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172 conversion for the valver!

Everyone loves the scream the F7P 16v gives out.. puts a smile to my face everytime I hit 7k!!! however I cant get over how annoyed I get when I get over taken by surprised! The lack of torque in the low gear range can be a real handicap if your not expecting it! For instance the other day on the A13 I had one of those 2.0 alpha twin spark things on my tail (not that I noticed until he tried to “undertake” me) thankfully due to fast reactions I managed to drop back down into 4th and accelerate from 80mph -> 100mph in time to watch his face drop with the expression “WTF” painted on his face… (it was a classic)

Point being, a valver can be easily beat if the driver is taken by surprise.. even with best efforts it can sometimes be real hard to try and recuperate your loss even once your upto speed!! As I’m sure you will all agree..

This bring me on to the William conversion.. being thinking about it for a while now.. Picking this over NH’s stage2 head work due to the fact if I lost any more power in the lower rev range it would send me bonkers!! Clearly with the Williams being a hard source to find I was thinking about maybe a 172 conversion!!! How good would that be?! I can’t believe no one has attempted it yet?! 172bhp at the fly on a valver would keep enough power on tap for any sneaky undertaking surprises. Obviously BBTP would be the ultimate, however £7500 is a tad out of my budget for me….

So how about it? A 172 conversion!! anyone thought of doing this?!!!!!!!!!
  BMW 320d Sport

Many have thought of it, none have attempted it! Im sure it could be done though, why dont you be the first?
  Astra 1.9cdti XP

Thing is though any car can be caught out!! Look at say a Honda S2000 ive seen 0-60 time of 5.5 secs but this car has no more torque than a 172 so in the wrong gear an S2000 could be caught out by most nippy cars. Thats just one of many cars.

2 reasons

first :-

at current my 1.8 16v has covered just 60k, its only had 42k when i bought it complete with a FRSH from new. i think id be silly to loose it with so few miles so early.... having said that i do alot of miles, around 260 per week. at this rate it should be too long until my first engine re-built.. at that point i think id take the oppertunity to slip in a conversion. however i do alot of motoway miles... so i could be waiting a hellof a long time..

like yourself nick, with 4 cracked piston and your engine in bits... its the perfect oppertunity for something mental ;) if you have to folk out bucks to get it back to STD, why not go the whole hog and get it done proper... :D

Second :-

insurance, always a worry.. being 22 id be any easy target in being bent over in an amazing rip off premium... think its an idea best put aside for next year or so... by then sourcing a 172 engine maybe an easier challenge!!

ill being seeing Mr Hill shortly the next time i visit my GF mum & dad (they live not far away from the workshop) ill see what his views are...


Id be interested to know if its possible and how much it would cost. Im doing about 500 miles a week at the moment (very little of which is on the motorway) so my k-reg may be not long for this world:(

Hopefully ill be able to get a new job before the car starts dying, but i would definatly be interested in a "proper" mk1 172.

i know what u mean steve, i cringe each time i look at the miles creeping up on the clock.. i sometimes think about sourcing a 2nd car as a run about and using the valver at weekends special days ect...

however that would make travelling to work such a bore!! the clio is so fun to drive, and is always surprising me each time i drive it...

172 under the bonnet would just add to the fun, it has to be done!! :devilish:

Id be very interested to see if it could be done.

I think the 172 unit costs £950 for the engine? That excludes ancillaries though - box etc. I also heard that the low-pressure 160bhp 2.0 turbo (a la Vel Satis) is fairly cheap. But I wouldnt want to be the first to do it!

The 16v is very lethargic at lower revs. Thats why they made the Williams! I remember racing many a car from slow speeds in 2nd gear and actually not getting away from 1.8 rep-mobiles etc until high revs.

But in that 5000-7000rpm power band, its a devastatingly quick car - much more than its power figures would suggest. Its makes a good motorway racer too.

0-60 in 7.7 secs has to come from somewhere!

I ran up 8k on my 16v last year and have done the humongous distance of 900 miles since I got home from Scotland in September (350 on my Brands trip!). The 16v is a lovely car to use on a regular basis, but needs more pampering than most.

Rockport - Id do your timing belts about nowish, as they tend to snap earlier than the 72k recommended service point. £200 for peace of mind - or £1400 when it snaps!
  clio 20v

yeh i got taken by surprise by an audi a4 1.8 t

uphill too at 25mph in second by the time id seen the badge an realised it wasnt a td or summat he was off didnt get chance to show him who was boss as he turned off straight after, gutted


i think the worst is when your oil temp isnt up. Dont know about the rest but i dont take it past 3k until oil is up to 80. ps just absoloutely annihalated a zetec-s, i was not even trying because i didnt think he was up for it until his mate turned around to look at me and i flew past him changing at 5.5k!! b**ch ass cars

I know Nick Hill is looking into fitting the 172 engine into a mk1 16v, his initial thoughts are that there should not be too much of a problem if you know what you are doing!

Watch this space.

  190 BHP Willy 2

I myself am looking into a 172 conversion at the moment.

I know where theres a mk1 172 write off sat (heavy rear ender) complete, ive been offered it for 4k everything is there interior, engine, box, dash, wheels, all panels, plastics except tailgate, rear bumper. ( the bonnet is alloy as well)

My best mate says it will be easy to do and we will do it together (if it happens) He is sh*t hot at engine conversions, he fitted earlier this year a 190bhp rst lump in his mk 1 fiesta xr2 and is currently in the middle of converting a mk 1 supersport into a 4 x 4 2.0 zetec turbo, so he knows his stuff.

The only problem it will take a little time as he only gets weekends to do jobs like this.

Ill keep you posted.




the velsatis lump would be one to adopt

it being used in the megane renaulsport 200

you could get freebies for testing purposes

Me and my brother thought about this a lot.

We even sourced all the mechanicals from a salvaged 172, this included the engine gearbox, all the electrics, the braking system, the suspension, and the exhaust. The guy was prepared to accept 1300.

We then started looking for a 1.4rt.

The plan was to strip the 1.4 down to the bare steel, weld in a 16 point roll-cage. Rebuild all the suspension with the 172 track width. Put in the engine and gearbox. Add a body kit similar to the prima-racing formula 2 clio kit.

As we intended to rally the car we werent worried about look, I just wanted to build a light weight pocket rocket.

Ben H,

thanks for the advise however cambelt was chnaged at 32k, and will be done again on 72k. Good thinking with the "la Vel Satis" ltr turbo... forgot all about that sleeper! tho 160bhp from a 2ltr is a bit pony for a non natural aspirated engine! the 172 lump is the way forward!

Big hp,

good going in finding the 172 source, remember that the interior from the 172 can be adapted into the clio 16v as done by a fellow cliosport member! the first, and only as far as i know... keep me updated if you would, id really like to know how it goes">


whats the story with the RT then ?