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Suspension Done - Lingering Issues

Marty Rogan

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WEll, after a long project (since end of June) I finished off the suspension restoration last week-end. Took it over to a shop and had an alignment done.

Before we get into the issues, here's a recap of what I did:

1) removed and sand blasted the entire suspension

2) painted everything with POR-15 and a top coat of Chasis Black.

3) installed all new OEM rubber bushings.

4) installed NOS Stage I Euro Springs.

5) reinstalled Tokicko Gas shocks.

6) installed new tie rods, and ball joints

7) lots of new brake lines, nuts, bolts and basically everything I could to make it look and work like new again.

Oh, and this is a 1970 model, all stock everything, for show.

I haven't really had a chance to drive it much since finishing, but it sure is a lot stiffer and seems to corner flatter.

First issue: When the alignment shop was done, they said the toe was out of spec by +.51 degrees on the right rear wheel. HE said it was enough to cause a wear problem. Since there is nothing built in for adjustment on the rears, is there anything I can do to correct this with the stock set up?

Second issue: The Euro Springs are supposed to lower the car by 3/4". Now that its done, it looks like it actually raised it up!! The clearance on the front between the top of the tires and the fender lip is 3" and the rear is 2 1/2". I have 215/60/15 tires mounted. For comparison, I measured the clearance on my stock early 71, with 195/70/15 tires on it, and the clearance was: front 1 3/4" and rear 1 1/4". It seems like the clearance on the 70 was more like the 71 before I started the project.

Any ideas on how to deal with this would be appreciated.



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Marty, as far as the rear toe problem, the only thing you could do is to put the adjustable camber bushings in to be able to set it correctly. It's possible sometime in it's life it's been run into a curbing or hit one **** of a pothole and somewhere it's bent slightly...I guess the only way to know for sure would be to put the car on a frame machine and find out if it's in the chassis or the suspension itself. Of course, if you did that, they might be able to "tweak" the unibody enough to correct the toe problem.:ermm: Or the car might have been hit in a parking lot in the rear at one time... either way, the results would be the same.

As for the tire to fender clearance... you can't compare the different tire diameters like that....:ermm: You should have more distance with the 60 series simply because the 60 series is a smaller diameter tire than the 70 series,if the springs were equal that it...

Try sitting both cars on a level surface and measure the ride height at the bottom edge of the rocker panel on both cars if you want to see what, if any, the difference in ride height....

FWIW, a lot of aftermarket springs I've seen have a bit of a "squat" in the rear for some reason......

One other question, were the "Euro" springs marked front and rear so that they were put on the right end? I've seen a lot of them that aren't marked...

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I was afraid that there wouldn't be much to do about the toe problem. The frame shop sounds like a possible alternative. Probably an expensive one though.

The Euro Springs are Nissan NOS springs that still had the part number tags on them. They were placed in the correct positions, including the fronts, which has 2 different part numbers.

I'll have to measure the ride height at the rockers. It looks and feels like it is riding high. Kinda looks like a jacked up Malibu from the early 70's.


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Ok, I measured the two cars last night. From the floor to the bottom edge of the rocker, at the vertical edge, where the jacking points are. Here's what I found:


Front 8 1/2"

Rear 8 5/8"


Front 6 3/4"

Back 7"

So, you can see that there is a big difference. And these springs are supposed to be 3/4" lower.

Anyone know what it is SUPPOSED TO BE from the factory??

I figured the old springs probably sagged a bit over the years, but over an inch would seem like a lot.


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Hi Marty,

I agree with Carl. 215 tires on your 70 have a greater diameter than the 195s on your 71, though only by about .5". It's possible that the 71 has sagged also, don't you think? I know the shocks are strong, but were the springs replaced on that one?


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I don't think the springs were replaced on the 71. I checked the log book that came with the car. It details every gas fill-up, oil change or any maintenance or upgrade done to it since the day it was bought.

I guess it may settle a little over time. It just looks a little odd right now.


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Marty,perhaps it will settle.I also have the same euro springs.Before install I had two z friends tell me the 3/4 lower was not true.None had measured any difference.I run 215/60r14.From ground to the edge of the jack slot I measure 7.25 inches front and rear.I seem to recall doing a before and after measurement years ago when the work was done and there was no change.The 7.25 was from today.I don't remember if that was any different than the before/after of years past.

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the springs were so bad that when i put on msa's lowering springs which lower the car 1 inch i actually gained 2 inches in hieght.

i believe the springs on my 71 i had were factory stock LOL.

as to your rear toe proplem, there is a plastic disc, the they place behind the brake assembly to adjust toe and camber on a car that didnt have it to begin with and also has drum brakes.

i cant see why they couldnt use that to adjust the rear toe. it is hard and tedious work though.

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Marty, A freind of mine with a 72 Z installed the same springs and his car ended up higher. They did not 'settle'. He cut the springs either 1 or 1-1/2 in. to get the height he desired.

Like 2manyZ said in his reply my 72Z also sat lower in the rear with aftermarket springs. I have never been happy with that so I will be cutting my front springs to get the setting I want.

When I get done the rear end will be approx. 1/2 in. higher than the front. I personally do not like look of a level Z.

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What did your friend use to cut the springs? It seems that it woudl be hardened steel, which could be a real job with a common hacksaw.

What do you do at the new end. The stock design has the last curl mating into the previous one. Seems like, if you just hack off an inch or two, you would have a rough end, which may not mate up well with the upper perch.

By the way, I just posted some pictures of the car in the gallery which shows you what I am talking about.


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