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Bad Ass

The usually quiet and reserved Bluebird from next door has come out - big time!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

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What on earth must Tony Boskovski's brother think at family get-togethers when he lays eyes on what used to be his clean, respectable Nissan Bluebird? A car that once had a childlike innocence has now turned to a life of relentless speed, crime and drugs. For sure, this vehicle has traded in its heavenly halo for a devil fork and will now end up frying in the bowels of hell!

And it's Tony who we can all blame for corrupting this fair 1983 Nissan Bluebird TRX. The story starts around two years ago when Tony's brother handed the car down to little brother - all in good faith. But after "getting the turbo bug" and growing tired of the fast-wearing stock engine, it seemed like a good excuse to commit the sinful crime of bursting the Bluebird's sides with 335hp (at the wheels!) worth of FJ20 turbo power. Nice alibi eh?

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Of course, obtaining 335 rear wheel horsepower from an imported FJ20DET isn't as easy as merely slipping on a high flowing air filter. So with the help of Melbourne's Crankshaft Rebuilders, Tony and a friend (John Ruffino) knifed open the FJ's belly and packed it with Cosworth dished forged pistons (with a 7.8:1 compression ratio), shotpeened rods, ARP bolts, ACL bearings and Michigan 77 chrome-moly rings. The highly capable 16 valve twin-cam head, while still standard, was also shouted a full reco before final assembly. Tony can now sleep well at night, 'cos he knows this is one tough neighbourhood of parts that'll hold tight forever.

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Then there was the job of shooting the engine up with enough illegal substance to get to crack that magic 335 figure. One of the very first steps was to fabricate a 1? inch tuned length tubular extractor manifold and bolt it to the engine's shoulder. And to get the biggest drug hit possible, a custom ATS T04E turbocharger was attached to it - while anything the FJ exhales the wrong way goes out through a 38mm Garrett external wastegate that's been bored out to 42mm. Breathing through a K&N pod filter, the big blower is pushed all the way up to a sacrilegious 26 psi boost...

Of course, if you don't want the FJ to have drug-induced seizures, you have to give it some chill time - and that's a job performed by a custom air-to-air intercooler built up from a Spearco 2? inch core. Including its custom end tanks, it measures around 400 x 350mm and it's truly a killer unit.

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One fly company called PET Modifications is allegedly responsible for fitting up a big 65mm Ford throttle body to the stock intake manifold for improved flow. So they'll be cast down as well. Oh, and - amongst other things - they also did the polished oil catch can in the left guard and the polished high-capacity engine radiator. An Aussie produced Turbosmart blow-off valve has everyone in the 'hood ducking for cover whenever Tony hooks another gear in - but you can never be sure if that's what it is, or another drive-by shooting!

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Like inside any well organised crime ring, there's a criminal mastermind at work behind the scenes. The Mr Big you just don't mess with. This shaker is simply known on the streets as Autronic SMC, and it's his job to ensure the engine runs at optimum and those pot-heads get their correct metered injections.

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A set of four big Rochester needle injectors (only a bit smaller than IndyCar ones!) are kept in supply of PULP/Avgas by a MoTeC billet rail, Bosch 8 Bar pump and a 1.5 litre surge tank that's kept happy by a standard electric pump. Another blasphemous part of the car is its rally-inspired anti-lag system. With fuel passing through the engine unburned and ignition timing adjusted to suit, the turbo is cracked up to speed to push out a huge 20 psi boost at only 3500 rpm (and at very low load). Just pop the clutch and it's so-long, pursuing coppers!

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Like any dedicated dope head will tell ya - a big pipe is always the best. So to keep the Bluebird puffing along happily, there's a full 3 inch mandrel pipe along with a hi-flow cat and straight-through muffler of the same diameter. But you'll notice though that there's no haze of smoke that comes from this pipe... Distributing lethal doses of torque to the rough-and-tough South End of town is a standard FJ20 5 speed gearbox with a mongrel one tonne pressure plate, XR6 clutch plate (modified to suit) and a custom PET steel flywheel. A thick-walled 3 inch tailshaft takes it on back to a re-clutched 4.3:1 9 inch LSD spinning 28 spline shortened axles.

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The seedy underground scene of the Bluebird harbours a street-wise combination of lowered Pedders front springs, stock lowered rear springs and a posse of Pedders dampers. There are also Nolathane bushes in the front line to keep things tight. When things get a little out of control and crazy, Tony has no choice but to stomp his foot down - bringing into action R31 Skyline vented front discs (with their associated calipers) and a stock pair of TRX rear discs. And don't sniff too much of the smell waffling out of the cooking Bendix Ultimate pads or you'll get whacked.

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Living live on the run, it helps to blend in with the crowd. This gangsta slips through the darkness of night virtually unnoticed in its beaten-back-to-standard panels and M3 blue-sprayed clothes.

Stealth is the word - you'll barely twig that this '83 model Series 2 Bluey has been converted to a Series 3 front. And what's more, you can't even see the holster for that big gun hidden under the bonnet. Other than the rear window sticker, one of the only changes that makes this Bluebird unique is that it now trips along on 16 inch Nissan Skyline GTS alloys and Dunlop and Goodyear hi-po rubber. But these subtle mods are just part of the deception and scandalous lies.

Take it from us, if you ever try to play hardball with this TRX you're gonna get capped. With an 11.8 second quarter mile (at 115mph), this Bluebird's one tuff motha.

So now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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ATS (Australian Turbo Sales)
+61 3 9335 1254

Crankshaft Rebuilders
+61 3 9894 0000

PET Modifications
+61 3 9480 3968

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