BDJeff

Front suspension renew and adjustment

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    I've gone thru and replaced all of the "soft goods" pieces of my front suspension ('71 Series II) and have finally got it all reassembled.  I should have bought L & R stamps and stamped everything as I took it off because, ultimately, I got it all mixed up but finally sorted in the end.  All back together now but a couple of questions.

    The compression rods that locate the transverse link have tightened up at different locations. The left side is even with the nut, the right side is about a half inch further out.  I measured the distance between the lower control arm and the frame mount on each side and it's the same.  Is it possible the rods are two different lengths?  I forgot to check and it's too much work to pull them off and check.  Could it be something else I may have missed?  Second, when I torqued up the big bolt that secures the transvers link, I noticed the bushing no longer moves.  DUh!  So the suspension movement is only the flexing of the inner rubber.  So when I torqued the bolt, I first jacked the suspension up to it's normal operating point so the rubber in the bushing is sort of splitting the difference between operating position and assembly position.  Does this sound right?

     

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    Edited by BDJeff
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    1 hour ago, BDJeff said:

    The compression rods that locate the transverse link have tightened up at different locations. The left side is even with the nut, the right side is about a half inch further out.  I measured the distance between the lower control arm and the frame mount on each side and it's the same.  Is it possible the rods are two different lengths?  I forgot to check and it's too much work to pull them off and check. 

    Could it be something else I may have missed?  Second, when I torqued up the big bolt that secures the transvers link, I noticed the bushing no longer moves.  DUh!  So the suspension movement is only the flexing of the inner rubber.

    Left and right should be the same length.  carpartsmanual only shows one part number so no changes there.  Looks like you got a bushing jammed up or something.  The second one is correct, I have mine double-nutted.  There's room.  So you can focus on the other one.

    http://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun/Z-1969-1978/axle/front-suspension

    With stock bushings what you're seeing is correct.  That's why final tightening is done with the car's weight on the suspension.  It's in the FSM.

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    Might I suggest that the outer tie rod be inverted as in the picture it is upside down.

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    On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:36 AM, gnosez said:

    Might I suggest that the outer tie rod be inverted as in the picture it is upside down.

    Yes, thank you.  I figured that out when I started to assemble that part.

    Everything went back together with no further problems, I think I was over thinking the compression rods.

    But OK, so what's going on here?  I replaced the original struts with Tokico Illumina adjustable struts, I found their recommendation here on this forum.  I think I got the last two available.  But now the ride height is a couple of inches too high and the tires angle in at the bottom.  It appears the shocks are too long and have jacked up the suspension to a much higher point.  I didn't compare the old vs. new, do the Illumina's come in different lengths?  Or have I cleverly installed something upside down?

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    I checked with the folks where I bought these and apparently, even though these are gas shocks, the ride height shouldn't be affected.  So the only other thing that would make this kind of difference is the springs.  Can they be installed wrong?  Is there an up or down orientation and does that make a difference?

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    On the end of the illumina box, does it have part number BZ3015.    BZ3016 is for the rear. 

    This is the correct Tokico front strut part number.

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    Yes, I have the box here in my hand.  Definitely BZ3015.  Good idea though.  Anything else?

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    The lowering springs from Tokico are different front to rear as well. Some peeps have put them on the wrong ends of the car before. 

    As I remember the springs have a number 50XX and a F for front, or R for rear on the coils. make sure you have these on the correct ends of the car, front to rear.

    Edited by Terrapin Z

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    Still running the stock springs.  Is that a problem?  Should I have changed the springs and struts at the same time?

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    Has the car been moved enough to settle the suspension? When you first set them down they tend to sit like this

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    Good point Patcon, The last pic does look toe'd in like it was not settled. Might be the pic angle?

     

    The parts manual shows a different stock front springs for manual or automatic, with or without A/C, and even right to left, by part number.

    The stock rear part numbers are different from both of the fronts, and had only 2 seater and 2+2 options  (plus an optional heavier weight spring)

     

    Edited by Terrapin Z

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    I drove it around the block after I put it all together.  Probably about 1 mile. with a couple of bumps  That surely should have been far enough to settle the suspension.  All rubber soft goods, no polyurethane so it should settle in pretty quickly.  I guess my question is are the Tokico struts a direct replacement (I've not measured the lengthe difference, if any) or should I have done something else when I changed the struts?  Is the Tokico a direct change out?

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    The 3015 strut is the correct front replacement for a stock (non coilover) suspension setup.

    Are the springs seated in the perches correctly?  Any other issues you ran into when you re-assembled?

    I looks like something is binding & keeping the suspension hung up from settling to the correct height.

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    Yes, this is a stock, non-coil over, setup.  My intent was to replace the 48 year old strut with something from today.  Direct replacement.  I'll have to recheck the springs but I'm pretty sure they were against the bump in the upper and lower cups.  But if it's the springs, I'd have to have screwed up the same on both sides as it seems to be level.  Nothing obvious, it may be a little while before I get to tear back into it as I've got another car I have to get prepped for a trip in July. 

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    I have Illumina 3015's & BZ 3016's on my car with the Tokico lowering springs all around, and it sits low and level. I don't see why the stock springs would push it up so much.

    Just out of curiosity where did you find the last two BZ3015's? I had wanted to have a replacement set but can't find them at all.

     

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    Any chance of removing the wheel and taking another picture of your completed/ installed strut assembly?  I know you posted one before but it's kinda shaky a little. That would help us inspect for any obvious stuff.

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    You could loosen the bushings bolts on the front control arms and see if it will settle some and then retorque them.

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    On 4/10/2019 at 6:22 AM, BDJeff said:

    But OK, so what's going on here?

    When you tighten the control arm (AKA transverse link) bolts the inner sleeve of the rubber bushings gets locked.  Then when you drop the car the bushing is twisted and holds the car up.  You're supposed to have the weight of the car, and two people (nobody does this part), inside before you tighten the bolts.

    I've thought of this before, but don't think the bushings would take it for long, but a person could "artificially" lower their car, by overloading it then tightening the bolts, if they have stock Nissan rubber.

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    Thanks for all the suggestion guys.  I sent the other car on it's way and now am back on this.

    I jacked up the lower control arm to the point the car just started to lift off the jack stands then tightened the control arm bolts.  This should be pretty close to tightening them with the car sitting on the ground (minus the two people).  I took it around the block again this morning and the wheels are still pointed in at the bottom.  I'll take it apart tonight and post some more, better pictures tomorrow.

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    OK, here's how I set the suspension when I tighten the lower control arm bolt.  Minus the two people sitting in the seats.  You can see the gap between the jack stand and the sub-frame.

     

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    Edited by BDJeff

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    Here are some pictures of the suspension as it sits now.  See anything amiss?  It looks like the springs are all the way in position in their cups.  Also, the upper bearing is set with the fixed or cup side up and the rotating part of the bearing down against the doughnut?

     

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    Your front end looks very high, like you have high rate springs on the front struts.  The wheels will pull in at the bottom as the body and wheels get farther apart.  You might be describing the secondary effect of the car not settling at all, due to some other problem.  Any chance you got your springs mixed up front to back?

    Take a picture from the side and post it.

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    I see two things potentially wrong... First is that the floor jack appears like it could be pushing inward on the rotor and helping limit the natural outward movement of the hub as the suspension tries to move upward. Might be better to rotate the floor jack ninety degrees so the little wheels on it will allow it to move easier inward and outward with respect to the center of the car.

    The second thing? I can't see the right side front wheel but I suspect it's hanging free? If that's the case, then your sway bar (roll bar, anti-sway bar, etc) is fighting you. Just like it's supposed to do. In operation, the sway bar tries to keep the levels of the two front wheels the same. So if you've got one hanging and the other being pushed up by a jack, you're twisting the torsion spring that is your sway bar.

    You might try temporarily disconnecting the sway bar. Or better yet... Just lower both front tires onto a pair of roller bottom moving dollies. That will allow them to squirm to their proper position and then tighten up the transverse link bushing bolts while the suspension is loaded.

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    43 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

    Take a picture from the side and post it.

    Oops, I didn't scroll up far enough.

    You can reach the suspension bolts from the side when the car is on the ground.  Loosen them up a bit and roll the car back and forth.  No danger if the car isn't being driven.

    Your front end is way up there though.  That's probably why your wheels are carked.

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