2014 Nissan GT-R Black Edition “Gwyneth” Deep blue pearl.
Gwyneth was the last 2014 Deep Blue Pearl in the U.S market. I purchased Gwyneth from a Nissan Dealership in Darien, Connecticut, and took delivery on January 10, 2014 (Best day of my life!). As a Black Edition, The GT-R came with the factory 20″ Rays wheels, dry carbon fiber wing, two tone steering wheel, and Recaro seats.
Gwyneth was daily driven between 2014-2018. Unlike some supercars, the GT-R was easy to drive around city traffic, rush hour, highways, and on SNOW! The standard Recaro seats on the Black Edition, are very comfortable, and the suspension on “Comfort” mode is not that bad. One drawback, which you will immediately notice, is the “infamous” transmission noises, due to its placement under you! Nothing to worry about, it’s normal, and you will get used to it.
As of January 2016, Gwyneth is now a full bolt-on Alpha 7 GT-R with a Flex Fuel kit, allowing to swap between Pump gas and E85. Stock motor & transmission.
Below I’ll cover advice on upgrading your stock GT-R to FBO, as well as listing my the parts i chose for my build.
Upgrades: Where to start
Keep in mind, when adding aftermarket parts: Your build goal, what voids warranty, and what parts require other components/tuning?
What doesn’t void warranty?: Exhaust, Midpipes, and 2.75″ Intakes.
Your build goal?: Do it right by figuring out your build goals (whp level? trap times? track only? and so on…). In my opinion, you’ve got 3 options when it comes to building your GT-R.
1st option, is adding all the plug & play parts (Full Bolt-ons or “FBO”), without the need of upgrading motor, transmission, or turbos. Keeping the power levels around 600whp/600wtq.
2nd option, and my least favorite, is FBO + upgraded turbos. The key component here is the tune! Upgraded turbos are usually fine with stock motor and trans, as long as the tune is within the safe power limits. In other words, with upgraded turbos, you’re limiting the maximum power output due the stock internals. However, if you plan to drag, you’ll most probably need upgraded clutches too.
3rd option, fully built motor and transmission. This falls under many levels & parts needed, depending on your power goal. But in general, this is where you will have to build your motor and transmission to handle your power goals.
What requires tuning?: Aftermarket Downpipes, Injectors, and 3″ Intakes. This will also void your warranty.
Must have component parts?: Bigger Injectors. After getting downpipes & 3″ intakes, your stock injectors will max out at this point.
GT-R POWER GAINS: FROM STOCK TO FBO
MY FBO BUILD GUIDE
The first thing you will probably notice…is exhaust sound. With the stock exhaust setup, the GT-R is very quiet.
I started with replacing the catback exhaust with an HKS Legamax Titanium Tips. The exhaust alone did not make it any different from stock sound. Next, I got the COBB 90mm Catted Midpipe, which lasted for 5 years. It was damaged due to salt/rust buildup. I replaced it with the HKS Resonated Midpipe (Catless).
The midpipe & exhaust combo did make a slight difference, the car was louder at startup, on idle, and at wide-open throttle. In terms of in-cabin drone, it was mostly noticeable on highway cruising speed around 65-70mph (below 3K rpms).
later, I decided to jump to the next stage of tuning & getting more power. I got the AMS Alpha 90mm Downpipes (Catless), and replaced the HKS midpipes, with the COBB 90mm Midpipes (Catted), because I didn’t want a straight piped car smelling like gas 24/7. This setup was amazing! It eliminated the drone I had with the HKS. Improved sound, tone, and not too obnoxiously loud when cruising. However, when flooring it, it is LOUD! Just perfect! I later had to replace the COBB Midpipes, due to damages from salts. I got the HKS Resonated Midpipes. A little “quiet-er” on start up, but as loud when flooring it!
it’s either a 2.75″ or a 3″ intake, which needs tuning. Don’t do my mistake of thinking that “I’m going to keep it stock” and getting a 2.75″ to keep warranty. You’ll grow out of it and will probably end up getting a 3″ later on! There are many out there, search, ask in forums (GTRLIFE.COM) or your tuner.
I went with a COBB 2.75″ first, then swapped them with Sakura Intakes 3″ (in-house made by Kaizen Tuning). Now that you’ve got 3″ intakes & downpipes, you’re going to need a retune (You will also need bigger Fuel Injectors).
Two ECU softwares to choose from: COBB or EcuTek. Both good, each tuner has their own preference. You can also download “off the shelf” maps, but I don’t recommend that! Get a custom tune.I chose COBB, the ApV3, because I like having the AccessPort handy, viewing my own custom parameters, and most importantly reading any CEL codes instantly! With EcuTek, you would need a laptop hooked up to the OBD2 Port.
Next, find a good tuner, (ask on GTRLife), you can do it locally, or have an E-tune sent to you.
For Tune Guides (CLICK HERE)
As mentioned above, if you plan to install Downpipes, big Intakes (3″), and Midpipes, the stock injectors will max out! You will need bigger injectors, and this will depend on your power goals. For a full-bolt on GT-R, 1050cc/1100cc is enough. For my Alpha 7 setup, I went with ASNU 1100cc and capacity is around 60% at wide open throttle.
FRONT MOUNT INTERCOOLER
I believe most manufacturers have 2 types, Street (for FBO’s) and Race (made for built GTR’s 1000hp+). I got the Alpha Street Intercooler, which is a direct bolt on, including “Alpha” etched on it. Surprisingly, the intercooler alone added about 40+whp after doing a re-tune on my previous Alpha 6 setup (Downpipes, Mids, Exhaust, 3″intakes, Injectors).
BLOW OFF VALVES
Want that “psshhhew” flutters? Those are made by BOVs. They don’t add any power, just noise. There are two ways running BOVs, recirculating air back into the intakes, or venting out to atmosphere. Venting out is what gets you those flutters.
MYTH: Most tuners say running VTA needs a Speed Density Kit, which means moving the temp sensor from the Intake to the charge pipe to properly calculate SD Based fueling for $350!
Not true, and I can confirm that. I’m running VTA with the HKS SSQV 4 without a Speed Density kit. My tuner does all his tune bases on SD. My car runs fine, no knock or limp.
FLEX FUEL SETUP
You will need a Flex Fuel Kit, Fuel Pumps, and a re-tune.
For the Flex Fuel Kit, I got the Visconti V2, which allows you to swap or mix pump gas and e85 freely without any harm. For fuel pumps, I got the ASNU 330lph. With my Alpha 7 setup, I got 603whp/605wtq (on 93 pump) and 646whp/661wtq (on E85).
Wheels, Exterior, & Interior
WHEELS & TIRES
Advan Racing RS-D 20×9.5 & 20×10.5, Offset 40mm/20mm
Eibach Spacers 15mm/20mm
ProjectKicks Leggdura 53mm closed-end Lugs
Pirell Pzero 285/35/20 & 295/35/20 (Summer)
Pirelli Sottozero 255/40/20 & 285/35/20 (Winter)
Stock Suspension – Street Mode alignment, no rubbing.
20×9.5 – 20×10.5 Setup: same as mine, and want that flush look/tires sticking out of the fender, you will need to run the same tire/spacer sizes as me.
20×10 – 20×12 Setup: popular with the Volk TE37. You would need to go with +30mm offset front & +20 offset rear. Tires option: 285/35/20 & 315/35/20 (also 335). No spacers.
Exterior AERO & Downforce
RevoZport Carbon Fiber DN Trunk (Double-Sided) – (Link)
JCR Carbon Fiber Swan Neck GT Wing – (Link)
N-Tune CF Splitter w/ Brake Ducts – (Link)
N-Tune CF Front Splitter w/ Air Ducts (Nismo Style) – (Link) Pending Install
Rexpeed Z-style Carbon Side Skirts – (Link)
Difflow Diffuser Fins – (Link)
Let’s begin with the Splitter & Skirts. There are many options, vendors, and even knock-off versions out there for both items. When choosing your splitter, make sure to check reviews and feedback from other owners who might have experienced with some of the parts you find. When I say “Knock-off versions”, it doesn’t mean fake or bad (some eBay ones are!). There are good vendors, who offer similar Splitters/Skirts styles based on original ones, at almost half the price. (Knock-offs usually refer their part name with “xx Style“).
Fitment & installation is key! For Splitters or Front lips, you need to bolt them up correctly, even if it means you need to drill and add more bolts for security. Remember, you don’t want these Splitters flying off at 150+mph!! Be aware: minor scrapes from time to time, might feel okay, but it’s NOT!! I’ve had minor scrapes here and there, and was shocked at the results, while removing the undertray to replace my new splitter. (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE DAMAGES).
For a street driven GT-R, I would recommend looking for Quality Knock-offs, to save some $$, while still getting quality look-alikes. I have experienced Splitter & Skirts from Rexpeed, who offer styles such as the well-known Kansai Service splitters, and Zele. Both fitment and carbon quality of the K-style Splitter (Kansai type) and Z-style skirts (Zele type), were excellent. I’ve had both on my car for over 5 years, with no issues at all. The K-Style splitter offers an Air Duct option that has the Splitter pre-cut to insert the ducts outside-in, which I did not like. The ducts did not fit well, and left them sticking out a little. If you are a perfectionist, avoid the duct option!
After somehow losing one of my ducts, I’ve decided to look at other vendors, who offer splitter with the ducts pre-molded. I chose to order the N-Tune Nismo Style Splitter (#N100-1001). This splitter is made from pre-preg carbon fiber materials (2×2 weave), and includes functional brake ducts for cooling, as well as high grade aluminum brackets for support.
The N-Tune splitter fits CBA and DBA models. Just so you’re aware, these stick out a bit below the LED DRL’s on the standard DBA bumper, since the Nismo bumper protrudes there. Compared to my previous Splitter, the N-Tune is less aggressive, sticks out less, and sits higher from the ground. However, in my opinion, the styling looks better, brake ducts are functional (built-in), and feels much stronger/durable.
Next, diffuser options. I wanted a more aggressive rear-end look, without having to replace the whole factory diffuser. The Difflow Diffuser Fins were the best option I came across. You can choose the fin depth, I went with 4.5″ (street friendly). It comes with 5 Fins, support rails, all necessary hardware, and attach to your existing OEM undertray. Excellent quality and extremely durable! I’ve hit & scraped these fins many times with no issues.
Finally, Wing setup. Again, many options out there with different results on Drag & Downforce. If you’re just planning on “looks” vs performance results, then it really just comes down to taste & preference. I chose the JCR / RevoZport Wing & Trunk combo, which turned out beautiful IMHO. Both can be bought separately, with the option to have them in Gloss or Matte carbon finish. The trunk also has the option to have the single or double-sided Carbon. (Mine is double sided). The fitment & quality is excellent with an unbelievable weight difference in weight compared to the factory wing/trunk.
DCT Custom Flat Bottom Steering Wheel (Alcantara)
Shiftkoncepts Carbon Fiber Shift Paddels
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Steering Cover
Cobb AccessPort ApV3-005
MY FBO BUILD (Summary)
Alpha Street Front Intercooler
Sakura 3″ Intakes
ASNU 1100cc Fuel Injectors
ASNU 330lph Fuel Pumps
HKS M45HL Spark Plugs
Visconti FlexFuel v2 Kit
HKS SSQV4 BOVs (VTA)
Titanium Works Engine Caps
EPR CF Coolant Tank Cover
N-Tune CF Splitter (w/Brake Ducts)
Rexpeed CF Z-Style Skirts
RevoZport CF DN Trunk (Double-Sided)
JCR CF Swan Neck GT Wing
Difflow CF Fins
’15 OEM Head/Tail Lights
Alpha 90mm Downpipes (Catless)
HKS Resonated Midpipes (Catless)
HKS Legamax (Titanium tips)
Advan RS-D Matte Black 20×9.5/20×10.5
Project Kics CL53 Leggdura Lugs
Eibach Spacers 15mm/20mm
Pzero 285/35/20 & 295/35/20
DCT Custom Steering wheel (Alcantara/Flat bottom)
Shiftkoncepts CF Shift Paddles
Rexpeed CF Steering Cover