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Strut Spindle Angles

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I'm trying to find out if there is such a thing as a 280zx strut that has the same spindle angle as the stock 510. Until today I thought all 280zx struts were a different angle from 510s (so you would need camber plates to get the right camber). Then I came accross a thread on the realm that indicated that at least some are the same angle (10 degrees?).

 

I've done a bunch of searching on this, but I can't find a clear answer. It seems like there isn't very clear aggreement on this. Or has it been settled once and for all, and I didn't find that discussion?

 

Here are the answers I found:

 

a.) All 510 and 280zx struts are actually the same angle.

 

b.) Some 280zx struts are the same as 510, some are not.

 

c.) No 280zx struts have the same angle as the 510.

 

Note: This doesn't take the offset created by the hub into account. Only the angle between the strut tube and the spindle.

 

Does anyone know? Thanks

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Last physical comparison I saw showed them all the same, however...that doesn't mean that the steering knuckle boss could be offset to the tube which would change the angle that the spindle sits when mounted dependent on the length of the LCA. Someone, can't remember who, said he had a zx and had to replace a strut and when he did his tire no longer tucked like it did originally.

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the zx are differant angles if i remember right slodat had 2 sets and each set was different and remember if you dont use bump steer spacers you have to swap the left and right calipers so they mount in the front so they dont hit

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I've never noticed this, but this is what the Motorsport catalog says for the front strut assembly:

 

79-81 n/a

81 turbo

82 (to 1/82)

2/82-83

 

This doesn't mean that the angles are all different, but I'm guessing the main difference is 79-81 part.

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...that doesn't mean that the steering knuckle boss could be offset to the tube which would change the angle that the spindle sits when mounted dependent on the length of the LCA.

 

That's interesting. I hadn't heard of that difference before. That could explain some people thinking the angle is actually different. It seems like this could be compensated for somewhat with an adjustable LCA, although it would still change the steering geometry some.

 

the zx are differant angles if i remember right slodat had 2 sets and each set was different...

 

Do you mean they are different for different ranges of years, or they are different from 510 struts, or both? There was a thread on the realm where someone measured a whole bunch of strut angles, and if I understood right, they all came out the same angle. But, they could have missed measuring a ZX strut from the range of years where they were different. To make it more confusing, the years that people think were a different angle, are reported to have the same part number.

 

I've never noticed this, but this is what the Motorsport catalog says for the front strut assembly:

 

79-81 n/a

81 turbo

82 (to 1/82)

2/82-83

 

This doesn't mean that the angles are all different, but I'm guessing the main difference is 79-81 part.

 

I wonder if the difference is just the location that the ball joint attaches like thisismatt mentioned. Several people that have measured, came to the conclusion that the angles are the same.

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I bought a pair of ZX struts from Klotz last year. He had 2 pairs and we measured them. They did have differing angles. Maybe he can clarify what the actual year each came from. Mike? You remember?

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are their part#s on the strut/spindle tubes,,if not then would they need to be measured off the car ,,with a angle finder ,,im guessing ,,so that you could make sure the tube is exactly vertical ,,

if someone could please decribe this better,,it would be helpful ,,as my lower arm are the same lenth but one tire is out side the fender 3/8" more ,,i do have camber plates as are adj differntly,, to set the contact patch of tire flat,,

 

sorry for hyjackn thread

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are their part#s on the strut/spindle tubes,,if not then would they need to be measured off the car ,,with a angle finder ,,im guessing ,,so that you could make sure the tube is exactly vertical ,,

if someone could please decribe this better,,it would be helpful ,,as my lower arm are the same lenth but one tire is out side the fender 3/8" more ,,i do have camber plates as are adj differntly,, to set the contact patch of tire flat,,

 

sorry for hyjackn thread

 

I made a simple diagram. From what I've read, measuring the angle accurately is not very easy. It seems to be easiest to measure with the strut removed and accurate measuring tools.

 

camber_diagram.jpg

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there definately is differences, if you're gonna lower it, you will want camber plates at some point, so don't worry too much.

 

The reason I am curious about this is that I'd like to put on ZX struts without camber plates if I can. I was going to just shorten stock 510 struts with ZX inserts, and lower the perches, but lately, I've been thinking I might like to have better brakes too.

 

Most people probably wouldn't want to do what I'm trying to do, but I would just like to figure out if it's possible. I like the idea of having the tops of the strut towers look stock. This is also a daily driver, and I would like to make the car as quiet as I can. I think there might be some benefit to keeping the rubber isolators on top of the struts instead of hard mounted camber plates.

 

Even if the angles are a little different, I may be able to make up for it with an adjustable lower control arm and adjustable front control rod. I've heard that the ZX struts reduce wheel track slightly because of the offset of the hub. by lengthening the LCA, it may make up for that, and reduce the positive camber of the different strut angle.

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We had all 4 struts on a table in his garage. IIRC we were taking measurements between the top of the rotor (inside edge) to the outside of the strut tube. We were measuring distance not angles, but when stood up next to each other there was an obvious difference. Sorry, but mine are currently buried so I can't get measurements or part numbers.

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The reason I am curious about this is that I'd like to put on ZX struts without camber plates if I can. I was going to just shorten stock 510 struts with ZX inserts, and lower the perches, but lately, I've been thinking I might like to have better brakes too.

 

Most people probably wouldn't want to do what I'm trying to do, but I would just like to figure out if it's possible. I like the idea of having the tops of the strut towers look stock. This is also a daily driver, and I would like to make the car as quiet as I can. I think there might be some benefit to keeping the rubber isolators on top of the struts instead of hard mounted camber plates.

 

Even if the angles are a little different, I may be able to make up for it with an adjustable lower control arm and adjustable front control rod. I've heard that the ZX struts reduce wheel track slightly because of the offset of the hub. by lengthening the LCA, it may make up for that, and reduce the positive camber of the different strut angle.

 

I've had the "non desireable" struts... with my car lowered 3" the camber angle was nearly zero. Thats with no camber adjustment. This was on a 71 wagon with stock control arms, top hats, and crossmember. Its possible to also move your control arm pivot points out to reduce camber, it would also be a good time to move those points up to reduce bump steer.

 

The ZX struts DO reduce track by about half an inch each side, but this is desireable since it gives you more room for wide wheels. On a PLUS side to the "non desireable" zx struts, the increased angle on them gives you MORE room for wider wheels, the greater spindle angle makes the distance between your wheel and strut tube wider!

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Do you mean they are different for different ranges of years, or they are different from 510 struts, or both? There was a thread on the realm where someone measured a whole bunch of strut angles, and if I understood right, they all came out the same angle. But, they could have missed measuring a ZX strut from the range of years where they were different. To make it more confusing, the years that people think were a different angle, are reported to have the same part number.

 

 

 

 

both

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The 2 sets of the "wrong" angle struts I've had came from a 79 and 82, the 2 sets of "correct" angles struts I've had were from unknown years. When I say "correct" I mean that they are the same angle as the 510, or close enough to no be able to measure precisely enough.

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if you dont want to use camber plates pm here you go scroll down a few pics and you will see the offset camber adjusters phil has 4 sale for 60 bones

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Below is a posted photo from Kelvin Dietz showing the 510 and 280ZX "P6500" early strut as being the same angle. There has been discussion that the -P65xx (79-81) struts do not work because they create positive camber and only the -P94xx (82-83) are considered usable, but this photo shows differently.

 

The factory part numbers for RH struts w/dampers are as follows:

 

7/78 - 8/81, L28E, 54302-P6525, alt P/N 54302-P9426

9/81 - 1/82, L28E(T), 54302-P9425, alt P/N 54302-P9426

9/81 - 1/82, L28E(T), 54302-P9426

2/82 - on, L28E(T), 54302-P9125, alt P/N 54302-P9126

2/82 - on, L28E(T), 54302-P9126, alt P/N 54302-P9426

 

The commonality of alternate P/N 54302-P9426 would indicate that all struts should interchange, but from those having actually used these parts it appears not to be so.

 

Car-Parts.com lists a break in their search results between 79-81 and 82-83. They also distinguish a difference between turbo and N/A when searching as well.

 

Another note is Nissan used to sell a "crash" repair lower control arm to correct excess possitive camber. The control arm was a direct install into a 510 and measured 3/8" longer than the stock part. These are talked about in the "How to Hot Rod your Datsun" book and yes they did exist. I own a set.

 

9510_VS_280ZX_STRUT_COMPARE.jpg

Edited by Dime Dave

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This info was pulled for a post by Dean Sherman from the BB List:

The "good" ones have the following markings:108-1*L 54303-P6500 0X14. The "bad" ones have the following markings: 109-2*L 54303-P6500 0920. This good and bad information was posted to the list some time in the past. I have never experienced a pair of "bad" struts.

 

This was posted to the same list:

I have two sets that measure ~1 degree difference. Measurement taken with a digital angle finder/protractor using non-scientific-lab methods, but we did out best in our measuring. I posted all of the details to the list when I was going through this last summer. I pulled these struts from a '79 2+2 that was being parted out by the original owner.

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Hi Dave,

 

This information is great. I found some of the posts you quoted, but I had not seen the picture, or the detailed part number break downs. Thanks for posting this! this is exactly what I was looking for.

 

I think there is a ZX at a local yard that still has struts. I don't know the year, but I think I'll get the struts as soon as I have some time to get out there. I'll be sure to do some measurements, and post what I find.

 

Luke D.

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Another problem when searching the JY for said struts, is that most Datsun owners tend to fix their cars with whatever they can find. This would be common even with a 280zx owner, so if they have a damaged strut, or blown shock, and the cheaper way to fix it is using parts from a "wrong" year ZX, they would and not think twice about it... I would say get what you can find, they are getting hard to find. As long as the left and right are a matching set, you can "fix" the camber angle in several ways, and as I stated above, the "wrong" angle struts actual can be beneficial too.

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Well I struck out at the junk yard. I thought they had at least one 280zx, but they were all 300s instead. They also have an 81 200sx, but I'm still trying to figure out if that is a good option. It's got solid rotors, but I guess you can mix and match parts to use vented rotors. More searching and reading I guess.

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Those 200sx struts with solid rotors, If the rotor is 10.65 dia, you can use 280zx hub a 3/8 alum spacer on the hub and a Z31 vented 10.75 Dia rotor and toyota or volvo calipers. I am running 94 4runner calipers. just thought I would throw that out there, oh i'm using 78 810 struts. Same solid rotor as the 200sx.

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Yes a big difference.

 

280ZX is 7 degree kingpin inclination, as with most Datsuns

510/240Z/260Z/280Z are the oddball ones, with a more positive angle.

 

I think it was 2 degrees more positive, but cannot find a spec now.

Is this significant? Well if your goal is a modern -1.5 negative camber angle...instead of the original 1970 spec of slightly positive or 0 camber... think about it.

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When I started reading on this subject I expected to find a nice neat answer somewhere, but there seems to be a lot of differing opinions on this. Most information is pretty vague. Comments that start with "What I've always heard..." are pretty common.

 

There is a thread on the realm where several people actually measured struts themselves, and put the information into a chart. I tend to put a little more stock in this kind of information because it is first hand from the people who did the measuring. After reading through that entire thread, the consensus seemed to be that all the struts measured had a 10 degree spindle angle (as measured in my diagram above).

 

Another great piece of information (among others) was posted in this thread by Dime Dave. It gives lots of specific information along with a picture. He doesn't mention a specific angle, but shows that at least some 280zx struts have the same angle as the stock 510.

 

I think the reason that this subject is so unclear is because most people with 280zx struts install camber plates. At that point you can adjust your camber to pretty much whatever you want. I just wanted to know because of the specific plans I have for my 510.

 

Even after all the good comments on this thread there isn't a clear answer. Several very knowledgeable people have posted information that seems to conflict. I finally decided that the only way I would know for myself is to get some struts and measure them, so that's what I did. I recently got some 280zx struts. When I have some time to pull the calipers and hubs, I will measure the angle. I've also got some extra 510 struts that I will measure as well. I'll let everyone know what I find.

 

Also, I decided against the 200sx struts because I was able to find some 280 struts which I could just install new rotors on, and be done. So, I don't know what the angles on those would be. Oh, and thanks everyone for the information so far.

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I have a set of 280ZX struts from a 8/79 built car. These have the same angle as the 510 struts I have kicking around. The ZX struts were too rusty to pull a P/N off so i cannot say which ones they were.

 

I measured them with carpenter's "bevel square" and they matched.

 

00939582000-1?hei=600&wid=600&op_sharpen=1&qlt=90,0&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

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