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Performance tuning the Punto 1.2

Discussion in 'Engine and Drivetrain' started by drifter, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    London/Mumbai
    Many people ask the question whether it is worth tuning the Punto 1.2. The answer to the question is as much yes as it is no. It is just the question how you want to look at it.

    No, because you always can buy a faster car.

    Yes, if you have the car and want to get more out of it.

    The FIRE range of Fiats engines is a very good range of engines. What makes the 1.2 engine desirable to start with is its low weight. Yhis aids handling and reduces weight that is needed for additional balancing.

    To make any car faster you have 2 directions you can go other than susppension set-up, which does not make it accelerate faster. This is increasing the power output and reducing weight.

    Weight reduction initially doesn't cost a single rupee.

    The first step of weight reduction is to get rid of the clutter we tend to accumulate and are too lazy to get out of the car. This one is the easy one to sort. At least it is in theory.

    The next step would be to look out for a few parts that are left over from production, which the manufacturer is too lazy to take off. This is not very much, but everything adds up. You will also find that a lot of the loom you have in the car is not being used. This might be plugs for additional airbags etc. This can be all cut away. Some of the sound deadening is over done and can be removed too without the need of a magephone to communicate while driving.

    Obviously you can start to turn your car into an unpractical fun car, which will be a cheap way to increase the power to weight ratio, but it might get you in trouble with the home minister or be annoyingly loud.

    If this is no opttion then you still can replace parts by superior ones, which are usually much lighter. Or you take the bolts out and replace them by shorter ones. sound deadening can be removed and be replaced selectively by superior stuff. Replacing the battery by a lighter one with the same capacity might reduce the weight in excess of 5kg,

    Replacing components by components of superior material can be applied throughout the entire car, but will eventually be rather costly.

    However, depending on how far you go you cen save 2% (from no cost involved) all the way through in excess of 30%. The latter one is rather on the extreme side,

    2% is as much as the investment of a panel filter would give, ehich is not bad for spending just a bit of time. 3% weight reduction would be the eqivalent of having 70bhp when the car has 68 standard. And at 25% it would out accelerate the Punto 1.4 16v. On the track you would leave a standard 1.4 16v for dead with a 1.2 reduced by 25% weight.

    The next part of tuning the Punto 1.2 would be on the engine side.

    The best way to start this would be the AIR.

    This will be in the next part.

    To be continued...
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Though interesting to know how much weight has an impact, not convinced that even 10% weight can be reduced (~120KG) practically.

    Waiting for next part. Hope you would cover 1.3MJD as well.

    Basic question - What is AIR?
  3. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    London/Mumbai
    Ravi, the 1.3 M-Jet will be soon covered. I don't want to start too many threads at one time as I am not able to serve them all. Also I had to make the unpleasant experience that the Indian Punto and Linea different to the European one. I have to do my homework on your cars in order not give wrong advise. I do know the engines very well, but some of the differences need special attention. Being a true professional I only make statements and claims when I exactly know everything that might have an impact.

    Regardsing the weight saving In can tell you, you would be surprised how much you can get out of a car. 9ff did a conversion on behalf of the German magazine Auto Motor Sport. They converted a VW Golf Mk6 TDI into a fully raod legal lightweigt Golf without loss of comfort or visible changes other than going for a lighter engine and gearbox. The Golf's weight was nearly 1330kg. They ended up under 1000kg despite a number of things going wrong. If everything would have been looked at without sacrificing comfort etc they would have ended up with under 950kg close to 900kg.. Put the weight differencet between the fitted engine and the original back and it would have been still over 300kg lighter.

    I have been spending quite a bit time in lightening cars as I prepared race cars and you will find amazing weight contributors in the cars. However I accept your point in so far that it is some effort to do so.
  4. japa78

    japa78 Amatore

    Messages:
    59
    Chennai
    Hey drifter I was jus wondering if I cahnge my stock linea wheel sets to alloys will it improve the power ,FE etc? Pl enlighten us?
  5. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    London/Mumbai
    Most of the alloys are actually heavier than steelies. This increases the unsprung weight as much as it does the rotational mass in creasing fuel consumption and slowing the car down.
  6. FastLove

    FastLove Superiore

    Messages:
    606
    Mumbai
    Linea 1.4
    Aren't the cars designed with a certain weight proportion to ensure the aero dynamics are also taken care of?
    Any weight reduction could also mean compromising on handling etc.?

    A very easy way to shed some kilos would be driving without the spare wheel . Does this count?

    Please enlighten.
  7. marvin patrick gray

    marvin patrick gray Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Lucknow
    Oh this thread was so informative and it ended abruptly. Can someone plz continue....
  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
  9. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    London/Mumbai
    doing too much development work I overlooked the thread.

    Weight balance is very important. The manufacturer has to get some extra weight in the back of a front wheel driven car to balance the weight. Saying this, the rear wheel driven cars with a big engine in the front aren't very good either.

    An extreme imbalance would cause problems as much as extreme weight. Where on the Punto 1.2 the weight has got to come out first is in the front. Unfortunately it easier to take weight out at the rear.

    One of the worst offenders when it comes to handling, is the battery. It is heavy and in the wrong place in almost all cars, which is high up and in front of the front wheels. The battery can be reduced in size especially on the Indian shores as you hardly need seat heating, rear screen defrost etc. Some of the batteries are of the same capacity, but have less weight. In my car this makes a 4.7kg difference. This would be reduction of about 0.4% in the Punto.

    When you lift the carpet on the car, you will find a number of wires with a dead end. The loom is a one fits all models. The wires that you have there unused might make up to about 1kg.

    One thing that definitively is not needed in a GP 1.2 is the power steering. Converting it to manual will save between 6 and 10kg and will also free some power.

    The list is endless. When I am back in Mumbai we will start on a car to do the development and report about it.

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