Well, since I sold my ignitor to a friend who needed one, I was left without one for my RB20. Off to the junkyard I go and find a J30 – to my surprise the ignitor they use looks much like the one for the RB20 – however the similarities end there.
While the J30 ignitor is smaller and much more compact than the RB20 ignitor and has the same plugs, they are vastly different – the pinouts and even the plug pins are different.
Regardless, if you need to get your RB running and don’t want to try to find an RB ignitor, here’s how to do so with just a bit of parts matching.
Go to Nissan and order this part number:
This should be the part number for the Z32 ignitor retrofit kit, which has all the parts you need. It will set you back about $180 (I managed to get mine for $140 thanks to an great dealer discount – see if you can’t swing one too!)
Inside the kit youw ill find a wiring harness, a metal plate, a bag of bolts, a new ignitor, and some zipties.
Bolt the ignitor to the metal plate so you won’t lose the bolts. Here’s where it gets fun. The new style (J30) ignitor is much smaller and more compact than the old style (RB) ignitor. It takes up much less space, and is vastly improved over the RB ignitor.
Unfortunately, in typical Nissan fashion it’s not as simple as plug and play. On the harness you get in the kit remove the grey 7 pin plug from the harness (remove the pins from the plug).
On the RB harness from the EFI harness there will be a 6 wire plug on it going to the ignitor, one by one remove the wires from the 6 pin plug and put them into the 7 wire plug in the same order – skipping the middle hole.
It should look like this: (6 5 4 # 3 2 1) where #is the blank hole.
Now look on to the wiring harness you got in the kit and remove the grey 6 pin plug, you will be using this in a
Go back to the RB and look at the coilpack harness. You should find a 7 pin gray connector on it. Take the 6 pin connector you removed from the kit harness and swap the wires from the 7 pin connector into the new 6pin connector. Keep them in the same order starting from the left-most wire if you are looking at the plug.
It should look like this: (1 2 3 4 5 6 #) where # is the one you left out.
By now you should be done swapping pins and should have one pin left over from the old 7 pin connector. Lengthen this by a few inches and plug it into the blank spot on the new 7 pin connector (the one from the efi side).
Bolt the ignitor down to the RB with the plugs on the correct sides (I actually bolted it down backwards the first time – doh) and plug the connectors into the ignitor.
Now, if you did this correctly the car should crank over and run with no problems at all – however, if the ignitor gets hot or you see smoke, turn off the car and recheck the wiring.
Here’s the theory behind all this.
Old style ignitor
7pin is output to coils with pinout of 123456g
6pin is input to ignitor with pinout of 123456
New style ignitor
7pin is input to ignitor with pinout of 123g456
6pin is output to coils with pinout of 123456
As you can see, by simply plugging the ignitor in as it is would immediately fry something in the ECU. I tried using the ignitor by simply moving the ground pin on the coil pack harness to the center position. Since transistors are simply diodes, when I went to crank the car voltage was going the wrong way and there was no spark. However, this caused the ignitor to get VERY hot and burn my hand. I lucked out and didn’t fry anything except perhaps the ignitor I was trying to make work. Repinning the harness to accept the new ignitor works, my engine starts fine with it now.
If you’re feeling cheap or are low on funds here is a slightly better alternative. Go to Nissan with this part number:
This is the mounting plate for the ignitor, then go to a junkyard and scope out a J30 and remove the ignitor. Then all you will have to do is remove the plugs from your harness and swap as described above – but make sure to keep track of which wires went where, as a crossed wire could cause a weird firing sequence.
Contributed by Carl H