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1987 Nissan Maxima


Jedi Warrior
Someone today offered to trade me my car for a 1987 Nissan Maxima.
The Max had a 3.0 litre Nissan v6 that came out of another car. The owner said his grandson had owned the other car and spent $2000 getting that engine. Then, he rolled the car. Grandfather finds a decent Maxima body and had the engine out of the wrecked car installed into it. The car looks ok, has a crease on the driver's door, and looks a bit tatty inside. Sort of like mine. Unlike mine, it's a stick shift :^)
I don't know a whole lot about these cars. It had been sitting for awhile and the man replaced the battery. When he started it, it didn't run too well and blew some bad gas-smelling smoke. A/C doesn't have a charge. I also noticed what looked like a split steering rack gaiter, but supect that since this is a front-wheel drive, that there could be more to that. Interesting features included functional automatic seatbelts and a switch to change the suspension settings.
What else should I look for? Part of me says to take it and run, and the other part says that I would be no better off and possibly worse off, than I am now.
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.


Jedi Knight
I would consider it very scary myself. Besides all the wrecking and switching engine histories, I doubt you will find a wealth of aftermarket support for it.

Which car are you talking about trading?


I agree it sounds kind of scary to me too.

It’s really up to you – but in a situation like this, if I didn’t know the seller personally and really wanted the vehicle – I’d run the vin & engine numbers to make sure everything is on the up & up. And while you might know the seller – how do you know he wasn’t victimized by someone else and just isn’t aware of it yet.

Just so you know a lot of law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in the amount of stolen vehicles being registered with vin numbers off of wrecked cars. And of course there’s the old standard crime of removing parts from stolen vehicle for re-sale or use in legally registered vehicles.

Good luck.


Great Pumpkin
What car are your trading it for?
I have a buddy who just bought a new car and the dealer offered him $200 for an almost perfect '90 Camry. I'd say this Maxima is worth about $100 at best.
By the way, my younger daughter has an '01 V6 stickshift Maxima. Fast, nice and reliable but sort of thirsty on fuel and a nightmare to work on.


Country flag
My mother used to have an 88 Maxima, I have nothing nice to say about them. The parts were more expensive than the parts for my old Mercedes. It was poorly built, things like the control arms were made out of light pressed steel, and the ball joints had no grease fittings, and were very expensive. It ran like a bat out of hades, when it ran anyway. All in all, it was a big money pit, and it only had 65,000 miles on it when my mom bought it. The one you are considering doesn't sound like a very good example, I probably wouldn't take it if it was free.


Jedi Warrior
I would consider it very scary myself. Besides all the wrecking and switching engine histories, I doubt you will find a wealth of aftermarket support for it.

Which car are you talking about trading?

[/ QUOTE ]

Trading the Jag. I've been wanting to sell it for awhile and am open-minded about trading as long as it leaves me no worse off than before. I received some interesting offers. Would prefer cash, of course.
The engine's a real Nissan engine. From what I've been able to gather, that 3 litre V6 might have been the stock engine for that car. But it did come out of something else, and that could introduce some unknowns.
Thank you,


I believe the 3 liter V6 was a stock engine for that car in 87. Nissan used that motor in the 300ZX and also in their trucks, like the pathfinder and the pickups, all in different states of tune. It is an excellent motor, I had a 300ZX turbo, silky smooth that V6. I believe the 3.5 liter VQ V6 that Nissan uses today is the same basic design as that original 3 liter engine, over 20 years old and still going strong. That thing is like their version of the small block Chevy, it's everywhere.
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