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R33 GTS-T Test Mule

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Hey all, I recently bought a R33 Test mule car… Will actually be my daily drive but also want to try a bunch of modifications and see the power difference each mod makes and how it effects the driving experience. I know skylines have been done to death by every man and his dog and you can research most of it all online. But I figure who would you prefer to work on your car? someone who has read about it on a online forum getting info from who knows, or someone that has actually spent the time themselves to verify the results. Plus well… Its fun :P

At time of purchase the car has 185,000km on the clock… Hybrid FMIC, Tein adjustable coil overs, Blitz Boost controller, Some el cheapo cooler piping, 3″ rusty cat back exhaust and boost is at 10psi… Made 232rwhp/173rwkw with 10-11PSI and 11.7:1 AFR.

Actually looking for a stock exhaust to stick on to get a better baseline… Also have my eyes on a 2nd hand 3″ stainless dump pipe and high flow cat so Ive got a few combinations to try out.

Just missed out on a Haltech Plantinum plug and play unit off ebay :/ but also got my eyes on a Nistune setup.

Small update, picked up a 3" Dump pipe and Highflow CAT as well as a Nistune, So Look forward to getting it on the dyno soon.

Looks like a good base, very little mods should mean the engines not been stressed so should be nice and solid.

Awesome Clint.

Keep us in the loop with the progress. :)

R3# GT-R, GTS-T, etc.. I would purchase one of these in a heartbeat, if they were legal to own over here in the US. I think that they have an aggressive look/styling superior to all cars out there on the street (even over the Supra). I love to read through the builds out there on the internet just because I don't get to see them in person out here anywhere!

Can't wait to see what's next

These cars have some huge potential and there are so many parts available off the shelf now that it makes them very easy and cost effective to modify. Let us know how you get on.

I've been pretty much doing exactly this with my r33 Gts-t. this weekend i'm going back on the dyno to measure the difference going from a chinese copy blitz return flow intercooler to a genuine will make. Last time on the dyno i hit a restriction (power flat lined) @ 284 rwkw on a rolling road...so i'm kinda hoping this intercooler was the restriction and i'm hoping for the 300rwkw mark to be hit....here's hoping :).

Just noticed you managed to sort a Nistune out, is it the one for the R33 or Z32?

Z32 ECU.

Took it down to the 1/4mile drags this week to get a baseline run, Ran really well and very consistant with a max of 0.15 variance over 8 runs except one run when I missed 3rd!

This was the best time for the night, Could not quite crack a 13! was a little warm at 25'c even at night but Happy enough to give me a decent base time.

I would have called that a pretty solid result to be honest! Look forward to seeing the times drop lower.

That's definitely a successful test, the 33 drag toy I'm working on just now is hoping to break into the 11's this year, last year it was consistently low 12's.

What's first on your list of changes?

My short term step by step plans for it are...

#1 Throw the Nistune in as is and see what I can make out of it

#2 Throw the Hi-flow Cat on, see what effects it has, does the tune need adjusting etc, Load up the stock tune and do a few runs, note any differences. Then I have a 3" Stainless dump pipe which has a separated Waste gate pipe with a flange. So will repeat the above..

#3 Return to the drags and see what she runs at this power level (im expecting about 250-260rwhp)

#4 Ive got a GT3076R sitting here Im going to throw onto the stock exhaust manifold, Will have to make a dump pipe to suit... Retune the nistune to suit, see what it makes at the same boost level and then push it to 17psi (ill need to upgrade fuel pump/injectors at this stage)

#5 Return to the Drags at this stage

#6 Buy a cheap ebay manifold (one of those $200 stainless log style) and make not other changes but this manifold... see if the power goes up or down

#7 Build a tuned length manifold myself (6into1) and see what effects it has (the only change)

#8 (Id like to do this one but involves me buying a new turbo so maybe not) Build a split pulse (3-1, 3-1) manifold and get a split pulse 3076 and see how much it effects boost threshold and lag.

#9 Return to the drags at this stage

That is probably where it will sit for awhile... At some stage in there I may steal the GT3582 from the commodore and see how that goes... I would actually like to try a smaller turbo also something like GT2876. But depends what I can get on the cheap, Would also like to play around with some different intercoolers... Cheap n nasty ebay through to big name brands. Id very much like to setup abit of a diagnostic bed for the car... IE with innovate's LM2 and SSi-4 and log intake temps/pressures, Before turbo, after turbo, after cooler, turbine housing inlet, exhaust.

Oh forgot about forward facing intake manifold, Same again with buying cheapo ebay and ill make a custom one.... Probly around about step 4 when I need to upgrade injectors at the same time.

Unless it's already got one, you'll need to factor in a clutch at about step 3. Looks like a good methodical testing plan to me.

Yeh hah already got a clutch lined up.... Has some sort of Heavy duty one in it now (apparently) But even as is it will slip if your too hard on it... And at the drags after the last few runs could definitely smell burning clutch! altho was no massive slip during the runs.

So finally got some time today to have a play with the Nistune (first time Ive touched one) Id have to say im pretty happy with it, especially for the price! not quite as simple as a full standalone aftermarket ecu, mainly because of Nissan's unique load axis But it all worked very well and easily...

But with the stock ECU, Cat back 3", Hybrid Intercooler and Pod Filter on 7psi it made 220rwhp

First I simply turned the boost up, still with the stock tune and on 12-13psi it made 260rwhp, Was quite impressed with that, in all my research beforehand everywhere said Nissan's tend to flatline at 10.0:1 AFR with the stock ecu if you raise boost above standard... But it was at a reasonably nice 12:1

Next I fit the Nistune and familiarized myself with the setup and how it all works, Removed the 184kph speed limiter, Raised the boost cut, raised RPM limit, Got a nice Flat 11.7:1 AFR under full load and played with the timing and got to a best of 275rwhp with the same boost... Could hear some light detonation between 5000-7000 rpm with the Gizzmo Kmon so I richened it to 11.5:1 which helped remove most of it, but also pulled a few degrees of timing out but it still kept it up to 269-272rwhp consistently. Good gains in power from 2000rpm right through to redline.

I noticed the Intake Air temp from the dyno's probe which was right next to the Pod filter was quite high (45degree's c, Ambient was about 30-35'c) Found that during the run the Radiator fan was blowing hot air right at the Pod Filter.. So I quickly cut up some cardboard and made a temporary air box to block the hot air hitting the Pod filter... IAT probe temp dropped 5-10degree's and it gained 3hp. So a Cold Air Box has been added to the list!

Next ive got the Hiflow CAT and Dump pipe to fit, Interesting to see what gains they give if any. But I might head down the Drags this week before that.

So, Found a error with my results!

Today I wanted fit the Hiflow and 3" Dump pipe so Thought I would do a quick run to confirm yesterdays numbers and give a solid baseline... Found I was only getting 254rwhp Compared to 272hp from yesterday?! Then I realized the Intake Air Temp probe of the Dyno was on the floor and reading 30'c... Yesterday I had the probe near the air filter where it was reading 37-40'c... Was surprised how much difference it actually made to the power readings!

Im not sure what is the best/more accurate way to be doing the tests? With the Intake probe out near ambient temp or actually right next to the air filter??? I guess near the air filter gives more real world results? but I don't want people to think im inflating my figures :S

Either way the original power run when I first got the car the probe was in Ambient and gave 232rwhp on 11psi so this all makes more sense now, I was thinking the gain from 232hp to 272hp with just a couple more psi and tuning was quite abit!!!

Anyway here is the results I got tonight,

-1st run just the Cat back exhaust 252rwhp 12.5psi (so really only a 20hp gain over Stock ecu... not 40)

-2nd run is with the high flow cat fitted, did not touch the tune at all. There Was a slight gain across the rev range picking up 3-4hp and without touching boost settings (open loop system) boost raised to 13psi

-3rd run was with the Hi-flow cat and 3" Dump pipe fitted. Once again still not touched the tune, Better gain overall with 5hp, Still not touched boost settings but it jumped up to just shy of 14psi

I also did runs with the intake temp probe near the pod filter for comparison with each mod and it was 272hp with stock cat/Dump, 275hp with Hi-flow cat and 282hp with the Hiflow and 3" Dump.

Tomorrow if I get a chance id like to adjust the boost settings back to the same 12psi that it was on before changing the dump/cat to get a more apples to apples comparison... I might even stick the stock ECU back in and see what that makes with the CAT/Dump and 12psi

AFR's didnt budge from the CAT Change but they did go 0.2:1 Leaner with the dump pipe change.... Im not sure if the mods would change what the motor wants in regards to Ignition Timing??/

Dyno power correction is an interesting topic. It's actually one I've struggled with over the years with our Dynapack. The theory is that the IAT sensor for the dyno should be measuring the air temp at the air filter. The idea is that the dyno will compensate for changes in atmospheric temperature that will affect the power reading. Hence if you dyno the car on a 40 degree day in summer and then again in winter and it -10 outside, the power reading 'should' be identical.

With my Dynapack i never really found that to be the case. At one point I was doing a lot of testing for a restricted race series and we needed to look for changes of 1-2 hp. The air temp compensation seemed to hinder rather than help. I ended up for the most part either using the IAT comp to measure ambient dyno bay temp, or not at all with a default 20 degree C entered. This actually gave me better repeatability summer to winter on cars that had not been changed.

Now that you are aware of the problem though I suggest you do some testing for yourself and see what the outcome is. Half of the challenge is understanding how the power correction has been applied by the manufacturer and what effect it has.

Very Interesting, I think from now on ill leave the IAT sensor as Ambient temp...

So the other night I turned the boost back down to 12psi and a few runs, Left Dyno laptop at work but pretty sure it dropped down to 256rwhp @ 12psi (will upload dyno sheets when I can)

Went to the drags tonight, Left it at 12psi... Very surprised with the results, First run of the night was a 13.39, Still Very consistant with all the runs in the 13.3's except the second run where the engine flared up due to clutch slip mid 3rd gear! but slowly chipped the times down until a best of 13.32 @ 171kph

I was only expecting like a 13.7-13.8 So was pretty happy with that... I think I could have just broken into the 13.2's with a perfect run...

The Last run of the night I did turn the boost up to 13psi and with abit of wheel spin still managed a 13.23 @ 171kph

So far the whole car has cost me $6875.00

-Initial Purchase $5000.00

-Rims $180.00

-Parts for Service $85.00

-Tyres and Balancing $360.00

-Bodykit (not fitted yet) $750.00

-Nistune $350.00

-Dump Pipe & CAT $100.00

-Central locking controller $50.00

Custom Cold Air Box is next on the list (because its free!) Then a Clutch!

Those are some solid results for a very modest outlay Clint! Good work.

It's always interesting testing a car at each stage of development and noting what works and what doesn't. I did this with our 06 VE SS Commodore and took it from a 14.2 to a 12.4 over the course of a couple of years. The biggest improvement in that car didn;t have anything to do with power. Altering the shift parameters took almost a full second off the 1/4 mile time!

Keep up the good work. I predict a larger turbo and a revised fuel system in your future ;)

That's some good results and another weak point found and needing addressed. I've got a clutch to do in an R33 GTS next week, he seen how long it would last after getting 320 bhp at the hubs

Good work Clint.

I'd be interested to see a time card after the clutch change and then again in winter with lower ambient temps.

So I have a couple of questions about my results...

Running a Blitz boost controller, Very simple just has a duty cycle output setting, no gain or anything like that and as mentioned above did not touch the settings... Fitting the high flow CAT and 3" Dump pipe caused boost to raise from 12psi to 14psi Along with a small increase in power. So obviously this is due to the reduced restriction/back pressure after the Turbine... So does this just mean the turbine is spinning easier and since there is not closed loop for the boost control the turbo is working more efficiently and making more boost but the controller is still only bleeding off x amount of air which results in the increased boost to the motor (Im pretty sure thats how it is but just wanting to confirm)

As shown in the dyno sheets above the power raised with the cat and dump but since boost raised also it wasnt really comparing apples to apples... I was abit rushed but when I put it back on the dyno and dropped boost back down to 12psi Power wasnt really much higher then it was before changing CAT and Dump (like 2-3hp) So just trying to come to a conclusion on if the mods are worth it (and worth recommending to a customer) It obviously made the job easier for the turbo... Would that translate to cooler IAT temps and EGT's? small fuel economy gain? Because for the cost of a new CAT and a dump like that (I bought mine cheap 2nd hand) and the power gain from them (About 8hp) I wouldnt really call it worthwhile, 1psi increase in boost would Net that...

Would it also be a matter of I wasnt quite reaching the limit of the stock CAT and Dump and larger gains would be had if I was already at a higher power level?

Feel free to offer any other comments too

Oh and one other boost related question/observation... Ive noticed that with the boost controller on the same setting on the Dyno it will reach 12psi... Then on the road in the arvo it will also only reach 12psi. But first thing in the mornings it reaches up to 14.5psi... Is this simple because of the colder intake air temp in the mornings?

Also found similar on a car I tuned recently, Barely got to 16psi on the dyno. But he is reporting back its almost getting to 18psi at times. A little worrying when you have only tuned the car up to a certain psi level. But in saying that past the points where I have tuned I always moderately agressively pull timing away and add fuel, plus it has Overboost set to 18psi which he is hitting with the soft limit.

Just re-inforces the fact that you cannot really only use the Dyno for a complete tune!

Oh and un-related I started fitting my 400R body kit today

Attached Files

With a purely duty based boost control you will see fluctuations in boost levels for different temperatures, also you may get more traction and therefore load out on the street.

In relation to your previous post, the increase in boost is from the reduced back pressure, the modifications would be worth recommending to a customer (legal regulations allowing ;)) as the power increase could be gained from turning the boost up but turning the boost up means more strain on components and also more heat