my4thgen 95-99


This is a gallery of Secret Sauce Intake Manifold (SSIM) Setups. The SSIM (Secret Sauce Intake Manifold) was created years ago by member SR20DEN. This involves cutting the shelf out of the main chamber of the upper intake manifold and removing the VIAS assembly. This will still lose a little low end power, but the gains in the top end are very noticeable. It’s definitely a modification that is worthwhile.


my4dsc: 242

Member Credit: Rich_MadMaxLemon

Full Mod List / Specs:

  • KYB AGX struts
  • Tein S. Tech springs
  • APEXi N1 muffler (looks to be stock piping)
  • 5Zigen FN01RC wheels; 17×9 +35
  • Toyo Proxes R888 tires; 225 45 R17
  • Welded Roll Cage
  • Kirkey Racing Seat
  • Battery relocated to trunk

my4dsc: 97

Member Credit: Unklejoe / EddyMaxx

Every 99-03 Maxima uses the same PIN for the NATS. The pin is “5523“. This is the default “master” PIN. 

This means that you can use a BlaZt cable to re-initialize the NATS on any Maxima of those years. This is particularly useful for those who have to replace their ECU and don’t feel like going to the dealership and dropping $100 to get the ECU programmed to their key/immo (or those who simply want to add more keys to their car).

More Info on Nissan Datascan & ODB2 Cable:

Normally, the PIN is provided to you when you buy the car but most people lose it. Well, now you can finally add your own keys to the car and/or re-program a used ECU’s to the car.

For those who don’t know the PIN, the PIN can be decoded using a software called “Nissan SuperCode”. The software requires the serial number from the BCM that the ECU came from. It will then provide the PIN. The only problem is that when you buy an ECU from a junkyard, they usually don’t provide/know the BCM serial number from the car that the ECU came from. Normally, you’d have to go to the dealer so they can decode it, but now that I discovered this “master” PIN, you can do it yourself!

The following cars all use the same “5523” default PIN:

  • Nissan Altima 2001-2004
  • Nissan Maxima 1999-2003
  • Nissan Pathfinder 2001-2004
  • Nissan Sentra 2000-2005
  • Nissan 350Z < 2002
  • Nissan X-Terra 2003-2004
  • Infinity QX4 2001-2004
  • Infinity QX45 2002
  • Infinity Q45 2001-2005
  • Infinity G20 2000-2002
  • Infinity I30 / I35 2001-2005

Video Walkthrough

my4dsc: 482

Member Credit: Kevlo911

I bet over 75% of 4th gen owners have a leaking steering rack and/or worn tie rods. I bought the 99se rack because it is stiffer. It comes with new inner tie rods and new o-rings. You should replace the outer tie rods and sway bar. bushings at the same time.

As for the how to:

  • Loosen lugs
  • Jack up and put the car on jack stands.
  • Remove wheels
  • Remove outer tie rods(I did not and paid for it  ) – You need to rent the outer tie rod removal tool from
  • AutoZone to do this.
  • Remove the bolt on top of the sway bar end link and the 2 bolts on the bracket that holds the “inner” bushing in.
  • Move the sway bar up and wiggle it out from the passenger side.

Remove the ypipe (rent the o2 removal tool)
As you can see, I forgot to rent the tool. Now the fun part. Crossmember. Remove the engine mount bolts, in the rear I used a long 10in extension to get to the bolt from the engine bay(intake removed). Front engine mount you need an open end wrench on one side and a socket on the other(or two sockets…) I supported the engine with a jack and a 2×4. If you have a tranny jack it would be better. Remove the 2 bolts in the front and rear(4total bolts) on the cross member and it will drop down. You can replace the mounts right now if you want too.

See a plate covering this mount on the rack. It is behind the rear header and is held on by three 10mm screws. Remove it.
Now remove the fluid lines, have something to catch the fluid(I had a trash can lid). Remove these from the engine bay, it is much easier that way.
Use a 14mm open end wrech to get the bottom one. On the top one, remove the hose and swap the nipple on the new rack once it is out of the car.
Remove those nuts. Now you will see the spindle, there is a 12mm nut holding it on the spindle of the rack. Make sure the steering wheel is strait before you remove it.

Remove the bolts holding on the rack now. One mount is pictured above, other you will see when you are down there.

You will remove the rack from the middle, it will NOT slide out from the sides(I found out the hard way). You will move it towards the pass side and then drop it down in the middle. You will install it the same way. I also installed new bushing on the rack, I got MOOG bushings from

You will soon find out the spindle does not want to go into the joint. You will have to bang on top of the joint to get it on the spindle. I used my tq wrech and breaker bar to bang it in. I didnt have a rubber mallet(I did this with the rack mounts partially in, only the lower nuts were in). Rest is the reversal.
Next you get it aligned… I still have to do this, my wheel is cocked to the right.

This will take all day and would be much easier with air tools. But I saved about $800-1,200 bucks labor by doing myself and I now have a stiffer and better feeling steering system.

my4dsc: 95

Member Credit: Sparky

This 1997 Nissan Maxima was towed in from another shop after unsuccessful repair attempts. I am not sure how many shops it has been to. Tried to crank vehicle, it spit and coughed and jumped and carried on but I managed to get it to fire a little by depessing the gas pedal to the floor {clear flood mode}.

I checked the plugs and they were black and fouled out and several showed signs of gas blowby at the insulator seal, so I installed a new set of plugs. cranked the engine and it ran. After a couple of minutes it had cleared up and was running good. Ran a few more minutes for good measure. Turned engine off and recranked. It cranked and ran fine. Did the other shops miss something this simple? I don’t know? Cranked it several times and no problems, time for a test drive. Backed the car out of the shop and took off on a test drive. Right, got 20 feet and it stalled and would not crank back up. Kind of figured it, plugs would be too easy.

Got the scanner out and checked codes P0325 and P0340 were stored. The P0325 code is for a knock sensor and will not cause the engine to not run, so I was going to concentrate on the P0340 code. The code P0340 is for a cam sensor error. Checked the cam sensor and it had been replaced.

I needed to check the continuity of the wires between the cam sensor and the ECM. The ECM is located under the center of the dash as shown below.

I removed the white plastic cover to have better access to the wiring.

I had to use an ohm meter hooked to both ends of the two wires. While the harness (shown below) was wiggled. Sure enough one of the two wires was broken. In doing this repair I had to try several things before I came up with a way to repair this vehicle in a cost effective way. The harness costs about two thousand dollars plus installation.

I clipped the two wires near the ECM harness connector. Then started to look for a way to run new wires. My first choice would be to attach new wires to the old, with splicing connectors and pull them through the harness, then splice at the other end. This would not work as the wires are glued into the grommet at the firewall. It would be virtually impossible for me to identify the two wires at the ECM so you will need to access that information from Mitchell 1. There is a link at the top right of this page.

My next choice was to try and run the new wires through, hopefully another grommet. The problem is the only other thing I could see was the a/c drain tube. Running new wires there did not seem like a good idea. To get a really good look the evaporator case needed to come out. Recovered the refrigerant and removed all of the interior mounting screws.

Problem, the evaporator case will not come out past the glove box support brace. A very close look and I determined that if I removed the metal brace. Then cut the plastic between the two screw holes on each side that the evaporator case would come out. When reassembling the two screws would hold the plastic pieces together. It appears to me that an engineer actually designed it to be cut, if the evaporator case needed to be removed.

The cut on the right side of the glove box opening.

At least now I can see where the wires go through the firewall. I felt around and decided that I could go through the original grommet. On the lower right side, as it is viewed in the pictures below.

I have a special tool for doing this procedure. The tool is similar to a screwdriver but it has hole running through it. Using the sharp end I pierced the grommet and ran the wire through the hole in the tool.

With the wire run through the hole in the tool and to the other side of the firewall, I pulled the tool back out over the remaining wire on the inside of the vehicle.

A close up look at the hole in the handle.

The sharp end of the tool that easily pierces the rubber grommet.

I purchased a special piece of shielded, twisted, pair wire cable from an aircraft supplier. The first thing that had to be done was to loosen the shielding and move it down the cable assembly enough to stagger the joints. I did have to split it length way also.

After prepping the cable, I connected it to the factory harness connector. I staggered the joints.

Heated the tubing and shrank it into place.

Twisted the remaining cable, around the repair.

Pulled the shielding back up and around the spliced wires, then used tape to hold it in place.

I repeated the process at the other end near the computer. I then taped and wire tied the new cable to the old harness. One thing that I learned through this whole experience is that if at all possible do not pull the harness out from under the dash. It is looped to the top of the ECM and is almost impossible to get it back into place. The reason I had pulled it out was so that I could pull the new wiring through the old harness and just attach it on both ends. The glue in the fire wall grommet prevented me from doing this, so in the end, there was no reason to pull the harness loose that far.

A closer look at where the wiring breaks inside the harness. My experience on this one also convinced me to not open the harness to actually see the damage. Way too hard to get it all back together that way. Just make sure the wiring is the problem with a meter and/or piggy back a new harness to the outside of the old harness and attach it at both ends.

Try to solve the new Formula Cube! It works exactly like Rubiks Cube but it is only $2, from China. Learn how to solve it or use the solver to calculate the solution in a few steps. (Please subscribe for a membership to stop adding promotional messages to the documents.)


my4dsc: 128

Member Credit: Sparky

Code P0325 stored in 1997 Nissan Maxima. Because the knock sensor is normally at fault I usually test it first. The knock sensor is located under the intake and is accessible on the driver’sside of the car.

Locate the knock sensor subharness connector. It is near the dipstick tube, red knob in center of above picture.

Disconnect the sensor and check resistance from terminal #1 (white wire) to engine ground. resistance should be between 500K -620K ohms. If the resistance is not within the specifications the sensor and subharness must be removed to do further testing. If it is within specifications recheck while wiggling the subharness wires. If still no problem is found the wire between the computer and the knock sensor must be checked for opens or grounds.

In this and in most cases it was not within specifications. Now comes the tricky part, the labor guides give 2.9 hours to change the sensor and it requires removal of the intake. I have a short cut if you have some tools and patience it can be done in about half an hour or so. I always try to see if I can break the attaching bolt loose with a swivel socket and extension. If it does then great ,simply remove the bolt and use the subharness to pull the knock sensor up and out. DO NOT BEND THE HARNESS . You need to keep it in it’s original shape to reinstall the sensor without any difficulty.

If the bolt will not break loose easily, what I do is with the help of a telescoping magnet, I lower a long 12 point boxed end wrench into position on the knock sensor retaining bolt. Then I use a long skinny screw driver to hold the wrench in place while the magnet is removed.

Then while keeping the wrench in place with the long skinny screwdriver I put a heavy pry bar into position to use as a lever to move the wrench.

After the bolt is broken loos it is easy to remove with the swivel socket and extension used earlier.

With the sensor and subharness removed it is now easy to check the sensor. This one like many has an external split and tested faulty.

To install the new knock sensor, attach the subharness and drop the attaching bolt into the sensor. Using a long skinny screwdriver or a mechanics finger (actual name of tool) as a support and guide lower the sensor and bolt into position. Once you feel the the bolt drop into the threaded hole, use the harness to maintain this position. Next place your swivel socket and extension in place without moving the bolt from it’s centered position. Gently turn the bolt making sure not to cross thread it. It may take a few attempts. Be patient and very gentle as it will be a 3 hour mistake. Once the bolt is tightened with the swivel socket, I usually drop the wrench back in place and put a final tightening on it with the pry bar as outlined in the removal procedure. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.

Try to solve the new Formula Cube! It works exactly like Rubiks Cube but it is only $2, from China. Learn how to solve it or use the solver to calculate the solution in a few steps. (Please subscribe for a membership to stop adding promotional messages to the documents.)

my4dsc: 97

Member Credit: 95naSTA

The total time start to finish was 9 hours but my font end was a little mangled. I had to pull out one lower corner, slide hammer and sledge the passenger unibody rail, unkink the drivers side upper rad and unibody rail, and a few other things to get the new part to fit.  Ignore the miss alignments. They’re more of an upper rad, fog bucket and bumper support.

Other new parts: bumper support, support brackets, hood struts, and cross member bolts.

I welded it in either from the back through the holes drilled in the unibody during dismantling or I drilled new holes through the new support to weld it to the unibody. I wouldn’t suggest just bolting it in.

I lined everything up, bolted it in with the tow hooks, spot welded, then took the hooks off to do the last few spot welds on the bottom from the rear. There are 6 spot welds per side that are in the unibody rail and a pita to drill out. I used a die grinder with a long shanked carbide burr to burn through those. This pic shows the 6 inside:

my4dsc: 28

Member Credit: 95naSTA

I’m successfully running the Q45 MAF with my hybrid 3.5 swapped 98 4thgen Maxima.  You will need a 90-96 Q45 MAF which you can easily find on eBay.


  • Red – +12v
  • White – Signal
  • Black – Ground


  • Black w/ White stripe – +12v (could also be black with red stripe)
  • White – Signal
  • Black – Ground

Lightning MAF adapter will work if you re-drill it. It’s a little larger than the MAF opening but a 3.5″ coupler will still stretch over it.

The process was:

  • Chopped up a Q45 MAF with a band saw (you could use another MAF).
  • Grinded the outer edges of the MAF base to open up the radius
  • Drilled a hole big enough for the MAF in a 1′ long 4″ Dia aluminum pipe
  • Scored outline of MAF body onto the pipe
  • Sanded the inside radius of the MAF base and aluminum pipe within the scoring with 180 grit sandpaper
  • Taped off scored/sanded area on the pipe
  • Mixed up JB Weld KwikWeld, applied to to the MAF and mated it to the pipe
  • Cleaned up the edges of excess epoxy
  • Removed tape

Reference Photos:

my4dsc: 64