This post is divided into six sections:
(1.0) J30 General Information(2.0) J30 & Media(3.0) J30 Modifications & Maintenance(4.0) Is this normal?(5.0) What should I look for in a used J30?(6.0) J30 Wisdom (from owners who’ve learned the hard way)
(1.0) J30 General Information
(1.1)When did J30 production start and where was it built
Full production started on April 7, 1993. It was built in Tochigi Japan.
(1.2) What is the last year the J30 was sold in North America?
1997. Production ended on June 18, 1997
(1.3) Who designed the J30?
Chief designer Doug Wilson with guidance form Jerry Hirshberg Nissan NDI chief. Doug Wilson also designed the original Pathfinder, Pulsar NX. 90's to current generation Altima and 2000 Maxima.
There is a book available called "The Creative Priority" by Jerry Hirshberg that contains some early sketches of the J30.
The car was designed entirely at Nissan LaJolla California design studio.
(1.4) Where was the J30's place in Infiniti's product hierarchy?
Just below the flagship Q45 and above the G20 and later I30.
(1.5) What vehicles where the J30's main competitor when launched?
Original Lexus GS, Acura Vigor, Jaguar XJ, BMW 5 series, Saab 9000.
(1.6) Does the J30 share the engine with the 300ZX?Yes and few other bits.
(1.7) What is the J30 known as in Japan?
Nissan Leopard J Ferie.
(1.8) What are the differences between the North American J30 and the Japanese Leopard J Ferie?
The Japanese version had an optional V8.The Japanese version had a front-end spoiler.The instrument gauge cluster on the US version is of a different design because speed is measured in miles and temperature in Fahernheit scale. The Canadian version of the J has got the original JDM instrument cluster.
(1.9) Was the J30/Leopard J Ferie sold in western Europe?
No, in the UK it would have gone head-to-head with Jaguar XJ. Nissan product strategists did their research and found out that Jaguar buyers tend to be loyalists that are very difficult to convert. It would be hard to have them switch to a Nissan product which doesn't have the same brand cachet or heritage.
(1.10) What is HICAS?
Basically a rear wheel steering system which turns the back wheels in an opposite direction to the front wheels at high speeds. It makes the car handle like its on "rails". It eliminates body roll and gives better high speed handling. It allows you to scare the pants off Bimmer, Audi and Benz drivers. Only available in 1993 and 1994 J30 "t" (touring) models.
(1.11) What does the "t" in J30 stand for.
The "t" stands for touring. The Difference between a regular J30 and a J30t is that the "t" model came with HICAS 4 wheel steering (only available on 1993 and 1994 models), a rear spoiler, heated seats (standard on Canadian model, only available in select US markets) and a stiffer suspension.
(1.12)What is a "gold package" J30t?
It's a J30t model sold in 1993 and 1994 through a hand picked number of major market Infiniti dealers in the US and Canada. The "gold package" came with gold plated grille, door handles, gold plated exhaust tips, badging, special floor mats, darker or special interior wood trim and special gold plated BBS rims. Very few where sold, as a result they're rare. In Canada the "gold package" models came only in two exterior colours. Either a pearl metallic black or dark green pearl metallic. Both came with only a black leather interior colour configuration.
(1.13)Where there any J30 models or toys produced?
Aoshima produced a model kit in the 90’s of a J30. They will appear from time to time on Ebay, more frequently on Yahoo Japanese auctions. If you have live in a city with a large Asian population and a large Asian shopping area, it is possible to find the kit at an Asian hobby store.
There are a few custom diecast shops in the US who will produce a custom J30 for you just like yours in 1/24 scale but its exepensive.
(2.0) J30 & Media
(2.1)Who's the guy with long white hair in all those J30 TV commercials?
Acclaimed English actor Jonathan Pryce
(2.2)Has the J30 won any awards or accolades?
It has won two accolades in the mid 90's, one for JD Powers highest initial quality in a luxury vehicle(1995) and another one for long term dependability based in the JD Power VDS survey.
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada(AJAC) voted the J30 best new luxury car in 1993.
In 1996 IntelliChoice announces that J30 and I30 win “Lowest Maintenance Costs in Class.”
Forbes Magazine 04/21/2001-Listed the 1993-1997 J30 as one of the best vehicle to come out of Japan in an article entitled "Greatest Japanese Cars of All Time"
(2.3)Did any of the major auto magazines test the J30?
Here's magazine and issues information on tests:
Autoweek-October 28, 1991: J30 preview.Autoweek-January 2, 1992: J30 previewAutoweek-December 21, 1992: J30 preview and test drive.Car and Driver-February 1992: '93 J30 only test drive and impressions.Car and Driver-May 1992- '93 J30t only test drive and impressions .MotorTrend-February 1992: '93 J30 only test drive and impressions.MotorTrend-February 1993:'94 J30t only test drive and impressions.Road and Track-May 1992-'93 J30t only test drive and impressions.Road and Track-October 1993. Model overview and preview.Road and Track-October 1994. Model overview.Wards Auto World-February 1992: Overview and test drive.
(2.4)Has the J30 appeared in movies?
These are the ones I'm aware of:
Heat (1995) Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.O (2001) Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett.Heart and Souls (1993) Robert Downey Jr., Charles GrodinGood Burger (1997) Sinbad
(3.0) J30 Modifications
(3.1)Where can I get a JDM spoiler, JDM grille or JDM badging for the J30?
Try Yahoo Japanese auctions. The spoliers are very pricey even used never mind factoring shipping and custom charges.
(3.2)What performance mods are available for the J30?
Not much. The car came modded from the factory.
Jim Wolf Technology does make a pop charger which will give you a bit more horses.
Level Ten can rebuild your transmission with quicker ratios and a 5th gear to give you better performance but it will cost you(at least they use to rebuild them).
Stillen produces an ECU for the J30.
(3.3)Do those performnce chips I see advertised on Ebay work?
No. They are basically resistors found at any Radio Shack for $2. Its possible to get a gain, but it'll be at the expense of mileage and the onboard pollution equipment. They are also known to damage both engine and powertrain components with long term use.
(3.4)Where can I get genuine Infiniti floor mats for my J30?
From time to time they will appear on Ebay.
(3.5)Can I install HID or Xenon looking bulbs for my headlight.
Yes as long as the wattage is equivalent to OEM and these lights are legal in your province/state. Anything bulb that has a different wattage will screw up the headlight wiring and the headlight module. Sylvania makes Silverstars and Cool Blues that fit the J. I believe PIAA also makes one that gives an HID look.
(3.6)What type of gas should I put in the J30?Octane 91 as it is recommended in the manual, no ifs and buts. The engine design is of a high compression nature with unique pistol fuel injectors. Yes the car does have a knock sensor to compensate for lower quality octane if encountered from time to time, However the engine has been designed only for higher octane gasoline. Using anything below octane 91 can damage the engine and fuel management system.
(3.7)What type of oil should I use in my J30?
Oil is a matter of personal taste on whether you like to use conventional or synthetic. I've only used synthetic in mine. Use the proper oil weight and change intervals dictated by the owners manual for your region. with a quality oil filter that isn't Fram.
(3.8)What type of transmission fluid should I use?
Again its a matter of personal taste. Some on this forum useSynthetic ATF while others use conventional ATF with more frequent changes. Don't switch to synthetic if your transmission is slipping or if your having other transmission related problems. It will only hasten its departure.
(3.9)Should I get a transmission cooler?
If you live someplace where it's hot/warm year around (i.e. southern US States). I would advise it. The cars weight and the ambient heat tend to shorten the life of the transmission.
(3.10) How do I lower my J30?
You need to have custom shocks made to do this. There is nothing available aftermarket for this application.
(4.0) Is this normal?
(4.1)A lot of white smoke comes out of the tail pipe? Is there something wrong?
As long as the smoke isn't tinged blue or smells like coolant its normal. Most of that white smoke is water vapor. The colder it gets the more it produces.
(4.2)My car roars to life like a 50's Buick the first time I start it in the morning, is this normal?
Yes as long as the rev settle down as the engine warms up.
(4.3)My transmission shifts abruptly or feels like its slipping while driving between first and second gear and then eventually settles down?
This is a common for most J's. For the transmission to shift smoothly the car needs be properly warmed up at first start. The transmission works effectively when its at proper operating temp.
(5.0) What should I look for in a used J30?
(5.1)What should I look for in a used J30?
-A complete service history is very important. Well maintained examples should be relatively trouble free.-Ensure that the timing belt has been done and transmission fluid has been changed at proper intervals.-Ensure that the sunroof works (expensive and time consuming fix).-Bose(Clarion) head units are a common issue on the J. Ensure yours works properly.-Ensure your headlights work, improper voltage bulbs cause the relay to go.-The most common rust areas on the J30 are the weld at the bottom of the front door and the weld at the bottom of the rear doors.
(6.0) J30 Wisdom (from owners who’ve learned the hard way)
Here’s some advice:
-Use only OEM Nissan alternators in the J. Aftermarket alternators cause many problems as many long time owners will attest.
-Use only OEM Nissan spark plugs aftermarket plugs have caused many problems as many long time owners will attest.
-When using aftermarket or speciality headlight bulbs make sure, they are of the same wattage otherwise you’ll destroy your headlight relay.
-Nissan OEM brake rotors provide the best braking power for the J30. They also last the longest compared to aftermarket rotors.
-There are no aftermarket shocks or struts available for the J30 unless you go custom(which usually means more $$$). Your best bet is Nissan OEM.
PM me if I missed anything or if you want something added to this sticky.
Thanks to Public Relations at Infiniti Canada for helping me with some of the content.