Author Topic: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World  (Read 297 times)

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Offline WookieOnRitalin

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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 GXE

Offline shp4man

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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

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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

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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

Offline Eye of the Tiger

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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 Festiva 1.0 ... 1998 Doge Dakota 2.5 ... 1996 Jerp Cheronkee 4.0

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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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 GXE

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 08:07:34 pm »
Well, I guess I should provide an update.

We are well on our way to restoring the Maxima. My whole plan has been to wait for a cash build up to knock various repairs to get ahead of problems going forward.

I have only had one new issue occur since I bought the Maxima. The rear left passenger window regulator died and no immediate replacements were available. I have no scoured the internets to see I can find one, but I had the window locked until I want to deal with it.

Here's what I've fixed.
-New Timing Belt
-New Radiator
-New Sparks/Wires
-New Tires/Alignment

The suspension is getting replaced next. The ride quality has never been great. I have absolutely zero idea how old those struts are, but they are toast. The ride has been pretty bouncey for the last 2 months and it makes driving not as fun. I got a good cash payout this month that I am using to replace the majority of the suspension. One of the control arms is being replaced (the one that was damaged from the PSF). Brand new stabilizers. New struts/coils. So we should be riding nice shortly.

After that, I'll be replacing the Power Steering Rack. Stop leak has helped, but I pretty much have to add a couple ounces of fluid each month.

Once that is done, mechanically, we should be done for awhile. Almost everything else is in good to great shape. Then we can move to cosmetic enhancements especially on the interior. One of the cool features in the car is the manual equalizer. It's a feature I would like to preserve if possible. It is a separate unit from the actual radio (two pieces stacked on one another) so I will attempt to find out what my options are for replacement of the radio while keeping the equalizer. May not be possible. In any event, I will replace the speakers at least. At the same time, hopefully I will repair the leather.

The last thing will be the paint and better tires. I have not officially decided what I want to do with the paint. I am not in love with the current color and it have various paint chips throughout. It has chrome accents that I would like to standout, but I am not sure if I want to get into a dark category. I actually would welcome suggestions from the crew on this front as aesthetics are not always my thing.


So a relatively uneventful Year 1 is in the books. Hopefully Year 2 will conclude the mechanical needs. Year 3 will be upgrades (maybe sooner if my cash payouts increase).
 
1989 Mazda 929
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2010 Saab 9-3
2012 Suzuki Kizashi
2015 Mazda3

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 10:02:56 am »
I forget! What color is it now?
2010 C6 GS, 1998 Corolla LE, 2007 GSXR 750

Offline Soup DeVille

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 10:14:10 am »
The window regulators are likely plastic geared. Lots of plastics that era degraded so that not even unused parts sitting on shelves are usable.

Luckily, gears are pretty much a commodity item and there are replacement gears somewhere that can be used to rebuild them. 3D printing the gears is also now an option, but a quick search shows me no files marked as Nissan or Maxima window gears.

I'm very partial to leaving stock paint stock, even if its chipped and faded. Feel free to disagree, many do.
We should get into the sympathy business.  There is a killing to be made.

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 10:42:31 am »
I forget! What color is it now?


It is a silverish/beige.

Similar to this.

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

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 10:51:57 am »
The window regulators are likely plastic geared. Lots of plastics that era degraded so that not even unused parts sitting on shelves are usable.

Luckily, gears are pretty much a commodity item and there are replacement gears somewhere that can be used to rebuild them. 3D printing the gears is also now an option, but a quick search shows me no files marked as Nissan or Maxima window gears.

I'm very partial to leaving stock paint stock, even if its chipped and faded. Feel free to disagree, many do.

It would be interesting to go that route. I worry about all the other windows because of this. Going forward it would be nice to have a viable solution.

As for the paint, I think there are some traditional "stock" colors that would be preferable.

A lighter blue on a Wagon:


A darker blue on a sedan where the chrome accents pop.




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

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 11:03:55 am »
It is a silverish/beige.

Similar to this.


I always liked the two tone Blue that was offered on GXE models!
2010 C6 GS, 1998 Corolla LE, 2007 GSXR 750

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 07:07:19 pm »
I always liked the two tone Blue that was offered on GXE models!

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

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 12:49:49 am »
I can't find the blue two tone! This color combo was nice also!
https://poctra.com/1988-NISSAN-MAXIMA/id-ALkMowrftHHzsYO7/OMAHA-NE/Photos

2010 C6 GS, 1998 Corolla LE, 2007 GSXR 750

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2020, 08:35:20 am »
I can't find the blue two tone! This color combo was nice also!
https://poctra.com/1988-NISSAN-MAXIMA/id-ALkMowrftHHzsYO7/OMAHA-NE/Photos



An interesting idea. Obviously not a huge fan of that example, but could lead to other combinations that could be exciting.

Something like this?

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

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Offline WookieOnRitalin

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2020, 08:41:27 am »
Some other examples:





One with subtle Chrome accents



A wagon example

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

1987 Nissan Maxima GXE

Online FoMoJo

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2020, 09:13:43 am »
Some other examples:



This one's pretty nice.
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." ~ Albert Einstein

Offline Speed_Racer

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2020, 09:50:31 am »
Beige on beige!  :rockon:

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Offline Gotta-Qik-C6

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Re: The 1987 Nissan Maxima: Being Low Tech in a High Tech World
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2020, 01:34:20 pm »
An interesting idea. Obviously not a huge fan of that example, but could lead to other combinations that could be exciting.

Something like this?


Thats it!
2010 C6 GS, 1998 Corolla LE, 2007 GSXR 750