Category

my4thgen 95-99

Category

Owner: Chase Morphies

Year: 1998
Model: i30
Color: Blue
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Mod List:

  • Custom 3″ Side Exit Exhaust
  • Red eBay Lowering Springs
  • XXR 513 19 x 9.5″ All Around
  • 5 x 114.3 225/45/19
  • 300ZX Fuel Filter
  • Tuned on APEXI
  • DE-K Engine Swap
  • 5-Speed Swap
  • 20% Window Tint
  • Hood-Pin Release
  • 2 12″ Crunches – Subwoofers

my4dsc: 245

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:

my4dsc: 158

Owner: ViciousMo

Year: 1998
Model: Maxima
Color: Black
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Trim: SE

Mod List:

  • Cattman 2.5” exhaust w/ Fastcat HFC
  • Stillen intake
  • Tokico Illumnas
  • Progress rear sway, ebay FSTB
  • Stillen body kit brand new in box, no paint
  • Budget Y-pipe
  • Rota Grids Hyper Black 18×9.5 +20, 5×114.3, 225/40/18 tires

 

my4dsc: 332

Member Credit: EddyMaxx

I wanted my cluster to match the rest of the LEDs in my 1998 Maxima. I liked the blue color so I ordered those. The install was pretty straight-forward and the final outcome is awesome. I’m going to sand down the orange on the needle for a clear look.

Special thanks to Brad Conner for the assist! You can find his install instructions here.

Part Number: NEO5-BHP (This is only for 1998-1999 Digital Clusters. For 1995-1997, you need T10/194 bulbs bulbs)

Order Link: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/instrument-cluster-gauge/neox-led-bulb-high-power-instrument-panel-led/221/998/

The LEDs

Before Pics

Back Side of Cluster

These are the 5 bulbs to change to the NEO5-BHP bulbs.

Note: These LED bulbs are polarized. If a specific bulb does not light up, you will have to adjust it. It took me a few tries but I finally got them all working. Make sure they are secured as you adjust them so that they don’t fall out if you hit a speed bump. Also, it’s recommended to fully test the cluster with new bulbs installed before putting everything back in.

New LED Bulbs Installed

Final Result. Next step is to sand down the red on needles for a better look.

my4dsc: 126

Member Credit: tigersharkdude

These is a full list of LED replacements bulbs for your 1995-1999 Nissan Maxima.

Tools Needed:

  1. Phillips Head Screw Driver
  2. Thin flat head screw driver
  3. Plastic Trim removal tool
  4. Extending magnetic pickup tool
  5. POSSIBLY 10mm socket and ratchet
  6. POSSIBLY a headlamp light

LEDs:

Map Light – 20 SMD LED Panel with a BA9s Adapter(can be purchased from your choice of supplier, I prefer ebay because they tend to be just as good and are usually $2-3 each)

Cars with 2 Map lights will need TWO 12 SMD LED Panels and 2 BA9s adapters (can be purchased from your choice of supplier, I prefer ebay because they tend to be just as good and are usually $2-3 each).

DomeLight – 36 SMD LED Panel with a Festoon Adapter (can be purchased from your choice of supplier, I prefer ebay because they tend to be just as good and are usually $2-3 each).

Door Courtesy Lights – 2 x 12 SMD LED Panel and 2 T10 adapters(can be purchased from your choice of supplier, I prefer ebay because they tend to be just as good and are usually $2-3 each).
Cluster Bulbs:

**95-97 cars – 5 (Five) T10/194 bulbs (can be purchased from your choice of supplier). For these I recommend that you use at least 5+ SMD LED’s because if you use something with one LED it will look awful and have a huge hotspot.

**98-99 cars – 5 (Ffive) NEOx 5mm Bulbs ($1.79 Each http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei…panel-led/221/)
ACC Bulbs: THESE ARE ONLY FOR DIGITAL UNITS. NEOx 4mm bulbs ($2.29 each http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei…panel-led/221/)

Vanity Mirror Bulbs: 31mm Vanity 3 SMD LED bulb xenon white ($2.49 each http://www.wardenjp.com/stores/festoon.html) or from your choice of supplier)

REMEMBER that there are several types of LED panels that are available to purchase, 5050 SMD LED are one of the brightest options that you have. Also remember that LED’s come in a wide array of colors, be sure to always check that the LED that you are looking at is the correct color that you want.

Installation Time: 

  1. Map Light – Approximately 5 minutes
  2. Dome Light – Approximately 5 minutes
  3. Door Courtesy Lights – Approximately 5 minutes
  4. Cluster Bulbs – Depending on your level of experience 30-60 minutes
  5. ACC Bulbs – Depending on your level of experience 30-60 minutes
  6. Vanity Mirror bulbs – Approximately 5 minutes

Note: You can swap pretty much everything from sitting in the front seats. I took the ACC in my garage when I swapped those bulbs as there are 4 small screws that I didn’t want to lose.

Installation Process:

Map Light:
Installation of the Map light is fairly straightforward. Some cars have 2 Map lights for those you will need to remove/install both sides

  1. Step One – Use your trim tool to remove the lense(s) from your Map light. This is done by inserting the sharp/pointed end of the tool into the grove near the front of the lense(s) and popping the lense out
  2. Step Two – Remove the old bulb(s). This is done by grasping the bulb(s), push down/in, and rotating counter clockwise and pull it out.
  3. Step Three – Installing the LED(s) is fairly simple. For the cars with 2 bulbs, the map lights will be plug and play. But the cars with one map light, they are trickier. Because of the way that the Map light bulb-base is wired, you can not simply plug in a standard LED bulb and expect it to work. I opt for LED board(s) that have a wired connection between the bulb-base and the panel. To make the LED board(s) light up you will need to connect the connection like so ..
    Positive>>>Negative
    Negative>>>PositiveThis will need to be done because Nissan wired the bulb-base in “reverse” and not what is commonly used. IIRC, Instead of getting power from the center contact, it gets power from the socket wall. And visa versa for the ground. Connect the LED board to the BA9s adapter and plug the adapter into the bulb socket (insert the adapter into the socket, push it in and turn clockwise [so that you lock the adapter in place]).
  4. Step Four- If the panel is not lighting up when you plug the LED board in and press the “on” button, then you will need to remove the bulb base and turn it 180° as the socket is polarized and will only work in one direction. *** Note if you have followed all of the above steps and the LED board is still not working, check to see if your Interior Illumination fuse has popped.

Dome Light:
Installation of the Dome light is fairly straightforward

  1. Step One – Use your trim tool to remove the lense from your Dome light. This is done by inserting the sharp/pointed end of the tool into the grove near the front of the lense and popping the lense out
  2. Step Two – Remove the old bulb. This is done by grasping the bulb, and rotate it counter clockwise and pull it out.
  3. Step Three – Installing the LED. First connect the LED panel to the Festoon adapter. Unlike the Map light, this is simply plug-and-play (+ to +, – to -). Connect the LED board to the Festoon adapter and plug the adapter into the bulb socket (squeeze the adapter together and plug it into the socket)
  4. Step Four- If the panel is not lighting up when you plug the LED board in and turn it “on”, then you will need to remove the festoon adapter and turn it 180° as the socket is polarized and will only work in one direction. *** Note if you have followed all of the above steps and the LED board is still not working, check to see if your Interior Illumination fuse has popped.

Door Courtesy Lights
Installation of the Door Courtesy Light (DCL) is fairly straightforward

  1. Step One – Use your trim tool to remove the lense from your DCL. This is done by inserting the sharp/pointed end of the tool into the grove near the front of the lense and popping the lense out
  2. Step Two – Remove the old bulb. This is done by grasping the bulb, and pulling straight out of the socket
  3. Step Three – Installing the LED. First connect the LED panel to the T10 adapter. Unlike the Map light, this is simply plug-and-play (+ to +, – to -). Connect the LED board to the T10 adapter and plug the adapter into the bulb socket.
  4. Step Four- If the panel is not lighting up when you plug the LED board in and turn it “on”, then you will need to remove the festoon adapter and turn it 180° as the socket is polarized and will only work in one direction. *** Note if you have followed all of the above steps and the LED board is still not working, check to see if your Interior Illumination fuse has popped.

Cluster Bulbs
Installation of the gauge cluster bulbs is fairly easy, but can be tedious if you have never removed the cluster before. I will say this, be sure to keep the screws in a “secure” place, such as a zip-lock baggy.

  1. Remove the knee bolster from under the steering wheel (two screws will need to be removed, the fuse panel cover, and one electrical connector once you pull the knee bolster down)
  2. Remove the steering column cover (There are 6 screws that are accessible from the bottom of the cover). If you can not access the two screws that are farthest back you may need to remove the metal “cover” that is in the way. This is done by removing the two 10mm bolts and the “cover” should come right off.
    Step Two ½ . Now open the lever on the driver side of the steering column so that you can lower the column down as far as it will go.
  3. Remove the gauge cluster trim CAREFULLY SO AS NOT TO BREAK IT (there are two screws on the top of the bezel and 3 electrical connectors which need to be “un-clipped” in order to remove the bezel)
  4. Next, there are 3 screws that hold the cluster in place. Remove those screws
  5. Next, slide the cluster out. There are 3 electrical plugs in the back of the cluster that will need to be “un-clipped”
  6.  Once the plugs are “un-clipped” pull the cluster out and you will see the 4 main bulbs on the back side (pic below)
  7. At this step you will be installing the bulbs. Do note that 95-97 cars use different bulbs that 98-99 cars
    95-97 cars/Analog odometer– Remove the 4 main bulbs (they will be larger than the other bulbs), this is done by twisting in a counterclockwise motion and pulling the “socket” out. Now remove the bulb from the socket and insert your car T10 LED bulbs.
    98-99 cars/Digital odometer – Remove the 4 main bulbs and the odometer bulbs, this is done by twisting in a counterclockwise motion and pulling the “socket” out, and put the 5(five) Neo-5 bulbs in the cluster, this is done by inserting the Neo-5 bulbs and turning them with a small flat-head or small phillips head screwdriver).
  8. Take the cluster back to your car and connect the electrical plugs in the back and plug the dimmer switch (on the bezel) back up and test your cluster bulbs. I found a good method of testing these (if it is daytime and you are outside), throw a dark blanket or jacket over you and the gauge cluster and lean close to the close to the cluster and turn the gauge lights on.
  9. If any of your bulbs are not working you will need to turn them around, as they are polarized and will only work in one direction
  10.  Once all 5 bulbs are working, reassemble everything and enjoy what you have accomplished.

Bulbs to Remove

98-99 cluster with COOL WHITE bulbs

98-99 cluster with RED bulbs

ACC Bulbs:
Installation of the ACC bulbs is a little harder than any of the other swaps mentioned in this How-To. It can be tedious if you have never removed the ACC. I will say this, be sure to keep the screws in a “secure” place, such as a zip-lock baggy.

  1. Remove the waterfall section (shifter trim, AC vents and radio/ACC unit). This is very straightforward, if you need more descriptive information refer to this link ……………….. (insert link)
  2. Remove the ACC by disconnecting the two grey plugs, one white plug and the hose that is attached and the 4 screws holding the ACC in the radio brackets
  3. Once the ACC is removed, you will need to remove the faceplate (attached with clips) from the unit. At this time you can also clean the display face and plastic lens. There are also 4 silver screws around the edge that will need to be removed.
  4. Once the faceplate is off, separate the two pieces (face and back) of the ACC by unclipping the plastic clips. Pull the two pieces apart carefully
  5. You will now have the face and back, the face will have an electric circuit board on the back with 4 twist lock bulbs.
  6. Remove the old bulbs by twisting them counter clockwise and lifting them straight out. Install the new bulbs by inserting them and twisting clockwise to lock them place
  7. Reassemble the ACC unit and take back to car
  8. Before screwing the unit back into the brackets connect the 3 electrical connections and test the ACC to make sure your lights are all working (if any of them are not working you will have to take the ACC apart again and turn the bulbs around as they are polarized and only work in one direction.
  9.  Once all 4 bulbs are working, reassemble everything and enjoy what you have accomplished
    (NOTE: the hot spots aren’t that bad, I had to use a somewhat high ISO to take the pic without a tripod)

Picture exaggerates the hot spots…the camera was at an angle

Vanity Mirror Bulbs:
Installation of the Vanity Mirror Bulbs (VMB) is fairly straightforward. Do note, that some cars do not have lights in their vanity mirrors, for these cars you can skip this section.

  1. Flip open the vanity mirror cover,use your trim tool to remove the lense from your each VMB. This is done by inserting the sharp/pointed end of the tool into the grove near the front of the lense and popping the lense out
  2. Remove the old bulb. This is done by grasping the bulb, and rotate it counter clockwise and pulling them out. Do this for each of the 4 bulbs.
  3. Installing the LED. Insert the 31mm bulb into the bulb socket. This is done by simply pushing in place. Do this for each of the 4 bulbs.
  4. If the bulbs do not light up when you plug the LED board in and turn it “on”, then you will need to remove the bulb(s) that do not light up and turn them 180° as the socket is polarized and will only work in one direction. *** Note if you have followed all of the above steps and the LED board is still not working, check to see if your Interior Illumination fuse has popped

Stock on Left – LED on right

my4dsc: 141

Owner: 1MAX2NV

Year: 1999
Model: Maxima
Color:  Sunlit Sand
Transmission: Automatic
Trim: SE-L

Mod List:

  • Direct Port Nitrous
  • Sparco Monza Seats
  • Full Mandrel Bent Exhaust
  • Stillen Big Brake Kit
  • Sub Frame Connectors
  • Rear Sway Bar
  • D2 Coilovers
  • Alpine/JL Audio System
  • Carbon Fiber Hood
  • Carbon Fiber Trunk
  • Stillen lip
  • Skyline Side Skirt/Rear Bumper

my4dsc: 165

Member Credit: Danny More Rtv Wilson

my4dsc: 123

Member Credit: Tavarish aka Freddy

This how-to depicts how I did the swap. I am by no means responsible for what you do to your car, and any ill effects are your responsibility. I take credit in writing this how-to, and please do not use it without the author’s permission.

Tools Required

  • 1/2″ Ratchet
  • 1/2″ Breaker Bar
  • 1/2″ Torque Wrench
  • 3/8″ Ratchet
  • 8mm-24mm Hex Keys (assorted sizes)
  • 32mm Impact Socket (1/2″ drive)
  • Power rotary tool (Dremel) w/ cutting/grinding bits
  • 1.5 Ton Hydraulic Jack / Lift
  • Jack Stands
  • 2002-2007 Nissan VQ35DE Engine
  • Cam Timing Adapters

Getting started

So you’re ready to get rid of that old outdated 3.0 and put in a brand spanking new low mileage VQ35DE? You’ll have to get a few things before you start the swap.

Tools – I suggest about 2-3 sets. With tools scattered around everywhere, and possibly 2 people working on the car, tools have a tendency to disappear. (gremlins) Have a few sets handy for efficiency and less frustration during the swap. When you clean up, you’ll find them all, I promise. What you’ll need is a torque wrench, breaker bar, screwdriver set, Allen key set, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 20mm, and 24mm sockets. Air tools are a plus. You’ll also need a cherry picker (engine hoist) with an engine leveler. A Dremel (rotary tool) and Drill are worth their weight in gold in this swap. Jack stands and a hydraulic jack are needed to lift the car up, and possibly support the engine/tranny from the bottom. Also needed is RTV sealant, wire ties (to clean up wires, vacuum hose, a can or two of WD-40, and 80-grit sandpaper.

Space – you’ll need space to work for a few days, make sure it’s ready in case you spill oil or other fluids on the ground, engines tend to spill coolant all over.

Clean-up gear – I suggest brakleen for the engine parts (degreases) and Simple Green. Put some old towels underneath the working area to control any spills. Wear gloves for easier hand clean up, I recommend Mechanix gloves, or disposable latex gloves. A shop vacuum helps with cleanup as well.

Manuals – The Nissan Factory Service Manual and Haynes were at my disposal, and helped me out in a few instances.

Engine – You can find these pretty easily; it all depends on the mileage you want, and the condition, and what the engines come with. I bought my engine for $650 shipped with harness and 3.5 engine cover, and a 1-year warranty.

Tranny/clutch – you can use your stock 5spd or auto trannies. 5spd, I recommend an upgraded clutch, I got my Spec Stage 2 for $295 shipped. 5th gen (2000-2001 OEM isn’t enough in my opinion) You can use any flywheel for the 4th gen, stock or aftermarket, and you’ll need it, because the 3.5L flywheel is different, and doesn’t bolt up to the 4th gen 5spd. Auto, I recommend a high-stall torque converter, upgraded valve body, tranny cooler, and possibly Jime’s drop resistor mod. When you have a vq35 and auto, it will hold the power if you floor it FROM A STOP. If you have a stock auto tranny, do not WOT downshift much, or else you’ll burn out your clutch packs and the tranny will slip.

Cam adapters – These are so the vq30 timing components work on the vq35 cams. You can get these for 100 shipped from Rob Tilley (tilleys99 on maxima.org), or Stephen Max on maxima.org. I’m trying to make my own set, so I don’t have to go to a third party to get them.

IACV adapter – This is so you can use your 4th gen Idle Air Control Valve with the 3.5. This is optional, as I don’t have it installed on my car.

If you have everything ready, let’s start the swap!

1. Remove the engine

Turn off the car, remove the battery terminals and any extra grounds you may have.
Remove the air box assembly and put it in a safe place, you might want to use it again.

Under the air box assembly, you’ll see the starter connected to the tranny. Undo the 12mm nut connecting the power to the starter, and disconnect the ground for the starter (plug). Loosen and remove the 2 17mm bolts on the starter. The bolt in the back is the long one. You should be able to shake the starter loose and take it out of the engine bay.

Raise the car and place it on jack stands. Remove both the front wheels. Remove the 36mm axle nuts (air tools are pretty much a must, as you can remove it with a lot of WD-40 and a breaker bar, but you need the brakes to be pressed or else the axle will move) and remove the 2 bolts on the strut. One side is 17mm; the other side is 19mm.

Use a flathead screwdriver to lightly tap and take off the retaining clip on the brake line located on the strut. If you have ABS, take off the 10mm bolt on the strut for the ABS. The spindle should come down freely now, and with a rubber mallet, tap the axle out of the spindle. The driver’s side axle should come out without too much fuss, just pull it back a few times, and it should pop right out.

The passenger’s side has been a point of frustration for many people, due to the axle not coming out of the bracket. I’ve never had a problem with it, but the bracket holds 3 12mm bolts. Take these out, and you should be able to pop out the axle just like the driver’s side. If it won’t budge, take out the 3 14mm bolts attaching the bracket to the engine, and the whole assembly will come out. Make sure you have something to hold the oil; some tranny fluid will leak out of the axle seals.

While you’re down there, why not drain the oil and coolant? Remove the oil drain plug on the oil pan, and remove the oil filter.

Remove the radiator drain plug (Philips head screwdriver), and drain the coolant. Remove the 2 10mm bolts on top, disconnect the hoses from the engine, and remove the harnesses to the fans, and slide the radiator out of the engine bay.

Drain the tranny fluid, there’s a spot covered with a 10 mm bolts, connected to the shifter indicator pull it out, and the whole tranny should drain.

Now it’s time to remove the harness. Remove all the sensors in the engine, and put them to the side. There will still be a harness at the back of the engine, but we’ll keep that on for now, it’s the injector sub harness.

Remove the power steering lines; disconnect the one from the pump to the reservoir, making sure to have a rag to soak up the runoff. Also loosen the 24mm high pressure line for the power steering. This bolt is a bit stubborn, but it’s definitely able to loosen. Make sure not to lose the upper and lower gaskets for this bolt, because power steering leaks aren’t the prettiest.

Click the image to open in full size.Remove the O2 sensors (I use a 7/8” open ended wrench) and remove the y-pipe. There are 8 bolts, 14mm if you have an aftermarket y pipe (as you should), and 10 bolts, 8 14mm, and 2 12mm bolts holding in the y pipe.

Remove the shifter linkage (5spd) bolts on the bottom of the tranny, and let the shifter linkage hang there. If you have an automatic, remove the 2 shifter cables from the front of the tranny.

Taking advantage of being under the car, you can loosen and remove the 14mm bolts on the bottom of the tranny. There’s one 17mm bolt all the way in the back of the tranny, it’s kind of hard to spot, but you need to get it out. The bottom 14mm bolts can’t be taken out (crossmember’s in the way), but you can loosen them enough to take the tranny off. Get out from under the car, and remove the remaining 17mm bolts on the top of the tranny, you can remove these very easily with a breaker bar or air tools, you’ll have enough room. Now it’s time to support the tranny with a hydraulic jack (or engine hoist if you are so inclined, as was I) and take off the mount bolts (14mm). Use a flathead screwdriver to get in between the engine and tranny, and pry until the tranny is loose, then ease it out and lower it down, out of the car.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next, disconnect the feed and return lines for the fuel, and disconnect the coolant hoses coming from the firewall. It’s easy to do this from the side of the engine.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now here’s the (first) fun part: taking out the VQ30DE!!!!

Get your cherry picker engine hoist. Hook up the engine leveler to the engine. Here’s what I did. There are 4 points of contact. Bolt it onto the 2 14mm bolts on the timing chain cover, right above the motor mount, and the remaining two, bolt them onto the 17mm bolts for the transmission bellhousing. This should provide a pretty sturdy base to hold the engine. Make sure no fuel lines are kinked, and make sure there is ample clearance for the chains, and none of them bind.

Click the image to open in full size.

Connect the cherry picker, and apply just enough pressure to hold the engine without it falling. Now, some brave soul (me) must go and disconnect the 17mm bolts that hold the crossmember on. Also, remove the 17mm motor mount bolts. Use a LARGE breaker bar, on in my case, a good impact wrench. There are 2 17mm bolts in front for the crossmember, and 2 in back. Be careful that you’re not underneath, it’s pretty heavy. When you disconnect all motor mounts and the crossmember, move it out of the way. You’re almost there. Well, almost halfway.

Click the image to open in full size.

Disconnect the 14mm bolt and nut from the remaining motor mount, and now the engine should be entirely supported by the engine hoist. Carefully lift it up, making sure that it is not binding anywhere. You don’t want the engine falling. Lift it until you can roll the engine hoist out of the way.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

Put the engine down, and take a break and get a drink. You just took an engine out of a Maxima.

2. Prep the VQ35DE

Here are the meat and potatoes of the swap: Changing out the timing components.

First thing to do is remove the engine mount that sits on the timing cover, the crank pulley (20mm), and remove the various 10mm and 12mm bolts that there are. To fully remove the timing cover, you need to remove the lower oil pan, (all 10mm bolts), but be careful that you pry with a very small flathead screwdriver, and make sure not to dent. This can leak VERY easily if it’s dented and it goes back on the car. You can use either the 3.5 or the 3.0 lower oil pan (just the drain plug is different), it doesn’t matter, so if you mess up and kill one oil pan, don’t sweat it, just don’t do it again.

When you remove the oil pan, there are 2 12mm bolts holding the inner timing cover on.

Remove these, and pry the outer timing cover off. I recommend using a pry bar on the side where you can get some leverage, and be very gentle. Although it is aluminum, it can easily crack. The factory sealant that Nissan put is very strong, so give it a good 5 minutes of work to completely remove it. There are 2 dowels at the bottom of the timing chain cover that you need to clear for it to come off. It must come off these dowels at exactly the same time.

When the timing cover comes off, it should look like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Now we’ll take off some timing components.

To take off the main timing chain sprockets: open the valve cover (front one will do for now), and hold the intake cam with a 1” open ended wrench. Use a 22mm open ended wrench to take off the bolt. This bolt is TOUGH, but do not use air tools on it. I cracked a cam before, they can be pretty fragile. This part it’s a lot easier to do with 2 people (one loosening the bolt, the other holding the cam.)

Once that’s off, you can take off the chain guides (12mm bolts), and the other cam sprocket in the same manner. Then you can take off the chain. Make very sure of where you put these parts. After you remove the timing chain, you can remove the water pump, which is held on my 3 10mm bolts, and be careful, when you pry it out, a lot of coolant will flow out. Also take off the tensioner (2 10mm).

*Side note: You will want to take off the intake manifold to gain access to the rear valve cover, so go ahead and get that out the way. You can cut any vacuum lines, you won’t be using them again, and it’ll be a lot easier. The hardest part about taking off the intake manifold is the removal of the throttle body. It’s connected to coolant hoses, vacuum hoses, and all these will need to come off in addition to the 4 10mm bolts that are on there already.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now we take off the secondary cam gears (exhaust cams). This is a 17mm bolt, and it comes off exactly the way the other ones did.

Now that we have the cam sprockets loose, squeeze the tensioners and hold them there with a thumb tack or small nail (there’s a little hole you can squeeze it into and hold it in place). Now you can simply pull out the cam sprockets from the cams, and the secondary chains with them.

Remove the various 10mm bolts that hold the inner timing chain cover on. Also remove the pieces that go in between the timing cover and valve covers, there are 4 10mm bolts on each.

Remember where you put all of these **VERY IMPORTANT**

Now you can pull off the inner timing chain cover. Use a pry bar, using any points of leverage that you can find. I found the inner timing chain cover was a bit easier than the outer.

Now that you have the VQ30DE taken apart, you guessed it. You have to do the exact same to the VQ35DE. First, make sure the engine is at TDC (top dead center). The way to do this is to line the crank pulley (second mark) with the mark on the water pump drain back plate. This is also explained more thoroughly in the FSM.

I’ll save some space, since it’s the exact same procedure, only the intake cams need 19mm bolts, rather than the 22 on the VQ30DE. The procedure for taking apart the engine is almost exactly the same.

When you’re done with stripping the VQ35DE you’ll end up with something like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here’s where you have to CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!!!

Take out your gasket scraper and cans of brake cleaner. Scrape off every last speck of factory sealant (from the block and both timing chain covers) with the scraper (you’ll go through a few blades), and be sure to get in every nook and cranny. A sharp knife will work in places the gasket scraper can’t get to. When everything’s off, go over it a few times with the compressed brake cleaner (it’s non flammable and dries fast, but the cans get used up quickly.)

Mount the cam journals (thing in between the timing cover and valve cover) from the 3.5 on the engine, then test fit the timing cover. There should be two bolts out of place. This is where you must drill to ensure the bolt goes through. Only a small amount needs to be taken away. Make sure you clean any metal fragments that remain on the inner timing cover. While you’re on this step, you can install the cam tensioners from either the vq30, or the vq35, they both fit.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Make sure you have The O-rings on the engine (the orange ones) before you put on the timing cover. I used Black RTV sealant, and applied a nice, even bead so it doesn’t puddle up and make a mess in places. Oil leaks are the last thing you want when this thing goes together.

Put sealant everywhere designated. If you don’t know where, consult the FSM, but it’s pretty self explanatory. Any small, smooth surface needs sealant. Double check you have everything properly covered with sealant, then *carefully* place it on the engine. Now you secure it with the 10mm bolts. The tightening sequence is pretty important, and you have to torque them down to 10-15ft-lbs. The tightening sequence can be found in the FSM.

After you have the inner timing cover, comes the hardest part: setting the timing.

Get the cam adapters and gently tap them on (the set I got needed some slight grinding with my dremel to make them fit.) They’re a TIGHT fit, so be persistent, but don’t smash them on, the cams could crack, and then you’re S.O.L.

They should look like this:
Click the image to open in full size.

Now you can start putting on the timing components. Put on the timing sprockets, and the secondary chains. Install the water pump. Line up the notches on the sprockets with the marks on the chain. Tighten the exhaust cam sprocket to 85 ft-lbs. It has to look exactly like this, on both sides:

Click the image to open in full size.

Next, put the main timing chain sprocket and crank sprocket on, tighten the main bolts to 85 ft-lbs, and install the chain, making sure the marks on the sprockets and crank line up with the marks on the chain. There are two similarly colored chains, and one “oddball”. The oddball belongs right at the mark on the crank sprocket. There’s an indentation where it belongs, and there are arrows on the main sprockets where the other links belong. This is also outlined in the FSM. If not everything lines up, turn the cam VERY carefully and line it up. Put on the chain guides and tensioner. This is what it should look like:

Click the image to open in full size.

Now that we have our timing set, double and triple check. You might want to move the whole assembly to see that it all moves and doesn’t skip a tooth, it’ pretty easy to mess up in this stage.

Install the outer timing cover, making sure to put a clean bead of sealant on it, and getting rid of any old sealant.

Click the image to open in full size.

Make sure the two dowels go in at exactly the same time, and install all the bolts. I personally didn’t worry about the order of the bolts, I just made sure they were tightened down to 10-15ft-lbs. Be very careful, they can crack easily.

Now bolt up the engine mount, and crank pulley.

Here’s the finished product,

Click the image to open in full size.

Now it’s starting to look like an engine. Next we’re going to install everything else that we need from the 3.0, which are the headers (6 14mm nuts), the AC compressor, PS pump, belt tensioner, both belts, alternator, thermostat, and coolant tube on the right side of the engine (the one that houses the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor). You need this coolant tube because the 3.5 is missing one sensor the 3.0 has, not to mention the various vacuum lines that run on the top of the coolant tube. This tube can be taken off with 4 12mm bolts. The injector sub-harness has to swapped (in the rear of the engine) and the crank REF sensor has to be installed on the bottom of the crank pulley. Connect the oil pressure sender and run the harness so it doesn’t touch the headers, or the power steering pump.

Cut off the 3.0 injector plugs on the harness and make sure you have a lot of wire on the harness. Now cut the 3.5 injector plugs off, and splice them into the harness. If you’re confused about the power and ground, the red one is always the power. You’re only going to do half of the injectors now, as we’ll do the rest when the engine is in the car.

Now you’re ready to install the flywheel and clutch. Make sure the timing ring is on the flywheel (secondary ring behind the flywheel), or else the car won’t start. Take the flywheel off the old VQ30 by first removing the clutch (9-12mm bolts), then removing the 14mm bolts in the middle, and easing out the flywheel. It’s a bit stubborn, but try and pry it on each side and pull gently. Toss the old clutch, it might as well be a Frisbee now.
You can have the flywheel resurfaced, but mine was in good shape, so I just went over it with some 80grit sandpaper and simple green to get the dirt off. Works like a charm. Install the flywheel on the VQ35, making sure not to get grease on the contact area. Then install the clutch, torquing the 12mm bolts to 35ft-lbs.

Now that that’s installed, we can lift the engine from the same mounting points as before, and install the lower oil pan. As with any old sealant, scrape it off, and make sure the surface is clean and smooth before applying the new gasket. Carefully place the oil pan on the engine, and tighten all the bolts.

3. Install VQ35DE

Now the engine’s ready to go into the car.

Again, I’ll save some space and write that it’s the reverse of removal, and through experience, I’ve found it’s a bit easier to put the tranny on the engine outside the car, then lower them into the engine bay, both at once.

You can start putting the harness back on, and now you can wire the other half of the injector harness. The coil packs plug right in, just as they should, just make sure not to overextend the wires for the rear coils, there’s not a lot of room to work with. After you run those wires, you can put on the intake manifold.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Reinstall radiator, hoses, coolant lines, power steering lines, y-pipe, crossmember, axles, and shifter linkages. Fill The radiator, engine, power steering reservoir and tranny with their respective fluids.

ALMOST THERE!!!!!

We have two more things to deal with: The throttle body and fuel.

Throttle body: The 3.5 uses a drive-by-wire system that the 4th gen simply doesn’t have, so you’re going to have to make your own bracket to house the throttle position sensor, and throttle cable. First you break the housing of the drive-by-wire system, then you take out EVERYTHING. This should leave you with a rod that you can mount your 3.0 throttle wire bracket to. There’s a little piece of metal that you must use, in conjunction with a lock nut to keep it all in place. I made a bracket out of metal, secured it with bolts, and put the throttle position sensor on that. The hardest part is making the throttle position sensor turn cleanly with the throttle body. You also have to make a bracket to hold the throttle cable in place. Any piece of scrap metal cut to shape will fit. Use your imagination.

This is how mine came out:

Click the image to open in full size.

Fuel:

The Vq35 uses a returnless fuel system, and the 4th gen has a return system. The solution?

Get a tee and adjustable fuel pressure regulator ($25 shipped on eBay), and run the fuel lines like this:

…..Adjustable FPR set to 52psi —-return line………| Feed—-fuel filter—–tee —– fuel rail

Now make sure you have everything connected, wired up, and sealed.

*FINAL CHECKS*
You can use your stock air box, with a coupler or two. Connect all vacuum lines, including PCV and brake booster to the rear of the intake manifold. Connect the starter, and all grounds.

Connect the battery terminals, and start the car. It should be a little rough starting in the beginning, but it should run pretty well. Let all the carbon and grime burn off, and make sure to give it a tune up after 1000 miles.

Notice I didn’t include a guide on how to hook up the variable intake manifold. I did so for a reason – I didn’t use it. I modified my intake manifold (dubbed V-Spec), so I have more air volume at all rpms. If you want this done, please inquire.

Click the image to open in full size.

Afterthoughts

Any ECU will work with this swap, I’m running a 1998 auto ECU (stock), but I do have some Check Engine lights. Personally, they don’t bother me, but a bit more work and planning has to go into the swap if you don’t want check engine lights. I have codes for the IACV (not connected), and EVAP system (not connected)

You cannot use a strut bar with the 3.5, the manifold sits too high. I’m currently working a way around that, however.

How long does this swap take?
Mine took about 4 days, doing everything carefully, but it can be done over a long weekend. There was a point where I had both engines taken apart, where it was a bit overwhelming, and I thought “I’m not going to have a car to drive next week”, but you get over it when you’re working at a steady pace.

Is it worth it?
In one word: Definitely.

Thanks:

  • NYCMAXIMAS.ORG – Can’t thank you enough.
  • Vipervadim – couldn’t have done it without him & his green tea!!!! He’s very knowledgeable, and I’m glad to have him as a friend.
  • *~Dark~* -He built by engine hoist while we were taking apart the car, saving precious time. He also offered his help here and there. Thanks!
  • Tilleys99 – For making the cam adapters
  • M&RMAX – For giving me an awesome deal on the VQ35’s I bought. – It was my first experience with Rob and it definitely won’t be my last!
  • CMAX – For giving me advice over the phone about the shifter linkage and clutch
  • Meccanoble – For giving me a new shifter bushing, and helping me with the same problem
  • Liquidvenom – For using his strength in lifting my tranny and aligning it with the car. Thanks, Will!
  • SMX95 – For helping me with any questions I had automotive related
  • Krismax – father of the 00vi – for letting me drive his vq35 4th gen and getting me hooked!! Should you have any questions, PM me on nycmaximas.org or maxima.org, username tavarish.

my4dsc: 1329

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.

Specs:

  • 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.

Dimensions

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)

 

my4dsc: 344