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KA tuning

"The Go KArt."

The Ford Ka is the baby of the Ford range and is often hated and slated by many. In reality though it is actually quite a good chassis design. With a wheel placed in each far corner the KA enjoys great handling in standard form. It really is a bit of a go kart and just begs to be pushed harder.

The main drawbacks in the KA is the lack of engine power and the soft suspension. Both of which can be easily addressed enabling the KA owner to have a cheap and fun track day car.

Anything less than the 1.3 is a bit of a waste of time when it comes to tuning as the cost is quite high and the return in power is relatively low. You might look to the other Fiesta engine options to source a suitable donor and do a 1.6 conversion. Alternatively take the 1.3 engine and get the head ported and flowed. Then add a fast road cam and hopefully some larger valves and you already have a nippy rev happy car.

An engine swap with a newer Fiesta ST would certainly be an interesting proposition but as yet we've not seen one done.

The KA has a go kart like chassis and with a few power mods can actually be a good basis for a track day car.

A sports exhaust with a sports catalyst will also free up the engine and if you replaced the paper filter with a better flowing sports panel air filter you have a nicely balanced flow through the engine.

If you wanted to go a bit bonkers then you could look into forced induction with a supercharger being easier to add than a turbo. For best results you will need to lower the compression ratio or use water injection to avoid issues with detonation.

Looking at the handling we would suggest a drop of around 40mm on some stiffer springs for the best effect. There are not a great deal of body styling options around but it is possible to find a nice KA bodykit. Personally we prefer the smoothed "Euro" look on the Ka but there are quite a few nice examples out there of decent styling.

Ford KA Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your KA is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches. Some of our members who own the KA have added slightly larger alloy wheels but for the best performance stick with the standard size wheel or get a larger alloy and fit ultra low profile tyres to it.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss KA options in more detail with our KA owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Ford tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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Please use the forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

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