5 WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER
With so little power to start with, ensuring that the timing is set up correctly is crucial. It’s worth fitting electronic ignition to help keep things set up accurately; many owners opt for a 123 system which costs £240 and comes complete with a new distributor.
2 OIL COOLER
An engine’s oil doesn’t just lubricate – it also cools. This is especially so with an air-cooled engine so it’s worth giving things a helping hand by fitting an oil cooler. Kits - starting at £474 - are available that include pipes, radiator, fixings and a modified timing cover.
3 FIFTH GEAR
All 126s came with a fourspeed manual gearbox which leads to things getting very busy when cruising. If the gearbox is due for a rebuild it’s worth fitting a fifth gear, or you could fit a Bis final drive to an air-cooled car, as it’s a higher ratio. Prices start at £720 for Recambio’s kit to uprate the 126’s transmission.
A more free-flowing exhaust will help to increase power, if only by a small amount. It’ll also give the 126 a more purposeful sound and set off the car’s looks. Choose from black or polished finishes and either single or twin tail pipes. Expect to pay at least £300 for a decent system.
Even if you don’t up the power at all, it’s worth replacing the 126’s standard drum brakes for discs. You can buy a kit for £474 that allows you to upgrade everything yourself, including refurbished stub axles and calipers plus new pads and ventilated discs. We reckon it’s well worth it for the added stopping power you’ll end up with.