The only Datsun 1200 that came with a 5-speed was the Japan-market 1972 GX-5 model. However any A-series 5-speed will bolt to the A12 engine with some degree of modification.
The Datsun 1200 GX-5 model came with a non-overdrive five speed. B210 and B310s came with various 5-speeds that can be fitted to B110:
- F5C56 (B110) non-overdrive a la B110 GX-5
- F5C56A (B210)
- FS5W63A Overdrive, JDM HB211, JDM HB310 Sunny (Coupe only), USA B210s
- FS5W60L (B310 - HB310) overdrive (1979)
- FS5W60A (GB310 - PB310) overdrive (1980-1982)
- RS5W60A (Vanette) is an external shifter model, but can be used for parts for the FS5W60A.
Why Should I get a 5-speed?
Adding a 5-speed is one of the best improvements that can be made to the Datsun 1200. Easier, quieter more efficient highway cruising will result. This was Mareo's idea, and I think he might be right.
Why should I not get a 5-speed?
On the other hand, if you don't do much highway driving consider that the A12 4-speed is lighter and may have less friction (meaning better fuel economy and a little more horsepower makes it to the pavement).
What types of 5-speeds are available?
- 56-Series Transmission
- small, light, with visible ribs along case similar to B110 4-speed
- Suitable for A12 engine. Not strong enough for A14
- The 5-speed versions were 1:1 direct fifth-gear (non-overdrive), called in Japan the "direct mission"
- Fitted to B110 GX-5 and early (A12T) B210 GX-5
- 60-Series Transmission
- 63-Series Transmission
- large trans commonly used with L-series engines, a version was also fitted to A-series engines in B210s.
- Overkill for the A-series engines, strong enough for supercharged A15
- The 5-speed version is a "dogleg" shifter.
- Fitted to North American B210 5-speed hatchbacks from 1976-1/2 through 1978 model years, and starting in 1977 for Canada
How easy it is to swap in?
Any A-series rear-wheel-drive 5-speed will bolt up with only slight modification.
This means any 5-speed from a:
* 1974-1978 B210 (120Y) * 1978-1982 B310 (210/Sunny)
And, these 5-speeds are designed for the A14 and A15, so they will handle the extra torque of these motors (The A12 4-speed is a little weak to use with an A15).
Where can I get one?
In USA, the B310 5-speed is common and inexpensive. Just look for a 1979-1982 Datsun 210 (Nissan body type B310 aka Sunny). You can often buy a whole car for about $500 or less. In the wreckers, transmissions go for about $200 u-pull. The B210 5-speeds are less common, but go for the same price if you find one (prices last checked in 2010).
In Australia, ask around. They can be hard to find and expensive.
Be sure to get:
- Clutch disc for 63-series trans differs from all others, so get the matching clutch disc. All other 5-speeds use the same splines as stock Datsun 1200.
- The automatic crossmember (reversed) may work with some 5-speeds. In automatic 1200 bodies, a 5-speed reportedly bolts up with the crossmember
- The transmission mount. There are various types, so get the one with the transmission
- Clutch release lever and release bearing (throwout bearing)
- Engine plate, if the 5-speed used one. The release bearing sleeve and plate are a matched set.
- You may use your existing flywheel and clutch cover
- Propeller Shaft for 63-series matches the 1200 automatic driveshaft. The 60-series 5-speeds use the same driveshaft as the stock 1200 4-speed.
Most of the 5-speeds use a "dogleg" shift-pattern (aka 'reverse shift').
ONLY the 60A 5-speed is a non-dogleg. It was used starting with 2nd-year B310, from late 1979.
Dogleg FS5C56A FS5W63A FS5W60L
See main article: Dogleg
Are there any close-ratio or non-overdrive 5-speeds?
The 1984 Nissan Competition Parts catalog says:
The 5-speed transmission (F5W56A) was originally installed on certain non-USA models of the 1200.[JDM Sunny 1200 GX5] With the stock gearing this transmission works very well for street, slaloms, high-speed time trials or rallies. With the optional gearing (32010-H7220N), it is the best production-based transmission available for racing versions of the 1200, B210 or 210 Datsuns. The synchro mechanism is the servo-type (steel).
The Part Number above [3210-H7220N] is a Nissan Competition number. They often put N or R after the regular number. Without or without the 'N' suffix, that number describes the 56A five speed 'Option 1' close ratio competition transmission for these models.
The F5C56A [JDM Option 1] is as rare as hen's teeth. These were racing parts, and thus are difficult to find and expensive. Some Japanese dealers fitted them to retail GX models for special customers. The Japan domestic model Datsun 1200 GX-5 came with the wide ratio F5W56A as standard. This was also available from Datsun Competition.
The Option 1 box came with the ratios of
The Option 2 box was for Japan Domestic Racing.
- The factory 1974 Datsun B110 Competition Tune Up Manual lists only the Option 1 & 2 four speeds [56 series trans] which were superseded by the Option 1 five speed [56A trans] The ratios are as listed above except for 4th gear which is shown in this book as 1.182.
The factory 1974 Datsun Sunny 1200 [K]B110 Sports Option parts Catalogue lists only the Option 1 five speed with the ratios matching those listed above exactly. There was no Option 2 five speed listed in the Japanese Datsun Sunny 1200 [B110] Factory competition literature.
I speculate that the US arm of DatsunSport quite possibly listed the stock F5W56A [wide ratio trans] as their Option 1 gearbox & the real Option 1, the close ratio F5C56A competition trans, as their Option 2 offering, thereby confusing the situation completely. [Author KB10]
B110 GX5 JDM came with
B210 JDM Coupes came with:
The factory "Datsun 1200 Sports Option Parts" Catalogue for the "Model: B210, KB210 Series" lists an Option 1 five speed 56A trans. It is identical in every way to the one listed in the 1200/ B110 factory competition literature. There is no Option 2 trans listed here either. The stock B210 Sunny GX5 used the F5W56A trans.
The overdrive 5 speeds have:
5th 0.875 or 0.825
Also see: Dan Hall 5-Speed
How Strong are they?
Gearboxes are rated for torque (twisting force). Peak Horsepower is not a factor. It doesn't matter how much horsepower you have; whether you need a stronger transmission depends on how much torque the engine puts out.
Datsun boxes are numbered by the distance between the centres of the countershaft and the main shaft. 56 series 56 mm, 60 series 60 mm, 63 series 63mm.
Approximate guides are 50 % up on the stock engine torque:
- 56L 4 speeds 105 ft/lbs (Datsun 1200)
- 56A boxes 120 ft/lb (Datsun B210 & B310)
- 60 series boxes 135 ft/lb
- 63 series boxes 175 ft/lb
- 71B series boxes 240 ft/lb
- 71C series boxes 300 ft/lb
- 90A series (FS5R90A), Borg Warner T5 in 1982-1983 280ZX Turbo ~290 ft/lb
One thing to watch out for in the 60-series is reverse gear. The internal linkage is weak and can bend, making it not shift into reverse properly. Wubbits and I have both run into this problem. See Will a B-210 5-speed fit in a 1200
See main article: Gearbox Weights
All 56-series and 60-series RWD transmissions are the same length. 4-speeds and 5-speeds are the same length. So they all use the same driveshaft.
FS5W63A and B110/B210 Automatic are slightly different length than 4-speeds. The driveshaft is 15mm longer than a 4-speed driveshaft.
FS5W63A from non-B210 may be different length. Per (ROConnor): "I hav here a 63A#1 dogleg 5-speed, and a 56A 4-speed that both measure 660mm from the mounting face to the end of the output shaft (so may be diferent 63A's?)"
Short tail total length: ~26.3"
- 1977-1979 200SX USA S10 (L-series engine, FS5W63 "smoothcase" dogleg)
- 1968-1973 PL510 (L-series engine, F4W63 "bottom pan")
- 720 FS5W71B "ribbed case" used on certain 720 4X4s (long wheelbase?)
- Z-engined series
- may have had an L series in 1980 only
Long Tail total length: ~31.5"
- 1965- 520/521 from '65 with J and L Engines
- 1978-1981 HLA10 L and Z Engines
- 1973-1975 610 L Engine
- 1974-1977 710 L Engine
- 7206-7309 620 L Engine
FS5W63 5-speed (dogleg)
- 1979-1981 HLA10 optional L and Z series
- early 1970-1971 240Z
- 1973-1978 S30 240/260/280Z
- 7310-1980 620 L Engine
- 1978 -? 810 L Engine
- 1980-1986.5 720 L and Z Engines
- 1977-1979 620 L Engine
- 1977-1983 280Z and 280ZX L Engine
- 1978-1984 810/Maxima L Engine
- 1980-1986.5 720 L and Z Engines
- 1980-1983 S110 (200SX) Z Engine
- 1984-1986.5 S110 (200SX) CA Engine
- 63 series: 1.6-2.0 liter engines
- 71 series: 2.2 and larger engines
What about my Speedometer?
Well, speedometers are generally off in the first place. But, yes, your speedo may read incorrectly if you change transmissions. On the US 5-speeds, the speedo pinion gear will interchange from the 4-speed, BUT there is one less tooth on the output shaft (5spd). This makes the speedo display faster than the actual vehicle speed.
See main article: Speedometer#Drive_Ratios
What about using a non-Nissan 5-speed?
The Celica/Corolla T50 5-speed has been used successfully by several club members. If you want to spend a little you can also get a conversion kit for a Toyota 5 speed. These boxes are stronger, lighter, more easy to find, yet less expensive than Datsun 5-speeds.
Toyota T50 5-speed
The Toyota T50 overdrive 5-speed is light, strong and readily available. The ratios are closer than the regular Datsun 5-speeds. But you need to adapt it to the A-series engine as it uses a different bellhousing bolt pattern.
For details, see main article: T50 5-speed
Dellow T-50 Swap Kit
Toyota W50 5-speed
Using an A-series automatic transmission bellhousing, make an adapter plate to fit the W50 gearbox.
For details, see main article: W50 5-speed
The series casting mark is on the right side of the gearboxes.
Ribbed-case vs Smooth-case
56-series trannies are small and light, and have these visible ribs on the case and bell section.
By contrast, 60-series and 63-series are "smooth case" transmission with no ribs on the bellhousing area.
Smooth Case 56
There are some rare smooth-case 56-series gearboxes. It is unknown what these are out of.
60 vs 56
56A & 60A comparo (4-speeds) Size; shape comparison.
60L vs 60A
The FS5W60L is known in Japan the "low-back 5-speed" and came in the early B310 Sunny, and 1979 model year USA B310.
Identification: 1979 Datsun 210 (B310) 5-speed "FS5W60L"
- Oil plug out the back is 60L (not pointing down like 60A)
- H90 part prefix (cast into cluster plate) is unique to this transmission
- Unique double-gear cluster gear in extension housing is 60L
- 60L in right-and-up position is Direct (4th) per dogleg shifter. Whereas in the 60A this same position is 5th.
- 60L has no boss sticking out the right side of the back, whereas the 60A has it (up high).
And who_your_datty_1200 pointed out that the #2 casting mark on the back is an indicator of the dogleg shift pattern.
However this might be gear options or more likely just a casting revision.
The 63 transmission came with A14-powered B210 (HB210 and HLB210). It was not used by Nissan Competition for racing. Instead the 56-series was recommended for the small cars, and the 71 for the larger cars.
The 1977-1978 USA got B210s with factory 5-speed transmissions. Here's an advertisement for one:
MPG Champion - Datsun B210
This is the FS5W63A "dogleg" trans. Note the casting line around the center section on the otherwise smooth housing.
63 series L-engine vs A-engine
63 series gearboxes speeds were available for A14 engines and for L-series engines, Z-series engines and J-series engine. So be careful to match the bell pattern and make sure the one you buy fits the A-series.
4-speed vs 5-speed, 63 Series
For more information, see: 63-Series_Transmission#4-speed_vs_5-speed
4-speed vs 5-speed, 60 Series
Make sure you don't purchase a 4-speed by accident :-) they are very similar looking.
From the left side, the difference is less obvious. But you can still see the bulge in the extension housing for the 5th gear.
4-speed vs 5-speed, 56 Series
- has a reverse light switch on top, pointing straight back
- top two case bolts are long (2-3" long)
R vs F Comparo
Vanette "Remote" shift transmission could be used for parts to repair an "F" Floor shift 60A.
See: * Transmission Interchange * 56-Series Transmission (Datsun 1200 GX5 type) * 60-Series Transmission (Datsun B310 Sunny/210 type) * 63-Series Transmission (Datsun B210-A14 type)
List of A-series Transmissions (rear wheel drive)
Discussion about transmission differences: GEARBOX NUMBERING AND BASIC INFO.
B10 * F4W56 Floor-shift 4-speed 56-series ** B10 uses a bell-crank clutch release lever, unlike all other models
B110 * R3W56 3-speed column shift * F4W56 Floor-shift 4-speed 56-series * FS5W56 Floor-shift 5-speed 56-series - (direct fifth 1:1, non-overdrive)
B210 * F4W56A Floor-shift 4-speed 56-series (fitted to A12 & A13) - Stronger than previous models * F4W60L Floor-shift 4-speed 60-series (fitted to A14) * F4W63L JDM Floor-shift 4-speed 63-series for A14 - Has bottom plate, unlike all others * FS5W63L Floor-shift 5-speed 63-series
B310 * F4W56A 32100-H7421 for A12 and A13 * F4W60L (JDM) 32100-H8901 with A14 * F5W60A (1980-1982) 32100-H9700 (A12) or 32100-H9701 (A14/A15)
NOTE: -L and -A do not indicate the engine type the transmission fits (bellhousing pattern). There is an FS5W63A for L16 engines, and an FS5W63A for A14 engines.
Case assembly part numbers: * 32100-G1030 - F4W56 early B120, R3W56 early B120 * 32100-G1123 - B120 7510- SB * 32100-G1124 - B120 7510- LB * 32100-H5030 - F4W56 B210 A12, R3W56 B210 (up to '75-3) * 32100-H5035 - F4W56 B210 A12 (from '75-3) * 32100-H1000 - F4W56 * 32100-H6231 - F4W56A USA B210 with A13 -0874 * 32100-H6201 - F4W56A ** replaced 32100-H6200 * 32100-H7421 - F4W56A (B210 and B310 A12 and A13 -8010, and all F4W56A 8011-) * 32100-H7310 - F4W60L (B210 A14 V) * 32100-H8901 - F4W60L (B310 A14 -8010 and all F4W60L 8011-8109) * 32100-H9000 - F5W60L (B310 S, K -7909) * 32100-H9700 - F5W60A (B310 A12 7910-) * 32100-H9701 - F5W60A (B310 A14 7910- and all F5W60A 8110-) ** Same as F4W60L * 32100-U6700 - FS4W63L (B210 JDM A14) * 32100-N6700 - FS5W63A (B210 JDM A14)
FSW60A 3rd Gear variation (1.320 versus 1.378) * 32260-H9700 GEAR ASSY-3RD SPEED * 32260-H9701 GEAR ASSY-3RD SPEED
Gear Ratios5-Speed Ratios
|Gear||F5C56A GX5||F5C56A Opt.1||F5C56A Opt.2||???||FS5W60L||FS5W60A close.3rd||FS5W60A wide.3rd||FS5W63A|
|Note||Stock B110 GX-5 & early B210 GX-5||wide ratio PN 32010-H7251P||close ratio PN 32010-H7220N||?||1979 NA FSM||1980 (for A14) 1981-1982 (for A15) NA FSMs||1980 (for A15) 1981-1982 (for A14) NA FSMs||1978 NA FSM|
3 & 4-speed ratio Comparison reference
|Gear||1971 R3W56||F4W56||56 Opt.1 gearset||56 Opt.2 gearset||F4W60L|
|Note||1971 FSM||1971, 1980-1980 FSM||F4W56L middle-close ratio||F4W56L ultra-close ratio||1976, 1978-1982 NA FSMs|