Z31 Differential Page

Basic Information

All Z31s came with the R200 differential. Keep in mind that during crossover months (September) models may have either the listed ratio or the year prior. It doesn't matter if the car came with a manual or automatic transmission. All that matters is the model year and whether the engine was turbo or not.

Stock Gear Ratio

84-87 NA = 3.7:1 open
88-89 NA = 3.9:1 open
84-86 T = 3.54:1 open
87 T = 3.7:1 open *
87-89 T = 3.7:1 clutch LSD *
88SS = 3.7:1 viscous LSD
* only 87 turbos made after 03/87 had LSD. Before this, they were open differentials. Canada supposedly didn't get LSD until the 88 models.

According to TSB 87-097:
* A Limited Slip Differential (L.S.D.) is now standard on all US 300ZX model vehicles with VG30ET engine (turbo), starting with March 11, 1987 production, VIN number JN1CZ14S1HX152718. This type of differential reduces slippage of the rear wheels and delivers large amounts of traction torque to the wheel that can best utilize it.

Fluid Recommendations

Differential Fluid Levels:

R200 - 3-7/8 pt. (approx)
open diff: API GL-5
clutch diff: API GL-5 and SAE 80W-90 approved for Nissan LSD

Fluid Temperature Ratings:

temps * weights
below 50oF 75W
below 86oF 80W
below 104oF 75W-90
between 14oF and 86oF 85W
between 32oF and 104oF 90W
above 50oF 140W

* these are ambient air temperatures

Swap Information

Differential swaps are common and very simple. Swapping any non viscous LSD or open diff into any open diff car only requires the differential. Depending on what year your driveshaft and differential are, you may have to swap companion flanges. There are only two differential companion flanges. The 84-86 models have a slightly offset bolt pattern (i.e. make a rectangle). The 87-89 models have a equal bolt pattern (i.e. make a square). Swapping companion flanges usually requires an impact gun.

Swapping in the viscous LSD from an 88SS model is a bit more intensive. For all models, you will also need the half shafts. For 84-86 models, you will also need to swap the driveshaft companion flange. For non-turbo models, you will also need to swap the outer hubs in the control arms for turbo hubs.

Also, when swapping differentials, keep in mind that if you change the differential gear ratios, you'll have to change the speedometer pinion gear of your speedometer assembly. It's very simple. Remove the assembly from the transmission. Remove the retaining pin. Replace the gear. Put it all back together.

More information

More Information

These differentials are indestructable, change the oil every year or two and you'll never have a problem. Nissan Motorsports sells complete ready to install R200 clutch LSDs for approximately $700-$1100 with your choice of standard R200 ratios.

How to tell

To tell if you have a limited slip differential, lift both rear tires off the ground and turn 1 wheel. If the opposite wheel turns the same direction then you have a LSD. If not, you have an open diff. The transmission should be in neutral for this.

Aftermarket LSD

Phantom Grip

Phantom grip r200 installation procedure is here. Note: According to some owners, Phantom Grip sucks. Their recommendation is to splurge for an LSD.

Real LSD

A number of companies make an LSD unit for the R200. Cusco, Quaiffe, Kaaz, NISMO, etc are amoung this list. Look for any company selling an LSD for a 240SX. Since the 240SX models use the R200 as well, the internals are a fairly simple swap. Just have a reputable shop put the differential back together to get the shimming, backlash, etc all correct.

Stock LSD Part Numbers

Part Name Part number Price1) QTY
Carrier 38421-71S26 $915.26 1
Friction Plate 1.75 mm 38432-N9000 $39.13 42)
Friction Plate 1.85 mm 38432-N9001 $37.33 43)
Friction Disk 38433-N9000 $42.10 2
Plate Spring 38435-N3210 $37.57 4
Side Gears 38423-71S00 $109.28 2
Pinion Gears 38425-C6000 $51.33 4
Pinion Carrier 38427-N9000 $140.17 1
Spacers 38437-71S00 $19.98 2
Clips 38225-N3100 $1.52 2
Pressure Rings 38431-N9000 $367.66 2
Shims by Thickness - Select according to your measurements
2.00mm 38453-N3100 $19.00 24)
2.05mm 38453-N3101 $19.00 25)
2.10mm 38453-N3102 $19.00 26)
2.15mm 38453-N3103 $19.00 27)
2.20mm 38453-N3104 $19.00 28)
2.25mm 38453-N3105 $19.00 29)
Entire LSD Assembly 38420-71S01 $2,303.89 1
1) MSRP retrieved 9/9/09
2) , 3) , 4) , 5) , 6) , 7) , 8) , 9) Same part of different thicknesses
information/differential.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/08 18:04 (external edit)
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