ST Holy Sh*t


NZ Performance Car - - Nissan Gt-r V-spec 1997 (r33) -

ban­ter bit of along-run­ning with its here is chas­sis, st he R 33 pre­vi­ous sug­gest t he that ncrease over i ves­sel than slight weight seafaring of ann, is more gen­er­a­tio gen­er­a­tio as the next he — ironic, opped t a land-goer never c an again, but al­ways heav­ier s is rt herei How­eve mould, and same rap. break the the to help burst into ex­cep­tion about are talk­ing fastest, most the car we the it’s one of while. event proved in a fair after a re­cent our shores to hit R33 GT-R. lime­light cars driven track Hitec–owned g the vi­cious street- re­fer­ring to it­self the ST de­vel­opin for en­gine in course, a name We are, of has made loved the team still a much- far they Although the RB is just how n of GT-R, wanted to see gen­er­a­tio lat­est crew and the ST niz­able Zealand, un­recog New ome­what one. d nine ti sas pur­chase could push i in­stalled sits to­day, Orig­i­nally As the car weapon. se rat rack of fac­tory-ver­sion com­po­nents, of a late ’90 up ex­am­ple a chuffed- bolt- on al­ready pack­ing ba­sic made by only call was years ago sup­ported the it was time be­fore some RB26 en­gine, for in that for­mat and did duty GT-R. ul­ti­mate R33 to build the

Com­pany di­rec­tor Iain Clegg, and Arnie Nguyen — who drove his first im­port car to run a sub-10-sec­ond quar­ter-mile in New Zealand — spit­balled en­gine con­cepts just as a RB26/30 com­bi­na­tion be­came avail­able that had been built by Tay­lor Au­to­mo­tive, in Auck­land. The team wanted to test the dura­bil­ity of the RB30 pack­age, “This was to give us a base­line, like any ex­per­i­ment you have a con­trol sam­ple, so to speak. The RB30 was pur­chased as a re­search and devel­op­ment ex­er­cise to see for our­selves what they are ca­pa­ble of, and how the en­gine would re­spond to dif­fer­ent com­po­nents,” said shop gen­eral man­ager, Ste­wart Mearns. As the Tay­lor Au­to­mo­tive en­gine was a solid run­ner and would pro­vide a suit­able start­ing plat­form, it was bought, and a few of the ba­sic essen­tials were added, like a qual­ity set of forged Ea­gle rods and pis­tons, and a vir­tu­ally fac­tory RB26 head with up­graded camshafts. Se­lect­ing the right turbo for the com­bi­na­tion was harder, and they set­tled on an ab­so­lutely massive Gar­rett GTX42R.

This ba­sic pieced-to­gether com­bi­na­tion pro­vided valu­able data dur­ing dyno ses­sions on how dif­fer­ent com­po­nents af­fected the en­gine out­put, and what was re­quired to achieve their fi­nal goal — massive, re­spon­sive power. “We knew it would be an av­er­age en­gine, as the cylin­der head was close to stock, but what sur­prised us was how much power it did make for such a ba­sic pack­age,” Ste­wart ex­plained. “Our main con­cern at the time was the RB30 be­ing known to de­stroy stock cranks, and it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore that would fail with the amount of torque we were push­ing out of it”. How­ever, it wasn’t the crank that was the first com­po­nent to let go — while test­ing the car at Mere­mere Drag­way the diff and left-rear axle failed, and fear­ing the crank would be

next, the team de­cided that the test en­gine had done its job. After more than enough dyno and test­ing ses­sions, it was re­tired while they fur­thered their re­search into build­ing that ul­ti­mate pack­age.

The team vis­ited the GT-R fes­ti­val in Syd­ney, and used the oc­ca­sion to check out what the guys across the ditch were do­ing and the next step was to col­lect up a gag­gle of su­per-tough parts, and piece these to­gether into a us­able pack­age.

Keep­ing the weaker crank is­sue in mind, they hunted for a so­lu­tion that wouldn’t fail while try­ing to push out big fig­ures. Spool Aus­tralia came to the party with one of its bil­let crank kits, and while dis­cussing the idea, the guys at Spool said, “Why not stroke the en­gine while you’re at it?”

The Spool RB34 kit cov­ered off all the bases: a bil­let 4340-al­loy full coun­ter­weighted 94mm ni­trided storker crank­shaft, forged rods, ARP rod bolts, and cus­tom CP forged pis­tons, with heavy-duty wrist pins, and best of all, it in­creases en­gine ca­pac­ity for a butt-load of ex­tra torque — what more could you ask for from an RB30?

Arnie pre­pared the bot­tom end in-house — start­ing by grout fill­ing the block to re­move air from be­tween the bores and cast­ing, cre­at­ing a more rigid struc­ture that is ca­pa­ble of han­dling the stresses brought on from high power lev­els. The nec­es­sary ma­chine work was taken care of by the orig­i­nal owner of this mo­tor’s foun­da­tions, Tay­lor Au­to­mo­tive, which also fit­ted a decked plate for ex­tra strength prior to bor­ing the block to suit the forged pis­tons. While the block was a rel­a­tively straight­for­ward task, the cylin­der head was another story — hun­dreds of hours were spent con­fig­ur­ing CNC pro­gram­ming in Aus­tralia to suit the very de­tailed spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and to com­plete the ex­ten­sive work that would open up the fac­tory RB26 for de­cent airflow. Two more heads were pro­duced, one of which was used on an Aus­tralian 1118kW (1500hp) GT-R drag car. “We specced the head with over­sized valves, guides, cam fol­low­ers, springs, ti­ta­nium re­tain­ers, and a stud kid that was sourced from Tomei Ja­pan,” Ste­wart says, “While the camshafts

were a Pro­cams spe­cial 280-de­gree in­take and 290-de­gree ex­haust op­tion”. The same man­i­fold, GTX42R turbo, and HKS F-CON ECU were re­tained from the pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion, and a new ATI crank damper and Tomei gas­ket set were in­stalled too. The same ba­sic fuel sys­tem was used with a switch over to E85, which helps im­prove cool­ing and pro­vide the sought-after bang.

Such a com­bi­na­tion re­quires a bulletproof driv­e­train, so in­stead of muck­ing around us­ing OEM op­tions they went straight for the real deal, a Holinger H-pat­tern six-speed box, and to en­sure a track­proven trans­mis­sion of this cal­i­bre gets the sup­port it needs, an OS Giken four-plate clutch was in­stalled. How­ever, when they hopped on the dyno for some ini­tial test­ing the new con­fig­u­ra­tion proved too pow­er­ful for the H-pat­tern, which un­for­tu­nately de­vel­oped a split in the

trans­fer case. Luck­ily a Holinger six-speed se­quen­tial was sit­ting on the shelf in Aus for a rainy day, and boy was it rain­ing only two weeks out from Pow­er­cruise, so it was ur­gently shipped over and jammed into place. The team told us that while its ac­cel­er­a­tion is still in­cred­i­bly rapid, the the se­quen­tial is a lot longer be­tween gears com­pared to the H pat­tern, which means it is slower to get up to speed: “It [the H pat­tern] would nor­mally chop through gears in an in­stant, bang, bang, bang and you’re in fifth, fly­ing”. Be­cause the in­ten­tion is to pa­trol the streets in a ves­sel of this cal­i­bre, the team made a point of en­sur­ing their hard work un­der the bon­net wouldn’t be let down by the ex­te­rior. So the car got a Zeemax Rac­ing wide­body kit fea­tur­ing a wider rear end than Kim K, plus the front guards to match, all coated in lus­cious House of Kolor red candy flake paint­work by In­fin­ity Au­toworks.

To com­ple­ment such a booty­ful rear there’s the spoiler-less boot lid, a Top Se­cret flush-mount ex­am­ple which re­moves the pro­trud­ing side stays for a cleaner fin­ish. There is method to this su­per wide-body, as it al­lows for cus­tom-made 20-inch Work Meis­ter S1Ps and su­per-sticky 285/35R20 Toyo R888, fit­ted in a some­what fu­tile at­tempt to find trac­tion.

With the looks en pointe and with the car back on the dyno pack­ing the new en­gine and se­quen­tial gear­box, Arnie cranked up the boost to 32psi and mapped the HKS F-CON, adding data log­ging and launch con­trol fea­tures — and ran with 22psi at 6200rpm on launch and pro­gres­sive boost en­gag­ing with each shift. The fi­nal re­sult is a stag­ger­ing 600kW on low boost (22psi), and 900kW at the wheels on high boost (32psi). If you are scep­ti­cal about such fig­ures, we as­sure you that the car is far more than ca­pa­ble of what the on-pa­per fig­ures sug­gest, and it will only re­quire one run in the pas­sen­ger seat to con­vince you of this.

This kind of power doesn’t come easy, or cheap for that mat­ter, and it’s tes­ta­ment to the team’s hard work that it has cre­ated a strong con­tender for New Zealand’s most ag­gres­sive street-le­gal car, and that best of all, it has the aes­thet­ics to to match. That’s es­pe­cially good news for cus­tomers — after all, as the guys told us, “We use our cars as re­search and devel­op­ment test beds, not our cus­tomers’ cars.”

We will no doubt see the GT-R pushed even fur­ther than it stands to­day — at the time of writ­ing it had just done a 10.60s at 142mph (228kph) with Arnie at the helm, and suf­fer­ing se­vere trac­tion is­sues on the R888s. The 142mph trap speed show­cases its po­ten­tial if they fit some proper drag slicks, but first off a roll cage would be needed, as run­ning a 10s pass without one has meant they were added to Mere­mere’s naughty wall. We’re not sure if the team will do that or not, but we do know they have some­thing else in the pipe­line — some­thing that will make this GT-R look like a child’s toy… So watch this space.

What New Zealand big-power RB30 would be com­plete without a com­po­nent de­vel­oped by Rob­bie from R.I.P.S Rac­ing? In this case, it’s the front-fac­ing drag plenum


PAINT: House of Kolor red candy flake by In­fin­ity Au­toworks EN­HANCE­MENTS: Zeemax Rac­ing wide­body kit fit­ted by In­fin­ity Au­toworks, Top Se­cret flush-mount boot lid, high-in­ten­si­ty­dis­charge (HID) head­lights


EN­GINE: Nis­san RB34, 3400cc, six-cylin­der BLOCK: RB30E, Spool bil­let 4340 full coun­ter­weight 94mm ni­trided stro­ker crank­shaft, Spool forged rods, ARP rod bolts, cus­tom CP forged pis­tons, Tool steel gud­geon pins, Tomei oil pump HEAD: CNC-ma­chined RB26DETT, Tomei Drag Pro­cams, Tomei Pro­cams val­ve­train, Tomei over­sized valves IN­TAKE: R.I.P.S Rac­ing drag plenum, 102mm throt­tle body EX­HAUST: Cus­tom ST Hi-tec four-inch side-exit TURBO: Gar­rett GTX42R WASTEGATE: HKS 60mm BOV: Twin HKS FUEL: In­jec­tor Dynamics ID2200 fuel in­jec­tors, Aero­mo­tive 2000hp fuel pump, Nismo lift pump, Aero­mo­tive fuel-pres­sure reg­u­la­tor, 10-litre surge tank IG­NI­TION: Split­fire coil packs, HKS race plugs ECU: HKS F-CON Pro V2 COOL­ING: Fenix Per­for­mance ra­di­a­tor, HKS GT in­ter­cooler, Trust oil cooler EX­TRA: HKS boost con­troller, HKS elec­tronic valve con­trol, cus­tom ST Hi-tec three-cham­ber catch tank


POWER: 900kW and 1430Nm of torque FUEL TYPE: E85 PSI: 32 (2.2 bar) ET: 10.60s at 142mph (228kph)


STRUTS: Apex GT Cir­cuit BRAKES: (F) Eight-pot calipers, 350mm ro­tors; (R) Brembo two-pot calipers


GEAR­BOX: Holinger six-speed se­quen­tial CLUTCH: OS Giken four-plate FLYWHEEL: OS Giken DIFF: (F) Cusco LSD, (R) Spool lim­ited-slip (4.11-ra­tio) The Gar­rett GTX42R snail bolted to the RB34 is the sec­ond largest op­tion avail­able in the GTX range and is reg­u­lated by a HKS 60-mil­lime­tre wastegate

SEATS: (F) Bride, (R) fac­tory re­trimmed STEER­ING WHEEL: Momo INSTRUMENTATION: Nismo 320kph clus­ter, Defi gauges, A’PEXi Rev Speed Me­ter (RSM), HKS EVC-S elec­tronic boost con­troller WHEELS: 20-inch Work Meis­ter S1P TYRES: 285/35R20 Toyo R888 Hearty doses of e85 are fed through In­jec­tor Dynamics ID2200 fuel in­jec­tors, and, as she’s a thirsty girl, the Aero­mo­tive 2000-horse­power fuel pump makes sure there is enough to go around


Power in the 900-kilo­watt range gen­er­ally re­quires a hefty amount of rub­ber to de­liver it to the ground — in this case, this is de­liv­ered thanks to a set of 285/35R20 Toyo R888s that shoe the 20-inch Work Meis­ter S1P wheels


DRIVER/OWNER: ST Hi-tec LO­CA­TION: Auck­land OC­CU­PA­TION: Xtreme ve­hi­cle tun­ing BUILD TIME: Two years LENGTH OF OWN­ER­SHIP: Nine years

THANKS: Arnie Nguyen at ST Hi-tec for build­ing the en­gine and tun­ing, ST Hi-tec gen­eral man­ager Ste­wart Mearns, Spool Aus­tralia, Tay­lor Au­to­mo­tive, Autech Tur­bos, In­fin­ity Au­toworks, and Toyo Tires New Zealand

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