Saturn Picture

Inspired to photograph the engine because I’ve spent a good amount of time with it today!

Saturn of Roman mythology and his Greek counterpart Cronus was known as the child devouring god. Nice name for an engine.

The Mitsubishi Saturn engine series that was fitted into a whole variety of cars in the 70’s and 80’s is known internally by the engine code 4G3x, 4 for 4 cylinder G for Gasoline. Pictured here is the 4G33 from my SL Lancer. 1400cc Single Overhead Cam 8-valve water-cooled inline engine.

Stock though this engine is severely underrated. A mere 92hp (although it does go into a rather small light car) with some tuning of the carb, ignition timing, cam and other stuff they easily go over 100hp. Power delivery is typical of high performance carb engines… raw! Has got a nice “sweet spot” of power between 4000 and 6000rpm a bit narrow but well-chosen gear ratios make it easy to keep it there.

Perhaps one of the best engines to work on for car enthusiasts. Responds very well to modifications. Simple and uncluttered and ever reliable. All the basic service and some repairs can be DIY. Replacement parts can be cheap but we have to pay a premium for Japan Originals. The only real draw back is that you have to choose… it’s either set as a fuel-efficient lump or a tuned high-strung gas-drinking-monster. No best of both worlds here, performance will come at the expense of fuel economy… but who cares!

It’s quite popular to have this engine with some form of twin-carb setup, either twin Webber’s or twin Mikuni-Solex’s but in truth unless you happen to be a tuning God the single setup is more practical since twins can’t be tuned by mere mortals.

The cars they went into the lightweight models such as the Lancer had compared to their modern descendants, high power to weight ratio’s so for Saturn devouring his children… well, except for the Turbo and MIVEC kids.
Continue Reading: Cronus