240Z: The guide to 240Z Sumitomo MK63 / FIA / Competition / NISMO Brakes
My knowledge post this time is about the optional Sumitomo “MK63” / FIA / Nismo brakes. I chose this topic, because people often contact me to ask about these, and i thought it might be helpful to some of you.
This post is focussing on the Nissan / Datsun S30 chassis Sumitomo MK63 brakes, but there is also a lot of useful information for other MK63 users / owners. I put this post together over a course of three years, spent countless hours on this and tried my very best to get all information from trustworthy and official sources, but as usual i cannot guarantee that all information is 100% correct. Sometimes not even the official documentation is really clear… Let me know if you found a fault. Also please ask before you copy this! As with all my knowledge posts, i update them every now and then with my latest findings and try to keep them actual.
The Sumitomo group is a japanese conglomerate, that makes all kind of industrial items and is also involved in energy and financial business.
However the sumitomo rubber co. branch, most known for their “Dunlop tire” brand (and maybe also their golf balls), also made brakes at one point.
1.2 The Sumitomo MK63 History
According to some sources, the original MK63 design was introduced by the British brake manufacturer Girling, and then was licenced to Sumitomo Japan.
The first (Nissan) car equipped with those brakes was the 1965-1973 Nissan President H150. Kudos to Roy for confirming this information and the picture from the japanese H150 President FSM:
Another early example i found was the 1967-1971 Nissan / Prince A30 Gloria sedan / wagon. As seen here in the PLA30-U Export sales brochure, which i found on a Minkara page, showing the MK63 solid disk type brakes front and drum brakes rear:
Nissan / Datsun used those brakes in all kind of cars, as either factory brakes, or as optional / competition brakes and even in their factory racing cars in all kind of setups – from luxury sedans, to quirky hot hatches, to purpose built rallye cars. Sunny B2x / B310, 240RS BS110, A10, N10, etc… I once had a customer request for an 1984 ex-Factory Group B rally Nissan 240RS with MK63’s on the rear, as seen here in a 240RS fom NZ (Picture from WRCGRB240TS.web.fc2.com)
1.3 The Sumitomo MK63 Brakes on the S30 Z Chassis:
Sumitomo already made and supplied the factory “S-16” dual-piston front brakes for all the Datsun 240Z /Nissan Fairlady Z S30 versions (including Z432(-R)), as shown below in the Japanese “S30 introduction” Service bulletin. It also mentions that similar S-16 brakes were used on the GC10 (Hakosuka) Nissan skylines:
As my 1973 Japanese S30 / HS30 / PS30 parts manuals state, the MK63 brakes were never factory installed on any public available S30 car, including the Z432(-R) and they were never listed in the official Parts manuals or microfiches.
After the experience with the MK63 brakes as optional racing equipment on the PGC10 “Hakosuka” Skylines, Nissan decided to also use and offer them as optional / competition parts for the S30 Cars and also used them in their factory backed racing cars, as seen here (vented version) in an Ex-Works 1971 RAC Rallye car (Picture from Nostalgic Hero Magazine Vol 118)
While there are many aftermarket and Frankenstein brake options for the Z, the Sumitomo MK63 can be considered the most period-correct and most factory-spec “sports” or “racing” brake System, if you’re into historic racing. It’s also the most “stealth” and factory-looking option if you want to upgrade your brakes, but the government in your country doesn’t like you to… or if you want to keep “historic” registration in some countries and fancy modern brakes are not an option.
If you’re not into historic racing, there are better racing brake options with more modern design. While the MK63 aren’t bad and almost double the brake-pad area over Standard brakes, they’re known to flex under high pressure. To be honest, even the standard S-16 brakes are not really bad (A local Hillclimb racer still uses them and says he’s happy after upgrading to steel-flex hoses and better compound pads), but they tend to get thermal brake fading quite fast under racing conditions.
October 1979 Japanese (G)RS30, (G)HS30 sports option catalogue (included “engrish” typo):
1.4 Name & Versions
The Name “Sumitomo MK63” is visible in the casting (Manufacturer and Model) on all MK63 brake calipers. I guess the other cast numbers are some manufacturing lot or production date codes…
The term “MK63” was used in various catalogues officially, but because it’s FIA Homlogation (see later also), the brakes are often also called “FIA-Brakes” in north american optional parts catalogues, as seen here in the 1976 USA competition parts catalogue:
Due to the fact that they were sold by the official tuning / competition parts arms of Nissan, the brakes are also known as “Datsun competition” and later “NISMO” brakes.
(Picture from Spirit of sykline website):
Here’s a screenshot from the NISMO online catalogue from 2016. The same page can be found in the 2007 printed version of the “NISMO competition” Catalogue (Not in the 2007 NISMO “street” catalogue)
Since Sumitomo later became “Dunlop-sumitomo”, the MK63 brakes are sometimes also refered to as “Dunlop MK63” brakes, as seen here in the nissan BS110 Competition tune-up manual.
However i’ve never seen the “Dunlop” or “-20S” terms used in any of the S30 specific factory documentation.
While there are some different versions with odd mounting and / or bleeder nipple positions and angles, there are two versions that where officially sold for the S30 chassis:
– In the above picture, you can see that the brakes are called MK63-20S, which is the vented disk version (20mm Disk thickness) and Straight bleeder nipple position. (Sandwiched between the two bolts)
– Then there is a very similar, but slightly narrower version (just called MK63), used for solid type (factory S30 type) disks.
See both versions here listed as FIA brake systems for stock rotor or vented rotors (left page):
The Vented type disk seems to have been introced as a Sports option just in 1973 as the January 1978 American “sports option” catalogue states that some disks where used on 1973 models (See picture below). However i’m not really sure at which date the vented version was introduced for sale. I have no catalogue older than 1978 listing the vented version officially for sale (see various pictures on this page):
1.5 FIA Homologation
You can clearly see the (vented, 20mm) MK63-20S brakes are homologated in the FIA Fiche No. 3032 by JAF (Japanese automobile federation) and FIA. If you look close, you will see it’s only valid for Group 4 racing and clearly marked as “not valid for group 3”. (The group 3 version of the fiche still shows the factory S-16 brake calipers installed!)
Here’s the updated 31. January 1974 version of the 3023 FIA fiche with slightly changed (Corrected?) measures. It also says “modifying the dimensions of the brake rotor” and has different partnumbers, compared to all the ones in the catalogues. The rotors listed below are listed as “used on 1973 models only” in the USA Sport option catalogues.
That updated version of the FIA Fiche also lists an MK63 rear disk conversion option with adapter plates, backdated to cars from October 1973, as seen in the picture below. However in all my option catalogues – both Japan and export versions – i haven’t seen this rear brake conversion officially for sale. It’s also not listed in the Nissan Race and rally preparation “Yellow book”, so this might have been a homologation purely made for nissan factory race cars and was never available to the public.
On an interesting side note i found this Information from Alan Thomas online:
What happened was that Nissan used the MK63-20S on its Works race cars right from the beginning, including the first official race entry for an S30-series Z when the Works 432-R entered the All Japan Suzuka 300km race on 18th January 1970 (that famous no.68 car used on so much of the 432-R specific literature).
Nissan actually used the technique of ‘back homologation’ to legalise the calipers for race use. They applied for the evolution in June 1970, but backdated the amendment to be valid from 10th January 1970 – hence covering all the races they had already entered up to that point, including the 432-Rs first race.
2. MK63 Brake specification
2.1 General Numbers
Here you can see some measures (From the old Nismo web catalogue, offline now) from the MK63-20S version that fits the S30 chassis:
However the dimension of the rotor diameter does not fit together with the ones in the FIA Fiches. Not sure what is wrong here, or if my interpretation is wrong?
Here are some measures of my sold disk type brakes:
And here is one with a measurement from a vented type -20S version, which i found on Yahoo auction. Both this and the one above are some random measures, but i thought they might still be interesting for some.
2.2 Exploded view and parts
While usually only the complete calipers, pads and some required bolt-on parts are listed for sale, The (later version) nissan motorsports schematic catalogue shows all the single bits and pieces. The drawing shows the vented type caliper, according to the shape of the Pads, but the part list below shows both options:
Parts list (from the Nissan Motorsports schematic catalogue):
2.3 Differences Standard 240Z vs Solid disk MK63 vs Vented Disk MK63 type
Left 2x my MK63 Solid disk type, right the standard 240Z S-16 caliper for comparison:
Solid (left) vs vented (right side) disk type MK63 calipers (Pictures by KATS, more here)
They’re almost the same, except the wider space for the wider disk and different pad design.
Comparison S16 vs MK63 on S30 vs MK63 on PGC10 (Skyline)
Roughly translated from my Nissan “Race and rallye preparation Manual” book.
According to the only part numbers of this manual (see more pictures later) this is for the solid disk type calipers (vented are notlisted?), but it might be possible that later versions of this book also listed the vented type calipers…
PGC10 race to improve the front of the engine, suspension, good playability with the direction of performance the Sumitomo MK63 type has been chosen as an Option
(PGC10 is slightly different. But you can use it)
4-1. MK63 type specifications
|S16 type||MK63 type
|53.98mm (2 1/3″) x2||41.3mm (1 5/8″) x2 x2 pieces||PGC10 Same for second race|
|Pad xxx Dimensions||41.6x10x78.4 x4||52.5x10x104 x4 pieces||PGC10 Same for second race|
|Pad xxx Material||M59 (for short races)
DS11 (for long races)
|Race option (13/16″)||<———-||Standard (7/8 “) 22.22 %|
|Removal of the lip seal||<———-|
Golden Cruiser #2000 is recommended as brake fluid. (Central trade K.K.)
First the weight of the standard S-16 dual-pot sumitomo brake caliper (including new-ish pads, the short brake-line and some additional red paint) for comparison: 4,435 kgs:
Here is a picture from Alan Thomas with the weight of a Vented MK63-20S caliper with all the hardware but without addtional Pads, showing a total weight of 3,8kgs
Thanks a lot to Christopher for sharing this picture of his solid disk type calipers on the scale with full HW and pads, showing a weight of 4,52g kgs, slightly heavier than the standard S-16 Brakes with full Hardware:
The Vented disk type MK63 caliper might be a tad heavier compared to the solid disk type, due to it’s slightly wider design, but i have no confirmation on this. If anybody has a complete Vented type caliper, i would appreciate to send me the weight 🙂
The pads have two different shapes, depending on if they’re for solid or vented type.
(Picture from the later version Nissan Motorsports Schematic catalog)
Here’s a comparison between the S-16 standard pad (left), MK63 Vented rotor Pad (center) and MK63 OE rotor pad (right) From the Nissan USA Motorsports catalogue 1987:
There were different sets of each type (Solid or vented type) available with different compounds as seen in the picture below:
M33(S) – Soft (Sumitomo)
M59(S) – Medium (Sumitomo)
M28(00) – Hard (Sumitomo)
DS11 – Racing compound (Ferodo)
If you check the various option catalogues on this page you’ll see the exact naming and Partnumbers often varied depending of the year and Catalogue you’re looking at.
If you still have factory pads, you can see the compound type embossed on the back of the pads as seen on my M59(S) solid disk type pads here:
The Solid type disk is the very standard factory installed disk used on the S30, as shown here in the european parts microfiches. Strangely the one in The FIA Fiches has partnumber
The Vented one has PartNo 40206-N3120 (Both left and right)
However the 1978 Sport option catalogue (See picture above), Mentions that PartNo 40206-E4621 was used for 1973 Cars.
Be very careful when bying MK63’s from unknown sources with a vast product description, such as Yahoo auctions Japan. Aside from the many replica parts (see listed below) there are also 3rd party replacement units. But even the Sumitomo built MK63’s where used on a variety of cars as factory or optional parts and some of them had slightly different designs. Make sure to get the right ones for your car. Especially look at the bleeder nipple position and angle and the mounting hole positions. According to the Race and rallye preparation manual pictured below, even the ones used as an option in the GC10 skyline is slightly different, but can be used for the S30 cars. I cannot tell the exact difference, but i recommend to have a good look at all the details before you pay a fortune for something that doesn’t fit.
If you got the MK63 brakes with the correct fittings for your car it’s basically an 1:1 exchange. The following is a translated quote from the kameari website:
It is a high performance caliper that can be installed easily without special processing.
It can fully cope with genuine master cylinder capacity.
There is no size restriction for aluminum wheels.
Most 14 inch or larger wheels can be installed.
As the US-based Competition catalogue in the Picture below says (see right column), the Vented disk type MK63 Brakes need a later style Hub assembly (10202-N3426) when installed on 240Z’s manufactured up to July 1973:
3.1 Installation manual
Scan from my Japanese Nissan “race and rallye preparation manual”. (Rough translation below):
1) Remove the front caliper and and replace the baffle plates with the ones for MK63.
2) Install the front caliper according the the factory service manual, similar to the standard item.
3) Remove the MK63 type pads from the side, and attach the specified carrier and standard washer
And install it. (Tightening torque 7.3 9.9 kg/m)
4) Install the pad.
5) Attach the connecting bolts with the copper washers
Attach it to the inlet of the mold and tighten the hose mounting bolts of the connector to the front of the vehicle in the direction of the water level.
(Tightening torque 1.7 to 2.0 kg/cm)
6) Attach the brake hose to the connector.
7) Place the rotor in a straight-ahead state and attach it to the body hose bracket without hoses
Fix firmly in the lip. Do not use the hose plaque of the strut.
8) Attach a fixed brake to the hose bracket. Do not transfer coalition without fail.
9) Take care not to swing the pre-hose, be careful not to ride on the road wheel tire suspension
Make sure that you operate the maximum left, bottom right, and do not interfere.
10) After completed work, bleed the brake system and check the brake fluid level when done.
4. Optional modifications
4.1 Backing plate modification:
As the Competition catalogue hints, the MK63 brakes are installed without the original Brakes backing plate (Dust protection shield). Due to the bigger dimensions of the MK63 calipers (compared to the original S16 calipers), the Brakes won’t fit into the original backing plates cutout. The “Z432-R & 240Z Race & Rallye preparation manual” lists a set of special “Baffle plates” that fit the MK63 Calipers (first two partnumbers in the list below). I n 2020 i checked with nissan Japan and they’re NLA.
According to Some sources there is even a Manual (By Nissan / Datsun?) Pointing out how to modify the original S-16 backing plates to fit the MK63 brakes. But i was not able to find anything in my collection of documents or anywhere else. Even my sources in japan were not aware of something like that existing.
But you can easy modify your standard S16 Backing plates to fit the MK63 calipers, as shown below. Note that early Cars had different backing plates with an aditioal “Air scoop” to additionally cool the S-16 brakes (As the Japanese S30 introduction bulletin says). I have not tested it, but this might also be an interesting option (Which also needs modification to fit).
Fitment of unmodified backing plate with the standard 240Z S-16 caliper:
(Non-)Fitment of the unmodified backing plate with the MK63 Caliper:
Modified Backing plates with bent edges for the factory look (Pictures by JLPurcell, original thread here):
Completed, powdercoated and installed modified backing plate with MK63 calipers:
4.2 Rear wheel cylinder
As you can see in the Japanese “Sports option catalog” from 1971, there was also a set of bigger rear Drum brake wheel cylinders for sale, which was meant to be used with the MK63 to have a better Braking balance. Now with the improved front brakes you can improve the rear brakes with the bigger cylinders. However I’ve read that most users run them without the bigger rear cylinders and it’s perfect for street and mild sports use. Consider using bigger rear brake wheel cylinders only for professional racing, where Brake balance f/r is a seriously important thing.
5. Spare parts
By now (late 2017) some parts (Brake lines, piston kit, etc..) were still available by Nissan Japan and / or Pitworks. Nismo once even listed some overhaul parts in a pdf on their website (which is now gone):
Seal kit (Pitworks): AY600-NS053 (Picture by Amayama.com, see thes same kit packed, in next picture)
here’s what i got from nissan Japan a while ago:
Brake lines: 46211-79918
Seals (Copper): 46273-A4600
A while ago i was able to buy a set of brake pads (for the vented type calipers). Which i just bought because of the shims, which i needed for my brake restauration…
This list is by far not complete, but i browsed the most popular japanese manufacturers to find some replacements for your worn out parts:
Project-Mu (Left Solid disk typ, right vented disk typ, from the P.MU website):
These are the ones i got for my solid disk type calipers:
ENDLESS Japan also offers some pads. I found this old catalogue pages online, but i think they’re obsolete.
After talking to sales people at at Endless germany, they told me that the correct type for the Vented type is the EP006. The measures seem to be slightly different in the two drawings. but the overall shape seems to be pretty close.
And this is what Pitroad-TS (Japanese specialist for Vintage sunny racecars) offers for the MK63 (Pic from their website).
They seem to have the same shape as the EP006 drawing above.
Spirit Garage Japan also sells a set of “street type” Pads for the vented and solid type:
ACRE Japan also offers MK63 specific S30 Fairlady Z Pads. but unless the listed specs on their website i wasn’t able to find more information or pictures:
Kameari Engine works also offers their “K2” Pads range for the MK63 on the S30 / S31 chassis:
For the Stock (unvented) brake type you can choose from a wide range of aftermarket Disks for your Standard HS/HLS30 car, for example DIXCEL Japan (screenshot of their web-catalogue):
Here’s my set for the standard brakes (Solid MK63) with optional black painted hub:
Or basically any available aftermarket stock replacement disk, like shown here by Rockauto
Victory50 (Japan) has a wide range of disk options and parts (even a size-up kit) for the MK63. click Here (Picture from their website)
Kameari Engine works offers a complete (probably used) MK63 calipers and a range of disks for the S30Z and other MK63 applications (Picture from their catalogue):
Another Option for a wide range of MK63 (and upgraded) disks is Rubber-soul Japan. Some of their disks are made by Dixcel (See above)
Also Mspeed (Japan) Offers a range of MK63 disks, but dont mention the manufacturer:
4.3 Replacement kits
4.3.1 Replica kits
Victory50 seems to sell a last stock New now out-of-production Sumitomo MK63 calipers. According to some information they were a last run produced by the same manufacturer that supplied them for NISMO at the end of their production (Not sure who that was).
Picture from Victory50 Website:
But i’ve seen several MK63 vented (as far as i know) type, complete replica calipers for sale. Mostly recognizable by the golden colour (probably yellow zinc passivated). I’m not certainly sure who is the manufacturer (I guess M.speed Japan). They seem to be available at a variety of shops in Japan but also https://jdm-car-parts.com/ seems to offer them (Picture from their website):
Also Kameari Engine works has a selection of MK63 replica parts.
A Japanese Company called “DTM” now also makes replika “MK63-Kai” Calipers (Both solid and vented), but you can clearly see the difference at the plugs positions and the additional brake fluid tube that goes from one side to another. They’re shown mounted on a Laurel C130 on their website, so i guess that’s what they’re based on and thought for.
They state that their product is different from the gold plated ones shown above. All the original “Sumitomo” and “MK63” casting has been removed on their product and there are a lot of details that are different if you look closely. The external fluid line is (according to their website) “for easy maintenance access” but i think it’s more because it was easier to cast it with external fluid lines? Probably still a great solution if you own an old Nissan / Datsun Sedan and need replacement calipers.
The more i researched, the more options i found. The above list is not complete and is just here to show you a few options.
4.3.2 Complete replacement kits
Endless brakes japan, offers full replacement kits for the MK63 brakes in various versions.
EG 4 BMK 63 S (General MK63 kit for solid rotor, without brake lines or disk)
EG 4 BMK 63 V (General MK63 kit for vented rotor, without brake lines or disk)
EG 4 US 30 (complete kit for the early S30 version)
EG 4 US 30 A (complete kit for later S30 version)
See link above for all specs (including weight, etc..). Picture courtesy of Nengun
Another kit is available by famous Japanese Z-Tuner Starroad. It’s a complete kit designed specifically for the car, and is available in various colours with both street or Sport pads available.
If you buy your MK63 second hand (I got mine from yahoo auctions Japan), you never really know what you get. I highly recommend to rebuild them before usage.
Many spare parts companies offer overhaul services for used calipers, but i did it as shown below:
1) Complete Disassemble (I recommend pressing the pedal when the calipesr are still installed with pads removed, but you can also use an air compressor to remove the pistons once the calipers are removed, but it will be difficult to remove the cecond cylinder once the first one is out…):
2) I Cleaned all the small parts in my parts tumbler (picture also shows other parts, don’t get irritated):
3) Had all the bolts and bits zinc-plated and yellow passivated (As it was from factory). The shims however didn’t end up nicely, so i bought a set of old MK63 pads from yahoo auctions to get a new set of shims…
4) When having the Calipers disassembled, make sure you grease the machined surfaces to prevent them from corrosion.
5) As the Name suggests, use brake cleaner to clean the calipers from old dried grease and dirt. Additionally you can have them soda-blasted for a shiny surface.
5) Allthough not very common, the brake calipers can be honed similar to the Cylinder bores in the motor blocks to make the surface smooth again and ensure perfect Operation. Factory seals can be reused, since honing only removes minimal surface material. A DIY-Tool can be bought cheap, but if you don’t have experience, it may be better to have a specialized machine shop do the work.
I talked to a few Machine shops and most of them replied that it’s tricky to hone such a short-stroke area with above tool or a professional honing machine. They usually just polish the area with a different tool and a soft polishing tip.
6) For cleaning, use brake cleaner or a parts cleaner to clean it thoroughly. If it has paint or varnish you’d like to remove, i do not recommend any abrasive blasting like sand blasting. Dry-ice blasting or even soda blasting might be it to remove additional layers without damaging the original layer. You may want to speak to a specialized blasting company how to do it.
7) Originally, the MK63 which i’ve seen so far haven’t had any coatings, just plain grey cast iron. If you’d like to protect the calipers, i recommend to give it a non glossy clear coat or probably something like RAL 9006 “white aluminum” type colour. but your painter or powdercoating specialist might be helpful. After talking to an expert, he told me that he recommends to have it painted rather than powdercoated. the calipers are in an area which might be hit by small stones a lot and powdercoatings tend to chip more than a specialized, softer but also heat-proof brake caliper paint mixture.
My restauration ends here so far, i will updated it once i’ve completed more steps…
7) Assemble using new seals, new pistons and brake piston grease (Pistons at freezer / Calipers at oven before installation?) E-za service instructions?
6. Alternative Solution
Not historically racing homologated, but broadly available and much cheaper – is the Toyota Hilux / Surf Brake caliper “S12+8” which is quite common and available both in vented and solid disk type (Picture from and more informations here)
Another Option is the later toyota S12W Caliper, which Needs additional adapter spacers (available at Techno Toy Tuning)
7. Additional information sources
– Nissan Motorsports schematic catalogue: Click here
– useful MK63 thread on classiczcars with lot of knowledge: https://www.classiczcars.com/topic/56999-looking-for-a-set-of-sumitomo-calipers-mk63/
– Vintagecraft-e-za (japanese MK63 restauration specialist): Click here
– JDM Race & Rallye paration manual: Click here
Awesome informative post!
Yes the mk63 has 2 different bleeder nipple position. Mk63-20s bleeder nipple is sandwiched between the 2 bolts and the other mk63 bleeder nipple located above the 2 bolts and angles out.
I have a pair vented mk63, and sourcing for a pair of vented rotor for my 240z.
Would you happen to know the product code for dixcel or where i could get them?
Hi Justin, thanks for your inputs and feedback. I had a look but Dixcel only lists the solid type OE rotor. i guess the vented ones are custom made for rubber-soul. The easiest one to get is probably from Kameari, they also have a supplier in the US. You might want to contact those guys here: https://jdm-car-parts.com/collections/kameari-engine-works . Hope this helps – good luck
Great information on the calipers. I’ve had a set of these calipers in my garage for years and never put them on my car because I couldn’t really find the right information on them. Now that I got some good information about them I’m for sure going to install them on my Z. Thanks.
You’re very welcome. good luck with the brakes and have fun putting it all together…