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How-To: 280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in (1977-1980) 810

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280ZX Rack and Pinion Steering in the 810

 

Locate a junker 280ZX with a manual rack and pinion steering setup. Get the rack (along with the outer tie rod ends), the front suspension crossmember (the part that the rack is bolted to), the steering column including the shaft between the column and the rack (the shaft that has the u-joint). You will also need a piece of the 240Z steering shaft (see photo).

 

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280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

Parts list:

280ZX rack and pinion manual steering assembly

280ZX outer tie rods

280ZX front suspension crossmember

810 front suspension crossmember (use your old one)

280ZX steering shaft from the column to the rack (the shaft with the universal joint).

240Z steering shaft piece (see photo)

810 steering column shaft (use your old one)

280ZX steering column.

 

Cut off the rack ears from the 280ZX crossmember and weld the ears to the 810 crossmember. Mount the ZX rack to the 810 crossmember.

 

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280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

Disassembly of steering column tubes: On the 810 steering column remove shaft snap ring at top of column. Caution: snap ring is loaded with a lot of spring force, you may want to compress the spring before removing the snap ring. Using a new snap ring during assembly is recommended. Remove upper spring and washers. Slide the internal shaft out. Repeat for the ZX steering column. On the 810 tube remove the lower sealing collar then the bottom spring and its perch.

 

Modifying the 810 column tube: Cut off 23.0mm from the bottom (end closest to the rack) of the tube (see pic).

 

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280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

Measure from the bottom of the tube and not the bearing housing. Remove the lower bearing by heating the piece you just cut off and pressing out the bearing. Mill out end of 810 tube for this bearing. Press in bearing. Re-building tip: Inspect the condition of the ball bearings. Use new (stainless steel) ball bearings if needed (McMaster part number is 9642K29) or use the ZX lower bearing if it is in better condition.

 

Modifying the ZX internal shaft: Mill the u-joint for more angle (see pic)

 

11281203896_a3ddfed76d_o.jpg

280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

and to make it symmetrical. Remove the ignition key lock collar on the ZX shaft by drilling out the pins. Remove the 810 ignition key lock collar by unscrewing the set screws. Position the 810 ignition key lock collar on the ZX shaft in the correct location (see pic).

 

11281155595_6714415003_o.jpg

280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

Drill new holes on the ZX shaft to use the 810 ignition key lock collar. Tighten 810 key lock collar down with its set screws.

 

Pivot plate on 810 firewall mount: Remove rubber shaft seal from the 810 firewall mount. Cut a 38mm diameter hole in a .0625 inch thick plate shown in pic. Position and weld the pivot plate to firewall mount on the inside of the firewall mount. Re-install rubber seal with new weather stripping adhesive.

 

11281158305_a5a970fb31_o.jpg

280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

Assemble the 810 column: Follow the correct sequence and positioning of parts (see factory service manual). Compress upper spring in a vise and secure with two twists of wire. Place upper spring and insert snap ring. Cut securing wire.

 

Final assembly: Using the 240Z shaft piece assembly the complete steering column and steering shaft together (see pic).

 

11281268553_9cee2bb01a_o.jpg

280zx Rack & Pinion Steering in the on 810 by Muerte541, on Flickr

 

 

Write up and pics were provided by zcarnut from HybridZ.org

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Why would one want to do this? Does the 280ZX have a quicker ratio? Or is it just to get rid of power steering?

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Basically for better steering response and clearance there isn't much room to swap say a L28ET without the steering box being in the way of the turbo or to swap say an RB. There just simply isn't much write ups for the 810 why not throw this out there.

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This is a good how-to Arche.

 

Oh yes ! it's most DEFINITELY an almost desired must if you're going to run anything turbo (well worth it alone) :thumbup:

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Thanks Blue, I think it is since the 810's (pre-maxima) never got rack & pinion steering like the 910 maximas.

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Lol that I know man, the 810 (77-80) all had steering boxes "ball steering" as some call it. Yes all the maximas 81-84 all had power rack & pinion so what about it? Is it because I called the (77-80) 810 a "pre-maxima"? It makes sense the 810 is what the maxima was before it got its name. I know there they don't look alike much but I think the name they decided to keep for 2 years for the maxima really annoys me because rather its a 81-84 I still call them maxima.

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Agreed, its annoying that Datsun called them by so many names. And now fans confuse it further.

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It was brought to my attention recently, that the manual rack and pinion steering, only came on the 1979 model year. Which will make sourcing one difficult. The next trick might be to adapt the '82-'83 power rack and pinion to the 810.... It looks like everything would basically be the same aside from adding a pump and lines.

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the zx crossmember will bolt up to the 810, it moves the engine mounts tho not sure how much didn't measure or carevas I'm doing an engine swap anyways.

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Does anyone know if installing the ZX manual crossmember allow for a rear sump engine?

 

Thanks..

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Are you asking if it will allow for lseries rear sump pan? Or a diff engine?

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