I think the only person who could say at the moment is Tim (gsx160parts) with his 195bhp 2.0L Zetec Rocket (see Trackday section). I am not aware of anybody exceeding this as yet although no doubt its being worked on.
In the short time I've had behind the wheel of my car I would say that 200bhp would be the ideal target figure. Anthing above this and you will need to look at the amount of grip you can get through the rear wheels for the weight of the car. Maybe 235 section tyres would be a start or a 225 section trackday tyre.
Don't get me wrong; the car is nippy in standard form if you keep it on the boil but If you're looking for sub 4.5secs >60 times there is some work to do. The car will break traction if you accelerate hard out of corners even with a standard 130hp.
The RS box is basically a 2.0L MTX75 box with LSD. The MTX casing is too big for the standard Rocket chassis but the 1.8L Focus ib5 with LSD would probably be OK with your engine.
My engine is putting out 195bhp and the driveability is just amazing. I recently had it on track and despite a few track day problems the car was very easy to drive with this power and was on rails. If you broke traction at rear it was easy to pull the car back. It is very forgiving. I do have the Quaife LSD which i do think helps. My car however has not been set up at all with regards castor, camber, corner weights, ride height, bump steer, etc so there are improvements to come. All in all a testiment to the good job MEV did in designing the chassis. It does what it says on the tin!
I am actually chasing a bit more power now. Removal of water pump and fitting an aftermarket pump, and some head skimming and porting will be the final engine mods. I am also looking at changing first gear and the final drive ratio to give better driveability on the track. Doing a bit of research in to the box at the minute and thinking i may be worth getting the gears shot peened.
On a side note there is one other car out there with a super charger. It had to get specially made drive shafts as it kept sheering them!!!!
Well, its been a while since I've done an update on my own car so here goes....
The tune or change debate has gone on for some time for me and after spending what seems like a few months looking at fitting a Honda K20A into the Rocket I've decided to tune what I have already. Not that the K20 won't fit, it's just that I missed the Winter 'modification' period and I didn't fancy having the car off the road for most of the summer while I design and fabricate new engine mountings, etc. Maybe I'll do a post sometime on what I think needs to be done to fit the K20 because for me it would be the ideal engine for the car with obvious future potential. I've also had a few altercations with the local Lamborghini and its now time for more power so I can get my own back ;D
The plan is to increase the engine output of the 2.0l Blacktop to circa 185hp initially with a new ECU, throttle bodies, head, and exhaust. I managed to pick-up a new OMEX 600 which is currently installed but not wired.....
I'm lucky enough to have a relative that works for a small business that builds motorsport wiring looms for Touring Cars, Le Mans, Paris Dakar race cars, etc so I've been able to source all the parts to build a motorsport grade wiring loom using Raychem cables and DR-25 Heatshrink. The loom is fully wired for all inputs and outputs including VVT, Knock, Speed Sensor, Clutch Switch, Fan override, etc. I just hope it all works! Spare outputs are left at the front and back; probably for the next owner to take advantage of.
A fabricated bracket holds switches for Fan override, horn, launch, full throttle shift (if I get that far) and shift light.
Although a bit controversial for some I'll be using GSXR 750 throttle bodies to feed the engine....I'll need to make a custom air filter baseplate for a slimline Pipercross filter. I'm undecided on the inlet manifold as yet; I have a standard ST short manifold but the unequal spacing isn't ideal and the overall length of the manifold, bodies and filter will probably mean some bodywork mods which I want to avoid. The alternative is to get a manifold professionally fabricated but these are around £250 but could be short enough to house everything nicely.
To help clear the throttle bodies and work in isolation of the ECU I've picked up a light weight alternator. I'll be fabricating new brackets to get the alternator as low as possible on the engine. I may eventually site it on the exhaust side of the engine, low down and reverse the water pump. Anyone interested in alloy reverse flow water pump impellers?
I managed to source a brand new ST170 cylinder head which I'll initially use on the 2.0L block. There are many discussions as to the positives and negatives of using the ST head as most tuners actually remove them to fit standard 2.0L heads purely because there is a greater selection of cams available. For me (and some others) the ST head is effectively a stage one 2.0L head with mild cams already fitted. It has very good flow, larger inlet valves and bigger intake ports. Apparently the head almost flows as much as a Cosworth head (not my words) and has great modification potential.
The VVT will be disconnected and the inlet cam set to the best position possible, somewhere between its max and min range, (85 to 145 degrees). I'll have to make an adapter to remove the VVT pulley as it's in the way of the roll bar support. A standard pulley will be fitted if I can get away with it.
For now the exhaust manifold will be a modified ST item terminating at 2.5"ID. Not sure what to do about the silencer yet.
I still need to source an adjustable fuel pressure regulator (FSE or Webcon), Alloy header tank maybe a light weight battery.
On the handling front I've designed some toe adjustable lower rear arms. The tooling is complete and I have all the parts....just need the time
New rear uprights have been designed to increase dynamic camber and I've taken the opportunity to build in caliper fitment for ST170 rear discs. The uprights should allow the car to run minimal camber for straight line grip but give enough camber increase when cornering. I still need to fully simulate this but with the lower rear arms lower than standard and the top arms higher and shorter than standard it should be better. Note the later Rocket chassis have some of this incorporated as the upper rear arm pivot points are now lower than the first chassis.
The plan was to have the suspension complete for Curborough but again; time has been the enemy. I may have the uprights fabricated but not fitted to the car.
Hopefully all the above will be completed in the next 2-3 months...we'll see
I'm sorely tempted by a Mk1 3 door Escort right now (too many memories) but if the Rocket is still with me by Winter the plan for Phase 2 is a modified ST bottom end, CNC flowed head and cams which should be hopefully knocking on the door of 220hp. ?I could always shove it all in the escort?
Thanks for the update Joker, that all looks really really good.
I have been thinking about bike carbs and I am not sure what the effect would be on the emissions. I suspect I would go for a megajolt ECU, but could i get that through the MOT? I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
I also like the look of the uprights that you show, would these work with 15inch wheels? If the upper arm is higher i guess not.
Well thought through, well presented and looking very nice. Looking forward to seeing you at Curborouugh.
Orange MEV Rocket, 1.6l Zetec SE - Standard in every way
Matt. My car just went through mot with jenvey throttle bodies a decat pipe and a very small back box. It's essentially a straight through system. Normal race map was off the scale but I have an mot map that just went through.