RB26 S13 – The Tune

22nd of September, 2015, I had the motor started for the first time in five years. 20 minutes later, it was having fun on the dyno.

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After finishing off the exhaust and all the lines, I still had a bit prep left to do and only 4 hours left.

I had a couple little things to finish off in the boot, but the engine was 100% ready to fire up.

The last time I had the engine running before this was sometime in September 2010. After getting it into the car with the RB25 box and a very dodgy loom, I drove it down the driveway about 6 metres then reversed it back into the garage. Since then, it hadn’t moved.

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5 years later and here it was, ready to have some fun.

With everything checked over in the front and the last few things finished in the boot, it was good to go to the tuners.

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Looked like half a car when it was out in the sunlight.

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Lucky for me, RacePace was 5 minutes down the road so I didn’t have to drive very far.

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After playing with a couple things, we had it ready to start.

First go, cranked and fired no problems!

But didn’t last long unfortunately. 30 seconds or so into running it was melting #1 coil pack. Replaced the melted one with a fresh coil pack and tried again, but same problem. Hoping that it was just the loom, we borrowed one off the boss’ car and fitted it. Problem fixed! Started it again and had it running for a good few mins, making decent temps and sounding pretty perfect.

At this point I was over the moon with happiness. After an insane amount of hours and so many thoughts about wether or not the motor was still ok, all of that was gone!

Now time for some fun on the dyno.

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The first time hearing everything was pretty awesome. Sure I’ve heard countless RB26 on the street, at tuners, at the track, at drift events, circuit days, pretty much everywhere. But hearing your own one is a whole different feeling, especially when you have waited 5 years for it.

Everything was running well, no weird noises. There was a tiny bit of air in the system that we couldn’t get rid of after doing some bleeding, but apart from that everything was going great.

I have to mention the SPAL thermo fan too, WOW. The guys at PWR said the fans are great quality and they work well, but I didn’t realise how well they meant until we had it on the dyno. We un plugged the fan for about 5 minutes to get the engine up to a higher running temp, then plugged it in. Not only is it REALLY loud, but holy crap it works REALLY well.

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We got the car up to 88ºC then turned the fan on. Within 2 minutes, water temp had dropped down to 75ºC. The fan has some serious power! You can stand behind the car and get a massive hit of air at your feet. Not trying to overhype this thing but couldn’t believe how powerful it was. And this wasn’t even the most powerful one available!

With everything up to temp and all running the best it could, Chris did some fine tuning on the computer and started doing some power runs.

About an hour worth of solid runs with all going great, we did a few more for a final number.

Revved out to 8500rpm, no tyre slip, 17psi and a very healthy sounding engine. This was the result!

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I knew the car was going to make power but holy crap. My motor is completely standard internally apart from adjustable cam gears, the only things it has are bolt ons!

Standard RB26 running only 17psi makes almost 400kw? That’s insane.

Anyway, back to the rundown. It’s not super laggy, but it also isn’t amazingly responsive. Full boost comes in around 4400rpm and runs all the way up to limiter at 8500rpm. The turbo’s weren’t in the perfect efficiency range so they weren’t at their peak performance. I could have easily run them up to 19-21psi but that would put the motor at a higher risk of detonation, which I didn’t want.

Apparently the motor is making that number very easily, so it can be pushed a bit further to make even more power. But if I’m honest, 373.2kw is more than enough already. I originally thought it would run to about 330-340kw, so making way more than I expected at such a low boost is kind of overwhelming.

After celebrating a little bit and talking with the guys about what was next, I loaded up and headed off.

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I got back around 10pm and unloaded my freshly tuned car.

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So what was next?

Tune was finished, all the mechanical things were done, the whole suspension category was finished and 90% of the fabrication was done. Only one thing left right?

The next 3 straight days were extremely busy, stripping it for the final piece of the puzzle. Paint.

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