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Captain Obvious

Lowering Bottom Spring Perch

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Thanks for checking! And even if you do find the mate for the 240 version, that won't work for me. They need to be 260 or later.

Here's to hoping I can turn something up. Kicking myself for not grabbing a set before the pandemic started. I had a couple options for a pair for under a hundred bucks and didn't get to it.  :facepalm:

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Embarrassingly... No.
I have spring perches which have been removed from a pair of scrap front strut tubes, but I never procured a set of front struts on which to transplant the donor perches. I'm not confident in the success of this project to just go ahead and modify the struts that are currently on my car. I want another spare set to cut up.
In any event, here's where I am now:
P1140438.JPG.039fe81a3ad8cb7a4397489c953fe6e4.JPG
I have recently started a couple different avenues to get my hands on a pair of front struts to finish this project, but haven't had anything delivered yet. And no... I didn't start trying again because you prompted me. LOL  I really did start a couple weeks ago.
So, is anyone parting out a 260 or 280 that has a pair of front struts available?

Those look familiar....

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15 hours ago, grannyknot said:

CO, you don't need to weld the perch and hope that you have picked the right height, you can mount the perches on split collars and raise and lower them until you're satisfied they are perfect and then weld them.  In fact the split collars clamp with such force that you could tack the perch to one side of the collar and leave it at that.

Thanks. I was thinking about doing just that (after I saw your post on your 510 thread).  "Test" out the amount of drop before I permanently committed to it.  

But I still need a pair of struts!

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23 hours ago, wheee! said:


Those look familiar....

Sure do! And I apologize they are still sitting there like that!!

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So I found front suspension parts on craigslist and went on a safari to grab them. Nice guy, reasonable prices, close enough to drive to for heavy stuff. I'm very happy with how the whole thing turned out. Front suspension loaded in the back of the Family Truckster:
P1170378.JPG

Got it home and stripped everything down. Here's the strut bodies and the Tokico's that came out:
P1170403.JPG

So that's where I am right now. Had to resort to the pipe wrench to get the gland nuts off, but other than that, everything went swimmingly.

 

P1170404.JPG

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@grannyknot, What tool did you use to cut your perches loose on your 510?

When I cut the perches off the stubs I got from @wheee!, I did it on the lathe by boring the inside out until the perches fell off. Can't do that with the bodies I want to put on the car.

I had originally planned to just go completely postal with the grinder and cut the perches off my tubes in pieces (since I didn't need to salvage them). But your removal method looked gentle enough that you could reuse the perches (which I assume was your plan).

IMG_0213.JPG

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If possible, please mark the photo in Post #32 to show the area where the grinding needs to be done.  Based on the earlier pix (Post #28), it looks like you just ground off the weld bead that sits immediately below the perch stamping.  Is that sufficient to free up the perch?  Just want to be sure I understand this correctly.

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11 hours ago, Namerow said:

If possible, please mark the photo in Post #32 to show the area where the grinding needs to be done.  Based on the earlier pix (Post #28), it looks like you just ground off the weld bead that sits immediately below the perch stamping.  Is that sufficient to free up the perch?  Just want to be sure I understand this correctly.

The weld bead holding the perch to the strut tube is about 1/8th" tall and I cut just above that, you can see the cut line right next to the weld bead  in the photo on post #32, after the perch is off you grind down the bead so the split collar and perch can slide past.

The only danger is cutting too deep and going into the strut tube, the metal is thin. A hacksaw is a safer way to remove the perch.

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Thanks for the tool info. Some guys are artists with the angle grinder, but I'm not one of them. I'm worried that I'll slip into the strut tube.

Maybe I'll try it on the band saw first and see how slow that goes. If that's excruciatingly slow, I guess I'll try the grinder.

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I got a question... Here's a pic of my donor strut tubes. Note that the right side (left unit) perch spring end points toward the rear of the car, while the spring tip on right side unit points towards the front of the car:
P1170475.JPG

I confirmed on my stock units which are still on my 77 280Z. The spring tip sections of the perches on the left side spring tips point away from eachother (front strut points forward and rear strut points backward), while the right side tubes do the opposite. On the right side, the spring tips are both on the inboard sides.

Question is.... Does it matter at all where the spring tips end up? I'm assuming that there was some simple fixturing reason Datsun put them where they did, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any function reason it would matter where they end up. However, I'm not a suspension guy.

Anyone have any input?

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On the front it doesn't matter because the hat spins and will always settle in the right place,  the rear I can't picture in my head at the moment but the hat can mount three different positions so one of them has to work.

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And as for the project, I made some progress. Hacksaw with a sharp new blade made quick work of the perches. I was worried that it would be a real chore doing it manually without a machine, but it was actually quite easy:
P1170463.JPG

Turning the strut in the vise as I broke through. And it was quite easy to tell when I broke through as well, so I didn't cut into the strut tube:
P1170464.JPG

Go all the way around and then used a rubber mallet to tap the perch up and off:
P1170465.JPG

P1170468.JPG

Rinse and repeat on the other side and here's where I am right now after grinding off the weld beads:
P1170536.JPG

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5 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

On the front it doesn't matter because the hat spins and will always settle in the right place,  the rear I can't picture in my head at the moment but the hat can mount three different positions so one of them has to work.

Agreed. I just can't come up with any functional reason why it would really matter at all. And the hat in the rear spins as well. No bearing, but the rubber mounting block with the three studs sticking up out of it is independent of the upper perch below it. It's got that goofy hard plastic spacer in there or something? Been a while since I messed with one. Doesn't spin as easily as the front with the bearing, but it should still spin.

Of course, all that said, My OCD will force me to put the perches back on the same way they came off. Lower, but same rotational orientation.

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5 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

 I just can't come up with any functional reason why it would really matter at all.

The factory probably used the same jig for welding up L & R struts so the perch would be same on both, perhaps.

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I was thinking the same thing. Manufacturing fixturing only. That, and you can't tell 70's Japanese welder on the line "It doesn't matter... Put it anywhere." He would likely self combust from the internal ambiguity.

And on a related note, I found a pic of the plastic spacers they use in the rear (instead of the bearings). I think I might make some steel replacements to use when I put mine back together. Might be able make them a little thinner than the originals for more lowering:
rear strut mounts and spacers.JPG

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So today's question... Does anyone have a good manufacturer and specific details for a bellows set that fit's well on the 280 struts? I bought a pair of KYB's couple years ago when I was into the struts last time and they were too big. Couldn't get them to fit right.

No surprise, but the bellows that came in my donor strut assemblies were worn out and need to be replaced. Anyone got something that really does fit well?
P1170388.JPG

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I haven't found good ones yet, I've bought several sets over the years and they are usually stiff plastic that don't seal at the bottom.  It's a part that is ripe for reproduction.

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Crapsticks. That's not the answer I wanted. I really thing the original design (with the bellows and the retaining ring at the bottom) is pretty slick.

@AK260, you mentioned in another thread that you were using the bellows from the front of a dirt bike or something? How did that work out?

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Crapsticks. That's not the answer I wanted. I really thing the original design (with the bellows and the retaining ring at the bottom) is pretty slick. [mention=32052]AK260[/mention], you mentioned in another thread that you were using the bellows from the front of a dirt bike or something? How did that work out?  

 

 Sorry to see you have the same issue Captain. Totally agree on the original design being elegant. 

If you’re not bothered by originality, the classic BSA motorbike ones worked perfectly and look all the money - way better than the RockAuto ones. I had to trim the edge off one end to help it over the spring top-hat lip without covering the drain holes (a tight fit even with the originals). The dimensions on the other end are tight enough over the strut tube body (late 260z) that I could have gotten away without the clip. I did add the clip regardless but it’s not hidden like on the originals gaiters.

 

a0dccdf3787e1ca20dab748cbbf4a9f7.plist&key=a43a30ef554b658f2222a133b024824201b18a09594d686447a00b2d93e97539998aa23462b697bb7316fb73518293d0.png&key=17c67475db32945c4e418b24456bdfcc41d7e8ae243d74872c850228b80695e3

 

Here’s the link. Let me know if you can’t find them or anything else suitable state-side and I will get some to you.

 

https://www.classicbikeshop.co.uk/bsa-fork-gaiters-42-5320.html

 

 

Here are some dimensions for comparison ...

 

6b90bb169866600478cd3cdb90a930cc.plist&key=f55a60fb2996a584bc105bc2a269a29abf8b9a0020e26fb8b759d00d171aac2e1e6b9e04d907e854808393dceafc706b.plist&key=f3921e450beae39d3448f4b931338611a3e18465812b56ab159902b9e330a6ab

 

 

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AK260, thanks much for the additional info. I'll look into those to see what I can find on my side of the water.

And on a related note... The 74 FSM says the strut tubes OD is 2 inches (50.8mm). After that, (in later years manuals, they greatly reduced the amount of detail about the suspension members. Starting in 75, they stopped listing the OD of the tubes as well as much of the info about the corner springs.

Why is this related? Because all the tubes I have here are from various years of 280's and they are all 55mm OD (2.165 in), not 50.8mm. I'm assuming this was part of the beefing up of the suspension stuff that occurred for the 280. Unfortunately none of this is documented in the manuals, but it needs to be taken into account when looking for things like those strut tube bellows / gaiters.

It also matters when you're trying to size split collars to use as temporary spring perches to hold the springs in place for locating. If you buy 2" collars, they won't fit:
P1140543.JPG

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CO, you are most welcome and I’m glad to be of service. The offer is very serious, if you want them from here just tap me up.

The OD on mine was also 55mm hence why the gaiter has such a great stretch fit without over stretching. I spent hours on google before I came across something that was right or very close on all three dimensions. I also didn’t want anything too short that would pop off every time the car was jacked up.

020b44ff688e8c24dd822d985ddcc331.jpg

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