UNLEASH THE KRAKEN: JAKE ‘DRIFTSQUID’ JONES’ RB-POWERED M3

This car is bound make automotive purists not sure what to do with themselves. This car will be the poster car of all fans of Euro and JDM alike. This car is what happens when you take the chassis from one of the greatest performance lineages and match it to the legendary heart of Godzilla. This car is the child of an unholy marriage of German finesse and Japanese muscle, born only to sacrifice tyres to please the god of sideways driving. Much like the fabled giant version of his drift moniker, we’ve helped Jake ‘DriftSquid’ Jones put together something almost mythical – The RBM3.

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The base of Jake’s latest monster is an E92 BMW M3, although not much of it remains. Converting a luxury sports coupe into a drift beast with tubed front end, a stripped and caged interior and custom everything else seems complicated at first glance, but our engineer Adam tells us there were no unexpected challenges in the build. “With our experience with projects of this nature, it all flowed smoothly,” said Adam. We at Powertune believe in putting experience into our products, and the engine package built for this project helped breathe life into this unusual heart transplant.

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Not all engines are built alike, purely because not every car is used alike. The RBM3 runs an RB26 with a Tomei stroker kit, beefing the displacement up to 2.8L. The engine package closely resembles our WTAC package although features a custom Powertune Australia camshaft and shim-less cylinder head. The choice of camshaft lightened the rotating mass, providing maximum response was to be had. The choice to use a shim-less cylinder head was to ensure there was durability in the head when the car would inevitably find its rev limit over and over again on the drift track.

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A new addition since the original build, Precision 6870

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A twin Hypertune fuel rail inlet manifold and a whopping twelve sequentially staged injectors provide the juice and breathing (at time of shoot) is assisted by a GCG turbo and a Hypertune front-mounted intercooler. At the shakedown pictured later, we found that the turbo was over-spinning, causing a spike in air temperatures. Our Band-Aid fix for testing was to lower the pressure of the wastegate, effectively slowing the turbo down. This worked in testing but since the shoot the GCG has been swapped out for a larger Precision 6870 turbo.

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The package is controlled and monitored by a Motec system, providing comprehensive data and analysis. Based in Australia, the local support for the item was crucial. There are also sensors fitted to the car for diagnostics rather than performance. Being an international competitor, if Jake was to take the vehicle out of the country, we would be able to assist with even a minor boost leak from the comfort of our workshop. Not that a boost leak would make us feel comfortable!

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No expense has been spared to ensure longevity of the package with hard fluid lines running underneath the car and premium fittings in the engine bay. The ethanol lines are made of Teflon, ensuring maximum lifespan. The radiator is mounted in the boot to save space in the engine bay as well as for the benefit of clean air. Ducting cool air to the radiator as well as eliminating air pockets from the cooling system proved to be a few obstacles with this set up but we assisted to ensure any cooling system maintenance would be accessible for any mechanic.

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A custom 4-inch exhaust was fabricated for the car, and was created with sound, performance and good design in mind. Due to the shape and size of the M3 chassis, it would not simply be an adapted GT-R exhaust, but rather we kept the exhaust as straight as possible and ensured the same volume of air would pass through the system as would in our other GT-R systems. The exhaust delightfully sings through this set up and the sound is unmistakably RB, but has a slight twang in it’s vocal range due to the custom layout.

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Since time of shooting, as mentioned previously, a new turbocharger set up has been sourced for the car. Amongst other changes, as is the case with any unique project which is at the edge of development, a new differential has been sourced for the RBM3. The diff was still a factory BMW unit at shakedown but proved the diff ratio was too high for the intended purpose of the car. A Winters Performance diff has been sourced and fitted, and we will bring this to you in a later feature.

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Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.

Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.

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Technician Adam replacing the Turbosmart wastegate from 20psi down to a 15psi, in an attempt to lower the boost for some data acquisition.

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The newly installed larger Precision 6870 turbo

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Stay tuned for the next RBM3 feature where we fabricate and instal the needed components to fit the quick change Winters Performance differential

Like all good stories of monsters and mythical creatures, they never die, only lie dormant getting stronger until they emerge again. Until next feature, enjoy the shots by SELECTNINE and videos by Scott Mitchell Media of DriftSquid’s RB-Powered BMW M3!