Twin-Turbo 4.1L Stroker GT-R Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Twin-Turbo 4.1L Stroker GT-R Engine

Trevor Branden bought this 2010 Nissan GT-R 13 years ago with 6,000 miles on it. Today, it has over 192,000 street and competition miles on it, and has gone from 800 hp to over 1,600 hp thanks to a twin-turbo 4.1L stroker Nissan GT-R engine build from T1 Race Development. Check it out!

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After seeing Trevor Branden’s twin-turbo Nissan GT-R go down the track during Sick Week 2024, we instantly knew we had to know more about his engine and drag-and-drive setup. We caught up with Trevor on day two of the Florida drag-and-drive at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Trevor’s Nissan boasts a twin-turbo 4.1L stroker GT-R engine from T1 Race Development, and it’s our Engine of the Week.

Nissan GT-R

One thing Trevor was quick to tell us was that his Nissan GT-R gets driven… a lot. Trevor bought the car with 6,000 miles on it 13 years ago, and today it has 192,000 miles!

“My wife and I drive the car,” Branden told us. “We’ve done road courses. We’ve been to El Paso. We’ve been to the Redwood Forest and up the coast. We’ve been in the Rocky Mountains and driven to Yellowstone – we’ve been all over. I’ve also done TX2K five years in a row and I’ve been doing all the drag-and-drive events since 2020. This is my 10th event. I’m one of the few exotic or import cars that do these.”

Nissan GT-R

One notable road trip Trevor told us he’s done is a Cannonball Run – a drive from New York City to Los Angeles. He did that in 2018. Needless to say, the car has a lot of street miles, but Trevor makes sure to put the GT-R engine to work on the track as well.

“At 60,000 miles, I did a number of bolt-ons, but by 72,000 miles I realized that wasn’t enough,” Branden says. “Then, I upgraded the engine to make 800 horsepower, and then I did 1,000 horsepower, and then 1,200 hp, and now I’m at 1,660 horsepower at the wheel.”

twin-turbo GT-R engine

The power of the twin-turbo 4.1L stroker GT-R engine is thanks largely to being built up with a stage five kit from T1 Race Development. The engine features a new block, a billet girdle, a Crower crank and connecting rods, Diamond pistons, as well as machine work like honing and boring done by T1.

Additionally, the twin-turbos are a Pro1700 turbo kit featuring Garrett 68mm turbos. The Nissan GT-R also has a Fridge intercooler from ETS, an oversized radiator, an Alpha oil cooler and trans cooler to help with longer drives, and Vibrant clamps to keep couplers from blowing off.

Nissan GT-R engine

“My biggest improvement was the MoTeC ECU from the piggyback computer,” he says. “I was also running big power through 2,000cc injectors, and then I went to the 12-injector set up. I was fouling my oil with the big injectors, so now that I’ve got normal injectors for the road and big injectors for when I’m on the boost, it helps a lot. Those two things really helped the car progress to where it’s at.

“I’ve done a 1.21-second 60-foot with this car and it’s consistent,” he says. “Yesterday, I did 46-lbs. of boost before it cut me off. It cut me off because we just put a cage in and I put all the G-force sensors tucked to the side and I changed the steering column. The steering angle wasn’t attached and we had it zip-tied under the dash, so it was saying the car was doing a sharp left turn and I was pulling 2Gs off the start line. In second gear it basically shut me down.

Nissan GT-R

“We spent all day getting it straightened out, and then we went to Cicio’s and they reset the steering angle and cleared a bunch of the codes on the transmission. I run two different ECUs. I’ve got a MoTeC engine management standalone to run the engine and then it’s still got the factory ECU, but it’s all tuned and adjusted. Cicio bailed me out, otherwise, I’d be doing the drive of shame down the track just to break the beams.”

Fortunately, Trevor didn’t have to limp the GT-R down the track, but the setback did screw up his goal of running 7s all week. His new goal became trying to finish the week running 7s.

twin-turbo Nissan GT-R engine

“On a drag-and-drive, your first goal is always to finish,” Branden admits. “Your second goal is to run your desired times. I failed at that one, so I am not going to run 7s because I handed in a 10, but if I can finish the week with 7s, that would be great. Placing is secondary. I’m here for the people, the atmosphere and all that stuff.”

As it turned out, Trevor and GT-R continued to face some issues after completing three days of Sick Week, before needing to pull out of the event. Trevor finished with passes of 10.01 at 115 mph, 8.23 at 169 mph, and 8.16 at 167 mph.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1Elring – Das Original and NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

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