Jump to content
spikyone

Experience of Tuning Developments' NA package

Recommended Posts

I realise that for most of you this is going to be preaching to the choir, but after running the Tuning Developments NA package for 6 weeks or so and getting a few road miles and a track day under my belt, I thought I'd share my experiences for anyone that's considering having their car upgraded.

 

I had the install completed just before Christmas; I stayed in Runcorn at a very cheap hotel, and made my way over to Warrington at 9am.  The work took until about 2pm to complete, including TD's own catback and the MTEC shift springs/Powerflex gearbox insert combination.  I spent some time talking to @Mike@TD.co.uk whilst the work was being done and it's clear that he knows his stuff with GT86s.  He kept me updated with how the work was going, and also kindly took me for a passenger ride in the turbo GT86 :D

After a couple of post-install dyno runs and a road test, I took the keys back and prepared for the long journey down the M6/M5.  Just pulling out of the estate where TD are based it was obvious that the engine revved more freely.  Spending a bit more time with the package since then has only reinforced that initial impression.  Even keeping the revs below the old torque dip the engine response feels more immediate.  The real benefits become obvious once you get over 3500rpm though.  Plant your right foot at 30mph in 3rd gear, as you might do on a sliproad, and the car pulls effortlessly all the way to the national limit.  Whilst you'll see a ~10% gain in peak power over a standard car, the real improvements come at 4000rpm where you have 25% more torque, and the torque level is almost constant from 3000 - 6750rpm, rather than 4750 - 6750.  It practically doubles the width of the power band, and as you'd imagine the result is like driving a different car.  You can keep the engine in its sweet spot without running it to the redline in every gear

An added bonus of the flexibility is that it allows you even more potential to exploit the chassis balance and adjustability on the road.  The extra torque means that you have more options coming out of a corner.  I was always a fan of the way that you can neutralise understeer with the right amount of throttle input, and the flat torque curve and sharper throttle response really helps that characteristic shine.

On track the gains are less obvious but still there.  At track speeds you would normally have been above the dip anyway, but at Donington a couple of weeks back we had quite a wet morning.  I didn't know the circuit, and combined with the rain (and the need to drive home afterwards!) I was fairly cautious early on.  As well as taking less corner speed, I was shifting at lower revs.  The ability to upshift early without dropping into the dip meant that I didn't feel I was losing too much by doing that.  I'm looking forward to getting back to Castle Combe at some point too.  Last time out I was short-shifting to 5th before Folly to avoid an upshift through the corner, and the improved torque curve should mean that it's not so costly to do that.

As I mentioned after the installation, I also found that fitting the NA package didn't increase my insurance premium, which is through one of the brokers in the Insurance section.

 

As for the other changes to the car, the catback has given the exhaust note a nice throaty bass in day-to-day driving.  It was initially a little harsher and had a slight drone at motorway speeds, but has mellowed nicely over time and is now quite tuneful.  I can happily listen to music at a sensible volume, without the exhaust drowning it out.  On track it really sings with a lovely race car note.

The MTEC springs and Powerflex gearbox insert have made a surprisingly big difference for such an affordable modification.  Cold-start 2nd gear issues aside, I'd always thought the GT86 has a very good shift from the factory.  That the springs and insert have improved on it so noticeably is seriously impressive.  It has a really positive feel, and the weight and precision are nothing short of exceptional.

 

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend both Tuning Developments and the NA package.  The install looks great quality, Mike and Nick know their stuff, and it really is excellent value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, spikyone said:

As I mentioned after the installation, I also found that fitting the NA package didn't increase my insurance premium, which is through one of the brokers in the Insurance section.

Yes, it didn't increase mine either, with Trinity via Adrian Flux who are excellent with modded vehicles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree, just had my first wet track day at Bedford, very similar experience (although I have auto and still on stock exhaust except for TD manifold).

What noise reading you get with TD catback?

Just thinking about next mods...

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, VAD17 said:

Totally agree, just had my first wet track day at Bedford, very similar experience (although I have auto and still on stock exhaust except for TD manifold).

What noise reading you get with TD catback?

Just thinking about next mods...emoji3.png

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

 

There's no static noise at Donington, only drive-by, so I don't know yet.  I'm at Brands Hatch next Friday so will post the noise figures after I've been measured.  Hopefully it's still quiet enough to be able to do Thruxton later in the year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice write up, I can only echo what you've said (being a recentish convert myself) the sharper throttle response and lower down torque actually improve my relaxed driving, lower down the revs, much more than I expected. There's at least one wet roundabout in West Yorkshire where the increase in low end torque gave me a surprise when I wasn't really paying attention. I had to thank the maker for the TC and absence of traffic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Varelco said:

What option did you go for the UEL or EL? I take it you have retained the stock front pipe?

EL, and yes, I kept the stock front pipe; no desire to swap it out at MoT time every year.  Given the increase in volume from a catless manifold and a catback, I suspect the noise would've been too much for my ears with a decat front pipe anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/02/2018 at 1:57 PM, VAD17 said:

Totally agree, just had my first wet track day at Bedford, very similar experience (although I have auto and still on stock exhaust except for TD manifold).

What noise reading you get with TD catback?

Just thinking about next mods...emoji3.png

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

So, the noise test at Brands was at 5200rpm, which seems pretty high. They registered 95dB, so noise is on the high side! I will have to double check what rpm Thruxton use to find out whether I'd be OK there.

And unfortunately I ended my day with a pretty big spin along the grass at Graham Hill Bend that's left me waiting for a mobile tyre fitter to remove all the crap from my wheel and re-inflate the tyre. It had all been going so well til then too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, spikyone said:

So, the noise test at Brands was at 5200rpm, which seems pretty high. They registered 95dB, so noise is on the high side! I will have to double check what rpm Thruxton use to find out whether I'd be OK there.

And unfortunately I ended my day with a pretty big spin along the grass at Graham Hill Bend that's left me waiting for a mobile tyre fitter to remove all the crap from my wheel and re-inflate the tyre. It had all been going so well til then too...

Last time I was on track cost me a new rear end and ~£7k. Does that help? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, spikyone said:

So, the noise test at Brands was at 5200rpm, which seems pretty high. They registered 95dB, so noise is on the high side! I will have to double check what rpm Thruxton use to find out whether I'd be OK there.

And unfortunately I ended my day with a pretty big spin along the grass at Graham Hill Bend that's left me waiting for a mobile tyre fitter to remove all the crap from my wheel and re-inflate the tyre. It had all been going so well til then too...

I got 94Db with mine measured at Oulton and I have a TD EL manifold, no cats and a resontated TD exhaust. Some places purposefully get higher readings in my experience. Croft is a good example of this. You wouldn't have needed a tyre fitter to get the stones out. Just let down your tyre with it jacked up and dig out the stones then reinflate. Done it at Paddock Hill Bend myself many, many years ago! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Paul said:

Last time I was on track cost me a new rear end and ~£7k. Does that help? :D

Fair enough, £50 to get the tyre re-inflated doesn't seem so bad in that context!

@Lauren, tried that - got it deflated but can't get it re-inflated and it's still sitting off the rim. Looks like there's some debris in there that I can't easily remove. I was surprised by the volume, seems very high with the stock 2nd cat still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fair enough, £50 to get the tyre re-inflated doesn't seem so bad in that context!
[mention=223]Lauren[/mention], tried that - got it deflated but can't get it re-inflated and it's still sitting off the rim. Looks like there's some debris in there that I can't easily remove. I was surprised by the volume, seems very high with the stock 2nd cat still there.
Glad to hear you (and the car) are fine.

I'll be at Brands next weekend, hope its better than Bedford 2 weeks ago although looks like its going to be below freezing overnight.

The noise level is high though. Would be interested what reading others get, also with TD turbo.

Lets try to see what we get at Tunerfest. Does anyone has a proper noise measurement tool to bring along?

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lauren said:

Done it at Paddock Hill Bend myself many, many years ago! 

My old flat made did that. Span off on Paddock on the first session of an evening event then spent the rest of the time digging gravel out of his MR2's tyres.

Hope you're all sorted Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, maurice said:

Hope you're all sorted Dave.

Cheers! Yeah, all good, I'll need a new TPMS sensor and will get the alignment checked just in case, but otherwise it was just a bit of ego damage. Lessons learned - with Primacies and no nannies 9/10ths is more than enough, and if you're ever catching a Cayman GT4 it's because they're smart enough not to take the piss with it rather than because you're far more talented than them... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cheers! Yeah, all good, I'll need a new TPMS sensor and will get the alignment checked just in case, but otherwise it was just a bit of ego damage. Lessons learned - with Primacies and no nannies 9/10ths is more than enough, and if you're ever catching a Cayman GT4 it's because they're smart enough not to take the piss with it rather than because you're far more talented than them... 
If you find cheep and cheerful option to get replacement TPMS fitted on aftermarket wheels let me know.
The warning light no longer bothers me, but interested to hear what options are there.
And btw - Mps4, more wet grip. I think I will need it at Brands if the weather stays this way.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×