Knock Sensor Relocation (How-To) - Nissan Frontier Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 10:49 AM
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Knock Sensor Relocation (How-To)

UPDATE: 12/2012 - Due to the timing belt change I had the shop put my KS back to original location. I still recommend doing the location only for the non-SC v6 engine if you want to get rid of the KS code but do not want to spend ~600$ to get the KS changed.


As some of you know I did the KS override with a resistor. Well I just could not leave well enough alone. So I tried to pull off my KS wire harness without removing any part of the engine. Conclusion- Impossible to get the wire harness off a v6 4x4. I think you could get at it if you did not have the 4x4 parts like the propeller shaft in the way. No matter where I put my hand the closest I got was getting my finger on the wire harness. So with that attempt out of the way I went to order the following.

wire harness from Courtsey Nissan & a Nissan Knock Sensor from RockAuto.com. To get the knock sensor I got one from a 1999 Nissan Maxima for $69.00 (genuine Nissan package). You will need a bolt too so go get a M6-1.0 x 30mm and two washers. You may need some wire heat shrink and some electrical tape.

I placed the the KS on air intake in the middle on the left side. There are some open bolt holes there you can use. I used the middle which had grounding wires on. I moved the grounding wires ahead a bolt hole on another empty bolt hole.

Once I received the the wire harness I cut off the end that did not attach to the knock sensor (I left enough wire on the cut off harness to use just encase I would have a need for it later). Striped the wires and placed the KS on the harness then attached it to the air intake. I then used an ohm meter, one that can test Mega-ohms, from the white wire to engine ground. Do not test between the two wires as they will be no resistance. Reading should be between 500-600 ohms. Mine was .560 M-ohms and so the KS is good.


Then I removed the wires off the oil cover harness that hooks up with the old KS. You could actually cut the wires off from the harness (just leave some extra wire on them just in case you need to reuse them. The wire colors for mine were (gray and white or off white). I followed them down the large bundle of wires (you will need to cut off the electrical tape and open up the plastic bundle housing to follow the wires back.

The two wires turn into something like a coax cable where the gray wire is braided around a white wire in a single black jacket. Just carefully strip the wires and prep them to be soldered and heat shrank to the new KS wire harness. Braided wire goes with the grey wire on harness. The white wire goes with the see through copper wire on the harness. NOTE: I first wired up the white to the gray wire and the braided to the clear. The color are a bit miss leading as the white is a see through jacket. You can test this out by hooking up the wires and starting the truck. Then use voltmeter to test DC voltage on the white wire connection and then to truck ground. A voltage of 2.5 is good. A voltage of 4.75 is BAD. Electrical tape them together after you heat shrink them and then tape everything closed when done.

Also make sure you seal up your old holes on the wire harness if you removed the wires. You could place the ends right back in the holes.

If I get around to it I will post a pic of final look. I'm sort of picky as I do not like items looking like some silly noob put them together. Took me about hour to do.


This pic is slightly wrong. The blue marking for the ECU wire does not go to the right it goes right up the bundle of wire to the firewall.

2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

My Write ups - e-fan, Nismo - CAI,Disable auto AC w/defrost,Engine Timing,How to work your 4x4,Throttle Body

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Last edited by joefrontier2; 12-01-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 04:04 PM
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Here is an update from what I experience from having the resistor mod vs relocating the KS.

Having the knock sensor setup correctly I feel the truck idle better, and I can run at 70mphs under 3000 RPMs. Right from the get go I could tell that having a good knock sensor is better than having it jumpered out.

Cost: 69 (knock sensor) + 17 (harness) + 16 (shipping) = $100 + 1 hr of your time.

The MPGs will be the real test. So I just filled up the truck and we'll see how it goes this week. I was getting 13.6 mpg with it jumpered.

2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

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Distributor Bearing Fix, Nissan Frontier Specs All Years,Intake Manifold Removal/ VG33E Top Engine tear down
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Last edited by joefrontier2; 02-20-2009 at 06:35 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 04:32 PM
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#4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 12:01 PM
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Update: Thoughts on resistor mod.

So I got to thinking and studying the resistor mod and to my conclusion I think it should only be used as temporary fix.

The reason that it works is that you have 4.75V coming off the ground lead and then you add the resistor between the ground lead and the hot wire (leading back to ECU). The voltage on the hot wire drops in the range of the required 2 to 3 volts required by a good knock sensor. The ECU see a good signal and it stops tripping an error code.

So here is what I can foresee is the ECU is now able to advance the timing however it wants because it is no longer in fail safe mode. I am not sure if the ECU has any other checks and balances if timing gets totally out of whack (maybe someone has some insight on this). However, if the ECU is always reading a good read how far can it advance your timing?

Conclusion is to pay 100$ for the knock sensor relocate it and rest assure that there is some control of the timing of the vehicle.

2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

My Write ups - e-fan, Nismo - CAI,Disable auto AC w/defrost,Engine Timing,How to work your 4x4,Throttle Body

Good Links -
Distributor Bearing Fix, Nissan Frontier Specs All Years,Intake Manifold Removal/ VG33E Top Engine tear down
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Last edited by joefrontier2; 02-20-2009 at 06:23 PM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 02:26 PM
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can you get some better pics of where you put it?

and also too, did you have to buy a new knock sensor?

last thing... how did you pay 69 for that harness? i got mine for 25 locally from my dealer

i think you got the wrong harness, heres the one i got and all the guys on nexterra run this harness... its only 17 dollars

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#6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 06:25 PM
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Yep you need to buy a new KS. I bought it from RockAuto for around 69. You need to get a 99 maxima knock sensor. They are packaged with Nissan on them.

The harness is for a 99 maxima too and your link is correct too. The harness is 17$ plus shipping.

I will try and get some better pics up soon.

2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

My Write ups - e-fan, Nismo - CAI,Disable auto AC w/defrost,Engine Timing,How to work your 4x4,Throttle Body

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Distributor Bearing Fix, Nissan Frontier Specs All Years,Intake Manifold Removal/ VG33E Top Engine tear down
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 01:32 PM
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I forgot to clear the KS code out of the ECU so mpg may not be so accurate. I think the engine has gotton gradually better as I have driven it from day to day. The startup in the cold weather has gotten better as I do no hear the engine knock as I used to as now I just hear 2 seconds of lifter rattle which is normal. I am going to wait for awhile of driving and monitor the MPG. If I can get the rated 15-16 MPG back for city I will be happy. Then I may try the timing advance and see where that gets me.

Here is another photo




2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

My Write ups - e-fan, Nismo - CAI,Disable auto AC w/defrost,Engine Timing,How to work your 4x4,Throttle Body

Good Links -
Distributor Bearing Fix, Nissan Frontier Specs All Years,Intake Manifold Removal/ VG33E Top Engine tear down
Factory Service Manuals

Last edited by joefrontier2; 12-01-2013 at 12:46 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:47 PM
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Just wanted to give you another update as for the 3rd straight day of cold engine starts I have little to no engine rattle at start up. The noise is now mostly coming from the lifters at startup. I am very happy to see that this mod has made a difference on the engine.

2003 silver CC LB V6 SE non-s, leather, SPAL e-fan controller, nismo wheels, bed extender, alarm, e-fan, Nismo CAI, sunroof, nerf bars, knock sensor mod, interior courtesy lights, Rockford Fosgate Audio, oem trailer harness, Nismo CAT-Back, *My Best truck mod* children seats in rear.

My Write ups - e-fan, Nismo - CAI,Disable auto AC w/defrost,Engine Timing,How to work your 4x4,Throttle Body

Good Links -
Distributor Bearing Fix, Nissan Frontier Specs All Years,Intake Manifold Removal/ VG33E Top Engine tear down
Factory Service Manuals
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#9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:56 PM
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Ok.... looks like we may have a winner! I'm surprised to see that it changed your rpm's at speed.... It would be great to see my rpm below 3k@ 70! looks like Ill be doing this soon...


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#10 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 05:59 PM
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Thank you, Joe!

This is a great idea. I just got finished. Took me about an hour. It's so good, it should be stickied somewhere so it's easier to find.
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