Progress Bar: R32 Part 6.5 – Ignited States of Canada
On my last post I mentioned there was another issue we found with my Skyline's motor: the igniter went bad. Ignition issues are common with the RB26 and there can be several causes including bad coils or the harness starting to fail. In my case the ignition module had decided to crap out.
Replacing the ignition module is an easy job – just take off two connectors, unbolt the old one from the engine coil cover, give it a good old heave into the trash bin, and reverse the process with the new one. The big problem with that is that the igniters themselves are pricey – from $500-700 depending on whether you get a refurbed one or brand-new. A used one can be had for much cheaper of course but knowing they often go bad after some time it's just not the greatest option. Going used for such a failure-prone part would be like reusing condoms – it might save you some money but dang if it doesn't feel right.
One interesting thing about the RB26 is that despite the same motor being used in three generations of GT-R – from the R32 to the R34 – it didn't stay the same in all three models. There were some minor changes made besides subtle performance enhancements. One of those changes is that the R34 started using a setup that used integrated igniters in the individual coilpacks rather than one separate module like the R33 and R34. This was an improvement over the old system because now if one coil/igniter combo went bad you could replace just that one at a much lower cost than buying the old-style igniter module. It makes troubleshooting easier too since it's one less item in the chain that can go bad.
So what does this have to do with my car since I have an R32? Well, RightDriveParts in Canada came up with a neat little kit that allows you to rewire your R32 coil harness to work with R34-style coil packs. Not only does it come with a brand new coil harness made by Wiring Specialties (a US company well-known in the RB-swap community for making quality wiring looms) and all the instructions to convert your car's wiring to accept it but it also comes with a brand-new set of R34 coil packs for a complete ready-to-install setup. The best part is that the entire kit costs less than 600 American greenbacks at current exchange rates so it's about the same cost as a new igniter module but theoretically much more cost-effective in the long run.
|The kit as it arrives from RightDriveParts. Took less than a week to get here.|
|A shiny new coil harness to go with the new R34 coils.|
|English instructions! A rarity with Skyline parts lol.|
I haven't found any reviews of the kit yet but the principle is sound and I've seen other Skyline owners overseas make a similar DIY conversion on the forums so I decided to take the plunge on this kit rather than spend money on another igniter that might fail again in the future. I'll post a review in the future once we get it in my car.
Here's a link if you want to check it out yourself: