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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]


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Category: Body Electrical System

Datsun 1200 wiring is relatively uncomplicated.

Also see: Wiring Diagram


Wire color codes

WARNING: Wire colors can vary by year, model and country. Please double-check the wiring in your Datsun 1200 before connecting parts according to this article. You don't want to burn something up! Use a voltmeter or test light to confirm the circuit behavior.

Wires with two codes: The first letter is the wire color, the second is the stripe color. Example:
BW - Black wire with White stripe

Wiring Harnesses

For the main wiring looms, see Wiring Harness

Battery & Main Wiring

Battery has two wires, of course:

  • Positive Cable (+). Stock cable is RED. This connects directly to the starter's large connector. A smaller wire runs bout six inches from the terminal to the Fusible Link. See below.
  • Negative Cable (-, aka earth/ground). Stock cable is BLACK with Yellow stripe. It connects directly to the engine block at the timing cover. The engine end of this cable also has a smaller black wire. This is the main body ground and connects to the body at the Horn bolt

Main Wiring

There are three important main wires:

  1. Main ground wire (big battery cable). This bolts to the engine timing cover
  2. Body ground wire. This goes from the engine end of the Negative battery cable to the body. It's bolted down at the horn bolt. Without this weird problems can happen.
  3. Red wire at battery '+' terminal. This connects to the Fusible Link ("Main Fuse") about six inches from the battery

    WARNING: Do not replace fusible link with a solid wire, or you risk burning up the entire wiring system ... If the fuse blows, figure out why before replacing it. Was there a short in the system, or did it simply overheat due to corroded contacts?

Ground/Earth main connections
21177.jpgAlbum 21177

Make sure they cables are not damaged, and that they are securely fastened. If they are loose, remove and carefully inspect for corrosion. Clean thoroughly if possible, replace if necessary. This original system will fully support all stock electrical loads. Extra earth/ground wires are not needed -- if the stock wire is in place, clean and undamaged.

Ground cable. Notice the smaller black wire on the Eye end

Fusible Link

This goes between the battery and the main wiring harness (which also feeds the Alternator output "A" terminal)

The large POS battery cable only feeds the starter. All other power comes from the Fusible Link.
See main article: Fusible Link


Fuse Box

In addition to the main fuse wire in the engine compartment, there is a main fuse box under the dashboard.

See main article: Fuse Box



  1. Relocating battery to back of car. Advantages:
    • Make room in engine compartment
    • Balance weight of car
      1200s are nose-heavy, so moving the 28-40 lb battery to the back helps. You need heavy-gauge cable, larger than stock due to the long lenght. Buy a kit with a sealed box, so fumes don't enter car
  2. Installing a modern new-fangled ground wire "System". There are two opinions:
    The grounding wire kits that people are putting on newer cars DO help out, and in many cases add power! I was a nonbeliever at first until I saw them used and they did add power and when I tore apart my 180SX I understood why it would add power. There are LOTS of electrical parts on newer cars, especially with EFI and distributorless ignitions ...
    read more
    You've seen the ads where you install many grounds wires all over the car, sometimes using 'gold' connectors. They don't add horsepower. Not even new cars use this. There are advantages: They do make troubleshooting extremly complex wiring (like in a Mercedes with 47 computers) easier. My advice is don't waste your money on this.

    [edit:] After reading AFRacer's report above, I wonder if his B110 simply needed a better ground wire. The unibody is a large conductor so there is no problem there, but the stock ground wire is 1) kinda small and 2) in a place where corrosion can cause problems. Fitting a thicker wire, grounding the battery and engine to the unibody in a better way (use a thick wire and good connections).

Ignition Switch

The ignition switch bolts to the back of the key cylinder. There is a rectangular wire connector attached to it.

See Ignition Switch Wiring

Alternator & Regulator

See main article: Alternator Wiring


See Main Article: Clock#Wiring

13939.jpg 13937.jpg 13938.jpg


See Headlight Wiring


See Heater Wiring

Running Lights, Turn Signals, etc

See Lamp Wiring


See main article: Tachometer Wiring

Ignition Coil & Distributor

The stock 1200 coil -- as with nearly all pre-electronic ignition systems -- uses a Ballast resistor to drop the voltage supplied to the coil. All 1200s used a ballast resistor until the 1990 models.

Ballast resistor is located on the right-side Strut tower (#1 in this photo)
14969.jpgAlbum 14969
The resistor is just above the coil, and is a white ceramic thing about 2-1/2 inches long.

NOTE: The 1973 Wiring Diagram doesn't show a resistor, but it definitely has one.

Ballast ResistorColorConnects To
ballast resistor (non-coil side)BWIG terminal of ignition switch
ballast resistor (coil side, dual-terminal sideBW
BR wire to R (START) terminal of ignition switch\*
BW to coil '+' terminal
CoilColorConnects To
Coil '+'BWto ballast resistor dual-connector side
Coil '-'Bto distributor points
\*The coil is supplied full battery voltage during cranking. Hence "R" terminal on ignition switch supplies V+ to coil.

23244.jpgAlbum 23244
NOTE: all the wires indicate are colored BW (black w/white stripe).

Does your engine start when cranking but immediately die when you release the key to the ON (running) position? Then your resistor is bad or wired incorrectly. As you can see from the diagram, START of the ignition switch supplies full voltage bypassing resistor.

1990 Sunny Truck

From October 1989, Sunny Truck uses electronic ignition and computerized carburetor.

BW: unknown. Not needed for old carburetor (non ECU)
BR: Coil + terminal
BW: Coil + terminal
L: Coil - terminal

Starter Motor

Starter just has two wires:

* Big wire: battery '+' terminal
* Small BY wire: 'S' terminal of ignition switch

On automatic cars, the starter 'S' wire (small wire) goes through the "Neutral Switch" (Inhibitor Switch).

20828.jpg 20824.jpg

Late engine swap into B110

R  battery positive cable
S (BY wire) starter solenoid
D (B wire)distributor side (points type)
   leave unconnected for electronic ignition
? YW temp sensor? or YB oil pressure

NOTE: If you draw power off the POS terminal (as in this photo with all the extra wires), make sure they are fused, as the POS cable is unfused and therefore has no fire protection (see Fusible Link).

Choke And Carburetor

* Eletric Choke Wiring
* Anti-diesel valve

Interior Lamps

Here's the kinds of smaller lights (other than the headlights) that a Datsun 1200 uses.

5021.jpgAlbum click to view Lights (click for larger size and Details)

23129.jpgAlbum click to view Room Lamp

5023.jpgAlbum click to view FASTEN SEAT BELT lamp

Instrument Panel

See Instrument Panel Wiring 

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