The Top Ten Engines to Build...
The Top Ten Engines to build

4| Nissan RB26DETT

They Don’t Call It Godzilla For Nothing…

Example of a the Nissan RB26 engine

In 1989, Nissan released its Skyline GT-R for the first time since 1973 with the BNR32. Designed with high performance and racing in Group A competition as its primary objective, Nissan engineers equipped the Skyline with the largest and most powerful version of its RB engine series, the RB26DETT. The inline six-cylinder engine is based on an iron block and an aluminum cylinder head. The RB26DETT featured a relatively short 73.7mm stroke that permitted high engine speeds. The stout RB26 block was also available in an N1 variant for N1 endurance competition, which featured additional ribbing for strength. The third and most valuable version was the GT block. Manufactured for race teams, only 1,000 GT blocks were cast and had the most reinforcement of any RB26 ever made available. Three “R”s in raised letters on the side of the block are the only indication of a GT block. The dual overhead cam aluminum cylinder head included shim under bucket direct-actuation valvetrain for improved reliability at high RPM. The RB engine has been built to over 1,400 horsepower and has dominated competitive fields from the circuit to the drag strip. At under 3-liters, it offers tremendous specific output. The aftermarket has embraced the RB26, developing stroker kits, deck plates and overboring solutions that can take the RB to over 3-liters. Unfortunately, all of this greatness was kept away from America, which dropped it down to number four on the list.


What’s Hot:Example of a the Nissan RB26 engine

• Stout iron block • ITB facilitate improved throttle responsiveness • N1 Block offered additional reinforcement for high performance applications • Rare GT block (500 units produced) offered even greater reinforcement, strongest RB block ever manufactured • Strong aftermarket support • Shim under bucket valvetrain offers near limitless engine speeds • Short stroke allows for high engine speeds • High flowing cylinder head • Factory block supports 800+ whp • Coil-on-plug ignition • Dual overhead camshafts

What’s Not:Example of a the Nissan RB26 engine

• Standard oil pump prone to failure; resolved with factory N1 oil pump (good) and aftermarket solutions (better) • Heavy cast iron block • Small displacement lacks torque of larger displacement engines • No factory variable valve timing • Factory turbochargers max out at 400 whp • Expensive to upgrade


Manufacturer: Nissan
Years In Production: 1989-2002
Engine Code: RB26DETT
Displacement (cc): 2,569cc
Bore & Stroke (mm): 86mm x 73.7mm
Peak Horsepower (@ RPM): 276 bhp @ 6,800 RPM
Peak Torque (@ RPM): 260 lb-ft @ 4,400 RPM
Block Material: Iron
Head Material: Aluminum
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Camshafts: 240-degree (IN), 236-degree (EX)
Valves / Springs / Retainers: 24 valves, dual valve springs, shim under bucket
Throttle Body: Aluminum, six individual throttle bodies
Fuel Injectors: Top Feed, Low Impedance, 440 cc/min (x6)
Ignition System: Coil-on-plug
Applications: 1989-1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32)
1995-1998 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BCNR33)
1999-2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR34)

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Engines | Inside The Engines That Powered An Industry

  1. WelDun1 says:

    Definitely have to disagree with the list…

    1) 4G63T
    2) 2JZ-GTE
    3) RB26DETT (better as RB26DET)
    4) SR20DET
    5) 13B-REW
    6) EJ257
    7) VR38DETT
    8) B18C1/5 & B16A
    9) K series
    10) F20C & F22C

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