A Spark Of Efficiency For Project GT-R
All Shaken’d Up & Ready To Go

Project GT-R updates have been a little thin on the ground lately, but we all know how things like this can be temporarily shelved when there’s a lot of other stuff going on – in my case a packed schedule of Speedhunting! But right around the time the shaken was up (that’s the bi-yearly, $700-plus check you have to do in Japan to make sure your car is roadworthy), my R34 started developing an intermittent misfire. I asked around and everyone pretty much said the same thing: check the spark plugs, the coils, wiring and so on. I did all that and everything looked fine, but the problem persisted…


A little dispirited, I decided that I’d leave it for a month while I was busy with work, which would give me time to source the few remaining bits and pieces I need for the long-time-coming turbo upgrade – and then I could kill two birds with one stone. Of course, even the best laid plans don’t work out sometimes, and parts delays meant that it never happened. That is until last week, when I received a call from Ito-san at Do-Luck telling me that Ignition Projects were looking for a BNR34 in good condition in which to test out an all-new coil upgrade. Upon hearing this I got off my butt and immediately awoke the sleeping GT-R. Or at least I would of if its Optima Yellow-Top had not died sometime in between… Even my CTEK charger could not revive it, so I had to wait a day for a new battery to arrive before I could finally fire up the RB26 and take the car to the shaken center for its inspection. For this, I refitted my old 19-inch RAYS Volk Racing CE28N wheels, which run a slightly less aggressive offset than the TE37RTs, and therefore pass the inspection without any problems. Which it did, albeit with a silencer bung in place to quieten down the Tomei exhaust. Street legal again, the next day I woke up bright and early and drove the Skyline down to Do-Luck in Yokohama.


That’s where I met Akira-san from Ignition Projects, who wasted no time popping the hood and getting busy with my car. Unbolting and removing the spark plug cover was first on the list.


This gives you access to the six individual coils that are neatly laid out in between the two cam covers. Well, it’s mainly the connectors and the wiring loom that you see first, but the coils are under there!


Seeing this was the first ever install of this new coil system on an R34, some testing of the factory set up was required to ensure everything was as it should be on a stock engine. To do so, Akira-san whipped out a pretty badass oscilloscope and tapped into one of the wires to measure the current.


Ito-san came out to check how things were proceeding too.


We cranked the engine and observed the current curve, which according to Akira-san was healthy for a stock engine with a peak primary current of 7.72 Amps.


Right, so back to business. Next up the bolts that hold the stock coils in place were removed.


All connectors were then unplugged, at which point both Akira-san and Ito-san commented on how they still looked brand new. The same could be said for the wiring loom, which more often than not are found to be heat blistered and weathered from time. I guess that’s a good thing, but at the same time it probably means that I haven’t been driving the car hard enough!


With a little rubbery ‘pop’ the coils were detached from the spark plugs.


And this is what the stock coils look like. From factory they’re mounted onto two separate aluminium plates which hold everything down while ensuring that each coil is isolated so that the best spark can be generated. The coils appeared to be in perfect condition, so we still had no idea where that misfire was originating from.

A Quick Check To Start Off

With the coils out you finally catch a glimpse of the six spark plugs.


There was a lot of dust and a little bit of debris that had accumulated over time, as well as a funky bug that probably assumed he had found the perfect place to hang out – before being baked to a crisp.


Before continuing we took a look at the condition of the NGK Iridium #7 spark plugs I had previously fitted. They all looked like they were in decent condition, so were refitted and we carried on.


Before we went any further though, it was necessary to get rid of all the crap that had collected in the RB26’s deep valley – nothing a few quick spurts of compressed air couldn’t fix.


Akira-san then whipped out the brand new Ignition Project coils, at which point the sheer size of the things really surprised me! The idea with this kit is to provide the strongest primary and secondary current possible, therefore guaranteeing the healthiest and most intense spark.


These are good to use on a stock engine all the way up to a fully-tuned RB packing 800-1000hp. Should you need more spark in your set up there are even bigger, remote-mountable Ignition Projects coils available too.


Big spark performance calls for something much larger than stock, hence the size to help keep distance between the individual coil and the igniter. The actual length also guarantees that they stay cooler than a smaller set up would, which is good thing, as Akira-san explained one of the biggest enemies for coils is heat.


The mounting is fairly straightforward. First of all the three long-threaded mounts are put in place, followed by the mounting plate. Then each coil is simply dropped into position and pushed down over their respective spark plug.

Nice Presentation

With the six units in place I really like the way they look. If you are wondering, yes – the stock spark plug cover does not clear these bad boys. This is actually much better for cooling, and in case you have a vented or louvered bonnet there is no need to worry as each coil is weather sealed. Akira-san tells me there is a plan to create a cover for the RB26 to satisfy owners who prefer their engine to have a smooth, more factory-like cam cover look.


Here’s a comparison between the two wiring looms – the bottom one being the handmade Ignition Projects item.


I really like how it’s all neatly laid out with the wiring separated into braided sleeves, topped off with some nice looking connectors.


And that’s how it all looks when connected up.


If you are trying to pull off a stealthy setup then this might not be the solution you are looking for, but it suits me fine!


To me, the exposed coil packs add a touch of aggression to the engine bay, and the look reminds me of those crazy-powered drag cars from the ’90s with massive coil upgrades borrowed from much larger engines.


In typical Japanese meticulous fashion, each connector was checked then rechecked again before the engine was fired up – which it did instantly, and exhibiting a slightly lower-pitched sound.


With the oscilloscope reconnected the new current curve was traced out on the graph. To make it easier to note the difference, Akira-san loaded up the stock curve he had saved earlier and displayed both at once. Current now rises to a pretty solid 13.32 Amps with a visibly steeper curve which will hold right throughout the rev range and with higher levels of boost applied.


What does that translate to out on the road? Well, as you can imagine the difference is small, but the overall feel of the engine has somewhat changed. As I mentioned, the sound seems to be deeper and meaner – something really noticeable when the engine comes on boost. Throttle response is definitely crisper and pick-up has a little more urgency.


I’m also reaching peak boost (which is now set to 1.05-bar) quicker – something you can see on the steep boost curve the MFD displays. It seems to be touching 1.0-bar about 100rpm lower than it was previously, which I’m very happy about. Response has always been a big goal for my set up. Even better, there is no sign of any misfire and I can rev out the motor all the way to redline without fear of that dreaded sound.


Of course, this upgrade will go hand-in-hand with all the parts I dropped off the same day at Do-Luck, that will soon be fitted. There are other bits and pieces that have been sent over to the workshop too, and a few last ones are on the way now. After what has seemed like a very long wait – Ito-san will soon start making Project GT-R that little bit more special…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Other Project GT-R posts on Speedhunters
Ignition Projects



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congratulations!, it looks pretty sweet


So, if you don't drive the GT-R anymore, how do you commute? Taxi? Public transportation? Or Dino has another car, maybe a kei car to move around? :) And BTW, what happened with that lonely Renault Alpine 310 that you were almost ready to make the owner an offer? Did you change your mind and thought that is it too much?


Just a question, what's the difference between this and the Okada Project?


that trunk screams "merry christmas dino!" lol.


there's a nope in the engine.
Also, third picture from the bottom up, chapter 1,I took a while to realize that it was not an 8-bit style funky glasses face :">

Gianluca FairladyZ

I smell Tomei Arms Turbo........... Thumbs up! Keep up the build!


greenroadster I think Dino's mentioned owning a Legacy as his daily driver.


greenroadster Yep as shiftyXTI says I do have a Legacy for work and a 335i convertible too which I steal from the wife regularly lol


greenroadster Yep as shiftyXTI says I do have a Legacy for work and a 335i convertible too which I steal from the wife regularly lol


AmirIzham Well it's basically the same brand, they have gone for a name change in the US and might follow suit in Japan. But the coils that they had for the RB26 before (which are still on sale) were based around the stock units and only boost secondary current. Up boost and power and you are looking at inevitable misfires with those too. They are said to be good up to 600 HP


Please please please.   "I would of" is not a phrase.  Try "I would have"


nugundam93 Yeah tell me about it, I'm so happy with the collection of pats which has taken a little over 2 years to stock up on!


KennedyCao LOL and ROTFL


Gianluca FairladyZ Hai!


its nice to know people in the business! i can't wait to see all those boxes opened up and see your car completed. btw i saw in your previous post that you swapped the rims out... nice to see the classic gold rims!


speedhunters_dino greenroadster shiftyXTI  u need to pimp out your legacy. air bags... damd or hippo sleek kit... i think u get where im headed lol


d_rav speedhunters_dino greenroadster shiftyXTI funny you should mention that...


speedhunters_dino d_rav greenroadster shiftyXTI  i guess i'll have to wait for the next feature then bwahaha XD


speedhunters_dino d_rav greenroadster shiftyXTI  i guess i'll have to wait for the next feature then bwahaha XD


These look very different than the Plasma direct coils on Aki's GTR, the ones he has do clear the cover and are blue.


man, it must have been terrible for that bug...at least it was death by RB26


Looks like an awesome upgrade and I agree with you. Having everything exposed does add some aggressiveness to the engine bay. Very nice.


That is such a clean looking GTR. Do you take it to track days or anything of the like? Would love to see an onboard video.


Cant any editor on speedhunters actually work on there own car?


@Nochie Noch what he is looking for is "I would've", which sounds the same as "I would of", but is not the same.


Love those wheels so much! Really want them for my own voltex evo one day! But amazing car Dino!


speedhunters_dino now that wait makes the merry christmas even sweeter! :)


Cant wait for further updates!  Keep it up!


I knew there was a reason you didn't respond about why the CE28's went back on in your last post! You were just being conservative with your details. :)
I had upgraded the harness and coils on my 2.4L Lancer before selling it for the Evo X, and I would agree that it doesn't make a noticeable difference in terms of power, but it does improve the response. I was also shocked to find the car got up to temp sooner than before (not an issue in Japan I presume, but it is in Canada for sure).

What are you doing with the old turbo once you get Tomei'd? I have some great blue prints for you to add jet propulsion out of the trunk if you are interested. =)


STJ88 Splitfires :)
Ran them on my GT-t and also on my V-Spec


Any chance of pictures of the bugeye lurking in the background of the opening shot?


I don't know if it helps you because you have already bought a new battery, but when our race car battery got too low we jump started it off another healthy battery as the charger couldn't produce enough current to "restart" the dead one.


@Nochie Noch English is not Dino's first language. So I think he's doing quite well.


speedhunters_dino I prefer those wheels, staunch :)


Lookin forward to reading more! Might even see you at the Nismo Festival!


cooki_monsta I'll be there :)


Pancakes speedhunters_dino Good thing I kept them lol


Joel Perkins Yeah tried that too...


Kirk_B No idea, I've had a guy with an R32 wanting to buy them off me so probably no jet propulsion solution lol


LukeEVOVIII Thank you!


@JNilaaon What do you mean? This was a test for Ignition Projects, part of their final development for these new coils. What should have done, pushed Akira-san to one side and say nah I got this, you just stay there and take pictures of me lol


Karl Hakk It will be seen more tracks once I'm done with it, for now mountain roads are my usual playground :)


HondaGeek Yeah, but I still hope they come up with a cover!


SkanderFekir haha


STJ88 See below: Well it's basically the same brand, they have gone for a name change in the US and might follow suit in Japan. But the coils that they had for the RB26 before (which are still on sale) were based around the stock units and only boost secondary current. Up boost and power and you are looking at inevitable misfires with those too. They are said to be good up to 600 HP


Any chance of that feature on it still happening?


@JNilaaon I hate this comment. Just because people can't/don't work on their own cars does not make them any less of an enthusiast as someone who does. I've found that people who can't work on their cars actually seem to have a greater love for cars, and the efforts of those who can work on them.


I had bronze CE28N 19's on my midnight purple R33 GTR....such a nice wheel, suit it well!!!


Pretty damn epic! My brain is still shifting back to its original position ofter that brutal launch!  Amazing car, but I think the department where Porsche is falling behind other European makers is their choice of infotainment system.  Those cheapo clarions need to go.


Did you get this free if not, why did you not opt for the LS2 Truck Coils?


if you wanted to charge up your old yellow top you need to charge it in series, so you'll need to hook a charged battery up with jumper leads to the dead one and then put the charger onto the live battery and it should charge right the way up.


3nigm4 you're right. They're often more into the driving than tinkering. I can only do small stuff, but I drive the shit out of my car... I also like to keep it clean. But I have a buddy that welds his own roll cages n stuff but his rides are always looking dirty and he never drives them as they are never done.


Love reading these project gtr articles im sure your anxious to install those turbos now. Whats your spark plug gap? I had breaking up issues as well when running iridium plugs


speedhunters_dino  the car is looking good plus great article


@JNilaaon Bro, most of the time its better for the owner not to touch the car.  I ran a racecar workshop- the rule generally is, if the owner has a go first it's going to cost more undoing their "I thought it was this, so I fiddled with that, now it won't even...."


I like the CE28s better. there I said it.

This car hit its peak for me when you got that exhaust installed, just so classy and a timeless look.

it would be awesome if they made a piece that covered the cam valley, but left the coils exposed. I can't find a picture of what i'm describing anywhere but I feel like I've seen it done before. It would follow the contours of the valley, while still being flat and the coils would mount to it. Rather than there just being a hole that they mount above, the hole they mount over would be shaped like the body of the top of the coil, except of course for the bolt. Then the wiring can be tucked below, and all you'll see is the connector. Very clean


How did the battery change go? I tried to remove my optima 3.7 today, what a nightmare! Removed the brace but couldn't get the battery out because its too big. So the whole rear shield has to go out! :(


STJ88 It's literally the biggest pain in the ass. Ever! I swore in three different languages while grating knuckles and cutting my hands up in 20 different places. Nissan could have definitely come up with a more intelligent way to get the batteries in and out!! But all in the name of structural rigidity I guess lol


teeson Now that's an interesting idea! Would allow for a bit of cooling that way. Oh and I love my CEs...that's why I kept them haha


wheatgod I still have the TEs..but keeping them for track :)


DjaranJones speedhunters_dino Thanks!


AngelRB25 Turbos are next!


Omnigear What is that ?


TokyoCarGuy I think this belongs in the Porsche story no?


BSides Yeah it did happen but never got the driving shots I needed...


BSides Yeah it did happen but never got the driving shots I needed...


BSides Yeah it did happen but never got the driving shots I needed...


BSides Yeah it did happen but never got the driving shots I needed...


BSides Yeah it did happen but never got the driving shots I needed...


Feel free to send me what you have :) haha


I'm going to leave it to the professionals at my garage, luckily the car still starts when you jump start it.
Too bad about my optima, because its my and mine importers fault that it died! Didn't know that can't leave the car longer than a few minutes on ignition without starting it, fuel pumps in the boot use allot of power!


Ah Schmeckel! Thats true! #toomanyopenspeedhunterstabs! Feel free to use yer mod powers to move or delete this!


I really enjoyed this one Dino, though the same can be said for all of your articles. I'm not sure what it was, but it seemed accessible, with the same mix of research and uncertainty I think a lot of us experience in our own builds.

Thanks as always


Love these articles Dino. Your R34 is looking awesome as always


StephonFazalKhan Thanks man, the awesome feedback you guys give me makes them even more fun to post up :)


Verdigrie Thanks for the kind words man!


Excellent article! The photos are spot on- you captured the details of the process perfectly. Looking forward to the next update. 
RIP to Mr. Bug. You will be missed.


Looks better on the CEs imo.


Looks better on the CEs imo.


Dino, I think you owe us an update! I want to see the results of those boxes!


The RAYS Volk Racing CE28N wheels look much better than those big red rims.