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May 23, 2014

R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R Buyers Guide : 1989 to 1994

BT2 - Championship Blue R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R imported by 

My personal favorite Nissan Skyline, is the R32 GT-R. Its the one that I saw when I went to Japan in 1991. It was the one that was destroying its contemporaries on the track.  Put a 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R on a track vs other cars, and it dominated. 

R32 GT-R covered by GT Channel

The R32 GT-R debuted in August 1989 and was sold though 1994. A new version of Nissan's RB inline 6 cylinder engine powered the car. Iron block, aluminum dual overhead cam head. Sodium filled exhaust valves. Solid lifters. Six throttle bodies. Twin turbo. Oil cooled pistons. 73.7mm stroke with an 86 mm piston giving the RB26 2568cc of displacement. Fitting right into the Group A formula for forced induction. Short stroke, low torque, high revving. Stock most of the engines had ceramic exhaust wheels on the turbochargers, and saw about 0.7 bar of boost(500 mmHG, 10psi).

R32 GT-R imported to the US by
R32 GT-R imported to the US by

Behind the RB26DETT sat a 5 speed transmission, with internals shared with the Fairlady(300ZX). On the back of the transmission was the ATTESA transfercase, or the all wheel drive magic that made the R32 GT-R into the track monster it was.  On the track for Group A, the RB26 was tuned to 550 horsepower, making it unbeatable in 29 of 29 races in Japan

R32 GT-R on track at Willow Springs
On track at Willow Springs around 1999. 17 inch R33 wheels on an R32

Nissan Skyline GT-R : All Colors : For Sale in the US by Toprank Importers

There were a total of 5003 cars made in 1989 and 43937 cars over its whole production run.

Some areas of concern on a 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R, if you are looking to import it to the US. First off, its a 25 year old car. Not everything is going to be in as new condition, unless you pay a ton of money for the car. Current prices (June 2021) for Nissan GT-R's range from $30,000, to over $100,000 for low km cars.  I feel that a good range to be on the car is the $45k-$55k range. In that range you will get a decent car, and not a huge problem child. 

One of each color if you count the silvers as one (KG1, and KL0)

Update: GT-R Registry has a full breakdown of colors and types. Check it out. They managed to get lots of the missing FAST info.

In 1989, Nissan Skyline GT-R chassis codes - VIN numbers- started at chassis number 54, or BNR32-000054 and went to chassis number BNR32-005083. Although FAST and one other reference differ.

Total of 4365 cars paint codes pulled for 1989, and in a huge surprise KH2 dominated with 71.8% of the cars being gunmetal. A distant second was 732, black with 17.5%. Third place - silver only saw 5.4% of the bodies. TH1 - or one of two blues that are seen on R32s only showed up on 3.2% of the cars. Last place, but always faster, red with only 1.8% of the cars being red.

Totals. 1989-1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R.   Out of all the color codes we pulled from FAST, which were 39,242 chassis numbers(42,947 produced),  51% were KH2 or gunmetal. 22% were 326 white. 14 percent were 732 black. 6% were AH3 red. 4% were KG1 silver. 3% were TH1 blue. Less than 1% were BL0. We didn't find any AN0 or wine red 1989-1994 R32 GT-R, even though some sources reference that color.

  • Rust. Japan gets it
    • Check around the rear fender area
    • Check around the rear window
    • Open the trunk look under the spare tire for any water collecting
  • Fenders and hood are aluminum and a little fragile
  • Windshields and glass are unique to the Skyline GT-R
  • Does it have an aftermarket exhaust?
  • How do the wheels/tires look?
    • Normal GT-R
      • 16 x 8 +30
      •  225/50/16
    • Vspec GT-R
      • 17 x 8 + 30
      • 225/50/17
    • Vspec II GT-R
      • 17 x 8 +30
      • 245/45/17
  • How do the brake rotors look?
    • Original R32 brake rotors are cross drilled (cross drilled crack, change to solid or slotted)
    • Later N1 rotors are solid
    • 296 mm x 32 mm front(Non Vspec, non Brembo)
    • 297 mm x 18 mm rear (Non Vspec, non Brembo)
    • 324 x 30 mm front (Vspec, Brembo)
    • 300 x 22 mm rear (Vspec, Brembo)
  • The cars are all wheel drive, and the front driveshaft boots are often torn.

Torn CV boot right side outer


180 km/hr speedo
Stock 180 km/hr speedometer

  • Dash around the vents can lift and bubble
  • Speedometer clusters
    • The cars came with a 180 km/hr speedometer
    • Lots of aftermarket speedometers exist. Always have to be suspect of mileage/km on an aftermarket speedo
      • NISMO 320 km/hr speedometer
    • Always use your best judgement on mileage/km
      • Look at shifter
      • Look at pedals
      • If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is
    • Generally cars have low mileage, but 200k km cars are not unheard of
  • Does it have a factory ECU?
    • Its located behind the passenger side kick panel
  • Does it have an aftermarket boost controller?
  • Does it have an aftermarket boost gage?
  • How about a huge monster tach?
  • Air Conditioning. These cars are 25 to 30+ years old. The cooling system, the HVAC system in them is 1980's Nissan technology.  The parts can be difficult to get, or expensive. 
  • The Japanese seem to love Scotchlocks. Take all of them out. Get rid of them.  They should never be used in anything unless an emergency. The connection is so unreliable. Butt splices, soldering(although they try and minimize solder in race car applications), I would rather see the wire stripped back, wrapped around it and taped than a Scotchlock



  • RB26DETT can have some oiling issues
  • Check the oil level
  • Look for signs of leaks
    Half moon at the back of the engine. Hot side valve cover off
    • Front main is often a cracked oil pump gear
    • Half moons at the back of the engine can get brittle and leak
    • Turbos can leak
  • Rough idle can be a sign of a vacuum leak
    • 6 throttle bodies
    • Injectors
  • Check for a boost restrictor
  • Does the car have a factory airbox?
  • Does it have other aftermarket parts visible?
  • OEM MAF can fail, they will often make a car feel like it has a 2500 rpm limiter. 

  • Car should start easily and settle into around 1000 rpm idle
  • Oil pressure at idle should be around the first hash mark, or about 30 psi
  • 4th gear often grinds. Its a straight back pull, so guys don't let the synchros do their job, and hurt them. 
  • An all wheel drive car can put a hurting on a transmission. A modified GT-R often breaks 3rd gear. 
  • Hicas - Hicas is the OEM four wheel steering. It is often removed or locked out
  • The car should make about 10 psi, or about the first hash mark on the factory boost gage that reads in mmHG. If it buries the gage, then its running about 14 psi. 
  • If its running 14 psi or more, with the factory turbos, then their days are numbered.  It might run for years, it might snap the exhaust wheel of next week. Detonate on the engine, or find the rev limiter a few too many times, and expect that life to greatly diminish. 
  • Missing GT-R Ceramic Exhaust Wheel video

Variations of R32 Skyline GT-R Models

Model GT-R Magazine GT-R Registry
Standard 40390
Nismo 560 560
Australia 100
Vspec 1453 1460
Vspec II 1303 1369
N1 228 245 Total
118 N1
64 Vspec N1
63 Vspec II
Totals 43934 43937

R32 GT-R Production Numbers
R32 GT-R Production Numbers

R32 GT-R(43934 GT-R Magazine, 43937 GT-R Registry) registration

1989-4555 GT-R Magazine  5003 GT-R Registry
1990-8426 GT-R Magazine  9232 GT-R Registry
1991-7081 GT-R Magazine  7367 GT-R Registry
1992-7961 GT-R Magazine  7644+2 GT-R Registry
1993-6204 GT-R Magazine  6349 +1 GT-R Registry
1994-7465 GT-R Magazine  8301 GT-R Registry

1989 - chassis numbers 000054 to 005083 = 5029 cars
1990 - chassis numbers 005084 to 013744 = 8660 cars
1990 - chassis numbers 100001 to 100560 = 560 cars
1990/1991 numbers out of order = 10 cars
1991a- chassis numbers 013745 to 017467 = 3712 cars(minus 10 for 1990/1991)
1991b- chassis numbers 212001 to 215653 = 3652 cars
1992 - chassis numbers 215654 to 223298 = 7644 cars
1993a - chassis numbers 223299 to 223300 = 2 cars (1/93 only)
1993b - chassis numbers 300001 to 306348 = 6347 cars
1994 - chassis numbers 306349 to 314649 = 8300 cars

Total of 43906 cars 1989-1994 (GTRUSABlog numbers)  

Dates of Production and Prices 8-21-1989 to 2-14-1994 

1st model 8-21-1989 
4,445,000 yen 
Nismo 3-11-1990
4,441,000 yen 
2nd model 8-20-1991 
4,510,000 yen 
3rd model 2-3-1993
4,545,000 yen 
Vspec 2-3-1993
5,260,000 yen 
Vspec II 2-14-1994
5,260,000 yen 

First         BNR32-000051
Last          BNR32-314649
Last VSpec    BNR32-313609 (10/13/94)
Last Vspec II BNR32-313930 (10/20/94)
Nismo         BNR32-100000~100560

- 08/21/'89 BNR32 Shipped

- 02/22/'90 BNR32 NISMO Announced(03/11 Shipped)

Air intake in front bumper - Intercooler ducts
Sub rear spoiler added - Nismo lip
Side protector modified
Protection net removed - No intercooler screen
Air guide for intercooler newly added
NISMO turbos with metal exhaust wheels
Cast Stainless exhaust manifold
No ABS (anti lock braking system), rear windshield wiper 
30kg lighter than standard R32
Only available in Gunmetallic Grey (KH2)

- 07/19/'91 N1 BNR32 announced and shipped

With GT-R NISMO aero parts
No ABS, an Air Conditioner, rear windshield wiper or audio
No cross drilled rotors
brake cooling air guides attached to tension rods
light weight 2 headlight
# After 02/'92 metal turbine wheels

- 08/20/'91 Minor change. Middle model

Door bars added (50kg weight increase)
Head light projector modified(H3C->H1)
Driver's air bag optional
Oil pump drive widened
Cylinder block modified (reinforced partly and lighten)
Rear caliper seal modified
Interior partly changed (from smooth black radio surround, to textured)

- 02/03/'93 Minor change Late model. V-spec added

Rear diff cover fin removed
Clutch modified (push -> pull)
Synchronizers modified
Brembo caliper added(V-spec)
ETS program modified(V-spec)
Tires changed (V-spec: 225/50-17)
BBS mesh special wheel (V-spec)
# N1 model gets to based on V-spec

- 02/14/'94 V-spec2 added

Tire changed 245/45-17
# N1 model gets based on V-spec2
Besides these, ECU, cylinder block and the size of turbine
had been modified some times without notice.
Spot welding is supposedly decreased after '94.
R32 GT-R (early)
R33 GT-R (normal)
R34 GT-R (normal)
R35 GT-R (early)
4545 mm (178.9 in)
4675 mm (184.1 in)
4600 mm (181.1 in)
4650 mm (183.1 in)
1755 mm (69.1 in)
1780 mm (70.1 in)
1785 mm (70.3)
1900 mm (74.9 in)
1340 mm (52.8 in)
1360 mm (53.5 in)
1360 mm (53.5 in)
1370 mm (54 in)
1480 kg (3265 lbs)
1530 kg (3373 lbs)
1540 kg (3395 lbs)
1737 kg (3829 lbs)
2615 mm (103 in)
2720 mm (107.1 in)
2665 mm(104.9 in)
2780 mm (109.4 in)
Front track
1480 mm (58.3 in)
1480 mm (58.3 in)
1480 mm (58.3 in)
1590 mm (62.9 in)
Rear track
1480 mm (58.3 in)
1480 mm (58.3 in)
1490 mm (58.7 in)
1600 mm (63 in)

Finding, Buying, Exporting, Importing, Clearing, Titling, Insuring, and Registering your Nissan Skyline GT-R

That is a long title. Lots of information. Not just specific to the R32 GT-R, but it fits here for now.
Buying - International Vehicle Importers have many vehicles in stock in Japan, and will be on the way to the US once they turn 25 years old.Check out IVI on Facebook for updates on available cars.  The first R32 were made in August1989. 

VIN Information - Do not let a state assign a VIN to your car. The chassis number is the equivalent of a VIN. The NHTSA says to more or less not fuck with it. So don't do it. It is a federal offense to do it, you have been warned.

Right Hand Drive -Is it legal to drive a right hand drive car in the US?  The short answer is yes.The long answer is here.

How to Title and Register A Nissan Skyline GT-R in the USA.  -  If you are looking to either import, or buy a Nissan Skyline there are a few things you should know about the title and registration process. In the United States vehicles over twenty five years old are Department of Transportation (DOT) exempt from meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards(FMVSS). At over twenty one years old cars are Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)exempt in original configuration.  If the car is newer than 25 years old, it still might be possible to import it under the Show or Display exemption, but check out that page for more information to meet California direct import requirements, the car must be older than 1975. To have a newer car meet California requirements, it is very expensive, and sometimes near impossible to comply. More information -


Why have one, when you can have two? 
NISMO R32 GT-R with NISMO option wheels.
Not an R32 GT-R. 


Unknown said...

Best buying guide EVER!

kman5711 said...

I keep hearing differing stories regarding when the oil drive was widened. So any R32 GTR produced 8/1991 afterwards shouldn't have the oil pump issue?

Sean Morris said...

The wider drives still can split. Its better than the early stuff, but still has some issues at high RPM.

Anonymous said...

What's the best way to prevent or fix this on the mid/late models?

Sean Morris said...

Anonymous said...

Hello Sean,

Thank you for sharing all the information here.
I have recently imported my own R32 GTR from Canada. CBP has stamped my from 3520-1 and HS-7. I have insurance and I am about to get the car titled and registered in NC.
What is your opinion regarding mileage? Convert the km to miles and provide the miles when registering the vehicle? I want to ensure that there is no gap/red flag in the vehicle history.

Thank you!