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80' 510 suspension upgrade

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Easiest/cheapest/just as goodest is to dismantle the stock strut. With luck it still has the original oil bath dampers (shocks) in it and haven't been changed to 'dry inserts'. If this is the case empty them out and recharge with 20w motorcycle fork oil. (about $20 new inserts are 80$ each or a pair I don't know) The thicker viscosity is harder to push through the stock valving, increasing the firmness. While the spring is off with a few measurements and simple math you can calculate and confirm the stock spring rate at around 100 pounds per inch. (lb./in) With these measurements you can calculate how much spring to trim off to increase the spring rate somewhere between 50% and 100%. Now trim the bottom perch that the spring rides on, off and grind away the weld on the strut tube. Assemble the strut and use a 2" split collars (about $20) to support the spring perches. Now the ride height is adjustable, springs are stiffer and the dampers (shocks) are renewed. Total cost is under $50. Or spend $500 plus on coil overs that once adjusted for ride height are money tied up and just along for the ride. Tools needed are a few sockets, ratchet, hacksaw. (or angle grinder) Time: an afternoon. If interested I can post pictures.


Another way to get a little lower (or adjustable with split collars) and a monster caliper and vented rotor is to get a set of 280zx struts and swap them on using your stock (or shortened) spring and lower perch with split collars and stock top hat. Course you have to find and buy the 280zx struts and the rotor and probably the caliper needs replacing which adds to the cost. The 280zx rotors will probably need a larger 14" set of rims.


Lowering the front definitely requires a stiffer spring to prevent bottoming out on bumps but vastly improves handling due to the now lower center of gravity.

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I looked over a later HL510 front suspension & decided that the earlier 68-73 510 adjustable upper camber plates would work (ie T3 etc), the 79-83 280ZX strut assemblies & brakes would work & the RCA spacers would work if you lower it more than 1in.  It was a local guy, but he never did anything with it.  I have never done it, but again, I looked it over pretty good! 

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My son FAT510 runs Zx struts and camber plates he bought used that were originally used on a real 510 , on his 1979 A10 (510) wagon -and  welded on collars.    We used original springs and upper perches with a few machined spacers to be able to use together


We originally used fancy smancy aftermarket springs and perches and adjustment tubes but ride sucked hairy donkey balls. 

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