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J series to L series Swap


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Hi Guys,

Here in New Zealand we got the trusty old J15 standard in our 620 utes, but I see in the US you were lucky enough to have L16/L18 as standard.

Question I'm asking, has anyone done a J to L swap ( even on something other than a 620), I've seen little snippets here and there saying the gearboxes are potentially similar, so in that case, it should be a fairly simple swap (may not have to mod d/shaft etc).

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We even had L20Bs from '75-'79 too.


The 520 came with J13s in them. I think it was lightly discussed putting an L motor in one. For one thing the position of the motor mount on the frame is different so just dropping an L motor and m/mounts onto it wont fit If I remember correctly. As for tranny you would need an L transmission with your L motor. How long is the J13 tranny and what kind is it?

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mike, does the 620 have a removable crossmember? If so just obtain one from north america and send it to NZ.


sparkle, if your transmission is 26.3 inch from front face to rear, it is the "shorty" aka "stumpy". If you have a longer one no worries. Both lengths can be found for the L-series engine.

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I am swapping J13 to a L20B automatic trans in my 1966 520. Linl to my build is in my signature. Please feel free to ask any and all questions, I am not an expert as I do have to redo some things as I go but that is where the fun is figuring out what does and does not work. I am also open to suggestions on better ways of doing things also. I like to learn.

Merry Christmas if you celebrate it where you are.

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Another option for you might be the British B-series 1800. They came in all sorts of British cars, like the MGB. I imagine you got British stuff, right? It very well could be a direct match for your J as the J was based on the british B engine. I even think the motor mounts are in the some place. (Though I have seen j18 with two mount locations (on the same block). One mid block (later location) and one up by the front cover, which is the normal British location. And British guys will even take the Head off a J and put in on the engine in their cars.


Heck you might even get a 5 bearing main B-series 1800. And there are no shortage of performance mods out there for British engines.


Maybe you can track down a J16 from Japan? Or a J18 from mexico. (I dream of that one!)


I've been pondering these things for my '59 in the event I ever want to swap in a new engine. (The 59 has a C engine, which evolved into the E1 engine (Not the 80's E), which evolved into your J-engine.The J18 was the end of the line for Nissans British clones. And may have even been a 5 bearing main. (Others are 3.)


I have no idea about transmision swaps though, but know a lot of British guys adapt 5speed Datsun transmissions to their british b-series engines. I think they even use the L but can't remember. There are even kits out there to do it. So in theory, if the blocks are the same, you should be able to use the same adapters?


If you do go down this route, keep us posted!!

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