Nissan Frontier Forum banner

1 - 20 of 180 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is a how to for the VK56 engine swap. I have taken info from various places and FSMs as well as information shared by forum members.

Anyone who attempts this swap takes full responsibility for their swap, I am not liable for any and all mishaps that may occur. Continue at your own risk!

If I have missed anything please feel free to add!

What I have learned:
The best way to pull off this swap is to get a Engine, Transmission, wiring harness and ECM from the same type of vehicle. It doesn't have to be from the actual vehicle but it has to be for the same type of vehicle if that makes sense. So for example if you have a 2004-2006 VK56DE, that did not have the flex fuel or VVT option, that engine wont work with a 2007 ecu or wiring harness that has flex fuel or VVT. If you get a engine with flex fuel you not only need a matching engine harness and ecu but you also need to purchase a fuel pump control module and a dropping resistor that you will have to wire up. This is covered later in this post so read through to find that info. You also want to source a engine wiring harness for the type of drivetrain you have (2wd or 4wd). A Manual conversion I believe is very possible and probably easy as the ECU does not appear to be married to the transmission as the transmission control module is actually in the transmission and not the vehicle or ECU.

Part 1: What you need for the swap.
Part 2: Wiring Identification
Part 3: Wire Harness Conversion




Part1:

What you need: (All of this information below I give a big thanks to AndrewVK, ElLlanero and NissanAZ form the Xterra forum.)

***You will 100% need my conversion adapter harness to do this!! It works in conjunction with the stock Titan engine harness*** Contact me for details!

2004-Present VK56DE and the obvious accessories like fuel injectors, starter, power steering pump etc...)
2004-Present VK56DE Transmission 4wd or 2WD depending on your application. (You can convert a 2wd Titan transmission for 4wd application but in most cases its cheaper and easier to buy one already for 4wd)
2004-Present VK56DE Flexplate and Torque Converter
2004-Present VK56DE (ECM) Engine Control Module (Applicable to your engine type)
2004-Present VK56DE Engine Harness (Applicable to your engine and drive train type 2wd or 4wd, transmission harness is built in)
2004-Present VK56DE Engine to Transmission Bolts
2004-Present Titan Engine to Motor Mount Brackets
2004-Present Titan Engine Mounts
V8 Pathfinder or Titan High Pressure Power Steering Line
Titan clutch fan, fan blade
V8 Pathfinder Fan Shroud #21476-ZS20A and #21477-ZS20A (2 Part Piece) or Convert to Electric Temp Controlled Fans.
V8 Pathfinder upper radiator hose or Titan upper radiator hose part #21501-ZS20A (v8 pathfinder)
Titan lower radiator hose (may need to trim to fit) or V8 Pathfinder part #21503-ZS20A and part #2104-7S000
Titan or V8 Pathfinder Water Pipe part #13048-7S000
4cyl Frontier heater core fitting part #92410-EA000
Titan heater core hoses part #14056-7S005 & #14056-7S001 (2 Hoses may need to trim some)
Titan exhaust manifolds and b pipes, aftermarket headers and b pipes work as well

Optional:
Keeping A/C?
2004-Present VK56DE AC Compressor
V8 Pathfinder AC Compressor Low Line Part #92480-ZS21A
2004-Present Titan AC discharge line

*If you are 4wd and staying 4wd you can use your existing transfer case with the Titan transmission.

*You can also use your existing driveshaft
*You will want to use your current alternator as the Titan is wired differently
*Will have to use existing alternator/starter harness
*Will have to have a y pipe made to reconnect to the cat back
*Can use existing trans mount

Ok If your taking on this swap the the nuts and bolts of removing the engine and trans and swapping in the VK56DE should be pretty straight forward, engine and trans mounts are the same etc for the VQ40.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
I'm reading in complete awe of you sir.

I hope to see this project completed.

Sent from my HTC EVO with AutoCrash mobile app.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm reading in complete awe of you sir.

I hope to see this project completed.

Sent from my HTC EVO with AutoCrash mobile app.
Thanks, it will be a bit tho.

This seems like a very thorough write-up, nice job. My guess is that nobody is going to take what you have done and use it until you show that it worked for your truck. I'm very interested to see how this turns out.
Good point. I just figured I would share this rather than sit on it. Like I said I have a bunch of other projects in front of this one unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,889 Posts
I was waiting to reply so you could snag the first couple posts for yourself to edit and add on later. To be honest this is probably not something I would even attempt unless I was faced with needing to replace my engine and I found a killer deal on a VK, but it is cool none the less and I'm definitely interested in further updates. So far it is probably the most thorough and well written engine swap write up I've seen including all of the swaps I've read about on Honda forums.
 

·
Senior Moderator
Joined
·
4,558 Posts
I'm sticking this one for now. Looks super thorough. In the event things don't quite work out, or if this project doesn't get finished; I'll unstick. If it's successful, I'll help clean up the chatter so it can be a more comprehensive writeup. I just want to keep it at the top for now so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Carry on, gents. Excellent work, SinisterFrontier06
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I was waiting to reply so you could snag the first couple posts for yourself to edit and add on later. To be honest this is probably not something I would even attempt unless I was faced with needing to replace my engine and I found a killer deal on a VK, but it is cool none the less and I'm definitely interested in further updates. So far it is probably the most thorough and well written engine swap write up I've seen including all of the swaps I've read about on Honda forums.
Trust me once you get past the wiring it's easy. It seems like a lot but it's not.

I'm sticking this one for now. Looks super thorough. In the event things don't quite work out, or if this project doesn't get finished; I'll unstick. If it's successful, I'll help clean up the chatter so it can be a more comprehensive writeup. I just want to keep it at the top for now so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Carry on, gents. Excellent work, SinisterFrontier06
Thanks. Just keep in mind as I have said before this will be a slow project. Just try to be patient with me!
 

·
Senior Moderator
Joined
·
4,558 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
Sub'd for updates. I wanna see this run. I was thinking about attempting this if the next gen didn't become avail with the turbo diesel. And if it doesn't come with the equipment or options I want then I still may do it when I run the warranty into the ground on this one.
Thanks Iggy!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
How much would it cost total for a DIY
Just give a really rough estimate
Uh thats a hard question, high side (full stainless exhaust, stillen headers, b-pipes etc) I would estimate $4-5k.

Low side $3k

It just really depends on where you buy your parts. The main components engine and trans I would say you can get for about $2k all day. It just depends on where you buy the rest and what comes with it.

I have a VK that needs to be rebuilt (blown headgasket) that I got for free, and I picked another one up for $75 that also needs to be rebuilt as it was in a Titan that was in a flood. I picked that one up for my brothers 05 Frontier when I went to buy the trans off a guy. It shifts fine but has high miles. Im going to rebuild it too. I got the trans plus pretty much the entire front suspension for the Titan plus hubs calipers, master cylinder rotors and brake calipers for $575.

It really all depends on where you look and how much time you can take. If you want it done asap expect to pay on the high side. If you take your time, shop around and keep your eyes open you can easily swing the low side or less.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Sub'd for updates. I wanna see this run. I was thinking about attempting this if the next gen didn't become avail with the turbo diesel. And if it doesn't come with the equipment or options I want then I still may do it when I run the warranty into the ground on this one.
Thanks Iggy!
This will be cheaper than going turbo diesel. Expect at least a $30-$40k price tag on a turbo diesel Frontier. And the rumored spy pics.... Yuck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
MSRP on my current Pro-4 was almost 35 so not too worried about the cost. I've never paid list price anyway, always someone willing to deal : )
And I like the new truck, assuming that's what we actually get here in the states. My only concern is what platform it'll ride on and what trim and option levels the TD will be available in.
Always been a fan of V8 swaps though. My third truck started life as a slant 6 D-100, 3 spd OD and lives on as a 450 HP gutted pre-runner desert bomber with a built 727 powerglide :thumbsup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
MSRP on my current Pro-4 was almost 35 so not too worried about the cost. I've never paid list price anyway, always someone willing to deal : )
And I like the new truck, assuming that's what we actually get here in the states. My only concern is what platform it'll ride on and what trim and option levels the TD will be available in.
Always been a fan of V8 swaps though. My third truck started life as a slant 6 D-100, 3 spd OD and lives on as a 450 HP gutted pre-runner desert bomber with a built 727 powerglide :thumbsup:
Very nice. I just have a hard time justifying dumping that kind of coin on something I'm going to use and abuse but hey that's just me. I won't buy a new truck till Nissan comes out with one that I immediately fall in love with (die hard Nissan fan) Hell I didn't even test drive my 2nd gen it was shut up and take my money basically.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
I used to worry about scratching my "fancy" trucks too until my nearly fully built pride and joy burnt to the ground in my driveway. Kinda put things in perspective. It's a truck, not a Bentley. The new '14 has already got more paint damage and carnage from wheeling than my last 3 trucks put together haha! But I understand where you're coming from.
 
1 - 20 of 180 Posts
Top