I’ll start this post with a question: is a GT-R even a GT-R if it hasn’t been modified in some way? I mean, wasn’t that the whole point of the GT-R to begin with? (OK, that’s a second question!)
The GT-R was born out of Nissan’s desire to get into endurance racing and was therefore designed as a solid platform to build on. Owners of GT-R production cars have followed the same sort of path, with a few improvements here and there to extract some of the model’s hidden performance potential. Some have gone much further and created a setting icon.
Which brings us to the point of this article. Although 33 years have passed since the introduction of the BNR32, 27 years since the inception of the BCNR33, and 23 years since the BNR34 debuted, there is still plenty of aftermarket R&D going into the trio powered by the Nissan RB26. In fact, it’s something that has only increased in recent years thanks to a resurgence of interest in the model. For a GT-R owner, there’s never been a better time to fine-tune every aspect of their car.
At R’s Meeting, I always like to do a quick overview of the new exhibits that set me apart. This year we’ll start at the Trust booth, where their BNR34 test rig sat front and center.
In my first R’s Meeting 2022 ticket, I mentioned a new Trust part that was in one of the R34 engine blueprints. In case you haven’t spotted it, I was referring to the intake manifold.
This new plenum, surge tank, or whatever you prefer to call it, is an awesome addition to any high-powered RB26 build and a nice upgrade from the original two-piece GReddy item that’s been on sale ever since. still.
The plenum is available in two configurations, one to match the stock six-throttle body setup and another that mounts Trust’s own GReddy 100mm throttle body. The Collector isn’t just about increasing the volume; thanks to the shape and design of the sliders, it evenly distributes the intake load to each of the engine’s six intake ports.
At OS Giken there was a new gadget that a lot of people were taking a closer look at…
The OS Giken EPC (Electric Pressure Controller) is pretty much the next step up from ATTESA ET-S control, something that was born out of the need to keep these cars on the road. The OEM pressure sensor used in second-generation GT-Rs is no longer made by Nissan, but it is something that is needed for these cars to pass shaken, The semi-annual technical control of Japan.
About 10 years ago we had a new generation of digital g-sensors that replaced the OEM mechanical units. As the signal coming from the unit was faster, these units helped to make the torque split more responsive, and with a few software tweaks you can somehow trick the system to transfer more torque to the front wheels more long time. I always lead one of these units – a Tarzan Yamada/Do-Luck collab – in GT-R Project. The Giken EPC OS refines this, with faster, more efficient control coming straight from the OEM pressure valve.
This unit will go on sale next month, priced around the equivalent of US$1,000. I’m told another mode-selectable version that lets you fine-tune the car’s behavior for different driving characteristics is in the works, but of course that’s coming at a higher price.
Of course, the EPC wasn’t the only cool thing the Giken OS had on display; these guys are best known for their high performance clutches and LSDs after all.
Staying on the mechanical side of things, Auto Gallery Yokohama has been busy making their demo machines and customer cars faster in the time attack competition.
Besides engine tuning and general car preparation and setup, AGY are masters of the GT-R drivetrain. They were among the first to beef up the 5-speed gearboxes of the R32 and R33, offering higher quality components and closer gear ratios for those who do a lot of track work or tougé driving, and are now the benchmark for R34 Getrag gearbox refreshes. In addition to the above, they also offer options such as WPC treated gears and heavy duty synchros and springs.
I was blown away by these R34 GT-R billet joins. From Auto Gallery Yokohama’s Time Attack R&D, they reinforce the entire assembly to optimize handling and braking performance. The knuckles apparently eliminate kickback and vibration through the steering, and R35 GT-R hub bearings are used, which are both stronger and more durable. I’m told they’re great for regular road use as well.
Auto Gallery Yokohama is responsible for popularizing ribbed RB26 cam covers with a design based on the stock RB20 cover, and these are perfect for anyone who wants to give their GT-R engine a JGTC look. Alongside the blue powder coated covers, they even had a next-gen anodized GReddy intake manifold.
Also on display were a few other billet components that AGY will be testing on its cars; a wild motorsport-style tail end and a new design RB26 sump. So awesome!
Midori Seibi Center is another big name in GT-R tuning that never misses R’s Meeting.
I took a good look at the Midori R32 demo car, and in particular their approach to the titanium struts. Since the original Nismo item cost crazy money on the used market, a number of Japanese tuners have started offering their own alternatives. Midori’s brace is probably the simplest of the lot. Thoughts?
Ignition coils are a very important upgrade from the RB26 as the stock items, although dated and obviously weak, eventually malfunction and cause misfire issues. Midori has partnered with Ignition Projects to offer its own solution based on R35 coils. Above is IP’s own R35 kit, which comes with all the wiring needed to fit it.
Keeping your GT-R comfortable and drivable even in the middle of a sweltering Japanese summer requires A/C system service, which Midori does with a selection of rebuilt products and higher quality condensers.
From HICAS cancellers to exhausts, suspensions, brakes and everything else I’ve covered, Midori Seibi Center has you covered for all your GT-R tuning needs.
I can’t mention Midori without mentioning Mine, as they are two of the fiercest rivals of the era.
Mine didn’t bring too many parts to the event, but of course they brought the Built By Legends R33 GT-R, which is pretty much a full catalog release. Like others, Mine supports the GT-R market with more trim parts, plastics and general consumables that eventually break or need replacing over time. Their R32 center console trim is a good example.
No more titanium spacers!
One part I spotted in the BBL R33 was that perfectly fitting electronic brake lever cover.
I was super excited to see if HKS had made any progress on the insanely complex turbo/intake piping they showed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January.
I was unlucky though, as they are apparently saving this for a TAS 2023 reveal, which makes sense. I heard the pipes looked amazing, all carbon fiber, but I hate to think how much it would cost!
As always, it was fun looking at the low end kits from HKS and dreaming of a torquey RB28 build…
And of course, no RB build would be complete without the necessary cylinder head work. I had a chat with Nagoya-san from NAPREC, who told me about the three main packages they offer for the RB26 and the benefits of each. I love running my fingers over the CNC machined intake and exhaust ports and precision cut valve seats… OK, time to move on cause this is getting weird now!
Here is a preview of the RB engine that Tomei Powered was showing.
The welding on their front pipes is something quite special.
I also came across some new parts for the R35, including this Blitz turbo upgrade. The kit is built around the stock turbos and is good for a healthy, reliable 750hp with supporting mods.
And I will end up here in the service of Kansai; you can see their R34 GT-R demo car in the foreground of this post. I’ve always liked the emphasis they place on reinforcing the underside of the GT-R chassis; it’s a good way to add stiffness without being intrusive.
Hope you enjoyed the coverage of this year’s R’s Meeting and the evolution of the GT-R tuning scene itself. Do you agree that we are indeed living in a peak period in GT-R?
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