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Thread: My 4d55 performance build

  1. #1

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    My 4d55 performance build

    Hey all! I am new to the site and am looking for some feedback.

    I have a 1987 Mazda B2600 that recently received a 4D55 in great mechanical condition. Everything including the injection pump has been rebuilt. I am currently turning the wick up on it.

    Mods so far: cone filter intake, 3" exhaust to 4" stack, gutted boost reference fueling valve, ground collar on full fueling screw with it turned up to max, and all the appropriate gauges.

    Currently I am in the middle of building a custom header/exhaust manifold to run a T3/T4 turbo. I also have an intercooler to plumb in. After that gets done I'll see about adding more fuel.

    Mechanical issues right now: Really my only problem right now is that the glow plugs have blown. I have them on a 12v push button. Just ordered some new ones. Anybody have any insight??








    I'll post pics of the header and turbo setup once its done. Any questions, advise, or suggestions appreciated!

  2. #2



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    Do you know what year the motor is? The glow plugs in these motors are 6vdc not 12v; hopefully they didn't swell up and jam in the holes. Look at the injectors where they screw into the head; are they bolted flush to the head, or do they have a gap between the hex and the head?
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  3. #3

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    I can't remember the exact year. I want to say its like an 86?? I'll look but I think there is a gap. I got the glow plugs out. They weren't too terribly swollen. Do they make a 12v plug that will fit?

    This isn't my first diesel. Just my first 4D55. I actually do 7.3l Powerstroke performance. In fact I will be in the November issue of Diesel Power Magazine. :D (Sorry. Pretty excited about it. Lol!)

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    There are 12 v glow plugs that fit the 4d55 - check in the threads for diesel and in the archives for which ones work. Congrats on the article in Diesel power - maybe the next one will be on your Mazda 4d55.
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  5. #5

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    I have a set of 12v plugs on order. I found one in the thread a couple below this one.

    Thanks!

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    Good Luck

    Good luck, I almost guarentee you will blow this engine. These only hold out with lower RPM's. Especially on a 30 year old engine never having been rebuilt.

  7. #7

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    Actually yes is has been rebuilt. And I guess we will see. I don't doubt it. I'm going to blow my Powerstroke too. That's what happens when you go trying to get all the power you can from a stock block. When it does I'll grab the spare, build it stronger, and go for more. That's life in the performance diesel world. Just thought you might find it interesting to see what happens. If you don't like it I can always go back to powerstrokenation.com and post it only there. Thought maybe if you guys had some experience with it I wouldn't have to learn everything the hard way. Its cool though. I don't mind. Thanks for wishing me luck!

  8. #8



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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    Actually yes is has been rebuilt. And I guess we will see. I don't doubt it. I'm going to blow my Powerstroke too. That's what happens when you go trying to get all the power you can from a stock block. When it does I'll grab the spare, build it stronger, and go for more. That's life in the performance diesel world. Just thought you might find it interesting to see what happens. If you don't like it I can always go back to powerstrokenation.com and post it only there. Thought maybe if you guys had some experience with it I wouldn't have to learn everything the hard way. Its cool though. I don't mind. Thanks for wishing me luck!
    We need guys that are willing to try something other then stock. We don't realy have a resident Diesel performance guy. Please let us know what you do, along with pictures. Thats how we find out what works and how to do it. I remember in UTI we had a diesel GM v8. One of the early diesels, we put a turbo off of a Detroit 8v92 on to it. The pump was machined out to over fuel by 110% @72PSI of boost. It stretched the head studs. So then they lowered the boost and compression and got it to run in the low 7's. Man that thing would pump out the black smoke for the first 1/4 of the track then nothing but heat waves and flame.
    I would add in some studs just to keep top on. But try not to over boost it, to much. Of course balance the crank and rods. Clean up the intake and exhaust ports. If you can find better rods go for it. A lighter flywheel will make it accelerate faster. Get the machine shop to shave off some weight. Yes it's harder on the trany but there at the wreaking yards.
    I forget how many HP the diesel is. something like 97, or 105 stock. Any tricks you let us know. Things like changing out the injector springs to XXX type.
    I can give you phone numbers to people that might know what parts are interchangeable with other engines and where to find them.
    Last edited by camoit; 09-26-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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  9. #9

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    I was thinking about going with ARP studs here soon. I don't know how far the stock ones will hold though. I've heard there is no need for them but we will see. Its not about boost though. Whether you're at 5psi or 50psi. There is absolutely no connection between boost and blowing head gaskets. Its all about cylinder pressures. Cylinder pressure is directly related to torque produced. Stock I believe was like 86hp/175tq. Someone correct me if I'm wrong please because I'm not real sure. Either way, 200ftlbs of torque isn't much. Especially since the surface area of the head compared to the clamping surface of the head bolts is very small compared to the Powerstroke, cummins, etc.

    As for balancing the rotating assembly.... I may if I rebuild it again. From what little info i have come across, the stock assembly was actually very well balanced. Especially considering the era the motor was built. Balancing is usually to help with higher revving of the engine. This thing already screams so I will try to keep it within stock rev territory.

    I will see what I can do on rods. Nobody has ever taken them to their limit so nobody knows what they will hold. I know a Powerstroke rod is 1200ftlbs of torque on stock forged rods. I am there with mine. (Hence the comment about me blowing mine up some time) I will have some built by Carillo if I can find the breaking point without windowing the block. Highly unlikely though so I'll just have to figure it out and then go rebuild another block.



    Nate Bailor of Unlimited Diesel Performance had been my guide so far. He's a great guy to work with. He had like an 84 ranger with the 4d55 that he maxed out like I am. Only instead if a large single he used the stock charger in a compound setup. Also the pump is a little different. He never had studs or anything. Stock motor. I think he even had the 4d55 head. I have a 4d56 roller rocker. His pump was maxed out both in fueling and timing. He sold his a few years back and from his knowledge its still running.

    We'll see what happens. 4d55 performance seems to be very muddy waters.

  10. #10

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    I disagree, we have several people who are members on this forum who have been pushing the performance envelope on the 4d55 for several years now. For the most part all have destroyed there engines because they do not understand how to correctly modify an indirect injection diesel. I think I am the only one left with a highly modified, high output 4d55 and that's in large part to Mike Warme, extensive research, and my local diesel performance shop. I recommend that you do your homework, because these trucks are not a 6BT Cummins or Power Stroke. The 4d55 engine is an indirect injection, the 4d55 will react much more like a, high strung, GM 6.5L turbo diesel when you try to modify it. Personally I don't see the point of adding all these mix and match parts when you can add performance parts that are made for these engines from Mitsubishi. Performance turbos, heads, injection pumps and intercooler setups can be had through Mitsubishi or from the junk yard. The trick to getting the most out a 4d55 is keeping it as cool as possible.

    Personally I don't think ARP studs will help, these motors have plenty on head bolts. One idea that has not been tried, that may be worth a try is lowering the compression ratio from 21:1 to about 18:1. This would help reduce the engine temps. This could be accomplished by shaving the pistons or possibly trying the flush valve 4d55 head. I wish I knew if the flush valve head would work on our motors, but I am unsure at this time.

    On the bright side, unlike all other diesel engines produced during the 80's, the 4d55 was designed to be a turbo charged diesel. So you have started with the right engine if plan to modify a little oil burner. The other 10 diesel engines offered in compact pickups during the 80's were designed as naturally aspirated diesels. Many manufactures like Isuzu and Toyota changed the manifolds and added turbo chargers to there NA diesels which led to head, piston, valve and rod failures in 80 hp stock form. The rods in the 4d55 should be good for 200-300hp. Here are the 10 other motors used in compact pickups during the 80's.

    Isuzu 223, Isuzu 223t, Perkins 4.135, Nissan sd22, Nissan sd25, Nissan sd33t, Renault JS8, Toyota 1L, Toyota 2L, Toyota 2LT
    Last edited by 4D55 Performance; 09-26-2011 at 11:56 PM.

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    I have actually read your build posts quite a few times for info. I appreciate you chiming in!

    Kinda what I figured on the headstuds. It makes me feel better that you agree! Also its awesome what you're saying about the rods!

    To keep temps down I'm thinking the intercooler, a larger radiator with dual electric fans, and possibly water injection should do a lot to help. What do you think?

    On the turbo- I had this t3/t4 turbo and the means to do a very nice induction system. The goal is to get the right amount of air in with the least back pressure. When an engine is being pushed, the drive pressure (boost vs back pressure) plays a lot into keeping the engine together. I am creating an induction system that will give me the air I need while keeping drive pressures at 1:1. Just because its a larger turbo, that doesn't mean its going to blow the engine. You can have all the air in the world, but if the fuel isn't there, its pointless. My stock turbo was junk and this turbo will keep the drive pressures low being appropriately wastegated.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    I was thinking about going with ARP studs here soon. I don't know how far the stock ones will hold though. I've heard there is no need for them but we will see. Its not about boost though. Whether you're at 5psi or 50psi. There is absolutely no connection between boost and blowing head gaskets. Its all about cylinder pressures. Cylinder pressure is directly related to torque produced. Stock I believe was like 86hp/175tq. Someone correct me if I'm wrong please because I'm not real sure. Either way, 200ftlbs of torque isn't much. Especially since the surface area of the head compared to the clamping surface of the head bolts is very small compared to the Powerstroke, cummins, etc.

    As for balancing the rotating assembly.... I may if I rebuild it again. From what little info i have come across, the stock assembly was actually very well balanced. Especially considering the era the motor was built. Balancing is usually to help with higher revving of the engine. This thing already screams so I will try to keep it within stock rev territory.

    I will see what I can do on rods. Nobody has ever taken them to their limit so nobody knows what they will hold. I know a Powerstroke rod is 1200ftlbs of torque on stock forged rods. I am there with mine. (Hence the comment about me blowing mine up some time) I will have some built by Carillo if I can find the breaking point without windowing the block. Highly unlikely though so I'll just have to figure it out and then go rebuild another block.



    Nate Bailor of Unlimited Diesel Performance had been my guide so far. He's a great guy to work with. He had like an 84 ranger with the 4d55 that he maxed out like I am. Only instead if a large single he used the stock charger in a compound setup. Also the pump is a little different. He never had studs or anything. Stock motor. I think he even had the 4d55 head. I have a 4d56 roller rocker. His pump was maxed out both in fueling and timing. He sold his a few years back and from his knowledge its still running.

    We'll see what happens. 4d55 performance seems to be very muddy waters.
    I will try answer a few of your questions,

    1983 80hp 125ft lbs of torque and 12 psi of boost
    1984-85 84hp, 136 ft of torque and 13 psi of boost

    In 1983 at 80hp, the 2wd Mitsubishi pickup equipped with the 4d55 was the fastest production pickup sold in the United States. This included all the domestic fullsize pickups. The 4d55 engine should have no issues moving these little trucks.

    Team Tonni has pushed the 4d55 motor to it's very limits and the rods give out at 200-300hp or 400ft lbs of torque.

    Team Tonni used the original headbolts and they pushed 400ft lbs or torque in there Galant race car.

    The 1983 injection pumps can can be modified to increase fueling. The injectors can also be modified to increase fueling.

    Several have tried compound turbo setups, but I dont think it is necessary. Team Tonni ran a single turbo and they made gobs of torque.

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    We need to figure something out on lowering the compression. Where to I find the flush valve head? I may try that.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    I have actually read your build posts quite a few times for info. I appreciate you chiming in!

    Kinda what I figured on the headstuds. It makes me feel better that you agree! Also its awesome what you're saying about the rods!

    To keep temps down I'm thinking the intercooler, a larger radiator with dual electric fans, and possibly water injection should do a lot to help. What do you think?

    On the turbo- I had this t3/t4 turbo and the means to do a very nice induction system. The goal is to get the right amount of air in with the least back pressure. When an engine is being pushed, the drive pressure (boost vs back pressure) plays a lot into keeping the engine together. I am creating an induction system that will give me the air I need while keeping drive pressures at 1:1. Just because its a larger turbo, that doesn't mean its going to blow the engine. You can have all the air in the world, but if the fuel isn't there, its pointless. My stock turbo was junk and this turbo will keep the drive pressures low being appropriately wastegated.
    You need to get a 1983 injection pump and increase the plunger size to 12mm.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    We need to figure something out on lowering the compression. Where to I find the flush valve head? I may try that.
    Look for a 4d56 head from a Mitsubishi Animal. They are available through ebay.uk

    I would ask the guys on the Pocuk forum if they know if the Animal head will fit our 4d55 engines.

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    Ok. Do you know how far the stock pump will go by chance? It kinda sucks then because I just paid $875 to have this one rebuilt.

  17. #17

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    Pocuk forum..... Ok. I'll see what I can find. Thanks!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    Ok. Do you know how far the stock pump will go by chance? It kinda sucks then because I just paid $875 to have this one rebuilt.
    With a 12mm plunger the stock pump will make 400-500ft lbs of torque as long as you hone the injectors as well.

  19. #19

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    Ok. I think the game plan will possibly be to get as much out of the stock pump right now. Then figure out what I'm going to do to lower the compression. Once I get that done I'll add more fuel with a massaged 83 pump and honed injectors.

  20. #20

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    I think the biggest issue you will start running into is figuring out how to prevent the tranny and clutch from failing when you try to put the power to the wheels.

  21. #21

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    I knew i would have to do something. What is your suggestion on the clutch?

  22. #22



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    Your local clutch shop should know where or have the ability to get one built for you. All they need is the disk and they should be able to get one from there. If not I know that Capitol Clutch and brake in West Sacramento can help you out. Or point you in the correct direction. Here is the one they made for me.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23

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    I have had good success with the Centerforce II clutches.

  24. #24

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    Ok. Well I'll get my turbo and manifold done. Then I'll start looking at the rest of the stuff.

    Here's a list of stuff I am going to do in order. Let me know what you think.

    12v glow plugs
    Turbo, intercooler, and manifold
    Clutch
    Lower compression
    Modify fuel pump to 12mm plunger
    Water injection
    Hone injectors

    I am trying to find a 4d56 flush valve head(after I find out if it fits). If not I'll modify a new set of pistons.

  25. #25



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    How about Propane injection. It's like Nitrous to a diesel. At least thats what I've herd.
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