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Does the stock R32 GTR really only make 276 horsepower?

RB Motoring

Everyone has probably heard of the "gentleman's agreement" among auto makers in Japan during the early 90's. The story is that there was an unstated gentleman's agreement to not advertise a car above 300 horsepower for safety reasons. They were afraid people were going to go out and buy the "fastest" car on the market, crash it into a school, and kill everyone inside, not limited to women and children. Now, that might sounds as crazy as when Senators in the early 90's were blaming Final Fantasy 7 for school shootings, but hey, we've all been wrong before.

Only 276 horsepower guys, we swear. 

That being said, a bunch of auto manufacturers chose to say their cars had a power output of 276 horsepower. Was 286 too high? 299 seemed too conveniently close to 300? 275 seemed too low? We'll never know. What we do know is that Mazda claimed their FD RX-7 made 276, Mitsubishi claimed their GTO (3000GT in the USA) made 276, and Nissan claimed the R32 GTR made 276. What we also know is that these numbers are false. The 3000GT in the USA was advertised as making 320 wheel horsepower. So is the RB26DETT the same? Is the power understated?

3000GT? 320 horsepower. GTO? 276 horsepower. Makes sense...

There are a lot of claims that the R32 GTR truly did put down 276 horsepower, but once you remove the boost restrictor that power goes up above 300. People on forums (always a great source for information from their friend's dad's uncle who lived down the street) claim that Nissan installed the boost restrictor to keep the R32 under the agreed upon 300 horsepower. The 3000GT also has a stock boost restrictor, so it could be possible that the automakers really did engineer the cars to make under 300 horsepower. However, basic economics tells us that auto makers are in the industry of profit, and wouldn't dedicate the resources to over-engineer a car when they can say it's under 300 horsepower and no one is holding them to that. 

Both making the same amount of power, allegedly.

Both making the same amount of power, allegedly.


Let's lay this one to rest. 

We spent a few hours online compiling dyno sheets from stock GTRs and as-close-to-stock-as-we-could find GTRs. What we found was this:

211 KW = 282 HP

A stock GTR does make over 276 horsepower. In fact, a stock GTR makes anywhere from 275 to 285 wheel horsepower. Some dynos that read a little high were giving figures close to 300. Now, keep in mind that factory power numbers are going to be stated at the crank. Once you transfer that energy through the drivetrain of the car, you lose a bit of power - about ten to fifteen percent. A car advertised to be making 276 at the crank should not be making 275 from a dyno measurement, which is done at the wheels. If we take the figure of 300 at the crank, and subtract fifteen percent, we should be looking at 255 to the wheels. Estimating 320 at the crank, we're making 272 at the wheels, a little lower than the average of the dyno sheets we compiled. 

A GTR with exhaust and downpipe. That doesn't look like 276 to me. 

Some the other sheets are located below.

A 100% stock GTR makes about 320 crank horsepower, and about 280 wheel horsepower. 

Exhaust + FMIC + downpipe. 284 wheel horsepower.

The green line is the power before it was modified. 265 horsepower at the wheels. 

Dynapacks read high, this is stock with a FMIC and an exhaust/downpipe. 340 HP. Dynapacks read from the hubs with the wheels off. A rolling dyno still exerts some force when rolling the wheels. 

275 horsepower. Stock except for a catback. 

275 horsepower. Stock except for a catback. 

268 wheel horsepower

R32 GTR & GTST Battery Relocation - Moving the battery to the trunk

RB Motoring

R32 GTR & GTST Battery Relocation

The purpose of battery relocation in the Nissan Skyline is to assist with corner balancing the vehicle, weight reduction in the front and also reclaiming the much needed space in the engine bay. The bay in the R32 GTR is especially tight (not so much the case for the GTS-T), so the more room you can create the better. I will be fitting an oil filter relocation kit and an oil catch canister its place.


Parts you'll need:

Battery box

New positive and negative terminals (you don't need these, but you might as well)

20 feet of 0 gauge cable and 3 feet of 1 Gauge cable

Assortment of nuts and bolts

150Amp Fuse box (included in cable link above)

Electrical tape

Set of lugs

Metal coat hanger or wire

Cable ties and straps



1.       Undo both battery terminals and remove battery from stock location, Remove the existing lugs from both battery terminals by using cutting pliers.

2.       Connect 150Amp fuse box to end of positive terminal, strip and connect 0 Gauge cable to the other end of the 150Amp fuse box

3.       Route 0 Gauge cable through engine bay

 

4.       Straighten out a coat hanger and attach the end of the 0 Gauge cable. Fasten it to the end of the coat hanger with a lot of tape to ensure they stay connected. You'll be running this through some tight spaces and don't want it to fall off. 

5.       Jack up the driver’s side of the vehicle

6.       Remove mud guard covers

7.       Guide the end of the coat hanger through the back of the firewall and pull through mud guard area

8.       Once this has come through the mud guard area you will then feed it through the grommet near the door hinges.


9.       Move to the interior of the car and remove the kick panel and carpet

10.   You should not see the end of the coat hanger in the vehicle, it will still be through the firewall.

11.   Use force and pull the coat hanger through into the cabin

12.   Ensure all slack is now in the interior of the vehicle

13.   Inspect the engine bay and ensure there is no tension on the 0 gauge cable

14.   Close up the mud guards and lower car to the ground

15.   Remove the coat hanger from the 0 Gauge cable

16.   Lift interior carpets and panels accordingly to run 0 Gauge cable to the rear of the car

17.   Remove rear seats and run 0 Gauge cable under the seats and into the trunk area

18.   Move to the engine bay and neaten up any loose wiring

19.   Connect a lug to the existing negative cable and bolt onto the chassis

20.   Ensure all wiring is safely fastened

21.   Find a spot in the trunk that you would like to have the battery mounted. There are 2 common areas for mounting. The first being next to the stock jack location and the second in front of the driver’s side tail light. I have chosen the latter for ease of access. However this is more difficult as you would need to drop the fuel tank to drill holes into the chassis for bolting

22.   Mark mounting holes and start to drill small pilot holes. Ensure you have not caught anything on the underside. Drill holes according to the size of your fastening bolts.

23.   Mount the battery box to the chassis

24.   Make two holes in the battery box and push through 0 Gauge cable and new negative 2 Gauge cable

25.   Crimp lug to end of 2 Gauge cable and bolt to the chassis

26.   Fit new battery terminals to both the 0 Gauge and 2 Gauge cables

27.   Insert battery to into battery box

28.   Connect battery terminals to battery

29.   Test power by turning the key on ignition

30.   Start the vehicle and ensure all electronics are functioning correctly

31.   You are done! Enjoy the new reclaimed space in your engine bay!

 

Author - NelKel GTR Vlogs

Link to channel below

www.youtube.com/nelkelgtrvlogs

R32 Skyline GTR Battery - USDM Replacement (fits GTS-T too!)

RB Motoring

R32 Skyline GTR Battery replacement

The battery in your R32 GTR was dead when it came into the USA. That's not really a surprise - nine out of ten of the cars we get in have a bad battery when they finally arrive stateside.

The best replacement we've found from a cost to quality ratio is the Optima Yellowtop for the Prius. Click the link and you will be brought to the Amazon page for the battery. Prime members get free two day shipping, and the battery has a three year warranty from the date of delivery. It weighs 26 pounds and is rated at 450 CCA. 

If you want something lighter, you can go with the Odyssey PC680 and a set of JIS terminals. The PC680 is only 170 CCA, but weighs just 15 pounds. If you decide to go this route, be very careful with the battery and keep it on a tender as often as you can. Once this battery goes dead you will not be able to revive it. 

For something with more power, you can go with the Optima Redtop. It weighs an extra 5.5~ pounds, but comes with a 720 CCA rating. If you live in a really cold climate this might be a better option than the Yellowtop and certainly better than the Odyssey. The R32 GTR doesn't really need that much in terms of cranking amps to get started, but in extra cold climates all the extra CCAs help. 

Why can't I just buy something from a local auto parts store?

You can't buy a direct replacement battery for your R32 Skyline because the positive and negative terminal posts on a Japanese battery are different than that of the ones that are sold in the USA. The Japanese units are smaller and skinnier, and the American ones are larger and bigger around. And yes I typed it that way deliberately to make a that's what she said joke. That's what she said. 

The Toyota Prius came from the factory with the thinner battery terminals known as the JIS terminals that we see on the Japanese batteries, making them plug and play. 

Note that you can buy a replacement Toyota Prius battery battery at an auto parts store, but they are upwards of $200. We recommend purchasing them from Amazon to save $50 and a core charge. Some of the stores will give you a hard time about the core charge due to the size of the battery and terminals.

Why was my battery dead?

That's a combination of things - mostly that transit companies leave the key in the ignition to keep the steering wheel from locking, and partially that they're rarely started for about two months straight. Car batteries aren't meant to die completely and be recharged like marine batteries are, so if the battery goes fully dead a few times that's usually the end of its life. 

How can I keep my battery from dying in the future?

The easiest answer to this is to drive your car regularly. Usually an R32 GTR is someone's second car, so that's not always possible. If you don't drive your car regularly, consider investing in a battery tender. I purchased the one from the link three years ago and it's still running strong to this day. A battery tender keeps your battery from draining when the car is off. 

How to change the RB20DET spark plugs - R32 Nissan Skyline GTS-T DIY

RB Motoring

Changing the spark plugs in your RB20DET is an easy job if you've ever turned a wrench. You'll need the following tools:

  1. A basic socket set (I've had the same Kobalt set for 10 years. I can return anything that breaks to Lowes, no questions asked, and they even replace missing sockets for the price of shipping and handling.)
  2. Flathead screwdriver
  3. Long 3/8" extension
  4. Hex socket set
  5. Spark Plugs
  6. Spark plug socket
  7. Torque wrench
  8. Anti-seize

All the images below can be expanded by clicking on them. 

The spark plugs in the RB20DET are located under the black plate that says NISSAN. To get to it, we need to remove the crossover pipe. It can be done without removing the crossover pipe, but it makes things awkward and cramped, and removing the pipe takes minutes. 

Start by loosening the clamps labeled above. Both ends of the intake pipe, both ends of the blowoff valve, and one end of the black hose labeled #5 should be loose when you are finished. Flip the #5 hose out of the way. 

The crossover pipe is bolted to the engine with two bolts right above the kink in the crossover pipe (where it says TURBO). Remove those two bolts. There are two more bolts that hold the vacuum hardlines to the crossover pipe. We labeled one in the image above, follow the lines toward the intake plenum to find the other. Once you remove the bolts, you can remove the crossover pipe and attached blowoff valve. 

After the crossover pipe is removed, you'll need to remove the black plate covering the spark plugs, and unplug and unbolt the igniter. Start at the front of the engine and work your way back. Using your hex head driver, loosen the 6 bolts labeled in red #1-6 that lead back to the igniter. There are two more of these located under the igniter plugs (#7 and #8). Unplug the igniter plugs, and then remove the 4 bolts holding the igniter in place (yellow #9-12). Once the igniter is removed, unbolt the last two hex head bolts that hold down the cover plate. Remove the cover plate to reveal the spark plug valley. 

In the spark plug valley you will see the six coil packs mounted to a metal bracket, plugged in to six brown connectors. Unplug the connectors and then unbolt the coilpacks by the 12mm bolts with 4 etched into the top of them. The coilpack bracket is actually two pieces - pull it away from the head to reveal the plugs. Mine was suctioned in there really tightly, so I had to really wiggle and pull on it. If you can't get it out, wrap a flathead screwdriver with a cloth and use it to pry. 

The removed coilpacks. 

The removed coilpacks. 

With the coilpacks removed you can finally access the plugs. Use your long extension and your spark plug socket, and take each plug out. Before installing your new plugs, apply a small dab of anti-seize to the threads. This will keep them from seizing (as the name implies...) and will also make them easier to remove next time. I put anti-seize on pretty much every threaded surface that goes back in the car - just be sure not to get it on the electrode of the spark plug! While the plugs are out, it would also be a good time to run a compression check. 

When replacing the plugs, torque them to 20 ft/lbs. Put everything back on in opposite order, and start your car up! 

Replacing the RB20DET Mass Airflow Sensor (MAFS) - R32 Skyline GTS-T DIY

RB Motoring

How to replace the RB20DET Mass Airflow Sensor (MAFS) - R32 Skyline Tech

It's not super common for the RB20DET MAFS to die, but when it does you'll know it immediately. This Skyline was running perfectly when we took delivery, but once we parked it and tried to start it again it would immediately die. Diagnosing the MAFS won't be the topic of this article, but will be covered in the future. However, the way we found this particular one was by unplugging the Mass Airflow Sensor and the car was back to running again, albeit with a high idle. 

 

Getting the sensor out of the car

This is really easy if you have an aftermarket pod air filter, but in this case the car is 100% stock. Still, getting to it is relatively easy but takes some small hands. I don't have small hands. 

r32-skyline-maf-removal-replacement

The MAF sensor is circled in green, and the 5 clips holding it in are pointed to with the red arrows. 

  1. Jack up the car and put it on jack stands. You can skip this step if you want but trust me, your back will thank you. You don't have to bend over as far and it will also be easier to climb under the car when you inevitably drop your tools. 
  2. Unplug the plug circled in green. 
  3. This is the only "hard" part of the entire removal. Below the plug circled in green there will be a single clamp holding the MAF sensor to a silicone coupler. Loosen that clamp. The area around it is extremely tight so getting a flathead screwdriver in there is pretty tough. I was able to lower it in from the top and turn it from the side, and then get the remaining turns with my hands. 
  4. Once the clamp is loosened, unhook the 4 clips on the stock airbox. There are red arrows pointing to those in the picture above. 
  5. Grab the airbox and pull away from the engine, and out the side. 

You MAF will come out with the top of the airbox, and look like this:

r32-skyline-mafs

Remove the four 10mm bolts holding the MAFS to the airbox and replace it with your working sensor. 

This is a good time to replace the air filter or remove the entire airbox and replace it with an aftermarket AEM filter. 

Importing a car from Japan from start to finish - Part I: Finding and Purchasing the car.

RB Motoring

Importing a car from Japan - Part I: Finding and Purchasing the car. 

We are sourcing a car for a customer and will be chronicling the process in a series of blog posts. If there's anything you'd like more detail about, leave it in the comments and we'll either expand in the next post, or answer your questions in the comments. 

Finding the car 

Dale emailed us on July 25th asking for us to broker the exchange and complete the paperwork to title a 1990 Fairlady Z (300ZX in the USA) from one of the bigger exporters in Japan. We gave him a breakdown of the cost that he'd be paying on top of their advertised cost of the vehicle, and the general time frame he'd be looking at before it would be at his doorstep. After a little back and forth, we agreed to attempt to negotiate on the car, and perform a third party inspection for 10,000 yen (roughly $100). Dale decided he wanted to pull the trigger on this car, so we sent him an invoice for the $100 inspection, and sent the seller an email asking if it was still available and what their availability would be for an inspection. 

This one sold before we could get to it. 

This one sold before we could get to it. 

The next day we received an email from the seller stating that the car was sold. On to the next one. We emailed Dale the bad news, but also sent him a couple similar options and a couple questions so we could narrow down what he's looking for, and find him something that fits. He was looking for a Fairlady Z in good shape, automatic transmission, and would prefer the VG30DETT engine but could deal with the VG30DE if the price was right. We thought we struck gold in finding something exactly like the one above and in his price range, but the A/C was not functioning. Dale lives in Houston so A/C is a must. On to the next one again! We sent him a few more options over the next few days and eventually found this one for him:

The car we would eventually purchase. 

The car we would eventually purchase. 

The next day Dale emailed us back and said he liked it, and would like to go ahead with an inspection. It was now July 30th, 5 days after our first email. 

Two days later we had a response from the dealership about an inspection, and negotiated with them a bit to bring the price down. We sent Dale a breakdown of cost for the car including all the fees, giving him a total fixed cost in US Dollars for this car to arrive at his doorstep. He agreed and we sent him an invoice for the inspection, which was paid in less than 12 hours. 

fairladyz-from-japan

Inspecting the Fairlady Z

On August 4th the dealership formally accepted our request for an inspection. Our inspections are done through third parties to protect both us and our buyers. Inspectors are an impartial party that are paid regardless of the results of the inspection. 

Since the inspection was accepted late on a Thursday (Friday in Japan), the actual scheduling process didn't begin until the following Monday, August 8th. We didn't hear back from the dealership for a whole week. The following week (Monday August 15th) is a holiday week in Japan for the O Bon Festival. A lot of dealerships take the week off and the auctions are pretty empty as well. We let Dale know about the delay and he was understanding. 

The inspection sheet showed up unexpectedly on August 19th. We're guessing the dealer probably forgot to inform us of the inspection date due to the holiday season. We forwarded the results to Dale with a quick translation. 

Verified original mileage (87k kilometers), some minor scratches and dings, a chip in the windshield, and some surface rust underneath. 

Verified original mileage (87k kilometers), some minor scratches and dings, a chip in the windshield, and some surface rust underneath. 

Purchase

Dale was satisfied with the condition of the car, and we sent him an invoice for the cost. He paid it today (August 20th) through a wire transfer and we are picking up the car on Monday from the dealership. Since our initial agreement of a fixed price the yen to dollar exchange rate took a considerable hit. We won't be correcting our price and will instead eat the loss as we feel that's only fair. We may reconsider giving our agreed prices in JPY from now on. 

 

 

That concludes Part I. Next time we'll be covering shipping, and prepping the paperwork for export. 

Nissan Skyline 0-60 time - GTR and GTST

RB Motoring

The 0-60 time of your Nissan Skyline is going to depend on the model and engine you have. 

 

GTR

The 0-60 time of a completely stock Nissan Skyline R32 GTR was tested to be 5.6 seconds. The RB26DETT engine of the R32 had 276 horsepower, 266 ft lbs of torque, and weighed just over 3000 pounds. This number is easily increased with basic power upgrades - a GTR on stock turbos with pretty basic mods and a tune can reach a 4.5 0-60 time. 

The R33 GTR was a bit quicker on the 0-60 time, coming in at 5.3 seconds. When in the 400 Horsepower range, they will get to 60MPH in about 4.3 seconds. 

The R34 GTR was the fastest Skyline of the bunch, coming in at 5.2 seconds 0-60. Again, a slightly modified R34 GTR is a little faster than the rest, with a 0-60 time in 4 seconds flat at roughly 400HP. 

These numbers have come in dispute pretty often throughout the years, as the models of the GTR got heavier and heavier, the horsepower ratings stayed the same, and the 0-60 times decreased. 

GTS-T 

rb20det

An R32 GTS-T will do 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. A reasonably modified GTS-T with the stock turbo will be able to squeeze out a sub-six second 0-60 with ease. 

The R33 GTS-T had a slightly faster 0-60 thanks to the RB25DET engine, putting the 0-60 time at around 6.2. A slightly modified R33 should reach a 5.5 second 0-60 time with a decent driver.

Again, the R34 GTS-T has the fastest 0-60 of the lot, with the more powerful RB25DET NEO engine. In stock form the R34 can reach 60MPH in 6 seconds, while a modified car can push the low 5s. 

How to increase your 0-60 time without breaking the bank 

1. Tires. A good set of tires will do more for your 0-60 time than any other stock mod, dollar for dollar. Tires are usually tiered in categories, with the best traction on a streetable tire being the "Extreme Performance Summer" category. Consider a set of Advan AD08s, Dunlop Direzza Star Specs, or Toyo Proxes R1R

2. Drive better. This often goes overlooked. Being a better driver only costs you your time (minus gas, I guess). Plus, being a better driver will improve all other aspects of your driving and not just 0-60 time. Learn how to shift faster and rev match more smoothly. 

3. Routine Maintenance. An oil change, spark plugs, and air filter will cost you around $100 and could easily lead to better times at the track. If you're looking for a list of part numbers for maintenance parts, we've created a list for the GTR here, and the GTS-T here

 

What are your 0-60 times? Let us know in the comments!