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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Mazda rotary engine swap

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Categories: Engine Modifications | Engine Swaps

The Mazda rotary engine is a good match for Datsun 1200 -- it is light and compact. It makes more power than a piston engine of the same size and weight. The engine weight is down low so it doesn't interfere with good handling.
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Contents

Performance

Also See: Mazda Wankel engine

Typical engine power in stock form:

  • 12A: 100-130 HP, 100-115 lb. ft. torque
  • 13B EFI: 135 hp, 133 lb. ft. torque
  • 13B-Turbo (1987-1991 "Turbo II"): 185-200 HP
  • 13B-REW (twin turbo) 255-280 hp
  • 13B-MSP (RX-8) 237 hp USA, 191-250 hp world

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Quarter Mile acceleration performance ranges from quick to insanely quick. With a totally stock rotary engine you won't be wanting for power.

  • 19.8 secs at 65 mph: Stock Datsun 1200 piston engine (baseline)
  • 16.1 at 90mph: bone stock 12A rotary engine tuned by ear
  • Ange's 13.7 second 12A bridgeport
  • JVML's 8.1 second 13B twin turbo

Rotor Power
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Overview

Search Club!: <rotary> <10A> <12A> <13B>
Image search: Rotary Datsun 1200
Video search: Rotary Datsun 1200V
  • #Differential suitable for torque of engine
  • Radiator Upgrade suitable for the HP of the engine
  • Mazda engine & transmission
    • Modify crossmember & fabricate new mounts
    • Custom gearbox mount
    • Oil pan to suit 1200
    • Bigger tunnel to fit the Mazda transmission
    • Custom exhaust
    • Custom turbo manifolds (for 13BT)
    • Shifter relocation forward
  • Tailshaft, custom

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13BT in Sunny B310
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Engine

The Mazda rotary comes in two common sizes: 12A and 13B. In Australia, choose a 10A for street legal swaps. Everyone else, choose the 13B. There are less common versions, the old 10A and the ultra-rare and expensive 20B triple rotor.

Custom Single Rotor rotary engine (pictured in Datsun 1000)
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12A (1146 cc, equivalent to 2.4 liter piston engine)
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Mazda 13B (1308 cc, equivalent to 2.6 liter piston engine) carbureted
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13B Fuel Injected
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Mazda 13B Turbo rotary engine
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Mazda 13B Turbo Factory EFI
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13B Turbo with factory intercooler
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20B triple rotor
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13B carbureted
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Discussions

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Builds

Datrotor's DATYLD
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Stu's rxute
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Swap Notes

Oil Pan

Use the Moroso oil pan for Datsun 1200.

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Engine Mounts

Cut out about 10mm out of the standard 1200 crossmember and brace it. This allows the engine to sit low enough.

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Front Mount

Most swappers use the front-mount engine case.

Fit at front of engine bay (two styles shown)
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Mount circled in green. Original engine mounts are removed (circled in red)
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Topic - Weld or bolt new custom-made brackets to the front of the chassis rails (bolt to bumper support bolts)
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If your rotary doesn't have a front-mount case, you can retro-fit it using a 12A timing cover (which fits on 13B).

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Engine Setback

If you want to get the rotary farther back, the tunnel is cut larger. Consequently the pedals will need to be moved.

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Side Mount

Mad Dat 13BT Fitting Kit allows the newer-type rotary engine side mount, their crossmember curves down so the top of the cross member is lower.

Datrotor fabricated these for a 13B:
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Mad Dat

13BT into 1200 Engine Fitting Kit
Product No - FK13B1200 ($1200 in 2012)

FK13B1200.jpg

Includes custom engine crossmember, custom 13B engine brackets, rubber mounts, gearbox cross member (2 part) and gearbox rubber mount. Adjustable 22mm sway bar includes mounting bushes & saddles and link ends. Suits RX-7 S4 (1985 - 1988) and RX-7 S5 (1989 - 1991) as is. Engine cross member comes with engineers report.

Motor Plate

For racing a hard-mounted motor plate can be used. Not recommended for a street car as it transmit vibration directly to the body.

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Transmission

Use the transmission that comes with the rotary engine (the Mazda transmission).

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Fabricate gearbox mounts.

Two styles
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Driveshaft

A custom driveshaft to mate the Mazda transmission with your differential will have to be fabricated. Any driveshaft shop can make this for you.

Shifter

A new shifter mount hole may need to cut? Look into doing the shifter extension mod otherwise your shifter will be a little bit to far back for comfort (it will sit in between the front seats right in front of the handbrake).

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Tunnel

Some fabricate a large tunnel. Is it necessary, or just used with beefy racing transmissions?

In any cause, you'll have to make the tunnel higher through the middle and make space for the clutch fork, or cut a hole for the clutch fork.

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Alternatively you can fit an aftermarket hydraulic throwout bearing to replace the clutch fork.

Differential

Diff Strength: differential suitable for torque of engine

  • The least 12A engine outputs 100 lb. ft. of torque. The stock Datsun 1200 H145 diff can handle that.
  • Any modified rotary (especially if the turbo boost is raised) will need a stronger differential, such as a Nissan H190 swap. Serious drag racing versions may need the ultra-strong Ford 9".

Exhaust

For the 13BT, run headers to the rear firewall across to the passenger side.

Wiring

Fit these using the stock 1200 wiring harness. Wires may need to extended.

* Starter +
* Starter S
* Alternator +
* Alternator Earth
* Engine earth
* Body earth
* Coil
For carbureted engine
* electric choke (connect to coil 12V)
For EFI engine
* ECU relay
* Fuel pump relay 

Rotary-Powered Datsun 1200 photo index

Here are some pictures from our club photo album. Click a pic for larger photos, details, and discussion:

rota 1200
93.jpg
project 1200
158.jpg
1200 rotary prototype.
383.jpg
rotor ute
581.jpg
my 2nd datsun
657.JPG
my !st 1200
912.jpg
supercharged 13b 1000
959.jpg
oh yes ....
1078.jpg
DATSUN 1200 FROM GUATEMALA CITY CENTRAL AMERICA
1384.jpg
black drag 1
1539.jpg
black drag 2
1540.jpg
13b 2dr blue drag 1a
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13b 2dr blue drag 1b
1546.jpg
13b 2dr blue drag 1c
1547.jpg
13b 2dr blue drag 1d
1548.jpg
13b 2dr blue drag 1e
1549.jpg
1972 1200 datsun w/Rotary
1756.jpg
1972 1200 datsun w/Rotary
1757.jpg
13b1000ute bay
1787.jpg
100013b interior tunnel
1788.jpg
project 2 13bturbo 1000
1789.jpg
rotary coupe w/15" SAAB rims
1820.jpg
rotary 1200 ute
2049.jpg
rotary 1200 ute
2050.jpg
my 1000 ute
2418.jpg
1000 dragsedan
2558.jpg
13b mounts
2616.jpg
pic for d
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some of the puertorican best
2848.jpg
supercharged 13b 1000
2914.jpg
supercharged 13b 1000
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series 5 13b turbo rotary
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very nice indeed!
3078.jpg
8 second 1200 13b turbo
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coupe
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avenge
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nother 13b 1200
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1200 drag race coupe
4484.jpg
drag coupe
4486.jpg
rotary powered 1200
4655.jpg
supernats
4694.jpg
early prototype rotary
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1200 ute (perfection)
5006.jpg
rotary mounts in 323 spud
5448.jpg
powercruise coupe
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yellow rotary coupe
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what noisy exhaust
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Photo Index

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

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