Nissan RB26DETT Engine

  1. Specifications
  2. Overview, problems
  3. Performance tuning

Nissan RB26DETT engine specs

Manufacturer Yokohama Plant
Also called Nissan RB26
Production 1989-2002
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration Straight-6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 73.7 (2.90)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 86 (3.39)
Compression ratio 8.5
Displacement 2568 cc (156.7 cu in)
Power output 206 kW (280 HP) at 6,800 rpm
206 kW (280 HP) at 6,800 rpm
206 kW (280 HP) at 6,800 rpm
Torque output 353 Nm (260 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
368 Nm (271 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
392 Nm (289 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
HP per liter 109
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs) 260 (570)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)

for Skyline GT-R

12.3 (19)
Turbocharger  Naturally aspirated
2x Garrett M24
Oil consumption , L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 0.5
(1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 4.6 (4.9)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) 90 (195)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

200,000+ (120,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss


The engine is installed in Nissan Skyline GT-R
Nissan Stagea

Nissan RB26DETT engine reliability, problems and repair

Japanese cult RB26DETT engine was first represented in 1989, and it was meant specially for the legendary car Nissan Skyline GT-R R32. However, it did not prevent the owners of Nissan 300ZX, Nissan 350Z, Ford Mustang, Infiniti G35, etc., to use the engine for their autos as well.
In contrast to RB25DET, RB26DETT uses cylinder block without oil port, also it has crankshaft with 73.7 mm piston stroke, connecting rods are installed (as on RB25DET NEO), new pistons (they are 1mm lower), and compression ratio is 8.5. Cylinder block is covered with aluminium head with 24 valves and no variable valve timing system. RB26DETT camshafts: duration 240/236 deg, lift 8.58/8.28 mm. Also instead of hydraulic lifters, the engine has solid lifters.
Inlet valves are 34.5 mm in diameter, while diameter of exhaust valves is 30 mm. The intake system uses individual throttle bodies. Each of 6 throttle bodies is 45 mm in diameter. RB26DETT firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4.
Air gets into intake manifold with help of two Garrett M24 turbochargers with ceramic impeller. Maximal boost pressure is 10 psi (0.7 bar). Fuel injectors are 444 cc/min.
Thanks to all these mods 280 HP at 6,800 RPM is gained, and torque 353 NM at 4,400 RPM.
Such engines are installed on Skyline GTR R32 and Skyline GTR R33, usually they are called RB26DETT Black top.
Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 uses ball bearing Garrett M24 turbochargers. These are RB26DETT Red top engines.
RB26DETT has timing belt, which should be changed every 60,000 miles of mileage (90,000 km).

RB26DETT was discontinued in 2002, and its successor appeared in 2007. It was VR38DETT, used for Nissan GTR R35.
Also sport version RB26DETT N1 was produced. Its main differences from RB26DETT are the following: improved cylinder block (cooling system was updated), marked as 24U, and also reinforced connecting rods, pistons, turbochargers Garrett M24 with steel impeller, upgraded turbo manifold.
On RB26DETT N1 the oil pump problem was solved and it was equipped with new water pump.
This engine is called RB26DETT Gold top, and it was usually applied for Nissan Skyline GTR R34 Nur spec.
In 2002 N1 was replaced with purely sporty engine VQ30DETT.
Besides RB26DETT, RB series included such engines as RB24S, RB25DE/DET, RB20DET/RB20DE and RB30S/E/ET.

Nissan RB26DETT engine problems and malfunctions

This engine is quite reliable and durable, but early RB26DETT (Nissan Skyline GT-R R32) used inefficient oil pump and on high speed oil starvation started. It is better to use oil pump from RB26DETT N1 instead.
From time to time ignition coils fail on this engine, what leads to misfire.
Despite it is sport engine, its lifetime is quite long. It is just necessary to serve it regularly, use only quality engine oil and do not install any performance mods or upgrades. Certainly, RB26 is purchased exceptionally for tuning and fast driving, so forget about its lifespan.


Since the time when these engines appeared, the fans started arguing whether RB26 or 2JZ was better, more reliable and powerful. Though many years have passed, but such talks still continue. Let’s find out, what are the things in reality.
2JZ-GTE has better oil cooling channels, more powerful oil pump, firmer pistons, better cooling system, intake system is made more properly. And also 2JZ non-VVTi version uses MAP, what is more reliable, than MAF. Besides, 2JZ has better electronics, more reliable spark plugs, cheaper performance parts. If you like performance tuning (and you certainly do), 2JZ lets gaining more power and torque on OEM turbochargers.
RB26DETT has shorter piston stroke and it gains high rpm better. Also this engine is quite rare, being meant for one car model only, so possessing such thing is real pleasure. While 2JZ engine is installed on the variety of cars, it is not that interesting.

Nissan RB26DETT engine tuning

RB26DETT upgrade guide

To increase RB26 power using stock turbochargers, you should purchase Tomei oil pump or N1 oil pump, oil cooler and 3-layers radiator, Apexi power intake (or something like this), NGK 9 spark plugs, N1 water pump, fuel pressure regulator, Bosch 044 fuel pump, fuel rail, fuel injectors 550 cc/min, boost controller, 3 inch performance exhaust system and Apexi Power FC. Then install all the performance upgrades and adjust ECU. As the result, at 15 psi (1 bar) boost you will get about 330 WHP. It will be enough for you to drive ¼ mile in mid 12 seconds.
Wishing 400 horsepower? The problem is, that OEM turbochargers keep pressure more than 13 psi (0.9 bar) badly, therefore you need GTR RB26DETT N1 turbochargers. But it is not enough. In addition to all mentioned aftermarket parts, you should also buy big intercooler and MLS head gasket yet. After this it is possible to increase boost pressure to 16-17 psi (1.1-1.2 bar) and gain about 400 WHP.
The next step is 450-500 WHP. If, besides, you will buy ACL bearings, HKS GT2530 turbochargers, cams 264/264, cam gears, Z32 MAF, Splitfire ignition coils, NGK 10 spark plugs, fuel injectors 750 cc/min, BOV, HKS timing belt and 3.5” performance exhaust system, you will gain 450 horsepower on the wheels at 15 psi (1 bar) already. And if to increase the boost, 500-550-600 WHP will be available.
RB26DETT engine has very firm stock internals, which can bear even 600-650 horsepower and still stay reliable. Sometimes gaining 750-900 horsepower on stock internals is possible, impressive power potential indeed! But do not drive your engine to extremes, better buy forged pistons, H-beam rods, ATI crank dampers, enlarged oil pan, ARP head studs. Also it is better to do head porting, purchase big valves with valve springs and guides, also to buy performance intake manifold, HKS 3037 turbochargers, cams 282/282, cam gears, fuel injectors 1000+ cc/min, two Bosch 044 fuel pumps, etc.
Also you can buy stroker kit 2.8L, increase the boost to 30 psi (2 bar), and, using race fuel, you will obtain 800+ WHP.
Sometimes RB30E cylinder block and RB26DETT head are combined, as an alternative to stroker kit 3.0 L. Such engines are called RB26/30 or RB30DETT, but they are mid range torque engines. To achieve the highest result (1000+ horsepower), 87 mm forged pistons or stroker kit 2.8L will be enough.