High-Mount Twins: The Avance R33 GT-R

My feet are mighty sore after spending all of Sunday walking around Fuji Speedway for the annual R’s Meeting. As you can probably imagine, this is an event that is looked forward to by a huge number of enthusiasts in Japan, and it hits the spot every time. But really, how could it not?!

You have the country’s best GT-R tuners and their demo cars lined up in front of you; some of the most well known and highly regarded tuning and styling parts makers showcasing their newest products and services; and even Nissan, who can always be counted on to bring along a tantalizing selection of race cars from its collection. GT-R Magazine has definitely found the perfect recipe with this event, and for the 2017 edition the turnout was huge. That said, I want to get straight into my coverage, and it starts right here with the Avance Meito BCNR33 Skyline GT-R drag machine.

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Don’t you just love seeing a hard-tuned RB26 strapped with a pair of high-mount single turbos?! I certainly do, and it’s so cool to see that shops like Avance are still focussing their efforts on GT-R drag racing despite the fact that there is no dedicated drag strip in Japan anymore.

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It’s sad to think about, but it’s humbling at the same time. There’s still a real passion for drag racing in Japan, and it’s refreshing to see these extreme cars being shown at events, if only to remind people that the race circuit wasn’t the only place the Skyline GT-R cut its teeth in motorsport.

This particular engine still runs the stock capacity, but it spins to just over 9,000rpm in order to make the most of its power band. Peak power – all 1000hp of it – is developed at 8,000rpm, thanks in large part to the pair of Garrett GTX3582Rs. Drive is channeled through a Jerico manually air-shifted transmission.

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Then it’s the job of 26-inch Hoosier drag slicks front and rear to do the rest.

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Eight seconds later it’s all over and the parachute is released.

I really hope someone steps up to invest in a proper drag strip for Japan. That would be a surefire way to breathe some fresh life back into what was once a thriving and exciting aspect of Japanese tuning car culture.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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18 comments

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1

Excuse my ignorance, but where did all the drag strips go? Lack of funding or land owners closing the gates?

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

There was only ever 1 in Japan, Sendai Hiland. It closed down a few years back, they didn't have any money to maintain it and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake further damaged it. Now most drag racing is done one the main straight at Central Circuit. Japan deserves a proper strip!

3

There are more just small all over the place. The streets is where its at anyways. Should do more street stories

Author4
Dino Dalle Carbonare

There are some street events happening sometimes in the Kanto area and I went to a crazy one at the end of the year last year but 1) we can't condone this sort of activity and 2) it was so dark not even night vision would have helped get decent images. Oh and 3) I would have been kicked out of there so quick.... some things are best left in the underground

5

It doesn't matter about condoling it or not cause the reality of it is. Drag racing started on the streets, so did drifting. Every person or shop you interview or do a story on in Japan is doing it on the street. Nobody is strictly track. I find it hard to believe about it being too dark and not having the equipment in this modern day to see it. I have seen endless option videos at night and .....they were on VHS tapes. That was over 20 years ago they were doing it. Yes you would be kicked out of a spot ,but hey that is the life. Place gets busted out move to another. Living in Japan that is what we did nightly. Drag, drift or even just watch. It gets busted move to another spot.

6

^I see where you're coming from but I agree with Dino that SH shouldn't go covering too much of the underground street scene. It would be a different case if anyone of the SH guys has good connections to the underground world, but with how fast the word spreads these days some good places are actually best left undisturbed. You don't want your favorite route to be crowded up or shut down just after it got some publicity over the internet.

7

I was going to say, one of the existing circuits could incorporate something.

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah but when that happens they never allow burnouts and the track is not prepped like a proper drag strip would be.

9

Has anyone tried asking the guys at Yokota (US Air base) ? They have a 3km runway, surely there must be a couple of days a year they can spare it for a few hours ?? ;-) IME cars are a good joint hobby for Japanese-gaijin bonding :-)

Author10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Probably not a good idea now, what with NK wanting to play

11

speed hunters should start the wheels in motion lets petition and get japan an official drag strip, imagine getting all the tunning companies and high end race teams and the local councils involved.
would be amazing advertisement for speedhunters.

Author12
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Would be amazing but the sheer cost involved would be astronomical!

13

I'm so happy to see R's meeting coverage lead off with the R33!! I'm not trying to be controversial, but you mention that the setup is "strapped with a pair of high-mount single turbos." I'm just curious if this setup works differently than a standard twin setup (sequential vs. parallel?) and is that why you are calling them singles even though there are two of them. My R33 was already converted to a single when I bought it so just trying to learn! :)

14

Hey Doug, without stepping on Dino's toes, I think the semantics of note in this case are 'high-mount' rather than 'single'. The idea being, the stock configuration twins are low-mounted (in addition to most 'drop-in' upgrades like HKS and Tomei twins). I would safely wager that these turbos run in parallel.

That of course makes them difficult to see and, more importantly, to work on. So, per the example of your own car, most guys just ditch the stock twin configuration for a properly-spec'd single, which greatly reduces heat, plumbing complexity and crowding in the engine bay.

The roundabout point of my rambling being that high-mount twins are somewhat rare in the world of RB tuning, as most owners will stick with the aforementioned stock location drop-in replacement twins, or, in your case and so many others, convert to a single set-up.

Dino, my apologies if this interpretation is entirely off, just my 2 psi for whatever it is worth.

Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

In retrospect that looks confusing. I just wanted to differentiate their sizes, ie. when you fit low mounted twins they tend to be smaller but GT35s are pretty big and aside from not fitting under there they can also be used singularly as that would give you a real responsive set up with 5-600 hp

16

Thanks to you both. I was in no way critiquing the article, just interested to understand what people are doing. Mine is a single T88-33D (built by Garage Saurus... I have pictures of Dino photographing it in its former life in Japan) that is a bit laaaaaaaaaagy, so interested in what else is out there. For now I'll keep it old-school. Thanks again.

17

My pleasure Doug, always happy to talk shop, especially about cool RB set-ups! Your car sounds awesome, and regardless of the outdated MHI tech, I have a soft spot for big bruiser T78 and T88.

One nice upgrade you can do that will give you a noticeable improvement in spool and transient response is upgrading to a billet compressor wheel, which are now relatively easy to find.

The whole idea is reducing the rotational mass of the OEM cast wheel, which of course means the turbine side has to work less to bring it up to speed, translating to quicker spool!

Other benefits include improved durability, since billet is stronger than cast, reduced heat in the engine bay, since the turbine will not be working as hard, and drop-in fitment.

If I remember right, I believe Kinugawa makes one, and the price is quite reasonable for the improvements. Not sure of your location, but the most important variable in this equation is a good turbo shop.

Anyone can simply swap out the compressor wheel, but ideally you want an experienced shop that can run the new assembly on a high-speed balancer to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

18

That sheet metal air channel for the turbo is <3

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