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VQ30 RWD Conversion (not into a maxima....)

Old 09-18-2017, 05:22 PM
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VQ30 RWD Conversion (not into a maxima....)

It's been a while since I've been around (sold the Maxima almost 10 years ago!) but good to see some of my old sticky threads are still providing information a decade later.

Anyhow....starting some research about a possible VQ30DE or DE-K swap into my stage rally car, a 1985 BMW e30 currently with an M42 engine. I know the easy button is an M52/S52 swap, but rather than a long inline-6, I'm interested in doing a compact V6 for better front-end clearance, since rally cars hit trees sometimes, lol.....



It's been done a couple times over in Aussie-land, but not much in the way of details. And of course some of the vintage Datsun/Z guys have done it, but my memory is a bit hazy on VQ30 stuff these days and thought someone here might have done a RWD VQ30 into soemthing else.

By the looks of things, simply put, it looks like a FWD VQ30 will bolt up to a 350z/G35 6-speed with little difficulty. The easy option would be to go VQ35 of course, but for my purposes the VQ30 is a better option in terms of cost, maintainability, and reliability I think.

So a few quick questions:
1. Does the FWD VQ30 have attachment points on the longitudinal sides for RWD-style motor mounts? I know the VQ30DETT does, of course, but don't recall if the DE/DE-K block castings have the same mount locations.

2. Refresh my memory: what year did the Maxima start getting Immobilizer? With the 5th gen, or did late 4th gens have it too? While I can work around it, it would be easier to get an earlier VQ30DE without Immobilizer key/ECU and then just do MEVI/OOVI swap....

3. Any other options out there for transmission conversions (e.g. a T-5 or something)? And by that, I mean does anyone know of any conversion kits for the VQ30?

4. VQ30 bellhousing - my recollection is that the MT Maxima has the bellhousing integrated to the transmission, while the A/T has a separate bellhousing. Is that correct, or do I have it backwards?

Of course, I welcome any other thoughts from someone who has actually done a VQ30 RWD swap into something. I know for the e30 I'll have to bolt up a VQ35 oil pan to clear my front subframe/steering rack. But otherwise just starting to research and figured I'd check here in my old stomping grounds first for ideas.

Thanks in advance, guys.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:13 PM
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I can answer #2. 1999 was the first year the Maxima got the immobilizer/NATS.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:51 PM
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Hey, one answer at a time is fine!

Good to see you're still around these parts!
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:08 AM
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You're still alive?!
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
It's been a while since I've been around (sold the Maxima almost 10 years ago!) but good to see some of my old sticky threads are still providing information a decade later.

Anyhow....starting some research about a possible VQ30DE or DE-K swap into my stage rally car, a 1985 BMW e30 currently with an M42 engine. I know the easy button is an M52/S52 swap, but rather than a long inline-6, I'm interested in doing a compact V6 for better front-end clearance, since rally cars hit trees sometimes, lol.....



It's been done a couple times over in Aussie-land, but not much in the way of details. And of course some of the vintage Datsun/Z guys have done it, but my memory is a bit hazy on VQ30 stuff these days and thought someone here might have done a RWD VQ30 into soemthing else.

By the looks of things, simply put, it looks like a FWD VQ30 will bolt up to a 350z/G35 6-speed with little difficulty. The easy option would be to go VQ35 of course, but for my purposes the VQ30 is a better option in terms of cost, maintainability, and reliability I think.

So a few quick questions:
1. Does the FWD VQ30 have attachment points on the longitudinal sides for RWD-style motor mounts? I know the VQ30DETT does, of course, but don't recall if the DE/DE-K block castings have the same mount locations.

2. Refresh my memory: what year did the Maxima start getting Immobilizer? With the 5th gen, or did late 4th gens have it too? While I can work around it, it would be easier to get an earlier VQ30DE without Immobilizer key/ECU and then just do MEVI/OOVI swap....

3. Any other options out there for transmission conversions (e.g. a T-5 or something)? And by that, I mean does anyone know of any conversion kits for the VQ30?

4. VQ30 bellhousing - my recollection is that the MT Maxima has the bellhousing integrated to the transmission, while the A/T has a separate bellhousing. Is that correct, or do I have it backwards?

Of course, I welcome any other thoughts from someone who has actually done a VQ30 RWD swap into something. I know for the e30 I'll have to bolt up a VQ35 oil pan to clear my front subframe/steering rack. But otherwise just starting to research and figured I'd check here in my old stomping grounds first for ideas.

Thanks in advance, guys.
Hey Irish good to see you're still around man.
been a long while.. upgraded my max several times.. 99 3.5/6spd now..


I'm probably the guy you need to talk to about this swap.

I'm helping friends in Russia build a vq35/30 6spd hybrid drift car.
He runs a russian 4 cyl car very similar to an old Fiat, and is converting it to run a 03 fwd vq35 with a 350z 6spd trans

The build is: convert the vq35 to 3.0 timing, Run 95-96 maxima ECU with wiring harness, with either nistune of Emanage Ultimate for tuning. the setup uses a 3.0 timing ring on 3.5 rwd flywheel, and 01 cable driven PF TB with a RWD 350z manifold for good TB placement. The engine is getting rebuilt now with pistons and rods, vq30dek engine cooling mod, MLS head gaskets, and better valvetrain to handle repeated redline bounce.
once the 35 is in and car is alive, there's even plans to supercharge it if the power is still lacking..

it's still in the building stages and it's not exactly meant as a street car (although in Russia as long as you have legit plates anything really goes...)

all in all it is very similar to what you're undertaking as it will need custom mounts for engine and trans, a way to clear the steering rack with a baffled oil pan for sideways application, a custom driveshaft to tie it all together.

Why that specific setup?
250whp torquey N/A, with 400whp boosted application. no VTC to tune to keep it simple. lighter aluminum vq35 with Nissan reliability as opposed to a heavy german turbo powerplant, and much less $$$ than a heavier 2JZ build.
VQ35 is just a bored and stroked VQ30 from the nissan factory, uses the same exact VQ Block. the RWD vq35 block has a slightly different casting - a more spread out 4-bolt mount pattern than the FWD block (everything else is exactly the same internally)
It was easy to source motor and trans in Russia, my help on the wiring the 3.0 conversion and tuning, as well as availability of all custom engine parts to make it run.

Cooling system and interior gauges/cluster is still in the works (use aftermarket or a32 gauge cluster).. Once the motor build is complete, then the body fabwork will begin to get the motor shoehorned, trans tunnel modification, modified headers, return fuel system, and getting it running N/A. They have their own Rear LSD Diff setup they're making that I have no clue about whatsoever.

I'm sure there's 40 things missing, but you can ask me questions and I have plenty of pics and parts from my swaps and my vq projects over the years to help point you in the right direction.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:25 AM
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I think it's pretty silly to do a wild engine conversion all because you "might" hit a tree. If you hit a tree hard enough to worry about it damaging your engine, don't you really have more important things to be concerned about?
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:20 AM
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There's a few guys in the s chassis world who did this swap, as well as some decent threads in the z forums about swapping a 3.0 and the available options.

I myself looked into putting one in my old e30 since I have no shortage of vq related parts, however I felt that the engine mounts would not be sufficient in their fwd locations.. It was just a roadblock i didn't want to fool with. So just a personal hunch. No research to back it up.

That being said, I know it's still a transverse setup but there was a guy to put a vq30 in a 2nd gen MR2 and I believe another guy put one on a race boat.. Maybe those threads would have some info regarding custom wiring and tuning.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:54 PM
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I always thought it would be doable to use the A.C. mount holes and the axle carrier bearing holes for longitudinal engine mount points.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by vipervadim View Post
Hey Irish good to see you're still around man.
been a long while.. upgraded my max several times.. 99 3.5/6spd now..


I'm probably the guy you need to talk to about this swap.

I'm helping friends in Russia build a vq35/30 6spd hybrid drift car.
He runs a russian 4 cyl car very similar to an old Fiat, and is converting it to run a 03 fwd vq35 with a 350z 6spd trans

The build is: convert the vq35 to 3.0 timing, Run 95-96 maxima ECU with wiring harness, with either nistune of Emanage Ultimate for tuning. the setup uses a 3.0 timing ring on 3.5 rwd flywheel, and 01 cable driven PF TB with a RWD 350z manifold for good TB placement. The engine is getting rebuilt now with pistons and rods, vq30dek engine cooling mod, MLS head gaskets, and better valvetrain to handle repeated redline bounce.
once the 35 is in and car is alive, there's even plans to supercharge it if the power is still lacking..

it's still in the building stages and it's not exactly meant as a street car (although in Russia as long as you have legit plates anything really goes...)

all in all it is very similar to what you're undertaking as it will need custom mounts for engine and trans, a way to clear the steering rack with a baffled oil pan for sideways application, a custom driveshaft to tie it all together.

Why that specific setup?
250whp torquey N/A, with 400whp boosted application. no VTC to tune to keep it simple. lighter aluminum vq35 with Nissan reliability as opposed to a heavy german turbo powerplant, and much less $$$ than a heavier 2JZ build.
VQ35 is just a bored and stroked VQ30 from the nissan factory, uses the same exact VQ Block. the RWD vq35 block has a slightly different casting - a more spread out 4-bolt mount pattern than the FWD block (everything else is exactly the same internally)
It was easy to source motor and trans in Russia, my help on the wiring the 3.0 conversion and tuning, as well as availability of all custom engine parts to make it run.

Cooling system and interior gauges/cluster is still in the works (use aftermarket or a32 gauge cluster).. Once the motor build is complete, then the body fabwork will begin to get the motor shoehorned, trans tunnel modification, modified headers, return fuel system, and getting it running N/A. They have their own Rear LSD Diff setup they're making that I have no clue about whatsoever.

I'm sure there's 40 things missing, but you can ask me questions and I have plenty of pics and parts from my swaps and my vq projects over the years to help point you in the right direction.
cool, still looking at options (for a rally car, keeping the swap on the cheap side is always a priority since there's a good chance it will end up in a tree....), but will definitely hit you up if I decide to go this route. Still looking into cross-make legality for certain rally series. for some reason some of the organizations require you to run same make engine as car (probably to avoid everyone just doing easy LS swaps lol).
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
I think it's pretty silly to do a wild engine conversion all because you "might" hit a tree. If you hit a tree hard enough to worry about it damaging your engine, don't you really have more important things to be concerned about?
you're only saying that because it would make the car a lot faster against you in rallycross

Nick, we've hit multiple trees (not hard).It happens in rally. It's nice to have some "play" especially on the front end between the bumper/rad support and the front of the engine for that exact reason. Plenty of rally cars hit trees and mush in the front a bit. The guys whose engines survive are the ones who finish the rally. The guys whose engines are impacted as well are the ones who get towed home...
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