As some of you recall I have mentioned before that I was looking for a Hilux 2*4 and a Chevy 4*4 as project vehicles. Well after doing some more homework (seeing what people are paying for Hilux bakkies) I decided to get myself a little Ford/Mazda 1600i Bakkie. Reason being that they go like the clappers, are cheap on Fuel, Drive like a Sedan and are plentiful. Also they will outlast most marriages.  Ah yes, and it seemed like a good vehicle to modify. Plans were to Dyna Test it stock, then with a free flow, then with a porting job etc.

We had an ad in the newspapers and I was surprised at the prices in Windhoek (25 grand for a 160 carburetted Wreck with 200 000 k’s on the clock), get real. So off I went to Cape Town were I scored my Luck- 94 160i with 74 000 k’s on the Clock but it had a hesitation. Driving it up slow, it felt weak and I got about 6.5 k’s to the Litre. So between Haehner at Bosch and myself, we finally figured out that it was either the wiring harness- Airflow Meter or Computer Box. I immediately found that somebody had been busy with a Soldering Iron in the Wiring harness- he should have rather used same Iron to make patterns in Leather.

What I want to advise anybody contemplating same, is only to do this once you feel confident about Automobiles and their idiosyncrasies. I also took it to a panel beating friend of mine in Bellville to check out as well as to get wheel alignment done- sure tip for bent frames, A-arms etc.


The first time I went out to visit my friends Horst and Anne in said car I noticed how low it sat. It actually looked as if we had good rains (Tip- if you feel depressed due to the drought, buy yourself a small car), as the grass was at eye Level. The smallest stompie on the Middelmannetjie produced ugly scraping noises from the Belly pan. But handling is Fantastic.


I finally sorted out my problem being the ECU (Computer box) and fitted a 2’nd hand one. Wow what a difference. We now serviced said vehicle, put EFI cleaner in the Tank and took it to Haehner for setting up the Airflow meter plus a Dyno Run. Now this means the vehicle is Standard and I do keep a logbook to find out Fuel Consumption traits etc. To aid handling a set of Falken 185/60/13 Tyres were fitted- now the car sticks ! Set up correctly the Fuel consumption is Figure 1


I then decided to build a Cold Air intake system using K&N’s new X-Stream Filter. This took us close to 2 Days, but I now marketing same. Fuel Consumption until then was Thereafter I fitted a Header free flow system, with a few new ideas and Voila I gained 8Kw on the Dyno with these Mods of getting Lots of Cold Air in while removing spent gasses efficiently (that’s 14% gain over stock). Fuel Consumption also decreased Figure 2


The claim, that Pronam is more slippery than a Politician, got me to trying it. As a Engine that spends a lot of time at High Rpm and is used for Town running, can only benefit from a good oil. The engine definitely runs Quieter and seems to rev more willingly. The gearbox now hates shifting when cold, but seems to smooth up when hot. Although it is now consuming Oil. Changing to Prolong (since Pronam does not include that in their additive package anymore), changed nothing.


I then replaced the stock coil (which had a cracked terminal) with one of our 40KV Magfire units and Magwire SS plug leads. The Engine became notably smoother at High RPM and used slightly less fuel in the process. I decided to try a more Torque Exhaust system (that is very Quiet) that makes the car seem weaker as the hit at 4000 Rpm is lost. But it was just “easier” to drive with Electric motor like power. Most people prefer “snap” so this will remain a prototype. Although I am sure that this also influenced the lower Fuel consumption figures. See Figure 3


The car was then driven close to a year without further Modifications and I then decided to Port the Head, Intake and fit a Torque cam. I tried an Adjustable Fuel pressure regulator (giving me such a high consumption), but then returned to stock. Travelling to Swakop in precisely 3 Hours (Friday evening after work) gave me a consumption of 11.45 and returning in the same time (Early Monday Morning) gave me 11.58. This proves again that steady speed driving is imperative for a low fuel consumption figure. Figure 4


The Car had oodles of Torque but I decided to go for a more radical cam and makes exactly the type of power I like. If you let out the clutch at idle from stop it will not falter but roll steadily along. Flooring the accelerator will let it pick up power smoothly with a rush coming in at 4000 Rpm giving you hardly anytime to shift. It is addictive, but again look at the Fuel bill. Top speed ? Don’t ask it goes into the RPM limiter in 5’Th. Figure 5


The Front CV Boots were then replaced with the rear Wheel bearings (the front are a bitch to exchange) and I decided to modify the Front Suspension. Note I did not drop the car. I also decided to leave the rear alone due to trying to get the most bang for the Buck. The Handling has to be Experienced to be believed- few vehicles will outrun this Baby in the twisty's.


I then fitted Barum 185/70/13 Tyres after getting 32 000 km on the Falkens. Handling is definitely not as good, but I needed a higher tyre to drop my rev's. Figure 6


Recently I decided to modify my Exhaust for Top end power. This also brought in an annoying Exhaust frequency at 3500 Rpm. Power did improve slightly. Figure 7


I have now decided to Port my head and intake differently as well as use the original torque cam. The Power and smoothness has increased dramatically in the 1000 to 3500 Rpm range. This was done, because I travel to South Africa a lot these days and at 120 Kph the car was not making enough power to cruise effortlessly through the Hills. Once I went over 4000 Rpm (and 160 Kph) the car became a dream to drive. I suggest you return later in the Year to see the updated Consumption Figures.


The Vehicle seems to be down on Power, so the next step is to have my Injectors Serviced. At 120 000 k's they will sure need it. The Power should then be about 100 Kw. Last time I had it on a Dyno was in Joburg before the final Exhaust mods.


I have also fitted drilled and slotted Brakes. In August 2005 I fitted a Ceramic clutch as my stock unit slipped under full load.


Update 10 May 2005. The Injectors were Serviced some time ago resulting in a smoother running motor. Recently I noticed a hesitation at speed and replaced the fuel pump coupled with a Dynotune. As you can see the Fuel consumption decreased with a increase in power and better throttle response. Figure 8


I have 


I have given the following Fuel Consumption figures, but you must bear in mind that Fuel Consumption can only be really tested repeatedly driving a similar distance constantly at the same speed. For instance Driving Swakop to Windhoek in Berg wind conditions will give you completely different figures than the return journey in the cool Morning Hours. Generally I find that immediately after a Conversion the Fuel Consumption goes up, because you tend to “test the power” more.






Overall Km




































8 11.65 10.2 13.08 2687





I was asked by a South African company to develop a High performance kit for them. Turbo’s were discussed, but I rejected that due to the Heat problem we have and general reliability concerns. I reckoned I had reached the peak in driveable power using conventional methods and therefore decided to opt for a Supercharger. A few years ago I was involved in the development of such a unit and decided to use that, as I could switch it on via an electric clutch. In the end I managed to obtain an easy 120 Kw, which should prove dead reliable as I also used an Intercooler. I am only mentioning this, as I intend upgrading my Vehicle later on to do even more. Yes, power is addictive.


If you want to ask what more can you do to a Bantam Bakkie ? What about the 2L FE Engine with 109 Kw stock and upgrade that to a Supercharger !

By the way, who is your Bank manager ?


This page was last modified 20 August 2010 .

Return Home

Return to Tech Articles