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Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE

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Old 04-17-2017, 08:08 AM   #1
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Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE

Hi everyone! New to the Maxima scene but not the Nissan scene. I previously owned a beautiful black 2005 Altima SE-R 6MT. A few years later now and I've got 3 rugrats so my wife's DD is now an Odyssey and I drive a Titan.

I've come across a 2003 Maxima SE 6MT with a non-running motor and thought I'd enjoy a little project, something fun to drive, and substantially more MPGs than I get with the Titan.

Care to give any input on what you figure such a unit is worth? It's got nearly new tires on it right now and it's being sold with a set of loose snow tires in new condition as well. Body is in very good condition for its age, it has 192,000 kms (120k miles on it).

Anything I should be looking out for?

I'm up in the Great White North (Canada) in Lloydminster, AB.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Hello fellow albertan.

This is the one you are referring to http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/m...ationFlag=true ?

It's been up for a couple of months and I think it is overpriced. Yes it is a 6 Speed, but there are other working 2002-2003's for less money.

Here are a couple http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/e...ationFlag=true (Semi working)
One from my city http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/c...ationFlag=true
Edmonton http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/e...ationFlag=true

I recently bought a 03' 6 Speed for $2000, and it came with two sets of tires as well. Other than the usual for used cars, I think other members who have had a 5.5 gen for a while know what to look out for.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #3
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Hey Sully,

Yeah, that's the one I was looking at. The body on it is very nice for a Canadian 2003, I got him to send me some pics of the wheelwells and they are almost perfect; I hate rust. I think you're right about the price for a non-running car, as I can't verify the condition of the transmission or get a sense for the condition of the steering/suspension. A good chunk of that price must be based on the cost of the tires.

Of those 3 you linked I guess I should consider the semi-working one, it probably needs less work than the one I'm looking at and it has a few decent mods done to it already... it also has no rust on it... I wish he had better pics up.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:51 PM   #4
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Hey Sully,

Yeah, that's the one I was looking at. The body on it is very nice for a Canadian 2003, I got him to send me some pics of the wheelwells and they are almost perfect; I hate rust. I think you're right about the price for a non-running car, as I can't verify the condition of the transmission or get a sense for the condition of the steering/suspension. A good chunk of that price must be based on the cost of the tires.

Of those 3 you linked I guess I should consider the semi-working one, it probably needs less work than the one I'm looking at and it has a few decent mods done to it already... it also has no rust on it... I wish he had better pics up.
The fact you can't try really anything with the one in medicine hat leaves too much room for other hidden problems, so that combined with the price made me look elsewhere. Plus it would have to be towed.

Yeah those definitely aren't the best pictures, for the maxima I bought I just asked the seller for more pictures through email.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:31 AM   #5
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Well I bought it. Got it for $1800, definitely not a steal of a deal but with cheap vehicles like this at least the losses are minimized.

I inquired about the semi working one in Edmonton and am 98% sure it's a scam. Couldn't get the guy to give me his address, he wanted to have a deal done prior to telling me where the thing was, and the pics were so horrendous I'm certain they're just ripped off the web. So using that as a baseline isn't too helpful.

Probably could have waited for a better deal but timing worked out well for this one. It's tough being in Lloyd to try and capitalize on good deals in either Edmonton or Calgary.

Now I need to decide how much motor work to do. I'm thinking of either an 07+ Altima or 09+ Maxima motor, try to get my hands on a set of JWT cams. I'm also a sucker for turbos though...
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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Congrats on your new car, shame about that edmonton one. It probably would have been a while before you found another 6 speed 5th gen.

Hopefully your engine replacement goes smoothly. Now your never ending project car begins.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Projects are fun.
What proof the motor is shot?
Be pretty cool if it was just a sensor not allowing it to crank.
I used to help a friend fix cars. he ended up buying a prelude for 250. Needed a camshaft sensor.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #8
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Actually, little evidence the engine is shot. I need to get a fully charged battery in it and clear the fault codes. I didn't have a set of jumper cables yesterday and tried to turn it over with a cheap booster pack and my battery charger in start mode but still only got the starter click. Here's the fault log:

Current Fault Log
------------------
P0021: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 2)
P0300: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

Pending Fault Log
------------------
P0011: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)
P0021: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 2)
P0300: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
P0335: Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit
P0340: Camshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0345: Camshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit (Bank 2)
P1612: [Chrysler] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Dodge] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Jeep] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Seat/Audi/Volkswagen] Electronic Control Module Incorrect Coding
[Volvo] Throttle unit communication. Signal too low.

Hoping it might just be the crankshaft sensor
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freezer View Post
Actually, little evidence the engine is shot. I need to get a fully charged battery in it and clear the fault codes. I didn't have a set of jumper cables yesterday and tried to turn it over with a cheap booster pack and my battery charger in start mode but still only got the starter click. Here's the fault log:

Current Fault Log
------------------
P0021: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 2)
P0300: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

Pending Fault Log
------------------
P0011: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)
P0021: "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 2)
P0300: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
P0335: Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit
P0340: Camshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0345: Camshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit (Bank 2)
P1612: [Chrysler] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Dodge] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Jeep] Loss of IPM Serial Data
[Seat/Audi/Volkswagen] Electronic Control Module Incorrect Coding
[Volvo] Throttle unit communication. Signal too low.

Hoping it might just be the crankshaft sensor
Very well could be . Let us know!
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:16 PM   #10
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Well, it needs a motor; I can barely turn the crank with a breaker bar. I am planning to do an HR swap (unless I determine the total cost prohibitive) but have located an excellent candidate motor. The fun begins!
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by freezer View Post
Well, it needs a motor; I can barely turn the crank with a breaker bar. I am planning to do an HR swap (unless I determine the total cost prohibitive) but have located an excellent candidate motor. The fun begins!
Keep us posted!
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:38 PM   #12
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Turns out it threw a rod. I wouldn't really care except it punched a hole in my upper oil pan which I needed to reuse for my HR swap.

Picked up a 2013 Maxima motor with 38,000kms on it. Looks really clean, even came with a complete harness I won't be using! Ordered a bunch of parts from NISformance.com and I'll be putting things back together after my next set of shifts (early June).

In the meantime I've scored some sweet deals from Amazon.ca, ES motor mounts for $27, Genuine Nissan HP power steering hose for $49, and a LUK DMF for $137. All shipped for free and that's Canadian dollars too!

Now I just gotta find a replacement upper oil pan...
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by freezer View Post
Turns out it threw a rod. I wouldn't really care except it punched a hole in my upper oil pan which I needed to reuse for my HR swap.

Picked up a 2013 Maxima motor with 38,000kms on it. Looks really clean, even came with a complete harness I won't be using! Ordered a bunch of parts from NISformance.com and I'll be putting things back together after my next set of shifts (early June).

In the meantime I've scored some sweet deals from Amazon.ca, ES motor mounts for $27, Genuine Nissan HP power steering hose for $49, and a LUK DMF for $137. All shipped for free and that's Canadian dollars too!

Now I just gotta find a replacement upper oil pan...
.

Can't wait to see the results.

If you are searching for an OEM upper oil pan then the part # is 11110-CA00A. Shouldn't be more than $225 from your local Nissan dealer.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
.

Can't wait to see the results.

If you are searching for an OEM upper oil pan then the part # is 11110-CA00A. Shouldn't be more than $225 from your local Nissan dealer.
I'm too stingy to hand over money to Nissan unless I absolutely have to.

This oil pan turned out to be a bit of a saga and significantly delayed my progress. I eventually got the right one from a wrecker for $90 and now I can carry on.

I made the required modifications to the timing chain covers of my new motor and then I pulled the oil pan. Installed ARP rod bolts yesterday and will be installing the upper oil pan this evening.

This was my first experience torquing rod bolts with a stretch gauge. I bought the Jeg's unit because ARP's is very expensive. I found it nearly impossible to use in a non-vertical position, the weight of the stretch gauge was too much for the spring in the dial to support. I read on a forum somewhere that this could be remedied with a washer and a spring as pictured. I simply unthreaded the contact point, installed the spring and the washer, and put the contact point back in place. It was SOLID!! I was able to remove the gauge, torque, reinstall gauge and it was very repeatable.

When I couldn't get a box end in I used my torque wrench with the gauge off. I found that the alternative torque method with my uncalibrated torque wrench added about .003" additional preload over the recommended .0065" to the rod bolts so I was very glad to have not cheaped out and actually bought a stretch gauge.
Attached Thumbnails
Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170604_211536-1512x2016.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170613_231416-2016x1512.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170613_231650-1512x2016.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170613_231351-1512x2016.jpg  

Last edited by freezer; 06-14-2017 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Add info on torquing rod bolts
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:11 PM   #15
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That's great! Looks like it is coming along. Yeah, the stretch guage definitely seems like a good idea. Since you are doing the HR swap, did you see Nisformances latest thread?

https://maxima.org/forums/dyno-discu...ml#post9149670

Some pretty insane numbers
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:41 AM   #16
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Since you are doing the HR swap, did you see Nisformances latest thread?

https://maxima.org/forums/dyno-discu...ml#post9149670

Some pretty insane numbers
I had seen that and would like to get to that point. I'd also seen Nisformance Cams and was considering going that route but am concerned about the low end performance. It's a fairly expensive mod that looks detrimental for a daily driver.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:23 PM   #17
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Been taking things pretty slow in the garage. I've replaced the rack and pinion, RHS ball joint and sway bar end link. Today I assembled my front struts. Illumina + H&R. They look beauty eh?

I'll have lots of time early in July to get everything back together.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:15 PM   #18
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Whats the drop on the H&R's?
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:32 PM   #19
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Whats the drop on the H&R's?
I didn't measure cuz the motor is still out of the car, but according to this website it is 1.4"F, 1.3"R

http://shiftice.com/spring_strut_decision.html
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:46 PM   #20
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I didn't measure cuz the motor is still out of the car, but according to this website it is 1.4"F, 1.3"R

http://shiftice.com/spring_strut_decision.html

A very nice drop in my opinion
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:59 PM   #21
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Well, I've finally been home for a day to try and get some work done. Constant interruptions have made my garage time far less enjoyable than it should be.

Anyways, I had pulled my front timing cover off to verify that I had the good gaskets in there and I did so I'm not replacing them, none of those stupid Philips screws were loose either so that's how she's gonna be. I installed a Rev-up oil pump, bought the stupid little O-ring seals for the VCT and got the timing cover back on.

I also got my cam wheels modified and reinstalled. Now I'm just getting the upper oil pan ready for installation. Found that it contacts the windage tray so I cut the edge off and will refit.

In the meantime, I still need to find a replacement seal for my transmission shift shaft.
Attached Thumbnails
Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170628_185533-1512x2016-1612x2149.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170703_135147-1612x1209.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170705_190254-1612x1209.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170703_135100-1612x1209.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170705_185916-1612x1209.jpg  

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Old 07-09-2017, 02:46 PM   #22
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Picture update! Got things bolted back up and the motor back in the car. Transmission is in now too. Got the cam sensors wired up to the signal inverter.

For anybody doing a 5.7 gen swap of their own, do yourself a favor and buy 2 M12x1.75x60mm flange bolts AND a M12x1.75x110mm flange bolt for the passenger side motor mount. The threads on my motor felt funny and it seemed like a 90mm was as much length as it would take but I just ripped out 1/4" of threads. Fortunately there was enough thread left that when I got the right length in there it tightened up nice.
Attached Thumbnails
Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170707_112606-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170706_203650-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170706_203723-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170706_205949-1612x1209.jpg  
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:14 AM   #23
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Another update. Things coming along slowly but I'm being picky.

I cut a tab off the bottom left of the timing cover to bolt up the wiring harness for the oil pressure dummy switch. Would have been nice to do with the motor out and oil cooler off but overall not too bad.

I also cut up the old alternator bracket and used it with conjunction with the NISformance bracket to support the wiring harness.

I grabbed some plug ends from a Pick n Pull for the EVT and newer style knock sensor. Changed out the plug end on my 03 harness using bank 2 knock sensor.

I still need to wire up the EVAP, VIAS, and IVT extensions. Also need to figure out what to use for pipe between my throttle body and intake.
Attached Thumbnails
Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_211804-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_144650-1612x1209.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_215243-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_211837-1209x1612.jpg   Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_215207-1209x1612.jpg  

Intro: Buying an 03 Maxima SE-20170711_141401-1209x1612.jpg  
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:42 PM   #24
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It lives!!

I was nervous about how long it was taking the oil pump to prime (IGN/fuel fuse was pulled) but I got 15 psi and then shoved the fuse in. Fired up right away and built 70 psi!!

Didn't let it run very long as I hadn't hooked up the clutch cable or reassembled the steering knuckle and the axles were wobbling everything around. I also haven't reinstalled the centre lower crossmember. Anyways, I'm just giddy that it's running those details can wait. I still need insurance...
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:54 AM   #25
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Nice man!!! just saw this thread, great to see people of the 'We The North" in here lol. Im in ottawa, barely anyone in the maxima scene here, but Toronto's got a bunch. I can barely change a tire so kudos to you on this swap! Will be following this swap =)
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:20 PM   #26
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Thx for posting all this. I'm considering doing a hr swap too so very helpful. Looks like a fun build.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:42 PM   #27
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I think I should add the necessary wiring modifications to this thread in case you guys end up using it as a reference.

It's necessary to extend the intake cam solenoid wires on both banks. I did this by cutting a couple plugs with as much wire as possible off of the front bank harnesses at the PicknPull.

I decided to use the HR EVAP components since they fit nice on the manifold, this required an extension of the EVAP harness as well, accomplished the same way as above.

Same thing for the VIAS solenoids. Factory harness isn't long enough to leave the HR solenoids in their stock location. I kept both solenoids and am hoping to rig them up to run separately eventually.

Lastly, I opted to leave the stock HR knock sensors in place. I grabbed a blue O2 sensor plug (wrecker) and replaced the plug on my 03 harness with the blue O2 plug. I'll grab a picture of this later and post it. This eliminates having to deal with the lousy factory harness. I used bank 2 knock sensor.
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