How to Replace the Starter on a '98 Maximaby Richard Rowe
The Maxima might not have reached quite the pinnacle of fame that some of its brethren from Nissan have, but it sure hasn't been for lack of the right hardware. The 1998 model, like all of those before and since, was at its heart a sport sedan with the six-cylinder heart of a Z-Car. The fact that that engine sits sideways in the Maxima chassis can make a lot of jobs a bit more difficult compared to the rear-drive Z-Car -- but it actually makes a starter replacement much easier.
Connect a memory saver per the manufacturer's instructions; otherwise, you'll lose your factory computer and radio presets when you disconnect the negative battery terminal. Do so now, using a ratchet and socket, and lay the negative terminal cable well away from the battery post.
Unclip the four clips that hold the top of the air filter box to the base, and unplug the wiring harness from the mass airflow sensor adjacent to it. Use a pair of pliers to loosen and slide back the clamps on the two large hoses going to the center of the air duct, then loosen the hose clamp connecting the duct to the engine's throttle body. Pull the entire duct assembly off the car.
Locate the starter in the cavity under where the duct assembly was, near the firewall, on the back of the engine. Fold back the rubber boot on the starter solenoid, and use a ratchet to remove the nuts that hold the wires to the starter solenoid. Fit an extension and socket to the ratchet, and use it to remove the two bolts that hold the starter to the engine, and remove the starter from the vehicle.
Install the new starter, install its bolts and torque them to 27 foot-pounds each. Install the wire leads, and tighten the nuts just snug. You can now reinstall the air intake. Slide the duct back on the engine, plug the two hoses in and clip the upper box half to the lower. Plug the MAF sensor in, and slide the hose clamps into position and tighten them. Reconnect the negative battery terminal.