This identification guide has been written specifically for one of the final series DR30 Skylines, the RS-X Turbo C, which was produced during 1984 and 1985 in both sedan and coupe body types. Please note, we intend to draft an additional guide for the base model RS Turbo C, a vehicle which shares the same mechanical features as the RS-X, but without the 'luxury' equipment specification level of the RS-X.  Although these Skylines are not as famous as their later R32, R33 and R34 successors, they are becoming more desirable due to their excellent performance, motorsport heritage and their relative scarcity in western markets in particular.

Known colloquially as the “Tekkamen” or “Iron Mask” skylines, the DR30 series is becoming increasingly collectible, combining classic 80s styling with its impressive performance. The Turbo C represents the highest performing R30 Skyline produced, having a factory intercooled turbo FJ20 motor. The Turbo C followed the RS2000 (1981 – 1982) and the RS-X Turbo (non-intercooled) of 1983. The 'RS-X' version of the car represents the highest equipment specification for the R30, with features such as electric windows and air-conditioning (features not present on the base RS Turbo C of the same era). As a result of these specifications, the Turbo C is seen as the ultimate model in the DR30 range, and usually demand higher prices than earlier non-intercooled models. It is therefore important as a restorer or prospective purchaser, to understand whether or not the vehicle you are looking at is a genuine car. This guide aims to provide a basis for establishing a vehicle's originality, outlining the exterior features, interior features, mechanical features, original paint colours and codes, as well as the vital chassis, model and engine number identification details.

Number produced:

406,432 R30 series Skylines were sold in total (including both HR30 and DR30). We do not have specific figures with respect to the RS models, or the RS-X Turbo C in particular. From what we have seen, we can say with relative certainty that the RS-X Turbo C was sold in greater numbers than the lower spec RS Turbo C of the same era. There does appear to be a reaosnable supply of DR30s still selling out of Japan, however, the DR30 range would likely represent a tiny proportion of the number of the R30 vehicles produced overall.

Period of manufacture:

February 1984 – 1985 (specific production end dates unknown)

Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below. 

1. External Features - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The external features of the Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C are listed below. Note, many of these features are shared with the earlier RS models, but where a feature is unique to the Turbo C, this has been noted:

  • Body styles included coupe and sedan body in the DR30 shape.
  • Intercooler intake vent located at the lower left side of the front bumper (unique to the Turbo C).
  • Revised front end design (changed from the standard HR30 look). This included revised headlights & bumper (known as “Tekkamen” or “Iron Mask”). This was the same as applied to the RS2000 and non-intercooled RSX Turbo.
  • Headlight washer jets mounted on front bumper.
  • Optional black plastic rear spoiler.
  • Twin “afterburner” tail lights (as opposed to the HR30 standard flat panel lights).
  • Colours included white, grey, blue black, and red, including two tone schemes (see Paint Colours / Codes in section 3 of this guide).
  • Side-skirts/body kit.
  • Unpainted black plastic bumper trims, side trims and door mirrors.
  • Twin exhaust pipes.
  • Two side decal options were available stating either “4 VALVE DOHC RS-TURBO INTERCOOLER” or “RS-TURBO INTERCOOLER”. See images for a better description of these decal designs.
  • “RS” badges on the front guards (behind the wheel arches).
  • Skyline “S” badge on front left side of hood.
  • Rear badge above tail lights states “DOHC Turbo RS X”. Note, this badge was used on both the Turbo C as well as the 1983 non-intercooled cars.
  • 15 X 6 inch alloy wheels with Skyline “S” centre cap badges (see images). Note, the same wheels/tyres were applied to the 1983 RS-X Turbo, and were an option on many other HR models.
  • Originally fitted with 195/60 HR 15 tyres.
  • Aftermarket wheels are commonly fitted, particularly 'Watanabes', as shown in the images.
2. Interior Features - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The DR30 RS-X Turbo C had the following interior features. Note, many of these features are identical to the non-intercooled RS-X Turbo, unless otherwise specified as unique to the Turbo C.

  • Instruments: 9000rpm tachometer with 7000rpm redline, speedometer to 180kph per Japanese regulation.
  • Electronically adjustable driver’s seat / lumber support (control panel on LHS of driver’s seat back). This was only available on the RS-X Turbo C. The base model RS Turbo C did not have electronically adjustable seats. 
  • Cloth seats and door trims were available in two styles (i.e. with two panel patterns available). Note, these patterns were also available on the earlier non-intercooled RS-X, but were not available on the base model 'RS', which had grey cloth seats and door trims:
    • 'Moquette' fabric with red centre panel with contrasting dark grey surrounding edge.
    • 'Moquette' fabric with red stripes on a black centre panel with dark grey surrounding edge.
  • Three spoke sports steering wheel with large centre boss and red Skyline “S” badge.
  • 5 speed manual transmission or 4 speed automatic was available (the automatic gearbox was an exclusive option on the Turbo C).
  • Air conditioning, power windows, power seat lumbar, power steering and cassette unit were all standard equipment on the RS-X. These were not standard equipment on the base model RS.
  • Silver fascia panel accents.
  • A stripped out racing version with removed interior options (such as air conditioning, power steering, electric windows etc) could be specified by customers at the time.
  • Bing a JDM car, the DR30 was only available in right hand drive.
3. Paint Colours / Codes - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C was available in a variety of colours, including popular two tone combinations which were also available on earlier RS models. Our research has confirmed that the following paint colours were available:

 

Single tone paints:

Paint Colour Paint Code
White 002
Grey 028
Red 276 or 031
Black / Blue Black 826

 

Two tone paint combinations:

Paint Colour Paint Code
Grey over Black/Blue Black 060
Red over Black/Blue Black 059

The various colours available are demonstrated and labelled in the images.

 

Paint code location:

The original paint code can be confirmed by checking the build plate on the car. This is located on the bulkhead / firewall in the engine bay, as shown in the images.

4. Chassis Number & Model Number - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

Chassis Number:

The chassis number for a DR30 RS-X Turbo C can be viewed in two locations within the engine bay (note, some of the data plate images are from 1983 cars):

  1. Stamped into the firewall / bulkhead, directly behind the brake booster/fluid reservoir.
  2. Embossed on the vehicle’s data plate, located on the passenger side of the firewall / bulkhead.

 

Chassis Number format:

The chassis number for a 1984 / 1985 RS-X Turbo C should be in the following format, where “XXXX” represents the unique sequence number for the car:

DR30-04XXXX  OR   DR30-07XXXX

An important distinction is the “DR”, which confirms that the vehicle has the FJ20 engine, and indeed is a RS model. Standard coupes and sedans of the same era will have “HR” in place of DR. Differentiating the ‘Turbo C’ coupe from earlier RS models is, however, more involved.

The above chassis number format has been confirmed during our research by viewing multiple 1984 and 1985 ‘Turbo C’ cars, and comparing chassis numbers against earlier models. We have found that 1983 model cars generally start with DR30-03XXXX. In assessing the authenticity of a chassis number, it is important to confirm that the number on the chassis plate matches that stamped into bulkhead. The most important aspect of confirming the identity of the RS-X, however, lies in the model number as outlined below.

 

Model Number:

The model numbers applicable to the Turbo C have been difficult to confirm with solid sources. We have not been able to find decoding details, and have not viewed enough chassis plates to confirm all codes have been covered with certainty. A number of Japanese websitessuggest that the following coding applies, (we are currently trying to confirm the accuracy of this with Nissan):

Model Number  KDR30XFS = RS-X Turbo C with manual transmission.

Model Number KDR30XAS = RS-X Turbo C with automatic transmission.

Model Number KDR30JFS = RS Turbo C (Not an RS-X, same mechanicals, but lower spec interior).

 As a means of further comparison, all 1983 model cars we have seen have a Model Code of KDR30XFTI. The likely conclusion is that the XFTI model code applies to the pre-intercooler cars. Please contact us if you have further information on this.

5. Engine Number - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The RS-X Turbo C was originally fitted with a FJ20 ET engine, which can be identified by features outlined in this section and the next.

FJ20 stamping:

An original FJ20 engine can be identified by the engine prefix cast into the block “FJ20”, above the engine number. This casting is located at the rear passenger side corner of the engine block, just below the engine head.

There is also a second “FJ20” casting mark on the front of the engine block, on a small round metal panel bolted with 2 bolts into the block (underneath the intake pipe which crosses the front of the engine bay / block). 

The abovementioned locations are explained further in the images. The “FJ20” prefix itself is not, however,  indicative of a factory intercooled turbo FJ20, as all variants of FJ20 engines used this prefix.

Engine number:

The engine number is a 5 digit number stamped into the engine block, appearing below the FJ20 stamping, at the rear passenger side corner of the block. This number is simply the sequential engine production number, and unfortunately there are no fixed numbers that confirm an engine as a turbo intercooled unit. Forum discussion, however, suggests that engine numbers between 40000 and 60000 are common in the Turbo C cars (with 1981 – 83 models in the 10000 – 40,000 range). This information has not been formally confirmed, so should only provide a guide. Again, if anyone has definitive information, please contact us.

Given the difficulty of identifying a factory Turbo C intercooled engine, we have added an additional section in this guide below to assist.

6. Other FJ20 Engine Identification Methods - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

In addition to the engine “FJ20” prefix and engine number discussed above, there are additional things you can check to confirm that a car has the correct turbo intercooled engine. These identification criteria assume, of course, that the vehicle is unmodified.

Exhaust housing identification marking:

The exhaust housing should have “.48” cast into it. The 0.48 exhaust housing unit was only applied to turbocharged intercooled engines as appeared in the RSX Turbo C. A casting of “.63” applied to the non-intercooled engine. See images for examples of the casting mark.

Compression ratio:

The compression ratio on the late model RSX Turbo C cars should be 8:1. Earlier cars had a compression ratio of 7.5:1. With the right tools, you can easily calculate the compression ratio of an engine (explanations of how to do this can be found on Google).

Inlet piping design

The original inlet piping setup on the intercooled turbo engine heads/points toward the front left wheel (i.e., does not go straight across the front of the rocker cover). This is something that modifications to a non-genuine car may not have correctly replicated.

Pistons:

Remove one of the spark plugs and check the top of the piston with a flashlight in the combustion chamber. Late model pistons, as applied to the RSX Turbo and Turbo C, had a shallow dish design, with no obvious swish zone and small valve cut-outs. The early model pistons have a bigger dish with pronounced flat squish circle around the outside. An example of the later piston is provided in the images.

Please contact us or comment below if you have more information with respect to engine identification.

7. Mechanical Features - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The DR30 RS-X Turbo C had the following mechanical features. Many of these were shared with other DR30 models, however, where the feature is unique to the 1984-85 Turbo C, it has been noted.

  • Turbocharged intercooled 2.0 litre FJ20 series engine, being a straight- 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve engine, producing 151kw (Notably, the most powerful Japanese production engine of its era).
  • Single Garret AiResearch T03 turbocharger.
  • Intercooled exhaust had an 0.48 AR housing (achieved a higher-response at low-middle rev range).
  • The Turbo C was the only DR30 model with an intercooler from the factory. The intercooler is located in front of the LHS wheel, behind the bumper. These are often replaced aftermarket with larger intercoolers mounted in front of the radiator. (see images of original factory intercooler).
  • Look for original inlet and intercooling piping (Inlet pipe goes towards the front left wheel well, not straight across the front of the engine). Examples of the piping running around the engine are provided in the images.
  • Sequential fuel injection system.
  • Changes to the "PLASMA Spark" ignition system are believed to have occured in late 1984 / early 1985, towards the end of R30 production. One source suggests that 'Plasma Spark' ignition was introduced in August 1984. This means that not all Turbo C cars will have this system installed.
  • Revised compression ratios (changed from 7.5:1 in earlier DR models to 8:1 for the Turbo and Turbo C).
  • Optional 4 speed automatic transmission was only available on the Turbo C (see interior image).
  • Different pistons were installed in late model DR30 cars to stop cracking (small cut-outs for valves, different dish design – see images). The early model piston has a bigger dish with pronounced flat squish circle around the outside.
  • Independent front and rear suspension.
  • R200 limited slip differential. Diff ration in the Turbo C is 3.90:1.
  • Brakes were upgraded to cope with the power increase, which now included 4 wheel discs (290mm disc diameter).
  • The front brake lines are usually dated, and will have printed on them the date of manufacture of the brake line (if original) in e.g., 7/84 = July 1984.
  • The master cylinder used on the Turbo C should be 15/16” in bore size, as opposed to the earlier 1” bore size.
  • 15” x 6” alloy wheels, originally fitted with 195/60 HR 15 tyres.
  • RS and RSX Turbo C cars had a Black Plastic covered Aluminium Air Cleaner Box in the front passenger corner of the engine bay, embossed with "Nissan". The Turbo C was the only version to have the Intake on the Forward side. On the previous models, the intake was on the inboard side connected to an air snorkel/duct. (see images)
8. Original Promotional Material and Documentation - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

Please contact us to share any original documentation  such as advertisements, articles, handbooks etc. Original documents such as specification sheets, order sheets, etc can provide additional information with respect to identification of a genuine Turbo C RS-X Skyline.

If you are looking for original documentation, articles etc, these often come up on Japanese spare parts sites, such as http://buyee.jp, but you will have to have Google translate ready to bring up the good results in the search.

9. References - Nissan Skyline DR30 RS-X Turbo C

The following sources, among input from many enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.

http://fj20.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Skyline / https://ja.wikipedia.org

http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/

http://nissanskylinebroker.com/history-and-information-about-skyline.htm

http://www.sau.com.au/

http://www.jbskyline.net/history/index3.php

http://buyee.jp

http://minkara.carview.co.jp/