Nissan VH engine

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Nissan VH
Nissan VH41DE
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 1989–2001
Predecessor Nissan Y engine
Successor Nissan VK engine
Configuration V8
Displacement 4.1L
Cylinder block alloy Aluminum
Cylinder head alloy Aluminum
Valvetrain DOHC
Fuel system Fuel injection

The VH series consists of 4.1 and 4.5 liter engines built from 1989-2001 by the Nissan Motor Corporation. The design consists of a 90 degree V8 with an aluminum cylinder block that features a closed upper deck and a deep skirt. The cylinder heads are also aluminum with a DOHC 4-valve design and pentroof combustion chambers. The production blocks and production head castings were used successfully in various forms of racing including the IRL.



The VH45DE is a 4.5 liter V8 developed by Nissan for use in the Infiniti Q45 sport luxury sedan (G50 platform) which was released in November 1989. The engine was also used in the Japanese market Nissan President limousine (JG50 platform) which debuted in late 1990. The VH45DE generates 278 hp (207 kW) at 6000 rpm and 292 lb·ft (396 N·m) at 4000 rpm with a redline of 6900 rpm.

Some of the pertinent features of the VH45DE are:

- Forged steel crankshaft.
- Forged steel connecting rods.
- 6 Bolt main bearing caps with studs.
- Full-length main bearing girdle.
- Lightweight, floating pistons with molybdenum coating.
- Sodium-filled exhaust valves.
- Cross-flow cooling system.
- Hydraulic lash adjusters.
- Single-row silent timing chain.
- Coil-on-plug ignition system.
- Lifter buckets ride directly on cams to reduce friction.
- Redline of 6900 rpm, Or 7400 RPM's with a modified ECU.
- Compression ratio of 10.2 to 1.
- Bore of 93 mm and stroke of 82.7 mm.
- Dimensions: 890 mm(L) x 740 mm(W) x 725 mm(H).

The 4.5 L VH45DE featured variable valve timing, also known as VTC, from 1990 until 1995. This was due to the "Gentleman's Agreement", requiring all imports to produce no more than 280 hp. Nissan got around this by publishing the hp rating without VTC, meaning it's actual power rating is closer to 310 hp and 330 lb·ft. of torque. Due to tightening emissions regulations in the US market, the VTC feature was dropped from the 1996 Infiniti Q45. In the following year, the VH45DE was no longer available in any US market vehicles. The engine continued on in the Japanese market until 2002 in the Nissan President limousine.

VH45DE's made before 1994 used plastic timing chain guides, and over time these have been known to fail. This results in a noisy valvetrain and parts of the plastic guides can end up in the sump and oil pickup, resulting in engine damage. Nissan in their infinite wisdom changed to metal backed chain guides from 1994 onwards.

This engine was used in the following vehicle(s):


The VH41DE is a 4.1 liter V8 that was based on the VH45DE. The bore of 93 mm remained but the stroke was shortened to 76 mm. Power output for the new engine was 268 hp (200 kW) at 5600 rpm and 278 lb·ft (377 N·m) at 4000 rpm.

The VH41DE also used a double row timing chain, compared to the VH45DE that used a single row timing chain.

The 4.1 L VH41DE was used in the following vehicles:

The VRH Racing Engines

The VRH engines are racing variations of the production VH engine.

A naturally aspirated 5.0L version, the VRH50A, was used in the Nissan R391. The VRH35ADE, was used by Infiniti in their Indy race car. Another naturally aspirated version, the VRH34A is used by Nissan in their Nissan GT-R Super GT race car.

The VRH34A is a 3.4L(3396cc) V8 that produces over 450 ps and over 290 lb-ft (393 N-m).

The VRH35ADE is a 3.5L(3495cc) V8 that produces 650 ps @10700 rpm and 320 lb-ft (434 N-m)@10400 rpm.

The VRH50A is a 5.0L(4997cc) V8 that produces 650 ps @7200 rpm and 470 lb-ft (618 N-m)@6000 rpm.

The VRH engines also formed the basis for McLaren's M838T engine used in the McLaren MP4-12C supercar.[1]


  1. "Car & Driver: 2012 McLaren MP4-12C Tech Trickledown". "2011-2-01". Retrieved "2011-3-27". 

See also

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