Nissan Skyline T-Bucket is Cody the Car Guy’s Shocking Reveal

OK, I’m getting into uncharted territory here being an aging baby-boomer raised on American iron. Cody the Car Guy is an adventurous sort and said, “since no one has ever done a Nissan Skyline T-Bucket motor, I figured what the heck?! I have a spare Nissan Skyline RB26 motor just sitting in my shop so here you go: the world’s first and only Nissan Skyline T-Bucket!”

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

If you’re like me, chances are you’re thinking, “Huh?” Well, it turns out the RB26 engine is a 2.6 liter inline-6 cylinder engine manufactured by Nissan, for use primarily in the 1989-2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R, which costs more than a Porsche 911.

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

It looks like Cody’s Nissan Skyline T-Bucket will have the RB26DETT variation of the RB26 engine. What’s that, you say?

  • “D” indicates a dual overhead cam as opposed to a single overhead cam
  • “E” indicates the individual engine ports are electronically fuel-injected
  • “TT” indicates the engine has factory installed twin turbochargers

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

A little research finds:

The RB26DETT engine block is made from cast iron, and the cylinder head is made from aluminium. The cylinder head contains 24 valves (4 valves per cylinder), and uses a dual overhead camshaft setup. The intake of the RB26DETT varies from other RB-series motors in that it has six individual throttle bodies instead of a single throttle body. The engine also uses a parallel twin turbo system. The turbo system is arranged so that the front turbo is powered by the front 3 cylinders, and the rear turbo is powered by the rear 3 cylinders.

Sounds pretty awesome. But then I see the engine is rated at 276 HP?! And then I find out (shades of the muscle car era) that’s because of a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” made between Japanese automakers to limit the “advertised” horsepower of any vehicle to 276 HP.  And the RB26 is widely known and became quite popular for its strength and power potential, making it a modification friendly platform for tuners and aftermarket modifications. And then I learn that, “It is common for modified engines to achieve outputs of 500 hp+.  Some of the most extreme and extensive modifications done to the RB26 have resulted in figures of 1000 hp+!!”

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

“I love Skylines so it was a fun choice. My first car was a ’72 240Z and those Nissans just have a great sound done right.,” said Cody.

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

So enjoy today’s video below as Li’l Mayhem is getting her final fitment, motor and trans mounts made, and floor getting fitted to the GT-R 5 speed transmission. Next up body going on her.

In the next installment Li’l Mayhem will be getting final exhaust and steering box fitment, then brakes and radiator and she will roll out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Nissan Skyline T-Bucket

John Morehead
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12 thoughts on “Nissan Skyline T-Bucket is Cody the Car Guy’s Shocking Reveal”

  1. I started a bucket project a little over a year ago and still only have the glass body widened 8 inches and the nose extended 7-1/2 inches to accommodate my long legs. I ran into all of the usual setbacks to a newby rod builder. First it was too much junk in the way to work. Then it was not enough “free” money to throw at it so I could buy steel for a frame. Then my welder blew up before I got my new weld/work table up on it’s legs. Then it was near divorce ( oh, not because of the bucket, but rather just because of me being me), etc, etc, etc.
    As I imagine it, that pretty much sums up over half of the 1st time rodders on this planet. Not too many of the real ones left.
    So, If some guy wants to build a Freaky AmJap Hybrid, who, if anybody, has the right to say anything negative about it?
    If you are a PURIST you wouldn’t build a hotrod anyway. You can be a loyalist and say All American or nothing, but you had better take all your clothes off, on account of the rubber bands in your drawers (DROORS where I come from) weren’t made from anything grown in USA.
    Give the guy a break, and whip his butt the correct way – you bring your “ALL AMERICAN” muscle to the track and embarrass him. I think he may just turn that all the way around and spank you outright. Hows that for a lengthy “BE QUIET!”

  2. WOW, that engine will light up that bucket! Hope you put in a roll cage for safety sakes. Can’t wait till it’s done and on the road. It otta haul some serious ass!

  3. Drat, I wanted to be the first to use a Skyline engine in a T bucket. Just started the build. I lengthened the frame by about 18 inches to accommodate the install better.
    I am very interested in how you did the engine and transmission mounts as how you will be
    handling the ECU and wiring. Also on what you plan to do the the intercooler.
    Good luck with project, should be a barn burner when completed.

    • Thanks James, for confirming that Cody’s not the only person interested in these types of still-unconventional T-Bucket motivation. Follow along and you’ll see more of how Cody addresses some of the areas you mention. Should have another update later today. And please do send us info on your Skyline T-Bucket. Even though Cody’s might be the first, like all T-Buckets no two are alike. I’m sure readers will be interested in how yours is put together and turns out.

  4. At first I cringed a little about it being a Nissan motor, but then I read that you can modify this motor and make some real power. Then cringing feeling left and was replaced YEA BABY NOW WE’RE TALKING!
    Looking forward to seeing more about this project.

    • Thanks Jason. That was my first impression, too. But, it’s a subject most American V8 focused hot rodders are unaware of, but can offer some cool alternative engine choices. I’ve got a story about a 4-cylinder Japanese motored T-Bucket coming up that will really open eyes, performance-wise.

  5. You know, I’m into all kinds of machines. And my taste runs from traditional to eccentric. But I lost interest in this build when he took a project, with all its cool old bits just begging to go traditional T, and he hacked it all off to do… this? Yeah yeah… just using what he had laying around. I have a difficult time caring.

    Should have started with a bare frame.

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Bill. I can see that. And to be honest, I was a little uncertain at first about how this would eventually work out or look. But, I’ve got to keep reminding myself that the hot rod hobby is in jeopardy of dying off from simple attrition unless it embraces change. I’d guess the first hot rodder to put an OHV engine in his Ford roadster ran into criticism and skepticism from everyone else that was running a flathead. I’m sure that Buzz Pitzen encountered the same when he built the World’s First Fiberglass Body T-Bucket.

      In terms of Cody the Car Guy’s Nissan Skyline engine choice, it’s completely foreign to me (pun intended) as an old guy. On the other hand, there’s a whole generation of youngster’s who are intimately familiar with the RB26DETT, but previously could care less about T-Buckets or hot rods. I see what Cody’s doing as an important step to help bridge that gap and bring fresh blood and enthusiasm into our hobby. And it is a hobby, not a preservation society.

      I do appreciate your opinion and know it’s shared by lots of others, but we have to keep an open mind and learn in order to grow. After all, this is a hobby founded on personal expression of one’s interests through mechanical means. Thanks again, Bill, for contributing. That’s what it’s about, too.


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