VR38DETT : Switzer Performance's Take on Exploring the Limits

Over 1500 wheel horsepower

There is, as many say, more than one way to skin a cat. In this case, Switzer Performance makes over 1500 horsepower out of a VR38DETT, or Nissan R35 GT-R engine. That is a recockulous amount of power. Remember we are talking at the wheels. Not some estimated engine bhp, or whatever you want to say number. This is what a dyno registers to the tire.

It’s not as if we haven’t built a stroked engine – we just chose not to offer a stroked engine to our customers,” explains Tym. “Increasing the stroke in any engine increases the piston speeds within a cylinder at any given RPM. That puts greater stresses on the pistons and rods as they accelerate and decelerate that much faster. The loads the pistons put on the cylinder walls themselves increase, creating greater frictional losses within the engine. When we looked at what we’d given up, in terms of reliability and longevity, in our early test engines with different bore and stroke configurations, any low-end and initial turbo response gains we saw just weren’t worth it.”
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Switzer goes a little different route than the "no replacement for displacement" way.  I can't honestly say I totally agree with it on a turbocharged "small" displacement car.  They have some real numbers to back up their claims and philosophy  and as I said in the start, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

The amount of engineering that went into the VR engine was obvious, and it spoke volumes about Nissan’s engineers. The durability of the all-aluminum block and its plasma-sprayed, low-friction cylinders, however, remained to be confirmed at the power levels we intended to run. “We knew what the block and the OEM cylinder linings should have been capable of handling, thanks to our early studies. It wasn’t until our blueprinted engine program was finalized and we were getting serious miles on the cars, though, that we were able to check our early math against real-world data.” The results speak for themselves: dozens of Switzer-built engines with many thousands of hard-driven miles to their credit, and zero bottom-end failures. “My dad (Tym Sr., who runs Switzer’s engine shop and started teaching me the art of engine building at an early age) gets a lot of credit for that record of reliability,” says Tym “but I think he’d be the first guy to tell you it’s the VR38 engine’s superior engineering that makes that possible. The geometry of the VR block is constantly distributing stresses across the block and Nissan’s cylinder lining is fantastic. It was on these observations that we didn’t change the way loads traveled across the block by boring the out the cylinders, and we both adamantly opposed tampering with the block’s closed-deck structure. Even with alternate fuels, which some people thought initially might cause the cylinders to de-laminate the bore lining, we haven’t seen any evidence of this in the plasma sprayed bores.”
Switzer Performance News (
I have seen a few cracked modified/sleeved blocks. Some of the original iron sleeves that were installed into some VR38's had some issues weaking the block, and causing coolant leaks.  Like anything "new", and pushing limits, new weaknesses are found.  Switzer likes where they are, without anything extra, and they are pushing what they have. 3.8 liters- 1500+ horsepower isn't bad.

“We are steadfast in our stubbornness in regard to not adding any component to a project that doesn’t contribute to the end goal.” 
Switzer Performance News (
Source: Switzer Performance News 

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Item Reviewed: VR38DETT : Switzer Performance's Take on Exploring the Limits Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sean Morris