1996 I30 with 3.5 swap, NIStune ECU, ~237/247 - Maxima Forums



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1996 I30 with 3.5 swap, NIStune ECU, ~237/247

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Old 07-16-2015, 12:24 PM   #1  
3.5 Swapped!
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1996 I30 with 3.5 swap, NIStune ECU, ~237/247

A while ago I got a NIStune board installed in a stock ECU and had JE Import Performance up in Baltimore install it and tune it.

As a baseline, we hooked up the old TS ECU that was in the car when Darius put down 242 whp (on a Dynojet) with this 3.5 motor in his car. I was told Dynojets tend to read 5-6% higher than Dynapacks, but I was surprised to see it put down only 223 whp! And I had added a PF TB to the mix, as opposed to Darius using the stock 60 mm TB, so I didn't like seeing it that low. After some tuning, he got it up to about 237/247, which was still 5 whp less than what Darius put down some 6 years ago. I guess if I'm really curious I will go do some quick dynos on a Dynojet and see what it puts down there. Regardless, the car feels incredible! The power increase around 4k is much smoother now, and power down low is much improved. My A/F ratio is pretty much perfect now, as opposed to it always leaning out up top, like it did on the stock, JWT, and TS ECUs. I had been suffering from some herky-jerky action when getting on and off the gas in stop and go traffic, and it was maddening. This was magically cured with the tune as well! I don't think my car has ever ran this smoothly, it's amazing!! I'm pretty disappointed by how badly the power dies off above 5600 rpm. I had them tune it to 7k, but by then it's only making 165 whp! I would consider the SSIM if it weren't for its loss of torque. I like my 247 wtq! Maybe cams and a 4" intake are in my future....For now, the engine mods are:

-2002/03 Maxima 3.5 motor, no SS IM mod
-K&N filter, velocity stack
-2001/02 Pathfinder 70mm TB, custom adapter and throttle cable bracket from sicivic89
-NWP thermal intake manifold spacers
-NWP Block off plate
-Nistune ECU, 7k RPM rev-limit
-Cattman headers
-Resonated test pipe
-2.5 Budget resonated b-pipe
-2004 G35 sedan muffler
-Aeromotive AFPR

I got the dyno chart from the shop, but it's not exactly what I hoped for. It's not a run/data file, it's not a screen shot, it's a damn camera phone pic.

Please try and decipher, if you will, this overlay of my best Nistune run with the best TS ECU run. The A/F ratio is also in there towards the bottom. The TS ECU lines are almost impossible to see; they're the light gray dots below the Nistune lines. The less said about the TS's A/F ratio on a 3.5, the better.

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I can't believe it doesn't display the peak hp/tq ratings!
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:42 AM   #2  
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Stephen-Max cam adapters???

Seems like they are set a bit retarded, this isn't a low end motor we're working with, sadly to get the best power a lot of work just for a tiny cam re-drilling.

That TQ tho....

And sadly with the 5mt gears, you're gonna have to rev it out to about 6800 to get the most average power.

Last edited by aackshun; 07-18-2015 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:42 AM   #3  
3.5 Swapped!
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Originally Posted by aackshun View Post
Stephen-Max cam adapters???

Seems like they are set a bit retarded, this isn't a low end motor we're working with, sadly to get the best power a lot of work just for a tiny cam re-drilling.

That TQ tho....

And sadly with the 5mt gears, you're gonna have to rev it out to about 6800 to get the most average power.
You know, I was thinking the same thing the other day when looking at this.

The 3.5 was setup by Tilley back around 2007 in my friend's Maxima. I'm honestly not sure what he did for the cams. What are people doing nowadays since the cam adapters aren't being made any more? Is there a way for me to verify what's inside this thing?
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #4  
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Stephen-Max cam adapters???

Seems like they are set a bit retarded, this isn't a low end motor we're working with, sadly to get the best power a lot of work just for a tiny cam re-drilling.

That TQ tho....

And sadly with the 5mt gears, you're gonna have to rev it out to about 6800 to get the most average power.
I've got stephen max cam adapters and I held power much better to redline, granted the low end completely sucks untuned. link
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:45 AM   #5  
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Yall gonna love my other thought.

3.0 cams

The power band makes sense

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I've got stephen max cam adapters and I held power much better to redline, granted the low end completely sucks untuned. link
I know. Usually good till around 7200 on 5mt truck gearing.

Last edited by aackshun; 07-21-2015 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:28 AM   #6  
3.5 Swapped!
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Yall gonna love my other thought.

3.0 cams

The power band makes sense



I know. Usually good till around 7200 on 5mt truck gearing.
Hmm, anyone got any cam adapters for sale? I assume I'll need them if I drop in some JWT S1 cams....
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:25 PM   #7  
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If you wanna upgrade your cams, I carry BC s2 264/264 cams brand new, for substantially less than list price.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:34 PM   #8  
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Hmm, anyone got any cam adapters for sale? I assume I'll need them if I drop in some JWT S1 cams....
I'm about to make a batch. PM me if you want a set.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:11 PM   #9  
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If Tilley did the swap in '07 I'd be almost certain that he drilled the intake cams to match the lobe center line of the VQ30 cams. I went to Tilley's with my buddy to have cams drilled in '07 and this is exactly what he did.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:39 PM   #10  
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If Tilley did the swap in '07 I'd be almost certain that he drilled the intake cams to match the lobe center line of the VQ30 cams. I went to Tilley's with my buddy to have cams drilled in '07 and this is exactly what he did.
That is different from where stephenmax set his adapters, correct?
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:26 AM   #11  
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Hmm, anyone got any cam adapters for sale? I assume I'll need them if I drop in some JWT S1 cams....
Wait are you on 3.0 cams?

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If Tilley did the swap in '07 I'd be almost certain that he drilled the intake cams to match the lobe center line of the VQ30 cams. I went to Tilley's with my buddy to have cams drilled in '07 and this is exactly what he did.
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That is different from where stephenmax set his adapters, correct?
I'm a supporter of drilling cams after this happened to me:

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You still need cam spacers but just drill and get the dowel pins from fastnel or some other nut and bolt company, IIRC the pin size is M5x(whatever length you deem necessary)
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:37 AM   #12  
3.5 Swapped!
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Wait are you on 3.0 cams?

I'm a supporter of drilling cams after this happened to me:

You still need cam spacers but just drill and get the dowel pins from fastnel or some other nut and bolt company, IIRC the pin size is M5x(whatever length you deem necessary)
I.....don't even know at this point. 95naSTA makes it sound like Tilley was drilling the 3.5 cams, but I really don't have a clue. I think getting some JWT S1 cams will solve all these problems! How in the world do you go about drilling them though? Who would know how to do that?
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:01 PM   #13  
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That is different from where stephenmax set his adapters, correct?
Sorry not sure off the top of my head. I want to say yes but it would take a lot of digging to confirm.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:27 PM   #14  
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I.....don't even know at this point. 95naSTA makes it sound like Tilley was drilling the 3.5 cams, but I really don't have a clue. I think getting some JWT S1 cams will solve all these problems! How in the world do you go about drilling them though? Who would know how to do that?
Any machine shop can drill to the precise dowel pin size that you need, if they cant.....they really need to consider another profession. But essentially you just need to mark where you need the cams to be drilled which luckily in the case of VQ35DE cams its already done for you so they just have to enlarge the marker hole.

You can do that OR if you are looking to mild cams on running 3.0 timing just buy JWT cams for the VQ30 that eliminates the need for all this spacers and drilling trickery, safer and much easier.

VQ35DE S1= 260* w/ 10.9mm lift
VQ30DE S1= 256* w/ 10.5mm lift

The difference in power they would produce is negligible. 4* and .4mm worth of lift. But the numbers would suggest that the 3.0 S1s would favor shifting the powerband to a slightly lower rpm point than 3.5 versions. The 3.0 versions might suit your needs a little better. They will however make a little less power due to the lift.

All that said if your motor is on 3.0 cams and making these numbers it is damn healthy lol.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:48 AM   #15  
3.5 Swapped!
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Hey guys, I've been starting to think about the future of this car, and I really want to get a wider power band from my motor. As of now, I'm basically making great power between 4400-5600, and very little outside of that range. Here's how I want it to look:



I do my best to stay on top of all the new motor swap info, but it's tough. I'm not interested in chasing mega numbers, 280 whp would be enough if my area under the curve was better/more linear. I'm still using 3.0 timing equipment/engine harness/ECU, and Nistune is running the show. I know the ideal solution is to do the 02/03 harness swap, and then drop in the 09+ Maxima motor, but given the money I've invested in Nistune, I'm reluctant to give it up. Also, the 02/03 harness swap is pretty intimidating. What would happen if I tried to just install the 09+ motor with my current wiring/ECU? I know I still wouldn't have VTC, so would the swap be worth the effort? If it got me more area under the curve but not much in terms of peak power, I would probably be in favor. Is it possible to not have that torque dip from 2800-4400, or do all cars have that with VTC disabled? It sounds like some JWT cams would help with maintaining power above 5600, so that's an option for that.

The 6 speed swap also is on my mind, but again, I'm reluctant to give up my Quaife diff....
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:09 AM   #16  
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The first time winding out my HR setup, I banged the stock limiter like a brick wall. The powerband definitely gets extended. With the old DE I could feel it start to fall off before the limiter even with a 3.5" intake, SSIM, 75mm TB and 3" exhaust.

On your 2800 dip, I see you don't have the VIAS working. That could help you out if it was. Or you could always do the SSIM to get your torque to hang out for longer.

I've gone from a more modded DE setup to an HR headed 3.0 swap back to back and it was worth it for me. 106 trap and 30 mpg highway was cool too.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:57 AM   #17  
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The first time winding out my HR setup, I banged the stock limiter like a brick wall. The powerband definitely gets extended. With the old DE I could feel it start to fall off before the limiter even with a 3.5" intake, SSIM, 75mm TB and 3" exhaust.

On your 2800 dip, I see you don't have the VIAS working. That could help you out if it was. Or you could always do the SSIM to get your torque to hang out for longer.

I've gone from a more modded DE setup to an HR headed 3.0 swap back to back and it was worth it for me. 106 trap and 30 mpg highway was cool too.
Check out these classic dynos from NissanClub:

Blue=stock
Red=VIAS delete, NWP BOP (What I currently run)
Green=SSIM



Looks like the SSIM is the worst combo below 6100, and by a good margin. I don't know about you, but I spend most of my driving below 6100 rpm, so the SSIM isn't even a consideration. I do miss the mid-range torque hit of the stock setup, but the gains above 3800 rpm appear to be enough to tip the scales in favor of VIAS delete and NWP BOP. Do you have dynos showing different results?

It sounds like I could get most of the benefits of the 09+ motor by just installing the heads and IM. Can someone explain why 02/03 Maximas hold their power all the way to redline, but mine falls on its face? Is it just to how Tilley set up the cams? Maybe I should go back and run stock VIAS with no NWP BOP to regain my low end, and then put on 09+ heads and JWT cams to get more on the top? 09+ motors still run VIAS, right?

EDIT- I should mention that the car needs to be able to pass emissions testing every year, so not having codes (EGR, etc...) is very important.

Last edited by 95maxrider; 08-15-2018 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:43 AM   #18  
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Or you could always do the SSIM to get your torque to hang out for longer.
This implies you have to choose between picking up midrange or getting your torque to hang out for longer. I'm well aware of SSIM midrange loses.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:00 AM   #19  
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This implies you have to choose between picking up midrange or getting your torque to hang out for longer. I'm well aware of SSIM midrange loses.
You quoted yourself there, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Can you clarify?
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:43 AM   #20  
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You put together a post about how the SSIM sucks for midrange. I never said it didn't and I alluded to the fact that you would have to choose between midrange or it's top end gain.
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