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Engine swap help!!!


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So I have a 1990 Nissan Pathfinder and the motor is knocking horribly after 352 thousand miles. I heard alot about a VG33 swap to make moar power but I'm unsure as what to swap over. I know everything would connect up and I know the cams from the 30 need to go in the 33 for moar lift and moar power. What else do I need to swap over? I do not wanna get it rebuilt or anything as long as the thing runs. I dont got that money. 


In regards to the engine swap,  What do I need to unbolt from the engine/disconnect. Its a manual 4x4. The list is this so far

Fuel return and feed line

Witing harness


13 bolts on transmission

Drain and disconnect radiator

AC I'm getting rid of

Engine mounts

Exhaust headers


Anything else? 


Or should I go with another 3.0 and turbo it after everything is complete. Im honestly unsure of what to do. I want to keep my Pathy running for as long as possible. 



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There are a few good write ups on this. If you're wanting to turbo the 3.0, its 95% fabrication which will cost you about the same or more depending on what materials you use (Turbo, piping, inter-cooler, injectors etc.). The VG33 swap is your best bet in this situation. A plus with the 33 is a good engine especially if you're wanting more power and it's a good motor to add power too. 

Here's a link to a good deal of info on the VG33 :



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Lots of good info here as well. He bored his out while he had it apart, and he's running the earlier style of EFI, but it's still a good read for a 3.3 swap.


My understanding of the VG33 swap is that you use the VG30 intake manifold (including injectors, TPS, and idle controls), and IIRC also the oil pan (may depend on what the engine came in), which may require oil pickup mods as well. Then there's the crank pulley. The VG30 V-belt balancer and pulleys won't fit the VG33. There was a factory balancer that would fit the VG33 and take the V-belt pulleys, but it sounds like those have dried up; the guy who wrote the thread I linked made an adapter that replaced the balancer, but I think he quit selling them a while ago. You can swap the VG30 crank into the VG33 (sounds like a PITA, especially given that the crank in yours is probably shot) or you can deal with the VG33 balancer and use the serp belt accessories. More on that here.

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