Nissan Skyline RB30 vs Holden VL engine differences

Hi, thanks for stopping by.

I had the unfortunate situation where a Nissan RB30 engine had failed and the replacement engine came out of a VL Commodore.

Some little things that caught us out when doing the change over.

  1. Rocker cover says Holden.. so we changed it back to the Nissan one
  2. Extra water piping on the VL exhaust side
  3. This is a BIG one.. different flywheel and consequently different torque converter.  We found this out the hard way. Yep bolted the engine up to the Nissan Auto Trans only to find that the engine wouldn’t turn.  loosened the Bell housing bolts and hey presto the engine would turn.  Figured it might be the torque converter needed bolting up.  That’s where it got really interesting… (read painful discovery re RB30 and VL transmissions are different.)
  4. To fix the problem flywheel not matching the bolts of the original Nissan torque converter we have had to break the engine away from the Trans and then with a bloody big extension bar crack all the flywheel bolts and then change the flywheel back to the Nissan one.  Then bolt up the torque converter.
  5. Another point to note is that the VL torque converter has a larger diameter centre hub than the Nissan.  How did we discover that.. when we tried a test to see if the VL torque converter would fit on the now removed Nissan rb30 engine with original flywheel.  It didn’t and why… because of the larger centre shaft.

So tomorrow, as it got late and we thought 11pm was late enough, we do have neighbours and we where both stuffed.

So what originally turned out to be a blown head gasket on the Nissan rb30 became an ongoing saga to the point a replacement engine was found.  We are hoping it actually does work!!!

A list of failures on the original engine.

  1. Blown head gasket… simple replace head gasket.
  2. Car was still being used with a blown head gasket which pressurised the radiator and blew the top tank.  Radiator need to be repaired… $150
  3. Before doing that have the head machined to remove any possible buckle. (machined back to true)
  4. Company testing the head found it was buckled by about 25Thou and the hardness of the metal was down 50%.  Bottom line, the head is stuffed.
  5. Source new head.  Found one for $550 (just the head no lifters or valves etc.
  6. Now all the Valves have to be reseated in the new head… The company put new valves in.. that seemed a blessing at the time, as time was at a premium.. i.e. no car to drive to work.
  7. New head fitted, all the other bits put back on and the car, drove over 100KLM, then started to rattle in the top end and then later the bottom end.
  8. After doing some checks discovered that the oil pump was no longer pumping oil.  Replacement oil pump had an asking price of $500  Engine had to come out to replace the oil pump and its a big and time consuming job.
  9. So.. it seemed a better option to just forget about that engine and get another.
  10. This was done and as you have previously read, introduced its own set of problems.

I’ll try to post some photos once I have had a couple of days sleep after this BS is finished.