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The RB engine is an oversquare 2.0–3.0 L straight-6 four-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan, originally produced from 1985 to 2004. The RB followed the 1983 VG-series V6 engines to offer a full, modern range in both straight or V layouts.[3]

The RB engine family includes single overhead camshaft (SOHC) and double overhead camshaft (DOHC) engines.[4] Both SOHC and DOHC versions have an aluminium head. The SOHC versions have 2 valves per cylinder and the DOHC versions have 4 valves per cylinder; each cam lobe moves only one valve. All RB engines have belt driven cams and a cast iron block. Most turbo models have an intercooled turbo (the exceptions being the single cam RB20ET & RB30ET engines), and most have a recirculating factory blow off valve (the exceptions being when fitted to Laurels and Cefiros) to reduce compressor surge when the throttle quickly closes.

The RB engines are derived from the six-cylinder L20A engine, which has the same bore and stroke as the RB20. All RB engines were made in Yokohama, Japan where the VR38DETT engine was made. Some RB engines were rebuilt by Nissan’s NISMO division at the Omori Factory in Tokyo as well. All Z-Tune Skylines were rebuilt at the Omori Factory.

Production of the RB series resumed in 2019, after a 15-year hiatus.[5][6][7]

Bore and stroke[edit]

All Nissan engines follow a naming convention, identifying the engine family (in this case, RB), displacement, features present—see the list of Nissan engines for details.

The stock dimensions for the Nissan RB Engine:

  • RB20 – 2.0 L (1,998 cc), bore x stroke: 78 mm × 69.7 mm (3.07 in × 2.74 in)
  • RB24 – 2.4 L (2,428 cc), bore x stroke: 86 mm × 69.7 mm (3.39 in × 2.74 in)
  • RB25 – 2.5 L (2,498 cc), bore x stroke: 86 mm × 71.7 mm (3.39 in × 2.82 in)
  • RB26 – 2.6 L (2,568 cc), bore x stroke: 86 mm × 73.7 mm (3.39 in × 2.90 in)
  • RB30 – 3.0 L (2,962 cc), bore x stroke: 86 mm × 85 mm (3.39 in × 3.35 in)
  • “D” indicates a dual overhead cam as opposed to a single overhead cam
  • “E” indicates the individual engine ports are electronically fuel-injected ‘single-cam’
  • “S” indicates the engine is carbureted
  • “T” indicates the engine has a factory installed turbocharger
  • “TT” indicates the engine has factory installed twin turbochargers
  • “P” indicates the engine runs on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)

RB20DE (2.0L I6 NA/T)[edit]

RB20ET engine in an R31 Passage Wagon
RB20DET engine in Skyline GTS-4 (HNR32)

The first RB20ET/DE/DET engines were fitted to the HR31 Skyline and the Nissan Fairlady 200ZR (Z31 chassis), produced from August 1985. The early twin cam engines featured the NICS (Nissan Induction Control System) injection system, while the later twin cam engines used ECCS (Electronic Concentrated Control System).[8] Later versions which used ECCS engine management, discarded the twelve tiny runners for six much larger ones (though they retained twelve ports on the head, so there was a splitter plate). It was also fitted to the A31 Cefiro, C32 and C33 Laurel. The Fairlady 200ZR was fitted with an intercooled NICS type RB20DET.

The first RB20E engine was used in the C32 Nissan Laurel, produced from October 1984.

LaurelsR32 Skyline and Cefiros used the second (1989–1993) series RB20E/DE/DET. This had an improved head design, and used the ECCS injection system. These later motors are known as “Silver Top” engines.

The RB20DET-R was used in the Nissan Skyline 2000GTS-R (HR31) and was limited to 800 units.

There were a variety of 2.0 L RB20 engines produced:

  • RB20E
    Power: 96 to 110 kW (129 to 148 hp; 131 to 150 PS) at 5600 rpm
    Torque: 167 to 181 N⋅m (123 to 133 lb⋅ft; 17.0 to 18.5 kg⋅m) at 4400 rpm
    Camshaft duration: 232° intake; 240° exhaust
    Camshaft lift: 7.3 mm intake, 7.8 mm exhaust
  • RB20ET
    single-cam, turbocharged
    Power: 125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS) at 6000 rpm
    Torque: 206 N⋅m (152 lb⋅ft; 21.0 kg⋅m) at 3200 rpm
  • RB20DE
    Power: 110 to 114 kW (148 to 153 hp; 150 to 155 PS) at 6400 rpm
    Torque: 181 to 186 N⋅m (133 to 137 lb⋅ft; 18.5 to 19.0 kg⋅m) at 5600 rpm
    Camshaft duration: 232° intake, 240° exhaust
    Camshaft lift: 7.3 mm (0.29 in) intake, 7.8 mm (0.31 in) exhaust
  • RB20DET
    twin-cam, turbocharged
    Power: 158 kW (212 hp; 215 PS) at 6400 rpm
    Torque: 264 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft; 26.9 kg⋅m) at 3200 rpm
    Camshaft duration: 240° intake, 240° exhaust; 248° intake, 240° exhaust (“Red Top”)
    Camshaft lift: 7.3 mm (0.29 in) intake, 7.8 mm (0.31 in) exhaust; 7.8 mm (0.31 in) intake, 7.8 mm (0.31 in) exhaust (“Red Top”)
  • RB20P
    single-cam, 12 valves, autogas LPG
    Power: 94 PS (69 kW; 93 hp) at 5600 rpm
    Torque: 142 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft; 14.5 kg⋅m) at 2400 rpm
  • RB20DET-R
    twin-cam, turbocharged
    Power: 210 PS (154 kW; 207 hp) at 6400 rpm
    Torque: 245 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft; 25.0 kg⋅m) at 4800 rpm
  • RB20DE NEO
    Power: 155 PS (114 kW; 153 hp)
    Torque: 186 N⋅m (137 lb⋅ft; 19.0 kg⋅m)


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