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The Nissan L series of automobile engines ranged from 1.3 L to 2.8 L in both straight-4 and straight-6 configurations and were produced from 1967 through 1986. This was the engine of the Datsun 240Z sports car as well as the Datsun 510 and the first Nissan Maxima. These engines are known for their extreme reliability, durability, and parts interchangeability. It is a 2-valve-per-cylinder SOHC non-crossflow engine, with an iron block and an aluminium head. The four-cylinder L series engines were replaced with the Z series and later the CA series, while the six-cylinder L series engines were replaced with the VG series and RB series.
The design is often incorrectly attributed to Mercedes-Benz. In 1966 Prince Motor Company merged with Nissan. At the time of the merger, Prince was licensed to produce copies of the four- and six-cylinder engines. Prince Motor Company later refined the design such that it no longer needed licensing. The engine still resembles a Mercedes in many ways, particularly the valve train.
The L13 appeared in 1967, but was not available in the United States. It produces 77 hp (57 kW). The L13 was essentially a de-stroked L16.
The L14 was destined for non-U.S.A. markets like South America, Europe, and Africa.
When this engine was installed in a 1972 Canadian 510 sedan model with gearbox (manual transmission), 2 sets of points were installed in the distributor and this second set of points was in circuit only in 3rd gear to obtain a different dwell angle. A similar arrangement exists in the US-spec 510/610 cars and 521/620 pickup trucks for the years 1970-73
The L16S was an engine that was used in the 910 bluebird Sedan. This engine was equipped with an electronically controlled carburetor.
The L16T was basically the same as the L16 but had twin SU carbs, flat top pistons (same as ones used in 240Z) and a slightly different head. It produces 109 hp (81 kW).
Note the L in PL was for left hand drive models.
The L16P is the LPG version of the L16.
The L18 was a 1770 cc engine produced from 1972 through 1976. It produces 105 hp (78 kW)@5000 rpm. The L18 replaced the Prince G-18 in 1975. All variants used the same camshaft lobe lift.
The L18S was an engine that was used in the 910 bluebird Sedan
The L18T was basically the same as the L18 but had twin SU carbs, higher compression pistons, and lower volume combustion chambers. A high lift cam, 2 mm bigger inlet valves and 1 mm bigger exhaust valves were also fitted. It was installed into the 610-series Bluebird 180B SSS and UK market 910-U Bluebird 1.8 GL coupé. It produces 110 PS (81 kW). Also in the Bluebird SSS Hardtop Coupé (910) for General LHD markets.
The L18P is the LPG version of the L18 engine.
The L20B was a 1,952 cc (85.0 x 86.0 mm) engine produced from 1974 through 1985. It produces 110 hp (82 kW) in 1974-75 form with 112 lb·ft (152 N·m) of torque as installed in the Datsun 610 and 97 hp (72 kW) in 1977-78 form with 102 lb·ft (138 N·m) of torque as installed in the 200SX. The L20B engine introduced larger-diameter (60 mm) main bearings while retaining a fully counterweighted crankshaft. The U60 crankshaft also ushered in the use of a six-bolt flywheel boss. The block introduced a taller deck height to accommodate the longer stroke and connecting rods. This specification would also be used later in the Z20 and Z22 engine series. The bigger powerplant even helped spawn an important new offering from Datsun's competition department -50mm Solex twin-choke carburetor kits- complete fuel systems that help produce nearly double the power from the ubiquitous L20B. The legendary robustness, the nearly square configuration and the rod-to-stroke ratios possible have made this engine a popular choice among tuners for turbocharging.
The engine used a carburetor but switched to fuel injection (and round instead of square exhaust ports) in some non-USA markets in 1977. Carburetors were used in all US L20B applications through 1980. In the US, carburetors were used on all gasoline pick-ups until fuel injection became available as an option in the 1985 720ST, and injection became standard equipment with the introduction of the 1987.5 D21 Hardbody pickups. There were six versions of the L20B in the US- U60, U67, U95 (used in cars) and U60, U67, B98, 04W, and 05W used in trucks. In the US, the L20B was used in six different model families -A10, 610, 710, S10, 620, and 720 models- making it the most versatile powerplant in the company's US history. To avoid confusion with the six-cylinder L20, Nissan called this engine the L20B and redesignated their six-cylinder engine L20A.
This engine was used in all US-spec. gasoline-powered pick-ups in 1981, 1982 and early 1983, utilizing a Z22 crankshaft and larger-bore block and cross-flow head, giving approximately 2.2L of displacement. This version of the engine produces more low-rpm power than the smaller 4-cylinder L Series, but suffers from compromised high-rpm power due to the smaller valves/lower valve lifts required in the cross-flow NAPS-Z (Nissan Air Pollution System) cylinder head.
The "LZ" twin cam head was designed to give a power boost to the Datsun L series engine for competition purposes. The best way to increase output was to improve its breathing. The solution chosen was 4 valves per cylinder operated by two camshafts in a cam box. Combustion chamber valve angles were kept quite shallow to minimise gas flow interference from "twin in-cylinder vortices". The shallow angle 4-valve system, gives greatly improved cylinder fill through high valve lifts that can be used with large valve overlap periods. This system was later used by Suzuki on their GSX 1100R engines to great effect.
There are two different LZ cylinder heads. The early head is the same thickness as a normal L series head. The engine using the first head was referred to as the L14 twin cam. There was no mention of Z in the title. This L14 twin cam head engine has flat exit side exhaust ports, the early 12 bolt rocker cover and the coolant discharge on the inlet side of the head. All early twin cam engines appear to have the 14 bolt rocker cover (6 for the cover and 8 for the bolt-in plug holders). Later engines use the full flat cover with six bolts to secure it.
The LZ engine was built purely for Datsun/Nissan competition use. Engine size can vary between 1400 cc (LZ14) in the PB110 "1200", 1600 cc in the PB210, 1800 CC in the 710 2.0 litres in the PA10 Stanza, to 2.2 liter in the 910 bluebird rally cars. The naturally aspirated LZ engines used 45 mm or 50 mm Solex carburettors depending on capacity. The LZ engine found its way into many categories, from "Datsun Works" rally cars, Formula Pacific, Group 4 (racing), Group 5 (racing) and Group C.
In some Japanese racing classes the LZ engine is fitted with low compression pistons and a "T05B" turbocharger. These engines are electronically fuel injected. A very successful example of the LZ turbo was in the famous Japanese "White Lightning" Silvia and "Tomica" R30 Skyline, both driven by Hoshino in the mid 1980's. The LZ turbo engine was also used in the 1986 Nissan March 85G Le Mans car.
The LZ turbo engine was tuned to produce 570 PS at 7,600 rpm and 539 Nm at 6,400 rpm. The original LZ20B turbo engine used in the 1983 Nissan Silvia (S12) "White Lightning" Group 5 race car, produced 500 PS at 8,000 rpm.
The LZ14 engine for the Formula Pacific race cars produces 205 PS at 10,200 rpm. For qualifying and non endurance events the LZ14 can be tweaked to produce 240 PS at 11,000 rpm. The LZ14 is naturally aspirated and has a 66 mm stroke and 87.8 mm bore (1,598 cc).
The LZ engine uses a standard L series engine block to mount the DOHC cylinder head. Usually the bottom end is dry sumped using a Tsubakimoto dry sump pump. The crankshaft used is a Nismo chrome moly "8 bolt flywheel" type. Connecting rods are various length, Cosworth style, to suit the engine stroke. The rod caps have aircraft grade rod bolts and are dowelled. Pistons are thin ring forged units.
The head was available for purchase from Nissan (Nismo) and was sanctioned by the FIA. The LZ14 (1,598 cc) was used during the 1973 Japanese GP, taking the top three positions. In open wheeler "Formula Pacific" racing the LZ14 engine dominated competition in most events it was entered in. It received multiple top rankings in some events.
There is also a diesel version of the 4-cylinder L-series, used in amongst others the Bluebird 910 and the Vanette. (but strangely enough was not in the 720 pickup, which had the SD22/25 when diesel powered, while the gas version most often has the L-series engine. However, in case of a conversion of a gas powered 720 to diesel, it will be much easier to use a LD20 because it fits on the original gearbox and engine mounts.) The N/A version produced 65 hp @4600 rpm and 12,5 kgm @2400 rpm, later 67 hp/13 kgm. The turbo version has 79 hp@4400 rpm and 17 kgm @2400 rpm. The LD engine must not be confused with the Nissan SD engine which is a totally different engine.
65 PS (47.8 kW; 64.1 bhp) at 4,600 rpm
12.5 kg·m (123 N·m; 90 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm
67 PS (49.3 kW; 66.1 bhp) at 4,600 rpm
13.0 kg·m (127 N·m; 94 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm
79 PS (58.1 kW; 77.9 bhp) at 4,400 rpm
17.0 kg·m (167 N·m; 123 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm
The L20 is a SOHC 12-valve engine produced from 1967. A 78.0 mm bore and 67.9 mm stroke meant a displacement of 1,998 cc. Later, this engine became the L20A to avoid confusion with the four-cylinder L20B introduced in 1975. The L20 was used in the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT and Nissan Cedric 130, producing 109 hp (81 kW) for the 2000 GT and 123 hp (92 kW) for the Cedric.
The L20ET is a turbo engine developed by the Nissan Motor Company. It is a 12-valve, 6-cylinder, fuel-injected engine with a single chain driven cam, turbo (non intercooled), and a non crossflow head. It produces 144 hp (107 kW).
This engine was the first engine out of Japan to ever receive a turbo.
The L20P is the LPG version of the L20 engine.
The L23 was a 2,262 cc (2.3 L; 138.0 cu in) engine produced in 1968. It produces 123 hp (92 kW). This engine was produced in limited numbers and is therefore rare. The L23 was replaced by the L24 the following year. Bore and stroke were 83 mm and 67.9 mm, respectively.
The L24 was a 2,393 cc (2.4 L; 146.0 cu in) engine produced from 1970 through 1984. It produces 130 PS (96 kW) and the version with twin side draught SU carbs produces 150 PS (110 kW). Bore is 83.0 mm and stroke is 73.7 mm.
A single carburettor version of the same engine was also standard in the Laurel sedan (240L) for the Middle eastern markets, in the years 1982-1984. While the last generation Cedric to use this engine in Japan was the 230-series (1971–1975), Yue Loong of Taiwan installed it in 430-series Cedrics at least as late as 1984.
Electronic fuel injection was added for the L24E, produced from 1977 through 1986. It produced 138 hp (103 kW) and 132 lb-ft torque (180 Nm). This engine was used in the Nissan Laurel C32.
The L26 is the larger 2,565 cc (2.6 L; 156.5 cu in). Bore is 83.0 mm and stroke is 79 mm. It was produced from 1973 through 1978. It produces 140–162 PS (103–119 kW). In 1975, the L26 replaced the Prince G-20.
The L28 is a 2,753 cc (2.8 L; 168.0 cu in) 12-valve engine. Bore is 86.0 mm and stroke is 79 mm.
The L28E is the enlarged 2,753 cc (2.8 L; 168.0 cu in) engine produced from 1975 to 1984 with dish-top pistons and a resulting compression ratio of 8.3:1. The E stands for electronic multiport fuel injection, provided by Bosch using the L-Jetronic system, and is one of the first Japanese produced vehicles to introduce the technology. For model year 1981 through model year 1983, the L28E received flat-top pistons and a high quench head, raising the compression ratio to 8.8:1, and thus increasing the power rating from 135 PS (99 kW) (1975–1980) to 145 PS (107 kW) (1981–1983).
The L28E was turbocharged in December 1980 to produce the L28ET for the 280ZX Turbo. The L28ET was produced through June 1983. The early versions had adjustable mechanical rockers though these were phased out after September 1982 in favor of hydraulic rockers. The L28ET produces 180 bhp (134 kW) at 5600 rpm and 203 lb·ft (275 N·m) at 2800 rpm. This engine was considered too powerful by Japan's Ministry of Transportation, who would only allow turbochargers to be installed in sub 2 litre-engined cars, and was therefore never sold in its homeland.
The L28ET used a single Garrett AiResearch TB03 internally wastegated turbocharger and no intercooler. Boost was limited to 6.8 psi (47 kPa). Other modest changes were made to the turbo model, with static compression reduced to 7.4:1, and automatic transmission models were given a higher-volume oil pump. The most significant change aside from the turbocharger itself was the introduction of a new engine control systems, Nissan's Electronic Concentrated Control System (ECCS).
The LD28 is the diesel-version of the L28 engine. Robust 7-main bearing block design, like all L-series six-cylinder engines. Bore and stroke are 84.5 and 83 mm respectively.
91 PS (66.9 kW; 89.8 bhp) at 4,600 rpm
17.3 kg·m (170 N·m; 125 lb·ft) at 2,400 rpm
There were no factory turbocharged LD28 engines available in the US market, nor has Nissan ever equipped any of its US-market cars/light trucks with a turbo-diesel engine. LD28T's may be found in Japan, Australaisa/New Zealand, southern Africa and parts of Europe.
Nissan also marketed LD28Ts as bare engines for genset and stationary engine uses and may be also found in maritime version.
Nissan Laurel (Euro only)
When fitting an L28 with an LD28 crankshaft with standard bored cylinders it increases the engine displacement from 2.8 L (2753 cc) to about 2900 cc. It was never actually produced by Nissan, but it is a very easy and common modification to the L28 done by many Skyline and Z car enthusiasts. The most popular modification is the 3 mm overbored (89 mm) L3.1 liter (3096 cc); some add a turbo or two, but the more common setup is the triple Solex or Weber carburators. The only downside is that LD28 cranks are expensive- used units are scarce, but new units are available from the factory. Fully counterweighted 83 mm stroke and even 85 mm stroke cranks can be bought from aftermarket companies such as Crower.
Without increasing bore size, fitting an L28 with the longer stroke LD28 crank will only result in 2.9L. In Japan and other parts of the world the popular "poormans mod" was the 3 mm~ overbore using the 89 mm ~ 90 mm Honda FT-500 / XL-500 motorcycle pistons along with the L14 rods. The real poorman would use the much cheaper/heavier 89 mm FJ20 or even KA24 engine pistons. All of these were cast pistons and had low endurance and would often fail when subjected to high compression and advanced ignition timing compared to custom forged pistons.