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Z motor origins (Mercedes 220)

> Yep, early M3 were 4 cyl until early 90's
> when the current design came out. I doubt
> these heads will bolt on, as I'm sure
> coolant and oil passages are different. The
> BMW L6 engines are also physically wider
> than Datsun, because of the 4V DOHC head.
> But, maybe the rumor was meant for 4 Cyl L
> series. Maybe the early M3 (4cyl) will work
> with Datsun 4cyl I don't know.

I remember also hearing that the L16 4 cyl was a licensed copy of a BMW 1600, but I must have mixed my makes up, because the L-series is derived from a Mercedes engine. From http://www.ccar.com.au/aus/dec96-240Z.html also confirms the Mercedes engine origins, and that the gearbox was a Porsche design and the diff was virtually indistinguishable from a BMW item.

Porsche, Mercedes, BMW - Nissan must have liked the way Germans build cars. There's a Z-car saying - Nissan only copied the best. :)

A sentence out of a Z article I have reads Look under the bonnet of an early sixties Mercedes 220 and it's like looking at a Z engine. The only online image of a Merc 220 engine bay I found was from an early 50's model at http://www.autospeed.com/A_0004/article.html says you can graft a Z20 head onto an L20. Unforunately there were no Z6 motors (the Z18, Z20 & Z24's were all 4 cyls). The RB series of inline sixes shows many similarities with the L series. There motors are also mentioned on the above page and have things like DOHC, 4 valve, big ports, variable intake timing... ie. the good stuff! But if you can source the head, you may as well source the entire motor as the bottom end is as advanced as the head and will fit into a Z.

Anyway, you could go to your friendly parts dealer and compare the head gaskets of a Mercedes to an L6. There may be some advantage to be gained from sourcing Mercedes parts... mechanical fuel injection?? column shift??? :)

As for the gearbox, I think Porsche owners would rather pay Nissan prices for overhaul parts. Then again, there may be racing spec parts from Porsche? And BMW's may be a source of LSD's?
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