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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 23130
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 17 years dealership experience
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I just aquired a 2002 2.5 4- cylinder Altima. I have a 2003

Customer Question

I just aquired a 2002 2.5 4- cylinder Altima. I have a 2003 3.5 6- cylinder Altima. Can I replace the 2.5 with the 3.5?
JA: What year is your Altima?
Customer: Are the motors interchangeable?
JA: How many miles are on the car? Is it an automatic or a manual transmission?
Customer: They are both automatics
JA: Are you fixing your Altima yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: The 2003 was wrecked by my son, and the body is toast. The engine and tranny are in great shape, we have had the car from the beginning. The engine in the 2002 needs to be replaced, it has a lot of miles.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, Please connect us?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Justanswer!

The engines aren't directly interchangeable under the normal definition but if you have a complete vehicle with a six cylinder then you will have enough to make it work. What you would need to do is remove the compete powertrain from each vehicle and swap everything from the six cylinder vehicle. In addition to the engine itself you would need to swap the trans, engine and trans wiring, all engine accessories, a/c and power steering lines, radiator, exhaust, etc. Since you do have a complete wrecked vehicle you would have everything needed to do the swap, it would just be quite a bit more complicated and time consuming than simply replacing the engine with the correct one.

Keep in mind that if you're in an area with emissions testing if the engine in the vehicle didn't match the VIN then it would fail automatically.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do live in an area that requires emission testing. Are you telling me that the engine has a vin#, and that it is the same vin# ***** the vehicle vin#?
Do the emission rules differ from state to state?
I guess I will have to check locally to see if the rule that you have mentioned applies.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.
The VIN tells what engine is in a vehicle. if someone noticed it had the wrong engine when testing, which they should, they couldn't pass it.