(Updated Oct '10, and in progress - sorry if your visiting this page and its not complete we had no idea that it would be viewed nearly 1000 times a month when it was created)


Fusion Motorsport have more than their fair share of tuning Starlet and Glanza turbos. The 4E-FTE 16v engine is a neat little package and offers some surprising gains for relatively little work. This article is going to concentrate on what you can do with a standard engine, and in the future we may look at Forged internals etc.

Getting started, and preparing and researching for your upgrades.

As always the key to getting power from the 4E-FTE engine is in freeing up how it breathes dealing with the fuelling and increasing the boost.

Firstly and apologies to those who make them, we personally don't rate the 'Hybrid CT9' turbo upgrades UNLESS your stock one has come to the end of its service life then no problem, but if there is nothing wrong with your standard turbo - leave it be as 190+ dyno proven BHP is perfectly possible from the stock unit, and all the hybrid units we have tried really really struggle to get even 200 from.

Now the obvious place and pretty much were everyone starts is air filter and exhaust modifications. This makes sense too as its a safe upgrade for a standard car and any benefit felt at this stage will only increase as tuning develops.

Now as for what to aim for is something around the 2.5 inch in diameter area. Obviously a de-cat is preferred for power. There are obviously off the shelf options or custom it really depends on your budget.

In addition to this it actually appears from testing that tubular manifolds are worth using on the Starlet/Glanza. Again they vary as to quality but along with a turbo down pipe can also really help, be warned, we have had to weld and repair some very well known other tuning companies manifolds as they have cracked due to poor quality and very thin steel, in less than a year of normal road usage...

As for air filters, again there are endless ones to choose from. The important point to remember however is that the restriction into a turbo will cause a chain reaction in drop of efficiency throughout the whole setup. So its important to go for something tried and tested, and also lets not forget that allowing it to sit behind the rad and absorb all that hot air really isn't ideal. So you want to ideally position it with its own free airflow. Admittedly this isn't always easy, but its worth the effort if you really want to optimise what you have. Just again remember its MUCH easier for a turbo to compress air out than it is to suck it in!

The other thing to mention regarding air filters is this WIRE MESH IS NOT SUITABLE. (Re TD04 Conversions) If you fit yourself and the supplier tells you that due to space you have to put a wire mesh screen over the turbo to protect it, ignore them and do it properly. We know it can be done as we have done it. (Some people really shouldn't be allowed to give advice that's so bad).

After this the modifications start getting slightly more serious. We still at this stage would not recommend an increase in boost. Yes its easy power, but you'll soon find your way to hitting the boost cut, and thats bad news.


There are two ways to go from here. You can either deal with the fuelling and ignition now, or wait until you have fitted a front mount intercooler. We would probably say at this stage to first deal with engine management. Firstly there is no need for stand alone ecus on setups less than 200hp. We have fitted plenty of Greddy e-Manage blues and they work perfectly. They blend into the system on the car and everything runs like factory.

The benefits for fitting the e-Manage now is that we can then increase boost, we can also correctly remove the stock fuel cut, whilst still keeping full control of ignition and fuelling. This is great and by doing this you can expect significant gains in power. The only down side with doing this before the front mount intercooler is the ECU has to be programmed more cautiously keeping in mind that with the small standard top mount intercooler it can under some conditions heat up so much that it actually does almost nothing at all. The only downside with fitting the e-Manage before the front mount intercooler is that once you fit the front mount you then need to reprogram the ECU again to take advantage of the FMIC. In an ideal world you do them both at the same time!

With the above mods you can expect power to increase from stock to around 190hp, beyond this the standard turbo beings to struggle and alternatives such as a TD04 may be considered (but then engine etc etc)

Finally give us a call or drop us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if we can help with yours. Its in safe hands and we guarantee you'll be happy with the results. Be careful out there, there are many people claiming they know the starlet well, and we get to fix many of their problems...