RB26 S13 – Big Gates, Bigger Cooler Piping

Once the manifolds were done, gates and cooler piping was next on the list.


The main thing I wanted to keep in mind when doing all the piping, was to make sure it was neat. Of course that takes a lot of time, but I’d rather spend the extra bit and have it look so much better. I still wanted to run my cooler upside down to reduce the amount I needed, but also didn’t want to make it a pain in the ass to get to everything. Unfortunately with a twin turbo setup like mine and massive tubs, it’s not that easy to have the best of both worlds.


The cold side was relatively easy, just a few slight bends and a quarter donut and it was basically finished.


I originally planned to open up the sheet in the tube front for easier access to some things, but decided against it in the end. I want to keep the bay as clean as possible and having it mostly enclosed will help in the long run.


Just needed to add some 3″ silicone and a few big clamps to finish it off.



Now for the really hard part. The hot side.

Should just call it the ‘500 people in an elevator’ side.


The routing for this took a little while to figure out. The manifolds were done and turbos were mounted in their final positions so nothing was moving, but there was only the smallest amount of room to play with.

Since the car is twin turbo, I had to run a pair of 2″ pipes on top of each other which then merged into one 3.5″ just before the cooler. A few people brought up the need to have a twin exit cooler, but why have an extra outlet when you can just merge the pair together? There is less piping needed, much less room needed and it saves buying more clamps and silicone hose.


Both entries into the compressor housings ended up being run alongside the tub and directly above the chassis rail. This way I could still run my lines without any issues and also be able to get to the initial join if a cooler pipe were to come off.

The merger has a small piece of a 3″ donut, then a whole bunch of time grafting to split it into the pair of 2″ pipes. The top pipe going into turbo one and the bottom going to a silicone join which attaches to a straight piece of 2″, then connects to a 90º silicone into compressor housing.

Wow that sounded complicated.

Lots more clamps and silicone and a whole bunch of hours later, the hot side was complete with turbo intakes.


I didn’t get much chance to take photos of everything when the cooler piping was getting done, so this rundown is a little weak with content. Hopefully it all makes sense!

Now that both cooler piping done and manifolds were done, what is left to make the hot side work? A pair of noisy toys and some lines.

I’ve never had anything from Precision before so this was a first for me.


On the 180sx I have a Turbosmart 45mm Progate and haven’t had too many issues with it. The V-band kept coming loose over a few events and there was times where it wouldn’t open on the dyno, but other than that it has been ok. I don’t have a problem with Turbosmart gates, but I wanted to try something different so I can compare. I did originally want to try the new Tial MV-R gate to see what the water cooling system is like, but I couldn’t get onto any because of supply issues.

So I grabbed a pair of 46mm Precision gates.


Pretty big for something that’s classed on the smaller side of wastegates!


Screamer pipes were added after the dump pipes were made, which meant the entire hot side was almost complete. Final thing left to do was the plumbing, which I did over the next 20 or so hours.

By this point, I had 3 weeks left. Matsuri was starting to look like a real possibility instead of just a dream!


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