Interior, Audio & Video Mods


Member Credit: Anthony Carter

Tools Needed:

  • Hard Plastic Blade to Remove Shifter Cover and Bent Box (Flathead may mess up your dash)
  • #2 Phillips
  • Small Phillips
  • Small Flathead to help disconnect electrical connectors in back of climate control unit
  • 8mm Socket w/ Extension.

Pop out the vent up top.

Pop out the shifter cover plastic.

Remove 4 8mm bolts and pull the radio/climate control out.

Disconnect the electrical connectors.

Remove 4 Phillips head screws (pita) that hold climate control in.

Remove 4 small Phillips head screws from back of climate control.

Pop off white cover as shown in photo.

Replace bulbs.




my4dsc: 67

Member Credit: Mr DoLLa aka Raul

When you remove your OEM radio, there are 4 plugs that plug into the radio. Only 2 of the 4 connectors are used with your new aftermarket radio which are the 2 connectors with the larger size pins. The other 2 are not used but the VSS wire is the brown wire located on the larger of the 2 connectors not being used.

Definition: Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) via Crutchfield

In addition to the standard power and ground leads, remote-mount navigation (and even some in-dash units) systems connect to a vehicle’s Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) wire. Your vehicle’s cruise control uses the VSS wire to determine the vehicle’s speed — it serves the same function for the navigation system. (Don’t substitute the tachometer signal wire for the VSS wire — the tach signal wire sends pulses as long as the engine is running, even when the car is sitting still.) The VSS wire sends a series of pulses (from 800 to just over 1,000 per mile) only when the vehicle is in motion. If the VSS wire is not hooked up, the navigation system will not realize that the car is moving at all, and will be unable to track position.

my4dsc: 87

Member Credit: shift_ice

Installation procedure:

1) Remove the kick panel underneath the steering wheel. There are 2 screws at the bottom of the trim and snaps at the top. Get the screws removed and pull towards the rear of the car to release the snaps.

2) Disconnect the dimmer (and heated steering switch) wires and remove the panel from the work area.

3) Underneath the steering column is a metal support brace that is held on by two nuts. Remove both of them with a socket wrench and remove the plate. The bolts are stationary.

4) About the same location as that bar, but further towards the sky are two more nuts that hold the steering column in place. The bolts are stationary, so you just remove the nuts. This will “drop” the steering column down about 6 inches (which is enough clearance to remove the trim).

5) Using a small screwdriver, remove the 2 bolts at the top of the instrument cluster trim.

6) Using your hands (or a small flat screwdriver wrapped in a cloth), pry apart the top of the cluster trim from the dashboard and pull towards the rear of the car. The bottom of the cluster trim snaps out.

7) Lay the trim off to the side (you do not have to disconnect everything, just move it out of the way)

8) Remove the 3 screws that are holding in the white tabs of the instrument cluster. Pull the cluster out.

9) Disconnect the electrical connectors to the cluster and remove the cluster completely.

10) There are snaps around the clear plastic cover on the cluster. Gently pry the up to remove the plastic cover.

11) Press gauge rings into place. They come with adhesive.

12) Clean the plastic cover front and back double checking for fingerprints and lint and reinstall.

13) Repeat steps 1-9 backwards to reinstall.


Using the steps above the installation is pretty simple. And the results? Very clean. Understated. Classy. It really makes the cluster look much more 3-demensional. The pictures simply don’t do them justice, particularly at night. The light from the gauges makes the rings shimmer. Well worth $35!



Comparison with/without rings side by side:

my4dsc: 11

Member Credit: shift_ice

I’ve always thought the 5th gen. Maxima emergency brake boot was chintzy looking, particularly the fact that the end of the plastic base is visible through the rubber boot. I purchased a black Italian leather shift boot with titanium stitching from redlinegoods.com. It was shipped quickly and came all the way from Poland within just a few days.


  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Belt wrench (in case shifter knob is too tight)


1. Remove ashtray insert to expose the screw behind it. Remove screw.

2. Open armrest and remove screw on the back wall of the storage console.

3. Remove one screw from each side of the armrest unit on the lower corner.

4. Pull up on the trim around the shifter on the side closer to the cupholders. This will release clips.

5. Remove the shift knob by twisting counter clockwise. It will be very tight and may require a belt style wrench.

6. Remove the trim piece by pulling up on both sides of the shifter and pulling down underneath the climate controls

7. Remove the two screws circled in red:

8. Disconnect the three clips on the back of the trim piece. Use a flathead screwdriver to release the clips.

9. Two clips remain securing the armrest console. They are visible inside the console. Release one clip from each side.

10. The console can now be lifted up and over the top of the emergency brake. If you have heated seats the wiring will still hold the console down a bit. Remove these plugs as well if you choose, but it’s not necessary.

The console removed and sitting off to the side:

11. If you choose, you can remove the rubber shift boot and install the leather shift boot in its place. To do so, remove the rubber boot attached to the console by pulling down from underneath on the passenger’s side and pulling up from above on the driver’s side. The leather boot  should  come with the holes necessary to attach to the points where the rubber boot was. I emphasize should because mine didn’t. This wasn’t a problem for me because I chose to leave the rubber boot in place and just install the boot over the e-brake. I prefer this look since there is no extra bunching material this way.

The rubber boot partially removed:

12. If you chose to install the leather boot in place of the rubber boot, reinstall the rubber boot  underneath   the leather boot. They can share the same mount points and the rubber boot will secure the leather boot and be out of sight under the leather boot. If you choose to leave the rubber boot in tact (as I did), just slide the leather boot over the emergency brake and pull it down as far as possible.

13. Reinstall console in reverse order. The results:

my4dsc: 19

Member Credit: shift_ice

Many 5thgen owners complain about rear window wind noise. A TSB exists for ’00 and ’01 Maximas, but all 5th generations can exhibit this issue. If you’re outside your warranty or just prefer to do it yourself, it’s an inexpensive and simple fix.

 The wind noise comes from the rear corner of the rear windows. I purchased 3M foam tape from a local auto parts store (Advance Auto Parts) for around 8 bucks. The strip is 1/2″ x 3/4″ and is adhesive on one side:

Home Depot also sells the weather strip, but in a slightly different dimension. Just try to get foam weather stripping in a similar size to the foam picture above and it should do the trick.


  1. Roll window all the way down. The seal that needs removed is traced in red.

  2. Remove the seal above as far as possible. It’s easiest to start the removal just below the corner.

  3. Install foam in the channel where the seal was installed:

  4. While the TSB doesn’t mention it, I also added foam into the channel in the seal for good measure:

  5. Reinstall seal
  6. Enjoy a quieter interior!

This can be performed on the front windows as well to further quiet your interior if you prefer.

my4dsc: 35

Member Credit: shift_ice & Chris.s

For those who want to try tackling this on their own, below is a write-up by Maxima.org member Chris.s. Be forewarned that a few screws that need to be removed aren’t outlined (namely, the front mounting plate) and you need a good toolkit to do this right. A few tips:

  • The job requires a wide variety of small screwdrivers – I have a huge assortment and still didn’t have all I needed. Many different screw sizes, all smaller than the drivers many typically have.
  • A good soldering iron and some basic skills in soldering
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Good organization – when completely disassembled you have a pile of around 50 screws, 4 springs, 4 liquid filled shock absorbers, and your Radio/HVAC will be in about 10 separate pieces. I suggest sitting screws in separate piles to keep track of which step they’re associated with. If you lump them all together in one cup it’ll be a mess figuring out what screw to use.
  • Be very careful removing the vents – if you use the pry method you can mar your dash/vents if you’re not careful. Use a good towel, or if you’re strong enough, I recommend just grabbing the vents at the top (with your thumbs hooked inside the top vent) and pulling up and toward you until the clips brake loose.
  • Slot out a good 4 hours to complete the work. This assumes a moderate pace with no big hang ups along the way (stripped screws for instance).
  • If your screwdriver doesn’t quite fit, don’t try to make it work. You’ll end up stripping the screw, drilling it out, and hunting at Home Depot for some decent replacement. Do yourself a favor and spend the money on a wide array of screwdrivers/bits.
  • Carefully reassemble in the exact reverse order. Don’t wing it or you’ll end up having to backtrack when you realize you have an extra part or two.


Tools required:

  • Large flat head screwdriver with a thick terry or 100% cotton cloth
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Soldering iron with solder and wick (used to remove solder)
  • Set of needle nose pliers.

1. IMPORTANT!! Remove ANY TAPES AND ALL CDS from the changer!!!

2. Disconnect battery negative terminal

3. Remove the vent sash using the flat screwdriver with the cloth over top (if done carefully you should not damage your dash so don’t worry)

4. Pop out the shifter trim, put shifter in 4th (manual) or L(auto) to make removal easier.

5. Once you remove the 4 screws from the HU bracket pull the unit outwards and prop it up on either the shifter or dash so you can remove the harnesses.

Stereo and climate control units removed from vehicle

Remove these screws. (you may need to use a ratchet)


Use a flat screwdriver for these clips to remove the face.

Use a flat screwdriver for these clips to remove the face.

Remove these. The top right one is a really small screw.

Remove these. Don’t remove the one circled in white

Use a screw driver to pop the plate off.

Once inside, remove the tape deck by removing the 4 circled screws and pulling up on the tape unit.

With tape deck removed….

Remove the screws holding the 2 side plates on. Remove these plates by sliding them upwards. (opposite side not shown)

With pliers, twist this so it is inline with the slot on the PCB

Remove this ribbon cable by pulling it out. You should now be able to pull the “Radio/tape” portion of the unit up and completely clear of the CD changer.

Begin removing the screws from the CD changer cover….

CD Changer with cover off…
Note: The 2 plastic posts on either side of the laser “May” fall out during handling. Simply put them back before reassembly.

Remove these black screws to expose the daughter board.

1. Remove the 2 black screws from the board.
2. Desolder the 2 posts circled in yellow. Remove as much solder as possible using solder wick.
3. Unlatch the brown ribbon connector by CAREFULLY sliding the 2 leavers on either end away from the connector. This ribbon cable should slide out of the connector with close to 0 resistance.
3. Bend the posts which were desoldered so that you can lift this PCB out.

***This ribbon connector is one of 2 responsible for the audio cut out.***

Put this aside.

Remove the 2 screws and the steel plate covering the rubber mounts. (do this on both sides)

Remove these 4 springs carefully with a set of small needle nose pliers.

Remove the 4 rubber mounts from each corner. Be careful not to puncture these as they are liquid filled. Remove the CD Changer from the chassis…

Remove this ribbon cable from the bottom of the CD changer

These types of semi-rigid cables are notorious for wearing and not making a complete connection in the connector type used. The contacts bend over time with the pressure from the contact pins. Since the ribbon is no longer in its original flat shape, a poor contact is made and therefore NO ******* AUDIO

My “solution” is simple. Reseat the ribbon cable back into the connector but do not insert it fully. This way the pins are going to press on a “fresh” part of the ribbon.

Sadly I do not believe this is a permanent solution. However It has worked for myself and another. I would expect this to last at least as long as the original connection did.

A permanent and proper solution would be to solder brand new wires from one PCB to the other. This isn’t exactly easy. If I do experience another failure before I choose to replace the HU for something else then I will try it.

Here are pictures of how much to leave the connector out. They are not the best pictures but should be good enough. Do this for both sides of the ribbon cable.

Reassemble in the reverse order. (don’t you hate that…)

When putting the rubber liquid filled mounts back in, make sure that each of the posts from the CD player assembly is completely inside the rubber hole.

my4dsc: 58