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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Using Newer Distributor

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Categories: Engine Electrical System | Ignition Modifications

Using 1974-up distributor in older (1966-1973) A-series engines is possible by using the distributor plate with a slight modifications to the bolt-down bracket.

NOTE: Before you remove the original distributor, line up your timing marks. For details on how to install Distributor & set engine timing see Ignition Timing.

The timing-adjustment plate on the bottom of the distributor needs to match the engine.


Early A-series engine: 1967-1973 (front distributor engines)
* A10 & early A12

Late A-series engine: 1974-up (mid-distributor engines)
* Late A12 & all A13, A14, A15

Left: Late A-engine distributor. Right: Early A-engine version
As you can see in this photo, the Early plate has the adjustment-slot on the opposite side compared with the Late type.

Now, either distributor will fit into either engine, and you can rotate the distributor relative to the engine, but you cannot get the slots to line up correctly in an Early using Late adjustment plate, and vice-versa.

Left: Early A-engine. Right: Late A-engine

It looks like the angle of the plate-to-distributor bolt is at a different angle, but that turns out to be not a problem.

So, we put the A12 plate on the A14 distributor. Then we see the real problem: The slot on the A12 plate doesn't match the bolt hole on the A14 distributor.


The solution is easy enough. Using a hacksaw cut out a bit of the slot.


The yellow marks show where you should cut (or you can cut it twice, like I did [smile]). This lets the 5-degree timing line up in the middle of the adjustment range, with the new distributor pointing the same direction as the original distributor.

Then, it fits just fine ...


But make sure to cut the slot in the middle, unlike I did here!

After this, it's ready to use in your early A-series engine! See how to install Distributor & set timing] at Ignition Timing.

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