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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning to rebuild the VQ35DE in my 02 Altima, but I'm not sure what the cylinder walls are made of.

I know the VQ35 block is aluminum, but are the cylinders aluminum too with a coating, or do they have cast iron sleeves?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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You sure you want to go down this route...everything from the cams to the valve stems to oil pump to main bearings will be excessively worn...and likely need replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just don't see how a Nissan engine with 120k miles can be that worn to where I burn this much oil, especially since my precats were fine and the PCV valve wasn't the issue.

I've read that Nissan changed piston ring suppliers for the 2002-03 (possible some 04) engines since they were the first generation of the VQ35. That's why you don't hear about VQ30's burning any oil. Nissan apparently changed piston rings again in 2004 which somewhat fixed the problem for 2004+ cars (not talking about rev-up motors).

I'm sure my valve stem seals are leaking some with age/wear, but I see 0 blue smoke at startup. The only thing left are piston rings...

That being said, I've been told that the VQ35 does have iron liners than can be honed. If I do end up rebuilding, I'll be using some NPR piston rings, and a Fel-Pro gasket set.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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You've had the car since new? How do you know the precats weren't replaced somewhere along the line, sometime after the damage actually occurred?

I like this article, bit of a conspiracy theory, but it does make it look like Nissan has been playing VW games with their ECUs
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You've had the car since new? How do you know the precats weren't replaced somewhere along the line, sometime after the damage actually occurred?

I like this article, bit of a conspiracy theory, but it does make it look like Nissan has been playing VW games with their ECUs
I've own it since 107k, so I suppose it's possible that they were replaced. However I imagine they would have been replaced somewhere around the 50-70k interval, and with the amount of rust/pitting on them they looked original. That article is pretty accurate I think, not sure about the ECU part but definitely about the cats breaking apart.

If the cats had been replaced though because the originals broke apart, wouldn't my cylinders be more worn out? I did a leakdown test and the highest leakage in any of the cylinders was 8%, well within normal specs.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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FWIW, my '03 VQ engine was replaced along with both precats at 45kMi at Nissan's expense. At 107kMi...it could already have happened twice.

My VQ never showed any warning lights (not for oil, not for cat eff., nada), would only blow smoke once in a while on cold startup, after parked after hard driving. Oil consumption went from very little between oil changes (about 3kMi/6mon for me at that time) to almost half draining the oil pan when it was flagged. Power never flagged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Holy crap at 45k miles? that's insane, at least it was covered under warranty. Honestly if I didn't stay on top of mine it probably would have burned up by now, even with 3k oil change intervals. One of the reasons for wanting to do the rings is that I believe it's on the original clutch, so I'm going to change it while the engine is out. I'd like to just pull the engine, but with the limited space in the bay I might end up pulling the engine and trans together.

If I could find an 05-06 SE-R for a decent price though, I would definitely get rid of mine.
 

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The answer is yes. Iirc the sleeves are iron. Block is aluminum.

If you plan on rebuilding/building I may have an option for you. I have a built motor for sale.

Details are in the link in my sig.
 
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