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RB20DET into my 240Z

70 Cam Guy

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It's about time I started my build thread. Progress has moved forward enough that I decided to start this.


A little background... I had originally planned on building a modest NA L28 and was massing parts for that. However my friends run a shop in Oakland, and an RB20 with transmission practically fell in their lap. We made some arrangements and it was decided I could get more power from the 20 for not much more, and plans changed ;)


I started selling my L parts and ordering bits for the RB. I found Skylines Australia for info on basic mods and dyno info.


The parts:

Nissan gasket set for a reseal and inspection

Nissan Pitwork timing belt, water pump, tensioner, idler

ARP head studs


RB25 stock turbo w/RB20 actuator

Thai ebay intake manifold with front facing plenum

ebay split dump pipe into 2.5" exhaust

ebay front mount with custom piping


HKS air filter pod

Nismo thermostat

Nismo adjustable Fuel Pressure regulator

Bosch 044 fuel pump

Hallman manual boost controller



I plan on running 13-14 psi and adjusting AFR's with the AFC. I know it's no Power FC but the Australian guys seem to be getting good AFR's on their dyno runs with them.


Anyway, on to the beginning of the pics. I apologize in advance for any gratuitous artsy sh*t with the camera. Photography is my other hobby :lol:


The engine as received, wasn't thrilled with the Fram oil filter but oh well:













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On to the tear down...


The head looked brand new, the cylinders were pristine, and the bottom end also looked as good. I probably could have run it without opening it but this is good peace of mind at this point.


On the stand in a sea of other engines.




The original owner must have regularly changed the oil. There was no sludge or even an oil stain under the valve covers










I had never seen a main bearing cap like this before. Talk about stout!!

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The intake manifold turned into a good amount of work to fix. It came bowed like crazy. The seller was very cooperative and refunded some of my money.


There was no way to bend it or work it straight. We decided to cut the runners and re-weld it flat. So you're not worried, I was wearing my welding helmet taking those pictures... I like my vision ;)


I cut the runners and evened the lengths. My friend welded it up. They have a Miller Synchrowave (it's awesome)







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Parts started rolling in, factory turbo from the RB25. The intake side is larger than the 20's turbo and bolts right on.




Flywheels and cylinder head back from the machine shop with fresh valve seals and pressure test. The flywheel lost 4 pounds on its visit to the machinist




Hooray boost gauge!




I spent a whole Saturday grinding and shaping the stock exhaust manifold, and shaving the heat shield bosses. My buddy helped fill in the holes as best he could. I sent out the manifold to Jet Hot in Oklahoma City for the JH2000 black coating.



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Work continued on the engine. Head studs installed and head torqued down. I re-sprayed the coil cover flat black to clean up the look.






I painted the valve covers with Hammered finish Rustoleum. It's cheap it really came out looking great. The timing belt came with the sticker for the cover and I fully plan on using it. :)







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Engine ready to be dropped in... Somewhere along the way I painted the block basic black.








The starter was missing so I used the (now) famous NAPA reman unit that someone here discovered. I happened to see the link back here on a 240SX site or nico

Edited by 70 Cam Guy
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The exhaust manifold is back and I am REALLY happy with how it came out. All that time was worth it






I painted the runners textured black to match the exhaust side and I'm happy with how it looks. You can see how we routed the water lines underneath the manifold. We just cut the bends from the original line and TIG'ed it together.





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Nice build!


Is that a Ruf in the background in the first few pics? It looks reeeeeally nice.




My understanding is that it's a 964 (late-80s) with a 993 turbo body swap, lots of carbon fiber. The engine was pretty crazy, twin turbo, ITB, lots of work. Afraid I can't find a regular pic of the car. I believe it made 360 hp at the wheels and was maxing out the injectors. It was supposed to be built for 600 to the ground. Apparently it would really rip and break all 4 tires loose






The S2000 behind was in for an LS1 swap and he was going for his BAR / Ref sticker







Edited by 70 Cam Guy
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Time for one update before I call it a night,


The engine is in for test fitting. Everything actually bolted in, and as expected it is sitting high. We are actually using some Volvo motor mounts that dropped the engine perfectly. The mounts were slotted a little so the holes lined up. They're routing the harness underneath the manifold so it's a partial wire tuck







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Nice build ! Its giving me idea's ! My buddy has a rb20det in his 280z putting 450 to the ground ! Please tell me more about the motor mounts, which Volvo, any modifications to them.

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I like your build :> and that KE70 wagon in the last of the 964 pictures is hot :o (sorry but they are my favorite toyota)




No problem, there are bound to be distractions in the background. Afraid I don't have any good pics of his car but I found one on his flickr. My friends wired up everything to get his 4AG (16 valve) swap finished. As far as I know it's all smog/emissions legal. The exhaust is silly loud too :lol:



DSC_0449 by HELLLA KENNY, on Flickr


Edit - found one of mine at night...


Edited by 70 Cam Guy
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I spy a RB engine in the 2nd pic where they are tuning the Porsche... (by the clock over doorway :) )


Where is this shop?


I wasn't sure what the rules were on talking about the shop, but it's Performance Options, in Oakland, CA. They do old and new performance, fab and general repair. http://www.performanceoptions.net/


I'm no pro but I do their web site, I wasn't sure where the line was there on the rules.


And yes, you do spy a 26 in the background. It's another customer car. There's a bit of a story there too. They put the car together with the motor he supplied assembled. The problem, and there's a lesson here, was the valve covers were powder coated. They weren't cleaned before being bolted on and the PCV baffles were full of sand. Can you see where this is going? So the end result was a dead quiet and smooth engine that didn't last very long. It's getting rebuilt. If you ever have your valve covers powder coated, be VERY careful and clean them thoroughly.


It was an R33 GTS Spec V and they installed the 26 with AWD transmission. The tuner is Frank from Garage Boso in Southern CA. He comes up and tunes on the dyna-packs.













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nice to see a local car turning into a beast! hope to see it in person sometime


Definitely! I can't wait to drive it, getting very close now :)


There's a handful of hybrid Z's around the bay. I definitely love the RB. They sound, as I like to put it, untamed.

Edited by 70 Cam Guy
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