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R31 Skyline
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Welcome to my site. it is all about the Nissan R31 Skyline. Read below for information on the car and even the steps needed to put a turbo in the car. I also have modifications and Engine specifications as well as many, many photos that i have found lying around on the internet. As well as the red book pricing and car specifications.
Kym Taylor




Car Information

The R31 model Nissan Skyline was introduced in 1986 and replaced the previous fully imported 2.4-litre sedans and hatches. This family-sized, six-cylinder car, with its Japanese styling and relatively compact body size, threw down the gauntlet challenging Ford and Holdens dominance in this market segment.

This locally assembled competitor proved moderately successful and also managed to attract a reasonable number of fleet buyers. Motoring writers at the time billed it as the alternative six.

The first of this model, known as series 1, was replaced by series 2 in 1987, with series 3 hitting the bitumen in October 1988. The Skyline was discontinued in December 1990.

Nissan's new family sedan shared body work and similar mechanicals with the four-cylinder Nissan Pintara. However, the Skyline was powered by a silky smooth and responsive 3.0-litre, fuel-injected engine. This powerful engine, with its good mid-range torque, also was used by Holden in the VL Commodore, though unlike Nissan, GMH offered a potent turbocharged version also. Engine performance remains an attractive feature of the Skyline.

The Skyline offers a reasonable balance between ride comfort and overall handling capabilities. Regretably though, the coil sprung live rear axle has a tendency towards unsettled handling on rough roads. Suspension upgrades introduced in series 3 improved overall road manners.

Due to its compact body dimensions, interior space, especially in the rear, was slightly limited compared with its rivals. The Skylines body styling is to many people, bland and boxy, some would even say ugly. A minor body restyle in series 3 resulted in a more wedge like nose and cosmetic changes to the rear.

All Skylines were available in sedan or station wagon body styles. The base model throughout the range was the GX, available with a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed auto with lock-up torque converter. In the series 3, the base model with auto was known as a Executive. Autos in all series 3 cars received an upgrade to full electronic control.

Power steering, four-wheel disc brakes and power mirrors were standard. Equipment levels increased through to the top of the range Ti, available as a sedan only, and the GXE wagon. Other sedan-only variants were the Silhouette and the very limited build Silhouette GTS. The GTS was a product of Nissan Special Vehicles and delivered what its sports looks promised, unlike the ordinary Silhouette which had only pretensions to sportiness and featured alloy wheels, a spoiler, sports steering wheel and minor cosmetics.

Overall build quality, especially in the trim and paint areas, was not a strong point. Pre-purchase inspections should include a careful check of differential noise levels and engine and gearbox condition, as major repairs will prove expensive.

Other check items should include: possible exhaust gas leaks at the exhaust manifold area, fit and condition of trims, broken dash vent louvres, binding rear brake calipers and pad condition. Water entry to tail lamps and the boot was common problem also. A proven service history, including scheduled replacement of oils, coolant and cam belt would be desirable.

For a series 1 auto sedan: 12 litres/100km in the city and 8.5 litre/100km on the highway. With series 3 and manual versions expect slightly better economy.

Info from






RB30 Engine

The RB30E (RB series engine, 3.0 litre, EFI) has the following specs;

Displacement:            3.0L (2962 cc)
Bore x stroke:            86 x 85 mm
Compression ration:   9.0:1
Power:                      114kW @ 5200 RPM
Torque                      248Nm @ 3600 RPM

Fairly advanced for an engine in 1986!  The best part about the RB series of engines is that most of the components are interchangeable.  An RB25DET head can go onto an RB30E block to create a 'hybrid' RB30DET.  It's quite lucky that Holden used the RB30E in their VL series of commodores; the Holden parts are cheaper.  Crank angle sensors are known to be notorious as well as airflow meters and tail shafts in the R31.  Series III automatic transmissions are fairly prone to failure also.

For upgrades: exhaust headers and lower restriction exhaust system will provide cheap effective gains, camshafts can also provide quite a good bang for buck upgrade.  Nissan released 2 limited edition runs of GTS R31 Skylines: the GTS1 had a slightly lumpier cam and a higher flow air filter to give it 130kW and 255Nm, the GTS2 had an AVO stage 2 cam, slightly reworked head and a performance air filter for a healthy 140kW and 270Nm.  Chip torque claim to be able to increase rear wheel power from 76kW to 94kW with a chip, cam and exhaust system upgrade.  Not bad for a naturally aspirated engine.



My friend did all this to his Skyline GXE sedan R31
Car: 1988 R31 Nissan Skyline GXE sedan S1.
Engine/Driveline: Brand-new Nissan RB30e 3.0 litre (2962 cc) straight six SOHC efi. 5 Speed Nis synchromesh Gearbox.
Engine Mods: A lot of engine/engine bay work/cleaning, K&N high performance air filter (a360), all brand new pumps, hoses, plugs etc.
Steering Mods: Old power steering taken out and replaced with High Performance/High Responsive.
Rolling Stock/Breaking: Speedy 14"x6" white and silver mags, high heat sprayed red callipers, Bendix brake pads.
Suspension: New springs.
Stereo: New
Panasonic CQ-DF302 Head deck, 4x 6" 2 way Sony Plods and 1 15" 1000w Sony Xplod sub through a bridged 1000w amp in a huge fully sealed box.
Interior Styling: Nismo dragon floor mats, red racing seat covers, Niken performance gear knob, red neon lights & strobe.
Exterior Mods: New badges, repainted bars, no mudflaps.
Other Mods: 4 Auto gauges - Vacuum, Oil Pressure, Water temp and Amps.
Planned Mods: Mandrel bent Extractors into a racing cat then 2.5 inch exhaust through to a Lukey performance or Autotechnica muffler with 3" tip, New lower front bar and maybe a "T" Style rear wing.
Future Mods: Maybe a
supercharger, turbo or RB25DET or RB26DETT engine.



Sedan Silhouette 4dr Man 5sp 3.0i


Worth When New: $24,880

Trade in Now: $1600 - $2500

National Private sale: $2400 - $4300


Vehicle Details


Release Month


Release Year


Vehicle Type




Body Style


No. Doors


Seat Capacity



Rear Wheel Drive



No. Gears


Gear Location


Engine Type


No. Cylinders


Engine Size

2962cc (3.0)

Engine Cycle

4 Stroke

Fuel Type

Petrol - Unleaded (U

Method of Delivery


Fuel Delivery

Multi-Point Injected


Naturally Aspirated

Country of origin







Turbo Conversion

If you're after more power for your R31 Skyline and naturally aspirated just isn't cutting it, the decision to go turbo is a simple one.  You have 2 main choices if you want to go turbo:


1: Keep your old engine and turbo charge it
2: Get a manufactured turbo engine

Obviously the first option is going to be cheaper (as long as you're prepared to do the labour yourself) but the second option is usually safer.  Properly done, the conversion is even better than a manufactured turbo engine.  To do it yourself you will need the following:

         Exhaust manifold from turbo engine (get one from a wrecked VL turbo or have one made up)

         Turbo itself (Garrett T03 was a stock unit, accept this as a minimum)

         Turbo injectors (approx $98 from your local spare parts store)

         VL Turbo ECU - you NEED this to run the turbo injectors, they use a different pulsewidth to the NA engine injectors

         Intake pipes - from turbo to intake manifold, stories circulate how the NA plastic ones tend to explode under boost, metal ones are needed

         Dump pipe from turbo to catalytic converter (you'll probably want a bigger exhaust system as well)

         Exhaust manifold gasket and turbo to dump pipe gaskets

         Oil and water lines to run to turbo, these are essential to your new turbo to prevent it exploding!

         Knock sensor: detonation can be a problem if there is too much boost or not enough octane in the fuel.  This wires up to the VL turbo engine computer

- Blow off valve
- Intercooler
- Turbo engine oil pump (it was bigger on the turbo motor)

If you're building an RB30ET and use a VL series 1 engine block, you need to put a T-piece in the oil pressure sender hole in the block and use one of those for the turbo oil feed line.

Armed with that gear, the right tools and decent mechanical skills you're away.  Keep in mind the turbo engine had a compression ratio of 7.8:1 (from 9.0:1 of the NA engine) so be careful, higher compression ratio means you can't run as high boost without detonation.  If you leave the compression at 9.0:1 DON'T run over 7psi of boost without an intercooler or detonation will result.  The turbo engine has a different camshaft for 5 more duration and 5 more lift (gives more exhaust to the turbo and lets more intake in), the NA one has better midrange torque and less lag.

You will need to swap the timing belts and spark plugs as well, a small but worthwhile effort.

   Engine Swap

For a complete VL Turbo (RB30ET) engine swap you will need the following:

         RB30ET complete engine

         Original RB30E engine for parts leeching (mainly the rocker cover - who wants Holden on a Nissan engine!)

         RB30ET ECU (without this the entire crusade is useless!)

The swap is a fairly simple one, the engines being almost identical.  You will have to run the knock sensor wire back to the ECU as well as change the pin for the fuel pump (pin 22).  The VLs used 2 fuel pumps both outside the tank; one for low pumping, another for high volume pumping.  The R31 has 1 fuel pump inside the tank that can vary it's speed.  There are numerous explanations on how to wire up the fuel pump, some being quite complicated.  The mechanic who set mine up however 'simply swapped the pin' on the VL turbo ECU and it's worked perfectly.  I am in the process of getting more details and a diagram.

Note that after the engine upgrade is done, you will need bigger brakes and an engineers certificate in order to change your registration to show correct details.  Different states have different requirements however so check first.  Note also insurance will probably be unavailable through most companies due to a modified vehicle.  (Just Car Insurance will insure almost anyone driving anything, but be prepared to pay for it!)