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2pc 7th Gen Thermal Phenolic Spacers Install and Throttle Body Bypass


This is an install thread explaining how to install the CXJ PERFORMANCE 2pc 7th Generation Maxima Thermal Phenolic Spacers as well as how to do a Throttle Body Bypass. First I’d like to thank you Cory for making a quality product for the newer Maximas. I think everyone agrees that there aren't enough aftermarket modifications available for this generation so kudos to you for paving the way with the first 7th Generation Maxima Thermal Phenolic Spacer kit.

Tools required:
10mm socket wrench, 13mm socket wrench, multi-size Allen wrench, flathead screwdriver, pliers, RTV gasket maker, CXJ PERFORMANCE 2pc Thermal Phenolic Spacer kit w/ included hardware (4 extended throttle body bolts with lock washers, 4 extended intake manifold bolts with lock washers, 2 extended intake manifold studs, hose mender + hose caps), 50/50 Antifreeze coolant mixture, several large rags

A few warnings before proceeding:
Don't work on a hot car; obviously the engine is hot as well as the coolant which can scald you if you don't let it cool.

With your intake or throttle body off, NEVER touch the valve inside. If you move this even slightly you could damage the throttle body or at least require an idle-relearn procedure which you may need to pay Nissan to fix for you.

After removing the intake manifold, IMMEDIATELY plug up the holes on the engine block with rags to prevent dropping anything in there. If you drop anything in there your engine is finito.

Removing The Manifold And Installing The Spacers

Step 1 - Remove your 3 primary engine covers; this requires an Allen wrench and taking off some plastic fasteners. If you get stuck on this step I would highly advise doing more research before attempting this how-to

Step 2 - Remove your intake; you just need the piece that attaches to the throttle body removed so you have access to that area

Step 3 - Remove your aftermarket strut bar (if you have one); simply unbolt the strut bar from the mounts and leave the mounts on the car it is easy to put back on

Step 4 - Disconnect the metal tube assembly (fuel and vacuum lines) from the top/front of the manifold by removing the 5 10mm bolts holding on the top section

Step 5 - Remove the 2 10mm bolts on the front of the manifold holding the metal tube assembly onto the manifold

Step 6 - Remove this small hose from the metal tube that snakes around on the right side of the manifold; using a small flathead screwdriver can help you work it off

Step 7 - (Throttle Body Bypass) On the lower left side of the throttle body there are two coolant hoses connected; using a pliers you can squeeze the metal tabs of the ring holding it on and work it backwards. Pull the hoses off then one at a time and be mindful coolant will leak out. You can use a vice grips to clamp the hose while removing the other hose if you want, or just work quickly and remove the other hose.

Instead of using the supplied hose mender to plug the coolant lines, simply remove the shorter of the 2 coolant lines (the 2 hoses are different lengths) and plug the longer hose onto the spot you removed the shorter hose from. (tip from copekyle - thanks!). If you still wish to use the supplied hose mender, do your best to maneuver the hoses so there are no hard 90 degree angles in them.

Note: This step will make a mess and you may need to add more coolant depending on how much you leak.

Step 8(Throttle Body Bypass) Put hose caps on the two connections you removed the hoses from on the throttle body
Note: If you want you can skip the throttle body bypass but will still need to remove these hoses to get the manifold off the car. I recommend using plugs or vice grips to clamp them shut while not attached to anything.

Step 9 - Detach this wire harness from its metal clip on the lower right corner of the throttle body; unplug the connection on the right as well by squeezing it and pulling back on the wire harness

Step 10 - Remove the hose from this metal tube on the right side of the manifold that is in the center of this picture

Step 11 - Unlatch the plastic holder next to the hose you just disconnected and lift it out of the plastic holder

Step 12 - Remove the 4 10mm bolts surrounding the letter "C" on your Manifold.

Step 13 - Remove the 2 nuts from the intake manifold studs

Step 14 - On the left rear side of the manifold there are two black hoses attached. They are difficult to get to but you'll need to get back there with pliers and squeeze the metal clamps holding them on, wiggle the clamps backwards a couple inches, and then disconnect the hoses from these two connections here. Again, a small flat head screwdriver can help you get these hoses off

Step 15 – On the rear of the manifold close to where the hoses from the previous step connected, there is a 13mm bolt, feel around for it going in on the left side of the manifold. It is a little hard to get back there but you can get the bolt loose enough to take it the rest of the way out with your hand.

Step 16 - Pull the metal tube assembly away from the manifold, it pulls forward for the most part but might spring back. It will need to be out of the way when you pull the manifold off in the next step

Step 17 - You should now be able to lift off the intake manifold straight upwards (keeping mindful of the studs used to guide it on both left and right sides) then it pulls forward towards you


Step 18 - You want to immediately stuff large rags into these openings so you don't drop anything down into them. If you do your engine is done.

Step 19 – (Throttle Body Spacer) Remove the throttle body by taking out the 4 allen-head bolts holding it on. DO NOT TOUCH THE VALVE.

Step 20 - (Throttle Body Spacer) Install the throttle body spacer using an RTV gasket on one side (notice there are plastic gaskets on the manifold itself). Apply a thin nickel-thick layer of RTV gasket maker to the side of the spacer that will apply to the throttle body, and push it on tight. If excess squeezes out that is a good sign of a seal; but be careful of cleaning up the excess from the inside! DO NOT TOUCH THE VALVE.

Step 21 - (Throttle Body Spacer) Re-install the throttle body onto the manifold using the new extended allen-head bolts and lock washers.

Step 22 – Remove the OEM intake manifold studs. The method I used was using the 2 OEM nuts that came off the studs – thanks for the idea Cory. If you screw two nuts onto the stud directly next to each other, you can use a wrench to rotate the lower one and it will turn the stud after it tightens up next to the other nut.

Step 23 - Install the new extended intake manifold studs by hand-tightening them. Now use the same 2-nut process but instead tighten the top nut to tighten the new studs in there nicely

Step 24 – (Intake Manifold Spacer) Install the intake manifold spacer directly onto the engine block using RTV sealant using the intake manifold studs to guide it into place; apply a thin nickel-thick layer of RTV gasket maker to just the side that will be touching the engine block. Clean up any excess that squeezes out. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL NOT TO DROP ANYTHING IN THESE HOLES WHILE WORKING.

Putting It All Back Together

Step 1 - Re-install the intake manifold by sliding the rear of it into the rear engine cavity, then slowly lowering the front down onto the new extended intake manifold studs to guide it perfectly into place.

Step 2 - Re-attach all the hoses you disconnected from the manifold (the 2 large hoses from the left/rear, the small hose on top, and the medium hose on the front/right side of the manifold) and use pliers to position the metal clamps near the ends of the hoses to hold them on.

Step 3 - Insert the hose on the right side of the manifold back into the black plastic holder you removed it from previously, close the plastic holder to secure the hose again

Step 4 - Re-install the original 2 10mm nuts on the new intake manifold studs on both left and right sides of the manifold

Step 5 - Install the new extended 4 10mm bolts using lock washers into the top of the manifold surrounding the "C"

Step 6 - Re-attach the small 10mm bolts used to hold the metal tube assembly to the manifold (2 on the front of the manifold, and 5 on the top)

Step 7 - Re-install the 13mm bolt on the rear of the manifold, you may have to position the plate the bolt goes through as it is just attached to a hose.

Step 8 – Plug the connection back in on the right side of the throttle body, insert the plastic piece from the wire harness back into the metal it was mounted on before. DO NOT TOUCH THE VALVE.

Step 9 – If you skipped the throttle body bypass, reconnect the two black hoses to the two metal tubes on the throttle body. Clamp them on with their metal clamps.

Step 10 - Re-install your intake

Step 11 – Re-install your engine covers

Step 12 – Top off your coolant with the 50/50 Antifreeze mixture

Step 13 – Reset your ECU / perform idle re-learn if necessary

Step 14 - Re-install your aftermarket strut bar if you have one. Depending on which brand you have you may experience clearance issues with the manifold. Washers, or spacers, can be used on the strut bolts to raise the strut bar up if you need a little more clearance.

Wait at least ONE HOUR for the RTV to set before turning on the engine or driving anywhere.

Enjoy your new CXJ PERFORMANCE Thermal Phenolic Spacers.