LD20 questions

Discuss (and cuss) the Nissan LD-series OHC Six diesel engine, popularly available in the US in 1981-83 Datsun/Nissan Maxima Sedans & Wagons.

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philip1
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Charlotte NC / Vancouver WA

LD20 questions

#1

Post by philip1 »

I'm doing research before diving into a swap. I have a 1981 Datsun 510 that currently has a Z22 and an automatic in it. No matter. Im wanting to convert this to diesel power and I'm looking at the LD20T as the power plant.

Here are a few details on what I have: The 1981 Hl510 came stock with a 90hp z20 in the two door configuration the transmission choices were 3-speed auto or 4-speed manual. both used the same 3.36:1 differential.

I'm thinking with the LD20T add fuel and boost for more power and Torque and put a nice 280zx 5-speed behind it for low RPM highway use. I am also thinking about adding an intercooler for more dense charge and more torque.

My questions are as follows:

1.What are the pit falls I will likely run into with this sort of swap?

2. Will I have to change fuel lines to accommodate the conversion?

3. AM I NUTS?
Phil
1981 HL510 (in WA)
I will be installing a diesel in this thing
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asavage
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Location: Duvall, Wash.
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Re: LD20 questions

#2

Post by asavage »

philip1 wrote:1.What are the pit falls I will likely run into with this sort of swap?
LD20 parts are not common in the US. The turbo version even less so. But the common consumables (IP belt, filters, etc.) are the same as the Maxima's LD28.
2. Will I have to change fuel lines to accommodate the conversion?
Not the lines, but the fuel tank. Posts where I've mentioned this:
8818
10705
14493
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.
philip1
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Charlotte NC / Vancouver WA

#3

Post by philip1 »

Since this car is kind of rare to start with I doubt there is an unlined tank in existence for it. Could I apply a coating inside that would cover the galvanizing that won't be dissolved by diesel?
Phil
1981 HL510 (in WA)
I will be installing a diesel in this thing
philip1
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Charlotte NC / Vancouver WA

#4

Post by philip1 »

Since this car is kind of rare to start with I doubt there is an unlined tank in existence for it. Could I apply a coating inside that would cover the galvanizing that won't be dissolved by diesel?


Now on to the engine rarity I may have to move my inquiry to the SD2X section. Unless you have an engine in mind that would be a better match?
Phil
1981 HL510 (in WA)
I will be installing a diesel in this thing
User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5369
Joined: 15 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
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#5

Post by asavage »

philip1 wrote:Could I apply a coating inside that would cover the galvanizing that won't be dissolved by diesel?
If you follow those links, you'll find mention of an acid that is readily available that can be used to remove the zinc.
Now on to the engine rarity I may have to move my inquiry to the SD2X section. Unless you have an engine in mind that would be a better match?
I think the LD20T is a much better candidate for a conversion than any SD, for a car. The SD is a more "agricultural" engine. The LD is more refined with a broader powerband and it's more comfortable being run at higher revs, plus it generally uses less oil!

But there is not a ready available source for LD20T parts in North America. You will have to get an import engine (fairly readily available) but make certain it is complete, or you'll fight parts sourcing issues.

The LD20T may have to have the oil pan modified, but that's going to be the case with nearly any conversion. I've seen VG30s in 510s, so I'm certain it can be done.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.
philip1
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Charlotte NC / Vancouver WA

#6

Post by philip1 »

if the LD20t is front sump then it will drop right in the only issue I could see is the turbo may hit the steering box. I have a few ideas how to solve that problem.
Phil
1981 HL510 (in WA)
I will be installing a diesel in this thing
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