Category

my3rdgen 89-94

Category

Owner: Gustavo Castillo Jr

Year: 1993
Model: White
Color:  Custom Color
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Trim: SE

Its not a skyline by any means even if I did put the motor and transmission in it. It’s just a Maxima customized in a way others never attempted to do. I have no skyline badges on it as I had all badges shaved. To me my car is my baby Fantasma.

Mod List:

  • VE30DE Engine
  • 5-Speed Manual Transmission
  • OBX Headers
  • EGR Delete
  • eBay Cold Air Intake
  • 300ZX NA Catalytic Converter
  • Hayame DTX Muffler
  • Eibach Lowering Springs
  • Nissan Skyline GTR R34 Wheels w/ 235/45/R18 Ties
  • Slotted and Drilled Rotors
  • Premium Ceramic Brake Pads

Credit: Jodi Breci

1992 GXE gifted to my son by my aunt today. Never been driven in snow and just a couple days of rain. Always garaged. Original paint is so shiny still! 78K mikes. Too bad it’s not a manual.

Owner: Tony Swensen

Year: 1993
Model: Maxima
Color: White
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Trim: SE

Notes:

  • They are BMW E36 headlights. They do require some modification of the radiator support to fit.

Mod List:

  • BMW E36 Halo Angel Eye Headlights (Aftermarket)
  • Modified Mustang Lower Valence

Jacob's 1991 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Jacob W. Year: 1991 Model: Maxima Color: White Transmission: Automatic Trim: ...
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Jacob’s 1991 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Gustavo's R34 Skyline Inspired Custom VE30DE 5-Speed 1993 3rd Gen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Gustavo Castillo Jr Year: 1993 Model: White Color:  Custom Color Transmission: 5-Speed Manual ...
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Gustavo’s R34 Skyline Inspired Custom VE30DE 5-Speed 1993 3rd Gen Nissan Maxima

Cilcil88's 1989 Turbo VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (500WHP)
Owner: Cilcil88 Year: 1989 Model: Maxima Color: Black Engine: VG30DE ...
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Cilcil88’s 1989 Turbo VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (500WHP)

1992 GXE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima Gifted to Son
Credit: Jodi Breci 1992 GXE gifted to my son by ...
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1992 GXE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima Gifted to Son

Cesar's 1986 3rdgen Nissan Maxima GXE
Owner: Cesar Silva Year: 1986 Model: Maxima Color: Silver Transmission: Automatic Trim: ...
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Cesar’s 1986 3rdgen Nissan Maxima GXE

Tony's 1993 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Tony Swensen Year: 1993 Model: Maxima Color: White Transmission: 5-Speed ...
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Tony’s 1993 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Pascual Rimani's 1990 VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Pascual Rimani Year: 1990 Model: Maxima Color: Burgandy Engine: ...
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Pascual Rimani’s 1990 VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Jared Berry's 1993 Turbo VE30DE 5-Speed Modded 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (In-Flight Build)
Owner: Jared Berry Year: 1993 Model: Maxima Color: Audi Nardo ...
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Jared Berry’s 1993 Turbo VE30DE 5-Speed Modded 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (In-Flight Build)

1990 vs 1993 VG30DE/VE30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima Comparison
Credit: http://www.fobart.net/gen3/90vs93comparison.html This documents purpose is to highlight the major differences ...
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1990 vs 1993 VG30DE/VE30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima Comparison

Kathy Roushon Gonzalez's 1992 SE VE30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Kathy Roushon Gonzalez Year: 1992 Model: Maxima Color: White ...
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Kathy Roushon Gonzalez’s 1992 SE VE30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Austin Kurtzer's Turbo 1992 VG30DE 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Austin Kurtzer Year: 1991 Model: Maxima Color: Burgandy Engine: ...
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Austin Kurtzer’s Turbo 1992 VG30DE 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Izzy's 1992 VE30DE 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Isael Perez aka Izzy Year: 1992 Model: Maxima Color: ...
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Izzy’s 1992 VE30DE 5-Speed 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

David Simon's 1989 Rare 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: David Simon Year: 1989 Model: Maxima Color: White Engine: ...
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David Simon’s 1989 Rare 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Bill's 1993 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Bill Year: 1993 Model: Maxima Color: White Transmission: Automatic Trim: SE ...
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Bill’s 1993 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

1986 3rdgen Nissan Maxima SE
Owner: Luis Cabrera Year: 1986 Model: Maxima Color: Silver Transmission: Automatic Trim: SE ...
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1986 3rdgen Nissan Maxima SE

Antonio's 1993 Clean 1993 GXE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima
Owner: Antonio Minor Year: 1993 Model: Maxima Current Color:  White Transmission: Automatic ...
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Antonio’s 1993 Clean 1993 GXE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima

Chad Sommer's 1989 Fully Built Turbo VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (500WHP+)
Owner: Chad Sommer Year: 1989 Model: Maxima Color: Black Transmission: 5-Speed Manual ...
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Chad Sommer’s 1989 Fully Built Turbo VG30DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima (500WHP+)

NWP Engineering World's Fastest & Quickest All Motor VQ35DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima | 11.97 @ 113.3 MPH
Owner: Aaron Kimball Year: 1992 Model: Maxima Color: White Trim: SE Engine: ...
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NWP Engineering World’s Fastest & Quickest All Motor VQ35DE 3rdgen Nissan Maxima | 11.97 @ 113.3 MPH

 

Credit: http://www.fobart.net/gen3/90vs93comparison.html

This documents purpose is to highlight the major differences between a 1990 and a 1993 Nissan Maxima.

 

Background

There are 2 “versions” of the “3rd Generation” Nissan Maxima (produced from 1989-1994). There is the SE version, commonly referred to as the “sportier” version, and the GXE model, commonly referred to as the more “luxury/comfort” version of the Maxima. The differences between the GXE and SE from 1989-1991 are subtle.

    The SE has these “extra” parts:

  • foglights (optional on GXE)
  • spoiler with integrated 3rd brake light (optional on GXE)
  • white faced dash gauges (GXE gauges are black/grey)
  • 5speed option (GXE’s only come available with 4speed automatic transmission)
  • moonroof (w/optional wind visor as can be seen on 1993 example shown here)
    The GXE comes with these standard parts, not found on a standard SE:

  • electronic keypad on doors

In 1992 (through 1994), the SE models came with a different engine from the GXE. Until that time, both SE’s and GXE’s were utilizing the VG30DE engine [160bhp]. The 1992-94 SE’s utilized the VE30DE engine [190bhp], which derived it’s extra power from variable timing cams. One way of identifying a 1992-94 SE is if it has developed the “VTC problem” for which there is a Nissan issued Technical Service Bulletin. The “VTC problem” has to do with the variable timing cams and the timing chain used. Once a 1992-94 SE develops this problem, the engine develops a sound characteristic quite similar to that of a diesel engine. The noise is not always constant, it can come and go at certain RPM’s. So when a Maxima’s engine sounds like it is a diesel, it is most likely a 1992-94 SE using the VE30DE engine that has developed the “VTC problem” (the “VTC problem” usually begins to emerge around the 60K mark, though this is not always the case). [NOTE: the 1992-94 GXE’s still utilized the 160bhp VG30DE engine.]

Highlighted Differences- Exterior

There are 4 main discernable differnces on the exterior between a 1990 and a 1993 Maxima.

 

Grill

The 1989-1991 Maxima grill had the word “NISSAN” installed to the lower right (as viewed from the front).

The 1992-94 Maxima grill utilized the circular NISSAN logo, located in the center of the grill.

 

Trunklid

In the rear of a 1989-1991 Maxima SE, the center portion of the trunklid is black (as shown below), whereas the center portion is red on GXE models. In this center portion is the “Nissan Maxima” labelling, which is merely a sticker. Also, the clear portion of the rear fascia wraps around the side of the turn signal/brake lights.

The rear of a 1992-94 Maxima SE has a red center piece to the trunklid; the clear lenses do not “wrap” around the sides but instead terminate on the rear of the trunklid; and the “Nissan Maxima” lettering is instead chrome lettering, and is placed on the clear portion in the center of the trunklid instead of in the red area.

 

Other minor differnces

These differences are not as noticeable from afar, but are differences worth pointing out. Mainly, the side mirrors. On the 1989-1991 SE, the mirrors appear more integrated in to the door. Also, they are not painted the color of the body of the car, they are black.

On the 1992-94 SE’s, the side mirrors stick out a bit further from the body, and are painted the color of the body of the car.

 

Highlited Differences- Interior

The Steering Wheel

The 1989-91 Maxima SE steering wheel is a 4spoke design, utilizing the entire center area for the horn. Below the center portion of the steering wheel are the cruise control buttons. [Note: the 1989-91 Maxima radio area is slightly recessed, as shown in this picture.]

The 1992-94 Maxima SE steering wheel again is a 4spoke design, but the horn buttons are now located on the top two spokes of the wheel, because the car is equiped with a drivers side airbag. Also relocated are the cruise control buttons, which have been moved to the right side of the center of the wheel, between the two spokes of the steering wheel. [NOTE: the 1992-94 Maxima radio is not recessed in to the dash slightly, as in the case of the 1989-91 Maxima’s. ALSO, below the main radio head unit, there is a 2nd pull out tray, that is a full size DIN unit, that has a sliding cup holder tray within. The 1989-91 Maxima’s do not have the full size pull-out tray, nor do they have cupholders. The hazard flashers button is also recessed slightly in to the dash with the heating & air controls.]

 

The Dash

The 1989-1991 Maxima SE dashboard’s main difference is in the speedometer. The speedometer on the 1989-91 SE’s only goes up to 125mph. Note the slight difference in the electronic side mirror controls (see red arrow on the left side of picture). Also, the adjustment lever for the steering column (seen behind the headlight control stalk), appears to come from the actual dash in the 1989-91 Maxima.

The 1992-94 Maxima SE’s speedometer reads up to 145mph. The tachometer’s redline is 6500RPM, but there is no “gradual” red area from 6000-6500 RPM as there is on the 1989-91 Maxima tachometer. In this picture you can also see the slightly changed side mirror controls, and you can see the left side horn button on the steering wheel. Also, notice in this picture that the adjustment lever for the steering column has been moved on to the column itself (again, located behind the headlight control stalk).

Other Interior Differences

The trunk release on teh 1989-91 MAxima is on the same lever as the fuel door release, which is located to the left side of the driver, on the floor between the seat and the door sill. To open the trunk, pull up on the lever, to open the fuel door, push down on the lever.

The 1992-94 Maxima’s trunk release is a button located on the drivers door, next to the door light. Push the button to release the trunk. The fuel door release is in the same place, on the floor between the drivers seat and the door sill, but since it is a single function lever, you now pull up on the lever to release the fuel door.


In the 1989-91 Maxima’s, the center armrest cover is small, slightly under an inch in height.

In the 1992-94 Maxima, the same center armrest cover is now several inches tall.

Highlited Differences- Engine

We’ve already covered the differences in the engines for each trim level and model year, but are pictures of each. Each is easily identifiable and quite different from the other, making for a quick visual differentiation.

VG30DE 1989-91 SE’s, 1989-94 GXE’s

VE30DE 1992-94 SE’s

[Ed. Note: The strut tower bar shown on both cars is an aftermarket accessory, and is not available as a dealer installed option. The same applies for the conical shaped air filter shown on the VG30DE engine presented here.]

Should you have any further questions or comments about this page, the images contained herein, or any parts referenced within this document, please contact Jason Fobart (jasonf@maxima.org).