Jump to content
Trébol

280zx struts conversion

Recommended Posts

Need help with information on what I need to do this swap. I got people telling me that I only need the top hat/camber plate to do this but reading on Tech Wiki it says otherwise. It says that I need a LCA/Rod, knuckle arm and balljoint all front the 280zx or similar.

Share this post


Link to post

Need help with information on what I need to do this swap. I got people telling me that I only need the top hat/camber plate to do this but reading on Tech Wiki it says otherwise. It says that I need a LCA/Rod, knuckle arm and balljoint all front the 280zx or similar.

 

You want to convert the zx strut so it will fit your 1200. First the zx strut top hat, spring and bottom perch are way too large to fit up inside your 1200 strut housing. One way is to use your 1200 top hat, spring and bottom perch. Another is to buy adjustable coil overs that include all of this. I have a big problem with the cost of coil overs that you adjust once and rarely if ever touch again. All that money along for the ride doing nothing.

 

Moving on... you can simply trim around the bottom of your lower spring perch with a hacksaw or angle grinder, just enough to nick through but not into the strut tube. You have to do this anyway no matter which way you go. Now grind away the old weld so the strut tube is smooth. Using a pair of $25 split collars, slip one onto the zx strut tube then the lower 1200 spring perch, then the spring and last the 1200 top hat. By using a jack you can compress the spring, tighten the split collar below it and check your ride height. Adjust as needed. Adjustable ride height for $25.

 

There are a couple of options here to think about while doing this swap.

 

1/ If the 280zx strut is original it will have the factory oil filled dampers inside the strut tube. What I did was pour out the watery hydraulic oil and re-fill with much thicker 20W motorcycle fork oil. The thicker oil resists being pushed through the small orifices in the dampers and stiffens the shock. If the dampers have been changed to throw away inserts, well you are stuck with just buying new ones. The Bellray shock oil was $17 for a liter, enough to do 3 struts. Total for adjustable ride height and firmed up 'like new' shocks... under $50.

 

2/ I always encourage people to increase the spring rates on their cars. Factory spring rates are a total compromise towards comfort and away from performance. On a lowered car this is even more imperative. If a spring travels 4" on a bump it will still travel 4" even when the ride height is lower by 2".... you could easily bottom out. Again you could buy spring$ in the rate you want, if you know what you want and you know what the current spring rate is on the 1200. Another way that costs nothing is to remove a coil or slightly shorten a spring length. Strange but true, cutting a coil off makes a spring stiffer. On my 710 I worked the stock spring rate out to be about 100 pounds per inch. By using a simple math formula you can work out how much spring to remove to get the spring rate you want. I removed about 1 1/4 coils and increased the stiffness by 50%. I'm not saying a 1200 spring will do the same, it's likely very different but the same spring rate formula applies. Have a care, as, once cut.... you can't go back if too stiff.

 

So... ride height adjustable, stiffer spring rate, firmer shocks .... still under $50.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you for the information. I am aware of the coil over conversion but what I am looking for is mounting the struts on the 1200. Will I need the Lower control Arm, Caster Rod, Balljoint and Knuckle Arm from the 280zx to be able to do this swap or will it bolt on straight to the 1200? Here is the link of what I am talking about. I just want to make sure if I do or do not need this things since I am getting mixed opinions.

 

http://datsun1200.com/modules/mediawiki/index.php?title=SAP

Share this post


Link to post

Datsun 210. Grab lower control arms, strut rods the ball joints, steering knuckles sway bar stuff. Bolt and go.

OR

Just grab 210 ball joints, and steering knuckles and modify control arm accordingly.

OR

Slot the steering knuckle hole, a la pitroad.

Share this post


Link to post

Datsun 210. Grab lower control arms, strut rods the ball joints, steering knuckles sway bar stuff. Bolt and go.

 

Also need the 210 outer tie rods. They fit the 210 knuckles (1200 tie rods don't), but will screw right onto the 1200 steering. 

 

Another option if 210s are too hard to find in the junkyard is to get the same list of bits from a 78-81 510. Just recently compared my 210 stuff to 510 stuff and it's identical. 

 

Slot the steering knuckle hole, a la pitroad.

 

Please don't do this.   ^_^

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.