The basic answer would be an engine conversion if you want power at an acceptable £ per bhp ratio - this excludes insurance, thought it may not be as bad as you think, yet still £1500 or so if you are under 21. Tuning the 1.3 Ka engine has serious limits so look at tuning the handling first, this is the Ka strength. Think about carrying speed through corners and avoid wasting speed you have by braking.
Here are the top modifications used by Ka Klubbers to improve the handling of the Ka.1.
Springs and Dampers (£250) or Coilovers (£400 to £1300). Lowers centre of gravity, allows better cornering, yet will give a firm to very firm ride. This modification will also improve the appearance of your Ka by closing the gap between the arch and the wheel.2.
Rear Track spacers (£70). These push the wheels out at the back for a wider stance. This has the effect of lowering the centre of gravity.3.
Sport Ka anti roll bar (£70). This is a stiffer unit, so there is less flex between the two sides of the Ka.4.
Front Upper Strut brace (£70). This stiffens the Ka between the wings. It is the least noticeable impact of the handling modifications, but it still has one.5.
Polybush your lower arms, anti roll bar and rear beam. PowerFlex
are the company of choice here. Prices vary.6.
Replace your lower arms with rose jointed ones - allows suspension to align more effectively and hold the tyre flat to road - expensive at £300+ and hard to find. Area Six
is the company Ka Klubbers have used. They can be hard to get hold of, keep trying the kit is great! 2014 Note - there is a concern that Area Six is no longer active.
7. Rear Upper Strut Brace (£70). This is fitted in the boot between the suspension turrets. It does take some boot space up and does need drilling into the turrets.
Please note, after you done any modifications to the suspension on the Ka, take it to a garage and get the tracking done.
8. Lighten the Ka by removing excess weight or ensuring that where you do have weight it is as low in the Ka as possible. The easiest way is to make sure you are not carrying excess stuff in the Ka.
9. Remove the spare wheel and carry a can of tyre weld instead.
10. There is a lot of sound deadening in the Ka that can be removed, however it will make your Ka noisier and it can take a lot of work to get it all out.
There are more ways to lighten your Ka and we suggest you join the Facebook Group and chat with us to find out more.
If you want to do stuff to the engine and of course most of us do want to do something, you are looking at 10bhp maybe 15bhp max gain and hundreds of pounds to do this. One Klubber "Womble" took his 1.3 Ka to full Ford Racing specification and achieved 110bhp, however it took around about £4000 to do this.
1. Air Filter. There is a strong case for upgrading the standard filter or drilling the air box. Keeping the standard filter means it is protected from heat soak more effectively. This is an easy modificaton to do. However if you want noise and styling under the bonnet, then a cone filter is useful. However it is liable to suck in hot air from the engine. So run ducting to it to help get more cold air to it. (£18 to £200)
2. 4-2-1 manifold. This will givea bhp increase, maybe 8bhp. It is the best single engine mod £ for bhp for tuning the 1.3 at (£264)
3. Match the manifold to a stainless steel exhaust to give 1bhp or 2bhp maybe. The exhaust will looks much better, sound much better and will almost certainly not rust through as the standard one does. (£150 to £300)
4. Fit Ford Racing gear ratios. This is a more invasive modification, however there have been good reports on doing this in the Klub.
5. Chip the Ka with a Superchip, Unichip or Bluefin to get the new modifications working properly. Do this last.
6. The brakes on a Ka are not the greatest in the world. So start by upgrading the pads (£60+), then the discs (£40+) and if you wish you can uprate the callipers (£250).
All prices are estimates, may not include VAT and are likely to vary geographically.