Nissan VK56VD

Nissan VK56VDThe Nissan VK56VD is a 5.6 l (5,552 cc, 338.80 direct injection natural aspirated V8 4-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan VK-family. The engine is producted on Nissan’s Yokohama Plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

The VK56VD 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 VK56VD is equipped with CVTC (twin intake/exhaust), VVEL systems and NDIS (Nissan Direct Ignition System) with individual coils on each spark plug.

The VK56VD is a direct injection engine (DIG) that injects fuel directly into the cylinders. Injecting the liquid gasoline into the cylinder generates vaporized heat and the internal temperature of the cylinder goes down. This makes it more difficult for knocking to arise, thus improving combustion efficiency and realizing improved fuel efficiency.

Compression ratio rating is 10.8:1 or 11.5:1. Cylinder bore and piston stroke are 98.0 mm (3.86 in) and 92.0 mm (3.62 in), respectively. It produces from 390 HP (290 kW, 394 PS) at 5,200 rpm to 416 HP (310 kW, 422 PS) at 5,200 rpm. The maximum torque is 565 Nm (57.6 kg·m, 416.7 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • VK – Engine Family
  • 56 – 5.6 Liter Displacement
  • V – VVL (Variable Valve Lift)
  • D – Direct Cylinder Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeVK56VD
LayoutFour stroke, V8
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
Displacement5.6 L, 5,552 cc (338.80 cu in)
Fuel systemDirect Injection
Power adderNone
Power output 390 HP (290 kW, 394 PS) at 5,200 rpm
402 HP (300 kW, 408 PS) at 6,000 rpm
416 HP (310 kW, 422 PS) at 5,200 rpm
Torque output 534 N⋅m (54.5 kg·m, 393.8 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
544 N⋅m (55.5 kg·m, 401.2 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
550 N⋅m (56.0 kg·m, 405.6 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
560 N⋅m (55.5 kg·m, 401.2 lb·ft) at 4.000 rpm
565 N⋅m (57.6 kg·m, 416.7 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
Firing order1-8-7-3-6-5-4-2
Dimensions (L x W x H):
Weight225 kg (496 lbs)

Cylinder block

The VK56VD 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 10.8 or 11.5:1. The Nissan VK56VD 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:10.8:1 or 11.5:1
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:Top0.040-0.080 mm (0.0016-0.0031 in)
Second0.030-0.070 mm (0.0012-0.0028 in)
Oil0.015-0.185 mm (0.0006-0.0072 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.23-0.28 mm (0.0091-0.0110 in)
Second0.50-0.65 mm (0.0197-0.0256 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 VK56VD is equipped with CVTC (Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control) system and VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift) systems. 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.

VVEL operation principle: A rocker arms and two types of links open the intake valves by transferring the rotational movement of a drive shaft with an eccentric cam to the output cam. The movement of the output cam is varied by rotating the control shaft with a stepper motor and changing the fulcrums of the links. This makes the continuous adjustment of the amount of the valve’s lift, during the intake valve event in the four-stroke cycle, possible. CVTC and VVEL systems together control the valve phases and its valve events, allowing free-control of the valve timing and lift.

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 36.7 mm (1.45 in) the exhaust valve diameter is 31.2 mm (1.22 in), respectively. The VK56VD 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)
Valve head diameter:INTAKE36.6-36.9 mm (1.441-1.453 in)
EXHAUST31.2-31.5 mm (1.228-1.240 in)
Valve length:INTAKE99.19-99.69 mm (3.9051-3.9248 in)
EXHAUST93.74-94.24 mm (3.6905-3.7102 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE5.965-5.980 mm (0.2348-0.2354 in)
EXHAUST5.955-5.970 mm (0.2344-0.2350 in)
Valve spring free length:INTAKE47.28 mm (1.8614 in)
EXHAUST48.06 mm (1.8921 in)
Exhaust camshaft cam height:45.475-45.665 mm (1.7904-1.7978 in)
Exhaust camshaft journal diameter:25.935-25.955 mm (1.0211-1.0218 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 40.0 Nm; 4.1 kg·m; 30 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 75°
  • Step 3: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 4: 40.0 Nm; 4.1 kg·m; 30 ft·lb
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts 90°
  • Step 6: Turn all bolts another 90°

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
Standard17.0 kg/m2 (242 psi) / 200 rpm
Minimun12.5 kg/m2 (178 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: DILKAR7B11
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 Patrol2010–
Nissan Patrol Nismo2016–
Infiniti QX802011–
Infiniti M562011–2013
Infiniti Q702014–
Nissan Titan2017–
Nissan Armada 2017–
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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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.


  1. Very nice and great post ! But it would be even better if there was a problems sections, to let the people know if there was any problems known about this engine!

  2. One of the best posts I’ve seen. I just bought a new 2017 with this engine and the information is formatted nicely. I love the truck.

  3. Hi, Thanks for your efforts in collating this info for those of us who are interested.
    Do you possibly have any information on the engine number sequence or number change that would signify before and after the timing chain part change (build) that I believe may have happened in March or possibly February 2013, as in the Infiniti service campaign P6305.
    I would be interested to find out if my engine has the old (problematic) chains, or the newer chains that apparently have no service issues. My engine number is VK56VD084297A.
    Much appreciated if you have any info for me.


  4. I have a 2011 qx56 between 2011-2013 the engine has timing chain problems. The qx80 has a newer motor. Just wondering if and how can I use the newer motor in my qx56

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