2002 Nissan Maxima Updates and Modifications
In general, the Max is a great car. 255hp 3.5L V6, 4sp automatic tranny, 17" rims, Bose
stereo w/6-disc in-dash CD changer, sunroof, etc. For a family sedan, it has great "get-up-n-go".
It is definately in the top of its class from a performance standpoint. The only issue I have with
it at this time is the suspension. While it has a sport-tuned suspension, it is too soft and mushy.
Bordering on luxury car handling, but, better at the same time. Can we say "upgrade"? Why, yes we can.
So, on order for the Max are some suspension upgrades and some performance upgrades.
||Update, June, 2007: Due to rough roads, the Ruff Racing rims had taken a beating so it was time
for a new set (They looked quite dated as well). But, what to get? I could go with another aftermarket set or I could go for something
"factory". Well, I chose the factory look but went to the other side of Nissan.....Infiniti.
I ended up with a new set of Infiniti G35 rims in 18x8x30mm. Since my Yokohama tires were needing
replacement (and I eventually did not enjoy them due to noise and a difficulty in keeping them balanced), I
changed over to Kumho ASX 245-40-18's to give them a
try. The only issue with the G35 rims and the 245 width tires is that the
passenger side tends to rub a tad on big road transitions. It's not much, but enough were I will want to
roll that fender lip just a bit in the near future.
||Update, March, 2007: Next project was "spur of the moment" and prompted by having
another set of foglights bust and the PIAA Ion Crystal bulbs go out. I opted to go ahead and upgrade
the headlights and foglights to finally match. How to do this? Of course, with HID Foglights. I
procured a set of new foglights, a set of 6000k headlight bulbs, a 6000k HID H3 kit and proceeded to
upgrade. The steps to perform these upgrades are:|
||Update, Dec, 2004: With lowering, comes suspension problems. With the Eibachs, the car rode much better
than the stock springs. As time wore on, the struts wore out. Tokico Illumina's were installed to fix the issues.
These are 5-way adjustable struts. The improvement via handling was astounding. Bumps are definately no
longer an issue.
||Update, Oct, 2004: As with everything, all good things must come to an end. After a year
with the Sumitomo's, I needed new tires. The Sumitomo's did well for the first 15k. After that, it was downhill.
I finally replaced tham at 22k miles after my 2nd blowout and with a huge amount of traction loss. They still
had 1/3rd tread life left. I have to give these a thumbs down. My new tires are Yokohama AVS dB S2's. So far,
so good. Great wet traction and very good dry traction. Easily compares to the Sumitomo's when they were new.
Only time and miles will tell if another set of these will stay on the Max next time.
||Update, 1st half, 2004: A few changes to the Maxima. The horns were upgraded to Hella Supertones. Reverse
lights were replaced with PIAA Super Plasma's. I also replace the broken fog lights with a new set. A Nissan bra was
also added. Finally, I upgraded the car audio system which may be seen here: Maxima Audio Page
||Update, Sept 22nd, 2003: The time had come to replace the tires. I chose a set of Sumitomo HTR+ Z-rated all-
season radials (235-40-18's). To go with them, I chose a set of Ruff Racing 18x7.5" rims in a black-chrome style.
So far, all I can say is WOW! The tires have great grip and awesome wet-weather traction. These are a huge
improvement over the factory Potenza RE92's that did nothing well.
||Update, Aug 29th, 2003: The second stage of my performance upgrades is complete. I have installed
an Injen intake. The installation was pretty simple and realtively
easy. First impressions are great. During normal day-to-day driving, the intake is very quiet. This ends
when you go heavy on the gas. From a performance standpoint, the vehicle seems to really pull after 3500RPM.
I will have a better ideal of performance of this product plus the exhaust upgrades after some 1/4-mile pulls.
|Update, Aug 8th, 2003: After having them sit around for quite a while, I finally had the WarpSpeed Y
and B pipes installed. The B-pipe was actually short 6" and a piece had to be added. The Y-Pipe was missing
the upper hanger, so that was needed as well. The shop that performed the install did a great job. I have no
banging at all due to torque, which has been a problem with this particular pipe. From a performance aspect,
it is hard to tell. The car does seem to have more power and one thing I have noticed is that it's shifting
firmer into gears. Since the B-pipe has a resonator, it is not loud, tho there is a nice little growl that
was not there before. So far, so good.
Update, Dec, 2004: The Warpspeed Y-pipe has been removed. Initially, heavy acceleration would cause the
pipe to bang somewhat. More of an annoyance. By December, it was heavily grinding to the point that I
could not stand it anymore. Due to poor design and fitment issues, it was removed and is sitting in my
garage. An eMail was dispatched to Dallas at Warpspeed, but no response has been received. Honestly, I doubt
they intend to respond. Buyer beware!!!
||Update, Nov 23rd, 2002: All non-HID front "white" bulbs have been upgraded on the Max! The factory
fog lights were replaced with PIAA Crystal Ions, the high-beams were replaced with Toucan Eurolite Fusions and the
front parking lights were replaced with PIAA Super Plasma's. The vehicle looks mucho better without the yellowish
factory halogen bulbs. Yes, the fogs are yellow, not white.
||Update, May 17th, 2002: I have installed my Front Strut Tower Brace (FSTB). This upgrade helps reduce
torque steer and helps the vehicle "turn in" to corners. Handling is definately improved and the chrome bar
looks pretty good on the car!
Update, April 9th, 2002: An Addco rear sway bar has been installed to further reduce body roll and firmly plant the car to the ground.
The installation took less than an hour (with lots of goofing off). I have documented the installation for others to follow:
Addco RSB Installation.
Update, April 1st, 2002: The Max has received a new set of springs. Eibach Pro-Kit to be specific.
This kit includes stiffer springs with propietary spring rates reducing squat during acceleration, nose diving during
heavy breaking and body roll in turns. The center of gravity is also reduced by lowering the vehicle appx 1" rear
and 1.3" front (or more). The addition of the springs alone have improved this cars ride 1000X! After some additional
settling, the end result with the Eibachs is a 1-finger gap rear fender and a 2-finger gap front fender.