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Early Production date troubles


bmcgawain
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Ok, so I have a 87 pathfinder with the vg30i. The problem is my production date. Mine is 1/87. This is an old block and old head. Nissan changed to a newer casting for both the block and the head for the 4/87 and newer. I have one bad cylinder head and I need to get this thing together. I am at a loss. Most places I call will either tell me there is not a difference in the production dates (which is wrong) or they don't have it listed/available.

 

I am trying to avoid buying a newer core engine.

Does anyone know a reliable source of remanufactured heads?

Hell, just a good used core and I will have it rebuilt! Can anyone sell me a used cylinder head from a 1/87-3/87?!?

Any info would be fan-freaking-tastic.

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Damn, hell of a problem to have, especially because parts for the later years are everywhere.

 

There was a thread on who had the earliest production date vehicle. Maybe look that up and PM the early ones for spare parts?? :shrug:

 

B

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Possibly a month to late :thumbsdown:

 

I got rid of an '87 parts truck I had. I don't know for sure what the month was, but I do know it was in the first half of the year... but it's gone so none of that really matters now :shrug:

 

There are Nissan Only wrecking yards (such as Feltons Auto Parts) who should be able to help you out, if they don't have one they may be able to track one down. And given that they specialize, they should be knowledgeable enough to know what you really need.

 

That said, can later heads be machined to fit the block properly (if your facing a rebuild anyway) or are the bolts/galleys/jackets/etc alignment different?

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The pre-4/87 VG30s are A/B series. The only difference is the heads which have a lower quality casting and cams that have a little more duration for low end torque. Physically, the A/B and W-series heads are the same and you can use either one.

 

If you can't find a head for a Pathfinder, look around for a head for an '84-'86 300ZX. All of those heads are the older A/B series.

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The pre-4/87 VG30s are A/B series. The only difference is the heads which have a lower quality casting and cams that have a little more duration for low end torque. Physically, the A/B and W-series heads are the same and you can use either one.

 

If you can't find a head for a Pathfinder, look around for a head for an '84-'86 300ZX. All of those heads are the older A/B series.

 

http://www.redz31.net/images/headwork/wheads.jpg

here is a Nissan TSB for these heads. I was under the impression that the heads are not interchangeable. My parts guy at the Nissan dealership also told me the same. If they are interchangeable (which i hope they are) How do you match the coolant ports from the block to the coolant ports on the head? Also which head gasket do I use... A-B or W? I cant buy a nissan A-B gasket. They discontinued them :thumbsdown:

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for the price of the head I would throw a JDM engine in it, I paid $600 for mine and the thing runs smooth and perfect, just an idea

 

Where did you buy your JDM engine?

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I got mine from an importer based in CA. If you Google "used Japanese engines" you'll prolly find a few. Mine was about $700 after shipping to FL. The heads will likely be gummy due to the type of driving, oil, and other factors in Japan. But the cylinder walls were perfect and the heads were fine after a cleaning. I also bought a transmission from one in VA when I used to live there. Cost about $500 and they installed it. 75K miles and no troubles.

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I got mine from a local JDM engine shop down here in Orlando, they actually had 2 VG30's in stock and they both were still bolted to the tranny and transfer cases, so I chose the one with the Japanese oil filter on it the other engine had an aftermarket filter I figured the one I bought had to be from japan unless someone was using JDM oil filters on their US engine. Good choice so far the engine runs perfect

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http://www.redz31.ne...work/wheads.jpg

here is a Nissan TSB for these heads. I was under the impression that the heads are not interchangeable. My parts guy at the Nissan dealership also told me the same. If they are interchangeable (which i hope they are) How do you match the coolant ports from the block to the coolant ports on the head? Also which head gasket do I use... A-B or W? I cant buy a nissan A-B gasket. They discontinued them :thumbsdown:

 

That was my error, I was thinking a little differently when I wrote that. My bad.

 

With your position I would try and locate some Z heads, or purchase a good used W-series engine.

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That was my error, I was thinking a little differently when I wrote that. My bad.

 

With your position I would try and locate some Z heads, or purchase a good used W-series engine.

 

My experience with the Z car is limited, but I have worked on an 88 several times :)

The engine in the 84-86 is what I'm looking for, right? So this qualifies as an A-B production vg30? Do these cars use a throttle body injection or the multi-port?

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Also which head gasket do I use... A-B or W? I cant buy a nissan A-B gasket. They discontinued them :thumbsdown:

Get a gasket that matches your block lay it on your head and trace openings for the passages. Then use a small roatary file (like a dermel) to walk the passages over to the gaseket openings you traced.

This is common practice for later model head swaps.

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  • 6 months later...

I got mine from an importer based in CA. If you Google "used Japanese engines" you'll prolly find a few. Mine was about $700 after shipping to FL. The heads will likely be gummy due to the type of driving, oil, and other factors in Japan. But the cylinder walls were perfect and the heads were fine after a cleaning. I also bought a transmission from one in VA when I used to live there. Cost about $500 and they installed it. 75K miles and no troubles.

 

 

I got mine from a local JDM engine shop down here in Orlando, they actually had 2 VG30's in stock and they both were still bolted to the tranny and transfer cases, so I chose the one with the Japanese oil filter on it the other engine had an aftermarket filter I figured the one I bought had to be from japan unless someone was using JDM oil filters on their US engine. Good choice so far the engine runs perfect

 

So I went with the used JDM engine and this is my update:

First of all- I should have known this prior to my search, but a JDM VG30i is like an oxymoron or something. Seems how they only made them in Japan and imported them over here. So all that JDM is just newbie hype. I fell for it... But thats just a funny side note.

So on to the engine. I bought one that only cost me $750 shipped to a loading dock. I bought it from a yard in texas. supposedly guaranteed to have less than 80,000 miles.

the good: the engine was cheap, had a 1 year replacement warranty (unlimited mileage), and it got here in only 3 days!(Missouri)

the Bad: When the engine showed up it was all painted black and silver. they did a good job i guess except they painted over 20 years of grease and oil. Whatever, just cosmetic.. Also the entire intake and TBI were all corroded and looked really bad. The throttle plate was so corroded that I broke the throttle cam trying to open it. I also notice it had a total of 7 rusted and broken studs and bolts in the block. Not just exhaust, im talking accessory brackets, trans mount and timing cover. Then to top it off, when i had got inside the engine to replace the t-belt and replace the oil pump, i found lucus oil stabilizer and pieces of old timing belt tensioner. Then after swapping all the bad to have a nice clean vg30i, I installed it. So after getting everything bolted and connected i cranked it. It fired right up. The oil light turned off rather quickly and was driving it two hours later..... BUT Then....

When coming to a stop i started to notice my oil light coming on. I thought that the sending unit may be bad as i had to solder the wires back onto the old one, so i went to orielly's and purchased one for $36.00. Nothing changed... Oil pressure still drops below 15psi when braking and the oil light comes on. I can also get the oil light to come on if the truck is all warmed up and I rev it in neutral. So then I just started to baby it and i just focused on working out all the little electrical issues for other components and things. That was going well until about 900-1000 miles later when I checked the oil and found the engine to be 3 quarts low! Yeah, It doesn't leak a drop either. So oil rings are stuck?? (wishful thinking) soooo, I went to the parts house and bought a little quart of Lucas oil treatment and put about half in with a new oil change and filter. Now my oil pressure is always pegged out between 60-120 psi according to my oil gauge.No more light, but I haven't driven it enough to tell if the rings are letting oil pass or if my valve seals are leaking. So How about that one year unlimited mile replacement warranty?

Yeah, gonna get my ass burned on that one. After all the money invested into factory Nissan seals, gaskets, wp, op, tbelt, tensioner thermostat, etc... they dont cover parts and labor...just the engine.

anyone got a longblock for free??! FML

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wow. That's quite a story. Sounds like they f**ked you over pretty damn good. "Hey, let's find the worst looking engine. YEAH YEAH!! Let's get the one out of the Pathfinder what we pulled out of a salt marsh."

 

With the oil though.. 3 quarts low? You're aware the engine only holds 3 7/8 quarts, right? Did you put ANY oil in it?

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wow. That's quite a story. Sounds like they f**ked you over pretty damn good. "Hey, let's find the worst looking engine. YEAH YEAH!! Let's get the one out of the Pathfinder what we pulled out of a salt marsh."

 

With the oil though.. 3 quarts low? You're aware the engine only holds 3 7/8 quarts, right? Did you put ANY oil in it?

Rest assured, I remembered to put oil in it :P It actually holds about 4.25 with the level right at the max line and oil filter full. So either way it was crazy low. Especially for the engine only having been driven for less than a 1000 miles. I'm kinda suspecting the oil control rings are carboned badly. I am running a Mobil 1 high mileage hoping that all the additives and detergents will help clean it put and reseat the rings. I am only giving it a fair 3,000 mile oil change test though. Otherwise that yard in Texas is gonna hate me when I'm done. :deadhorse:

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I've heard putting some cheap oil in along with a quart of ATF (for the high detergent content) and running that for a bit is an excellent motor flush. Then there is always Seafoam that seems good when used correctly...

 

No compression check?? :unsure:

 

B

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I'd like to mention one thing regarding the heads now that I have both a W series and A'B series next to each other. The engine that just came out of my Pathfinder is an '84 A/B series engine, what came out before was the stock '88 W-series engine. The head gaskets interchange and so do the heads. The water and oil pumps look different but they share identical mounting bosses so it makes no difference. Currently I have an '88 block, '84 crank, '84 rods, '84 pistons, '84 heads. '88 water and oil pump.

 

Sorry to hear about the new engine, that royally sucks. If the o-ring or gasket is leaking in between the oil pickup tube and oil pump then your engine is being ruined more and more as it's ran as the leak allows air to be sucked through the bearings. Big no-no. I read a while ago that Sewebster had the same low pressure issue at idle, which ended up being the front plate on the pump if I remember correctly. Oil pressure at idle is only around 7PSI. What RPM did the light come on at? Do you have the time to open the bottom end up and look at the bearings, pump, and pickup tube?

 

And I'd suggest you get that Lucas @!*% out of there. All it is is super thick gear oil pretty much which is not what these engines need.

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The head gaskets interchange and so do the heads. The water and oil pumps look different but they share identical mounting bosses so it makes no difference. Currently I have an '88 block, '84 crank, '84 rods, '84 pistons, '84 heads. '88 water and oil pump.

 

Do you have the time to open the bottom end up and look at the bearings, pump, and pickup tube?

Dang, wish I could have just had that info about 4 months ago :( I had a great block. Had. I got rid of the other engine to try to pay for the cost of the used one. It's so weird how Nissan made it sound so different and all the information I read about the a-b vs the w series all said the cooling ports were different. I wonder where they got that from? Either way, I am stuck with this w series junker now. Nothi g I can do different.

 

As far as checking inside the pan, wouldn't that require the front diff to come out?? Eff that. If I'm taking that diff out it is so I can take the whole engine out and send it back to Texas on the horse it rode in on :angry:

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Dang, wish I could have just had that info about 4 months ago :( I had a great block. Had. I got rid of the other engine to try to pay for the cost of the used one. It's so weird how Nissan made it sound so different and all the information I read about the a-b vs the w series all said the cooling ports were different. I wonder where they got that from? Either way, I am stuck with this w series junker now. Nothi g I can do different.

 

As far as checking inside the pan, wouldn't that require the front diff to come out?? Eff that. If I'm taking that diff out it is so I can take the whole engine out and send it back to Texas on the horse it rode in on :angry:

 

They probably are different, and it could very well be that my engines are within a strange year range or something to do with a finite detail. I was fully expecting them not to interchange but everything set right in place. :wtf:

 

W series are better than A/B series. ;)

 

Dropping the pan would require the diff coming out, or like you said...

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too bad i didnt see this a while ago...i woulda just replaced both heads from the same enigne...i've used 86 maxima heads on my 87 and on a 94 engine with no issues :shrug:

 

i also reworked an 86 maxima engine to a 94 pathy engine...theres threads on here somehwere...

Edited by unccpathfinder
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