Tangerine Machine - MK2 Leon Cupra project

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
A few years back I sold my pride and joy, my Mitsubishi Evo X FQ330 as I needed a van for work. Along side the van I treated myself to a Renault Clio RS which was really fun to drive but just lacked the “wow factor”. After looking at upgrades it seemed I would have to put some serious money in for any major power gains so left her stock.

Two years later she was written off after being rear ended by a Range Rover so I decided it was time for some more power and got my hands on a 2010 Leon Cupra MK2, with the intentions of some upgrades.

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The previous owner claimed the Cupra was “stage 2 ready” but I wanted to make sure myself and have been using the forums since last June as a bible and decided to share my progress.

The first thing on my list was a full service with iridium plugs. While changing the filter I discovered an oil leak so replaced the oil filter housing too which solved the problem. For handling I went for a full set of Pirelli P Neros.

The car already had a Maxton Designs carbon fibre effect rear diffuser with twin, central exit back box (that I need to try and identify) So it was time to start on some part upgrades and replacements.
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Before I was able to do any planned mods I lost the rear diffuser in a flood so replaced it with the same design but in gloss black instead of the carbon fibre effect. Not long after the engine pretty much died, the revs dropped and the car wouldn’t go anywhere but a few days later, a replacement camshaft position sensor fitted and the car was running again.

Finally earlier this month I’ve been able to do some planned work, just at the right time too, I noticed that the revs were idling a little rough, and felt that there was a slight drop in boost but I’ve recently replaced the MAF sensor, PCV valve and have a cam follower and revision G diverter valve on the way which should hopefully be arriving Monday. The car has shown 2 error codes this morning for “idle air control system RPM higher than expected” and “system too lean”. Hopefully the new diverter valve will fix the problem, if not I’ll be building a home made smoke test kit next week!
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
The diverter valve arrived last night so I fitted it first thing this morning, the difference was immediately noticeable - the boost seemed much better and smoother too but after warming up the revs are still fluctuating between 900 and 1500 so there’s still a problem to fix somewhere.

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I’ve had confirmation that the cam follower will be arriving tomorrow so that’ll be a little job for Tuesday too. There’s also a multi use transfer pump on the way so I can build a smoke test kit to check for air leaks.
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Cheers mate, love the white K1 too! I messaged someone about one when I was after a car but as it was the first lockdown got no reply and was desperate for a car. Thanks for the advice! The cam follower has arrived this afternoon so that’ll have to wait till tomorrow but I’ll have a quick look around the brake booster vac line tonight while it’s still light.
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Absolutely spot on @ash_89 brake booster vac line was split both ends and pretty much fell off when I had a look at it. I’ve sliced off the split ends and temporarily cut a rubber tube to reattach the original hose while I get a new one ordered. Took the car for a spin after and seems to pretty much have fixed the problem, occasionally the revs dropped on idle to around 1200rpm for a second but then settled at 750. Ive spotted what looks like a crack in PCV valve vent hose too so that’ll be replaced next.
 
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ash_89

Active Member
Mar 16, 2013
172
73
St Neots
Absolutely spot on @ash_89 brake booster vac line was split both ends and pretty much fell off when I had a look at it. I’ve sliced off the split ends and temporarily cut a rubber tube to reattach the original hose while I get a new one ordered. Took the car for a spin after and seems to pretty much have fixed the problem, occasionally the revs dropped on idle to around 1200rpm for a second but then settled at 750. Ive spotted what looks like a crack in PCV valve vent hose too so that’ll be replaced next.
excellent news (y) Yeah those pcv pipes are a pain I've replaced both of mine over the years they can get very brittle.
 
Dec 11, 2020
4
1
Before I was able to do any planned mods I lost the rear diffuser in a flood so replaced it with the same design but in gloss black instead of the carbon fibre effect. Not long after the engine pretty much died, the revs dropped and the car wouldn’t go anywhere but a few days later, a replacement camshaft position sensor fitted and the car was running again.

Finally earlier this month I’ve been able to do some planned work, just at the right time too, I noticed that the revs were idling a little rough, and felt that there was a slight drop in boost but I’ve recently replaced the MAF sensor, PCV valve and have a cam follower and revision G diverter valve on the way which should hopefully be arriving Monday. The car has shown 2 error codes this morning for “idle air control system RPM higher than expected” and “system too lean”. Hopefully the new diverter valve will fix the problem, if not I’ll be building a home made smoke test kit next week!
Cars looks ace mate. Hope its running smooth.

I've done airtec induction and Milltek cat back and will be doing stage 1 soon. I was wondering if it's worth doing PCV, cam follower, R8 coil packs and diverter valve (recirculation valve?) before remapping. Will these thing produce more power or is it just a preventative measure when going for mre power?

And is there any other low cost engine mods to aid a stage 1?

Cheers.
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Cars looks ace mate. Hope its running smooth.

I've done airtec induction and Milltek cat back and will be doing stage 1 soon. I was wondering if it's worth doing PCV, cam follower, R8 coil packs and diverter valve (recirculation valve?) before remapping. Will these thing produce more power or is it just a preventative measure when going for mre power?

And is there any other low cost engine mods to aid a stage 1?

Cheers.
Thanks! Love the blue colour too, I’ve come to the conclusion that Cupras just look great no matter what the colour.

I’ve not had mine mapped yet but the car’s running smoother and smoother by the day so fingers crossed it’ll be ready pretty soon.

From the information I’ve gathered by lurking on the forums for over six months changing the cam follower is a must and it’s recommended to change it every 10,000 miles or so, I’ve seen it described as an “engine destroyer” that can apparently cause fuel pump and cam failure so thought it was best to change mine for the sake of £30 and less than an hours work (although I’ve still not got round to changing mine but hopefully will over the next few days).

With regards to the diverter valve I’ve read some good reviews on the revision g and guessed again for the price couldn’t hurt replacing what essentially could have been a 10 year old part, even without the remap it certainly feels like it’s made a difference.

The next upgrade on my list is an induction kit, I’ll hopefully be ordering an oversized Ram Air this week so I can get rid of the plastic engine cover for less restriction too.

There’s a real good guide regarding upgrades here:


While it doesn’t seem there’s much required before going to stage one I thought the more I can replace / upgrade before hand, the less chance I’m going to have of any problems in the future, it also means I’m that little bit closer to stage 2.
 
Dec 11, 2020
4
1
Thanks! Love the blue colour too, I’ve come to the conclusion that Cupras just look great no matter what the colour.

I’ve not had mine mapped yet but the car’s running smoother and smoother by the day so fingers crossed it’ll be ready pretty soon.

From the information I’ve gathered by lurking on the forums for over six months changing the cam follower is a must and it’s recommended to change it every 10,000 miles or so, I’ve seen it described as an “engine destroyer” that can apparently cause fuel pump and cam failure so thought it was best to change mine for the sake of £30 and less than an hours work (although I’ve still not got round to changing mine but hopefully will over the next few days).

With regards to the diverter valve I’ve read some good reviews on the revision g and guessed again for the price couldn’t hurt replacing what essentially could have been a 10 year old part, even without the remap it certainly feels like it’s made a difference.

The next upgrade on my list is an induction kit, I’ll hopefully be ordering an oversized Ram Air this week so I can get rid of the plastic engine cover for less restriction too.

There’s a real good guide regarding upgrades here:


While it doesn’t seem there’s much required before going to stage one I thought the more I can replace / upgrade before hand, the less chance I’m going to have of any problems in the future, it also means I’m that little bit closer to stage 2.
I'm going with same logic but only to stage 1. Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely be looking to get those bits done before remap.

I'm now looking more into handling improvements. I think eibach Sportline are a must. I've done some lurking myself and they seem to be the favourite. I'm also going for an anti lift kit but I'm seeing mixed reviews on the best brand, either Whiteline, Powerflex or Superpro. Also considering 10-15mm hubcentric wheel spacers, dog bone mount insert and maybe even anti roll bar(s) if I have the cash. My main aim is to improve the ability of the car without compromising comfort and functionality. I need to be able to use it as a family car and as a fun weekend blaster.

Definitely go for the intake. Mine will surely make a difference after the remap being this size. Even if I'm not a huge fan of the noise in the cabin.

Hope you get stage 2 sorted soon mate!
 

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ash_89

Active Member
Mar 16, 2013
172
73
St Neots
I didn't feel a huge improvement fitting the ALK due to our cars having solid bushes as standard were as the mk5 GTi/ Leon FR has the voids .
You will see the biggest difference fitting the dogbone insert and anti roll bars.
I would get underneath the car supported safely check all the bushes over front and rear ( there is a fair few at the back )
A Cupra with 300bhp properly setup with decent handling/brake mods etc will be miles more enjoyable than a 380bhp cupra without the effort put into the less exciting bits;)


1.Tyres
2.Brakes
3.Engine Maintenance
4.Suspension
5.Power tuning time:devilish:
6.Enjoy surprising newer fast cars
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Thanks for all the pointers, I’ve hopefully got some spare time Sunday so I’ll be testing out my home made smoke kit. The car idles much better at the moment but it’s still not perfect, I’ve got a suspicion that the dipstick might be causing a vacuum leak too so that’s another cheap “upgrade”.

I’ll be ordering the induction kit today too so I’ll get that bolted on as soon as it arrives.
 
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Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Did you get a chance to do a leak test mate?
I haven’t had time yet, I’ve definitely got some spare time on Thursday so it’s planned in for then (with the cam follower too). I’ve pinched some smoke pallets off a mate so it should hopefully work better than my original plan of using a cigar!
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
I’ve changed the cam follower this morning, the old one still looks safe but I’ve decided to install the new one anyway.

With regards to the air leak I’m pretty sure the PCV valve is still causing the problem, even though it’s been replaced. There’s a lot of suction on the oil filler cap which stops when removing the vent hose and blocking the inlet, the over revving seemed to settle instantly too. I’ve ordered the latest revision part from Awesome GTI (I imported the previous one from Germany as it was half the price) and will be fitting it is soon as it arrives, I’ll post the results! Moral of the story, don’t buy cheap parts!
 
Last edited:
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Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
The new PCV valve arrived yesterday so I fit it last night and reset the engine codes. I’ve taken it for a 50 mile drive today and had no problems with rough idle at all so it seems the problem is finally fixed, with all the other part upgrades the car is running the best it has since I bought it. Another step closer to stage one!
 

Digital Punk

Active Member
Aug 29, 2020
14
7
Midlands
Almost a week later and everything engine wise is still running perfectly (hopefully). Had another little problem crop up yesterday, the boot latch has decided to stay open, a replacement latch mechanism has arrived this morning so that’s another little job for me to sort this evening. At least owning the car keeps me busy!
 
EBC Brakes Direct - picture of brake discs and pads