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Ball Joints - Series 1


zed2

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For those of you who are familiar with the Series 1 ball joint have discovered that in 7/70 Nissan changed the size of the ball joint from a 11mm thread to a 14mm thread. Since the 11mm thread is has not been available from Nissan for at least 20 years, this change requires the Series 1 owner to replace the steering knuckles to accommodate the 14mm size. Naturally, this change affects the originality of a restoration project.

I have been approached by an aftermarket vendor who has approximately 16 NOS of the 11mm thread ball joints in a warehouse. He is interested in selling as one lot for $75.00 per unit. (Comparable aftermarket price of the 14mm thread is approximately $40-$45 per unit.)

Now comes the question; should I buy the old stock and offer them for sale at a price of $95.00? (I do currently have 4 old stock that I purchased years ago for my personal use.)

What are your thoughts? I do not want to become a vendor of old parts, nor do I want to gouge someone when it comes time to sell them. Life is too short to leave someone with the impression that they have been ripped-off!

Thanks,

Keith

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Keith, You have a couple of choices here. You can have the tappered hole, that the ball joint goes into, reamed to fit the later and larger units or as you mentioned, replace the steering knuckles with later models. Just a thought for you to ponder....you may consider the shorter steering knuckles if you do replace the older units. It definitely makes the car steer more like a real sports car....requires a bit less rotation of the steering wheel while cornering. As far as originality....thats your call.

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$95 each side is a lot for those ball joints. Decent quality aftermarket ones can be had for $50 a PAIR. The originality fans might be interested in them but maybe not at that price. The later ones are not something 'visibly' un-original so who will know if you have them fitted to an earlier car. I think the guy asking $75 each side is already asking a premium price.

I have just replaced the steering arms on my 4/70 car with the later 14mm ones, to avoid any problem over getting future replacements.

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You will be able to get rid of them at $95 each, but it might take a while. The guys doing a 100% restoration are not that many. If you are willing to hold on to them for a long time, it might be worth it eventually.

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Are they Nissan parts? If so, the current Courtesy Nissan price for the 14mm ball joints is about $95. Which is why I put Moog on my 280Z. If they aren't Nissan parts, then that is way too much. If they are, then I'm sure you'll be able to get that for them after you find enough originality-oriented restorers.

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Her Majesty already has her balls taken care of. Not interested. This is a perfect example of the sort of thing the Vintage Z program faced. The 11mm size was replaced for a reason - think about it. The restorer is faced with the decision to keep the car dedicated original and inefficient or upgrading the service standard. What would you do? What would you rather buy if you were buying a restored car?

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You're right, my bad on the ties vs. the balls....

Hey 26th, when judging, can you tell the difference between sizes, and does it matter on stock class?

Even if I was going for a 100% original, and the ball joints needed to be replaced, I would want the larger ones. Just my opinion--because I'd drive it!

Now if you never drove it, maybe...but how can you have a perfect Z and not drive it on a nice Summer day?

Have a good one guys,

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Well...a judge could bust your balls for damned near anything ROFLROFL

Its one of those discretionary calls. And there are plenty of them. Do you use the larger diameter hydraulics or stick to the smaller diameter? Do you use worn but correct brake rotors or brand new incorrect ones? Rubber bushings or synthetic? Paint or powder coat? Do you intentionally try to duplicate the sloppy workmanship of the original build or the thin chrome? For that matter, when does rust become "patina"? This is a crazy game, eh?

So far, my experience with judging cars has not led me to believe that anyone would get a deduction for incorrect balls. Let me finish my car(s), win gold, and I'll let you know what I got away with. :paranoid:

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