My drivetrain choice...

Hello all. Great forum here. I've been a member for a few years now and saving my pennies for an SLC. I have finally decided that this is the year to order my kit.
I knew when I first saw the SLC, it was the one I had to have. What I have gone back and forth on, however, is my choice of drivetrain. I know that the LS is a great engine, it's just not for me.
I have dreaded making this post (due to potential backlash), but what I have decided on is the Mitsubishi 4G63T 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine. It's light, compact, and is capable of over 1000 hp. I just so happen to have one on an engine stand that is ready to go. It made 685 hp on the dyno and it's darn near bombproof. Using it would obviously save a lot of money on my build.
Any owners have any thoughts? Much appreciated...
Great! Are you planning to use the SL-C mainly on the track, or the road? How does your 4G63T respond? Does it make power mainly up high, or is it usable across the revband? Any ideas as to how to cool everything off (intake air as well as the engine) in your sleek and small SL-C?

I thought that, you being an ex-NSX guy, you would put an NSX engine in your SL-C . . . :)
If it's for a street car, I think you will be unhappy. I doubt you will find any 2 liter engine making 685 HP with street manners. Or bombproof, for that matter!

This isn't always a popular view, but personally, I think much more than 500-600 HP in an SLC doesn't make for a fun car on the street. If you have traction control, it will be on all the time if you get on the car. If not, you will have a lot of tire smoke and squirrely corner exits.

On the other hand, if you want a peaky engine (as I'm pretty sure the Mitsu 2-liter is in 685HP trim) in the car, go ahead. That's part of the fun of these cars- building them the way you want. Oddball drivetrains are cool, and we love to see them. But it's hard for me to believe that that engine is well-suited to the SLC (or any similar car) on the street.

It might make a better track car engine, if it is indeed, as you claim, "bombproof".

You should do what you want, but be aware of the tradeoffs! :)
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Very cool power plant Bruce - that engine in the Evo IX made for a super potent car. I think in that form is was something like 290 hp/tq, and relatively streetable. You probably have plans to dial it up a bit from there.

What kind of engine management will you be using?
Looks like Kennedy Adapters offers part number 5900 or 5920, so I presume that means the 930/G50 are viable options, since Kennedy seems to have a pretty good catalog built around them.

Howard Jones

500HP is plenty. I can spin hot 345 R6 Hoosiers through a Quaife TBD at will in 2nd gear under 45-50mph in mine. I am at about 450-500HP I would guess with my SBC. The late in the rev range torque curve peak of a turbo 4 banger just might be interesting on track.

What power band does this engine have. What I am asking is do you need to keep it in a narrow power band.........2000RPMs or ..........even less? Why? 5 speeds might not be enough. I am thinking of a 6 speed Porsche with a low 6th. something like 0.9 or 0.85, no taller, and the rest of the gearset 2k apart down to 2nd leaving 1st nice and low for stoplights, trailer loading, paddock crawling, etc. a good 1st for this is about 3.2.

If you stay with the standard Porsche 3.44 final it will still get you to a bit past 170mph with a 7K redline.

Power is power really but you need to keep it in the power band of the engine tune. If you don't gear correctly you will never be happy. Bad gearing will ruin a otherwise great car. Study, study, study.

You might call California Motorsports and talk to them.

CALIFORNIA MOTORSPORTS INC – California Motorsports Inc

PM me if you want to talk. I'm right down I35 in New Braunfels.
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The 4-banger won’t have the low rpm torque that most SLC owners are used to (and enjoy).

Your choice will obviously require more rpm before you get good acceleration.

I’d encourage you to consider how an evo would be with that engine. If you would be happy with that, you should love it in an SLC. The SLC will be hundreds of pounds lighter. Obviously only rear wheel drive, but wide meats out back.

The Graz transaxles would be well suited to a motor that needs some RPM before it develops serious torque.

I’ll bet RCR can cut you an adapter and flywheel.

Roger Reid

Did you drive an Evo with this motor making this kind of power? Were you happy with the low and mid power when it was in the Evo? If so you might be happy with this motor in the lighter weight SLC. The V8 Graziano without the drop gears might suit this engine well.
Bruce, I'm in the Denver area these days.

I'd say go for can't be any worse than a Mazda rotary at lower rpms, then all hell would break loose at the higher rpms. You could turn your boost down initially, perhaps consider using the variable geometry turbos to expand or move the power band to the lower range?

I have no idea what transaxle you would use (or can afford) but if you can put some thought into the ratios and select them intelligently, then you can best utilize what that little motor has to offer.

All that said, since you'll be a pioneer of sorts with this engine combo, I'd recommend putting some thought into the build that would also consider an LS option at a later time, just in case your present idea does not work as well as intended. Also, if you decide to sell in the future, you could advertise the car as "LS ready". Just a thought...

Last thing...I have no idea what your budget $$ or time available are. My experience is once you deviate from a standard build, the costs/time go up exponentially. There are all kinds of unknowns (I speak from plenty of experience), extra parts, special tools/custom fabrication, proper hardware, proper wiring/electronics, proper suspension, custom exhaust, and so on.

Good luck....if you need help, reach out!
Thanks for all of your replies. Many great thoughts here....
The Mitsubishi 4G63t engine has a reputation for being one of the least "peaky" motors out there. Of course, it won't make nearly the torque an LS does, especially off the line. But the way it makes power over a pretty wide powerband should be seen to be believed. I ran this motor in a 1g Eclipse street/strip car for nearly a year and it worked perfectly. I will be running the same MegaSquirt set up that I ran back then. I will probably dial back the boost to somewhere around 525hp. If memory serves me right, I was somewhere around 2800 lbs with all fluids.
I plan to run a modded 6 speed transaxle.
Thanks again for the feedback. I'll start a build log when I receive my kit.
I commend your engine choice. It’s nice to see all kinds of different engines used in the SLC. I’ve always thought the high revving Nissan VQ35 or VQ37 would make a great well balanced set up in the SLC.

I look forward to your build!