GTiR Buyers Guide - to be reviewed

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Due to amount of posts from NEwbie potential owners asking the same questions, we have put a small guide of what to look for when buying a GtiR.
If new members who are looking for a car have any other questions then PLEASE post them in this thread so that we can have one single thread to help you find the R of your dreams.

If anybody would like to add to this info then please PM me and i will edit it, or add your thoughts below.

Good luck and hope you find a good example R and if you need someone to look at an R for you, then there are many forum owners who will be more than happy to view one with you nearby.

Thanks to Nick for the guide he wrote up :wink:

What to look for when buying a Nissan Sunny/Pulsar GTI-R!

Tyres, Brakes and Suspension: - Standard brakes are only “just” adequate, so an uprated set-up suggests a clued-up previous owner. Lack of grip and squealing probably means the wrong tyres. As standard, it should be on Bridgestone tyres. Regular kerbing will knock out tracking and show up as wear on the tyres edges. Listen to rumbling wheel bearings. A knocking from the front could mean worn suspension bushes or knackered struts. Four wheel alignment is vital if you want to make the most of your tyres.

Interior: - A minor gripe can be erratic electric windows on the driver’s side, possibly due to faulty connectors. Brake fluid on the driver’s footwell carpet means master-cylinder seal failure. Faulty air-conditioning, when fitted, means either a simple re-gas or a new exchanger is needed. Wind-noise from the doors is a door-seal problem or the door hangers. A noisy roof, which has come detached from the roof frame is a very common problem.

Bodywork: - Look out for evidence of accident damage and a poor standard of work. Also the car’s are not underselaed in Japan, so ask for evidence of this. Rusty rear arches are a common problem because of the lack of underseal so check for any underlying rust coming through.

Clutch: - A well-used GTI-R can easily eat its clutch, a slipping clutch is often found on cars running uprated boost. Tuned cars certainly need a better clutch. Make sure you go on a high speed run and check it doesn’t slip in 5th gear as this is puttinig the most load on it.

Turbo: - Lots of blue smoke on the overrun may indicate a blown or failing unit.

Transmission: - Difficult gear change, especially at high revs, is probably due to the synchromesh. Listen out for nasty noises.

Engine: - The Pulsar is a tough little nut because there’s a timing chain keeping that 2.0-litre lump together. If oil pressure is slow to build up, it probably means a worn crank even though its not yet rattly. A rattly top end may mean that the cams need re-shimming. At £16 per shim, that could be a bill for £300+ before you start on the labour charges. Ensure that the engine runs smoothly and is mechanically quiet. If it’s not, walk away and find another. If the car does not rev above 3000rpm there could be an engine management or sensor problem. Modified engines are not uncommon, and might mean trouble unless the work has been carried out to a high standard. An after-market dump valve is an obvious give away, as is a boost pressure over 0.7bar. About 280bhp is reckoned to be the safe maximum for continued reliability, but only if the fuelling is set up right. Hopefully, there is supporting documentation as to what has been done and by whom. Play safe and always use Optimax or BP Ultimate with an import or modified example, octane booster may also be a plus.

Expect about 200+miles to a tank (24mpg ish) if you drive reasonably steady, down to well under 100 if you drive it hard all the time.

Hope that lot helps all you newcomers looking to buy an R! Below are some brief differences between the various models!


Supplied with 14-inch 6.0J Alloy wheels and 195/55R14 tyres. Body-Coloured bumpers and roof spoiler, side skirts, front spoiler and tinted glass. Electric mirrors, front windows and central locking. Three-spoke adjustable steering wheel, adjustable driver’s seat and split/folding rear seat. Just 70 officially imported.


Equipment as per the UK model plus air-conditioning also added extras are an umbrella, toolkit and flare. Available in grey, graphite, white, red and black.


Lightweight rally version of the GTI-R with no air-conditioning or electric refinements and with a close ratio gearbox and steel wheels!

Hope all this info helps guys!

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Fast Guy

Staff member
Also when checking under the bonnet, make sure the rubber hose from the wastegate actuator to the tee piece and then to the boost solenoid and plenum (via metal pipe under the top mount) are there and connected. I know of a couple of instances now, where this pipe has been missing. This means you will be running unlimited boost and your engine will blow in the very near future. :(

Dakar or RB Version?

Shalom said:
"Dakar" has been traditionally used to refer to the "rally" version
but nobody has been able to provide any proof of the word "dakar" being mentioned anywhere official
(if somebody reading this can - please do so!) and theres certainly no record it was never entered in the paris-dakar rally

so as far as we were concered there were 2 main types - road and rally (RA and RB) and the name dakar (RD?) remained a myth...

but after recent investigation, one very long-term member of the oz club remembers being told (many years ago by an owner in eastern europe) that there was a euro-only special-version called the "dakar" - it had all the luxury interior trimmings from the RA, but the close-ratio gearbox and special diffs from the RB and WAS only ever made in the ivory/marble white (which is probably where the old theory that all rally-specs are white came from)

GTIR-Alpha (road / luxury)
GTIR-Beta (rally / homologation)
GTIR-Dakar (road with rally box/diffs - ivory only - unconfirmed)

so if everyone could please stop calling the "beta" the "dakar" (at least until we get some sort of proof)
that would be super :)

The RB is the lightweight model, with no electrics. It tops out at about 130mph in 5th (7500rpm) and it may have aircon (not climate control) fitted. (mine does)

Picture of RB passenger door card. Note manual windows and no door pocket or speaker.

Interior of RB

I've just been playing with the Nissan Fast software and for the Pulsar the 6th digit of the chassis number confirms what model you have.

R is RB
V is RA

So mine, EBYNRRFN14...........

is an RB

I can only assume there wasn't a European RB model :?:

Fast Guy

Staff member
0-60 can be done in about 5.5secs (with a perfect launch)
Pulsar is 222bhp (227ps) standard (normally runs on 100octane fuel for higher power)
Sunny is 215bhp (220ps) standard
Top speed is 144mph on standard car
Top speed is 127mph on RB model (close ratio gearbox, rpm maxes out in 5th)
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