Nissan VG engine

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Nissan VG engine
Manufacturer Nissan (Nissan Machinery)
Production 1983-2004
Configuration 60° V6
Displacement 2.0L
Cylinder block alloy Cast iron
Cylinder head alloy Aluminum
Valvetrain SOHC
Supercharger Single Eaton Roots-type M62 (2001-2004 VG33ER)
Turbocharger Single Garrett T3 (1983–1987 VG30ET; all VG30DET)
Single Garrett T25 (1988-1989 VG30ET)
Twin Garrett/Mitsubishi T22/TB02 (1989-2000 VG30DETT)
Predecessor Nissan L engine (6-cylinder)
Successor Nissan VQ engine

The VG engine family consists of V6 piston engines designed and produced by Nissan for several vehicles in the Nissan lineup. The VG series started in 1983 becoming Japan's first mass-produced V6 engine. VG engines displace between 2.0 L and 3.3 L and feature an iron block and aluminum heads. The early VG engines featured a SOHC arrangement with 2 valves per cylinder. A later revision featured a slightly different block, and a DOHC arrangement which utilized 4 valves per cylinder and Nissan's own version of variable valve timing for a smoother idle and more torque at low to medium engine speeds. The block features a single piece main bearing cap. The production blocks and production head castings were used successfully in the Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo and NPT-90 race cars which won the IMSA GT Championship three years in a row.

The VG series engine found its way into thousands of Nissan vehicles, starting in 1984. The VG design was retired in 2004, by which time all V6-powered Nissans had switched to the VQ engine series.


VG20E in a Nissan Leopard.

The VG20E is a 2.0 L SOHC (1,998 cc) engine produced from 1984 on. It produces between 115 PS (85 kW) and 125 PS (92 kW) net. In the earlier gross rating system, early eighties' models claim 130 PS (96 kW).



The VG20ET was based on the VG20E, but with an added turbocharger. The VG20ET produces 170 hp (130 kW). This SOHC motor debuted at the same time as the VG20E. Also coming with the Y30, this motor was known as the "Jet Turbo", and came with the Nissan Leopard models XS, and XS-II Grand Selection. Contrary to the VG30ET that came out in the US, the VG20ET came with an intercooler in certain models to push the horsepower output to 155 hp (116 kW), a great jump from the normally aspirated VG20E. The turbo included with the VG20ET had two different settings. At low speeds, the turbo's wastegate would stay closed improving the response at low rpm. At high speeds, the flap would stay open, decreasing resistance and increasing exhaust flow. At its maximum flow, the flap would open at an angle of 27 degrees, while the A/R ranged from 0.21–0.77. Being that the VG20ET had a short stroke (78x69.7 mm), it was thought to have insufficient low end torque. Nevertheless, the VG20ET was a great improvement over the VG20E.

It was used in the following vehicles:


The VG20DET is an DOHC 2.0 L (1,998 cc) engine with a ceramic turbocharger and intercooler. It has a bore of 78 mm and a stroke of 69.7 mm and produces 210 PS (154 kW). This engine features NVTCS (Nissan's Valve Timing Control System).

It began use in 1987 in the following vehicles:


The VG20P is the Autogas (Liquified petroleum gas) version of the VG20. It produces 99 PS (73 kW; 98 hp) at 5,600 rpm and 149 N·m (110 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm. Later versions (2004-2005) produce 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 152 N·m (112 ft·lbf) at 2,400 rpm. It is an overhead cam, twelve-valve engine.

It is used in the following vehicles:


The VG30S is a 3 L (2,960 cc) SOHC twelve-valve engine with an electronic carburettor that produces 148 PS (109 kW; 146 hp) at 4,800 rpm and 234 N·m (173 ft·lbf) at 3,600 rpm. This engine was mainly offered in export markets with more lenient environmental regulations, such as the Middle East and Africa.

It is used in the following:


The VG30i is a 3 L (2,960 cc) engine produced from 1986 through 1989. It features a throttle body fuel injection system. It has a long crank snout, a cylinder head temperature sensor positioned behind the timing belt cover, and a knock sensor in the cylinder valley (on California models only). It produces 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) at 4,800 rpm and 226 N·m (167 ft·lbf) at 2,800 rpm.




The 3.0 L (2,960 cc) VG30E produced 153 hp (114 kW) and 182 lb·ft (247 N·m). Bore is 3.43 in (87 mm) and stroke is 3.27 in (83 mm). In 300ZX form, it produced 160 hp (120 kW) and 173 lb·ft (235 N·m). On April 1987 the "W" series VG30 was released, adding 5 horsepower but leaving torque unchanged. In 1989, the Maxima received the 160 hp (120 kW) rating, but also used a variable intake plenum improving torque to 182 lb·ft (247 N·m) @3200 rpm.

It was used in the following vehicles:


VG30ET in a 1984 300ZX (Z31)

The 3.0 L (2,960 cc) VG30ET was available in early production with a single Garrett T3 turbocharger (6.8 psi (0.47 bar)) and a 7.8:1 compression ratio. The USDM and JDM version produced 200 hp (149 kW) and 227 lb·ft (308 N·m). European versions produced 230 hp (172 kW) and 252 lb·ft (342 N·m). When "W"-Series VG30 was released in April 1987, horsepower was increased to 205 hp (153 kW). All 1987 models featured a T3 turbocharger (6.8 psi (0.47 bar)). In 1988 the compression ratio was changed to 8.3:1 and turbocharged with a single Garrett T25 turbocharger (4.5 psi (0.31 bar)) to reduce turbo lag. No VG30ET was ever factory equipped with an intercooler as they were intended for quick throttle response and featured low boost pressure.

It was used in the following vehicles:



The first quad cam 24 valve VG30DE engine was developed for the 1985 MID4 concept. The 3.0 L (2,960 cc) VG30DE produces 190 hp (140 kW) to 222 hp (166 kW) and 198 lb·ft (268 N·m). Bore is 3.43 in (87 mm) and stroke is 3.27 in (83 mm). Original Japanese market units claimed 185 PS (136 kW).[1] There are two versions of the VG30DE. The first was introduced in 1986 on the Japanese 300ZR (Z31) and Nissan Leopard F31, and was never sold in North America. The VG30DE has two throttle bodies facing the front of the vehicle (Nissan 300ZX and Fairlady Z) or two throttle bodies to the left (sedans and 300ZR). It was also installed with NVCS, an early form of variable valve timing.

Early VG30DE's used large oval intake ports, and round exhaust ports, though the flange was similar to the SOHC VG engine, bolt spacing was slightly different. Late VG30DE's used slightly smaller oval intake ports, and oval exhaust ports. The bolt spacing was shared with the round-port variant from earlier years.

It is used in the following vehicles:


The VG30DET is a 3.0-liter (2,960 cc), 24-valve, quad-cam, VTC-equipped engine equipped with a T3 (Nissan N1 Type) 4-bolt Garrett Turbo running between 7.5 and 11.5 psi. Generating up to 255 hp (190 kW) and measuring 236 lb·ft (320 N·m) depending on the production year and application.

While this engine is similar to the VG30DE, it used different heads and inlet manifold. Contrary to popular belief, it was not available in the Nissan 300ZR model - the 300ZR only had an early version of the VG30DE (no turbo). The engine was available in the Cedric, Gloria, Cima and Leopard chassis.[2] It is a single-turbo engine that was used from 1987 through 1995 in the Japanese market, and the predecessor for the VG30DETT engine.

It was available in the following vehicles:

  • Nissan Cedric Y32 (1991–1994)
  • Nissan Gloria
  • Nissan Cima FY31, FY32, FY33 (1988–2001)
  • Nissan Leopard



The production 3.0 L (2,960 cc) VG30DETT produces 300 hp (224 kW) and 283 lb·ft (384 N·m) when mated with a five-speed manual transmission. When mated with the four-speed automatic transmission, it was rated at 280 hp (209 kW) and 283 lb·ft (384 N·m) of torque. The VG30DETT was first developed for the 1987 MID4-II concept and produced 330 PS (240 kW). It was the last of Nissan's four-valve, belt driven DOHC turbocharged engines put into production, being preceded by the CA18DET and RB20DET.It is equipped with hybrid twin T22/TB02 turbochargers which were developed exclusively for Nissan,[3] twin intercoolers, and NVTCS (Nissan's Valve Timing Control System). The VG30DETT utilizes an iron block with aluminum heads. Domestic Japanese market cars claimed 280 PS (206 kW), as the Japanese automobile manufacturers were limited to that number. It is used in the following vehicles:


The VG33E is a 3.3 L (3,275 cc) version built in Japan and Smyrna, TN. Bore is 91.5 mm (3.60 in) and stroke is 83 mm (3.3 in). Output is 170 hp or 180 hp (134 kW) at 4,800 rpm (depending on year/vehicle) with 202 lb·ft (274 N·m) of torque at 2,800 rpm. It has a cast iron engine block and aluminum SOHC cylinder heads. Compression ratio is 8.9:1. It has sequential fuel injection, two valves per cylinder with self-adjusting hydraulic followers, forged steel connecting rods, one-piece cast camshafts, and a cast aluminum lower intake manifold with either a cast aluminum, or plastic/composite plenum (upper intake manifold). This engine is still in production in the Nissan Paladin produced by Zhengzhou Nissan for the Chinese market.

It is used in the following vehicles:


The 3.3 L (3,275 cc) VG33ER is a supercharged version of the VG33, and produces 210 hp (157 kW) at 4,800 rpm with 246 lb·ft (334 N·m) of torque at 2,800 rpm.

It is used in the following vehicles:

  • 2001–2004 Nissan Frontier SC
  • 2002–2004 Nissan Xterra SC

VG33ET (Non-production)[edit]

The 3.3 L (3,275 cc) VG33ET is a turbocharged version of the VG33, which was not produced by Nissan. It is commonly made by using VG30ET exhaust manifolds, intake manifolds, injectors, ECU etc. on the VG33 long block. The VG30 cams can be used to produce more top end power, though doing so makes the engine interference.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 別冊CG: 自動車アーカイヴ 80年代の日本 [Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 129. ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6. 
  2. ^ Answers to Readers Questions By: Sarah Forst - September 2003
  3. ^ Nissan VG30DETT Engine, JDM Spec Engines
  4. ^ XenonZ31 VG33E (t) Motor Swap

External links[edit]