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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 11-22-2006, 10:29 PM   #1
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Is Auto Transmission Swap Possible?

I always hear about swapping the 4 speed automatic transmission for the 00 - 01 maxima with the 5 speed manual. I was thinking of doing that be the thought of driving manual on SR60 during morning rush hour in a manual makes me wanna . I simply don't have the patience to shift during high traffic times. I also don't really have any desire to autocross in my 3300 LB FF family sedan so a manual holds no real advantage for me. However, I feel the horrible widely distanced gear ratios are holding back my cars potential. Hence, I want to know if it is possible to swap a 04 - 06 Maxima or 05 - 06 5 speed Automatic into a 00 Maxima and if so what are the potential complications. Fact is I thought of just doing a valve body upgrade and calling it a day but if there is a way to do the swap I might just go for it in the near future. I know that if this thread gets any replies it will be littered with why you want to keep a "autotragic" and how manuals are "so much better" or you are a along with others who like "automagics" that can't drive. So I guess I will atleast answer those questions now 1. I just don't like to be bothered with a manual 2. If it makes you feel better to say so I will confirm it I can't drive and 3 No I am not a are you? I thank you all so much in advance for your advice in this matter and to all the haters' thank you so little.
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Old 11-23-2006, 05:15 AM   #2
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if you wanted to swap it you better off with a 00-01 5spd because i dont think 02 to 06 autotragic will bolt on that easily just do the valve body upgrade and call it a day i mean besides you dont seem to really like manuals seems to me you might just be trying to do because you want to have somthing you really dont need.

keep me posted let me know what happens with the swap if you decide to do it.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:55 AM   #3
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just do the vavle body upgrade
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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Everyone who gets the VB mod done is usually pretty happy with it.
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Old 11-23-2006, 07:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input guys. I think I might just go with the valve body upgrade simply because Maxima GT-R is right. I want the 5-speed not only for performance and extra gas mileage but also just to have it :attention. But I guess the VBU wouldn't be a bad decision and I haven't heard anything but glowing reviews about its effects performance especially on 0-60 times. I also know it will be a HELL of alot cheaper and I will be able to put my car out on the road alot sooner than if I did the swap. Anyways I probably won't make any moves until this semester is over and if I do decide to go ahead with the swap I will keep you Posted GT-R. Any other input will be appreicated however by any other org members.
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:16 PM   #6
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Could someone tell me more about this valve body upgrade??
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:46 AM   #7
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the valve body mod isnt going to do anything for the long gears
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Old 11-24-2006, 01:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoooper
the valve body mod isnt going to do anything for the long gears
True enough but it does help the second worst offender to straight line acceleration and passing speed... slow shift transistion. Not only that but a tranny swap especially a non OEM tranny swap might take months to complete not to mention possibly thousands of dollars of modification (in particular to the TCU). The prospect of driving a rental that long plus the expense of the job itself makes a $600 VBU look like a pretty sweet deal. I might not get the gas mileage bump but I would but according to what I hear I would cut about .3 to .5 secs off my 0-60 time and maybe gain a mph in passing speed. Not to mention smoother shifting during hard acceleration. Plus higher reliability than stock if I install a Hayden transmission cooler. It a tough choice especially considering that a automatic will never offer all out performance anyway. (Oh I so wish that I could put a DSG in the max but somehow I don't see that being possible without 10K+ to blow. )
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Old 11-24-2006, 01:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch579
Could someone tell me more about this valve body upgrade??
Stock automatic transmissions are designed to be "luxury" equipment as such they are designed to shift softly to remove as much of the "shift shock" associated with shifting gears as possible. This leads to elongated stalls when the tranny is shifting and hence, slows your car down by having "long" periods where the engine is not revving up in the powerband. This is one of the reasons why exotic sports car like the ford GT have insane 0-60 times because they have tall gear ratios and do not have to shift until they get to 65 - 70 mph. A VBU speeds up the shift transition on your automatic transmission so that it loses less time shifting and hence, has more time to rev. This result in a significantly faster car without a gain in horsepower. The positive side effect of this is that the car spends less time shift so all of the negative effects of friction wear are reduced because the transmission is not shifting (and hence, internal parts rubbing) for as long a period of time. As anyone will tell you the more time your car shifts, the more friction is created, the more heat and parts wear it builds, the faster it dies. Most VBU service providers also claim to "fix" problem inherent in OEM tranny designs. However, the fast shift does have two pitfalls 1. Although the faster shifts are more comfortable during hard acceleration during gentle acceleration you WILL feel more shift shock than stock and 2. a transmission cooler is a must because a VBU can cause a transmission to run hot in high traffic situations where excessive shifting takes place.

P.S. A VBU is not a issue for manuals for 2 reasons: 1. The driver controls the shift speed in a manual not a VB. 2. There is no VB in a manual because its not needed. Manuals rely on a mechanical transfer of power to the road whereas Automatics rely on a hydraulic transfer of power to the road.

Want to learn more? visit http://www.levelten.com
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
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Good point hoooper but as we all know whether be manual or autotragic maxima are known for there top end power so the the vb mod is really hitting the target of a better pick up. (0-60 is where the magic really happens)
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Old 11-24-2006, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximaGT-R
Good point hoooper but as we all know whether be manual or autotragic maxima are known for there top end power so the the vb mod is really hitting the target of a better pick up. (0-60 is where the magic really happens)
Point taken bro. However, I have driven a 3.5 6sp 03' before and it had a S**tload of torque down low and although I didn't notice it I heard that the VQ35DE actually tails off in power delivery gain rate after 4500rpm. This being partially due to the drive by wire not giving full throttle at the high points in the powerband now matter how much gas (i.e. lead foot) you give it. But since my only point of reference in this matter is my 3.0 "automagic" (Thats right!! my homeboy Richard Spikes invention was magic then still magic now ) which to me atleast doesn't really come alive until 3000 rpm my perceptions might be skewed.
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:58 PM   #12
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well the vb mod would get it to come alive before 3000rpm dont you think?
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:07 PM   #13
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I don't really think so... That is why I am interested in having the 5 speed. Closer gear ratios will allow the max to keep its revs up because less rpm will be lost when it shifts. Although the VB allows the engine to waste less time shifting which allows more time to rev the loss of rpm will still be just as dramatic. So in short no .
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:10 PM   #14
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well i guess i can't really say that been that i never had a car with vb i have a 6spd i'm just basically going by what people say about the vb mods. sorry for the wrong info i gave you.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:08 PM   #15
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No prob bro, most people who do VBU's usually live life at the redline anyway so to them the car probably feels more alive for sure with the upgrade. For a moderate driver however, no real torque gains can be felt down low in the powerband without boring out the engine to a larger displacement or using a positive displacement supercharger. Since I think the 1 to 2 gear shift on my automatic does suck a** the VBU may make my max feel more "zippy" but certainly not more powerful down low.
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximaGT-R
Good point hoooper but as we all know whether be manual or autotragic maxima are known for there top end power so the the vb mod is really hitting the target of a better pick up. (0-60 is where the magic really happens)
thats not even a true statement. because of the long gears, you spend more time out of the powerband, trying to get to the top end power. plus, with a vb mod you still shift into the same rpm level, just faster.

PS: its a much better idea to do the vb mod, if you do a 5AT swap youll probly end up with a years worth of problems.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:00 AM   #17
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VB Mod

Will there be any effect on gas mileage? I'm thinking no but i'm curious?
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:27 AM   #18
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Thanks for the input hoooper, fact is if the max was a project car the swap would be sweet but as a daily driver it could be the ultimate pain. Plus the Direct Shift Gear(DSG) from the boys at Audi is what I really for.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domf3
Will there be any effect on gas mileage? I'm thinking no but i'm curious?
A VB Mod will not effect gas mileage, but an extra gear will give the car closer ratios hence, create a situation where the car is not trying to recover so much rpm after the shift which increases hwy mileage alot but not so much on city. Also more gears allow for a taller final gear ratio which definitely helps mileage as well by having the car cruise at a lower rpm at a given speed.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:33 AM
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