my3rdgen 89-94


If you are DIY person and love working on your Nissan Maxima, then this tool is a MUST HAVE! When you go to the Nissan dealer, the person working on your car typically uses a tool called a Nissan Consult. The Nissan Consult that the dealer uses costs thousand of dollars and is only available to dealers. By using the Nissan DataScan software, a laptop and a generic VAG COM OBDII adapter you can achieve just about the same level of on-board diagnosis that $5,000 Nissan Consult provides. This software allows you to:

  • Check CEL codes
  • Check/Reset ABS and SRS-Airbag Faults
  • Check/Reset TCM Codes
  • Adjust timing
  • Perform Idle Air Relearn
  • Reset ECU learned settings
  • Data-log
  • Program keys
  • Check Emissions Readiness Monitors
  • Active Test temporary modify some of the engine parameters for testing purposes
  • And Much much more….

The software itself costs $55.00 and generic cable costs around $7.00-$8.00. 

Software License Purchase Link: Nissan DataScan II

Software Download Links:

OBD2 Cable eBay Link: KKL 409 VAG COM OBD2 Cable

You can find the cables on eBay between $6.00-$8.00 shipped. Search for the following keywords on eBay and you will find it: “KKL 409.1 VAG-COM OBD2 USB Cable

Below are all the functions it provides:

ECU Part Number

This is the main window of the NDSII software which shows the ECM Nissan Identification part number. Basic and Advance Functions can be selected by clicking on the buttons, using the shortcut keys (F1 – F11) or using the Menu bar. Most functions except Data Replay and Log Analyser are disabled until communication with the ECU is successfully established.

Progress bar at the bottom indicates communication between the ECU and PC. If the bar is not moving there is no data being received from the ECU.

Data Display Settings

This window is used to assign parameters to be displayed by the Data Display function. Only parameters that are supported by the currently connected ECU are available for selection. Gauges are counted from left to right, top to bottom. Multiple gauges can monitor the same parameter.

Data Logging ECM

Selected parameters can be logged to a file. This function can also be accessed from the Data Display window. The data log file can be analysed using the Data Replay or Log Analyser functions.

Self Diagnostics ECM

Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset engine ECU error codes.

Idle Adjustment

Idle Adjustment function allows users to adjust the base idle RPM. The setting is saved to the ECU and it does not reset with engine restart.

Timing Adjustment

Timing Adjustment function allows users to adjust the base ignition timing. The setting is saved to the ECU and it does not reset with engine restart.

Active Test ECM

Active Test allows users to temporary modify some of the engine parameters for testing purposes. They return to their original values when a function is stopped, PC disconnected or engine restarted.

Note: It is possible to damage the engine if the A/F Base % functions is used to excessively modify fuel delivery. Likewise the engine may overheat if the Engine Temperature is set to low for a long period of time. Do not use those functions if you are not sure how they will effect your engine.

Work Support

Work Support functions allow users to perform some of the advance service procedures. Those procedures may need to be performed after replacement parts are installed.

Clear Self Learn – clears the A/F Base SL map learned by the ECU.

Idle Air Volume Learn – is an operation to learn the fully closed position of the throttle valve.

Program Immobiliser Key – allows to register the Nissan transponder keys with the Immobiliser Note: The immobiliser security PIN CODE needs to be known. Initially all registered keys will be erased and all keys will need to be reregistered.

Cylinder Power Test

Cylinder Power Test function can be used to identify cylinder that is under performing. This function allows shutting down individual cylinders. If all of the cylinders are producing the same amount of power the engine RPMs will drop exactly the same amount on each cylinder that is cancelled.

Log Analyser is used to review log files previously generated by with Data Logging function. Graphs are drawn by selecting boxes next to parameter value. Graph colours match the parameter value colours.

Speed Test

Speed Test is a unique function for measuring car’s acceleration performance. Predefined or user specific tests can be used. Due to the low resolution of Nissan speed sensors, measurements should only be used as a guide and not a true reflection of car’s performance.

Note: This function should not be used while driving on public roads.

Address Watch

Address Watch function is used for monitor specific ECU memory addresses. By monitoring a memory address extra information can be retrieved that is not normally available using Consult II protocol. A knock sensor reading can be obtain using this method if knock sensor memory address is known.

Wideband O2 sensor

Nissan DataScan II also supports wideband Air/Fuel ratio meters from Innovate Motorsports. A second serial port is used to connect to the controller and collect data.

The data from the wideband meter can be displayed or logged in conjunction with other engine parameters using the Data Logging function.

ECU Part Number BCM

The BCM tab shows the BCM Nissan Identification part number. Basic Functions can be selected by clicking on the buttons or using the Menu bar. All functions are disabled until communication with the ECU is successfully established.

Progress bar at the bottom indicates data being send between the ECU and PC. If the bar is not moving there is no data being received from the ECU.

Note: Some vehicles may use K line for diagnostics of engine ECU (ECM) but still use DDL1 line for diagnostics of other control modules. This software does not support diagnostics over the DDL1 line. Some of those models are: X-trail, Maxima, Patrol.

Self Diagnostics BCM

Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset BCM error codes.

Active Test BCM

Active Test allows users to temporally activate some of the functions of the BCM. This is usually used to manually test the functionality of the systems controlled by the BCM.

Note: Functions not supported by the BCM are disabled (grayed out).

ECU Part Number TCM

The TCM tab shows the TCM Nissan Identification part number. Basic Functions can be selected by clicking on the buttons or using the Menu bar. Most functions except Data Replay and Log Analyser are disabled until communication with the ECU is successfully established.

Progress bar at the bottom indicates data being send between the ECU and PC. If the bar is not moving there is no data being received from the ECU.

Note: Some vehicles may use K line for diagnostics of engine ECU (ECM) but still use DDL1 line for diagnostics of other control modules. This software does not support diagnostics over the DDL1 line. Some of those models are: X-trail, Maxima, Patrol.

Data Logging TCM

Selected parameters can be logged to a file. This function can also be accessed from the Data Display window so the data can be logged while it is displayed. The data log file can be analysed using the Data Replay or Data Analyser functions.

Self Diagnostics TCM

Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset TCM error codes.

ECU Part Number ABS

The ABS tab shows the ABS Nissan Identification part number. Basic Functions can be selected by clicking on the buttons or using the Menu bar. Most functions except Data Replay and Log Analyser are disabled until communication with the ECU is successfully established.

Progress bar at the bottom indicates data being send between the ECU and PC. If the bar is not moving there is no data being received from the ECU.

Note: Some vehicles may use K line for diagnostics of engine ECU (ECM) but still use DDL1 line for diagnostics of other control modules. This software does not support diagnostics over the DDL1 line. Some of those models are: X-trail, Maxima, Patrol.

Data Logging ABS

Selected parameters can be logged to a file. This function can also be accessed from the Data Display window so the data can be logged while it is displayed. The data log file can be analysed using the Data Replay or Data Analyser functions.

Self Diagnostics ABS

Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset ABS error codes.

Work Support ABS

Work Support functions allow users to perform advance service procedures. Those procedures may need to be performed after replacing parts.

Steering Angle Sensor Reset – After removing/installing or replacing VDC/TCS/ABS control unit, steering angle sensor, steering components, suspension components, and tires, or after adjusting wheel alignment, make sure to adjust neutral position of steering angle sensor before running vehicle.

ECU Part Number SRS

The SRS tab shows the SRS Nissan Identification part number. Basic Functions can be selected by clicking on the buttons or using the Menu bar. All functions are disabled until communication with the ECU is successfully established.

Progress bar at the bottom indicates data being send between the ECU and PC. If the bar is not moving there is no data being received from the ECU.

Note: Some vehicles may use K line for diagnostics of engine ECU (ECM) but still use DDL1 line for diagnostics of other control modules. This software does not support diagnostics over the DDL1 line. Some of those models are: X-trail, Maxima, Patrol.

Self Diagnostics SRS

Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset SRS error codes.

Note: Recorded faults are historical and can not be cleared.

Work Support

Work Support functions allow users to perform the advance service procedures. Those procedures may need to be performed after replacement parts are installed.

Program Immobiliser Key – allows to register the Nissan transponder keys with the Immobiliser Note: The immobiliser security PIN CODE needs to be known. Initially all registered keys will be erased and all keys will need to be reregistered.

OBDII Self Diagnostics

OBDII Self Diagnostics function allows users to read and reset ECU error codes.

OBDII Monitor Status

OBDII Monitor Status shows the current status of various monitoring systems used by the car’s engine management system.

OBDII Log Analyser

Log Analyser is used to review log files previously generated by with Data Logging function. Graphs are drawn by selecting boxes next to parameter value. Graph colours match the parameter value colours.

OBDII Fuel System Satus

OBDII Fuel System Status can be used to check if the car’s fuel system is running in Closed Loop mode.

Fuel systems do not normally refer to injector banks. They are intended to represent completely different fuel systems that can independently enter and exit closed loop fuel. Banks of injectors on a V-engine are generally not independent and share the same closed-loop enablement criteria.

OBDII Data Logging

Selected OBDII parameters can be logged to a file. The data log file can then be analysed using the Log Analyser function.

Due to the slow nature of OBDII protocol it’s recommended to log only the required parameters.

Member Credit: xlack

This is from a G37 but the procedure pretty much identical to Nissan Maximas.

OEM Oil Pan completely stripped of silicon residue:

JWT Oil Pan Spacer:

New silicon applied:

Brush used to remove silicon remains:

This bolt has to be bended in order for the oil pan spacer to fit. (guy from 370z forum had it cut off, but is not necessary):

Bolt is knocked back into position:

Member Credit: EddyMaxx

I was shopping around for quality fans for my Nissan Maxima’s (6thgen and 4thgen). The dual Mishimoto fans were not cutting it anymore. And honestly, the Mishimoto fans were really no different than the 14″ generic ones on eBay. I did some research and found a company called SPAL. A fellow member (Javon B.) vouched for these fans confirmed they work very well. All 12-volt puller models, these Extreme Performance Electric Fans offer the most flow and fan area.

My car would overheat at times when going on long cruises with the AC on. I no longer have any cooling issues at all. This fan is very powerful with 2,024 CFM and does the job with just single 16″ Fan. I’m not even using a shroud.

Make sure you use a good relay (at least 40 AMP) before connecting directly to your OEM harness. More info below:

Fan Part Number: 30102049

Fan Price: Between $100.00 -$130.00

Relay Price: It’s about $33 bucks. The part number for it is SPAL-FRH. It’s a 40-amp relay kit. Highly recommended. You can use your own relay brand as well.


  • Type: High Performance – 12V Puller – Curved Blade
  • CFM: 2024 cfm
  • Height:16.22″ (412mm)
  • Width: 16.22″ (412mm)
  • Depth: 3.45″   (87.6mm)
  • Model: VA18-AP71/LL-59A
  • Made in Italy

Old 14″ Mishimoto Fans. These were 1300 CFM but certainly didn’t feel like it. 

Comparison of my 16″ SPAL Fan to Mishimoto 14″ Fan

Mounted on `Mishimoto Radiator. It’s literally a perfect fit.


Photo of the SPAL-FRH Relay (40AMP):

If you don’t use a good relay like the one above, this will happen (Photo Courtesy of Javon Bennet)


Member Credit: Matt York

I just had the y-pipe installed today (5/2/98), so I have not been able to completely test it out, but my overall impression is very positive.

The installation took 2.5 hours (cusom design/install) and involved the cutting and re-welding of several components of the exhaust system. The O2 sensor was moved, and some new piping was added.

My first impression has been that the engine reves MUCH more smoothly and quickly. It also seems to run smoother at higher RPMs. Noise has not increased very much, but I did notice a difference.


Stock Y-pipe:

You can see that the stock y-pipe has two main sources of restriction. First, the runner from the rear exaust manifold heads towards the FRONT of the car before it enters the y-pipe at a 90 degree angle. Second, the stock y-pipe is made of two halves that are welded together, this does not allow a smooth coupling of the pipes.

Stock Y-pipe Removal:

A Sawzall and a cutting torch were used to remove the heat shields from the stock y-pipe. Then the stock y-pipe, the flex tube, the O2 sensor, and the mounting flange to the rear exhaust manifold were removed.

New Y-pipe Installation:

The rear exhaust manifold mounting flange was saved and welded onto the new y-pipe.

The O2 sensor was re-attached between the flex pipe and the catalytic converter. The O2 sensor was relocated because the flex pipe had to be moved 3″ towards the rear of the car to make room for the y-pipe.

In this picture you can see the new Y-pipe. It is made out of mandrel bent stainless steel.

Finished Installation:

Here you can see the entire system. It is made of larger diameter tubing than the stock system, and the front and rear pipes come together in a less restrictive coupling.

All of the weld joints were painted to prevent rust.

Member Credit: Bryan Tisch

Below are the procedures that I used in performing the replacement of six of my fuel injectors. I put them on this web page to serve as guidance for you, but do not guaranty the results nor do I proclaim this is the correct procedure, though I reference the Nissan Factory Service Manual, hereinafter (“FSM”), throughout. If you have any doubt on your capability in performing this replacement, take your car to a certified mechanic.

What you need :
1. Upper intake manifold gasket; part number 14033-89E00
2. Lower intake manifold gasket; part number 14032-89E01
3. Throttle body gasket; part number 16175-89E10
4. A.A.C valve gasket
5. New / remanufactured fuel injectors 

a. see the picture below, which depicts the two injectors with different connectors.
b. The 90 -91 injectors have the metal clip (smaller) harness connector and the 92-94’s have clip-type (bigger) harness connector.
c. Also, Nissan made both blue and black dot injectors for our cars. I have been told you can use either one, but can’t mix and match. I doubt it would hurt mixing and matching though, just so long as you get the right one for your car. The dot is on the harness connector.
d. I picked up my remanufactured units for $37.95/ injector after the core deposit refund from Direct Automotive Product.

The injector on the left is a 92-94 injector, and the right is a 90-91, and probably an 89 too.

The steps I performed :
1. Release fuel pressure to zero 
a. I did this by unhooking the upper hose from the fuel filter after pulling the fuel pump fuse

2. Separate the accelerator cables from the throttle body. 
a. they easily just slide off. Tilt the butterfly valves back to get them.
b. Remove the cabling and routing from the intake plenum.

3. Remove spark plug wires from spark plugs.

4. Remove the intake elbow leading to the throttle body. 
a. there are three bolts, the middle one is the longer one and routes the spark plug wires.
b. These bolts are torqued at 13 – 16 ft lbs.

For steps 6 – 9, basically remove necessary hoses and vacuum lines so you can free the plenum for removal. I took notes on a few of the items I might have forgotten when putting things back together.

5. Remove the A.A.C. valve 
a. there are four 5 mm hex bolts holding this in. remove the harness connector also.
b. There is an “S” shaped hose connecting the AAC valve to the plenum, remove this also.

6. Disconnect throttle sensor

7. Disconnect the P.C.V. hoses behind the intake plenum

8. Disconnect vacuum hoses under the throttle body, from the E.G.R. control valve, master brake cylinder ,etc.

9. Remove the E.G.R. flare tube 
a. this is held on by two nuts. I think they are 10mm in size.

10. Remove the upper intake plenum 
a. there are eleven six millimeter hex bolts that hold down the plenum at 13 – 16 ft lbs.
b. There is a special torque sequence that I observed in both loosening them and tightening them down. Please refer to the picture at the bottom of the screen for that sequence.


Less the spark plug wires and the throttle body (my procedure keeps it attached to the plenum), your engine should look something like the above before taking the lower intake manifold off. Pictures are courtesy of Matt Blehm.

11. Remove the lower intake manifold collector from the engine. 
a. Use the loosening sequence below for taking the manifold off and putting it back on. Again, reference the picture at the bottom of the screen.

12. Remove the engine earth harness from behind the plenum.

13. Remove the fuel injector harness wires 
a. For the 92,93,94’s this is easy, as you just apply pressure on the harness and pull
b. For the 90 and 91’s (and presumably 89’s) there is a metal wire clip that you must pull out or partially out to remove the connector.

14. Remove fuel injector(s) 
a. I used a pair of pliers and gripped them tightly, turning the injectors back and forth before pulling upward. All came out somewhat easily, except my last one.
b. There should be two O rings per injector for the 90 -91 injectors. I am not sure the 92,93,94 injectors have two. The lower O ring will likely stay in the fuel rail hole upon removal of the injector. Just stick your finger in and retrieve it. Be sure to replace with new “O” rings, per the FSM.

15. Replace injector(s) 
a. I applied motor oil to the O rings and carefully inserted the new fuel injector. Instead of just pushing downward immediately, you should turn it back and forth, while applying downward pressure. You will see and feel the injector seat in how it should be. Before replacing, assure that the new ones spec out correctly with regard to resistance. The range of resistance allowed by Nissan is  10 –14 ohms .

16. Clean intake plenum, lower intake manifold, and intake runners. 
a. I used Carb clean and a Valvoline product. I sprayed a good amount of Carb clean down the intake runners and used a cloth to wipe the dirt out. You may want to try a toothbrush.
b. Be sure to completely scrape away all remaining gasket material on both surfaces so as not to allow an intake leak after assembly.

17. Reinstall all parts in reverse order, keeping in mind the torque sequence and use the torque wrench so as to tighten the following to these torque specifications, per the FSM: 
a. plenum hex bolts  13 – 16 ft. lbs .
b. lower intake manifold hex bolts,  13 – 16 ft. lbs .
c. A.A.C valve bolts –  4.6 – 6.1 ft lbs .
d. intake elbow bolts  13 – 16 ft. lbs .


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Member Credit: Craig Brace

This procedure is for the installation of an underdrive pulley. This requires removal of all 3 drive belts and possibly the starter. Nissan recommends changing drive belts every 30,000 miles. They should be checked periodically too. This procedure applies to the VE30DE engine, but is very similar for the VG30E.

My car was leaking oil out of the front main seal (behind the crankshaft pulley) so I figured if I was going to have to take off that pulley, I should go ahead and put a better one back on. For the VE engine (1992-1994 SE only), ASP Racing sells a lightened, smaller crankshaft pulley:

Auto Specialties underdrive pulley systems increase engine horsepower by reducing the amount of power required to drive external accessories. For example, the alternator, power steering, water pump and air conditioner all rob horsepower from the engine. By replacing factory-sized crank and accessory drive pulleys with a resized pulley, the accessories are slowed, resulting in more horsepower available to drive the rear wheels. Typically, a set of Auto Specialties street pulleys will increase output by 12 to 15 horsepower, resulting in quarter mile time improvements of .2 to .25 seconds.

I got mine at For the VG engine (89-91 SE and 89-94 GXE), Unorthodox Racing sells a lightened, smaller pulley. You can get this from Courtesy Nissan.  Because the new pulley is smaller, you will need smaller sized drive belts which run about $10 each from most parts stores. Here are the Gates parts numbers for the belts you need (note: ASP gives a different part number for the power steering belt, but this is the correct one). I got mine at PepBoys and they are Dayco brand; the numbers are easily converted to Dayco numbers – 325K5, 378K4, 460K4. The number next to K means the number of grooves in the belt and the other number has something to do with the length (probably the circumference).

Air ConditioningK040460K040460
Power Steering (also drives water pump)K040378K040395


As you can see, the new belts fit just inside the old belts:

Tools you will need: 

  • Various sockets: 10,12,14 and 27mm (for the crankshaft pulley bolt); you may need one or two other sizes, but nothing special besides the 27
  • 12mm open end wrench
  • Socket extension
  • Torque wrench
  • Breaker bar
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Impact wrench would be very helpful, but not necessary
  • Maybe: pulley remover

This procedure isn’t that complicated, but if you haven’t ever changed drive belts, it may be a good idea to have someone else check over your work before you put everything back together (especially important for power steering and alternator belts). Read through the instructions first before beginning any work. Also, you should buy a new front oil seal for your car. It’s about $3 from Courtesy Nissan and maybe $5 or 6 from a local dealer; you’ll have everything off to change it and you wouldn’t want to have to do this again if it starts leaking in a few weeks from now. The part for the VE engine is 13510-97E10; I’m not sure of the part number for the VG.

First, remove the right front wheel and remove the splash shields that cover the side and below the drive belts. There are a couple 10mm bolts holding these on. You should now be able to see the crankshaft pulley and drive belts

Start by loosening the 12mm bolt on the air conditioner’s idler pulley – this is the small pulley just in front of the A/C compressor. This will be more of a pain if you have ABS, but it’s still not that bad. I used the flat open end of a 12mm wrench to get the bolt and then loosed it that way. Dont remove this bolt, just loosen it a few turns. Now there is a bolt pointing straight up just behind that pulley that you need to adjust to move the pulley down (see picture below). If this bolt is hard to turn, make sure the bolt through the middle of the idler pulley is loose enough; dont force it or you could damage the idler pulley tracks. You need to lower it enough so the belt has enough slack to pull off of the A/C compressor. The pictures below are with the large radiator hose removed so you can see where the bolt is.

Now you need to remove the alternator belt. Loosen (do not remove) the bolt at the bottom of the alternator that goes into the alternator adjustment bolt (first picture). Also, loosen the alternator pivot bolt near the top of the alternator (second pic). Now you can loosen the alternator adjusting bolt (third pic). In my case, the bolt loosened but alternator did not move, just move the alternator with your hand to the point where the bolt is tight again. Loosen this until you can pull this belt off.

Now you need to remove the power steering belt (which also runs the water pump). There is another idler pulley for this system. Just loosen the center nut for that and lower the idler pulley until you have enough slack to remove the belt.

If you are not putting on an underdrive pulley and just want to change drive belts, skip the next couple steps:

  • Remove bolt in the center of the crankshaft pulley. This is where you need the 27mm socket. This bolt is on very tight; if you have an impact wrench, this is a great time to use it. Otherwise, you’ll probably need a long breaker bar. Chiltons recommends removing the starter and placing a flat blade (your hubcap removal tool in your Nissan jack set in the trunk should work fine) in the teeth of the flywheel/driveplate.
  • If you have a manual transmission, put the car in 5th gear. The starter is easily removed; if you are going to remove it, you should unplug the negative terminal of the battery first so you dont short anything while removing the starter’s power wire. The starter is only held on by a large wire, one 14mm nut and one 14mm bolt.
  • If you remove the rubber protective covering over the large wire, you will find a nut under there; just remove that and the large wire will come off. You will also need to unclip a smaller ground wire from it’s harness. Then you can remove the 14mm nut and bolt that hold the starter onto the transmission. After these are loose, the starter will just pull off and you should be able to see the flywheel.


If you have an automatic, there should be a small cover over the lower part of the transmission that you can remove to see the driveplate.

Then wedge something in between the teeth and prop it against something solid. You should now be able to break loose the crankshaft pulley bolt.

Now you can remove the crankshaft pulley. Mine could be pulled off by hand; if not, a 2 or 3 jaw puller can be used to pull it off. You will notice how much larger and heavier the stock pulley is compared to the new pulley.

The old oil seal needs to be removed now. It is just around the inner edge of where the pulley was. Use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry this out. Be very careful not to scratch or damage anything other than the seal. Now the new seal just needs to be pushed in place (you should lube the outer edge with some engine oil, the inner edge is already lubed). Put it in place and gently push the edges in; I used a rubber mallet to help push it in. The first picture shows the seal still on and the second shows the seal removed.

The new pulley will be very tight to get on. Some have hammered it on, but I would NOT recommend this. I used my dremel to shave off some material from the inside diameter until it fit better. On mine, I could feel a small difference in diameter between the inside edge of the new pulley and the rest of the inside diameter; I ended up dremeling the inside until it was all the same diameter as the end portion. Just use sandpaper, a dremel or whatever to remove a small amount of metal in there, but try to do it in a circular way so it’s even throughout. When I was done with this, the new pulley fit on better. I got it on part way and then put the large bolt in the middle and tightened it to help push the pulley on. Now you need to torque the pulley bolt to 123-130 ftlbs for the VE or 90-98 ftlbs for the VG. You can now put the starter back on (or cover plate for the automatic tranny). Also, you can now reconnect the battery if you unplugged it.

Now you are ready to put the belts back on. This is just the opposite of how you removed them – put new belt over the pulleys and tighten the adjustment bolt and then tighten a bolt to lock the adjustment (and for alternator, tighten pivot bolt). If your belts are too loose, they may make a squeling sound when you start the car and may slip a little. If they are too tight, they could cause lots of other problems so it’s important to get the tension right. The picture below shows the test point for each bolt as indicated by the arrow. If you push or pull down on this point it should move a certain distance for each new belt. Alternator: 6.5-7.5mm, A/C: 5-6mm, power steering: 6.5-7.5mm. This is where it would be helpful to have someone who has done drive belts before to check the tension for you to be sure.

Once the belts are on and tighten, check the 2 idler pulleys and the alternator adjustment bolts to make sure they are all tight. Start up the car and take a look at the belts and pulley. My pulley looked like it was a little off center, but I realized it was just the washer in the middle of the pulley was tricking me because of the silver color of the pulley and the black of the washer. Look at the edges to be sure. Check that all the belts are turning smoothly and are not at all crooked or not in their grooves. Now just replace the splash shields and that should be it. Check the pulley and belts again in a couple days just to make sure everything is still in place.


Member Credit: Bryan Tisch

I had a custom “y pipe” for my older white Maxima. In actuality, it is an “f” pipe that aids in the exiting of exhaust. Unlike a true Y pipe, the rear manifold exit drops down straight into the pipe from the front manifold. The exhaust gas is freer flowing and it certainly made a difference, but not as much as the true Y pipe.

I did things differently with my black car. I wanted it to be faster and more responsive than the white Maxima and I have accomplished that. I installed the Cattman Y pipe. It is a completely bolt-on piece that was not terribly difficult to install. I recommend taking the time and soaking all the bolts/nuts prior to taking them off. You will also need to purchase exhaust gaskets, which are also shown in my installation pictures below.

In comparing the pipes, you can see how the flow is impeded in the stock pipe. Also note that the Cattman pipe has a longer drop from the front manifold. I believe this causes a problem with the pipe hitting the sway bar. Also note how the stock pipe drops a bit in order to get to the Catalytic converter, this just goes to show you that the stock pipe sits higher. If the Cattman pipe would have incorporated these two things I mentioned, it would have plenty of clearance from the sway bar. I believe Warpspeed performance solved this aggravating problem.

Tools you will need:

1. Metric Socket set (some SAE may actually work though, as I found out for my front catalytic converter bolts)

2. Metric wrenches (to reach up in some of the more difficult bolts

3. Breaker bar (at least an 18 inch socket wrench as these bolts are tough to take off)

4. Liquid Wrench spray (or a similar product- I used a synthetic Valvoline product)

5. 3 gaskets (two for the manifold connections, and the other for the catalytic converter.

5. Goggles! (else you’ll get all kinds of crap in your eye)

6. A light for under the car

7. Duct tape and aluminum foil if it hits your sway bar after your done (because of a soft rear motor mount)

8. A jack and jack stands

Here’s the pipe and the gaskets I used.

Step1 : Patrick using the lubrication. Valvoline synthetic lubricant was used to loosen all bolts. My advice is to let them soak on the bolts for a few hours prior to trying to remove them. This will make your job much easier.

Step 2:  Yours truly, taking off the shields and brackets. At this point, the jack in the picture is a backup in case my jack stands fail, don’t worry, no upward weight on the transmission there.

Step 3 : Using the breaker bar to take off the Catalytic converter bolts.

Step 4:  Loosened those nuts on front manifold.

Step 5: Instead of taking this bracket off like the most of you probably did, I took my electric hacksaw and sawed off the end of it, giving the Y pipe just enough room. Note how the bracket will work with the crossmember and help absorb an impact if I hit something low. Pictured is me holding the piece that I cut off.

Step 6 : Note that the Y pipe is protected both by the bracket and the cross member. I was lucky to get one that did not hang lower than the cross member. However, the sway bar problem that I have and that I mentioned in my FAQ’s could have been avoided if this drop wasn’t so severe. It looks like there is plenty of clearance now, but the car/engine is jacked up somewhat. This is how it should have been!

Step 7 : The finished product, before hooking up the catalytic converter hangers.

The result? A lot more power between 3000 and 4500 rpm, however, the pipe hangs too low and vibrates on the sway bar during moderate to heavy acceleration. I ended up passively fixing the problem by padding the sway bar. In addition to my padding of the sway bar, I had to dent the pipe a little bit.

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Member Credit: Ken Rosengren


Q) What does a knock sensor do?

A) A knock sensor is a specially designed listening device for car engines. It listens for engine knock, or detonation (pinging). Detonation can be very bad for an engine and is the result of the fuel/air mixture exploding too quickly instead of burning evenly and rapidly. This is due to either bad fuel, ignition timing which is too high, or built up carbon deposits in the engine (which increases the compression ratio). The sensor is small and consists of a piezoelectric sensor that listens for knock by detecting pressure. It is very sensitive and can be considered worthless if dropped. The vibrational pressure is then converted into a voltage and sent to the ECU for evaluation.

Q) How do I know if my knock sensor is bad?

A) Symptoms of a bad knock sensor include a sluggish engine, poor acceleration and poor fuel economy. Knock sensors rarely fail outright and more often get “soft” over time and cause false signals to be sent to the ECU, which thinks the engine is knocking when it’s really not. Thus, the ECU will reduce the ignition timing to the engine. The knock sensor on the VE30DE is prone to corrosion of the terminals and harness connection. This is due to the harness weather seal getting brittle and cracking, allowing moisture to seep into the harness from the rear and corrode the terminals. This creates a poor connection and faulty voltage readings to the ECU.

Q) How do I test my knock sensor?

A) The knock sensor voltage can be checked through an electrical harness located right above the thermostat housing (where the lower radiator coolant hose attaches to the engine). It is a gray connector with an orangish red cap with two wires. Unplug the connector and attach a multimeter (or voltmeter) to the lower harness (the male connector). The wire for this connector should go left and underneath the intake manifold. Check the front most terminal (see pic) and ground out the negative point. You must have a multimeter than can measure more than 10 M ohms. Continuity should exist. This method is per the Factory Service Manual. NOTE : Knock sensors should be considered regular maintenance items. If you have over 100K miles and have never replaced the knock sensor, you can probably consider it bad.

Q) What parts will I need?

A) For knock sensor replacement only, here are the required parts:

-Normal hand tools (8, 10, 12mm sockets, long extensions, 14mm open-end wrench, large adjustable wrench, torque wrench, Philips screwdriver, 6mm hex key socket (I THINK this is right, check the size of the intake plenum hex bolts first to see if it fits before you start)).

-Coolant and distilled water (about a gallon total)

-Knock sensor PN 22060-30P00

-Knock sensor sub harness PN 24078-30P00

-Throttle body gasket PN 16175-53J00

-Intake plenum gasket PN 14032-97E00

-2 Intake manifold gaskets PN 14035-97E00

-Liquid gasket which is impervious to coolant (high-temp)

Q) What are some other things I could do while I’m in there?

A) Since you will be draining some coolant and releasing the fuel pressure, here are some things you should think about doing (though not required):

-Replace all fuel lines with rubber fuel injection hose (don’t get normal fuel line since they are not reinforced for high-pressure fuel injection systems).

-Replace all coolant hoses (radiator hoses, bypass hoses, throttle body hoses, there are a lot of small ones that are very difficult to get to normally, this is your chance to do it easily)

-New vacuum hoses (you’ll need at least 8 ft I believe, there are a lot of small ones)

-Fuel injectors: Might want to get them cleaned and install new o-rings and grommets

-Fuel filter, since the fuel pressure is released, why not?

-Port match intake manifold/plenum and throttle body

-New coolant temp sensor

-New PCV valve

-New thermostat

Q) I’ve never done major work on a car. Can I do this successfully?

A) Replacing a knock sensor isn’t necessarily hard work, but it is time-consuming. As long as you think the project over beforehand and label everything you disassemble, you should go fine. The worst thing that can happen is you end up with a loose hose somewhere or have an intake or coolant leak.

Now the fun part, actually doing the job! These procedures were produced from my 93 SE 5spd. If you have an auto, you might not have as many vacuum lines to disconnect since the 5spds have the power valve and purge canister.

Release fuel pressure

The FSM states that to release the fuel pressure, you need to remove the fuel pump fuse located in the interior of the car under the panel by your left knee when you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. Crank the engine up, let it die, then crank it a few more times until it doesn’t start. Then take out the key and replace the fuse.

Drain coolant

On the bottom right side of the radiator is the drain cock (plastic t-handle with a small clear rubber hose hanging down). Open the drain cock and allow about 3-4 quarts of coolant out. You don’t need to drain the entire engine since the intake manifold only holds a small amount of coolant, and this is the first part to drain since it’s highest on the engine. Remember to shut the drain cock!

Disconnect battery

Very important! You will have open fuel lines, so one spark could start a fire! Remember to disconnect the negative cable first.

Disconnect intake and air box

-Unclamp the 4 latches on the air box as if you were changing your air filter

-Loosen the throttle body air intake tube clamp

-Unclamp the two big rubber breather hose attached to the plastic air intake tube.

-Unhook the two vacuum lines attached to the resonator, then lift the entire air intake unit out and out of the way

Disconnect blow-by tube

This is the small, long metal tube attached to the front of the intake plenum

-Unbolt two 10mm bolts and two rubber hoses.

-Carefully unhook the wiring harness clamps. These are very brittle and if not already broken, will break if you force them! Have some zip ties ready if you do break them

Throttle Body

Just disconnecting the throttle body is the easiest way to do this. You can leave the TB attached but then you must remove many vacuum and coolant lines from it. It’s easiest just to remove it and lay it on the side.

-Remove the throttle and cruise control cables by loosening the left nut with your 14mm open-end wrench (furthest from throttle body, if you loosen the right nut you can change the tension on the cable, not good!). Then remove the cable from the TB bracket.

-Remove a short vacuum hose on the bottom of the TB that connects to the intake plenum

-Remove the 4 hex bolts using a criss-cross pattern and remove the TB

-For added stretch you might have to unclip the TPS harness from its mount

Intake Plenum

-Unplug and remove the three rear coil packs

-Remove three ground straps (10mm bolts) 2 on front of plenum, one on left side *Take a dremel or steel wool or something and clean these ground straps and mounts to get the oxidation off, these need to make good grounds!*

-Remove the vacuum hose from the power valve on the left side of the plenum (N/A for auto)

-Remove the tiny cruise control vacuum hose from the rear of the plenum

-Remove the mid-size vacuum hose on the rear of the plenum that routes to the brake booster

-Remove the mid-size vacuum hose right underneath that (this one meets a metal pipe which eventually winds up at the PCV valve.

-Now, remove the two 12mm bolts that this PCV metal pipe connects to the plenum with

-While you’re down there, remove the two 12mm top bolts of each plenum stiffening plate (only one plate is shown in the picture, there is another to the right by the EGR)

-Take your big adjustable wrench and crack the big nut loose on the EGR valve. Loosen it all the way until it moves freely and you can see a gap between the EGR valve and metal EGR tube

-Remove the 4 remaining vacuum lines by the throttle body location.

-This one’s hard to see, but there are 4 12mm bolts holding on the EGRC valve on the lower right side of the plenum. Two on the right side, two on the back side (one is not visible in the pic)

-Remove the 10mm bolt holding on a metal vacuum line mount on the right side of the plenum, in front of the throttle body. It has a yellow sticker on the mount.

-Now all you have to do is crack loose the 6 hex nuts in a criss-cross pattern and pull off the plenum! If it doesn’t come off freely, hit the “Nissan” part lightly with the palm of your hand. Now, when removing the plenum, make sure everything is disconnected before you rip something off

Fuel Rails

-Loosen the screw clamps for each of the 4 small fuel lines (2 on each rail)

-Remove the fuel “T” line on the left side by removing the two 10mm bolts. Be careful not to drop these down the intake manifold as you’ll have to fish it out of the intake port of the head if you do (speaking from experience here)

-Break loose the fuel lines and be prepared for some fuel to spill out. Have rags handy. Remove the fuel “T”

-Now remove the 4 hex bolts of the fuel rails. Be prepared to gather a plastic spacer and metal washer for each bolt as they will fall and get lost easily. Remember how they fit! Plastic washer on bottom, then fuel rail, then metal washer on top, then bolt.

-Lightly pull up on the rails, when they are loose you can remove the right fuel lines. Do not drop the fuel rails, injectors are fragile and expensive!

-Watch for any loose fuel injector grommets (where the fuel injectors sit in on the manifold). Don’t lose these unless you have new ones ready to go.

Intake Manifold

-Remove the left radiator hose and the smaller bypass hose right next to it. You only have to disconnect them from where they meet the manifold

-On the right side, remove the three bolts that hold on the coolant tubes to the right side of the manifold. You may have to pry a bit to get this off as it’s sealed on with liquid gasket.

-Disconnect the coolant temp sensors (big one and small one, be careful as these electrical connectors are brittle, and you’ll have to pry the small metal wire clip to remove it)

-Now crack loose the 4 nuts (not bolts yet!) in a criss-cross pattern, 2 on each side of the manifold

-Now loosen the 6 hex bolts, again in a criss-cross pattern (important, you don’t want to warp the manifold by improper untorquing)

-Make sure you gather the washers that go with the nuts

-Pop off the manifold (you might have to pry a bit)

Water Pipe

By now, you can see the knock sensor and the pile of crud in the valley of your engine, but there’s no way to break the sensor bolt loose because the water pipe is in the way!

-Remove the two nuts and washers on the left side (connecting to the water pump)

-Remove the two bolts that bolt vertically down into the engine block on the right side.

-Now, using a LARGE flathead screwdriver, pry the water pipe off the studs on the water pump side and you’ll be able to hold the water pipe up to get to the knock sensor. Much easier than removing the thermostat housing and all those coolant lines on the right side

Knock Sensor

Finally, one bolt and it’s off. Clean the contact point thoroughly since any dirt or gunk will make the sensor less effective. Now, put the new sensor in and BE CAREFUL with it. Remember not to drop it or hit it against anything. Even when bolting it down take extreme care, you do NOT want to over tighten it! I couldn’t find a torque figure in the FSM so I just tightened it down until I felt resistance and went about another half turn. My uncalibrated torque right arm says it was about 15-20 lb/ft.

Now it’s time to clan the gasket surfaces on the head, manifold, plenum and throttle body. Use a paint scraper for the best results. A bit a steel wool won’t hurt either. Make sure no debris or anything falls into the intake ports in the head. Also clean off the water pipe where it was sealed with liquid gasket

Installation is in the reverse order of removal. Use a solid bead of liquid gasket on all surfaces. Completely circle around all pipes (on the right side of the intake manifold, the coolant pipes that attach have two pipes. Make a circle around each hole so they don’t leak into each other). Don’t use TOO much liquid gasket though. A thin solid bead is all that is needed. Allow at least an hour for it to dry (by the time you get everything else back together, at least an hour will have passed)

Intake manifold torque for the hex bolts is 20 ft/pounds. For the 4 nuts it is 24 ft/pounds.

Again, torque them in a criss-cross pattern (middle bottom left, middle top right, middle bottom right, middle top left, far bottom left, etc)

Fuel rail bolt torque is 20 ft/lbs

Intake manifold hex bolt torque is 20 ft/lbs. Criss-cross pattern.

Throttle body torque is 15 ft/lbs, criss-cross pattern

Make sure you replace all the plastic spacers and washers correctly when you replace the fuel rails.

When replacing your coolant, fill it up to the top of the radiator cap. Now, carefully open the 10mm nut by the large coolant bypass hose on the right side of the intake manifold (by the two pipes and the coolant temp sensors). This is a purge valve and releases the air in the system as you fill it up.

Start it up and check for leaks. When all done, take it for an easy test drive quick around the block then check for leaks when you return. On the first real drive, drive slowly as if you were breaking the car in. The metal manifold gaskets need a complete heat cycle to seal correctly. You don’t want to risk doing this over again! Then disconnect the battery (negative first, then positive) and let it sit overnight. In the morning, enjoy your newfound VE power!

The Rubik’s Cube is the most popular puzzle on the World. Learn how to solve it with the easiest method.

Member Credit: Bryan Tisch

Below is the distributor hold-down bolt which resides under the distributor, you can see the sun shining on it in both pictures. To change the timing:

  1. First obtain a timing gun (normal or one with the advance feature)
  2. Make sure the engine is warmed up and running at a normal idle level [during the whole procedure].
  3. Hook the #1 cylinder up to the timing gun and the two terminals to the battery.
  4. Check your current timing by aiming the timing gun near the belts on the right side of your car directly on the crankshaft pulley. There are 7 tick marks, starting from the left (closest to the windshield) 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 degrees. The first tick mark is technically supposed to be orange, but might be covered up from dirt.
  5. There is a timing indicator (I call it an arrow) which indicates where your timing is when the light from the gun is flashing on it. If you see the arrow on the middle mark (4 from the left when standing at the right front tire), then your timing is right at 15 degrees.
  6. Remove the “ECCS” cover.
  7. Obtain a 9 mm socket with an extension and loosen the below distributor hold-down bolt.

    a. Be careful to keep the wires away from the accessory belts or cooling fans
    b. Do not take the screw out, only loosen it a little.

  8. Once the screw is loosened, put your hand on the distributor and slightly turn it to the right (advancing). Have the nut on the distributor snug enough where it stays in place for fine tuning.
  9. Next, check your timing with the gun. I recommend going with 20 degrees, which is the 3rd tick mark from the right (5th tick mark from the left). 18 is also a good number and you can adjust accordingly for it.
  10. Tighten the distributor hold-down bolt
  11. Re-check the timing to ensure the distributor stayed in place while you tightened it.
  12. Disconnect the timing gun
  13. Put the distributor cover back on.

Take the car for a test drive and make sure no knocking or pinging occurs. If it does, retard the timing slightly.

Note 1
If you have an advance able timing gun, you can use it’s feature, which allows you to dial the timing in on the gun itself and base everything on the left-most tick mark. With this setup, you really don’t need to use the advance feature and can just use the tick marks. The only advantage in my eyes with using the advance feature is that it is a little more easy to determine the left most mark than the 3rd mark from the right (20 degrees)

Note 2
Higher octane fuel is recommended with the advanced timing setup. I alternate between 89 and 93 octane and haven’t had any problems.

( standing at the right front wheel looking down at the crankshaft pulley) excuse my art work.

Member Credit: Bryan Tisch

Anyone ever get that $300 – $500 quote to have your alternator replaced? One word of advice: Don’t fall into that trap. The new Hitachi (Nissan OEM) alternators run about $220 and have a limited warranty. Another alternative is to purchase a higher line remanufactured alternator, which is much cheaper. They utilize the same Hitachi case, offer similar reliability, and in most cases, come with a lifetime warranty. I purchased my remanufactured alternator for  $80 .

I have installed remanufactured alternators on both of my Maximas with good results. Two months ago, I put one in my black Maxima, these are the instructions I followed. They are mostly from a Tune-Up & Repair Manual designed specifically for the 1989 – 1990 Nissan Maxima. I use this in conjunction with my Factory Service Manual. I do not guarantee or warranty results, please do this at your own risk.

These instructions include the removal and replacement of the air conditioning and power steering belts as well. These extra steps are in red. You will need:

  1. alternator
  2. power steering, air conditioner, alternator belts
  3. Jack, jack stands
  4. 10 mm, 12 mm, and 14 mm sockets with short, medium, and long extensions, and a ratchet
  5. eye protection

Step 1:  Disconnect the Battery .

  1. disconnect the negative, then the positive battery terminal.

Step 2:  Loosen the nut in the center of the air-conditioning belt idler pulley .

  1. it’s the top most pulley, located on the right end of the engine.
  2. Two or three turns is all that is needed.
  3. This will allow the belt to loosen when you loosen the tensioner bolt

Step 3:  Loosen the air-conditioning belt tensioner bolt

  1. This 12 mm adjuster is located above and to the left of the pulley
  2. Loosen around 15 turns or enough slack to remove and install a new belt.

Step 4:  Raise and support the front of the car

  1. Use caution with a level ground, appropriate jack and jack stands.
  2. Turn the front wheels to the right after jacking up the car.
  3. Do not use the spare tire jack.

Step 5:  Remove the lower right splash shield

  1. From beneath the car, unscrew the 10 mm bolts.

Step 6:  Remove the splash shield from the right wheel well .

  1. The shield is again, held in place by 3 10 mm bolts and a push-in clip.
  2. The bolts and clip are located behind the right wheel.
  3. It is not necessary to take off the wheel – I did not.
  4. Personally, I question whether it is necessary to take off this shield.

Step 7:  Remove the Air conditioning belt

  1. take it off the crankshaft pulley first, and then the air conditioning compressor pulley.

Step 8:  Loosen the bolt on the alternator belt tension rod .

  1. On the bottom of the alternator, you will see a bolt and a metal device that it is in. Loosen the nut that is holding the bolt. (the nut facing the right tire).

Step 9:  Loosen the alternator pivot bolts .

  1. There are two of these bolts, and they are at the top of the alternator (one on each side, in line with each other).

Step 10:  Relax the tension on the alternator belt.

  1. Loosen the alternator belt adjuster and squeeze the belt together to move the alternator toward the engine.
  2. Note: the alternator may be hard to move, just keep working it, until it loosens

Step 11:  Remove the alternator belt.

Step 12:  Unplug the large connector .

  1. Press in on the tab on the connector and pull it out of the alternator

Step 13:  Disconnect the wires from the rear of the alternator .

  1. Unscrew the nuts that attach the wires, and pull the wires off their studs.
  2. Watch for falling debris in your eyes.

Step 14:  Free the alternator harness clamp .

  1. Remove the 8 mm bolt that attaches the clamp to the rear of the alternator.

Step 15:  Remove the adjuster bracket from the alternator

  1. Unscrew the bolt that attaches the adjuster rod and bracket to the bottom of the alternator.

Step 16:  Remove the alternator pivot bolts.

  1. There is a second bolt at the rear of the alternator (identical to the easier viewed one), directly in line with the front one.
  2. Remove both, securing the alternator with your hand so it doesn’t fall on you.

Step 17:  Remove the alternator

  1. I had trouble getting mine out and had to push back and forth until it finally came loose.
  2. At this time you can remove and replace the power steering belt. The tensioner is in view.

Step 18:  Install the new alternator .

  1. Install the bolts above the alternator, finger tight at first.
  2. Do not tighten these until the alternator belt tension has been adjusted.

Step 19:  Attach the lower adjuster bracket .

  1. Screw in the bolt that attaches the adjuster rod and bracket to the alternator

Step 20:  Connect the large wire to the alternator .

  1. It mounts on the upper stud.

Step 21:  Connect the small wire to the rear of the alternator .

  1. The small wire mounts on the lower stud.

Step 22:  Attach the alternator harness clamp.

Step 23:  Plug in the large connector

  1. Press the connector into the alternator until the tab locks it in place.

Step 24:  Install and tighten the alternator belt.

  1. Tighten the adjuster nut until you can deflect the belt ¼ – ½ inch midway between the pulleys.

Step 25:  Tighten the pivot bolts.

  1. again, the bolts above the alternator.

Step 26:  Install the air conditioning belt.

  1. assure that the grooves and ridges in belt match up with the grooves on the pulley.

Step 27:  Install the splash shield on the right wheel well.

Step 28:  Install the lower splash shield .

Step 29:  Lower the car .

Step 30:  Adjust the air conditioning belt .

  1. from the top, turn adjuster bolt clockwise until you can push the belt inward about ¼ inch.
  2. Again, this adjusting nut is 12 mm just above the air conditioning idler pulley.

Step 31:  Tighten the pulley bolt.

  1. this locks the tensioner and prevents it from loosening.

Step 32:  Connect the battery.

  1. connect the positive first.