Infamous Nissan - Hardbody / Frontier Forums

Infamous Nissan - Hardbody / Frontier Forums (
-   Project Build Log (
-   -   91 D21 SE 4x4 3.3 swap (

MidnightSun 05-23-2020 03:53 PM

91 D21 SE 4x4 3.3 swap
Picked up my donor engine the other day. Was told there was about 110k on it. Gonna be pulling the heads, so I'll be able to get a good look at the cylinders/pistons. As well as doing a leak down test to tell if I may need to do some engine work before the swap. It may be raining all week here so my actual work will be a bit limited. Here's the list of things I'll be using based on the research I had done.

Engine: VG33 from an Xterra

Oil: pump and pickup tube from VG33
Pan from vg30 4x4

Intake: vg30

Exhaust: vg30 headers

Drivetrain: d21, including clutch/flywheel

Starter: vg30

Alternator: 180 amp from the xterra found on 4x4parts I believe.

Heads: VG33

Cams: vg30

No power steering or ac.

Gonna be switching to an electric fan. When crawling around I noticed I will have to change the center carrier bearing/bushing? on the driveshaft as well as the front diff bushings. I realize I'll have to drop the front diff for the swap, so that will be easy enough to do when it's out. From a short search I could only find the drop bushings. Will those be fine even though my truck isn't lifted?

Also seems like I will be able to use my injectors from the vg30, so I won't have to change the connectors. Will I then have to use the lower intake from the vg30 as well?

Is there anything I haven't mentioned or anything else to think about for the swap. I'm looking forward to getting her running again when this weather let's up! :scatter:

alabama_lowlife 05-23-2020 04:38 PM

If that’s a mean green alternator you should read this.

MidnightSun 05-23-2020 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife (Post 535543)
If thatís a mean green alternator you should read this.

Ha, good to know thanks. I'll just be going with the stock alt then. I see the quest alt referenced quite a bit. Is there a difference between the quest and Xterra amp?

Deerhurst 05-25-2020 03:15 AM

I'd just swap the entire intake over. Upper and lower plenum and fuel rail. Use VG30 gaskets if you use the VG30 plenum.

The VG30 cams will liven it up a little. I think you'll enjoy the build.

Hardbody92 05-25-2020 04:25 PM

Make sure all of your injectors are good before you install them. Also may the force be with you when you install the the rails, don't crush the o-rings. If you do you are in a world of shit because you have to take the plenum off. You probably won't read this but I tried to help

MidnightSun 05-25-2020 08:37 PM

Deerhurst- Alright, I was gonna do a test fit before installing, but it seemed like most everything was identical.

Hardbody92- I had just gotten the injectors rebuilt before when I was tracking down my problem on the 3.0. they were a bitch to get back in, but should be good now. If I could just swap the complete fuel rail over it would just be less to put back together.

Well I can now agree that the diff is a pita to get out. I have all the bolts holding it on off. The left side doesn't want to separate from the axle as well as the driveshaft from the back. On top of that the crossmember is hanging up on the torsion bars. I'm gonna try to just use a bottle jack or something to rotate at the crossmember and slide it around the t-bars, go back with a hammer to see about knocking it loose from the driveshaft and axle. Taking a break from it, hopefully beable to get it out tonight.

I was reading that you have to lift the engine a bit as well for clearance. If that's the case I may just do it tomorrow and pull the engine at the same time. Maybe I won't have to remove it completely.

Deerhurst 05-26-2020 01:36 AM

Pull the torsion bars and the diff will roll out the bottoms without touching any crossmembers. It's just as much of a bitch to get back in. Use your VG30 oil pan. VG33 pan is maybe 1/4 inch too far. Took me about a week of trying to get the diff in to learn that.

You have to pull the diff to separate the motor from the tranny. Not enough clearance to do otherwise. It sucks.

cadillacdude1975 05-26-2020 04:14 AM


Originally Posted by Deerhurst (Post 535670)
You have to pull the diff to separate the motor from the tranny. Not enough clearance to do otherwise. It sucks.

Yet another reason to never blow the pathfinder engine. I am done with engine swaps. Her lexus cured that itch.

Hardbody92 05-26-2020 08:42 AM

Remove the driver side T-bar, there is no choice. You would than need to remove the axle shafts when you reinstall the front diff. You have a lot of work ahead of you my friend. On a difficulty level from 1-10 this is absolutely a 10 no doubt

MidnightSun 05-26-2020 12:24 PM

No kidding. The only other engine I've had to pull was out of an old 3series when I was swapping from a 1.8 to (+1)3.5. Granted no front diff, but still, ha.

After a motivating night, I'm ready to get back to it.

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.