I have just bought a 1987 R31 Ti Skyline. It has done 198000km's in excellent condition except for drivers door central locking not working, electric aerial is broken and a couple of small cosmetic blemishes in paint work. Paint is burgundy, boring brown interior.
I have heard that head gaskets fail after three to four years and diff's tend to be noisy other wise you can expect good reliable service from these cars.
I have also heard that if you want to fit a turbo to the R31 motors do not use the Holden variant, apparently the heads fail on the Holden model.
While we were looking for the R31 we saw another 1987 Ti with 147000km's in showroom condition. The asking price was about $7500Aus and they will probably get it too.
My other car is 1982 R30 Skyline.
One needs to be careful owning a Skyline they tend to be addictive.
The reason the heads went on the VL turbo (and NA) engines had nothing to do with the engine. It was because the radiator in the VL sat lower than the engine so that an air bubble would rise and sit inside the engine, causing a hot spot and consequently the head to crack. In the Skylines the radiator sits higher than the engine so that an air bubble would rise to the radiator cap and disappear.
Just a quick one on the dip switch. I have the same Problem with my Skyline. I had it at the workshop for an alternator problem and told them to have a look at the light problem as well. The mechanic couldn't fix it on the spot because he didn't know which switch would fit. He told me, that there's a switch of a current Nissan model that will work, but he wasn't sure which one it is, so he recommended to leave the car for a day, so they can take the part to a Nissan dealer and get a suitable switch. Not sure which models he mentioned, so I can't help you with that. I suggest you contact a Nissan dealership and ask them which dip switch will fit.
Hope that helps.
Just an update on my original post: I own the Skyline for a bit over a year now and am still pleased with it. We've done about 30,000km and the only thing wrong with it so far was that the rear brakes were down, a flat tyre and a broken alternator. Not bad for a 16 year old car. She still goes like a weasel and having done just under 230,000km, she's still got quite a bit of life in her.
"Knowing the engine from our old VL Commodore"
Do you have any idea what your talking about? The RB30E is a Nissan developed engine. Even the Turbocharged version found in the VL Commodore was developed by Nissan.
Holden don't make their own engines, they find engines from other companies and stuff them up. I.e. common cracked head problems in the VL, the 5.7L gen3 oil eater.
Yes, I know what I am talking about. I never said anything about the engine being a Holden engine did I? I said, that I know the engine from our old VL and that is true. It's no secret, that the VL had a Nissan engine. BTW. the current V8 is no holden engine, that's correct, but it is a GM engine, so it still comes from "the family".
An update on my Skyline: After now close to 240 tkm, it still goes and goes and goes. Had a little drama recently getting a quarter panel and a tail light (smashed it) but that's due to the age of the car. I'm still very pleased with the baby :)
Had the same problem with locating a quarter panel and tail light. Vic has all the cars. Just bought a silo, and it goes like a shower of... The manual trans is sweet, small diff noise as expected. Had it for a week than the old lady got rear ended (quietly upset). Just wondering what is the first thing to do to enhance the performance. wallet in mind. Thinking between exhaust or port and polish. I know both will compliment each other.
I've owned my TI Skyline for 4 years and must say its the most reliable car I've ever owned, which is a hell of a bonus when you're a mechanic and have to work on cars everyday.
The car owes me under $5000 including purchase price and 4 years of maintenance, this also including a front end smash and now full respray which with a lot of my own labor looks great, reckon I ll keep it for another 4 years too!
My grandpa gave me a perfect example of an 87 TI for my 18th with 152,000 on it, and I almost didn't take it, just at not wanting an old car. Thank god I did, they are terrific!
I have just come in to possession of a 1987 Nissan Skyline GX with 74,000 kms on the clock. (now has 78,000 after road trip)
It has been regularly serviced, even though the k's haven't been run up.
I was advised to replace the timing belt and water pump due to age, and have done so.
I have fixed the leaks in the tail lights, and also freed up the left hand rear brake line, which was seized.
Have had the rotors cleaned up, and now no shudder when braking at low speed.
My first Nissan, and love it.
Is there anything a novice should know about issues/problems etc? Where is best place to get a workshop manual?