Author Topic: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World  (Read 132 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WookieOnRitalin

  • ***
  • Posts: 2407
The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« on: February 12, 2019, 09:42:59 am »
Well, it's been a month so I guess we can start a thread on this ol' gal now that she's in a good spot.

So, I posted in the Autotrader thread a neat find that was the Maxima sitting in some dealer lot in Memphis. Put an offer in on a Thursday at 11am and we on a bus the next day to go pick it up. Car was having starting issues from the get go, but all in all, was in pretty good shape.

Immediate issues:
-Starting
-Rough ride
-Transmission slippage at high speeds
-Fuel lever did not work

There are obviously some other issues that a more minor, but not of an immediate nature.

Got it home from Memphis and it's been a bit of an adventure so far.

Got it inspected twice with different shops picking up different issues. First shop fixed the fuel lever, changed the oil and got new filter, but did not feel qualified to fix the starting issue. So basically, the car would start some times, but then not at all (was turning, but no start). Sometimes would have to give it a good amount of gas to fire it up. Then other times, normal starting. Then it wouldn't start. So, got it over to another shop with scanning equipment compatible with the Maxima's computer. It was at that shop for 3 weeks.

At first, they were at a loss. They were thinking it had to do with the security system shutting the car down. Then they realized the car did not have any ground. When they changed that, the problem got worse. Eventually this led them to having starting issues that fired up some codes from the computer coming from the Air sensor. Previous to this, the car was not throwing any codes of any kind. They also realized that the negative cable was bad and then replaced the Mass Air Flow sensor. Took a week to get the MAF sensor and voila, the starting issue seems to be gone.

Next thing was the ride. It was bad and it was out of alignment. Found out that my right wheel was bent and I was riding on tires from 2002 and 2005 so I had those replaced along with the alignment. Car now rides great with much better acceleration and pep (dare I say, fun).


After owning it for a bit and having run it, other issues were bound to come up and so far here's what we got to fix next.

-Will replace timing belt/water pump when I get paid next month
-Radiator has small hole and will need to be replaced.
-Power steering is leaking fluid and apparently has damaged the control arm
-One of the engine mounts is bad and will need to be replaced
-Needs a fuel induction service and fuel filter changed out
-Driver's side auto belt is now not functioning properly so I need to get that fixed (bad motor?)
-Transmission will need to be evaluated at some point, but I do not plan on doing any highway driving in the immediate future

Other non-critical stuff:
-Passenger side power lock does not work
-Trunk leak (stripping needs replacement)
-Cruise control is currently inoperable
-Vocal alert system is off and I cannot figure out how it got turned off or if it non functional
-Antenna is bent
-Leather will need to be repaired on driver's side
-Speakers need to be updated

Stuff I have also done:
-Reset the keyless entry system (works beautifully)
-Replaced the headlight bulbs

Good news is I will have the 3 for another 6 weeks while all this is happening (it was leased and turning it in).

I'm certain this vehicle will give me plenty of other challenges in the near future, but with a little TLC and cash, I think we can have a cool ride.

I gave up my smartphone for a flip phone (1.5 years almost now!), so do not have any pictures for y'all yet, but I do have a digital camera that I can use.


1989 Mazda 929
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010 Saab 9-3
2012 Suzuki Kizashi
2015 Mazda3

1987 Nissan Maxima SE

Online shp4man

  • *****
  • Posts: 18100
  • Trump Supporter! A.K.A "Shippy"
Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 10:06:29 am »
Is this your first old car? What you describe is pretty common stuff. I put about five grand in my old truck after I bought it, (just in parts), but it's pretty old.   ;)
Sounds like you have made a pretty good start.
I'm not a Nissan expert by any stretch of the imagination but will be happy to offer advice if I can.

Offline Soup DeVille

  • *****
  • Posts: 50029
Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 10:11:00 am »
Welcome to the club of never ending repairs and fixes. Its good to have company.

Yes, bad grounds are a major issues on older things; and I'm surprised its a MAF meter system in '87; the Japs were a bit ahead of us there on the mainstream sedans at that point.
We should get into the sympathy business.  There is a killing to be made.

Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

  • Anybody thats talking all the time.....is lying half the time!
  • *****
  • Posts: 7681
  • GM fanboi.....
Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 06:53:18 pm »
 :popcorn:
2010 C6 GS, 1998 Corolla LE, 2007 GSXR 750

Online Eye of the Tiger

  • alive/mechanic
  • *****
  • Posts: 53937
  • no garage
    • NoGarage
Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 07:04:01 pm »
This is inspiring.
I now want to sell Dakota and Fiesta. I only want to drive pre-1990 vehicles from now on.
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ... 1998 Dodge Dakota 2.5 ... May God Rest Their Soul

Offline WookieOnRitalin

  • ***
  • Posts: 2407
Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 04:08:29 pm »
Good news!

I called Nissan today and found out that the Autobelts have a LIFETIME warranty. The part will likely be back ordered, but it will be at no cost to me to fix them. Wicked! Apparently dealerships are a pain in the ass to deal with on issues like these because they just don't want to do them.

I've had the car back for over a week and have not had another starting issue (knock on wood). On a side note, the car really is a great drive. It's relatively quiet. Acceleration is peppy. Handles and steers well.
1989 Mazda 929
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010 Saab 9-3
2012 Suzuki Kizashi
2015 Mazda3

1987 Nissan Maxima SE