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Author Topic: Tips on buying your next R32  (Read 6241 times)


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Tips on buying your next R32
« on: March 13, 2008, 09:37:35 PM »
Buying a R32? Want to get the best one possible? Well hereís a learnerís guide to buying a R32 Skyline for your money


K, first off the exterior. The car is now almost 20 years old now and rust will be everywhere especially if itís a late import or has been on Japanese salt roads. So some things are to look out for are.

-Sills on both sides, this is where the rear ľ panel meets the sills. If the car has side skirts I would recommend removing them to have a thorough check.

-Underneath the wing mirrors. This is another area. After car washes or rain water sits there trapped and does not escape.

-This is an area thatís hard to check but again tends to rust. Itís the panel underneath your front windscreen wipers. Itís cover by the hard plastic. This is part of your cars drainage system and it always tends to rust there as water just sits there.

-The rear window, at the very bottom of your rear window.

-Some other tight and small places to look for are around the bonnet hinges and door hinges as these places come from factory NON-PAINTED so check for surface rust.

-Sills. Nissan sills are like glass. They bend and get distorted every time you jack up your car. So check for rust and any damage, as this will prevent you getting a WOF.

Also check panel gaps. Japanese imports may be imported damaged and the current seller may not tell you. Check for inconsistent paint fade i.e. if the bonnet, front guards and different colour to your roof and doors itís a sign it had a frontal accident some stage.

Thereís nothing worse than buying a twisted R32 chassis


Mechanically talking, most Nissans are as reliable as a Honda and go for a good solid 200,000 kmís +. But they do show signs of wear and tear.


One of the biggest problems with RB engines are the coils. They overheat and tend to crap out every 100,000 kís.

A hint to see if the car youíre buying has failed or about to fail coil packs is if the owner has removed the coil cover. Itís one of the biggest signs the coils are failing and he/she is just removing for a temporary fix for to allow the coils to run at a lower temperature.

Another one is listening to the engine. Donít listen before test drive only after, as coils only fail with heat. Listen for a slight kink in the smooth pitch of the car a bit like


Every time the ďdenĒ noise appears itís a sign of a misfire normally caused by coils.

Smoke / Engines / Turbos

If the car youíre planning on getting is turbo (GTS-t / GTS-4), make sure it doesnít blow any smoke. Especially grey, it means your turbo has blown a seal. If the car blows white smoke itís a blown head gasket. If itís blowing clear black smoke itís not something overly major to worry about as itís just running rich on the petrol. Easily tuned or fixed.

Also when on a test drive see if it boosts nicely, not

Brmmmmm (cough) mmm (splutter) mmmmmmBrmmm(change gear)mmmm (fart) mm

Also another issue with RB engines is engine rust. Due to the block being made of iron they can rust in the water galleries. Make sure the coolant (especially the overflow bottle located driverís side engine bay) isnít brown with a lot of rusty water in it. It shows the car hasnít been running anti-freeze coolant. This is a sign the car hasnít been taken car of and well maintained.

Drive train

Gearbox and clutch. Now with the all new ďDRIFTĒ trend going on. Itís likely your car has been ďdrifted owwĒ. Things to check for in your gearbox is the obviously CRUNCH when changing gears, itís a sign of needing new synchros. Also check your clutch isnít slipping. A clutch isnít too expensive to replace but itís more of a time and hassle thing. But itís always an excuse to the misses, to say you need a Heavy Duty one.

Diff wise, make sure your diff isnít clucking or whining too loud as this is early signs of a rebuild and worn teething.


With 200,000+ kmís on the cars, like any other one the suspension will have taken a beating. But regular servicing should see it fine.

One thing to check is brakes. Itís funny how no one checks them nowadays when buying a car. Whilst on your test drive donít be afraid to slam on the brakes. If you foot goes to the floor itís a good sign you need new pads. Also check brake fluid. Check itís a nice fresh clean colour not gunky and dirty and thick oil.

Whilst on your test drive, if you hear a creaking or squeaking noise when you hit a bump or turn a corner this is a sign your upper control arms bushes need replacing. This is not good thing but is a cheap fix.

Shocks need to be replaced or freshened every 60,000kmís (supposedly) but no one ever does and fine most of the time. Just make sure the car is level on all 4 corners and not on a GANGSTA lean. Worn shocks are a No No. Also check if theyíre leaking.

If it has aftermarket adjustables, YES you do need a cert and YES they are uncomfortable. Youíll need back surgery by the time your 25 y/o.

Another tip is for the Hicas models. Check your Hicas light isnít always on as this may lead to bigger issue. It can be anything from a Faulty Hicas ECU to maybe the owner not running a Hicas boss kit for the aftermarket steering wheel.


Like any other 20 year car, the interior is a place where it will sure have taken a beating. Thereís not much to check for in the interior as most R32ís will all be the same. Classic examples are the bubble in the dash due to the heat.

Also the notorious broken air vents. They always break. One tip if you are trying to find one, donít bother with second hand. They are brittle and will break again. Go straight to Nissan. $80-$150?? New Depending on what vent so exactly the same price of second hand one.

Check for any unusual brown stains Hehehehe


Now Nissans may be great cars but when it comes down to finer details such as electrical itís really a let down. Itís normally not a huge problem or issue thatíll affect the car just frustrating.

A common problem with most R32ís is windows not opening (especially 4 door sedans). This can be due to the master control panel or a faulty window motor. Itís a cheap easy fix as Trademe and wreckers sell them for piss.

Another problem is the cluster readings. Let me list them in order. Rev counter bouncing up and down for no reason. Oil pressure reads low, or NIL in my old car. How to check if these are just faulty electrics I donít know. Best way is to give it to a Sparky or get aftermarket gauges.

Well that really does cover most of the bad points of a R32. Trust me on these tips. Iíve bought 4x R32ís now and each have the same problems. Just make sure you have a thorough check of the car before you buy it.

Go for a long test drive not a pussy drive round the block. As a lot of cars show the problems after itís warmed up and hot. A good 20-30 minutes should be fine. Just pay back the seller in petrol costs and I donít think heíll complain too much, (Alt. buy him a Big Mac with fries, itíll keep his mouth shut for the mean time).

I hope you enjoy your new ride.


  • RB26DETT
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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 12:14:26 PM »
good write up, thanks
Red line it.

fuseikaizousha (不正改造車)


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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 02:32:29 PM »
Wish i had seen this before i bought my R32..... Either way shes been a great learning curve with rust kill :D
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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 11:16:56 AM »
Quote from: Demco;604582
Wish i had seen this before i bought my R32..... Either way shes been a great learning curve with rust kill :D
What he said! lol. The amount of rust I found in mine AFTER purchasing it was horrendous. Great write up


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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 09:35:19 PM »
Mine had no obvious rust which wag amazing but thanks will be using this in a few months fingers crossed


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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 08:42:55 PM »
Like every other car-
Check under the car too for scrape marks or other damages eg some people don't bother to brake when driving on a speed bump.And wheel arches for rubber residue,means the owner likes to thrash the car.
Also the tyres for how they are wearing out in case the car would need a wheel alignment etc.
Make sure the radiator support bar is nice and straight,just tells you at least the car most likely has not been in an accident.
Lift front and rear car mats and check the carpet for any water damage or leakage.
Also check seals on sunroof if the car has one.
As mentioned,if there are any aftermarket mods that needs a cert,make sure there is a cert plate for it.

Gosh..reading your write-up makes me want to buy another skyline!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 08:45:05 PM by zique »


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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 09:53:37 AM »


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Tips on buying your next R32
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 07:33:11 AM »
Seen a few very rusty bnr32's come into the country...all only good for parts.  Great write up!