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I was wondering if anyone out there has ever tried an engine upgrade in an early model Pathfinder. I’ve already converted my 1991 SE into a work vehicle, and since I’m selling the Dodge work van (10MPG), I’m preparing myself for the possibility of a mechanical failure without a backup vehicle. The Pathfinder still runs great, the tranny shows no signs of wear, and the chassis is solid. But at 165k, I expect that things will start to fail, and I can’t afford to lose workdays resulting from transportation problems. Since the original V6 puts out an anemic 158HP and still manages to average less than 20MPG, I am considering replacing the VG30E with a low mileage VG30DE from a 300ZX.

I can already picture your eyes rolling, but bear with me. A 24-vlave version of the 3.0L V6 puts out 225HP, 210 lb-ft of torque, AND better gas mileage. In addition, I suspect that the only major difference between the two engines is that one has 12-valve SOHC heads while the other has 24-valve DOHC heads, so swapping shouldn’t be overly complicated.

I love my Pathfinder, so an expensive modification is worth more to me than replacing the car. At the same time, why pay for another powerless engine when you could upgrade. Has anyone tried this conversion?
 

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Might nothing, I think you do. It'll be a major expenditure and a one-off swap if you do get it done. I can count on one hand (two fingers, actually) the number of people that I've seen do this swap so far since I got interested in Pathfinders around 1999-2000.

BTW, the SOHC truck V6 was rated at 153 HP with 15/18 MPG rating. Don't count on the DE engine giving better fuel economy, you'll be putting it into a 4000+ lb vehicle as opposed to the lighter chassis of the 300ZX or Maxima it would otherwise be found in.

Instead, I would get some Thorley headers, a K&N filter, a nice free flowing exhaust, change everything to synthetic oils for engine, diffs and t-case and keep up on the maintenance items like cap and rotor, plugs, wires, fuel filter, etc. The headers and exhaust alone will net you 2-5 MPG from what I've heard. The synthetics help a little also, I've seen good reports on that.
 

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I am thinking of the same swap... a 88' 300zx turbo into an 88'pathfinderV6. I recently snapped my pathfinder's timing belt, and have been told rerpairs are more than the value of the truck itself. Now I've been given this zx turbo motor which runs great. The zx is an automatic, and the pathfinder an automatic. Suggestions and tips would be great.
 

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The turbo won't fit. You'll have to do a bunch of custom fabrication and relocate the turbo at the very least. :(
 
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