ST Holy Sh*t
FORGET WHAT YOU SEEN BEFORE - THIS IS A WHOLE NEW BREED OF STREET-PEELING TRACK-DESTROYER WITH ENOUGH ACCELERATION AND SPEED TO PUT YOU IN YOUR PLACE
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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