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djs djs is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Just a little more power...

I recently got back from driving my '75 914 2.0 from San Francisco to Vancouver, BC. Most of the trip north was on the coastal highway (the scenic route, with lots of two-lane winding roads), while on the way back I took I-5. The temp gauge never went past the 3/4 mark, although it was over 100 degrees ambient on the trip home.

The car performed flawlessly for the whole trip. No problems or breakdowns. My only "complaint" is that I could have used a bit more power on some of the grades. I would have liked to be able to pass slower traffic or at least keep up with newer cars on some of the grades.

I am running SS heat exchangers with a Bursch muffler and no smog controls. Also, I am running electronic ignition. My assumption is that I'm making the stock 95 hp. My mileage was around 30mpg.

My question is, what could I do do coax a little more power out of this thing? The obvious solutions that come to mind are Euro 8:1 pistions (+5hp), and perhaps balancing and blue printing the motor (another 4-5hp?).

I want to keep the motor's drivability as good as it is now, which is excellent, and also relatively fuel efficient. I also want to continue using the stock D-jet FI, as I believe it's the best solution for a stock or near-stock 914. I'm thinking 100-110 hp would be a reasonable goal, and such an improvement would be very noticeable on a car this small and light.

This car is currently my daily driver, so reliability is also important. Any suggestions that aren't too radical?

PS: On my way home, in the fast lane of I-5 near Seattle, WA, I was almost in a head-on collision with a driver who was driving the wrong way, against traffic. He just sort of appeared out of a commotion of cars ahead of me. It was scary and weird. I thought I was in an episode of "CHiPs" for a moment there!
Old 08-26-1999, 09:35 PM
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I'm sure theres a company out there somewhere that would make a bolt on turbo kit.

I've got a 1.7L that will be going into a bug, if anyone knows of a bolt on kit I'd sure like to know about it.

Old 08-26-1999, 10:17 PM
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How far apart are you willing to take the motor? How much money do you want to spend? What compromises (like heat, engine life, etc.) are you willing to make?

First of all, if this hasn't been done already, is plug up the air injection holes into the exhaust ports! Even then, these are still good stress risers and the heads may crack easier than the early-style heads. Those crack easily enough, let me tell you... 8^(

Bumping the compression with the "Euro" kit is relatively simple. You don't have to split the case. You can have them mill some material off the seating surface of the head to increase the compression even further, though you'll have to put higher and higher octane fuel in the higher the compression you want. (For the compression MEASURE everything and don't assume anything! It's the only way to be sure!)

A number of places sell 96mm aftermarket pistons and cylinders. Those will give you 2055 cc displacement with the stock 71mm crank. The FI can be tweaked to cope. Compression can be set at just about anything you like--make sure to MEASURE all the volumes, though.

One of the Rennlist members (Charlie Davis) has bored out the throttle body and made a custom throttle plate to fit. He then bumped up the fuel pressure to keep the mixture close, and evidently got some power up at the top end.

You can put a relatively-mild camshaft in (FAT's "HP 440" grind I hear is good) and get some top end at the expense of a little bit of low end.

You can split the case and put a longer-throw crank in to increase displacement more. Again, the FI *can* be tweaked to cope. I know of a 2.2 L 914 motor that is running with a "tweaked" D-jet setup.

Headers should get you some reasonable power, but you lose the cabin heat.

All of the power-increasing mods will stress the engine more and produce more heat inside the motor. You have to get rid of the heat, plus you more or less have to live with shorter expected lifespan. Make sure the stock cooling system is up to snuff--all fan blades there, all the cooling tin there, all the seals in good shape, thermostat and flaps there and working OK, etc. An external oil cooler might be a good idea, especially if you go over ~110 HP.

There are a lot of things you can do to get more power out of the engine while retaining the stock FI. All it takes is time, money, and some compromises.

--DD
Old 08-26-1999, 10:20 PM
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