Upgrades

I got the opportunity to purchase a VVC engine (143bhp not the 160), complete engine and gearbox, loom, ecu etc. The plan was to re build the engine over the winter as a project. I started to ask around about porting the head, up rating pistons etc and quickly came to the conclusion that anything north of 155-160 bhp was going to be big money. Over 160 bhp then you need to strengthen the bottom end (should have brought a Trophy 160!), as soon as you start re camming / porting the std ECU needs to be replaced as a must or at least to maximise the changes – everything seemed to have a £1000 price tag on it and that 155-160bhp seems to be the tipping point where there’s a diminishing return of bhp for £ spent.

Emerald ECU £1000 – Solid Cams (in the VVC) £1000 – Up rated Pistons / rods – £1000 . . you get the idea.

So whilst researching I spoke to Kiwi Roger – Sabre Heads, we talked through option for the VVC and went round in circles a few times then Roger said “You’ve got a good solid std 1.8 with a full service history, keep the cams standard, port the head and drop it on the existing block” – I have all the bits needed from the full VVC engine. Made sense to me, for the cost of porting and swapping over the head I’d have a VVC and i’d be getting a 111s with close to a Sport 160 performance. So there you have it – Drove the head up to Roger he stripped the mechanism on the VVC and freshened it up the head was “in excellent condition, not been skimmed”. Roger did a great job at porting it, his knowledge of the K Series is extensive and he’s a great engineer.

I then had Maidstone Sports Cars do the installation rather than do it myself – I thought about it and will the extra performance I wanted it done right – Roger had suggested I get an S2 manifold and down pipe as it’s a straight swap and a larger diameter down to the exhaust, I managed to pick one up and dropped it off to Maidstone and it was all sorted.

This was in mid November 2016, been out a few times but not yet in the dry nor have I pushed it hard as I want to bed everything in – but where the standard car runs out of puff at about 5500 rpm this just keeps pulling up to around 7000 and picks up so quickly. So for about £1,800 I’ve got around an extra 40bhp and a nice smooth power curve – that’s the story for now . . . .

Update – turns out my upgrades turned out a little more than I was expecting, put the car on a rolling road in Nov 2017 and got 169 bhp. Nice, reasonably flat torque line and a nice steady power curve. Well pleased!

2018 – Looking out for 111s parts to convert the car in looks to a 111S – Like this