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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]


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Category: Forced Induction

This article is about a general turbo overview. For specific turbocharger models, see Turbos.

Forced induction comes in two forms: Supercharging and Turbo-supercharging. This article will focus on the turbocharger. For a comparison with the supercharger, see Forced Induction.



Big Power from a stock A-series engines can be had by adding a turbocharger. A turbo setup on an A12 makes more power and torque than a worked non-turbo A14, for a fraction of the build cost.

Turbo setups range from modest to wild.

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Safely Turboing

POST frankthedolphintrainer: its been proven by a few members already that stock bottom ends can handle massive boost. i still run 15.6 psi on my daily and have had no problems
POST about 240hp A-series: rods ARE stock because he raves about there original quality and strength - he mentioned he was expecting it to throw a rod but it hasnt so he likes the standard rods
But don't let the engine ping (detonatation):
POST steveo: in a standard bottom end ... [with] a crappy tuning it leaned out up high and pinged like crazy at that amount of boost ... I had trouble with 'rolling' the ring lands above 15psi

Everything about having an engine survive under boost is the "tuning" (control over the fuel burn)

  • injection - complete fuel control is easier to achieve than with carburetion. Don't ever let it go lean!
  • ignition - complete spark control (limit the advance so there is no detonation/pinging)
  • wastegate - no spikes. An external gate may work better
  • temperatures:
    • Big enough radiator to support the HP made
    • keeping air charge cool (to avoid detonation)
    • keeping combustion temps cool (to avoid detonation) by rich mixture or by water injection or by lowering the compression ratio
    • keeping the turbo bearing cool
  • exactly perfect AFR (air/fuel ratio) for complete even burning. Under full boost this means an unusually rich ratio to keep the charge cool and avoid detonation. Note that stoich ratio (14.7) is not ideal for either power nor fuel economy but is used only to enable catalytic conversion

Stage 1

20% more HP than stock.

A stock A-series engine can take 10 psi. You don't even need an intercoolor, and so you can use draw-through on a stock carburetor. But blow-through is easier.

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  • Stock engine
  • Loop piping from stock exhaust manifold (J-pipe)
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  • Small Wrecking yard turbo ($100). If sized small enough, no wastgate or blow-off valve is needed
  • Tee into the oil pressure line, feed it into turbo. Tap a return line into the oil pan
  • Piping from turbo to stock carburetor via a top hat
  • Set initial timing at 3 degrees
  • In the distributor, weld the advance slots partially to limit mechanical advance
  • Keep the stock vacuum advance (it will have no effect under boost)
  • Fit larger power valve to carburetor
  • Fit secondary main jet two sizes larger
  • Stock fuel piping with medium pressure fuel pump (above 10 psi)

Limit boost to 5 psi.

Or go to 10 psi for short bursts on cooler days.

Stage 2

10 psi. 40% more HP.

  • stock block and head
  • Fit Intercooler (precludes use of draw-through)
  • Box the carburetor to go higher than 10 psi
  • Rejet primary main two sizes larger. Secondary main 3 sizes larger. Power valve increase.
  • Retard timing to 0 degrees. Connect vacuum advance up directly to manifold. This will help idle and starting out under low throttle, but the vacuum advance will have no effect under boost
  • Use 75.5-degree thermostat
  • High volume/high pressure fuel pump
  • anti-surge tank up front
  • Use custom exhaust manifold to mount the turbo
  • 2" exhaust
  • H165 rear axle

Stage 3

100% more HP than stock. Requires modified engine, but not high-RPM usage.

2 bar (28.2 psi)

1 bar (14.7 psi)

Do all the stage 2 modifications plus:

  • Use new Nissan rod bolts, torque to spec
  • Use ARP head studs
  • Fit Intercooler (precludes use of draw-through)
  • Custom pistons for low compression (7:1)
  • A12GX head, ported
  • Copper head gasket
  • Oil Cooler
  • EFI (or professionally modified & tuned box carburetor)
  • custom inlet manifold with large runners
  • 2.5" exhaust
  • Carefully-sized ball bearing turbo
  • 5/16" fuel lines and high volume/high pressure fuel pump
  • Fuel tank modified with baffles, or anti-surge tank up front
  • Custom-recurved distributor with Electronic Ignition
  • Spark retard system
  • Water-injection system
  • 63-Series Transmission for A-series
  • Heavy duty clutch
  • H190 rear axle (or H165 rear axle with heavy-spline axles)
  • traction bars


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See main article: A15ETT
Twin-turbo A15 by 1200rallycar
A15 Before: 52.3 kw (70.1 hp)
A15 After: 75.6 kw (101.4 hp)

Sikyne's A12

160+ rwhp @ 15 lbs boost (standard H89 Head)
240+ rwhp @ 24 lbs boost (big valve ported head)
2nd-hand GT2860R (707160-5) ball bearing turbo
E85 fuel, intercooled
stock and unmodified H89 head
Cam: 236 Degrees at .050 lift
Maximum advance at 16 psi boost: 23 degrees
ARP head studs
stock pistons, crank and rods
standard headgasket
about 120 Lb Ft from 5100 to 6800 RPM @ 15 psi

dyno chart
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Turbo systems

Oh boy, there are a lot of choices when turbo-ing your engine.

See Main Article: Turbo systems
Factory Turbo Systems
Draw-through or blow-through turbo systems?
Carburetor Setup for Blow Thru and for Draw Thru
Cooling: Radiator, Intercooler and Water Injection
Top Mount or Bottom Mount
Blow-off valve (or recirculation valve)
Spark Curve
Fuel pump
Boost pressure
Exhaust Manifolds and Intake Manifolds



Top Mount: TD04 draw-through Dellorto
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Low Mount:
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B20 A15

A15 with Toyota CT12 turbo
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March 2005
A12 engine
A12 inlet manifold (plenum removed)
Daihatsu 1000cc turbo
* bolted to exhaust manifold heater flange
suck-through 2" SU carburetor from MG

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2nd version: Blowthrough

December 2005
boxed Hitachi carb
IHI rhb5 turbo
Custom manifold

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3rd version

November 2006
naturally aspirated dual Mikuni-Solex
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POST power: will do 13s now still with the standard block

EFI A14 out of Hawkes Bay
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Forum discussion: POST HELP !! A12 turbo

turbo001.jpg turbo002.jpg turbo003.jpg turbo004.jpg turbo005.jpg turbo007.jpg turbo009.jpg


Zenith-Stromberg 1.75 with T04 turbo. See POST 7 years of 30 pounds and all is well

  • A15 in Datsun VB10 running 30psi boost
  • dyno'd at 105 kw @6000 rpm with 17 psi boost
  • running BP Ultimate pump gasoline with water injection
  • 90,000+ KM 30PSI AND ALL IS WELL
tourque of the 1500 isnt lost off boost. after 3000 she starts spooling up and by 3500 shes on boost at 4000 shes on full boost and dosnt run out until well after 7000

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A15 turbo intercooler
twin Dellorto 40H
homemade adjustable cam timing gear
big valves: 42mm + 33mm
custom modified piston dish

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Forum discussion: POST a12 turbo 1200 sedan
Unmodified A12 short block
8 to 10 pound boost
hi flow garrett t2
custom hat and weber carb
custom sump
vl turbo fuel pump with malpassi fuel reg
saab turbo bov

It is easier to build up a 120Y engine instead of a 1200 engine as the alternator is not on the exhaust side

blow through A12
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Top-hatted carburetor on A12
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Weber 32/36 blow-thru with frankthedolphintrainer turbo manifold
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Finn may have the world's quickest A-series engine. It runs a high 11 second quarter mile with Turbo Master Power.

See Main Article: Finn A14


Suck-through SU, the classic setup

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Turbocharged A15
Twin Dellorto DHLA 45 carburetors on Redline manifold
Custom airbox hat
Garret A/R 48 turbo
Intercooler from 200SX
2.5 inch dump pipe
Liverpool Exhaust

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more photos


A12 Sedan with Weber and Hitachi turbo
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A12 wagon with 175 Stromberg and Mazda 20B turbo
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See also: rezlo

ZA turbo A15, and when racing class rules changed, changed over to A14
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For maximum boost, use a large turbo. Lag is heavy, but still operable.

* Drawthrough
* 45 Weber DCOE carburetor
* T4 turbo @ 10 psi
* Compression ratio: 8.2:1

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A12 turbo made 100kw rwhp on 12-13 lbs boost

See Main Article: Topgear A12 Turbo
  • stock block except for new rings
  • A14 head
  • suck-through SU carburetor
  • no intercooler


See Main Article: $1200 EFI Turbo A12


slam1024 added a turbo

* 1973 Datsun 1200 2-door sedan
* Custom manifold with runners from Tercel
* stock SU blow-through setup from 1.3 liter MG Metro Turbo

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steveo 1

Using stock exhaust manifold with suck-through. Cut oval port manifold with hose to connect it to the pipe work that goes to the commpressor side of the turbo and the turbo sits on the sunny manifold. it look better in real life!

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$8,000 from Jake's Performance in Canberra
originally built for Simon Woolford ex-Canberra Raiders  
A15 engine built
Garrett turbo
Weber downdraft modified for blow-through use
Upgraded Radiator
fuel system surge tank etc
exhaust system
All pipe work inc
Boost controller
runs 7 or 11 psi up to 14psi
130rwkw with papers


Turbo Manifold Photos
Turbo Photos 1 
Turbo Photos 2
Intercooler Photo Index

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