Mighty Car Mods | Marty and Moog breaking down the S30's journey

Street Racing Illustrated | Mighty Car Mods’ RB26-powered S30

The guys at Mighty Car Mods get ready to transplant the heart of a beast into a legend.

Story | Phillip Pratt


Mighty Car Mods | The MCM S30

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods


With well over 2.6 million YouTube subscribers, you’re probably aware by now that the guys, Marty and Moog, over at Mighty Car Mods recently got their hands on a beautiful Nissan S30 (or Datsun 240z… or Nissan Fairlady Z, whatever you like best). After purchasing it online, they flew to Japan to check it out, whip it around on a track and ship it back home to Australia. I think there are a lot of folks out there that would have been fine to leave it in its original gorgeous form, but like many great things in life, there was a catch. The original motor that rested within the Fairlady held components that weren’t allowed in the country due to some of the materials they were constructed of, mainly asbestos. Trying to get it in the country legally would have, in their words, potentially costed ‘tens of thousands of dollars’. That doesn’t sound like much fun, at all. Not letting little things like importing regulations stop them, they stayed true to their names and decided to swap in another power plant. Namely, an RB26 sourced from the S30’s relative, the almighty GT-R.


Mighty Car Mods | Putting the car through its paces in Japan

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods


The original engine that was removed from the S30 was a 1,998 cc, inline 6-cylinder, single overhead cam, and sported a casted-iron block with a 12-valve, alloy head. It was good for about 143 HP or 107 kW of power. Not bad for the engine size in its day. However, the guys will be bumping up the power, as we all know the RB26 out of the GT-R was substantially more powerful. Like the L20 that this S30 formerly owned, the RB26 is an inline 6-cylinder engine. But outside of also having an iron block, that’s about where the similarities end.


Mighty Car Mods | The first of several test fits for the RB26 transplant

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods


The RB26 is a 24-valve, dual overhead cam, twin-turbo heart of a legend. It pumped out about 276 HP (206 kW) from the factory but it’s been known to do a whole lot more than that once modified, even if just turning up the boost on the stock set-up.


Mighty Car Mods | The RB26 that will power the MCM S30

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods


If you’re not indeed caught up with the guy’s current endeavor, you’ll be happy to know that there is not one, but two episodes up on their channel at the writing of this article. So go carve out a nice 40-minute chunk of time from your busy day and enjoy!


Mighty Car Mods | Test fitting a plenum from Hypetune on the RB with Turbo Yoda

Photo courtesy of Mighty Car Mods