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Where to find good coilovers or what other suspension I can swap to lower my '80 Datsun 210 Sunny California WB310


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Hey all, just picked up an '80 210 wagon, wb310, whatever you prefer to call it. was wondering where i can get my hands on some coilovers, lowering springs, etc for her? also if anyone has any pointers for where to look aside from ebay and rockauto for some aftermarket parts and NOS parts

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If you do like doing your own work look at putting 280zx struts into the 210. Cut the lower spring perchs off and support it in place with split collars. Use the 210 coil spring and top hat. Lower and adjustable even lower for $25 (plus the zx struts) You get monster vented rotors and calipers as a bonus. May need to go to 14" rims. Some work but way better than $600 coil overs.

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1 hour ago, Draker said:

I installed these in my 1200. It’s a great setup for sure. Need 14” wheels though

 

I had a set oF Maxima struts just a hair smaller than the 280zx. This is the Maxima strut with 710 top hat, coil and bottom perch supported by a split collar. Adjustable ride height for $25 and a couple of hours work. vs. $600

 

You pay anywhere between $300 and $1,200 for adjustable coil overs, then you set your ride height and then you never touch them again. That's a lot of money invested in an adjustable ride height that never gets adjusted.

 

bF3bPHQ.jpg

 

iu2VvTA.jpg

 

Since then I collected a pair of '81 280zx struts...

 

JSWD92k.jpg

 

 

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Not sure why you would want all the hassle and expense of swapping struts, brakes, wheels and add a ton of extra unsprung weight to the front. I would keep your stock struts, cut the tube length by two to three inches insert shorter strut inserts (first gen VW rabbit) and use the collars as mentioned above all for about $100 bucks.

Keeps the same ride quality and you have 90% of the parts already in hand and payed for.

 

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That is another option but you would need a welder and the brakes are not improved. The 610 brakes are almost exactly like the 510 on a heavier car. Both 610 and 280zx struts have calipers and rotors. The only difference is the slight additional caliper weight and the vented rotor over the stock dinner plate. The zx strut tube is also shorter than the 610 tube so there's that. I did mine using only an angle grinder and some hand wrenches. As for wheels there isn't much choice in 13" anymore and even 14" are getting harder to find. 

 

All Datsun struts were oil filled or oil bath. (unless they were already replaced with inserts) They are easily disassembled and the old thin hydraulic fluid swapped to thicker motorcycle fork oil. I chose 20W and this really firmed up the action. The valving remains the same for compression and rebound. Who knows what the VW rates are.

 

Using simple multiply and divide and some careful measuring of the stock 610 spring there is a formula for working out the spring rate. (it's 96 lb/in same as the 510) You can calculate for any rate you want and trim the coil to get it. I increased mine by 50% to 150 lb/in. You can go higher but you can't go back once cut.

 

Split collars for height adjustability... $25. Belray 20w fork oil to renew damping.... $17 for a liter, enough for 3 struts. One metal cutting disc to increase spring rate $4. All for under $50 (Canadian) for what even the cheapest coilovers do and you too can say.... 

 

 

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10 hours ago, graveltrapp said:

Not sure why you would want all the hassle and expense of swapping struts, brakes, wheels and add a ton of extra unsprung weight to the front. I would keep your stock struts, cut the tube length by two to three inches insert shorter strut inserts (first gen VW rabbit) and use the collars as mentioned above all for about $100 bucks.

Keeps the same ride quality and you have 90% of the parts already in hand and payed for.

 

 but then your brakes still suck. Stock 1200 brakes are so bad. Not sure about 210, but I expect they are marginally better but still bad. Unsprung weight is a drawback but depends on what you are using the car for. Not a concern for me. I also build custom coil overs. It wasn’t cheap and in many ways just going the way mike mentioned would be better. But again all depends on your use case.

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Yeah, like if you have a fat wallet like mr.bigtankers. You would have to be going pretty damn fast over pretty big bumps for the difference in unsprung weight to be a factor. If you were, you would want the stopping power of the zx brakes designed to stop a car almost 900 pounds heavier..

 

The stock 210 brake pads are the same part as the B-210 and first gen S10 200sx. So can be assumed the rotors and calipers are the same too.

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The best part of swapping to 810 or 280zx front struts and brakes besides much better braking is the track afterwards matches front/rear and you can then run 0 offset wheels up front without rubbing.

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On 7/18/2021 at 9:31 PM, Draker said:

Stock 1200 brakes are so bad. Not sure about 210, but I expect they are marginally better but still bad.

 

Basically the same brakes in a heavier car. They are actually worse. 😁

 

Pedal feel is better because booster, but they are way undersized and are very easy to fade. 

 

Also, 280ZX stuff is readily available new. 1200 and 210 stuff is not. 

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On 9/15/2021 at 8:12 PM, afracer said:

The best part of swapping to 810 or 280zx front struts and brakes besides much better braking is the track afterwards matches front/rear and you can then run 0 offset wheels up front without rubbing.

 

Not sure about the 810 struts. If they are like the 280z you can't use them but the (910) Maxima struts work fine. The Maxima struts I have on my 710.

 

iu2VvTA.jpg

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On 10/7/2021 at 7:32 PM, datzenmike said:

 

Not sure about the 810 struts. If they are like the 280z you can't use them but the (910) Maxima struts work fine. The Maxima struts I have on my 710.

 

 

 

810 struts will work, but they use solid rotors. The whole benefit of the swap is to get (larger) vented rotors that don't overheat as easily. 

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On 9/15/2021 at 10:12 PM, afracer said:

The best part of... 280zx front struts... is the track afterwards matches front/rear and you can then run 0 offset wheels up front without rubbing.

 

It also improves steering feel, scrub radius, and overall suspension geometry. Typically in a 210 it also removes bumpsteer without the need for spacers. 

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