Engine Bay Mods


Credit: Eddy

This is a great alternative to replacing your 6-speed knob on your Nissan Maxima. The original knobs are discontinued and no longer available. If you do find them brand new, the pricing is usually over $200. The GTR R34 is the same and will work great. It’s only $30 bucks more than the original pricing of the 2002-2006 6-speed shift knob. You’ll also require an adapter to convert M12 thread to M10, which is available for under $10.00. Additionally, we suggest using Permatex 25210 High Strength Removable Threadlocker.

OEM Part Number: 32865-AA420
Original Price:
$160.00 to $180.00

Adapter: https://a.co/d/hvmRViO
Orange Thread Locker: https://a.co/d/2ZfAk2k

Applicable Cars: 

  • 1995-1999 6-Speed 4thgen Nissan Maxima (IF MANUAL SWAPPED ONLY)
  • 2000-2001 6-Speed 5thgen Nissan Maxima (IF MANUAL SWAPPED ONLY)
  • 2002-2003 6-Speed 5thgen Nissan Maxima (FACTORY OEM)
  • 2004-2006 6-Speed 5thgen Nissan Maxima (FACTORY OEM)


Credit: Sam Jacobs

I promised I would do this, and here it is ages later lol. This is a write up on swapping an auto 5.5 Max to a 6spd. It’s off my memory and old posts, so I will add stuff as I remember. All pictures are on the bottom!

Parts Needed:

First thing is first, you will need all of the parts to complete the swap before even reading this. There are a few good posts on the Org which cover this. Basics of course are the transmission, shifter assembly and cables, manual trans mount, flywheel and clutch, clutch pedal spacer, clutch pedal itself, and a few other misc things I will add as I think of them. You DO NOT need to swap engine wiring harnesses. If you want to, go ahead, but Nisformance actually recommends not swapping any harnesses or computers.

Onto the process itself- I found myself a donor car, so my first order of business was breaking that car down for all of the parts- this makes things easier.

Installation Steps:

Step 1. Obviously, you need to cut loose all of the parts from your auto. This includes; The brake pedal, the transmission, the shifter and it’s cable, and cutting off the automatic trans mount. I only cut it on the side of the frame rail, no need to cut the top off, it assists with the strength of the metal.

Step 2. Possibly one of the harder parts of this job for me was mounting the master clutch cylinder. On my car, I had a patch in the firewall insulation on my auto car, but no holes in the firewall itself. What I did was mount the patch piece up to my donor car, and drew a couple holes. I then taped the piece onto my firewall and drilled two holes, followed by the large middle hole for the cylinder itself.

Do not worry about having the best accuracy here, the clutch pedal itself has two bolts under the dash. But please, TAKE YOUR TIME with this. The more precise you are, the better. When installing the clutch pedal and cylinder, be sure to install the spacer in between the firewall and pedal, there are spacers out there, but might not be any new ones left so you may have to get creative. Also install the brake pedal from the manual car while you are down there. Okay, now that your clutch pedal and master cylinder are attached, you can proceed to step 3.

Step 3. Mount your shifter assembly and route the cables through your firewall. What I had to do was cut the bracket that covers the opening a bit, and then I was able to make it work. Use Dynamat to cover the hole, or whatever your creative brain desires. You will have to find two bolts that fit through the trans tunnel as the studs the auto used, no longer exist.

IMPORTANT: Use loctite and lock washers, otherwise you will lose your bolts.

At this point, you should have the pedal/cylinder mounted as well as the shifter, that’s a good bit. You can now install your flywheel and clutch, see other posts for torque specs until I post them.

Step 4. Put the transmission in. This takes a lot of time and patience, esp if you have raised motor mounts. You can look up tips and vids on installing it. As far as mounting the bracket, there’s a couple options here. You can weld it on, or run two bolts through the top like I did. I wanted the part to be removable so pick your poison. This mount doesn’t really hold the motor/trans up, just keeps it all tight and straight when driving hard. Install your MANUAL transmission axles.

Step 5. It’s now time for wiring, this is easy, even for me who hates wiring. So you will see a few methods on wiring the car so that it cranks over. You do as you please, multiple methods work!!! But I suggest to wire it like a factory car. To do this, you will need to have the REAR connector off the clutch pedal. Take one wire and ground it, and the other wire needs to go to the INHIBIT relay in the relay box in front of the battery. You will be tapping into the

Green/Orange wire with the wire off the clutch pedal. This allows the car to function as it came from the factory, it will not crank without the clutch pedal depressed. Now you have to wire the starter. The automatic starter has the connector you need. Cut it off (as well as the one off the manual starter) and attach the auto connector to the manual starter.

You can now connect your shift cables to the trans, one piece clutch line to the slave cylinder (bleed it of course), and you should be ready to start the car.

Reverse lights also need to be wired up

Step 6. Wire in the reverse lights. On the auto harness, you will see 3 connectors that don’t plug into anything. The bigger of the 3 is what you use. Take the Green/White wire and put it to the green/white wire on the manual trans. Same for the Orange wire (I believe the orange wire you want is the one further from the green/white wire, I will update when I can). I cant remember off the top of my head which orange and which green/white to use. There’s two of each, so just experiment a bit. I can update this when I’m with the car again and have a picture.

At this point you should have a manual transmission car! This is the major steps, of course there are other components such as filling the trans with the PROPER oil, swapping clusters if you don’t want to see the auto gear letters, putting a manual trans shift bezel on, etc…


Credit: Joey Edwin

You might be aware that Vision One Racing has recently introduced adapters designed to accommodate a K-tuned shifter in a Maxima, Altima, or SE-R. I managed to install one in my friend’s Maxima and the installation process was rather straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need:

Installation Notes:

  • The only modifications required were to remove the four standard mounting studs and drill four new holes for the mount. After that, everything else fit flawlessly.
  • The overall feel is vastly improved and less loose compared to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) shifter. I highly endorse it.
  • The only component that doesn’t fit is the shifter bezel.


Install Reference


Credit: Jose Vargas

Parts that are needed for the BOV AN setup. These are the parts I used so it can route it the way I wanted, might be a bit different for everyone else depending how you guys have your BOV and location. I bought everything off of this site, I see they don’t carry 3AN anymore but it can still be done with 4AN as well. Post links with 4AN option.


Reference Photos

1/8 NPT 3AN Fitting

Tapping this later today when my drill bit and tap arrive from amazon

Original nipple that was on BOV it is a 1/8 NPT

All that extra hose removed



Credit: xHypex, Mishmosh, and Keven97SE

General Tools:

  • 1/4″ and 3/4″ socket sets with extensions.
  • Have a magnet antenna handy.
  • Wear gloves when breaking bolts loose.
  • Optional: vacuum gauge to measure manifold vacuum levels before and after (Should be 18-22inHg roughly, and identical before and after the install).
  • Stay Organized as there is a lot that comes off the manifold that will need to be replaced on the new VI. Keep bolts/gaskets/tools together in an organized fashion.


  • Unpack your VI and misc parts. Quickly identify what parts are used for what. Consult the schematic for bolts that look similar.
  • Start by inserting the O-ring into the outer right depression where your rod will insert.
  • Lube contact points on the rod and insert into the VI. Make sure the Right end of the rod will rotate and touch the contact plate on the VI.
  • Install all 6 butterfly valves using the smallest screws, 2 for each valve. You may want to dab some silicone adhesive or Loc-Tite on the threads to insure that they will not break free.
  • Align cover gasket and collector cover using the 9 cover bolts.
  • Attach the vacuum lever to the VI (2 bolts), making sure the end connects to the rod end properly to rotate the valves open and closed.
  • Unscrew the brake booster vacuum port from your stock manifold and install it on the VI, maintain proper orientation.


(Order not strictly important in some cases)

  • (bolts are 10mm and 12mm)
  • disconnect all connections coming of the rear harness that overlies the manifold. You do not need to label these as their position, size, and color will guide reinstallation.
  • unbolt all brackets on the top of the manifold. Replace each bolt you remove immediately to their corresponding position on the new manifold to keep organized.
  • swing harness off the the left and out of the way.
  • Unhook throttle and cruise cables and their brackets.
  • PCV tubing: Unclamp the hose leading to the PCV where it attaches to the manifold and remove the entire unit (including PCV valve). You can choose to install in on the VI at this point or set it aside.
  • TB: Loosen and remove the 4 retaining bolts. Handle the gasket with care as it is thin and can easily be cracked. If it is stuck on, release it with the tab that is on one of the edges. You do not have to remove the intake hardware.
  • IAC: Loosen and remove the 3 retaining bolts. Before you can remove the upper rear bolt, you will need to remove the 10mm bolt that holds in the bracket that impedes access. Let the bracket fall as it is held by leads that are attached to the EGR guide tube. As with the TB, handle the IAC gasket with care. If it is stuck on, release it with the tab that is on one of the edges.
  • EGR guide tube: should now be in view with the IAC unit removed. It is held in by two bolts with two fat washers–make sure you secure the metal gasket and washers as you pull out the bolts.
  • Rear Manifold retaining bolts. Located on each side at the rear of the manifold. They are near impossible to see and need to be felt. I would recommend a 1/4″ ratchet with 12mm socket.
  • Front retaining bolts: remove all five 12mm bolts along the front ports of the manifold.
  • Coolant hoses. You will want to do this LAST. Just below the EGR guide tube are two coolant hoses. You need to try to rotate the clamp so that you can loosen them with pliers by squeezing the tabs and remove the hose. Lift up the end of the manifold to give yourself room. Very little coolant will leak out once done.


  • first, place the new upper-to-lower manifold gasket in the proper orientation and alignment (with tab in front and to the left).
  • carefully place the manifold ports over the gasket while making sure the rest of the manifold is fitted properly in place at the same time. You may find it useful to remove the cylinder bolted to the firewall that the cruise control cable is attached to, so as to facilitate proper placement of the rear of the manifold. Before you install the 5 front retaining bolts, you will need to thread in the two rear retaining bolts. Hold the front ports in place over the gasket by installing and loosely tightening only the left and right front bolts. You will probably need to vary slightly the position the rear of the manifold to thread in the two retaining bolts.
  • reverse the order of manifold removal (above) for reinstallation of the rest of the components.

RPM Vacuum Actuator Subsystem

  • Required components: RPM Switch (ie. Harlan), Relay, Control Solenoid, Vacuum canister, one-way check valve (if not built into canister), ~3ft rubber hose (no greater than 3/16″ I.D. but preferably a tad smaller than that, if available), one 3/16″ T-piece.
  • RPM Switch: Positioning the RPM Switch is done by personal preference. You may find that if using a coil pack input signal that an engine bay location (ie. near relay box) may be preferable and that if using the TAM screw in your gauge cluster that a *****pit location may be preferable (ie. gearbox, underneath dash, etc.).
  • Relay: Connect the Switched Ground from the RPM switch to the ground of your relay. Connect the car’s 12VDC supply to the 12V switch input and supply terminals on the relay. The 12VDC output on the relay will connect to the control solenoid. The relay serves to convert the RPM’s switched ground output into a switched 12VDC line, so that the solenoid does not ground through the limited power capability of the Harlan circuit.
  • Control Solenoid: powered by the switched 12VDC line from the relay and grounded to the car’s ground. A pair of grounding bolts is conveniently found just in front of the intake manifold which can serve this purpose. The main vacuum line of the solenoid should attach to the vacuum lever of the VI (“the golden globe”-like object). The default port of the solenoid is left unterminated, open to air. The switched port of the solenoid is connected to the vacuum canister output.
  • Vacuum Canister: Supplied by manifold vacuum. If your canister does not have a built in one-way check valve like the NAPA unit (large nipple is the input, small nipple is the output), then insert a one-way check valve in between manifold vacuum and the canister input. Make sure the directionality is correct (ie. flow of air TO the manifold vacuum source).
  • Manifold Vacuum: Many potential lines are available for T-piecing. I suggest the Fuel Pressure regulator which is close proximity to the front right corner of the VI.


  • Test the Harlan RPM switch for proper capture of either the coil/Tach line. When setting values, make sure you press each settings button for >2sec. It is desirable to set the RPM set point low for easy testing (ie. 1000rpm). Even without connecting anything to the Harlan, the LED on the circuit board will light when the switched ground is activated at the programmed set point.
  • Test the vacuum system to insure that the canister is producing suction at it’s output. Simply start the car and put your finger on the canister output and feel for suction. The vacuum canister should store vacuum that is equal to manifold vacuum.
  • Test solenoid function by either connect a 12VDC line from the battery (with car idling and vacuum system connected), or after the whole system is set up, by pulling on the throttle cable and watching the VI vacuum lever activate (again, test set point of 1000rpm on the Harlan).



Directly facing the IAC, this pic of the right side of theIAC shows the 10mm bolt that you need to remove to get the bracket out of the way of one of the 3 retaining bolts. That cable you see is connected to the EGR guide tube.

shows some butterfly’s installed. Pay particular attention to how the end of the rod lines up with the stopping plate (on the right). The butterfly’s are not sided so any side is fine. The rod has one side rounded and the other flat so there is no question which side to mount the valves.

Rear retaining bolt that you need to feel out and remove. 12mm

Side view with the stock intake manifold out. Key structures: Mounting brackets for the two manifold retaining bolts. EGR guide tube. Rear coolant hose. TB/CAI. throttle/cruise cable along firewall with that cylindrical structure attached to the firewall (which I removed cause it made position the new VI a little difficult).

Right rear side pic showing EGR: note the 12mm bolt and the fat washer. In the lower right corner of the pic, you can see the coolant hose. There is also another one on the other side of the EGR (out of view).

Side view of the installed vacuum actuator. Manifold vacuum fed from the Fuel Pressure Reg vacuum line down below >> Vacuum canister >> Switched port of the solenoid >> main port of the solenoid to VI vacuum lever.

Ground bolt–a convenient place to ground. (Credit: xHypex)

Relay that activates MAP switch. Can you tell which it is? (I don’t have ABS)

Vacuum Canister mounted near the strut mount (it will be painted soon)

Nissan vacuum canister adds to the OEM look

Nissan MAP switch

Nissan Check Valve connected to the FPR vacuum via a F fitting

After installing the VI your EVAP will not have a place to mount. On the ’99s the EVAP is a small electrical sensor and sits nicely on top of the manifold. 95-98s have a mechanical EVAP which is larger.

Vacuum actuator arm moves forward when the vacuum kicks in.

Side view

Here’s the FSM diagram of the MEVI

Large, Closeup pictures of the MEVI Collector

MEVI Installed on Ian’s Car


MEVI with Cover on my car

Wiring Diagrams
(courtesy of Keven97SE and Mishmosh)


Alternate Wiring Diagram

FSM Vacuum Diagram


Ian’s Dynoes: Dyno Run 1 and 3 were baseline runs and on 5 the VI opened at 5k.

Dyno HP

Dyno TQ

Dyno HP & TQ

Spreadsheet with RPM, HP, TQ

MEVI Results

speedtrip’s dynoes:

CAI/Y-pipe (baseline) CAI

Ypipe with VI Hybrid

Ypipe with VI

Spreadsheet with RPM, HP, TQ

Speedtrip VI2


Engineered to perform where others have failed, Racingline Strut bars are engineered to be both classic in style and functional in design.

Price: $99.99

Designed to be a simple bolt on product, the Racingline strut tower bar connects the strut towers to provide for a more rigid chassis that rewards the driver with greater steering feedback and response. Along with the improved steering feel, better cornering ability and stability are also realized. Allowing the driver to more confidently control the vehicle during cornering maneuvers.

Ample space around the intake manifold is enough to accommodate popular IM spacer kits.

Internally the bar is divided into 3 chambers with 2 vertical walls to aid in rigidity, while maintaining the light properties aluminum is known for. Available in a high luster polish or semi gloss black.

Will fit both 3.0L and 3.5L equipped models.

Installation Instructions

PDF Version: 18631_Install


Motor Mount Inserts (MMI’s) Help to eliminate excess engine movement by stiffening the vehicles torque position motor mounts.

Price: $49.99

Used in conjunction with the original stock motor mount, these inserts will help to:

  • eliminate wheel hop, giving you better off-the-line traction
  • drastically improve shifting in both automatics and manuals resulting in faster gear changes
  • improve throttle response by eliminating excess drivetrain movement.

Stock motor mounts are made to be supportive yet limit vibration as much as possible to keep the car comfortable for the masses who buy them, not the performance enthusiast. In the attempt to keep the car soft, play has been introduced into the mount that cause damaging wheel hop and a lot of engine movement which can actually damage vehicle components during spirited driving. Shift linkages and gears can possibly be damaged due to the motors rocking motion and misalignment with the shift linkage.

MMI’s help protect against this by keeping the motor in a stationary position during high revving conditions and resist the motors tendency to “bounce” back and forth during shifting operations

SOLD IN SETS OF 2, these fit the lower front and rear engine mounts

Front only available for 5AT & CVT vehicles not wanting to lower subframe for installation. All other models can install as per instructions.

Installation Instructions

PDF Version: L31A34_MMI_Install