Good morning ladies and gentlemen!
For those who don't frequent the Newb section, my name is Jesse, I live in Virginia, and I just recently took a nose dive into Skyline ownership. I've always been in love with 90's JDM cars (I've owned strictly Honda's for a long time) and have always wanted a Skyline but never thought it would actually happen. Until a few years ago, I had no idea that these cars could be imported to the US under the 25 year rule. I was never really into the R32 and drooled over the R34 since my countless hours playing Gran Turismo back in the day. I've found that the R33 is basically the black sheep of the lineup, and that is what I love about it. So, once I figured out that the R33 was becoming legal, I decided to pursue a dream of mine. I searched for almost a year, up and down the East Coast, from Maine to Miami and couldn't quite find what I was looking for. I briefly considered handling the import work myself, but was quickly discouraged after hearing many horror stories about buying cars sight unseen. So my search continues. I found a dealer in Richmond called Japanese Classics and lurked around their inventory site for a month or so. One day, they posted a 95 GTS25T with 152K km and minimal mods. I immediately called to check the car out. No more than 30 seconds into the test drive, I decided that I had to have it. Keep in mind that I had never driven a RHD car in my life, so it was pretty weird. I'm ambidextrous, so it didn't take long at all to get comfortable. The car has/had a few small issues. Firstly, the OEM wheels are scarred up, the driver's door lock button locks the passenger door, but not the driver door. Also, while driving, every 3-4 seconds, the driver door lock actuates by itself, over and over, but doesn't actually lock the door. The HVAC clicks on startup, but it works fine; I hear this is very common. The passenger seat belt buckle was missing (and somehow passed VA Safety Inspection?). So, no different than any other old car I've ever owned. Again, I'm a 90's Honda guy, so I'm used to quirks. As far as mods, the car has an APEXi Dunk catback, decat pipe and pod filter.
So, fast-forward a few days into ownership... I've been driving the car everywhere, ran through a tank of gas in 3 days. I quickly realized that I had a slight coolant leak. I used my test kit to pressurize the system and found the rad fill cap boss was leaking. I ended up purchasing a Mishimoto aluminum radiator and ISR upper and lower hoses. Before you guys trash my choice in radiators, I've already heard it and I've decided to just keep an eye on it in case something happens. As of this post, everything is fine. While the car was on the lift, I decided to change the engine, trans and diff oils. All looked good, just old (especially the diff). I did a good visual inspection and found no leaks and very minimal rust (one small spot where the front bumper meets the drivers fender), easily repairable.
This car definitely gets a lot of attention in traffic. I get the typical, "Hey, you're on the wrong side!" or, "Where'd this thing come from? Germany?" and my favorite, "Is that a GTR? No? Why didn't you buy a GTR?" Actually the other night, putting back through my neighborhood, I hear a guy yell out, "HOLY SHIT A GTR! Please rev it!". A huge reason why I wanted this car was because I wanted something unique, something you don't see every day.
I have since replaced all the exterior/interior lights with LED's; it took hours to cross reference all the bulb numbers since they're different in the US. The other night, I decided to replace the spark plugs and inspect the coil packs. I'm glad I checked, because 4 of the 6 plugs were just past finger-tight and had evidence of gas leaks. The plugs definitely looked original and were nasty. I replaced them with Denso Iridiums and all has been well since.
Through my short time owning this car, I've found that the car has a weird idle issue. Normally, cold and hot, it idles fine...runs and drives fine also. When I'm in traffic, or moving around in the driveway, the throttle response gets sluggish and when the RPMs settle back to idle, they drop to almost 0 and the car has shut off on my three times now in traffic. I've SeaFoamed the hell out of the intake tract, changed the plugs and cleaned the Idle Air Control Valve (without disassembling it) and there's been no change. My plant is to actually disassemble and scrub the IACV and see what happens.
I look forward to learning more about this car and getting to know you guys. Thanks for the opportunity.
P.S. I can also confirm that my car did not come with the rare, optional light-up rear garnish. Dangit.