1996 Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T 2.5 turbo
A turbo charged japanese allrounder
90,000km an unknown hose carrying coolant needed to be refabricated at a cost of $200.
100,000km heater core sprung a leak. Very common and difficult problem to remedy as it is behind the dashboard. I have bypassed just bypassed the coolant and will get it fixed by a pro at a cost of $600 quoted.
3rd battery in 5 years.
From the moment I laid eyes on the skyline, I had to have one. At 21, my budget was either a clapped out R32 GTR or a decent R33 GTS-T series 2, so to avoid unaffordable insurance and possible future repairs, I chose the latter. A silver 1996 R33 GTS-T coupe.
I imported mine through a brokerage which turned out to be a lengthy and stressful experience. I did save about $5000 but whether it was worth it I was not entirely sure. That is until I received it.
It was probably the peak of the grey import times in Melbourne and the skyline was arguably one the best looking cars to come out. It was definitely the most popular. I remember driving through any town and people would be looking at its sleek, menacing body. Neighbourhood children would gather around it, telling me how they have one of these in their video game. Looks it had, but what was the performance like? Bloody fast.
With your foot flat to the floor the turbo will wind you up to 100km/h in under 7 seconds. 140 rwkw is easily boosted to 150-160 with some bolt on mods. Mine came with a 3 inch exhaust with Jasma 4 inch tip that sounded deep and would set off most car alarms in any given underground carpark. I also fitted a Greddy pod filter & fmic. If its going around corners that floats your boat (or sliding around corners) the factory suspension hugs the road beautifully with slight over-steer that is easily corrected, or abused. Mine came with Tein coil-overs that are ridiculously stiff, but simply brilliant. Its like driving a racecar. At 1360kg, these are not light, but they almost feel as nimble as their little brother, the 200sx, but with a lot more grunt.
If your using your skyline as a daily driver, don't go too crazy on the suspension. Stock is great. If you are driving on normally dodgey city roads the bumps will get annoying. Also watch lowering them as they already sit fairly low and you will be doing some damage to your front bumper as I have :(
If you have a big foot you will be knocking your foot on the panel under the dash as you move accelerator to brake. This gets annoying.
I won't name the compliance mechanic, but he was awful. He charged me $600 extra for changing braided brake hoses to standard, something he said needed to be done which is untrue. He also pocketed the solar battery charger. which may have led to my next issue.
I powered up the stereo system to 400wRMS and have chewed up 3 batteries. The battery is a pathetic size and in the boot, so I assume these factors are the reason. I have been lazy not to correct this yet with either a battery upgrade or a capacitor.
The rear indicators got a bit of moisture in them too. I got a panel beater to reseal the boot, but its back to leaky.
Japanese cars are limited to 180km/h and this is no exception. You need to replace the entire computer to raise it, and get some more power, as it is not programmable. I don't often need to go faster than this so never bothered.
The bang for your buck score would have to be 10/10 thanks to the Japanese used car market. Its easy to forget that this was a $55,000 car new. That's a Monaro or an XR8, but they have a compromised name for themselves due the the abuse that some receive. If you want one, get one with as little modifications as possible and only get your modifications done by GOOD mechanics. The engine is proven to be bulletproof the running gear hasn't missed a beat yet and it arguably is still a great looking car at for its age.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th July, 2007
Your review is very good, however I have to comment on two things:
1. Changing the brake hoses to standard is one of the compliance regulations as set by DOTRS. As it is a tricky job, requiring two people, and Nissan parts being expensive, 600 bucks is about right. (he didn't rip you off basically)
2. The batteries that come standard are of a gel cell type. So even though they look small, they pack a massive punch and have a 5 year lifespan as opposed to 2 for a normal 'wet' battery. I have to agree, the fact they are in the boot is a pain in the... BUT, it does free up a fair bit of space in the engine bay for access to the oil filter :)
With 400W, maybe you should have looked into buying a capacitor. They are not that expensive.