I started to wonder into the dark side of engine conversions to achieve the power to weight I was after having come from a lightweight Caterham to the Elise. After some quick maths I realised that an engine conversion made sense in terms of both achieving a better power to weight whilst increasing the resale value of the car and maintaining reliability. I chose to stick with a high revving engine so opted for the Honda route and called up Andy at Maidstone Sports Cars (MSC) to find out what the Honda Link Up conversion was all about.
The following Saturday morning a pal and I were shown around cars in progress, parts used and given more detail on the conversion than I could take in. The finale was a drive in the MSC demo car. This was something I really did not expect, the gear change; engine map; neat install all felt superb and gives the car a factory produced feel, albeit a whole lot faster! I chose MSC for my install because of the quality of their car, the piece of mind of their warranty and the fact they had done more conversions than anyone else. The conversion took a little longer than expected but was worth the wait as clearly no corners were cut and the car came back looking and driving fantastic.
Since the conversion my car has only been back for routine maintenance and there have been no issues. The engine really is as bullet proof as they say and the quality of the install still gets plenty of remarks on a track day when the boot is open.
My car started off as a Sport 190. Eventually I decided it needed more power and I had a Turbo Technics supercharge kit fitted. This was frighteningly unreliable and hence I was looking for something which would give me hopefully more power but also great reliability.
I am delighted to say Maidstone Sports Cars Honda supercharged engine transplant has been a great success. Despite having been upgraded to 385 HP it has proved very reliable for 4 years and the service I have received from Maidstone Sports Cars has been of the highest order. This has involved full track day support alongside routine maintenance and upgrades. I would not hesitate to recommend this conversion to anyone.
Always wanted a Honda i-VTEC in the back of my Elise. Searched the net, looked at the forums and one name kept on coming up: Maidstone Sports Cars! I emailed my intentions got an in depth reply to all my silly questions from Andy who really knows his stuff and arranged a visit and test drive.
I was simply blown away on the test drive and could not wait to sign on the dotted line! I now see what all the fuss is about. I opted for the standard normally aspirated Honda to start with and the transformation is stunning, effortless performance which just keeps oncoming. It looks good too just like a factory install and the quality and attention to detail is very good. Having lived with the car for a while now I still get a tremendous buzz every time I drive even if it just to pick up the paper!
I would highly recommend Maidstone Sports Cars and their Honda conversion, it makes me smile just thinking about it!
I've had my '97 series 1 for 5 years, and had always wanted to get more power out of it. Initially I went down the road of a modified head and mappable ignition, but the k-series just wasn't up to it and after lots of niggling engine problems and the second piston failure, I bit the conversion bullet. Having always been a fan of the legendary Type-R engine I decided to go Honda. MSC had such a good reputation on Seloc, that I put the car on a trailer and sent it off to them.
The transformation in the car is extraordinary. The engine feels good for every one of the 223 bhp and being able to rev up to over 8k and draw on seemingly relentless acceleration is genuinely thrilling. I also got Jim Valentine at 2Bular to make up a back box and when the engine is in the VTEC zone on full throttle it makes one hell of a sound, but during normal driving, is relatively quiet. The quality of the conversion is first rate; it looks and feels like a factory job. The engine is smooth and strong and there are no unwanted shakes, bangs or rattles. The job isn't cheap, but fingers crossed it has given my car the reliability I was after and it has certainly given it the performance I wanted.
I would really recommend using MSC; Andy and his team really understand the car and really know what they are doing: you also get to see some pretty amazing projects when you collect!