Tommy’s 35R Powered GT-R (Build Thread)

This is one of those builds that for sure has a happy ending, but unfortunately for the customer it wasn’t the easiest road traveled to get there.

Tommy purchased the car already built from another shop and at the time seemed to be running fine. However after his very first outing with the car he noticed some oil pressure issues that ended up being fatal to the engine. He called us to get an idea on pricing to try and determine what to do.

While this part of the story doesn’t really have a ton to do with the build I’m going to include it as I feel it’s good information for the community. 

So, we quoted out the build knowing what we know about these issues and basically painting a worst case scenario picture. I want to point out that when we provide quotes on engine failures we always try to provide the customer with the actuality they will likely be facing. We have been blessed to have lots of experience with these cars and very much know what can and can’t be salvaged in most failures. We also will not cut corners on what needs to be replaced. So if say a customer tells me he had very little oil pressure over a course of a couple drives I’m going to quote him with a new block and crank. If we get the car apart and the worst isn’t the case the resulting phone call is much better call than starting out with some low, unrealistic quote and then calling to let them know it’s gonna be 10k more than expected. Unfortunately these sales tactics are used all the time in this industry. A lot of the times it’s not even the shops fault or unethical, it’s simply a lack of experience and because of that the customer usually ends up with some nasty surprise instead of being prepared for the reality of the situation. I never want the customer to pay for something or spend money they don’t need to. Anyone who has done business with me will tell you that I’m the first to say “no you don’t need that”, “no need to waste your money on that”. We give honest advice to enthusiasts regardless of profit margins or if there is a lost opportunity to make a couple hundred bucks. In my mind the long term effects of guiding someone down a proper path is much more rewarding. However, if a car has a major failure and needs a crank, block, timing components, oil cooler or any other necessary parts to ensure there isn’t another premature failure … I’m going to tell them up front!
With that all said, after Tommy’s failure the car went to a different shop to be pulled part. After assessing the damage when it was torn down he was informed that he indeed needed several new components that were going to add up to be far too close to our pricing to not have the experience and support that we offer. I was honestly very excited to get the call that he was pulling his disassembled car and sending it over to us. The car came in boxes…literally, but that was no issue. After some dividing, organizing, and sorting she was labeled and divided into build bins just like we would disassemble one of our own builds.

Tommy opted to upgrade to our Race 3.8 engine that is rated up to 1800hp instead of going back to a stock crank engine. The car already had an ETS 35r kit on it and the turbos had been compromised from the failure so an upgrade was in order. We decided to stick with a 35R so that the setup wasn’t too laggy to enjoy on the street but upgrade to the latest and greatest GTX on the existing ETS turbo kit. 

For now the customer decided it wasn’t quite time to upgrade the fuel system so we stuck with the 6 injector on the factory ECU. He knew that this would limit the amount of power we could make but there are plans in the near future to upgrade to a Motec controlled 12 injector setup. Knowing that we were setting Tommy up to win with future upgrades we went with our ported heads, cams, and our proprietary wet sump oiling system to keep the bearings happy over the course of time at high HP. The car went together without much issue, we were only missing a few parts from the previous shop but it didn’t slow us down. On the dyno the car performed really well. As I previously mentioned, we were power limited on Cobb with 6 injectors, but we pulled out all the little tricks to make the fuel system go as far as possible. Pump gas yielded just over 1080 HP and 790 TQ, which is about where we see most 35R cars. Honestly if the car is flex fuel we don’t see much reason to push pump gas to the limit. The fuel is rarely consistent and at those HP levels it doesn’t take much to get a couple strikes of detonation when pushing the very limits on pump. The risk simply isn’t worth the reward in our opinion. E85 however is a different story! With fuels like E and race gas’ that have much more octane the window gets much wider and safety margins increase exponentially. We were able to squeeze 1487 HP and 1067 TQ out of the fuel system on the ETS 35R setup! It wasn’t to be too long in between the customers highs from the dyno and when the car actually got to perform. We delivered the car to him only one week before the Pikes Peak half mile put on by Shift-S3ctor. Just enough time to get a little street driving in and get used to the power! Tommy attended with us for the weekend running his car I think about 10 times a day, over and over without a hiccup. Giving it just enough time to cool down between runs he ranged from high 190s to his best of 204mph, which he backed up pass after pass! I want to thank Tommy for making the tough decision to entrust us with his build and giving us the opportunity to support him and embrace him as part of the TSM Family. We are looking forward to many more events as this build evolves!