Unlike the good old days, when you could tune an engine armed only with a screwdriver and maybe a colour-tune if you were lucky, modern engines require tuning tools such as computers, emulators and EPROM blowers.
Whilst the Rover V8 is not leading edge now it is still controlled by an ECU (Electronic Brain). This happens to be the Lucas 14CUX unit that controls fuelling. It does not control ignition timing. Effectively the only manual tuning operation is to set the CO level then from then on the ECU will handle the fuelling based on the input of the various sensors.
However the ECU will only operate within the parameters that have been set within it. There is essentially a map within the ECU which enables it to work out what amount of fuel is required for any given load/circumstance. The only problem is that with a heavily modified engine that the original map is far from adequate. Therefore this needs to be changed. This is done by replacing the Chip in the ECU that contains the map.
So how do you know what to change it to? Well you can guess, or more commonly as with many aftermarket chips work on a standard unit to improve the performance and then replicate it. This is fine when you have a standard engine with a set of know parameters. If however, you have a substantially modified engine the only real way to tune it effectively is to use a rolling road. Such equipment has to be used by professionals who know what they are doing.
The tuning of the lightweight was carried out by Mark Adams (Pharmhouse Marketing) and Iain Ball at Power Engineering in Uxbridge.
The following photo's show the lightweight on the Rollers at Power engineering.
It was quite an experience seeing the lightweight on the rollers. The thing that really gets you is the noise. The Mickey Thompson tyres are not the quietest but when they are run up to the speed they reached on the rollers the noise was not like anything I have ever heard before. I actually went outside and round the corner when the runs were taking place but it was so loud to be painful even that far away.