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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Spark plugs

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Category: Emission Control And Tune-Up

The most general spark plug for the A-series engines is Hitachi L46PW or NGK BP5ES -- both are original equipment.



Original Equipment suppliers were Hitachi, NGK and Champion. The most common spark plug for the A-series engines is Hitachi L46PW or NGK BP5ES -- both are original equipment.

Note that a new set of cheap plugs will work better than expensive used plugs -- giving better acceleration and throttle response. The better plugs however will last longer (stay working well for a long time). Even new copper plugs will work better than used platinum plugs. Racers sometimes replace plugs during races, because the plugs foul, although EFI and EI make the engines so much cleaner burning than in the old days it's not as much of a problem nowadays.

Heat Range

Depending on the year, market and usage, Nissan recommended the colder Hitachi NGK BP6E. For severe use, BP4ES, or BP7ES can be used, but be careful and don't use these unless you are an expert. If you are unsure which to use, use BP5ES or BP6ES. Of course you don't have to buy Hitachi or NGK brand, any equivalent plug will suffice. And for you junkyard scroungers, many 4, 6, V8 and V12 engines use the same plugs (see interchange section below).

IMPORTANT: Different spark plug manufacturers use different heat range number schemes. For example, NGK numbers go down as the plug design gets hotter, while Hitachi numbers go up.

Depending on driving conditions, after reading the plugs a hotter or colder plug may be useful (see Inspection section below).

Hitachi L44PW/L44P
Hitachi L47PW/L47P

Resistor Plugs

Nowadays Resistor plugs are almost universally used for reduced interference with radio communications (particularly with AM radio). NOTE: the plugs don't need to be resistor types if you use the common Resistor Spark Plug Wires.

26944.jpgAlbum 26944


Note that Platinum Plugs last longer, but really don't work any better compared to 'regular' new plugs. They cost more but last longer (electrode doesn't wear as fast so gap stays correct for a looong time). ddgonzal's advise is "buy whatever's inexpensive, Inspect and re-gap every 12 months".

Double-platinum plugs will last longest and are often warranteed for 100,000 miles (regular copper plugs are only good for around 25,000 miles).


Dual-electrode types last slightly longer than single-electrode plugs. Datsun used a 4-electrode plug for this reason, on lean-burn engines. These work just as well on standard engines, but last longer (though not as long as double-platinum plugs).

Datsun four-electrode plug

DENSO K16TR11 was designed for Toyoda lean-burn engines, but works great in Datsun A-series (with 1.1 mm gap Datsun #Electronic Ignition):

NGK and Denso vs Iridium plugs

Double-electrode plugs -- like any plugs -- will eventually need regapping or replacement:


Although 1200s original came with Hitachi, Champion or NGK brand sparking plugs, you don't have to buy those brands. Any equivalent plug will suffice. Just be sure the gap is correct (do not rely on them having the correct gap right out of the box).


As part of a Tune-up, inspect and re-gap the plugs every 3,000 miles (5,000 km). Nissan recommends replacing the plugs every 12,000 miles but this seems unnecessary even with standard type plugs, if they are in good condition. Platinum plugs may last the lifetime of the engine.

With points ignition, the spark plugs should be checked every 3,000 miles and replaced every 12,000 miles. With Electronic Ignition replacement is at 25,000 miles (with double-platinum plugs 50,000 miles).

Checking consists of visual inspection and if they have a good color, a re-gap will make them perform well for some time.


Carefully inspect the outer porcelain jacket for fine cracks. Replace if any cracks are found.

Inspect the electrodes for excessive wear (end of life condition).

Inpect the inner porcelain for color/amount of deposit.
174_5a0a686fe2689.jpgPost 486728

Normal: Brown to grayish-tan deposits [unleaded: light, almost white] and slight electrode wear indicated correct spark plug heat range.

Carbon Fouled: Dry fluffy carbon deposits on the insulator and electrode were mostly caused by slow speed driving in city, weak ignition, too rich fuel mixture, dirty air cleaner, etc.
It is advisable to replace with plugs having hotter heat range.

Oil fouled: Wet black deposits show excessive oil entrance into combustion chamber through worn rings and pistons or excessive clearance between valve guides and stems. If the same condition remains after repair, use a hotter plug.

Overheating: White or light gray insulator with black or gray brown spots and bluish burnt electrodes indicate engine overheating. Moreover, the appearance results from incorrect ignition timing, loose spark plugs, low fuel pump pressure, wrong selection of fuel, a hotter plug, etc.
It is advisable to replace with plugs having colder heat range.

Inspection Chart
174_5a0a6882bd01c.jpgPost 486728


For gap, Nissan specifies 0.031 to 0.035 inch.

  • For a smoother idle, use 0.035 inch. The larger gap only was specified for the early B210 with the same plugs and same ignition system.
  • For high RPM use, try 0.31 inch

1972 USA Owners manual (Page 35 ... ):

29357.jpg   29362.jpg
Gap 0.031 to 0.035 in (0.8 to 0.9 mm)

Electronic Ignition

1.1 mm gap (0.044 inch) is suitable for high-energy Electronic Ignition, such as factory Datsun A-series EI. For points ignition, use standard-gap plugs.

B-model Usage

From North American repair manual. Please add to it... and note the country :-)

Spark Plug Type1971NGK BP6E
1972-1976NGK BP5ES
1977-1978 US models - except 5-speed transNGK BP5ES-11 (standard)

NGK BP6ES-11 or BP7ES-11 (cold)

NGK BP4ES-11 (hot)
1977-1978 US models - 5-speed transmissionNGK BP5EQ-11 (standard)

NGK BP6EQ-11 or BP7EQ-11 (cold)

NGK BP4EQ-11 (hot)
1977-1978 Canadian modelsNGK BPR5ES (standard)

NGK BPR6ES (cold)

NGK BPR4ES (hot)
Spark Plug Gap12000.028-0.032 in. (0.7-0.8 mm)
1974-1976 B2100.031-0.035 in. (0.8-0.9 mm)
1977 B210 - US models0.039-0.043 in. (1.0-1.1 mm)
1977 B210 - Canadian models0.031-0.035 in. (0.8-0.9 mm)
1978 B210 - non-California 5-speed0.043-0.051 in. (1.1-1.3 mm)
1978 B210 - other US models0.039-0.043 in. (1.0-1.1 mm)
1978 B210 - Canadian models0.031-0.035 in. (0.8-0.9 mm)

Part Numbers

Factory 1200

Also see Spark Part Numbers

Original Equipment suppliers were Hitachi, NGK and Champion.


Champion N9YC (Nissan part no. 22401-16C79)
* 8110-8910 Sunny Truck JDM
* Champion Copper Plus
26945.jpgAlbum 26945


Electronic ignition
* Hitachi L44PW-11 
  (.11 mm gap)
Point ignition
* Hitachi L46PW (Nissan part no. 22401-A4706)
* Hitachi L44PW/L44P (Colder)
* Hitachi L47PW/L47P (Hotter)

sparkplug-hitachi-l44w.jpg Hitachi_L46PW.jpg Hitachi_L46PW-1.jpg


Electronic ignition
  (.11 mm gap)
Factory application: 
* NA16S/NA20S, Z18/Z20S, E13S/E15S, A12S/A15S, CA20S
* MA10S/MA10T March Turbo
* Y44E Nissan V8

Point ignition
* NGK BPR7E/BPR7ES (Colder)
* NGK BPR6E/BPR6ES standard some years
* NGK BPR5E/BPR5ES standard some years
* NGK BPR4E/BPR4ES (Hotter)

By Year

Hitachi L46PW (Nissan part no. 22401-A4706)
NGK BP5ES (Nissan part no. 22401-A4605)
  # 22401-W8914
* -8503 Japan A12(S)
* 1972-1973 USA

Hitachi L46P (Nissan part no. 22401-21000)
NGK BP6E (Nissan part no. 22401-75500)
* 1971 USA 
* 1970-1973 Japan GX
NGK BPR5ES (Nissan part no. 22401-S2000)
* 7510-8503 Sunny Truck
NGK BP4E (Nissan part no. 22401-75504)
  # 22401-W8914
* 7510-7801 Sunny Truck
Factory application: 
 * A12/A15, E13, J16
 * Z16/Z18/Z20, TB42, PF40, L16, H20
NGK BP5EV (Nissan part no. B2401-89900)
* 7510-7801 Sunny Truck
Champion N9YC (Nissan part no. 22401-16C79)
* 8110-8910 Sunny Truck
Factory application: A12/A15 (C22,B120)
NGK BP6ES (Nissan part no. 22401-W8916)
* 8504-8910 Sunny Truck
NGK BPR6ES-11 (Nissan part no. 22401-P8316)
* 8910- Japan Sunny Truck 
* For electronic ignition
 * 22401-P8317 NGK BPR7ES-11
 * 22401-P8314 NGK BPR4ES-11


RockAuto - buy online

NOTE: You should double-check these numbers before buying.
  • Champion RN12YC
  • NGK 7734 (BPR5ES)
  • NGK 1233 (V-Power BPR5EY)
  • NGK 7082 (GP-Series BPR5EGP)
  • Autolite 64
  • Autolite AP64 (Platinum)
  • Autolite APP64 (Double Platinum)
  • Autolite XP64 (Extreme Performance)
  • Champion 322 (RN11YC4)
  • Champion 3322 (Platinum Power)
  • Champion 7332 (Double Platinum Power)
  • Bosch 4018
  • Bosch 4218 (Platinum WR8DP)
  • Denso 3032, 0.044 gap -- for high-energy ignition
  • AcDelco 4 (Rapidfire 25164642) 0.40 gap -- good for electronic ignition


NGK was factory Datsun OEM equipment (along with Champion and Hitachi).

28777.jpgAlbum 28777

BP5ES Interchange

NGK BPR5ES is now NGK 7734. Here is the interchange for US-model vehicles:

  • Aston Martin: 79-89 V8, Lagonda, Virage, Zagato
  • Audi: 1980 4000, 73-79 Fox
  • BMW: Many models, 1968-1985
  • Dodge Colt 1974-1975 (Mitsubishi Colt)
  • Geo Tracker 89-95
  • Jaguar: many model 1960-1987 (V12 and 6 models)
  • Land Rover: some 1987-2002 models
  • Lotus Elite 1976-1979, Esprit 1976-1982
  • Mazda: 1979-1985 GLC (Familia 3), 79-87 626, 79-84 & 86-87 B2000 pickup, 87-93 B2200 pickup
  • Mercedes-Benz: many models 1973-1991
  • MG: 62-66 Midget, 75-79 Midget
  • Nissan
    • B110 1971-1973
    • B210 1975-1976
    • F10 1976
    • 2000 Roadster 1968-1970
    • 200SX (S110) 1982-1983
    • 720 pickup 1981-1986
    • D21 (Hardbody) pickup 1986-1989
    • Pathfinder 1987-1988
    • Van 1987-1988
  • Porsche: 78-79 911, 78-82 928 V8, 83-84 944
  • Renault: 83-87 Alliance, 84-86 Encore, 80-83 LeCar
  • Rover 3500 V8 1980
  • Suzuki Samurai 86-95, Sidekick 89-95
  • Toyota 4Runner 85-88, pickup 85-88
  • Triumph: some 63-81 models
  • Volkswagen: Most watercooled 1974-1980
  • Volvo 760 1984-1990
  • Yugo: most 1986-1991 models

BP6 Notes


  • 14 mm Thread
  • 19 mm (3/4") Reach

TOYOTA Factory Original: TERCEL (1AC) - 1980 thru 1986

Will Also Fit Many JAPANESE Models Requiring a NGK BP6ES or BPR6ES for HIGHER PERFORMANCE!!

[ S = Standard & K-A = Dual Ground Electrodes - Special Design ]

Models Such As;

  • HONDA = CIVIC (73>79)
  • MAZDA = GLC / MIZER / PICKUP 1.6L, 1.8L / 1200 / 616 / 818 / 626 / 808 (71>87)
  • DATSUN / NISSAN = PICKUP 1.8L, 2.0L / 200SX / 240Z / 260Z / 610 / 710 ( 70>89)
  • SUBARU = BRAT / FF-1 / 1300 / 1400 / 1600 (71>80)

Both 4 & 6 Cylinder Engines

Please check your owners manual for proper applications! Most Japanese owners books will tell you the proper NGK spark plug to use. The NGK spark plugs will also fit many English and European models, but the top plug-wire connector does NOT unscrew on these plugs like some ignition wire sets require.


Used by round-port A14 GFU engines

Comparision to standard plug]

DSC05376-1.jpg DSC05284-1.jpg BRutMDQWkKGrHgoH-DUEjlLlw8DFBJikH95.jpg DSC05280-1.jpg


DENSO 16 is one heat range cooler than NGK 6 (same as NGK 5). This heat range was recommended for some years of A-series engines and is a great choice.

Either Denso K or W plugs will work:

K = 14mm threads by 16.0 mm hex ISO (5/8")
W = 14mm threads by 20.6 mm hex (13/16")
5/8" hex - K type (smaller hex than stock size)
DENSO 3194/K16TR11 Copper Double-electrode (1.1 mm gap)
13/16" hex - W type
DENSO 3032/W16EXRU11 Gap 0.044 Copper U-Groove (1.1 mm gap)
DENSO 3027/W16EXU Non-resistor
DENSO 4501/PW16TT 0.040 gap Single Platinum with Titanium 
DENSO 5305/IW16: 0.035 gap Iridium
DENSO 3004/P16R: 0.035 gap Double Platinum Plug

Nissan Competition

Note: Non-resistor plugs can be used in racing, where allowed, but they can case RF interference. Resistor plugs are used in street cars to prevent interference with radio communications.

From the 1984 Nissan Competition Catalog, Miscellaneous section

NOTE: Not all the listed plugs are suitable for Datsun 1200.
Heat ranges for racing are included. 
  • Champion Spark Plugs
    • 99996-00N60 N60 REGULAR TIP SPARK PLUG [B9ES equivalent]
    • 99996-00N2G N2G GOLD TIP SPARK PLUG [B9EVX equivalent]
    • 99996-0N59G N59G GOLD TIP SPARK PLUG [B95EGV equivalent]
    • 99996-0N57G N57G GOLD TIP SPARK PLUG [B105EGV equivalent]
    • 99996-00N9Y N9Y PROJECTED TIP SPARK PLUG [BP6ES equivalent]
    • 99996-00N7Y N7Y PROJECTED TIP SPARK PLUG [BP7ES equivalent]
    • 99996-00N6Y N6Y PROJECTED TIP SPARK PLUG [BP8ES equivalent]
    • 99996-0N60Y N60Y PROJECTED TIP SPARK PLUG [BP10ES equivalent]
  • Spark Plug Spacer
    • 99996-N6732 .096 SPARK PLUG SPACER
    • 99996-0N677 .135 SPARK PLUG SPACER

"Gold Tip" plugs were patented by Ford in 1968. They are an early version of long-life spark plugs lasting longer than standard but less than today's Double-Platinum. They had a fine-tip electrode similar to today's Iridium plugs which help anti-fouling.

Spark Plug Indexing

You can install the Spark Plugs while making sure the electrode is pointing a certain direction, and pickup up fractional HP.

See main article: Indexing Spark Plugs

Spark Plug Wires

See Spark Plug Wires 

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