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PAIR Valve

By Dan Thompson

> What is the PAIR?

Pulsed Air Induction Reed Valve - for all intents and purposes, it's the smog pump. Its job is to introduce fresh air into the exhaust upstream of the cat/con during deceleration and extended periods of idle to help keep the cat "lit off" (at operational temperatures). The PAIRV disappeared from the engine in '94, with Nissan citing engine improvements being responsible for no longer needing it.

The '91 thru '93 high-port engine had problems with "port wall wetting" (not to be confused with "bed wetting", though it's worse in the ARB's eyes), where the injector was far enough from the intake valve that some fuel was sprayed onto the intake port walls. When the throttle was snapped shut, the increase in port vacuum sucked this extra fuel into the combustion chamber and caused hydrocarbon emissions to skyrocket. In addition, low intake port velocity at idle also caused an increase in port wall wetting, leading to a similar condition. The PAIRV was there to introduce enough fresh air into the exhaust for the cat/con to burn off the excessive hydrocarbons.

The '94 and newer low-port engine moved the injectors closer to the intake valve and increased intake port velocity at low engine speeds. These changes were enough to allow for the elimination of the PAIRV. They were also responsible for the improvement in the engine's low-end power.

I don't think removing the PAIRV would cause any physical problems such as melting the cat/con, as it would actually cause converter temperatures to drop. Then again, it would offer no performance advantage, aside from maybe a small reduction in weight. In addition, it would increase tailpipe emissions, possibly to the point of failing a smog check. Personally, I left mine intact and functional.