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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

KA Engine Swap

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Categories: Engine Modifications | Engine Swaps | Nissan Engines

At 2.4 liters, the KA24E or KA24DE engine is the largest widely available Nissan 4-cylinder engine (except for the newer QR25DE Engine). Not only is it larger, but has the best flowing (stock) head compared to L20B or Z20/Z22/Z24 -- it makes more HP right from the factory. It has either 4-valve heads (KA24DE) or 3-valve heads (KA24). In many countries, it is readily available and inexpensive coming out of Nissan pickups and Nissan 240SX (USA silvia S13 & S14). It will make a Datsun 1200 into a quick accelerator.



KA24E in Datsun 1200 = 14.0 second 1/4 mile
1830.jpgAlbum 1830

The main downside of a KA swap is that it is fairly heavy -- as heavy as an L-series engine (the KA24 is based on the L-series engines). Club members have swapped this into their 1200s with good success, reporting 14.0 second 1/4s with a stock motor (see discussion). Reportedly, a stock KA24DE can handle a fair amount of turbocharger boost, 250-300 hp without modifying the stock engine internals. The SR20DET or CA18DET can be similar modifed to a higher HP level. So the KA is a good engine for street use, but the others may be better for high-dollar supercar buildups.

KA24DE Nissan 240SX (S14)
154 HP @ 5400 RPM
160 lb-ft torque @ 4200 RPM

KA24DE (DOHC) in B310
4265.jpgAlbum 4265

KA24DE Nissan D40 Frontier Pickup
143 HP @ 4300 RPM
160 lb-ft torque @ 4200 RPM
140 hp @ 5600 RPM
152 ft-lb @ 4400 RPM

aftermarket carburetors
774.jpgAlbum 774

  • Good aftermarket cams are available for KA24E, but not for KA24DE. So for a stock engine, use the DE. If you plan on building it up from stock levels, use the E.

Wiring up the KA is the same for a 1200 and for a Datsun 510, so here are some links to 510 swap information: 510 swap info

In stock form [the KA24] produces a large amount of power and impressive torque compared to the L-series motor. It would take a very carefully built L-series motor to equal the power and torque of the KA24. It has a very fair redline and will easily spin the tires in lower gears. If you are converting from the average L20b with mikuni's or built L16/L18 you will be happily surprised.
Differences 240SX vs D22 KA24de
* starter mount on the engine vs on transmission
* S-Belt pulleys
* position of distributor
* front case: deep ribbed vs bulging
* front sump vs rear sump


IMG_6079.jpg IMG_6078.jpg IMG_6076.jpg IMG_6083.jpg

Donor Cars

19891992 Nissan Pintara/Ford Corsair
1993-1996 Nissan Terrano 2 Europe
2000-2004 Nissan Xterra
1998-2004 Nissan Frontier
1993-2001 Nissan Altima
1991-1998 Nissan 240SX
1997-2000 Nissan R'nessa (4WD model, Japan)
1998-2001 Nissan Presage U30 (Japan)
1999-2001 Nissan Bassara U30 (Japan)
1993-1997 Nissan Bluebird U13
Isuzu COMO (Japanese: Isuzu COMO)
Nissan Largo

Australia AR Market

For Australia and worldwide export RHD markets. Export means outside the Japan market.

1989-1992 U12 Pintara (australia assembled)
T, Ti, and TRX trims
KA24E 129hp/96kw (FWD)

Europe EL Market

For Europe and worldwide LHD markets (other than North America).

D21 KA24E
D22 KA24E
R20 KA24E

Japan Market

9009-9508 M11 Prairie (Not 1988)
9701-9712 D22 Datsun
0104- E25 Urvan
9906- D22 Datsun
9906- F23 Atlas by UD Nissan Diesel (Volvo AB)
9906-0104 VE24 Caravan/Homy Van

9911-0108 JU30 Basara [MPV type vehicle]
9806-0108 U30 Presage [MPV type vehicle]
9710-0107 N30 R'nessa
9305- W30 Largo
9308-9511 U13 Bluebird
0104- E25 Caravan/Urvan/Isuzu Como
9906-0104 VE24 Caravan/Homy Van
9906- D22 Datsun

North America

E 12-valve

SOHC 12-valve Rockauto
* 1988-1990 S13 240SX KA24E
* 1990-1992 U12 Stanza (Bluebird/Pintara) KA24E
* 1989-1994 M11 Axxess CANADA (Prairie) KA24E
* 1990-1994 D21 Hardbody Pickup KA24E 
* 1995-1997 D21U Hardbody Pickup KA24E

DE 16-valve

KA24DE (DOHC 16-valve)

* S13 USA 0788-0993 "240SX" - KA2DE 0790-
* S14 USA 0294-0698 "240SX" KA24DE ALL
* U13 USA 0692-0597 "STANZA ALTIMA" KA24DE ALL
* L30 USA 0697-0801 "ALTIMA" - ALL KA24DE
* WD22 USA 0599- "XTERRA" - KA24DE BASE
* 1991-1993 S13 240SX KA24DE
* 1994-1998 S14 240SX KA24DE
* 1995-1997 D22U Frontier Pickup KA24DE
* 1999- WD22 Xterra KA24DE
11044-1E401 GASKET-CYLINDER HEAD 0697-0899
11044-9E000 GASKET-CYLINDER HEAD 0899-
* 1993-1997 U13U Stanza Altima 0692-0597 KA24DE
* 1998-2001 L30 Altima

RWD vs FWD Engine

KAs were popular from 1989 through the 2000s.

  • Nissan pickups: RWD
  • Nissan 240SX: RWD
  • Most other Nissan cars: FWD

The differences include

  • 14-bolt oil pan (FWD) vs 12-bolt oil pan (RWD)
  • FWD: Distributor at rear of engine
  • RWD: Distributor similar to L-series engine
  • Different location of engine mounts, set further back on a FWD block
  • Different accessory brackets
  • FWD motors have no provision for a thermostat in the head (it's all a separate unit above the gearbox) and the top hose outlet on the head points in the wrong direction
  • Inlet manifold point opposite direction
  • Transmission bell pattern differs (???) or is this urban legend?
    • some say KA24DE FWD block won't bolt to RWD transmission
    • Bellhousing configuration is slightly off (3 of the bolts are 1/4" difference)

Bell Pattern

The Z-series transmissions are the same bolt pattern as the RWD KAs.

if you swap in a sr20 with a ka24 gearbox, only changing the ka bell housing to the sr bell housing, it shortens the gearbox and slots it back in the original slot, and provides some better gear ratios


RB pattern seems identical except it's missing one bolt

RWD Engine Plate


40F S13/S14 Manual Transmission
30411-40F01.jpg 30411-40F01-.jpg

40F S13/S14 Automatic Transmission

30411-40F00 S13 KA24DE.MT, KA24E.MT
30411-40F01 S13 KA24DE.MT 0194-
30411-40F01 S14 KA24DE.MT
30411-40F11 S13,S14 KA24DE.AT, KA24E.AT > 30411-40F10
30411-07G00 D21/D21U/D22U 4WD KA24E/KA24DE
30411-W0402 D21/D21U 2WD.KA24E.MT.F5
30411-21000 D21/D21U/D22U KA24E.AT/KA24DE.AT
30411-F4000 WD22
30411-F4000 D22U 2WD.MT
30411-F4500 D22U AT 0798-0898
30411-F4501 D22U 4WD 0789-0898

FWD Engine Plate

30411-30R00 U12 KA24E.MT 
30411-30R00 M11 2WD.KA24E.F5
30411-30R01 M11 4WD.KA24E.F5
30411-30R10 U12 KA24E.AT
30411-30R10 M11 KA24E.FA
30411-1E411 U13U [ring type] 
* superseded 30411-1E400 KA24DE.MT
* superseded 30411-1E410 KA24DE.AT
* superseded 30411-2B600 KA24DE
30411-2B600 L30 [ring type]

Oil Pans

For B110, use a front sump oil pan and use the stock Datsun 1200 crossmember. Also fits B310 car and 120Y car.

  • front sump: Nissan Silvia 240SX (S13 & S14)
  • rear sump: Nissan Pickup (D21, D22, D40)
  • RWD pans (12-bolt) do not swap with FWD engines (14-bolt)
  • E pans swap car/truck by modifying dipstick location
  • E pans swaps with DE?
    • NO: E pans (slant front) do not swap with car DE engines (straight front)
    • YES: E pans swap with truck KA24DE
  • DE pans do not swap car/truck
  • Pickup 2WD & 4WD pans differ. But swap together with the oil dipstick tube

Oil pans for the single cam 240SX are swappable onto a truck KA24E block. Not for the dual cam though. KA24DE pans do not interchange between the 240SX and the Pickup KA24DE.

NOTE: oil pan bolt patterns are different.
KA24E (single cam) oil pans do not interchange?

Some say they do.
Icehouse said:
That orange 620 had a car KA in it with a truck pan. The dip stick no longer works and you have to beat the **** out of it to get it to fit [in a 510]. Besides that it works.
Nismopu said:
as oil pan swapping goes only car ka24e, truck ka24e, and truck ka24de(frontier) can swap oil pans. The only problem is the dipstick problem but that can be resolved with a drill.

Sumps do not use a traditional gasket, but use "gasket fluid" (although you can purchase aftermarket pans gaskets):

* replaced KP710-00150

North America Market

Aftermarket supplies traditional gaskets. Factory used RTV sealant.


12-bolt Gasket (early 240SX)
* CORTECO 16618 
* VICTOR REINZ OS32252 {#RTV} Cork-Rubber
* FEL-PRO OS30617C
  * 1993-1995 Axxess (Canada)
  * 240SX/Pickup/D22/Frontier/Xterra KA24E & KA24DE
* DNJ PG607
12-bolt gasket (Late 240SX) 
* DNJ PG622 
* Fel-Pro OS30644C 
  * 1991-1998 240SX


14-bolt early gasket F ENGINE CODE Rockauto 
* CORTECO 16627
* DNJ PG606
* Fel-Pro OS30629C 
  * 1990-1992 Stanza
  * 1990-1992 Axxess (Canada)
14-BOLT LATE (FWD 1993-2001 Altima) two-piece pan 
* VICTOR REINZ OS32184 (upper - pan to block)

Sump 12-bolt

Front Sump (RWD - 240SX KA24E)
0788-0790 11110-40F00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E S13
Front Sump (RWD - 240SX KA24DE)
0790-0993 11110-53F00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE S13 
0294-0698 11110-53F00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE S14
Rear Sump (RWD Trucks - Pickup/Hardbody/Xterra/Pathfinder)
0192-0196 11110-86G00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E KA24E D21, D21U 2WD
* replaced 11110-3S500
0196-0897 11110-F4000 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E D21U 2WD 
0890-0897 11110-86G06 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E D21, D21U 4WD
0599-0700 11110-4S100 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE WD22
0700-0902 11110-F4500 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE WD22
0898-0898 11110-86G06 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE D22U 4WD
0701-0499 11110-F4500 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE D22U 2WD
0599-0700 11110-4S100 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE WD22 
0700-0902 11110-F4500 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE WD22

Sump 14-bolt

Front Sump (FWD - early Altima/Stanza/Axxess)
0189-0394 11110-65E00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E M11
0789-0692 11110-65E00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24E U12
0692-0597 11110-65E00 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE U13U [2-piece pan, 14-bolt]
Front Sump (FWD - late Altima)
0697-0899 11110-5B600 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE L30 [2-piece pan, 14-bolt]
0899-     11110-5B605 PAN ASSY-OIL KA24DE L30 [2-piece pan, 14-bolt]


KA uses the same bellhousing pattern as the Z-series engines. This in turn is just like the L-series engine, but straight up unlike the slant of the L. So Z, or KA transmissions may be used. L-series transmissions are sometimes use but the slant is wrong.



Stumpy Z20/Z22/Z24 gearbox out of 720
Stock 510 driveshaft (1978-1981)
H165 rear axle from 200SX (1980-1981)

Use a short Stumpy (26.3") transmission and H165 rear with stock 1978-1979 Datsun A10 (Stanza/510) driveshaft. Cut the stock dust shield off the driveshaft so it fits into the Stumpy all the way.

You can also use a 1975-up B210 automatic driveshaft, which is a different length than the B310 auto-shaft.

Stock KA Transmission

The stock 240SX 5-speed some say is a better shifting gearbox than the earlier models.

To make it fit in a B110/B210/B310:

* cut the transmission tunnel about 4" aft of stock shifter location
* have a custom-length driveshaft fabricated

KA transmission (71C) is the longest of all
2118.jpgAlbum 2118


Single Cam 12-valve 1988-1990 S13 240SX KA24E 1st- 3.321 2nd- 1.902 3rd- 1.308 4th- 1.000 5th- 0.759

Twin Cam 16-valve 1991-1993 S13 240SX KA24DE 1994-1998 S14 240SX KA24DE 1st- 3.321 2nd- 1.902 3rd- 1.308 4th- 1.000 5th- 0.759

KA24E and KA24DE 5-speeds ratios are the same.

Speedometer Drive

Replace the late-model Speed Sensor with a 1980-1987 gear drive. Use a speedometer cable such as a 1972 510 cable as necessary (1200 cable may or may not fit).

Starter SOHC

  • KA24E block from D21 truck uses a D21 starter (bolts to transmission)
    • you can use a Z-series or L-series starter
  • KA24E block from S13 "240SX" requires a 240SX starter (bolts to engine)

KA24E 240SX block (Japan engine)
KA24Eblock003Large-1.jpg KA24Eblock001Large.jpg

KA24E D21 block (Mexico engine)

Starter DOHC

KA24DE Truck blocks have a bellhousing flange that sticks off the back of the block 3/4".
24748.jpgAlbum 24748 24746.jpgAlbum 24746

Rear Axle

The torque of a KA24 requires at least an H165 differential. The H145 of Datsun B110 and H150 of B210/B310 is not strong enough.

See main article: H165

Crossmember and Engine Mounts

KA can use the same crossmember as L-series or Z-series or SR-series. So treat the crossmember like any L-series swap.

See main article: L/Z/KA/SR Crossmember

Fuel Lines

Use high-pressure fuel line, e.g. from an EFI Datsun/Nissan. Use the EFI fuel line clamps. You can use the stock fuel tank, just don't let it get below 1/4.

Fuel pump I used was an Airtex E2000.

Double clamp the fuel injection fuel lines to the original metal lines.

Use an external EFI pump (280Z, Maxima, 200SX, etc). Or aftermarket like Airtex E2000.


An alternative to using the factory EFI is to get a carby manifold and go with carbs and the stock 1200 wiring can be adapted (oil pressure sensor, temp sensor, distributor feed). It'll be a rowdy powerful sounding engine with none of that high tech stuff!


Wiring up a KA with its stock EFI involves getting the entire donor engine-room harness, the computer and all connected wiring. Eight wires from the KA harness connect to the car's wiring via three relays and fuses.

See main article: EFI Wiring

And of course for the tinkerers or serious modders, you can use an aftermarket ECU such as the MegaSquirt or one of many other brands. If keeping the engine relatively stock, there is no reason to use other than the stock ECU, which can handle mild modifications.


KA alternators are wired like any Hitachi LR Alternator, but do not use the familiar T-connector of the older alternators. See EFI Wiring#Alternator.

S-BELT (serpentine)
LR180-715 23100-30R00
* S13 USA 0788-0790
LR180 23100-53F00
* S13 USA 0790-
LR180-742/742B/742C 23100-70F00
* S14 USA KA24DE
LR190-724 23100-70F05
* S14 USA KA24DE 0294-0796 for SE projector fog lamp option

Swap Notes

You can remove these from the engine and wiring harness and still have the engine function (seemingly) great:

  • Secondary (post-convertor) O2 sensor
  • CAS (Crank angle sensor, located on transmission bell housing S14 models)
  • IAT (Intake air temp sensor, usually located in intake tube or air box)
  • EGR system and associated sensors
  • transmission sensor/switches (except reverse switch, if you want your lights to work)
  • emissions control sensors and actuators

These are needed for the stock EFI system:

  • TPS (Throttle position sensor)
  • Water temp sensor
  • Knock sensor
  • MAF sensor
  • Injectors
  • Distributor/coil
  • Primary oxygen sensor
  • IAC (Idle control motor)
  • Fast idle valve
  • Fuel pump


Accessory Belts: S14 comes with power steering. For a delete option see power steering delete

Fuel Supply

See Fuel Injection, section "Fuel Tank". Feed and return lines should be 5/16" (8mm) instead of the stock Datsun 1200 1/4" (6mm) lines.


Use the stock cast iron exhaust manifold and have a muffler shop fit 2.5" exhaust tubing and muffler.

Unknown if any headers fit the 1200 chassis.

Sway Bar

Sway-bar should fit fine with no interference.


150 HP requires a larger radiator than the stock 1200 radiator.

See Radiator#Upgrades. The larger B310 radiator may be large enough for KA engine, or the aluminum Rabbit radiator.

Fit a good electric fan and remove the engine fan to gain room in the engine compartment.

Steering Linkage

Steering linkage is fine with cast iron exhaust manifold and the front-sump oil pan.


1. Fit L-series distributor (RWD pickup blocks) or EDIS crank-trigger (FWD blocks). Replace the KA oil pump shaft and distributor with those from an L-series engine. Make a hold down bracket. Or the L20B distributor mount fits into the Pickup KA24E front cover if you drill and tap two new holes.

2. Buy or fabricate carburetor manifolds

Timing Chain

1991-1998 double-roller upper
1998-     single roller upper
S13 USA 0788-0993 "240SX" - KA2DE 0790-
S14 USA 0294-0698 "240SX" KA24DE ALL
13028-53F02 CAMSHAFT CHAIN, long lower crank-to-cam <> 13028-53F01
13028-53F11 CAMSHAFT CHAIN, short upper cam-to-cam Rockauto
* double-roller chain
13077-53F00 S13,S14 IDLER GEAR
12028-5B600 U13 0895-0296 CHAIN, long
13077-1E400 U13 IDLER GEAR
L30 USA 0697-0801 "ALTIMA" - ALL KA24DE
WD22 0599- "EXTERRA" - KA24DE BASE
13028-9E000 CHAIN, long lower crank-to-cam
13028-9E010 CHAIN, short upper cam-to-cam Rockauto
* single-roller chain
13024-9E000 SPROCKET
13077-5V100 IDLER GEAR

Photo Index

Click any thumbnail to see it full size in our Club Photo Album. Read details or post a comment!

434.jpg 774.jpg 1737.jpg 1738.jpg 1780.jpg 1829.jpg 1830.jpg 1853.jpg 4265.jpg 4266.jpg 6523.jpg 8903.jpg 14359.jpg 16489.jpg 21093.jpg


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