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Front Strut Issues


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Hello, I rebuilt my front struts under a year ago and filled them with new oil, but starting yesterday I'm getting an extreme rattle on bumpy roads, and at this point I think all the oil I put in has left the strut, so now the front end is extremely bouncy and rattle-y. I think my strut is missing pieces, when I rebuilt it I don't remember seeing pieces that I saw online, such as any bearings. The front right has been especially bad the whole time I've owned the car and I've never been able to fix it, and I cannot find any used or new struts anywhere, the only strut inserts I bought did not fit the car. is there any place that sells new struts? Can I send them in for a rebuild anywhere? the only struts I can find are racing ones for almost 2000 dollars and I cannot afford that, any help would be awesome, thanks.  

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Your best bet is new inserts.  What was it about the inserts you bought before that did not fit?

 

Google front inserts for the Datsun 510.  There should be quite a few to choose from.

 

Here is one of the first google hits:

 

https://classicgarage.com/da510frkosti.html

 

Note you can use shorter inserts from the 280ZX or even VW Rabbit if you put a spacer below the inserts.  It is important that when you tighten down the nut on the top of the strut, it compresses against the top of the insert - otherwise it will clunk as the insert extends and compresses while driving.

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Carter those are for the PL510 he has a much later A10 (HL510)

 

 

 

If leaking you'll see the oil on the outside.

 

There is a small bearing in the top hat otherwise just the inner and outer wheel bearings in the hub.

 

Fit inserts you want as close to the same length or just under in body length. The difference can be shimmed with washers in the bottom. 

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Yes there is quite a bit of oil on the outside, and I think I am missing the bearing in the top hat, I don't remember seeing one on my first rebuild. do you have any recommendations for a shock that fits the A10? I've been looking around but can't find much info on them. Also, for the front bearing I found this website (https://www.nzdatsunparts.co.nz/sec-61-front-suspension-strut-shock-absorber) this is more or less the only place I can find parts for my suspension, does it seem like a good supplier? Thanks for the help!

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Original parts are no longer available but here are part #'s you can use for cross reference.

 

Right front strut 54302-W5825

Left front strut 54303-W5825

Strut insert (or cartridge) 56105-N8425 (this is the most current #. the original was 56105-H8825)

Strut bearing 54325-H1000

The new part # for the insert also states to use this # for B210 (?), the inserts may be the same but the strut assemblies certainly cannot be.

 

 

Bumpy roads? New Mexico? Have you found a road here that is not bumpy?

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Top hat bearing is #33 but the old one is likely fine. Can't see how anyone could put it together and not have one.

 

As stated 280zx strut cartridges are shorter and will work with washers for shims under it.

 

 

There's a square faced O ring inside the original strut that seals oil from getting out by the gland nut threads...

 

LkntTC7.jpg

 

And a seal on the gland nut...

 

kclOpZx.jpg

 

 

All you need is to make sure they are on and refill the struts with 20W motorcycle fork oil. This is what I use. Thicker oil is harder to push through the damper valves firming up the shock. About $15 a liter for BelRay 20w and there's enough for three struts worth. Pretty sure the gland nuts and O rings are the same for all Datsun struts. Maybe your O ring(s) were left out when assembled, easily done by someone not sure what they are doing. Cheap fix.

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On 3/20/2021 at 7:43 PM, datzenmike said:

Carter those are for the PL510 he has a much later A10 (HL510)

 

 

I can see on his signature that he has an '80 510 now that I am looking on my computer.  That is not shown on my phone.  Even if it was, this section is assumed to be the earlier '68-'73 510's is it not?

 

Anyway - original poster - you are in luck.

 

www.rockauto.com lists KYB 364003 for your car - $26.79 each.  That ought to beat your $2,000 limit quite nicely.  : )

 

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/nissan,1980,510,2.0l+l4,1210026,suspension,strut,7584

 

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=503270&cc=1210026&jsn=819

 

It even shows there may be a rebate available!  You just won the lottery!

Edited by carterb
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On 3/21/2021 at 8:28 AM, datzenmike said:

Top hat bearing is #33 but the old one is likely fine. Can't see how anyone could put it together and not have one.

 

As stated 280zx strut cartridges are shorter and will work with washers for shims under it.

 

 

There's a square faced O ring inside the original strut that seals oil from getting out by the gland nut threads...

 

LkntTC7.jpg

 

And a seal on the gland nut...

 

kclOpZx.jpg

 

 

All you need is to make sure they are on and refill the struts with 20W motorcycle fork oil. This is what I use. Thicker oil is harder to push through the damper valves firming up the shock. About $15 a liter for BelRay 20w and there's enough for three struts worth. Pretty sure the gland nuts and O rings are the same for all Datsun struts. Maybe your O ring(s) were left out when assembled, easily done by someone not sure what they are doing. Cheap fix.

 

I would agree that most if not all of the Datsun/Nissan big gland nuts are the same/similar, but if the car ever had Koni's or ?? aftermarket strut inserts, they often supplied their own gland nuts to fit the top of their inserts..........some do NOT fit the top of the cheaper replacement inserts!  I have quite a few different styles of gland nuts in my Datsun box of such!

 

I used MR2 front strut inserts in my 280ZX strut assemblies.  The welds on the insert were kinda big, had to carefully grind them down until the insert just slipped down inside the strut tube!  Wasn't much, but it stopped the insert from dropping in!  I have found all of the info needed to retrofit a different strut insert in the past.  I bet rockauto "info" on any given part # would show the diameter, length, compressed length & extended length......??  But that gets pretty technical, need to be able to understand all of that! 

 

I thought I read once that the 280ZX strut assemblies would fit a later HL510......??  Pretty sure a local guy installed the ZX struts, but that was a few years ago!  I do know that the 68-73 510 upper camber plates do fit.  As long as the camber angle of the ZX strut is the same as the HL510, they can work.  My only concern there is that is would take some minor fab work ie cutting the spring perch off & installing the HL spring perches (??) (like you have shown datzenmike) or installing coilovers..........please no offense poorpersonwithadatsun, but if you struggle with rebuilding the original oil filled struts, you will likely struggle with fitting anything other than original parts 😐

 

Just not alot of info on modifying the HL510's!

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Hello again, sorry I'm a bit slow with the replies, carterb thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately when I did my first rebuild I ordered those same struts, and they actually don't fit, and it's not anything that washers can fix either, they where too tall to be bolted into the strut tube. Also yenpit, I agree my lack or experience could have caused some issues on my first rebuild, but the gland nut on the front right had some damage and it leaked oil even before I did my rebuild, I just didn't realize until I put it all back together. I followed your suggestions and ordered a pair of '80 280ZX strut inserts, and they just came in today, and it look like they'll fit in with a few washers, they're a few inches shorter than the struts I got last time. It may be a bit until I'm able to do the replacement as I'm doing electrical work on my place right now, but I'll keep you updated. 

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Keep plugging away & reading/researching...............it gets easier & more fun!! 😎

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Figured I'd give an update, finally had a few free days to work on it, turns out the rattling issue I mentioned was a loose bolt on the caliper, maybe all the oil coming out of the shock loosened it? Or it just wasn't tightened, either way it's all tight now, the 280 strut fit in with about 2 1/2 inches worth of washers, and the passenger side feels great now, I'm going to be doing the drivers side tomorrow, so to the few who have A10's, 1980 KYB 280zx strut inserts off of rock auto seem to work fine.  

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