my4thgen 95-99


Owner: Abdala Fernandez

Year: 1997
Model: Maxima
Color: Sage Mist Green (FS0)
Transmission: Automatic 4-Speed
Trim: GLE

Article Credit: Aaron Litchfield

Imagine seeing this car lined up at the track.  At almost 20 years old and reconciled to shuffling grandma back and forth to church, most people don’t view a 1997 Maxima as a car that is a threat, or even a car that belongs at a drag strip.  Add on top of that the fact that it has an automatic transmission, and you are likely to incite more than a few laughs.  Abdala Fernandez, the owner and builder of this car, doesn’t care who is laughing at the beginning of the track, he is more concerned with who is laughing at the end, and more often than not, it’s him.

If the giant intercooler wasn’t a dead give-away, once you pop the hood you start to realize that this is a car that is very different from the stock 190whp grocery-getter Nissan designed.  The engine was swapped with a more powerful and lighter VQ35DE.  If that code looks familiar to you that is because it is the same engine code that you find in a 350z, just a front wheel drive version.  The bottom end is built with ACL HX bearings, and Eagle H beam rods matched with Weisco 8.8:1 Pistons. A Nissan Rev Up oil pump replaces the stock for more reliable oiling, and the 3.5 block has been bored slightly to 96mm.  The head bolts are stolen from a Nissan Juke, the headgasket is from a Vq35hr, the higher revving cousin of the VQ35DE.  This combo keeps the all-important contact between the head and the block going strong even under relatively high amounts of boost pressure.  The heads have been modified as well, VQ35HR valve springs replace their OEM counterparts and the valves have been lapped and adjusted by Abdala by grinding the buckets by hand.  An NWP torque link connects the engine to the actual frame of the car, reducing engine movement.

The intake manifold has been replaced with a MotorDyne MREV2, this was then modified with a Methanol/Water (50/50) dual nozzle injection, a Hobb pressure switch dictates when the methanol is released.  A MotorDyne 5/16 inch spacer separates it from the warmer lower intake manifold, and a NWP lower intake manifold spacer keeps the high heat of the engine block at bay.  This is a tried-and-true technique of using spacers to reduce intake air temperatures, and to distribute air through the pistons more effectively.

An Aeromotive A1000 fuel pressure regulator keeps the fuel flowing correctly from the trunk mounted fuel cell.  In addition to fuel, the fuel system is, as you can imagine, big.  1000cc Injector Dynamics fuel injectors mounted in an OBX fuel rail, pushed by a 450lph Walbro fuel pump gives this engine all the high-octane fuel it needs.  Abdala decided to score the injection “hat trick” and get nitrous on board as well.  A DynoTune nitrous system provides an 80whp wet shot of nitrous.  From a dig this helps spool the large turbo faster, and is the primary purpose for using the giggle gas.  Alternatively, should he deem it necessary, Emanage can let loose nitrous for the entire ¼ mile run.

The turbo is a BorgWarner S366 T4 Single Scroll .88AR pushing up to an impressive 21 pounds of boost, a Tial 50MM with a 15psi spring keeps the extra air venting into the atmosphere.  Because of its mounting position, the radiator has been replaced with a much smaller 2 core radiator out of a Del Sol.  A Treadstone Performance TR1035 intercooler keeps the compressed air chilled and dense.  Controlling all this madness is a Greddy Emanage Ultimate that is hooked into a Turbosmart boost controller via a Mac Solenoid for a custom electronic boost control set up. Tuning this creation is done by none other than Abdala himself.  Also, a J&S Ultra safeguard with matching knock gauge keep the engine safe by detecting even the faintest knock and disabling that specific cylinder until it can behave again.

The turbo manifolds are custom built by Abdala, and wrapped in titanium to help fight under hood temperatures. The car uses two downpipes, one used for the track which is a 3.5inch short pipe that exists the hood, hence the holes in the hood. For the street, a custom down pipe that routes to the back of the car then comes out of the passenger side rear door with a custom muffler that is based on a Dynomax VT.  This has baffling inside that is very quiet when there is slow airflow, once an increase in airflow occurs the flaps open and it becomes a straight through muffler.

The taboo automatic transmission is a stock 4 speed Maxima Automatic with an EdgeRacing Highstall Converter, (3500 stall) and a IPT Performance Transmissions valvebody upgrade.  A TRU-COOL MAX LPD47391 transmission cooler with two generic fans mounted on it is installed to keep the transmission cool. The cooler is mounted in stock gas tank position, hence the trunk mounted fuel cell.  The transmission is controlled by SupraStick v4, which is a standalone transmission control module.  A custom “manual shifter” which is a rod that sits near his right hand by the factory shifter allows him to easily pull on the rod to up shift, and push on it to downshift.  He also has a switch that sets the transmission to automatic mode for normal driving.  The TCM is also partly responsible for controlling the nitrous, when a shift is initiated it turns off the nitrous during the shift then activates it again in the next gear, this helps take load off the transmission and allows for easier shifts.

The suspension is handled by Tokico Illumina’s set to the firmest setting for improved launches. The front and rear springs are progress.  A progress rear sway bar keeps the car from getting out of line.  In keeping with the understated visuals, the wheels and tires are 17 inch rims from a 2002 Titanium Edition Maxima.  When he goes to the track a set of Mickey Thomson 24.5×8 slicks grace the front end of the car.  Hawk Hp+ brake pads are the only braking upgrade this sleeper needs.

The gauges that monitor this complicated engine are: Air/fuel, oil pressure (mechanical mounted on the hood of the car outside, visible from driver seat), coolant temperature, transmission temperature ( adjustable selection between coolant temperature/atf). J&S Ultra Safeguard knock gauge which shows knock counts and ignition retard.

The results of all this work and fabrication pay off with a blistering 11.326 second quarter mile time and a very respectable 127.15 mph trap speed.  Abdala admits that he is happy with the time, but won’t be satisfied with the build until he cracks the ten second mark.  With the amount of time and effort put into this car, it is just a matter of time until this sleepy old grocery getter achieves that goal, drops some jaws, breaks some hearts, and gives Abdala his last laugh.  If you want to follow this car and see it in action, check out Abdala’s appropriately named Instagram “Streetzlegend.”

Additional Photos:





my4dsc: 1278

Owner: Ron aka i30krab

Year: 1996
Model: i30
Color:  White
Transmission: Built Automatic
Trim: SE

Mod List:

  • Built Auto Transmission
  • 11.5 lbs of Dynoed SC boost w/ Aftercooler & Vortech Mustang Internals
  • Built Engine 9:1 Compression
  • JWT Cams
  • Valve Springs
  • VQ30DET Pistons
  • Ported & Polished Gasket Matched Intake Manifold
  • JIC Magic FLT-A2 Coilovers
  • Electro Mechanical Eteering Rack w/ Separate Control for Steering Pressure
  • Volk LE37T Wheels 17″x 7.5 16.5 lbs
  • Dunlop 225-45-17 9000 Tires
  • Brembo Front Big Brake Kit w/ Matching Rear Cross Drilled Rear Rotors
  •  Traction Bars
  • stillen Triangulated Tront Strut Tower Bar
  • Blehmco Stage 2 Lower Tie Bar Rods
  • Courtesy Nissan Rear Strut Tower Bar
  • Addco Rear Anti-rollBbar
  • H & R Rear 25 MM Wheel Spacers
  • Energy Suspension Bushings
  • Roll Bar Attached to Chassis at 8 Points


my4dsc: 7

Member Credit: The Wizard & ptatohed

As a few of you know, ptatohed (Josh) and myself (James) recently installed a water to air aftercooler on his car. After doing a lot of homework, we decided on a ‘barrel design’ (as opposed to a ‘box’ design). We ended up going with the Jackson Racing AWAC (Air/Water AfterCooler) made for the Mazda Miata. Here is a picture (although this is the older, unpolished, design):

The kit retails for about $900 new but ptatohed paid about half that for a used kit. We went with this ‘barrel design’ because we felt it was easier to fit in the engine bay and it (in theory) produces less of a boost loss compared to a ‘box design’. (Here is a picture of i30krab’s Maxima with a Vortech ‘box design’ AWAC, if anyone is interested).

The JR kit provided us with the aftercooler, the electrical pump, and the front-mount heat exchanger (and 3/8″ heater hose). The JR kits expects the Miata guys to use their stock overflow bottle as their water reservoir. That wasn’t going to cut it for us. We bought this water/ice reservoir made by Vortech:

The reservoir is a little big but it does fit. However, note that a smaller battery must be used to make the reservoir fit (or relocate your battery). Josh took apart a Wal-Mart mobile jump-start (as seen in the pictures below) but I bought an Oddyssey (PC680MJT):

Here is a picture of Josh’s Wal-Mart battery:

Our goal was to convert to a 3” intake system at the same time we installed the AWAC but we wanted to do so with no custom work needed. No welding, no bracket or pipe fabrication, no special-order parts, etc. And we accomplished our goal! We put the whole system together with easy to get parts. Most of our intake plumbing was purchased here.

Before I get to the pictures, I’ll give a quick review. Honestly, we don’t really feel anything on the butt-dyno. But that might be because we did lose 1.5 – 2 PSI of boost (peaking at just about 8.5 now, down from 10 PSI). Hopefully that will easily be taken care of with a smaller pulley. Right now we both have a 3.25″ pulley. Anyone know what size pulley we should drop down to, to get back to 10PSI? The system seems to work great! No matter how much we drive, the water always stays cool and so does the AWAC. As a test, we unplugged the pump, went for a drive and, sure enough, the AWAC was roasty. So, we are assuming the intake temps are being reduced. We’ll know for sure, soon enough, as we have an Autometer dual intake temperature gauge waiting for install. We will also be dyno-ing our cars shortly. As soon as we know, we’ll let you guys know our intake temperature drop across the aftercooler and our dyno results. It will also be fun to experiment with dropping ice in the reservoir!

O.k., enough talking, on with the pics. While I will post some of the pics below, please click here to see all the pics.


Reclock the blower:

90^ rubber elbow:

BOV adaptor from E-Bay. This can be purchased to accommodate various BOVs:

(Please note we are temporarily using cheesey rubber couplers and worm clamps. We will be replacing these with nice silicone couplers and T-Bolt clamps soon).

Jackson Racing Water to Air AfterCooler:

This is a picture of our 45^ bend. We really need a 60^ bend but since they only make 45^ and 90^, we used a 45^ and “cut it to be 60^”. We first marked the location where we wanted to cut, to get the length we needed. Next, instead of drawing lines perpendicular/radial to the pipe, we skewed the lines 7.5^ on each end (We need 60, but are using a 45. 60-45=15. 15/2 = 7.5):

This is the cheesey plastic MAF adaptor we bought from E-Bay but have since purchased nice metal ones from Cattman (Place Racing):

Vortech Ice/Water reservoir:

Water pump:

Heat Exchanger:



my4dsc: 3

Gallery of Maxima with VQ35DE Kinetix Intake Manifolds.


my4dsc: 2

Owner: Andrew Wint aka maxgtr2000

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

Mod List:

  • Master Power t3/t4 Turbo 50 Trim .63 a/r
  • 370cc Injectors
  • Stock MAF
  • Walbro 255 LPH
  • Monza BOV
  • Mishimoto Intercooler 28 x 7.5 x 2.5
  • Tial 38 MM Wastegate
  • Custom Front feed Y Pipe
  • 2.5″ Downpipe and Full 2.5″ Exhaust
  • 2.5″ cCtalytic Converter and 24″ Resonator
  • 3″ Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler
  • Emanage Blue /w Injector and Ignition Harnesses
  • Emanage Pressure Sensor
  • Pivot Turbo Timer
  • Zeitronix ZT2 Full Wideband w/ Boost Sensor and  EGT
  • iEqqus Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Turbo Oil Feed Restrictor
  • Dual Air Intake Temp Gauge

my4dsc: 4

Owner: Josh Frohman aka ptatohed

Year: 1999
Model: Maxima
Color: White
Transmission: Automatic
Trim: SE

Mod List:

Horse Power and related mods: 

  • Vortech/Stillen V2 supercharger with V2 plate
  • 2.87” Vortech SC pulley (11-12 PSI)
  • Custom 2.5″ intake piping
  • A 5”D x 8”L PWR water to air aftercooler (barrel design) with a Bosch water pump, a Jackson Racing front-mount heat exchanger, and a Vortech ice chest/water reservoir. 
  • 4th gen. Variable Intake ( ” MEVI ” ) set at 5200 RPMs
  • I30t Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) automatic transmission (with Hayden #403 cooler)
  • One-step colder NGK platinum plugs gapped to 0.037” 
  • 12.5 lb 12.2” front rotors (stock are 15lb ea.)
  • Warpspeed Fed Spec aluminum Y-Pipe
  • Cattman cat-back exhaust
  • Budget test pipe (just for dyno and track days)
  • Fed Spec. left bank manifold (CA spec –> Fed Spec left exhaust bank manifold conversion which eliminating the large left bank California pre-cat. Cattman O2 simulator for the two downstream O2 sensors)
  • Perma-Cool oil cooler 
  • Autometer electronic Phantom style boost gauge 
  • Autometer dual intake temperature Phantom style gauge 
  • Custom steering column dual gauge pod 
  • Very rare “manumatic” transmission control module (only +/- 7 made) – A combination of strategically placed thermal insulation and increased engine bay air flow via piping, inlets, and 12V fans for cooler engine and intake temperatures (in progress) 
  • Dyno’d at 323HP/308TQ

Accelerating/Braking/Handling mods:

  • Over 200 pounds in cumulative weight reduction with little/no sacrifice to safety or comfort/convenience. Current weight is sub 3,000 lb 
  • Lightweight 17″ Kosei K1 TS silver wheels (13.7 lb each)
  • Toyo Proxes 4, 235/45/17 Z-Rated tires 
  • 20.8 lb (total per wheel) 12.2” lightweight Wilwood Big Brake Kit (BBK); Wilwood Superlite calipers, Hawk HPS pads and Coleman lightweight 2-piece rotors (OEM = 26.2 lb total per wheel) 
  • Brembo cross-drilled rear rotors with Hawk HPS pads 
  • Steel braided brake lines 
  • Valvoline Syn Power brake fluid
  • Tokico shocks (blue) 
  • Intrax springs (purple….eeerrrr I mean ‘grape’) 
  • Under body aerodynamic/wind diffuser paneling (in progress)

Looks (outside):

  • Recent complete paint job (OEM Icelandic Pearl)
  • Stillen ’97-’99 front lip
  • Ionic Dynamics side skirts modified slightly
  • Ionic one-piece ’97-’99 rear ground effect modified to be filled in flush (no wave) on the back plane
  • Vertical “mouth” slats and license plate holder section from the OEM front bumper cover removed
  • Side view mirrors painted all body color
  • Door guards shaved, all four doors
  • Black ring around the SE door handles painted body color
  • Line that goes all the way around the car has been filled in/shaved 
  • Shaved antenna 
  • All emblems shaved
  • Shaved trunk keyhole
  • Shaved windshield squirters 
  • Shaved SE spoiler
  • Functional 4th generation Toyota Supra turbo hood scoop (available only on European Supras)
  • One piece headlights (R34 style)
  • Sarona grill (version 2)
  • ’95 trunk conversion with the “wave” filled in flush 
  • Custom Enterprise diamond/euro red/clear taillights with chrome/amber bulbs
  • Body color rear license plate frame
  • Rear OEM calipers painted black to match the front Wilwood calipers 
  • Diamond clear bumper lights with chrome/amber bulbs

Looks and creature comforts (inside):

  • All 6 hard plastic A,B,C pillars were replaced with “fuzzy” I30 pillars
  • Black leather tilting I30 headrests
  • Black leather I30 e-brake handle
  • Lowered 3″ automatic shifter. Half brushed aluminum (to match dash kit)/ half perforated black leather (to match SE steering wheel), converted to push-down-to-shift (instead of push button) with black leather auto shift boot
  • Real brushed aluminum dash kit
  • Brushed aluminum sport pedals with black rubber inserts
  • Real leather (black) Redlinegoods e-brake boot
  • Real leather (black) Redlinegoods armrest cover with extra foam padding between the armrest and the leather. 
  • Real leather covered foam padded door elbow/armrest pads (“Mom made”)
  • In-console cup holder (available only on ’96 Maximas)
  • Kenwood double din DVD/Navigation (8017) with fake 2-dimensional security decoy face
  • Auto dimming mirror with temperature display, digital compass and dual map lights
  • Additional OEM Security red LED to the right of the steering wheel (for symmetry, added security and to fill the OEM “dud” panel)
  • 15% window tint all around including a limo windshield strip and limo on the sunroof 
  •  Back seat “fold-up” mod for transporting large/long items
  • New Zealand “PRND21” instrument cluster display (in progress)

my4dsc: 90

Member Credit: Thomas Perdue aka t6378tp

Ok so I figured it was about that time to start a build thread. I have enough pic’s to keep the thread going for awhile so here we go.

I grabbed a 5spd 4gen from a local member for $500.00 with a stillen exhaust, sts, popcharger, alpine radio and upgraded shocks and struts. My plan was to use it as a daily as gas is high and my current daily was a Armada which sucks.

Bringing home the new ride, all loaded up, the truck towed this like it was nothing there.

Hard to think no one bought this for 500 bucks, WTF is happening to the Maxima game.

Needed to make room for the turbo so I relocated the batter to the trunk

Well I’ve seen worse….

Cut out the rust and boxed it back it

Time to start modding the front motor mount to clear the downpipe and semi-lock it out.

Filled it with window weld

Cut out a template for my semi lockout mod while waiting for the poly to dry

OK now to transfer this to metal

Made a plate for both sides and welded it on
Notched the mount to make room for the downpipe and reinforced it a little

All primed, painted and ready to be installed

Installed a stephenmax pftb to dek adapter plate and ported the neck on the intake to match

IACV removed and filled with jb weld, just need to sand it down and make a cover plate for it. Also made a egr bop too.

VAIS bop, now just need to clean up the edges

OK now for the good stuff

1st part of the feedpipe

Starting on the 3inch dp

Wastegate added

Routed the wastegate back into the exhaust seeing how I hated the sound of a open dump on my old car

Feed and downpipe both runs under the oil pan

Added a support bracket on the dp to the trans mount and started to heat wrap everything with lava wrap

Ok so I don’t have a turbo yet and need to keep this project moving and the car driving to save gas. So I made a turbo bop so I can mount the hotside and still drive the car


Exhaust housing and turbo bop installed now just need to make something to connect the dp to the catback

Another angle

Downpipe on

Made a the second half of the downpipe to connect it to the catback in the stock location. I also added a bullet muffler where the car would have been to help keep the noise down. All I want to hear is turbo spool and bov

I am currently driving the car with the turbo bop and hotside install. Next up is to install the coldside while I’m waiting for my turbo in the mail. My goal is to save the foglights so I cut a hole in the rad support and ran the lower intercooler pipe through it.

Ran into a problem didn’t know the foglight brackets bolt to the bumper support. Got to figure this out

 Retained the bumper support ends, welded some extra support brackets to them and bolted the passenger side on but had to gut the drivers side so I could run the intercooler pipe inside and welded that it on the body.

Painted the intercooler black

Put the bumper cover back on a ran into a new problem

This is how I fixed it, I extended the light harness and moved the bulb from the center to the end of the lens

How it looks with the bumper back on

Tinted the fogs

Added a stillen front lip

Running the rest of the intercooler piping

Made a intercooler pipe bead roller so I don’t have to keep running to the shop

Intercooler piping from turbo to intercooler is done and rolled, yep one pipe that’s it
3″ intake pipe so I can retain the IACV


Solid one piece cattman MAF adapter

Turbo came so I ran the intercooler piping to the tb
Found a good deal on some coilovers with one blown strut so I sold my blues and stechs

Had to make some brake line brackets out of some sheet metal I had sitting around

Scored some 5.5gen calipers, brackets, pads and rotors for cheap

4gen vs 5.5gen


All buttoned up

So I dropped the car another 1/2inch all around over the stechs for a total of 2.75 front and 2.3 rear

Another angle

The stock drivers seat had a tear in the leather and I couldn’t find a decent replacement for less than 100 bucks. So I got a pair of these with sliders for 258shipped

Since no one makes brackets for a decent price and I had no clue if the ones I found would fit these seats I made my own brackets out of the OEM seats

Welded the brackets directly to the seats


All buttoned up, just need to figure out the seat belts now

New gauge pod with a wb02 and vac/boost gauge

Turbo came, gps gt35, t4, off center, 3inch vband dp, .68 exhaust ar

The pftb, 2013 GTR injectors, vias bop, ported 00vi, cleaned, painted and ready to be installed
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1st up timing cover

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So I treated myself to a racing jacket, another vafc2 since mine took a crap and going to upgrade some of my intercooler piping from 2.5 to 3inch

New engine bay pics with 3inch intercooler piping, more deleting, cleaning and polishing

Did some painting too

Aas you can see I blew my MAF apart which is common but nothing rtv and zip ties can’t fix, lol
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ditched the crappy looking rusty oem rad brackets for these
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finally scored a pathfinder bose radio
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ordered a meth kit
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Went to a dyno meet the following day and made 300hp on 7psi with the spark blowing out


my4dsc: 393