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VR38DETT Engine 3.8L Review

VR38DETT Engine 3.8L

This engine was designed especially for the Nissan GTR, which was reborn in 2007. Instead, the inline six-cylinder engine RB26DETT as in predecessor, Nissan engineers decided to use a more compact V6 engine. They didn't start from scratch. As the base, they took the time-tested V6 version - the VQ37VHR. But many parts were redeveloped of course.

The engine has its cylinder block. It is made from aluminum and has 60° cylinders angle. But there are not cast iron sleeves. Instead of that, on the wall of each cylinder is 0.15 mm layer of low carbon steel. The increased displacement was achieved by installing the new crankshaft with the longer stroke. This change resulted in dimensions of major bottom parts. The cylinder block height is 244 mm. Connecting rod length is 165 mm. Compression height of aluminum forged pistons is 34.3 mm.

The engine also has two-camshaft aluminum cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder. The intake and exhaust camshafts are equipped with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control system (CVTCS). VR38DETT camshaft specs: duration - 238/248; valve lift - 9.56/9.88 mm. The diameter of the intake valve is 37 mm, exhaust valve - 32.2 mm.

The single timing chain drives the intake camshafts by the crankshaft. Small chain drives each exhaust camshaft from intake camshaft inside the cylinder head. By itself, the timing chain is very reliable on this engine. The last TT in the name means what it has two turbochargers. It has IHI RHF55 turbochargers, which was producing 0.75 bar boost until 2010 model year.

In 2010 the boost was increased up to 0.9 bars. The engine got new intake and exhaust manifolds. These manipulations helped to get 530 hp at 6400 rpm. After a year, in 2011, on this engine were installed new more efficient fuel nozzles, redeveloped headers, ECU update. The power was raised to 545 hp. 2016 Nissan GTR model has upgraded 565 hp engine also. There are new ignition system, titanium exhaust manifolds, and higher boost.

Engine Specs

Manufacturer
Tochigi Plant
Production years
2007-present day
Cylinder block material
Aluminum
Cylinder head material
Aluminum
Fuel type
Gasoline
Fuel system
Fuel injection
Configuration
V
Number of cylinders
6
Valves per cylinder
4
Valvetrain layout
DOHC
Bore, mm
95.5
Stroke, mm
88.4
Displacement, cc
3799
Type of internal combustion engine
Four-stroke, turbocharged
Compression Ratio
9:1
Power, hp
485/6400
530/6400
540/6400
565/6800
Torque, lb ft
434 (588 Nm) /3200-5200
451 (612 Nm) /3200-6000
466 (632 Nm) /3200-5800
467 (633 Nm) /3300-5800
Engine weight
Firing order
1-2-3-4-5-6
Engine oil weight
0W-40, 10W-40
Engine oil capacity, liter
5.5 (2007-2011)
5.0 (2011+)
Oil change interval, mile
6,000
Applications
Nissan GTR R35, Nissan Juke R

VR38DETT 3.8l engine Problems and Reliability

The engine has good tuning potential due to durable, reliable parts in stock. But it is hard to say how long is engine life due to a specific driving style of sports cars like GTR.

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