I want to keep all the heat in the exhaust system and not radiating all over my engine bay. I tapped PTP for some of their stuff. I went with their Lava line of products. The outer layer is actually woven basalt fibers with calcium silicate insulation inside rated to 1800 F continuous contact. That's hot enough to touch my damned credit card! It's starting to melt at this point. I got two widths of wrap for the manifold, the form-fitted T4 blanket and gold foil heat shielding for the strut tower and firewall.
The T78 is about the same size as the T4 so the blanket fits it well.
It's T78-33D with a 17CM hot side. It should wind up pretty quick for an outdated diesel turbo with a flashy compressor housing. The 2.8 stroker with the 260/10.25 cams should help it come on a bit faster, but it's no GTX or EFR.
Status report: The car is still in the body shop getting the engine compartment sorted out, the cylinder head is still up at NAPREC getting machined to within an inch of its life and the engine block is still coming. More goodies have arrived. I think I'm getting close to being finished sourcing parts.
First, cam sprockets and lifters. My engine builder is getting the cams, springs, retainers, keepers and shims, NAPREC is providing the larger valves, but Tomei is out of stock on sprockets and lifters. Luckily, Tomei USA had some in stock. I was offered HKS sprockets, but I don't like only having three bolts locking the sprocket down. I'm sure there are few instances of failure, if any, but I just want maximum clamping. The Tomei sprockets have five bolts so good to go. The lifters are required because of the lift on the cams. They are 10.25 so factory height lifters won't work with that base circle. NAPREC also has to hog out the casting to let those things actually spin in the head.
I ordered ARP studs and bolts, but I forgot that I told ole boy to use some Tomei head and main studs. Not sure why I did that. They are more expensive and no better. Oh well, I know I'll be building another RB26 so I have those parts already. I will be using the flywheel bolts at least.
This is a crucial component, the harmonic balancer. I'm very serious about combating vibration in the rotating assembly. That has a lot to do with the fully counterweighted crankshaft which, owing to how beat up it got in transit, will probably be heading back into the machine shop for a check and possible rebalance. The ATI unit is rated highly and seen on many big power builds.
It comes with 360 degrees of timing marks and a water pump pulley.
I've been sort of reconsidering the crazy power figures. There's no real racing around here, legal or otherwise so it was sort of, dare I say, unnecessary. Having the blocks held up and sort of being cornered into using a cracked block, at least for now, gave me cover to back down without looking indecisive. I am indecisive as I'm sure everyone has noticed, I just want some cover. Sure, it's as sheer as a Victoria's Secret camisole, but it's still cover, dammit!
I went over to the shop to tell them the bad news. They weren't surprised; they've been burned too. I asked them to keep the drag head going up at Naprec, but to have the other quench pad cut out too. If that thing does get used it will be for a four digit power build. I started brainstorming with them about a substantially lower power build because of the cracked block. Turns out he had a cracked one just come back from the machine shop. Yup, it's cracked. They put sealer on the cracks and installed cylinder sleeves. I don't like those cracks, but if I bought five used RB26 engines, probably four of the blocks would have the same cracks.
The sleeves were bored for the model of CP piston they use in almost all their builds. It's no coincidence that my stroker kit uses the same size pistons, albeit with a higher pin height to compensate for the stroke and thus allowing stock length rods. He wanted to make me a "deal" on a rotating assembly for the block, but I squashed that, "we're using the stroker kit." I have amassed so many boxes of brand new parts for various projects that I never finished, nope, I'm not doing that again. If I thought I would be cornered into using a cracked block I wouldn't have bought the stroker kit, but I did, I'm using it. If I do build another engine I'll get an even better rotating assembly, but if I don't I don't have a $6K stroker kit and oil pump taking up space in one, read that ONE of my shipping containers. Yes, SHIPPING CONTAINER, you know, one of these.
I have two filled to the top with car parts NOT ONE MORE PART!. Well, maybe just the drag head, and, the new stock head, and the new block when it gets here, and, um, the other new block, SHUT UP!
Alright, what's the focus of this "low power" engine. If it doesn't have huge power, IMO, it should offset that by being brutally responsive, I mean a real neck-snapper with a fat torque curve that eats up windy roads and casual stoplight confrontations. I think 400whp with a really aggressive response character will make a really fun, highly streetable and still mean enough to bloody some noses kind of car. That should help keep the drivetrain together as well. The stroker crank is going to bring more torque, I've asked him to send a used stock head up to have the guides changed and he's going to clean up the ports, but the quench pads are staying in. This should give me even more grunt, but limit top end boost, but I think the block is already doing that. I asked him to round off the edges of the pads to prevent hot, sharp edges, but otherwise leave the chambers alone. A set of slightly higher lift, longer duration Tomei Poncams, some new lifters and springs and done up top. I'll use a stock intake instead of the big Greddy tank, again, for response and instead of the T78 I'll grab a GTX3582R turbo. That should spool up like crazy.
I'm rolling the dice bigtime with this block and I will have to keep an eye on my gauges and my oil and coolant for any signs the block has failed completely. I would argue strongly with anyone else about the foolishness of this course of action, but I understand fully the risk and I accept that I might roll snake eyes and be pulling this engine back out in a few months after it splits down the middle. I wouldn't wish it on anyone else, but I can handle the heartbreak if it happens. There's a nice gentleman down in New Zealand who be only too happy to ship me up a built RB30 to bolt my cylinder head of doom onto.
I'm just wore out with buying all this stuff. I know, woe is me, but it's to the point now where there's no more joy in acquisition, just more money getting burned up on a frivolous project. The haul today is technically stuff I already paid for so, yeah. The cylinder head up at Naprec will be for the big power build and these bits and pieces are going in that. Tomei smorgasbord right here.
I had to order the cam gears and the lifters myself, this is the rest of the package. First the valve springs.
Now all the studs to hold the business together.
I am using the new ARP head and main studs to bolt the A-Team engine, but the beast gets these. The Tomei units have these posts at the bottoms. They bottom out in the hole to further stabilize the studs.
Now the bumpsticks that will orchestrate this show.
The lift is so high the head has to be cut to clear them. This is one of the things Naprec is doing for me.
Be sure to put them in right or you're going to have a bad time.
I decided I can live with the missing quench pad on my old head to save some money buying another used head. I'll have some new bronze guides installed, get some new Tomei valve springs and reuse the Apexi cams and lifters, but the old HKS cam gears are going on the auction block.
So, the GT turbo sold. I took a massive loss on it, but I was stupid and stupid costs money. At least it won't just sit on the shelf and never get used and the sale will cover the cost of its replacement. The guy is putting it on the 2JZ in his Supra. That is going to be a wicked combination so I'm happy for him, the turbo and me. As soon as Full Race can put the invoice together we'll get my S300 SXE 64.5mm turbo on its way over. That should be snappy as all get out on the 2.8.
I went over to the shop to pay for the head work on that head that, that's right, is going in a box and sitting on a shelf like a mythical weapon to be retrieved in case of crisis to free the people from oppression, to vanquish thine enemy, yada yada. They have the block's cylinders honed for my pistons, the piston ring gaps all filed to size and the crank installed. That big sumbitch spins nice in there. Happy.
Yeah, all bolted in. Wait, what, why is it BOLTED in? Remember these?
I know I gave him the main studs and ONLY the main studs. These guys are so disorganized I don't trust them to hold any of my parts that they aren't going to be installing immediately. They are nice guys, but, seriously, I've seen an 8 year old run a lemonade stand with more oversight. So I ask him if it's in for good or just mocked up. He says It's in for good. I ask why he used bolts. He gives me a dumb look. I have gotten to the point of not replying to painfully obvious questions so I give him a Red Foreman, newspaper down "dumbass" look. Hey, whaddayaknow, he gets there all by himself "you gave me head studs," I just swing my head slowly back and forth. He runs over to my parts pile, pulls the ARP box out, reads it, opens it and starts talking about some unrelated s*** while he fires up his air ratchet and starts unscrewing the stock main bolts. Fearing I might loop the air hose around his neck and choke him out I walked out.
Dude, please pull your head out of your a** before I drop that GT-R off the lift onto your head. I am paying you to do a job and you are f*** up at every turn. It's no longer that dream I had all those years ago, it's like a bad colonoscopy and you already have the camera up my a**. Focus, f***, go blanka and finish this better than anything you have ever done and give me back my car with no BS. I promise to bite my lip and let you finish poking around in my a** just so I can be done with it. Make sure every bolt was tightened, every task completed and nothing, NOTHING, will fail due to a dumb mistake you made. Hey, if the block leaks, it was cracked. I chose to take that risk, not your fault. An improperly torqued bolt comes loose and grenades my engine, though, and we are going to have a serious problem. I promise I will come by CONSTANTLY and check EVERYTHING you do to "help" you achieve greatness for both our sakes. You can tell your buddy to quit giving me the stinkeye when I do too. If you weren't f*** up all the time I would still have confidence in you. You killed that now here we are. It's my money, it's my car and you are a scatterbrain. I am now an auditor, fine. I think you can do a good job if I look over your shoulder and catch every mistake so that's what I will have to do. I told you to give me my Naprec head back without doing anything else to it for a reason. We will not be working together ever again.
I've found that good machine work is hard to find. I went through 3 machine shops, an engine with low oil pressure due to the oil galleys in the crank not being plugged, a damaged cylinder due to forgetting to debur a ring, and a block bored with 0.003" of taper in the cylinders from top to bottom before I found my current guy, who's done 3 engines for me now without a hiccup.
So, I went over there yesterday and when I walked in one guy asked me whether I wanted one or both quench pads cut out. Sensing trouble I sighed "both." He turns to the other guy and says "I told you!" Count, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, "why do you ask?" The head has arrived back from getting all the mods. Oh, did I say all, how stupid of me. I open the box and sure enough, only the intake pad was cut out. Before I let out the rage I took a moment to admire what had been done, HOLY CRAP! This thing is sexy! The CNC work is a thing of beauty. Ok, though, time to lose my cool. They start apologizing profusely and I say "f*** it, give it to me."
I've already sort of showed my displeasure several times so they step back then insist they can send it back at no extra charge, but I just walk away and start looking at my boss' car; he's got the same turbo I'm ordering, I'm visualizing, happy. They try to use my boss to translate what they are saying. He's like "he understands you, why are you talking to me?" Finally they whine so much I'll do anything to make the s*** stop so I just point at the box on the shop floor and say "do it then and while you're at it send the other head out already, why is it still here?"
Now, I swing by Nissan today to pick up my grab bag of little odds and ends; you know, all those little oft-forgotten seals and gaskets and crap that you don't remember until you are putting the engine together; I remembered. I brought some of them over, but not all; I don't need them losing this stuff. The short block is coming together.
Oh crap.... Did you see it? How about now?
I am building an improvised explosive device, folks. Yup, this thing is not going to make it to 2017. Hell, my new block that is scheduled to arrive in October should be just in time because the safe money is this engine will be coming right back out with oil and coolant running out of multiple cracks. I'll order some piston rings because I'm going to need them. The upside is because this engine will likely fail within months I doubt the pistons will even be scuffed when they are invariably pulled out. For reasons that should be obvious I will be having that engine built by someone else.
What I would really like to do is bring this block back, put it down on the floor of their shop then go back to my car and come back with my 12lb sledgehammer and smash the block into a pile of metal. I would then wipe off my sledgehammer with their cleanest rag, I like my sledgehammer, and leave and never come back.
I have been on the fence about doing the intercooler pipes in the same wrinkle black. I came down off the fence and had them done. The GT-R has a mess of pipes and couplers, and twin blow off valve mounts and mess like that; a lot of it long rubber hoses. It looks like crap and it's not good enough. I picked up the Greddy hard pipe kit which replaces a majority of the pipe and hose run with smooth highly polished cast pipes with silicone couplers. They look great right out of the box.
All things being equal I would love to have everything all shiny and polished, but I live close to the ocean and everything rusts even aluminum; white rust. After everything is installed, even if I was the kind of guy to religiously polish stuff, I wouldn't be able to get at most of the shiny stuff. That, combined with the fact that I am NOT the kind of guy to clean stuff regularly even if I could easily reach it led me to powdercoat a lot of stuff. Any place where I can eliminate a maintenance task is advantageous. Gotta coat those pipes too!
To ease hose installation, like the surge tank, I had the coater leave the ends uncoated.
I gave a little nod to the bling and had him leave the cast in Greddy script uncoated too; the contrast really pops.
Ok, the new screw arrived. The T78 was acceptable back when the engine build was for a top end car, but with the broken block build and its lower power figure and the focus being on response, that ancient, slow spooling design is a non-starter. No, I want the turbo to scream onto boost. There were a few on the list of possibles. The GTX3582R and the Borg Warner EFR 8374. Both are a little large, but they offset that by being much more efficient than the dated Greddy unit and also have a lot of overhead so I might be able to use them on the next build. Unfortunately, both are not cheap being ball bearing types, are thus not easily rebuildable if something should go wrong. You know, like if you had a sketchy block that might spring a leak at full scream. I'm already risking my stroker kit, I'm not going to double down with a bleeding edge level turbo. I went with the Borg Warner S300 SXE. Here it is next to the T78.
It's a bushing turbo, but has a 360 degree thrust bearing and with the billet wheel, antisurge compressor housing and capability to mount a wheel speed sensor, it's not exactly "settling," but if something goes catastrophically wrong and the turbo gets shredded, I'm out $1200, not $2400. It's the 64.5 wheel and I opted to kick in a little extra to get the black ceramic coating on the exhaust housing. I chose the 0.91 back side to further emphasis response. i can later switch out to a larger backside if this turbo carries over to the next build and I want to see just how crazy it can get.
Billet wheel. I have been reading about it, but there is a lot of conflicting information over there. Billet is obviously better than cast, and my local shop always recommends it, but the debate surrounds whether it is actually more reliable or not since there is minimal performance gain or at all.
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