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I have 1971 510 I am about to finish building. I just dropped in a l20b with a 5 speed from a 620. Now I want to go with 4 way disks. What r my options here. I was told 280 zx front and rear, also was told maxima front and rear. Any other options??? Also which is better? I want to increase breaking as much as possible. Please be specific in years, everything I would need to collect, and if I need to mod anything as I would like to get this done soon. Thank for any and all advise

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Any year 280zx ('79-'83) or Maxima (81-'84) discs will only fit the front if you swap the entire strut minus the spring. This is not a drop in swap. The zx spring won't fit so your 510 spring or an after market one will be needed. Can't list everything needed here so you'll have to do some research on someone's build thread.


They are virtually the same for size and braking. Swapping struts will likely affect your camber so you will need adjustable camber plates. Your stock 13" rims probably won't clear the larger calipers.


For the rear you'll need custom brackets to hold the caliper. The '82-'83 rear calipers are considered the best looking. Rear Maxima, S12 and 240sx calipers can also be used but must fit the brackets used. They are not all the same. You will also need to modify your brake master cylinder or get a larger one if you have a brake booster. I would leave the rear calipers for last as they don't improve braking much and are mainly for looks and low maintenance.

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This thread gives good info on swapping on the 280ZX front struts n brakes:




There are different ways to do the springs - either cut down stock 510 springs or coil-overs are the most popular.


I think there are suppliers of rear caliper brackets if you don't want to make your own but I'm a total blank on company names. Google can probably find them. And they may be a bit pricey. Which may be worth it to you for the "cool" factor although rear discs probably won't improve overall braking a great deal.


I recently finished putting ZX struts and brakes on the front of my 510 while leaving the drum brakes on the rear. For now I'm staying with the stock 510 master cylinder although the usual recommendation is to go to a 280Z master with discs&drums and a 280ZX master for discs on all four corners. And I'm still considering putting on rear discs just so I can say I have them even though I know they might not do much better than the drums.




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15/16" is best if you already have a brake booster, otherwise the pedal may be to stiff. If rear calipers you need the disc brake residual valve. If you replace master with an all wheel disc brake master you need to replace the rear residual valve with one from a drum brake if running drums.  

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I did a little looking regarding what is involved to put rear discs on my 510. It isn't too bad to do but looks more involved than swapping 280ZX struts and brakes onto the front. Since rear discs don't seem to increase the braking ability especially and I'm old and lazy and cheap, I'm going to give rear discs a pass for now. Also I run steely wheels so the rear discs wouldn't even be visible. But for young guys with spoke wheels and ambition, I'd say go for it!

I found a couple of YouTube vids on rear disc swaps that show what is involved:

From the reading I did I got the idea it is best to find a source of the custom caliper brackets and let that decide which calipers to use. Maxima calipers seem to be most popular but there are other calipers which can be used (with a different bracket). But the brackets are custom made by small suppliers so it is good to see what you want is actually available (preferably in your hand).

I still think rear discs would be cool for my 510 but for me personally, an exhaust system, decent tires, better seats, and about 100 other things would be cooler to have first. :lol:



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