Godzilla - everyone knows the name and the story. A lizard, exposed to nuclear radiation, morphs into this gigantic, city destroying, fire breathing monster that reeks havoc through Japanese cities. Garrett's 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R is no different. This once cute import has been turned into a tire slaying, street sweeping, fire breathing monster with four wheels and one, big ass turbo.
Garrett brought us his Skyline shortly after getting a hot parts kit from the boys over at Vi. Engineered. His ultimate goal was between 800-900, all wheel horsepower. For this power to be "reliable", the motor would need to be torn completely down and reassembled with a stronger rotating assembly as well as some significant head work.
Enter the shiny parts. Manley Turbo Tuff rods, Wiseco HD pistons with upgraded wrist pins and a brand new Nissan crankshaft. Don't let those rods fool you, they are insanely stout and can take a beating! All things considered, the bottom end of the RB26 is pretty straight forward. We dropped the block off at Madcap Racing to be decked, cylinder torque plate honed and line honed to accept all the new parts and ARP hardware. In addition to the basics, we also used a Tomei 1.5 restrictor and Garrett's choice of the Tomei Oil pump to help calm the inherent oil problems that is common with RB's.
The head work on this RB26 was extensive which required some crucial R&D that landed us with the following combination of Supertech dual valve springs, valve seals and +1mm over sized valves were chosen along with a set of Kelford 272, 10.25mm lift cams. All the head work was done by Drew at Headz by Drew, an absolute master of his craft. He fit the valves, clearancing for the massive camshafts and performed his own custom port job inside the valve bowls.
With all of our parts ready, it's time for assembly. With retaining the factory stroke, there was no need for any clearancing in the bottom end. After we properly shimmed the cams, it was time to make sweet union with the cylinder block and cylinder head...and then torque the obnoxious 625+ ARP head studs. These studs are no joke, but are very essential when wanting to run 30psi with a large turbo! Degreeing camshafts in can be often overlooked, but with all the machining done to the block, it is an essential step to ensure your cams are opening and closing exactly when they are supposed to.
With the motor assembly completed, we could start mocking up the Vi. Engineered manifold and turbo for all needed lines along with the R.I.P.S Racing Intake manifold. We took this opportunity to terminate unneeded ports, vacuum lines and other accessories that were designed for the factory setup. On the turbo side, we utilized the first oil return port for the turbo drain, and the rear port is now occupied by the Nitto cylinder head drainback kit - the more oil we can keep in the bottom end, the better.
Although the motor assembly was relatively quick and smooth, we knew there was much more work that was needed before the first start up. After installing the motor we would have to tackle a long list of parts that needed fabrication or modification. Everything from a new ECU and wiring to a completely custom fuel system.
Fueling was our next hurdle. To make 800+ horsepower, we need to have the fuel to feed this hungry monster. That means big fuel lines, big injectors and a lot of fuel coming from the tank. As there isn't a 100% bolt in solution for the R32 right now in regards to a fuel pump, so we had to get creative. Powerhouse Racing has a dual pump billet hat that will accommodate dual fuel pumps, but we still had to make some modifications so Garrett could see an accurate fuel level. Our pump of choice was the AEM 320lph ethanol safe fuel pump. Two of these, with ethanol, should supply enough fuel, through a -8AN feed line to the Injector Dynamics 1700cc injectors, to support 1100whp. A standard Aeromotive -10AN fuel pressure regulator was used on the return side to control the amount of fuel coming back - let's not forget the super cool AEM Flex Fuel sensor!
Alright, moving along. Our list is starting to dwindle. With the fuel system complete, turbo, intercooler and intake manifold installed, we could move to the electrical side of things. Garrett's car was on AEM V2 when it came to us, but ultimately it would not work for the results we wanted. Factory RB26 idle air control valves are MASSIVE, and the R.I.P.S Racing manifold didn't have a provision that would properly work. We decided to custom fit an Evo 8/9 idle air control motor to the manifold. Normally this wouldn't work with the AEM V2 as the RB is a pulse modulated valve and the Evo is a stepper style. Since AEM Infinity is a universal ECU, we were able to make a couple changes in the system, move some wires around and BOOM we had a working IAC that looked and performed much better.
Another nifty piece to this setup is the choice of coilpacks. RB's and SR owners are both plagued by poor quality coil packs that do not perform well under higher levels of boost. And with the dependency on an igniter chip for older GT-R's, it becomes another point of failure which can be expensive and difficult to find a replacement. Garret's car is using OEM R35 GT-R coil packs with a billet rail and conversion harness which completely eliminates the need for igniter. Although you need a standalone ECU to be able to adjust the dwell settings, these are an awesome upgrade to your RB to guarantee good spark, all the time. These conversion kits are for sale in our online store. With all of these new electronics, we decided to put a brand new engine harness in to ensure that we do not run into any electrical gremlins along the way. Wiring Specialties is our choice for harnesses as they make awesome quality products and 100% factory replacements!
Finally time for first start up. Key in, ignition on, fuel pumps prime, turn key.... BOOM! We have combustion! Flashlights in hand, we look for any leaks or problems but it's sealed tight. After a very long and tedious road, we are getting closer. We go through our check lists and prep the car for its dyno debut. During that time, Logan Kirk was able to fab up a very nice, custom fit catch can that will accept the massive -12AN fittings from the valve covers. With the large turbocharger, we had to build a custom, baffled power steering reservoir as the old one will no longer fit its original location.
It is time. This is when all the hard work pays off. The blood, sweat, tears and countless hours merge into this moment as we strap it to the rollers and get ready for noise!
685 all wheel horsepower on wastegate pressure! This car met, and beat our expectations at this point! This wasn't on a full blend of ethanol either, 65% to be correct. Once Garrett is done with the break in period, we will be cranking up the boost to ~30psi and having a much hotter batch of ethanol. Can't wait to see what this thing can do!
845whp / 548ft. lbs
Most powerful R32 GT-R in Colorado