240260280

Guess what these are and from what engine?

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    This is hardly 'new news' though, is it? It's well known that other engine manufacturers were inspired by the same Mercedes Benz valvetrain designs. Prince Motor Co. apparently paid to license some of the MB patents. You never hear the same said about Nissan, or even any whisper of litigation, so I wonder if MB ever fully patented those particular details that are being recognised here? And whose designs *inspired* MB? There wasn't that much new under the sun in OHV valvetrain design by that time...

    What's not being discussed here is the big layout difference. The Mercedes M180 engine was conceived and designed primarily for use in LHD vehicles, whilst the Nissan L-gata range was conceived and designed primarily for use in RHD vehicles.  

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    In design, there are similarities, and then there are nearly identical copies.  One occurs from convergent evolution, the other occurs from licensing, from disregard for licensing, or from expired patents.  I don't know the history of these parts but they are all nearly identical so I assume they occurred via Prince's licenses.  Regardless, our engines have too much in common with these early vintage MB's to be ignored; rather, I think, it should be proclaimed.

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    16 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    I don't know the history of these parts but they are all nearly identical so I assume they occurred via Prince's licenses.

    PMC's licensing of MB patented details (if it even happened in the way being assumed...) related to their G7 six and pre-dated their merger with Nissan by several years. Nissan's L-gata (starting with the L20 six of '64) was up and running way, way before their merger with PMC. 

    What parts exactly are you pointing at being "nearly identical"? The cam followers look very close, as indeed do the cam follower pivots. Cam towers and oil spray bar? Duplex chain cam drive and chain tensioning? Combined oil pump drive and distributor drive via shaft taken off crank was not an MB first. The valve layout of the M180 is completely different, as is port shape and layout. 

    These types of discussions too often descend into the old "Japanese copycats" type accusations. It's easier for people to package it up that way and file it neatly. I think the truth is a bit more complex than that. There are still a lot of post-war nation and industry rebuilding angles left undiscussed. A dear friend of my wife's family - a Japanese engineer who graduated from the Japanese Imperial Navy's technical school as an aircraft engine specialist and who joined Nakajima Hikoki in 1944 - was working with Japanese battery manufacturer Yuasa in the immediate post-war years. By the late 1940s Japanese and German industrial concerns, having a pre-war history of Axis co-operation and a shared necessity of post-war rebuilding from total devastation, were in fairly close contact and our friend was sent - along with several of his colleagues - to Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany to work with M-B engineers for several months. He had some very interesting stories to tell. Other Japanese and German companies were doing similar personnel exchanges, and were sharing for the common good.

    I'm not saying that's what happened here, but it's relevant to the discussion of 1940s and 1950s technology and is worth bearing in mind.            

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    I have often wondered if AMC's 242 engine commonly found in Jeep vehicles were inspired by some of the early Mercedes engines. I read something about Renault developing the drivetrains for them.

     

     

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    Just a quick update:  A query to the Mercedes Museum and Archive has been made.  I'll keep this thread updated if anything comes of it.  I requested any historical Mercedes data related to Fuji Precision Industries and Prince Motors.

    @HS30-H

    Finger's crossed.

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    No luck from the Mercedes Museum and Archive BUT  as the Hoover vacuum continues to pull data:

    Daimler Benz did have licences agreements with Aichi Kokuki KK starting in 1936. Aichi began making copies of the famous DB600 Inverted V12 (ME-109) at the Atsuta Engine Plant in Nagoya....and Aichi was an engine manufacturer for Nakajima Aircraft Company. Part of Nakajima became Fuji Precision Industries (Engine Manufacturer) in 1946 which later merged with its customer, Prince Motor Company, in 1954.

    So now have evidence of licence agreements for German Aircraft Engines to Japan that connect Daimler Benz to Prince through a line of engine manufactures! 

    Next to find automobile engine agreements.

     

     

    Edited by 240260280
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    3 hours ago, 240260280 said:

    Daimler Benz did have licences agreements with Aichi Kokuki KK starting in 1936. Aichi began making copies of the famous DB600 Inverted V12 (ME-109) at the Atsuta Engine Plant in Nagoya....and Aichi was an engine manufacturer for Nakajima Aircraft Company. Part of Nakajima became Fuji Precision Industries (Engine Manufacturer) in 1946 which later merged with its customer, Prince Motor Company, in 1954.

    So now have evidence of licence agreements for German Aircraft Engines to Japan that connect Daimler Benz to Prince through a line of engine manufactures! 

    Next to find automobile engine agreements.

    I'll watch you from the clubhouse bar whilst you gradually work your way around the golf course backwards. No idea how you're going to hole those putts, but still...

    Anyone who has an interest in the history of Japanese aviation will (hopefully) know about the myriad licensing agreements that the growing Japanese manufacturers took out with American, British, French, Italian and German companies in the first half of the 20th Century. Big topic. Things start getting a little fragile when you try to carry cause and effect through to the post-war years, as a whole new ball game started. New business relationships and licensing structures needed to be built up, and what had been Japan's aircraft manufacturing industry had to find new things to make and sell. I would say a pre-war and wartime relationship between a German company and a Japanese company was a bit of a stretch to prove much about Nissan's L-gata engine design details, and there's still the fact that Nissan and Prince were competing companies when the Nissan L-gata and Prince G7 engines debuted, so a fragile thread between PMC and MB still doesn't bridge that gap.

    Isn't it just more likely that Nissan took elements of the (already old) MB OHC layout and adapted them to suit? There's not much in the way of engine design that hasn't been cribbed/copied/adapted over the years and, once seen, good design and engineering is always going to influence what follows it.

    It's interesting and worthy of discussion, but if it feeds the "it's a Mercedes engine!" type mindset then we may as well file it with the D!ck Avery "I designed the 240Z" stuff. At some point it starts being disrespectful to the very good engineers and designers who actually were responsible for the cars we love.       

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    Ok, putting this thread to bed THANKS TO CARL BECK! @Carl Beck

    Mr.  Hiroshi Iida: revealed in an interview with Nostalic Hero Magazine
    • he started development of an in-line six cylinder engine in July of 1964.
    • the purpose of this was to compete with Toyota, which already had a six cylinder engine in the Toyota Crown. 
    • to catch-up with Toyota Mr. Idia’s team, in the Large Engine Development section was given only one year to develop the L20
    • the L20 was introduced in Oct. of 1965 in the Cedric.
    • the fastest way to develop an in-line six cylinder engine, was to use an existing 4 cylinder block and add two cylinders
    • he liked the Mercedes Benz OHC and chain driven valve train - so he used that.
    Edited by 240260280
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    37 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    Ok, putting this thread to bed THANKS TO CARL BECK! @Carl Beck

    Mr.  Hiroshi Iida: revealed in an interview with Nostalic Hero Magazine
    • he started development of an in-line six cylinder engine in July of 1964.
    • the purpose of this was to compete with Toyota, which already had a six cylinder engine in the Toyota Crown. 
    • to catch-up with Toyota Mr. Idia’s team, in the Large Engine Development section was given only one year to develop the L20
    • the L20 was introduced in Oct. of 1965 in the Cedric.
    • the fastest way to develop an in-line six cylinder engine, was to use an existing 4 cylinder block and add two cylinders
    • he liked the Mercedes Benz OHC and chain driven valve train - so he used that.

    Meh. Groundhog Day (again).

    We've been over this several times before on the forum here. Carl Beck's commissioned 'translation' of the Nostalgic Hero article leaves a lot to be desired and has the usual "made for the USA" type skew which puts the cart so far out in front of the horse that it might as well book a motel room for the night while the poor horse catches up.

    At the risk of invoking Deja Vu (all over again....) I'll ask - yes, again....

    42 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    the fastest way to develop an in-line six cylinder engine, was to use an existing 4 cylinder block and add two cylinders

    ...and this was? What 4 cylinder block did Hiroshi Iida "add two cylinders" to?

    45 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    he liked the Mercedes Benz OHC and chain driven valve train - so he used that.

    What does "he used" mean here?

    Personally I'd give Hiroshi Iida the benefit of the doubt and argue that he was 'inspired by' the MB valvetrain layout and packaging. His design was not exactly the same. I don't believe any patents were licensed, let alone infringed. MB must have been satisfied there was enough difference, or just not bothered.

    The M180 was an MB engine. The G7 was a Prince engine. The L20 and subsequent 'L-gata module' engines were Nissan engines. 

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    There is enough evidence in the similarity of the parts alone to convince anyone of a strong relationship between the two.  It is not convergent evolution.

    It also happened before the Prince merger so the design could not have been acquired via that path.

    Finally the strong or loose interpretation of the Nostalgic Hero article seems to seal the matter.  If I had the magazine article I could get a friend in Osaka to translate it to get a clearer picture however,  I have faith in Carl's research.

    Bottom line is that the L engines have a strong resemblance to the Mercedes M-180 engine. I think this is a good thing!

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    On 12/12/2017 at 5:05 AM, HS30-H said:

    What's not being discussed here is the big layout difference. The Mercedes M180 engine was conceived and designed primarily for use in LHD vehicles, whilst the Nissan L-gata range was conceived and designed primarily for use in RHD vehicles.  

     

     

    Mercedes M-180 for LHD.  The L-gata head is same non-cross flow and basically mirrored. Not a big change.  The alternator and starter are even on the same side.

     

    image.png

    The M180 also has the shared intake/exhaust manifold fastener design and coolant entry location.

    image.png

     

    M180 distributor is in the same location. Oil filter location was flipped to other side on the L-gatta and moved forward as a starter was on the mirrored location.

    image.png

     

    Even the same inline Distributor, Spindle, Oil Pump configuration with worm gear drive.

    image.png

    Edited by 240260280

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    51 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    Mercedes M-180 for LHD.  The L-gata head is same non-cross flow and basically mirrored. Not a big change.  The alternator and starter are even on the same side.

    Except that the starter position for the first L20 six was on the left side of the engine.

     

    52 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    The M180 also has the shared intake/exhaust manifold fastener design and coolant entry location.

    Except the thermostat housing/top radiator hose on the first L20 six, and even on the early L20A, was in the middle of the 'head on the left hand side.

    Fuel pump location/drive is also different.

    55 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    Even the same inline Distributor, Spindle, Oil Pump configuration with worm gear drive.

    Except the drive for the distributor/oil pump jackshaft on the M180 is not taken direct from the crank snout as it was on the L-gata.

    I think there's a certain amount of confirmatory bias at play here. Yes, the cam towers, finger cam followers, follower pivots & springs, oil spray bar etc are very similar and there are close cribs of details to do with the distributor/oil pump jackshaft, but there are also numerous differences both large and small. The Nissan L-gata is not a direct copy of the M180, is it? 

     

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    1 hour ago, 240260280 said:

    ...I have faith in Carl's research.

    If you read through the thread I linked to earlier, you'll see why I'm a little bit more cynical.

    Edited to add:

    You're exercising yourself to show how similar the M180 was to the Nissan L-gata, and also saying you have 'faith' in Carl's research. Meanwhile Carl was spending a lot of energy trying to push his view that Hiroshi Iida's 1964/5 L20 six was quite a different animal from the '1966' L16 and L24 and that the L16 and L24 were effectively 'clean slate' designs not related to, or evolved from, that L20 six. 

    So, what's the M180 closest to? The 'original' L20 six, or the came-out-of-nowhere-just-for-the-USA L16 and L24? If you concur with Carl's 'research', it has to be one or the other, and not both because he says they are "not related".

    See how silly all this 'made-for-the-USA' stuff gets?  

     

    Edited by HS30-H
    addition

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    @HS30-H interesting input for sure.  I have never viewed the OHC and valve train of the original L20. What does it look like?

     

    It is possible the initial influence was in the head for the original L20 then a trickle down to the L12/20/24 block after problems popped up in the original L20 short block.

    Edited by 240260280

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    11 hours ago, 240260280 said:

    I have never viewed the OHC and valve train of the original L20. What does it look like?

    Bearing in mind that Carl Beck asserted this...

    "I on the other hand see evolution as a distinct series of small incremental changes, leading from the origin to the current example. I see no such incremental progression between the L20 and L20A. Rather I see a completely different engine, unlike any that Nissan had ever produced before - pop up out of nowhere - with the appearance of the L16 in late 67 as specified for the PL510 in 1966.

    I do see clear incremental evolution from the L16 to the L13 (same block de-stroked & head) and then to the L24 (same block/head with two additional cylinders) and L20A (same block design / head design cast in a smaller bore, and in some cases with small main bearing supports) all sharing a visibly common design, quite different from the Mercedes looking L20 of 65."

    ...I'm wondering where you will go with your "our cars have Mercedes engines!" line of thinking. Carl says that - in effect - the L20 six and the L16/L24 are 'not related'. If that was the case (hint: it's nonsense...) then what...?

    20191027_114837.jpg

    20191027_114902.jpg

    20191027_115057.jpg

    130-l20-66-6-2.jpg

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    Hiroshi Iida explained that the L20 six was designed and engineered within a very short period (certainly shorter than would have been ideal) largely in response to the activities of Nissan's competitors (Toyota's Crown six and Prince's G7 six) whilst the L13/L16 fours had the benefit of what had been learned from that L20 six and the benefit of new technology and equipment then coming on line - most especially the volume pressure die-casting machinery which allowed the engineers to design componentry that was previously not feasible. Iida saw the 'new' fours as an evolution of the L20 six and Nissan classed them as being in the same family (clue: 'Lxx'), even to the extent of sharing workshop manuals and parts lists. The L20A got that 'A' suffix simply to differentiate it from the earlier L20 six, and there was even a point at which Nissan was fitting both L20 sixes and L20As in the same series of cars. They are the same family.

    The whole point of the 'L-gata Module' was standardisation of settled specs and componentry. It made sense to do this with the L13/L14/L16/L20A/L23/L24 etc as they now had a core design which could share specs, components and ancillaries to lower costs and increase efficiency. The fact that the L13 & L16 came after the L20 six is what allowed them to benefit from what was happening within Nissan - and within Japan - during a key period. Yes, Hiroshi Iida and his colleagues at Nissan were clearly 'inspired' by certain elements of the MB engines, but I would not class it as a wholesale 'copy'. There's clear evidence of evolution in thinking and making use of newer technology in manufacturing and processing there, not to mention the requirements of their single biggest market (yes, JAPAN).

    Here's what Carl apparently believes about the drivers here: 

    I believe that it was revolution, and that was driven by Mr. K in America, Nissan Motors need to increase production by increasing Export Sales, the merger with Prince Motors and the restructuring of the in-house design department - all of which converged at Nissan in the 65/66 time frame and resulted in the creation of something totally new for Nissan. The first outcome of that revolution in Design and Engineering related to new engines was the U20, followed by the L16 in the PL510, and then the L24/L20A.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, unless you try to understand Nissan's situation in the Japanese market - as well as the wider Japanese market itself - you will never fully understand the "Mr K in America" situation for what it really was. It's almost as though the people pushing that "made for the USA" schtick can't imagine that Japanese society had its own journey of progression, of improvement, or it's own hopes and dreams. What of the people actually designing and making the stuff "for the USA"? Do you think their ambition was to own a 998cc corned beef can on wheels, and to stop there? 

    Look at the above quote. You see that "L16 in the PL510" bit? Can you see the chauvinism in that statement? Its like he thinks the L16 would not have existed but for an LHD (and presumably American) model. Doesn't matter that the L13 was designed and built at the same time, or that the L16 was sold in Japan too (and in greater numbers). It's "for the USA". Doesn't matter that the 510 was yet another step in Japan's journey to self betterment, or that - just like Nissan's other models of the period - just as much effort was put into the domestic versions as was put into the export versions, it was "for the USA". That's what they want to hear, isn't it? 

     

    Here's a little quiz question: Which do you think is the bigger number, L-gata 'family' engines sold in Japan, or L-gata 'family' engines sold outside Japan?   

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    From a reputable Motorsports Magazine:

    As an aside, Nissan's development team in the first half of the 1960s eagerly studied German engines. In the same way as for the Prince, the former preferred Mercedes and the latter preferred BMW. Of course, the L type uses the counter flow method learned from the Mercedes type. It can be said that the good productivity is reflected in the original design of Nissan. On the other hand, what I learned from BMW seems to have been reflected in the G engine.

     

    image.png

    L20 Head

    Edited by 240260280

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    9 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    From a reputable Motorsports Magazine:

    As an aside, Nissan's development team in the first half of the 1960s eagerly studied German engines. In the same way as for the Prince, the former preferred Mercedes and the latter preferred BMW. Of course, the L type uses the counter flow method learned from the Mercedes type. It can be said that the good productivity is reflected in the original design of Nissan. On the other hand, what I learned from BMW seems to have been reflected in the G engine.

     

    image.png

    L20 A Head

    That's an L20, not an L20A.

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    8 minutes ago, 240260280 said:

    1963 Prince G7 SOHC non-crossflow reference:

    image.png

     

     

    That's a 1965 G7B.

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    35 minutes ago, HS30-H said:

    That's a 1965 G7B.

    Thanks for the corrections.  I did some further checks and it seems the G7B has a crossflow head? 

    The drawing above only shows the outline of the "invisible" exhaust manifold (you really have to look for it)  on the left side of the head below the intake; so the above drawing seems to be the earlier G7 without crossflow? 

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    1 hour ago, 240260280 said:

    Thanks for the corrections.  I did some further checks and it seems the G7B has a crossflow head? 

    The drawing above only shows the outline of the "invisible" exhaust manifold (you really have to look for it)  on the left side of the head below the intake; so the above drawing seems to be the earlier G7 without crossflow? 

    G7B-R was the crossflow-head version.

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