Competition: The act of competing; rivalry for supremacy, a prize; blowing your adversary out of the water in a test of skill or ability. Late last year, Turbo magazine received some exciting news that Castrol Oil and our wonderful Source Interlink Media proposed an idea of running a "friendly" competition among seven of the top Source Interlink Media publications. The initial rules handed down to each of the teams during the preliminary stages were stated to be as simple, non-competitive event that editors could enjoy. The rules stated each team was to build an engine of their choice, produce the most horsepower and torque per liter, and last throughout the entire event without blowing up. Simple and to the point, right? So they thought. Corporate media had one idea of how to run a challenge and regulate us on how to even the playing field, but for us editors we were playing a completely different ballgame. Funny as it seems, they obviously underestimated the fact that we live and breathe in the automotive performance world and in that world, no one thrives better than us in competition--not to mention the amount of men jacked up on testosterone involved in this event. Elliott Moran, Source Interlink Media's events coordinator, jotted some simple guidelines to abide by as the Turbo magazine team quickly tore into poorElliott with a battery of questions a month before we finalized our engine and builder.
A few weeks after our eventful meeting, we received an updated rules list and a firm warning from our managing editor to take our competitive level down a few notches. Obviously we turned a deaf ear to what Elliott said. While the new interpretations of the rulings continued to have a series of gaping loopholes--which brought smiles to our faces--we searched high and low, finally narrowing our engine builder down to SP Engineering located in the City of Industry. SP Engineering and their knowledgeable staff are regarded as one of the most respected tuner shops in California. Over the past 10 years, SP has built their reputation on tuning and catered to some of the fastest and horsepower hungry vehicles to date. SP Engineering, known as one of the industries trendsetters back in 1996, owned the exclusive bragging rights to building and dynoing their first high-horsepower Supra 2JZ with a simple piggyback fuel management system. The vehicle owned by the now-infamous Ken Henderson laid down 666 whp using a HKS GCC and VPC management system. Eight years after the triple-six power figure, Ken's Supra made headlines on the Nov. '04 cover of Turbo, delivering an amazing 1,110 whp while periodically driven on the streets. SP set the standard again in 1997 using the GCC and VPC layout, delivering 700 whp on another customer's car using a slew of bolt-on products. "We accomplished this power level without even touching the engine internals or even lifting the heads. Back then crazy high-octane gasoline was nearly nonexistent," says Alex Shen, SP Engineering owner and hard-core performance enthusiast. In 2000, SP was up to their tricks once again, benchmarking the 2JZ power limits with 822 whp on a daily driven Supra with the aid of a simple piggyback fuel management unit.
From 1,100hp Supras to 1,000hp Skylines, there seems to be no limit to what Alex and his team of mechanics can accomplish. Our initial plans before talking with Alex was to initially build a 2JZ motor in hopes of eclipsing the 1,000hp marker on 100-octane fuel. The five-digit horsepower numbers were a realistic goal that have been tried and tested throughout the years. The 3.0-liter mill seemed to fit the bill for our build but we ran into a series of problems within the competition rules that would affect our winning outcome. If we decided to stroke the factory displacement to a 3.4-liter and were given the penalty of using a forced-induction setup by a multiple of two, we'd divide our target horsepower of 1,100 and get 161.7 hp/per liter. Not a bad number to work with but if our competitors decide to build a 4G63 or SR20DET engine, the 2.0L engine multiplied by 2 and divided by a target goal of 650 hp would net them 162.5 hp/per liter. Close to half our 2JZ horsepower figure but a better horsepower/per liter ratio, which would give them the winning edge.
So what is a team hell-bent on taking home the winning trophy and bragging rights to do? It's rather simple. We take our engine selection to the next level and build a noteworthy RB26DETT and decimate the competition. If high-horsepower 2JZ buildups are regarded as the staple within the SP repertoire, believe it or not, their knowledge of the RB26DETT comes in even stronger. If we target somewhere in the 1,000hp range and receive all the parts we have been talking about, its not hard to make this a realistic goal because in all truth, it's been done before. It's typical to see 1,300 to 1,400 hp cranked out from the RB26DETT. When we built my RB26 a few years back I didn't even go crazy on the engine so we weren't really pushing the engine. My R33 put down 980 whp and wasdynoed while running a hollinger transmission so I'm not even worried about having to push this motor. With a smile and look of confidence Alex continues by saying Hirofumi Kondo, our chief mechanic was working at Blitz Japan for eight years before he began full time at SPEngineering. Turbocharging, supercharging and computer tuning is Hiros specialty so I have full confidence in him. Hiros been installing and tuning the HKS V-Pro with exceptional knowledge because he's been there and done that for some time now with an advantage of over four years of tuning ahead of U.S. tuners.
While all details on the engine aren't finalized as this article goes to press, one thing we're certain is that the 2.6L mill will be stroked to a 2.8 displacement and for good reasons. The theory behind stroking the RB rather than going with the factory displacement comes down to thefactory crank. The crankshaft isn't fully counterweight, Alex says. When you buy a stroker kit it comes with a full counterweight crankshaft, but not from factory not like the 2JZ. That's the weak point of the RB. The powerband with the RB26DETT possesses a broader scale power range compared to the 2JZ powerplant at the same horsepower level. If you overlap a RB26 to a 2JZ dyno sheet it will become apparent the major differences with the power curve. The 2JZ powerband is so short; it's crazy in comparison to the RB26DETT. This becomes a major factor when determining the top point's leader in the Power Under the Curve category for the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge.
One word of advice to our competitors: We're in it to win boys, so you best pack your bags now before it's too late. Stay tuned as we begin our RB26DETT buildup in the next issue.