Nissan VK56DE

Nissan VK56DEThe Nissan VK56DE is a 5.6 l (5,552 cc, 338.80 natural aspirated V8 4-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan VK-family. The engine is producted on Nissan’s Decherd Plant in Tennessee, USA.

The VK56DE features a lightweight aluminum block with a fully balanced five-bearings crankshaft and two aluminum heads with two camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder. The VK56DE has electronic throttle and ignition system with individual coils on each spark plug. The first version of the Nissan VK56DE was not equipped with any valve timing control system, the later version (after 2007) has a CVTC system on intake shafts.

Compression ratio rating is 9.8:1. Cylinder bore and piston stroke are 98.0 mm (3.86 in) and 92.0 mm (3.62 in), respectively. It produces from 305 HP (227 kW, 309 PS) at 4,900 rpm to 322 HP (240 kW, 326 PS) at 5,200 rpm. The maximum torque is 533 Nm (54.3 kg·m, 393.0 lb·ft) at 3,400 rpm.

The engine was used in Nissan GT-R GT1 from Nismo. It was produced 600 HP (450 kW) of horsepower and 658 Nm (67.0 kg·m, 485 lb⋅ft) of torque.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • VK – Engine Family
  • 56 – 5.6 Liter Displacement
  • D – DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts)
  • E – Multi Point Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeVK56DE
LayoutFour stroke, V8
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
Displacement5.6 L, 5,552 cc (338.80 cu in)
Fuel systemMulti Point Fuel Injection
Power adderNone
Power output 305 HP (227 kW, 309 PS) at 4,900 rpm
315 HP (235 kW, 319 PS) at 4,900 rpm
320 HP (240 kW, 326 PS) at 5,200 rpm
Torque output 522 Nm (53.2 kg·m, 385.0 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
530 Nm (55.4 kg·m, 390.0 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
533 Nm (54.3 kg·m, 393.0 lb·ft) at 3,400 rpm
Firing order1-8-7-3-6-5-4-2
Dimensions (L x W x H):
Weight225 kg (496 lbs)

Cylinder block

The VK56DE has an aluminum block with a five-bearings crankshaft supported system. It has low-friction molybdenum-coated pistons. The crankshaft journal diameter is 64 mm (2.52 in), the crankpin diameter is 54 mm (2.12 in).

The cylinder bore is 98.0 mm (3.86 in), piston stroke is 92.0 mm (3.62 in) mm and compression ratio rating is 9.8:1. The Nissan VK56DE motor has two compression and one oil control rings. The connecting rod’s length is 154.5 mm (6.08 in)

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyAluminium
Compression ratio:9.8:1
Cylinder bore:98.0 mm (3.86 in)
Piston stroke:92.0 mm (3.62 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:5
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):98.000 mm (3.8583 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):97.980-7.990 mm (3.8575-3.8579 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:21.989-21.995 mm (0.8657-0.8659 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.035-0.085 mm (0.0014-0.0033 in)
Second0.030-0.070 mm (0.0012-0.0028 in)
Oil0.015-0.050 mm (0.0006-0.0020 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.23-0.33 mm (0.0091-0.0130 in)
Second0.25-0.40 mm (0.0098-0.0157 in)
Oil0.20-0.60 mm (0.0079-0.0236 in)
Connecting rod bushing inner diameter:22.000-22.006 mm (0.8661-0.8664 in)
Connecting rod big end diameter:57.000 mm (2.2441 in)
Connecting rod center distance:154.45-154.55 mm (6.08-6.08 in)
Crankshaft main journal diameter:63.963 mm (2.5182 in)
Crankpin diameter:53.968 mm (2.1247 in)
Crankshaft center distance:45.96-46.04 mm (1.8094-1.8126 in)

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of strong, light aluminum alloy which gives it good cooling efficiency. The first version was not equipped with any valve timing control system, the later version has CVTC (Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control) system on intake shafts. C-VTC enables variable valve timing in response to engine rpm and throttle opening. Enhanced control and reduced system friction improve response and optimize torque characteristics.

The camshafts are driven by two chains, one for each head. The timing chain transmits the rotational movement from the crankshaft to both intake and exhaust camshafts.

The intake valve diameter is 37.0 mm (1.45 in) the exhaust valve diameter is 31.2 mm (1.22 in), respectively. The intake duration is 230°, the exhaust duration is 232° for the motor without CVTC or 232° and 244°, respectively, for CVTC version. The VK56DE motor does not have hydraulic lifters, so special valve lifters are used to adjust the valve clearance.

Cylinder head
Block head alloyAluminium
Valve Arrangement:DOHC, chain drive
Cylinder head height:126.3 mm (4.97 in)
Valves:32 (4 valves per cylinder)
Intake valve timing: W/o CVTC: 230°
With CVTC: 232°
Exhaust valve timing: W/o CVTC: 232°
With CVTC: 244°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE37.0-37.3 mm (1.457-1.469 in)
EXHAUST31.2-31.5 mm (1.228-1.240 in)
Valve length:INTAKE96.21-96.71 mm (3.7878-3.8075 in)
EXHAUST93.74-94.24 mm (3.6905-3.7102 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE5.965-5.980 mm (0.2348-0.2354 in)
EXHAUST5.965-5.970 mm (0.2344-0.2350 in)
Valve spring free length:INTAKE50.58 mm (1.9913 in)
EXHAUST50.58 mm (1.9913 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE44.465-44.655 mm (1.7506-1.7581 in)
EXHAUST44.465-44.655 mm (1.7506-1.7581 in)
Camshaft journal diameter:25.953-25.970 mm (1.0218-1.0224 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 44.1 Nm; 4.5 kg·m; 33 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 70°
  • Step 3: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 4: 44.1 Nm; 4.5 kg·m; 33 ft·lb
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts 60°
  • Step 6: Turn all bolts another 60°

Maintenance data

Valve clearance (HOT)
Intake valve0.304-0.416 mm (0.012-0.016 in)
Exhaust valve0.308-0.432 mm (0.012-0.017 in)
Compression pressure
Standard15.5 kg/m2 (220 psi) / 200 rpm
Minimun13.5 kg/m2 (192 psi) / 200 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders1.0 kg/m2 (15 psi) / 200 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, 10-W40
Oil type API
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 6.5 l (6-7/8 US. qt., 5-3/4 Imp. qt.)
Without filter change 6.2 l (6-1/2 Us. qt., 5-1/2 Imp. qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Oil Pressure, kPa (kg/cm 2, psi) Idle speed: More than 98 (1.0, 14)
2,000 rpm: More than 294 (3.0, 43)
Ignition system
Spark plugNGK: DILFR5A-11
Spark plug gap1.1 mm (0.043 in)

Valve clearance adjustment data

Calculate the thickness of new adjusting valve lifter so valve clearance comes within specified values.

R = Thickness of removed valve lifter
N = Thickness of new valve lifter
M = Measured valve clearance

N = R + [M – 0.30 mm (0.012 in)]
N = R + [M – 0.34 mm (0.013 in)]

Valve lifters are available in 25 sizes to range from 7.88 mm (0.3102 in) to 8.36 mm (0.3291 in), in steps of 0.02 mm (0.0008 in).

Example (exhaust valve):
R = 7.90 mm
M = 0.52 mm
N = 7.90 + (0.52 – 0.34) = 8.08 mm, so we need a valve lifter with identification mark N808.

Intake0.26-0.34 mm (0.010-0.013 in)0.304-0.416 mm (0.012-0.016 in)
Exhaust0.29-0.37 mm (0.011-0.015 in)0.308-0.432 mm (0.012-0.017 in)

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
Nissan Armada2004–2015
Nissan Titan2004–2015
Infiniti QX56 2004–2010
Nissan Patrol2010–
Nissan Pathfinder2008–2012
Nissan NV2500 HD2012–
Nissan NV3500 HD2012–
Nissan NV Passenger2012–
Nissan GT-R GT12009–2011
Nissan Altima (V8 Supercars Australia)2013–
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.

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