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I'm searching everywhere, going to talk to the dealership master techs later this week.... What changes have been made with the VQ40DE over the years? Since 2011 to present.....The HP/TQ ratings have changed. My 2012 Pathfinder with the VQ40DE was rated a few HP and TQ higher but recommended premium fuel. My Current 2016 Frontier with the same motor states 87 Octane or higher.

What happened over the years? Was the HP/TQ rating decreased due to the new "non premium fuel" recommended requirement?

Again Ive searched everywhere, most people will just go with " use what you like/comfortable with", or "oh not another Oil and Gas question". But this is for those gear heads, master techs...etc.

IS there any variation over the years? valve angles different? compression change?

Appreciate the info!
 

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Yes! that would be important information.

On the engine it self, I only know this much that they have changed the part number for the secondary timing chain tensioner. Also the time chain inner cover, the one behind the timing chain due to oil pressure issues.

Cosmetically, front and rear bumpers, headlights, front grill, rear lid spoiler, radio etc and some other improvements.
 

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I could see how a slightly different OEM routing of the exhaust might free up a couple ponies b/tw the Pathy & Fronty.
I've not looked under a Pathy, but our Fronty OEM exhaust looks crap-fabbed-together from the driver's side to where it joins the Y-pipe. I actually took mine back to the dealer wondering what in the hell was going on under there. We then looked under a few on the lot = yep, came from the factory like that. smh
 

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The service dept will have either zero idea or will make it up on the spot, no ifs ands or buts.
I had a brand new Pathfinder and Frontier at the same time and on had a premium sticker on the gas door and the other didn't and at least my dealer said I have no idea instead of guessing.
Don't even waste your time asking, I ran regular in the Pathfinder for 9 years and 130,000 issue free miles.

Clint
 

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Can one assume the Pathy is heavier? Could be as simple as Nissan puts a slightly more aggressive spark/fuel tune in the computer in the pathy in order to gain a couple of HP/ftlbs to make up for the extra weight it needs to pull to keep performance the same? A little more spark advance would make it a little more prone to detonation....

Or, just the fact that the pathy is a little heavier, so it is more prone to detonation so Nissan recommends premium

And.... somewhere along the line Nissan simply updated the fuel/spark programming that happened to have gained a couple hp/ftlbs on all Vq40's?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes! that would be important information.

On the engine it self, I only know this much that they have changed the part number for the secondary timing chain tensioner. Also the time chain inner cover, the one behind the timing chain due to oil pressure issues.

Cosmetically, front and rear bumpers, headlights, front grill, rear lid spoiler, radio etc and some other improvements.
I heard about the tensioner issues being corrected in another forum. The cosmetic upgrades since 2011 have been a nice change to the frontier i agree.


Can one assume the Pathy is heavier? Could be as simple as Nissan puts a slightly more aggressive spark/fuel tune in the computer in the pathy in order to gain a couple of HP/ftlbs to make up for the extra weight it needs to pull to keep performance the same? A little more spark advance would make it a little more prone to detonation....

Or, just the fact that the pathy is a little heavier, so it is more prone to detonation so Nissan recommends premium

And.... somewhere along the line Nissan simply updated the fuel/spark programming that happened to have gained a couple hp/ftlbs on all Vq40's?
2012 Nissan Pathfinder is 4427lbs @ 266hp, while the Frontier in 2012 is 4227-4696lbs...but crazy to see it at 2012 is still rated at 261hp... Hmm (links provided) 2016 Nissan Frontier is 4219-4725lbs, Still heavier than the 2012 Body style pathy.

I know its just 5hp difference...but from where and what? The search continues!
 

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Not looking to minimize your questions and concerns but just drive it and enjoy it as it is. Life is too short to worry about so many what ifs.
I have an almost five year old Challenger SRT8 that so far only has about 7000 miles and it's been out of warranty before I really know what may go wrong and have to pay for the repair when if I drove it more would have cropped up and been covered by the warranty. Yes it sure would suck but I can't dwell on these things anymore.
As long as you and your family members are healthy nothing else is that important. In the end it's just a vehicle.

Clint
 

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I posted a video on another thread here from next generation X site where this person has done a hour and a half video from start to finish on the secondary timing chain replacement. It is the new member intro section.
 

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Not looking to minimize your questions and concerns but just drive it and enjoy it as it is. Life is too short to worry about so many what ifs.


Clint
Clint....I follow you 100%. Just making conversation for gear heads like me. ::wink::
 

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Also very interested in changes. I had an 06 SE CC with 133k when I traded her in for a new Fronty.
I can't remember where I read that they fixed the timing chain issues in 2011 I believe.
My old 06 Fronty had 4 more hp I think? And again read somewhere that they dropped a few hp for mpg purposes. Again not sure just keeping the convo going.

One thing I really want to know is if Nissan changed their pistons or did something to the block to reduce or eliminate piston slap. In the early years of the 2nd gen the VQ40 seemed to have a lot of issues with this. I had my engine replaced by Nissan under warranty due to piston slap in 3 cylinders. I have not read too many complaints from 08 n up regarding this.

Also wish Nissan would look into the valve/lifter chatter at start up. Although harmless, I wonder why Nissan never did something to mitigate this ugly noise.
 

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Also very interested in changes. I had an 06 SE CC with 133k when I traded her in for a new Fronty.
I can't remember where I read that they fixed the timing chain issues in 2011 I believe.
My old 06 Fronty had 4 more hp I think? And again read somewhere that they dropped a few hp for mpg purposes. Again not sure just keeping the convo going.

One thing I really want to know is if Nissan changed their pistons or did something to the block to reduce or eliminate piston slap. In the early years of the 2nd gen the VQ40 seemed to have a lot of issues with this. I had my engine replaced by Nissan under warranty due to piston slap in 3 cylinders. I have not read too many complaints from 08 n up regarding this.

Also wish Nissan would look into the valve/lifter chatter at start up. Although harmless, I wonder why Nissan never did something to mitigate this ugly noise.
There wasn't an internal engine change or any change really. The HP dropped 4 hp because the way HP was measured became more strict. The same year Toyota Tacoma's dropped from 245hp to 236hp.
 

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Didn't Nissan moly-coat more of the engine internals somewhere around the '10 or '12 model year?? I coulda sworn I read somewhere they did that.
 

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Didn't Nissan moly-coat more of the engine internals somewhere around the '10 or '12 model year?? I coulda sworn I read somewhere they did that.
That's interesting, I wonder if they did. Another thing I noticed is the tailgate on my 14 is super light compared to my 06. I never understood why the damn tailgate in the 06 was so heavy.

My mpg is way worse in my 14 too, but that is probably due to the extra weight of the 4wd components
 

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I don't recall where I read that Nissan moly-coated more engine internals, but I do remember that I came across it a good couple or so years ago. After I finish looking around the forum I'll do some searching & see if I can find it again.

I also used to have an '06 CC 2x4. Don't really remember there being much of a difference between the weights of the tailgates though. However, on my '13 I installed an EZ-Down tailgate strut. I just pull the handle & let it glide down nice & easy.:smile:

Yeah, the extra weight & different gearing of the 4x4s can definitely have an impact on your mpg's. I used to get pretty decent mileage out of my 2x4 '13 after I first bought it. Then I lifted it, put bigger tires on it, & a several other things. Now...not so much.
 

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Bringing back an old thread here, but was also curious about any changes through the life cycle of the VQ40DE in the Frontier.

Nissan is known to molly coat internals of the engines, but many manufactures do that. Obvious reasons there.

The reduction of "rated HP and TQ" could simply be a different measurement standard that is more strict and reliable. Instead of self proclaimed HP and TQ by the manufacturers I believe everything is SAE certified now. That can be the difference in the HP and TQ right there.

My wife and I bought a left over 2019 Pro 4x and specifically looked for the 2019 because I didn't want a DI motor like the new 3.8 in the 2020's. I have owned GDI powered cars over the years and they will have issues down the road. Its not IF they will, its WHEN they will. Higher maintenance costs as well. That is my own personal observations.

Yes DI motors are more fuel efficient and have more HP but they are dirty motors and will cost you in the long term.

Again, my personal experience.

So we are happy to have found a 2019 with the VQ40DE and being that its in the last year of production should net a very reliable motor. Same thing goes for the 5 speed auto. Been around for ages, and is relatively bulletproof.

So to actually get any answers to the OP's original question will be curious. Doubt anyone really knows unless someone actually has taken one apart and actually compared them.
 

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Other than a few production updates on a couple of parts, the VQ40DE really hasn't changed at all since 2005.
 

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Other than a few production updates on a couple of parts, the VQ40DE really hasn't changed at all since 2005.
That actually is a good thing. Proves the engine design was a good one.

I like the engine the Frontier has (the 4.0 V6) after coming from a Titan thought I would be disappointed but have found the Frontier to seem peppier than my Titan was.

I know I'm comparing apples to oranges but that's my butt Dyno talking.

Previous truck was a 2015 Titan SV CC 4x4 traded it in for now the Wife's Pro 4X.

The Frontier IMO seems peppier must be the gearing.
 

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The VQ engine family is a good design, being in the US since 1995 and winning numerous "Top 10" engine nominations by Wards. Granted, it's been modified and updated over the years, as needed, but how many engines have been around for 25-years and are still relevant and capable of being used in everything from 4-door sedans to trucks to sports cars? The biggest issues we see in the VQ40DE are the occasional failed oil gallery cover gaskets (which have been updated) and the upper timing chain issues from 05-10, which weren't due to a problem in the design but due to Borg-Warner's poor quality control in stamping the chain links.
 

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The VQ engine family is a good design, being in the US since 1995 and winning numerous "Top 10" engine nominations by Wards. Granted, it's been modified and updated over the years, as needed, but how many engines have been around for 25-years and are still relevant and capable of being used in everything from 4-door sedans to trucks to sports cars? The biggest issues we see in the VQ40DE are the occasional failed oil gallery cover gaskets (which have been updated) and the upper timing chain issues from 05-10, which weren't due to a problem in the design but due to Borg-Warner's poor quality control in stamping the chain links.
Very good to know. I'm not super familiar with this engine but do know the Titans V8 was based off the V6. I did know there were variations of the engine in different Nissan Vehicles but didn't know what the differences were between them.
I do know the Z's V6 in the 370 isn't known to be very mod friendly if you go for all motor and not forced induction but don't remember exactly why.
Some engines are just good designs and I'm hoping my wife and I get many years out of this truck 👍
 
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