Q & A : Charl - Ford Figo Power Upgrade

Today's interview is with Charl, from Roaring Motors in Potchefstroom South Africa, who purchased our performance exhaust manifold for his Ford Figo and fitted it himself.

How did you hear about our performance products?

I've always been a fan of modifying cars and when I got my own car I immediately started looking online for performance parts and stumbled on the Ford ST Owners SA forum and found some good reviews on SWR products. I then visited the Steve Wyndham Racing website, identified the 4-2-1 branch as my next upgrade and started saving for it.

As I have already mentioned, you fitted the manifold yourself. How big or small a task was that for you? What is the level of your technical expertise?
My level of personal expertise are at an amature level and I am still learning a lot about working on cars as it is a big passion in my life. If you have all the right tools and the 'know how' it is not that difficult to fit the manifold yourself despite the small spaces you have to get into on the Figo.  In my personal experience it was not that big of a task to accomplish.

Do you have any tips for other customers who want to fit the manifold themselves?
Don't try and save money by fitting it yourself, the reason I fitted it myself was for the experience and lesson that could be learnt. I would strongly recommend that one accompany the branch with a 50mm free flow system to get that nice rumble and 'head turning' sound. After I fitted my manifold I took it to De Graaf Under Car to fit my Cowley free flow back box and an extra small gain could be felt.

What was it was like driving your car for the first time after having the manifold fitted?
It definitely put a HUGE smile on my face and I have been smiling ever since. The manifold definitely frees up some usable power and gives the Figo awesome robot to robot sprint.

What kind of power gains have you achieved?
I am still saving up for a dyno power run, being a student gives a limited budget for spending on ones car. However, if I had to guess there would be about a 10 - 15% increase in power specially as I also have a K&N replacement filter which is a really good combo with the manifold.

All these months later, what do you enjoy the most about having fitted our performance manifold?
The thing I enjoy the most is the fact that when I put my foot down no matter what RPM there is always a jolt of power, between gear changes you can feel a jolt forward as you hook the next gear. Then definitely the roar the car makes. I have been complimented twice now on how when my car starts it has that typical Subaru rumble.

What other customisations have you done?
I have a K&N replacement filter in and have gone wider on my tyres to 185/60/R14. Then cosmetically I have fitted Xenon headlights and built and installed my own xenon spot/fog lights seeing as my Figo is the Ambiente and doesn't come with fog lights.

What would be your next customisations?
I already spoke to Steve about performance camshafts and am currently saving up for those seeing as they promise quite a bit of extra power and the Figo lacks a bit of grunt in the higher Rev range.

Thank you Charl. It's been nice catching up with you. All the best with your new business, Roaring Motors! I am sure it will be a great success!

Thanks Lindsay. Compliments to Steve and his team. I received excellent customer service and a great product from you guys. Steve is always willing to help and share his knowledge which is hard to come by these days.

Photos courtesy of Charl.

“What an experience!!! Great Job SWR Team!!”
Charl (Potchefstroom, South Africa) on Jun 12, 2017

It's been 6 months now since I've fitted my SWR branch along with converting the rest of my exhaust system to a 50mm free flow accompanied by a Cowley back box. The ride is incredible!! The SWR branch definitely exceeds expectations and the purchasing process was a delight thanx to the friendly and diligent customer service. Steve is a great guy with a lot of advice and doesn't hesitate to answer all questions you might have. Thanx for a great product Steve, keep up the good work!