Toyota 4E-FTE Engine 1.3 Turbo Specs, Problems, Reliability

The Toyota 4E-FTE 1.3-liter turbo engine was assembled at a factory in Japan from 1990 to 1999 and was installed in the fourth and fifth generations of the Starlet model in the back of the P80 and P90, respectively. This 4E-FTE turbo engine is very often used for a budget swap for other Toyota cars.

A fairly powerful 4E-FTE engine from Toyota turned out to be one of the most technologically advanced in its segment for 1989. It was at this time that Toyota began to produce a engine and install it on a single model – the Toyota Starlet. Also, the 4E-FTE engine was installed on a complete model of the Starlet – Toyota Glanza V. This is a conditionally sports engine that received good power, turbocharging and excellent hardy gearboxes.

The value today is that engines reach 400,000 km without significant damage. With careful operation, you can roll up to 500,000 km, repairing only the turbine. For 4E-FTE turbo engines with such a long history of development, this is a rarity. They use the engine not only for Starlets, installing contract options even on VAZs. But this requires a lot of serious alterations.

Read Also: 4E-FE Engine Toyota 1.3 EFI Specs, Problems And Reliability

Specifications of the 4E-FTE engine

Despite the rather respectable age, this 4E-FTE engine has received the respect of lovers of Japanese technology. It is often used in sports, as the light Starlet accelerates well and keeps a decent speed in any conditions. Endurance and maintainability allow the engine to operate for a long time in such modes.

The main characteristics of the installation are as follows:

Working volume1.3 l
Number of cylinders4
Number of valves16
Gas distribution systemDOHC
Timing drivebelt
Max. power135 HP at 6400 rpm
Torque157 Nm at 4800 rpm
SuperchargerCT9 turbocharger
Cylinder diameter74 mm
Piston stroke77.4 mm
Fuel92, 95
Fuel consumption:
– urban9 l / 100 km
– suburban6.7 l / 100 km

The 4E-FTE engine was equipped with both mechanical and automatic transmissions. On automatic machines, the consumption grows to 10-11 liters in the urban cycle. On the track with a manual transmission, you can expect a drop in fuel consumption to 5.5 liters per hundred. If you drive without sudden acceleration, without allowing the high pressure of the turbine to activate, gasoline consumption remains low.

4E-FTE Engine Performance Summary

Here, we will investigate the characteristics of this engine by referring to the data of the 4E-FTE type turbo engine installed in Toyota’s EP82 type Starlet GT 1994/05 model.

Toyota STARLET 4E-FTE Engine
Toyota’s EP82 type Starlet GT
Vehicle modelE-EP82 type
Car name & gradeStarlet
Engine model4E-FTE
typeIn-line 4-cylinder
Inner diameter × stroke74.0mm × 77.4mm
Bore stroke ratio1.05
Single cylinder volume332.9cc
Compression ratio8.2
Intake methodturbo
use fuelRegular gasoline
Maximum output135PS/6400rpm
Maximum torque16.0kgm/4800rpm

First of all, as a basic structure, the 4E type engine is a long stroke type engine with a bore (inner diameter) of 74.0 mm, a stroke (stroke) of 77.4 mm, and a bore stroke ratio of 1.05 (the stroke amount is larger than the piston diameter).

When the displacement and the number of cylinders are the same, the engine has better torque characteristics in the low rpm range than the short stroke type and is easy to handle, but in the high rpm range, the filling efficiency deteriorates and the sliding resistance increases. There is a concern that the output will drop.

Moreover, when the number of revolutions is the same, the average piston speed tends to be higher than that of the short stroke type, so the load on the engine tends to be heavier.

Among the models registered on this site, the oldest model equipped with the 4E-FTE type turbo engine is the 4th generation Starlet [EP82 type | 1994/05] released from 1989/12 , and the newest model is. It is the 5th generation Starlet [EP91 type | 1997/12] released from 1996/01, and all 4 models of NA cars are registered as 0 models and turbo / SC cars are registered as 4 models.

Evaluation from the viewpoint of transient characteristics and liter equivalent horsepower

Image of engine performance curve
4E engine performance curve diagram
Changes in horsepower107.2PS → 135PS
Transition of torque16.0kgm → 15.1kgm
Liter horsepower101.43PS/L
Liter torque12.0kgm/L

Starlet’s in-line 4-cylinder 1331cc, compression ratio 8.2 and regular gasoline turbo engine, which is the reference vehicle this time, produces a maximum output of 135 horsepower at 6400 rpm and a maximum torque of 16.0 kgm at 6400 rpm.

If you know the horsepower and the number of revolutions, you can know the torque, and if you know the torque and the number of revolutions, you can know the horsepower. The torque at 6400 rpm is 15.1kgm.

The horsepower per liter of displacement is 101.43PS / L and the torque is 12.0kgm / L, and the horsepower per cylinder (single cylinder volume 332.9cc) is 33.8PS and the torque is 4.0kgm.

When the 4E type turbo engine is applied to a 10-step evaluation based on the deviation value aggregated from all turbo cars registered on this site, the evaluation is ” standard ” with a converted horsepower of [ 6 ] and a converted torque of [ 4 ]. It is categorized as ” engine with high output (upper middle) “.

Displacement increase, compression ratio increase, bore stroke ratio change

There are three factors that determine the engine displacement: the number of cylinders, the bore diameter, and the stroke amount. By increasing or decreasing these, engines with various displacements are created.

Here, regardless of whether it is actually possible, the displacement when the piston diameter is expanded from the genuine 74.0 mm to 77.0 mm in 0.5 mm increments and when the stroke is extended from the genuine 77.4 mm to 82.4 mm in 1 mm increments. And, the change of the compression ratio when it is assumed that the volume of the combustion chamber does not change is listed.

* It is easy to say stroke up, but if you want to make a long stroke, you need a crankshaft and a compatible connecting rod, and if you can not divert it, you have to make it in one-off, so it is expensive anyway. It is a menu that requires considerable preparedness to put out.

Regarding the compression ratio, in most cases, the uneven capacity of the top surface of the piston changes as the diameter of the piston increases, so the compression ratio values ​​in the list do not match, but the displacement. Please enjoy the atmosphere that the compression ratio will naturally increase as you increase the size.

The B / S ratio is an abbreviation for the bore stroke ratio, and as the bore diameter is widened, the characteristics of the long stroke type, square type, or short stroke type are approached. In the case of 4E type engine, the ratio changes from 1.05 to 1.01 when the bore is increased by +3.0mm from the genuine piston.

Increased displacement with engines with similar piston diameters

Since there are 7 engines with pistons that are close in size to the piston diameter of 74.0 mm of the 4E type engine, let’s calculate the displacement when the bore is raised by diversion of the piston as a sideshow.

Eg typePiston diameterDisplacement
1NZ type
1G type
S5 type
CB type

Engines with similar piston diameters are: Toyota: 1NZ type 1496cc 75.0mm mounted on NZE127 type WiLL VS, Toyota: 1G type 1988cc 75.0mm mounted on GX81 type chaser, Mitsubishi: GK1W type Eclipse cross 4B40 type 1498cc 75.0mm, Mitsubishi: 4G15 type 1468cc 75.5mm mounted on Z27AG type Colt, Mazda: S5 type 1498cc 76.0mm mounted on DK5FW type CX-3, Daihatsu: mounted on G100S type charade CB type 993cc 76.0mm etc. is applicable.

(Although the number of people who find pleasure in such a quest has decreased) No matter how close the diameter is, there are factors such as the diameter of the piston pin, the height of the piston, and the convenience of valve recess, so if possible, the same manufacturer, If possible, if you choose the same fuel and the same intake method, and if possible, the one with a similar displacement, the possibility of genuine diversion may increase.

Average piston speed

strokeMaximum torque
Maximum output
Rotation speed / minuteper secondspeed

Next, let’s look at the average piston speed. The average piston speed at 6400 rpm, where an engine with a stroke of 77.4 mm produces maximum output, is 16.5 m / s , which is a piston speed that travels a distance of 16.5 meters per second (59.4 km / h at speed). It means that is moving up and down.

The average speed is 12.4 m / s at 4800 rpm, which generates the maximum torque, and 17.8 m / s when 6900 rpm, which is 500 rpm higher than the 6400 rpm where the maximum output is generated, is assumed to be the rev limit.

For reference, I calculated the change in piston speed when a 4E engine with a stroke of 77.4 mm is rotated up to 10000 rpm. Looking at this, it seems that the speed increases by approximately 5.15 m / s as the number of revolutions increases by 2000 revolutions.

Considering only 20.0 m / s, which is a guideline for general engines assuming mass production, it is mechanical to set the upper limit of high rpm to about 7750 rpm (whether it rotates or not). It seems to be preferred both mentally.

Fuel Consumption Toyota 4E-FTE

Using the example of a 1997 Toyota Starlet with a manual transmission:

City10.1 liters
Track6.4 liters
Mixed7.9 liters

4E-FTE Engine Reliability And Problems

One of the main positive qualities is endurance. The 4E-FTE engine can serve for a long time and not fail in difficult situations. Racing mode is not terrible for the cylinder block. The engine can be repaired, and it can also be tuned. It is this 4E-FTE engine that is loved by specialists who achieve maximum power with small changes.

We offer a description of some important advantages of the engine:

  1. Simplicity of design and the admissibility of repair of almost all parts, simple maintenance;
  2. The engine was produced for about 10 years, so there are enough copies on the market, spare parts are available;
  3. A successful turbine operation scheme allows you to drive calmly with minimal consumption due to the small working volume;
  4. Installation is possible on many other cars, not only Toyota, you just need to connect the fuel hoses and install the pillows;
  5. At any speed, the engine feels confident, the compressor behaves adequately and predictably.

No engine system causes problems. In operation, most of the nodes are quite high quality. Therefore, this engine is chosen for swap not only for Starlet, but also for Corolla, Passeo, Tercel and other small models of Toyota Corporation. The swap turns out to be simple, the 4E-FTE engine is quite light and fits into the engine compartment of almost any car.

Are there any disadvantages to 4E-FTE?

Experts consider this 4E-FTE engine one of the best in its segment. The engine has small displacement, good fuel consumption, racing performance and endurance. But shortcomings are present in all technical creations, even in the products of well-known global corporations.

Among the main disadvantages that can be found in the reviews, the following opinions prevail:

  1. Trambler. This ignition system is unreliable, often malfunctioning and difficult to repair. They sell a lot of used distributors from this series of cars.
  2. Fuel injectors. They often become clogged due to the poor quality of gasoline. Cleaning is quite difficult, and replacing with new ones will be a very serious cost for the owner.
  3. Price. Even fairly resembling engine are brought from Japan and sold for a lot of money. The engine with all attachments will cost about $930. You can find cheaper options, but without a number of equipment.
  4. The entire fuel injection system. You often have to repair this module and spend money on cleaning, maintenance and replacement of small parts.
  5. Timing. The belt and main rollers need to be replaced every 70,000 km, many owners service the engine even more often. And the cost of the kit for the service is quite high.

These disadvantages are conditional, but they should be remembered when choosing and buying a contract engine. If you are buying a replacement engine not on a Starlet, but on another car, you should remember about a rather specific engine control. Here it is worth buying along with the 4E-FTE engine, otherwise it will be problematic to find and program in the future.

How to increase the power of the 4E-FTE series engine?

4E-FTE engine tuning is possible, the increase in power reaches 300-320 hp. subject to the replacement of the injection system, exhaust equipment, as well as the complete replacement of the computer. One of the tuning options is the installation of a Blitz Access control engine. This is a computer specially tuned for this engine, which removes all factory restrictions, makes the engine much more powerful and increases torque.

True, the Blitz Access boost brains are expensive and very rare in our area. They are often ordered from Europe, Britain and even the USA – options taken from used cars. Installation must be professional, after installation it is worth doing a series of computer tests and driving about 300 km as a test run.

But it is also worth changing the pinout of the stock ECU. With good firmware, you can get an increase of up to 15% in power and torque, which will significantly affect the performance of the car.

Results and conclusions – is it worth buying a used 4E-FTE?

Given the huge resource and the absence of serious problems, you should think about the possibility of buying this 4E-FTE engine as a swap for your car. But when buying and choosing, it is worth considering some features. Check the mileage of the engine – it is better to take options up to 150,000 km. Make sure you have the necessary attachments in the kit, as buying them will be expensive.

Also note that the engine is demanding on fuel and quality of service. Timing service should be carried out more often than indicated in the factory intervals. Otherwise, there are practically no serious problems and complaints about the 4E-FTE engine.

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