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1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)

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1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)

Old 10-15-2016, 06:35 AM
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1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)

So I am a little over a month into ownership of my barn find 1987 GXE sedan, and I am slowly taking care of little things to put it back to fully functional. This is my new member introduction post with pics. https://maxima.org/forums/new-member...axima-gxe.html

Found out the sunroof works perfect, but the switch was broken... I didn't want to have to cut or modify (at least visibly) any of the roof pod where the switch and map lights are located. I looked and looked for OEM and aftermarket replacement switches that fit the factory cutout, and if I found the right length, the width or depth was too big, or vice verse. The closest I could come, without finding a salvage yard replacement was this switch. It is a really close fit to the stock plastic cutout, but I am guessing I will have to cut a bit of the metal support bracket that sits behind it, to make it fit flush. The website has some bad reviews, and most things are drop shipped from Thailand via standard post, so it will take some time to get here, but the switch was $0.80 and shipping was $4 so hard to beat for less than $5 bucks. **UPDATE** - Switch arrived and installed 10/23/2016, it is not a momentary, like it said on the website, but it works, looks almost stock, and I am sticking with it for less than $5 bucks. Nice to have a working sunroof again. http://www.futurlec.com/SwRocker.shtml#RSPDT101MOMENT

Underbody splash shields were missing, so I pondered what to use to fabricate some of my own. Wal-mart has large drip pans in the automotive section, that are just about perfect in terms of size, thickness, malleability and price, so I bought one ($12) and then made some templates with cardboard of where the bolt holes are for the mounting bolts on each side, and then cut the drip pan up to fit each side. It worked better than expected, and, you can't see the shiny metal unless you are underneath the car, so it doesn't distract from the stock look of the car. The dimensions in the link are wrong, it is actually 4' long x 25" wide x 1/32" thick, and cuts easy with a pair of tin snips. It is galvanized steel, which won't be a rust issue for me since I live in TX. https://www.walmart.com/ip/ATP-Extra...16778234#about

I was getting an ECU code for bad coolant temp sensor (the one by the thermostat housing) so I replaced it, as it turns out, the sensor was fine, but the wiring and connectors were bad. I can tell you, you CAN replace it without having to remove the timing belt and timing belt covers (front and back), but, at minimum, you will need to remove the AC belt, and the AC idler pulley bracket to get to it. I tied back the wiring harness to keep it out of the way, and didn't undo the coolant hose. I wound up using a 1/2" drive socket that was just deep enough to swallow the front of the coolant sensor and connector, but still grab the head to allow removal and installation. I also used a wobble extension that allowed enough of an angle to get in there without having to bend or cut the timing belt back cover. It was very tight, and I would get the socket set on the head by hand before I attached the wrench and removed/installed the temp sensor. What I found was a place that makes all types of automotive pigtails, wiring harnesses and other Nissan doo-dads that can be hard to find. I found an exact fit pigtail that attaches to the coolant temp sensor connector. Search "vg30 coolant temp" and it will come up with the pigtail I used. http://www.wiringspecialties.com/

Still on the list of things to repair/replace:

* Windshield washer pump and lines replace - DONE 10/15/2016 - Washer fluid light was staying on, it is a float type sensor. I removed the filler neck, reached in with a long screwdriver, tapped the sensor a few times, light went away... The float must be sticking... No plans to replace, since I don't use the washers often enough to worry about it.
* Alternator replace - DONE 10/15/2016
* Trunk popper switch.
* All four speakers.
* Terrible home install tint job last owner did. - REMOVED 10/23/2016, waiting on pre-cut tint to get here from thetinteffect.com
* Struts are good, but I want some KYB GR2's for a firmer ride
* Axle grease boot at the wheel, on the drivers side, is torn and needs to be replaced.
* Boot where the clutch linkage attaches at the tranny is torn and needs replaced.
* Rear caliper parking brake mechanisms are borked, froze up, don't work, whatever... Not sure if I can repair or have to get new calipers.
* Still running down a minor rough idle issue (Think it is going to be fuel injector(s), fuel pressure regulator, fuel pump or some or all of them)

Last edited by 1987max; 10-25-2016 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:17 PM
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Location: Bay City, MI
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I just did my washer pump a couple days ago as well...it had been leaking thru the pump itself. I too had to replace my sunroof switch and ended up getting a switch from a 3rd gen Maxi from eBay. It needed a wire or two resoldered but the actual switch is the same. Good tip on the splash shield...I may look into that as I'm missing the front driver side.

Nice looking car btw...looks like a very clean interior and you have factory floormats too! When you do the struts, the rears are cartridge inserts. The rear suspension basically needs to be disassembled (parallel links, trailing link and sway bar from the knuckle) in order to actually get to the strut. Once replaced, keep in mind you DO NOT want to tighten all those suspension bolts with the wheels up in the air. That will clock the bushings incorrectly and you will have a very bouncy ride on top of premature bushing wear. The shop I used did it incorrectly and the car rode like crap until I figured out what they did (er, didn't do). I've got Sachs on mine and they have some pretty aggressive rebound control but valved in such a way that sharp bumps are actually absorbed.

Nice to see someone enthusiastic about their old car...these really are starting to become pretty rare so thumbs up on your enthusiasm to maintain it!
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:19 PM
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She's beautiful. She really is. I saw the pictures of the paint and it looks even more immaculate than mine (surprising because mine was little old lady owned and garaged for 28 years) and then I saw the shifter and thought "YOU DIRTY MOTHER****ER" (mine's an auto. Not necessarily a problem, it just likes to hold 3rd gear for some reason... oh, and it burns a bit of oil and pukes power steering fluid everywhere.)
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:25 AM
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I feel pretty fortunate to have been able to find it on craigslist and jump on it before anyone else had the chance. I haven't had time to work on it in the last month or so, but I still have plans to replace the power steering pump, which has a slow leak, and install all new fuel delivery components (pump, regulator and rebuilt injectors). Those are the next items on the list. After that comes new struts. I also have an annoying electrical issue. I have a brand new alternator/regulator, confirmed to be working perfect, but I still have entirely too much power draw with the lights on. When I turn on a blinker, while the lights are on, you can actually see the in-dash voltmeter ticking up/down with the blinkers. When I have the lights on, and the A/C isn't running, when the cooling fans kick on, it will actually draw down enough to dim the headlight just a little, before recovering back to full voltage. I am thinking I am missing a major ground wire somewhere, but I have checked and double checked the obvious grounds. I haven'tt had time to check ground resistance on everything yet... The plan is to get her running like she drove off the lot in 1987.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:13 PM
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1985 maxima 4 door keyless help need instructions

HELP I just got a 1985 perfact condition 90k miles last month I got a manual but it doesn't say how to use the keyless part I have the code out of the trunk but I have no idea what to do ...no instructions
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:28 AM
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Thank delerium75 you on the ride issue. I tightened mine in the air and yeah it rides very hard in the rear. Learned something.

Last edited by jake0978; 08-22-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:54 PM
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I would love to see if a 3rd Gen Exhaust manifolds and ypipe can fit a 2nd Gen Body? 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen chassis are very close...Kinda like how the 4th and 5th are siimilar to each other....
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:05 PM
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Another 1987 Nissan Maxima Wagon, alive, kicking, and looking very much the same as when it was driven off the Dealer Lot in 1987. (31 years ago) .. Still feels like a NEW Car !!! Now even more so since it's 2018 Radio update to a modern Entertainment & Navigation Head Unit .

The biggest problem I have had in the last 15+ years, is finding parts.

My luck changed this month when I was able to acquire in reasonable condition, another 87 Wagon, with low mileage ( Typical Estate sale situation). Unfortunately, the car had been driven since the sale, and had got rear/side ended, so is no longer realistically repairable, but an ideal source of genuine spare parts.

My original Maxima : Facing Left (Tinted windows),
Donor : Facing Right.
Radio replaced with "Super fast: 8 core" Android Head Unit, showing 1 of 5 Menu screens ( Audio Display).
(Currently playing Music from the 70's !!)
Attached Thumbnails 1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)-20180907_163246.jpg   1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)-20180907_163259.jpg   1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)-20180907_163315.jpg   1987 Maxima GXE Sedan - Things I am learning along the way (with some good links)-20180907_163416.jpg  

Last edited by Scopesys; 09-07-2018 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:14 PM
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Great Parts car for sure....and a good metal resource for recycling....
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:21 PM
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Does the 2nd gen Maxima have a CABIN air filter -- if so, where is it ??
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