Here's a little background information and why we came up with an FTO Supercharger kit, I hope you enjoy the read and find it useful
There aren't currently many options available to extract a decent amount of power from the 6A12 engine and although a handful of people have fitted superchargers, turbos and performed VR4 and EVO conversions these are all custom installs.
Custom generally means expensive and time consuming and therefore I decided to design a kit to allow any FTO owner with modest skills and a modest budget to be able to Supercharge their FTO in a reasonable time and without having to rip the engine apart.
If you want huge performance gains then this isn't for you unless you later want to replace your engine internals and go for a higher capacity supercharger. If you want big performance it would probably be better to go with a turbo installation or VR4 engine conversion, maybe even look into an EVO engine swap.
However if you want a decent performance upgrade and keep costs sensible then an FTO Supercharger kit could be the answer.
My first Supercharged FTO – H10 FTO
Why I decided to fit a Supercharger
The car was a 1995 Mitsubishi FTO GPX Tiptronic in passion red, my second FTO - the first one having been written off after only 8 weeks of ownership (not my fault I hasten to add).
I caught the ¼ mile bug at York raceway in the UK North and set myself a target of becoming the quickest Tiptronic FTO – a tall order as there was already a Turbo'd Tiptronic FTO with the nickname “little red” then owned by Mark Emery so I settled for aiming a little lower and going for the convoluted title of quickest non-forced induction tiptronic FTO over the ¼ mile. After the usual breathing modifications and lots of visits to the strip I managed it and was then achieving consistent times around 15.5 seconds (which isn't bad for a Tiptronic considering the transmission losses) but that was the problem, I had hit a wall in performance terms and any extra little bit of improvement that I could make would be pulled back by the gearbox.
I could have gone for a manual conversion and was encouraged to do so on numerous occasions by fellow owners but I do love the Tip box and again there is only so much that you can do with these cars in NA form without spending big bucks. Mitsubishi have done a really good job with the performance of the 6A12 engine but it could just do with a little more low-mid range torque.
The decision was made to go forced induction but Turbo or Supercharger?
There were compelling reasons to go down the Turbo route - this had been done before albeit only on a couple of FTO's at the time but there was some knowledge out there, and I experienced a ride in Richard Batty's FTO when it had the VR4 lump in it which blew me away with the performance - this was when it was only at around 350bhp.
I had also heard of Tony Bantons FTO Supercharger project that was well under way on a GR with forged internals and this sounded like it was going to be a beast. It was running a Rotrex centrifugal type supercharger mounted low down near the headlight and this was capable of producing a lot of boost but these superchargers were quite expensive and I preferred the characteristics of the roots type Eaton unit being able to produce boost right from the off.
This bolt on style of adding power though seemed to make a lot of sense and had great appeal compared to all of the pipework fabrication that would be necessary to fit a turbo not to mention the heat shielding requirements and cost of turbo manifolds. (any FTO owners considering a turbo - please don't be put off as there are now quite a few FTO Turbo's and plenty of information on the Australian and UK forums)
The plan was to go for low boost and do this on a low budget and the Eaton M45 Supercharger as used on the Mini Cooper S was a good solution as the minis only run around 10psi and I didn't want to go for high boost and have to rip my engine apart to make it stronger. The M45 is the right output for a 2L although the FTO does rev a little higher than the mini therefore you have to consider maximum supercharger rpm. The Eaton M45 also has its own enclosed lubrication system, good long service life and they are relatively cheap to come by 2nd hand. They aren't the most compact supercharger and the mounting points as used on the mini presented a challenge when it came to fitting on the Mitsubishi FTO but one which we have now overcome.
It was a logical decision and the 2nd FTO Supercharger project was born.
The car made 234bhp at 5psi when mapped at Noble Motorsport and shortly after ran a 14.5 1/4 mile, it later ran a 14.01 after changing supercharger pulleys to increase the boost to 7psi beating Mark Emery's Turbo Tiptronic time of 14.1 seconds. I would expect it would have broken into the 13's with a remap. Aside from the figures which don't do it justice, the car was now so much better with improved pull right from low revs with boost building to the redline and the noise that the FTO Supercharger makes when you open the throttle is amazing.
Stock Mitsubishi 2L V6 MIVEC with no internal work done
Bored out throttle body from 60mm to 63mm and matching bored out intake plenum neck.
Adjustable fuel pressure regulator (FSE)
HKS mushroom air filter with heat insulating enclosure (custom and very DIY)
Mongoose cat back SS exhaust
Mongoose decat pipe
Eaton M45 roots type Supercharger
Double alternator drive pulley - 54mm inner driven off the crank, 52mm outer driving the supercharger.
Supercharger bypass valve – stock item from BMW for the mini cooper s
Custom Supercharger intake welded to the supercharger
Custom Intake plenum (cut down stock plenum intake runners welded to box section as plenum chamber)
Custom supercharger mounting bracket that I designed
Custom supercharger pulley bracket that I designed with 3 pulleys - 2 idlers and 1 tensioner.
Various supercharger reduction pulleys (Alta V2 15%, Alta V2 17%, final custom pulley around 20% smaller than stock)
Lightweight crank pulley
Front Mount Intercooler (Ford unit)
Greddy eManage piggyback ECU
Standard 4 speed Tiptronic
Gearbox oil cooler – small 13 row radiator fitted in-line with the stock oil cooler so as to provide additional cooling not replace the stock cooling gearbox oil cooling solution.