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.

infiniti g35 rims 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.

maxima HID xenon bulbs 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:

maxima illumina struts 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.

yokohama tires 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.

hella supertone horns 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

maxima ruff racing wheels 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.

Maxima injen intake installation 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!!!

maxima bulbs 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.

maxima front strut tower brace 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!

addco sway bar 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.

eibach prokit springs 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.