Stu Jones’ ‘4AGTE’ Starlet
Stu has owned a decent handful of EP71 Starlets over the years, packing a range of the engine iterations offered — 2E, 2ET, 4E-FTE, 5E-FHE, 5E-FHTE, etc. — and you could say that he has become somewhat of a knowledge receptacle for all things Starlet. The example featured here was purchased as a low-kilometre white Si with the intention of fitting a 5E turbo engine. Then, as all good plans are hatched, when sharing a few brews — in this case with Glen Becker, who built one of the first big-power 4A-GTEpowered KP60s in the country — it was decided to throw a 4A-GE into an EP71.
The initial build took a few years due to “budget constraints / slackness / boozing / work”, said Stu, but would eventually culminate in an AW11 big-port 4A-GZE running a T04E turbo, a Link G1, and a gaggle of other bits. The street tune made 195kW on 16psi and managed to run 13.01s at 123mph (198kph) on street tyres on an unprepped track. Being a slap-together build, the engine took a beating and eventually gave out after losing oil pressure at Pukekohe. Its replacement, which took some years to get sorted, consisted of a 20-valvebased engine featuring a new inlet and exhaust manifold, the “original ancient” T04E turbo, a TiAL wastegate, and a new Link G4+. That combo ran the car into the 13.10s but had a few triggering issues and blew the TRD LSD. Stu opted to switch the turbo out for a Garrett GT2876R and V-band housing, which runs at just over 17psi and has set a PB of 12.1s at 113mph (182kph). The timing remains conservative, and Stu hopes that, with a bit more tuning, it will run into the 11s on the same boost on a prepped track, with the New Zealand frontwheel-drive Starlet record in his sights — 11.75s — set by close friend Kris many years ago before retiring the car.