You have got most likely seen a Nissan Skyline R34, however if you draw nearer to it, you understand that it has 4 doorways and is a wagon, the Nissan Stagea. In all probability the best-looking wagon you’ve ever seen. Nissan first made the Stagea in 1996 based mostly on the Nissan Skyline R33 platform and sharing main mechanical parts with the R33 Skyline and the Nissan Laurel C35.
Nonetheless, the WC34 Stagea has an analogous physique structure to the Nissan Skyline R34, particularly later first-gen manufacturing fashions produced between 1999 and 2001. You’ll see most Stagea’s with an R34 swapped entrance finish, with some homeowners going to intensive limits to get OEM GT-R entrance ends, together with the entrance fenders.
You hardly ever see the W35 Stagea with a swapped entrance finish, however some swap the entrance finish with an R34 or R35 GT-R one. However you don’t have to do a entrance swap on a W35 Stagea because it appears good with the OEM entrance finish. Aftermarket physique kits will give your W35 Stagea a greater look than an R35 swapped entrance finish.
The primary-gen Stagea (WC34) was created from 1996 to 2001, whereas the second-gen (M35) was created from 2001 to 2007, the yr Nissan discontinued it. What makes the Nissan Stagea distinctive is that you may purchase it for cheaper than you may get a Nissan Skyline or a 350Z however with the identical engine and transmission choices.
When inventory, the Nissan Stagea is the final word sleeper wagon. You get the WC34 Stagea with the identical RB engines used within the Nissan Skyline R33 and R34, together with a 300-horsepower RB26DETT within the Stagea 260RS. The M35 Stagea comes with a collection of VQ engines just like these within the 350Z and different Nissan and Infiniti sports activities vehicles and SUVs.
Professionals and Cons
Nice Engine choices
Nissan put two of their best engines within the Stagea, the RB and VQ engines, in all their completely different variants. The bottom spec WC34 Stagea comes with a 2.0-litre RB20E and RB20DE engine driving the rear wheels by way of a 4-speed computerized or 5-speed guide transmission. Increased spec fashions have the two.5-litre RB25DE, RB25DE NEO, RB25DET, and RB25DET NEO driving the rear wheels or all 4 wheels by way of a 4-speed computerized or 5-speed guide transmission.
The Stagea 260RS is probably the most highly effective spec with the two.6-litre RB26DETT, the identical engine used within the R32, R33, and R-34 Skyline GT-R. Relying on the spec, the ability output for the WC34 Stagea was between 130 to 300 horsepower at manufacturing time.
The Second-gen Stagea (M35), created from 2001 to 2007, comes with extra highly effective V6 (VQ) engines, together with a 2.5-litre VQ25DD and VQ25DET, 3.0-liter VQ30DD, and three.5-liter VQ35DE. The VQ25DET and VQ30DD are probably the most highly effective engines within the M35 Stagea. They made barely over 270 horsepower on the time of manufacturing. Different engines made round 200-260 horsepower.
RB engines are extremely tunable, even the RB20Ewhich can deal with as much as 250 horsepower with inventory internals. Different NA RB engines hand deal with round 300 to 500 horsepower. Suppose you’re fortunate sufficient to get your arms on a 260RS Stagea. In that case, you’ll be able to push the RB26DETT engine to over 600 horsepower with just a few bolt-on mods with out worrying in regards to the internals.
VQ engines are additionally tunable, as you’ll be able to simply get 30% extra horsepower on a VQ25DD, VQ35DE, or VQ35DE engine by putting in a turbo package and different supporting mods. Rising energy output on a VQ25DET could be executed by upgrading the turbocharger, air consumption and gasoline injectors, gasoline pump, ECU remap, and different bolt-on mods. This can simply double the ability output, however something over 500 horsepower places the engine internals and block in danger.
Huge Aftermarket Assist
The Nissan Stagea won’t have an enormous following or presence within the JDM automotive scene, however getting aftermarket elements is simple because it shares mechanical and physique parts with the Nissan Skyline and Fairlady. You may simply use Nissan 350Z, 370Z, or Skyline elements on a Stagea with out worrying about compatibility.
The Stagea can also be slowly gaining aftermarket help by itself because it not too long ago turned authorized for import in the US. Producers at the moment are making Stagea-specific physique kits, wheels, tail lights, headlights, and inside parts, amongst different elements.
Suppose you like genuine Nissan Skyline or NISMO elements. In that case, you’ll be able to nonetheless get them from Japan, however these are costlier than most aftermarket elements. Nonetheless, they’re genuine and improve the worth of your Stagea because it now identifies as a “Skyline Wagon.”
Higher Than Skyline Sedans
What’s higher than a Skyline Sedan? A skyline Station Wagon. If you’re confused about whether or not to purchase a Skyline sedan or Nissan Stagea, you higher purchase a Nissan Stagea. It’s cheaper, extra sensible, appears higher than any skyline sedan, and is exclusive since fewer items have been made.
Suppose you’re going on a street journey for the weekend. In that case, you’ll be able to take your RB-powered wagon and suit your complete household and their baggage in it with out worrying about what’s going to match and what gained’t. The trunk house is massive sufficient to suit grocery buying and a few gear if you go to the mall or comfort retailer. Additionally, if you lay down the rear seat, you’ve gotten sufficient sleeping house for 2 folks.
Early Fashions are Extremely Collectible
Just like the Nissan Skyline, the Nissan Stagea can also be collectable. Between 1996 and 2001, Nissan solely made 133,415 items of the Nissan Stagea, lesser than any skyline ever created from that interval. A Nissan Stagea won’t be as uncommon as a Skyline GT-R NISMO or V-Spec, however costs might be comparable in coming years.
260 RS Stageas promote for greater than $50,000, which is costlier than a base-spec R32, R33, or R34 GT-R. Solely 1734 items have been made. If Stagea has an OEM swapped R34 Skyline entrance finish, it would promote for greater than an ordinary one, particularly if it has an RB25 or RB26 engine with a guide transmission swap.
Principally, you should buy a Nissan Stagea WC34 for affordable and switch it right into a GT-R wagon, which can make it cooler and faster. Nonetheless, you’re additionally rising its price sooner or later should you don’t plan on promoting it.
RB energy has by no means been cheaper and simple to get. Costs for the Nissan Stagea begin at roughly $15,000 for one that’s bone inventory. Which is the perfect situation you may get one in. It would want some inside and exterior rejuvenation and a few rust removing. Nonetheless, you’ve gotten an engine underneath the hood that can take out most fashionable wagons with no mods.
Nice Reliability and Sturdiness
Gasoline consumption may be on the upper aspect on a Nissan Stagea, but it surely’s nothing to complain about for a 20-year-old JDM that has been saved away or continuously used. RB engines have a cast-iron block which is heavier than the aluminum block utilized in VQ engines however is extra sturdy and has a better energy score. You may simply make extra energy out of an RB engine than a VQ engine, however the RB engine is heavier.
Nonetheless, the reliability and sturdiness of a automotive aren’t solely measured by the engine energy. A Nissan Stagea will final round 400,000 to 500,000 miles earlier than you begin changing main mechanical parts however solely with common upkeep. It’s extra of a day by day driver and heavier than your common Skyline. The one main factor you’ll have to interchange repeatedly is the bushings.
The inside can also be prime quality, particularly should you get one with a leather-based inside maintained all through earlier homeowners it has been by. Not often will you see cracks on the sprint, warping leather-based, or a leaking ground on a Nissan Stagea.
Attracts Consideration from Cops
An R34 front-end swapped Stagea will appeal to cops who’re at all times ready to pounce on skyline homeowners. You may get pulled up in your Stagea as a result of the Skyline R34 shouldn’t be but authorized in the US. When cops see an “R34 wagon,” it positively raises concern. However swapping the entrance finish of a Stagea shouldn’t be unlawful, and there shouldn’t be a lot explaining to do. Nonetheless, some cops will nonetheless insist on some foolish mistake, and also you may find yourself getting a ticket or your automotive being towed.
Not solely is the Nissan Stagea a cop magnet, but in addition a thug magnet. Failure to park your Stagea in a protected parking space will result in vandalization, or the automotive itself will get stolen. Thugs have a liking for traditional JDM vehicles. The Stagea is not any exception, and let’s face it, older JDM vehicles shouldn’t have the perfect safety programs, and putting in a greater aftermarket one doesn’t assist a lot.
The Nissan Stagea may be quick, however not as quick as a sports activities automotive, primarily due to the burden. It weighs simply over 3500 kilos, with the lightest spec being 100 kilos lighter. Which means it’s a must to exchange brake pads and rotors extra usually than on a lighter wagon. Different elements which can be affected by weight embrace suspension bushings and tires.
However then again, the Nissan Stagea feels extra planted on the street. It has a decrease centre of gravity, lesser physique roll, and wonderful weight distribution.
Excessive Gasoline Consumption
RB NEO engines are a few of the most fuel-efficient engines made. Nonetheless, different RB engines are identified to be fuel-thirsty, particularly if you resolve to mess around with them. Turbocharged RB engines aren’t supreme for day by day driving, however if in case you have the fuel cash, why not drop off your children at college and commute to work day by day together with your sleeper wagon.
VQ engines additionally love frequenting the gasoline pump even when unmodified. When you’ve gotten a automotive as heavy as an M35 Stagea, gasoline consumption is greater than your common 350Z with an analogous engine. Older vehicles, such because the Nissan Stagea, with an computerized transmission, even have a better gasoline consumption than vehicles with a guide transmission.
Relying on the engine and driving habits, a Nissan Stagea will common 10mpg to fifteen mpg. A rise in energy output means the engine is burning extra gasoline; thus, the gasoline consumption will cut back relying on how a lot horsepower you’re placing down.
Most Stageas have an Computerized Transmission
Few specs of the Nissan Stagea include an computerized transmission. Most producers have been making vehicles with computerized transmissions. It was cheaper, and vehicles with an computerized transmission offered higher. The guide transmission wasn’t appreciated as a lot on the manufacturing time, particularly on massive and heavy vehicles such because the Nissan Stagea.
Most drivers hated shifting gears, and it made extra sense to make use of guide transmission in sports activities vehicles such because the Nissan Skyline and smaller sedans and wagons such because the Nissan Avenir. The Nissan Avenir is the Stagea’s smaller brother and comes with the SR20 engine.
With outdated JDM vehicles, anticipate rust both when shopping for the automotive or sooner or later. Rust on Nissan Stagea primarily happens on the driving force’s aspect kicker panel, underneath the entrance wing mirrors, quantity plates, and beneath the automotive. Fortunately, all these locations are simply accessible.
An AWD Stagea is the proper day by day driver wagon eve when driving on snow. Nonetheless, if the snow will get caught beneath, salts accumulate and eat into the paint, selling rust on the steel. It’s unimaginable to scrub your automotive day by day, however be certain that you clear beneath your Stagea, totally checking for rust each every so often.
Additionally, keep away from parking in parking areas with tall grass the place the dew can attain beneath. Overlaying up uncovered steel by portray additionally prevents rust from occurring.
Digital Failures Due To Brittle Wiring Traces and Plastics
As a result of outdated age, the wiring system in older vehicles turns into brittle and non-conductive, resulting in digital parts failing. The earliest signal you’ll discover are headlight failure, sprint lights failure, and a defective stereo.
When the wires and wiring harnesses develop into brittle, they break off and lose contact; thus, there is no such thing as a move of present from the battery to the electronics. Generally the problem could be so unhealthy that main parts such because the ABS module or gasoline pump cease utterly working.
Suppose you resolve to repair this challenge by your self and spot there’s multiple damaged wiring harness and a few brittle wires. In that case, your Stagea is due for a whole rewiring.
This can be a widespread downside in Stageas with a VQ engine, which hardly ever occurs in RB engines. Nonetheless, in each engines, it occurs for a similar purpose, when the turbo strains get choked up with carbon and oil sludge.
The turbocharger wants oil to maintain it cool and lubricate any transferring elements. Utilizing the flawed oil or failure to alter oil at really useful intervals clogs up the turbo oil strains inflicting injury to the turbocharger internals. Oil hunger can even happen if the oil is launched to the turbocharger at low strain.
Utilizing the inaccurate oil will result in turbo failure, and the injury can even unfold to the exhaust system. The turbo can even blow, and the engine may comply with swimsuit too.
Earlier than it’s too late, it is best to take note of the next indicators earlier than the one answer is changing the turbocharger. Suppose you hear a whining noise coming from the engine bay. In that case, the turbo shouldn’t be working or is working inefficiently to muffle the noise from the exhaust manifold. Additionally, you’ll discover energy loss at excessive RPMs and poor gasoline consumption.
Timing Chain and Timing Chain Tensioner Failure
On VQ and RB engines, it’s really useful to interchange the timing chain and tensioner after each 40,000 to 60,000 miles relying in your driving habits. RB and VQ engines are a few of the engines that you simply simply anticipate the timing chain and tensioner to fail. Having spares in your storage helps out rather a lot too.
Excessive Oil Consumption
Excessive oil consumption on high-mileage RB and VQ engines is typical and doesn’t intrude with reliability. However when you’ve gotten a automotive with each excessive oil and gasoline consumption, deep pockets come in useful, and that’s one of many essential disadvantages of proudly owning a Nissan Stagea.
Nonetheless, there’s a manner across the excessive oil consumption and decreasing oil leakages which is without doubt one of the causes the engine is utilizing up extra oil than typical. Rebuilding the engine is the easiest way to cut back oil consumption and forestall leakages by changing worn-out gaskets and seals.
Gaskets and seals are manufactured from supplies that put on out over time and are supposed to be repeatedly changed. To be protected, it is best to set up higher aftermarket gaskets and seals and verify for warping, particularly on the cylinder head, earlier than putting in the top gasket.
For the reason that Nissan Stagea shares the identical engine because the R32, R33, and R34 Skyline, you’ll be able to learn extra on RB engines here.
The typical promoting worth for a Nissan Stagea is roughly 20,000. Nonetheless, you may get one for much less or extra relying on the spec you need. A Stagea with an RB20E or VQ25DD engine will promote for round 15,000 when bone inventory. If you’re planning a loopy engine swap, that’s the Stagea it is best to go for.
However if you wish to preserve the OEM RB or VQ engine and mod it to huge horsepower figures, go for one with an RB25 or different VQ engines aside from the VQ25. These positively promote for extra however are price it as these are probably the most tunable engines on the planet that you may get for a price ticket of under 25,000. Excessive Spec AWD fashions such because the Stagea 24t RS FOUR S, 250t RS FOUR V HICAS, and 26RS are listed for over $40,000, and getting them isn’t that simple.
Fashions and Specs
1996-2001 Nissan Stagea (WC34)
Within the late Nineties, producers made quick wagons just like the Subaru Legacy GT. Others have been making luxurious sedans just like the Toyota Chaser with huge horsepower engines underneath the hood.
The Nissan Stagea was launched in 1996 to interchange the Nissan Skyline R31 wagon, which was discontinued in 1990. It was extra like a Skyline wagon however produced independently for the Japanese market and offered globally, in contrast to the R31 Skyline (GXE), which was solely offered in Australia.
Nissan constructed the Stagea on the R33 platform, taking virtually all mechanicals from a Skyline R33 sedan and placing RB engines in all fashions. The bottom-spec mannequin, Stagea 20G, comes with a 2.0-litre SOHC RB20E engine which made round 130 horsepower on the time of manufacturing. Not probably the most highly effective engine, but it surely saved consumers cash as Stageas with the RB20E engine have been the most affordable.
As a result of Stagea’s weight, Nissan used extra NEO engines within the Stagea than every other manufacturing automotive, together with the Skyline. These included the RB20DE NEO (2.0-liter DOHC), RB25DE NEO (2.5-liter DOHC), and RB25DET NEO (turbocharged 2.5-litre DOHC).
Most Stagea fashions include an computerized transmission driving the rear wheels. Increased spec trims even have an computerized transmission however with turbocharged RB25 engines, together with the RB25DET and RB25DET NEO. The Stagea 260RS is the one Stagea made solely with a 5-speed computerized transmission as customary. Different fashions with an non-obligatory 5-speed guide embrace some variants of the 25t RS V, 25 RS FOUR, and 25t RS 4 S.
Autech, Nissan’s customization unit, couldn’t resist getting their arms on a Nissan Stagea. This led to the event of the Nissan Stagea 260RS, additionally referred to as the Autech Stagea. As an alternative of tuning the RB25DET engine, it was swapped with a 300-horsepower RB26DETT driving all 4 wheels by way of a 5-speed guide transmission.
The Nissan Stagea is able to a 0-60 time of round 5.5 seconds and completes a quarter-mile in slightly below 13 seconds. These figures have been obtained on the time of manufacturing, however should you get one which has been maintained effectively over time, you’ve gotten a sleeper wagon that may take out some fashionable sports activities vehicles.
Autech additionally put in a stiffer suspension, Brembo callipers, Brembo vented discs, bucket seats, alloy wheels, and a rear wing particular to the Stagea 260RS. These upgrades led to a 200-pound improve in weight because the Stagea 260RS weighs slightly below 3800 kilos.
2001-2007 Nissan Stagea (M35)
The second-gen Stagea is a wagon model of the V35 Skyline wagon created from 2001 to 2006. Nissan continued producing the Stagea as gross sales for the WC34 Stagea have been by the roof despite the fact that restricted items have been produced.
Nissan didn’t discontinue the RB engine till 2004, but it surely was not used on the M35 Stagea. You get the M35 Stagea with VQ V6 engines as a substitute of Inline-6 RB engines used within the first technology, which is a letdown because the RB engine is best in so some ways.
On the brighter aspect, VQ engines have extra energy than RB engines and are inexpensive. On the time of manufacturing, the bottom spec M35 Stagea with the VQ25DD made virtually twice the horsepower as the bottom spec WC34 Stagea with the RB20E engine, which made 130 horsepower.
The bottom spec M35 Stagea, 250RS/250RX, with a 2.5-litre V6 engine (VQ25DD) driving the rear wheels by way of a 4-speed guide transmission. There’s additionally a 250RS and 250 RX FOUR with the identical engine however driving all 4 wheels by way of a 5-speed computerized transmission.
The turbocharged VQ25DET was used within the 250tRS and AR-X FOUR which additionally has the 5-speed computerized and is AWD. The AR-X FOUR spec has elevated floor clearance with plastic physique mouldings to guard the physique paint from scratches and is AWD. The three.0-litre V6 (VQ30DD) could be discovered on a 300RS mannequin, with a 5-speed computerized transmission driving the rear wheels. AWD fashions
Autech used a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter VQ35DE on the M35 Stagea, however in contrast to the Autech WC34 Stagea, the M35 is rear-wheel-drive solely. It was the one Stagea within the second technology with a 6-speed guide transmission and is badged because the Autech Axis 350S. Nonetheless, the Autech Axis was produced from 2003 to 2004 and changed by the 350RX (RWD) and 350RX FOUR (HICAS AWD).
The Nissan Stagea shouldn’t be a Skyline. The primary-gen Stagea (WC34) is constructed on the Nissan Skyline R33 platform and shares most of its mechanical parts with the Skyline R33 Sedan.
You may construct a Skyline on the Nissan Stagea’s platform, however it will take intensive manhours and dent your pocket to ranges you’ve gotten by no means seen earlier than. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to flip a Nissan Stagea right into a “Skyline Wagon” by swapping out the entrance finish and every other physique panels and elements that may match, such because the entrance fenders and taillights.
The Autech Stagea, additionally referred to as the Nissan Stagea 260RS, was made by Autech and got here with a 2.6-litre RB26DETT engine just like that discovered on the Nissan Skyline R32, R33, and R34 GT-R.
Between 1996 and 2001, Nissan made 133,415 Nissan Stageas (WC34), and between 2001 and 2007, 58,552 items of the M35 Stagea have been made.
Manufacturing of the Nissan Stagea started in 1996 and led to 2007.
Costs for the Nissan Stagea begin at roughly $20,000, however you may get one for roughly relying on the spec you need.
Sure, the Nissan Stagea is authorized for import within the US.
Only a few fashions of the Nissan Stagea have a guide transmission. You have got a greater probability of discovering a guide transmission first-gen (WC34) Stagea than a second-gen (M35) Stagea. Solely the Autech Axis 350S was offered with a guide transmission.
Tips on how to Import a Nissan Stagea
Learn our final information, How to Import a Car from Japan
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