Nissan HR12DE

Nissan HR12DE engineThe Nissan HR12DE is a 1.2 l (1,198 cc, 73.11 cu-in) straight three, four-stroke naturally aspirated internal combustion gasoline engine from Nissan HR family.

The HR12DE has a cast aluminum engine block with four main bearings and aluminum DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) cylinder head with four valves per cylinder. This motor is equipped with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), multi-point fuel injection system and electronic, distributor less type ignition system with individual ignition coil for each cylinder.

Cylinder bore is 78.0 mm (3.07 in) and piston stroke is 83.6 mm (3.29 in), compression ratio rating is 10.7:1 or 12:1. The Nissan HR12DE producted from 78.9 PS (58 KW; 77.8 HP) at 5,600 rpm to 84.3 PS (62 KW; 83.1 HP) at 6,000 rpm of horsepower and from 103 Nm (10.5 kg·m; 76.0 ft·lb) at 5,200 rpm to 110 Nm (11.2 kg·m; 81.2 ft·lb) at 4,000 rpm of torque.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • HR – Engine Family
  • 12 – 1.2 Liter Displacement
  • D – DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts)
  • E – Electronic Port Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeHR12DE
LayoutFour stroke, Inline-3 (Straight-3)
Fuel typeGasoline
Displacement1.2 L, 1,198 cm3 (73.11 cu in)
Fuel systemMulti-point fuel injection system
Power adderNone
Power output 78.9 PS (58 KW; 77.8 HP) at 5,600 rpm
78.9 PS (58 KW; 77.8 HP) at 6,000 rpm
80.2 PS (59 KW; 79.1 HP) at 6,000 rpm
84.3 PS (62 KW; 83.1 HP) at 6,000 rpm
Torque output 103 Nm (10.5 kg·m; 76.0 ft·lb) at 5,200 rpm
106 Nm (10.8 kg·m; 78.2 ft·lb) at 4,400 rpm
108 Nm (11.0 kg·m; 79.7 ft·lb) at 4,400 rpm
110 Nm (11.2 kg·m; 81.2 ft·lb) at 4,000 rpm
Firing order1-3-2
Dimensions (L x H x W):

Cylinder block

The HR12DE has an aluminum cylinder block with four bearing support system. Cylinders in the Nissan HR12DE engines are fitted at an offset to minimize friction arising from the angle of the connecting rod as a piston descends into the cylinder. The engine has cracking-processed connecting rods. Each piston is equipped with two compression and single oil control ring. The crankshaft and camshaft journals are finished with a polishing tape to produce a mirror-like finish.

Cylinder block (after 2006)
Cylinder block alloyAluminium
Compression ratio:10.7:1 or 12.0:1 (Depends on vehicle model)
Cylinder bore:78.0 mm (3.071 in)
Piston stroke:83.6 mm (3.291 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:4
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):78.000-78.015 mm (3.0709-3.0715 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):77.965-77.980 mm (3.0695-3.0701 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:18.996-19.002 mm (0.7479-0.7481 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top0.040-0.080 mm (0.0016-0.0031 in)
Second0.030-0.070 mm (0.0012-0.0028 in)
Oil0.045-0.125 mm (0.0018-0.0049 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top0.20-0.30 mm (0.0079-0.0118 in)
Second0.35-0.50 mm (0.0138-0.0197 in)
Oil0.20-0.60 mm (0.0079-0.0236 in)
Connecting rod center distance:129.84-129.94 mm (5.1118-5.1157 in)
Crankshaft journal diameter:47.979-47.978 mm (1.8889-1.8889 in)
Crankpin diameter:39.971-39.970 mm (1.5737-1.5736 in)

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of strong, light aluminum alloy which gives it good cooling efficiency. The HR12DE has variable valve timing system (C-VTC) on the intake camshaft. Intake valves are 31.0 mm (1.22 in) in diameter, intake duration is 228°, and the exhaust valves are 25.5 mm (1.00 in), exhaust duration is 208°. The HR16DE does not have hydraulic lifters, so special valve lifters are used to adjust the valve clearance.

Cylinder head (after 2006)
Valve Arrangement:DOHC, chain drive
Cylinder head height:125.0 mm (4.92 in)
Valves:12 (4 valves per cylinder)
Valve timing:INTAKE228°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE31.0-31.3 mm (1.220-1.232 in)
EXHAUST25.3-25.6 mm (0.996-1.007 in)
Valve length:INTAKE101.73 mm (4.01 in)
EXHAUST102.49 mm (4.04 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE4.965-4.980 mm (0.1955-0.1961 in)
EXHAUST4.955-4.970 mm (0.1951-0.1957 in)
Valve spring free length:42.26 mm (1.6638 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE40.915-41.105 mm (1.6419-1.6494 in)
EXHAUST40.175-40.365 mm (1.5817-1.5892 in)
Outer camshaft journal diameter:№127.935-27.955 mm (1.0998-1.1006 in)
№2, 3, 424.950-24.970 mm (0.9823-0.9831 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 40 Nm; 4.1 kg·m; 30 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 60°
  • Step 3: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 4: 40 Nm; 4.1 kg·m; 30 ft·lb
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts 75°
  • Step 6: Turn all bolts another 75°

Camshaft sprocket bolt

  • 78.4 Nm; 8.0 kg·m; 58 ft-lb

Maintenance data

Valve clearance (HOT)
Intake valve0.304-0.416 mm (0.012-0.016 in)
Exhaust valve0.308-0.432 mm (0.012-0.017 in)
Compression pressure
Standard15.4 kg/m2 (15.1 bar, 219 psi) / 200 rpm
Minimun12.9 kg/m2 (12.7 bar, 183 psi) / 200 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders0.06 kg/m2 (0.06 bar, 0.9 psi) / 200 rpm
Oil system
Oil consumption , L/1000 km (qt. per miles)up to 0.5 (1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil5W-30
Oil type APISN
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 3.0 l (3.2 qt.)
Without filter change 2.8 l (3.0 qt.)
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Oil Pressure, kPa (bar, kg/cm 2, psi) Idle speed: More than 60 (0.6, 0.61, 9)
2,000 rpm: More than 270 (2.7, 2.8, 39)
Ignition system
Spark plug With ERG system: FXE20MR11 (DENSO)
Without ERG system: REA12MC4 (DENSO)
Spark plug gap1.1 mm (0.043 in)

Valve clearance adjustment data

Calculate the thickness of new adjusting valve lifter so valve clearance comes within specified values.

R = Thickness of removed valve lifter
N = Thickness of new valve lifter
M = Measured valve clearance

N = R + [M – 0.30 mm (0.012 in)]
N = R + [M – 0.33 mm (0.013 in)]

Valve lifters are available in 26 sizes range from 3.00 mm (0.1181 in) to 3.50 mm (0.1378 in), in steps of 0.02 mm (0.0008 in).

Example (intake valve):
R = 3.10 mm
M = 0.52 mm
N = 3.10 + (0.52 – 0.30) = 3.32 mm, so we need a valve lifter with identification mark 332.

Intake0.26-0.34 mm (0.010-0.013 in)0.304-0.416 mm (0.012-0.016 in)
Exhaust0.29-0.37 mm (0.011-0.015 in)0.308-0.432 mm (0.012-0.017 in)

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
Nissan Micra2010
Nissan Almera (Thailand)2010
Nissan Note2012
Datsun Go (India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa)2014
Datsun Go+ (Indonesia)2014
Nissan Serena e-Power (JDM)2018
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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  1. Extremely grateful for compiling this information. I have often come back here for small bits of elusive information.

  2. Hi I had replaced my HR12 engine however acceleration is not as good what could be problem. Used diagnostic no error errors were identified.

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