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280zx struts


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I thought the 7/8ths was too stiff. I liked my 3/4". Probably would have gone to the 620 13/16th if I was still driving my car.


Honestly, with rear drums, I always run a new 3/4", Pedal is soft, but stops nice and is easy to modulate. Almost feels like it has power brakes.   :rofl:

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^ this exactly, 3/4 is the way to go with rear drums.


I don't like the idea of swapping the struts side to side, it fucks with my ocd. I know caliper positioning has no effect on braking but the damn L and R stamped on the strut housing would be just irritating enough to drive me nuts. I've had T3 RCAs with both cut and uncut struts with no ill effect to handling. Maybe I'm lucky, but I drive my car like it's stolen and have never had the wheel ripped from my hands experience others have and my county has some 3rd world assed roads.

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Honestly, with rear drums, I always run a new 3/4", Pedal is soft, but stops nice and is easy to modulate. Almost feels like it has power brakes.   :rofl:

When I was running ZX fronts with drum rears, this was my setup.


Front: ZX struts with stock ZX calipers. Porterfield R4S pads, stock 510 3/4" master cylinder

Rear: 510 stock rear brakes with 240Z aluminum drums, Datsun 1200 rear wheel cylinders and Nismo green stuff rear shoes.


Man I loved this brake setup. Good pedal feel, not too much effort required to push the pedal and great braking ability.

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Good pedal feel, not too much effort required to push the pedal 


This is why I love it. Easy effort, but still very good braking. 



I got the 280z master already, just going to roll with it.


It's not bad, in fact this is what a lot of people like. It makes pedal throw a bit shorter and the effort a bit firmer. 

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So many variables 3/4, 13/16, 7/8 and 15/16" masters. Stock z, zx, S110, S12, 720, D21 even Willwood calipers. Drum or disc rear ends. Different vehicles (coupes/sedans/goons and trucks weights... 240/260 280z, 510/610/710/A10/S10/1200/ B-210/B-310/521/620/720/S110/S12  some with vacuum boosters. Some people's legs are stronger. The list of combinations is staggering.

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If you swap zx struts into just about any other Datsun, the caliper movse in as the pads wear down and rubs the knuckle arm.  I believe this is what's happened to my struts... it has an unexplained pull to the left so probably the right caliper can't move properly.


If you swap the entire strut to the opposite side the caliper is now mounted to the front of the wheels and no where near the steering knuckle. This is what I plan to do.


If you are lowered, installing bump steer spacers will also correct the problem.

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I'm close to my ZX strut assembly also. Can i Have some pictures of what you guys mean switching the caliper? I'm too dumb to understand.


To really dumb it down even further than Mike did, put all the right side stuff on the left, and all the left side stuff on the right. Easy peasy. 


Photo of right side (when done correctly). 



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I'm about to put Zx struts on my 510 also,earlier in this thread, still not clear on something, are you saying I'm gonna use the 510 steering arm with the 280zx strut looks like the Zx strut mounts to the control arm differently than the 510. It looks like maybe I'll use the 510 ball joint on the bottom of the Zx strut. Is that it thanks , just trying to get a clearer picture before diving in.

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are you saying I'm gonna use the 510 steering arm with the 280zx strut





 looks like the Zx strut mounts to the control arm differently than the 510. It looks like maybe I'll use the 510 ball joint on the bottom of the Zx strut. Is that it


Not real clear on what you're asking, but...


510 control arm

510 ball joint

510 steering knuckle/arm

280ZX strut


On the bottom end it all bolts together just fine. Just change the strut, nothing else. 

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Ok, sounds great. I got looking under my doner Zx & my 510 this afternoon & got a little confused. Wasn't sure about the differences I saw, but you've resolved the mystery. Thanks. I hope to be doin the switch soon. I'll probably be asking more questions before to long. This is a great forum

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The zx coil spring is too large a diameter so you will need to cut the zx spring perch off and swap the 510 perch and spring on.

Strictly, you do not have to used coil overs to have an adjustable height.The zx struts are 1 1/2" shorter than the stock 510 struts and yes the spindle is at the same angle. The zx spring is way, way too large a diameter to fit up inside the 510 strut tower so it has to go. What you can do is carefully trim off the lower spring mount from the old 510 strut and trim off one coil from the spring. Removing a coil will increase the spring rate... a good thing on a lowered car to reduce suspension travel and firm up the ride. Not totally necessary but stock springs are always a compromise and on the soft side. Do the same to the zx strut and grind the remaining weld down smooth on the strut tube. Now slip the 510 lower spring mount and shorter spring on the zx strut tube and assemble with the old 510 top hat. To prevent the spring perch from sliding down the tube use a split collar that can be moved up or down to set the height.

Trim just above the weld on the lower spring perch with angle grinder and 6" metal cutting blade.

Tap the perch loos and off...

Remove and grind down the weld till smooth so the split collar can slide smoothly and grip the strut tube.

Loosely assembled strut with spring, spring perch and split collar underneath. The split collar will withstand 6,000 lbs each! That's almost three 510s on each split collar... they won't slip when tightened.

I did this on my 710 which has similar struts and brakes to the 510, using Maxima wagon struts which are almost exactly the same as the zx struts.


Maxima and 710 struts and brakes.

One additional thing I did was increase the damping to compliment the increased spring rate. To do this is easy, I just removed the gland nut.... thanks for picture.


and poured out the very thin watery hydraulic oil. (looks like 5 or 10W) I refilled the strut with 20w motorcycle fork oil which is high in rust inhibitors and anti foaming agents and also comes in a variety of different weights. The hardest part was holding upside down and pulling the strut rod out and pushing in to dispel any bubbles when bleeding them. Leave a 1/2" of space at the top for heat expansion.

$3.50............ metal cutting blade
$20............... two two inch split collars
$17............... 1 liter of 20W BellRay fork oil. Enough for three struts. (you can use $5 a gallon hydraulic jack oil or Auto trans fluid too)

Total about $50

Not as easy as $350-$1,200 coil overs to adjust, but hey, once you get the ride height you want how many times a week you going to adjust it anyway???????

edit: I see it's for a 210 so just sub 210 where it says 510. One coil removed from the 710 increases the spring rate from 100 to 150 lbs per inch or about 50%. I don't know what the 210 rate would be


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Hey everyone, thanks for all your help with answering all my questions about converting my front suspension and upgrading my breaks. One other question is what years 280 zx are compatible with my 71 510?

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All years of zx front struts are. That's '79-'83 280zx or S130.... turbo, non turbo, it doesn't matter. For rear calipers the '82/'83 are more desirable. 


Keep in mind that stock 13" rims probably won't fit over these large calipers.

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I've FINALLY gotten around to doing this brake swap. I've been sitting on a set of Maxima struts since April 2006, according to my project blog, dragging them along with me to California when I moved down there, brought them back up to Washington when I moved back here. I've had a bit more time to wrench on things, so here we go.


The 510 perches have been cut/welded onto the 280zx struts, new strut inserts installed, everything sealed up and installed. And THEN I read this thread about swapping left-to-right, so I'll get those flipped this week. I haven't addressed bleeding the lines yet, so this should be fairly easy.


I picked up the brake master cylinder for the 280zx. Quick question: is the push-rod interchangeable? The 280zx didn't come with a push rod, so I hope it's an easy swap. If not, is there a known adjustment or tweak that needs to be made?

Next - I see from some research that the 280zx MC has check valves that need to be removed if running disc brakes all around. That's my plan. Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

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Negative. The zx had front and rear disc brakes so if you do too it's good to go.


I have rear drums so I took the rear residual valve out of my 710 and put it into the 15/16 zx master.



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