RB26DETT Engine Review: Problems, Specs and Reliability

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RB26DETT is a famous Nissan motor, production of which was launched in 1989. Initially, it was designed for Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 but was also applied for Nissan 300ZX and 350Z, Ford Mustang, Infiniti G35 and some other automobiles.

Unlike RB25DET, this engine utilizes a cylinder block with no oil port. It features a crankshaft with a piston stroke of 73.7 mm, similar rods to the ones applied for RB25DET NEO, 1mm lower pistons and a compression index of 8.5. Aluminum head covers cylinder block with twenty-four valves without variable valve timing system. Camshafts keep duration 240/236 degrees and lift 8.58/8.28 mm. Solid lifters replaced hydraulic ones.

Intake valves’ size is 34.5 mm, while exhaust ones are 30 mm. Six individual throttle bodies with 45 mm diameter were utilized for the intake system. The engine’s firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4.

Two Garrett M24 turbochargers with ceramic impeller help air to get into the intake manifold. Boost pressure is 10 psi (0.7 bar) while fuel injectors are 444 cc/min. RB26DETT achieves 280 hp at 6,800 rpm and a torque of 353 Nm at 4,400 rpm.

RB26DETT Black Top motors were employed for Skyline GTR R32 and R33. Simultaneously, RB26DETT Red Top motors with Garrett M24 turbochargers were utilized for Skyline GTR R34. In addition, RB26DETT Gold Top existed and was a part of Skyline GTR R34 Nur.

Moreover, a sport variation of motor, RB26DETT N1, was released. It gained a modernized 24U cylinder block with an upgraded cooling system, stronger rods, pistons, restyled manifold plus Garrett M24 turbocharger with steel impeller. Besides, it got a freshwater pump and refined oil pump. Later, N1 was discontinued and its genuinely sporty version, VQ30DETT, appeared.

In 2002, this engine stopped being produced. In 2007, it served as a framework for the VR38DETT engine, employed for Nissan GTR R35.

Along with RB26DETT, Nissan RB range consisted of RB24S, RB25DE/DET, RB20DET/RB20DET and RB30S/E/ET motors.

RB26DETT Specs

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • RB: Name of the engine family produced from 1985-2004
  • 26: Displacement of 2.6L
  • D: Dual overhead cams (DOHC)
  • E: Electronically fuel-injected
  • TT: Twin turbochargers
Displacement 2.6L / 2568cc
Horsepower 276 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque 293 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Valvetrain DOHC Belt Drive
Bore 3.386 in
Stroke 2.902 in
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Compression Pressure 171 psi / 300 rpm
Dimensions (L x H x W) 34.25in x 26.18in x 26.57in
Idle Speed 950rpm
Ignition Timing 20 deg BTDC / 950rpm
Engine Oil 7.5W – 30 or similar
Oil Pan Capacity 4.5 L, 4 imp qt
Engine Coolant Capacity Approx. 9.0 L, 7 7/8 imp qt


  • Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR32
  • Nissan Skyline GT-R BCNR33
  • Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR34
  • Nissan Skyline Autech GTS-4 ENR33 GTS-4 Chassis and naturally aspirated RB26DE used
  • Nissan Stagea 260RS WGNC34改 (RS4 Chassis used)
  • Tommykaira ZZII (concept car)

RB26DETT Engine Problems and Specs

This motor is known for its durability and reliability. Its first variations for Skyline GT-R R32 had non-productive oil pump and troubles with high oil consumption were rather common. However, RB26DETT N1 had a better pump and it can be applied for its standard modification.

Problems with fuel ignition are usually caused by malfunction of ignition coils.

It’s advisable to acquire fresh timing belt after every 60,000 miles (90,000 kilometers) run.

Though it’s a sports motor, it may have a pretty long lifespan. If you maintain it, use only high-quality oil and refrain from making any updates for better efficiency, the engine will serve for a long period. But if you buy this motor for fast driving and are going to make some upgrades, the durability will reduce.

Differences between RB26DETT and 2JZ GTE

After release of RB26DETT and 2JZ GTE, there were many speculations on what engine was more efficient and durable. Moreover, still, many experts argue on this issue. Let’s see what differences these motors have.

2JZ GTE has good oil cooling channels, efficient oil pump, stronger pistons, finer cooling and intake systems. Its non-VVTi modification is provided with MAP sensor instead of MAF one. That makes it more secure. The other pluses of motor include cool electronics, good quality spark plugs and more affordable performance details. OEM turbochargers of 2JZ GTE allow reaching higher performance.

RB26DETT achieves high rpm faster and features a shorter piston stroke. As it was designed for Nissan Skyline cars only, this motor is rather rare. Unlike 2JZ, employed for a wide range of vehicles, this one will make everyone feel as if he/she was an owner of a really precious and unique thing.

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

One thought on “RB26DETT Engine Review: Problems, Specs and Reliability

  1. hey Dan, i’m really trying to figure out what all changed will I have to make, in order for me to install RB26DETT, into my 2004 nissan 350z?
    I purchased a used skyline engine, not aware of it’s donor being 2.5 skyline.

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