Here we go with another knowledge post. This time: Transmission.
I collected A LOT of information about transmissions over the past few months and put them all together into one single post.
Much information is floating around the internet but it’s tricky to puzzle it all together if you’re new to the topic, keep the overview and sort out the wrong information. Especially if you don’t have all the official documents on hand to double check it.
Picture below shows F4W71A Transmission, Picture from the 1970 FSM:
The purpose of this post is to cover the – not so commonly – available information for the European 5-speed Manual transmission, used in the Datsun 240Z, but will also cover Japanese and American Market versions (4-speed, 5-speed), automatic transmissions and optional / racing gears. But may not be complete.
I tried my best to get the information right and have as much information as possible from original documents and manuals by Nissan but even the original documentation sometimes contradicts itself.
UPDATE 2020: I’ve added a lot of new information which i’ve gained since the original post and ironed out a few details that were wrong and reworked some sections.
Picture shows different JDM transmissions, scan from the Motorfan S30 special book:
1. Transmission type identification
1.1 Transmission type code
The transmission Model or type code is key to understand what transmission you have, and what is inside. They’re also mentioned in the Manuals and other documentation.
The Type-Code is NOT visible on the transmission anywhere!
I’ve already posted this in the past, but decided to make a better graphic for easy overview.
The chart does not include Automatic transmissions.
2. Factory transmissions:
Depending on the country and year, there were different Factory Transmission options. But there are two main groups used in the 240Z:
Early “A-type” (1970 to late 1971, varying a bit depending on country and Type)
Later “B-Type” (1972 to 1974, also used in later Generation Z’s and other cars)
The “Type-Letter” is refering to the last Letter in the transmission model code.
Early type for example is FS5C71A, later type FS5C71B, and so on, see code chart above.
Within each of these two main Groups, there are similar three subgroups:
Nissan 4-Speed Manual, Nissan 5-speed Manual and JATCO 3-speed Auto.
I made an overview Including the Type-code for easier understanding (click for full size):
2.2. Transmissions according to Markets:
Which transmission was available in your market? Well – you can find this information in your FSM (Factory Service Manual) but here’s an overview:
USA & Canada (LHD): 4-speed Manual and 3-speed Auto*
Europe (LHD): 5-Speed Manual (, 3-speed auto, in some markets)
UK (Europe RHD): 5-Speed Manual (, 3-speed auto, in some markets)
Australia & Oceania (RHD): 5-Speed Manual, 3-speed Auto
Japan (RHD): 5-Speed Manual, 3-speed Auto (4-speed Manual only with L20)*
*Optional and competition transmissions are not included in this chart
Here is an Example of the 1974 FSM listing all B-type transmissions according to the dedicated market-model (first row).
For earlier model years, just replace all “B” with “A” in the transmission type code 🙂
In the Japanese 1971 “S30 introduction” Bulletin book (which was released before the introduction of the L24 version was released in Japan, so it’s not included):
You can see that the
S30S (with L20) engine got the 4-speed m/t
S30 and S30S F (With L20 engine) got the 5-speed m/t
PS30 (Z432 with S20 Engine) got the 5-speed m/t as well
3. Optional transmissions and Gearing
In Europe and Japan there were optional competition and racing Gearsets and complete gearboxes available for the Z’s. Here for example shown in the japanese 1979 “Nissan Sports options” catalogue:
The Japanese sports transmission manual shows following gearing options including the Rallye Options listed for the FS5C71B type transmission used from 1972 upwards. According to the same book, the FS5C71A type transmission was used until end of 1971.
The early japanese Race & Rallye preparation manual shows following options available for the japanese S30 Variations also in comparison with other cars like the PGC10 skyline and SR311 Fairlady. Im not sure if a later version of this manual exists, which includes the B-type Manual transmissions.
In USA it was a different story, since they never got the 5-speed Manual Box:
– They offered Retrofit-Kits to install the Roadster 2000 (SR311) FS5C71A Transmission to the 240Z (See further below)
– From 1977-1983 the 280Z FS5C71B Gearbox got available with optional competition Gearsets (and as a complete gearbox assembly), which was also used as competition or racing part in the 240Z’s (with optional shifter-kit if used in an 1970-1971 car!)
Here’s a Pic of the 1978 USA Datsun 240Z Sports Option catalogue for example:
See complete list of Factory and optional transmissions / gearsets a bit further down and also next chapter for racing gears.
4. Racing gears
I do not want to include a lot of information about racing cars. There were too many different setups used in the factory and private racing cars over the years. but since i just happen to have this picture on hand i thought i’d put it here as well.
The 1970 RAC Rallye car gear setup (at least the speeds). By Autocar Magazine:
5. Automatic Transmission
The Automatic transmission is most common seen in the American markets.
In the most other markets, the manual transmission equipped cars where the primary sold units.
According to Hitoshi Uemuras “240Z engineering development” book, originally the tunnel space was designed to provide space for the BorgWarner BW35 transmission (the only automatic transmission available at the time), but then later the Yoshiwara Plant (later known as Jatco) produced compact automatic transmission was installed and the extra space provided for the BW transmission was never fully used.
I found this interesting Text by “Road and Track” Magazine, when they reviewed the 240Z Automtatic car:
From the same 1970 Road and Track magazine, there’s this acceleration chart for the 3-speed Auto transmission:
5.1 A-type Automatic
It took me a while to figure out that the 3N71A unit was actually installed in the Z.
Most european part lists and Manuals only mention the B-type automatic.
However there is evidence that an A-type transmission existed and was installed.
And once you start to dig deeper, you find more information.
See also chapter “Date of Changes”
I found this Picture of a 240Z A-type Auto transmissiom manual Online:
6. Differences between A- short tail, A- long tail and B-type(s)
First a bit of history. The early 5-Speed “A-Type” Transmission was not developed for the 240Z, but carried over from the Datsun roadster 2000 (SLR311) and probably also used in other older Datsun models.
To fit the L-series motor and the 240Z Specs, the 240Z-Transmission was fitted with a different clutch bell housing, Gears, longer mainshaft, tail Extension casing and one of the shift rods is different too.
That’s why the Roadster Gearbox is often refered to as “short tail” and the Z-Gearbox as “Long tail” Fs5C71A Transmission.
The US market got 4-speed non-overdrive gearing, but im not sure if there was an A-type 4-speed maybe used previously in other datsun’s as well..
Here’s a picture of a FS5C71A “short tail” from a Datsun Roadster (From the Roadster FSM)
While here is a view of the FS5C71A “Long tail” from the Datsun 240Z (Picture from the Nissan Motorsports schematic Catalogue).
Then there is the B-Type from the 1972+ 240Z which is a complete redesign of the “A-type” transmissions.
– The biggest difference is the two-piece Bellhousing of the A, while later B-type has a single piece bellhousing.
– Another visual difference are the Cast-fins on the outside of the housings as seen in the pictures above and here:
Here is a comparison between the A- and B-type from the S30 from the japanese G-works Fairlady Z S30 Magazine vol. 2:
– The gear ratios were different on both A- and B-types (both in 4- and 5-speeds)
– Due to the redesign the Shifter stick position is moved stlightly to the front in the “B-type” (See below).
– There were also other changes, so be careful when swapping transmissions!
– Note that the B-type Transmission was used over a Long time and in several cars after the 240Z, so it got various design-changes in later models which will or will not fit the 240Z. In this post i will not cover that topic!
Here’s a Comparison between the 240Z transmissions, Left to right:
FS5C71A “Long tail” 5speed from the 1970-1971 240Z (non-US)
FS5C71B 5speed from the 1972+ 240Z (non-US)
FS5W71C from Later Datsun / Nissan model cars
3N71B Spline Type 3-speed Automatic (1972+ non-Euro 240Z)
6.1 Shift-stick mounting types
The A-type got the infamous so-called “Monkey Motion” rubber mounted shifter-stick, while the B-type shifters have a solid cross pin. Later “C-type” models (not used in the S30) are retained in a top cover plate by a circlip (Called “Top Loader”):
7. Date / Serialnumber of Change
When exactly did those Changes happen?
The American Parts microfiche book states that the 3N71A Type transmission was used up to March 1971, before it was replaced with the 3N71B Type in April 1971:
And the first B-type Auto transmission started with Car No S30-004903
7.2 Manual 4-speed
The Japanese parts manual lists the Change from SNr S30-07500 for the Old F4W71A transmission, with the new F4W71B introduced at SNr. S30-07501
The American Manual says the A-type was used up to August 1971 and the B-type introduced from September 1971
Strangely, the Japanese parts manual does not list a date or SNR for the change of the complete transmission assembly, like in the 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto transmissions. Inbstead they just list a date, until which the gear set from the FS5C71A was used. Namely up to SNr S30-8478 and PS30-514. I highly expect that this SNR is where the complete transmission changed from A-to by type.
Then there is the (pretty surely) wrong information stated in the Japanese sports transmission manual, t hat the B-type was only introduced in 1973:
And the Swiss 1979 Microfiche which doesn’t even name the B-type 5-speed, despite the facts that my two Swiss-spec Z’s both have them and many other’s i know. so this list is clearly incomplete too..
7.4 Center Console
There are two different types of Center consoles. One with the Ashtray in front of the stick and one behind. Some sources say that’s because of the difference in shifter stick Position in A- and B-transmissions (See above).
I made a picture for comparison:
I cannot confirm above information, since both of my early 1972 cars (built end of 1971) came with the early A-type 5-speed and the later Center console with the ashtray behind the stick (See picture below). This would be a wrong combination according to the sources but i’m pretty sure this was the factory equipment in both of my cars. It seems that the center console was changed indipendently from the transmission but around the same time, but not exactly. At least not in all markets (see information below)
The 1972 Parts manual from Japan just mentions the change in 1972, but also mentions the change introduced at SNr: S30-007501 and PS300501 (Z432). So probably export markets got the new console installed earlier?
8.1. Transmission interchangeability
8.1.1 Datsun Roadster 2000 FS5C71A into 240Z:
In America People used to install the Roadster 2000 FS5C71A transmission to get a 5-speed into their Z. This Retrofit was officially sold by Nissan / NISMO USA.
I was able to find a receipt of someone who bought this swap at a nissan dealer including all the part numbers needed:
8.4.3 A-type to B-type
Here you can see a A-type US-spec 4-speed Transmission (front) and a B-type US-spec 4- or 5-speed in the rear. According to the source, both transmissions are within a small fraction of an Inch of each other in total length. The 510 Transmission identification Manual (See Documents below), Says that all 4- and 5-speed both A- and B-types of the 240Z have a total length of 31.5In / 775mm, so this might just be within the tolerances.
You can see the Centerline of the “A”-Shifter in the foreground (line #3) sits about 2.25 inchehs behind the Center line of the B-type Transmission (rear, line #1).
Line #2 is the rear end of both transmissions.
To install a Later B-type five Speed, which was sold as Competition Part in US at one Point in a car that was initially equipped with an A-type (four Speed) Transmission, Nissan sold the “Shifter Kit” (Part number 99996-E3030) as seen on the B-type Transmission in the back. It’s basically a bent stick where the original one is straight. The Shifter kit is not available anymore (Courtesy Nissan Information to my request in 2016) but i guess you can just bend the original stick. Also a different propeller shaft is needed.
See also this information from the 1998 Transmission manual:
The shifter sticks are not interchangeable between A and B-type and 4- and 5-speeds.
8.4.4 Later Datsun / Nissan transmission swaps
There are possibilities to swap to a huge array of different Datsun / Nissan Transmissions, but to not make it more complicated for the Moment, i will make a separate post about this Topic later.
9. Transmission / gearing overview
I made an overview based on existing overviews and doublechecked everything with FSM’s, schematics, competition catalogues, E-Fast database, Original Micro-fiches and so on for hours. however sometimes some data was not 100% clear. anyhow i think this is the most complete overview about 240z Transmissions and (later) Options.
Note that this list is not 100% complete since there were also optional single gears to choose and 4-speed optional gears which i didn’t include in the list.
Also note that the part number for the same part may be different in different markets or may have changed over the time.
Click here to download the full PDF file (Free)
If text is coloured in a certain colour this means the “source” with the same text-colour mentioned this data, while all the other sources mentioned the black text. Sometimes it’s obviously a typographic Error but in some cases im not sure.
Also note that there are several other Datsun / Nissan 71A/B Transmissions and Gear kits wich will fit the original transmission and / or L-Series motor but not listed above since they were used in different cars. The list above only contains transmissinos wich were used by factory or sold as option through nissan for the 240Z / Fairlady S30 in different markets.
10. Brass “Warner” vs Servo “Porsche” style steel Synchros
There are both Porsche style steel servo synchros and Warner style Brass synchros. What’s the difference? I have no own experiences but i found following information online:
– The porsche type reacts slower than the warner type
– Porsche type shifts smoother than Warner type
– Porsche type snycros dislike being “speed shifted” (probably due to lower reaction times)
– Warner type is great for drag racing (Fast shifting possible due to fast reaction times)
Since all “competition” transmissions came with porsche synchros despite having slower reaction times, i guess they can handle slightly more power and / or last longer under heavy usage compared to brass synchros. Otherwise it would not make a lot of sense to have these in “competition” (or non-US standard) gearboxes.
11. Clutch throw out bearing collars / sleeves
Upon request i added this information. I found it here:
A lot of people refer to the collar by the transmission, but that can be misleading. Its better to go by the year. Datsun changed the pressure plate the same time they changed the 71A to the 71B transmission. After that its all over the place. You can get a 71B 4 speed with thre different collars, just depends if its in a 240Z, 280Z or a 2+2.
The to drawing below show how you can get confused by using the transmission to determine collar height. The second drawing show the same, but per model Zed.
Picture from Zparts.com showing all the gears:
13. Transmission crossmembers
Update 02.02.2018: I Discovered there are totally three types of transmission crossmembers for the 240Z. Thought this might be useful to know as well, so check out the details in a separate post i made here with additional informations about the bushings: https://www.jdmjunkies.ch/wordpress/2018-02-04/240z-new-custom-made-transmission-crossmember-bushings/
14. Shift patterns
I found this picture in the Nissan Sports transmission manual, showing various shift patterns. Not all of these were used in the S30 chassis, but might still be useful in some cases:
17. Original Documentation
There are a big range of original Service manuals and some not so obvious manuals available in various market versions for the different transmissions. Aside from the standard S30 FSM and Parts manuals of course, which should always be the starting point.
Here you get a short overview and some are available as download:
Datsun FS5C71A transmission service manual (From Roadster 2000 SR311 Manual, will also work for 240Z 5-speed except some differences in the hardware):
– FS5C71A transmission service manual (Roadster 2000)
Nissan Motorsports schematic catalog (99996-M8015), which includes an english
FS5C71A / F5C71B Parts exploded view and Partslist:
Read more about it and download it here:
Datsun / Jatco 3N71A Automatic transmission Manual:
– Datsun – Service Manual – Full Automatic Transmission – 3N71A
Nissan Japan Sports transmission Manual 1973
See full story and download here: https://www.jdmjunkies.ch/wordpress/2018-10-23/240z-nissan-sports-and-rallye-transmission-manual/
“Five and dime” 510 Magazine Volume 11, Issue 4, Datsun / Nissan Transmission identification guide (See Pages 04-09 for a lot ofinformation):
– Five and Dime vol11 issue 04 (Nissan Transmission Identification)
Datsun FS5C71A transmission Rebuild Manual by Rising Sun Racing (1987):
– FS5C71A Rebuild Manual by Rising Sun Racing (1987)
Spareparts – especially for the early manual 5-speed – are hard to find these days, but below you find some adresses that still sell some parts:
Generally, those japanese Vintage skyline and S30 specialists are definitely worth a visit.
here’s a flyer from Transmission specialist Vintagecraft-e-za, as an example:
19. Useful Links
An overview about different nissan / Datsun transmissions and gearing:
20. Thanks for reading
I thank anyone who provided some information for this Post.
If you find any mistakes and can prove it with an official document, please let me know, so i can update this post with the correct Information!