May 22 2019

Classic Aston Martin Performance Upgrades

Three Classic Aston Martin Performance Upgrades That Will Make Your Car Even Better!

Enhancing your Aston Martin's performance without compromising your vehicle's originality is entirely possible if you know which upgrades to choose. These upgrade options will make sure you enjoy a smoother drive and improved comfort and reliability, whilst simultaneously preserving your car's authenticity.

A V8 Brake Upgrade

With an Aston Martin V8, brakes can be a worry: they're often simply not good enough for modern-day driving. Unlike with most other cars, in a V8 your brakes can behave erratically; they're not as good as brakes on modern cars. Two typical scenarios come to mind where you're exiting the motorway and your brakes are cold; you can't brake in time or you're driving in town or on a mountain road, using the brakes a lot and they get hot and start to fade. By changing the front brake discs and bells, calipers and pad material for a brake kit you'll find your braking is markedly improved.

You'll find your braking is markedly improved.

You can expect to be without your car for a day or so during the upgrade but you'll love the results. We also get asked if a V8 brake upgrade means changing tyres and the answer is that you should be able to keep your original wheels and tyres.

If you're wondering about the positive impact such an upgrade can have for an owner, read this V8 brake upgrade case study about an upgrade we carried out for one of our clients

Aston Martin V8 Brake Upgrade Kit


Aston Martin DB's can benefit enormously from a power-steering upgrade. With DB4s, 5s, and 6s the steering can be heavy. Upgrading it has many benefits. It will improve your parking and manoeuvrability around town, and you'll no longer feel that every bump in the road is fighting with the steering wheel. Driving will feel smoother and you'll feel more in control when taking one hand off the wheel to change gear. In short, look forward to greater steering accuracy and your car feeling lighter, smoother and easier to control, post-upgrade.

Upgrading it will improve your parking and manoeuvrability around town.

Any anxieties about having a power steering upgrade can be assuaged by requesting a test drive in a car that's had a power-steering-upgrade. Any good Aston Martin specialist would be happy to facilitate this for you. Another feature of an upgrade is the ability to turn the power-steering on and off and adjust the lightness setting as you wish. The new power steering unit will be entirely hidden, too, meaning that your car's originality won't feel affected. The image below shows a car having power steering fitted as part of a restoration project.

Aston Martin Power Steering Upgrade

Electric Cooling Fans

Picture this... it's a scorcher. You're sitting in a traffic jam feeling all hot and bothered. and you're worried about the car overheating and damaging the engine. Solve this by installing an electric cooling system which assists the original cooling system by cutting in when you need it. It's a popular upgrade especially since the old cooling system is retained. There's a range of electric cooling fans and aluminium radiators for DB's 4, 5 and 6, DBS and the V8.

Overheating is the cause of many an expensive repair.

Overheating is the cause of many an expensive repair; getting a new, efficient aluminium radiator fitted will result in the engine retaining less heat and higher performance levels! Again, your car will still emanate authenticity: the original mechanical fan is retained and the new electric one is at the front end, where you can't see it.

While your car's in for this upgrade, consider upgrading your cockpit's heat control/cooling, too. DB4, 5 and 6 drivers will know just how hot the inside of the car gets on a warm day! Fitting a special sound and heat deadening material under the carpeting, behind the dashboard and inside the transmission tunnel can prevent heat from coming through into the cockpit. What's more, it reduces vibration and noise in your vehicle, contributing towards a more pleasurable drive.

Aston Martin Cooling Upgrades

What Other Aston Martin Upgrade Options Are Available?

There are many other modifications, you can make to your classic Aston Martin. These range from serious technical mods such as increasing the engine size or upgrading the gearbox through to seemingly small things like adding seat belts, air conditioning, sat nav and modern audio systems. We'll go through some of these here:

Replace Your Starter Motor

Non-starting problems can be caused by lazy old starter motors. Avoid this by replacing your old starter motor with a new, high torque one - they turn the engine over so much faster. No more panicking that you might have a flat battery. Imagine that!

A Tune-up

Getting your DB4, 5, 6, or V8 in for a Tune-up could transmute your driving experience from satisfactory to super-smooth. Moreover, your car will stay in tune for years once the experts have made small but transformative modifications inside the carburettors. We'll discuss this one in another post as it's one of our specialities!

Increasing Engine Size

Well, this is an interesting one! Whilst we've certainly got the know-how to build a bigger engine, not everyone wants this as they want to keep the original. However, by increasing the compression ratio of your engine we can make it perform better and faster. The benefit in this is the all-important retention of originality whilst improving engine performance.

When Going From Positive To Negative Is A Good Thing!

The DB4, 5, 6 and DBs six cylinders' electrical systems were all positive earth. This means you can't just plug in a Sat Nav or smartphone without risking damaging the system. Aston Martin specialists can convert your car's earth from positive to negative, so you can have a modern radio discreetly fitted - as well as new speakers; use an iPod and plug in a smartphone and Sat Nav.

Anything Else?

You could opt to upgrade the gearbox, headlamps, seatbelts and tyres without losing your car's celebrated Classic Aston Martin look. Seatbelts were optional extras in DB4, 5 and 6's and whilst not legally required, we'd say they are a vital safety feature in today's traffic.

All these things can be done in a way that retains the beauty and authenticity of your car whilst improving your enjoyment of it.

Get the right advice and make the right choices.

By working with a specialist Aston Martin restoration company like Pugsley & Lewis, you'll get the right advice and make the right choices. Because we know these cars so well, in our view better than anyone else, we're perfectly placed to make sure you get the maximum pleasure whilst retaining and enhancing your car's value.

Why not book a no-obligation consultation to discuss your requirements.