ZCar Forum banner
Not open for further replies.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
477 Posts
> If it is true, it is not the M3, for it was
> a 4 cyl until the new one came out. Beyond
> that, I seriously doubt it, for i think it
> would have been discovered before.
> -Bob Hanvey

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.

· Registered
477 Posts
Re: Z motor origins (Mercedes 220)

> 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
> <A HREF=http://www.mame.mu.oz.au/salman/history.html>http://www.mame.mu.oz.au/salman/history.html</A>
> -- quote --

Yes, the reason is because the same engine manufacturer that Mercedes licenced to design their engine was the same company liscenced by Nissan to design theirs. Just like Nissan used Albrecht Goertz (BMW design fame) to help design the 240Z body/suspension. Datsun (Nissan) did alot of outsourcing for design in the beginning. Although it took them some time to actually credit these people, for their contributions.

> Facts about the engine

> The engine was designed for the 240Z by
> adding two more cylinders to the very
> succesful OHC engine in the Datsun 1600. It
> was not as smooth as a Jaguar engine
> but certainly competed with a Mercedes
> engine. Incidentally it is related to a
> Mercedes engine. The Datsun 1600 engine is a
> copy of the early 1960's Mercedes 220 six
> cylinder engine, minus two cylinders and
> suitably stroked and bored. Then to make the
> 240Z engine (L24) Nissan added 2 more
> cylinders. The L26 engine from
> the 260Z is the L24 with the same bore but a
> bigger stroke. The L26 became the L28 of the
> 280ZX. The L series engine was last used in
> the six cylinder Nissan skyline (mid 80's)
> and the VL commodore but this time with a
> capacity of 3.0 litres.


> Straight six engines are notable for their
> smoothness and are theoretically the closest
> you can approach the smoothness of a V12.
> However they are not the best in
> terms of packaging and so have been mostly.

This is why not all cars use them.

> The L series engine is well known for its
> legendary strength and reliability. The
> engine is is a seven bearing design and has
> an absolutely bulletproof lower end.
> Legends abound of cars with 500,000 miles on
> the clock which come in for an overhaul and
> the lower end is still OK. L series engines
> very rarely need an align bore of the lower
> end no matter what the mileage.

> -- end quote --

> The page
> <A HREF=http://www.ccar.com.au/aus/dec96-240Z.html>http://www.ccar.com.au/aus/dec96-240Z.html</A>
> also confirms the Mercedes engine origins,
> and that the gearbox was a Porsche design
> and the diff was virtually
> indistinguishable from a BMW item.

This is true, but only for European spec cars. Notice the .au on the extension?? This means this addresss is from Australia, where they drive around in European spec cars. The optional 5 spd offered for the 240Z (no 5spd was ever offered in the US until the 280Z) did use Porsche type sychros. Also the transmission was of the direct drive type. Unlike later transmissions that use a different gearing style and are not called direct drive. The term direct drive is dependent upon the way the gears are housed and used in the transmission. Unfortunately, we in the US don't have Porsche sychros in our trans, we have Warner type sychros in ours.
The differential may be similar to a BMW, but it is not the same. All Datsun Diffs were manufactured by the same company, similar to the brake calipers. All the brake calipers were outsourced from Sumitomo, which is why you can bolt on Toyota 4x4 calipers onto a 240Z. Datsun did the same thing with the diffs. You can find these diff types in R160, R180, R190, R200 sizes. They can also be found in Subaru's, Toyotas, Datsun, and certain other cars. This is why Japan is (was) a manufacturing giant. They all used virtually the same stuff, with just minor changes to adapt them for different situations.

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

German manufacturing has always been a model for the rest of the world. German manufactured is synomymous with quality. The Japanese would have been stupid to copy from anything less than the best in the world.

> 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
> <A HREF=http://www.cars-on-line.com/52mercedes1048-B.html>http://www.cars-on-line.com/52mercedes1048-B.html</A>
> - this didn't look similar, but at least
> the engine slanted the right way. Maybe
> someone can source an image to post?

> The page
> <A HREF=http://www.autospeed.com/A_0004/article.html>http://www.autospeed.com/A_0004/article.html</A>
> 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?

Unfortunately, this will not work. The Datsun parts are BASED on a Porsche design, not copied. As far as diffs are concerned, they come in LSD from R160-R200. R160 LSD are found in Subaru All-wheel drive, and R200 are found in 300ZX. R180 and R190 can be put together with parts from Motorsports. Although you may be able to adapt a similar style diff from a BMW, but then the driveshafts may be quite different. Probably a little more work than putting in a known unit.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Not open for further replies.