Nissan Maxima 1993-1998 Repair Guide

Cylinder Head

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



To prevent distortion or warping of the cylinder head, allow the engine to cool completely before removing the head bolts.

VG30E Engine

See Figures 1 through 8



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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the cylinder head components on the VG30E engine

To remove or install the cylinder head, you'll need a cylinder head bolt tool, No. ST10120000 (J2423901). This tool may be available through aftermarket manufacturers, available at most auto supply stores.

The collector assembly and intake manifold have special bolt sequence for removal and installation.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety purposes.
  2.  
  3. The distributor assembly is located in the left cylinder head. Mark and remove it, if necessary.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Mark the distributor rotor position and the distributor body on the engine block before removal

  1. Release the fuel system pressure.
  2.  


CAUTION
Observe all applicable safety precautions when working around fuel. Whenever servicing the fuel system, always work in a well ventilated area. Do not allow fuel spray or vapors to come in contact with a spark or open flame. Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher near the work area. Always keep fuel in a container specifically designed for fuel storage; also, always properly seal fuel containers to avoid the possibility of fire or explosion.

  1. Rotate the crankshaft to position the No. 1 piston on TDC of it's compression stroke.
  2.  
  3. Drain the cooling system. Disconnect all the electrical connectors, vacuum hoses and water hoses connected to the intake manifold collector.
  4.  


CAUTION
Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container.

  1. Remove the timing belt. Refer to the Timing Belt, Removal and Installation procedure.
  2.  

Do not rotate either the crankshaft or camshaft from this point onward or the valves could be bent by hitting the pistons.

  1. Remove the intake manifold collector cover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the intake manifold and fuel rail assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the exhaust manifold collector bracket. Remove the exhaust manifold covers. Disconnect the exhaust manifold when it connects to the exhaust connecting tube.
  6.  
  7. Remove the camshaft pulleys and the rear timing cover securing bolts.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Be sure to unbolt the rear timing belt cover before removing the cylinder heads

  1. Loosen the cylinder head bolts, in sequence, using 2-3 steps.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Follow the numerical sequence when removing the cylinder heads to avoid warping


WARNING
A warped or cracked cylinder head could result from removing the bolts in incorrect order.

  1. Remove the cylinder head with the exhaust manifold attached. If you need to remove the exhaust manifold, refer to the procedure in this section.
  2.  

Don't set the cylinder head face down on any surface. The protruding valves could bend. Use small blocks of wood on each side of the head to keep the valves from hitting the work surface.

  1. Check the positions of the timing marks and camshaft sprockets to make sure they have not shifted.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner to clean the gasket mounting surfaces. Inspect the cylinder head(s) for warpage, wear, cracks and/or damage.
  2.  
  3. Make the following checks by performing the following procedures:
    1. If the engine was disturbed, rotate the crankshaft to position the No. 1 piston on the TDC of it's compression stroke.
    2.  
    3. Align the mark on the crankshaft sprocket with the mark on the oil pump body.
    4.  
    5. Make sure the knock pin on the camshaft is set at the top.
    6.  

  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Make sure the knock pin is positioned upward before installing the cylinder head on the engine



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Fig. Fig. 6: Align the marks on the crankshaft damper and the oil pump body to set the number one piston at TDC

It is suggested, but not required, that the cylinder head bolts be replaced when installing a cylinder head. This will ensure proper torque, preventing any head gasket leakage.

  1. Using a new gasket, install the cylinder head to the block.. Apply clean engine oil to the threads and seats of the bolts and install the bolts with washers in the correct position. Note that bolts 4, 5, 12, and 13 are 5.00 in. (127mm) long. The other bolts are 4.17 in. (106mm) long.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Make sure the washers are positioned correctly on the cylinder head bolts as shown



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Fig. Fig. 8: Follow the numerical sequence when tightening the cylinder heads (the RH side would be the rear cylinder head)

  1. Torque the bolts according to the pattern for the cylinder head on each side in the following stages:
    1. Torque all bolts, in order, to 22 ft. lbs. (29 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Torque all bolts, in order, to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
    4.  
    5. Loosen all bolts completely.
    6.  
    7. Torque all bolts, in order, to 22 ft. lbs. (29 Nm).
    8.  
    9. Torque all bolts, in order, to 40-47 ft. lbs. (54-64 Nm). If you have a special wrench available that torques bolts to a certain angle, turn them 60-65°.
    10.  

  2.  
  3. Install the rear timing cover bolts. Install the camshaft pulleys and torque the camshaft pulley-to-camshaft bolts to 58-65 ft. lbs. (78-88 Nm). Make sure the pulley marked R3 goes on the right and that marked L3 goes on the left.
  4.  
  5. Align the timing marks, if necessary, and then install the timing belt and adjust the belt tension.
  6.  
  7. Install the front upper and lower belt covers.
  8.  
  9. Make sure the valve cover bolts, trays and washers are free of oil. Then, install the valve covers.
  10.  
  11. Torque the intake manifold-to-engine bolts as follows:
    1. Torque, in sequence, to 2.2-3.6 ft. lbs. (3-5 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Torque, in sequence, to 12-14 ft. lbs. (16-20 Nm).
    4.  
    5. Torque, in sequence, to 17-20 ft. lbs. (24-27 Nm).
    6.  

  12.  
  13. Install the exhaust manifold, if removed from the cylinder head.
  14.  
  15. Connect the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe connection. Install the exhaust collector bracket.
  16.  
  17. Install the intake manifold collector and intake manifold collector cover.
  18.  
  19. Connect all the vacuum hoses and water hoses to the intake collector.
  20.  
  21. Refill the cooling system.
  22.  
  23. Connect the negative battery cable.
  24.  
  25. Start the engine check the engine timing. After the engine reaches the normal operating temperature check for the correct coolant level.
  26.  
  27. Road test the vehicle for proper operation.
  28.  

VE30DE Engine

See Figures 9 through 26

To remove or install the cylinder head, you'll need a cylinder head bolt tool, No. ST10120000 (J2423901). This tool may be available through aftermarket manufacturers, available at most auto supply stores.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Exploded view of the cylinder head and components-VE30DE engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety purposes.
  2.  
  3. Release the fuel system pressure.
  4.  


CAUTION
Observe all applicable safety precautions when working around fuel. Whenever servicing the fuel system, always work in a well ventilated area. Do not allow fuel spray or vapors to come in contact with a spark or open flame. Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher near the work area. Always keep fuel in a container specifically designed for fuel storage; also, always properly seal fuel containers to avoid the possibility of fire or explosion.

  1. Rotate the crankshaft to position the No. 1 piston on TDC of it's compression stroke.
  2.  
  3. Drain the cooling system. Unplug and label all the electrical connectors, vacuum hoses and water hoses connected to the intake manifold collector.
  4.  


CAUTION
Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container.

  1. The camshaft position sensor is located in the rear of the left (front) cylinder head. Mark it's position, unplug the electrical connector from it and remove it.
  2.  
  3. Remove the intake manifold collector.
  4.  
  5. Remove the upper timing chain.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Make sure to align the mating marks before removing the timing chain

Do not rotate either the crankshaft or camshaft from this point onward or the valves could be bent by hitting the pistons.

  1. Remove the intake manifold and fuel rail assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the exhaust manifold(s)-to-cylinder head(s) bolts and the exhaust manifolds.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: The exhaust camshafts must be removed to allow access to the cylinder head bolts

  1. Remove the camshaft sprockets-to-camshafts bolts and the camshaft sprockets.
  2.  
  3. Remove the exhaust camshafts, the camshaft brackets and the rocker arms.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Loosening sequence for the left (front) exhaust camshaft



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Fig. Fig. 13: Loosening sequence for the right (rear) exhaust camshaft

  1. Loosen the cylinder head-to-engine bolts, in sequence, using 2-3 steps. Failure to do this could result in cylinder head warpage.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: A large breaker bar will provide the leverage necessary to loosen the cylinder head bolts



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Fig. Fig. 15: The three small bolts at the front of the cylinder head are easily forgotten; be sure to remove them



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Fig. Fig. 16: Left cylinder head bolt loosening sequence



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Fig. Fig. 17: Right cylinder head bolt loosening sequence



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Fig. Fig. 18: Be sure to lubricate the head bolt threads when installing the cylinder head to obtain a correct torque reading

  1. Lift the cylinder head(s) from the engine.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 19: Have an assistant available to aid in removing the cylinder head from the engine block

Don't set the cylinder head face down on any surface; the protruding valves could bend. Use small blocks of wood on each side of the head to keep the valves from hitting the work surface.



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Fig. Fig. 20: Place the cylinder head on blocks as shown to prevent any damage to the valves



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Fig. Fig. 21: Pull the head gasket from the cylinder block and discard it

To install:
  1. Scrape the old gasket material away from the cylinder head and the block.
  2.  
  3. Use rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner to clean the gasket mounting surfaces. Inspect the cylinder head(s) for warpage, wear, cracks and/or damage.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 22: Use a gasket scraper to remove any residual gasket material from the cylinder head ...



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Fig. Fig. 23: ... and the cylinder block mating surface

  1. Apply sealant to the front part of the head gasket, where it seals the timing chain cover. DO NOT apply sealant to any other area of the gasket.
  2.  

It is suggested, but not required, that the cylinder head bolts be replaced when installing a cylinder head. This will ensure proper torque, preventing any head gasket leakage.

  1. Install the cylinder head(s) and torque the head bolts by performing the following procedures:
    1. Torque all bolts, in sequence, to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Torque all bolts, in sequence, to 90 ft. lbs. (123 Nm).
    4.  
    5. Loosen all bolts.
    6.  
    7. Torque all bolts, in sequence, to 25-33 ft. lbs. (34-44 Nm).
    8.  
    9. Torque all bolts, in sequence, to 87-94 ft. lbs. (118-127 Nm).
    10.  

  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 24: Hold the torque wrench by the handle only; placing a hand on the wrench tube could affect the torque value



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Fig. Fig. 25: Left cylinder head bolt tightening sequence



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Fig. Fig. 26: Right cylinder head bolt tightening sequence

  1. Install the outside cylinder head-to-engine bolts.
  2.  
  3. Install the exhaust camshafts, camshaft brackets and rocker arms; the right exhaust camshaft is identified with 96E RE and the left exhaust camshaft is identified with 96E LE .
  4.  
  5. Using a gasket sealant, apply a continuous bead to the mating surface of the left exhaust camshaft end bracket. Torque the exhaust camshaft bracket-to-cylinder head bolts to 6.7-8.7 ft. lbs. (9.0-11.0 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Position the right exhaust camshaft key at about 10 o'clock position and the left camshaft key at about 12 o'clock position.
  8.  
  9. Install the timing chains and sprockets; torque the timing chain sprocket-to-camshaft bolts to 80-87 ft. lbs. (108-118 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the exhaust manifold(s) and the exhaust manifold(s)-to-cylinder head(s) bolts.
  12.  
  13. Install the intake manifold and fuel rail assembly.
  14.  
  15. Install the intake manifold collector.
  16.  
  17. Align and install the camshaft position sensor to the rear of the left cylinder head, and connect the electrical connector.
  18.  
  19. Plug in all the electrical connectors, vacuum hoses and water hoses to the intake manifold collector.
  20.  
  21. Refill the cooling system.
  22.  
  23. Connect the negative battery cable.
  24.  
  25. Start the engine check the engine timing. After the engine reaches the normal operating temperature check for the correct coolant level.
  26.  
  27. Road test the vehicle for proper operation.
  28.  

VQ30DE Engines

See Figures 27 through 37

To remove or install the cylinder head, you'll need a cylinder head bolt tool, No. ST10120000 (J2423901). This tool may be available through aftermarket manufacturers, available at most auto supply stores.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 27: Exploded view of the VQ30DE cylinder head and related components

  1. Relieve the fuel system pressure.
  2.  


CAUTION
Observe all applicable safety precautions when working around fuel. Whenever servicing the fuel system, always work in a well ventilated area. Do not allow fuel spray or vapors to come in contact with a spark or open flame. Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher near the work area. Always keep fuel in a container specifically designed for fuel storage; also, always properly seal fuel containers to avoid the possibility of fire or explosion.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety purposes.
  2.  
  3. Drain the engine oil and the cooling system. Be sure to drain the engine block and the radiator.
  4.  


CAUTION
Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container.

Before disconnecting any hoses or connectors, use tape or other means to identify components for reassembly.

  1. Remove the intake manifold collector.
  2.  
  3. Remove the fuel rail assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the intake manifold.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cylinder head covers.
  8.  
  9. Remove the drive belts and idler pulley.
  10.  
  11. Remove the steel (lower) and aluminum (upper) oil pans.
  12.  
  13. Remove the water pump cover.
  14.  
  15. Remove the timing chain case cover.
  16.  
  17. Remove the timing chains, camshaft sprockets and related components.
  18.  
  19. Remove the crankshaft sprocket.
  20.  
  21. Loosen the bolts that secure the rear timing chain case. The bolts must be loosened in the reverse order of installation sequence.
  22.  
  23. Using seal cutter tool, remove the rear timing case cover.
  24.  



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Fig. Fig. 28: Be sure to remove the rear timing chain case bolts in numerical order



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Fig. Fig. 29: Use an oil pan seal cutter to separate the rear timing chain case from the engine block

Remove the O-rings from the front of the engine block.

  1. Remove the camshafts. Loosen the camshaft brackets in numerical order in several steps.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 30: Left cylinder head camshaft removal sequence



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Fig. Fig. 31: Right cylinder head camshaft removal sequence

  1. Remove the cylinder head bolts in the reverse order of the tightening sequence. The bolts should be loosened in 2-3 steps.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 32: Left cylinder head bolt removal sequence



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Fig. Fig. 33: Right cylinder head bolt removal sequence


WARNING
A warped or cracked cylinder head could result from removing the bolts in incorrect order.

  1. Remove the cylinder head(s) from the vehicle.
  2.  

Don't set the cylinder head face down on any surface. The protruding valves could bend. Use small blocks of wood on each side of the head to keep the valves from hitting the work surface.

  1. Remove and discard the head gaskets.
  2.  
  3. Remove all traces of liquid gasket from the timing chain case and from the water pump covers.
  4.  
  5. Remove all traces of liquid gasket from the engine block.
  6.  
  7. Inspect the timing chain for excessive wear or damage and replace as necessary.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Turn the crankshaft until the No. 1 piston is set 240 degrees before TDC on compression stroke.
  2.  
  3. Use rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner to clean the gasket mounting surfaces. Inspect the cylinder head(s) for warpage, wear, cracks and/or damage.
  4.  
  5. Using new head gaskets, install the cylinder heads.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 34: VQ30DE Left cylinder head bolt tightening sequence



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Fig. Fig. 35: VQ30DE Right cylinder head bolt tightening sequence

It is suggested, but not required, that the cylinder head bolts be replaced when installing a cylinder head. This will ensure proper torque, preventing any head gasket leakage.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 36: Measure the cylinder head bolts to determine if they are able to be reused

  1. If replacement of the head bolts is not possible, perform the following bolt measurement:
    1. Measure the diameter of the head bolt 0.43 in. (11mm) from the bottom of the bolt.
    2.  
    3. Measure the diameter of the head bolt 1.89 in. (48mm) from the bottom of the bolt.
    4.  
    5. Whenever the size difference between the two measurements exceeds 0.0043 in. (0.11mm) the head bolts must be replaced.
    6.  

  2.  

Apply fresh oil to the cylinder head bolts to obtain an accurate torque reading.

  1. Install the cylinder head bolts and tighten in sequence as follows:
    1. Tighten all bolts in sequence to 72 ft. lbs. (98 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Completely loosen all bolts, in sequence.
    4.  
    5. Tighten all bolts in sequence to 25-33 ft. lbs. (34-44 Nm).
    6.  
    7. Turn all bolts in sequence 90-95 degrees.
    8.  
    9. Again, turn all bolts in sequence 90-95 degrees.
    10.  

  2.  
  3. Install the camshafts and related components.
  4.  
  5. Install new O-rings to the front of the engine block.
  6.  
  7. Apply sealant to the hatched portion of the of the rear timing chain case.
  8.  
  9. Align the rear timing chain case with the dowel pins and install onto the cylinder heads and engine block.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the rear timing chain case mounting bolts in sequence to 8.7-10.1ft. lbs. (11.8-13.7 Nm).
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 37: Torque sequence for installing the rear timing chain cover to the engine block

  1. Install the timing chain cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the upper and lower oil pans.
  4.  
  5. Install the idler pulley and the accessory drive belts. Be sure to properly set belt tension.
  6.  
  7. Install the cylinder head (valve) covers.
  8.  

If the valve lash has not been checked yet, it should be done at this stage.

  1. Install the intake manifold.
  2.  
  3. Install the fuel rail assembly. Be sure to replace the injector O-rings.
  4.  
  5. Install the manifold collector.
  6.  
  7. Connect all hoses, lines, and electrical connectors involved in the removal process.
  8.  
  9. Replace the oil filter, and fill the engine with fresh oil.
  10.  
  11. Fill the coolant system with the proper mix of distilled water and coolant. Bleed the air from the system.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  
  15. Start the engine and run at 3000 RPM under no load to purge the air from the high pressure chamber in the timing chain tensioners. The engine may produce a rattling noise. This indicates that air still remains in the chamber and is not a matter of concern.
  16.  
  17. Verify that there are no leaks.
  18.  
  19. Road test the vehicle for proper operation.
  20.  

 
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