Nissan Puts Its GT-R’s Famous RB26 Inline-Six Engine Back Into Production

Vintage Skyline owners rejoice—you can pop your motor without breaking the bank.

byRob Stumpf|
Nissan News photo

Nissan's famed Godzilla is aging. Mile after mile, delayed oil changes and constant sending it have begun to take its toll on the legendary GT-R's heart, leaving the infamous RB26DETT engine with scarred cylinder walls and gouged bearing journals. The engineers at Nissan have caught wind that enthusiasts still enjoy the old platform and have added a plethora of parts to the NISMO Heritage catalog, including new castings for the engine's head and two different blocks.

Before you get too excited, note that Nissan isn't selling you a fully functional engine. Instead, they're selling new castings for engine builders looking to start fresh with a brand new block or head. Prospective buyers will still need to buy a rotating assembly and engine accessories (most of which aren't yet included in the NISMO Heritage catalog).

A newly cast head will run $1,698 (187,000 Japanese Yen) while a new block will cost buyers $1,535 (170,000 JPY); both together will run $3,233. That is unless you're looking to make some serious power. If that's the case, you can pick up Nissan's RB26DETT N1 block for $3,833 (450,000 JPY). The N1 designation indicates that the block has been cast with a higher nickel content, as well as thicker cylinder walls and deck surfaces for builds with higher power goals in mind. The strengthened block is also said to have improved water channels over the standard offering.

Presently, RB26 long blocks with accessories in unknown condition fetch around $4,500 to $4,800 on the used market. While buying a used complete motor is still the route that many enthusiasts will take, especially those swapping the engine into a non-factory car, seasoned engine builders looking to assemble a high-horsepower motor can now start fresh thanks to these new parts.

The engine was only offered for Skylines built from 1989 until 2002 (R32, R33, and R34 chassis), plus a handful of other models in Nissan's lineup—none of which were sent to the United States, meaning that Nissan presently has no reason to sell the castings stateside. These particular parts in the NISMO Heritage catalog are currently available for sale in Japan only. While this doesn't mean you can't jump through the hoops to have the parts imported, it does drive up the cost to ship on to North America.

Hopefully, Nissan will consider expanding its Heritage program to the United States as the 25-year-rule makes importing the automaker's classics more achievable. For now, you can head over to Nissan's website to drool over all of the parts that you just can't have.