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sparegolfer

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Hello everyone out there in Z land. Ok, I will try to be short and sweet. I am in the process of starting to work on my 10/70 #11915 Datsun Z that has been sitting in my garage for over 24 years. My how time flies when life gets in the way. But by the grace of God, I think its time. I am going to start first on the front end rebuild. The car will have some new old stock Mulholland springs that will lower the car an inch with Koni red struts. I have a set of urethane bushings on the way and also new lower ball joints and outer tie rod ends. Since the car will be lowered, what else am I going to need? Do I need a adjustable camber kit, bump stops, strut insulators and bump steer spacers also? Is there anything else I'm missing? I am just trying to cover all my bases before I get started so I don't waste to much time and money making mistakes. 

Also, thank you to everyone for being so helpful on this forum. This is going to be a journey for sure and I will need all the help I can get. 

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4 minutes ago, sparegolfer said:

Since the car will be lowered, what else am I going to need?

Well that depends what kind of driving you are going to do, if it is a weekend car 1-2 track days a year then you can get away with just some bump stops (NOT hard poly, you need the stiff poly foam) and good tires. If you think you will be doing lots of track then you might want to get camber plates, caster adjustment and the rest that stuff.  Just my opinion.

Urethane bushings are great for track work but can be punishing for a street car.

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I would suggest not running poly bushings on both sides of the body where the Tension/Compression Rod attaches.  The common process is to run the poly bushings on the front side and use stock rubber bushings on the back side of the body mount.  Poly/poly is too stiff and won't let the TC rod articulate properly.

You didn't say if you have a full poly bushing set, but if not, be sure to install new poly steering rack mount bushings.  While you are at it, your steering rack boots are likely old and dried out, so when you do the tie rods, install new rubber boots on the rack.

 

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The car would just be used as a weekend warrior, no track days or anything like that. I plan on running either 15x7 or 16x7/8 wheels but nothing to exotic. I really like Jeff's idea about running poly in the front and rubber in the back. Sounds like my hair back in the 80s. Also, didn't I read something about a "upper strut bearing"? Is that a part that I would need to replace since the car has been sitting for so long? Also, what do y'all (yes we use that a lot down here) think about sway bar sizes? I had a 73 before with larger aftermarket sway bars front and back and I liked the feel of them but are they really necessary for a weekend warrior like mine? I'm thinking just start with the original sway bars and if I want to upgrade, then do it later.  I really do value everyone's opinions on this. I have been out of the Z loop for so long and now trying to get back into it. I've got so many cobwebs in my brain right now trying to clear those out and get back into the Datsun game. 

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Bigger sway-bars is going to give you stiffer body roll.  The poly bushings are going to give a stiffer ride.  I prefer the offset lower bushings in the front to help with alignment.  I also prefer the stiffer ride.  Sounds like you have a nice set-up going!

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With lowering springs you definitely want to add bump stops to the shocks.  I did poly bushings all around when I redid my car, quickly regretted that decision and switched out to OE rubber everywhere except the front control arms where I have eccentric bushings for a bit of camber adjustment.  You'll probably not find rubber bushings for the steering rack so be prepared for a bit of snap in the steering with the available poly versions.  For a street car there is little need for a sway bar upgrade since you are lowering the car.  Front strut mount bearings can be replaced if yours are dry or damaged in any way.

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1 hour ago, sparegolfer said:

 I am in the process of starting to work on my 10/70 #11915 Datsun Z that has been sitting in my garage for over 24 years. My how time flies when life gets in the way. But by the grace of God, I think its time. I am going to start first on the front end rebuild. The car will have some new old stock Mulholland springs that will lower the car an inch with Koni red struts.

What are you starting with?  A completely stock 240Z that was parked in 1994?  Or did it already have some mods?  Are the Konis 24 years old?  Have you been watching the conversations about values?  An old stock 1970 car might be worth keeping stock.

Got any pictures?

Stock rubber busings can often be found.  "Poly" is oversold and a bit hypey.  The poly guys just made replicas of every rubber part they could find and advertised them as a performance upgrade.  And colored them red.

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The car that I am starting with is a completely stock, very straight, practically rust free unicorn of a car. I am truly blessed to have found and kept this car around for this long. Well, I say car, its actually just a shell of a car. I do have the majority of the parts to put it back together again. I bought the car off a guy years and years ago that was going to turn it into a vintage race car but he never did. Bought it for $500. The Koni struts will be new. I am kinda in between a rock and a hard place because I know how much the car is increasing in value and this car certainly has the potential to so easily be a perfect 10, and I think about that and it drives me mad and puts a lot of pressure on me to build the perfect car, but nah... I can't do it. I honestly don't have the resources, time and know how to build such a car. More than that, I'm not into the whole stock original look with skinny tires and stuff. I want to have fun and just relax and have a good time with it car. 

As far as the stock bushings, I might have to look through my parts boxes. I've got so much stuff laying around I might actually have some already! Lol.  

 

  

 

 

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Zed wow, thank you for that, perfect. Just looking at the pic, I have a question about number 42, the kit seal strut and number 53, the bearing strut mount. When I order my Koni reds, will these come with the struts themselves or do I have to order them separately? It's all the little parts that drive people to madness and I'm just trying to minimize the madness! 

Edited by sparegolfer

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3 hours ago, sparegolfer said:

Also, didn't I read something about a "upper strut bearing"? Is that a part that I would need to replace since the car has been sitting for so long?

Soak them in some thinners and wash the hard grease out of them, repack with fresh grease and they will be good for another 50 yrs.

1 hour ago, sparegolfer said:

More than that, I'm not into the whole stock original look with skinny tires and stuff. I want to have fun and just relax and have a good time with it car. 

Well just keep all of the original stuff so you can take it back to original if you change your mind.

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Expensive! The worst part is, last night I was checking around and I just missed a sale. Someone on the Datsun Classified post on FB sold a pair of used Koni front struts for $150! Ugh. The story of my life, day late and a dollar short. 

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11 hours ago, sparegolfer said:

When I order my Koni reds, will these come with the struts themselves or do I have to order them separately?  

These shocks are inserts designed to be installed into your existing stock struts.

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2 hours ago, sparegolfer said:

Expensive! The worst part is, last night I was checking around and I just missed a sale. Someone on the Datsun Classified post on FB sold a pair of used Koni front struts for $150! Ugh. The story of my life, day late and a dollar short. 

Since the product is no longer in the Koni catalog, these are probably NOS items and priced accordingly.  When they're gone, there won't be any more!   :cry:

Not counting coilover's, the only current production shock inserts I can find available are KYB's.  Gabriel has shocks listed, but only for the front.

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3 hours ago, sparegolfer said:

Expensive! The worst part is, last night I was checking around and I just missed a sale. Someone on the Datsun Classified post on FB sold a pair of used Koni front struts for $150! Ugh. The story of my life, day late and a dollar short. 

For what you're planning a set of KYB's would work fine.  Many people use them, on lowered cars too.  You'll find a ton of comments across the internet about what you have to do to use lowering springs, and what "won't work".  But you'll find almost zero stories about anybody who actually had a bad experience.  You'll probably find stories too about how you can't use Koni reds on a lowered car because they were specified for stock ride height.

JEGS is a cheap source - https://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/m20ProductDisplayView?catalogId=10002&langId=-1&productId=331926&storeId=10001

or these guys - https://thmotorsports.com/380079-koni-adjustable-special-d-twin-tube-mcpherson-strut-cartridge?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6IDVlbOE4AIVAhx9Ch1EaAaaEAYYASABEgKIvfD_BwE

or you can save some money, put the car together, then see what you really need.  You might decide to go with full adjustable "coil over"s. - https://www.amazon.com/KYB-FRONT-REAR-shocks-struts/dp/B002T4HDY6

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That’s some very appreciated information Zed. Thank you for that. That’s another question that I am torn over is, since I’m not going to do any serious track or scca anything, do I really need the Konis or can I just go with KYB. 

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@sparegolfer I used this as a guide for my first poly change over on a 280,  http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/suspension.htm

Did again to my 240, same thing.  My only problem was the lock nut on the T/C rods.  They're one use.  Mine fell off luckily in my driveway so I put new nylon lock nuts on both sides.  Also the OE rubber and poly mix works great on those rods like Jeff says.  I bought the rubber from Napa way back when but zcardepot.com has all the stuff cheaper,  https://www.google.com/search?rls=ig&source=hp&ei=UrBIXKfGOMfVjwTo7byACA&q=napa+auto+280z+compression+rod+bushing&btnK=Google+Search&oq=napa+auto+280z+compression+rod+bushing&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i299l3.1182.22774..23940...0.0..0.115.3110.33j5......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0j0i131j0i22i30j33i160.9j-DxNl4ht0

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Thank you Siteunseen, that Atlantic z post is straight money for the conversion. Thank you also for the tip with the t/c rod nuts. Ill have to add that to my parts list also. That's a nice orange 72. Maybe one day mine will look that good. 

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Zed one thing that I remember reading was how KYB struts were made as factory replacements and those were not ideal for a lowered Z and you mentioned the same about the Koni. That just leads me to ask the question, are there any struts specifically designed to fit on a lowered Z? If not, you are right. I should go with the KYB and save money for the drive train. 

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I think the bigger question might be "how low is lowered?"  One inch is really not much.  Not even sure it counts.  I just recalled that the instructions that come with the KYB struts might say something about lowered cars.  I think that that might be where the internet recommendations come from.  I have them on my ~ one inch lowered car and have no issues, never even bottomed them out.  Type of driving and road quality would matter also.

I just found a blurb on the Koni site, from less than a week ago about Koni re-introducing a 240Z strut.  Spooky.  Looks like Motorsport Auto is involved.  Surprised they haven't posted something on the site.  They don't seem to be available yet, on their web site.  Might be worth a call.  

http://www.koni-na.com/en-US/NorthAmerica/News/News-Releases/KONI-Sport-Performance-Dampers-for-Classic-’70-83/

Here's another blurb with a phone number at the end.

http://www.koni-na.com/getattachment/NorthAmerica/News/News-Releases/KONI-Sport-Performance-Dampers-for-Classic-’70-83/37102_KONI_Datsun_Z_Motorsport_PressRelease.pdf.aspx/?lang=en-US

 

 

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5 hours ago, siteunseen said:

My only problem was the lock nut on the T/C rods.  They're one use.  Mine fell off luckily in my driveway so I put new nylon lock nuts on both sides.  

Great advice.  I lost one on the highway when I hit a bump.  😩

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http://www.koni-na.com/getattachment/NorthAmerica/News/News-Releases/KONI-Sport-Performance-Dampers-for-Classic-’70-83/37102_KONI_Datsun_Z_Motorsport_PressRelease.pdf.aspx/?lang=en-US

Wow! Thank you Zed for that information. This could be a game changer. I just got off the phone with Motorsport Auto and the rep said that yes, they have partnered with Koni and are very soon coming out with NEW Koni struts made for the Datsun Z cars. Woo Wooo. He said they are putting all the finishing touches on the marketing campaign and finishing up testing and then they will be ready to go. I asked him if he had a date or even a ballpark date they would be available but he declined and just said, very soon.  

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