Disclosure: we may earn a small commission from the companies mentioned in this post via affiliate links to products. This doesn't make any additional cost to you. All products are selected independently.
VQ30DE engine has its own place in the book of records as the best engine. He fell into the list of the ten best engines for six years. From 1995 to 2001. That’s a top result for any engine.
3.0 VQ engine series was first introduced in the United States in 1995 on Nissan Maxima and the 1996 Infiniti I30. Special features of it are the finest engine processing camshafts and crankshafts, the presence of a digital knock control system, and a new engine cooling system.
The engine produces more power and torque, at the same time has higher efficiency, quieter operation and smaller in size than its predecessor, three-litre engine series VG.
VQ30 Engine specs
|Cylinder block alloy||Aluminum|
4 valves per cylinder
|Piston stroke, mm (inch)||73.3 (2.89)|
|Cylinder bore, mm (inch)||93 (3.66)|
|Compression ratio||9.0 (VQ30DET)
|Displacement||2987 cc (182.3 cu in)|
|Power output||141 kW (192 HP) at 6,400 rpm
164 kW (223 HP) at 6,400 rpm
170 kW (231 HP) at 5,800 rpm
180 kW (245 HP) at 6,400 rpm
190 kW (258 HP) at 6,400 rpm
199 kW (270 HP) at 6,000 rpm
206 kW (280 HP) at 6,400 rpm
|Torque output||278 Nm (205 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
279 Nm (206 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
294 Nm (217 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
309 Nm (228 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
324 Nm (239 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
367 Nm (271 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
386 Nm (285 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
|HP per liter||64.3
|Weight, kg (lbs)||–|
|Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
|for Infiniti I30
|Turbocharger|| Naturally aspirated
1x Garrett M24
|Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
|up to 0.5
(1 qt. per 1200 miles)
|Recommended engine oil||5W-30
|Engine oil capacity, L (qt.)||4.0 (4.2)|
|Oil change interval, km (miles)||5,000-10,000
|Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)||–|
|Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-No life span loss
This engine is also installed in:
- Nissan Skyline
- Nissan Maxima
- Infiniti I30
- Nissan Bassara
- Nissan Cedric
- Nissan Cefiro
- Nissan Cima
- Nissan Gloria
- Nissan Leopard
- Nissan Presage
FWD, Comes out of a 95-01 Maxima. The Intake manifold will point towards the firewall, so modification will be necessary. The 00-01 Maxima with a VQ30DE-k has an improved intake manifold and a better powerband. It is plastic and thus easier to modify. Tend to be found pretty cheap. 95-99: 190hp 205tq; 00-01: 222hp 217tq
RWD, Comes out of a JDM Cima or Cedric. A turbocharged version of the Maxima engine with stronger rods, pistons, and a beefier crank (50mm rod journal vs 48mm). The intake manifold is setup for RWD, but the stock turbo and header setup may require modification. Most have changed the setup before the swap. Uses the same sensors as the Maxima engine and but will require different tuning. Rare to find. 270hp 280tq.
An improved version of the VQ30DE is known by the designation VQ30DE-K. The K designation stands for the Japanese word kaizen which translates to “improvement”. The engine was used in the 2000–2001 Nissan Maxima and adds a true dual-runner intake manifold for better high-end performance compared to some earlier Japanese and Middle-East market versions of this engine (2000-2001 Infiniti I30 models added an additional fenderwell intake, boosting power to 227 bhp). The VQ30DEK produces 226 PS (166 kW; 223 hp). The 1995–1999 US spec VQ30DE was equipped with only a single runner intake manifold.
Nissan VQ30DE Engine Problems and Reliability
- High oil consumption.
- VQ30DE overheating.
- Rough idle.
VQ30DE basic data engine error codes
|0100||MAF – Mass Air Flow Sensor|
|0110||IAT sensor – inlet temperature sensor at|
|0115||THW sensor – coolant temperature sensor|
|0121||ACCEL sensor ( APPS )|
|0130||O2 sensor right bank|
|0150||O2 sensor left bank|
|0180||Fuel temperature sensor|
|0325||The knock sensor and its circuit|
|0500||VSS – speed sensor|
|0650||CHECK ENGINE LAMP|
|1110||CVTC right bank valve|
|1111||IVT control solenoid valve|
|1121||THROTTLE ( actuator system )|
|1122||THROTTLE (feedback system )|
|1123||THROTTLE ( motor relay system )|
|1135||CVTC left bank valve|
|1136||IVT control solenoid valve|
|1140||CVTC phase sensor right bank|
|1145||CVTC phase sensor left bank|
|1216||DUI – driver unit injector|
|1232||High pressure regulator|
|1320||The ignition system signal – primary side|
|1805||Stop lamp sw|
|1806||Brake low pressure sensor|
Nissan VQ30 engine swap guide
- Engine – 350z, Maxima, Altima, G35
- Tranny – 6 speed from the 350z, G35
- ECU – 350z, Maxima, Altima, G35 or standalone (Many use the MegaSquirt II standalone or a stock VQ35 or Maxima VQ30 ECU). If using a Nissan ECU you’ll need the key, NATS module (mounts around the key cylinder) and ECU out of the same vehicle in order for the ECU to let the car start – a security feature on most new Nissans (if you get them out of separate vehicles you’ll need to take your car to Nissan to have them program the ECU to the key) What all else will be necessary to run a stock Z/G ECU remains to be seen!
- Radiator – I’m using the stock one.
- Coolant pipe on back of heads – Z/G works best as it hugs the back of the motor tighter giving you better firewall clearance and puts the rad inlet on the RH side of the engine bay which works out much better.
- Intake manifold – Z/G (all 3 pieces) for FWD VQ35, custom-built or a modified Maxima/Altima unit
- Exhaust manifolds – Z/G, the LH must be modified slightly to clear the steering shaft. This also depends on how low you mount the motor, the lower you put it the worse the clearance problem is. I had to hammer in the LH header about 1/4″ or so.
- Throttle body – depends mostly on what ECU your running and what intake manifold, I’m using a modified Z unit (converted to cable operation) on a Z manifold.
- Motor mounts – custom like me if you’re using a FWD motor, if using a RWD Z/G motor their motor mounts just might work as is.
- Shifter – Z shifter on shortened Z linkage, as the shifter would normally be much farther back than the stock shifter.
- Drive shaft – custom made consisting of a Z/G front yoke and your stock rear joint with a custom length tube. Either the 5AT front yoke or the 6MT front yoke will work, I’m using a 5AT unit.
- Oil pan – RWD Z/G upper and Z/G/Maxima/Altima lower (metal pan) is necessary for crossmember clearance
- Throttle position sensor – Depends again on what intake manifold, throttle body, and ECU you are using. I’m using a modified Z/G TPS
- Tranny mount – stock 240 mount flipped 180 degrees with custom spacer made out of some hard rubber
Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API