This is my engine from my car. It's a rebuild, not a new build.

Some parts are ugly and show wear, like the crank pins not being perfectly polished, or scuffing in the oil pump housing. That's because the motor spun over 10K rpm and made over 1K hp. It's 11 years old. I don't do bling very well. I don't mind it if that's your thing, but anyone here can ask the people like Stony who know me personally, the term "drive it like you stole it", is very appropriate. Yes, those are the stock crank cap bolts. Guys were making over 1,000hp with them long before ARP started making studs, including this engine, with no problems. Maybe with individual caps, but not with a girdle that shares the load and keeps caps from walking around. Are studs a good investment? You bet!, Do I need them? Nope. I don't have a "clean room". I don't build enough engines to warrant the $50,000 it would cost me here in Japan. Occasionally some dust shows up in some pictures. Trust me that it get's cleaned out before anything is assembled... I'm obsessive with the air blower . I use lint-free paper towels on everything and then blow the hell out of it to get any lint off... There is no such thing as a "clean" engine. You just do the best you can. Seeing as how Arias doesn‟t seem to want to send me some piston rings, I‟ll stop on the bottom end for a while and get busy on the head. A few things have changed. When this engine started out, it was in excess of 1,000 HP. The original turbos were TD06SH-25G‟s, which I still have, and the head is rigged for max power drag. (for a turbo swap guide, check out this article: RB26 Turbo Swap Guide). Seeing as that‟s no longer the goal, I‟ve decided to do a little detuning. The new goal for this engine is around 600 HP with street performance/touge in mind. The original head is completely worthless for this kind of driving. 288-big lift Step Pro L cams, zero quench deck, big valves and ports, etc., aren‟t conducive to mid-range grunt. It would actually make less power across the curve than a properly prepped head for the intended application. Therefore, I‟ve decided to start over and use a new head that I‟ll prep for exactly this type of driving, and use a pair of new Tomei 260 cams.

I‟ll start with the clean up in a proprietary detergent I use for cleaning engines. This is the carbon-packed chamber and oil varnished head before the soak.

After a one-hour soak and some brushing with soft-bristle brushes, it comes out looking like this.


On to the important stuff. Here‟s one of the three ports. and is closed off by the thermostat once the engine is at operating temperature. It only runs from a bypass behind the thermostat. The RB26 has three major coolant outlets along the head on the intake side. A mild port clean-up will make the coolant flow a lot better and will trap air less. . Here‟s the small front water port that you don‟t need to worry about. You can see how much of it is blocked by bad casting… All three ports look like this.

After scribing it to the size of the gasket. .

The other thing you see is that the gasket is considerably larger than the port. If you really wanted to.Looks a lot better after cutting. For engines generating power upwards of eight or nine hundred HP. You‟ll lose power in the low and mid rpm for sure. Resist temptation to make the port runner the size of the gasket. it needs to go. If you‟re using an exhaust manifold other than stock. there‟s not a whole lot that needs to be done. . First item that needs attention is the big „ol hump in the exhaust port. and can hurt top-end power as well. In this pic you can see the offending hump. the places that need attention will give the motor more power whether it‟s stock or in clapped-out drag trim. Same goes for the stock gasket. What fun… Fortunately Nissan left us room for improvement. However. you could gasket match the port as long as the exhaust manifold is the same size. RB26 ports don‟t need to be any larger than they are for all but the most extreme applications. Now with video! Ahh. Next we’ll go into porting. porting.

you can see a small lip in the short-side radius. The short-side radius is where air is hanging on for dear life as it rounds the corner. You can imagine how bad this is if you think about that air slamming into the valve and going all over the place. In the following picture.Here‟s the port with the hump removed. it leaves the port “unfinished”. Any disturbance here will cause the air to separate from the port floor and slam into the valve. It leaves bad transitions and irregularities that create turbulence in the most critical part of the air stream. When valve seats are installed. The goal it to make the transition through the turn and into the valve pocket as smooth as possible. rather than try to follow the port wall and exit around the valve. While this is a good thing. disturbing the rest of the air stream as it‟s trying to . the throat is milled to remove any material overlap.

enter the port. Here you see the where the mill gets the outside radius of the port. This bowl could be considered finished. The stock ports are smooth enough from the factory that you‟ll gain nothing by sanding the entire port with a cartridge roll. Not as critical is the shortside. Here‟s what the bowl looks like when it‟s been smoothed out. You can round this sharp lip. . Lowering the floor makes the short-side radius even shorter. other than a pretty port that no one will ever see. and will hurt power. It‟s hard to get a picture of the short-side radius. Big no-no. You do not polish ports. Just use your finger and you‟ll feel when the lip is gone and it‟s nice and smooth. just the same. but needs to be smoothed. Polished ports leave nothing for a boundary layer to hold on to. but I‟ll hit it with a 120-180 grit cartridge roll later on. but under no circumstances should you remove material from the floor of the port.

you can see the mill cut into the intake valve bowl. Other than cleaning up. . this port is done. If the port is larger than the seat and has to compress again to get through it. with a large lip. You do not want the port to be larger than the seat ring. In the following three pictures. The third picture shows just how bad this transition really is. it focuses the air more towards the valve.Another thing is to try as hard as you can to remove as little material as possible in the bowl. This makes air want to exit around the valve. The port should be expanding out as it gets to the valve seat.


.Here is the port after cutting. Can you guess how important it is to stay off of the valve seat with the carbide cutter and sand paper? Coming up against it is OK as long as you stay away from the 45 degree seat cut where the valve seats. And the port after it‟s been smoothed with a 120-180 cartridge roll.

While this may sound good because it makes the port opening larger. and into the cylinder. . making the port actually flow less.The reason for three and five angle valve jobs is to make the air flow smoother as it makes the turn around the seat ring. Don‟t do it. It is possible to grind the valve seat with the carbide up to the 45 degree cut and obtain another 2mm or so of port opening. you lose the third angle in the valve seat and outflow becomes very turbulent.

Be careful to keep the paper off of the seat contact area. Once again. Even with a 1mm larger valve. Once the valves are clean and all the carbon is removed. but not yet smoothed. The valves are very hard. Bucket-type lifted valves fare much better than rocker-type lifted . and don‟t go any higher on the stem than the carbon. is with a drill press. like this. To list and show every little thing would consume huge amounts of time to write up. you can‟t put it back easily. Once you remove material. If you open the port in the turn to the valve very much. Simple steady-state flow bench #‟s don‟t mean anything here. the only thing that should be opened is the bowl as it transitions outward toward the valve seat. and the engine is now almost complete. and you won‟t be removing material with simple sandpaper any time soon… Hard carbon is almost impossible to remove from the valves by any other process than mechanically. While most of this stuff (steps) is available in the FSM. some 240+ grit cloth. The key is going slow and easy. the air will lose velocity and become sluggish right where it needs to be going fastest. It‟s been a while. It‟s really messy.000 rpm flow. Big ports will kill sub-10. the air flow is anything but steady state and relies on velocity to fill the cylinders. the first thing to do is to check the guide play.Here‟s the four ports cut. I‟ll finish up the head in this post. etc. The back and forth movement is checked with a dial gauge. it‟s good to see the stuff in action with real photos and video. I made this short video for cutting the intake bowl to show how quick and easy it is. I‟ve found that the best way to clean the valves if you don‟t have access to specialized cleaning detergents. Not going to show the valve clean up. and WD40. The FSM gives the distance for the valves to be off the seat. do not open the intake port larger than stock. I‟ll try to get the important stuff in. Chucking the valves up in the press won‟t hurt them at all. Please keep in mind that I skip lots of steps in this thread.. just do it lightly.

Most of the time lapping will remove the pits and restore a perfect seal. opening and closing. There are different grits. You can also see the size of the contact ring. Here I‟m lapping the valves. This ensures I lap each valve the same amount of time. only the finest grit will be needed. which can cause valve leakage. After 12 valves straight (just for the intake). Rockers put a side load on the valve as it sweeps across the tip.valves. your arms and wrists have had it. This involves a special grinding compound that essentially mates the valve to the seat. or the seat was damaged and sunk in one place. Over time small pits develop in the seat and valve contact area. I set a stopwatch and do each valve for 1‟ 30”. there would be no contact mark. I do it one more time. but that‟s for another day… . Too much grinding can cup the contact area. The other thing lapping does is allow you to see if the valve and seat are contacting 360*. Buckets take up the lateral load from the cam sweep. Total time for each valve is 2 minutes. but 99% of the time. If the first round doesn‟t remove all the pits. If the valve was a little bent. Checking the valve guide clearance. I cut the seats and valves. If this still doesn‟t work. taking the next 30” to change to the next valve.

Here you can see the gray ring on the intake and exhaust seat where the valve was making contact during grinding. Dip them in oil. Next the valve spring seats go in. The size is just perfect for holding the seal without damaging the rubber. This shouldn‟t need to be . 10mm socket for the intake. I did another short video to show you a couple of the lapping techniques. You‟ll feel them “pop” into place. Once all the seats are in. A six-point. but small enough to push down on the steel collar. and 11mm socket for the exhaust work well to install the seals. and push them onto the guide. Valve springs will grind into aluminum. Don‟t forget them. you can install the seals.

but clean the sockets before you use them for this. The seals will now hold them in place so they won‟t slide out. It‟s not a good practice to install head bolts with the same socket you just used to change the brakes without cleaning it first. clean any tool you use for assembling an engine.said. Next you can slide all the valves in. . Use a drop or two of oil and spin them in to lube the guide. For that matter. Here‟s the spring seats and guide seals installed.

Look at the coils. and then installing the locks.Next I put all the springs and retainers in. If it has tighter coils towards one end. The locks install automatically. The other tool I have lets me place all the locks on top of the retainer and just collapse it. I took the next two shots to show you the normal way of compressing the spring. . I have a spring tool that allows me to install all the gear at once. Many valve springs have a top and bottom. that‟s the bottom that goes towards the spring seat. Most will have to do one at a time.

The frustration you‟ll have here will help you understand why I have the other $350 compressor that installs the keepers automatically… .This shot shows the locks on. Dip them in oil so they‟ll stick better.

Here‟s the finished product. and it‟s better to know what the beginning thickness is. This shim is 2. and will change the gap. chances are you‟ll be changing a few. However. It‟s just good practice to place things the way they were. Sometimes it‟ll be slightly dented (only by micrometer). the first thing you‟re going to do is measure all the shims. Some cams you‟ll be changing all 24. even if they don‟t need to be. Make sure the side that was against the valve is still against the valve.99mm . Even with “pon” cams. Here‟s where the shims go.

. Big difference. It needs to drop into the front thrust area evenly and straight down. and DO NOT BEND THE CAM. Then tighten the caps evenly. but putting even pressure on at least two sets of valves. Place the cam in a “neutral” position where it‟s close to where it would be at #1 TDC.Here‟s the new Tomei 260 compared to a stock cam. “Neutral” means not just lifting one set of valves to max lift.

I lay all the thickness gauges I‟m going to use out. .Once all the caps are down. so I‟m not constantly looking for the one I need in the pack. torque them appropriately.

take shim away in the amount it‟s tight. you need to add some sealant to the front of this cap. oil pushing out of the front journal to behind the seal won‟t have anywhere to go and will blow out the seal. add shim in the amount it‟s out. Simple. There is a small passage in there from the rear of the seal to the inside of the head. Bad thing is you need to take the cams back out to change them.Checking the clearance. On the final cap installation. Very sparingly. If you block it. Wipe off the excess or it will cause the cover gasket to leak. Not enough. Too much clearance. . turn the cam at least twice to make sure everything is seated. The head needs to be propped up front and rear because the valves will protrude past the deck. Before checking anything. It‟s tricky with the RB26. Not fun to take it all back apart and clean it up.

All done. The baffle plates only go on one way. They turn while in action. but need to be off for timing the cams. I know my blue bench top looks dirty in these pictures. but I assure you it's sterile (literally) before I start. Installed any other way. Cheap paper towels work well. At over US$40. which I'll cover later. make sure they spin freely once installed. . Shop rags do not. Like I said. Be as clean as you can and try to use lint-free rags for touching the motor. Installing the lifters. Compressed air is your ally. They're on in the pics. the covers won‟t go on. I skipped some steps. not the structure) I don't have a clean room yet. it‟ll burn up a lifter and cam lobe.000 for 500 square feet (just for the property. and if they‟re tight. All the discoloration is from years of burn marks from welding. Dirt is the enemy.

html . The above "pon" cam installation required changing three shims vs. Then you need to completely reshim everything.On valve lapping: Someone asked me. 24. Cutting is not so simple in a high performance application. If it requires more than about 2 minutes of lapping with a fine compound. I'll usually cut them. You also need to cut the other two angles in the seat to adjust the placement and contact size on the valve. why not just cut the valves and seats? The main answer is because there's nothing wrong with the valves and seats that are in this motor.skylife4ever.

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