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Right Way GT-R

A Nissan R33 GT-R V-spec punching out 400+kW at the wheels using all top-notch engine bits. top-notch engine bits.

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

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At a glance...

  • Nissan R33 GT-R V-spec
  • Spare no expense engine build
  • N1 block, HKS valvetrain rated to 10,000 rpm T51R turbo kit
  • Over 400kW at all 4 wheels
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“If there’s a job worth doing, it’s a job worth doing well.”

This is the philosophy behind this Brisbane Tuning and Turbo enhanced R33 GT-R V-spec. There are plenty of ways to extract power from a GT-R, but this example does it with top-quality parts that virtually guarantee reliability.

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Mark X, the owner of this R33, wanted his GT-R to haul arse with the best of ‘em while also providing good driveability and total reliability. Roadside spanner spinning was not an option. Brisbane Tuning and Turbo responded with an engine combo that is as bullet-proof as they come.

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The original engine (which had been tweaked with high-flow turbos, bigger injectors and ECU mods) was given the flick to start from scratch. A new GT-R N1 block was purchased and assembled with a high-volume N1 oil and water pump, Carillo rods, 7.2:1 compression ratio forged pistons, shotpeened crankshaft and balanced everything. A Brisbane Tuning and Turbo catch-can receives blow-by oil and prevents it entering the inlet tract.

In all, it’s a bottom-end that can withstand one hell of a hiding.

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For the upstairs department, John from Brisbane Tuning and Turbo did some shopping from the HKS catalogue. An HKS Step Pro L kit – comprising valves, valve springs, camshafts and adjustable sprockets – was given the nod. According to HKS, this is a combo good for 1100hp (820kW) and 10,000 rpm. Of course, the achieved power output depends on turbo selection, tuning and a variety of other factors. In addition to the HKS valvetrain hardware, the DOHC cylinder head has been given an extensive port and polish.

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The turbo system chosen for the job is an HKS T51R kit comprising a tubular exhaust manifold, 48mm external wastegate, ball-bearing turbocharger and braided lines. The intake to the turbo is a next-to-zero restriction GReddy dual pod set-up. The turbine and wastegate lead into an HKS dump pipe and front section of exhaust. The rear half is a 4 ½ inch custom pipe with custom low-noise mufflers.

John says he’d like to see the engine run on the highest possible fuel octane (such as C16 race fuel) but it was a requirement that it could run happily on 98 RON pump fuel. As a result, boost pressure has been kept to a relatively mild maximum of 25 psi. Charge-air heat is cut down at the knees thanks to a custom front-mount air-to-air intercooler that uses all available space. A pair of GReddy blow-off valves is mounted on the intercooler plumbing route before the throttles.

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The factory inlet manifold and 6 throttle set-up has been replaced by a GReddy unit boasting a larger plenum volume. John says the GReddy plenum improves driveability and equalises airflow to each cylinder. Apparently, the standard manifold causes cylinders number 5 and 6 to run lean.

The GT-R engine runs a CDI system for maximum spark energy together with a top-of-the-range management system. Fuel is delivered by an ultra-serious set-up that begins with a high volume in-tank pump supplying a surge tank and twin Bosch Motorsport pumps. At the front of the system you’ll find a HKS double-entry fuel rail, Sard 1000cc injectors and a Sard regulator. None of the original fuel system remains.

Due to wheel-spin the car is extremely difficult to run on a chassis dyno but there’s little doubting the credibility of its best-ever power run – a massive 403kW at all 4 wheels (on a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno). We’ll put this into perspective by saying that the car made ‘just’ 158kW at the treads in standard form...

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Driving through an Exedy dual-plate heavy-duty clutch, it?s been a challenge to get grunt to the bitumen. An HKS front-to-rear torque-split controller helps traction off the line and can be used to aid handling. Aside from a set of adjustable coil-overs using Bilstein dampers, the suspension is standard V-spec.

Given some sticky tyres, the team at Brisbane Tuning and Turbo is confident of a high 10/low 11 second quarter mile pass (still using pump fuel).

In addition to providing plenty of top-end power, a project goal was to maintain driveability. John says the tuned GT-R doesn’t pull like a big V8 from low rpm but it can be driven like a normal car – no problems squeezing your foot down in 4th gear at 60 km/h. Mission achieved.

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The interior retains factory comfort levels – no need for a cage, garish colours or a stand-out array of aftermarket gauges. The only interior alterations are a white-face Nismo 320 km/h speedo and 11,000 rpm tacho cluster and Kenwood sound system.

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Body-wise, there’s little to suggest that this GT-R generates 2½ times the factory power output. Sure, there’s the monster tailpipe that emits a deep growl but the body is 100 percent factory. Even the 17 inch rims are the factory items treated to a professional polish.

Since its initial tuning session, the car has recently been tamed down from 25 to 18 psi boost to help ensure reliability. It is estimated the car currently generates 330 – 350kW at all 4 wheels.

What is this, you ask? Has the owner gone soft on the idea of a 400+kW ATW GT-R?

Far from it.

Turning down the wick is a step to ensure nothing goes wrong during the lead up to the next project – a monster R34 GT-R that’ll push the boundaries even further...


Brisbane Tuning and Turbo Centre +61 7 3393 1588

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