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Old 11-18-2015, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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89 pathfinder tranny question

Ive got an 89 v6 pathfinder with a 5 speed manual. Does anyone know if a newer 6 speed from a mid to late 2000's frontier or xterra will fit?

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Old 11-19-2015, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They will not. The first two generations of Pathfinder used the VG series of engines which do not share a bolt pattern with the VQ/VK series engines which are used in the later (2005+) Nissan trucks and SUVs.

Why do you want one? While the first gear ratio is slightly lower, the overdrive is a little taller and the low Hp of the VG30I will not be able to make good use of it. Instead of having two overdrives these newer 6-speed transmission have an additional ratio lower than 1.0:1 keeping the engine in a somewhat narrower RPM range for normal driving. The older 5-speed ratios demand a wider RPM range for winding up the engine for power. Even if you could swap one in I do not think you would be happy with it.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The pathfinder is also my daily and I have about 70 miles highway round trip. I figured the extra gear would let me cruise at 60+ and keep my revs at 2k. I get around 22.5 mpg at 52 mph. If I go 62 I drop to 18 mpg. So if I were to put in a vg33 when my motor goes would it have the right bolt pattern? And the power to use it if mildly tuned?
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Again, that "extra gear" is not a double-overdrive like they are on some transmissions. Your overdrive right now is a 0.862:1, that six-speed overdrive is 0.769:1. Fourth on yours is 1:1, fifth on the six-speed is 1:1. The change is truly significant but again I think it would be too much for a VG30I to make good use of. The later R50/D22U transmissions (think 96-94 Pathy, 99-04 Frontier/X) have 0.811:1 overdrives which would split the difference. And they bolt in. The trade off is that the first gear is taller (3.581:1 instead of your current 4.061:1) which will make takeoffs more sluggish.

The VG33 block is almost a bolt-in but all the accessories are in different places. With some work it is possible to retrofit the older accessories to the later VG33 block. You will need to do your homework on that. The later electronics and support systems are far more extensive than the old throttle body injection.

The last version of the VG33E was rated at 180Hp/202lb-ft (2003-2004 only), your VG30I is rated for 145Hp/166lb-ft. It's a significant bump, but requires all the later electronics and multi-port fuel injection to make it happen. Simply swapping the block for a VG33 and slapping the original TBI system back on it will not result in that much power gain.
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Im thinking of trying this build when my motor goes. I believe it'll have the power when finished and sounds like either of those 6 speeds would work. probably the older since the power will be there to push through the taller first gear... that is if my understanding of gearing is correct. Project Pathfinder Part 10, How to Build the Nissan VG30E Project Pathfinder Part 9, Headwork > MotoIQ - Automotive Tech, Project Cars, Performance & Motorsports
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I repeat, you can't do a six-speed. Bolt pattern doesn't work and no one is making an adapter. The R50/D22U stuff is 5-speed and has the VG pattern.

You can do all the extra work to the block if you want, that link was actually a buildup of a VG33E block into a "VG34" by enlarging the cylinders to 93mm, using Q45 pistons and 300ZX connecting rods. Those folks re-used the VG30 heads but I am not quite sure why other than they kept the cams. The VG30 cams have a higher lift than the VG33 cams do. A few people have done that VG34 with decent results, but you want to use the multiport EFI setup instead of your TBI setup if you want to realize larger gains in power, and it will not run well on low-grade pump gas, you will need mid- or high-grade gasoline since the compression ratio is bumped up quite a bit.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah I misunderstood. Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.
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