Nissan VG30E

Nissan VG30EThe Nissan VG30E is a 3.0 l (2,960 cc, 180.62 natural aspirated V6 60° 4-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan VG-family.

The VG30E features cast-iron block and two aluminum heads with single overhead camshafts (SOHC) and two valves per cylinder. The Nissan VG30E engine is equipped with multi-point fuel injection and mechanically timed electrical ignition system with a single ignition coil and mechanical distributor.

Compression ratio rating is 9.0:1. Cylinder bore and piston stroke are 87.0 mm (3.43 in) and 83.0 mm (3.27 in), respectively. It produces 160 HP (120 kW, 163 PS) at 5,200 rpm and 235 Nm (23.9 kg·m, 173 lb⋅ft) at 2,800 rpm. On April 1987 the “W” series VG30 was released, the output power was increased to 165 HP, but leaving torque unchanged. In 1989, the Nissan Maxima was used the VG30E with variable intake plenum. It was improving torque to 247 Nm (25.2 kg·m, 182 lb⋅ft) at 3,200 rpm.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • VG – Engine Family
  • 30 – 3.0 Liter Displacement
  • E – Multi Point Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeVG30E
LayoutFour stroke, V6
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
Displacement3.0L, 2,960 cc (180.62 cu in)
Fuel systemMulti Point Fuel Injection
Power adderNone
Power output 160 HP (120 kW, 163 PS) at 5,200 rpm
165 HP (123 kW, 165 PS) at 5,200 rpm
Torque output 235 N⋅m (23.9 kg·m, 173 lb⋅ft) at 2,800 rpm
247 N⋅m (25.2 kg·m, 182 lb⋅ft) at 3,200 rpm
Firing order1-2-3-4-5-6
Dimensions (L x W x H):
Weight220 kg (485 lbs)

Cylinder block

The VG30E has a cast-iron block with a four-bearings crankshaft supported system. The cylinder bore is 87.0 mm (3.43 in), piston stroke is 83.0 mm (3.27 in) and compression ratio rating is 9.0:1. The Nissan VG30E motor has two compression and one oil control rings. The connecting rod center distance is 154.10 mm (6.0669 in). The crankshaft main journal diameter is 62.9 mm (2.48 in) and crankpin diameter is 49.9 mm (1.97 in), center distance is 41.5 mm (1.63 mm).

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyCast-iron
Compression ratio:9.0:1
Cylinder bore:87.0 mm (3.43 in)
Piston stroke:83.0 mm (3.27 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:4
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):87.000-87.010 mm (3.4252-3.4256 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):86.967-86.975 mm (3.4238-3.4242 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:20.993-20.998 mm (0.8265-0.8267 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.040-0.073 mm (0.0016-0.0029 in)
Second0.030-0.063 mm (0.0012-0.0025 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.21-0.44 mm (0.0083-0.0173 in)
Second0.18-0.44 mm (0.0083-0.0173 in)
Oil0.20-0.72 mm (0.0079-0.0299 in)
Connecting rod small end diameter:20.958-20.971 mm (0.8251-0.8256 in)
Connecting rod center distance:154.1-154.2 mm (6.067-6.071 in)
Crankshaft main journal diameter:62.975 mm (2.4763 in)
Crankpin diameter:49.974 mm (1.9675 in)
Crankshaft center distance:41.47-41.53 mm (1.6327-1.6350 in)

Main bearing cap bolts tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • 90-100 Nm; 9.2-10.2 kg·m; 67-74 ft·lb in two-three stages

After securing bearing cap bolts, make sure crankshaft turns smoothly by hand.

Connecting rod bearing nut

  • Step 1: 14-16 Nm; 1.4-1.6 kg·m; 10-12 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn nuts 60-65° or 59-65 Nm; 6.0-6.6 kg·m; 43-48 ft·lb

Crankshaft pulley bolt

  • 123-132 Nm; 12.5-13.5 kg·m; 90-98 ft·lb

Flywheel (M/T) or Drive plate (A/T) fixing bolts

  • 83-93 Nm; 8.5-9.5 kg·m; 61-69 ft·lb

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of strong, light aluminum alloy which gives it good cooling efficiency. The has single overhead camshaft for each head and rocker shaft with rocker arms. The camshafts are driven by a single timing belt.

The intake valve diameter is 42.0 mm (1.65 in), the exhaust valve diameter is 35.0 mm (1.38 in), the duration is 252° for both side. The “W” series has 248° duration for both sides. The VG30E is equipped with a hydraulic lash adjuster.

Cylinder head
Block head alloyAluminium
Valve Arrangement:SOHC, belt drive
Head surface flatnessLess than 0.05 mm (0.002 in)
Valves:12 (2 valves per cylinder)
Intake valve timing252°
“W” – 248°
Exhaust valve timing:252°
“W” – 248°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE42.0-42.2 mm (1.654-1.661 in)
EXHAUST35.0-35.2 mm (1.378-1.386 in)
Valve length:INTAKE125.3-125.9 mm (4.93-4.96 in)
EXHAUST124.2-124.8 mm (4.89-4.91 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE6.965-6.980 mm (0.2743-0.2748 in)
EXHAUST7.945-7.960 mm (0.3128-0.3134 in)
Valve spring free length:OUTER51.2 mm (2.016 in)
INNER44.9 mm (1.768 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE 39.607-39.657 mm (1.5593-1.5613 in)
“W” – 39.537-39.727 mm (1.5566-1.5641 in)
EXHAUST 39.607-39.657 mm (1.5593-1.5613 in)
“W” – 39.537-39.727 mm (1.5566-1.5641 in)
Camshaft journal diameter:46.935-46.955 mm (1.8478-1.8486 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 39 Nm; 4.0 kg·m; 29 ft·lb
  • Step 2: 123 Nm; 12.5 kg·m; 90 ft·lb
  • Step 3: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 4: 34-44 kg·m; 3.5-4.5 kg·m; 25-33 ft·lb
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts 65-70° or to 123 Nm; 12.5 kg·m; 90 ft·lb

Camshaft sprocket bolts

  • 78-88 Nm; 8.0-9.0 kg·m; 58-65 ft·lb

Maintenance data

Compression pressure
Standard11.6 kg/cm2 (168 psi) / 300 rpm
Minimun8.5 kg/cm2 (121 psi) / 300 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders1.0 kg/cm2 (15 psi) / 300 rpm
Oil system
Oil consumption , L/1000 km (qt. per miles)up to 0.5 (1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, 20W-40, 20W-50
Oil type APIAPI SF
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 4.0 l (4-1/4 Us. qt., 3-1/2 Imp. qt)
Without filter change 3.3 l (3-1/2 Us. qt., 2-7/8 Imp. qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)Every 12,000 (7,500)
Ignition system
Spark plug Standard type: NGK BCPR6ES-11
Hot type: BCPR5ES-11
Cold type: BCPR7ES-11
Spark plug gap1.0-1.1 mm (0.039-0.043 in)

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
Nissan 300ZX1984–1989
Nissan Laurel1984–1989
Nissan Maxima1985–1994
Nissan 200SX SE1987–1988
Nissan Homy / Caravan E241988–1996
Infiniti M301990–1992
Nissan Leopard1990–1992
Nissan Hardbody Truck D211990–1997
Nissan Pathfinder/Nissan Terrano1990–1995
Nissan Gloria/Nissan Cedric1992–1999
Nissan Quest1993–1998
Mercury Villager1993–1998
Author: Sergei Wers
About: Co-founder and CEO of a multi-brand auto repair shop (engine repair, chassis repair, body repair and painting) for over 15 years. I have been developing internet sites with technical specifications for more than seven years.

ATTENTION! Dear visitors, this site is not a trading platform, an official dealer or a spare parts supplier, so we do not have any price lists or spare parts catalogs. We are an information portal and provide the technical specifications of gasoline and diesel engines.

We try to use verified sources and official documentation, however, differences between sources or errors in entering information may occur. We do not provide advice on technical issues related to the engines operation or repair. We do not recommend using provided information for engines repairing engines or spare parts ordering, use only official service manuals and spare-parts catalogs.


      • Look in your owner’s manual. There are different recommended oil viscosities for different temperature intervals that you may be driving. However, yes, the engine is going to take 10W-30 for 96% of people

  1. Good day

    I need advise on this statement weather it’s true or false and does it make sense?

    I am sorry for being difficult, but the pictures do not give me clear indication that the oil pump was the cause of the failure and that on initial start-up ????????.

    Please bear in mind that the complete oil pump must be primed as well as the complete lubrication system must be primed in order to ensure the oil pressure light

    goes off prior to first engine fire-up. The engine oil pressure light must be checked prior to engine firing up, this way one will see that there is ineffective oil

    pressure and NOT fire up the engine. The standard procedure, checks and balances must be 100% checked and should be followed as per engine / vehicle

    manufacturers process.

    The oil pump is designed to “pump oil” – ………………therefore if there is insufficient lubrication oil in the sump or there is an air leakage between the oil pick up and

    the oil pump the actual oil pump will not develop a vacuum to suck the oil from the engine sump into the oil pump to deliver to the engine. Remember that the oil

    pump does NOT create pressure.

    Effective oil pressure (readable on a mechanical gauge) is created between the crankshaft and camshaft bearings, housings and journals as well as the oil galleries

    and relief valve mechanisms within the complete engine lubrication system, but if the is no effective vacuum created at the oil pickup – due to poor or ineffective

    priming / bleeding of the oil pump and engine lubrication – the oil pump cannot and will not be able to deliver lubrication oil to the engine / bearings etc…….?.

    I believe that the failure at the bearings was caused by ineffective bleeding / priming of the complete lubrication system on initial fire up of the engine, hence my request

    to see the bearing ?????? The pictures of the oil pump exhibit no abnormalities, rotational scoring whatsoever of the inner surfaces and gears – so how could the oil pump

    have failed and be blamed ???

    The removed spring only is displayed on the picture from the relief valve mechanism, but NO picture of the relief valve plunger itself is viewed. Please also send pictures

    of the inner surface of the oil pump backing plate ???

    Further to this…………. the product itself, which is the – Kolben, is manufactures and supplied from an excellent factory with very high standards of machining tolerances

    and clearances.

    I do trust this will give insight to the matter, which I am stating that the oil pump was not the cause of the damage, but the mere victim ????



    NB !!! – Have a great weekend.!!!!!

  2. Hey, I’m looking for the location of the Data Link 14 pin plug for the Nissan Consult on a 1993 Nissan Gloria JDM. It isn’t visible under the Driver’s side dash(right hand drive) nor is it visible under the passenger’s side dash. In fact, there does not seem to be a fuse box inside of the car at all… Help please. Thanks

  3. If this V30E engine was not manufactured until 1988, please tell me which engine was in the 1984, 1985, 300ZX Nissan 2 +2 models w/ V6 Engine (non turbo models)?
    (I am seeking a remanufactured Engine to replace current 280K mileage engine that has had two Headgasket blown in its lifespan. )

  4. Hi.i have a Nissan v6 one tonner.vg30.
    It has no spark on cylinders 1,3,5..
    Changed distrchanged computer box, airflow meter,coil,mudule.
    I’m sticked now.
    Any ideasibutor and cap and leads.

  5. I’ve owned my 92 x cab 4 by 4 truck for over 25 years. 5 speed. It’s been ultra reliable. Other than timing belt water pump replacements every 80k and mufflers, tires, brakes. Oil changes every 4K. Oh the starter failed at 200k.
    It’s now got 225k. Uses no oil or coolant. No drips.bone dry underneath. I’ve never had a vehicle that is built so well.
    The paint fades but it always runs.

  6. Hi everyone where can i possibly find an oil pump for Nissan VG30 3.0 V6 4×4 petrol engine number VG309 and it uses the big hole oil pump if anyone can maybe assist me i am situated in South Africa Gauteng vaal triangle area if anyone is able to guide me telephonically as well even if it is just for a part number i will appreciate it as im searching for this pump for 6 months now. 068 576 8747 or email

  7. Will the 300zx 11:1 pistons work with the D21 vg30 truck? I’m guessing the piston to valve clearance should be the same, but the 3 valve of the trucks heads makes me thinknthe larger exhaust valve might be an issue. Might have to do a rebuild and would like a better compression ratio.

  8. Hello everyone…does anybody know where I can get cam bearings for my 1987 Nissan D21 hardbody 4×4 with 5-speed trans and V-6 3.0L engine. I’ve looked everywhere(amazon, e-bay, partology, rock auto, parks geek, advance auto parts, napa, car quest, autozone, oreilys, jegs and numerous other places. I know I could probably find some used ones at a junkyard somewhere but I would prefer to put in new ones to complete this last thing in my $9000 restoration. If anybody can help me, I would really appreciate it. Send me a website or link and they gotta be willing to send it to me in Hawaii…thank you

  9. Good day,
    My nissan Hardbody VG30 engine type is failing to pull. It is also misfiring. Kindly help me with ideas of what I need to do. The vehicle has stayed one year without moving. I want to start using it now. I have tried to change the airflow sensor but no improvement. Please Please help me.

    • This is very little information for a potentially very complex problem. A missfire can be anything from the ECCS not knowing what it’s doing, to pitted valves that leak combustion pressure where and when it shouldn’t.

      My recommendation is to get it to a shop, or at least get a technician to perform a compression test to check if the combustion process is doing what it should. Work from there, don’t just start replacing parts, cuz those guys are hella expensive these days. As stated above; You want at least 120 psi per cylinder. If any one of them is off by more than 12 psi, I can bet my left nut that you pitted the valves.

      I’ve worked on these engines a lot, and never have I seen the cylinders take damage. The electronics are also really solid on the vg30e’s

    • Do a compression test and start there. A proper leakdown test will tell you if and where the combustion process is at fault. With the limited information you gave, this sounds like leaky valves, but it can be multiple things compounding also. Do the compression test and rule out the combustion cycle before you start throwing REALLY expensive parts at it. That’s my advice.

  10. Hello my 1995 Pathfinder got a Japanese JDM engine installed about 10 years ago. Does anyone know the specifications for JDM ignition timing in degrees? US manual says 15 degs plus minus 2. Is the JDM engine different?

    • Yeah 15 degrees is about right. If you have better octane fuel in your region, you can bump it up to 17 with no issues, 20 if you’re feeling frisky. But in general without proper fuel you won’t be able to tell the difference between 15 and 17. So my recommendation is to just slap it at 15 if you just want it running.

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