The AA staff asked Nick to fill us in on the latest about this impressive track machine. This is what he and the staff at RB motoring had to say:
"Last year we had plenty of prep and test time. We had the car out at the track on several occasions and had a chance to clean up and prepare the car. At last years USCC , we uncovered the oil pickup during the road course portion of the contest. We spun #2 rod bearing. #2 rod broke taking out #1 rod , and they both went looking for greener pastures outside the engine block. After last year , we were not going to take any chances , and ordered up a Greddy 2.7 liter kit for the car. Forged rods , pistons , and crankshaft with 2mm more stroke. We ordered an Accusump , Nismo baffle plate , and modified the stock oil pan for extra capacity.
During another event Jared Holstein asked if Nick's car could be ready for Time Attack. We had a spare motor sitting at RB , so I decided to throw it in Nick's car for Time Attack. We found that the oil starvation from USCC had also damaged our XS Engineering turbo. Luckily , Ricky Dela Cruz's spare Innovative Ball bearing turbo from his racecar was at the shop. We borrowed the turbo to get the car running for Time Attack. I should have checked the motor more carefully. We spent about 10 days working on the car and when we finally got it started , the morning of SEMA IAS, it had a rod knock. #6 bearing was flat. We were more than a little disappointed. All the work to put a motor back in, all gone to waste.
While we waited on getting the stroker motor together, Josh Jacquot, called and said we were invited to USCC. I really wanted to say no. After Time Attack, I was not in the mood, and I did not have the drive to put the car back together. This was about a month before the event was going to take place. I figured if I didn't have inspiration by a few weeks before I would tell Josh we were not going to go.
The motor from Time Attack was done. No way to get the crank turned, and bearings in time for USCC . The stroker motor, was no where even close to being done. It still needed bearings, and to be assembled. So I scrambled for a bit and found a motor. Wen Lai from Apex-i had a motor that had come out of his R33. He had a motor built in Japan, so his stock motor was just sitting around. I decided to take the head off the motor from Time Attack , put it together with the bottom end from Wens car to make a motor.
This time I was not going to take any chances though. I ordered up ARP headstuds, ARP mainstuds, and ARP rod bolts. If it were going to be a stock bottom end, it would at least be a fairly stout stock bottom end. I took the motor apart, inspected the bearings , and everything seemed to be ok. Victor Reyes replaced the rod bolts with the ARP rod bolts. The Tomei metal head gasket went on . The motor from Time Attack, had some Apex-i cams, that were degreed very strangely. I set the cam timing back to 0, and reassembled the rest of the motor.
Putting a motor in a car is easy. The hard part is hooking everything else up, and figuring out how new things go. I decided to go with a Getrag Transmission that had been sitting around at RB Motoring for a while. It was purchased to go in one of the owners cars. We had upgraded it with a Nismo input shaft, and had a ATS carbon triple plate clutch for it. I took the 1350 lb pressure plate from Nick's ATS twin plate clutch, to replace the 1100 pressure plate we had on the triple plate clutch. This was the first 6 speed Getrag installed in a US GT-R. Luckily, being GT-R type people. We had all the parts needed to make it a painless and quick swap. The 5 speed stayed on the floor, the 6 speed went in. Normally an R34 has 3.54 front and rear ratios. The R32 has 4.111 front and rear. So the car was going to have a bit more gear in it.
The motor was in, hooked up and started. Everything was test run for a while. The fenders, hood, bumper, and the rest was left off while testing the car in the alley in front of the shop. Open wastegate, means pissed off neighbors. The cops did only come once though, and they can't really do anything because we are on private property. Something was just not right in the way the car was running. It felt a little like it was off a tooth on the cam timing. I took checked cam timing, it was right on. I had Victor check cam timing, it was correct.
Running out of time, we figured that maybe they set the cam timing weird, or something was ground funny with the cams. I tried advancing the crank sensor. Normally a GT-R is set to 20 degrees BTDC. I set it to 25 degrees BTDC, and the car came to life. Not the best way to fix timing, but it was Friday the 28th of May. That Saturday we went over to Autolink in Temple City, CA to get the car tuned. Our normal tuner Eric Hsu from XS Engineering was out of the country, so the tuning was up to me. We spent several hours on the dyno getting the car tuned. Still, something was just not right. The car made 530 rwhp at Autolink @ 1.8 bar of boost. The tune was conservative as this was my motor, and I didn't want anything to happen to it before USCC.
We spent Sunday and Monday working on the car. During the work, I found an intercooler pipe that was partially dislodged. This may have been one of the reasons for the low hp numbers. I wanted to go back on the dyno, but no time to do it before the contest.
Wednesday night before the contest we worked all night finishing up on the car. The little details needed to be completed. Lots of them didn't get done. Put the car on the trailer and headed over to K & N to make it by 7:30 am.
We have to thank, Terry at Innovative Turbo, Kim Hernandez and Kristina Lew, at Yokohama Tire for the A048's, Jeff, Jack, Kin, and Victor at RB Motoring for the space to work on the car, the Getrag 6 speed transmission, the ATS triple plate clutch, Kitty, Clay, and Dr. Charles at Autolink for the dyno time, and Charles at Greddy for the 2.7 kit that will end up in the car soon.
The AA staff congratulations Nick on the continuing buildup of this awe-inspiring GT-R. Check back to see whose vehicle gets shown off next week.