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Old 03-05-2019   #1
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Lightbulb Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Hi all,

New to the forum. I have searched previous threads and know it has been discussed before. But what is the current consensus on the best / easiest way to mod a '06 4x4 panda for more power?

Buy a panda 100HP and transplant the engine?

What engines have people successfully transplanted?

What about a punto turbo engine?

Turbo mod to the stock engine would not really make enough of a difference I guess?

What else would I have to uprate if making this mod?

I need the 4x4 I have about 30km a day hard offroad driving to get from my house to the main road and back (I live pretty off grid) I end up wasting quite a bit of my day driving so need something that can make the journey a little quicker!

Would be great to keep costs down using a 2nd hand donor vehicle rather than buying a bunch of custom new expensive mods.

Mechanic labour where I am is insanely cheap I can get a skilled mechanic for 25 a day so not afraid of the cost of labour intensive jobs.

Thanks so much in advance for any advice.

All input appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2019   #2
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

I seem to think there's no real improvement without comprising the drive chain.

Clutch, gearbox, prop, diff and half shafts won't be up to much more.
The centre prop shaft bearing is already a weak point in the system and that's with 60hp.

The Diesel Cross version has a different 4x4 setup as the older system couldn't cope with the extra torque of the diesel.

The Diesel Cross HP jumped to 75hp (60hp in the Climbing) and the torque to 145Nm (102Nm in the Climbing), so you can see the older system in the Climbing is pretty much at it's limit and the later system isn't designed to take a lot more.

Their drive chains have different gearboxes, diffs and couplings to accommodate a little more torque that their engines produce and include a electro magnetic coupling to the rear axle rather than the all mechanical Haldex type coupling of the older model, which is matched to the engines torque.

Even if you could swap out the 1.2 with a bigger motor and keep the original gearbox etc, the gearbox is pretty low geared, so you're really back to square one.

At best the extra torque will overcome the coupling as soon and you hit the gas, meaning you'll just drive around in 4 wheel drive all the time rather than gain any real on road performance.

Worse case would be you'd strip splines from shafts, over heat the coupling, over come the clutch and strain the joints of the shafts and prop until they ripped apart.

Swap out the later drain chain as well?
That's a lot of extra work and cost when you can just go out and buy a car with it already in.
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Old 03-05-2019   #3
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
I seem to think there's no real improvement without comprising the drive chain.

Clutch, gearbox, prop, diff and half shafts won't be up to much more.
The centre prop shaft bearing is already a weak point in the system and that's with 60hp.

The Diesel Cross version has a different 4x4 setup as the older system couldn't cope with the extra torque of the diesel.

The Diesel Cross HP jumped to 75hp (60hp in the Climbing) and the torque to 145Nm (102Nm in the Climbing), so you can see the older system in the Climbing is pretty much at it's limit and the later system isn't designed to take a lot more.

Their drive chains have different gearboxes, diffs and couplings to accommodate a little more torque that their engines produce and include a electro magnetic coupling to the rear axle rather than the all mechanical Haldex type coupling of the older model, which is matched to the engines torque.

Even if you could swap out the 1.2 with a bigger motor and keep the original gearbox etc, the gearbox is pretty low geared, so you're really back to square one.

At best the extra torque will overcome the coupling as soon and you hit the gas, meaning you'll just drive around in 4 wheel drive all the time rather than gain any real on road performance.

Worse case would be you'd strip splines from shafts, over heat the coupling, over come the clutch and strain the joints of the shafts and prop until they ripped apart.

Swap out the later drain chain as well?
That's a lot of extra work and cost when you can just go out and buy a car with it already in.
So if I really am barking up the wrong tree with this - I am at a bit of a loss.

Any other reasonably economic way to get a small light 4x4 that can take a daily hammering and has considerably more grunt?

All options considered ... (have tried the subaru justy with a 1.3 engine and that does not perform any better)
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Old 03-05-2019   #4
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

With a true 4 wheel drive, its never about speed (unless you are racing!) its more about torque to put the power down when needed.
Depending on the track conditions you drive on will depend on the type of vehicle you need.
Most modern soft roaders even though they are '4x4' will not cope with true off roading and will struggle on little used farm tracks The Panda is one of the better ones especially the mk1/2.
If you need a proper in the wilds vehicle then you need to look at a true off roader, more expensive admittedly but more suited to rough ground.

Have you tried the earlier Suzuki Jimny or a Mitsibushi Pinin or for more car like, the Skoda Yeti


Upgrading what you all ready have is possible but may be more trouble than its worth.
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Old 03-05-2019   #5
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Instead of trying to make a silk purse, buy one.

Something like a mark 1 Audi TT can be had cheaply these days, get one for under a grand these days.

Get a 225hp model and it'll be fast enough and have 4wd.
Apart from a few niggles, the engines are pretty hardy.

Something with a bit of ground clearance, what about a Subaru Forester?
Buy the turbo model, that'll go like stink.
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Last edited by Goudrons; 03-05-2019 at 11:29.
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Old 03-05-2019   #6
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
Instead of trying to make a silk purse, buy one.

Something like a mark 1 Audi TT can be had cheaply these days, get one for under a grand these days.

Get a 225hp model and it'll be fast enough and have 4wd.
Apart from a few niggles, the engines are pretty hardy.

Something with a bit of ground clearance, what about a Subaru Forester?
Buy the turbo model, that'll go like stink.
Ha!

Your recommendations are close to the mark of what i have explored already.

I have 3 subaru foresters and of all the 4x4's I have had they seem to take the beating the best.

However I was thinking about something smaller and lighter weight - if there was a 4x4 abarth 595 that would be ideal.

I use the subaru's literally for carrying building materials and hauling logs etc. but want something fast small light and durable when its only my fat arse i need to get up and down the hill!

I also have a Audi TT 3.2 but have been keeping it for road use. However its getting a bit tatty so was mulling over whether to abuse it on my road.

Got any idea how durable the TT's are if really hammered?
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Old 03-05-2019   #7
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Well if your original plan of 100hp engine in a 4x4 will do.
The 100hp actually has 99hp and 131Nm of torque.

What about a Diesel Panda Cross. (2008 -2012)
They came with 75hp and 145Nm.

Modern turbo diesels respond well to remaps.
You should see close to 100hp and 180Nm with just a simple Bluespark tuning box.

You might get a bit of clutch slip if it's worn, but they should be able to handle that sort of power increase.
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Last edited by Goudrons; 03-05-2019 at 12:09.
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Old 03-05-2019   #8
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

Sell it and buy a diesel Cross version...
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Old 03-05-2019   #9
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

why

look at it the other way round

take a 100Hp raise its ride height. Increase the weight. Increase its transmission losses.
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Old 04-05-2019   #10
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Re: Panda 4x4 '06 - Best Engine uprate consensus

The Mk1 Audi TT is nice to have but its only a Golf in drag and will not cope with poor surfaces any better than any other road car. Its also likely to cost a small fortune when parts start to fail.


The 100HP 16V is nothing special for mid range power and in normal use feels hardly any quicker than an ordinary 60HP model. Of course, it goes when revved, but that's not much good on a part time 4WD. The 100 cries out for a sports exhaust manifold (and catalyst of course) to free up the mid range power.


With the Panda 4x4, you can choose the (relatively) cheap 1.2 4x4 or the more exclusive Cross with 1.3 diesel. That can be chipped/mapped but the boost of mid range torque will work the clutch pretty hard. Maybe an uprated friction plate can be used.


TBH (unless it's abused) I doubt the transmission would be overloaded as most of the time power goes to the front. The rears only come in when the fronts lose grip. Then clutch slip is the relieving/limiting factor.


The issue with rear drive shaft failure is most likely down to wear-related backlash. Most of the time its running unloaded then it's suddenly expected to take up drive. Any backlash (e.g. universal joints) will soon become a failure point.
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