Buying a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R – Ultimate Guide

The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R is one of the greatest and most loved cars to come out of the land of the rising sun. It is regarded by some as the pinnacle of the GT-R range and has become somewhat of a legend.

The R34 GT-R is as desirable as ever and prices are rising rapidly. It was and still is a popular car but with only 11,577 manufactured, good examples are becoming harder and harder to find. That’s why we have created this Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R buyers guide to give you all the information you need to know before making a purchase.

We have broken this article into a number of different sections from the history, to what to look out for and where to buy a Nissan R34 GT-R. The first section of this guide will cover the history and all the different models that come under the R34 GT-R badge.

The History and Specifications of the R34 GT-R

The story of the Nissan GT-R name starts when the Yokohama based company launched its first Skyline GT-R at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1969. Up until this point, the Skyline was largely marketed as a practical family or commercial vehicle, although, sportier 2000GT versions were released that had some success in motorsport.

Nissan’s next GT-R model based on the fourth generation Skyline would arrive in 1972, but by March of the next year the company decided to halt production. This was largely a result of the ongoing oil crisis of the early seventies that pushed more potential customers towards economy cars rather than performance vehicles such as the 2000GT-R C110.  

The GT-R name would skip the next three generations of Skyline, before returning with eighth gen car, the R32. This generation would propel the Nissan GT-R name to the stratosphere. With a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and powerful inline six turbocharged engine, the R32 GT-R quickly proved to be a serious performer.

Nissan would enter a stripped-down version of the car into the Japanese Touring Car Championship in 1989. It would win every race it started and would dominate the next four seasons of the event. The R32 GT-R’s combination of all-wheel drive and RB26DETT engine was so fast in fact, that it was banned from racing in the Australian Touring Car Championship, and it was even given the name Godzilla.

The prototype version of the next GT-R was unveiled the same year as the R32 was banned from the Australian Touring Car Championship. However, buyers would not get their hands on the real production model until January 1995.

The new R33 GT-R retained the fantastic RB26DETT engine from the previous gen car. It also became faster and more stable thanks to better wight distribution, improved body stiffness, and better traction control from the new “ATTESA E-TS PRO” all-wheel drive system.

Nissan Launches the R34 GT-R

Credit: Nissan

Nissan ended the nineties with a bang, with the introduction of the R34 GT-R in January 1999. The car quickly proved to be a smash hit, with many motoring journalists and enthusiasts praising Kozo Watanabe’s design. It retained the fantastic power unit and all-wheel drive system of the previous car. However, it rekindled the spirit of the R32 with its more compact platform and sharper exterior design.

The wheelbase was 2,665 mm and the total length was 4,600mm, with a width of 1,785 mm and a height of 1,360 mm. This new shorter design helped the R34 GT-R achieve even greater levels of performance than its predecessors. While the new GT-R was a bit more compact, weight remained similar to the R33 GT-R at around 1,500kg.

The R34 also introduced a number of other features that enhanced its techy appeal. The most prominent of which was a new 5.8-inch colour multifunction screen in the centre of the dashboard. This screen could be configured to display a whole range of live performance parameters from boost pressure to throttle position, oil temperature and more.

Originally, the display could show a total of seven different live readings, however this changed for later models. The GT-R V·Spec model added two extra features to the display: intake and exhaust gas temperatures. Nismo displays were offered for an additional cost and included features like a G-Force meter, lap timer and an increase in the boost pressure measurement to 2 bar.

During the R34 GT-R’s production run, Nissan produced a number of different versions of the car. We have outlined them below:

R34 GT-R

Credit: Nissan

Labelled simply as the “R34 GT-R”, the base model R34 was available from the start of production in January 1999 to the end of the production in 2002. It was given the RB26DETT engine and the valve covers were painted in a cherry red colour as opposed to black which was used for the R32 and R33 GT-Rs’ valve covers.

R34 GT-R V.Spec

Credit: Nissan

Nissan launched the V.Spec alongside the base R34 GT-R in 1999. Compared to the standard GT-R the V.Spec had an upgraded ATTESA E-TS Pro system alongside an Active rear LSD. Stiffer suspension was also included, along with a new front splitter, side splitters and a carbon fibre air diffuser. This model stayed in production until October 2000, when it was replaced by the V.Spec II.

R34 GT-R V.Spec N1

Credit: Nissan

Like the R32 and R33 before it, the R34 GT-R was given the N1 treatment. The N1 was a homologation special that was sold without air conditioning, audio equipment, the rear wiper, or the boot lining, however the ABS system remained. Nissan included a new R34 N1 engine with the car that featured N1 spec turbocharges and a N1 block. Only 38 of these were produced from the factory, with 12 of them going to Nismo for Super Taikyu racing. The rest were purchased by various garages and tuning companies.

R34 GT-R V.Spec UK

Credit: Nissan

Similar to the V.Spec, the UK version was imported into the United Kingdom with a number of modifications made by Middlehurst Motorsport. All up 80 of these UK edition GT-R’s were produced, with all of them receiving 3 additional oil coolers, a revised ECU map, full Connolly leather interior, underbody diffusers, an active rear limited slip differential, stiffer suspension. Additionally, extra features were added to the multifunction display. Nissan also produced an additional 10 cars for the Hong Kong and Singapore market, and New Zealand received 5 models.

R34 GT-R V.Spec II

Credit: Nissan

Replacing the V.Spec in October 2000, the V.Spec II featured a number of minor changes. Bigger rear brake rotors were included, along with even stiffer suspension, and a new carbon fibre bonnet equipped with a NACA duct. On the inside the V.Spec II featured an iridium centre console and aluminium pedals. Black cloth was used for the upholstery, rather than the grey used in previous versions. The base GT-R also received these changes except for the carbon fibre bonnet.

R34 GT-R V.Spec II N1

Credit: Nissan

The same changes made to the V-Spec II were also made to the V.Spec II N1. Weight saving was a priority for the V.Spec II N1. The paint was substantially thinner than the standard car and you could see the woven strands of metal under the paintwork. Only 18 of these were produced and like the earlier N1, most of them went to tuner shops and garages, making it one of the rarest Japanese cars produced.

R34 GT-R M-Spec

Credit: Nissan

2001 saw the release of the M.Spec, which was essentially the luxury version of the R34 GT-R range. It was based on the V.Spec II, but had a revised suspension setup, “Ripple control” dampers, a leather interior with heated seats and a stiffer rear sway bar. The ‘M’ in the name stood for Mizuno who was the chief engineer of Nissan. The Carbon fibre bonnet was also removed and replaced with the standard aluminium one.

R34 GTR V.Spec II nür & R34 GTR M-Spec nür

Credit: Nissan

These two cars were designed to be the finale to the R34 GT-R range. They were released in February 2002 and were named after the famous German Nürburgring racetrack, where the Skyline was developed. In total 1003 R34 GT-R Nürs were produed, 718were V·Spec II Nürs and 285 were M·Spec Nürs. Both of these cars received the N1 version of the RB26DETT, which featured larger turbos running increased boost.

Despite Nissan stating the power was 276hp, these cars produced around 330hp and tuners managed to squeeze 450hp out of the engine with stock components. Other changes included changing the Cam cover from Cherry red to Millennium Jade, the stitching on the interior changed colour and the speedo was changed for a 300km/h unit.

R34 GT-R Z-Tune

Credit: Avyalikov

Nismo originally designed the concept of the Z-Tune in 2002, when Nissan was putting an end to the R34’s production. The first Z-Tune rolled out the factory in 2003 and Nismo was given approval to make another 18.

The cars were built with a concept RB26DETT ‘Z1’ engine, which was based on Nissan’s Le Mans GT2 and GT500 racing experiences. This came with a strengthened block and stroked crankshaft. Additionally, the engine displacement was increased to 2.8-litres and upgraded turbochargers were fitted, which gave the Z-Tune around 500HP. With all the extra power, the Z-Tune GT-R could go from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and had a top speed of 327km/h (203mph).

Nismo stripped and resprayed the used V Spec GT-R’s to a “Z-Tune Silver”, which was a special colour that was exclusive to the Z-Tune. The bodywork was based off Nismo’s GT500 racing cars and was designed to be more functional. The changes to the bodywork included the bumpers, bonnet, engine bay vents, wider wheel arches for increased tyre size and more. Brembo designed a completely new brake system for the Z-Tune and the suspension system was upgraded for more aggressive driving by Sachs.

All of the Z-Tune GT-R’s were handmade and were re-built from the chassis up. Engineers reinforced and stiffened the chassis seam welding in key areas such as the door seams and door frames. Carbon fibre was also extensively used in places like the engine bay, strut towers and transmission tunnel. As many of the components for the Z-Tune were based off racing gear, Nismo had to redesign many of them to work at maximum efficiency and reliability as is expected of a road-going vehicle.

Production figures

  • GT-R (Series 1) = 2,709
  • V·Spec = 4,193
  • V·Spec N1 = 38
  • V·Spec UK = 80
  • V·Spec Hong Kong = 10
  • V·Spec New Zealand = 5
  • V·Spec Singapore = 10
  • Unknown (Series 1) = 20 (pre-production cars including GT-R (Series 1), V·Spec and V·Spec N1).
  • GT-R (Series 2) = 1,268
  • V·Spec II = 1,855
  • V·Spec II Nür = 718
  • V·Spec II N1 = 18
  • V·Spec II New Zealand = 2
  • M·Spec = 366
  • M·Spec Nür = 285
  • NISMO Z-Tune = 19 Note: The Z-tune were built on used cars, which is why that number cannot be added to the total figure below.
  • Total = 11,577

The R34 GT-R’s Successor

The R34 GT-R marked the end of an era. It was the last GT-R to feature the mighty RB26 engine and the “Skyline” name. Fans of the GT-R name would have to wait until 2007 to see the next line-up in the range. Simply known as the Nissan GT-R (R35), the new car was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

It quickly became apparent that the new R35 GT-R was positioned in a completely different segment of the market to the R34. The R35 was more technologically advanced and its performance is in a completely different league.

Nissan GT-R R34 Specifications

ModelR34 Skyline GT-R (Base)Nissan Skyline GT-R Z-Tune
Year of production1999 – 20022002
LayoutFront longitudinal engine, all-wheel drive (ATTESA E-TS)Front longitudinal engine, all-wheel drive (ATTESA E-TS)
Engine2.6-litre twin-turbocharged RB26DETT Inline 62.8-litre twin-turbocharged RB26DETT ‘Z1’ Inline 6
Power276 bhp bhp (280 PS/206 kW) @ 6,800 rpm493 bhp (500 PS/368 kW) at 6,800 rpm
Torque392 Nm (289 lb-ft) @ 4,400rpm540 Nm (398 lb-ft) at 4,400 rpm
GearboxSix-speed manualSix-speed manual
SteeringRack
& Pinion w/Power Assist
Rack
& Pinion w/Power Assist
Suspension FrontMulti-Link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll barMulti-Link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension RearMulti-Link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll barMulti-Link, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes FrontVented 324 mm (12.8 inches) discs and 4-piston calipersVented 365 mm (14.3 inches) discs, 6-piston calipers, Z-tune Special Brake Pad + Stainless Steel Meshed Hose
Brakes RearVented 322 mm (12.7 inches) discs and 2-piston calipersVented 355 mm (14 inches) discs, 4-piston calipers, Z-tune Special Brake Pad + Stainless Steel Meshed Hose
Tyres Front245/40 ZR 18Bridgestone POTENZA RE01R 265/35 18
Tyres Rear245/40 ZR 18Bridgestone POTENZA RE01R 265/35 18
Weight1,560 kg (3,439 lbs)1,600 kg (3,527 lbs)
Top speed250 km/h (155.4 mph)327 km/h (203 mph)
0 – 100 km/h (62 mph)4.8 seconds3.8 seconds

Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R Buyers Guide

Now that we have covered the history and specifications of the R34 GT-R, let’s jump into the buyer’s guide section of this article. Poor maintenance or modifications can turn your dream purchase into a nightmare, so it is important to check any car you look at thoroughly.

The R34 GT-R was built during a time when Nissan was struggling financially and they had to cut a few corners to keep costs down. While it’s not an unreliable car, they aren’t as bulletproof as some other Japanese sports cars.

Additionally, due to the nature of the car many of them have been driven hard. A large number of R34 GT-Rs have accident damage and enthusiastic driving can wear out the components. Japanese owners actually drove their cars quite hard, which means you should be extra cautious when importing one.

Setting Up an Inspection of a Nissan GT-R R34

Here are some things to keep in mind when setting up an inspection of an R34 GT-R:

  • View the Nissan GT-R in person if possible – With the desirability of these cars, a lot of them are now sold sight unseen on specialist auction/classifieds sites or services. However, if you can get a look at an R34 GT-R prior to purchase we always recommend that you do. A physical inspection of a used car can reveal hidden issues that could be quite expensive to fix. If you can’t look at the GT-R yourself, it may be worth enlisting the help of a friend or third party who can.
  • Bring a friend or helper with you to the inspection/test drive – A second person may be able to spot something you missed, and they can help you test the car. Additionally, they can give you their thoughts on the R34 GT-R and whether or not they think it is a good buy.
  • Inspect the Nissan R34 GT-R at the seller’s house or place of business if possible – We recommend this as it can give you a bit of an idea of how and where the R34 GT-R is stored. If it is kept outside in the elements it is far more likely to suffer bodywork problems than if it is garaged (we would assume most R34 GT-Rs are garaged due to their very high value, but you never know). Additionally, you can also get a look at the roads the car is regularly driven on. If they are really rough and full of potholes there is a greater chance of wheel and tyre damage. The suspension and steering components may have also experienced heightened wear as well.
  • Look at a used car in the morning rather than later in the day – This can be a good idea as it gives the seller less chance to clean up any potential issues such as a big oil leak.
  • Ask the seller not to drive or warm up the car prior to your arrival if possible – A warm engine can hide a multitude of sins, so be cautious.
  • If the R34 GT-R is being sold at a dealer, don’t let them know you are coming to see it – This may not always be possible as it can depend on how the dealer operates. Additionally, with the desirability of R34 GT-Rs the dealer may not be happy to let people see the car without arranging an inspection prior. Still, if you can turn up unannounced. If the dealer knows you are coming it gives them a chance to clean up any potential issues and pre-warm the engine.
  • Try not to inspect an R34 GT-R in the rain – Water can cover up a number of different issues with the bodywork and paint. If it does happen to be raining when you inspect/test drive an R34 GT-R, try to go back for a second viewing before making a decision on the car.
  • Be cautious if the seller has just washed the car – This is largely for the same reason as above, but some sellers will also wash the engine bay and underside of a vehicle to hide an issue (or anywhere a leak/issue may occur).
  • Get the seller to move their Nissan GT-R R34 outside if it is in a garage or showroom – Lighting in places such as garages and showrooms can cover up issues that direct sunlight may have revealed.

Real vs Fake Nissan GT-R R34

One of the first things to check is if the car is authentic. If you are importing an R34 GT-R or have seen few in person, we have listed some things you can check to make sure the car is authentic. You should never buy an R34 GT-R based on the badge or bodywork alone, as many owners have modified normal Skylines to look like one. Some of these Skylines are modified so well that it can be hard to discern on looks alone, while others will be easy to tell.

We recommend that you get familiar with what an original R34 GT-R looks like. Check photos online and look at everything from the engine bay to the bodywork and the interior. Obviously, if the car is not rocking an RB26DETT engine, Brembo brakes and doesn’t have the ATTESA all-wheel drive system or Multifunction display it is not a proper R34 GT-R.

The next thing you should do is check that the chassis number engraved on the frame matches the one on the vin plate. You can find the production year of the car by looking at the label on the bottom of the safety belts. Make sure you also check the model code number as well (more on that later).

The last thing you should do is head on over to gtr-registry.com. This website has data on more than 1.7 million vehicles and 99% of genuine R34 GT-Rs should be registered here. It really is a useful service and we highly recommend you use it when looking to purchase a GT-R.

Buying a Nissan GT-R R34 With Problems

Nissan didn’t sell a ton of these cars (around 11,000 in total) and many of them have found themselves in the scrap heap due to crashes, rust, etc. This means that finding a good condition R34 GT-R is becoming increasingly difficult. GT-Rs that have been looked after well are also incredibly expensive, so you may have to be a bit more open to a car that has a few more problems depending on how much cash you have on hand.

Most of the information in this guide does revolve around trying to avoid an R34 GT-R with problems, but in truth there is no problem buying one with issues as long as you know what you are getting yourself into. Additionally, if you are looking at an R34 with problems, try to figure out how much you need to spend to bring it up to satisfactory condition before purchasing the car.

Where to Find an R34 Skyline GT-R for Sale?

As we have already mentioned, the Nissan GT-R R34 is a rare care and as such you probably aren’t going to find them at your usual dealers. Many of these cars are now sold on specialist auction sites or services such as bringatrailer.com. You can find them on more standard sites such as eBay, TradeMe, Autotrader and Gumtree as well.

We would also recommend that you check your local Nissan dealerships as well. Sometimes dealerships import or source specialist cars such as the R34 GT-R to get more people in the door. Additionally, even if they don’t have anything, they may be able to point you in the direction of somebody who does have a GT-R for sale.

Almost all dealers and importers will have an online presence and many of them will advertise on websites like the ones we listed above. They may also have their own website which you should check out as well. Buying from a dealer or importer is usually more expensive but you may get better protection if things go wrong. We have listed some importers below:

Azak Carsis based in New Zealand and they often have GT-Rs for sale. They are well reviewed and will almost certainly be able to help you find your dream R34 GT-R.

Montu Motors is the number one importer of GT-Rs and JDM vehicles into the United States and is well reviewed.

Prestige Motorsportis based in Australia and they can help you with all your importing needs.

Buying From Owners Clubs and Other Enthusiast Sites

Along with dealers, auction sites and importers, we also recommend that you check to see if there are any Nissan GT-R owners clubs in your area. The people in these sorts of clubs tend to be very knowledgeable about their cars and will usually look after them better. Somebody in the club may have a suitable R34 GT-R for sale or may be able to put you in contact with another person who is looking to sell theirs. Here are a few examples of Nissan/GT-R owners clubs:

GT-R RegistryNot really an owners club, but is arguably the best website for GT-R related information. It has a listings section that we definitely recommend that you check out.

Nissan Club – Very big club dedicated to all Nissan cars.

GTR.co.uk – One of the biggest clubs for the GT-R in the UK. Has a good active community and a for sale section.

GT-R Life – Another big community with a fairly active user base. Definitely worth checking out.

GTROC – “Founded on the 02/01/2003, the GTR Owners Club – or GTROC – is the ‘Official Owners & Enthusiasts Club’ for things Nissan Skyline, Stagea & GT-R in the world.”

Facebook Groups – There are loads of Facebook groups for Nissans and JDM cars. Check to see what is in your local area or country.

How Much Does an R34 GT-R Cost Today?

When the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R launched in 1999 it cost ¥4,998,000 or around US$70,000 in today’s money (base model). Today, prices have reached astronomical figures for some of the versions of the car. For example, this Nismo Z-Tune R34 GT-R sold for $510,000 back in 2016, making it one of the most expensive JDM cars to have ever been sold. Another couple of examples are the two Midnight Purple V-Spec GT-Rs that sold for over $US300,000 each on bringatrailer.com in 2021.

While most R34 GT-Rs aren’t nearly as pricey as the Z-Tune or the two Midnight Purple V-Specs, they still command significant sums of money. The cheapest model to source is the base model R34 GT-R, but prices for them can still reach well into six figures.

To work out roughly how much you need to spend to get an R34 GT-R, we recommend that you look for ones for sale in your local area/country. You can then use the prices for these cars to work out what you need to spend to get a GT-R in a specific condition and spec level.

VIN/Chassis Number

Don’t forget to check the VIN/chassis number of the R34 GT-R you are inspecting. Some sellers will include it in the listing, but if they don’t do that make sure you physically sight it at some point during the check over.

You should find the original Japanese chassis number at the back of the engine bay on the firewall. If the R34 GT-R was sold new in Japan it will have a Japanese chassis number that will look something like this – BNR34 – XXXXXX. If the GT-R was sold new in an export market (United Kingdom for example), the car should have a more standard 17-digit VIN that will look a bit like this – JN1GAPR34UXXXXXXX.

You should also be able to find a model code that will look something like this – GGJPRVYR34ZZAAAX-D. The model code essentially tells you what spec level and features the GT-R has. We have listed the main things to watch out for below:

  • Characters 2 and 3 – GJ indicates the car is fitted with an RB26DETT engine
  • Character 4 – P indicates that the car is fitted with four-wheel drive Super HICAS
  • Character 6 – Indicates that the car’s grade is a GT-R. V is for GT-R Series 1 and 2 models, while W is for V-Spec, V-Spec N1, V-Spec II, V-Spec II N1, M-Spec, V-Spec II nur, M-Spec nur models
  • Character 8, 9 and 10 – R34 indicates that the car is an R34 Skyline

We highly recommend that you check out GT-R Registry’s excellent VIN Table page for a complete rundown of everything you need to know about the VIN/chassis number and model number. The page contains of vast wealth of knowledge on the different options for the R34 GT-R, production numbers and more.

Engine

Credit: Nissan

The RB26 engine found in the R34 GT-R is a fairly robust piece of kit, especially when it is maintained well. However, a large percentage of GT-Rs have been tuned and fitted with aftermarket parts, which can cause headaches down the line. Always check that modifications have been carried out correctly and not ‘done on the cheap’, otherwise you could be in for some serious expense.

We recommend that you get yourself familiar with what a stock R34 GT-R engine bay looks like, even if you are happy with a modified example. This will help you recognise if anything has been changed or seems out of order.

To begin your inspection of the engine bay, lift the bonnet/hood. Make sure that it opens smoothly and that the hinges and catch are in good condition. If they look like they have been replaced at some point it may be a sign that the GT-R has been in an accident or had some other sort of repair work. Following this, do a general check for the following before getting a bit more thorough:

  • Cleanliness – If the engine bay is super dirty it is probably a sign of an owner who doesn’t care much for their R34 GT-R. On the other hand, don’t be fooled by a spotless looking engine as this could be a sign of somebody who is trying to cover something up. Additionally, If the engine bay has been pressured washed, water could have made its way into some of the critical components (electrical parts, etc.) if they were not correctly sealed/covered.
  • Obvious Issues – This could be anything from an immediately visible oil leak, broken or missing components, or some other sort of standout issue.
  • Modifications – As we have already mentioned, watch out for any modifications and keep a mental note of them, so you can check them more thoroughly later in the inspection.
  • Check for stickers – Seems like a weird one but a lack of the original stickers inside the engine bay could be a sign that R34 GT-R has been in an accident and resprayed. A big green one can be found on the left suspension turret, so check if that is still there.

Inspecting the Fluids

It is important for any internal combustion engined car to receive regular oil changes and servicing, but it is even more vital for high performance car such as the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R. It is generally recommended that you replace the engine oil and filter every 5,000 to 8,000 km (3,000 to 5,000 miles) or every six to twelve months on an R34 GT-R. If oil and filter changes have not been frequent enough it can lead to increased wear and possibly even component/engine failure in extreme circumstances.

Make sure you physically inspect the engine oil as potential buyers can often overlook this when conducting an inspection of a used car. If you notice any metallic particles or grit in the oil it is often a sign of a problem such as bearing failure (not always a problem but we would ere on the side of caution). Sometimes metallic particles are the result of an engine rebuild, but we would only expect this on fresh rebuilds.

With how desirable and expensive R34 GT-Rs are today, we suggest that you get the oil analysed prior to purchase. This will help you determine the condition of the oil and whether or not there is any ‘foreign’ material in it. Testing the oil will also help you work out whether or not the Nissan GT-R can go further between oil changes or if it needs more frequent changes. Some owners/sellers will get the oil analysed prior to purchase and include it in the listing, which is a good thing in our eyes.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is any foamy, frothy or milky looking oil. If you notice any of these sort of issues in the R34 GT-R’s oil it could be down to anything from condensation in the oil, to an engine that has been overfilled with oil, or possibly even a blown head gasket or turbocharger problems.

How Much Oil Should an R33 GT-R Consume?

A perfect Nissan GT-R R34 really shouldn’t consume any oil between changes. However, nothing is perfect, and we would expect many cars to use little a bit between changes (especially given the age of them). Anything up to around 1-litre between oil changes is generally considered to be fine, but a most owners experience much lower consumption at around half or lower that figure.

It can be a good idea to talk to the seller/owner about how much oil the car burns as you probably won’t be able to tell during a inspection/test drive. While they probably won’t be completely honest, it is still a good question and you may catch them off guard.

Common Oil Leaks on a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

If the car has been looked after and maintained well, you really shouldn’t have a problem with leaks. However, they can happen, so keep an eye out for the following:

  • Valve/timing/rocker cover gasket – This is a common problem on many older cars. The RB26’s timing cover gasket tends to last around eight years before needing to be replaced, so check when it last had a new one. Sometimes the gasket does start leaking before the eight-year mark. A very small amount of seepage is usually not a problem, but anything more significant indicates that the gasket should be replaced as soon as possible. If the gasket has been replaced relatively recently and you still notice a leak, it could be the result of incorrectly tightened bolts as this is a common issue on RB26 equipped cars. The bolts could also have loosened themselves if oil has worked its way into the threads. Another reason that a freshly replaced gasket may be leaking is that the gasket used was simply bad from new.
  • Oil Filter – Bad, incorrectly tightened or ruptured/damaged oil filters can lead to some pretty nasty leaks. Not a major issue to sort, but keep in mind that the car may have been driven with low oil before the seller noticed.
  • Dipstick – If the dipstick has blown out it can lead to an oil leak. If the dipstick continues to do this it can be a sign of more serious issues. For example, a blocked/non-functioning PCV valve that is causing a build-up of crack case pressure can lead to a blowout of the dipstick. This problem needs to be solved as soon as possible as if it is left it can lead to some major engine damage (hunting idle is another sign of this issue). PCV issues can also lead to leaks through other seals/areas as well.
  • Turbo oil tubes – The oil tubes for the turbos can become loose, leading to an oil leak. If the turbo seals are leaking you will tend to notice blue/greyish smoke during boost.
  • Front crank oil seal – Not too much of an issue as it’s a relatively simple job for an experienced mechanic. The rear main seal is more of an issue however.

It is a good idea to check for oil leaks both before and after a test drive. Inspect the ground for any leaks and when you return from a test drive park in a different spot and recheck for any puddles. We don’t suggest that you purchase an R34 GT-R that is leaking oil unless you can find out what the problem is and are happy with the costs to fix it (if you are still interested in the car try and get a quote before making a decision).

Check the Oil Pressure

After you fire up the mighty RB26 engine, let the oil settle at the correct temperature. Once you have done this and the car is warmed up, apply some throttle. You should find that the engine revs smoothly and that the oil pressure sits around the 4-bar mark and never lower when the engine is revving over 4,000 rpm.

When the engine is cold expect the oil pressure to sit around the 6 to 8 bar mark when idling. During boost when warm the idle speed should sit around 6 bar (+ or – a bit). As the original gauge and sensor aren’t the most accurate, lots of owners fit aftermarket ones to get a bit more precision.

If the oil pressure seems too low or too high, be very cautious. Do not go to boost if the pressure is significantly off as you could destroy the engine. Oil pressure problems could be the result of a range of different issues, so don’t purchase the car until you can find the exact cause.

When Does the Timing Belt Need Replacing on an R34 GT-R?

It is generally recommended that the timing belt/cambelt on an R34 GT-R be replaced at or before 80,000 km (50,000 miles). Nissan did originally recommend replacing the belt at 100,000 km (62,000 miles) for Japanese domestic market GT-Rs, but many owners like to do it a bit earlier, especially as these cars are worth so much now.

The R34 GT-R’s RB26 power unit is an interference engine, so if the timing belt snaps or slips it can lead to major damage and some very expensive repair bills. If the GT-R you are looking at has not had its timing belt replaced at or before the recommended service interval it suggests the car has not been looked after well. If the owner or a previous owner couldn’t be bothered with something as important as the timing belt, what other corners have been cut when it comes to maintenance?

If the timing components need to be replaced or need to be replaced soon, make sure you use it as a bargaining point if you still want to purchase the car.

What Other Parts Should Be Replaced with the Timing Belt?

  • Water pump – part number 21010-21U26 (standard) or 21010-24U27 (N1 pump) – the standard pump is usually recommended for regular street cars
  • Auxiliary belts
  • Thermostat
  • Timing belt tensioner – part number 13070-42L00 or AY460-NS013
  • Tensioner spring – part number 13072-58S10
  • Idler – part number 13074-58S00 or AY660-NS001
  • Crankshaft front oil seal – Not a necessity but recommended – part number 13510-19V00

Bad Battery and/or Alternator

If the engine won’t turn over or really struggles to do so, it is probably a sign of a failing or failed battery. Check when the battery was last replaced as if it is fairly new it may be a sign of another issue such as a failing alternator, earthing issue and more (new batteries can fail but it is pretty unlikely).

If the alternator has failed it can also lead to the illumination of the battery warning light and in some cases other warning lights as well (ABS, etc.). Another thing to watch out for are any strange growling, buzzing or whining noises that could indicate a problem with the alternator (could also be something like the water pump).

Cooling System

A problem here can lead to catastrophic damage, so check the following thoroughly:

Water Pump

The water pumps used on an RB26 engines tend to last around 130,000 km (80,000 miles) before leaking or suffering from some other sort of issue. They can go on longer or fail much earlier, so it is important to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Coolant leaks – could be a slow or fast leak
  • Whining and/or chuffing sounds
  • Overheating – If possible, go out for a longer test drive as an issue with the water pump may not be noticeable during a short run. However, keep in mind that you may not even be able to go out for a test drive due to the value of these cars and the fact that many sellers want to avoid joy riders/timewasters.
  • Steam or smoke – Be on the lookout for any steam or smoke from the front of the car. If you notice this problem, it is best to walk away.
Testing the Water Pump

It is possible to test the water pump on an R34 GT-R by switching on the heater as high as possible. The heater core needs the water pump to be working correctly for proper function. If the pump is not working, the fluid won’t be forced around the system.

When you turn on the heater you should feel a blast of hot air. This hot air should continue if the GT-R’s water pump is working correctly. If you notice that the warm air stops or reduces significantly it is a sign that hot fluid is not being cycled through the system and the R34 GT-R’s water pump is not working correctly.

Thermostat Failure

Thermostat failure is a reasonably common issue on Skyline R34 GT-Rs. You shouldn’t be too concerned if the thermostat has failed, however, sometimes it can be indicative of a more serious problem with the cooling system.

If the thermostat has failed, you will probably notice that the temperature gauge is a bit erratic and often sits on the cooler side (should normally sit bang on 90 degrees). Thermostat failure can also lead to coolant leaks as well.

Check for any Bubbles in the Coolant

It can be a good idea to try and check for any bubbles in the coolant/expansion tank. If you notice bubbles in the expansion tank it is a sign that air has made its way into the cooling system.

Occasionally, this can lead to a boiling-like sound from under the bonnet as the car heats. Most of the time the air/bubbles are caused by a badly bled cooling system and a good bleed should sort the issue. However, the problem could also be a sign of something else wrong with the R34 GT-R, such as a bad radiator cap or a blown head gasket or cracked head.

Note: some owners fit aftermarket expansion tanks made out of metal or carbon fibre, so you may not actually be able to see into the tank to check for bubbles (don’t open the expansion tank lid when the car is running!)

Coolant Level

The coolant expansion tank is located on the front left side of the engine bay. The standard expansion tank is a white/opaque plastic container with a yellow lid. Check the coolant level before a test drive and re-check it after the finish the drive. It is perfectly normal if the coolant level rises slightly during/following a drive, but if it rises a lot or drops significantly there is an issue that needs to be addressed. As we mentioned above a lot of R34 GT-Rs are fitted with aftermarket expansion tanks, which may make it more difficult to check the height of the coolant.

Coolant Leaks

Make sure you have a good look for any coolant leaks from the GT-R both before and after a test drive. If you don’t get the chance to drive the car, check for leaks at the start of the inspection and recheck at the end.

Following a test drive, turn the R34 GT-R off and let it sit for around 10 to 15 minutes. Once you have done this recheck for any coolant leaks. If you don’t notice any but smell a sweet aroma, the car probably is leaking coolant from somewhere (especially if you notice a drop/change in the coolant level).

Don’t forget to check for leaks around the expansion tank, coolant lines (particular around the clamps) and other cooling system components you can get a look at (radiator, etc.). Look for any crusted coolant as well, which may indicate a past or present leak. If the radiator and/or water pump have not been replaced in a long time they could very well be the cause of a leak.

Head Gasket/Cooling System Failure

Stock Nissan Skyline R34 GT-Rs don’t tend to suffer from head gasket failure as much as some other cars. However, tuned GT-Rs running in excess of 1.5 bar and 500 hp tend to suffer from head gasket failure and other cooling system issues more frequently.

If the Nissan GT-R R34 you are looking at is running more boost, check to see if the original head gasket was replaced with an uprated metal one from the likes of Greddy. Below we have listed some of the signs of head gasket failure and/or a cracked head:

  • Overheating
  • Bubbles in the radiator or coolant expansion tank
  • White and milky oil
  • Spark plugs that are fouled (if you or a mechanic can get a look at them)
  • Low cooling system integrity
  • Smell of coolant from the oil
  • Sweet smelling exhaust
  • White smoke from the exhaust pipe (especially if you see lots of it)
  • Steam from the front of the R34 GT-R

Knocking Noise That Gets Worse Under Revs

Listen out for any knocking noises from the RB engine that seem to get worse under revs. If you do hear any such issues it could be a sign of imminent big-end failure and a very, very expensive repair bill. This problem is more likely to occur on R34 GT-Rs that have been tuned to produce more power and are still running the stock oil pump. Additionally, thrashing the car before it is warmed up properly can also lead to this problem as well.

Inspecting the Exhaust

Try to get a look at as much of the exhaust system as possible as a problem here could be quite expensive to fix depending on its severity.

We wouldn’t expect too many serious problems with corrosion here (surface corrosion is quite common though), especially if the GT-R is fitted with a good quality aftermarket exhaust system. However, rust can still occur depending on the material used for the exhaust. The main areas to watch out for are around the welds as they are not usually the same grade of metal as the main body of the exhaust components. The mounting hardware can also rust, so keep that in mind.

Rust problems on exhausts usually occur due to corrosive unburnt fuel or exhaust gases mixed with water vapour in the system. This is why cars that are driven on shorter trips tend to suffer from rusted exhausts more than those that do a lot of highway miles. The moisture and corrosive substances remain in the muffler as they are not burnt off during a short trip, leading to rust formation from the inside out.

Check the exhaust for any damage or signs of repairs as well. Make sure the mounting hardware is in good order and that the exhaust is secured properly.

If you hear any low rumbling, scraping or rattling noises it could be a sign of exhaust issues. Ticking noises are often a sign of a leak, especially if they change with an increase or decrease in rpms.

Aftermarket Exhausts

If the R34 GT-R you are looking at is fitted with an aftermarket exhaust (a good number of GT-Rs are), note down the manufacturer/brand and check any reviews. If the exhaust is some no name brand it suggests that the owner or a previous owner has cheaped out on upgrades/maintenance. Lots of owners go for custom built exhausts as the price is often not that different to an off the shelf option.

Motor Mount Failure

The motor mounts will eventually need to be replaced, so keep an eye out for the following issues:

  • Engine movement – Rev the engine and see if it moves excessively. Also check how the engine is at idle and check for any movement while looking from underneath the car.
  • Excessive vibrations/shaking – Often most noticeable at idle – you can see an example of this in the video below. In some cases, you may even notice the body of the car moving.
  • Clunking, banging or other impact sounds – These sorts of noises could indicate that the engine is moving slightly due to a failed mount

Replacing the engine mounts isn’t a major job for those with the right equipment, so we wouldn’t let a bad mount put you off an R34 GT-R (as long as the rest of the car is good).

Some owners like to fit aftermarket mounts from the likes of Vibra Technics. Nismo also offers some upgraded ones as well and some R34 GT-R owners like to fit solid mounts to their cars. If the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R you are looking at is fitted with solid mounts, be mindful that they are not usually recommended for regular street driving. Solid mounts and some other aftermarket options can lead to excessive vibrations in the cabin and/or through the steering wheel, especially when at idle.

Air Flow Meter and Injector Issues

If the shaking or shuddering is not being caused by bad motor mounts, it could be down to a bad Air Flow Meter (AFM) and/or injector issues. If these problems are the cause of the shaking you could find that the GT-R stalls and misfires as well. AFM problems usually become most apparent after a period of high engine rpms and then extended duration at low rpms (for example, the car is sitting at idle at traffic lights after being driven hard).

Coil pack, spark plug and fuel system problems can also lead to misfiring and rough running as well, so keep that in mind.

What Is the Correct Idle for a Nissan R34 GT-R?

According to Nissan, the idle speed should be around 950 rpm, which is a bit higher than many other cars that tend to sit around 700 to 800 rpm. Modified R34 GT-Rs will often idle a bit higher, but this does depend on the setup. Don’t be worried about a slight ticking sound at idle as this is perfectly normal.

If you notice that the idle speed is sitting a couple of hundred rpm higher than the figure stated above, it could be down to the throttle body. Some owners have found that when they cleaned the throttle body on their GT-R it led to idle issues. This is believed to be down to the factory coating on the inside of the throttle body that can be accidentally removed when cleaning.

Nissan apparently applied this coating to fix some sealing issues with the throttle body. The coating can be reapplied, so it is not a big problem, but one to be aware of if you are wondering what the cause of slightly high idle could be.

Hunting/rough idle or idle that is far too low or high could be caused by a range of different issues. You are probably not going to be able to determine the exact cause of the issue during a short test drive and inspection, so assume the worst and hope for the best. If the idle issue was an easy fix, the seller probably would have got it sorted before putting their Nissan GT-R R33 on the market.

Smoke from a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

Don’t forget to check for any smoke or vapour from the back of an R34 GT-R during an inspection. Make sure you do this both before, during and after a test drive (If you have a helper they can look out the back while you drive the car). A small amount of vapour upon engine start-up is perfectly normal, especially if the ambient temperature outside is low. If the GT-R you are looking at has major smoke or vapour problems then it probably isn’t worth your time. 

We recommend that you get the owner/seller of the R34 GT-R to start the car for you for the first time. This is so you can see what comes out the back and if they rev the nuts off the car when it is cold you know they have probably not treated their it well. Here are what the different colours of smoke indicate:

White smoke 

A few white puffs are usually caused by condensation in the exhaust. Lots of thick white/grey smoke from the exhaust of a Nissan R34 GT-R indicates that water/coolant has made its way into the cylinders due to a blown/leaking head gasket. Give the exhaust a good whiff and if it smells sweet, it is probably coolant. If the smoke is very thick and doesn’t dissipate quickly it could be sign that the block or cylinder head is cracked/broken. This colour smoke can also indicate that the turbo has failed, especially if there is no sweet smell.

Blue/Greyish smoke

This colour smoke could be caused by a whole range of things including warn pistons rings, valve stem seals, turbo issues and more. To test for this colour smoke during a drive, get somebody to follow you while you are driving the R34 GT-R. Take the engine through its rev range and see what comes out the back. If you don’t have a helper, get the owner to drive for a bit while you look out the back (good chance to see how they drive as well).

Black smoke

This sort of smoke is usually a sign that the engine is running too rich and burning too much fuel. There are quite a few things that could be causing this issue from something like dirty intake components to incorrect spark timing, problems with the injectors, and more. If the exhaust smells of fuel, the engine is almost certainly running too rich.

Lots of modified Nissan GT-Rs experience this problem, so don’t be too worried if you notice a very small amount of black smoke from a tuned car. However, if there is lots of smoke from the modified R34 GT-R you should proceed with caution (an ECU remap may be all that is needed, but if the car has been running too rich or lean it can sometimes lead to damage).

Valve Guide Seal Failure

Valve guide seal failure is a fairly common issue on the R34 GT-R’s RB26 engine. If the seals have failed it usually leads to short heavy bursts of blue smoke from the exhaust. This tends to happen primarily after start and at idle. If the smoke carries on throughout the rev range be very cautious as it could be a sign of a more serious problem such as turbo failure or major engine issues.

Signs of Turbo Failure on an R34 GT-R

Turbo charger failure is a definite possibility on R34 GT-Rs. The stock exhaust turbine wheels are ceramic and are known to be incredibly brittle. Excessive boost and/or detonation can cause these ceramic turbine wheels to break, so many owners recommend switching to a turbo option with metal exhaust wheels.

There are quite a few other failure points in the turbos such as the seals, so check for the following symptoms that indicate a bad turbo:

  • Slow acceleration – This is probably going to be one of the most notable signs, especially if you have driven a few different R34 GT-Rs before. However, remember that tuned GT-Rs will feel different to stock ones.
  • Strange rumbling, whistling or high-pitched metallic sounds – when the turbocharger is at full boost (drive at a slow speed and then accelerate moderately up to high rpms). Whistling noises could also be a sign of a loose pipe.
  • Distinctive blue or grey/whitish smoke – This happens when turbocharger’s housing cracks or if the internal seals become worn. The smoke will become more apparent when the turbocharger is in use, so get somebody to follow you and check while you are test driving an R34 GT-R.
  • Burning lots of oil – It will be hard to get an accurate picture of this during a test drive, but try to glean some information from the owner. Some oil consumption is to be expected, especially as these cars are getting on a bit, but excessive amounts indicates a problem.
  • If the boost pressure comes on late – depending on whether or not the car is stock or modified, boost pressure may come on earlier or later along with peak boost. However, if there seems to be a big delay it could be a sign that the R34 GT-R you are looking at has a blown turbo charger.
  • Check Engine Warning Light – Could be caused by turbo issues or something else.

Note: Some of the issues above can be the result of problems with the pipes going to the turbocharger.

Aftermarket Turbo Upgrades

Turbocharger upgrades for the R34 GT-R’s RB26 engine are plentiful. Both single turbo and twin turbo upgrades are available, with the former usually being recommended for those who are chasing big amounts of power. Torque Cars has an excellent guide on turbo upgrades for the RB series engine, so we suggest that you check it out.

Buying a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R With a Rebuilt or Replaced Engine

Most R34 GT-Rs suffered from porous engine blocks and many of them have had rebuilt engines as a result. While this is no cause for concern, you should try to establish who carried out the work and when did it occur. Check the reputation of the person or company involved and proceed with cation if they have excess negative feedback.

If the rebuild or replacement was a home job, we would probably be a bit more cautious. While there are plenty of very competent home mechanics out there, quite a few have more ambition than skill. You don’t want to purchase somebody else’s unfinished project (unless you want to).

It is usually best to avoid fresh rebuilds or engine swaps with only a few hundred miles on them. For example, an R34 Skyline GT-R with 10,000 km (6,200 miles) on a rebuild or replacement is going to be a much safer bet than one with only a tenth of the mileage.

Should I Get a Compression Test Done Before Purchase?

With the price these cars go for now we think it is a good idea to get a compression or leak down test done prior to purchase. It isn’t completely necessary, but it does help you determine the health of a particular GT-R’s engine. If you are taking the car to a mechanic or specialist prior to purchase, you may as well get a test done while you are at it.

Some owners will get a compression test done before sale and put the results in the advertisement. The most important thing with the results is to make sure that they are all roughly the same (within around 10% of each other).

Transmission

The gearbox fitted to the R34 GT-R is fairly strong and should not cause any major problems (the R33 GT-R’s transmission was weaker, so Nissan improved it for the R34). Issues can pop-up with regular spirited driving and lots of power, but you would have to push the gearbox pretty hard to find a weak link. If the synchros have failed, resulting in crunching gears, it can be an expensive fix.

On a test drive make sure you test all of the gears at both high and low engine speeds. Make sure you test shifts over around 5,000 rpm and try some quick changes, especially between fourth and fifth. If you hear or feel any grinding it is probably the synchros.

When shifting make sure that the gearbox is not overly loose or sloppy as if it is a new linkage mount may be required (not expensive). It should be reasonable tight, but not overly so. The transmission will probably be quite a bit stiffer when the R34 GT-R is cold, but it should loosen up as the car warms.

If the transmission does have any problems, it can be quite expensive to fix. This is because the gearbox will need to be removed from the car, stripped, rebuilt and then installed again. Additionally, parts can be expensive to source, which makes fixing the transmission even more pricey.

Check when the last time the gearbox oil was changed and make sure it has been done regularly. Regular oil changes can help keep the transmission working correctly, which could reduce the need for a major overhaul.

Gearbox & Clutch Release Bearing Issues

If you notice that there is a whining sound when the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor or when it is not in use it is probably a bearing in the gearbox. Alternatively, if the whining noise goes away when the clutch pedal is in use and then disappears when it is released it is probably the clutch release bearing. We wouldn’t worry too much about these issues as long as they aren’t too bad/annoying.

Clutch

At stock power figures the Nissan R34 GT-R’s clutch should last a long time (many owners find they last well past 100,000 km/62,000 miles). The standard clutch continues to be quite reliable with power increases up to around 600 to 700 hp, but if the GT-R is running much more than that it should probably have an uprated clutch from the likes of Nismo, ATS, Exedy, etc.

The life of the clutch will also largely be determined on how the R34 GT-R has been driven and maintained. For example, a tuned GT-R that has been repeatedly thrashed is much more likely to chew through clutches than a car than has been babied. Launching an R34 GT-R repeatedly is a quick way to destroy the stock clutch, so keep that in mind. Here are a few things you can do to test the clutch.

Clutch Engagement – The first step is to make sure the engagement is good. To do this put the Skyline R34 GT-R you are inspecting into gear on a level surface and let the clutch out slowly. It should engage around 7 to 10 cm (2.5 to 4 inches) from the floor. Engagement that is early or too late indicates a problem.

Clutch Slippage – The best way to test for this problem is to shift into a gear that is too high for the speed you are going. You should notice that the engine bogs down a bit (don’t do this on a regular basis). The next thing to do is to accelerate. If you notice that the tachometer goes up out of relation to the speedometer and/or you notice jerkiness it suggests that the clutch is slipping.

Clutch Drag – Get the Nissan GT-R R34 on a flat surface and press the clutch pedal to the floor (do this while you are stationary). Rev the car hard (once it is warm) and see If it moves. If the car does move, the clutch is not disengaging when you shift and parts will wear prematurely.

Clutch Shudder – This is usually noticeable when you accelerate from a stop. A small amount is perfectly normal, but an excessive amount is a sign that the release bearings need to be lubricated.

Failing Clutch Slave or Master Cylinder

If you notice that the clutch pedal feels quite inconsistent or doesn’t want to come back up it could be down to a bad slave or master cylinder. Another sign of slave or master cylinder failure is leaking clutch fluid. This can be a slow leak or a very fast leak.

Multi-plate Clutch Clank

Another noise to watch out for is a harsh clanking noise at idle. This is usually caused by the fitment of an aftermarket multi-plate clutch. If the noise disappears when the clutch is depressed you’re all good, but if it persists it could be a sign of another issue.

Body and Exterior

Credit: Tennen-Gas

Unfortunately, bodywork issues are quite common on these cars, so keep an eye out for the following:

Rust

When inspecting an R34 GT-R’s body, rust should be your primary concern. Unfortunately, Nissan did not properly treat the GT-R with an anti-rust coating at the factory. Additionally, due to the layout of the car’s body work and some structural weaknesses, the R34 GT-R can suffer at the hands of rust.

GT-Rs stored outside and exposed to the elements are more likely to rust than those kept inside. You should pay particular attention to where the car you are looking at has come from and where it has been stored.

Cars from Japan are particularly prone to rusting for a number of reasons. Garages and covered parking spaces come at a premium, so most owners are forced to keep their GT-Rs outside or in semi-covered areas. This, combined with Japan’s incredibly humid and wet summer weather mean that rust can rear its ugly head extremely quickly.

Most Japanese R34 GT-Rs will have at least a bit of rust on them, unless they have delivery miles and have been stored inside.

Additionally, if the car has come from/or is located in a country that salts the roads during the winter, you should inspect for rust even more thoroughly. This also goes for vehicles that have spent extended periods of time near the sea.

Most Common Places to Find Rust on a Nissan GT-R R34

Below we have listed the places you will typically find rust on an R34 GT-R (however rust can occur in other places as well):

  • All four of the wheel arches
  • All of the fenders
  • The fuel lid cover and bay
  • In the engine bay (pay particular attention to the area around the suspension turrets)
  • Rear boot/trunk (Don’t forget to check under the spare tyre!)
  • Around the doors and windows
  • Jacking points
  • Underneath the vehicle (get your torch ready)

When looking inside the engine bay, check all the plastic and metal parts. If the plastic parts have lost their shine and appear matte in finish, it could be a sign that an excessive amount of water has made its way into the engine bay. Additionally, oxidisation of metal parts inside the engine bay could be a sign of the same problem. If this is the case, we recommend you remove the front bumper and fenders to check for any rust.

Signs That the Vehicle Has Suffered from Rust in the Past

Look for any signs that the car has been resprayed or any discolouring in the paint, especially around the areas we mentioned above. This can be a sign that rust has been removed and the car repaired. You can use a magnet on steel parts of the vehicle to check for any areas of rust repair. Additionally, we recommend you check the car’s service history and ask the owner as well.

Use a magnet on steel sections of the car (cover it with a cloth so you don’t damage the paintwork and keep in mind that some parts are aluminium) or a coating gauge thickness tool such as this one to find any areas that may have been repaired.

Signs That a GT-R Has Been Stored Outside

Here are some of the tell-tale signs that a car has been left outside in the elements:

  • Heavily discoloured badges
  • Faded paint
  • Hard rubber window seals
  • Cracking/whitening on the front bumper lip
  • Cracking/yellowing on carbon fibre parts (not on all models)
  • Obvious rust or corrosion

Crash Damage and Other Major Repair Work

A good number of R34 GT-Rs have been involved in accidents thanks in part to the car’s excellent performance that encourages enthusiastic driving. Here are some things to watch out for that may indicate the Skyline GT-R you are looking at has been in a crash or had some other major repair work:

  • Misaligned panels or large panel gaps – Have a good look around the bonnet/hood and make sure everything lines up correctly. Check the panel gaps around the doors, bumper and boot/trunk. If the panel gaps on one side look quite different to the other side, it could be a sign that the Nissan GT-R R34 has been in an accident.
  • Doors that drop or don’t close properly – Check that all of the doors open and close properly, and that they don’t drop when opened. If you do find an issue here it could be a sign the GT-R has been in an accident.
  • Inconsistencies such as waving, rippling or different coloured panels – Indicates a respray which may have been conducted as a result of accident damage or rust.
  • If the bonnet/hood looks like it is popped when it is not – could be a sign of a bit of a front end crash.
  • Damage to the mounting supports for the headlights or surrounds of the taillights – This can be very difficult to fix on any car and is a good place to check for any accident damage.
  • Bent or broken parts underneath the car – While inspecting the underside, check to make sure everything is straight. Look at the suspension and steering components as well. If the parts are different on one side compared to the other or much newer, it may be a sign that the R34 GT-R you are looking at has been in an accident.
  • Rust in strange locations – Can be a sign of accident damage
  • Paint runs or overspray – Very unlikely to be a factory issue, so likely a result of a respray job.
  • Missing badges or trim – Could be due to repair work (body shop couldn’t find replacements) or a number of other things (stolen, etc.).

Other Bodywork Issues

Unless the GT-R you are looking at has been kept in a padded garage for its entire life, it is bound to have a few scratches and dings. Pay extra attention to cars finished in the sought after Midnight Purple colour: retouching the paint is almost impossible and body parts will usually need a full respray to look in top form.

Many R34 GT-Rs came in Bayside Blue. It is easy to tell if these cars have been repainted, as the colour came with a special coloured lacquer from the factory which is incredibly hard to match. However, the paint can look slightly different on the bumpers because of the plastic it bonds to.

Carbon fibre parts fitted to any of the models can be hard to find and are in some cases extremely expensive to replace.

Aftermarket Bodykits and Parts

Does the R34 GT-R you are looking at have an aftermarket bodykit? If so, ask the seller if they have the original parts. Sourcing the original bumpers, side skirts, spoilers and other exterior components can be quite expensive, especially if you need to buy multiple different parts. Additionally, make sure the aftermarket bodykit fits correctly and there is no rubbing or rattling.

Suspension and Steering

Suspension parts will wear out in time, so check when/if they have been replaced. Many owners have switched to aftermarket bushings and components that are more durable than the standard units. This is fine, but make sure the work has been carried out correctly and the alignment has been adjusted to suit – otherwise excessive tyre wear will occur. Apart from that, check for the following symptoms that indicate suspension or steering problems:

  • Dipping and swerving when the brakes are applied
  • Floaty or nervous feeling through the steering wheel, especially at higher speeds
  • Excessive Rear-end squat during acceleration and rear end wobble over bumps
  • Tipping during cornering
  • High speed instability
  • Delayed or longer stopping distances
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Excessive bounce after hitting a bump or when pushing down on the suspension (trailing arm bushes)
  • Sagging or uneven suspension
  • Knocking, clunking or creaking sounds during a test drive – usually the bushings or wheel bearings. Sometimes these sorts of noises can also be a sign of bad shock absorbers as well.
  • Rattles – drive over some bumps – there should be no noise from the suspension components (however, you may hear some rattles from something in the cabin).
  • Clicking sounds (especially at full lock)

Remember to do a visual inspection of as many of R34 GT-R’s suspension and steering components as you can get a look at. Watch out for any leaks, damage, corrosion or modifications. Make sure the suspension is the same on each side. For example, if the components on the right front side are much newer/different than the left front side it could indicate the R34 GT-R has been in an accident.

Ride Quality

If you get the chance to test multiple different versions of the R34 GT-R you should find that V-Spec models have a slightly harder ride than standard or M-Spec versions of the car. This harder ride is the result of stiffer, more performance orientated suspension on the V-Spec. Some owners may have installed even stiffer suspension for track days, but we recommend you stick with the standard suspension for regular road use.

It is not uncommon to find R34 GT-Rs from Japan that have been kitted out with fancy damper kits. These damper kits can once again make regular road driving a pain, especially if your country has bad roads (Japanese roads tend to be quite smooth).

If the R34 GT-R you are looking at does have aftermarket suspension, check with the seller to see if they have the original parts as if they don’t you can use that to get a discount. Nissan’s original suspension is still available, but it does come at a price.

Check the Wheel Alignment

Don’t forget to check the wheel alignment of the GT-R you are test driving. Locate a nice flat and straight section of tarmac and see if the car pulls to the right or left. Poor wheel alignment can lead to problems such as excessive and/or uneven tyre wear, leading to more frequent tyre changes. Additionally, it can even make a Nissan GT-R R34’s driving experience less enjoyable and safe.

If the wheel alignment is really bad it is a sign of an owner who probably doesn’t care much for their Nissan GT-R as they probably should have got it sorted before putting the car on the market.

Most of the time a simple realignment is all that is needed, however, in some cases bad wheel alignment can be a sign of serious suspension/steering issues or even accident damage.

Wheels

Give the wheels a good look. Watch out for any curb damage as if there is quite a bit it is a sign that the GT-R has been owned by somebody a bit careless. We would expect to find some curb damage/scuffson the wheels of an R34 GT-R that has a good number of miles on it, but if the car has minimal mileage and has been garaged its whole life there really shouldn’t be any damage.

Another thing to check for are any dents or buckling to the wheels, especially if the GT-R is running the larger aftermarket rims and/or the car is located in an area with very bad roads. If you notice this sort of problem the car may require a new wheel.

If the car is fitted with aftermarket wheels, ask the owner if they have the originals. It is hard to find original wheels for the R34 GT-R and having them only increases the value of the car. This is especially true for Midnight Purple III cars as they had special wheels that were finished in a lighter shade of silver.

Tyres

GT-R owners have differing opinions on what the best tyre for the R34 GT-R is. There are so many options to choose from, so what we recommend you do is find out what tyres the car is running and then check if they are suitable online. Apart from that check for the following:

  • Amount of tread – If there is minimal tread left try to get a discount as you will need to get the tyres replaced in the near future.
  • Uneven wear – Wear should be even between the right and left tyres on the R34 GT-R. Additionally, make sure wear is even across the tyre itself.
  • Brand – They should be from a good or well-reviewed brand – if they are from a poorly reviewed brand it suggests that the owner has cheaped out on maintenance.
  • Same tyre – In terms of tyre make, type and tread pattern on each axle (preferably on all four wheels) – mismatched tyres can lead to poor handling performance, increased wear and may even be dangerous.
  • Pressure – It can be a good idea to check tyre pressures when conducting an inspection. If the tyre pressures are wrong it can cause the car to pull to the left or right during acceleration. Incorrect tyre pressures can also lead to increased wear and fuel consumption as well.

Brakes

The factory brakes are pretty strong and you shouldn’t have too many problems with them. However, the standard discs can be expensive to replace so make sure they are in good order. Some owners have replaced factory discs with aftermarket ones, which is okay as long as they are of good quality. Check the brake pads to make sure they have life left in them. If they need replacing, ask the owner to do so or use it as a bargaining point.

During a test drive make sure the brakes do not feel weak or spongy. Additionally, make sure the car brakes straight and remember to test the brakes under both light and hard braking conditions. Do some repeated high to low-speed runs, and listen out for any rumbling, squealing or clunking sounds when the brakes are in use.

A shuddering or shaking through the R34 GT-R’s steering wheel when the brakes are applied is probably a sign that one or more of the discs are warped. This usually becomes first apparent under high-speed braking and is more likely to occur if the GT-R has been regularly tracked/driven hard.

Make sure the handbrake works as intended and see how it performs on a steep incline (if you can find one).

Seized calipers are a possibility especially on R34 GT-Rs that have just sat around unused for a long time. If the car you are looking at is suffering from a seized caliper you may notice the following:

  • Car pulls to one side (may even happen when the brakes are not in use)
  • Car feels low on power as if the parking/handbrake is on (could also be a sign of diff issues)
  • Brakes get extremely hot and produce a distinctive acrid smell and in some cases smoke
  • You find that the Nissan GT-R doesn’t want to move at all
  • Loud thud-like noise when pulling away for the first time

The last thing to do is to make sure that the brake fluid has been replaced every two years or so.

Big Brake Kits

There is really no need to upgrade the standard brakes unless the GT-R is running lots of extra power and/or is regularly used on track days. We aren’t going to go into which “big brake kit” options are good and which ones are bad as there are simply too many to go through in this already long guide.

If the Nissan R34 GT-R you are looking at is fitted with a big brake kit, check its manufacturer (Alcon Adv, Ceika, etc.) and make sure it is from a well-reviewed brand/manufacturer. If it is not it suggests that the owner has cheaped out on the car’s upgrades and you should be questioning where other corners have been cut.

How are the Interiors Holding Up?

Credit: Nissan

Well, not too good unfortunately. The interior is perhaps the weakest point of the R34 and is where most of Nissan’s cost cutting occurred. Nissan selected cheap, very hard and easy to scratch plastic for the interior.

Many owners have also added gauges, stickers and all sorts of other parts to the interiors of their cars, which makes finding a stock model difficult. Almost all interior parts are hard to come by, but Nissan has added the R34 GT-R to their Heritage Parts program, so you should be able to find most of what you need there.

Seats, especially on well used models will have started to show signs of wear. There may be tears in the fabric that need fixing or the seats may be falling apart all together. Check all the other parts of the interior for signs of wear as well; from the carpets to the steering wheel and the gear shifter. If car has low miles, but the steering wheel and gear shifter looks worn, it could be a sign that the odometer has been wound back.

Make sure that the seats are nice and firm and that all of the adjustments work as intended. If the seats move during acceleration or braking it is incredibly dangerous and will be an MOT/WOF failure.

Remember to inspect the carpets and rest of the cabin for any dampness or signs of a leak. Water can play havoc with the electronics if it gets in the wrong place and can lead to a nasty smell as well. Feel around the carpets and turn over the floor mats. If you see water residue on the bottom of the floor mats it could be a sign of a past of present leak. While it is pretty unlikely, a leak from a strange place could also indicate accident damage.

Make sure you have a look at the headlining above the driver’s seat. If it is a slightly different colour it may be a sign that the Nissan GT-R R34 you are inspecting has been owned by a smoker. A smell test will also help you determine whether or not this is the case as well. While you are looking at the headlining, check to see it is firmly attached and hasn’t started to droop.

Electronics

The electronics in the R34 GT-R are fairly robust and nothing has a reputation for problems. However, we suggest you test drive the vehicle to make sure everything is working correctly. Pay particular attention to multi-function display (MFD): a slightly red tint, yellow or white lines, or a misaligned image are all signs of a screen that is on its way out. This isn’t a major problem but the MFD is quite expensive to replace.

We recommend that you take the time to go through the MFD’s gauges and functions. If they don’t register movements, it could be a sign that a sensor/sensors have failed.

Make sure you go over all the other electronics in the car. Try everything you can get your hands on to make sure it works and pay particular attention to any warning lights on the dash.

Inspect modified cars even more thoroughly and check any receipts for work done. Modifications that have been done incorrectly can be a real nightmare so be extra vigilant.

Should I Buy a Modified R34 GT-R?

A good chunk of R34 GT-Rs on the road today have been modified in some way. Modifications may range from small cosmetic items to complete engine overhauls. Any modifications should be inspected closely and get the owner to show you any relevant paperwork.

If we are talking about serious performance tuned GT-Rs I would recommend you look at models with work done by MCR, Mine’s or Top Secret. There are other good tuning companies around but these are known to be some of the best in Japan, even surpassing Nismo on more than a few occasions. Cars tuned by these companies will command a premium over vehicles modified by other tuners.

GT-Rs with over 600 horsepower should be avoided as the stress on the components is simply too much and reliability will suffer. We also recommend you steer clear of track cars and those that have been modified by multiple owners.

If you are looking for a modified R34 GT-R, we recommend looking for one that is only mildly tuned. Then, if you want more performance you can tune the car further and know exactly what has been done.

Are Higher Mileage R34 GT-Rs Okay to Buy?

You should always buy on the condition of a car and then on the mileage. There are plenty of cars out there with low miles but in poor condition, so you need to be careful when purchasing a GT-R. As the R34 GT-R is getting on a bit, anything under around 80,000km can be considered low mileage.

We suggest you look for a car that has done 100,000km or more, but has been maintained well and stored correctly. Low mileage GT-Rs will go for a premium and they are not always worth it.

Many owners make the mistake of believing that if you don’t drive a car it will last longer or have less problems. In fact, not driving a vehicle can actually be detrimental to its lifespan. This is because low mileage tends to suggest that a vehicle has been used for short trips, which aren’t kind to the engine. You may find that 90% of its engine life has been on cold oil or that the engine has not been lubricated properly.

Plastic parts and rubber seals will fail regardless of mileage and they can even deteriorate quicker in cars that have travelled less distance. Letting a car sit will not prevent rust from rearing its ugly head and the electronics from failing.

Mileage will never decrease with age and you could be pouring money down the drain going for a GT-R that hasn’t travelled far. You may be better off to put that extra money aside for repairs or modifications down the track.

General Car Buying Advice for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

Credit: Tennen-Gas

How to Get the Best Deal on an R34 GT-R

This information applies to both dealers and private sealers. Knowledge is power and it can save you a lot of money when purchasing a vehicle.  

1. Research heavily –  Prior to starting your search for a first gen R34 GT-R, figure out what specs and condition you are happy with. Do you want a low mileage R34 GT-R or do you not mind one that has travelled a bit further.

2. Shop around – It is always best to shop around a bit before you make a purchase. While mass loads of these cars weren’t created, there are still plenty out there, so don’t limit yourself to one seller, dealer, area or auction platform.

3. Go look at and test drive multiple R34 GT-Rs if possible – It is a good idea to test drive as many cars as possible. This will help you determine what makes a good and what makes a bad R34 GT-R.

4. Adjust your attitude – Never rush into a purchase. If you are desperate to buy a car you are more likely to get ripped off. Take your time when looking for a Nissan Skyline GT-R for sale and only go for promising looking cars (unless you are looking for a project vehicle).

5. Use any issues with the car to your advantage –  Take a mental note of any issues you find with the vehicle. When it comes to discussing the price, use these problems to try and drive down the price. For example, if the car needs new tyres or brake pads make a point of it and try to get the seller to reduce the price.  

6. Don’t trust the owner completely –  While some owners/sellers are honest about their cars, many will lie to get a quick sale. Take in what the owner has to say but back it up with a thorough inspection.

7. Go between sellers/dealers –  If you are looking at multiple GT-Rs, let the owner/seller know. This way they will know that you have other options and they may try to undercut the price.  

8. Be prepared to walk away –  If you are not happy with the deal, simply walk away. You may miss out on the car or the seller may get back to you with a better offer.  

Service History and Other Documentation 

It is incredibly important to check any vehicle’s service history and any additional paperwork that goes along with it. While the servicing doesn’t need to be done at a dealer, it should be carried out by a competent Nissan/GT-R specialist or mechanic (especially for major repair work). Home mechanic work is okay, but it is much harder to gauge the competence of a home mechanic than checking reviews for established businesses.

The service history will give you a good idea of how the Nissan GT-R R34 you are inspecting has been maintained. In addition to this, receipts and paperwork for modifications (if the car has any) can help you determine whether they have been done by an experienced tuner or a bad one.  

If the owner can’t or won’t let you see the service history, you should probably pass on the vehicle. A complete service history will only add value to any vehicle your purchase and will make it easier to sell the car in the future.  

Additionally, you can check websites such as CarFax (USA) and CarJam (NZ) for more information about the car you are thinking of purchasing. These sort of websites can be incredibly useful, but there is usually a cost associated with them. 

Questions That You Should Ask the Seller/Owner  

  • How often do you drive the car? 
  • When was the last service and who was it serviced by? 
  • How much oil does it use? 
  • What oil do you use in the car? 
  • What parts have been replaced?
  • When was the timing belt and water pump last replaced?
  • When were the coils, spark plugs, leads changed?
  • What’s the compression like?
  • What modifications have been made to the vehicle? 
  • Has the vehicle overheated at any point or has the head gasket failed? 
  • Have the turbos been replaced and/or upgraded
  • Has the car been in any major or minor accidents? Is so, what repairs were made? 
  • Is there any money owing on the car? 
  • Have you got any information on the previous owners and how they treated the vehicle? 
  • How are the speakers
  • Is there any rust? 
  • Has rust been removed at any point? 
  • When were the brake pads replaced and have the calipers seized at any point in time? 
  • Where do you store/park the car usually? 

There are loads more questions you can ask the seller, but we feel these are some of the most important. 

Things That Would Make Us Walk Away from a Nissan GT-R R34

Here are some things that would make as walk away from one of these cars. While you may be happy with a vehicle with these problems, we are not.  

  • Overheating problems or blown head gasket
  • Significant Crash Damage or poorly repaired roof 
  • Money owing on the car  
  • Stanced  
  • Modifications with no paperwork or carried out by a poorly reviewed tuner  
  • Excessive amounts of power
  • Bad compression 
  • Bad resprays 
  • Significant rust problems  
  • Engine swaps with non-standard engines  
  • Significant track use
  • Major engine or transmission issues  
  • Owner who is not forthcoming with information (could be trying to hide something) 

Notes on the Owner  

The owner is one of the most important things to think about when viewing any vehicle. You need to ask them plenty of questions when inspecting their Nissan GT-R R34 (however, don’t trust their answers completely). Remember, it is your problem if you wind up buying an absolute lemon. Here are some things to watch out for.  

  • How long have they owned the vehicle? If it is less than 6 months it tends to suggest that the car needs major work done to it that they can’t afford. It also could be a sign that they deal cars as well. 
  • Do they thrash the car when it is cold or continually launch the vehicle? If so, you are better to walk away. 
  • Why are they selling the vehicle? Could be a genuine reason or they may be trying to offload their problem onto an unsuspecting buyer. 
  • What sort of area do they live in? Is it a good area or a complete dump? 
  • How do they respond when you ask them simple questions? 
  • Do they know anything about the Nissan GT-R R34 and the model they are selling (V Spec, etc.)
  • What can they tell you about previous owners? 
  • Do they have lots of cars on their drive? If they do it may mean they are a dealer. 
  • What is their reaction when you ask them about money owing on the car? Tell them you are going to do a check and see how they respond. 
  • What is their reaction to you asking for details for HPi check?  
  • How do they react if you ask to do a compression test on the vehicle?
  • How do they respond when you ask them to show you the service history and paperwork for the car? 

If you get a bad feeling about the owner, you are better off moving onto another Skyline GT-R.

Importing a Nissan R34 GT-R from Japan

Exporting GT-Rs from Japan has been big business for a while. Numbers of R34 GT-Rs in the country are reducing, but there are still plenty available.

How to Import a Skyline GT-R from Japan

While importing an R34 Skyline from Japan may seem a bit daunting, it is actually relatively simple. The first thing we recommend you do is to Google search something like “import Nissan GT-R R34”. You will be greeted with loads of different websites to choose from. These websites will let you search for one of these cars based on their age, generation, condition, price and more.  

Most of the websites/companies you encounter should be based in Japan, but you may find some other ones that are located in different parts of the world.  

Make sure you check reviews/feedback of any website or auction house you want to use. While you are unlikely to get completely scammed, many of these websites will be economical with the truth about a vehicle. We have listed a few examples of Japanese importers/exporters below:  

JDM Expo – Is an independent subsidiary of Nikko Auto Co., which is recognized as on the most reliable exporters of Japanese cars in the country.  

Car From Japan – is another large portal for connecting overseas buyers with Japanese second hand cars.

Japan Partner – Is one of the fastest growing exporters of used Japanese vehicles.

Note: many of these sorts of websites do not provide a grade or auction check sheet. The grade, auction check sheet, and car map are vital to picking a good car. Buyer beware!

Use a Private Importer

While the websites above are a handy way to give you a general idea of what to expect when importing an R34 GT-R, we recommend that you go with a private importer. A trusted private importer will be able to find a suitable Nissan GT-R for you and import it, saving you the hassle. While it may cost you a bit more (sometimes it is cheaper) you are more likely to get a better vehicle. 

You can get a full explanation of why we recommend using a private importer here.

How Does the Japanese Car Grading System Work?  

The auction houses and car exporters in Japan all get their vehicles in roughly the same way. The difference between them is how much support they are willing to provide, how honest they are, and how they grade their vehicles 

They will provide what is known as an ‘auction check sheet’ – a document that contains most of what you need to know about the vehicle. As you can’t see the vehicle personally, you will have to rely on the check sheet and other information on the listing to make a decision. If the seller/website is not willing to provide you with an auction check sheet or additional information on the car, don’t proceed any further.  

Before you make a purchase you need to learn how to read an auction check sheet. The sheet contains information on the make, model, condition, specifications and any other notes. There will be a grade on the sheet that denotes the overall grade of the vehicle.  

While the grade on a check sheet is important, you should not rely on it to make a final decision. Different companies have different methods for grading their vehicles, so a grade 4 for one company may be a grade 3.5 for another.  

Some websites may use a different grading system and if you can’t view the auction check sheet, you should contact the seller/exporter.  

Use the grade to reduce the number of Nissan R34 GT-Rs you are looking at and then use the check sheet and any additional information to make a decision. We also recommend you pay a third party to check out the car for you if possible (hence the recommendation for a private importer).

The Auction Check Sheet  

Below you can see an example of an auction check sheet. The grade is located in the top right corner of the check sheet. You will notice that there is both a letter and a number grade. The number indicates the overall condition of the vehicle, while the letter shows you the interior grade. At the bottom right of the check sheet is the ‘car map’. The car map tells you information about the exterior of a particular R34 GT-R and where any problems are located.  

Additionally, the sheet contains information about the specs of the vehicle and any modifications (major or minor). The inspector may also write some additional notes about the car.  

What Does the Number Grade Mean?  
  • Grade 7 to 9 or S – New car with delivery miles. 
  • Grade 6 – Same as above but with a few more miles. 
  • Grade 5 – Vehicle is in excellent condition with low miles. 
  • Grade 4.5 – Overall condition is great, but may have up to 100,000 miles on the clock. 
  • Grade 4 – Overall condition is good, but can have low or high miles. 
  • Grade 3.5 – Similar to grade 4, but some work may be needed and they usually have more miles. 
  • Grade 3 – Can be the same condition as grade 3.5, but with more miles. Alternatively, the car may have lower miles but require more work. 
  • Grade 2 – Very poor condition car and may have significant mechanical or exterior issues. Not necessarily a right off, but you would have to be a brave buyer to purchase one of these. 
  • Grade 1 – Is modified in some way (can be extensive or something simple). 
  • Grade 0, A, R, RA – Some repair history that can be major or minor. 
The Letter Grade 

As we wrote earlier, the number grade is usually accompanied by a letter that indicates the interior grade. An ‘A’ indicates that the interior is in exceptional or good condition. A ‘B’ indicates that the car is in average condition, while a ‘C’ displays that it is in poor condition. Grades below C show that the car’s interior is in very poor condition.  

The Car Map  

The check sheet will also contain what is called a “car map”, which tells you all the information you need to know about the exterior condition of the car. It will show the location of any problems or damage to the vehicle. Any problems are indicated by a letter and a number. The letter tells you what the issue is and the number indicates the severity. You can read more about the car map in our “How to Import a Car from Japan” guide. 

Our Guidelines for Importing a Nissan R34 GT-R from Japan

  • Always demand to see and have the auction check sheet before making a purchase  
  • If you can’t read Japanese or the company won’t provide a translated check sheet, get help from somebody who speaks/reads Japanese.  
  • Try to go through a private importer
  • Check that the chassis number on the check sheet matches the one on the frame  
  • Cross reference the check sheet with other websites  
  • Don’t rely on the grade (always check the auction sheet thoroughly)  
  • Investigate each website/service thoroughly (reviews, feedback, etc.)  
  • Be careful of heavily modified vehicles  
  • Get someone to inspect the car for you if possible. Ask for photos and get a good run down of the condition.  
  • Avoid cars with unknown mileages  
  • Stay away from bargains that seem to be too good to be true  
  • Stay away from grade 0, A, RA, R vehicles that have been involved in accidents  
Know Your Country’s Importation Laws  

Always make sure you check your country’s importation laws as you may find you can’t bring the vehicle you want in. For example,some countries have certain restrictions on importing cars under a certain age. 

Concluding This Nissan GT-R R34 Buyer’s Guide

Our final advice is to take you time searching for a GT-R. Don’t rush into a purchase and don’t settle for a car that doesn’t meet your expectations. Spend time checking out any issues or problems with any R34 GT-R you are looking at.

When you do eventually make a purchase, avoid driving the car in the rain and don’t wash it too much. Store the GT-R in a dry place and remember to drive it. Don’t let the car sit for months on end without use as this can lead to a whole host of problems.

A good Nissan GT-R will be a joy to drive and own, but be prepared to spend a bit of money.

References

The SkyLife (08 March, 2011) – Nissan Skyline GT-R Broken Ceramic Turbocharger – Nissan Skyline GT-R Broken Ceramic Turbocharger (skylife4ever.com)

Torque Cars – The Comprehensive RB26 Engine Guide – All you need to know about RB26 DETT engine tuning (torquecars.com)

Sean Morris (March 26, 2014) – Nissan Skyline GT-R Transmissions and Upgrades – Nissan Skyline GT-R Transmissions and Upgrades – Nissan Skyline GT-R s in the USA (gtrusablog.com)

Nissan Blog (30, June, 2020) – FROM SKYLINE TO GT-R®: THE EVOLUTION OF A SUPERCAR – Nissan Skyline to GT-R: The Evolution of a Supercar | Nissan USA

Nissan Motor Corporation Official Australia Newsroom (06/01/2022) – Godzilla’s last stand: Iconic Nissan GT-R roars into the history books as a record-smashing performance car legendGodzilla’s last stand: Iconic Nissan GT-R roars into the history books as a record-smashing performance car legend (nissannews.com)

GTR Registry – Nissan Skyline BNR34 – R34 GT-R – GTR-Registry.com – Nissan Skyline BNR34 VIN Table

Nismo – Z-Tune Specifications – Z-tune (nismo.co.jp)

1 thought on “Buying a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R – Ultimate Guide”

  1. Hey, thanks so much for the guide on purchasing a GTR 34 Nissan Skyline! Before I read this, I had no idea what to look out as I’m wanting to purchase a GTR 34 here in Australia which has helped heaps so thanks so much for your help! I would recommend for others to read as well. Thanks again! 🙂

    Regards,

    Nicole

    Reply

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