Nissan Purists, Look Away

“Pssst… Come here. Quiet. This is a secret. Have a look at this, but don’t tell anyone.”

That’s what a guy at the Nissan Matsuri at Sodegaura came up and whispered, while leading me towards a red HR31 Skyline in the distance. I didn’t hesitate to follow, but in my head I was thinking, ‘what the hell is this guy on about?!’


As we arrived at the red Skyline, he prompted his friend to open the bonnet and reveal what the whole point of his rather funny introduction to the car was. Yep, I was looking at a Toyota 2JZ-GTE-powered HR31 at a Nissan-only event…

I’ve seen my fair share of 2JZ swaps over the years, but given the location and the event, this may be the most comical. But rest assured, there’s nothing to laugh about here, and the more I looked over the Skyline, the more it impressed.


Menacing idle aside, it would be next to impossible to figure out the little secret this car hides if all you had to go by was the way it looks. Granted, it’s a superb example of a well-executed R31, but its exterior appearance doesn’t really give too much away.


Maybe the beefy Endless brake setup with 6-pot calipers at the front and 4-pots at the rear could be a bit of a hint, I guess.


And it’s a good thing that the owner has dedicated some attention to the braking, because with close to 600hp on tap, the Endless stoppers are pretty much the only thing that’ll save you after you’ve spent a few seconds unleashing the madness this 2JZ is capable of.


That fury comes thanks to a polished, externally-wastegated KKK turbocharger that’s perched high on a custom manifold.


The whole setup is controlled by a Link engine management system, which judging by the electric throttle, may have be utilising traction control – or at least you would hope that something along those lines is worked into it all. Or perhaps a boost ramp-up through the gears has been implemented for wet and slippery days.


The owner has swapped the stock driver’s seat for a proper Recaro bucket, which I’m sure came in handy through the corners at Sodegaura. The oh-so-’80s instrumentation might not be the most accurate, so I wasn’t surprised to see a Defi tachometer, the GReddy boost gauge and the Defi Advance ZD digital display unit. I spotted an A/F meter as well.


This is, hands-down, the most unique R31 I’ve ever come across in Japan, and judging by the amount of interest it was getting over the course of the day, I wasn’t the only one thinking it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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The engine swap make sense. I heard that the full weight of a 2JZ-GTE is lighter than the RB26 or RB25. So less weight over the nose is always good.


2JZ swap is fine by me. At least it's unique and interesting, unlike LS swaps.


Finally a swap that isn't a LS :D Tired of seeing them as to me personally, they are ugly engines. And a pretty engine bay can make or break a car for me.

Reuben Rodriguez

Surprised there haven't been many r31s shipped to the US.

Reuben Rodriguez

The answer is: "why not?"


Reuben Rodriguez Good looking cars, but I don't think many people stateside know that they exist. They don't have the same fame as something like the R32, R33, or R34.


Okay - that's cool and everything, but given the clickbaity title I was sorta kinda hoping it was at least an LS or maybe a Cummins diesel or just a man shoveling coal into a furnace or something wacky.  It's a lovely swap but I crave the bizarre sometimes.

turbo BEAMS ae86

Slappy_Pistons men shovel coal?  i cry of laughter


@turbo BEAMS ae86 Slappy_Pistons hahaha that made me laugh


Reuben Rodriguez indeed


Michael Atwell Reuben Rodriguez Which is a pity


CharlesChris15 nothing wrong with an LS, good power, cheap, reliable, infinitely upgradable


TCBeast LOL @ the hat for LS swaps. Maybe you guys see to many of them


" The oh-so-'80s instrumentation might not be the most accurate ". You ain't never lied. Also that man shoveling coal reference had me rolling.


that nismo foot plate... I'm making something just like that so I don't tear through the floor mat.  didn't know that existed already! Nismo is teh stuff!


bluestreaksti Could just be a sticker...


These old buses love 600rwhp, great to see a proper wire in ECU solution being used in Japan.

Love the mix of 80s and moden day instruments.


FasterthaMyou Wow :D


TCBeast a 2JZ swap unique? On what planet? There was a time when people were putting them in everything too. Hell, they still are.


R31 love! Those hotplates are still one of my favorite examples of taillights to date. Now, I'm generally one such quasi-purist who at least would like to keep the mills in the family at the very least, barring some exceptions. But this would certainly be one of those exceptions, ripping around in this would be bonkers amounts of fun.


speedhunters_dino TCBeast Yes, there are too many of them. LS swapped Miatas, RX-7, S13, S14, S15, 911, Caymans, 928, 924, 944 etc. But main thing why I don't like them is there are too much douche bags which say that it's the only way and everything needs to be LS swapped. With that said I don't have any problems with those engines itself.


RichieTipsyKariuki TCBeast Just compare how many people swap 2JZ in S13, S14, S15, Miatas, RX-7, Porsches etc. and how many do LS swaps. There are much more of them. So compared to LS swap 2J swap is more unique.


Im at a crossroad mix with emotions with this one. I need therapy. Lol!!
The 2JZ is probably one of the best engines toyota has ever and will ever made.
I like it and I have flirt with the idea but only in secret. Its hard to explain...Im not really a purist...but when it comes down to the Skyline no matter the year...for me is as serious affair as serious as to discipline my 7yr son and teach him how Serious and Important Star Wars is. Lol!!
If the Dark Side is the Force nemesis. It's fair to say that for every Skylines and RB engine there is a Supra and a 2JZ.
So having a Skyline with a 2JZ is kind of like dancing with the devil or making your enemy your Besties Frenemy.
I understand why they approach Dino in the whispering secret way lol!!. I love the idea...lets just say that I would have it and drive it...but I would never open the hood to nobody. Lol!!
Im in the same crossroad with this other side of the coin a Supra from someone I know with a RB swap.
Its emotionally confusing.


Lovely car Dino, thanks for sharing it.  I don't have an issue with a 2JZ in an HR31 - it's still a twin cam straight 6 turbo from Japan - and is great way to make a lot of power.  I'd personally just go for an RB25DET, as 600hp in an HR31 would get a little scary...


When you upgrade your breaking system like that... just adding big it enough? what about the rest of the braking system? like change the servo-assisted brake? Just curious! :)


"Pssst... kid, wanna buy some power?"


Afonsoae82gt I know R32 and R33 owners upgrade to R34 master cylinders. But not sure about the R30 and R31s. Maybe some owners can shed some light?


StephenJMasters "Old buses" lol  Yeah you don't see many nice ECU installs in Japan as you probably know. But it's changing, slowly...but at least something is moving.


What are those square things sticking out of the interior vents?


TCBeast speedhunters_dino Tottaly with you man! And LS engines are awsome but I had to chuckle when a couple of weeks ago I was at my local track "Lydden Hill" South England - and out of a group of us up there in rb20 - sr20 - ca18 ect the only car that broke was a LS swapped s14 that blew the crank...


staticsocks Looks like cup holders


Smokey Nagata put a RB26 in his Supra so this isn't so far stretched.


speedhunters_dino Afonsoae82gt I've used a BNR32 N1 BM50 master cylinder on my R31.


Now I wanna see an Euro engine Japanese car! That would be interesting. Remember the Volvo powered Corolla KE71 that was featured back in 2002? That was one of the best.


Now I wanna see an Euro engined Japanese car! That would be interesting.
Remember the Volvo powered Corolla KE71 that was featured back in 2012?
That was one of the best.




thats Smokey from top secrets supra, you say you know him?


I normally don't answer comments like yours. But I'll be as polite as possible.
1) You don't know who I am or what I do for a living. So who i know is not your business and im not here to discuss that its irrelevant to my comment. 2) Just cause you probably have see the original car in magazines or options videos does not mean you know the full story.
3) That car was in the Hands of Global Auto meaning it was for sale, and guess what it was sold and most likely imported. Meaning it has a new owner.


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