Feature

Drift Squid: Jake Jones’s RB28 E92 Pro Car

Photography by SELECTNINE for POWERTUNE AUSTRALIA
Written by PJ Pitcher

Hindsight may be 20/20, but there is no better teacher than experience. Often, the most important lessons in life come not from our achievements, but rather from our failures. The path less traveled is called so for a reason, and no one ever became great by simply doing what everyone else does. Flocks are for sheep, not people. Where did you find this guy Drift Life, and why does he start all his stories with life adages? Context, our dear readers, is invaluable, and that brings us to our latest victim feature, Jake Jones aka Drift Squid.


Australia (Straya, for cool points with your mates Down Under) is on the opposite end of the world. Toilets flush backwards. There are any number of critters that can duly end your life. But Strayans make mistakes just like the rest of us, and Jones’s latest build was born after innumerable missteps with his earlier cars. Jake admittedly cut a lot of corners just to keep them running, and he promised himself that the next competition car he built would hold true to measuring twice and cutting once.


Let us rewind a couple years to the fateful day when Jones happened to be browsing Gumtree (a classifieds site not unlike Craig’s List) and he first crossed paths with the E92. He tells us he liked this particularly chassis ever since its debut, and the timing was right since he was getting ready to put together a new car. A couple emails later and Jake owned a stripped, bare bones shell, which coincidentally saved him quite a bit of work in preparing the car for track duty. While the canvas was blank for the perfect war machine, quite a bit of work remained.


Direct from Queensland, the chassis was delivered to the guys at Solid Engineering and Mechanical in South Australia where the roll cage, tube front and rear were all done in-house. With the chassis concerns sorted, the car was sent off to PowerTune in Sydney to complete the mechanical side of things. There was never any doubt as to what motor the car should have: Jake was dead-set on an RB swap from the get-go. There are easier (and cheaper) ways to make power, but Straya is infamous for monster RBs, and this one is no exception.


PowerTune started with a brand new N1 block to handle the added stress of life on the limiter. A Tomei 2.8 stroker kit was installed for improved off-boost torque. The head is custom ported by PowerTune and features HKS cams dialed in with Tomei cam gears. A Helps manifold spools a Precision 6870 turbo, which feeds into a Hypertune 100mm (4″) intercooler, 90mm (3.5″) throttle body and V2 plenum with twin fuel rails and 12 injectors for sequential injection. Splitfire coil packs provide clean, hot spark controlled by a custom trigger set-up.


RBs are notorious for factory oiling issues, and these are alleviated by a Hi Octane Racing dry sump kit. The entire orchestra is conducted by a MoTeC M150 ECU with a C127 display and mil-spec wiring throughout the car. Jake needed a drivetrain capable of withstanding the RB28’s brutal torque, so he opted for an HGT 5-speed sequential box. Power is transmitted via a Direct Clutch solid hub twin-plate unit to an ASD Motorsports-spec Winters quick change rear end and Driveshaft Shop axles.


While Jake’s cars before this one were all about maximum punishment for minimal investment, the E92 is horse of a different color. Jones spent more than two years and countless resources, both financial and chronological, preparing and assembling the car with his partners. In the motorcycle world, ‘squid’ has the connotation of clueless, false bravado and over-exaggeration of skill, but there is nothing phony about this car, or driver, for that matter. Jake was balling on a budget with past builds, but this one was about crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is.


That being said, committing to such a thorough and comprehensive build was not without its downfalls, the most detrimental of which was missing several high-profile events. But Jake was prepared to make short-term sacrifices in the name of his long-term goals. Though he would ideally love to drive in Formula Drift, his biggest motivator is bringing drifting to the eyes of people who have not seen it before, and that does not necessarily demand competition events. Jones enjoys hill climbs and mountain passes even more than tandem runs.


‘I love showing off,’ Jake told us, and his driving supports his braggadocio. The Drift Squid journey has been neither easy nor cheap, but Jones simply would not have it any other way. In fact, we can all take stock in his hindsight. Drifting, like life, gives us back what we put in to it. Perseverance toward your goals with character, integrity and hard work will always result in success, even if it may take longer than the next guy who did it the quick, easy way. Celebrate your mistakes as invaluable learning experiences, the Drift Squid way.

ENGINE

  • NISSAN N1 RB26 Block
  • TOMEI 2.8L Crank
  • TOMEI Rods
  • TOMEI Forged Pistons, Titanium rings
  • Hi Octane dry sump kit
  • Powertune custom RB26 head
  • Hypertune V2 Inlet manifold
  • HKS Cam gears
  • Mil-spec wiring throughout
  • Precision 6870 H cover
  • Turbosmart twin ProGate 40mm
  • 12 x 1000cc injectors
  • Powertune cooler pipes
  • Powertune Intake
  • Fenix Oil cooler
  • Remote oil filter
  • Powertune Steam Pipe Exhaust Manifold
  • 3.5′′ straight through exhaust ‘Powertune’
  • MOTEC M150 / C127
  • Prowire millspec wiring throughout

SUSPENSION & BRAKES

• MCA Red Series coilover suspension • Wisefab front and rear
• BMW M3 Brakes front
• BMW M3 dual rear brake

• HGB Hydro Handbrake kit
• Wilwood pedal box
• Braided brake lines throughout

WHEELS & TYRES

• ADVAN 18×8.5 +25 ( front )
• ADVAN 18×10 +15 ( rear )
• Tyres 235/40/18 (front) AD08R Neova • Tyres 265/35/18 (rear) AD08R Neova

DRIVETRAIN

• Direct clutch twin plate
• Braided clutch line / Brakes
• HGT 5 speed sequential
• ASD Winters Quick change differential • DSS Billet Drive shafts.

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