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Credit: Fezzik (David Honey)

This is a simple how-to on going from plain to chrome

This works for all 5th and 5.5th gen Maximas. This install is basically the same for the 5.0th gen and the 5.5th gen maximas. This install is on my 2000 maxima I had previously. I sold the car awhile back and bought my 2002 6-speed maxima.I loved the chrome gauges so much i installed them on my 2002 and the install was almost exactly the same. The difference will be show further down the page.

First Lower the steering wheel to the max.You do not have to lock it into place. Just let it sit all the way down. Now you have to unscrew everything. There are a few screws that are on the underside of the steering column.These need to come out. When you have the screws out the top part will pop off.This is done by fitting a thin blade screwdriver in between the two.This is what the manual said to do but I was able to do this by just using my hands and pressure to pry apart.. Do not worry if you can not remove the lower piece.

This is what it looks like with the top part off.Do not worry about removing any of the wires show in the picture above.These can stay.Now the black piece that is surrounding the cluster gauge (which has theside view mirror switch, interior light control, and some cars memory seats on the left side and a sloted area on bottom right as seen above)will need to come out.This is done by removing two screws from the top of the place piece .Then this piece is held in place with just clips. IMPORTANT:This part will now pull away from the dash. Do this lightly.You have wires that go to the switches that you will tear if you pull too hard.Also note to Auto Climate control Maximas:there is a temp wire and a tube that is in the slot in the bottom right of the pic above.

Above Pic is of the two switches on the bottom right that have to be removed. I had to do it this way by removing them after i pulled the cluster out a little because when i removed the switches there wasnt enough wire lenght to get my hands back to take apart the switch.If you can remove the switches and then remove the connectors then that’ll be easier.

The Pic below is for the people who have Auto Climate control. I do not remember if people with non auto climate have this or not.Would not hurt to check.The connector is the one that is in complete focus that looks like it lies behind the slotted area on the black cluster surrounding.Disconnect this. There is also a plastic acordian tubing that is connecting to this point also. This is easy to disconnect.

Below pic is of the cluster surrounding removed.Notice the two connectors on the left, the one on the right and the black tube on the right.

Now there are 3 obvioius screws that are holding the cluster in place. Remove these. and the cluster comes out like so:

Disconnect the 3 connectors above and the cluster is free from the car.

I don’t have a pic of what needs to be done next.You will need to remove the clear plastic.In the above pic you can see the latches of the clear plastic.These are easy to remove but a caution as they are easy to break also.I bought a new plastic piece to put back so it will look new again cause mine had tons of micro scratches that were getting on my nerves.

Once you have the clear plastic piece removed, here is where the steps fork.If you have a 5.5th gen then you will not need to make your fuel and temp gauge any bigger, or if they have finally made smaller rings for the 5.0th gens then you won’t. I dont know if they do make smaller rings. If you do not have to make the holes bigger then for the 5.5th gen just pop out the silver rings that are in there and place the new rings in.5.0th gens do not have these silver rings as seen above.Just put in the new rings.

These next steps are only for people who need to make bigger the holes for the fuel and temp gauges.Remove the black piece that is covering that has the holes in it like seen below.

See the dremel in the pic.Well this is what I used to bore out the holes until the rings fit.

 

Notice how I seem to make the hole higher up. There is not much room on the bottom part (it will hang off the cluster piece if too low) or on the sides (each top side has no more room and you can not get too close to the center or the center big ring and the side ring will hit).

The below pic is a picture of the rings in place. See how there is barely any room on the bottom of the rings and how the big and small rings pretty much touch.

Reassemble like how you took it apart.Here is what I found in my car as I went back out to put the cluster back into the car.I’m working hard and he’s taking it easy.

After everything is re-installed the final pic. Trust me the picture does not do it justice. It looks great.

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Credit: SeedyROM

NOTE: This is not a custom LED wiring/replacement thread. This is an LED bulb replacement solution I found since 5.5 owners don’t have as many options as earlier models. That is, until now. Total cost being around ~$15 and a half an hour of time.

First some history. In TunerMaxima3000’s custom LED thread (link here) we found out that these later 5.5 clusters are more restrictive and only have two illumination bulbs for the actual gauges (+2 more for the odometer/trip). This means that traditional drop-ins, narrow beam LEDs, etc look terrible in our clusters. I myself tried to use various #74 bulbs from O’Reilly and the same #74 LED from SuperBrightLEDs.com that some ’00 guys used. All of these either did little or looked even worse. However, I decided not to give up and bought every version of #74 LED that SuperBrightLEDs sold, figuring if I could create a similar beam pattern to the stock bulb I might get close enough to live with it.

Well I’m pleased to report that I found one specific LED that worked and is MUCH better than stock. First off, be warned that you will get some slight hot-spotting in that certain areas are a bit brighter than others. However, if your cluster is like mine, there’s already hot-spotting with STOCK bulbs (see pic). After the upgrade, overall brightness is at least triple what my stock lighting was and it actually smoothed out some of the hot-spotting. Overall I am very happy with it for a total cost of around $15 (four LEDs).

These are the exact LEDs I found that worked the best as a pure solution. I chose the Cool White color (#74-CWHP3) which ends up being a mild blue as seen in pics below.

Model: 74-xHP3 – YOU WILL WANT FOUR OF THEM (2 for gauges, 2 for odometer/trip)
Link: https://www.superbrightleds.com/74-led-bulb-3-smd-led-miniature-wedge-base

They might be a bit loose in the bulb holder but a flathead screwdriver can be used to push the metal leads together a bit and get a good fit. Also be warned that the 5.5 has a blue film that means changing colors probably wont work well so stick with the Cool White when you choose the color. Any other color is at your own risk. (UPDATE: Warm White pics below)

Anyway, here are the results. Same camera, same dark garage just a few weeks apart. The pics are 100% untouched in Photoshop other than to reduce the image size. The pic was actually brightened a bit because the photo was darker than reality. The difference is night and day on my Max.

100% Stock ’02 cluster. Note how there are hotspots even from the factory.

After pic, 100% unmodified. Note the hot spots which are still there but actually a bit less obvious than stock and blend better. The temp gauge though does appear overall darker than the rest.

Here are a few closeups, also 100% unmodified. The bulb actually sits right behind the 5,000RPM area which is why that’s slightly brighter.

The other side. Again like above, the bulb sits behind the 60mph area causing it to be brighter. Still looks great compared to stock!

So there you have it. A possible very cheap solution to get a noticeable improvement in your stock 5.5 gauge cluster lighting. Please take note that I just finished this tonight and have no guarantees on longevity or that my results will be exactly the same as yours. I have also not tested on other year clusters. That said, you really aren’t risking much (around $15-$20) in attempting this as long as you’re comfortable removing the cluster, which is not difficult at all.

Post up any questions or concerns and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Video of the dimmer switch functioning properly.

So there you have it. A possible very cheap solution to get a noticeable improvement in your stock 5.5 gauge cluster lighting. Please take note that I just finished this tonight and have no guarantees on longevity or that my results will be exactly the same as yours. I have also not tested on other year clusters. That said, you really aren’t risking much (around $15-$20) in attempting this as long as you’re comfortable removing the cluster, which is not difficult at all.

Additional Info:

Closeup pictures of the actual wedge bulb holders. They really are easy to replace once you get the cluster out. You re-use the black holder, just pop out the old bulb and install the new LED as seen in the pic. Thanks to nelledge for the photos.

These photos may help to get a better idea. A few posts up (#238) is a picture of the bulbs you are replacing. You can see that they have a wedge base not a threaded base.

For those curious about the backside cluster differences, here are the pics from the original thread. First is what you earlier model guys have. I think these are from an ’00 that TunerMaxima3000 posted. Note the center bulbs you can change out with a much better layout.

And here’s what my ’02 cluster looks like. I removed the black plastic cover but you can see that we don’t have the same center bulbs for easy lighting. Instead we only have the top two corner black ones to light all four gauges and you need a perfect beam pattern to do it. The bottom two corner bulbs are for the square odometer/trip meter only. I don’t think you HAVE to replace those but it wont look as clean since the odometer/trip meter will be yellowish/white.

More Member Install Pics

CustomLowz

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Interiores Tuning Ulises
Order Link:
https://www.facebook.com/diegoalonso.martinezhernandez/

Notes:

  • This is an overlay with a “Real” Carbon Fiber look. While it is not actual Carbon Fiber, it does have a legit look.
  • It’s a pretty legit kit but some of the pieces that are installed on moving parts such as cup holder cover, front lower cubby and upper cubby (SE trim) were all a little big around the edges and wouldn’t open properly until a shaved a little off with a razor which wasn’t noticeable.

 

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Member Credit: Eddy

I always wanted a CMOD grille for my car but it was back-ordered out for quite some time. As soon as they came back in stock, I ordered one immediately. It took two weeks to get it which is not bad at all given it’s shipped internationally.

The grille itself is made out of Fiberglass. I was happy with the quality and perfect fitment of my 2002 Nissan Maxima.  The grille comes in a matte black finish and black mesh. You’ll need to drill some small holes to perfectly attach to the bumper. It took me about 20 min to install.

Price: $139.99 (+$50 for International Shipping) **NEW Pricing as of 11/18/2022**
Part Number: NIMA02SG
Order Link: https://c-modgrilles.ecrater.com/p/4712036/nissan-maxima-2002-2003-sport-grille

Photos:

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Credit: Abdala Fernandez via https://www.fastmaximas.com/2019/12/20/4th-gen-r34-quad-projector-retrofit/

In this article, I go over the process for doing quad projector lights retrofit in eBay R34 Maxima headlights. Specifically the 4th generation Maxima(95-99). The projectors used were inexpensive Mini H1 projectors (https://amzn.to/2GX9GaA).

The previous lights I had on the car were FX35 projectors but the job was not great and I wanted to clean up the look of the front end of the car. I bought R34 headlights from eBay and with some modification, they fit well (I made a video and article on that here). I wanted to do an inexpensive retrofit job that was much cleaner than the previous one. I opted for Mini H1 projectors which are the common projectors that have a threaded shaft at the back and allows you to slide them through the cars existing housing light bulb socket hole.

Mini H1 Projector with shroud.

It is common to use an oven to bake the housings to then remove the lens cover. However, I used a heat gun to loosen the glue holding the covers. Being inexpensive units, it was easy to separate them; OEM lights are tougher because they are properly sealed and glued. I separated the cover from the housing and then tested the projector. I first tested it on the low beam side. I slid the projectors threads through the R34’s bulb hole and right away saw an issue. The projectors’ back shaft was not long enough to be able to catch any threads with the nut that holds the projector in place.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights.
Lens cover separated
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with Mini H1 projector.
R34 shroud modification
I used an angle grinder
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 shroud modification
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 shroud modification

I took out the grinder and started cutting. I used the side edge of a thick grinding wheel to remove some material from the R34’s bulb socket. I then was able to slide through the projector again and catch plenty of threads to put the nut and H1 bulb retainers. The projector looked great, it is said that the vertical alignment is not bad because it is using the stock bulbs hole which is lined up somewhat. But the rotation needs to be addressed, I eyeballed it at first to test putting the lens covers. They looked great, so next was the high beam side.

The high beam side is a different story, there are two issues to address. One, the bulb hole is too small to fit the projector back shaft through. The second is that even if you could slide the projector through, it would sit to far forward and hit the housing lens cover. In comes the angle grinder again, the goal here is to cut an oval so that the projectors reflector can sit on that oval deep into the housing and away from the lens cover; a file was used too. While cutting I would test the projector once in a while and ensure I was cutting a clean enough oval to not have gaps around the mating area to the reflector.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights modified for mini H1 projectors.

Next was the painting, I decided to go with an all-black housing; glossy. I painted everything except the projectors shroud. First I sprayed it with a primer and then the black. Once dry I went to line up the projectors.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights tapped for painting.
R34 Nissan Maxima light housings painted black.

To line up the projectors I mounted the housings on the car with no lens cover and used the garage wall. I know its very close but I felt it was good enough. I put in the bulbs then turned them on and rotated the projectors till I saw a horizontal line on the wall. This was not too hard because the high beam projector stays in place due to the shroud touching the floor and ceiling of the housing; holding it in place. This allowed you to rotate it to match the low beam projector. Once I had that set, I then slowly took them off so the high beam projector would not move. Then I sat it down and applied JB Weld to the back of the high beam projector. I used the original JB Weld.

R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
R34 Nissan Maxima head lights with mini h1 projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.

Once the JB Weld was set on both housings all there is left to do is to put the lens covers. I heated the glue areas with the heat gun all around then I placed the cover on and pressed it with my palm against the housing. I then worked on the electronics, I originally had HID ballast’s with D2S bulbs on the FX35 projectors. I wired in another set of ballasts, h1(hid) bulbs as well as relays. I turned them on and waited about 15 minutes to see how hot the wiring and the housing lens cover got. The front of the lens cover gets pretty hot, it is a focused beam like using a magnifying glass to burn with the sun. The back of the projectors got extremely hot, I was not comfortable at all with it; it felt like it could burn wiring or anything near it. So I then ordered H1 LED’s, removed the ballasts and wired the new bulbs in. The output still looks great with LED’s, you can see more intensity with the HID’s for sure but LED’s do not stay far behind so far.

I am very happy with the results and it was exactly how I pictured it. The front of the car looks aggressive and different. I will give an update with night time shots and some feedback.

Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.
Turbo Nissan Maxima with R34 with quad projectors.

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The hybrid bumper allows 2004-2006 Maxima’s to easily convert to an 07-08 look by just swapping bumpers. Without this bumper, you would need to swap to 2007 headlights, bumpers and hood (and of course that can get very expensive).

The bumper was developed by Max2damax and was available in limited quantities. The bumper is made of RFP (Fiberglass) and was a direct fit. There was also a lip developed for it. As of 2018, it’s definitely a rare find.

Pricing (For reference purposes only in case you find one fore sale! We DO NOT sell these):

  • 07-08 LIP = $269 shipped —- $205 for local buyers, taxes included. (8.75% CA tax)
  • 07 *Bumper for 04-06 = $275 + $150 s/h,= $425 (flat rate to the continental U.S.)
  • 07 *Bumper & Lip for 04-06 = $575 shipped,
  • *You can add a set of fog lights to you bumper for $70.

Gallery:

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