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A Boy's Love For His Rb20

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Well, have hung around SAU dribbling crap for ages....seeing everyone else get in on the build thread thought I would post up the story of my car to date, and keep it updated with some of the bits and pieces I will be doig over the coming weeks/months.

The R32 is my second Skyline, owning a mint R31 GTS-X before it. Had an old school T3/4 Sierra based Turbo. Microtech, Volks etc but was t-boned by an idiot one night driving home from uni. So in Nov 99 went hunting for a new Skyline and stumbled accross a silver R32 GTSt (1992) at a car yard in Randwick (uncomplied, straight off the boat). So some wheeling and dealing had it in my driveway, from memory with 74,000kms on it, a HKS Super Drager cat back exhaust, HKS Air Filter, AVS Model 5 wheels and a Momo steering wheel...thats it.


So, a service and 3 months of driving it around making sure it was a good thing and it was time to hit the track. Started out doing open days at Wakefield, MotoConcept days at Eastern Creek and then onto UAS days at Wakefield and MG Car Club days at Oran Park.

Times sucked, as the car had std suspension and a hack driver. But it was great fun driving the thing like this for 18months. At which time a blown shock had me speaking to Whiteline. At the time they did not offer a kit for the R32 GTSt, so off my car went for a few weeks and what returned was some new bushes and swaybars. Big improvement to how it drove, but several weeks after that my car once again went back to have the new Bilsteins and springs installed. After that and the dramatic change in handling from standard, I started to more regularly attend Wakefield And Eastern Creek days.

At this time EC times were about 2:02sec and Wakefield was about 1:15s.



It was about this time that I learnt that the servicing of the car when doing track days needs to be at a lot more regular intervals, with a trip to Wakefield resulting me running out of pads. The beauty of a std car with no power was you could lap for 30mins at a time and just kill tyres and brakes. I didnt even have an intercooler or an oil cooler at this time. I had the std ECU with speed limiter, if the engine light came on i slowed down. :no: So with no pads I killed my rotors so off to Race Brakes in Sydney to get the first kit the made for R32s, using the R33 GTR rotor spaced out with the std caliper. I thought it was shit hot at the time, and combined with rebuilt calipers, booster and master cylinder kept me going for about 6 years :P


It was at this time that I finally got around to installing the HKS Type S front mount that I had bought from Toy Imports in Newcastle. Combined with the new brakes, some more practice and some new AVS Model 6 wheels that were 1" wider....i managed to get my times down to 1:13.1 at Wakefield and 1:56.8 at Eastern Creek on street tyres. My only run on semis resulted in blistered tyres as I learnt the expensive lesson of doing too many laps in a car with no camber = blistered outside shoulders and dead tyres on their first track day :P After that it was back to street tyres for me :)


It was about this time I got sick of what must have been all of about 130rwkws from the std motor and ECU. At a day at Wakefield in 2003 I blew the turbo to manifold gasket whilst taking Doughboy for joy rides. Having to remove the turbo to replace the gasket meant I was tempted to replace the turbo. With Doughboy in my ear telling me how awesome TD06 setups were on SR20s, I resisted for as long as I could...telling him that HKS are better, because they are better, because they are ball bearing and just better. But, the man convinced me that just like real men wear trucker hats, real man run truck turbos. So a weekend of no sleep and Doughboy working days with no sleep, the lil R32 drove out a friends workshop with a full TD06 kit and remapped Jap ECU.


Funds and time for cars were low for a while with work taking me OS and a move to Vic. Where I was quickly confronted with every bastard punting GTRs and no open-fun track days....just weekend warriors in their RB26s doing Super Sprints. So ... BEGIN the shit talk. ;)

Chasing a bit more response I installed a Power Fc and cam gears. A few hiccups with these mods meant that the std motor had a bent valve and a new wrecker motor went in. A trip to the drags saw it run a 12.9 at 113mph at only 1bar with a mis-fire that weeks later some Spitfire coil packs fixed



So with the new turbo setup finally semi sorted, it was time to start to enjoy the car with its new found TD06 POWAH! But, because the Vic Track Gods are a pack of pricks who favour the GTR, my first trip to Winton in the car didnt end so well :)




So with some help from GTR_Geoff, his tools, his garage space and his general support, we tinkered over weekends and got the girl running again



After a few months of getting some confidence back in the car and getting everything going again came the introduction to Racepace, meaning that the car finally started to perform the way it should have been. Well at least the way Doughboy said the TD06 should :)


Some trips to Sandown, PI and Winton all went without major incident. But some drift damage from Calder, the paint damage from the fire at Winton meant the once tidy little GSTt looked horrible with crinkled guard and blistered paint. So a friend helped strip the car and over time was good enough to give it a major clean up for me. The result was an awesome colour that looked mint, only I had ran out of money to pay for a proper new front bar. But anyway, I was entered for Dutton and the car was stickered up and performed pretty well for the bucket it is.



Some small upgrades like ex HRT Jason Bright Momo race seat and AiM Data Logger were installed. Then with a bit more coaxing went back to Racepace and chased a bit more power having now got some reliable running and fun under my belt.



With a bit more running was finally able to get days at PI and Sandown where it wasnt wet or the car was parked waiting for me to pull more funds together to bloody enjoy the bastard of a thing...and the result was a 1:23.1 at Sandown and a 1:52 flat at PI at the start of 2007...

...then for those c0ck sarking Vic track gods to again come and kick me in the balls....more to follow

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what exactly happened to cause the fire? bit of a shame!

so what brakes are you running now? Im in the process of putting 34/33R rotors on the front of my GTST, just waiting for the brackets now.

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So the fire...best we can come up with is... the coolant line that goes into the heating core in the firewall runs about 2" away from the high mount dump pipe. When the engine bay was all cleaned we found a split in this hose. After being towed from the track there was signs of coolant all over the engine bay so we think what has happened is the red hot exhaust has ignited the coolant when it was sprayed out the split.

If you look at the MSDS for ethylene glycol it is flammable in at atmosphere concentration of something like 10% when pre heated to over 90deg C. So far fetched but the best we can come up with is that the split sprayed a mist of pressurised glycol/water mix onto the manifold/turbo/dump. The glycol was over 90 deg C , it was a track session after all. The red hot exhaust meant that any water in the mist probably quickly evaporated leaving enough of a mix of glycol mist that was ignited by the 700-800deg C exhaust. It wasnt a big fire that was hard to control, it had mostly blown itself out by the time we opened the bonnet, but the bonnet lining and other bits were burning which ended up causing the most problems extinguishing.

You will see now I have those lines and the fire wall all sheathed up trying to protect it from heat. I have also HPC coated and exhaust wrapped and made a alloy/fibreglass shield to help control temps



Anyway...yeh, the VIC Track Gods....seems they weren't finished with me yet. The car was proving hell reliable, but some of the bits on the old girl were starting to show their age.

Many will have already seen these vids....but you can see from this Phillip Islant footage, the combination of some worn suspension components and what we later found out was a very poor wheel alignment courtesy of a silly laser aligner that had other customer's cars handling like crap.

Philip Island ...

Engine was strong, but car crabbed in a straight line, walked all over the road under brakes. Also later found out there was a problem with the Whiteline swaybars which were causing headaches under brakes as well as the bar was bottoming out against the sump, effectively drastically reducing front suspension travel.

So with these few little things causing me agro at PI, about a month later I went to Sandown where those problems were further compounded by a leak from the top of the gearbox boot. It seems I should have really checked the boot when topping up the gearbox fluid looking for the reason why it was a little low to start with. Turns out at speed it was pissing out all over the rear underside of the car....and of course onto the rear tyres. Not realising that I was driving a compromised car well past the drivers ability I locked the rear brakes and had a woopsie...

Sandown Crash ...

Now a more switched on driver would have realised that the 3rd gear wheelspin onto the straight was a little unusual and not kept going at full noise, but you live and learn.


Very fortunate not to do that much damage. With a bit of love and gusto, i jumped into the boot, kicked the guard back out and it wasn't too bad. (see above pic for little damage to rear drivers qtr) Fixed the few little problems, rushed a spray job onto the front bar and figured best thing for it was to use some big stickers to cover the dent. :) So that meant we had to enter the 2007 Vic Dutton.


Before entering, having just experienced how quickly and easily it can all go pear shaped I went and saw Brown Davis and had them throw in a 4 point cage.



I also decided that it was time to replace the Bilsteins which had served me well for around 6 years and proved to still be in excellent health and now find themselves serving another SAU R32 owner well. Main reason was wanting something fresh and with a little more spring. So i grabbed a new set of Tein RAs, sent them off to being re-valved to Racepaces liking with some 8F/6R springs installed.

The difference to the cars handling and ride was amazing, with the car really riding the kerbs and bumps of Sandown sooo much better during Dutton. Also meant I was far more confident that the car was not going to kill my co-driver Juz, who only weeks earlier had looped the "Bucking Bullet" at the same place at Sandown as me. Only she showed true class and didn't eat armco like me :)



There certaibly wasnt any problems with being able to lock the front brake. Knowing the camera was rolling for this run I was having a big go, and of course ran out of talent for all to witness. But hey, its a cool shot :down:

For the second year in a row the old "Silver Bullet" (nic that the housemate gave it during Dutton 2006) proved that you dont have to be quick or flashy to get coverage...JUST LOUD!!!! ... or really bad :down: (See opening credits when the lil R32 blew past Dean Evans in the Exige at Dutton ... 2007 Dutton Footage ...

The previous year the car got a bit of coverage at Shepparton Airport... 6:35min and 7:15min ....

During Dutton i again had a problem of cracking another DBA 4000 rotor, requiring a rushed rotor replacement all the way from Melb overnight, courtesy of a member of the R32 brotherhood Tom_g. But when i cracked a rear rotor a few weeks later at Calder I decided enough was enough. It was time to clean up the body, which still had the dent from the Sandown crash, and now courtesy of the very good quality Unique Cars stickers i had missing clear coat :) I also had the issue with worn components on the car meaning i was having too many little things making it annoying or difficult to drive, or at a min requiring time to patch up at the track which is just a distraction I don't want... and taking it off the road for a while meant I could cruise the internet looking for bargains and buy some new goodies for the old girl. :down:

...Next, the slow refurb...

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This interests me a lot as a fellow 20 fanatic! Red Line/Green Line, what was changed?!?

Mine is very similar to the red line (I think because I can't remember the speed/rpm relationship exactly)... But I want the GREEN LINE :/

Edited by SimonR32
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So that was the disaster I call "talk to your tuner before buying parts". I still have not learnt my lesson.

Basically Racepace tuned the car to a nice , safe and reliable 234rwkws. After about a year I wanted more grunt and everybody says cams do that for you on an RB. So i grabbed some Apexi, 260/9.00mm cams, threw them in with a new timing belt, idler bearings and water pump and tuned away. Hours of dyno time later, the thing was las laggy and didnt respond to fuel and ignition whislt tuning as well as it did with std cams, suggesting the engine was now over cam'd. So back went the std cams and voila....engine was a lot more responsive and because I had an appetite for more power Racepace just leaned on the tune a little to give it another 30rwkws odd at the same boost, just with ignition and fuel changes, perhaps a further tweak of the cam gears.

Tune is still rock solid with no issues, having run as high as 22psi boost with no issue and engine still has no blow by. Std cams seem to be the way to go when you have a small little 8cm exhaust housing...even with the cams the engine seems to just choke on its exhaust gases. I will try soem 256/8.5 or 26/10.25cams if the Plazmaman plenum gives a performance increase sufficient enough for me to go to a 10cm exhaust housing.

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0.63 rear here and pretty keen to stick with standard cams...

Are you back in Aus atm... Would love to get you to photograph your cam gears for me, we fiddled with mine a little and went wrong way. Gave up and went back to 0 and 0 but I'm keen to get the old girl back on the dyno for some more tweaking.

Also running 22psi all the time with no signs of blow by or engine wear and it ran 29psi on a few dyno runs and seemed happy enough! Tough little motors :/

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10 years in the making.

theres a r32gtst here in tas that was raced for years and years that was one of the first hand full of imports to start rolling in. funny thing is 2 years ago it was still the fastest track gtst in the state and nothing had changed for the previous few.

i guessing you have a bit of catch up to play and plenty of smack talk about how awsome the 20 is, haha.

you forgot to add a pic or to of how good it looks now after a spay and all.

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Yeh, I wish the car was quicker then it is. It will never be the quickest bus, its too compromisd. But it is good fun :D

I will post up more about brakes and the recent work that has been done to it over the next few days, ahead of the mods that are going on soon. I will just say i wish i could run 2bar of boost, I run out of injector and the thing chokes on its exhaust gas and doesnt make any more power after 22-23psi

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So, with a great work opportunity arising to go work in India, it was time to bench the car and confine it to the sad existence that is "back of the shop". A place where some cars never return from.

Moth Balls


New TE37s, 17x9 +28 & 17 x 9.5 +36 ...before colour change


Stripped TE37s, ready for the colour change


TD06-25G ... 22psi of this bad boy and it should make some NOISE!!!



So with cooling always an issue on the track, and planning on running some higher boost, and possibly a few more ccs from the RB20 it was time for a cooler upgrade. So off with the trusty HKS Type S cooler ...


and ready to go on , this... 100mm thick ARC Cooler


Some more goodies delivered to the Melbourne office... 6boost Manifold, Trust Titanium Exhaust, Front Diffuser


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