Nismo DOHC L-Engine Upgrade: 60 Years Too Late?

Nismo DOHC L-Engine Upgrade: 60 Years Too Late?

L-Engine close up with Nismo DOHC upgrade, engine is displayed with black background

The introduction of a cylinder head upgrade for the venerable L-series engine found in classic Nismo vehicles like the Datsun 240Z and Nissan 280ZX, this upgrade shifts the engine from a single overhead camshaft to a dual overhead cam setup, promising significant performance enhancements, but an upgrade 60 years to late? The specifications of the new cylinder head are highlighted, including a bore and stroke of 89.0mm x 79.0mm, a displacement of 2,949cc, and a compression ratio of 12.5:1, resulting in a remarkable increase in power output, with figures exceeding 300 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque.

L-engine upgraded from Nismo Heritage in a white Datsun 240Z
DOHC upgrade for Datsun 240Z and Nissan 280ZX platforms. Nismo Heritage 240Z displayed at Nissan2Days 2024.
Source: MCN1SMO via NissanZClub

While similar upgrades exist, such as OS Giken’s TC24-B1Z and Datsunworks’ KN20 head, the focus here lies on Nismo’s proprietary development. The Nismo TLX (Twin-cam L-Series eXperimental) cylinder head represents a significant milestone, produced in-house by an OEM, potentially offering unparalleled quality and performance. However, the exclusivity comes with a hefty price tag, estimated to be north of $40,000, placing it within reach of serious vintage racers and dedicated restorers.

Close up of red valve cover upgrade on Nismo L-engine

Nissan’s decision not to offer the twin-cam L-series head for sale further reinforces its niche appeal. The target audience comprises deep-pocketed individuals deeply invested in the restoration and enhancement of classic Nismo platforms. Despite the limited market, the introduction of such upgrades underscores Nissan’s commitment to its heritage program, catering to enthusiasts who cherish the legacy of iconic models like the 240Z and 280ZX.

White Datsun 240Z from Nismo2Days 2024 with red valve cover

It’s an interesting move by NISMO to offer such advanced technology for a niche market of hardcore Nissan enthusiasts. While the price tag may seem daunting, it’s a testament to the brand’s dedication to its heritage and the satisfaction of its most dedicated fans. Do you agree with the decision to offer an upgrade for an engine platform close to 60 years old?

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