Nissan Car Engines

Published by Carl Wilson on

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From the Datson to the Nissan New Generation Car Engines. The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have featured among Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 12 straight years, since the award’s inception. 

From Datsun to the newest, Nissan car engines can be found on this site, reconditioned or secondhand. A new generation VQ series engine will premiere on the next generation Infiniti G35, the future GT-R and the 2007 Nissan 350Z. There will also be a new generation 2.5VQ 4-cylinder engine that will power the next generation Altima and likely will power the upcoming SPEC-V 2007 Sentra.

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The RB engine is a 2.0L to 3.0L straight-6 four-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan. It has an aluminum head with both SOHC/DOHC versions, with the SOHC versions having 2 valves per cylinder and the DOHC versions having 4 valves per cylinder, all cam lobes move only one valve.

All RB engines have belt driven cams and a cast iron block. All turbo models have an intercooled turbo (except the single cam RB20ET & RB30ET engines), and most have a recirculating factory blow off valve (except when fitted to Laurels and Cefiros) to reduce boost surge when the throttle is closed.

Some sources indicate the ‘RB’ name stands for ‘Race Bred’, although this is disputed. The Nissan RB Engine is actually derived from the 4 cylinder Nissan CA engine.

Some of RB applications are:

  • Nissan Skyline GT-R R32
  • Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
  • Nissan Skyline GT-R R34
  • Nissan Stagea 260RS

The straight-6 (also inline-6, I-6, or I6) is an internal combustion engine with six cylinders aligned in a single row. The name slant-6 is sometimes used when the cylinders are at an angle from the vertical.


Straight-6 engines have perfect primary and secondary balance and require no balance shaft.

Usually a straight-6 was used for engine displacements between about 2.5 and 4.0 L. It was also sometimes used for smaller engines but these, although very smooth running, tended to be rather expensive to manufacture and they where inevitably physically longer than alternative layouts.

The smallest production straight-6 was found in the Benelli 750 Sei motorcycle, displacing 747.7 cc (0.75 L / 45.6 cu in). The largest are used to power ships and have displacements of 1,000 L or more.
Straight-6 engines were historically more common than V6s, mainly because the length of such engines was not such a concern in rear wheel drive vehicles but also because V6s (unlike the crossplane V8) were difficult to make smooth-running.

The widespread use of front-wheel-drive and transverse (“east-west”) engine configurations in smaller cars saw that the shorter engine length of the V6 became highly desirable, and these days most six-cylinder engines are made in the V configuration

The Nissan RD engine series is substantially similar in design to the Nissan RB engine series, except that it is a diesel engine. It is a single overhead cam engine with electronic fuel injection. These engines are usually found in the Nissan Laurel with a displacement of 2.8 L.

RD engine owners have been known to replace the cylinder head with a higher quality custom head to convert the engine to petrol, thus creating a 2.8 L petrol engine.

The Nissan P engine is a large, inline six-cylinder engine manufactured by Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd. from 1968 to 1983 and used in light-duty trucks by Nissan, as well as the Nissan Patrol.
Some of P applications are:
Nissan Cabstar
Nissan Patrol

The Nissan S20 engine (1998 cc) was a straight-6, DOHC internal combustion engine produced by Nissan in the 1970s. It was essentially the same as the 1966 Nissan Prince (Skyline) GR8 engine of Nissan’s R380 racecar. It produces 160 hp @7000 rpm and 180 Nm.

The Nissan H series of automobile engines was an evolution of the Prince/Nissan G-series used in the 1960s.

Nissan engine

Both straight-4 and straight-6 versions were produced, and all but the Datsun Sports version were pushrod engines, unlike some of their predecessors.
Some of L applications are:

  • 1966 Datsun Junior 41
  • 1966 Datsun Caball C142
  • 1967 Datsun Caball C240
  • 1968 Datsun Junior 140
  • Datsun Clipper T65
  • 1965 Nissan Cedric P130

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 1968 through 1983. This was the engine of the Datsun 240Z sports car as well as the Datsun 510 and the first Nissan Maxima. It was a 2-valve per cylinder SOHC non-crossflow engine, with an iron block & an aluminium head.
Some of L applications are:

  • Datsun 280Z
  • Nissan Cedric 330
  • Nissan Gloria 330
  • Nissan Laurel C130 and C230
  • Nissan Civilian W40 and W41
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Carl Wilson

Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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