GT-Rs of TX2K12: Switzer Performance

Before you get started, make sure you've read the Prevailing Tech Themes of the TX2K12 GT-Rs

For Switzer Performance, high-performance builds are anything but foreign. When owner Tym Switzer got started in this industry, he spent countless hours at Buschur Racing tearing apart limitless forced-induction engines to better understand the inner workings and idiosyncrasies of these emerging applications. Through this research, Buschur Racing has become an industry leader for turbocharged DSMs, Evo’s, and more. From there, Tym created Switzer Performance to take a stab at doing what he knows best—creating first-class street cars with top-notch performance-car characteristics.

Through a methodology focused on extreme attention to detail, Switzer has perfected the tuning process through extensive stock development testing, data logging, and dyno testing. By fully understanding the limitations of a stock platform, it provides a baseline for what can be achieved through the implementation of various performance modifications. The crew at Switzer can assess which of these components or combination thereof is best suited to achieve their end goal. From engine fortification to full-engine builds to adding or upgrading forced-induction components to tuning the engine management system, Switzer is capable of gaining notable numbers on a variety of platforms.

Addressing the power plant, however, is just one step in the process. To deliver a reliable build, all other components of the driveline must also be assessed and dealt with as necessary. Especially in high-horsepower/torque applications, the transmission, axles, and traction control software are all areas of poor performance. Through ongoing testing and iteration, all failure-prone components are resolved and you’re left with a dependable and reliable build, which is a must in any performance platform. Switzer has certainly proven their expertise in this respect.

With their early capabilities in all things turbocharged coupled with proven methodologies, Switzer was recognized as the go-to solution for the Porsche tuning market. A few of their earliest performance packages were dialed in for Porsche’s 996 and 997 Turbo platforms, but their introduction into the exotic tuning market didn’t end with Porsche. Soon, their expertise in forced-induction applications also earned them a spot in the GT-R tuning world.

Switzer’s experience with GT-Rs started a few years ago when one of their Porsche clients inquired about their knowledge of the newly released Japanese Godzilla. Switzer was soon pumping out performance packages of all different types. They have perfected the tuning method on pump, race, and ethanol gas types, ranging from 700 to 1,500+ horsepower. Depending upon fuel availability and application goals (track, drag, street), Neil Switzer, Performance Consultant, and customer sit down to formulate a custom-tailored blueprint for executing their build. When Jason Purdum, owner of Boulder Nissan in Colorado, came to Switzer a few years back with a brand-new 2010 Nissan GT-R, a true street car’s blueprint was established.


From Jason and Neil’s first interaction, the end objective was clear—a purpose-built, street-driven track car that could be used as a daily driver to and from the owner’s Boulder Nissan dealership. In addition, Jason wanted as few compromises as possible in safety, as well as a high-quality ride and maintaining Nissan’s extensive creature pleasures.

With a clear intent, Switzer set out to implement what is now known as the P800 package. Based on upgraded turbochargers and supporting components; a larger fuel delivery system; and an upgraded intake, filter assembly, and exhaust system, the P800 package was tuned via COBB AccessPORT in house to deliver a respectable 700 awhp on pump gas. But Jason didn’t stop there.

Just three months before the TX2K12 event, Jason visited Switzer Performance once again with one idea in mind: go bigger and better. Team Switzer quickly went back to the drawing board. Since E85 is readily available in Colorado, utilizing ethanol as the build’s primary source of fuel was evident. However, with the owner’s mantra of as few compromises as possible, the team devised the blueprint to build a 1,000 awhp monster as a true flexible-fuel vehicle.

They started with a Switzer Stage 1 V38DETT engine build to support the required power. The fully blueprinted engine received Switzer spec Mahle pistons, pins, and rings connected to Switzer spec Carillo rods. Driving the valves was a set of Switzer spec camshafts, and the remainder of the short block required Switzer spec Nissan engine components to complete the power plant. A fully blueprinted oiling system, along with an upgraded Switzer cooling package, helped keep engine temperatures down during extended operation.

A set of Switzer spec E1K turbochargers based on the Garrett GT30R turbocharger with billet compressor wheels and custom compressor housings were used. The Switzer Monster intercooler kit cools the compressed gas and is delivered to the engine via the Switzer E1K upgraded manifold assemblies. An external wastegate assembly is utilized for added control over the boosting operation.

Allowing for an increased amount of airflow, the Switzer high-flow E1K intakes and filter assembly were installed to eliminate the pre-turbo bottleneck. After combustion, the hot gases are expelled through the Switzer E1K catless off-road test pipes and then through the Switzer lightweight 90mm full stainless steel exhaust system.

To deliver all this power, an upgraded fuel system was needed. As we thoroughly explained in the "Prevailing Themes” article, the use of E85 in high-performance vehicles requires a large upgrade to the fuel delivery system. To accomplish this, Switzer installed their E1K fuel injector kit and several other E1K fuel system upgrades to meet the demand.

To make this build a true flexible-fuel vehicle, Switzer had to incorporate a hybrid stand-alone engine management system to accommodate a range of 0% to 100% ethanol content in any one tank of fuel. The goal is to have the EMS adjust to the ethanol content accordingly and provide an optimized tune on the fly. The stand-alone system was used to control the fuel system and mapping. While maps were used to dictate the starting point based on intervals (E0–E10, E10–E20, and so forth), complex equations and calculations are necessary to correctly blend between the applicable maps in order to provide the optimum performance possible on that specific tank of gas.

To further set the bar, Switzer utilized the stand-alone EMS to work in conjunction with the stock launch control software, allowing the turbochargers to spool and create boost during launch. This provides a smoother launch to preserve driveline components and also allows for a more consistent 60' ET. While the car was originally built using another stand-alone EMS, the current plan for next season is to have it fully switched over to the latest Syvec stand-alone EMS.

In order to address the failure-prone transmission of the R35 platform, Switzer worked closely with John Shepherd of Sheptrans and perfected a transmission build that is ideal for these torque levels. This improvement allowed the purpose-built, street-driven track car to hook up on launch and really dive into and rip out of the corners at the track, while maintaining smooth operation and unsurpassed reliability.

With in-house tuning completed by Tym Switzer and Boyan Radomirov, they were able to extract 991 awhp and 962 ft-lbs of torque. Not only that, this power level was not fully utilized at the TX2K12 event, as there was more to squeeze from the two monster snails—as much as an additional 5–6 psi of boost. Switzer has proven that even at the high elevations of Colorado, by keeping the turbochargers well within their efficiency range, you can maintain quarter-mile times, trap speeds, and produce consistent numbers—a true testament to their design parameters and specifications.

Given a vehicle of this performance level, certain items were installed to increase handling, reduce weight, and provide an adequate number of safety measures. Back at Boulder Nissan in Colorado, Jason saw to it that all these items combined to make a competitive track vehicle. With additional track time for the driver and continuing to dial in the suspension and chassis, the vehicle will become the force it was built to be.


Switzer Flex Fuel E1K GT-R R35 Package

  • Switzer Hybrid Standalone Engine Management System Tuned in House
  • Switzer Flex Fuel System
  • Switzer E1K Fuel Injector Kit
  • Switzer Monster Intercooler Kit
  • Switzer E1K Turbochargers and Manifold Assembly (based on Garrett GT30R, billet compressor wheel and custom compressor housings)
  • Switzer E1K External Wastegate Assembly
  • Switzer MAF/Intake and Filter Assembly
  • Switzer High-Flow E1K Intakes for Switzer MAF
  • Switzer E1K Catless Off-Road Test Pipes
  • Switzer E1K Fuel System Upgrades
  • Switzer 90mm Stainless Steel Full Exhaust
  • Switzer Cooling Package

Switzer Stage 1 VR38DETT Engine Build
  • Switzer Spec Mahle Pistons, Pins, and Rings
  • Switzer Spec Carillo Connecting Rods
  • Switzer Spec Camshafts
  • Switzer Blueprinted Engine and Oil Pump
  • Switzer Spec Nissan Engine Components

Switzer Stage 4 Transmission Upgrade by Sheptrans
  • Switzer Spec Clutch
  • FWD Retainer
  • Mechanical Lock #1
  • Mechanical Lock #2
  • O-ring and Seal Upgrade Kit
  • Oil Pump Shaft Upgrade with Blueprint
  • 6 Neodymium Magnets
  • High-temp Rear Differential Oil Seal
  • Stainless Reusable Internal Filter
  • R35 GT-R Transmission Cooler
  • GR6 Transmission Fluid

Here's an excerpt directly from a post by Jason Purdum on NAGTROC.ORG:

"This past Fall I began considering upgrading from my P800 package into a "bigger" build. There were certain compromises I was not willing to make. The biggest being that the car needed to be able to run a flex fuel set up. The idea of having to drain the tank to put in race gas was not appealing to me. I wanted a car I could drive anywhere. And also be able to compete in multiple events such as road course, drag, 1/2 mile, mile etc. After looking at my options I called Neil over at Switzer to discuss their Flex Fuel set up. Well one thing led to another and on Janruary 1st the transport picked up my car and headed to Switzer.

From that point the communication/updates was consistent and appreciated from Ethan at their shop. The build came together very well. The only hurdle was Ohio's weather. It simply would not cooperate with us. About a week before the event I spoke with Ethan and there simply was not going to be enough time to fine tune the driveability of my set up due to the weather on the street. The "street tune" was roughed in and the WOT tunes were complete. The plan was to finish the driveabilty tunes once in Texas.

Friday night (march 9th) my car arrived at the dealership. I have to add that it arrived from a different carrier(which was fine). When I spoke with Tym about the change in carriers he let me know that due to the time table they had to use a different transport to meet our time line. This change alone cost Switzer a sizeable amount of money that I am sure they had not set up in my estimate. But it was important to them that my car arrive in time to make TX2K12 like we had discussed. Saturday morning I came down to the store. Eric and I double checked a few things and added the rear tow hooks. At that point I drove the car to the station topped off with E85 and headed home. Car felt good but I literally only had a chance to drive the car home (about 15 miles). At that point the car sat in my garage until Monday morning. We loaded the car Monday and headed down to Texas Tuesday morning.

Wednesday night Tym and Boyan finshed up the street tune and said we are good to go. We will further refine the set up on the road course. What really impressed me at this point was that Tym not only finished this car within a limited window due to the weather but was now taking a "fresh build" (had been broken in on the dyno) onto the road course to further refine the set up. Those of you that road course know just how hard and demanding the road course is on a car. Talk about having confidence in your packages and organization. I won't go into great detail about the road course because I posted my experience about that in a post above. But to summarize it went outstanding. The car ran great on all boost settings!!!!

Saturday and Sunday was the 1/4 mile competition. I arrived Saturday morning and spoke with Tym about the car and what to expect. You have to remeber that up until this point I have never driven a car at this power level down the strip. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I asked Tym if he thought it would be a good idea to have him run the car down the track a few times before I drove it. He smiled and said I would be fine. We decided that my first run would be no LC. Just roll off the line and go WOT on boost setting 4 (second highest). Wow. Once the car got moving it just wouldn't stop pulling. Trapped 150 if I rember correctly. What a blast!!

Boyan and Tym then looked at the logs. Made a few changes and said we are good to start making LC runs. Tym and Boyan then took my car down the return road. When they came back they said LC was good to go. We ran a few different hybrid LC's. All variations either built boost or kept the car out of vacuum. At this point I had butterflys in my stomach. I knew the car was going to pull really hard out of the hole and was trying to prepare myself mentally for all the "data" I was going to be taking in on the run. What a blast!!! The car came out of the hole smoothly and very quickly. Tym had already "walked" me through what to expect (shift points, wheel spin, etc.). I was amazed at how quickly I became comfortable in the car. The two biggest contibuting factors for that were my confidence in Switzer and how they have set up the car. Don't get me wrong the car is still a handful. Definitely have to pay attention and respect the power.

Tym, Boyan and I agreed to set the LC up on the conservative side. I enjoy 1/4 mile but did not want to abuse the drivetrain for a few tenths. Boyan made a few changes to the LC as we collected data and got my feedback. Then after I believe my third run Boyan looked at the data and said "were there". LC is in dialed in and at this point we can make adjustments with tire pressure to suit the track. From that point forward the changes were just tire pressure. I ran pretty consistent 9.5's for the weekend. Car was cutting 1.6 60 foots and the mph was steady at 150.

I was very very happy with the results. My car is set up for daily driving and road course. My car has a lot done to the aero which I am sure hurts my mph in the 1/4. I ran this car all weekend the way I would drive it daily. Both seats, rear spoiler, half a tank of gas, etc. I need to scale my car but it should weigh right @4,100 pounds with me in it. I believe that if I did the usual 1/4 mile changes (remove passenger seat, stock body work, remove rear spoiler, etc.) and had Tym set the boost by gear a bit more aggressive and run another 5-6 pounds of boost up top (mode 6 ) the car is capable of running low low 9's@155. But that was not my goal. My goal was to have a consistent 9 second car with strong trap speeds that was not stressing the pkg. To run a best of 9.4@150 on a "soft" launch exceeded my expectations.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday night I drove the car back to the hotel(about 50 mile each way) and then back to the drag strip in the mornings. The car never missed a beat. Sunday night Boyan and Tym took the car out to finish the pump gas tunes. Eric and I then loaded it back in the trailer for the trip back to Colorado. Once home I unloaded and drove the car to work.

TX2K12 was a very harsh environment to "shake down" any build much less a 1,000/1,000 hp/trq build. I think that fact alone speaks volumes for Switzers build quality and packages. To finish 3rd on the road course in my street driven GTR and finsh 3rd in the GTR unlimited drag class against very well built and set up cars solidifies my thoughts about this package.

I want to thank Tym, Boyan, Neil and DK for making the trip to Texas. I really appreciate all your hard work and the time you spent with me over the event to help refine my set up. I also wanted to thank everyone at Switzer that was involved in my build that couldn't attend TX2K12. Switzer has exceeded all my expectations thus far. This car really can do it all. Reasonable on the street, and very fast on the road course and the strip.

I can't wait to get more time in the car!!! In about two weeks my road course and drag race seasons begin for the year. Really excited to get the season started. TX2K12 was a great start.

Thanks for reading. Be safe and I hope everyone has a great year ” – Jason Purdum, Flex Fuel E1K


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