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ok guys i am looking around for a cheaper DD and i ran across this 1991 maxima and i was wondering if you guys could give me a little backround about how reliable this would be and if its a good car. basically i would lik ea review of the car and good or bad buy if you guys wouldnt mind. so here is the run down.
91 Maxima SE 5spd manual, V-6, 4-door. Timing belt service done at 115K, new C/V boots on rebuilt axles, recent rear brake job, front brakes in 04, good tires. DENT in pas side 1/4 panel.
miles 163,000
price $1350

any and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.
 

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These cars will go forever if you keep them maintained. I know several people with 300,000+ miles on them.

things to look for:
transmission bearings. input shaft bearings are known to go out. shop rebuild: $850. home rebuild: $110 for two bearings and a couple of seals.
listen for a growling/grinding noise in lower gears, especially under heavy throttle.

exhaust studs. the engine mounts in these cars are pretty soft and let the engine flop around. the exhaust studs are also weak. this means when you romp on the car, the exhaust basically rips the manifolds off the engine, snapping the studs one at a time. listen for ticking that's loudest the first couple minutes of engine running. once the manifolds warm up, they kinda warp back into place and seal the gasket shut again. after a while, they will tick all the time as the manifold permanently warps.
shop repair: approx $300 per head. home repair: appros $50 per head

fuel injectors... as with any old car, the injectors are prone to failure if they are not kept clean. usually I run Chevron w/ Techron injector cleaner through the car about once a year and have never had an injector failure in 350,000 miles between two Maximas (125k on one, 225k on the second).

those are the main things to look for. the rest of the common stuff (C/V joints, timing belt, brakes, etc) are already taken care of. only other thing to note is the timing belt should be done every 60k miles, so it's about a year away from needing another one.


Edit... I'm going to stick this thread. it comes up about once a month, so there's no point in repeating it every time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hey man i appreciate the fast response and the help. I do realize these type of questions come up alot but i was unable to use the search button so sorry for that. well im off to call the guy so hopefully i will be sticking around here alittle more :cool: . again thanks for the help.
 

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what to look for in buy a 3rd Gen Maxima

Dwl9113 said:
ok guys i am looking around for a cheaper DD and i ran across this 1991 maxima and i was wondering if you guys could give me a little backround about how reliable this would be and if its a good car. basically i would lik ea review of the car and good or bad buy if you guys wouldnt mind. so here is the run down.
91 Maxima SE 5spd manual, V-6, 4-door. Timing belt service done at 115K, new C/V boots on rebuilt axles, recent rear brake job, front brakes in 04, good tires. DENT in pas side 1/4 panel.
miles 163,000
price $1350

any and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.
My suggestion is to buy the car. I had a 1992 that I had for 11 years and the 3rd Gen in particular (1989-1994) seems to be car that is designed for 15-20 years, and some newer models are only designed for 10 yrs at most. I recently wanted a car for my wife to learn to drive on, so I went ahead and bought a 1993 with 146k miles on it!

My situation was I needed to completely replace the exhaust system, because even stainless steel doesn't last forever. I also needed to replace the injectors. The cost of new injectors is about $125 each, so 6 injectors and O-rings and gaskets will run you about $800, plus labor. Rebuilt injectors, from Vendom, or Bosch run close to $400 for a set of all 6. Please look at my post regarding "air-and-fuel" and you'll see many URL's related to cleaning the existing injectors off the car, if running a cleaner in the fuel line doesn't solve the problem. I was lucky to be able to buy used injectors and fuel rails, send them out for sonic cleaning and then get them installed in the car, for less than the cost of even rebuilt injectors!

The GXE model has a timing belt, which needs replacing at every 60k miles and the SE in 1993-1994 model, as I recall, had a chain, not a belt, so that needs not to be replaced. In your case, you'll need to do that pretty soon again. A good idea when replacing your timing belt is to also replace the water pump. You don't necessarily have to, but it's a good idea to prevent heat related failure. In my case,since I didn't know the car, if the car was driven in a lot of stop and go traffic, the transmission takes a toll as well, so I added a transmission cooler in series with main transmission lines in main radiator. You can get one done at U-Haul as part of a "towing package" install, without getting the towing hook installed at all. It's cheap $40-$75 insurance to getting longer life out of any transmission. Also, this generation of cars has no transmission filter, so a flush with a machine, not just letting the old fluid drain out, is not a bad idea.

The other possibility with these cars is exhaust manifold coming loose. Yet another possibility is window regulators letting the windows drop into the door frames.

Overall, these cars are very, very good cars. You don't find an American car at that age with anything worth saving. In my case, I spent some money up front, but I have a pretty nice car. I added transmission cooler, water pump, all other belts and new exhaust and new injectors. (actually, cleaned OEM) injectors. I chose a performance exhaust, not muffler shop route, because I wanted the better Y-Pipe.

My advice is buy the car. The owner did all the work that is common for an aging car and at the purchase price suggested, you can put a little extra cash into it and have yourself something that easily last until 200,000 miles.
I bought a nearly 13 year old car, and I have no regrets doing it.
 

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Dwl9113 said:
ok guys i am looking around for a cheaper DD and i ran across this 1991 maxima and i was wondering if you guys could give me a little backround about how reliable this would be and if its a good car. basically i would lik ea review of the car and good or bad buy if you guys wouldnt mind. so here is the run down.
91 Maxima SE 5spd manual, V-6, 4-door. Timing belt service done at 115K, new C/V boots on rebuilt axles, recent rear brake job, front brakes in 04, good tires. DENT in pas side 1/4 panel.
miles 163,000
price $1350

any and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.
I had a 90' Maxima with 250,000 miles before a timing chain broke. If the timing chain has been serviced you should be in good shape. It should last a while, keep up on tune-ups though and oil changes.
 

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Buying an older Maxima

SHIFTVAX said:
I had a 90' Maxima with 250,000 miles before a timing chain broke. If the timing chain has been serviced you should be in good shape. It should last a while, keep up on tune-ups though and oil changes.
By and large, Maxima is a good car all around, even at high mileage. However, you must be careful in buying a 16 year old car, because with any car, with age, things start to happen. If the car is a GXE (SOHC) motor, it has a timing belt. If it is a SE (DOHC), it has a timing chain. If the SOHC engine, the belt and waterpump should be changed every 60k miles. Which means, if you buy this car, be sure to replace the timing belt and water pump immediately upon purchase, since you don't have any idea when the owner did it, or if he did it at all and was simply lucky not to have an issue. I also would check the exhaust. On my recent 1993 purchase, it was all corroded, from Y pipe to muffler. It wasn't loud, just so much road salt over 13 years, that I needed to completely replace every part of the exhaust. An exhaust lasts 10-12 years. At 16 years of age, it's hard to say what it looks like. A muffler shop might charge you around $600 to replace the entire exhaust system in parts and labor combined. Yet another problem is that the early Maxima (1988-1992) had a problem with fuel injectors going bad and had a recall. Nissan did release a newer type of injector (yellow dot) from 1993-1994, but in my case, I had bad fuel injectors. Yet another area of potential weakness is the exhaust studs on the back-part of the V, not the front part facing the radiator. It wasn't a problem on my car, but it is a problem on these cars with age. Also have the CV joints checked out.

So in sum, these are very, very good cars and are designed to last 20 years, which is far, far more than many other cars on the road. I still see plenty of them on the road and I still have one. But, as with any car that is over 10 years of age, you have to do your homework: exhaust, fuel injectors, suspension, and timing belt/timing chain (GXE/SE) as applicable.

By the way, I have injectors for sale, (the ones I initially bought incorrectly) that would work in a 1990 Maxima.
 

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alexnds said:
By and large, Maxima is a good car all around, even at high mileage. However, you must be careful in buying a 16 year old car, because with any car, with age, things start to happen. If the car is a GXE (SOHC) motor, it has a timing belt. If it is a SE (DOHC), it has a timing chain. If the SOHC engine, the belt and waterpump should be changed every 60k miles. Which means, if you buy this car, be sure to replace the timing belt and water pump immediately upon purchase, since you don't have any idea when the owner did it, or if he did it at all and was simply lucky not to have an issue. I also would check the exhaust. On my recent 1993 purchase, it was all corroded, from Y pipe to muffler. It wasn't loud, just so much road salt over 13 years, that I needed to completely replace every part of the exhaust. An exhaust lasts 10-12 years. At 16 years of age, it's hard to say what it looks like. A muffler shop might charge you around $600 to replace the entire exhaust system in parts and labor combined. Yet another problem is that the early Maxima (1988-1992) had a problem with fuel injectors going bad and had a recall. Nissan did release a newer type of injector (yellow dot) from 1993-1994, but in my case, I had bad fuel injectors. Yet another area of potential weakness is the exhaust studs on the back-part of the V, not the front part facing the radiator. It wasn't a problem on my car, but it is a problem on these cars with age. Also have the CV joints checked out.

So in sum, these are very, very good cars and are designed to last 20 years, which is far, far more than many other cars on the road. I still see plenty of them on the road and I still have one. But, as with any car that is over 10 years of age, you have to do your homework: exhaust, fuel injectors, suspension, and timing belt/timing chain (GXE/SE) as applicable.

By the way, I have injectors for sale, (the ones I initially bought incorrectly) that would work in a 1990 Maxima.
Actually in my case the engine had been swaped for one out of a 93', before I purchased it, so I guesse that's why mine was a timing chain.
 

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I owned a 91 Max SE with 5 speed stick and it was one of my better cars. You have received a lot of advice already so my $0.02:

The rear spoiler where it connects to the trunk can trap water and rust big time. The power windows can be slow to move. If so, the rubber molding needs to be changed out. There is a flexible exhaust joint that goes under the engine that fails and cost $300. I never changed the clutch and the engine ran fine until I sold the car at 140k miles. There is a recall on the gas line going into the tank. It can rust and cause problems. This can be fixed for free under the recall.

Good luck!
 

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CT_Nismo said:
I owned a 91 Max SE with 5 speed stick and it was one of my better cars. You have received a lot of advice already so my $0.02:

The rear spoiler where it connects to the trunk can trap water and rust big time. The power windows can be slow to move. If so, the rubber molding needs to be changed out. There is a flexible exhaust joint that goes under the engine that fails and cost $300. I never changed the clutch and the engine ran fine until I sold the car at 140k miles. There is a recall on the gas line going into the tank. It can rust and cause problems. This can be fixed for free under the recall.

Good luck!

If you're going to make statements like those, be sure they're correct...

rear spoiler- correct.
slow windows- clean weatherstripping first. don't replace. waste of money.
leaking flex-pipe. buy a whole new Y pipe from warpspeed performance, or many other places for about $175, or a muffler shop can weld in a new aftermarket flex section for about $60.
recall on fuel filler tube- ONLY IN SELECTED AREAS!!! The recall only applies if you live in the rust belt, or the car was registered for several years in the rust belt. If you live in Arizona and have rust problems, you're SOL.
 

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I bought a 1993 Maxima Se in the color pearl 8 months ago. When i bought it, it had 136,000 miles and i paid 2,700 for the car. Repairs that i had to get done to it include brake roters, calibers and pads on all 4 tires, which cost 600.00. now iam having trouble with rough idleing, so i took it into tires plus and got a diagnostic done. It turned out a had one bad fuel injector. The injector, intake gasket manifold, and labor all came out toe be 514.00. Maximas are known to have problems with fuel injectors, i dont know why tho. My car now has 144,000 miles on it. Is it worth getting fixed, and what other type of problems could i possibly be facing in the future?
 

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restoring an old car

I had a 1993 Nissan Maxima recently and I spent alot of money in restoring an old car. I previously had a 1992 version, and sold it when it was 11yrs of age. I bought the the 93 version in 2005 for my wife to have a reliable old car to learn how to drive on it. By the time the car is 13 or 14 years old, it required similar work to yours; new injectors, new exhaust, and at 150k miles, it started developing transmission problems. I recently sold this car. To compliment this car, you have to acknowledge the fact that not many American cars from the early 90's are still on the road and this shows you just how good this car really is. On the other hand, it's a practical matter of how much longer you can keep this car. The items to look for are the water pump failling and the timing belt. The VG30e engine is a SOHC motor that uses a belt, not a chain. It needs replaced every 60k miles. You have an SE, which is DOHC motor, chain driven,not belt driven. I don't recall what yr SE vs GXE became different in terms of SOHC motor or DOHC motor. At 150k miles, you're pushing your luck if you don't replace this belt, because if it breaks, the valves will crash into the pistons and you'll have no motor. The engine alone, with new water pump and timing belt can last 250k miles. But RAF24a transmission, same as Stanza, will not last and will need a rebuild very soon.
 

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hey, bought a 92 max gxe, (auto unfortunately) TOTALLY RUSTED OUT AROUND GAS NECK (gas cap/ filler neck/ whatever you wanna call it) make sure you don't get screwed over here. if you live in a salty area, or they use salt on your roads, peel back the carpeting in the trunk and make sure the metal around the seat belt mounts aren't rusted away. this is a pain to fix. it took me about 2 weeks of straight welding, rolling, and re-shaping while i was laid off to get everything back to working condition. also, if you have holes in the front part of the rear wheel wells. you will need to fix it.

the car otherwise had nothing wrong with it, stock everything pretty much and still ran great. 354k on it, and not even a knock from the engine. suspension parts on these things last forever. and the engines, so far as i know, are unkillable. i know the 5spd trans are amazing for handling any kinda power you throw at it. and the engines have many stock parts that'll handle in excess of 400 hp. for now my car will be auto and will be the stock vg30de, but it will get changed after i get a new car.

pretty sweet cars all around. just watch for rust in the rear. it is a brutal fix.
 

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1991 Nissan maxima

hi i have a 1991 nissan maxima se and there are fantastic when you maintain them well any car is but you need to look out for the speed sensor they are known for going out and the slave cylinder are pretty common too but the slave cylinders are know to go out at around at 180,000 miles so start looking now because these cars are rare expecially the se versions. My suggestions would be start stocking up on general maintance parts like wire and cap and button because you have to order all three of them and i would get an extra clutch because if you like to go fast persay the clutches like to heat up and go out, or you can buy an trans cooler they are farely cheap prices rang between 120 and 250 but the 250 is for like racing and towing. but i would also check you clutch master cylinder and see if it is leaking at all not an expensive part just a pain to change. Over all i would say you made a decent buy but mine had less miles and no body issues and i got it for 600 but you didnt do to bad my friend
 
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