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The Monster Within – Nissan Skyline R33

Sure the Skyline GT-R is a monster on its own, but this one has another one lurking under its hood. Yeah, something like monster-ception then.

Introductions are unnecessary for the Nissan Skyline GT-R. Its reputation precedes it and more than 15 years after production halted, aftermarket support as well as interest in the models shows no signs of waning.

Of the R32, R33 and R34, the middle one was branded the fat kid and subjected to some less than pleasant words. Sure, its physical appearance wasn’t evoked a love-it or hate-it response and was the basis of its comparisons to a boat. However, underneath it was still a pure racer with the chops to take on all pretenders.

Plus, a Skyline GT-R will always be a Skyline GT-R. Sticks and stones might break its bones but words will never hurt it. In fact, this R33 GT-R is capable of hurting some rather large egos on the streets with the power it packs under that rather docile exterior.

Often referenced as Godzilla, the Skyline GT-R is a monster of its time and still continues to fuel the boy-racer dreams of those fortunate enough to grow up in the 90s.

Although having gained the Godzilla nickname, the R33 GT-R V-Spec here actually has another monster under its hood; like monster-ception. Of course, the RB26DETT engine itself is quite the monster but this one has been given a serious dose of steroids in the form of a HKS 2.8-litre stroker kit.

An increase in displacement is always good for torque but the main purpose of the kit is the strengthened internals, hence “the monster within.”

The pistons are forged from a material specific to HKS’ requirements for a component that is durable and light. The crown has a balanced and symmetrical concave section design which ensures higher engine response while the use of just two thin piston oil rings helps achieve a low piston height. Of course, the conrods are also high-pressure forged for strength.

However, the rear party piece is the flow-formed forged crankshaft that is fully counter-balanced to ensure loads are evenly distributed and frictions reduced. Lastly, the manufacturing is completed with a special hardening process to ensure increased reliability at high RPM loads as the engine speed can be increased above the factory limits now.

Now that the bottom end is beefed up, the head has also received some love in the form of HKS 272-degree camshafts as well as the supporting valvetrain upgrades. Feeding a 2.8-litre straight-six with twin turbos hanging off the side is serious work and for this, Fuel Injector Clinic 1,000cc injectors feeding off a HKS fuel rail were tasked to handle it. A Nismo fuel pressure regulator completes the fuelling side.

While the car comes from the factory with a twin-turbo setup, the number of turbos remains the same here but they’re now much larger in size. A pair of Garrett GT3076R turbos now force a staggering amount of air into the engine for power figures nearing the 1,000hp mark.

Completing the engine’s supporting mods are a Tial wastegate, custom 4.0-inch titanium exhaust piping, Koyorad aluminium radiator and oil catch tank.

Preventing wheel spin and adding more bite to the transmission is a custom upgraded clutch. On the electronics side, MSD ignition coils give the plugs some extra juice to ignite the air-fuel mixture.

Surprisingly, the stock brakes have been retained for now. Being Brembos from the factory, they’re quite capable but perhaps with the power output about tripled, the brakes should be brought on par as well.

Putting down all that power is helped tremendously by the all-wheel drive system but a capable suspension setup will go a long way as well. Only the best will do for suspension, so a set of Ohlins PCV coilovers now occupy the four strut towers.

Wheel choices often make or break a build and it’s hard to go wrong with the Volk Racing TE37SL, a timeless classic. Here, the pair measure in at 18-inches with a width of 10.5-inches all around.

On the outside, things have been left pretty stock save for the front lip and that headlight air funnel that feeds the pair of turbos; the only indication of the car’s potential to embarrass some supercars without breaking a sweat.

Sometimes the R33 gets a little too much stick for its unsightly girth but the Skyline GT-R nameplate is a legend in the automotive world and to disrespect a senior such as this one is a big no-no.

Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R V-Spec

Engine Mods
HKS 2.7-litre stroker kit, HKS 272-degree camshafts, FIC 1,000cc injectors, HKS fuel rail, Nismo fuel pressure regulator, Tial wastegate, Garrett GT3076R twin turbos, custom 4.0-inch titanium exhaust piping, Koyorad aluminium radiator, oil catch tank


MSD ignition coils


Suspension & Chassis
Ohlins PCV, front strut bar

Wheels & Tyres
Volk Racing TE37SL 18×10.5

Exterior Mods
Headlight air funnel

Interior Mods

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