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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Toyota 4A engine

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Category: Engine Swaps

The Toyota A engine variations are a popular swap into Datsun 1200s, especially the 4A-GE (1600cc) which is the most common high-power version.

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Toyota 4A engine series are 1600cc engines, so are a significant upgrade in terms of cubic CCs alone compared to the Datsun A12 or A14. However, it is the DOHC 4A-GE that shines with impressive power due to 4 valves per cylinder (16V).

4AGE 16V engine is arguably one of the best 1.6 litre motors ever put together. 75KW to 100KW power ratings.

NOTE to newbys: Beware of mentioning rotary-powered or 4A-GE-powered 1200s. Some club members may get offended! But really, these are also excellent engines that fit in fairly well. Just don't tell anybody ;-)

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Counterpoint: The 4AGE weighs the same as the better engine... Nissan's CA18DE. The CA18DE is 200cc more capacity, has bigger everything. So for the same mods as a 4age, you can swap in a CA engine and get more power.

The biggest thing that has to be done was a fabricated header, because the 4A manifold is large and does not clear the LHD steering box. You may not have any trouble with a RHD car.

Datsun A15 vs Toyota 4A-**
Datsun A15 4A-FE 4A-GE (Gen 3) 4A-GZE (AE101)
Bore 76 mm 81 mm 81 mm 81 mm
Stroke 82 mm 77 mm 77 mm 77 mm
Displacement 1488 cc 1587 cc 1587 cc 1587 cc
Power 81 hp (60 kW) 89 hp (66 kW) 138 hp (103 kW) 168 hp (125 kW)

Also notable is the 4AGEZ supercharged engine from the Toyota MR2.

4AGE 20V engine: 120 kw
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Although some have been able to extract more power from the cheaper 4A-FE SOHC engine. The upside is that they are very easily obtainable and so are parts. They are a narrow angle SOHC (single sprocket) cross-flow alloy head with a cast iron block.

  • 4A-GE (wide angle DOHC) Come in 5 flavours ranging from 86kW (Gen 2) up to 121kW (Gen 5) 20 Valve.
  • 4A-GEZ supercharged. Some use this motor and its fuel system and computer for a turbo setup although simply replacing the cast pistons with forged items in a 4A-GE will yield the same result (except that an aftermarket ECU will be needed). The advantage over the supercharger is that boost can be variably controlled using and adjustable wastegate or boost controller. A supercharger has a fixed design boost, although aftermarket overdrive pulleys are available. They don't like to be spun more that around 8000 rpm as the teflon coatings on the roots can melt.

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Source for Engine

RWD 4A Engines

  • AE71 was the 1983 Corolla, with carbureted 4AS SOHC engine.
  • AE85/AE86 was the last RWD series (1984-1986) with fuel injected DOHC 4AGE engine

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  • Toyota MR2 had the supercharged 4A-GEZ version

4AGZE: factory supercharged motor with about 135KW. It has factory forged pistons with later variants with ceramic coated tops, suitable for forced induction and perfect for aftermarket turbo as well. The con-rods and crank are the same or similar to 4age. (eg early AE92 4agze has larger rods). The 4agze smallport head will also come with oil squirter pistons, another good thing for cooling high performance setups. This std setup is strong enough for +200kw hence the reason people grab them for turbo setups with no reason to upgrade pistons, rods or the crank. They are 25kgs lighter than a Nissan CA18DET engine. Most people take off the supercharger and place on a turbo for much better performance and then loosely call it a "4AGTE". If you were hunting for max power, then a 7afe block with 4agze internals, turbo and some other mods would bump it to a 1.8L, also known as the "7agte". Maximum powered 7agtes can reach +300kw at the wheels with custom pistons, crank & rods.

Formula Atlantic 4A-GE puts out 240 bhp.

Swap Overview

POST Swap Toyota 4AGE into 1200

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The conversion isn't bolt-on -- its all fab work:

  • Engine mounts
  • Gearbox mount
  • Custom cooling system pipes
  • Custom exhaust

No one sells a "kit" to fit the 4AGE into a Datsun 1200.

20V 4AGE's use a distributor which ends up in the 1200 glovebox and heater/demister box. This means modifying all that. That isn't easy.

Front-wheel-drive 4AGE uses a distributor which ends up in the 1200 glovebox and heater/demister box. Modifying all that isn't easy. It's almost always a FWD engine in Australia, unless you can get a Japanese RWD AE86 Engine.


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Ruda's 11-sec Bakkie
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Zoom 153

4AGE STREET ELITE DATTO white ute 'DATOOW' "Third time's a charm" page 20. In its third incarnation Simon Vella's 1200 Ute is a stunning showcase of a well thought-out performance package that goes, turns stops and looks damn good doing so.

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Donnie in Victoria, Canada has a fantastic 4AGE-powered 2-door sedan:
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Had it at the drags the other night-15.95@86mph sound good? 7100 RPM through the traps!

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Donnie used the stock Datsun 1200 radiator.

dongdong B310

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GX Monster

South Africa

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In Cape Town, South Africa there is this one:

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See Main Article: Kululadotgroen

Jason's 1200 Coupe

Out of Vancouver, WA:
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  • Toyota 4AGE DOHC engine
  • Toyota T50 5-speed
  • Corolla EFI fuel tank is in the back compartment
  • 77 Corolla SR5 rear with LSD pumpkin
  • 175/70R-13 tires


4A-GZE conversion. Use EMS ECU and removed the MAF sensor
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4A Turbo conversion



Normo's Ute

(now sold)

gearbox | crossmember
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Swap Notes

Engine Fitting

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Modified 1200 crossmember
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Engine Mount Left
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Engine Mount Right
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Sump Fitment
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The 4A has a front sump oil pan, actually shorter than the a12, so you can position it lower in the chassis.

front clearance | rear clearance
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Air Inlet
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Stock manifold dimensions
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(optional) Headers/Extractors
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Lots of room in B310 engine bay
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Clutch & Flywheel

OPTIONAL - lighten flywheel
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Use the gearbox that came with the engine. Don't try to fit it to the Datsun gearbox, because the Toyota box is much stronger.

The 1200's speedometer cable screws straight on.

There is just enough room for the t50 in a Datsun 1200 manual tunnel -- no need to cut the tunnel out.

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T50 transmission is less expensive than the Supra W55 box & plenty strong enough for the 4AGE. They've been putting them behind 5 litre Holden & Ford V8's for years. The w55 conversion for 4AGE is $1000-up (for new parts), not including the w55 itself. Don't have to cut the tunnel, put in a T50 5 speed, just cut off the two mounts in the tunnel, cleanly and the box fits perfectly.

Or if you live where W55 is cheap (South Africa) use the R900 conversion bell housing
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T50 is good to handle the torque from a little 1.6 liter 4AGE, but not from a 4AGZE (supercharged engine). A turbo conversion should be OK at low boosts. Otherwise you'll need a stronger transmission like this one:

Toyota W gearbox
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For drag racing, an automatic is fastest. Use Ford C4, or Toyota Trimatic. Both require custom bellhousing.

Since this is not Datsun-specific, For more details, search:

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The AE86 rear live axle assembly is strong, and is narrow enough to fit under a Datsun 1200. Put the whole thing in there, and use the Toyota alloy wheels while you're at it.

AE86 is the RWD Toyota Corolla 1983-1986 (E80 series). The most desirable rear axle is from the GTS model (AE88) with disc brakes. Some were fitted with LSD, but if not TRD sells one. This model came with 14" alloy wheels instead of the 13" common to most AE86. It also had the stronger T282/T284 differential.


VW Golf Radiator
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Water pump hose
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VW Water bottle
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Brake Booster & Clutch Pedal

Toyota gearbox uses hydraulic clutch pedal.

Pedal Boxes
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Brake booster
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clutch pedal
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* POST Datsun 1200 (4agze TURBO) Conversion
* POST 4AGE into Datsun 1000
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