my4thgen 95-99


Member Credit: ptatohed

For about 8 months now, I have been having problems with my VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor). My speedometer and odometer would intermittently stop working while driving. It would trigger my CEL (Check Engine Light). The CEL code was 0104, VSS and sometimes 0504, Automatic Transmission Control Unit Signal to ECU.

About 6 months ago, I bought a new (used) VSS from fanaticrock, the “4th gen parts guy” for a good price. Well, after procrastinating for 6 months, I finally installed it the other night. It took no more than 90 minutes so I am upset at myself for waiting so long. It’s really a 10-15 minute job. Most of my time spent was 1.) Finding the location of the stinkin’ thing and 2.) Actually pulling it out of the transmission!

The Chilton’s and FSM (Factory Service Manual) show no pictures. The Haynes shows a picture too zoomed in to know exactly where it is. And, the instructions in the Haynes say to raise the vehicle. So I spent way too much time under the car looking for it. Turns out, it’s on top of the transmission (located near the fire wall). The extent of the Chilton’s is “unplug, unscrew, pull out”. No pictures, no explanation of its location.

Instructions at, basically the same as the Chiltons. The FSM was worthless. But, I did finally find the VSS location. Sorry, I do not have any pictures, but I could take some if anyone really needs them.

Once I found it, aside from having to reach in deep into a fairly cramped space, it was a breeze to unplug the harness and unscrew the one retaining bolt (you can access it from standing on the driver side of the engine).

Where I spent another frickin’ half hour was trying to actually pull it out of the transmission. It is tight! And the sharp shape of the top of the VSS hurts your hands. I had to double up on gloves. I eventually got it. The new one was also tough to put in the tight hole but I eventually got it in.

So far, problem solved! No bad odo/speedo nor CEL. I have driven the car a dozen times and for ~200 miles. I think the problem would have already occurred if it was going to.

I just thought I’d share in case anyone else is having similar symptoms/needs to change their VSS. I tried to use key words to aid future searchers. I hope this helps.

– Josh

VSS out of the transmission:
The wiring harness. You may not need to change this, I did just because Fanaticrock sent me one with my VSS:
Zoomed out pic. General area of where you’ll stand and reach in when changing the VSS (excuse my filthy engine bay, this is my ’96 which is my beater car):
This is where the VSS is located – on top of the transmission:

my4dsc: 9

Member Credit: 95BLKMAX

I wanted bigger brakes, but I didnt want to spend a fortune (as much as one would spend, say for a Z32 upgrade, or the 6th gen rotors with Z32 calipers, etc…) for just front brakes. Plus I dont autoX, I just do alot of highway spirited driving; so I wanted a beefier setup that wouldnt break the bank.

Parts / Cost:

  • Calipers and caliper mounting brackets used- $100
  • RPT plated/ X-Drilled Rotors, Axxis Metal Master Pads, 2 liters of ATE Blue Racing Fluid- $185shipped
  • Ubber Drill Bit- $35
  • Bolts and lockwashers- ~$10

SPECS – (Per 1995 FSM and 2003 FSM)

4th gen Rotors (mm/ inches)
280×22/ 11.02×0.87

5.5 gen Rotors (mm/ inches)
296×24/ 11.65×0.94

4th gen Caliper Pot (mm/ inches)
57.2/ 2.252

5.5 gen Caliper Pot (mm/ inches)
57.2/ 2.252

HOW TO- (I write this assuming you already know how to do a brake job, this how to made with attention to the work specifically related to the conversion process of being able to install these bigger brakes)-

Remove wheels, calipers (disconnect the lines from them but have a bottle near, they will leak alot of fluid), caliper mounting brackets and pads

Have this ubber drill bit…

It cost me $35 locally at a “nothing but nuts and bolts- specialized hardware store (Mitchell Supply Company) also 4 of these Metric bolts with lock washers (stock 4th gen on left, new 5.5gen on right)…

I bought them so long ago I dont recall the specs, so just go to the hardware store with the caliper mounting bracket for thme to check * With the Ubber drill bit, drill out the two holes on the hub. Try your best to keep it straight. Go slow with the bit at first because if it gets caught up, the drill WILL fling around and it could cause bodily harm depending of how strong of a drill you have. Once it started boring the hole out just go downtown on them. They should look like this afterwards…

Make a few cuts along the shield’s overlap up to the vertical part and with pliers bend the overlap up to vertical. The 5.5gen rotors wont fit otherwise…

Now with that done, the installation is the exact same as a normal brake job, only that you’re using the 5.5 gen parts. Hook up the lines and you will have to bleed ALL 4 calipers. At least with me, I let so much fluid drain that air got into the master cylinder, thus my line for the rear brakes had air, so I had to bleed all 4 corners. Break them in and enjoy the noticeably improved braking over that of the 4th gen parts.



my4dsc: 4

Member Credit: Redline Maxima

As we all know, there is no way to make our back seats fold down. Here is an option to make it happen.

With MAXUS scheduled to be in Central Florida next year, I felt that I needed to step my game up on the interior if I plan to enter any car shows at the event. I didn’t take detailed pics but you will get the idea. I went to the local junkyard where they had a 2000 I30. I got the backseat for $30! That was a steal to me so I made sure to grab it. On to the pics…

I started taking the backseat and metal bracket out of my car, this is what it looked like when all out:

You will need to remove those 3 hinge brackets that the back rest attaches to. I used a dremel and was able to get them off. Here is what it looks like:

Now put the new metal bracket on. You can reuse the stock holes on the very bottom. For the other holes you will need to drill new ones in order to attach the bolts. You don’t need to attach all the bolts, just enough so that its on there solid:

Now put the bench seat on first. They clip right into the stock mounting tabs. Then put the sides for the back rest on. This is what it should look like:

Now with that in place, you can start putting the back rest parts on, i started with the single seat:

Then I put the other piece on:

And now for what you have been waiting for, THEY FOLD DOWN!!!

This is with the finished plastic trims on:

Access from the trunk:

And there you have it. Took me a total of about 2 hours to fit them in there. Seats are a nice and snug fit, comfortable and very functional.

my4dsc: 7

Member Credit: JtzMax

Ok, first I need to mention that I will try to add more pictures, so there may be edits in the near future. Also, can a mod please PLEASE please make this a sticky! I spent a lot of time doing this to try to help others, so I hope that it will!

I decided to do a write up for those who are considering doing a rebuild on the Maxima 5-speed transmission. First I must say, this is not a job for a beginner in any way shape or form. I am not a professional mechanic but I have been working on cars since I was able to hold a wrench. I must give credit to and to Motorvate, for this wouldn’t ever have been possible for me to do without their help. Many thanks!

I will try to break it down in steps as to what to do when and how to get it done. If there is a will there is a way. My rebuild did not go off with out a hitch, there were certainly some issues to deal with along the way. I will walk you through how I did mine and you can compare it to the one on My soul intention in doing this rebuild was to remove and replace all of the bearings and seals. I bought my kit from GtTransmissions and it was a fair price. I did not replace the synchronizers nor did I remove any of the gears from the shafts. I did make several stops at the hardware and tool store, so I will try to compile a list of the tools I needed to do this job. I also replaced the clutch, which was the easiest part of this job. I used hand tools, I don’t own a compressor or impacts. I did however buy an electric 1/2″ drive impact along the way. (240lb of torque is hard to argue with )

Tool List:

  • Tire Chalks
  • Floor Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Torque Wrench (I use a 1/2″ drive)
  • Ratchet and metric socket set (10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, and a 36mm)
  • Extension set (you’ll need several) – Swivle head (very very handy, but you can get by without one)
  • Open end / Box end wrenches – metric (12mm, 14mm, 17mm) – I suggest ratchet wrenches (well worth the money!)
  • Breaker bar (long pipe to fit over ratchet or wrench)
  • Gloves – leather are good (just get a good pair, don’t go cheap, you’ll be able to get a better feel with better gloves)
  • FSM (Field Service Manual)
  • Parts (bearings / seals) (clutch)
  • Thread lock
  • Gasket sealer – get the red stuff, just don’t get it on you
  • Rubber Mallet and regular hammer
  • Degreaser (Engine foam works well)
  • Dremal Tool (with cutting blades – I use the reinforced ones and they last a while)
  • Punch (3/16″)
  • Pry bar (various sizes are good to have)
  • Sand paper (I used 240 gritt)


Ok, first step in all of this is to READ ALL of these instructions, then re-read them again. Gather your tools and then lift the hood and remove the battery (including the tray), intake (up to the TB), starter, slave cylinder. The spedo sensor (10mm bolt, above the shift linkage) can be a beotch to get to – leave it in, disconnect the wire for now. After all of the wires and sensors up top are unhooked, it’s time to jack the car up and place it on the stands.

Removing the transmission from the car:

Make certain the car is in N, with the parking brake on. Place a chalk behind each rear tire and get out the floor jack. In the center of the front of the car you’ll see a small bump on the crossmember. Depending on your jack, you may place a peice of wood between the jack and this point, to get the car high enough to work on. Jack up the car as high as you can, the more room you have, the better. I placed my stands on the controll arms (long thick bracket with 3 bolts in it – not the sub frame rails!). I wasn’t able to get the car as high as I would have liked, but it worked. The first step I did was to drain the gear oil from the trans. (you can check it using a maganet and if you have any chipped inner / outter races, there may be metal in the oil. If you plan to reuse (not reccomended) the oil, make sure you use a clean tub to catch it in.) To drain the oil, you can pull out the shift selector switch (40mm on the bottom drivers side) but if you do this, be careful not to break it – the plastic gets brittle as it ages) or you can use the drain bolt under the shift support rod. Once this is done, take the wheels off. (note, you’ll have to loosen the lugs prior to jacking the car up) With the wheels off, take out the center cotter key and get the 36mm socket. This is why I bought the electric impact to be quite honest. And … it was worth it I used the handle of my jack and slid it between the lugs. Be careful not to use something that will damage the lugs or bend and damage you. Take off the center retaining nut (36mm) and washer. Next, take a 17mm box end wrench and a deep well 19mm socket and unbolt the strut knuckle bolts (2 each side). This will allow you to swing the rotor assembely out of the way. You may have to rotate the strut about 90º so the rotor will move just that little bit more. With that done, slip the CV shaft out of the hub. (Be careful not to put too much strain on the brake line while doing this, it does fit and if it’s not working, something is wrong.) Now, holding onto the shaft (not the boots!) push the shaft in and yank it out. Should come out pretty easy, just be careful not to hurt the threads on the end, or the splines on either end. The passangers side is a bit different, there are 3 – 14mm bolts that hold a bracket which in turn holds the longer CV shaft. The bracket can be easily reached from inside the wheel well (you’ll need extensions). Remove the bracket and remove the CV shaft.

Next step is to get the transmission out of the car. Pull the trans mount (drivers side) out, you’ll need a 14mm to do this. (hint: It’s easiest to pull the center retaining bolt first, so the socket can slip past it and onto the rear bolts) You’ll have to remove the clutch line from the mount as well as the retaining clip on the side. Once you get that done, you’ll need to go under the car and unbolt the shift rod and shift support linkage. (this is where the 14mm gear wrench come is real handy) Remove the CPS (front – 10mm) from the trans housing. Also, while you’re down there, unbolt the bottom trans bolts. (no – it’s not gonna fall on your head just yet) Next thing to do is to remove the remaining bolts from the trans. This is where it comes in very handy to have a bit of muscle around to help you out. The transmission weights in at around 109 lbs and it’s not the weight that makes it difficult to handle, it’s the odd shape and sharp corners. With all the bolts removed, you may still have to pry the trans loose from the bell housing. BE CAREFUL not to drop the trans while doing this. (I got under the car and wiggled the trans while a mate of mine pryed a bit from the top. It gets hung on the pins coming off the bell housing, into the clutch housing.) Lower the trans (use a jack if you can – good luck!) I just lowered it to my chest and then slid if off and out through the drivers side wheel well. You can’t just drop it straight down either, because of the clutch and IPS (input shaft) splines. Once the trans is out, set the clutch housing face on some wood – so as to not scratch it or nick it.

Transmission break down:

Now that the trans is out and you have taken a breather, it’s time to open this puppy up and see just how bad those bearings have gotten. The case bolts are all the same with the exception of a couple (mid diff and opposite side – really long one) and they are 14mm. Remove the TOB and shift release fork from the clutch housing. If you didn’t remove the spedo sensor, now is a good time. If you left the shift selector switch in place, leave it for now, we’ll get to that in a moment. Remove all the case bolts. There are two hex bolts (14mm) on the top part of the trans – with the differential sitting to the right. These are the 1-2 and 3-4 detent bolts / springs / check balls. Inside behind the bolt is a spring and a ball, do not loose them. Remove the bolts and the springs / check balls. Before the lid will come off, you need to remove the R bolt (12mm – just under the 1/2 – 3/4 detents). Then the lid should come off easily. This is what a 5spd Nissan Maxima trans looks like. Now the fun begins! Be carefull not to loose the shims (thin metal rings atop the IPS) remove the shims and the plastic peice covering the IPS bearing. Set the lid and the shims aside.

The FSM is about as clear as mud on some of this stuff … so I’ll try my best to tell you how I did mine. (which is different I know – but it works) The proper way to do this is to remove the R shaft pin. Mine did NOT want to come out and play nice, so it stayed in. This is NOT a screw. (the R pin is on the left) :Pic 1 Below: From inside the trans, slide a strong enough wire between the gear stacks (IPS) (left) and MS (main shaft) (right) to the back of the pin. Push the pin out and twist at the same time from the outside (there is a flat head on it that looks like a screw). The pin can get stuck (like in my case) and not want to come out. I decided to go about it another way in this case, since mine was being so stubborn. Remove the two springs on the R assembely. Note which way the inner sping is going. Select 4th gear and remove the R gear. Remove the two 12mm bolts and lift the R assmebely up. Remove the “C” clip from the 5/R fork (top and bottom come off). Also, remove the top and bottom “C” clip from the 3/4 fork. (If the R shaft pin comes out, you will not need to drive out the 5/R shift rod retaining pin) Next, take the 3/16″ punch and find the pin on the 5/R shift rod – punch it through. This can be tricky, just think of it like a jig saw puzzle, you’ll be fine. Remove the 5/R detent on the clutch housing, this is the detent for the 5/R rod. Remove the spring and ball behind the hex head. Now you should be able to remove the 5/R rod and fork. You’ll have to slip it past the R assembley and at the same time, don’t loose the spring or larger check ball (found in the bottom of the R assmebely – see pic – it’s the larger hole at the bottom). With the shift rod / fork out, you can remove the 3/4 shift rod as well. There are more check balls and interlock plungers here … BE CAREFUL not to loose any of them. Use a maganet to remove them all after you take out one shift rod, remove the check ball and interlock plunger. You should be left with the 1/2 shift rod / fork and the IPS and MS (and if you didn’t get the R assmebely out, it should be there too) This is IMPORTANT: Lift the IPS and MS and the 1/2 rod all at the same time and straight out. The differential will just be sitting there, it will then lift out too. Teardown is well under way now. You can seperate the IPS and MS and put them on something that will not damage the gear teeth. Set the differential aside as well. Now is a good time to remove the shift selector switch if it’s still in. Remove the bolt (10mm) and then use a rubber mallet to pop the switch out. Last but not lease you need to remove the gear selector rod and the R gate. (there is a check ball here …. don’t loose it.) Drive out the retaining pin from the fluid drain hole for the selector rod. Remove the two 14mm bolts on the R gate and lift it out. Note how it looks as you take it out.

Pic 1

Bearing removal – the unconventional way!:

Hope you have a good Dremel tool and some cutting blades. This part was the most scary for me, and I would have much preffered to have the bearings pulled / pressed on / off … but I couldn’t afford to pay a shop to do it, nor could I afford the “propper” tools. I say “propper” cause … as long as the job gets done, and done right, it shouldn’t matter what tools you use. I wrapped the shafts with a towel to protect the gears as much as possible. Leaving only the bearing showing, I cut off the outter shell of the bearing. :PIC 0 Below: This makes the bearing almost, but not quite, fall apart – leaving the inner race (part that slides onto the IPS). Remove the balls and outter shell. I had to cut all the way through the outter shell and the ball ring to remove them. Wear some eye protection, last thing you need is a hot piece of steel in your eye. (I also suggest long sleaves and a good thick pair of gloves – it’s gonna get warm) With the outter shell off, cut into the inner race. Try not to go too deep, and if you can, cut a cross or an X into it. (something for you to be able to place a screwdriver into the slot and get a bite on it) Put the chissle or screwdriver into the newly cut slot – smack the crap outta it. The object is to get the bearing loose without having to cut all the way throught it. (heating it up with a tourch may help as well) If you can get a good enough bite, the smacking will spin the bearing on the shaft – thus loosening it and it will come right off. This is how I did all of my bearings. The differential can be a bit difficult becasue of the spedo ring, don’t cut through that or melt it either – or you will be replacing it or living without a spedo. :Pic 2 Below: The roller type beaings (MS and diff) :PIC 2a Below: (this is the bottom of the MS – old bearing still in place) will come off by cutting the top and bottom of the outter shell, then the pins will drop right out leaving the inner race. (I cut mine in 1/2 on either side – worked very well) DON’T place any new bearings on untill you’re done cutting. You don’t want to have metal shavings in your brand new bearings. I took a can of Dust Off and sprayed the shafts after I was done cutting to help remove any micro pieces of metal. With the bearings all removed, now we can put the new ones on and start putting this all back together.

Pic 0

Pic 2

Pic 2B

Bearing replacement:

Here’s a picture of the bearing / seal kit I got. :PIC 2b Below:Take your trusty 36mm socket and have it handy! Get an extension (6″ or so – this is so when you need the end of the socket that fits the ratchet, you can place the extension into the socket and hit it instead of trying to hit all the edges at the same time). Set the bearing on the shaft (or diff) and place the socket on top of the new bearing. (depends on which bearing it is, you’ll use either end of the 36mm – which ever side lines up to the inner race) :PIC 2c Below: Use a real hammer, not the rubber one, and give a good forcefull and firm smack to the socket. It should start the bearing on straight so you won’t have it slanted to one side or the other. Do this untill the socket “dings” off the bearing. This is how you know the bearing is seated fully and poperly. (you should use the punch to be certain that it’s on all the way. hit at 12, 6, 3, 9 untill the punch bounces off the race) It will make a different sound as well. There should be no mistaking if the bearing is on all the way or not. Do this for all the bearings. I placed a peice of wood under the new bearings while doing the oppisite side – just to be safe. The hard part of this is not placing the new bearings, but removing the old ones without damaging the shafts or diff. If your bearing kit has this ring on it, take it off – it’s not needed. (IPS bearing, clutch side) :PIC 3 Below:

Pic 2B

Pic 2C

Pic 3

Transmission case:

First … make sure you have every thing out of the case (top and bottom). There should be 9 check balls (note that one is larger – it’s from the R assembly, 3 springs (1 long, 2 shorter) and 2 interlock plungers. If you don’t see those, don’t continue. You will want this thing clean enough to eat out
of. Spray the degreaser in the csase and let it soak. After your coffee break, spray off the degreaser and let it dry. You may have to do this a couple of times (I did) to make sure it’s all nice and clean. Don’t forget to hit the clutch housing on the under side too. With everything clean and dry, it’s time to start putting it all back in. To remove the outter race (part of the beaing still in the case) you’ll need to remove the plugs from the lid. Use a long screwdriver or punch to remove them. With the pulgs out, it’s easy to get a punch onto the bottom of the outter race. Smack it out and replace it with the new one. The MS outter race (in the clutch housing) :Pic 4 Below: was not replaced, it didn’t look too bad and to get it out would require a low profile bearing puller – not worth it if it looks ok. Otherwise, good luck – you’ll need it.

Seal removal / replacement:

There are a total of 3 seals (two diff and one shift selector rod) to be replaced. The seals are actually a metal ring with rubber molded around them. This is a good thing for us … as we can use a punch to remove them very easily. The diff seals are placed in from the outside of the case. I’ll repeat that casue I know how I am and I didn’t catch that the first time I read it either so … The differential seals come out and go into the case from the OUTSIDE. The selector rod seal you can get a hold of with some pliers and just tug it out. (helps if you walk it out, 3,6,9,12 and pull … pull, pull) The new one will go right in with the help of the rubber mallet. The differential seals will slide in from the outside. I reccomend leaving the passangers side out for now (DO NOT FORGET TO PUT THIS IN PRIOR TO INSTALL – or you will be very very sorry) The reason I leave the diff seal out is so that while you are putting the trans back together, it isn’t destroyed, chipped, or broken on the piece of wood. Just don’t forget to put that seal in.

Reshimming the diff bearings:

I need to add this to my write up, thought I did at one pointe, but maybe not. When you place new bearings on the diff, it will change the “pre-load” on the bearings when the case is all put together. The factory places shims behind the outter race (cup) in the case cover. Only that side, not on the clutch side. These shims place a certain amount of pressure on the bearing to keep in in place and not allow it to float around. You don’t want the shims to be too tight, or too lose either way. There are a couple of ways to meassure the thickness you’ll need. I’ll go into that in a moment, right now, I am just trying to explain what the shims are, how they work, and where they are located.

Ways to meassure needed shim thickness –

The first way I will describe is considered the “Solder crush meathod”. This is the meathod I used personally and it worked just fine for me. First off, you need to make certain the bearings are all the way seated on the diff. The punch should bounce off the race and that will let you know they are all the way down. Place the diff in the case and then take two peices of solder (thick stuff, but not so thick it will not crush properly), cut them the length of the bearing. The ends should be even with the outter race. Place the solder in an X formation (this means that one peice will need to be just a little longer and bent in the middle so it sits right). Place the case cover on and place the bolts back in at several places around the case. I did all of them around the diff and several in other places (every other or so). The idea here is to crush the solder to the thickness needed to hold the bearing in place. If you end up with lettering on the solder end, you can’t use that reading, discard and repeat. You should end up with 4 flattened solder ends. You need to take those ends and measure them. The readings will be 0.xx numbers (like 0.68). They will likely not be the same. It’s ok, you’re going to add them all up and then divide by 4 to get the average. Look up that number in the FSM and get the part number. You’ll need to special order the shim(s) from Nissan.

The other way to measure is to use a micrometer and do the same set up as above. The bearings all the way seated, case cover on and bolted down. Use a pin type micormeter (depth gauge) and push the pin head against the race of the bearing. You want to meassure to the case cover outter race. It’s hard to describe and the space will be so close, it’ll be hard to see clearly. Again, the numbers will read very small. (like above) Go to the FSM, get the part number and order.

Keep in mind there are VLSD and NON VLSD transaxles and they are not really seperated in the FSM. The chart / table will tell you, but don’t do what I did and order shims for a VLSD when you don’t have one. lol Make sure when you talk to Nissan that your part number matches theirs.

Transmission assembly:

Ok, now that the old bearings, seals, and outter races are replaced and the case is clean, it’s time to put it back together. You’ll need to get the torque specs from the FSM or your Haynes / Chiltons book. To start, replace the selector rod and then replace the R gate assembely (don’t forget the small check ball) (this is under the diff, above the selector rod) and tighten it down. Next place the diff in place. Make sure it is centered, it should spin freely. Now, it’s time to place the MS and IPS (including the 1/2 shift rod / fork) back down into the trans. The way I found easiest to place it all in is to hold it up and align everything first, then slip it in. It will slide all the way in but the IPS lower bearing will not sit all the way in, it only goes in two-thirds the way. (it’ll stick out a bit) Make sure you look at the FSM for the next part here! Place a check ball and then the larger interlock plunger against the 1/2 shift rod. Then place a check ball on the oppisite side. (ball, larger plunger, ball) Then place in the 3/4 shift rod / fork. Place the other plunger (smaller one) against the rod. Then place two (2) check balls in the channel. (rod, plunger, check ball, check ball) then the 5/R shift rod (this will be tricky if you didn’t remove the R assembly- but it will fit) Next to the 5/R rod, place the last check ball and the longer spring, put the detent bolt in and snug it down. Now take the larger check ball and lift the R assembly up, place the ball in the lower hole (use Vasaline to hold it). Select 4th gear and slip in the R gear. Snug the R assembly down and replace the springs and the locking pin. Place the shims on top of the IPS and the oil sealer (plastic piece) (use Vasaline to hold the shims if needed). Don’t forget to place the selector switch (goes on the shift selector head – small white and copper piece) and the R shaft locking pin in place. Set the lid on and slide it down. (you shouldn’t need to force it – it should line up and go on easily, it may take a tap or two to get it all the way down. Make sure it fits then lift it up and place sealer around the lip – don’t use too much, you don’t want it to seap down into the case. If you removed the selector switch, replace it after you snug all the bolts down. Shift through the gears and make sure it is hitting each gate like it should. If it doesn’t, something is likely wrong and needs to be fixed prior to doing the install. (Get the torque settings from the FSM)! TaDa …. you have just rebuilt your 5spd transmission. MAKE SURE YOU PLACED THE DIFF SEAL ON THE TRANS PRIOR TO INSTALLATION !!!!


So easy a monkey could do it. (if you’re not doing the clutch, just move on to the installation)
It’s a good idea, while the trany is out, to do your clutch. Here is how to do it. Your new clutch should have come with an alignment tool, you’ll need it.
First thing to do is to remvoe the old clutch. There are 9 bolts that hold the pressure plate to the flywheel. The friction disk sits inside between the pressure plate and flywheel. Once the old clutch is off, take some 240 gritt or so sandpaper and just go over the flywheel a time or two. Next, get the clutch and the alignment tool. Place the tool through the PP and FD, align the bolts and torque them down to specs. Done.

Transmission installation:

There are a couple of different ways to get the trans back on the bell housing. I found it easiest to just lift it in to place and have a mate start a bolt or two at the top and I got a couple started from the under side. This can be sorrta tricky because the trans has to line up level with the clutch so the splines will slide all the way in. I got the trans up and then my mate pushed it snug from atop. Made it much easier. The other way to raise the trans is to place it on a floor jack and slide it in through the drivers side wheel well. Just make sure it doesn’t fall on you or the ground. It really is best to have help with this part. Once you have a couple bolts started, it’ll hang on it’s own. Take a breather and then place the rest of the bolts in the housing. (note … some go into the bell housing (engine block) and some go into the clutch housing (tranny) from the other side. It helps to keep the bolts seperated so you know which came from top, which came from the bottom. After you get the trans up and bolted on, reattach the shift support rod and gear selector (note the shorter bolt goes towards the rear and a 14mm gear wrench will save you time and frusturation here more than you know). Replace the CPS at the front. Next step is to install the trans mount (drivers side). Bolt the mount to the trans first and then place the center bolt in and snug it up. Remount the slave cylinder and the starter (the starter can’t go on prior to torquing the housing bolts). I like to finish up where I am working before moving on to something else, so I did my intake and battery after the slave and starter. Take a quick moment and sit in the car and run through the gears. It should shift and it may be stiff, but it should be ok once the gear oil is in. Now it’s time to replace the axles. It shouldn’t matter which side you do first, but I found it easiest to do the more difficult one (passangers side) first. Be very careful not to gouge the seal with the end of the axle. It is tricky with the bracket in place, but it will slide in. (sit on the left side of the rotor assmebly and guide it in with your left hand – support the outter end of the axle on your right arm) Make sure it’s all the way in. I had mine not seat all the way even though I had the mounting bracket aligned and all 3 bolts started. (you may have to try and reach in and (holding the axle – not the CV joint) give it a push, it should go in. You can also look up above the shift support rod and see if the axle is in all the way.) Place it back in the hub and then start the strut knucle bolts. You may have to reach behind the outter CV boot and help slide it all the way into the hub. Tighten up the 36mm (don’t forget the washer) and place in the cotter pin. Tighten the strut knuckle. Go to the drivers side and this one is a lot easier. Place the axle in the trans (you should feel and / or hear it “click”) Slide this one back into the hub and repeat the process you just did on the passangers side. Replace the tires, lower the car, and tighten the lugs. VERY MPORTANT :::: Don’t forget to fill the trans with gear oil (4.5 quarts of GL-4 75w – 90) To fill the trans, you will need an oil pump. Test drive and make sure it all feels ok.

Hope this will help someone!


my4dsc: 0

Member Credit: evintho

Fixed my non working climate control with a mode door motor replacement. Took some pics while I was at it to hopefully help the next guy who does it. The beast in question is my ’99 GLE. First I ran diagnostics as per the FSM. Everything pointed towards a bad mode door motor. Found a new one online for $72 and ordered it.

Genuine Nissan A/C Mode Door Actuator Motor 27731-2L900

They’re 2 types. There’s a 2-pin connector unit with a single arm and a 3-pin connector unit with a dual arm. It’s best to pull the original motor to double check before ordering. Unless you’re a contortionist, you’re gonna want to pull the drivers seat. It’ll save you a ton of headaches! My GLE has power everything so there’s more connectors than most. Slide the seat all the way up and pull the rear bolt covers with your fingers or a flat blade screwdriver.

A 14mm socket removes the bolts. Slide the seat all the way back and remove the front bolts.

Here’s a trick. If you have full power seats, after removing the bolts slide the seat back to the middle, then fold the seat back all the way up. This is necessary to get the seat out because now you’re gonna disconnect the battery and you’ll have no power options.

Disconnect the battery.

Tip the seat up to access the connectors. Disconnect the 4 white connectors (red arrows) then disconnect the yellow connector (yellow arrow). That’s your air bag and one of the reasons you disconnected your battery.

Lift the seat out and now you have plenty of access to the mode door motor. There it is………………..

Disconnect the 3-pin connector at the 3 o’clock position. Then remove the 2 hex head phillips screws at the 10 and 4 o’clock positions. A stubby phillips and/or a 1/4″ drive 8mm socket are your friends.

Carefully remove the motor, paying particular attention to the 2 holes that the rotating arm connects to on the back side. Install the new unit and push the tabs into the aforementioned holes, tighten the 2 screws, reinstall the 3-pin connector, all seat connectors, the seat and reconnect the battery. Test for proper operation and you’re good to go.

my4dsc: 1

Member Credit: ajm8127

I did a 5 speed swap two weeks or so ago and there was a lot of time spent wading through the FSM pages to make sure the electrical system of the automatic chassis was compatible with the manual transmission, and the functionality of a manual chassis. This is a guide I came up with the try to easy the confusion when swapping a automatic transmission out for a manual one. I followed the procedure outlined below and used a 1997 manual ECU in my 1997 automatic chassis and can happily report that I have no CEL.

I. Introduction

This is a guide to those of you who wish to swap the automatic transmissions out of your fourth generation Nissan Maximas. It will walk you through the procedure to convert the electrical system. There are four areas that must be addressed in order for your car to be as close to stock as possible, electrically and functionally speaking, after the swap:

Reverse Lights
ASCD Cancel Switches
Clutch Interlock Switch
Park/Neutral Switch

As always, when working on the electrical system of your car, disconnect the battery.

II. Reverse Lights

Relevant FSM section:
EL – Exterior Lamp – Backup Lamp

In order to pass safety inspection in many states, the reverse lights must come on when the vehicle is placed in reverse. On the automatic this is achieved thought the inhibitor switch which is mounted to the front of the automatic transmission. On the manual version of the car, the reverse/neutral (R/N) switch handles this. When reverse is selected, the switch completes the circuit and sends battery voltage to the reverse lights.

I used the R/N switch harness from the manual version of the car, and soldered it in place where the inhibitor harness used to be. You will notice on the R/N harness you have two think wires and two thin wires. You will need to connect the thick wires in this step. First thing is first, cut off the two connectors that plugged into the inhibitor switch when the automatic was in the car. Next, locate the green and green/white wires on the inhibitor harness. The green wire supplies battery voltage, and the green/white wire runs back to the reverse lamps. Luckily for you, the wire colors on the R/N switch harness are the same. Using the thick green and thick green/white wires on the R/N harness, connect them to the green and green/white wires on the inhibitor harness (Figure 1). I have used shrink wrap tubing to insulate the joints, but electrical tape will work as well.

III. Clutch Interlock Switch

Relevant FSM section:
EL – Start
AT – Wiring Diagram

In order to prevent you from starting the car in gear, the vehicle is equipped with a circuit that will only energize the starter solenoid if it detects you are in neutral or park. Again, with the automatic, this is accomplished based on which contacts of the inhibitor switch are connected. On the manual, this is accomplished by sensing when the clutch pedal is fully depressed. To keep this functionality after the 5 speed swap, you must connect a wire in the inhibitor harness to the clutch interlock switch (switch that senses when the clutch is fully depressed). The other side of this switch must be tied to ground, so that when the clutch is fully depressed, the wire on the inhibitor harness is grounded. Fortunately, when you do a 5 speed swap, you will have a bunch of wires left over that are unused. This will allow you to easily run a wire to from the engine bay to the cabin by using some of those unused wires. For this task, I have used a yellow/blue wire to complete the circuit to the clutch interlock switch (Figure 1.) This yellow/blue wire used to tell the TCM (Transmission Control Module) when the vehicle was in drive. Connect the green/orange wire from the two conductor side of the inhibitor harness to the yellow/blue wire, on the seven conductor side of the harness.

The next step is finding where this wire comes out in the cabin. The TCM is underneath the BCM, directly in front of the shifter. Its harness looks similar to the ECU harness in that it has a 10mm bolt securing it. Find the yellow/blue wire and cut it from that harness (Figure 2). It will be in position 18. Also, find one of the black ground wires, and cut it as well. This will be the ground that one side of the clutch interlock switch is connected to. The grounds are positions 15 and 48. Next, you will need the clutch interlock switch from where ever you got the clutch pedal. It will be in a harness with the ASCD brake and clutch cancel switches, along with the brake light switch. Remove the clutch interlock switch connector from this harness and extend the wires on it (Figure 3). Add enough so that they reach the TCM connector with about six inches to spare. At this point I wrapped electrical tape around these wires to keep the harness looking stock. It also keeps the wires in a bundle, which makes them easier to keep out of the way. Route these wires under the dash and around into the center console. Now connect one of the wires from the clutch interlock switch to the yellow/blue wire from the TCM harness. Connect the other wire from the switch to the black ground wire on the TCM harness (Figure 2).

IV. Park Neutral Switch

Relevant FSM section:
EC – Park Neutral Position Switch
AT – Wiring Diagram

Nissan engineered the electrical system in the fourth generation Maxima to be able to sense when the car is in park or neutral. If you have been paying attention up to this point you would have probably guessed that in the automatic, this is done by the inhibitor switch in the P or N position. Of course, we removed the inhibitor switch. To take its place in the manual, the reverse/neutral switch is used. Look back under the hood and find the additional two wires coming from the manual R/N switch harness. They will both be thinner than the two connected for the reverse lamps, and will be green/white and black in color. Now, locate the two wires coming out of the inhibitor harness that are pink/black and purple/white. I connected the wires with the white tracer together (purple/white to green/white) and I connected the pink/black to black (Figure 1). Again, find the TCM harness and connector, and cut off the pink/black (position 17) and purple/white (position 16) wires. Also, cut off the other ground that you did not use in step III (position 15 or 48). Additionally, you need the wire that runs to ECU pin 22 form the TCM connector. This wire is green/orange, and is in position 13. You now need to connect the wires from the R/N switch to ground on one side, and the ECU on the other. Connect the pink/black wire to the ground wire from the TCM connector, and connect the purple/white wire to the green/orange wire that runs to the ECU (Figure 2). Now, when the transmission is in neutral, ECU pin 22 will be grounded.

V. ASCD Cancel Switches

Relevant FSM section:
EL – Automatic Speed Control Device

Automatic Speed Control Device is a fancy phrase for “cruise control”. In order for this system to function properly, it must disengage when the clutch is pressed or the brake is applied. Of course in a car that used to be an automatic, there is no clutch, so only the brake pedal has a switch. Because you will be adding a clutch pedal, you will need to sense that as well if you wish for the system to function properly. You will need the ASCD pedal switch harness from a manual car. This harness is easily identified as the one that plugs into the pedal switches. You should have already used a portion of it in the Step III when you hooked up the clutch interlock. You can remove the brake light switch connector from the harness, as that is not used (it is the larger one). Now, unplug the ASCD brake cancel switch from its connector, and remove that connector from the car. Connect the wires running to the ASCD brake/clutch cancel switch harness to the wires that used to connect to the ASCD brake cancel switch. Effectively what you are doing is wiring these switches so that if either the brake of clutch pedal are pressed at all, the ASCD system will turn off the cruise control until you reset it (Figures 4 and 5).

VI. Conclusion

If you have followed the directions outlined above, you should have successfully completed the electrical portion of the 5 speed swap enabling you to have all the functionality of the 5 speed car in your automatic chassis. If you have also received a manual ECU from a car compatible with your model year’s emissions, you should be able to complete your swap CEL free.

Figure 1. Inhibitor and R/N switch harness

Figure 2. TCM harness and connections.

Figure 3. Extend the wires on the clutch interlock switch harness to reach the TCM connector.

Figure 4. ASCD brake pedal cancel switch disconnected and wires from the ASCD brake/clutch pedal cancel switch harness.

Figure 5. ASCD brake/clutch cancel switch harness wired to ASCD brake cancel switch harness.

Figure 6. Manual R/N switch harness and automatic inhibitor harness become one.

my4dsc: 4

High & Low Beam Headlamp Light Bulb Size: 9004 or 9004 HID Upgrade Kit or 9004 LED Upgrade Kit
Parking Light Bulb Size: 1157
Front Turn Signal Light Bulb Size: 1156
Rear Turn Signal Light Bulb Size: 1156
Tail Light Bulb Size: 1157
Stop Light Bulb Size: 1157
High Mount Stop Light Bulb Size: 921
Fog/Driving Light Bulb Size: H3 or H3 HID Upgrade Kit
License Plate Light Bulb Size: 168
Back Up Light Bulb Size: 1156 or 1157
Corner Light Bulb Size: 1157
Front Side Marker Light Bulb Size: 194
Rear Sidemarker Light Bulb Size: 194
Dome Light Bulb Size: DE3175
Step/Courtesy Light Bulb Size: 161
Trunk/Cargo Area Light Bulb Size: 158

my4dsc: 3

Owner: Daniel Gerard Amangoua

Year: 1997
Model: Maxima
Color:  Rosewood Metallic
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Trim: SE

Highlights: Gen2 VQ35DE 3.5 Swap w/ 3.0 Timing, Best 1/4 ET 13.64.

Track 1/4 Mile – ET 13.64

Mod List:

  • Gen2 VQ35DE Swap w/ 3.0 Timing
  • OBX V1 Headers w/ Custom Equal Length Y-Pipe
  • AF Dynamic Altima/6thgen Air Intake
  • 3″ Resonated Exhaust
  • Spec Stage 2+ Clutch
  • Tein Lowering Springs
  • eManage Ultimate w/ Nisformance Patch Harness
  • Base Map from Admin Tuning /  Street Tuned later by TheeFaceRacing

my4dsc: 8

Owner: Miguel Arroyo

Year: 1999
Model: Maxima
Color: Custom Candy/Pearl Tangerine Orange
Transmission: Manual 5spd
Trim: SE-L also known as 99.5 or 4.5 Gen

What motivated you to MOD your Maxima?

I’ve been a Nissan guy all my life and I love the body style specifically on this model, it’s also considered as 4DSC and I know the potential and capability of these engines, so basically that’s why I decided to mod my car.

I’ve owned this car since 2010 and I’ve been building it for the last 6 years, every single mod has been done by me. – Miguel

Full Mod List / Specs:

    • Vortech V2 Supercharger with 2.62″ pulley
    • 00VI swap with Power Rod Set to Open at 4900RPM
    • Pathfinder Throttle Body (PFTB) with Block Off Plate (BOP)
    • 928MotorSports Mega Boost Limiter Valve (BLV)
    • Greddy Blow Off Valve (BOV)
    • Greddy eManage Ultimate (EMU) with Plug and Play (PNP) harness
    • Greddy Oil Catch Can
    • Greddy 5″X13″X3″ 3″Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC)
    • Greddy Radiator Cap
    • 2015 GT-R 560cc injectors
    • 255lph Walbro Fuel Pump
    • Aeromotive Air Fuel Pressure Regulator (AFPR)
    • Vortech Fuel Management Unit (FMU)
    • NGK Iridium 1 Step Colder Spark Plugs
    • Z32 TT MAF
    • Z32 Fuel Filter
    • SPEC Stage 3 Clutch
    • SPEC Lightweight Aluminum Flywheel
    • Unorthodox Stock Size Crank Pulley
    • OBX V2 headers-Y pipe Ceramic Coated and Fiberglass Heat Wrapped
    • 3″ 240sx Nismo High Flow Cat
    • 3″ Mandrel Bent Catback
    • 3″ MagnaFlow Resonator
    • 3″ Greddy Revolution RS Muffler
    • K-Sport Pro Coilovers
    • Stillen Oil Cooler Kit
    • Stillen AP Racing Big Brake Kit (BBK) with 330mm Stillen 2 Piece Rotors and SS Brake Lines
    • Stillen Rear Sway Bar (RSB)
    • Stillen Front Strut Tower Bar (FSTB)
    • Stillen Pop Charger
    • Injen Cold Air Intake (CAI)
    • AEM UEGO Wideband Gauge/Sensor
    • Autometer Shift Light
    • Quad Custom Pillar Gauge Pod
    • Steering Wheel Custom Gauge Pod
    • Glow Shift Gauges, Boost, Oil Pressure, Volt Meter, Double Intake Temperature and Nitrous
    • Rockford Fosgate Sound System T2’s 12″Subs 2 1000 Watts Amps/Speakers/Tweeters
    • Flipdown Tv’s
    • Pionner Double Din Radio
    • Fiber Glass Mounting Custom Kick Panel Speakers and Seat Belt Pillar Tweeters (Momo)
    • Optima Yellow Top Battery with Digital Silver Terminals
    • XXR 351 Wheels 18″x10″ Rear 18″x9″ Front 20 offset Custom Candy Electric Blue
    • Nitto 225-40R18″  Rear 215-40R18″ Front
    • 01 Maxima rear folding back seat conversion
    • Infiniti G37 Rear View Mirror Swap
    • Black Interior Swap
    • Stillen Front Lip
    • Sarona Side Skirts
    • Sarona Vented Fenders
    • Ionic Dynamics Rear Corners
    • Ionic Dynamics Rear Roof Spoiler
    • Ionic Dynamics
    • Carbon Fiber Eye Lids
    • Carbon fiber Interior Trim
    • R34 Headlights painted candy blue to match the wheels, Retrofited them with Bi-Xenon orimoto H1 7.0 projectors and Gatlin Gun Shrouds as DRL instead of high beams, J30 Infinity lowbeam projectors with clear lenses/spacers, Morimoto RGB Halos/demon eyes Switchback DRL ED Bars, Morimoto Elite HID’s, customized corner LED boards, Strobe Lights
    • Fog Lights Projectors Retrofit/RGB Halos/Strobe Lights
    • Taillights/bumper lights LED Retrofited/Sequential turn signal lights
    • Morimoto XBT RGB LED Cellphone Controller/Underglow LEDS/Wheel Well/Interiors/Dash Board-Heater Controllers-Window Switches/Map/Cluster
    • C-Mod Grill
    • Hella Electric Horns
    • Short Carbon Fiber/Aluminum Antenna Mast Conversion
    • Aerocatch Flush Hood Pins
    • Aluminum Rear Diffuser
    • Custom Front Splitter
    • Thule Roof Rack
    • RECARO Racing Seats
    • Four Point SPARCO Seat Belts
    • Custom Made Seat Brackets out of stock electric seats
    • Center Line Competition Series Qualifier Polished Wheels 15”x8” 14 lbs weight, Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radial Tires 20.0/8.5R15 X5 Compound
    • NX Stage 2 Water Methanol Injection kit
    • NOS Direct Port 120 Wet Shot Nitrous Kit
    • ZEX Machine gun Purge
    • 24lbs Nos Bottle with electric Nos opener
    • Dyno Tune Lean Shutdown Switch
    • Dyno Tune Bottle Heater
    • Custom Steering Wheel Wireless Nos Triggers along with Horns Fully Functional
    • Center Cupholder Custom Nos System Controllers
    • Nardy 350mm Sterring Wheel
    • NRG Quick Release
    • NRG Steering Wheel adapter
    • NRG Harness Bar
    • NRG Gold Wire Ground Kit
    • MOMO E-Brake Handle
    • NISMO Aluminum Pedals
    • NISMO Oil Filler Cap
    • Redlion Steering Column 1 Piece Aluminum Bushing
    • Energy Suspension (ES) Motor Mounts
    • Blue Interior Carpet
    • EGR Delete, No CEL
    • Flip Flop Trunk Lid Conversion
    • I also have a Carbon Fiber Hood, Trunk Lid, Spoiler and Lip Kit, but I haven’t installed them yet. I’m also planning to do a Custom Roll Cage and Painting it same color as my Wheels (Candy Electric Blue)

my4dsc: 775