RB26 vs 2JZ: Which One is Better and Why?

When you're talking about Japanese legends, the RB26 and the 2JZ always seem to pop up in the conversation.  Ever since Fast & Furious came out in 2001, the Skyline GTR and MK4 Supra have become internet sensations, and so have their motors. There are countless videos on the internet of both engines making well over 1,000 horsepower.

But the question always seems to come up; which one is king of Japan? Well, lets dive in and compare RB26 vs 2JZ, and find out who's really king.

RB26

The RB series of engines is a family on inline-6's, ranging from 2.0L to 3.0L. All of which came in different engines dressings, some naturally aspirated, some single turbocharged, some twin turbocharged. However, were talking about the RB26DETT which was the top of the line engine, equipped in the Skyline GTR.

RB26 vs 2JZThe RB26 came with an 86mm bore, and a 73.7mm stroke, and advanced features such as ITB (Individual Throttle Bodies). It came with parallel T28 ceramic turbochargers limited to 14 PSI of boost.

Additional RB information on Wikipedia

2JZ

Much like RB series, the JZ series of engines was a family of inline-6's. Ranging for 2.5L to 3.0L, some naturally aspirated, some twin turbocharged. However, we are going to be talking about the 2JZ-GTE which is the top of line JZ engine that came in twin-turbo model MK4 Supra's.

Good read: Ford Coyote vs Chevy LS. Which one is better and why?

RB26 vs 2JZ

Just like the RB26, the 2JZ has an 86mm bore, but steps up the stroke from 73.7mm to 86mm. This is where the extra .4L of displacement comes from. Unlike the RB26, the 2JZ came with sequential turbo's, meaning it has a much broader power band.

Additional JZ information on Wikipedia

Stock vs Stock

Okay, so know that you have a little bit of knowledge on each of these engines, lets take a look at some dyne graphs, and compare them stock vs. stock.

RB26

  • Horsepower: 282whp @ 6,800 RPM
  • Torque: 250wtq @ 4,900 RPM

RB vs 2JZ

2JZ

  • Horsepower: 288whp @ 5,800 RPM
  • Torque: 280wtq @ 4,700 RPM

1JZ vs 2JZ

Alright, so you've seen the numbers. The make pretty much the same amount of power, however the 2JZ makes about 30 lb-ft of torque more. This isn't to surprising considering it has an extra .4L of displacement, all of which is extra stroke. But, numbers only tell part of the story.

RB26: The RB26 has a very linear power curve, it just slowly gains throughout the power band. It never really peaks or jumps around. This is great because its easy to predict how much power you will get when you pick up the throttle at any given RPM.

2JZ: The 2JZ makes its peak power 1,000 RPM sooner than the RB26, and also makes more torque at an earlier RPM. This is mostly due to its sequential turbos, and extra stroke. The power comes on very early, and flattens out, its not until peak RPM's that it starts to lose power.

Engine Strength

Its not really a secret that the 2JZ can hold up to crazy amounts of power on stock internals. Unfortunately, Nissan didn't build the RB26 as strongly as Toyota built the 2JZ.

Check out: Why The Chevy LS is so Awesome

RB26: The RB26 stock internals can hold up to about 550-650 horsepower. The stock block can hold up to 1,000+ horsepower. Doing some simple math that will tell you that the RB26 can hold up to 211-250 hp/liter. This is quite an amazing feat for a stock engine.

2JZ: The 2JZ stock internals can hold up 800 horsepower. The stock block can also hold 1,000+ horsepower. Once again doing some math, the 2JZ can hold up to around 266 hp/liter.

So, both of these engines can hold incredible amounts of power, however the 2JZ can hold up to quite a bit more on completely stock engine internals.

Parts Availability

 If you're building a car, and something on the engine breaks, you're going to need the new part. I think this is what really makes the 2JZ better than the RB26.

RB26: The RB26 never came in any car in the USA, what does this mean? It means that finding parts for it isn't a simple as going to an auto parts store.

Further more, just finding the engine by itself is a hassle, most of the times you'll have to import it from Japan.

2JZ: The 2JZ on the other hand, came in a host of different cars in the USA. This means that finding parts is as easy as going to an auto parts store or a junkyard.

Which One is Better?

So, to answer the question "RB26 vs 2JZ?". Well, I think thats its pretty clear which is the better engine. The 2JZ can hold up to more power, make more power, source parts very easily, and is cheaper to buy and build.

Also read: 1JZ vs 2JZ: Which One is Better?

Now, that said the RB26 is an absolutely amazing engine, but its just not economically feasible to build an RB26 just to hold similar power levels as the 2JZ.

RB26 vs 2JZ

The 2JZ came in a host of cars sold in the US and can be found pretty easily, and if something breaks a store like Autozone is likely to have the part.

The RB26 on the other hand, never came in any car in the US, meaning that it has to be imported, and so do any parts that you might need for it.

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About Bryce Cleveland 225 Articles
Bryce is a die hard car fanatic. When he's not working on his Jeep Cherokee, he's beating it up in the desert. He started Dust Runners Automotive Journal in 2014 and continues to write content for it as much as possible.

11 Comments

  1. You need to do some real research about parts availability on the rb26 there buddy. Although you are correct in that it’s not as simple as going to autozone to get parts. Your still giving off the 2005 mentality that it’s “hard” to find parts for the engine and frankly on behalf of the rb community we’re sick of it.

    • Good point. Not to mention all of the RB26 parts in Canada (our close neighbor to the north) since they have been importing RB series GTR’s for the past dozen years.

  2. Face it butthurt guy^ rb motors have more issues than avalibility of parts. Rb motors also have oiling issues that will eventually blow them up.
    2jz has a long history of sucess. Over engineered motors build by toyota (:

    • I rebuilt my RB26 this past year and it turned more into a complete replacement. After owning and building both the 2JZ wins hands down. Better oil pump drive, better block casting material and oiling control, more power down low, ability to have higher overall displacement. My RB now has a NEW N1 block because my stock one had tiny cracks at the head stud holes extending into the water jacket. It has the Tomei oil pump now (still on stock 2-dog drive) and has a stroker BC crank to give me back some of the bottom end I lost when going single. I will say however, that the AWD feature of this powertrain as in the GT-R is a much better street option than anything available for the 2JZ. Acceleration-wise I have never owned a car that leaves like this R32 GT-R does on the street on street tires day-in, day-out.

      • Also one more thing. One of the cast-iron RB valve guides was chipped so I replaced all of them with Bronze alloy guides. This was OK since I changed valves to Stainless Steel as well. I would say that the RB has no problems living in the high rpms range as I beat my daily to 8,500.

    • Haha! Really?? Tell that to the Japanese why they would always choose a Rb26 powered skyline GT-R over the 2jz powered Supra. Been staying in Japan for 4 years BTW. 😉 All engines aren’t perfect, not even the Rb26 or the 2jz. RB26 is lighter, has ITBs, but the 2jz has the extra displacement. Here, they know every ticklish area of both the RB26 and the 2jz. Lucky to have owned Mk4, BNR32, and 34. And car per car… you’ll know why it’s much more expensive than a Supra. 😉 Invite you to come visit us here in Osaka, we’ll even introduce you to the car scene here.

      • Interesting that you say you live in Osaka. A quick IP address lookup tells me you live in the Philippines. That lie alone throws all your credibility out the window. Better luck next time!

    • The oiling problem was with the 1989-1993 model RB26 crankshafts. RB26’s were still made until 2002 in the R34 GTR.

  3. Having lucky enough to have owned an R32, R34 GT-R, & Mk4 Supra. I would say engine per engine on stock form, the RB26 wins because it has ITBs, much lighter, and sounds freakin great! But what the 2JZ has is its extra displacement.. especially when you start modifying it. But one RB26 disadvantage the author didn’t mention is their parts are much more expensive! As they say “GT-R tax”! Even the engine itself or even the whole car. GT-Rs are expensive, especially now their values are soaring.

    But car per car.. different story. Skyline GT-Rs handles like a Supra… when it’s raining! Yep that’s the handling discrepancy. It’s like a freight train, like it’s on rails! That’s why Supras are popular on drags / straights, not on circuit tracks or lap battles. Bottom line, GT-Rs are more versatile sportscars.

  4. There are also some inaccuracies about the stock RB26 05U block holding 1000HP. It won’t hold even close to that power for long before cracking. The N1 24U or GT “RRR” block should hold that power without issue. And then there was no mention of the new billet aluminum blocks on the market, nor any mention of the RB30 block with RB26 combo as well as stroker kits for both the 2JZ and RB to get them easily up to 3.2 liter with reliable high end HP in the 1500+ range.

  5. It would be awesome if you could do a multi part series on the platforms discussing failure points, common fixes, and typical builds. Oiling issues with RBs, Ceramic wheels, and the like…

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