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Cars > 4DRSpeed’s Garage > Blog > 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)


4DRSpeed’s Profile Photo


M –31
Maryville, TN
United States


Not understanding

By 4DRSpeed

Filed under: 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)

Pulled the turd out of the garage tonight only to find out something must be sleeping in my garage at night. Looks to be cat prints on all the horizontal surfaces

Anyway when I cleaned it up a little the other day I left it running for about an hour. Before I stopped driving it, it was dripping coolant and it looked to be from the water pump. Near the end of winter the heat wasn't very hot and the temp gauge started getting pretty warm. It would go from hot to normal, it didn't know what to do. So I figured it maybe the thermostat and the seals in the pump are going bad.

Well I bought a new thermostat from Nissan $20 fix. I have filled the radiator and overflow container several times now. One day it would seem ok, the next the temp gauge would be pegged, but not smoking. I look in the radiator no coolant? I fill it up again, and again, and again. Now the overflow and radiator doesn't have any coolant, but the damn car is running at normal temps!!! And it doesn't seem to be dripping coolant anymore!!! I don't get it!? Maybe I dislodged something in the radiator I have no idea?

But I raised my suspension up some since the G wheels rub like hell with the 245 wide rubber, and took it for a spin for a good hour and a half to two hours tonight. Car ran at normal temps with no coolant showing in the overflow or radiator. I wasn't rubbing only on major bumps. I miss driving this piece of ****.

Tomorrow I'll buy some more coolant, flush the radiator again, run water through it, and then top if off again and see what happens. Car desperately needs new tires, threads are showing, one tire is caved in the middle (it makes like a smile), and the car is in dire need of an alignment.

I may put off the water pump for now since it seems to be running ok and not dripping. But I'm going to replace sway bar bushings, tie rod bushings, etc with ES urethane bushings, and get some Moog tie-rod endlinks. With some fresh rubber and a good alignment this car should handle extremely well. I want to bring it out to the autoX and see what this turd can do.

I miss the manual transmission, and my IPod hook-up in this thing the most.


By 4DRSpeed

Filed under: 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)

Lord oh lord.

I just did a quick calculation of how much it cost me for all the upgrades I have done to the Ruby POS. My guesstimation was actually about spot on, but it's still kind of depressing to say the least.

Everybody has their hobbies and I enjoy cars and working on them even if it is a '96 **** bucket.

Anyway I have an extensive amount of crap. Some performance and some cosmetic things. Here's a list, some things were group together just to shorten it up. This doesn't include some of the "maintenance" type stuff like new clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder, **** like that.

Maxima - $3K
-Technosquare ECU - $400
-K&N Panel Filter - $40
-Budget Y-Pipe - $200
-GReddy SP2 Catback - $425
-Smoked Cefiro Headlamps - $150
-E55 Bixenon retrofit - $300
-Smoked Corners - $20
-'97 Front End - Included
-Stillen Lip - Included
-Sarona Grille - Included
- JIC Coilovers - Included
-OTTO Racing FSTB - $40
-Progress RSB - $150
-Optima Red Top - $100
-Amsoil GL-4 Gear Lube - $40
-Raxles axles - $320
-Urethane Shifter Bushing - $40
-Brakes (13" Cobra rotors, Q45 Pistons, brembo replacement rotors rear, Hawk HPS pads, SS Lines, fluid) - $600
-17x7 Motegi DP6 Gunmetal - Included (sold $200)
-235/45/17 Falken Azenis ST115 - $500
-H&R 20MM Spacers - $200 (sold $80)
-Redline Black/Red Stitched - $100
-Sound System (HU, Amp, Sub, Speakers, Wiring, IPod Adapter) - $300
-VooDoo Shift Knob - $30
-4DRSpeed Custom Floor Mats - $100
-Paradox Sytem Type X Spoiler - $120
-Z32 Fuel Filter - $15
-Z33 Dead Pedal - $22
-Anniversary Pedals - $37
-06 350Z Wheels & Tires - $500 (on G Coupe now, have G Coupe wheels on the Maxima which will need new tires, so figure another $500 in there)

-Total for upgrades- $4969
-Total w/car included - $7969

Ouch!! Looking at it in this perspective I really wonder if I want to continue doing upgrades once it is running again. For now it will be put back together, hopefully run like a champ, be driven, while I pay off some of my debts. Then I will think about what is next on the list. A lower mileage motor or another car completely. We will see.

Inching ever so closer

By 4DRSpeed

Filed under: 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)

I'm inching closer to getting the Maxima back on the road. My goal for it at the moment is of course to get it running, but I'm going to replace several things so hopefully it will stay running.

I have a new thermostat for it which I am currently putting in. I just bought a bunch of used stuff.

Water pump (has a TON of miles on it 220,000 actually). It was only $22 so I said what the hell I'll replace the seals before installing it.

A high-flow catalytic converter, it's used as well. Supposedly the brand I bought (honestly I can't remember the name) gives some small gains, I doubt I will feel any difference but I bought it cause it bolts directly up and it was $48.

A barely used idler/tensioner pulley. It was $13 and this thing is VERY easy to replace so I figured wtf why not. I have to take it off to get to the water pump anyway for $13 I put a barely used one on.

Used motor mounts, with Energy Suspension urethane bushings. These were $84, still a good deal, I believe the bushings themselves are $84 and these are already pressed in just have to install the mounts. I'm pretty anxious to get these in will keep my wheel hopping under control and should drive nicer as well.

It came to $167 but all of that is a pretty sweet deal I feel and I'm excited to get this stuff on.

For reinsurance purposes I will be getting a few extra little things. A new timing tensioner. You have to remove this puppy to do the water pump, mine has 195K on it and this part is a long-term wear/tear item so I'll put a new one in.

I'm looking to get a new Koyo radiator, reduces temps, and also just a piece of mind who knows when the radiator could crap out.

New gaskets for my ypipe, cat, and exhaust. I feel I have an exhaust leak somewhere, probably from crappy Autozone gaskets. I will be getting some quality OEM gaskets.

I should also look into a new starter since it's pretty easy to replace. I am going to hold out on an alternator just because it is a PITA to install.

But after all said and done the car should be running FANTASTIC and I am quite anxious to get my POS back on the road. I did a quick local search at junkyards and found one right by the house that has a 98 OEM front bumper cover for pretty cheap. I have to get rid of this big POS ebay bumper and get a quality OEM.

Cars > 4DRSpeed’s Garage > Blog > 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)

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