The Guide to the Best Nissan Maxima Mods and Upgrades. The Maxima is Nissan’s premier mid-sized sedan in North America and several other nations around the world. Datsun released the Maxima in 1982, and it has maintained a strong presence in the global automotive market due to its value. As of 2022, the Nissan Maxima has been produced in eight different generations.
Throughout the Maxima’s existence in the United States, it was frequently seen as the Altima’s more upmarket older brother. The Maxima seeks to replace many of the Altima’s holes with premium options and a V6 configuration. The history of Maxima, however, is not the primary topic of this essay.
This post will concentrate on the greatest Nissan Maxima modifications and improvements for the current versions. What aftermarket products, however, can increase power, performance, and longevity for a reasonable price? To address that question, let’s take a closer look at the Nissan Maxima’s engine and accompanying specs in the section below.
Nissan Maxima Variations
The naturally aspirated V6 engine in the 2022 Nissan Maximas delivers 300 horsepower. Let’s start by getting a better idea of Maxima’s adaptability to upgrades and alterations. So, let’s have a look at the Maxima configurations and prices that Nissan will offer in 2022.
Nissan Maxima 2022 Configurations:
- SV – ($37,090)
- SR – ($42,250)
- (43,320) – Platinum
Many of our suggested modifications will provide varied power and performance gains due to the numerous available configurations of the Maxima across its various generations, as well as their varying accessories and pricing. However, we believe that the list below is an excellent starting place for individuals looking to boost the performance of their Maxima’s engine.
Nissan Maxima Performance Enhancements
Some of the best mods and improvements for the many variations of the Nissan Maxima’s 8th generation include:
- Headers for Exhaust
- The Turbo Kit
Throughout this guide, we will try our best to go over the modifications stated above, their price points, and the power gains connected with each. The Nissan Maxima may be fitted with an almost infinite number of alternative enhancements. There are so many that it’s practically hard to cover them all in a single article. However, we will try our best to discuss the most highly suggested and significant engine system changes for your Maxima. Our listed horsepower improvements may vary depending on several factors such as aftermarket product quality. As a result, keep in mind that this is merely a guideline for your Maxima customisation project.
1) Intake Upgrades for Nissan Maxima 2.0 and 2.5
Many drivers prefer to upgrade their intake as one of the first engine upgrades they make. A redesigned intake may improve airflow to increase power while also improving engine bay appearance and providing better induction sounds. Some may regard these strength gains as minor at best. An intake, however, can be an important component of your customizing puzzle when combined with a good tune and other complementary adjustments. An improved intake is a low-cost and straightforward adjustment that many drivers appreciate.
There are numerous intakes available for the Maxima, many with distinct forms of construction. First, consider some of the fundamental advantages of a fresh intake, as listed below:
- Gains of 2 to 10 horsepower
- Gains in torque that are comparable or similar
- enhanced induction noises
- enhanced throttle response
With a new intake, some Maxima owners may see a range of increases in overall horsepower. Again, these increases will be minor at best without further helpful changes. Drivers may also notice an improvement in performance due to improved throttle responsiveness. Certain generations of Nissan Maxima intakes have questionable build quality. As a result, a new intake can significantly enhance the airflow of your Maxima engine.
Nissan Maxima Intake Mods That Work
You usually get what you pay for when it comes to aftermarket upgrades. We like to promote reliable organizations with a track record of dependability. K&N, S&B, AEM, and Injen are all excellent companies to consider. Other firms may offer superior products at lower prices. However, most high-quality Maxima intakes will provide comparable gains in overall power.
K&N now provides a performance intake for every Nissan Maxima made between 2004 and 2022 directly from their official website as of 2022. Click here to view the list and determine whether the costs are within your budget. Feel free to look into a range of different companies, but keep in mind that we only recommend manufacturers with a proven track record.
It is critical to determine which type of intake is best for your engine. A cold air intake, for example, routes to a separate place within the engine compartment to use cooler air. A short ram intake, on the other hand, reroutes the area of induction and is often a smaller, shorter design that optimizes maximum airflow. HPS offers an excellent short ram intake in a number of colors to brighten up the aesthetics of your engine compartment while also adding a little of power.
2) Maxima Tweaking
Tunes could be one of the most effective Nissan Maxima engine modifications. This is because they are frequently simple to obtain and install. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with Maxima. It may be tough to locate a suitable tune for your Maxima engine. The demand for a Maxima tune is lower than for other engine systems. This is not to say that finding a music is impossible. However, this means that we will not make a tune our first option for your Maxima.
You won’t gain much power only by upgrading your intake or exhaust components. Drivers should expect more significant boosts in overall power with a good tune and a selection of high-quality tweaks. A proper tune could result in an increase of 3-8 total horsepower for some Maximas. Many drivers may believe that the cost of a tune is reasonable for their Maxima project. However, we find it difficult to justify the entire expense and related trouble.
However, as more tweaks and enhancements are added, the value of a tune skyrockets. Drivers may experience an estimated increase of 10-20 total horsepower with the right supportive adjustments. Finally, tuning a Maxima can be a smart option. However, with the addition of other mods, it becomes an excellent choice. Furthermore, the increase in induction sounds is something that many drivers look for.
3) Nissan Maxima Exhaust Modifications
Upgraded exhausts are next on our list of Maxima enhancements. The Maxima’s factory exhaust isn’t known for producing a lot of airflow. As a result, improving exhaust components can boost performance and power. It will be practically impossible to list all of the different Maxima exhaust modifications in a timely manner due to the large diversity of them. However, we will go over some fundamentals.
Upgraded exhaust options might range from a completely new system to cat-backs, axle backs, Y-backs, and other configurations. The larger the replacement, the greater the likelihood of a significant boost in power. Catless alternatives are generally the most efficient in terms of power increases and affordability. Some of the projected benefits of a Maxima exhaust upgrade include:
- Gains of 4 to 10 horsepower
- Gains in torque that are comparable or similar
- Engine sounds that are more powerful
Drivers should expect less significant gains in power with just an improved exhaust. Again, higher increases are typically connected with a set of helpful tweaks and a decent tune. To summarize, an exhaust modification is an excellent alternative for many drivers looking to increase the overall power of their Maxima. An exhaust system will boost overall sound and power. However, except from an enhanced exhaust system, we advocate choosing other improvements for solely power gains.
4) Maxima Exhaust Headers Upgraded
Upgraded exhaust headers are one of the most cost-effective power enhancements. Headers are also referred to as the exhaust manifold. Because of the header’s importance inside the exhaust system, it is frequently regarded as one of the most significant parts or components of a Nissan Maxima’s exhaust system.
The goal of improved exhaust headers is to decrease back pressure while increasing power and performance. Back-pressure reduction is closely related to power improvements. An updated header may have the following values:
- Gains of 6 to 15 horsepower
- Gains in torque that are comparable or similar
- Improved performance sounds good.
- EGTs/exhaust gas temperatures have been reduced.
Again, these modifications may be the most cost-effective in terms of power gains. Regardless of the difficulties that DIY exhaust manifolds may present, they are still regarded as the best bang for your dollars. In addition to increased overall power, drivers may notice improved or more aggressive performance sounds from their engine system. Let’s look at the two primary subcategories of headers: catless and high-flow.
High Flow Headers vs. Catless Headers
For the various Nissan Maxima variants, various sorts of header upgrades are available. Catless versus high-flow headers are two of the most common types of aftermarket headers. Catless headers, in general, eliminate the catalytic converter entirely, decreasing weight and streamlining exhausts. High flow headers, on the other hand, use a design that integrates a high-performance catalytic converter while also reducing weight and optimizing airflow without a complete cat deletion. Catless alternatives often provide greater power improvements, but high flow headers have the advantage of potentially being street legal and easily passing an emissions test.
Short-tubes (shortys) versus long tubes are two other major sub-categories of header modifications. Long tube headers comprise the exhaust manifold as well as the pipe to which the manifold attaches. When it comes to power improvements, many drivers choose long tube headers for their overall boost. Drivers will still notice an increase in overall power with improved short tubes, but long tube headers are recommended for those want to significantly improve the performance of their Maxima. These are the differences that can result in extra little amounts of horsepower, which add up to larger engine power gains.
Exhaust Manifold Upgrades for Nissan Maxima
Because there are so many distinct exhaust manifold uses for the Maxima, narrowing down the best selections can be difficult. However, certain durable designs, such as stainless steel construction, will be more resistant to rust and corrosion. Aluminized choices, on the other hand, may be more prone to rust and have a shorter lifespan. However, in the end, accurate fitment and competent welding take precedence over minor variances in overall reliability. We can recommend the following aftermarket heads for various years of the Nissan Maxima:
- Nissan Maxima Headers OBX Performance (1999-2003 choices)
- Maximizer 3.5L Maxima Full-Length Exhaust Headers (2009-2021 fitment)
- Dorman Nissan Maxima Exhaust Manifold & Accessories (2009-2014, with choices for 2016-2021)
For some Maxima years, aftermarket exhaust manifolds and exhaust components in general may be difficult to find. As a result, before making such a substantial investment, it is critical to confirm appropriate fitment. Regardless, if the right combination of components is found, an improved exhaust manifold can result in significant performance benefits for your Nissan Maxima.
Related : The Mazda 3 Cold Air Intake Upgrade Instructions
5) Maxima Pulley Improvements
Our next few recommendations and upgrades may not be as thoroughly detailed as the previous ones on our list. Because engine customisation projects can get quite complex. As a result, we’ll try to condense a few more enhancements that can assist boost your Maxima without being too wordy. Having said that, improved pulleys are another option that many drivers may consider.
Pulleys are components that are directly connected to the driving belt. Upgrading a pulley to a lightweight performance aftermarket version can reduce total engine mass and improve drive performance. In layman’s terms, this modification allows the engine to more readily pull the engine belt and drive. Horsepower and performance advantages from an improved pulley can vary, but engine benefits may include:
- 2-8 horsepower increase
- Torque gains that are comparable
These advantages may appear to be insignificant. Again, it’s crucial to realize that significant gains are sometimes the result of numerous little increases in overall horsepower that compound up over time.
6) Turbo Kits for Nissan Maxima
Again, the normally aspirated 3.5L V6 engine is standard on all 2022 Nissan Maximas. Because these engines are naturally aspirated, there are some restrictions on modifications and upgrades. When these restrictions are reached, Maxima owners may consider more extensive or serious upgrades, such as turbo kits. It is vital to remember, however, that increasing the turbo or induction will frequently raise engine liabilities and potential failures. However, turbo and supercharger packages provide a greater increase in horsepower, ranging from 40-50 hp.
In conclusion, if the costs of numerous of these changes are added up, drivers can easily spend thousands of dollars on their Maxima engine. These improvements do not even include supportive components like new wheels and tires, updated suspensions, and other features. Turbo improvements may be appealing for their overall power gains, but they might break the pocketbook and throw you off track.
Gains from Nissan Maxima Engine Modification
Because there are so many various mods and improvements for the Maxima, it might be difficult to pinpoint an exact amount of horsepower or torque gained. With that said, let’s take a deeper look at some of the most popular Maxima customizations and their typical pricing.
Maxima Mods for 10-20 horsepower gains ($1,000)
The following is a list of our first stages, or entry modifications, for your Maxima that can result in up to a 10-20 increase in overall horsepower:
The majority of the changes on this list may be completed for less than $1,000; however, the price may vary based on the quality of the materials and labor prices. A Maxima should add at least 10 horsepower with an improved intake, pulley, and excellent tune. However, if you intend to expand your alterations to more expensive and dynamic options, you should postpone your tune. A tune can be an excellent approach to balance your supporting mods on a completed engine customisation project.
Upgrades for 20-30 horsepower gains ($1,500)
The following adjustments are our next step up in budget and total power gains:
Some of these may be deemed redundant because they appear twice. However, this is intended to demonstrate that the price and power output of many of these upgrades might vary. The 2022 3.5L V6 engine will have better overall power gains than some of its smaller predecessors.
The installation of new headers may increase your budget, but it may also be the missing piece of the jigsaw to increase your power.
Nissan Maxima Performance Upgrades for 30-40+ HP ($2,000+)
Finally, we are approaching the maximum potential of Nissan Maxima mods and, most likely, the end of many drivers’ modification budgets. The 2022 Maxima starts with 300 horsepower, but with these combined tweaks, drivers may experience a bump of up to 40 horsepower.
- The throttle body
- Induction by coercion
Again, we provide some of our entry-level suggestions as well as basic bolt-on mods. Then we go on to our more serious and costly improvements, which can help your Maxima’s engine perform even better. As we’ve said throughout this article, “you get what you pay for.” As a result, many of the more expensive and extreme upgrades, such as turbo kits, may result in the most significant power gains. Some of these larger mods, however, are not for the faint of heart and necessitate a careful balance and understanding of your Maxima’s engine system.
Summary of the Best Nissan Maxima Mods
The Maxima may not be the best choice for an engine modification project. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a Maxima engine community out there doing some great things. The modern naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 engines can be versatile and fun to modify. Certain smaller Nissan ancestors may be deemed feeble, but Nissan appears to be gradually enhancing Maxima’s overall power and performance.
Some of our entry-level bolt-on tweaks can result in a 10-25 horsepower increase. Again, the more significant power gains are frequently the result of considerably more expensive and lengthy changes. However, a new intake, tune, and pulleys are all excellent ways to get your project started. More substantial modifications, such as camshafts and turbo packages, will generate greater horsepower gains, but they will necessitate a more careful installation and more supportive adjustments.