• Jan 16th 2009 at 7:28PM
  • 40
Click above for a gallery of the South Side Performance Nissan GT-R turbo upgrade

Most of this week's Nissan GT-R tuning news has been coming out of the Tokyo Auto Salon, but South Side Performance is making its own headlines. The tuning firm based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is offering a set of upgraded stock turbochargers for the GT-R that have the potential to boost output to 820 hp when used in conjunction with other (undisclosed) performance modifications.

The upgrade consists of swapping out the stock turbos' center section with remachined compressor and turbine housings, sized 68mm and 53.8mm, respectively. The aluminum compressor wheel is good for up to 32 psi of boost, and since the basic hardware remains, the swap appears to be a simple bolt-on affair. According to South Side, the turbos make more power at stock boost levels and provide a linear power band throughout the rev range.

GT-RR.com is distributing the GTR820RR kit for South Side, and owners can send their stock turbos and $6,499 for the upgrade, with an approximate turnaround time of one week. Of course, the next question is: how will the stock clutches and transmission hold up to the additional power? Check out the images of the setup in the gallery below and hit the jump for the press release.

[Source: South Side Performance via TheRealJDM]



Sioux Falls, South Dakota (January 16, 2009) – South Side Performance is offering, for the first time in the U.S., a turbo upgrade capable of 820 HP* for Nissan's newest supercar.

After months of R and D, South Side Performance have found a turbo combination with greater efficiency, faster spooling, and a stock style fitment for ease of installation. The result is a kit capable of making 820 HP* (when combined with other modifications). Due to the high efficiency of these turbos, GTR owners can run lower boost and make more power. The result is one of the first true big power upgrades available for the R35 GTR.


These Garrett ball bearing turbos are a direct bolt-on that utilize CHRA oil lube and are water cooled. They require only one line to be changed and can be properly installed with basic tools and equipment. The price of the kit includes the machining each of the stock turbos and installation of an upgraded actuator, 53.8 mm turbine wheel, and 68 mm high pressure billet aluminum compressor wheel which is efficient up to 32 PSI.

The turbos were specifically designed to bring bigger power at lower boost and to utilize the fastest spooling turbos available for the size and application. The result is a turbo that makes more power at stock boost levels and starts making boost lower RPM's than stock. This combination allows your GTR to enjoy the benefits of power lower in the power band that continues all the way to redline.

Price and Availability:

This upgrade is available exclusively from our distributor www.GT-RR.com and will be available with exchange of the stock turbos for $6,499.00 or without exchange for an additional core charge. Turnaround time will be minimal, usually about one working week.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      No doubt this was dreamed up by Nissan's tranny and clutch suppliers. If the OEM driveline fails under launch control, 820hp is gonna turn the GT-R into a $75 grand Cuisinart.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ^^^ void that 5 year warranty if u do 3.5 seconds at least once=4.3 seconds without lc. Perfect built? no.

      btw this turbo=fail.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So when will STS come out with a kit so you can have a turbo on your turbo (dawg)? :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the record I live in Sioux Falls SD. I have been to Southside's shop a few times and I know a few of the guys that work there. There are currently 2 GT-R's in town plus another one waiting in the Nissan showroom waiting to be sold. I will let Southside speak for themselves, but from what I have seen they are very serious about making a name for themselves. I know a lot of work went into this set up. I also have heard that there is some major transmission mods comming. I don't know specifics, but they are addressing the reliablity issues and will come out with something that will work very well. Stay tuned, I am sure Chris and company will be making some serious noise on the GT-R tuning front.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Since when does a wheel upgrade cost $6500? You can get new garrett ball bearing turbos between 1-1.5k in any size you want.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is pretty expensive for a turbo that doesn't even have variable vanes, but considering it uses a factory turbo as it's core, which I bet is not too cheap from Nissan, the price isn't that ridiculous. If you actually have to send them your own turbos though and don't get a core charge back, well the price is out of line.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They have to custom machine housings since they are putting a Garrett turbo in an IHI mount. You can see the housings are machined, compared to the stock cast ones.

        Plus, it's for a car that sells very few per year, so that means they have to charge more to make their R&D costs back.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Never mind, if you look at any of their other products for the gtr they're so overpriced its unbelievable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      $6,499 for just upgraded stock turbos; wow, what a ripoff. After tuning many race cars, I would never justify that cost even if they are "bolt-on" turbos. For that much money and the 820 hp power level, I would expect some sort of engine management, fuel upgrade, and intercooler upgrade at least. For that much money, you can get a more complete kit, which design will not only provide for better performance but also reliability. For example:

      Twin Garrett GT2871R-15 Ballistic Concepts turbochargers: $2,400
      Reinforced Polished 321 SS Tubular Exhaust Manifold: $1,200
      Aeroquip stainless steel oil and water lines: $100
      Mandrel Bent Polished Stainless Steel Full 4 Inch Downpipe: $350
      HKS Racing Bypass Valves: $270
      NGK copper plugs: $12
      Front Mount Intercooler Kit: $1895
      ECU Flash: $400
      Total: $6627

      That setup would be good for about 920 hp, would have more area under the curve, would be more reliable, and would also run better. Of course, for either setup you would also want to add intake, exhaust, and fuel injectors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But this is the (among) the first for the Skyline, which as of yet can not accept out of the box bolt on Garretts. Plus, it says there are "other" modifications. So your whole cost comparison goes out the window.

        And seriously, of course its expensive. Its got added GT-R tax added on.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Tourian

        "But this is the (among) the first for the Skyline, which as of yet can not accept out of the box bolt on Garretts."

        This is true, but irrelevant, because an aftermarket exhaust manifold will allow you to run any turbo you want (e.g, proper flanges, space, etc.). You could even run ball bearing variable area turbine nozzle turbos for less than these upgraded stock turbos.

        "Plus, it says there are "other" modifications. So your whole cost comparison goes out the window."

        Actually, my comparison still stands. It says it will achieve 820 hp with "other modifications," not that it comes with other modifications. In other words, with supporting modifications not included in the kit (but included in my example of what I would do instead), you can achieve up to 820 hp.

        "And seriously, of course its expensive. Its got added GT-R tax added on."

        Haha, I understand your argument. But from a tuner perspective, a GT2871R-15 will outperform these drop in turbos and the price of these turbos is the same whether it is on a 3S-GTE or VR38DETT. There is no need to pay a premium.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perhaps the best power to dollar ration.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Warranty? They're overrated anyway!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hear many stories of people taking cars and trucks, putting in their performance modifications to crazy levels or horsepower and torque, and then their transmissions magically die within a few months. As if this car didn't already have enough transmission issues.

      When you add performance in an engine, many people forget that you need to beef up other components too to be able to handle that performane.
        • 6 Years Ago
        such as in this application, clutch, radiator, intercooler(s), motor mounts, axles, etc...

        820hp is a lot!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Is 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, a factory warranty for 5 years, great resale value, and a well built and pretty perfect car not enough?

      why do you need 820 hp for?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have we gotten a 0-60 accurate time without the now defunct launch control?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you ask that question, you'll also have to ask why you "need" a car that can do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.

        There is no need, only want. I am not one of them, but I'm sure there are guys who would want it. Probably would end up spinning the tires though rather than actually going anywhere.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you have to ask a car like this is probably not for you...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I guess you're not familiar with TIME ATTACK
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, you'd like something to brag about at the GT-R owners club.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So its faster duh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        To compete against other aftermarket modified cars.

        APU supras
        3.4L whipple GT500's & cobras
        twin turbo ford GT's
        modified busas
        Twin turbo Vettes
        Supercharged/turbocharged vipers

        GT-R owners know their car's limits and after losing encounters against modified supras, busas, turbo v8's etc.. they want to gain the upper hand and win in any race situation.

        The majority of GT-R buyers drive their car on the street, most "racing" encounters will happen on the street instead of the ring. These encounters are typically straight line as taking up both lanes around blind curves is usually not done by those with intelligence. Racing at the track is a more rare as you can not roll out to willow springs or some other track at midnight. A deserted road is far more likely and typically those are straight line blasts, where the GT-R is weakest. I'm no fan of highway roll racing, but that is where a majority of it happens.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The descriptions of what this does are a little odd. This turbo likely doesn't raise efficiency, it raises the maximum airflow (boost) produced. And it doesn't make more power without making more boost (airflow).

      Maybe something got lost on the way through marketing.

      It'd be a little odd if this really made 820HP without other mods. Like different injectors or a different fuel pressure regulator, let alone an ECU mod. I'd love to find out how difficult the other parts of this upgrade are to install.

      Anyway, I'm sure this is just the first of these we'll see, and it sounds like a doozy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Boost is the pressure in the intake plenum. That is how it is measured. If you throw a lot of air into the plenum, it will raise the pressure. This is the case with for example a Roots blower which doesn't even compress the air but still produces boost.

        There is a pressure that a turbo is not effective above, this is determined by the compressor map. This will basically determine your maximum boost at low revs. At high revs it will be determined more by the maximum air flow (mass of air) the turbo can produce.

        Since the boost is the pressure (above atmospheric) in the intake plenum, you cannot produce more power without packing in more air, which means producing more boost.
        • 6 Years Ago
        wrong. boost refers to the pressure of the air the turbo is pushing not the amount of air.

        for example,

        a 16 g turbo at 15 pounds of boost may be able to flow ~500 CFM
        a 20 g turbo at 15 pounds of boost may be able to flow ~650 CFM

        so if you have a bigger turbo you can run less boost flow the same amount of air per minute and make the same power,

        ie: 20g turbo at 12 lbs flowing 500 CFM

        therefore with a bigger turbo less boost = more power.

        also efficiency is dependent on how much boost you're running.
        • 6 Years Ago
        DB is right-the reason why a larger turbo actually can produce more power at a certain psi is because it creates less back pressure. A smaller turbo might be running at an even higher boost rating but it'd end up making less power since a lot of that power would go towards shoving exhaust gas past the restrictive turbo itself.
        So while pressure might be higher the actual air going out the exhaust wouldn't be. Pressure is not just determined by how much air you're putting in but also how much you're letting out, and a smaller turbo isn't letting as much air flow out the exhaust.
        It's really only going to be important when you're running more than stock boost though since I can only presume Nissan spent plenty of time making sure the back pressure levels were good on the stock engine. The larger turbos would technically let more air flow but I'm guessing the power increase at stock psi is not even close to being worth $6499. The real reason you'd buy this is to run higher pressures (supposed to be good for 32psi-which is probably where they got that 820HP number from).
        They're claiming that these also spool up faster than the smaller stock turbos, which might be more exciting than the horsepower gains for people wanting to keep it at stock boost.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Flowing more air into the same space (displacement of engine at the same RPM) will produce more pressure (boost). Period.

        So putting a bigger turbo which flows more air onto the same engine will produce more boost. If it didn't produce more boost, it wouldn't produce more power.

        Efficiency is a separate issue. This turbo might raise efficiency, or it might not.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Been waiting for this. Knew it was comin
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