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Old 11-16-2017, 11:33 AM   #1
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2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Our daughter gave our grandson a 2002 Nissan Altima, the engine is shot. After doing a lot of reading I found that this model Nissan is notorious for engines going south if driven hard or under certain conditions. This car was ran hard with a fouled out plug or two for over 100 miles wide open. The trouble with this engine (2.5s) is the pre-cat. It is just below the exhaust manifold and catches a lot of heat. Here is an explanation of one member of a forum I am a member of:

The pre-cat issue is this, I'm trying to quote it as best as I can, saw it in numerous TSB's. At excessive heat and certain driving conditions, the materials in the pre-catalyst can deteriorate and sand-like particles can be sucked back into the engine, scoring the cylinder walls. This will increase oil consumption and/or coolant consumption which in turn will lower overall engine compression. If the owner continues to drive the vehicle under these conditions, the engine will need to be replaced.

I have decided to pull the motor and replace with a 2.0 because it is a lot cheaper and the hp drop isn't that bad. I have read where others have done this and they are ok with the hp drop.

My problem at this time is I need to know what I will need to disconnect to pull this engine. By the way, it is an automatic. It is suggested to drop the engine out the bottom but I can't jack the car up that high, so out the top it will come. I have pulled many engines but not newer cars, this will be my second fairly new car engine to pull. The 60s cars were no trouble at all to pull, just work. LOL

Hmmm, just found my Haynes, Manual, I will see what they say.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


You will have to remove the front of the engine, ie water pump, brackets, a/c compressor, but leave it connected to the hoses if it's charged up if you can, alt, and what ever there is to stop you from clearing the flywheel, timing cover and maybe oil pan. Idk. Also watch the torque converter as it will try to come out of tranny when you push the engine away to clear flywheel.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #3
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


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Originally Posted by Brainbucket View Post
You will have to remove the front of the engine, ie water pump, brackets, a/c compressor, but leave it connected to the hoses if it's charged up if you can, alt, and what ever there is to stop you from clearing the flywheel, timing cover and maybe oil pan. Idk. Also watch the torque converter as it will try to come out of tranny when you push the engine away to clear flywheel.
Hey Bb, good to see you again. Thanks for the information. I checked my Haynes manual and it is about as useless as.......(insert your favorite saying here). They are saying the ONLY way to get that engine out is through the bottom of the car. I know for a fact you can pull it from the top, and that is what I will attempt. I will take tons of pictures before I start, no way I will remember where everything goes back. It is hard for me to remember most things now days. LOL Thanks again.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


One time I had to remove everything but the block in order to take it out the top instead of out the bottom. Intake, exhaust, timing components, and cylinder head had to come off but it came out the top. Then I had to reassemble it in the vehicle. Took 3 times as long but it got done.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


I got started yesterday but it was late and didn't get a lot done. I already have the exhaust manifold off and a lot of other things, I just hope I can pull that thing without pulling the head, although I do plan to pull the head later to see what is going on in there.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Jim: I too have swapped engines in vehicles.

I remember one 63 model that there was only one way to get the engine out, the engine was bolted from below, and there was no room for it to come from above.

This was a 63 Corvair ..So not all 60's cars were so simple.

I remember there was room to spare on lots of autos built in the 50s , 60s, but with the gas crisis of the early 70s things got tight under the hood.

I have no experience on the new Nissans, but the basics still stand, only take out what is absolutely necessary, that way you have less to remember.

It's completely possible to use a different size engine in vehicles, as many have options galore from the factory.

And good luck with it


ED

Last edited by de-nagorg; 11-17-2017 at 12:12 PM. Reason: spelin erer
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:34 PM   #7
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Jim, I have never pulled an engine from below without a hoist, but I have dropped a transmission on a FWD car from the bottom below with a set of jack stands and a floor jack. If you have a cherry picker you can drop the cradle and pull the front of the vehicle up by wrapping a strap around the radiator core support and lifting the front of the car up and wheeling the cradle out the front.

Coming out the top is tough since you generally don't have a lot of room side to side to tilt the engine and get the torque converter off to transmission input shaft.

My vote is drop the cradle. Then you just need to pull rad hoses, separate the lower ball joints wire harness etc. just remember to get an alignment
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Also, did you get the PCM and harness from the donor car? Not sure how well the 2.0 will run with a 2.5 calibration or if there are too many differences for it to run.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:43 PM   #9
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


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Originally Posted by 1995droptopz View Post
Jim, I have never pulled an engine from below without a hoist, but I have dropped a transmission on a FWD car from the bottom below with a set of jack stands and a floor jack. If you have a cherry picker you can drop the cradle and pull the front of the vehicle up by wrapping a strap around the radiator core support and lifting the front of the car up and wheeling the cradle out the front.

Coming out the top is tough since you generally don't have a lot of room side to side to tilt the engine and get the torque converter off to transmission input shaft.

My vote is drop the cradle. Then you just need to pull rad hoses, separate the lower ball joints wire harness etc. just remember to get an alignment
Now you got me thinking, I do have a 2 ton cherry picker with a 8 foot lift, that son of a gun is some kinda heavy. I have watched youtube videos where they pulled the engine out the top but it took them 12 hours and they were young fellows.

I also watched the engine dropped out the bottom side. When dropping the engine they literally took everything out of the front end, struts included, that is one heck of a lot of work, then they had to lift the car, it looked like 4 feet, to get the motor out from under.

Question on the torque converter, does it not drop back into a recess like on a rear wheel drive? I have seen videos of them pulling the engine out the top with and without the trans attached. If coming out the top and leaving the trans in the body, you best know it is clearing or you will snap an axle.

I haven't got the engine yet, I plan to get it the 30th if all goes well. The engine does come with the wiring harness. The good thing is the 2.0 is the same block and everything as the 2.5, the bore and stroke are just different. I just hope I don't have to have the brain flashed.

Another question, is the throttle valve electronic like the 2.5? I hate that one on the 2.5, it is unbelievable the steps you have to go through to set that sucker. If you ever open it manually to clean it, you messed up big time. Also you need to put locktite on the screws on the butterfly, they are really bad to come loose and get sucked into the engine.

I didn't get to do anything on the car today, I had to go to the VA doctor.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:00 PM   #10
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
Jim: I too have swapped engines in vehicles.

I remember one 63 model that there was only one way to get the engine out, the engine was bolted from below, and there was no room for it to come from above.

This was a 63 Corvair ..So not all 60's cars were so simple.

I remember there was room to spare on lots of autos built in the 50s , 60s, but with the gas crisis of the early 70s things got tight under the hood.

I have no experience on the new Nissans, but the basics still stand, only take out what is absolutely necessary, that way you have less to remember.

It's completely possible to use a different size engine in vehicles, as many have options galore from the factory.

And good luck with it


ED
Ed, back in the 60s I was a mechanic, these new cars have left me in the dust. Talking about the old Corvairs, they had a magneto and that thing would ring your chimes big time. The garage I worked in, one of the mechanics was bad to load up a condenser and throw it to you when you were under the hood of a car and couldn't do anything but bat it away. Those things would knock the fool out of you.

I told him he was going to get his one day and he did. LOL He was up in the back of an ole Corvair van, he got hold of the magneto or should I say it got hold of him. That thing knocked him out the back of that van, I just cracked up laughing at him. Driving a Corvair was like driving an over size go cart.

I saw one fellow put a 427 chevy engine in one, I didn't look under it but the whole inside of the car was motor. LOL
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:58 PM   #11
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


I would try to grab the pcm from the donor engine. Parameters for fuel and spark will be unique to the engine size. Whenever I dropped the cradle I separated the lower ball joints, then pulled the axle shafts. Left the struts swinging in the breeze.

The thing with front wheel drives is they don't like to come apart too easily in the car. On many of the cars I worked on there was only about an inch of clearance between the balancer and the strut mount. So when you try to pop it off the trans then tilt it up and out you hit the body before you clear the trans.

Most of my experience was the other direction, pulling the trans and leaving the engine. And every time I remember wrestling it pretty good and I was in my 20s. Now I would rather remove more bolts and fight it less that I am older and smarter.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:01 PM   #12
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


One funny story was when I was 16. I had bought a Ford Probe as a winter beater for $700 and the trans went out a few weeks later. I found a junkyard one and I started the swap. I was having such a hard time putting the trans back in that I decided to remove one of the struts. I hit the big nut in the center with my impact and drove the brake rotor straight into the pavement. Could have taken my head off with that spring if I weren't so close to the ground at the time :o
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:55 PM   #13
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Jim: yeah those corvairs were small, try being 6'3" and 265 pounds , driving one.

You feel like a sardine even when alone.

But they sure made a more powerful dune buggy chassis than any old V W.

And they would fly over hills great.

And yes their magneto could bite.

Someone should have charged up a condenser and gently placed it in that guys toolbox, so that when he went to get his 1/2 inch box end, he grabbed the condenser also.


ED
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:17 AM   #14
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1995droptopz View Post
One funny story was when I was 16. I had bought a Ford Probe as a winter beater for $700 and the trans went out a few weeks later. I found a junkyard one and I started the swap. I was having such a hard time putting the trans back in that I decided to remove one of the struts. I hit the big nut in the center with my impact and drove the brake rotor straight into the pavement. Could have taken my head off with that spring if I weren't so close to the ground at the time :o
Man, I can see that happening, that would have scared the fool out of me. I appreciate the reminder not to remove that nut.
I don't know if I can get the PMC or not, I may have to buy one.

Ed, I favored the VW bug over a Corvair, I guess mainly for the looks. Most of the VWs I owned, I made a Baja out of them, put a set of mud grips on that bad boy and it would go most places a 4X4 would. Man those were the days.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:36 PM   #15
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Re: 2002 Nissan Altima Engine Swap


I got started pulling the engine, so far I have several things loose and off. I was anxious to get the pre-cat off to see what shape it is in, it is just like I thought, 98% of the comb is gone and there is sand like crap in there. So it looks like the engine is truly shot.

I have checked and I don't see a way the engine can come out the top without first taking the exhaust off, drop the cradle, support the engine and pull the mounts. Once I do that I think I can lower the engine and swing it around so it will clear everything. There is no way to move the transmission away from the engine because the oil pan on the trans is almost right against the cradle frame.

Question, how far does the torque converter go into the rear of the crank.
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