After thinking about it off and on for several years, I decided last spring that a VK56 swap was in the future for my â€˜05 Pfinder 2wd. I have owned her for almost 14 years and with 275K on the original motor and trans, I figured it was a great time for a heart transplant.
I started buying some of the less expensive parts and putting them aside whenever I had some extra $$.
Here is a list of some/ most of those parts I accumulatedâ€¦
JBA longtube headers, Pre-Cool silicone coolant hose set, engine mounts, trans mount, serp belt, water pump, spark plugs, all new gaskets and hardware (bolts and nuts), oil change stuff, air filter, thermostat, coolant, p/s fluid, p/s hose, etc. This was a basic list. Once we begun the tear down and reassembly, my list got much longer.
I waited for my tax return to do the major purchases.
Here is my list of those itemsâ€¦
Engine, transmission, wiring harness, ecm, ac comp, p/s pump. I also purchased the fan shroud, fan clutch, and fan blade.
There are a couple of ways to do this swap. Most people buy a totaled Titan that still has a good engine and drivetrain. Sooo many of the parts are transferable from the Titan when you do it this way.
The other route (which I chose) was to get select items from different donor Titans. I have a friend that works at a certified salvage yard. He was able to pick parts with decent low mileage and in the condition we were looking for.
He got me the VK engine out of a 2010 Titan that had 136K. The trans came out of a 2014 with like 70K. He was also able to sell me them to me
with a one year warranty (parts only).
The fun part of doing it this way was we didnâ€™t know how complete (or incomplete) the engine and trans would be until we got them. Turns out they were both lacking some parts. Salvage yards strip them down for any parts that can be sold separately. Btw, my donor parts had already been removed from the trucks and were just sitting in a warehouse.
So, some of the things I was lackingâ€¦ Trans filler tube, trans dipstick, trans cooler lines, engine cam sensors, O2 sensors, engine mount brackets, and alternator and p/s mount bracket.
With the help of a couple of friends (who do LS swaps on the side), we tore her down on Feb 15th. And yes, I am hands-on for this project. All the mods I have done to my Pfinder over the years have been done by me. There was no way I wasnâ€™t going to get my hands dirty for this!
I drove her into the shop that morning and in less than 4 hours the VK40 engine and transmission were sitting on the floor. We had also removed the grill, front bumper, headlamps, and radiator support.
The stock engine wiring harness for a Titan was modified by Brennan @ Driven Desire in Cincinnati. He is THE specialist in doing VK56 swaps in Frontierâ€™s, Xterraâ€™s, and Pathfinders.
Once I got my Pfinder apart I sent Brennan the starter/ alternator wiring harness from mine. He combines my harness with the Titan engine harness and makes it basically a â€œplug and playâ€.
He does an amazing job and the finished harness he sent me looks totally oem.
Currently, the project is about 85% done. It has seemed like a longtime since Feb but there are select weekends where me and my two buddies have been available to work on it.
At this point, we have literally worked on it on two Saturdays. One was to tear it apart, and one was putting the VK56 and trans in. I have gone out to the shop on my own a few times and put in a few hours here and there on some of the smaller piddly stuff.
We really need just one or two more solid Saturdays to finish it.
I will try to post some pics either this evening or this weekend.
I will also continue on this topic for any further updates.
Feel free to ask any questions. I have learned ALOT about this swap!