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(Post Link) post #1 of 31 Old 26-07-12 Thread Starter
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2.2 JTS Upgrades

Hello peeps,

So, I'm out of the running for a 4C as we're buying a new house etc etc.

So what can I do to juice up my 2.2 even more? I really like the car with its K&N induction, Red Dot map and Vortex catback, Eibachs and Pioneer stereo. It's really well balanced, planted, grippy and pulls surprisingly well. But if I'm going to be keeping it for another 5 years or so I want to investigate what else can be done to it.

Don't bother saying buy a V6 or a 2.4, I'm not into them for track work as I don't like the weight and balance.

I'm not all that down with the idea of stripping it out, as it is a thing of beauty and the wife and I still do fast motorway journeys in it (when we're without the kids).

The car doesn't do many miles (about 3000 a year tops), and it is mostly for Alfa runs and track giggles. It's not used for commuting or any regular use so it doesn't have to be utterly dependable (though I don't want to make it unreliable either, as then people will bang on about how sh*t Alfas are). It's the only car I ever bought new and it's in great condition, so I like the idea of hanging on to it.

Has anyone bored out a 2.2?

Anyone yet supercharged one? I know supercharging could lead to a blown head. Hmm.

Anything in between? Any other suggestions?

Brat Pack no.8

Last edited by Commanderfish; 26-07-12 at 16:55.
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Camshafts or Head work would be a nice way to N/A Tune the car.
Thats it really without spending huge amounts or doing alot of work.

You'd then need to remap it again though to get the best from it.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 31 Old 27-07-12 Thread Starter
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Thanks Scotty.

I'm a bit wary of cam work as I've seen a 147 ruined by it. What would head work consist of?

The budget for this project could be 5-7K, since it would either be this or buy a seperate track car. It would be better to mod the Brera as I've only got one garage and then I'm only paying to run one car (I also have the motorbike and wife's car to look after).

I do find it tempting to fit a supercharger and LSD, though should I be worried about the head exploding? Car would still be very low mileage. Can the head gasket and conrods be upgraded to take the strain?
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Usually when adding forced induction you lower the compression ratio. This is done most of the time by adding a thicker gasket or a decompression plate. This is a thick gasket in effect the sits between the block and the head.

The issue with adding a Turbo or Super charger is the fuel delivery and management. Thats after you manage to fabricate new exhausts and inlet fitments. I'm not so great on super chargers as I have never seen anyone DIY it.

Engines and bottom ends can usually take quite a bit more power than they are mechanically built to. But obviously pushing hideous power through any engine it was never designed for will shorten life.

Turbo's and super chargers dont destroy engines. All they are doing is forcing air into the combustion chamber rather than the engine naturally drawing in the air. Hence the term Naturally aspirated.

The point is doing a Turbo conversion can be quite costly. But its nothing to worry about but you will have to spend at least 2k to compelte your own and then learn about fuel management. Unless you go to auto delta and get them to plonk a turbo or super charger engine straight in. Those are around the 4K mark.

If you dont do forced induction you can do other things to make a Naturally aspirated engine run faster and produce more power.

A list of these things are are :-
Raising compression (By skimming excess metal of the head base)
Porting and polising inlets and exahust ports (Basically enlarging them and getting them very smooth)
Porting inlet and exahust manifolds (So they are matched to the above)
Enlarging valve openings and valves
Valves 45 degree recut
Lightened valves
Lighter stronger valve springs

New Camshaft with longer duration and increased lift. Lightened.

This increases power at the top end of an engine but all allows it breathe better and thus create more power. I'm a big fan of NA tuning. You never get the same results as forced induction but it does mean you has a really nice smooth engine thats just a better version of what the car was originally intended for.

Unless you go for race camshafts then its a whole new ball game.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 31 Old 27-07-12 Thread Starter
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That's really interesting about the NA tuning options. They sound like a great idea and I doubt those changes would stress the engine and transmission parts to the extent that it's a breakdown waiting to happen.

The question is, who could I find to undertake this sort of work?
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The question is, who could I find to undertake this sort of work?
The only reason I know about it is becasue a friend who now lives up North used to help me do alot of work in our spare time. He too also has a TS. Not the JTS but the theory is all the same in tuning.

It really depends what want out of a car and engine. If power is your ultimate goal then forced induction is the only way to go.

If its just improving on the foundations of the car then N/A tuning is great.



I've personally brought another 1.6TS head and currently having a bit of head work done to improve on the 120hp as well as MPG in normal driving situations.
I've added the 2.0l Camshaft to the 1.6 head and then having it all lightended and cleaned / polished and matched.

Even with this work I am only expecting around 140hp. But that in itself is a good improvement with hopefully similar gains percentage wise in torque. That coupled with a good intake and remap should see slightly over 140hp.

It should still provide me with a very reliable engine.

If you went for the really "Hot" Cams I reckon you can get a 1.6 engine above 160hp. But low down power would be awful and tick over would be very lumpy.


But then again I could buy a 2.0l car... But I can get the work done quite cheaply and fast. I mean less than 200 exc remap and thats with a spare cylinder head.
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My 2.2 has a custom stainless steel catback exhaust with Vortex chamber, K&N induction (I've tried 4 different set ups) and a Red Dot custom remap. It runs great, producing 205bhp actual. Actually I think the idea of polishing ports etc to bring it to 230 or so bhp without increasing the weight would be fine.

The car probably needs to be remapped again anyway, since it was mapped for my previous cat back system which had great exhaust scavenge at low-mid revs, but didn't pull so hard at the top end. With the Vortex exhaust it pulls hard right through the revs, but now I get the impression that it's underfueled from 5000 revs up - it's got a bit more to give.

So if I were to get the ports and valves polished and lightened and then got the car mapped again, that should be pretty tasty in terms of a reliable but powerful NA car...
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The problem with power is you'll never have enough of it. The amount of times ive gone though changes and still doing it now. Least you've done the chassis and suspension upgrades first. They will have the most dramatic performance increase for fun.

After all whats all that power if you can't get it round a corner.

205hp is double what I have. I'd probably end up in a tree with that amount.

If your really after speed I think you should spend more time on the bike...Or upgrade to a 955i ;-)
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I would say save your money and enjoy the bike more!

I'm talking from experience here and you can spend thousands doing all the above but it will never give you that feeling you get on two wheels, never.

The other thing is, as you already know from a certain 147, the upgrades above could lead to having compromises elsewhere in terms of drivability that gives you a faster car but not necessarily one you enjoy driving.

I've been in your situation and I gave up bikes due to responsibilities but I'm yet to get that "buzz" I would get on bikes from cars, I've been close in a stripped out Exige with a Honda 2 litre VTEC engine that had been supercharged to produce 400bhp but it still wasn't the same.

If however you still want to go ahead then the above list is pretty much spot on, don't expect much change from your 7k though.
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The other thing is, as you already know from a certain 147, the upgrades above could lead to having compromises elsewhere in terms of drivability that gives you a faster car but not necessarily one you enjoy driving.
I wholeheartedly agree with this, if you want a track day car to give you a buzz, then buy one, don't make the Brera into one, it's fundamentally a poor base for tuning.
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One thing to be wary of with port and polishing the head is if the head already flows well from the factory then there isn't much to be gained on an otherwise standard engine.

Why not look at a throttlebody set up.would be achievable on your budget. Should give great gains,smoother throttle response. And then there's the noise...
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A performance 4-2-1 exhaust manifold and downpipes will make a difference. It would be pretty much necessary to upgrade this if you were to go down the supercharger/turbo route. They don't look like they are good for making much power.
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I preferred your other thread though - you get very little for your s with upgrades, you'd be better off just keeping the Brera as it is and getting a more powerful car to begin with for weekends/trackdays etc.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 31 Old 27-07-12 Thread Starter
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Yes you may well be right - though it's best to investigate every possibility before making a decision

My Brera is smooth to drive, refined and a great fast GT for covering distances quickly and comfortably. I don't want to ruin it.

As for the bike suggestion, yes the bike is flippin awesome and I do enjoy it, but this is my first big bike and I feel like I'm years away from being ready and willing to track my bike. Plus it's my daily commuter and I don't want to trash it, but I'm sure the response to that is get another bike!

I think an E46 M3 may be the way forward for track action for a few years - plus my little boy is desperate for a drive in my car but his seat doesn't fit, it may fit in an M3.

I will make the M3 less cockish by adding a sticker which proudly proclaims "My other car is an Alfa Romeo". Now who wouldn't pay good money to see that on the back of an M3

Last edited by Commanderfish; 27-07-12 at 23:08.
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Quote:
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Thanks Scotty.

I'm a bit wary of cam work as I've seen a 147 ruined by it. What would head work consist of?
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The other thing is, as you already know from a certain 147, the upgrades above could lead to having compromises elsewhere in terms of drivability that gives you a faster car but not necessarily one you enjoy driving.


Seriously, I'd never do that again. Although don't get me wrong it was a lot of fun, it was a nightmare to live with. But everyone that drove it said it was the quickest 2.0 147 they'd ever seen

I'd supercharge out of all the options you have mentioned.

But realistically as Tahir says, I'd spend it on another bike or, alternative get a dedicated track car. You'll just have to get a place with a garage to keep it in.. and a trailer for the Kuga
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You don't seem to have considered a track bike, much easier to work on than a car and you can pick one up really cheap. Just get a trailer and then you can carry lots of spares with you too, it's also a good way to learn how to do a lot more on your road bikes yourself.

I am seriously considering it myself at the moment as it's much cheaper on the wallet than having a track car.
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I know I'm going to get ripped a new one for even suggesting this.....what about Nitrous Oxide? I'm not a mechanic but have seen all the Fast and Furious films and it seems to work okay Vin and Paul :-)
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Yes interesting thread, 7k is a nice modding budget for the engine, but agreed with other's that the following work would leave little money left over.

Your 2.2 has a bore of 86mm and stroke of 94.6mm, just changing the pistons to something like 90mm pistons would get you to 2400cc. (I have no idea if the gap between the pistons or galleries can take a piston 4mm wider or if a new piston liner would be needed but) from a cc/power calculator it suggests all thing being equal an increase of 20hp is possible from this alone, with some fast road cams and a performance exhaust header like Dan suggested I guess you could be upto 240-250hp with plenty of torque for "normal" driving.

So when you consider the power to weight ratio of a std 147GTA being approx 183hp/ton, you would be at around 170hp/ton, but in the real world on track where braking and corner speeds are just as important, you could find your right on the bumpers of the GTA's!

There is another option already suggested, and I don't know why people shy away from this, but its nitrous. You could get another 50hp easily this way for a fraction of the cost, the drawback being the cost of filling the bottle for every track session.
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Any idea what would need doing to reliably run 50bhp of nitrous for track use?
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Any idea what would need doing to reliably run 50bhp of nitrous for track use?
The best person to ask these questions to is Trevor on the WON forum mate (Wizards Of Nos), however to keep some of this on topic here's some very useful info for the OP.
NITROUS OXIDE ( nos / n2o ) advice forum • View topic - WON Vs NA tuning
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Wow, absolutely fascinating thread there JB, thanks! I have more reading to do!

Hmm how quick is it to remove evidence of NOS, say in event of an insurance claim? I'm assuming insurance for NOS is impossible of at least unfeasible...
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Wow, absolutely fascinating thread there JB, thanks! I have more reading to do!

Hmm how quick is it to remove evidence of NOS, say in event of an insurance claim? I'm assuming insurance for NOS is impossible of at least unfeasible...
The Wizards of NOS (WON) have a struck a deal with several companies to get their customers insured at a reasonable cost, read this thread:
NITROUS OXIDE ( nos / n2o ) advice forum • View topic - Insurance cover
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I already sent a quick message to [email protected] (on our forum) to see what he has to say about NOS. I use them for my Golf (urgh) and they are very, very competitive so Im looking forward to what he has to say.
Incidentally Im following this thread because I've been so tempted by a 2.2 Brera S a few times but the one thing holding me back is the performance. 250+hp would make a very credible drivers car.
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Fish. I've looked into NoS in detail for my 3.2

I'll tell you when I see you on Thursday. It's the perfect solution for you
Mj
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Fish. I've looked into NoS in detail for my 3.2

I'll tell you when I see you on Thursday. It's the perfect solution for you
Mj
You're going to ignore him on Wednesday...
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