What To Do With A (Built) RB26?

Say you’ve got a built RB26 sitting around, but no longer have the R32 GTR that it came out of. What would you swap the motor into? Wait a few more years for another GTR? Swap it into a different Nissan, like a 240 (z or sx)? Cross breed it into a BMW or RX-7? Whatever it is would have to be a rad car for all around duties (and yes, I realize that what makes a great street car doesn’t always make a great track car) because the motor itself is pretty rad; depending on the turbo (or turbos) it could be good for up to 1000hp. Here’s the parts list:

  • GReddy intake manifold plumbed for Direct NOS kit
  • GReddy Fuel Rail
  • 720cc Injectors
  • HKS Cam Gears
  • Jun Cams – 280 11.35mm lift
  • HKS Pro L Head System 10,000rpm springs/retainers/etc.
  • Ferrara 1mm oversized valves
  • ATI Damper
  • JE Pistons/rings
  • Crower Rods
  • Jun Oil pump
  • Nismo Water Pump
  • Tomei Oil pan baffle
  • Calico Bearings
  • Cometic Head gasket
  • ARP Head Studs
  • Head port/polish

RB26dett e30 M3

At one point, the motor was going to go into my e30 M3, but I really wanted it to be awd and that led to more than a few complications (excuse the old cellphone pic).  So then it came back out and the M3 got a proper S52 (with a little turbo). And I went back to having a rad motor sitting around.

There isn’t really another BMW that I like enough to put the motor in and since I’ve already got a rad e30 M3, BMWs are out. I think that if I’m going to cross breed it should be done with a car I really like because I’ll most likely piss off enthusiasts from each brand and never be able to sell the car (well, at least I’ll take a huge hit on it). That really doesn’t leave many options.

I’ve always been fascinated by third gen RX7s but after hearing so many horror stories about the motor I’ve always written them off. Upon finding this little gem, the RB swap seems doable but seeing how the word “custom” appears 15 times in the description, I’m a little skerred. Actually, the bigger issue is that the current prices of these cars are comparable to a state legal R32, so the RX7 may be out.


The obvious and least expensive option seems to be a 240sx (Silvia for you doriftos out there), but there is only one thing holding me back from going that route: I don’t like them…at all. Sure, an S15 looks pretty rad but that carries the same problem as the GTR. Needless to say the 350z has the same problem.

So what’s left? Well, speaking of Z cars, there is another option that I never would have considered a few years ago (and I’m still surprised by my current opinion): a classic 240z. I know, everything that could be done to that car has been done including RB26 swaps (here, here, and here – just a few of the 45k results). But it wasn’t any of those swaps that got me interested in the 240z. It was this hunk of junk:

dumped 240z

I don’t know what it is about that car that makes me tingle, but it is rad. Now, with a 500hp+ motor in a 2300lb car, 225 tires stretched over 11 inch rims will not do. So, I wouldn’t be able to go that low. Which means I’d have to look at other versions of the car to determine if I still like it. And I did, and I do.


Then I read through his entire build of the car so far. The budget seems to have stayed pretty tame, but the amount of time put in to get to this stage looks pretty serious (and it is far from a ‘finished’ car, though it does look good). And that doesn’t include getting an RB26 to fit (and run). Which leads me to this conclusion: sell the motor. Sure, I won’t get anywhere near the money I put into it, but it might still give me enough money to do some things that I’d like to do on my e30, like wheels, sideskirts, a decent bumper and maybe some paint. What if the motor doesn’t sell? Well, an RB26 240z isn’t a bad second choice.

For Sale: Built RB26DETT

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One Response to “What To Do With A (Built) RB26?”

  1. Rory says:

    That 240z is so rad. I would leave it unpainted and completely finish(show quality) under the hood. It would be great contrast.

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