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Newbie.....serious about buying.....advice required

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fd9ak49

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Hello All, :D

My name's Dan and I'm about to work for a year in Japan (comencing Feb '06....eeek....trying to learn Japanese language is a nightmare!!!).
Fortunately my company will be paying me a bit more for my trouble and I intend to enjoy spending it on a Silvia.
I have a friend with an S14a which is very cool but have fallen for the looks of the S15 (meant to be a very similar car underneath?)

As I understand it, I can get a:
- Spec/Type S (which is non-turbo)
- Spec/Type R (like the S but with a turbo)

- Varietta (cool convertiable hardtop version but not available with turbo?)
- xxxxx "Aero" (the above but with a body-kit?)

That's really all I know. :cry:

Having now finished painting up my house, I am really serious about getting one of these cars (meant to be pretty cheap in Japan) but would like to ask the masses for more information such as:
1) is there a pre-written guide available?
2) Is there any spec I should avoid?
3) Is the homologation (SVA) for UK easy?
4) Will insurance be a problem for this specific imported car (I have a reasonble driving history)?
5) Are there any cheap upgrades I should look out for/avoid?
6) And finally, is there anything else I've forgotten to ask that's worth knowing?

Help!!!! :confused:

Thanks very much for your time if you reply. :notworthy:

Dan.
 

Nicely

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Welcome to the club and forum. :wave:

You don't want much, do you? :p

You may well find some of your answers by taking a look at the Useful Threads sticky in Announcements.

Some clarification though.

A JDM Spec R is NOT a Spec S with a turbo. It also has uprated suspension, brakes, gearbox, and diff (the Helical diff from the R34 Skyline).

Good examples in Japan are no longer as cheap as used to be. The Japs don't want to sell them, and when they do, they can ask high prices.

Anyway,

1. Not on this forum currently. Have a look at the buyers guide for the S14/a here. Most of the mechanical stuff applies.
2. The JDM Spec S. The one to get is pre-Oct 2000, low mileage Spec R Aero with the Aero front bumper (not included). Later examples have HICAS (AVOID) and HIDs. The price you pay for getting the HIDs is not getting the ball bearing turbo (hence pre Oct 2000).
3. If you are living in Japan for a year, you should be able to bring the S15 in as a personal import. This means it isn't subject to ESVA (you'll need to check the specifics).
4. In a word: no. You shouldn't have any problem. An example is that my S15 worked out ?100 cheaper to insure than my 320bhp S14 (A Plan).
5. Buy standard - completely unmodified. You are going to need to make friends with a Jap who knows his stuff regarding buying cars in Japan to make sure you get a good one and how to check out its history.
6. Read the threads I've linked to, both here and on the SXOC and you will find a LOT of info to prepare yourself.

If you have any other specific questions, just say. :)
 

sushiming

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welcome dan :wave:
with the Esva u wont need that u just need a normal Sva test which is only checking or sharp edges and some kinda other crap but u can even moddiff it there and bring it over and still pass the test as i know the guy that did my car did the same
aslong as you have owned the car for more than 6months its ok to import it as a personal import mate...and u should do everything out there mate Save what money u can...
just like nicely has said any questions we will try to answer as much as we can as we too are still learning about the car but have the basics as we have one....Good luck and keep us up to date mate.... :thumbs:
 
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fd9ak49

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Wow...thanks for that guys....sorry if I was pushing my luck with a big request for info!! :D
What you've said is very helpful. :notworthy:

Also, thanks for your patience - I found a lot of people asking the same sort of stuff. (Taxi for 1....) :eek:
However, I've read through nearly all your recommended links and some other previous stuff including a super informative import guide by Yakozan.

As you (foolishly ;) ) suggest Nicely, I have some specific questions.....

1) High Capacity Actively Controlled Suspension - why is this such a bad thing? Expensive if it goes wrong?
2) High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps - How is that linked to a ball bearing turbo? Was this spec combination added together at some facelift etc?
3) Sounds like the POST-oct 200 turbo is unreliable? (Ceramic type?)
4) Found a link whilst reading up that shows a Japanese page about specification. I would get an R, so the possibilities are:
- Spec R
- Spec R L-package....looks like interior trim upgrade?
- Spec R beta-package...wtf???
- Spec R Type B......looks like cheap version or lightweight version??
Could anyone tell me more?

5) Ok, stupid one....sorry.....why on all the modified cars I can see are the stickers the wrong way around on the right hand side....am I being dim or is this some sort of crazy fashion statement???!!! (I've looked closely and I don't think they're mirrored photos!)

I've pushed my luck again haven't I...... :D

Any advice would be appreciated and could save me good deal of bother in the future.
(If I get a great deal on a "Type-B" only to find it hasn't even got electric windows I'll be gutted!!!)

Thanks to all, :thumbs:

Dan.

PS. Although NOTHING to do with S15's (none of my colleagues knew anything about this car!), I actually work for Nissan Design, so if anyone needs advice with finding part numbers I'll do my best to help (particually official European sold models like Micra, Almera, Primera, S14 and 350).
 

Nicely

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fd9ak49 said:
1) High Capacity Actively Controlled Suspension - why is this such a bad thing? Expensive if it goes wrong?
Its 4WS. But not the decent 4WS you get on Hondas. Its heavy, can't be used for parking and, the general consensus is that its rubbish. It only comes in when IT feels like it and only ever seems to hinder rather than help. It was an option on later S15s. I don't know how prone it is to failure nor how much it would cost to fix.

2) High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps - How is that linked to a ball bearing turbo? Was this spec combination added together at some facelift etc?
The ball bearing turbo was only fitted from 01/1999 until 10/2000. After that, the non-BB turbo from the S14 was fitted. HIDs were offered as an option on later models. No ceramic turbo has ever been fittted on an S13/14/15.

3) Sounds like the POST-oct 200 turbo is unreliable? (Ceramic type?)
No. Sorry if I gave that impression. However, the BB turbo is better than the non-BB. It spools quicker.

4) Found a link whilst reading up that shows a Japanese page about specification. I would get an R, so the possibilities are:
- Spec R
- Spec R L-package....looks like interior trim upgrade?
- Spec R beta-package...wtf???
- Spec R Type B......looks like cheap version or lightweight version??
Could anyone tell me more?
I would forget looking for a specific package. Good examples are becoming so difficult to get hold of in the Jap auctions that you probably won't have that degree of choice. You will see the full spec of each car up for auction. It'll be a case of choosing from that...

5) Ok, stupid one....sorry.....why on all the modified cars I can see are the stickers the wrong way around on the right hand side....am I being dim or is this some sort of crazy fashion statement???!!! (I've looked closely and I don't think they're mirrored photos!)
Its to do with D1. It started on the Jap pro drift cars and progressed from there. Don't know exactly what the significance is...

PS. Although NOTHING to do with S15's (none of my colleagues knew anything about this car!), I actually work for Nissan Design, so if anyone needs advice with finding part numbers I'll do my best to help (particually official European sold models like Micra, Almera, Primera, S14 and 350).
They haven't heard of the S15 at Nissan Design? Now why doesn't that surprise me? Maybe they could stop designing the stuff that's being thrown out at the moment and take inspiration from it... :p

FAST is available for download for most models up until 2001 (there's a sticky in Technical-Mechanical). However, a 2003 or later copy which includes the S15 would be very useful. :D The service manual is also available...
 

Yakozan

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Nicely said:
HIDs were offered as an option on later models. No ceramic turbo has ever been fittted on an S13/14/15.
I've got HID on my -99 so I think it was available from the start as an option. Or mine have been fitted after.

Never mind the different packages. The only thing important to choose is if you want an aero or regular.
The Aero model came with rear wing and side-skirts. You also might want to find one with the option aero-bumper and rear thingies.
You could probobly sell the front bumper pretty easily if you want to go after market kit later.

The Aero model costs a little more.

There is actually quite alot of very good condition S15s selling in Japan.
The problem is that if you want another color then pearl white and pewter, They're much harder to find.
But there should be some every week I reckon.

THe Auctions in Japan has ended for this year so don't bother to look around now. They'll probobly start again in a week or so.

Good luck :thumbs:
 

sushiming

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HID were an option on all other packages except for the
Spec-R/Spec-S V packages which were standard....
 
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FLY 200

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Thats what im talkin bout

congrats guys that is exactly why i like this forum sooooo much, if Dan had of posted this kind of question on some other forums i can just imagine the type of negative and un- informative garbage that he would have been given in response (oh WELCOME by the way Dan. good to have u on board. But what he was given was good educational information that he could actually use.

Just my opinion Dan but check out your local s15 possibilities before u go and import one, i know the import guru's will probably scream me down, but sometimes with the money it will cost you to bring one over and comply it to local law it is nearly as cost effective to buy one already done.........(p.s) the you can buy all your hi performance goodies when you go to Japan. plus parts are easier to put in your suitcase that a s15 would be (lol) good luck with your decision mate but go the R-Spec :thumbs:
 

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Agree with that ^^^. However, they are few and far between over here.

Examples

That's the UK-wide selection. The ?11k+ ones are Spec Rs. Out of those, some will be shite and some will have been sold already, but kept up to obtain interest. I really wouldn't consider anything advertised under about ?13k (initially). Vitually none are sold privately. DO NOT buy any from Keighley Trade Centre and Newera.
 

Nicely

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Also, Dan is going to be in the ultimate position of being able to test drive and buy in Japan. It going to be totally cost effective to bring it in as a personal import due to not having to pay duties...
 
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fd9ak49

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Re: Thats what im talkin bout

FLY 200 said:
.....if Dan had of posted this kind of question on some other forums....etc
Probably true Fly. Thanks again everyone.

Hey, check out the Black "Silvia" on the bottom of the first page of Nicelys "Examples" attachment......
S15....? Look closer at the back end and interior......

And if you click on this link.............. (see end of text)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Silvia

I guess that makes it an S14.5...? :)

Oh, regarding your notes on upgrades fly...deffo from Japan. My colleauge has a Scooby that he has significantly uprated with cheap bits he's got from Japan.
A reliable 300hp is my target figure for what ever car I get....so I'll be looking for at least exhaust, filter, chip and boost controller (although I don't know so much about the later)......
I think that covers all the simple stuff that will not effect longetivity too much!
Nissan also design cars to take snow chains, it's a compulsary design feature for the domestic market, so there will be an opportunity to lower it somewhat too!!! :D
 
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Hey Nicely, you've depressed me with your turbo info above - I thought all S15's were fitted with the ball bearing T28 (T28R) - this is not the case? Although, you've kinda helped with the ceramic wheel info. I wasn't sure, but I thought maybe the S15 turbo had the ceramic wheels Nissan seem in throw into everything else. I was thinking of bolting on a HKS GTRS turbo, although examples I've seen only get to around 245rwkw including cams. Seems alot to pay for only another 35rwkw. I believe the standard turbo can run up to 1.3 bar. Perhaps crank the boost and fit a metal head gasket - that may see 220 - 225 rwkw. What do you reckon? Popular belief has it that 250kw (fly) is about all you want on standard internals. I've seen plenty running 250rwkw with only rocker arm stopper kits as a precaution. Once you hit 210rwkw - more power adds up the $$$.
 

Nicely

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Yep. That info has been researched (on Nissan Silvia NZ BTW) and verified. BB turbo only from 1/1999 to 10/2000. Non-BB turbo (same as S14/a) after 10/2000.

I'm personally not sure as to the power limitations of the BB turbo, though I understand it is higher than the non-BB. As you say, once you upgrade the turbo, other internal stuff needs doing to and cost mount very quickly. I'm intending only running the maximum power I can out of the standard turbo. I've not intention of going down the obsessive 400+bhp (300KW+) route that so many SR20DET people over here have. I'm a firm believe in the philiosophy that if I was going to spend that much money, I may as well get something better. :) This was one of the reasons I upgraded from an S14. I was running similar power and didn't want to shell out more on what is a heavily depreciating car over here.
 
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yeah, wise strategy. Personally I'm happy with the 210rwkw I have now, all the infrastructure is in place for more power (massive fuel, intercooler etc); but I see it more as insurance in mechanical over-engineering as opposed to groundwork for the monster build. You have similar power to me so as you know - it's just right. I'm more a fan of the comprehensive package as opposed to the rocket than doesn't turn! I'm pretty much done as far as mods go, but as you all know all too well....those are famous last words!!
 

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Well, sat under my desk at work (safely away from Mrs Nicely's nagging), and waiting to be fitted, are coilovers, rear camber arms, 740s and a set of 18x8.5 Kei D2 alloys.... :p And I'm waiting for my group buy 315mm BMW M3 Brembo disks to arrive. Oh and a 3500 mile replacement T28BB turbo and braided hoses...

Think that should just about do me. :D
 
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