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Nissan GT-R buying guide - Nissan GT-R buying checkpoints

Everything you need to know about buying a used Nissan GT-R.

A car still under Nissan’s three-year warranty is worth it if you can afford one, though a number of specialists offer their own: Litchfield Imports’ one-year warranty and breakdown package costs £1200.

Despite the level of performance and the complexity of the drivetrain, the GT-R is proving to be well-built and generally very dependable, and most things are straight-forward to repair.

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Many cars will have been used on track, and generally that isn’t an issue, although it does make it even more important that the car is serviced regularly.

Engine

No biggies here. Iain Litchfield says: ‘To date we have tuned over 400 cars and we have not had one single engine problem, despite many of these cars running over 600bhp and some at 750bhp.’   

The most common fault is what is known as the ‘bell-housing rattle’, and it’s something Nissan is yet to resolve. It’s caused by a bearing at the end of the flywheel shaft moving in its casing. All GT-Rs suffer the rattle, but some will be louder than others and it can cause a vibration if the bearing becomes badly worn. It’s usually fixed under warranty; if the car is out of warranty Litchfield Imports charges £738 to fit an upgraded item.

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Gearbox & clutch

Early gearboxes can have problems with the control solenoids, which ultimately lead to worn or broken components. These can be expensive to repair, as the whole gearbox needs to be removed and stripped down. Nissan currently has a policy of not supplying any gearbox parts, apart from the sump gasket at £35 or a new gearbox at £16,000(!), so it’s worth checking carefully that gearchanges are clean, quick and smooth. Standard clutches are extremely reliable and very rarely wear out.

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Brakes & tyres

A GT-R can be expensive to run, being particularly hard on brakes and tyres due to its performance and weight. It’s easy to spot a car that has had a hard life on track as the discs tend to develop cracks around the drilled holes. Tyres will also show clear signs of wear on the outer edges. Budget just over a grand for new front discs and pads, and around £1500 for a set of tyres.

Specifications

>> Engine V6, 3799cc, twin-turbo>> Max power 473bhp @ 6400rpm>> Max torque 434lb ft @ 3200-5200rpm>> Weight (kerb) 1740kg>> Power-to-weight 276bhp/ton>> 0-60mph 3.8sec (claimed)>> Top speed 193mph (claimed)>> Price when new £56,795 (2009)

Parts prices

>> Parts prices from litchfieldimports.co.uk, tyre prices from blackcircles.com, all including VAT at 20 per cent.>> Tyres (each) £354 front, £429 rear (Bridgestone Potenza RE070)>> Brake discs (front set) £702 (Alcon)>> Brake pads (front pair) £264
>> Suspension upgrade (full set, Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, etc) £3494>> Clutch £1320>> Exhaust (Milltek, cat-back) £1417>> Spark plugs (set of six) £172Servicing

>> Prices from litchfieldimports.co.uk including VAT at 20 per cent. *Annual service cost varies depending on servicing schedule.

>> Interim (6k miles or 6 months) £145>> Main (12k miles or 12 months) £336-769*

What to pay

>> GT-Rs have generally held their value well, a reflection of their outstanding value when new and the strong following they’ve attracted. The cheapest cars, usually imports, are just below £35k. For UK cars, which started to arrive in April 2009, expect to pay £35,000-40,000 for a good, early, non-satnav example with a full service history, and over £40k for a post-Sept ’09 car with the factory satnav and high-definition screen. The 2011 model year cars, which cost £69,950 new, are now in the £50-55k bracket. Modified cars don’t generally attract a significant premium; on the other hand, providing the work was carried out by a reputable specialist, neither should tuning detract from the car’s value.

Useful contacts

>> gtr.co.uk (register, owners’ club, forum)>> nagtroc.org (North American owners’ club, forum)>> litchfieldimports.co.uk (tuning, parts, servicing, sales)>> www.middlehurst.co.uk (sales, servicing)>> severnvalleymotorsport.co.uk (tuning, servicing)>> jm-imports.co.uk (sales, parts, servicing)>> forsale.evo.co.uk (sales)

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