Which engine? RB26 or VR38

It’s nice having a choice of both power plants, they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Engine TypeInline-6V6
Displacement2.6 liters3.8 liters
ConfigurationDOHC (Dual Overhead Cam)DOHC (Dual Overhead Cam)
Valve Train24-valve24-valve
Compression Ratio8.5:19.0:1
Maximum Horsepower276 hp 545 hp
Maximum Torque260 lb-ft 463 lb-ft
Fuel DeliverySequential Fuel InjectionDirect Injection
Fuel TypeGasolineGasoline
Cooling SystemWater-cooledWater-cooled
Transmission5-speed manual (stock) [R32, R33]
6-speed manual (stock) [R34]
6-speed dual-clutch (R35 GT-R)
Engine Control Unit (ECU)Sophisticated for the timeSophisticated OEM ECU
WeightApproximately 507 lbs (230 kg)Approximately 595 lbs (270 kg)
ApplicationsNissan Skyline GT-RNissan GT-R (R35)
PerformanceLegendary in the tuner communityHigh-performance supercar engine
AvailabilityDiscontinued (production until 2002)In production (used in R35 GT-R)

The RB26DETT engine is known to have a few oiling issues that have been addressed and addressed by enthusiasts and tuners over the years.

  1. Oil Pump Failure: One of the primary oiling issues with the RB26DETT is related to the oil pump’s durability. The stock oil pump can struggle to handle increased power and higher RPMs, leading to insufficient oil pressure. And we all know this isn’t good…
    Upgrading to a higher-performance aftermarket oil pump is in my future, if anyone from Nitto is listening?
  2. Oil Surge: Another issue that RB26 faces, particularly during aggressive cornering or high-speed driving, is oil surge. Occuring when the engine’s oil supply cannot keep up with the lateral or longitudinal forces generated by the vehicle’s movement. This can lead to oil starvation in critical engine components, potentially causing engine damage. Baffled oil pans, oil catch cans, and oil pan modifications are commonly employed to mitigate oil surge and ensure consistent oil supply.
  3. Cylinder Head Oiling: The RB26 engine has a design where the cylinder head is supplied oil from the front of the engine. This configuration can cause unequal oil distribution between the front and rear cylinders, leading to potential oil starvation in the rear cylinders. Engine builders and tuners often address this issue by modifying the oiling system or adding additional oil galleries to ensure proper oil flow and lubrication to all cylinders.

It’s important to note that these oiling issues are more prevalent in high-performance or heavily modified RB26 engines – and where I’m going we all know that this will affect me. With proper maintenance, regular oil changes, and aftermarket upgrades, many of these issues can be mitigated, allowing RB26 to handle higher power levels reliably.

The aftermarket solutions, such as improved oil pumps, baffled oil pans, and oil system modifications, really do help address these oiling concerns and enhance the engine’s performance and longevity. Thankfully.