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710 transmission change

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I have a 75 710 wagon with a manual 4 speed. I recently got the motor rebuilt with camshaft and duel side drafts. Now the problem is highway speeds. I noticed that at around 65 Mph it is running around 3500 RPM. I'm looking to change to a 5 speed to help with the high RPMs and with longer distance runs.


Are there certain years that will mount in with no fab work? If not, to what extent would another transmission need to be altered and are there better years and other models to look out for?  thank you for your help in advance. 

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You just need an L tranny that is the same length. I believe the 610's and 710's used the long tranny's. ZX tranny should swap in I think


Mike will know for sure, but he is driving the long way home from Canby.

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Thank you. I do have someone that has a dog lag 5 speed out of a 77 260Z. Is this a possible option?  

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Scratch what I said.. the 710 is a short tranny.. long automatic. I was thinking 810.


Look at this post from a few years ago has all the info you need. Posted by someone and corrected by Mike.


link for reference (Has some photos): http://community.ratsun.net/topic/29325-5-speed-for-l16/



Relevant post:


Sry, you caught me while i was researching 5 speeds.... i have a 620 with a fs5w71b.... from what ive read so far i dont see why it wouldnt

There are 2 types of tranny's...the short tail and the long tail...
A "dogleg" five speed from a 200sx will bolt right in but they are weak... Weak compared to the stronger trannys above it, but stronger than the 4 speed it's replacing.
A 280zx trans will require shortening the driveline...
here's some more info that was posted elsewhere:

521 (all) : Short transmission with flanged output 

620 (72-73): Short transmission with sleeved output 

(everything else below has sleeved output) 

620 (74-79): Long transmission; 5-speed optional starting in '77 

720 (80): Long transmission 

720 (81-86) NAPS-Z type long transmission except 83+ 4X4 used a married transfer case. All 720s used a T-100 divorced transfer case. There were short (26") and long (31.5") 720 transmissions used. 


240Z: Long transission; early 70 models had a dealer-option 5-speed that was very weak. Not particularly weak, it was the same one used in the earlier Roadster with an L bell fitted.

260Z: Long transmission, 4-speed only 

280Z: Long transmission, 5-speed optional starting in '77 

280ZX Non-Turbo: Long 5-speed 

280ZX Turbo: '82-83 had Borg-Warner T5 which is unlike any other Datsun transmission and longer

510, 610, 710, 200SX through 1979: Short transmission. Starting in '77 the "dogleg" 5-speed was optional except in the 200SX where it was standard. The 610 had a long four speed and automatic. 710s had a long automatic.

200SX (80-83): Long-tail NAPS-Z type 5-speed 

510 (80-81): short-type NAPS-Z 4 and 5-speeds, some 5-speeds were doglegs and some were 210 type 5-speeds that were far too weak for the Z20S. The HL510 (A-10) had short L series and Z series 4 speeds and there was an available 5 speed dogleg (like the 200sx) in both L and Z series.

810/810 Maxima (through '84): Long tail transmission. Rumor has it some early (76-79) 810s had the short tranny but all I've seen were long. 5-speeds optional starting '77 and standard by '81. 810s were '77 and up and had long 4 speeds till '80. Five speeds were an option in '79 and '80 and only 5 speeds from '81 through '84.

Get a 1975-79 620 truck speedo cable...the 720 4x4 is longer still.[/code]
and more....
FS5C71A: The original Nissan production 5-speed, used on some Roadsters and early 1970 Z's. Similar in construction to the Nissan Competition gearbox as it had a removeable bellhousing. But wasn't the NISMO close-ratio type. Very rare.

FS5C63A: That's the L-series dogleg. Came in both L-series and NAPS-Z type front housings. The L-series ones are more common as the 200SX '77-79 had it almost in every car. The '77 710 and the '78-79 510 had it as an option on everything but the Wagon. The NAPS-Z version was only used as an option on '80-81 510s and was very uncommon. In '81 they even tried the 60L below. Bad move... That's the FS5W63A dogleg and was the only standard transmission on the '77-'79 200sx. The '77 710 did not have a dogleg option but it was an option on the HL510 (A-10)

FS5C60L: Another dogleg, used on some late '81 510s but usually used on 210s (2 different cases, A-series and NAPS-Z). You do NOT want that tranny. Reason below. The '81 HL510 (A-10) had an optional FS5W63A dogleg 5spd as mentioned several lines up otherwise it has an F4W63 just like the early 510. Both 4 and 5 spds came in L and Z series. Any transmission marked with a C and not a W, is a competition box and not sold in any car.

FS5C56A: Close-ratio A-series 5-speed (used on B210s and some 210s but it is non-overdrive. I have one, if I ever get another B210 or a 1200. Or I'd trade for a L or Z series dogleg (63A). Only saving grace is it's close-ratio. It doesn't handle torque at all. Any transmission marked with an S is an overdrive 5 speed. This should read F5C56A.

FS5C71B: Used in the 280Z, ZX, and 620 and 720 trucks. Came in both the L-series and NAPS-Z type front cases. Again the C denotes Porsche steel synchro rings used only in competition boxes. The FS5W71B was used in the 280x and zx, 810/Maxima, late 620 and first year 720 with an L series bolt pattern. It did come with the NAPS Z series case but also with the SD, LD and CA case as well. 

FS5C71C: Used in 300ZXs and late 720s/early D21 (hardbodies). Came in VG-series front cases and NAPS-Z. Again the C denotes Porsche steel synchro rings used only in competition boxes. Should read FS5W71C. Was never used in the 720s. Used only on the non turbo 300zx.

Torque ratings for the various series transmissions (stolen from the Datsun 1200 page)

56A 4 speeds 105 ft/lbs
56A option boxes 120 ft/lb
60 series boxes 135 ft/lb
63 series boxes 175 ft/lb
71B series boxes 240 ft/lb
71C series boxes 300 ft/lb

You can see why you don't want the little doglegs on a monster engine. The Borg-Warner T-5 (used on '82-83 turbo 280ZXs) is good for even more (340+). The T-5 used in the turbo 280zx/300zx is not the 'World Class' Borg Warner like used in the Camaro and 5.0 Mustang. It's not that strong and when 300zx owners blow them up they swap in the FS5W71C.

The cases can only be swapped for like type transmissions- 63A to 63A or 71B to 71B. All Nissan transmissions were 2-part (front housing and extension housing) except the 71A and Comptetion boxes which were 3-piece (removeable bell). The FS5W71B case can be swapped onto the FS5W71C also.

]L-series transmissions: 
F4W63 (1967-1976). Used on the original 510, 521, 610, 620 (through '73 only), 710 (through '76). Identification: Bolt-on bottom plate and visable ribbing over the main gear case. Use threaded shift lever with 2 rubber cone bushings. Variants: 521 used output flange. All others used spline-sleeve. Short tail transmission. Wrong, the one used in the 610 was a long tail.

NOTE: Transmission also used on J-series and R-series engines with different bell pattern. 

F4W63L (1976-mid 80s). Used on Late (78-on) 510s, late 710s ('77). Identification: Bolt on bottom plate but SMOOTH main gear case. Uses same shifter as previous. Short Tail transmission. 


F4W70B (1969-73) 240Z 4-speed. Long tail transmission. F4W71A used until Aug. '71


F4W71B (1974-80s). 260Z, 280Z, 620 pickup from '74-on, 720 pickup to mid-year '83, 810/810 Maxima. Identification: pinned-type shift lever. Rear extension of transmission has bolt-on cover plate. Long Tail transmission. From Sept. '71 on the 240z and last used on the '79 280zx, on the 720s until Oct. '82, on the 810 through '80.


FS5W63A (1977-81) '77-79 200SX, '78-81 510. Identification: Dogleg shift pattern. Smooth rear case and NO bottom cover, pinned-type shifter. Short-tail transmission. Only a rare option on the HL510 (A-10)

Note: 5th gear overdrive. 

VARIANTS: '80-81 510 version was canted for NAPS-Z orientation. Also with a closer ratio gear set compared to the L

FS5W60L: '81 510, rare. Also dogleg, more common to 210s with a different bell. Very short (shorter than the short-tail). Never offered on the HL510 (A-10)


FS5C71A: (1968-70) Identification: Removeable bellhousing. Original production 5-speed, looks like the NISMO competition gearbox (it isn't one though). OD 5th. Used only in very early Z's. 

VARIANT: It's the roadster 5-speed with a U20/R series bell. 


FS5C71B: 1977-80. 280Z, 280ZX (non-Turbo), 810, 620/720 pickup trucks. Identification: Looks just like the 4-speed longtail except it doesn't have the extension housing cover plate. Has "71B" cast on it. Pin-type shifter. Longtail transmission, externally 100% swappable with the F4W71B. Again the C denotes Porsche steel synchro rings used only in competition boxes. This is the FS5W71B 5 speed. Came in two lengths in the 720 truck.

Note: Various gears, but 5th is always overdrive. 

Note 2: Never used on NAPS-Z. Yes it was, also on the Maxima LD28diesel, the SD diesel 720s, CA18ET 200sx, S110 200sx Z series.


FS5W71C (80-still in use) First introduced on the '83 300zx non turbo.

ID: Identical externally to 71B model except has "71C" cast on it. Used in 80-83 280ZX (non turbo), 810 Maxima. Never used on these cars. Is not identical to the 71B. The 71C has a totally different shifter and all models are longer.

Variants: NAPS-Z pattern on 80-83 200SX/81-86 720, 86-89 D21, KA pattern (same as NAPS-Z) on D21, Frontier, Pathfinder, Xterra, very common gearbox. Unfortunately the bell isn't removeable so an entire front housing has to be changed. Later versions and 4X4 versions have different extension housings. Only used on 4-cyl after 1983. Not used on the '80-'83 200sx or the 720. It was used well into the '90 with VG30 motors.


Borg-Warner T5 

1982-83 280ZX Turbo. Mid '82

ID: Huge. Shifter assembly bolts into an attachment box (linkage is internal). Output shaft not Datsun-sized. This is the Non-World Class (NWC) BW T-5.[/code]
and more:

L-series, NAPS-Z and CA20 gearbox ratios

Notice that there are a few basic groupings of gear ratio sets. 

The '77-'79 200sx/HL510 tranny uses stock 510 sedan 4-speed ratios with an OD. The '77-'79 200sx/HL510 tranny is the dogleg 5-speed with reverse-above-1st gear pattern, same length as stock 4-speed so no driveshaft shortening needed to swap. This is a well spaced gearset but the OD gear could stand to be slightly taller. The dogleg is only a rare optional 5 speed on the HL510 (A-10)

The Z22E 7/81-9/83 200sx and the truck #1 (plus an overdrive) are same as the late 240 and 280Z 4-speed ratios. Ratios not particularly well spaced. NAPS-Z tranny can be bolted to a L-series engine but the shifter will be angled toward passenger, bend lever to compensate or swap on a Z/ZX bellhousing. Also the late 620/ '80 720 and the Maxima front case will work. A 4 speed case will work if the reverse light switch is moved.

The 280Z 5-speed ratios are largely "re-used" for the Maxima, 6/79-6/81 200sx w/ Z20e, nismo wide ratio, truck #2. Ratios are poorly spaced. The 11/84-2/86 200sx w/ CA20 is very similar except it has much better gear ratio for 2nd that closes the huge 2nd-3rd hole in the 280Z pattern. For use with an L-series, a 280Z/ZX style bellhousing must be swaped onto the CA20 tranny case and bellhousing modified to match with larger diameter CA20 shifter rods, and use smaller OD 280zx jackshaft bearing. Only the 1st /2nd shift rod hole needs to be enlarged.

The roadster, 280ZX and nismo close ratio gearsets are fairly similar. 1st gear on these trannys is too tall for stock 3.9:1 510 differential, street starting acceleration suffer. Otherwize, nicely spaced ratios except for the too-tall .745 ZX 5th gear. The 1980 ZX gearbox has slightly shorter 5th gear and would be prefered. This is why you would run a 4:11 or 4:375 differential with a 0.745 OD.

'83-10/'84 200sx w/CA20 and the truck # 3 use same ratios. This is often touted as the best gearsets for a 4-cylinder 510. Very low 1st gear for fast starting acceleration and smooth progression of jumps between ratios. For use with an L-series, a 280Z/ZX style bellhousing must be swaped onto the CA20 tranny case and bellhousing modified to match with larger diameter CA20 shifter rods, and use smaller OD 280zx jackshaft bearing. Sorry, I dont know what years/models of trucks corrospond to truck #1, #2, #3 gearset

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Thank you. I do have someone that has a dog lag 5 speed out of a 77 260Z. Is this a possible option?  


260z is long, and yours is short. So it's not an option, unless you want to do some driveshaft work, or unless this was a short tranny to begin with.

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datzenmike stopped by my place this morning on his way home from Canby. I got the feeling it will be the end of the week before he is back home. You may need to bump this thread up again at the end of the weekend so he sees it.


We were talking about installing 5-speeds and the need for modifying tranny cross members. I'm almost sure he said he had to cut and weld the cross member in his 710 goon when he put in a 5-speed. I believe the tranny case or at least the tail shaft section is fatter on a 5-speed than a 4-speed so the cross member needs to be dropped about an inch. I think this is true for both short and long tail trannies. But my experience is with 510s, not 710s. datzenmike will know for sure.


A long tail 5-speed from a 280Z or a truck is going to be easier to find and stronger than a short dogleg. Since you are running dual side drafts and cam that is a consideration. So you are probably looking at both having your driveshaft shortened and modifying or spacing down your cross member. Probably more work than you wanted to do but likely worth it in the long run.



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Thanks for the info LenRobertson. I will bump it up at the end of the week so he can give his input. 

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Hi Len!! I'm in Calgary... good trip everything ran much quieter. Thanks for the loan of those wrenches (and breakfast)




All L series 71B 5 speeds were 'long' @ 31.5". Your 710 4 speed is 26". The 710 automatic is also 31.5" long.


Get a 71B 5 speed from a '77-'78 620 or the '77-'78 280z or the '78-'80 (810) or the '81-'84 Maxima. These are mid ratio and perfect for an 4 cylinder car. Now find a 710 automatic driveshaft and you are almost done. You will need to modify the trans mount cross member... I sectioned mine and dropped the mount area about 4". If you don't lower the mount the trans will stick up into the tunnel.


Be sure to use the 710 release collar that is currently in your 4 speed. DO NOT use any collar that comes with the 5 speed. Replace the release bearing ($15) with a new one, and replace the pilot bushing ($3) in the crank. Put a new rear seal ($5) in the 5 speed




The '80 only 720 2wd (not the 4x4) and the '79 620 5 speed will also work but they are wide ratio and wouldn't be my first choice.


The '80-'83 280zx 5 speed will also work but these had an extreme 25% over drive which would be worthless for anything below highway speeds. It may also be hard to use if driving into the wind or if climbing a lot of hills. Any of the other 5 speeds listed have a 12-15 % OD and will still give a better response and mileage.


This year so far my mileage (all highway driving) is 27.27 MPG US lowest, for a tank and 29 MPG the highest. This is with a 4.11 differential and a 112 main jet. Last year it was 27/28 average with a 99 or 100 main jet.


The 4 speed speedometer cable will fit if you unclip it and pull it all out into the engine compartment. Now pass it down behind the engine and diagonally over the transmission to the right side and plug it in. I did it with mine so you should be able too. You will need to find a speedometer drive pinion that marches the number of teeth as the one in your 4 speed. No the 4 speed one won't work in the 71B. This will keep your speedometer stock accurate.


The 5 speed shifter fit the hole close enough, I haven't trimmed anything.

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WOW, definitely not a drop in move. I will begin looking for a trans that I will be able to work with. Thank you for your input on this! 


Kind of random, but since you also have a 710 wagon, what do you think is a good red line number to be safe? I researched and everyone is saying something different. I do have the duel side draft carbs with headers, but I am more worried about the internal parts. I usually am just cruising around town, but every so often I will get on it and wondered what is a safe RPM. I don't go over 5000 currently but don't know if 5500 or 6000 is safe?  

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The stock 710 tach is red lined at 7k. It's yellow at 6,500.  A good rule of thumb for stock engine components to calculate engine 'red line' is RPM X stroke in inches divide by 6. Answer must be below 4,000. Four thousand is the speed (in feet per minute) at which the steel rods and bolts stretch to failing point. The G forces are in the thousands as these parts are going up and down 100 times a second


L20B is 86mm or 3.38" so 7000 x 3.38" / 6  = 3,940


Close enough




Now if you want to replace the rods and bolts with 'stronger' titanium or exotic forged aluminum alloys you can raise the 'red line' higher.

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Be sure to use the 710 release collar that is currently in your 4 speed. DO NOT use any collar that comes with the 5 speed. Replace the release bearing ($15) with a new one, and replace the pilot bushing ($3) in the crank. Put a new rear seal ($5) in the 5 speed

Putting a 78 280z 5 speed into my 710 auto, is there any release collar that I can use from either of the transmissions or do I need to source a new one? From what I gathered, I should be able to use the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate from the 5 speed on my L20. Is that correct?

Also, not sure if someone knows, being that the 710 auto is long, does the cross member still need to be modified?


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The '78 280z clutch master/slave with flex line, flywheel, clutch assembly and transmission, if swapped all together should work just fine. You will need to modify the 720 trans mount and find some pedals. You can make your own hard line from master to slave flex line by using a suitable length pre made brake line. (the 280z one may fit) A pilot bushing ($4) will need to be tapped into the end of the crankshaft for the leading edge of the transmission to fit into. Replace the release bearing with a new one so you don't have to take everything apart again in 3 months because it starts growling. Don't cheap out on this, you want it to last, it's too much work to get at to replace. Put a new output seal in the tail. They are only $5 and easier to do while the transmission is out than climbing under the car to do it.



Make sure when you remove the automatic flex plate that you pry off the small adaptor plate covering the end of the crankshaft. << IMPORTANT >> that it is removed, does not belong on there with a flywheel.



The '78 should have the mid ratio gears same as the zx 5 speed I have. Good spread of gears and about 13% over drive

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Thanks for the response Mike. So if I use the clutch assembly from the 280z, I am okay to use the release collar from the 280z? I guess I am interested in learning the logic when it is okay to use the release collar from the new transmission and when you should reuse your old one (like with the OP)

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The release bearing collar is intimately mated to the clutch assembly and has zero to do with the transmission used. You could use any L series transmission behind that 280z flywheel, clutch/pressure plate and release bearing collar.


As long as that 280z flywheel, clutch and bearing housing is a working matched set it will do the same on an L20B, and naturally it will work with that 5 speed..

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