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Zeek90

280zx suspension on B210?

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Hey guys. I was wondering if i wanted to upgrade my 77’ B210s breaks plus eventually do weld on coilovers, do 280zx strut assemblies just bolt right in the 77’ B210? I want better stopping power an plus i can mock up the 280zx strut housings to do the weld on coilovers. Im too afraid to cut up the original 77’ b210 strut housings. Thanks 

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Yeah, the B210 front suspension is the same as a 510 which also accepts the zx struts.  I don't know the year cutoff though.  

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Only the '79-'83 280zx struts, nothing earlier on the 280z. The 280zx struts are also slightly shorter which is great if lowering. Yes they literally bolt up but you will probably need to use your B210 coils as the zx coils are quite wide.If you even can get them up inside the strut tower you can't move them much for setting your camber. What I did on my 710 was trim the zx coil perch off the strut, grind down smooth and put your B210 perch on with the spring above it and the B210 top hat. To keep the spring perch at the height you want use a two part 2" split collar.

 

1chQBG9.jpg

 

You can even nick the perch off with a hacksaw.

 

GpXGvun.jpg

 

 

50eoVBl.jpg

 

Grind the weld down smooth so the perch can slide up and down to adjust the ride height.

 

Zym2fxc.jpg

 

2" split collars about $20 a pair. Holds 6,000 lbs. each or about 2 1/2 B210 per side.

 

RgfEkVc.jpg

 

Set a ride height and adjust higher or lower as needed. Not as easy as $600 coil overs but once adjusted how many times do you expect to reset your ride height anyway? So why spend all that cash on something that is just along for the ride??? Adjustable ride height for about #25.

 

I also increased my spring rate to prevent bottoming out on a lowered car. With a little math I worked out how much to trim the coil to increase the stiffness by 50%. Multiply and divide is all you need.... and the 6" grinder with the cut off disc.

 

Optional... If you have the strut off anyway, you can easily dismantle them. If the struts have the original oil bath dampers (shocks) inside you can empty the thin watery hydraulic fluid out and replace with a thicker viscosity oil. Thicker oil requires more energy to push it through the valves so this energy is absorbed and the ride better damped. I used 20W motorcycle fork oil. About $15 a liter.... enough for 3 struts.

 

So adjustable ride height, firmer ride and improved damping of strut's compression and rebound, all for well under $50 with no special tools and no welding.

 

 

Note:

 

You may need larger 14" rims to clear the much larger caliper. I've heard you maybe can grind away some of the caliper for clearance.

 

You may find the brake pedal softer, even mushier because the B210's 3/4" master is so small and it has to travel farther to move the volume of fluid needed for the larger calipers. The zx calipers use a 15/16" master. A 7/8" would help even. I put a 15/16" on my 710 and with a break booster this worked very well.

 

If you lower your car you will almost certainly introduce some 'bump steer' which causes a squirming feel when one wheel goes over a bump and the other doesn't. This tugs the steering wheel to the bump side and is annoying. You can buy bump steer spacers or make them. They mount under the strut and space the steering knuckle down restoring it's geometry back to stock horizontal.

 

ERZPjuB.jpg

 

I just made my own out of scrap aluminum and stacked them.

 

ULBN6wC.jpg

 

dxhlzuZ.jpg

 

ANY raising or lowering of a vehicle will introduce toe in of the front wheels. Bump steer spacers will correct or prevent it but keep in mind that the alignment should be fine tuned after.

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

Only the '79-'83 280zx struts, nothing earlier on the 280z. The 280zx struts are also slightly shorter which is great if lowering. Yes they literally bolt up but you will probably need to use your B210 coils as the zx coils are quite wide.If you even can get them up inside the strut tower you can't move them much for setting your camber. What I did on my 710 was trim the zx coil perch off the strut, grind down smooth and put your B210 perch on with the spring above it and the B210 top hat. To keep the spring perch at the height you want use a two part 2" split collar.

 

1chQBG9.jpg

 

You can even nick the perch off with a hacksaw.

 

GpXGvun.jpg

 

 

50eoVBl.jpg

 

Grind the weld down smooth so the perch can slide up and down to adjust the ride height.

 

Zym2fxc.jpg

 

2" split collars about $20 a pair. Holds 6,000 lbs. each or about 2 1/2 B210 per side.

 

RgfEkVc.jpg

 

Set a ride height and adjust higher or lower as needed. Not as easy as $600 coil overs but once adjusted how many times do you expect to reset your ride height anyway? So why spend all that cash on something that is just along for the ride??? Adjustable ride height for about #25.

 

I also increased my spring rate to prevent bottoming out on a lowered car. With a little math I worked out how much to trim the coil to increase the stiffness by 50%. Multiply and divide is all you need.... and the 6" grinder with the cut off disc.

 

Optional... If you have the strut off anyway, you can easily dismantle them. If the struts have the original oil bath dampers (shocks) inside you can empty the thin watery hydraulic fluid out and replace with a thicker viscosity oil. Thicker oil requires more energy to push it through the valves so this energy is absorbed and the ride better damped. I used 20W motorcycle fork oil. About $15 a liter.... enough for 3 struts.

 

So adjustable ride height, firmer ride and improved damping of strut's compression and rebound, all for well under $50 with no special tools and no welding.

 

 

Note:

 

You may need larger 14" rims to clear the much larger caliper. I've heard you maybe can grind away some of the caliper for clearance.

 

You may find the brake pedal softer, even mushier because the B210's 3/4" master is so small and it has to travel farther to move the volume of fluid needed for the larger calipers. The zx calipers use a 15/16" master. A 7/8" would help even. I put a 15/16" on my 710 and with a break booster this worked very well.

 

If you lower your car you will almost certainly introduce some 'bump steer' which causes a squirming feel when one wheel goes over a bump and the other doesn't. This tugs the steering wheel to the bump side and is annoying. You can buy bump steer spacers or make them. They mount under the strut and space the steering knuckle down restoring it's geometry back to stock horizontal.

 

ERZPjuB.jpg

 

I just made my own out of scrap aluminum and stacked them.

 

ULBN6wC.jpg

 

dxhlzuZ.jpg

 

ANY raising or lowering of a vehicle will introduce toe in of the front wheels. Bump steer spacers will correct or prevent it but keep in mind that the alignment should be fine tuned after.

 

 

 

Thanks a bunch i now know its possible even making a few parts to make it work. Thanks again

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3 hours ago, Icehouse said:

Yeah, the B210 front suspension is the same as a 510 which also accepts the zx struts.  I don't know the year cutoff though.  

Yeah ive heard that 510 front suspension is the same. I might do a 510 swap or go 280zx. depends on how i wanna use it’s. But i love the idea of better breaks from the 280zx

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The 510 and B-210 are the same meaning there's no advantage to swapping to a 510 strut, but what ever fits a 510 should fit a B-210. One thing the 510 has is smaller wheel bearings in the hub than all later cars so stick with the B-210 parts for now.

 

JSWD92k.jpg

 

hrSXOMD.jpg

 

Here's a set of '81 280z struts, above. The caliper is massive and the pads probably the largest to that date. I think only the later 300zx would be larger. One thing to be aware of is the zx hubs move the rim inward about 3/4" so check your tire clearance to the strut tube.

 

 

I have '84 Maxima struts which are just a mm or two smaller diameter vented rotor and slightly different caliper. The Maxima is also a heavier 6 cylinder car and a good choice if zx are hard to find. Sometimes just being a zx part ads to the price because they are more in demand. No one really notices or cares much about the Maxima and you can often get them cheap.

 

n2fE0Zl.jpg

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Zeek90 said:

Yeah ive heard that 510 front suspension is the same. I might do a 510 swap or go 280zx. depends on how i wanna use it’s. But i love the idea of better breaks from the 280zx

 

 

I did a zx brake swap on my Sunny truck.  The wiki said use B-210 LCA, TC rod, ball joint and steering arm and everything would bolt up.  Well I'm a 510 dude and have never had a B-210.  So I got a buddy to pull it at a yard next to his place that had one.  He told me after he got home it looked just like 510 stuff........ haha!!  Just for the record it didn't bolt on.  I had to drill the LCA holes bigger and bend the TC rods to the correct angle.  It does look good though!!!

 

 

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What master? Did you put a booster on?

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On 10/3/2019 at 9:16 AM, datzenmike said:

What master? Did you put a booster on?

 

 

Stock master.  The pedal has more travel then it origanlly did but the braking is fine.  The truck only weighs 1530lbs!   No booster.  None of my cars have boosters.  I like true brake feel :) Actually the only problem it has now is the rebuilt rock auto calipers are shit.  I didn't drive it for a couple weeks and one of the pistons rusted in place.  I tore into them and you can see where the company that rebuilt them just cleaned up the old pistons and slapped them back in....... I want to make some new pistons out of stainless..  

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I'm old and like the easy way. Booster and 15/16. Lots of travel and modulation.

 

I rebuilt a set of Toyota 4 piston truck calipers with kits. I enjoyed the experience over all. Took three sets to find rebuildable ones. The pistons were chromed but the bores were not and all were frozen rusted. I like the idea of stainless. Rill they expand from the heat like regular steel ones?

 

Longer travel can also allow more modulation, keeping the tires just short of lock up, or if locked easier to release them without having to let off too much.

 

 

 

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One thing to add. The brake balance is going to be off after installing the ZX strut/caliper. Probably not an issue for most street cars but it's going to put more front bias into the system. You can restore some of the balance by using larger wheel cylinders on the rear brakes. 

 

I run a H190 on my car so it's better than the original rear drums but I am going to the 240Z wheels cylinders as I prefer more rear bias on the race car. 

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