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Bringing a VE 5 speed 3rd gen back to life!

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Old 12-21-2015, 01:05 PM   #1
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Bringing a VE 5 speed 3rd gen back to life!

I'm planning on taking the I30 out of commission for a while this winter while I take out the motor and trans to reseal everything, and I need something to get me around in the mean time. An old org member, Gabe (actually not sure of his screen name) got in touch with me and told me he wanted to get rid of his old 3rd gen for cheap, so I decided to pick it up. It had all sorts of problems, but I figured it would be good enough to get me through the winter.

Mods include: short intake, y pipe, high flow obd2 cat, ST springs, koni adjustable rear shocks, tokico front shocks, all poly bushings.

Recent maintenance: spark plugs, rear injectors, a few random coil packs, vacuum hoses, air filter, tie rods, ball joints.

Even with terrible camber wear on the front tires and massive fluid leaks, I was somehow able to squeak it though VA safety inspection, but the tech wouldn't put it on the dyno to test emissions with those issues, so I took it back to the house and got to work.

First up was cleaning up all the oily crap on the bottom of the car.

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Yeah, apparently there was also axle grease down there, which really didn't want to come off. A few hours later, it looked like this:

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Next up was swapping on some wheels with decent tires. Since the I30 needs 17s to clear the Wilwoods, on went the Hoosiers.

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See the family resemblance?

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Well apparently that wasn't good enough. The shop then found two exhaust leaks; one at the flange going into the cat, and one on top of the muffler. A new exhaust gasket and a bunch of Permatex exhaust patty later, the exhaust was sealed up and ready to go. The car finally passed emissions with flying colors, hooray!
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:16 PM   #2
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I had noticed that the temperature gauge seemed to stop working when it reached the mid point, so I decided to poke around the sensor in the engine. The wiring going to it looked pretty suspect:

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I'm not sure why this little extension was in there, but it wasn't needed, so I took it out, put on a new piece, and prayed for the best.

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No dice, the gauge still drops to zero after it reached operating temp. Oh well.

The black trim was starting to peel on the driver's side, so I fixed it quick and dirty with some electrical tape (not shown here).

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After the car passed inspection, I decided it was time to reward it and give it a bath. It lived the last few years of its life under an oak tree, and it was rather disgusting. Thank god I have a power washer!

Here's my Iron-X at work cleaning up the wheels...

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Damn I love the fenders on the 3rd gen. They make the 4th gen look all skinny in the hip area!

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The car had a misfire for some time before I bought it, and it made driving pretty miserable. I was determined to fix it with as little money as possible. I fixed a small vacuum leak at the air filter, and then put some Seafoam in the gas, but the misfire remained. I was poking around the engine bay when I noticed a loose wire on the block. Turns out it was the main ground for the battery. Ooh, this might be good.

Yeah, that nut isn't quite tight

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Much better

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And with that, the car ran much better. I could still get hints of a misfire, but the more I drove it, the better it got. I should have just disconnected the battery and reset the ECU to speed up the process, but oh well.

Next up was a trip to the junkyard. I really wanted to replace the center tail light and some other random things, and I lucked out by finding another black VE 3rd gen at the yard.

First up, new tail light.

Cracked:

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Fixed:

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Last edited by 95maxrider; 12-24-2015 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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Man, that looks great. Nice job. I love, love, love, love black VE's.

Dang, between this post and the posts from James_EastTX in the 3rd gen picture thread it really makes me want to buckle down on figuring out my black VE stalling/stumbling issues and then paint it fresh, shiny black.

Is this car going to merely be a temporary beater car!?

And this thread belongs in the 3rd gen forum too
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:35 PM   #4
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Oh and get you some camber bolts for that front camber. They're cheap and work great. I've been rocking them for 10+ years, never a single issue. They've allowed me to totally zero out my camber on the front even on an Intrax drop.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:59 PM   #5
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Oh and get you some camber bolts for that front camber. They're cheap and work great. I've been rocking them for 10+ years, never a single issue. They've allowed me to totally zero out my camber on the front even on an Intrax drop.
Thanks for the compliments! It's already got camber bolts, and I've got the camber wear to prove it! I've also got a set on the I30 Once I get some room in the garage, I'm going to buff the crap out of this paint and make it shine!!
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #6
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You might have noticed that none of the pics I've posted really showed the front of the car, and it's because of the hood.

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Oh, and the fender isn't helping matters.

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So I went back to the junkyard, but this time with a car that could (barely) fit the hood inside. The hood wasn't perfect by any means, but it was matching OEM paint and it had a clear coat.

Who is that in the background??
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Oh, and I replaced the broken corner lamp.

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The area under the cowl was pretty gross, so I cleaned it and many other things up with some Purple Power.

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The intake grilles were pretty well caked solid with crap.

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I cleaned the up with my shop vac and a screwdriver.

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After

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Done!

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Like I said, it's not perfect, but I can work with it.

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While at the yard, I also grabbed the front three coil packs, so I threw them in the car with the hope of them fixing the misfire. The coil pack closest to the oil filler hole was coated in old oil and dirt, so I thought it might have gotten damaged.

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The ones I got at the yard seemed to be cleaner than the ones I pulled out of my car. And what do you know? I think the misfire is gone! I've only driven the car twice so far, but it seemed to run a lot better and I don't think it misfired once!

I also cleaned things up a bit from this:

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To

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Another problem with the car was the driver's seat bracket:

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Apparently the car also has a non-airbag steering wheel from an S13 on the car, since it's an inch smaller than stock, so I figured I should probably at least fix the seat. Again, junkyard to the rescue:

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Last edited by 95maxrider; 12-21-2015 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #7
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To celebrate all of this, I vacuumed the crap out of the car to get it from this:

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To this:

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Old 12-21-2015, 09:56 PM   #8
2 VE's are better than one!
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Thanks for the compliments! It's already got camber bolts, and I've got the camber wear to prove it! I've also got a set on the I30 Once I get some room in the garage, I'm going to buff the crap out of this paint and make it shine!!
Ahh, gotcha, so your negative camber is by design lol. Makes sense, as you're into auto cross type stuff it looks like.

And wow you are really going to town. It's looking great. Must be nice to have a VE parts car at the yard, especially in the same color! Why not grab that driver fender too, was it no good?

Judging by your JY coil pack pictures, it looks like those suckers might have even been new. Only VE coil packs I've ever seen with bright white nice lettering like that were brand new! I say that from experience as I bought a new set a couple years back
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:09 AM   #9
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Looking fantastic. Excellent work. I'm enjoying reading this thread.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:29 AM   #10
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Its going to be interesting to see how you like this car vs the 4th gen chassis due to the IRS and the added weight of the VE over the nose. But looks good so far.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:49 AM   #11
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85max - looks like it cleaned up pretty nicely. Hard to believe it's over 22 years old and an 'outside' car recent years to boot. Nice that it's a 5MT car that you're saving, too.

I'm going to suggest that if the camber was bad that the toe was bad as well (and likely more responsible for the wear than the camber was).


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Ahh, gotcha, so your negative camber is by design lol. Makes sense, as you're into auto cross type stuff it looks like.
Virtually all MacStrut suspensions specify a small amount of negative camber even for a non-enthusiast's daily driver. Typically, this is around -0.75, with a little tolerance either way. The '87 Max I had spec'ed a little less (-0.65), and my '01 20AE a little more (-1). You really don't want to run 0.0 camber, as even mild to moderate cornering will tend to concentrate load and wear on the outer shoulders instead (especially in a softly sprung car that would roll heavily (obscenely?) if driven hard).


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Old 12-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #12
2 VE's are better than one!
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85max - looks like it cleaned up pretty nicely. Hard to believe it's over 22 years old and an 'outside' car recent years to boot. Nice that it's a 5MT car that you're saving, too.

I'm going to suggest that if the camber was bad that the toe was bad as well (and likely more responsible for the wear than the camber was).



Virtually all MacStrut suspensions specify a small amount of negative camber even for a non-enthusiast's daily driver. Typically, this is around -0.75, with a little tolerance either way. The '87 Max I had spec'ed a little less (-0.65), and my '01 20AE a little more (-1). You really don't want to run 0.0 camber, as even mild to moderate cornering will tend to concentrate load and wear on the outer shoulders instead (especially in a softly sprung car that would roll heavily (obscenely?) if driven hard).


Norm
Oh, I know that. I just meant that the fact that I can see just from pictures that it's negative means it's definitely outside of factory specs. It actually looks like how my car looks on Intrax springs with no camber bolts (which is something like 2 degrees negative on both sides). I just assumed, prior to remembering he was into auto ross, that he didn't have camber bolts and had yet to correct anything from the lowering springs.

I actually purposely run 0.0 camber - not from a handling perspective but pretty much solely for aesthetics. I actually dislike the way negative camber looks.

I've been running 0.0 camber for years no and don't have any abnormal wear. Then again I don't even remotely drive the "twisties" or auto cross or anything.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:46 PM   #13
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85max - looks like it cleaned up pretty nicely. Hard to believe it's over 22 years old and an 'outside' car recent years to boot. Nice that it's a 5MT car that you're saving, too.

I'm going to suggest that if the camber was bad that the toe was bad as well (and likely more responsible for the wear than the camber was).
Norm
Thanks Norm! What the pictures don't show is a lot of pretty aggressive rust rot I'm debating whether or not I want to spend $100 to get a proper alignment on this thing.

Crusher- Yeah, I'm curious too. I won't really know until I get the RSB reinstalled, because right now it just understeers everywhere. But I do enjoy working VTCs....they make the motor feel a bit like the motor in my M3 Oh how I wish my 3.5 had working VTCs.....

On a positive note, I drove it to the metro today and I'm pretty sure the misfire is gone! Now I'm just waiting on some small cheap parts to arrive, and then hopefully I will be done working on this car and I can get down to business with the other two...
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:55 AM   #14
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i found a mod you didnt list.... theres a LTB on there from blehmco !!!


and omg that thign is amazing! and your wheels fit that gen really good as well.

still amazed, good luck with it!
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:59 AM   #15
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Thanks Norm! What the pictures don't show is a lot of pretty aggressive rust rot I'm debating whether or not I want to spend $100 to get a proper alignment on this thing.
If it's 'out' as bad as it sounds to read about, you should be able to get at least 90% of the way to a $100 alignment-rack job in your driveway. The tough part is in the measuring and understanding sources of error there (and isn't all that tough, really); the rest is just wrench work. A little patience goes a long way.


Good to hear that the miss seems to have been exterminated.




I hope that James doesn't take offense, but I simply can't understand why anybody would take a step in the wrong direction (functionally) from OE for appearance reasons here . . . particularly when so few people can even see -0.5-ish camber being not quite zero.




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Old 12-23-2015, 08:17 AM   #16
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I hope that James doesn't take offense, but I simply can't understand why anybody would take a step in the wrong direction (functionally) from OE for appearance reasons here . . . particularly when so few people can even see -0.5-ish camber being not quite zero.


Norm
Definitely zero offense taken. I've noticed zero difference in handling whatsoever with 0.0 camber up front. Not to be contrary - but given the fact that my preferred 0.0 is well within the factory range, I fail to see how having 0.0 camber could be "detrimental" in any capacity. It's not like I'm running +2 degrees of camber or something. I'm still healthily within factory spec. Surely the functional difference is negligible, as determined by Nissan themselves. Would -0.5ish handle better when pushed to the absolute limit over my 0.0? I'm sure, but again I'm not an autocross enthusiast and can't say that I have ever pushed any of my 3rd gens to their limit in terms of handling.

I'm sure you and 95maxrider could feel the difference between slightly negative camber and my 0.0, but I can't. The most serious "cornering" I ever do is very occasionally going to certain parts of town there's a long sweeping highway entrance ramp that I like to gun it on.

Anyway, didn't mean to hijack OP's thread. Back onto the VE love!
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:36 AM   #17
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i found a mod you didnt list.... theres a LTB on there from blehmco !!!


and omg that thign is amazing! and your wheels fit that gen really good as well.

still amazed, good luck with it!
Oh yeah, there's that, and some STS that had come loose and was rubbing on the heat shield above the cat. It also hated going into 1st and 3rd, although that could have been the heavier weight fluid the PO put in to alleviate some gear noise after the trans was rebuilt. A few bottles of the correct weight Amsoil and the original shifter later, and the car shifts great!
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:37 AM   #18
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If it's 'out' as bad as it sounds to read about, you should be able to get at least 90% of the way to a $100 alignment-rack job in your driveway. The tough part is in the measuring and understanding sources of error there (and isn't all that tough, really); the rest is just wrench work. A little patience goes a long way.


Good to hear that the miss seems to have been exterminated.




I hope that James doesn't take offense, but I simply can't understand why anybody would take a step in the wrong direction (functionally) from OE for appearance reasons here . . . particularly when so few people can even see -0.5-ish camber being not quite zero.




Norm
Somebody should tell BMW that. Running -2.5* of camber in the rear. Tires last maybe 15K before they need to be replaced.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #19
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Liking how you clean up and restore things.

Did you move? this looks like a different background to the I30 build.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:45 PM   #20
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Liking how you clean up and restore things.

Did you move? this looks like a different background to the I30 build.
Thanks man. Yup, got married, moved to VA from MD and bought a house. Garage build thread coming soon!

I mentioned it earlier, but I removed the adjustable height short shifter that was in the car and reinstalled the stock one. So much smoother, and I'm really not bothered by the longer throws.

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Old 12-24-2015, 07:37 PM   #21
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Thanks man. Yup, got married, moved to VA from MD and bought a house. Garage build thread coming soon!

I mentioned it earlier, but I removed the adjustable height short shifter that was in the car and reinstalled the stock one. So much smoother, and I'm really not bothered by the longer throws.



How much for the short shifter? Shipped to zip 75839 .
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:23 PM   #22
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so, where's your 95, 95maxrider? i see a 3rd gen and an infinity. i would've cleaned all that crap before i even started with the repairs you've done. at least you did the oil under the block and fixed some other issues with it. would love to polish that car for you, and detail under the hood, hoses, polish the block, etc. it would take me a week to get that car right the way i do it. need some polish on those wheels too, keep it up!!
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #23
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so, where's your 95, 95maxrider? i see a 3rd gen and an infinity. i would've cleaned all that crap before i even started with the repairs you've done. at least you did the oil under the block and fixed some other issues with it. would love to polish that car for you, and detail under the hood, hoses, polish the block, etc. it would take me a week to get that car right the way i do it. need some polish on those wheels too, keep it up!!
The 95 got sold when I bought the I30 back in 2003. I didn't want to polish a turd before I knew it was going to run properly and make it through inspection, but once I get some things done around the house, polishing this thing up is going to be a nice rewarding project. I won't spend a week on it, but I could! Here's an old detailing thread of mine that I haven't updated in a few years.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:31 PM   #24
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You might have noticed that none of the pics I've posted really showed the front of the car, and it's because of the hood.



Oh, and the fender isn't helping matters.



So I went back to the junkyard, but this time with a car that could (barely) fit the hood inside. The hood wasn't perfect by any means, but it was matching OEM paint and it had a clear coat.

Who is that in the background??




Oh, and I replaced the broken corner lamp.





The area under the cowl was pretty gross, so I cleaned it and many other things up with some Purple Power.






The intake grilles were pretty well caked solid with crap.



I cleaned the up with my shop vac and a screwdriver.



After







Done!



Like I said, it's not perfect, but I can work with it.



While at the yard, I also grabbed the front three coil packs, so I threw them in the car with the hope of them fixing the misfire. The coil pack closest to the oil filler hole was coated in old oil and dirt, so I thought it might have gotten damaged.



The ones I got at the yard seemed to be cleaner than the ones I pulled out of my car. And what do you know? I think the misfire is gone! I've only driven the car twice so far, but it seemed to run a lot better and I don't think it misfired once!

I also cleaned things up a bit from this:



To



Another problem with the car was the driver's seat bracket:



Apparently the car also has a non-airbag steering wheel from an S13 on the car, since it's an inch smaller than stock, so I figured I should probably at least fix the seat. Again, junkyard to the rescue:

I SPY... An old 80gig ZUNE!
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:27 PM   #25
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I SPY... An old 80gig ZUNE!
Haha, nice catch! I won't let it go and it won't die, so it just continues.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #26
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Haha, nice catch! I won't let it go and it won't die, so it just continues.
No hood shocks or brackets?
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:58 AM   #27
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Man i miss my old VE

I'm surprised to see the lower control arm brace with a factory sway bar. IMHO the ST front bar really tightens up the front end. The ST Rear made it feel balanced, Addco rear gives it a little extra.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:05 PM   #28
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Man i miss my old VE

I'm surprised to see the lower control arm brace with a factory sway bar. IMHO the ST front bar really tightens up the front end. The ST Rear made it feel balanced, Addco rear gives it a little extra.
I believe had had ST bars on the car at one point but took them off when he stopped racing it.

James_EastTX- Patience!

So I had some time over the holidays and got some new parts in the mail. First up were the hood struts!

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So with the brackets I picked up at the JY, I went from this:

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To this

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While I was at it, I replaced the craptastic hood bumpers. This was what was on the DS:

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Great, right? Well, I think I like OEM better:

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Finally, I can work under the hood without fear of it falling and cracking my skull!

Next up was replacing the temperature sensor for the gauge cluster. As previously mentioned, the temp gauge works just fine until it reaches operating/middle temperature, then it drops to zero. There's a pretty good chance it's the gauge/wiring that's faulty, but at $7, I figured it couldn't hurt to replace the sensor.

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Next up was reinstalling the OEM RSB. The car had on some aftermarket sway bars at some point, along with the BlehmCo adjustable rear end links, but one of them snapped, so the car has been without a RSB for some time. I didn't feel like dealing with the noise and harshness that comes with the spherical bearings in the BlehmCo kit, so I went with OEM end links. I was able to get the PS one off the car at the JY, but not the DS, so I had to order that one new.

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I get under the car to find the original tabs the end links connect to have been removed, and a random piece of metal was in their place, held in with two self tapping screws. Of course, the holes in them were too small for the OEM end links, so I had to drill them out. The only problem was I don't have a bench or bench vise yet, so I had to get creative on the floor:

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Well, problem solved, I guess.

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The car came with these two round washer-type things that looked like they went with the OEM sway bar, but I wasn't sure where to install them, and I ended up putting them between the RSB and where it mounts to the body. Can anyone confirm where these things are supposed to go?

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I haven't driven the car yet, but I'm looking forward to it! For now, I think I've pretty much done all the things I wanted to do to this car, but I'll post up again when I do more work.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:27 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
I believe had had ST bars on the car at one point but took them off when he stopped racing it.

James_EastTX- Patience!

So I had some time over the holidays and got some new parts in the mail. First up were the hood struts!



So with the brackets I picked up at the JY, I went from this:



To this



While I was at it, I replaced the craptastic hood bumpers. This was what was on the DS:



Great, right? Well, I think I like OEM better:



Finally, I can work under the hood without fear of it falling and cracking my skull!

Next up was replacing the temperature sensor for the gauge cluster. As previously mentioned, the temp gauge works just fine until it reaches operating/middle temperature, then it drops to zero. There's a pretty good chance it's the gauge/wiring that's faulty, but at $7, I figured it couldn't hurt to replace the sensor.



Next up was reinstalling the OEM RSB. The car had on some aftermarket sway bars at some point, along with the BlehmCo adjustable rear end links, but one of them snapped, so the car has been without a RSB for some time. I didn't feel like dealing with the noise and harshness that comes with the spherical bearings in the BlehmCo kit, so I went with OEM end links. I was able to get the PS one off the car at the JY, but not the DS, so I had to order that one new.



I get under the car to find the original tabs the end links connect to have been removed, and a random piece of metal was in their place, held in with two self tapping screws. Of course, the holes in them were too small for the OEM end links, so I had to drill them out. The only problem was I don't have a bench or bench vise yet, so I had to get creative on the floor:



Well, problem solved, I guess.



The car came with these two round washer-type things that looked like they went with the OEM sway bar, but I wasn't sure where to install them, and I ended up putting them between the RSB and where it mounts to the body. Can anyone confirm where these things are supposed to go?





I haven't driven the car yet, but I'm looking forward to it! For now, I think I've pretty much done all the things I wanted to do to this car, but I'll post up again when I do more work.
Looks good! Do you have another cluster? Or need one with a working temp gauge? I may have 3 on the shelf.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:59 PM   #30
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Those "random pieces of metal" were actually made and sold by Matt Blehm himself with his end-link kit, he even supplied the self-tapping screws

Actually a lot of us old time 3rd genners are rocking those random pieces of metal. I actually still have them on my turbo car, but I welded mine in. The factory brackets all seem to break out, hence the need for his kit.

Those round washer deals definitely don't go on the sway bar. There should be nothing between the sway bar and the spindle deal. I'm actually not sure offhand where those curled washer deals go. They look familiar but I can't place them offhand. They definitely do not go on the sway bar though.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:36 PM   #31
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Yeah, it was common for addco bars (and I think eventually all the other aftermarket sways) to tear the factory mounts. Matt made those brackets for the less "fabricationally" inclined and that most people didn't own welders at the time.

That piece of angle iron on the rear "subframe" looks like someones less common creation as well, but it's been a while.
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:51 PM   #32
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still in awe....
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:52 PM   #33
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Well the updates are slowing down as the car nears "completion" but there are still some small things to finish up.

First up: Removing the weird washer things from each side of the RSB. Done, but no pics.

Second: I think I forgot to note that I did an oil change (Castrol 10w-40) along with the proper OEM Toyota MR2/Celica yzzf2/yzza2 filter.

Third: The new temp sensor for the gauge cluster seems to have worked, as I haven't seen the needle drop to zero since I installed it. Let's hope it holds up!

Next up was replacing the weatherstrip along the base of the windshield. When I removed it to install the new hood, all the original clips broke. I considered just gluing it back in place, but figured new clips are cheap, so I might as well do it right. So I bought a pack of weatherstrip clips off Amazon, threw them in, and they worked great!

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Next up was lubing the door hinges and latches. I first clean things up with some WD40, then lube with this awesome silicone spray.

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I think I also forgot to mention that earlier I sprayed some graphite lubricant into each key cylinder to make sure they work smoothly all winter. It's easy to forget how nice keyless entry is, because not having it is a bit of a pain!

I followed all this up by using the silicone spray in the rubber window tracks. I did this on the I30 months ago and it really made the windows operate smoother. Every car should get this done once in a while!

On a more troubling note, I was driving the car around and it acted kind of funny. First, as I went to put it into first gear leaving the house, it didn't want to go into gear, no matter how many times I double clutched it. I eventually put it in second, which then let me get into first. Hmmmm, okay, maybe the fluid was just cold. But a few miles later I'm at a stop light getting ready to go with the car in first and my foot holding the clutch down. I revved the engine a few times, and something didn't feel right. It happened so quickly I can barely describe it, but it either felt like the clutch was starting to grab, or the motor was rocking back and forth rather violently. The car pulled away like nothing had happened, but it really freaked me out. I drove around some more without feeling it again, but I eventually got it to do it one more time. The two things that come to mind are the throw out bearing and the clutch slave cylinder. What do you guys think? Is there anything I can do to diagnose it, or should I just let it get worse and see what happens?

Oh, and on one of the real cold days when it was about 20* I took the car for a short drive, and it sounds like absolute crap. There was a pretty serious rattle coming from the engine, and it didn't go away during the short drive. The noise was gone the next time I started it up on a slightly warmer day, but that too makes me a little worried.

Until next time.....

Last edited by 95maxrider; 01-11-2016 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:30 AM   #34
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sounds like a clutch hydraulic issue to me. either the slave or the master.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:26 AM   #35
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Hydraulic issue should be easy to rule in/out.

Less obvious issues you could be facing - and that are actually common on the 3rd gen - is a broken clutch pedal mount and/or a busted shifter bushing. Both of those will make the car hard to get into gear and feel like a hydraulic issue, and in fact both issues are commonly misidentified as a hydraulic issue.

The clutch pedal mount I speak of is the very UPPER mount - tucked all the way up into the dashboard. Nissan mounted a very flimsy mount up there, and just spot welded a nut onto it. What happens is that spot weld breaks and the nut just spins free. So when you tighten the bolt in it's not actually tightening since the nut on the backside is free. When this happens, your whole clutch pedal assembly tweaks sideways as you press the pedal and that is enough to make it feel like it doesn't want to go into gear.

Get on your back and look all the way up under the dash at the top of the clutch pedal. The upper bolt up there - make sure it doesn't spin free (or is there at all). If it's nice and tight then you can likely rule this issue out.

The shifter bushing can quickly be ruled in/out. Pull that trim piece off of the center console that has the shift boot . You'll see the whole shifter assembly itself is held up by a 4 or 5 inch bushing that spans the distance of the hole in the tunnel. These commonly crack/break with age and give issues like you describe.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:33 PM   #36
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sounds like a clutch hydraulic issue to me. either the slave or the master.
How in the world did you find this build thread Mike???

James- Thanks for the great tips, talk about 3rd gen expertise! I'll have to check all of that out when I get a chance.

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Old 01-29-2016, 07:27 AM   #37
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Damn James, new paint job??

So the clutch issue happened again yesterday, and I did some testing to try and narrow it down, but I'm not sure what to make of the results.

1. When I rev the car in neutral, it's fine and smooth
2. When I rev the car in neutral, but with the clutch pushed down, it's fine and smooth
3. When I rev the car with the car in first gear and the clutch down, the car feels awful, like the engine is trying to jump out of the car

What in the world is going on here? The clutch operates normally and I have no real problems shifting. How can the car being in first gear change how the car feels when it revs?
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:00 AM   #38
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Damn James, new paint job??
https://maxima.org/forums/3rd-genera...of-reskin.html

Quote:
So the clutch issue happened again yesterday, and I did some testing to try and narrow it down, but I'm not sure what to make of the results.

1. When I rev the car in neutral, it's fine and smooth
2. When I rev the car in neutral, but with the clutch pushed down, it's fine and smooth
3. When I rev the car with the car in first gear and the clutch down, the car feels awful, like the engine is trying to jump out of the car

What in the world is going on here? The clutch operates normally and I have no real problems shifting. How can the car being in first gear change how the car feels when it revs?
Sounds like you have clutch/release issues. The question is whether or not it's hydraulic or mechanical. I assume you checked the stuff I mentioned above to rule out a pedal issue? I also assume you ruled out leaking/bad slave or master cylinder.

If all that checks out, I would lean towards a throwout bearing or release fork problem (cracked, worn down "fingers", etc). I have had a TOB in the past that I caught just in time - the little tabs on the side of the TOB were actually starting to break/wear off. One side had broken off totally.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:53 PM   #39
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Hey Nick, I still have some third gen stuff laying around if you need stuff. I know I have an aftermarket swap bar, also have the stock se bars. I have other stuff, just can't remember anything now. Let me know if you are looking for something. The car looks good!
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:01 PM   #40
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Hey Nick, I still have some third gen stuff laying around if you need stuff. I know I have an aftermarket swap bar, also have the stock se bars. I have other stuff, just can't remember anything now. Let me know if you are looking for something. The car looks good!
Thanks Carson! I think I'm happy with the stock sways for now, but let me know if you come across anything else. Give me a few weeks to finish up the M3 and I'll buff the beejesus out of the 3rd gen's black paint and make it shine!
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