Nissan VQ23DE

Nissan VQ23DEThe Nissan VQ23DE is a 2.3 l (2,349 cc, 143.34 natural aspirated V6 60° 4-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan VQ-family.

The VQ23DE features a lightweight aluminum block with a fully balanced four-bearings crankshaft and two aluminum heads with two camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder. The Nissan VQ23DE engine is equipped with CVTC system on intake valves and NDIS (Nissan Direct Ignition System) with individual coils on each spark plug.

Cylinder bore and piston stroke are 85.0 mm (3.346 in) and 69.0 mm (2.717 in), respectively. Compression ratio rating is 9.8:1.

The Nissan VQ23DE engine produces 173 PS (127 kW, 171 HP) at 6,000 rpm of maximum power and 225 Nm (22.9 kg⋅m, 166 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm of torque. The NEO VQ23 produces 177 PS (130 kW, 175 HP).

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • VQ – Engine Family
  • 23 – 2.3 Liter Displacement
  • D – DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts)
  • E – Multi Point Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeVQ23DE
LayoutFour stroke, V6
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
Displacement2.3 L, 2,349 cm3 (143.34 cu in)
Fuel systemSequential multi-point fuel injection (MPFI)
Power adderNone
Power output 173 PS (127 kW, 171 HP) at 6,000 rpm
177 PS (130 kW, 175 HP) at 6,000 rpm (NEO VQ23)
Torque output 225 Nm (22.9 kg⋅m, 166 lb⋅ft) ta 4,000 rpm
Firing order1-2-3-4-5-6
Dimensions (L x W x H):

Cylinder block

The VQ23DE has an aluminum cylinder block with a four-bearings crankshaft supported system, forged steel connecting rods, a micro-finished one-piece forged crankshaft. The crankshaft journal diameter is 60 mm (2.36 in), the crankpin diameter is 45 mm (1.78 in).

The cylinder bore is 85.0 mm (3.346 in), piston stroke is 69.0 mm (2.717 in) and compression ratio rating is 9.8:1. The Nissan VQ23DE motor has two compression and one oil control rings. The connecting rod’s length are 149.8 mm (5.9 in)

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyAluminium
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Cylinder bore:85.0 mm (3.346 in)
Piston stroke:69.0 mm (2.717 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:4
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):85.000-85.010 mm (3.3465-3.3468 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):84.980-84.990 mm (3.3457-3.3461 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:21.989-21.995 mm (0.8657-0.8659 in)
Connecting rod bushing inner diameter:22.000-22.006 mm (0.8661-0.8664 in)
Connecting rod big end diameter:48.000 mm (1.8898 in)
Connecting rod center distance:149.75-149.85 mm (5.896-5.900 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.045-0.080 mm (0.0018-0.0031 in)
Second0.030-0.070 mm (0.0012-0.0028 in)
Oil0.045-0.125 mm (0.0018-0.0049 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.20-0.30 mm (0.0079-0.0118 in)
Second0.31-0.46 mm (0.0122-0.0181 in)
Oil0.20-0.60 mm (0.0079-0.0236 in)
Crankshaft main journal diameter:59.975 mm (2.3612 in)
Crankpin diameter:44.974 mm (1.7706 in)
Crankshaft center distance:34.46-34.54 mm (1.3567-1.3598 in)

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of strong, light aluminum alloy which gives it good cooling efficiency. The engine is equipped with hydraulically actuated CVTC (Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control) for intake cams. The camshafts are driven by single primary and two secondary chains. The primary timing chain transmits the rotational movement from the crankshaft to the intake camshafts, the secondary chains connects intake and exhaust sprocket on each head respectively.

The intake valve diameter is 34.0 mm (1.339 in), intake duration is 230°, and the exhaust valve diameter is 29.0 mm (1.142 in), exhaust duration is 232°. The VQ23DE 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:126.3-126.5 mm (4.97-4.98 in)
Valves:24 (4 valves per cylinder)
Intake valve timing
(Intake valve timing control-OFF):
Exhaust valve timing:232°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE34.0-34.3 mm (1.339-1.350 in)
EXHAUST29.0-29.3 mm (1.142-1.154 in)
Valve length:INTAKE99.28 mm (3.909 in)
EXHAUST96.81 mm (38.11 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:INTAKE47.15 mm (1.8563 in)
EXHAUST52.28-52.31 mm (2.0583-2.0594 in)
Exhaust camshaft journal diameter:№125.935-25.955 mm (1.0211-1.0218 in)
№2, 3, 4, 523.445-23.465 mm (0.9230-0.9238 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE44.265-44.455 mm (1.7427-1.7502 in)
EXHAUST43.405-43.595 mm (1.7089-1.7163 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 98 Nm; 10.0 kg·m; 72 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 3: 39.2 kg·m; 4.0 kg·m; 29 ft·lb
  • Step 4: Turn all bolts 90°
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts another 90°

Problems and malfunctions

The Nissan VQ23DE is reliable and durable. The engine has three timing chains, their service life is about 150,000 miles of mileage (200,000-250,000 km). The valve clearance needs to be adjusted every 60,000 miles of mileage (90,000 km). The Nissan VQ23DE life expectancy is 200,000 miles of mileage (300,000 km).

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
Standard10.7 kg/сm2 (152 psi) / 300 rpm
Minimun7.7 kg/сm2 (109 psi) / 300 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders1.0 kg/сm2 (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
Oil type APISG,SH or SJ, SL
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 4.0 L
Without filter change 3.7 L
Oil change interval, km (miles)15,000 (9,000)
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 plug Standard: PLFR5A-11 (NGK)
Hot type: PLFR4A-11 (NGK)
Cold type: PLFR6A-11 (NGK)
Spark plug gap1.1 mm (0.043 in)
Spark plug tightening torque24.5 Nm (2.5 kg⋅m, 18 ft⋅lb)

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 27 sizes from 6.66 mm (0.2622 in) to 7.18 mm (0.2827 in), in steps of 0.02 mm (0.0008 in).

Example (exhaust valve):
R = 6.90 mm
M = 0.52 mm
N = 6.90 + (0.52 – 0.34) = 7.08 mm, so we need a valve lifter with identification mark 708U.

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 Teana J312003–2008
Nissan Cefiro
Renault Samsung SM72006–
Renault Safrane2008–
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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  1. I have a 2004 cefiro am trying to get cam sensors for it and front end parts.. i cant seem to locate much parts for my cefiro in jamaica.. i also check amazon and still can’t find the cam sensor bank 2

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