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b210 strut swap with 280z struts


ANDREW5373

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so im kinda new to this forum. i just purchased a 1980 datsun b210 and im looking to do the 280z strut swap..but everyone on here is talking about finding used parts...why can i not just walk into my autoparts and buy a front strut for a 280? is there somthing im missing maybe brakets on the used assemblys? or somthing that you recieve when you buy the whole assembly?...id like to have new parts on my datsun and not 33 year old worn strut assemblys...if someone can please point me in the right direction...i do have access to profesional welders and fabriacators so if i need to weld perches on the new struts im fine with that..

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Its because they dont make the parts new... thats why no one buys them out of a store. You can find strut inserts, but you wont be able to find full strut assemblies. When you purchase them second hand you get the struts, hubs, calipers, springs, and rotors usually. That would be pretty pricey to buy brand-new, but used youre looking at about $150 or so. 

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It's just terminology confusion.  On a lot of newer cars the strut tube portion of the MacPherson strut assembly unbolts from the spindle and is replaced.  On older Datsuns the strut tube is integral (welded) to the spindle and the only replaceable part is the strut tube insert (shock).  People swap the 280zx assemblies in order to easily get bigger, better brakes and also a shorter strut tube, giving more suspension travel.

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People swap the 280zx assemblies in order to easily get bigger, better brakes and also a shorter strut tube, giving more suspension travel.

 

As well as a narrower track width to gain -.75in of offset to run deeper dish wheels. Do be advised that once you do this swap, you will not be able to run 13in wheels any longer with the exception of Bassett/Diamond/Bart spun steelies and Libres if you trim off some of the caliper. 

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"280z" and "280zx" are not interchangeable terms... they are two totally different cars.

 

if you buy shit for a 280z and not a 280zx... its not going to fit.

 

I hate when people lazily leave the X off, because it makes all the difference in the world.

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First you don't need the zx spring or the top hat. Neither will fit the 210's strut tower. So two ways to go from here...

 

1/ spend upwards of $300 a side for coil overs. These are custom springs and a threaded tube you weld or attach to your strut tube after cutting the lower zx spring perch off. The threaded lower spring perch is adjustable up and down to set the ride height and they come with the upper top hat where it bolts to the strut tower. This may include a camber adjustment. That's a lot of money to spend on something you adjust once, and then it just goes along for the ride.

 

2/ Carefully cut the 210 lower spring perch off the 210 strut tube and transfer it to the zx strut that already has the perch removed. To support the spring perch from below tighten a 2" split collar to the strut tube. Use your 210 top hat. Ride height is adjusted by jacking the car up sliding the split collar into position and tightening. About $15 a side.

 

Spring. Well you can buy them in any rate you like or calculate the rate you want and trim your 210 spring. Doing this saves probably $40 a side???

 

If the zx struts still have the original oil bath dampers, you can renew and increase the dampening effect by draining the old watery hydraulic fluid out and replacing it with thicker viscosity 20W motorcycle fork oil. About $15 total rather than a set of $80 replaceable inserts. If the dampers have been removed and inserts installed you are stuck with them.

 

280zx calipers won't clear the 13" rims on the 210 so you are going to need 14" rims.

 

The zx calipers are much larger and your 13/16" 210 brake master may not provide enough fluid volume resulting in extra long brake pedal travel. The 210 has power brake booster so increasing the brake master from  13/16 to 7/8 or even 15/16 will solve this.

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Mike the ZX set up will work with a 13" wheel but there is a catch; the back/top of the caliper as metal milled off so that it just clears the rim. The 1200 competition suspension manual has this mod albeit for a 240Z caliper. Depending on the wheel you may also need a spacer. I got my struts with the modded calipers something like 25 years ago from Neeley. The Shelby Supercar wheels on my car need a 1/4 spacer but I've seen some run without them.

 

Tom

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