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Old 01-05-2016, 04:06 AM   #1
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Arrow First post introduction, Skyline questionnaire

Hi all, 23 year old here posting from Northern Virginia. Just wanted to finally log onto a Skyline USA forum to mainly ask a few questions, and hopefully stick around until the day I may own one because yes, unfortunately I am not a Skyline owner!

I've been drooling over the R32 GTR ever since they "suddenly" became eligible for importation to the United States. The dagger for me right now is that I have student loan debt accumulating after finishing earning my associates degree this past December, and I'll only be burying myself further into that debt for at least another two years when I transfer to a four-year university. So, purchasing the Skyline is a major pipe dream right now considering other priorities that will have to come first in the future.

1) So with that said my first question that prompted me to make an account on here to ask this question... for those of you that have purchased a GTS-T, or particularly a GTR... how did justify spending the higher price of a sought after 25 year old car in the Skyline? Particularly GTR owners... Finance through a company/import dealer? How do you handle owning a Skyline, between the actual price of the car, the maintenance that always comes with owning an older car, with relation to other personal bills that have to be taken care of? Do/did you have specific amount of finds set away for owning a Skyline?

2) How has the cost been to maintain your Skyline since purchase?

3) What specific issues have you had with your Skyline thus far?

4) For somebody like me who will be on a tight budget, is the GTS-T the best route for the Skyline experience as a cost-effective option? Or is it save up for the GTR or bust?

5) Any reputable Skyline-specific shops popping up in USA?

6) How do you handle service / maintenance? On your own? At a shop?

7) In relation to question 3, I notice that there are a lot of Skylines popping up for sale by private owners on craigslist. Do you think that the buzz of owning a Skyline in the USA has somewhat of a fading effect, to where owners aren't really keeping these cars long term and instead selling them not long after original purchase? Is the R32 Skyline truly a car worth owning at the price that they are selling for?

8) Are the GTR's going to drop in price when the R33's and R34's are eligible for import? If so, how much would you guess?

That is about all I can think of off the top of my head that I'm curious about right now. Just wanted to actually listen to what other Skyline owners have to say instead of just scrolling through Ebay ads or Youtube videos.

Finally since I don't own a Skyline I would like to at least share a couple of pictures of my 1991 Toyota MR2 that I own. This picture was taken in it's prime as the car is a total project right now, on jack stands with the engine out - getting ready to paint the engine bay.




I've said to myself continuously that the MR2 will always be #1 for me. After having it for about seven years, the R32 Skyline has just kind of that renewed attraction to a particular car that pulls to me. Like the MR2 I feel the R32 GTR has a nice pure look to it, one reason why I am attracted to these cars. Just my type of car I feel. I was all about the R34 Skyline thanks to watching 2fast2furious when I was like 12, but I feel that my taste has really changed in favor to the R32.

Sorry for the long post, I always type/write a lot. Respect for anyone who read the whole thing. Best wishes on the ownership of your Skylines, take care of em!!
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:46 PM   #2
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1. Getting an R32 was easy to justify for me since I've been a Nissan fan practically since I was a dirty thought in my dad's mind and a GT-R fan since I found out about them playing Gran Turismo 2. I'm lucky though to have a job that allows me to afford a heavily-modded R35 so the R32 wasn't much of a stretch. That being said I've talked to several R32 owners and even when the finances aren't quite there they've found ways by saving up or financing all because they were passionate about owning one. Buying a 25-year old JDM car when you can just get a more modern USDM car is never going to make sense, it's a passion purchase and honestly asking yourself if you want to live with one long-term should be the ultimate decider yay or nay.

As for paying for my R32 day to day, it's the same as I do with my other cars. I have my expenses budgeted and I allot a percentage of the rest to savings and then to my hobbies. I have my income set up so that part goes to an "emergency fund" automatically to cover unforeseen expenses. The R32 happened to be a purchase when I had no other cars I was spending money on.

2,3, and 6. Maintenance isn't horrible on a Skyline when you consider it's 25-years old but that's the problem - it's 25-years old so a lot of things just break with age and many cars have issues from what previous owners have done (or not done). I knew mine would be a restoration project from the get-go though since it was used as a track car but it was a rare Nismo R32 so I bit the bullet. If you want to know more go to my blog at 23gt.net where I've documented my experiences and info for prospective owners.

4. The GTS-T will always be much less expensive to own than the GT-R because of the lesser complexity of RWD. The decider should be how badly you want to be a GT-R owner. For me, it was never a question and I was sure I'd never be happy with "just" a GTS-T. Also of course you want to decide what you want to do with the car. Drifter? Get a GTS-T. Hardparker on a budget? Get a GTS-T. Hardcore NIssan aficionado? You should probably get a GT-R.

5. I don't know of any Skyline-specific tuners yet but there are a couple of shops like Rawbrokerage that specialize in parts for RB26s since they've been brought over for a lot longer than the actual cars.

7. It's the iPhone effect. People always want the latest hot commodity and peripheral fans will pick one up while the excitement is there and then unload them when they get tired of them. A lot of it also has to do with people not realizing how much trouble and expense it can be to own a 25-year old car. Once reality starts to override the F&F/Import Tuner/Need For Speed dreams that they had the common reaction is to cut their losses.

8. R32 prices will eventually stabilize as supply eventually exceeds demand. Unless you want a limited edition R32 like a Nismo or N1 you have the luxury of waiting. I wrote an article about it on my blog.

Finally, nice MR2. You rarely see them so clean nowadays. If I were you I'd keep that car since their values are going up, finish your schooling, then worry about getting a Skyline once you've settled down with a job. You'll have a better selection by then too.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #3
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^I agree with GSX all the way.

Only, I have a GTS-t. She's daily-ed, road raced, and autocrossed (with the occasional car show). GTRs? Hands down amazing, but for half the price you could get a gtst and mod it to be faster than a GTR. But, should you? That's up to you (you know, ruining the authenticity and what not).

1) Honestly ask yourself, is spending 11-13k (GTS-t) or 19-25k (GTR) something a normal person would spend on a 25 year old car? You gotta have some guts, a little bit of insanity, and a lot of heart to go for one of these (over a new car, like GSX stated).

Compile a parts list and replace the parts that are going to break and replace them first hand (something I should of done). And, as for price, it's not so bad because a lot of the parts are interchangeable with the 240sx, 300zx, and J30 (and a few others I'm forgetting). So, maintenance isn't so bad. Just gotta know what to look for, like a comparability list.

2)The cost for maintenance has not been so bad. She takes 93 octane, 300zx oil filters, ngk spark plugs, J30 fuel filters, s13 fuel pump kits, etc. (I could go on and on).

3) Replaced fuel filter, and spark plugs. I changed the oil a couple times (as normal). Fuel pump went bad, got a Walbro with an S13 kit (fits perfect), and a coil pack harness (one of the connectors disintegrated). Replaced a few vaccum lines, nothing serious.


4) I love GTS-t! And, 4 doors. If you're as crazy as me and want to daily it (or even thinking about daily-ing it) it's another thing to consider, do you really want to daily a GTR?

Now, between the GTR and the GTS-t. I'm not gonna reiterate about the GTR's performance because you've probably heard about how amazing godzilla is, on the track and the streets. But, just a few pointers from my experience with my GTS-t...
- RWD - Yes, this was very important to me, and no I do not drift. I like rear wheel drive, a lot. The AWD system in the GTR can cause it to understeer, which is a known issue with them (if that's even an issue for you, probably can be compensated with better suspension and tires).
- Light(er) weight - 2800lbs (GTS-t Type M) 3150lbs (GTR)
- Cheaper - A Penny saved is a penny earned. GTS-ts come in half the price, and can be a lot of fun. Like I said before, about making the GTS-t even faster than the GTR.
- Less abused (most of the time) - I bought my sky with only one owner from Japan. (An old guy too.) The thing about GTR is a lot of them were probably raced on, or drove pretty hard (unless you find one that was babied). The thing about GTS(-t) is it was probably someone's daily, that they took to a shop to get maintained (or someone's drift missle, look out for those).

5) Skyline-specific shops? 240 guys have been swapping RBs for the past decade. If you're interested in tuning your skyline I'd talk with the 240 people. There's a couple Nissan tuning shops down here in FL, I could pm to you if you were interested.

6) I maintain, fix my sky on my own. An importer should be able to fix most of the problems a skyline should have. Working on it feels like working on any other car. Luckily for us, the Brits had these cars for the past 27 years. So, if you're looking to change something, chances are there is a thread or a youtube video of how to do it.

7) A lot of dreamers (people taking on something beyond their means) buy skylines. I know it sounds kinda brash. But, it rings true. Just like any other car in it's price range, there'll be dreamers and private sellers.

I'm a firm believer that I spent my hard earned money on something great and am very happy with it. (That's what it really should be about right?) I, personally, think I got a great deal (with the price of import & taxes).

8) I don't think R33s are gonna effect the price. Just my speculation, I believe R33s will just cost more and R32s will stay the same. Afterall, they're used with limited amounts (but, maybe I'm wrong). Most people I've talked to (specifically the ones overseas) have said they like the 32 more than the 33 because of weight, style, and a couple quirks (just look into it).

Your MR2 looks absolutely lovely. Have you gave any thought to import a JDM verson?
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:32 PM   #4
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1) Yeah, gotta agree with everyone else here and say that it was easy to pay a big price tag for the car simply because I love the cars and love how they look and the fact that I will probably never own a R34 or R33 so R32 was a feasible dream car for me.

2,3,6) I get some done at a Nissan dealship if I am worried about messing something up simply because I am not responsible so the extra dollars is worth it in my mind. So far I've had my ABS module start leaking, small rip in my front left CV boot, rear diff is leaking, and my brakes were basically shot a few months after buying, granted it was original brakes (just hit 50k miles the other week) so it was expected. Finding the parts is usually the struggle I run into because I am also a student and am dead broke

4) Honestly, this is all up to you. For me I wanted the GTR because well Godzilla is badass and I got a great price for the condition it came in. If you want a R32 but can't afford a GTR a GTS-T will be just as fun if you truly love the cars.

5) Are you wondering parts shop or car shops? I know there is a few importers on your end that have great pricing, as for parts, I go through japan parts on facebook, rightdriveparts.ca up in Canada, and if I really need parts and can't find them I shop on the Japan sites.

7) A lot of people saw these as get rich quick schemes, but some also are not legally registered and people are trying to rip others off by avoiding the fact that it cannot be registered. I think it was worth it buying at the price but some seem to think they can get more than they paid.

8) I would say they will but, all the good ones will be grabbed up quick and then just the shotty ones with issues will be left which is gonna definitely be costly to keep up and running.

Best of luck to you in your efforts to own a Skyline and I hope you can get your hands on one soon!!
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:53 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, and another thing that is worth noting is insurance costs. For me my GTR is my daily driver and I am 20 so my insurance is not exactly cheap, but could be different for you. Just something to keep in mind when deciding between GTR and GTS-T
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Old 27-05-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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Didn't want to leave this thread totally hanging but it was nice to read all the detailed replies.

Sometimes I do wonder if the GTS-T "would do it for me." The visual differences like with the hood, fenders, and spoiler are pretty big when compared to the GTR, but they're still good looking cars. The tail lights on the R32 really draw me in the most, so the GTS-T coupe still retains that similarity to the GTR. If I got the GTS-T, it would be cool to find one with the sunroof that I see on some of them.

Should I ever own a Skyline it will likely be a conservative ownership. Instead of doing something crazy like a high-hp build, the extra money put into the car would go towards preventative maintenance with a few visual details (seats, wheels, lighting, etc.). I would just like a reliable, turn key, clean weekend car that I could take on trips of reasonable distance. Enjoy and maintain.

Long way away though, but again I enjoyed reading the responses that gave me a little more insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyrine View Post
Your MR2 looks absolutely lovely. Have you gave any thought to import a JDM verson?
Thanks! Funny that you ask that. I do plan on owning another MR2 somewhere down the road, and I've been telling myself lately that I would like it to be that RHD JDM version. I also long for a stock body MR2, the previous owner of my car had the side skirts molded on with the kit in the early 2000's making it difficult to return it back to stock body.

I'd rather wait for the 94+ MR2's to be eligible for importation. Those models have a later revision motor that I would prefer as well as exterior upgrades (spoiler, tail lights, etc.) from the earlier models. It is also nice that they are a cheaper than the Skylines.

When the time is right it will likely come down to a Skyline or another MR2. I also like the 300zx (z32) but with how compact the engine bays are in that car it just seems like it would be a pain to work on them like everyone says.
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Old 27-05-2016, 10:50 AM   #7
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I would also like to ask, were there four-door R32 GTR's that came from the factory?

I noticed a four-door R32 Skyline recently that is often parked outside of a shopping center near my house. Owner probably works in the shopping center. Anyway, at first I thought it was a conversion "GTR look" GTS-T car. It has a GTR style bumper, grill and hood, GTR seats, gauges in normal stock location, but once I noticed that the tail lights were the same as the GTR or GTS-T coupe I realized it was probably not a conversion GTS-T car and actually an authentic four-door GTR.

Of all the craigslist postings and Skylines listed on importer websites, I hadn't seen any four-door GTR's, was surprised to see one in the parking lot. They seem to be rare?
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Old 27-05-2016, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudline92 View Post
I would also like to ask, were there four-door R32 GTR's that came from the factory?

I noticed a four-door R32 Skyline recently that is often parked outside of a shopping center near my house. Owner probably works in the shopping center. Anyway, at first I thought it was a conversion "GTR look" GTS-T car. It has a GTR style bumper, grill and hood, GTR seats, gauges in normal stock location, but once I noticed that the tail lights were the same as the GTR or GTS-T coupe I realized it was probably not a conversion GTS-T car and actually an authentic four-door GTR.

Of all the craigslist postings and Skylines listed on importer websites, I hadn't seen any four-door GTR's, was surprised to see one in the parking lot. They seem to be rare?
The only "GTR" 4 door from the factory is the Autech one. Which, I believe is a gtst molded into a gtr. All the things you listed is 100% possible to put on a gtst. You can put the hood, bumper, bumper bar, grill, seats, gauges, and fit couple tails on a sedan. You can also get real crazy and fit gtr rear quater panels on the gtst.
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Old 27-05-2016, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudline92 View Post
I would also like to ask, were there four-door R32 GTR's that came from the factory?

I noticed a four-door R32 Skyline recently that is often parked outside of a shopping center near my house. Owner probably works in the shopping center. Anyway, at first I thought it was a conversion "GTR look" GTS-T car. It has a GTR style bumper, grill and hood, GTR seats, gauges in normal stock location, but once I noticed that the tail lights were the same as the GTR or GTS-T coupe I realized it was probably not a conversion GTS-T car and actually an authentic four-door GTR.

Of all the craigslist postings and Skylines listed on importer websites, I hadn't seen any four-door GTR's, was surprised to see one in the parking lot. They seem to be rare?
There were no "4-door GT-Rs" ever made. The Autech GTS-4 that Skyrine mentions is the closest to it but it's not really a GT-R. It had some styling cues from a GT-R and it was AWD but it had an RB26DE instead of DETT - that is it was NA and not turbo - and it only came with an automatic transmission.

I posted all about it here on my blog:

23GT: Rare Air: A Guide To Limited Edition R32 Skylines Part 2 of 2

That being said you can add GT-R styling cues to a 4-door, it's just a matter of having the time and money to source the parts and graft them on.
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