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Four Cylinder Engine with RWD Manual Trans Options

3394 Views 45 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Ray Bell
I am working acquiring on a project that will get a four cylinder engine and RWD transmission. Anyone building a four cylinder hot rod or anyone have any recommendations for an four cylinder engine that has RWD transmission options. Unlike my other projects, hoping to make this one a budget build, so nothing exotic please (at least not for recommendations - I always love to see what other people are working on).

HP target is around 200 (project vehicle will weigh around 1500 lbs so big power is not required). Working with Fuel injection and ECU is preferred for power and efficiency.
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That's okay...

I live with a couple of them, having two 2.5-litre Foresters. Like other modern engines they introduce the problem into the build of needing to cope with the electronics. That was one reason I suggested the Volvo engine, one of the PRV Douvrain all alloy engines. In their early days they had injection, but nothing as sophisticated as the later types.

The other point I made about the Volvo engine is that it can be easily found with a manual transmission attached.
M139 powerhouse produces 415 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque straight from the factory.Jun 1, 2022

fpr a small engine,Hayabusa?

Honda 2L up to 900 hp?
Every now and then I will see a 2wd automatic Mitsubushi mighty max go for less then $1000.
Usually they are completly rusted, dented, and ran hard. They may have a bad headgasket, slipping transmission, or a bad fuel pump. But 90% of the time it will drive onto your trailer.

What most people forget about is some of these have a very reliable (92-95) 2.4 (4G64) engine bolted up to a 4 speed automatic.

That 2.4 (4G64) block came in tons of rides even turbo variants. It comes down to the head(mostly). SOHC non interference, SOHC interference, DOHC, DOHC turbo. But that block in that pile of a mighty max can be built to make some power.

At 200hp you should be able to have a very reliable yet lowcost powertrain.

The 2nd gen Mitsubushi mighty max(L200)/Dodge Ram 50 is a stupid simple fuel injection setup. You can run this standalone. But 92 to 94(95ish) you dont need to. You can find a rusted running pile and basically cut everything around the harness so you can pull the entire (as complete as possible) electrical out. You will be left with a engine, transmission, steering column, cluster, ecm, tsc, fuel tank and after grounding everything to a main ground(bolt) and having a main power(bolt) you will be able to hook up a battery and run the powertrain on the shop floor.

Once you get the $1000 powertrain running on the floor you can decide where to go as far as how custom you want it to look. I would run custom gauges($200), keep the steering column stock with a aftermarket steering wheel($150), and run a fuel injected tank/pump(with return) that fits in your ride ($200). You may or may not need another radiatior ($150) and will probally need to refresh some things on the powertrain lets say $300 to round things right out flat.

If you can find a 92 to 94 2.4 automatic $1000 mighty max that can drive up onto the trailer. Strap it down so it does not throw any rust or drop anything on the way home then get to cutting it up.

For a realistic budget of $2000 and around 60 to 80 hours of work. You can "cut and paste" that powertrain into your ride.

Once it is moving you can look into making more power. It should not take much to make 200hp. I only had one 2nd gen and that was a 92 2.4 with a manual. Maybe someone can give advice on the automatic shift points etc.

But for your power level and wanting a budget, 2wd, automatic, fuel injected 4 cylinder. That 2.4 with the 4 speed auto bolted up behind it fits the bill nicely.

You can do like I have with many many rides in the past and will be doing in the future .

Taking a good hood, grill, repairable bed, repairable doors, any interior that is reuesable, rims, (axle and driveshaft if your not using them) and even some "rare/hard to find" parts off the truck selling them to recoup a good amount of that $1000. I have had over 8 rides that have been free to a bit over free after I parted them out. I get a "free" engine, transmission, rims, or a axle. Then sell the rest recouping a good amount to making a small profit.

Now it may take you a year or two to recoupe that amount depending on what your selling and the demand for it. But at/around $1000 for a moving ride(that is probally a beat up farm truck).

A Mitsubushi mighty max 92-94 with 2.4 with an automatic may be just what you need.

Now you may find one tonight or find one in a year from now. But you wont find one unless you are looking. Look on your local marketplace, tell people your looking and what you have on hand to spend.

Remember the end goal here is to cut that cab up for that harness and powertrain. If the thing looks like it has driven through the woods slapping a few trees along the way, door drops 4" when you open it, 2 foot hole on the floor, and that dead mouse/dead cat/dead racoon smell are all good things. Those things drive down the price when your only after a powertrain and harness. It also makes it easier to cut up something in the above condition then something "rare" that can actually be restored.
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Or he might find one with a manual transmission and get what he's looking for...
Oh wow. I messed up. Sorry about that.

I thought he changed his mind and wanted an automatic for his wife. Getting a stick later etc.

But looking back that was not the OP that said that. OP still wanted an manual and did not change anything from the title.

Well that makes things stupid simple. Run a 92 to 94 mighty max with a 2.4/5 speed. Bam. Lots of support both for that engine and the 5 speed. 200hp can be done easily with some modest upgrades.

Get it moving first of course. But the potential to have 200hp is there.
I'm pretty sure that's the block my cousin used to upgrade his EVO...

It gave lots of power, but in the EVO it had twin cams and turbocharging.
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