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Suspension Cleanup and Refurb


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As part of what will probably be a multi-year effort to get my 04/71 240Z back on the road, I'm cleaning up the front suspension. I've removed the struts from both sides and got a little help from a local garage to remove the springs. Since the attached picture was taken, I've removed the gland nuts and old cartridges (they were the Made in Venezuela type that I've seen mentioned in this forum). The combination of crowbar and 24" pipe wrench can be quite persuasive.

I'm going to replace the cartridges, but while I'm waiting for those, I'll clean everything up and would like to paint/coat things before re-assembling. Last summer I cleaned up the gas tank and POR-ed it inside and out (two different treatments, of course). While I was at it, I did the front stabilizer bar, which I'd already removed. Any thoughts on what type of treatment to give the strut casings, backing plates, hubs (business parts excluded) and even springs? I don't have paint spraying tools, so brush or rattle can solutions are what I'm looking at. Should I be concerned about having paint in the middle of the connection points between the struts and calipers, etc.?

One separate question. Is there a trick to separating the rotors from the hubs? I've removed the bolts, but haven't wanted to pound on anything to separate them.

Dismantled Front Suspension.jpg

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For my suspension I used  7776 flat black rattle can, it’s held up pretty well to me running off track and getting loads of mud and dirt on the under side.

I’ve also done Por15 rust encapsulation, then a topcoat with spray cans. If you take the time you can get a fairly nice outcome.
 

Just make sure you go through all the steps, acetone washing, primer ( I do 2 layers) , then paint (I do 2-3 layers). The key is to have very clean prep, you always start out dirty and rusty, and clean with each step all the way to installation. But after that getting down under the car is not too bad, plus it’s shiny 🙂 

 

do you have a 1/2” air impact gun? That will take the bolts out, might be hard to do with hand because it wants to spin.

if you don’t have an air impact imma take the time to say consider getting an electrical one from Milwaukee tools, it’s a beast of a tool, makes working on cars not too bad. 

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OK, great, that's the sort of coating I was thinking I would do. The entire underside of the car was sprayed with some sort of thick protective undercoating (which seems to have been effective), but it's a giant mess on the suspension components.

6 minutes ago, heyitsrama said:

do you have a 1/2” air impact gun? That will take the bolts out, might be hard to do with hand because it wants to spin.

The bolts holding the rotors and hubs together came off nicely using a 1/2" breaker bar after many applications of WD40 Rust Penetrant. The Milwaukee air impact gun seems like it might be good to have around, though. The hub/rotor assemblies are coated in surface rust, though, and I can't tell where they're actually supposed to separate. "Gentle" coaxing hasn't pulled them apart yet and I'd like to understand where to apply pressure without doing any damage. Can I just leave the four bolts loosely screwed in and tap on those, or ...?

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5 hours ago, davewormald said:

I've removed the bolts, but haven't wanted to pound on anything to separate them.

Pound away, the cast hub is pretty soft metal so try your best only to hit the brake disc, a couple of good wacks on either side of the disc should get it started.

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Thanks guys! Hopefully at some point tomorrow morning I'll be able to announce successful separation of hubs and rotors. After that I have a lot of wire-wheeling to do. And I have to order replacement shocks. I think I'm just going to go with the KYB's. I was thinking about the "new" adjustable Koni's, but I'm never going near a track, and always found the car's ride plenty hard. I'm assuming the softest adjustment level of the Koni's is roughly the level of the KYB's. Any thoughts on that?

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On 3/26/2021 at 9:15 AM, davewormald said:

 

One separate question. Is there a trick to separating the rotors from the hubs? I've removed the bolts, but haven't wanted to pound on anything to separate them.

 

 

1 hour ago, davewormald said:

Don't know why they bother with bolts.

 

A bit late to the party . . . . .

For what its worth, I use a press if available to push the wheel studs out. Less risk of damage and the studs can usually be reused if otherwise in good condition. Use the press to reassemble.

If a press isn't available, you can use a square of 3/4" plywood on the shop floor, set the hub on it with an mag wheel old lug nut on the stud a 1/4" or so, and beat the stud out with a brass hammer. Use the hammer and a drift to reassemble, and the old lug nut and a few flat washers to pull them all the way in (smear a dab of grease between the washers to reduce galling).

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I wasn't very clear with my comment about the bolts. It was meant to be a sarcastic remark that the rust connection between the hubs and rotors was strong enough that the bolts holding them together seemed superfluous. I used a properly Canadian solution of a hockey puck under the inside end of the hub while pounding directly on the rotors with a hammer. My original problem was that I couldn't tell where the rotors ended and the hubs started. Once I found images of what they looked like individually, I was more confident taking @grannyknot's advice.

I haven't tried to take the studs out yet, but will probably need to do that in order to clean the hubs up properly. Thanks for the suggestions on how to do that @Mark Maras and @Racer X

Back to my wire-wheeling and part cleanup ...

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32 minutes ago, heyitsrama said:

@davewormald I think rock auto has a rebate on KYBs if you order the whole set.

I'll check that out. I might as well order the rears at the same time, even though I might not get to those for a while. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, davewormald said:

I'll check that out. I might as well order the rears at the same time, even though I might not get to those for a while. Thanks!

I know you'll all be shocked to hear that saving money on the KYB's just cost me a small fortune in parts I wasn't there to buy ...

Edited by davewormald
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3 hours ago, davewormald said:

I know you'll all be shocked to hear that saving money on the KYB's just cost me a small fortune in parts I wasn't there to buy ...

PBA strikes again.

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I've never replaced wheel bearings before. Is this a normal amount of play in the outside bearing? I suppose it's pressed against the race by the washer and end nut. It seems to be in perfect shape otherwise and the race is also perfectly smooth. I was hoping not to have to replace them, but while I have everything dismantled, I'll do it if it's necessary. Also, any tricks for cleaning all the old grease out of the hubs and bearings? De-greasing the hubs before painting them is a challenge!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zr2rRRQCiDMLcCAY9

Sent from my SM-N960W using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, siteunseen said:

I went by this. I use lacquer thinner for degreaser.

Thanks, that's a good description of the process. I think I could come up with that set of "tools" for the job. I just bought lacquer thinner, so I'll give that a shot for cleaning things up.

Any thoughts on the state of the bearing I included the video of? Seems like a lot of play, but I'm not sure what they're like new. The one from the other front wheel is exactly the same.

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I'm sorry. I can't really say from the video. That aren't too expensive if I remember right so I suggest new, since your there. 

I remember using the old ones to drive in the new ones, I think. It's been some years ago. Maybe a big socket to get the old ones out?

 

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Yep, the bearings are cheap. I was hoping to avoid the removal and installation of the races, since it seems like one of the only steps I'm looking at that could end in disaster! Although popping the brake pistons out, even with a bike pump, was exciting. Good job I kept my fingers out of there!

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Before I wire-wheel away the evidence, anyone have any idea why the caliper from my 240Z has 260 and 280 written on it?

20210408_184547.jpg20210408_184430.jpg

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15 hours ago, Mark Maras said:

 I'd guess it's a used replacement.

Makes some sense. The caliper from the other side was much more rusted, but I'd noticed that all the suspension parts from one side are in worse shape than the other. There was a very noticeable difference between the calipers, though, so I think this one was a replacement. Hopefully I'll never have to separate the two sides of it. Looks like someone once tried to do it and made a real mess of one of the bolts. All the parts I ordered from Rock Auto have now made it to the cross border shipping location, so hopefully I'll receive them next week and get on with this!

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I think there are some minor casting differences between the 240Z and the 260Z/280Z calipers, but they all use the same revision sets, brake pads and the pistons are the same.

With the pistons and brake pads being the same, you should not have any issues using any combination of calipers. Aftermarket kits have the sealing ring between the halfs, but Nissan does not supply them.

Same for the chewed up bolt holding the two halves together. If you want to rellace it you will be in the aftermarket parts. Nissan reccomends replacing the complete caliper if you need split then apart for any reason.

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Happy birthday to me and my car. I wish I could say I'm 50 this year, like the car, but sadly ...

According to the car's engine stamp, it was built on April 9th, 1971. I'm conveniently assuming it was mated with the rest of the car on the 14th so it lines up with my own birthday. I have no idea how long those steps would actually have taken.

Luckily a lot of "gifts" arrived for me and the car today. A few of them in the pic, and a lot more are ready for pick-up after having been shipped across the border yesterday. Lots of fun in the next couple of weeks!

20210414_141648.jpg

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