Question about 1987 Nissan Maxima

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Surging under acceleration

My 1987 Maxima is surging under acceleration. If I push donw on the gas pedal it feels like the car is holding back, when I let off the throttle it feels like power is back. All sensors are original except the O2 which was changed last year for smog. I recently had another smog check and the car passed no problem.

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  • 87Max4DSC Sep 10, 2008

    I will replace the fuel filter tomorrow as I dont think it has ever been changed. I remember when these cars came out, they used to be pretty fast, this one struggle with part throttle and full throttle.

    Air filter is new - so it cant be that. Is it possible that plug wires could cause this? I think they are over 10 years old. The car only has 86k miles and I just bought it not long ago.

    Thanks for the help!

  • 87Max4DSC Sep 10, 2008

    I also think that being the original fuel pump and it the tank was ran almost empty not long ago it may be the problem.

    Thanks for the help!

  • streetskate Jan 04, 2009

    I put a cold air in take on my 87 nissan maxima and i cut os the plastic box running off of the engine and when it was strated the car had a bad idle and would not rev over 2000 rpms and had a muffled sound


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Sounds like the engine is being restricted by something. Here's the three basic things an engine requires to run correctly. Spark, fuel, and air. So, in this situation, I'd definitely recommend that you check the air filter. If the air filter is dirty and restricting airflow, the engine will actually hesitate under full throttle as it isn't able to get the right amount of air to make the correct fuel to air mixture.

If this isn't the problem, then I'd check into fuel delivery. First things first would be a fuel filter. This can have a serious impact on the performance at full throttle. If the filter isn't letting enough fuel into the engine, then it's not going to be able to run correctly at full throttle.

Try those two first, if they don't seem to make a difference, I'd then check into the mass airflow sensor, and possibly the fuel pump/fuel delivery (fuel injectors or carbuerator). Something is definitely restricting that engine, and I'd find out what it is.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008

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Sound like a fuel starvation problem first try a new fuel filter. and go from there

Posted on Sep 10, 2008

  • paul erickson
    paul erickson Sep 10, 2008

    the fuel filter is one of the most over looked maintence items. i have seen alot of fuel pumps go bad because of restricted flow in the filter. causing the pump to work harder and burn up. just a rule of thumb replace every other oil change . its cheep insurance.


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