Nissan J15

Nissan J15The Nissan J15 is a carbureted 1.5 liter (1,483 cc, 90.5 straight-four, four-stroke cycle gasoline from Nissan J-family. The J15 engine was producted since 1969 to 1980s.

The J15 is a bored-out version of the Nissan J13. The Nissan J15 engine has a deep skirt, cast-iron cylinder block with cast-iron cylinders and cast iron head with bathtub type combustion chambers. It has an OHV type valve mechanism and 8 valves (2 per cylinder).

The J15 engine has a 78 mm (3.07 in) cylinder bore and 77.6 mm (3.06 in) piston stroke with a compression ratio of 8.3:1. The J15 produced 77 PS (57 kW; 76 HP) of horsepower.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • J – Engine Family
  • 15 – 1.5 Liter Displacement

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine code J15
Layout Four stroke, Inline-4 (Straight-4)
Fuel type Gasoline
Production 1969-1980s
Displacement 1.5 L, 1,483 cc (90.5 cu in)
Fuel system Carburetor
Power adder None
Max. horsepower 77 PS (57 kW; 76 HP)
Max. torque
Firing order 1-3-4-2
Dimensions (L x H x W):

Cylinder block

The crankshaft of the J15 engine is a fully counterbalanced, three bearing type designed to turn out smooth, dependable power. Water is forced through the water jackets to deprive the cylinders of unwanted combustion heat. The crankshaft is of special steel forging with three main bearing journals. To provide balance, four counter-balance weights arc provided just opposite the cranks. The main bearing journals and connecting rod journals are cases hardened and finished to extreme smoothness for increased wear resistance.

The pistons are made of aluminum alloy casting. The pistons are each fitted with two compression rings and a single oil ring. The piston pin is a full floating fit to the piston while it is press-fitted to the connecting rod small end. The connecting rod is a special steel forging.

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloy Cast iron
Compression ratio: 8.3:1
Cylinder bore: 78 mm (3.07 in)
Piston stroke: 77.6 mm (3.06 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil): 2 / 1
Number of main bearings: 3
Cylinder inner diameter (standard): 77.950-78.000 mm (3.0689-3.0709 in)
Piston pin outer diameter: 20.993-20.998 mm (0.8265-0.8267 in)
Piston pin hole diameter: 21.001-21.008 mm (0.8268-0.8271 in)
Piston diameter: 77.935-77.985 mm (3.0683-3.0763 in)
Piston ring side clearance: Top 0.036-0.076 mm (0.0014-0.0030 in)
Second 0.036-0.076 mm (0.0014-0.0030 in)
Piston ring end gap: Top 0.20-0.35 mm (0.079-0.138 in)
Second 0.14-0.33 mm (0.055-0.130 in)
Oil 0.30-0.90 mm (0.0118-0.0354 in)
Connecting rod center distance: 142.67 mm (5.617 in)
Crankshaft journal diameter: 50.813-50.825 mm (2.0005-2.0010 in)
Crankpin diameter: 47.640-47.652 mm (1.8756-1.8761 in)
Crankshaft center distance: 38.8 mm (1.528 in)

Cylinder head

The cylinder head is made of steel casting. It contains bathtub type combustion chambers. A special sintered alloy valve seat is installed on the exhaust valve. It is press-fitted.

The camshaft is of special steel casting and is supported by three main bearings. The cam lobes are case hardened and finished to extreme smoothness for increased wear resistance. The rocker shaft is made of carbon steel: it is also case hardened for increased durability. The valve train consists of the camshaft, push rod, valve rocker arm, and valve; motion is transmitted through these four parts in the order listed. The valve spring is of double spring type, inner and outer.

Cylinder head
Valve Arrangement: SOHV, chain drive
Valves: 8 (2 valves per cylinder)
Intake/Exhaust duration: 252°/252°
Valve head diameter: INTAKE 37.8-38.0 mm (1.488-1.496 in)
EXHAUST 31.9-32.1 mm (1.256-1.264 in)
Valve length: INTAKE 109.35-109.65 mm (4.3051-4.3169 in)
EXHAUST 109.35-109.65 mm (4.3051-4.3169 in)
Valve stem diameter: INTAKE 8.680-8.693 mm (0.3417-0.3422 in)
EXHAUST 8.680-8.693 mm (0.3417-0.3422 in)
Valve spring length
(Double spring type):
OUTER 52.0 mm (2.047 in)
INNER 50.0 mm (1.969 in)
Valve spring length
(Single spring type):
47.1 mm (1.854 in)
Camshaft journal diameter FRONT 45.434-45.447 mm (1.7887-1.7892 in)
CENTER 43.897-43.910 mm (1.7282-1.7287 in)
REAR 41.218-41.231 mm (1.6228-1.6233 in)
Camshaft lobe height: 37.605-37.650 mm (1.4805-1.4823 in)

Tightening torque specs

Tightening torque specs
Cylinder head stud nut 50-60 Nm; 5.0-6.0 kg·m; 36-43 ft·lb
Rocker shaft bracket bolt 20-30 Nm; 2.0-3.0 kg·m; 14-22 ft·lb
Connecting rod big end nut 28-35 Nm; 2.8-3.5 kg·m; 20-25 ft·lb
Flywheel fixing bolt 40-50 Nm; 4.0-5.0 kg·m; 29-36 ft·lb
Main bearings cap bolts 100-110 Nm; 11.0-11.0 kg·m; 72-80 ft·lb
Camshaft sprocket bolts 40-50 Nm; 4.0-5.0 kg·m; 29-36 ft·lb
Oil pan bolts 5-10 Nm; 0.5-1.0 kg·m; 3.6-7.2 ft·lb
Oil pump bolts 12-18 Nm; 1.2-1.8 kg·m; 3.6-7.2 ft·lb
Oil pan drain plug 20-30 Nm; 2.0-3.0 kg·m; 14.5-21.7 ft·lb
Carburetor nuts 8-12 Nm; 0.8-1.2 kg·m; 5.8-8.7 ft·lb
Manifold nuts 17-23 Nm; 1.7-2.3 kg·m; 12-17 ft·lb
Fuel pump nuts 12-18 Nm; 1.2-1.8 kg·m; 8.7-13.0 ft·lb
Crank pulley bolt 12-14 Nm; 1.2-1.4 kg·m; 8.7-10.1 ft·lb
Water pump bolts 12-18 Nm; 1.2-1.8 kg·m; 8.7-13.0 ft·lb
Oil filter bolts 16-24 Nm; 1.6-2.4 kg·m; 12-17 ft·lb
Side cover bolts 4-8 Nm; 0.4-0.8 kg·m; 2.9-5.8 ft·lb

Maintenance data

Valve clearance (HOT)
Intake valve 0.35 mm (0.0138 in)
Exhaust valve 0.35 mm (0.0138 in)
Compression pressure
Standard 12.0 kg/cm2 (11.77 bar, 171 psi) / 350 rpm
Minimun 9.0 kg/cm2 (8.83 bar, 128 psi) / 250 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
Oil type API SE
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 4.4 l
Without filter change 3.4 l
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Ignition system
Ignition timing (B.T.D.C./rpm) 6°/600 rpm
Spark plug NGK: B4ES
Spark plug gap 0.8-0.9 mm (0.03 -0.035 in)
Spark plug tightening torque 15-20 Nm; 1.5-2.0 kg·m; 11-14 ft·lb

Vehicle applications

Model Years Produced
Datsun 521 1969
Datsun Cabstar PA321
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  1. The J15 i have is not over head cam and has only 2 valves per cylinder. Are there two versions?

    • You are absolutely right, it is my mistake. All J series engines have OHV desing and 2 valves per cylinder. Thank you for your comment.

  2. I have a J15 motor in my Nissan Forklift that’s getting very tired. I picked up a good (hopefully) J15 motor from a local heavy equipment yard. I cleaned it up and got looking at both motors. The motor mount bracket is on the front of the forklift motor and the motor mount bracket is more towards the middle of the motor I picked up. I’m beginning to wonder of these motors aren’t interchangeable.There are other difference like the front timing cover and misc brackets. I was hoping to just swap the parts from my old motor to my new motor. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  3. Can anyone give tell me spark plugs & gap for J15 converted forma gas to LP? It is a forklift & always starts hard.

  4. I have a 1483cc motor is there a TDC and If so how to set it to replace cylinder head gasket.? What is the procedure for this project. Thank you.

  5. Hi, I have a 1977 Datsun Pickup with the J15 Engine.
    Could anyone tell me what the Flap on the bottom of the Exhaust Manifold does?
    Kind regards… Frank

  6. Здравствуйте,Есть у кого нибудь видел код авто с j15? Немогу запчасти заказать

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