September 26, 2022

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 has a cultural standing which few different vehicles can match, and for a lot of, it’s the holy grail of JDM. If you happen to can afford one, right here’s what to look out for.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Historical past

If there was one widespread gripe that individuals had in regards to the R33 Skyline, it was its dimensions. Nissan had opted for a longer-wheelbase strategy with the R32’s successor, however many misunderstood that because the Skyline ‘going tender’. So, to appease fanatics – and extra importantly, clients – the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 extra carefully resembled the blocky, angular strains of the automotive that got here two generations earlier than it. From an aesthetic viewpoint, that was no unhealthy factor, and it additionally resulted in some artistic aerodynamic options.

The entrance bumper, for instance, has vents which information airflow round both aspect, and beneath there are carbon fibre panels to create a good floor. When these parts are mixed, the entrance finish of the R34 has a raise co-efficient of simply 0.1. In non-geek converse, meaning it stays planted at excessive velocity.

There have been a number of different core revisions made to the automotive too. Brembo, as an illustration, introduced larger brake discs and chunkier calipers into the combination, whereas Getrag added a sixth gear to the transmission.

One the largest issues to notice although is the sheer variety of particular editions that arrived all through the R34’s lifetime. In truth, they’re so quite a few that you simply’re extra prone to spot some type of particular version, than you’re a normal automotive.

The V-Spec is step one past the bottom mannequin, and just like the R33 V-Spec that got here earlier than it, this version comes outfitted with Nissan’s ‘Professional’ variant of the ATESSA-ETS four-wheel drive system. In easy phrases, this makes use of an digital limited-slip differential to manage not solely the entrance and rear torque break up, but in addition the facility distribution to the left or proper aspect of the rear axle. Now, should you’re shopping for a real UK-market automotive, then you definitely’re assured to get a V-Spec. Nissan shipped simply 80 R34s to Britain, all of which the V-Spec variant, and every receiving three further oil coolers, stiffer suspension, revised ECU, and leather-based seats.

After all, different particular editions have been imported since although, together with the plusher M-Spec, racier V-Spec II, and hardcore ‘Nür’ spin-offs of each. A handful of R34s have been additionally constructed to ‘N1’ spec, however these have been primarily used for racing in championships such because the Tremendous Taikyu Collection.

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Then, lastly, there’s the Nismo Z-Tune. Thought of the final word Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, solely 20 Z-Tunes have been ever constructed, all atop used donor vehicles. These mutant R34s boast a bigger capability 2.8-litre model of the RB engine, in addition to a plethora of structural items comprised of carbon fibre. Sadly, their shortage and popularity make all of them however unattainable for the common purchaser, however regardless of hovering costs, it’s nonetheless doable to get your arms on a extra typical R34 for lower than six figures. Plus, because the automotive’s getting on a bit now, People solely have two extra years to attend earlier than the earliest examples are exempt from the US’ 25-year import ban.

Wherever you’re on the planet although, a Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 represents a substantial funding, so right here’s a number of the key issues to be careful for when taking the plunge on one.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 cornering shot

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Prime 5 widespread issues

  • Fried coil packs
  • Cut up vacuum strains
  • Coming out of substances (particularly in first)
  • Defective LCD show
  • Rust in crevices and recesses

Engine & Transmission

One of many options retained from the R33 GT-R was the now-legendary RB26-DETT energy unit, nevertheless the engine wasn’t fully with out revision. The dual-turbo set-up, as an illustration, now used ball-bearing structure as a substitute, which decreased spool time, and upped reliability. On the document, Nissan are adamant that regardless of their fettling, the R34’s energy figures remained the identical because the earlier automotive. Unofficially, nevertheless, it’s widespread information that determine was realistically round 320hp – a good chunk greater than the 276hp determine specified by Japan’s ‘gentleman’s settlement’ on the time. Regardless of the elevated energy, the RB26 block retained its popularity as a tricky, dependable engine, however naturally there are nonetheless some purple flags you’ll need to be cautious of.

So far as upkeep goes, makes positive that each the timing belt and water pump have been changed roughly each 50,000 miles. After all, maintaining a tally of the engine’s lubrication is as vital as some other automotive. If you happen to’re in a position to, peak beneath the purple rocker cowl and solid your eyes over the scene. If the automotive has been serviced frequently, it must be fairly clear underneath there. In addition to the standard of the oil, you’ll additionally must test its stress. This may be performed on a check drive fairly simply due to the automotive’s Gran Turismo-like show (extra on that later). While you take the automotive above 4000rpm, watch the stress gauge. If it stays decrease than 4.0 bar (58psi), then you definitely’ve acquired an issue in your arms. Oh, and when you’re behind the wheel, see should you can persuade the vendor to allow you to do a tough launch (or show one to you): if the show reveals a 50/50 torque break up to the entrance and rear, then you understand your ATESSA-ETS system is working.

Nissan Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nur

Rb26DETT engine in M-Spec Nur R34 GT-R

The weakest level underneath the bonnet, in the meantime, might be the coil pack. Test the automotive’s historical past to see if it’s been changed at any level, and when. In the event that they haven’t been modified not too long ago, think about a probable invoice to modify the coils out within the close to future. As well as, vacuum strains have been recognized to separate pretty simply, so have an intensive test over these.


Apart from that, the one different causes for concern inside the engine bay are prone to be aftermarket elements. If the R34 you’re taking a look at has some (and it most likely will), then make sure that these have been fitted by a good tuner, or not less than by an proprietor who really does know what they’re doing. Issues like elevated increase stress and altered ECU settings must be considered with a vital eye. Quiz the vendor to see if any engine mods have been supplemented by measures to maintain issues dependable.

Just like the engine, the R34’s transmission is impressively resilient. That stated, test for clutch slip or worn synchromesh. Often, you may even come throughout an instance that pops out of substances, however a check drive will reply all these questions for you.

Lastly, should you’re prepared to pay the sums required to purchase a Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, then please do your self an enormous favour and get the automotive compression examined beforehand. A wholesome automotive is a large enough expense, not to mention one which’s in impending want of an overhaul.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 front driving shot

Suspension & Brakes

The suspension may have fairly an influence upon which R34 you purchase. If you happen to’re comfortable to sacrifice all-round consolation for precision, get a V-Spec. If, nevertheless, a cruiser is what you’re after, the usual base automotive would suffice.

When taking a look round beneath the automotive, take discover of the state of bushes and ball joints. In the event that they want changing, it’s not the top of the world, however prices can mount up in the event that they’re wanted throughout all 4 corners.

Then, whereas on a check drive, there’s just a few various things to pay attention out for. Any irregular rattling, scraping, or clunking will clearly recommend that one thing’s awry with the automotive’s underpinnings. Although don’t be postpone by a little bit of transmission whine – the Getrag six-speed isn’t the quietest even when working usually. A high-pitched metallic sound, in the meantime, is likely to be proof of a wheel bearing needing consideration.

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As for the brakes, the Brembos is usually a little noisy as normal, particularly if efficiency pads are added. Plus, should you’re taking a look at a automotive that’s been collected and displayed quite than pushed, bear in mind that the brake pistons may need seized if it’s been standing for a very long time.


Onto the within of the automotive, and that is the place one of many R34’s greatest new options over the R33 comes into play. Within the centre of the dashboard, the GT-R comes outfitted with a 5.8-inch LCD show, designed to offer you all the readings you’d anticipate from a sure Ps racing sport. The usual model offers you seven stay readouts, whereas the V-Spec provides consumption and exhaust temperatures. As a Nismo elective further, you would actually have a G-Pressure meter coded into it, and a lap timer that was engaged by a button by the gearstick.

These shows do look cool in a retro type of method, and should you’re a eager driver, they’re genuinely helpful. Nevertheless, they aren’t bulletproof and generally do fail.

Anticipate put on and tear on the commonest contact patches: seats, steering wheel and gearstick. The extent of this will most likely let you know a little bit bit about how the automotive’s been handled over time too.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 driving shot in UK countryside


You most likely don’t want us to let you know that whichever R34 you have a look at is prone to have been pushed fairly exhausting (until it’s some type of museum piece). Naturally, this implies it’s prone to have had some type of minor prang previously. Test for indicators of panel repairs to check the speculation, however you shouldn’t essentially be postpone if it has some battle scars. What’s extra vital is the standard of that restore work. If every thing appears to be like fairly orderly and exact, you possibly can most likely belief it. Nevertheless, overspray is a simple inform that the repairs may need been a bit extra slap-dash.

Talking of injury, these carbon fibre panels on the underside of the automotive are prone to have taken some abuse over the previous twenty years. In the event that they’re in a very unhealthy method, bear in mind that it might value round a grand to get new ones from Nissan.

Then there’s the problem of rust. Explicit drawback areas on the R34 embody the rear arches and floorpan as you’d anticipate, and it’s value checking the sills and chassis rails too. The tops of the struts are one other place the place corrosion likes to fester, as is the boot lid. Take note of any small spots of rust across the tail lamps as moisture can pool up within the surrounding crevices.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Photographs