Nissan A12

Nissan A12The Nissan A12 is a 1.2 l (1,171 cc, 71.45 cu-in) four-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine from Nissan A-family. The engine was manufactured by Nissan Motor Company from 1970. In 1974 the A12 engine was redesigned.

The A12 motor uses a lightweight cast-iron block and an aluminum cylinder head, with overhead valves and a single camshaft. The engine was equipped with a two-barrel (twin-choke) Hitachi carburetor. Bore and stroke were 73.0 mm (2.87 in) and 70.0 mm (2.76 in), respectively. The compression ratio rating is 9.0:1. The A12 produced 71 PS (52.0 kW; 70.0 HP) of horsepower and 95 Nm (9.69 kg·m; 70.11 ft·lb) of torque.

For the 1974 model year, the A12 motor was modified, it used the new block style. The distributor was moved from the front side of the engine to the middle of the engine block to make room for an air conditioning system and anti-pollution air pump. Redesigned Nissan A12 engine used the new emission control technology, called NAPS (Nissan Anti Pollution System).

Special versions:

  • The A12GX was equipped with twin Hitachi side-draft carburetors and longer-duration camshaft. The compression ratio was 10:1 and maximum power was 84 PS (62 KW; 83 HP) at 6,400 rpm. The A12GX was used on Sunny 1200 GX (Sedans and Coupes) for the JDM market.
  • The A12T had identical specification with A12GX and was used on Nissan Cherry X-1.
  • The AY12 was a racing version of the A12 engine with 1,300 cc (79 cu in) of displacement, a crossflow cylinder head, a special design of pistons and a valve rocker system.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • A – Engine Family
  • 12 – 1.2 Liter Displacement
  • S – Carburetor type

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeA12
LayoutFour stroke, Inline-4 (Straight-4)
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
ProductionFrom 1971
Displacement1.2 L, 1,171 cc (71.45 cu in)
Fuel systemCarburetor type
Power adderNone
Power output71 PS (52.0 KW; 70.0 HP)
Torque output95 Nm (9.69 kg·m; 70.11 ft·lb)
Firing order1-3-4-2
Dimensions (L x W x H):

Cylinder block

The A12 has a cast-iron cylinder block utilizes a five bearing supported system. The cylinder bore is 73.0 mm (2.87 in) and stroke is 70.0 mm (2.76 in). The A12 engine has two compression and single oil control ring.

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyCast iron
Compression ratio:9.0:1
Cylinder bore:73.0 mm (2.87 in))
Piston stroke:70.0 mm (2.76 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:5
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):73.000-73.050 mm (2.8740-2.8760 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):72.967-72.017 mm (2.8727-2.8747 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:17.447-17.452 mm (0.6869-0.6871 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.040-0.070 mm (0.0016-0.0028 in)
Second0.040-0.070 mm (0.0016-0.0028 in)
Oil0.10 mm (0.0039 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.20-0.35 mm (0.0079-0.0138 in)
Second0.20-0.35 mm (0.0079-0.0138 in)
Oil0.30-0.90 mm (0.0118-0.0354 in)
Crankshaft journal diameter:49.943-49.964 mm (1.9663-1.9671 in)
Crankpin diameter:44.954-44.974 mm (1.7698-1.7706 in)
Connecting rod center distance:121.5 mm (4.78 in)

Cylinder head

The valve system has a push rod type rocker arm which uses the single type valve springs. The camshaft is driven with a double row roller chain from the crankshaft. The tension of the chain is controlled by the chain tensioner which is operated with spring and oil pressure. The rubber shoe type tensioner insulates vibration of the chain and controls the tension of the chain.

Intake valves are 35.0 mm (1.378 in) in diameter, and the exhaust valves are 29.0 mm (1.142 in).

Cylinder head
Valve Arrangement:OHV, chain drive
Valves:8 (2 valves per cylinder)
Valve timing:INTAKE248°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE35.0 mm (1.378 in)
EXHAUST29.0 mm (1.142 in)
Valve length:INTAKE102.35-102.65 mm (4.030-4.031 in)
EXHAUST102.35-102.65 mm (4.030-4.031 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE7.960-7.975 mm (0.3134-0.3140 in)
EXHAUST7.945-7.960 mm (0.3128-0.3134 in)
Valve spring free length:46.5 mm (1.831)
Cam height:INTAKE36.200-36.250 mm (1.4252-1.4272 in)
EXHAUST36.200-36.250 mm (1.4252-1.4272 in)
Outer camshaft journal diameter:№143.783-43.796 mm (1.7237-1.7242 in)
№242.283-43.296 mm (1.6647-1.7046 in)
№342.783-42.796 mm (1.6844-1.6849 in)
№442.283-42.296 mm (1.6647-1.6652 in)
№541.208-41.221 mm (1.6224-1.6229 in)

Maintenance data

Valve clearance (Cold)
Intake valve0.25 mm (0.0098 in)
Exhaust valve
Valve clearance (Hot)
Intake valve0.35 mm (0.0138 in)
Exhaust valve
Compression pressure
Standard13.5 kg/m2 (192 psi) / 350 rpm
Minimun12.5 kg/m2 (178 psi) / 350 rpm
Oil system
Oil consumption , L/1000 km (qt. per miles)up to 0.5 (1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-30, 10W-40
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With oil filter 3.3 l (3.5 qt.)
Without oil filter 2.8 l (3.0 qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Ignition system
Ignition coilNGK: BP4ES; HITACHI: L47PW
Spark plug gap0.8 – 0.9 mm (0.031 – 0.035 in)

Tightening torque specs

Tightening torque specs
Cylinder head bolt69-74 Nm; 7.0-7.5 kg·m; 51-54 ft·lb
Rocker shaft bracket bolt20-25 Nm; 2.0-2.5 kg·m; 14-18 ft·lb
Connecting rod big end nut32-38 Nm; 3.2-3.8 kg·m; 23-37 ft·lb
Flywheel bolt80-90 Nm; 8.0-9.0 kg·m; 58-65 ft·lb
Drive plate fixing bolt85-95 Nm; 8.5-9.5 kg·m; 61-69 ft·lb
Main bearing cap bolt50-60 Nm; 5.0-6.0 kg·m; 36-43 ft·lb
Camshaft sprocket bolt40-48 Nm; 4.0-4.8 kg·m; 29-35 ft·lb
Oil pan bolt15-20 Nm; 1.5-2.0 kg·m; 11-14 ft·lb
Oil strainer bolt9-14 Nm; 0.9-1.4 kg·m; 7-10 ft·lb
Oil pump bolt9-14 Nm; 0.9-1.4 kg·m; 7-10 ft·lb
Oil pan drain plug20-30 Nm; 2.0-3.0 kg·m; 14-22 ft·lb
Locating plate bolt4-5 Nm; 0.4-0.5 kg·m; 3-4 ft·lb
Carbutetor nuts5-7 Nm; 0.5-0.7 kg·m; 4-5 ft·lb
Manifold nuts15-20 Nm; 1.5-2.0 kg·m; 11-14 ft·lb
Fuel pump nuts9-14 Nm; 0.9-1.4 kg·m; 6.5-10 ft·lb
Crank pulley bolt150-200 Nm; 15-20 kg·m; 108-145 ft·lb
Engine mounting bolt19-25 Nm; 1.9-2.5 kg·m; 14-18 ft·lb
Water pump bolt9-14 Nm; 0.9-1.4 kg·m; 6.5-10 ft·lb
Rocker pivot lock nut16-22 Nm; 1.6-2.2 kg·m; 12-16 ft·lb
Timing chain cover bolt5-7 Nm; 0.5-0.7 kg·m; 4-5 ft·lb
Spark plug15-20 Nm; 1.5-2.0 kg·m; 11-14 ft·lb

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
Nissan Sunny (B110, B120)1971–1973
Nissan Cherry (E10)1971–1973
Datsun 120A1971–1973
Nissan 270X concept1970
Premier 118NE (Fiat 124)1985-2001
Nissan Sunny (B210)1974–1978
Datsun 120Y1974–1978
Nissan Cherry (E10)1974–1976
Datsun 120A1974–1976
Nissan Sunny (B310)1978-1982
Datsun 120Y1978-1982
Nissan Sunny Truck1974–1995
Nissan Pulsar (N10)1978–1982
Nissan Cherry (N10)1978–1982
Datsun 120A1978–1982
Nissan Vanette (C120)1978–1988
Premier 118NE
Author: Sergei Wers
About: Co-founder and CEO of a multi-brand auto repair shop (engine repair, chassis repair, body repair and painting) for over 15 years. I have been developing internet sites with technical specifications for more than seven years.

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