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SpeedFX Puts GTR Motor In A GT-86

So apparently the hot new trend in the tuner car scene is to take a exotic engine and put it into a Toyota GT-86. We all saw the beautiful lunatics stuff a Ferrari V8 into one and now we move on to StreetFX. The boys over at StreetFX purchased their 2013 Toyota GT-86 (Scion FRS to those of us living stateside) with the plan to make it a mild street/track car. Well, as with most things car related they found themselves not being able to leave well enough alone. Rocket Bunny Wide Body Kit meant (obviously) they needed more power. So they strapped every single go fast part they could find to the GT-86’s FA20 Flat 4. I mean they tried everything.

“For the next year the car had the FA20, in various states of tune. From AVO turbo kit, to Forged performance Turbo kit, to the complicated twin-charge (turbocharged and supercharged) setup.”

VR vs FA

However through all their trials and tribulations they couldn’t get the FA20 past 545 horsepower at the rear wheels. Not to mention there were a series of reliability issues.

“Plagued with issues ranging from Direct Injection failure to head gasket problems, the best power we made on the old 4-cylinder was 545rwhp on E85. Turning the boost up past 21psi just wasn’t resulting in more power. This is when we decided to do away with the FA20 Subaru donk, and some serious talks started with GT Auto Garage.”

Their search for more power and more reliability took them to one of the premiere GT-R Tuners in Australia. So not only did they source an R35 Engine (VR38DETT in case you only speak Nissanese), they came to the absolutely correct conclusion that 600 hp was not nearly enough. So they built the motor using a 4.1L HKS Stroker complete with a GT1000 HKS Symmetrical Turbine kit. Mind you they started all this without even knowing if the VR38 was going to fit in the GT-86’s engine bay.

StreetFX used a test motor to test all the fitments but when it came time to for the real deal they sourced a new block direct from Nissan. The VR38 have a plasma coated bore, which means they can not be honed or machined internally. The HKS Stroker kit included forged pistons, which were 80 grams lighter than stock. forged rods met up with a new billet form forged crank. The standard bore of 95.5mm is retained, only the stroke is altered and increased to 95.5mm.

GTR 86 3

The VR38 much much taller than the stock FA20, so in order to make the VR38 fit they modified the sump. Specifically they did away with the front dif and used a rwd sump instead. This saved them a whopping 6 inches and got them the clearances they needed. Unfortunately this solution lead to another problem, now that they ditched the AWD system, what gearbox were they going to use? Being resourceful guys they enlisted the help of Albins Gearboxes for a 6 speed sequential box.

Given the fact that I live very very far away from Austrailia I had to look up Albins. Turns out they are the company taksed with building the gearboxes for every Australian V8 Supercar Race car. The Albins Sequential box was capable of handling more power and torque than any other box StreetFX considered. Albins provided the gearbox complete with a custom made bell-housing to fit the VR38. But wait there’s more. Again, not being able to leave well enough alone StreetFX  reached out to Motec. They sourced an air-powered paddle shifter kit. (boooooo paddle shifters) The down side is no rowing your own gears, the upside was extremely fast shifts. And frankly with 1000+ horsepower  on tap it’s probably a good idea. The clutch pedal is still used for start/stop/reverse, but the ECU will rev match between gear up/down shift, so no clutch is needed once he car gets rolling.

GTR 86 1

With all this done it was time to get to building. Custom cross members for the engine and gearbox were fabricated along with engine mounts from an S15 to make the whole thing fit as intended. Direct Clutch provided a multi plate clutch capable of handling the power. GT Auto built custom exhaust manifolds. When all was said and done they found they had more than an inch of clearance between the custom VR38 and the hood.

StreetFX has yet to announce official power figures but their goal is 1000+ hp at the wheels. Frankly with a build of this level they should have no problem reaching that number. Question remains, why use a VR38? They could have easily reached well over 1000 hp staying in the Toyota family by using a 2JZ-GTE. It would have been much less expensive. Hell they could have built an RB26 and gotten the same numbers. So why go through all the trouble of building an insanely expensive VR38? Well in their own words, “Well, it had never been done before, and we are a little bit insane.” I mean the license plate reads “WTF 86” this is all the argument and sound logic I need. What about you? Toyota Fanboys is it sacrilege to put a Nissan in a Toyota? Nissan boys, is this a waste of your most favoritest motor?


Source: StreetFX

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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