Member Credit: pmohr

To try to cut down on the ‘can I use a 350z motor in my car‘, or ‘why can’t I use a G35 or FX35 or (etc) motor for my swap?‘ type of questions. The following pictures all have the blocks aligned in basically the same exact way for ease of comparison).

RWD Block (350z, FX35, G35, any RWD VQ35DE platform)
FWD Block (Maxima, Altima, Quest, any FWD VQ35DE platform)
Mounting Comparison

  • RWD:
    • Large bolt pattern, maybe 8″x5″ (from memory, definitely not accurate)
    • Mount cast positioned towards the timing cover
  • FWD:
    • Small bolt pattern, maybe 4″ square (from memory, definitely not accurate)
    • Mount cast positioned towards the end of the block

Accessory/Manifold comparison

  • RWD:
    • Exhaust manifolds/headers curve backwards, away from the motor mounts
    • Accessory mounting points are located vertically along the front edge of the block (these are for the AC compressor, IIRC)
  • FWD:
    • Exhaust manifolds/headers head straight down, motor mount is offset and doesn’t get in the way
    • Accessory mounting points are located horizontally along the lower edge of the block

Here’s two side-by-side pics (blocks are aligned in the same position, however the FWD block has torque plates ‘installed’):

Left side

Right side (crappy pic, but you get the point)
Basically, you can definitely use the RWD block in a FWD design, it would just require re-engineering of a lot of things. Not even minor things, but motor mounts, headers/exhaust manifolds, etc.

To use a RWD block in a FWD chassis

  • Custom motor mounts that extended towards the trans to utilize the center crossmember. Would most likely be weaker than the stock FWD mounts (on the FWD block) unless you braced the hell out of them.
  • Custom headers made to stretch around the custom motor mounts made above – as you can see the RWD mounts are just plain in the way of any sort of manifold that comes straight down.
  • Custom mounting brackets for all of the accessories, or try to customize the RWD accessories/mounting rails to work

Benefits of using a RWD block in a FWD chassis (assuming it will ever be done, not likely)

  • Turbo manifolds could go directly over to the driver’s side without the typical FWD mount interference
  • Engines may be easier to find
  • Possible ability to use the revup engine (with all associated electronics of course)

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here today, UNITED, by the gospel of the sticker. We bask in it’s glorious saving grace, as it enhances our cars performance by adhering itself to our windows. WE TESTIFY IN UNITY, IN SOLIDARITY, THAT THE GOSPEL OF THE 4DSC STICKER WILL NEVER DIE! Brothers and Sisters rejoice! For the time of our salvation is at hand. STICKERS ARE THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIGHT, and whosoever peels away the film and embraces the gospel, SHALL RECEIVE THE TRUE POWER, and ALL civics and mustangs shall TREMBLE!!! For they shall know that WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH STICKERS WHICH STRENGTHEN US!!!

Love Aaron,



Member Credit: NISformance

This article shows how to swap a 2007+ Altima 3.5L VQ35 engine, or 2009+ Maxima 3.5L engine into older Nissan Maxima’s. Including the 2002-2006 Altima (3.5L) and 2002-2008 Maximas. This motor swap is referred to as the 2nd Generation VQ35DE swap.


FWD HR Engine Swap Kit – Version 2 ($220.00)

This kit allows you to swap a 2nd generation VQ35DE motor in a 2002-2008 Maxima or 2002-2006 Altima (3.5 V6) The NISformance 2nd Generation VQ35DE swap kit consist of five main components. The Cam sensor signal inverters, PNP throttle body adapter harness, Belt tensioner bracket, and Alternator bracket. Each component and its intended use is detailed below.

The camshaft sensor signal inverter allows the stock harness to be attached to a newer 2nd generation motor and intercept the camshaft signal wires. This is an essential part of the swap kit and has been designed with ease of install in mind. Each inverter with have a camshaft sensor plug pre-installed. Only wiring necessary are three wires consisting of ground, power, and signal.

The plug and play throttle body harness is necessary in order to utilize the 70 or 75 millimeter throttle body that is equipped on 2nd generation motors.

Sept 2018 Update: We have made several changes to our swap kit in order to improve function and ease of installation. Our V2 swap kit features new cam sensor signal inverters that use a 12V power source. This makes wiring much quicker and easier. Each inverter includes a camshaft sensor plug pre-installed. Both the alternator and belt tensioner brackets have been updated for better fit, brackets are now Zinc coated for higher corrosion resistance.

Ordering Link:

EPS Tuning Oil Gallery Gasket/Hardware Kit VQ35 FWD HR Head engine ($60.00)

Ordering Link:

VIAS Vacuum Hose Kit 2nd Gen VQ35DE ($9.00)

This Kit allows you to properly connect VIAS hassle free. Each kit includes high quality 5/32 Vacuum hose pre cut to the correct lengths for the 2nd Generation VQ35DE intake manifold.Outside port on VIAS solenoid goes to the manifold. Inner port goes to the Y splitter, then each VIAS control solenoid.

Ordering Link:

Other Optional Parts to Replace:

There are a few things to keep in mind before beginning your swap:

  • It’s easier to do this swap if you have a 3.5 DE motor laying around, especially if you just pulled it out of the car. You will need to take some things off of the old motor to use on the HR. Without this, there are a few parts that you will have to buy in order to complete the swap.
  • There are some specific tools needed: An ‘E8’ torx socket, 5/16 Allen key, Loctite

VQ35DE Motor Options

There are two generations of the front wheel drive VQ35DE. First generation motor 2002-2008 Maxima , 2002-2006 3.5L Altima. Second generation motor 2009+ Maxima , 2007+ 3.5L Altima. The second generation VQ35DE is equipped with an improved head and manifold design allowing for increased air flow and improved performance. Oil consumption and other flaws commonly found in first generation motors have also been eliminated.

There are two variations of the second generation VQ35DE. A Maxima motor is equipped with “EVT” ( Exhaust Valve Timing ) and has slightly higher compression when compared to an Altima motor, which is not equipped with “EVT”. In most swap applications that use a Maxima motor “EVT” is not used. In order to use “EVT” a different engine management system is necessary. However “EVT” is not necessary and does not negatively affect performance or reliability if left unused.

Step 1: Stripping the motor

Depending on where your motor came from, there may be a lot of ‘extra’ pieces still attached to it. Some of these will just get in your way while you prep your motor, some can’t be used for this swap.

  • Remove all accessories, which includes the alternator, power steering pump.
  • Remove any harnesses and brackets that are still connected to the motor.
  • Remove upper intake manifold (removing lower manifold is not necessary, but sometimes desirable. If removed, a new gasket should be used to reinstall).
  • Remove oil temperature sender:

  • Remove idler pulley/tensioner ‘spacer’ (seen below in red):

** The injector rail may also be removed, but that isn’t necessary.

Step 2: Cover any openings

There will be A LOT of metal shavings and dust around the motor, depending on how you do the cutting and grinding that comes later. These absolutely CANNOT be allowed to get into the motor.

  • Intake ports in the top:

  • Exhaust ports on the sides of motor:

  • Fuel injector ports if fuel rail was removed:

  • The open ends of any coolant hoses/pipes:

Step 3: Modifying the motor 

Some parts of the motor will need to be cut somehow (tools, methods and results will vary) to allow for proper fitment and function once it’s re-installed.

** Because of some concerns about the integrity of the stock oil gallery gasket, we at NISformance strongly recommend replacing it in this step. **

  • When changing the oil gallery gasket, this is a good time to grind away the center portion of the power steering bracket before reassembling the front of the motor.
  • Grind/cut away the center portion of the power steering bracket. This requires some aggressive cutting, but also needs some attention to detail (cutting too DEEPLY can weaken the integrity of the timing cover. Cutting too WIDE can weaken the remaining brackets that will be needed to hold the alternator):

  • Grind/cut away a portion of the metal where the idler pulley/tensioner spacer was:

  • Remove exhaust manifold studs at the rearmost exhaust port (close to the trans). This requires an ‘E8‘ torx socket:

  • Clean out the threads in the opposite holes using a ‘10 x 1.25‘ tap.
  • Replace the removed studs into the newly cleaned holes:

  • Remove lower oil pan
  • Remove upper oil pan
  • Use the oil pan from a 3.5 DE motor…but remove the windage tray. Add your o-rings and seals, and install upper oil pan onto the HR motor.
  • Remove the HR water pump access cover, and replace it with the one from the DE motor

Step 4: Adjusting the cam signal wheel

This is a VERY important step and it must be done very carefully for your car to run properly. You have to be accurate.

Apart from the wiring, adjusting the signal wheel is the most detailed work you need to do on the swap. It is important to be very accurate when cutting or grinding, and it’s also extremely important to assemble everything correctly at the end of this step. Pay close attention to the pictures and make sure that your work looks EXACTLY the same!

*You will need to modify your 5/16 Allen key by cutting the arm down so that it is approximately 3/8″ long. This is your ‘special tool’ that you will need to use in this part of the swap.

  • Open one of the valve covers.
  • Using the ‘special tool’, loosen the signal wheel lock nut and remove the signal wheel from the intake cam:
  • Completely remove the inner nubs from the signal wheel without damaging the rest of the inner surface:

  • At the crank, turn the motor until two notches are visible at the top of the cam:

  • Add Loctite to the flat inner surface of the signal wheel:

  • Reconnect the modified signal wheel to the intake cam…be sure to place it at the proper angle (as shown below) and re-secure the lock nut:

  • Close and bolt down the valve cover
  • Open the other valve cover, and repeat these same steps.

Step 5: Cam Sensor Wiring

Now that all of the heavy wrenching is out of the way, we get to the really important part of your swap.

Version 2 Kit –  Cam Sensor Signal Inverter Wiring

V2 inverters are single channel. One inverter is required for each camshaft position sensor.

Wiring for cam sensor signal inverter:

Red wire – 12 volt power supply (power going into the board)
Black wire – Ground
Orange wire – Signal out (connects to existing wire on ecu side)

Picture below demonstrates the older style DE cam sensor plug that is cut off when wiring in inverter with required wiring:

Version 1 Kit –  Cam Sensor Signal Inverter Wiring

The wiring harness in your car needs to be connected to the newer motor, and it’s not just a ‘plug-and-play’ situation. These diagrams show you the changes that need to be made to make your DE harness control your HR motor:


The stock cam signal wire will be intercepted (cut) by the cam signal inverter supplied with the swap kit. There are six wires on the cam signal inverter…here’s how you connect them:

  • The RED wire goes to a 5v source from your car’s harness (to supply power to the sensor)
  • The BLACK wire is ground

For Cam #1…cut the existing wire:

  • The YELLOW inverter wire connects to the existing wire on the CAM side
  • the ORANGE inverter wire connects to the existing wire on the ECU side

For Cam #2…cut the existing wire:

  • The BLUE inverter wire connects to the existing wire on the CAM side
  • The GREEN inverter wire connects to the existing wire on the ECU side

Member Credit: NISformance

Interesting facts about MAF diameters that was posted by NISformance back in August of 2013. The 7thgen Maxima has a very large MAF pipe diameter which is ALMOST as big as the Land Rover. Nissan knew the HR heads flow a lot more air so they adjusted the intake accordingly. Also, the 2009 Maxima comes with 75mm throttle body.

  • 2002 Maxima – 2.74”

  • 2003 350z – 2.83”

  • 2009 Maxima – 3.18”

  • Land Rover –  3.23”

Member Credit: SGSash / onpointdyno

I just picked up my HR heads from Gord Bush who cleaned them up for me and flow tested them. We of course have previous numbers from the non-revup heads that I had Gord Bush port – so let’s compare! Visually looking at the HR heads you can see just how much bigger the intake port is than the non-revup heads, and the numbers prove it – the HR heads flow the same as the ported DE heads (in fact substantially more at low valve lifts). The exhaust doesn’t flow quite as well as the ported DE exhaust did, but it is still substantially better than a stock DE at high lifts.

Stock VQ35DE heads on the flow bench, very similar looking to the HR exhaust ports

Stock DE intake ports on the flow bench, substantially different than the HR

One reason the exhaust flows less at low valve lifts may be due to the fact that the HR has smaller valves. While this may be counter intuitive to those of you that go out there and buy the biggest valves you can, a smaller valve shrouds the combustion chamber less, and in-fact promotes flow at higher lifts. My imagination tells me you want the smallest valve and biggest port you can get away with, without overheating the valve.

Once these HR heads are ported, we should be able to get a decent bit more exhaust flow and hopefully crack the 400whp barrier with shorter intake runners and exhaust runners.


NISformance has officially released the highest performance Maxima/Altima headers! They tested these headers back to back against ebay headers. Testing was done on the same day, same dyno, same car, same conditions!

  • First car 2004 Maxima w 2010 Maxima engine, 350z ecu stock cams. showed gains in midrange and top end. 10hp and 4ftlbs tq.
  • Second car 2006 Altima SER with 2010 Maxima engine with JWT Cams showed gains above 4000 rpm 14hp and 10 ftlbs tq.

Normal Price: $1,600.00
Group Buy Price: $1,450.00 (Includes FREE shipping)

Order Here:

Ensure you select the correct type based on your year  and transmission type.

  • Type 1 = 1995-2003 Maxima
  • Type 2 = 2004-2006 Maxima with manual trans or 4spd auto 2002-2006 Altima 3.5L with manual trans or 4spd auto
  • Type 3 = 2004-2006 Maxima with 5spd auto 2002-2006 Altima 3.5L with 5spd auto
  • Type 4 = 2007-2012 Altima 3.5L
  • Type 4.5 = 2009-2014 Maxima (should be same as type 4 but need to verify)


  • Head flange Made from 1/2″ thick steel
  • CNC machined for a smooth transition from exhaust port to primary pipe
  • 1 7/8″ Primary runner size
  • Equal length primaries
  • Formed collector with spike
  • 2.5” collector
  • 2.5” equal length ypipe
  • 3” ypipe out to catback flange
  • Vband flanges on headers and ypipe (2bolt flange on rear of ypipe to bolt to catback)
  • Fully TIG welded
  • Constructed from 16 gauge mild steel
  • Manufactured here in house
  • JETHOT Classic Ceramic coated (inside and outside)
  • JETHOT color top coats available (additional charge)

We are a small Maxima/Altima performance focused shop. Manufacturing these headers in house, this first production run lead times will vary depending on the number of orders.

Additional Photos:

Gallery of Maxima’s and Altima’s with HR Swaps aka FWD 2nd Gen VQ35DE Swap.


Moderated by: Thomas Perdue

This section is for documenting the top lists of verified Nissan Maxima & Altima 1/4 mile track times. These are officially the World’s Fastest Maxima/Altima’s at the track. Verification includes having one or more of the following: time slips next to car at track, videos with time displays, dragtimes verified link. 

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