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4th Generation Maxima FAQs: READ ME!(UPDATED 6-23-09!) ``DON'T CLICK NEW THREAD YET``

4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999) Visit the 4th Generation forum to ask specific questions or find out more about the 4th Generation Maxima.

4th Generation Maxima FAQs: READ ME!(UPDATED 6-23-09!) ``DON'T CLICK NEW THREAD YET``

Old 10-18-2001, 12:44 PM
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4th Generation Maxima FAQs: READ ME!(UPDATED 6-23-09!) ``DON'T CLICK NEW THREAD YET``

This FAQ is for all questions relating to the 4th Gen Maxima itself, including modifications.

If you are wondering what you should do to your car, read through this thread. Well you might be thinking, damn this thing is huge. Well if you scroll down you should find specifics on what you want. Say you want to know about intakes, push CTRL+F and type intake and your web browser should scroll down and find it. Or just read through the thread, it will help a bunch.!!

Post the question AND the answer.
Search works wonders.

Read that if you can

All spam will be deleted. Anything I deem unworthy will be deleted or split from this thread.

To search this thread use the "search this thread" box in the upper right corner.

LINK to 4th Gen How-To Summary!

Fault Indicator Light Diagnosis (If "trouble" lights are on, read here first!!!)

Last edited by Kevlo911; 06-23-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 10-18-2001, 01:09 PM
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Phone Numbers

What is Nissan's Phone Number?

Nissan Consumer Affairs # is 1-800-362-4111


(800) NISSAN1

Where can I find my owner's manual ?

The owner's manual for the 1996 models (maxima and infiniti) and up can be downloaded from www.nissan-techinfo.com. You will need a pdf viewer such as adobe's acrobat reader.

Who is Dave B?

Dave Burnette is a Nissan enthusiast, org member, and a parts guy at Southpointe Nissan. He supplies many org members with parts at a fair price, and he understands Nissans very well.

Lost your owners manual, or you're car didn't come with one?
Tons of useful information in it.
DaveB "the parts guy" - 1-888-254-6060. Ask for David Burnette in parts.
Note: As of 2013, Dave B no longer works at Courtesy Parts

Last edited by The Wizard; 04-22-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:05 AM
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Identifying models and trim levels:

The 4th gen Maxima was offered in three trim levels for the US market:
GXE "The essential Maxima"
SE "The Sportiest Maxima"
GLE "The luxurious Maxima"

All trim levels have the same engine, so performance differences between them are pretty much nil. The best way to tell which trim level you have is to decode the VIN Plate. This is due to much part swapping and trim upgrading, even transmission swaps that can be done.

Raise your hood. Look for a shiny metal identification tag fastened to the passenger side of firewall. The top row is the Vehicle Identification Number, starting with J. The second row is model information. The first five characters are BLHUL. The sixth character is the trim level designator, defined as follows:
V = SE

There are some feature differences that can help you determine the trim level on site. Keep in mind that most of these can be changed aftermarket by the owner, but as we know the VAST majority of Maximas on the street are bone stock...

Black guage faces
Cloth seats
Basic stereo (BOSE optional but extremely rare)
Probably no sunroof (optional but very rare)
Chrome outer window trim and door handles
5spd or Auto trans
No spoiler
No fog lights
Steel wheels with hubcaps
Chrome grill on 97-99 models
Manual A/C

White guage faces
"Sport" Cloth or leather seats
Basic or BOSE stereo
May have sunroof
Black outer window trim
Body color door handles
5spd or auto trans
Fog lights
15" blade-style (95-96) or 16" 5 spoke (97-99) alloy wheels
Body color grill on 97-99 models
Manual A/C or climate control
"Sport" suspension
Electronically controlled front engine mount on automatic transmission cars
Liquid filled rear shock mounts
(In Canada there is a model called the ES which is like an SE minus the BOSE, leather, sunroof, and spoiler (All standard on a Canadian SE). But, it does include the VLSD trans.)

Black guage faces
Leather seats
BOSE stereo
Chrome outer window trim and door handles
Auto trans only
No spoiler
No fog lights
15" honeycomb (95-96) or 15" blade-style (97-99) alloy wheels
Chrome grill on 97-99 models
Fake wood color dash and door trim
Fuzzy A-pillars on some years
Pop-out drawer (not flip-down) below radio on some years
Climate control only
Electronically controlled front engine mount
Liquid filled rear shock mounts

Keep in mind that spoilers, foglights, mudflaps and wood dash trim could be had as dealer-installed options on all levels.

Other options like heated seats, traction control, ABS and the like were offered on more than one trim level, so they are not a reliable indicator.

What are the differences between the 99 SE and the 99.5 SE-Limited (SE-L)?
Approx. early to midyear of '99, a version of the SE called the SE Limited debuted, with only these differences to the '99 SE

- "SE Limited" badging by driver and front passenger doors
- Titanium tinted wheels, gauges and "MAXIMA" badging
- Optional Perforated Leather seats
- Unique Crimson Blaze Red color as available color selection
- "SE Limited" logo embossed on floor mats & seats

It is largely believed that these were produced to get rid of remining A32 engines, parts, and shells. Evidence to support this is the fact that the SE-L could be equipped like every different trim of a Maxima, with the only commonality being the "Limited" traits listed above.

What makes the Infiniti I30 so special?

The Infiniti I30 is really just a dressed up Maxima. Personally, I think it is what the Maxima should/could have been. Anyway...

The I30 has the same drivetrain and suspension components as the Maxima. This means that all the engine and suspension mods for the Max will fit the I30. There is one critical difference with regard to transmissions, however. I30s equipped with the 5spd manual transmission have a VLSD. We all know why this is good.

As far as the exterior is concerned, the only panels shared between the cars are the doors and the roof.

The I30 includes all the features of the Maxima GLE plus:

Auto dimming mirror
Wood trim on the climate control panel
Chrome interior door handles
Electric fuel door release
Seatback pockets on the front seats
Rear seat headrests
One-piece rear floor mat (it covers the "hump" and has a logo in the middle)
Higher quality leather

Items like heated seats, sunroof, homelink, and leather were optional. It is very rare to find an I30 without a sunroof or leather. There was also an option called the Infiniti Communicator that was a built-in cell phone system.

What options where standard and available on the Maxima?

All Maximas come very well equipped with Power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control, intermittent wipers, 8 way adjustable seat, remote trunk release, rear defroster, Etc. The SE trim level adds white faced gauges, spoiler, fog lights and alloy wheels. The GLE trim level has everything in the ‘S&C’ and ‘Leather trim’ packages described below and the same alloy wheels found on the 95-96 SE.

Options where grouped into three packages, Security and Convenience (S&C), SE Leather trim, and Cold weather/Deluxe Seating. The S&C package required an Automatic transmission for the GXE and a sunroof for the SE except the 95 model. The Cold weather package required the S&C package and ABS brakes except for the 95 model. The ‘cold weather package’ was renamed the ‘deluxe seating package’ in 98 and added side airbags and dropped the ABS requirement.

Security and Convenience Package (S&C) -
* 8-way power driver's seat
* Remote keyless entry and vehicle security system
* Integrated HomeLink Transmitter (SE only)
* Power trunk release
* Illuminated visor vanity mirrors
* Variable intermittent wipers

SE Leather Trim Package-
* Leather seating surfaces
* Automatic temperature control
* 4-way power front passenger's seat
* Simulated leather upper door trim
* Passenger-side seatback pocket

95-97 Cold Weather Package-
* Heated front seats
* Heated outside mirrors
* Low windshield-washer fluid warning light
* Heavy-duty battery

98-99 Deluxe Seating Package-
* Front seat side air bags
* Heated front seats
* Heated outside mirrors
* Low windshield-washer fluid warning light
* Heavy-duty battery

What are the year to year differences on 4th Gen (95-99) Maximas?

All 4th gen Maximas have the same engine and are basically the same. There are some claims that the earlier 4th gens are slightly more powerful due to less emissions equipment and faster due to being slightly lighter but if there is any speed/power difference it is minimal. Most of these differences where collected from this thread, if you have any additions or corrections please post them there.

Any options or changes continue to the next year unless they are noted to be removed or noted for only one year. The list below is pretty detailed but I did not include every tiny detail to try to keep it readable, check the thread linked above for more details.

1995 - 1st year 4th gen. Rear oxygen sensor in cat. Only year GXE could have S&C package and 5 speed transmission. Only year SE could get S&C package without sunroof. SE came with 15" 'Sawblade' style rims, GLE had 15" 'Honeycomb' Rims.

1996 - revised emissions equipment, new cup holder, power passenger seat available (with leather package). Only year removable in console cup holder available (but most used Maxes no longer have it). Last year GLE came with 'fuzzy' pillars (A.B,C)

1997 – Restyled front and rear (front now has crossbar on grill, rear now has turn signals below taillights), improved crash protection, new steering wheel, 16" 5 spoke wheels on SE, Homelink on GLE and SE with S&C package, SE got orange Gauge needles. Two new steering wheel designs, one for GXE/GLE and one exclusive to SE. New center console - two drink cupholder with hinged lid, lose change holder, lose ashtray in back, lower armrest. New design of double din headunit. Tweeters moved from the A-pillar trim to the door. Cornering lamps removed. Rear oxygen sensor moved behind cat to b-pipe, B-pipe made longer. Rear emblem changed from individual letters to connected letters -- M A X I M A, to M_A_X_I_M_A. GLE trim got GLE badge on trunk. GLE gets the 15" sawblade rims that where on the 95-96 SE.

1998 - Side air bags available (with deluxe seating package), ‘Cold weather package’ replaced by ‘Deluxe seating package’, orange gauge needles on all trim levels (95-97 GXE/GLE had white needles), digital odometer (with two trip meters), climate control redesign, Fuel and temp. Gauges now ‘Mirror image’ instead of facing the same direction. 'Low Fuel' light moved from gas gauge to strip of warning lights, 'Air-bag warning' light moved from strip of lights to bottom of speedometer, 'X1000 RPM' moved from bottom of tachometer to center.

1999 - Emissions equipment and ECU wiring similar to 5th gen models, SE limited edition available, security chip in key, head unit redesign, ‘ambient temperature’ feature added to automatic climate control, three point seat belt for rear center position. Only year traction control was available.

On CA emission 99's Front pre-cat built into header, two extra oxygen sensors to monitor pre-cats (total of 4), Swirl valve in intake to improve emissions. Special aftermarket Y-pipe required and only 1 pre-cat can be removed.
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Old 03-12-2002, 02:23 PM
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VIN information/decoding

How do I decode my VIN?

These are the items designated in the rows of the Vehicle ID Plate located on the passenger side firewall under the hood.

4-Body color code
5-Trim color code
6-Engine model
7-Engine displacement
8-Transmission model
9-Axle model

Body Color Code:


Credit - jay_x

Need more help in decoding the VIN?


This shows how to read the VIN for all the related vehicle info.

Credit: Deezo

So how do I tell if my car is Cali or Fed spec?

Raise your hood. Look for a shiny metal identification tag fastened to the passenger side of firewall. The top row is the Vehicle Identification Number, starting with J. The second row is model information. The first five characters are BLHUL. The 12th character is the destination:

N = Canada
V = California
U = US, not California
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TSB (Technical Service Bulletins)

All the TSB's Alldata has listed for the '97 SE. Other years/trims can also be found at...


TSB Number Issue Date TSB Title
00-037A NOV 00 Steering/Suspension - Vehicle Pull Diagnosis
00-056A NOV 00 A/T - Oil Cooler Cleaning Procedure
00-085 OCT 00 EVAP Canister - Charcoal Leakage
00-079 SEP 00 Power Antenna - Inoperative
99-053A SEP 00 TPS - Adjustment Procedure Revision
99-048D JUL 00 Battery - OE And Replacement Ratings
00-064 JUL 00 CD Changer - CD Care and Usage Guidelines
00-060 JUL 00 EVAP Vent Control Valve - DTC'S Stored in Memory
00-017A JUL 00 Tools - CONSULT-II Software Update
00-057 JUL 00 Tools - CONSULT-II Repair Procedures
00-054 JUN 00 Engine - Timing Chain Noise
00-044 JUN 00 CONSULT-II - ECM Reprogramming Software
00-033 MAR 00 Brake System - Diagnosis & Repair
00-021A MAR 00 Tools - CONSULT-II NATS Software Update
00-022 MAR 00 Consult-II Software Cards
00-027 MAR 00 Nissan Essential Tool Shipment Summary
00-026 MAR 00 A/C Refrigerant Machine (ACR4) - Maintenance
99-071 FEB 00 99-071 - 02/10/00
99-071A FEB 00 Blower Motor - Noise
00-013 FEB 00 On-Car Brake Lathe Procedure for Steering Vibration
00-015 FEB 00 Trunk Lid - Pops Open By Itself
00-001 DEC 99 Sunroof - Binds/Leaks/Motor Runs But Roof Doesn't Work
99-044B OCT 99 Battery/Starting/Charging System Tester.
99-072 OCT 99 Windshield Washer Spray Pattern Adjustment
99-067 SEP 99 Intergrated Homelink Transmitter
98-008B SEP 99 EGI Harness Wire Breakage Diagnosis and Repair
99-060 SEP 99 Paint Guard Film - Swell, Stains, and Spots
99-022 AUG 99 99-022 - 08/26/99
99-022A AUG 99 Front Seat Belt Latch Plate Stopper Button Missing
92-062A JUN 99 AMMCO On Car Brake Lathe Operating Guidlines
94-012A JUN 99 Brake Judder/Steering Wheel Shimmy
99-005A JUN 99 Brake Pad - Key Value Service Information
99-040 JUN 99 ABS Sensor - Precaution Using On Car Brake Lathe
99-034 JUN 99 99-034 - 06/02/99
99-034A JUN 99 Year 2000 Compliance of Nissan Vehicles
99-011A MAY 99 A/C - R134A Leak Detection (Dye)
99-032 MAY 99 Front Brake - Noise (Groan) When Stopping
99-031A MAY 99 Rear Brake - Noise (Groan/Humming) After Brake Release
99-028 APR 99 Front Seat Belt - Slow Retraction
99-020 APR 99 Towing Guidelines for Nissan Vehicles
99-024 APR 99 Wind Noise Repair
99-017 APR 99 Audio Speaker - Noise (Cellular Phone)
99-010 MAR 99 Odor Coming From Sunroof Sunshade
99-001 FEB 99 Strut - Leak Guideline
98-110 JAN 99 Squeak and Rattle Repair - Supplies
98-106 JAN 99 A/C System Reciever - Drier Replacement Guidlines
98-097 DEC 98 Interior - Squeaks and Rattles
98-101 DEC 98 Spring, Front - Buzzing/Rattle Noise
98-089 NOV 98 O2 Sensor Thread Repair For Exhaust Tube.
98-090 NOV 98 Rear Brake Squeak/Squeal Noise When Cold
98-019A NOV 98 Evap Canister VCV & Evap Canister - Must Match
98-081 OCT 98 Steering - Pull or Drift
98-080 OCT 98 Power Seat - Inoperatrive
98-076 SEP 98 Console Lid - Loose/Disconnected
98-061 JUL 98 Air Bag - Instrument Panel Inspection, After Activation
98-060 JUL 98 Body Repair - Guidlines for Rust & Corrosion
98-063 JUL 98 New A/C Leak Detector
98-011A JUL 98 MIL ON, DTC P0136 Rear Oxygen Sensor
98-029A JUN 98 MIL ON Evaporative System DTC(s)
98-054 JUN 98 Security System - False Alarm
98-050 JUN 98 Spark Knock During Engine Start
98-041 MAY 98 All Hose Lubricant Applications
98-042 MAY 98 Automatic Transmission Fluid.
98-023 APR 98 Dash - Rattle Noise
97-098 FEB 98 A/C System Blowing Warm Air
98-003 FEB 98 MIL ON DTC P1335 - Crank Shaft Position Sensor.
98-005 FEB 98 New A/C Connections O-Rings
97-068 NOV 97 Door Panels - Objectionable Odors
97-046A NOV 97 Power Seat - Lift Adjustment Inoperative
97-057 SEP 97 Intermittent No-Start
97-060 AUG 97 Bumper Refinishing Technique
97-058 AUG 97 Spark Knock - Especially at High Temps
97-053 JUL 97 Park Brake Cable - Hoist Damage
97-024A JUN 97 MIL ON P0300 (Multi-Cylinder Misfire) Due To ECM
97-040 MAY 97 Remote Control System - No Response to Remote
97-028 APR 97 Diag. Prod. For P0731,P0732,P0733 (A/T Signal) With..
97-017 MAR 97 Air Bag Harness Replacement
97-016 FEB 97 Audio Unit - Remanufacturer Matrix
97-013 FEB 97 New O-Ring Connector
97-012 FEB 97 Wheel Balancer Adapter Kit - Use
96-110 DEC 96 A/T Solenoid Valve Replacement Procedures
96-104 NOV 96 Precautions Electronic Control System Testing
96-102 OCT 96 Front License Plate bracket Installation
96-094 OCT 96 MIL Light Icon Change
96-095 OCT 96 Power Antenna Sleeve
96-077A SEP 96 Paint Codes
96-087 SEP 96 Revised Procedure For Detection Refrigerant Leaks
96-084 AUG 96 OBD-II A/T Initial Start Trouble Code
96-050 JUL 96 Consult (Scanner) - Exchange Program
96-032 APR 96 Engine Cranks, But Won't Start Or Is Hard To Start
96-031 APR 96 Service Manual Comment Forms
PI96-002 JAN 96 R134a Charge Amounts/PAG Lubricant Chart
95-114 DEC 95 Clutch Operating Cylinder - Service Information
95-068 JUL 95 Air Conditioning, R134a - Charge Amount/Lubricant Chart
PI95-006 MAR 95 Brake Noises
95-015 MAR 95 Air Conditioning - Installation Procedures
94-100 NOV 94 Recommended Fluids, Lubricants & Chemicals
94051 SEP 94 Bumper Refinishing Techniques
94-077 AUG 94 Enhanced Emission Inspection/Maintenance Program
94-009 MAR 94 Battery Charging/Replacement Procedure
94-015 FEB 94 Paint - Contamination Identification and Repair
94-011 FEB 94 Starting & Charging System General Diagnosis
94-004 JAN 94 Differentials - Recommended Lubricants
93-109 JUL 93 Paint Finish - Maintanance/Storage Recommendations.
93-112 JUL 93 Seat Belt Extenders
93-017 JAN 93 Cassette Tape Player - Maintenance
92-001 JAN 92 Changes to A/C Systems as Result of R-134A Refrigerant
91-096 DEC 91 ABS, Self Check - Noise
91-046 MAY 91 Consult Lithium Battery Replacement
90-090 OCT 90 Angular Tightening
90-044 MAY 90 Cassette Tape Player Maintenance
89-131 AUG 89 Silicone And PBC Greases
88-015 FEB 88 Cautions for Aftermarket Rust Proofing
87-172 NOV 87 Automatic Transmission - Cleaning Components.
TS87-150 OCT 87 Nissan Genuine Buckle Assembly For Use With Child Res..
87-103 JUN 87 Disc Brake Noise Information.
87-064 APR 87 Plastic Lens - Isopropyl Alcohol Caution
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:25 PM
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Basic Car Questions Answered

Several Maxima.Org members have asked how they may learn more about the mechanical aspects of the automotive hobby. This post contains specific suggestions. The reader is invited to pick and choose (cafeteria style) to select those which fit his own available time and interest.

Three manuals are available for the 4Gen Maxima. They are the Chilton repair manual, the Haynes repair manual, and the Maxima factory service manual. Chilton and Haynes are a good value for the typical home mechanic. For a detailed comparison of manuals, see http://vbxmaxima.8m.com/manualcompare.html

It is worth $15 for an aftermarket manual even if you have no intention of working on your own car. The manual will teach you the correct names for car parts. That helps you write clear questions in forum posts. It is better to say "clutch slave cylinder pushrod" than "that little black **** thing that moves".

The manual will help you differentiate between small jobs and big ones. This will make you an informed consumer, able to avoid overcharges by service facilities. In plain language, knowledge will prevent you from being a rip-off victim.

Don't overlook the Owner's Manual. It has maintenance schedules, fuel/lubricant recommendations, capacity specifications, and a good chapter titled Do-it-yourself. You may access 4Gen Owner's Manuals (in Adobe PDF format) at http://www.nissan-techinfo.com/.

There are quite a few posts here every day about bulbs and such that could be answered very easily by just opening your owners manual to the back, in the Specifications section. Most of us here haven't looked in our manual more than once since we got the car (I'm guilty of this too), and you would be surprised how many parts and specs questions can be answered in there.

Enthusiast publications
Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc. tend to emphasize performance and image. They are light on technical information and repair instructions, but make for entertaining reading.

Trade publications
These are published for the repair shop owner and professional technicians. They contain good diagnostic and repair information but often discuss the use of esoteric equipment which the home mechanic doesn't have (digital storage oscilloscopes, blue light leak detectors, exhaust gas analyzers, etc.). These publications are not available to the general public in printed form but may be accessed at the publishers' and authors' Web sites. Examples ...
Motor Service: http://www.autotruck.net/ and click on Motor Service.
ImportCar: http://www.babcox.com/icnew/
Larry Carley (author): http://members.aol.com/carleyware/library/library.html

Maxima Enthusiast Web Sites:

General Web sites:
Web sites span the gamut from basic explanations to detailed technical data. You may find a Web Search Engine useful for finding information on a specific topic.

HowStuffWorks is good for understanding the basics. Go to http://www.howstuffworks.com/category.htm?cat=Auto and browse. For example, you may click on "How Disk Brakes Work" and learn the basics by stepping through the six "chapters" in the story. The fifth chapter includes a slew of links including an excellent one for troubleshooting.

The AutoZine Technical School contains more advanced material. This Web site gives good information of a design flavor but no diagnostic or repair information.

You will find useful technical information on Web sites belonging to parts manufacturers. For example, you can learn about Oxygen Sensors at http://www.volksparts.com/o2sensors.htm. Read these Web pages with the understanding that there is an element of self-interest. Manufacturers of oil filters will recommend frequent replacement of oil filters. Manufacturers of oxygen sensors will recommend frequent replacement of oxygen sensors.

A Web Search Engine will help you find Web Sites of interest. There are many Search Engines, and you may already have chosen a favorite. One of the best is http://www.google.com Suppose you have heard about the future 42 volt electrical systems and want to know more. Use your favorite Search Engine and use "42 volt auto electrical system" as a Search String. In seconds you will have pointers to many Web Pages.

If your Internet Service Provider supports a newsgroup server you may access newsgroups such as ...

Class instruction.
You will have to search for these opportunities. Your town's vocational high school may offer Adult Education evening classes. Classes which include hands-on work are better than those which are lecture only. These classes meet one or two evenings per week, tuition is modest, and the instructors are excellent. You may get to work on your own car during class time, using a professional vehicle lift and air-powered tools. Your evening class instructor may be a technician who "wrenches" during the day. These guys can show you all the shortcuts!

Hands-on experience.
Look for the opportunity to help a knowledgeable friend. You may know a fellow who is about to replace his clutch. He knows how to do this job and has done it before. Volunteer to be his helper. It will cost you a Saturday and you will learn a lot. There's a big difference between reading the term "throwout bearing" and actually holding one in your hands. Over and over again, you will say to yourself "Oh, so that's how it works!"

Do whatever service and repairs you can on your own car. Start with the smallest jobs such as checking all the fluids and rotating the tires. Work your way up as your skill and confidence grows. Do your own oil-and-filter changes. Perhaps that friend who you helped with his clutch will coach you through your first brake pad replacement job.

Buy tools.
Buy tools as you need them. The professional technician may insist on Snap-on but Sears Craftsman is a good value for the home mechanic. Harbor Freight Tools http://www.harborfreight.com/ sells low-cost imported tools which are worth considering. Watch for sales. If you buy one tool per week, no matter how small, within a couple of years you will have accumulated a respectable assortment.

Cooper Tools http://www.coopertools.com/main.htm
Danaher Corp. http://www.danaher.com/index_db.html
Harbor Freight Tools http://www.harborfreight.com/
K-D Automotive Specialty Tools http://www.mytoolstore.com/kd/kdindex.html
Kastar http://www.kastar.com/
Kobalt Tools http://www.kobalttools.com
Lisle Tools http://www.lislecorp.com/
Mityvac http://www.mityvac.com/
Northern Tool http://www.northerntool.com/
Old Forge Tools http://www.oldforge.com/Contents.htm
OTC Tools http://www.mytoolstore.com/otc/otcindex.html
Sears Craftsman http://www.sears.com/sr/homepages/sears_homepage.jsp
S-K Tools http://www.skhandtool.com/
Snap-on http://www.snapon.com/
Steck Manufacturing Co. http://www.steckmfg.com/
Thexton Tools http://www.thexton.com/
ToolAid http://www.toolaid.com/
U.S. Freight http://www.etoolsonline.com/main.htm
Wright Tools http://www.wright-tool.com/

Do whatever service and repairs you can on your own car. Start with the smallest jobs such as checking all the fluids and rotating the tires. Work your way up as your skill and confidence grows. Do your own oil-and-filter changes. Perhaps that friend who you helped with his clutch will coach you through your first brake pad replacement job.

For official, model-specific information on Nissan products, go to http://www.nissannews.com/nissan/pro..._frameset.html.
For Infiniti models, go to http://www.nissannews.com/infiniti/p..._frameset.html.
For unofficial, sometimes speculative information regarding Nissan and Infiniti products, go to www.freshalloy.com.
To order service manuals or to access online (Adobe portable document format) owner's manuals, go to http://www.nissan-techinfo.com.
For Nissan global corporate information, go to http://www.nissan-global.com/JP/HOME and click on "English".

Got to How Stuff Works and read their articles related to cars. This is a great site than can answer most if not all of your non-Maxima-specific car questions.

Great for newbies!

The Physics of Racing series is a great set of articles about the physics behind handling and driving.

Great for anyone!

www.alldatadiy.com. This site does cost $24.95 for a year subscription but it has tons of diagrams that are very useful. There are "How to's" on most issues and the site gives pricing information for the device/part needing replacement.

Have fun!
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Old 11-24-2006, 10:51 AM
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Glossary of Common Terms (some may be repeats):

KS = Knock Sensor

TB = Throttle Body

AE = Anniversary Edition lights (with black housing)

CE (anything) = a product from www.customenterprise.com (headlamps are made from glass and said to have better beam pattern and resist chipping etc)

OCI = Oil Change Interval (how long before you change your oil)

BBK = Big Brake Kit

MAF = Mass Air Flow sensor

WOT = Wide Open Throttle

IIRC - If I recall correctly (I used to wonder what the hell that stood for )

IMO -In My Opinion

00VI- stock intake manifold on 2000-2001 Model year Maxima.

dek- refers to VQ30DE-K (kaisen for improved). VQ30 that was equipped with the variable intake manifold and slightly more aggresive exhaust cams. Emissions equipment similar to the 1999 model year 4th gen.

STS- short throw shifter

DTM- Dallas Taillight Mod (black reflector housings in tails)

A/F- air fuel ratio

Dyno- machine that measures power that a car actually makes to the wheels

AFC- air flow converter (*NOT* a/f controller) this adjusts the signal the MAF sends to allow for changes in fuel. Other versions can manage the changeover point of a VI (variable intake).

MEVI- variable intake manifold availible on Middle East version of 4th gen.

FSTB- front strut tower bar

RSB- rear sway bar

RSTB- rear strut tower bar

TB- throttle body

HAI- hair air intake, draws engine bay air NOT cool air from fender.

HAB- hacked air box, to drill holes in stock box to allow more flow/sound.

Coilovers- complete (or nearly) suspension setup that includes springs and dampers and can be adjusted in different ways depending on the model. D2 Racing Sport, JIC, KSport, Cattman, Boss Chen are all examples. Ground Controls are a sleeve type coilover (does not include damper).

JDM- Japanese Domestic Marker, NOTHING on our Maximas is JDM. It is a marketing term. Stock Cefiro parts would be JDM. (eg: power folding mirrors)

1/4 mile- more accurate measure of power and speed than say 0-60

R/T- reaction time, time it takes from the light illuminating to the car moving.

60'- sixty-foot time, time it takes car to go from a standstill to sixty feet, good measure of traction/torque/driver skill (to an extent).

1/8 mile- 1/2 of a 1/4 mile

1/8 mile trap- speed at which the car is is traveling as it passes the 1/8 mark.

ET- total time it takes to go from standstill to a 1/4 mile.

Trap- speed at which the car passes through the 1/4 mile mark.

330 and 1000 feet marks are also on a time slip but often not talked about by themselves, 1/4 mile ET and trap speed are most important followed by 60' and 1/8th mile data. These provide more information about the run (traction, low-end torque, boost lag, spinning, etc).

SS- stainless steel, material used in exhaust compenents to resist rust.

DR- drag radial, street legal tire used for drag racing.

FPR- fuel pressure regulator

VQ35DE- stock engine in '02+ Maxima/Altima. Fits very nice in 4th gen engine bay (is actually lighter). Requires (even) more work than fitting a DE-K.

LSD- Limited-Slip Differential, I30 LSD also 5th gen 2001 AE LSD.

Requires changing at least one (look it up) axle to convert non-LSD to LSD.

The main advantage of a limited slip differential is found by considering the case of a standard (or "open") differential where one wheel has no contact with the ground at all. In such a case, the contacting wheel will remain stationary, and the non-contacting wheel will rotate at twice its intended velocity – the torque transmitted will be equal at both wheels, but will not exceed the threshold of torque needed to move the vehicle, thus the vehicle will remain stationary. In everyday use on typical roads, such a situation is very unlikely, and so a normal differential suffices. For more demanding use however, such as driving off-road, or for high performance vehicles, such a state of affairs is undesirable, and the LSD can be employed to deal with it. By limiting the velocity difference between a pair of driven wheels, useful torque can be transmitted as long as there is some friction available on at least one of the wheels.
Think of open diff as flooring it through a corner and the inside wheels just spinning away because there is much less weight on it and LSD and both wheels pulling you through the corner.

HU- head unit, refers to the stereo (not the speakers, just the part in the dash).

OEM- original equipment manufacturer, in most cases a Nissan-made part (can also be MEETING OEM tolerances or specifications).

CEL- check engine light (also SES, sevice engine soon)

CF- carbon fiber, lightweight material used in hoods, spoilers, kits, engine dress-up, pillars, and even interior trim.

GD- group deal, deal that .org members get for getting a certain amount of people to agree to buy a product.

MAF- mass airflow sensor, measures abount of air passing through intake ducting and sends a signal to accomodate the proper amount of fuel.

HID- high intensity discharge, BRIGHT headlights

PM- private message

PSI- measurement of pressure (eg: boost, tire pressure)

UDP- underdrive pulley, usually in smaller diameter and always less weight than the stock unit, thought to reduce rotational weight on the engine and free up power, no SOLID evidence on gains with UDP alone.

TSB- technical service bulliten, article sent by Nissan to resolve an issue they have discovered (in the stickies).


MIL- malfunction indicator light

Kill- to win a street race or drag race (do not bring street racing anywhere but the "weekend battles" section of the general forum or you will be roasted without mercy and possibly banned.

Death- a loss in the above situations.

Pull- usaully refers to a situation of rapid accelration (eg: 4th gear DYNO pull, 40-120 HWY pull, 3rd gear pull to street tune air and fuel)

AutoX- Autocross, fun entry-level racing in a parking lot with a cone course. Cars run 1 at a time (or very far apart), this is the most grassroots of motorsport.

Search- feature that is enabled when you donate to Maxima.org, allows to search ANY thread back at least 6 years! Amazing tool.

EGR- exhaust gas recirculation

PCV- positive crankcase ventilation

FI- forced induction, eg: Turbo, Supercharged.

N/A- naturally aspirated, non-boosted.

EU - Emanage Ultimate

V1 - Stillen Supercharger Kit

V2 - Stillen Supercharger Kit

WBO2 - Device to measure A/F Ratio

VB mod, TC, SRS

I don't want to define these cause I am not 100% on their detailed definitions don't want to make a fool of myself. I will edit this part out when someone else defines

ECU - Engine Control Unit - The brains of the car. Can be upgraded via JWT or TS. The upgrade has been somewhat frowned upon since e-Manage Ultimate.

TCU - Transmission Control Unit - Controls when the tranny shifts and how hard. Only on AUTOMATIC cars.

IACV - Idle Air Control Valve - Small device attached to the stock intake manifold that controls the small amount of air flow required during idle to maintain a smooth idle.

KS - Knock Sensor - Small device located between the intake manifold and the block. Detects when the engine predetonates to retard timing. Often a trouble item with 4th gens and is associated with loss of power and gas mileage.

Tranny Cooler - Transmission Cooler - An intelligent choice for aftermarketed automatic Maximas. A must for any automatic 3.5, FI, or NOS Maxima.

FTW - For the win
FTL - For the lose
IBTL - In before the lock

CAI- Cold Air Intake

CCM- Cefiro Clone Mod

FM- Front Mount

FMU- Fuel Management Unit

USIM- United States Intake Manifold

VLSD- Viscous Limited Slip Differential

DTM- Dallas Tailight Mod

BAR- Pressure scale based on SI units. (Boost..etc)

ES- Energy Suspension

DTC- Diagnostic trouble code

NVH- Noise, vibration, and harshness

HLSD- Helical limited-slip differential (torque biasing unit) removes torque from the wheel that's spinning and adds it to the wheel that has traction

FSM- factory service manual

IC- intercooler

ABS- anti-lock brake system, system that "pulses" master cylinder faster than you could ever pump the brakes with your foot.

CV Joint- Constant Velocity Joint, the joints on an axle.

CV Boot- rubber boot surrounding above.

RMS-Rear Main Seal

Last edited by The Wizard; 12-30-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:39 AM
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Some may be repeats.

1st gen -- 1st generation maxima (1981-1984)
2nd gen -- 2nd generation maxima (1985-1988)
3rd gen -- 3rd generation maxima (1989-1994)
4th gen -- 4th generation maxima (1995-1999)
5th gen -- 5th generation maxima (2000-2003)

60' -- time at 60 foot mark at a drag strip

ABS -- anti-lock breaking system

AC -- air conditioning

AE -- 20th anniversary edition maxima (only available in 2001)

AFR -- air to fuel ratio

AT -- automatic transmission

ATF -- automatic transmission fluid

Autotragic -- slang for automatic transmission

Automagic -- slang for automatic transmission

Burnout -- to purposely spin the tires while keeping the car standing still

BTW -- by the way

CAI -- cold air intake

Cat-back -- entire exhaust upgrade from the catalytic converter, back

CEL -- check engine light

CF -- carbon fiber

DBM -- Danial B. Martin

Double clutching -- to "blip" the throttle when shifting gears as to engage a gear at optimal RPMs

DYNO -- dynomometer (measures torque and horsepower)

ECU -- electronic control unit

EGT -- exhaust gas temperature

E-break -- emergency break

FAQ -- frequently asked questions

FPR -- fuel pressure regulator

F/S -- for sale

FSTB -- front strut tower brace

FYI -- for your information

GB -- group buy

GD -- group deal

GLE -- maxima GLE

GXE -- maxima GXE

H&R -- spring manufacturer

HID -- high intensity discharge

HLSD -- helical limited slip differential

HP -- horsepower

IBTL -- in before the lock

IBTM -- in before the move

IMO -- in my opionion

Jambo -- ex-maxima.org administrator (Jamie)

Jamie -- ex-maxima.org administrator (Jambo)

JDM– Japanese Domestic Market

K&N -- air filter brand

KM -- kilometer

LSD -- limited slip differential

MAF -- mass air flow sensor

MOD -- modify/modification

MPG -- miles per gallon

MPH -- miles per hour

MT -- manual transmission

N/A -- naturally aspirated which stands for a car without nitrous, supercharger, or turbocharger. A car with bolt-ons (i.e. exhaust, intake, computer upgrade, engine internal rebuild) is N/A... but once it gets nitrous, SC, or TC, it is not longer N/A. It will then be referred to as a forced fed car (force induction). courtesy Y2KevSE

NE -- northeast

NISMO -- Nissan Motorsports

NOS -- Nitrous Oxide Systems (brand name)

OEM -- original equipment manufacturer

OT -- off topic

OSCAI -- Ooglie (Ugly) Stock Cold Air Intake (poorman's CAI)

PIA -- pain in the a$$

PIAA -- company that sells bulbs

Plugs -- spark plugs

PM -- private message

POS -- piece of ****

PR -- Place Racing

PSI -- pounds per square inch (measurement of pressure)

RPM -- revolutions per minute

Red/Clears -- 4th gen tail lights with the amber piece cleared out

RICE -- any modification done to a car that someone else feels is inappropriate/ unecessary/ fugly/cheap/ tacky/ gauche/irrelevant/trifflin/etc etc etc

RSB -- rear sway bar

RSTB -- rear strut tower brace

R/T -- reaction time

SC - supercharger

SE -- maxima SE

SE-L -- maxima SE-Limited (only available in 1999)

SES -- service engine soon

Shaving -- removing emblems and badges from the car

Sig -- signature at bottom of posts

Stock -- no modifications

STS -- short throw shifter

Tach -- tachometer (shows RPMs)

TB -- throttle body

TC – Traction control/torque converter

TE -- titanium edition maxima(only available in 2003)

Torque Breaking -- stepping on foot break while revving the engine as to get a better launch in an automatic transmission

TQ -- torque

TSB -- technical service bulletin

UDP -- underdrive pully

VB -- valve body

VE -- a nissan engine
VG -- a nissan engine

VI -- variable intake

VLSD -- viscious limited slip differential

VTC – Variable Timing Control

VQ -- a nissan engine

WOT -- wide open throttle

WTB -- want to buy

WTF -- what the f*ck

EGT - Exhaust Gas Temperature
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:55 AM
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Can I Save Money and Run Low Octane?

Article/dyno taken from http://www.dynospotracing.com

Here is a dyno chart showing two different cars. When I dynoed one of these cars, I knew that something was immediately wrong! Guess which one?

Notice that the 89 Octane car's power curves are very jagged. This is a result of the car "hearing" knocking and pinging and desperately trying to adjust the timing and save the engine. The ECU is almost searching for the best advance and having quite some trouble, not good.

The stunning results of running the lower grade fuel are -22 ft/lbs and almost -19 HP!!!! Ouch!

Folks, don't abuse the knock sensing capabilities of you beloved car. Let's just stick to the good stuff!


Granted it's not a Maxima, it should make you think twice before filling up with the cheap stuff.

Click here to see the article: http://www.dynospotracing.com/octane.htm

Thread here: http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=63069

This article from Car & Driver magazine also has lots of good information on why to follow the OEM octane specs:

Credit: Y2KevSE

Which is better- horsepower or torque?

Horsepower (HP) is just a function of torque (TQ).

HP = (TQ * RPM) / 5252

Therefore, any time you increase torque you have increased HP...and vice versa.

Most people use TQ to refer to low end power and HP to refer to high end power. Try not to get into that habit. Just say high- or low-end power.

Another good article.

What is "the beam?"

The 4th Gen Maxima does not have independent rear suspension. It uses what Nissan calls the "Multi-Link Beam." It has several advantages and disadvantages over other systems. Sport Compact Car did a column about it a few years ago which has been transcribed by se-r.net.


Alternator ampere rating

This question always seems to pop up. "How many amps is the stock alternator?" Theres speculation from 85 to 135 amps. Well, according to my 97 FSM, its either 100 or 110 depending on the alternator. It lists the former as Standard with model LR1100-711, and the latter as Option LR1110-709. It does not specify how they differ in what trim package, etc, but I have a feeling it is part of the cold weather package (heated mirrors, seats, heavy starter and heavy alternator, low washer fluid warning lamp).

Update: The different alternators are used for different emissions equipment. Fed-spec cars use the 110 amp part, CA-spec uses the 100 amp part. No, I don't know why they are different.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:55 AM
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What are the alignment specs for my car?


Camber, in degrees.
-1.00 Minimum
-0.25 Nominal
+0.50 Maximum
+0.75 Maximum left and right difference

Caster, in degrees
+2.00 Minimum
+2.75 Nominal
+3.50 Maximum
+0.75 Maximum left and right difference

Kingpin inclination, in degrees
+13.50 Minimum
+14.25 Nominal
+15.00 Maximum

Total toe-in distance, in millimeters
+1 Minimum
+2 Nominal
+3 Maximum

Total toe-in angle (left plus right), in degrees
+0.09 Minimum
+0.18 Nominal
+0.27 Maximum


Camber, in degrees
-1.75 Minimum
-1.00 Nominal
-0.25 Maximum

Total toe-in distance, in millimeters
-3 Minimum
+1 Nominal
+5 Maximum

Total toe-in angle (left plus right), in degrees
-0.27 Minimum
+0.09 Nominal
+0.43 Maximum

The rear wheels aren't adjustable, and the front toe is the only spec specified for adjustment from the factory. Camber is the most important spec on our cars alignment, and if it's not perfectly even on both sides you tend to get a slight pull. If the mechanic is a cool person, they will adjust your lower strut bolt to adjust the front camber.

Compilation from Daniel B. Martin, njmaxseltd, and Eric L.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:04 AM
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What are some cheap or easy mods that I can do to my 4th gen?

What are some cheap or easy mods that I can do to my 4th Gen?

front strut tower bar (FSTB)
rear sway bar (RSB)
popcharger or intake
clear corners (recommend diamond cut)
remove OEM badges and emblems
clear out taillights (97-99)
upgrade light bulbs all around
make door pillars body color
bumper mesh
rewire some things
paint valve cover (engine enamel)
paint brake calipers (foliatec or engine enamel)
buy polish and polish aluminum parts in the engine
upgrade shift **** and/or ebrake handle and use real leather aftermarket boots
Big 3 in engine
wire loom in engine
60k (or other scheduled) maintainance
paint OEM rims
remove all dealer badges
detail vehicle

Who manufactures a (insert part name here) for my car?
Search or look in the Product review thread.

This is pretty much everything that I could have wanted my list to be.

Last edited by Kevlo911; 06-23-2009 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:16 AM
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What mods can I add to my 4th gen to gain power?

Y-pipe - An aftermarket Y-pipe is the best bang for the buck power upgrade for the Maxima. You can see gains of 10-15 HP just by replacing the stock Y-pipe. The stock Y-pipe contains two pre-cats and many restrictive bends, a smooth flowing aftermarket pipe is a huge improvement. Technically replacing your y-pipe is illegal (in most states) because it removes emissions equipment, but since the pre-cats are only necessary until the main cat warms up you should pass emissions testing if your car is warmed up first. Prices range from $200-400 and are available from Warpspeed Performance, Cattman Performance, Budget, and Stillen. There are many opinions on what company is best, search and decide for yourself.

Now there are also the SS autochrome ypipe/header combo on ebay, these are OK at best, search around and you will find many reviews

Headers - Headers will not give you much gain over an after market ypipe but it will help. If you search and look at the dyno comparisons, you will see that headers will add more area under the dyno curve, thus meaning more power overall. This applies mainly to Cattman Headers, and the newer equal length style OBX headers(not direct fit). The benefit of doing a equal length header system over just a ypipe is that the equal length will make the exhaust sound much better and not as raspy(depending on the muffler/catback setup).


Intake - An intake will give gains of 5-10 HP and works better with exhaust mods (like a Y-pipe). Most aftermarket intakes give a load growl over 3500 RPM at WOT, but are fairly quiet during normal driving. All aftermarket intakes give are an improvement over the stock intake, but they give their power gain in different RPM ranges. There are many opinions on what style and brand is best, use the search function for more information. A qulity K&N filter will cost between $35 and $50 depending on what you buy and where you get it, shop around.

Cold Air Intake (CAI)(Place Racing Style) A CAI uses a long tube that goes through a hole in your fender to get air from the fenderwell. The colder air from outside the engine compartment is supposed to give a performance increase. The long tubing gives a low RPM power boost, according to Place Racing - 'the air inside the tube creates a ram effect that literally forces the air into the throttle body'. However at higher RPMs this longer tubing restricts airflow giving smaller gains. You can buy a CAI from Warpspeed or Place Racing. Expect to pay between $155 and $210. There are now no name brands of CAIs on ebay for well under $100, most come with a very cheap filter that I would recommend replacing with a K&N (RU-2820) or other quality filter. Some are the Injen style (see below) so make sure you are buying what you want.

Cold Air Intake (CAI) (Injen Style) The Injen CAI does not require cutting, the filter stays under the hood. The filter is located away from the engine heat but the tubing has more bends than the Place racing style and how much cold air is available anywhere under the hood is debatable. ~$200 for the Injen or check ebay for generic knock offs for well under $100, they also usually come with a cheap filter that should be replaced with a quality one.

Pop Charger/ Cone filter A Pop charger is a cone filter and MAF adapter that mounts in place of your stock airbox. You could buy one from JWT or Stillen or make your own with a MAF adapter and a cone filter. A Pop Charger gives good high RPM gains but some owners report a low end 'lag' or power loss. Automatic owners seem to feel this low end loss more. Over $100 for the JWT or Stillen, or you can use a MAF adapter and cone filter for less.

Hybrid/ Short Ram A hybrid intake uses a cone filter with a MAF adapter and replaces the stock intake resonator with a smooth tube. Upper RPM gains are as good as better than a Pop charger and there is little or no low end power loss. This seems to be the most popular intake among board members at the moment. You can buy a hybrid setup from Frankencar Performance or buy the upper tube of a CAI from Place Racing or Warpspeed and piece together your own. There are also hybrid type setups available on Ebay, as above most come with a cheap filter that I would recommend replacing with a K&N.

Modified Stock Intake Some feel that the best results can be had from modifying the stock intake (and some are just cheap/broke ). K&N makes a panel filter that is a direct stock replacement (about $40-45). Modifying the stock intake is usually quieter than an aftermarket intake. There are several different ways of doing this including one or more of the following.

Oogilie Stock Cold Air Intake (OSCAI) The OSCAI is simply removing the first resonator and replacing it with a hose routed outside the engine compartment to provide an additional source of (cold) air. There is a more detailed description on how to do this in this FAQ. Often referred to as the poormans's cold air intake.

Hacked airbox This involves cutting hole(s) in the stock airbox (before the filter of course) to increase airflow. Some have put a hose into the new hole and run it to a location where it can pick up cold air. Search for 'Hacked Airbox' or 'Modified Airbox' for more info.

Other Stock Intake Mods Some have replaced the resonator between the Airbox and throttle body with a smooth pipe. Others have removed the lower half of the stock airbox and found some way to hold the filter in place. There are many ways to modify the stock intake and most only take some time and inexpensive items from the hardware store. With the search function you should be able to find lots of ideas.

If you look around you will find that many people just say intake is just for noise and many dyno's and butt dyno's prove this. You DO NOT need to post a thread about which intake is the best, read the stuff above or just search around. Trust me.

Variable Intake Manifold (AKA - MEVI, VI or VIM) - This is the newest Mod discovered for the fourth Gen Maxima, it is a stock part on Maximas made for the Middle East (hence MEVI). There is a modest HP gain with this (about 10hp) but more importantly it allows the Maxima to make peak power all the way to redline. There are a ton of threads on this, search. 'VI' is to short for the board search engine but try using variable, MEVI, or VIM. There is a detailed description on how it works several posts down in this thread.
00vi is very popular and easy to do, you can find ALOT of information in this thread here:

Nitrous/Turbocharger/Supercharger - Of course these give big gains, cost a lot, and have downsides - plenty of information if you use the search function.

ECU - At the moment an ECU upgrade is only available for the 96-96 Maxima. ECUs are available from JWT and G-force engineering, gains will not be as significant as on other cars because the stock ECU is very good. Cost is $500+. Stay away from the JET ECU.

JWT has made an ecu for 99's, search for the threads about them it is NOT hard to find.

You can also tune the ECU by using an Emanage or a Vafc/Safc.
Look at that for more information

Hotter Cams - JWT recently announced the availability of hotter cams for the Maxima. Gains should be significant but so will the cost. Cams will probably cost around $1000 and plan on spending another $800-1000 for installation.

There are many other Mods available but none will give the same gains as a y-pipe and intake. Some common power Mods are - High flow Cat, B-pipe, Muffler, Cat-back (B-pipe and muffler combo), Underdrive Pully (UDP) - Most of these only give small gains, search for more info.

Last edited by The Wizard; 01-02-2015 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:03 AM
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I like you kid, you remind me of myself at your age. Smart kid, open to new ideas, but not knowing what direction to go. So I'm going to help you out.

Back when I was about the same age as you I was into looks and stereos and all that stuff, but eventually grew out of it, after spending lots of money on it. Money I wish to God I had spent on performance back then. I'd have alot faster cars now if I had.

First off, do what YOU want to do. Don't cave in and get a Y-pipe and suspension if it's not what YOU want. Impressing a bunch of dudes on a car forum is not as important as your personal happiness. If you don't give a rats *** how fast your car is or how well it handles, don't go spending your hard earned money on the stuff we tell you to get. Spend it on the things you want.

Here are the basics of the things you were asking about. Body kit-imho the only one that looks good is the stillen kit, and the redlinemax front bumper. Other than those I don't know jack about them so I can't really help you there. Spoilers and taillights, I won't even touch those, I know I hate em, but if you want to get them, get them, its your money not mine. Dual exhaust- well exhaust ain't cheap, and dual exhaust is even more "not cheap." Ask yourself is it worth it to spend all that $ just to have the look of 2 mufflers sticking out the back. If it is worth it to you, get it. I don't remember if there were other cosmetic things you asked about, but we're moving on.

One thing I've realized in the last few years of modding cars is that your idea of what looks good changes, and if you dropped two grand on a bunch of appearance mods, and then 18 months later you decide you don't like how they look, well you're pretty much screwed. You gotta drop more money on changing the look. Or worse yet you do what I did, stop caring about what your car looks like, and start caring only about how well it performs. I did a few things on my maxima that I wish to god now I hadn't bothered with. I don't make alot of money, and most every dime of what I do make goes into my max. So the $200 I spent on my dash kit, and the $800 or so I spent on crappy rims back in the day is money that I would give ANYTHING to have back now, so that I could put it into what I really care about, making the car faster. What I'm getting at is that looks are something about which your opinion can, and most likely will, change. Performance however, performance never gets old. No one ever says "wow I really wish I hadn't made my car handle so well and go so fast." But all the time people say "wow I wish I hadn't spent all that money on that body kit and those taillights which I now hate and would like to burn because they look so stupid to me now"

The basics of performance are these, the first "power mod" you want to do is a Y pipe. It's cheap, its effective, and its easy to install. It is the best bang for your buck on a maxima. An aftermarket Ypipe replaces your stock Y pipe, which is the part of the exhaust system that sits between your engine, and your catalytic converter (it eliminates your PRECATS, which are 2 mini catalytic converters, not needed for emissions testing if your car is properly warmed up). You can expect about 15hp from one. Make no mistake, this is not going to turn your car from losing to Dodge Caravans to beating Ferraris, but it does give you a kick in the pants which you'll feel unless you are quadraplegic. After that the next basic "power mod" is an intake. Cheap, gives you a couple extra horsepower, and makes your car sound alot better when you get on the gas. After this you can move onto other things, such as catback exhaust, UDP, ECU, MEVI, etc if you find you have been bitten by the bug and need more speed. If you decide that doing power mods is stupid then you just wasted say $250 bucks, and you can get most of that back by selling them again if you really dont want them. But $250 is nothing compared to the $800 a body kit costs, or the extra $400 to paint it and the extra $200 to install it. If you decide 6 months down the road you dont like your body kit, you're in far deeper.

The most basic and effective handling mods are a rear swaybar, and a set of springs and struts. These will utterly transform how your car handles, and you won't believe it's the same car anymore. It sure won't feel like the same car. For a basic, reliable, and much improved suspension setup with minimal cost (without cutting corners and getting el cheapo springs which may be of questionable quality) I'd get Eibach or H&R or Tein or Intrax springs, and couple them with some decent struts (kyb agx, tokico illumina) and an Addco or Progress rear swaybar. That's a solid suspension setup for not too much money. Of course you could go all out and go straight to JIC Magic FLT-A2s and a stillen RSB, but then you'd be dropping $1900 just on your suspension, and that's not necessary at this point since you are sortof "testing the waters" when it comes to the world of performance modding.

A front strut tower bar really goes a long way to making the car feel more "solid", your car wont creak and rattle so much over train tracks and large bumps, etc, and it just makes the car feel "better" and they aren't too expensive. You can get a worthwhile one off ebay for like $50 and as long as it isn't made out of popsickle sticks and paper towel, it will work just fine.

Personally I went with suspension mods on my Max first when it came to improving performance, because the stock handling is just plain horrible, but the max has pretty good power stock. It needed more help in the handling department, so that's the direction I would go. Rear swaybar, and springs/struts of your choice, depending on how stiff and low you want the car to be. Good tires are essential for optimal handling, and that also opens the door for wheels. You can either put good tires on your stock wheels, or kill two birds with one stone and get aftermarket wheels which will both improve the looks AND performance of your car.

You can see where we're all going with this. I think at some point most of us wanted a car that looked pretty and didn't give a rats *** about performance, or if we did care how fast our car was, we didn't know what we could do about it. I sure didn't know when I first started modding cars. But in time the desire to make a pretty looking maxima fades and you are left with what I described earlier, an intense desire to make your car faster, to make it handle better, etc, and you wind up kicking yourself for all the money you wasted on useless crap which you now care nothing about.

Good luck.
Can mods void my warranty?
YES- but they have to have been the CAUSE of the malfunction.

What does the law say about this?
Found this on a Ford site. And I quote...

"Under the Magnusson-Moss Act, aftermarket equipment that improves performance does not void a vehicle manufacturer's original warranty, unless that warranty clearly states the addition of aftermarket equipment automatically voids the warranty or that the aftermarket device is the direct cause of the failure. The easiest way to check this is to look in your owner's manual under "What is not covered." Nonetheless, Dealers receive less compensation for warranty work than regular service rates and some have tried to deny warranty service. Under Magnusson-Moss Act a dealer must prove, not just vocalize, that aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before they can deny warranty coverage. If they cannot prove such claim-or proffer a questionable explanation- it is your legal right to demand compliance with the warranty. The Federal Trade Commission (202-326-3128) administers the Magnusson-Moss Act and monitors compliance with warranty law."

Read this for more information: http://www.usdieselparts.com/mmwa.cfm

This is federal law. Don't let any dealer try to tell you different, if they do, go to another one or call Nissan USA and get them to give the service manager a little call too.


Warranty DENIAL due to MODS?
What can you do?

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Old 06-23-2009, 09:11 AM
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What if I want to sell my car or buy a car? How do I know what to pay? Should I post about it? NO:

How do I know what parts to buy?

Well first you should search, many of us have posted where we have gotten our parts, how much, and how they are.
There is also this:

What about some basic maintenance and mechanical information? Here check this thread:


What are these FSM's people keep telling me too look at to fix my car?!?!:

I need to find a part number for a certain part, how can I find it?

Use can find a copy of Nissan FAST:

Or call the dealer, or use this:

Last edited by Kevlo911; 08-09-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:26 AM
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Suspension and Brakes:


Check that first, do not post about what suspension setup is good. Look through that thread and the the official drop pics thread and decide what you want. If you want to know how it rides, search, there are many threads on how each setup rides.

As for brakes, look at the last post. You are not the only one that needs to change your pads/rotors. Look around it will make your life and our life much easier.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:30 AM
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HID lights:


That should be everything you need to know about them. If not search, and still nothing? We will help you for sure!

http://forums.maxima.org/4th-generat...ut-photos.html - More info on the 9004 -> 9007 conversion

Last edited by Kevlo911; 01-17-2010 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:33 AM
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More Exhaust Info:

Hopefully you read about ypipes and headers in the above posts, if you have not, due so. It is knowledge that is always good to know.


That thread will help you in choosing an exhaust. Once it is installed, you can upload you own Sound Clip to it!

It even has how to change your O2 sensors.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:44 AM
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What if I want to spice up my Interior?


Look through that thread, if some of the links don't work, check the How to thread!
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:48 AM
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What can I do to the outside of the car?

Not only can you search or look through the members rides section of this forum, you can look through this thread to get ideas:
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