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Holistic Approach To Handling. Done Right The First Time!


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#1 DreamZproject

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 09:30 AM

Wow 3 years has flown by so quickly! but circumstances have dramatically changed, but my dream of owning one of these badoi's is still alive!

 

I've now come to the conclusion that a full body rust repair just isn't for me. Too demoralising... Lucky we have someone around like Lurch! (who as 

we know didn't have any morals in the first place ;p) 

So I'm shipping all the rust repair off at this stage with an ETA of work commencing some time around the end of the year/ early next year. 

 

Now I'm over that major mental hurdle, I thought I better get on to refurbishing and upgrading the running gear. I basically have a huge load of questions that I thought I should ask in an attempt at getting a holistic view to the cars handling.

 

The goal for this build is to build a fun lively and predictable sports car. Excitement and enjoy-ability is key. This means I am leaning away from the "track car" style setup, but still want liveliness and predictability. My main build concept is that I won't go for coilovers as I from first hand experience know how poorly a linear spring type setup performs on our bumpy roads. I don't mind hard suspension at all, but don't like the harshness that non progressive springs provide. As for ride height, I'm sure there is some sort of optimum sweet spot so recommendations are welcomed. From an aesthetic point of view, I'd like it if the wheels can fill out the guard, but doesn't need to be tucked (I'm after 16x8 +0). I have been recommended Koni adjustable shocks (not sure red or yellow), but I am unsure of which spring would best suit my application (bit of progressive, but still firmish). Every other handling part should also fit in to this equation "The sweet spot" before it gets too serious.

I have also heard that when these cars are lowered a significant amount, they greatly benefit from a bit of geometry adjustment, so I assume some adjustable arms are beneficial. (More info here would be handy).

 

Here are the parts I'm strongly contemplating: (please let me know if they are worthwhile, and where best to purchase them from)

- Adjustable Track control arm 

- Adjustable radius rod

- Adjustable Rear transverse link

- Adjustable sways (front and rear) (what weight?)

- Lower (swivel) balljoint (to sways)

Engine mounts

- Full bushing kit (Fulcrum superpro recommended, but I am very keen to hear more info about the pros and cons here)

- Full bolt kit

- Clutch/ flywheel (which what?)

 

 

Here are some parts that I am considering, but am aware that their cost can be significant, or I don't know enough about them yet:

- Brake upgrade (There are many options I know, but I still haven't found the consensus on which is most ideal...)

- New wiring harness (seems like a good idea, but how expensive and accurate are they (ie. right plugs and wire length?))

- LSD diff (I know super expensive! Are there any other options besides coughing up 2K+?)

Steering rack refurb?

- Driveshaft upgrade (lightened/ strengthened worth it?)

- Mustache bar upgrade (worth it?)

 

 

I THINK that's it ;p I know, too much info, but I will break it down into other threads if anything else gets missed

 

I'm really open to any information, including where to source all these parts from.

 

Thanks in advance!

 


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#2 d3c0y

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 05:28 PM

First, what's your budget for all this gaff? Put a dollar figure next to everything on your list and then see if you are actually willing to spend that much.

 

Second why no coilovers?

 

Third Skip the mustache bar, wiring loom (unless it's crap) and zeds don't have rear transverse links so that one might be tough.

 

Honestly I wouldn't bother with all the adjustable arms if it's a road car, just refresh everything and do the normal steps that are well documented on here.

 

LSD will be more than $2k regardless of which way you go. I've done the Subaru setup and then swapped to an R200, both will set you back more.

 

FWIW my car has everything in your list and it costs a lot to get in and setup properly and most of those things will effect the ride quality hence OEM's not doing it. If you check out my build thread on here or my page http://garagesanmaru.comthere is a lot of info on this and more to come as I'm still putting it all together. It's been a massive job.


Edited by d3c0y, 29 October 2017 - 05:30 PM.


#3 Cozza

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 10:00 PM

Yeah, I agree with d3c0y.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable street car, don’t worry about spending big money with adjustable hoohaa, get some good springs and shocks, rebuild the original brakes and steering as required and enjoy. The z is a great setup straight out of the box and doesn’t need much more for the street.
If you decide you want to get more track orientated later, and need more castor / camber worry about the adjustable arms then.
I spent about $1200 a few years ago on my Subi lsd including the output shafts but it seems prices have risen a little since then. I found it to be a worthy upgrade as the rear end became more predictable than with the single spinner.

Enjoy.

#4 DreamZproject

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 10:46 PM

Some good info! As mentioned i think that the non progressive nature of coilovers tends to feel a bit rough for my liking. I'm currently running them on my daily subi and while they're ok, i definitely notice some times where i have to slow more than usual due to a not perfect road surface. 

Hmmm... i just used the exact terminology the haines manual used for the rear transverse link... i think it just means the lower control arms...

 

As a rough idea for handling (minus wheels and tyres) I'm willing to go up to about 4k... So yeah might skip the lsd, and mustache,...

 

Any other thoights/ pricings/ locations to purchase from?



#5 Lurch ™

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 06:27 AM

Holistic eh?

OK... You'll require a RW Certificate for registration Robbie, so unless you want to involve an Engineer to approve the adjustable suspension components,
I advise you rebuild the suspension / brakes as standard to pass the RWC.
Then when it's finally on the road, you can then make an assessment of the car & change what you want.



#6 260DET

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 07:32 AM

If you can get a set of Bilstein dampers revalved to suit your chosen springs that would be a good investment and give great ride and handling.



#7 d3c0y

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:19 AM

Some good info! As mentioned i think that the non progressive nature of coilovers tends to feel a bit rough for my liking. I'm currently running them on my daily subi and while they're ok, i definitely notice some times where i have to slow more than usual due to a not perfect road surface. 

Hmmm... i just used the exact terminology the haines manual used for the rear transverse link... i think it just means the lower control arms...

 

As a rough idea for handling (minus wheels and tyres) I'm willing to go up to about 4k... So yeah might skip the lsd, and mustache,...

 

Any other thoights/ pricings/ locations to purchase from?

 

You don't really seem to understand what "coilovers" really are if you are making that comment. Coilovers can be as stiff or as soft as you set them up. If you buy cheap crap coilovers then you get the obvious result. 

 

All coilovers let you do is adjust the ride height of the car easily.



#8 DreamZproject

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:51 AM

Good point Lurch! Kinda forgot the whole change to the club the system. When i was last on you just needed a club scrutineer. Decoy, i get how and what coilovers do, I suppose that i know that you can't get a decent coilover off the shelf with progressive springs, and anything custom costs mucho dollares.
I shouldn't have a problem with koni yellows and lowering spring for the roadworthy though should I?
Looks like I'm just going for some very basic resto stuff for now!
Oh yeah, and is there nowhere that does a reasonably priced off the shelf loom? (Under 400?)

#9 PZG302

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:38 AM

There really isn't a coilover "off the shelf" option for Z's like there are for the later R and S chassis. You can easily get progressive rate springs for coilovers, and for cheap.

 

Do what Lurch said, refurbish the standard suspension, throw in some Koni reds or equivalent and go with standard spring rates, maybe look at Kings lows or Lovells for the springs, I've been out of S30's too long to know what is still available now, and only drop the ride height about 25-30mm from standard, that shouldn't throw out anything too much in terms of bump steer angles.

 

For a road car, I wouldn't really worry about a LSD, maybe just chase up a 3:9 or 4:1 diff. If you have a R180 already, no real need to go to an R200, 15 or so kg is a lot of weight to drag around if you don't need it.

 

You won't need adjustable anti-roll bars, or adjustable anything, just refurbish the standard stuff and replace the bushes with good quality urathane to tighten the car up and let everything work as it should.

 

If Lurch is doing the body work, get him to set up the suspension as well, the extra dollars will be insignificant in the overall scheme of things, and he can probably chase down the bits you need easier than you could. 



#10 DreamZproject

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:08 AM

Huh! Interesting! I was informed that the vast majority of coils are linear. Good to know! So from my research I have gathered that to refurbish the stock suspension you are replacing the inserts from the shock perch mount (what the spring rests on). I'm assuming that sectioning this would not be idea for a roadworthy, but is it part of the ideal way to lower the car (over just a very short spring). I think the Koni Yellows might suit my criteria a little better, and these are the 300zx inserts?

 

Also thinking I might just pick up one of these generic bolt kits from ebay. Seems to be the right sort of thing (unless anyone can suggest a better source?)
https://www.ebay.com...DsAAOSwjL5ZGP3t



#11 d3c0y

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:42 AM

I've attached a pic of my car (its right at the bottom as an attachment) when it had the low king springs in it, which is about all you get without sectioning the struts which is not very low. If you look at the "good looking" (subjective, i know ) cars on the internet they are 90% running coilovers to get them low enough to close the gap from the top of the tyre to the wheel arch. eg:

 

datsun-240z-owner-left-no-bolt-unsnapped

 

The inserts are inside a strut tube, which has the spring perch on the outside. Just google "240z front strut and have a look". Who is going to know they have been sectioned if the job is done properly too?

 

10758d1369412350-front-strut-removal-str

 

You can get the MCA setup bolt in for around $2500 which is very reasonable. If you are getting konis, re-valving them, sectioning struts and getting custom rate springs I don't see how it's going to be much cheaper or less work.

And if you aren't prepared to spend that on the shocks and springs then was your massive list a massive time waste? You were talking a couple of grand on adjust arms just a few posts ago.

 

Progressive rate springs are crap for handling that's why basically no coilovers have them. So do you actually value ride quality over handling?

This is a bit of a contradiction to the topic of your thread "Holistic Approach To Handling. Done Right The First Time!"?

 

Also good quality coilovers aren't harsh especially if you pick the right spring rates. I had a Gen 4 Liberty with cheap nasty Pedders coilovers and it was the worst riding car i have ever been in (i didn't install them).

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Edited by d3c0y, 31 October 2017 - 10:49 AM.


#12 DreamZproject

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:43 PM

Oh! Do the Koni's need to be revalved for them to suit the S30? It thought they dropped right in? 

(That 4k figure was for all the handling btw)

 

Nice ride btw! I do find it a little tall though... parhaps .5 to 1" lower would be spot on, so King lows + section should be ideal... 

 

My thought for costings was koni yellows (if they don't need any modifying) $1,100

King low springs custom around $350 a set 

Sectioning struts and spacer needed for front = time and effort

 

Still seems as though it comes in at over a grand under MCA coilovers (which sound great BTW)...

 

Lurch, remind me, you were using Koni yellows and king lows right? Were they progressive? and what rates are they running. Your car

seemed extremely plush, but gripped the road amazingly!

 

BTW decoy, isn't saying that progressive springs handle like crap saying linear springs handle like crap? It all depends on the situation... I know rally cars run a progressive set up, and while we surely don't face the same level of vertical variance they do on public roads, its certainly more than on a racetrack...


Edited by DreamZproject, 31 October 2017 - 12:46 PM.


#13 Cozza

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:48 PM

No, the Koni’s don’t need revalving if you run a medium weight spring rate but, if you were to go into something very stiff, I would think that it would be required.

From memory, I think you can cut about 25mm out of the strut tube to suit the Koni yellow shocks to suit the 300zx. If You were to cut this out of the strut tube below the spring perch, I reckon you would get quite a nice stance. Probably an inch lower than the pics of D3c0y’s car that you are looking for.
However, you may be getting into ride height territory that affects steering geometry enough that bump steer becomes an issue.

My 240 currently runs King low springs and Tokico Illumina shocks. I cut the top coil from each front spring to get a more desirable ride height. The top coils had no effect on the ride as they were bound when under normal load anyway.
I think this setup has been quite a good compromise as it’s comfortable on the road and with a 24mm front sway bar has been ok for track events. I’d like it to be a little lower but with the current spring rate around 170lbs/“ I reckon it may bottom the shock out if I go too low and then hit a decent sized bump.
I rarely get the opportunity to drive it much anymore and becoming more focused toward track events, so want to stiffen it up a fair bit. I’m now going through my options as to my best solution and, what I can afford.
MCA coilivers are prolly on the cards.

Personally, I’d be putting the LSD pretty high up the list of to do’s, as it made a very positive change to the behaviour of my car.
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#14 d3c0y

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:57 PM

You are going to cut and weld your own suspension?  Hope you can do a good weld as I wouldn't trust myself to do that. I feel you will have to pay someone to do that for you so saying it's just time and no cost maybe a tad unrealistic. I outsourced this job on my car and I've already learned something new that makes me want to modify my struts again.

 

For the record, you will find most road race cars don't running progressive rate springs (there are probably exceptions but it's not the norm). The reason for this is they don't give linear response while cornering, which makes the car less predictable. I ask MCA about this when they were building my coilovers too as I thought it was the best of both worlds, but I was promptly talked out of it. Dirt rally is such a completely different beast to driving on the road that it's barely relevant in this discussion.

 

Also comparing Koni inserts and king springs to well made coilovers is not an apples for apples comparison either and again a high quality shock with the correct spring rate shouldn't give you a harsh ride, coilover or inserts. The packaging doesn't effect the ride at all.

 

The big point is not all shocks are created equally and adjusting the Konis requires them to be unbolted from the strut tower compressed and the shafts turned.

So with the coilovers you get easy to adjust shocks that don't require disassembly, adjustable base and ride heights, higher quality shocks with adjustable valving and your choice of spring rates. Not to mention complete after sale support over the phone to set them up and troubleshoot anything if you buy through MCA.  I would say that is worth the extra money every day of the week and you said you had $4k to spend and this is honestly how I would and did spend it. You will still be able to afford your bush kit and get an alignment done in your budget have some change.

 

You asked for advice around handling which I took as you meant you want your car to handle really well. I have spent the last few years researching, talking to the pros and building what i would call a high level suspension package for my car, short of buying $5000 shocks. And you don't seem to like my answers because it's not the cheapest option (and it's certainly by no means the high end).

 

So can we say this thread is not a "Holistic Approach To Handling" and more "I want my car to ride nicely and still handle OK for the road and be low enough to look good." which of course there is nothing wrong with that and MCA coilovers are still my answer.


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#15 Cozza

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 05:48 AM

d3c0y here is a quote from the OP
“The goal for this build is to build a fun lively and predictable sports car. Excitement and enjoy-ability is key. This means I am leaning away from the "track car" style setup, but still want liveliness and predictability.”

I don’t think you need to spend anywhere near $4k to achieve this. And why spend more than you need to?

Also Koni yellows are externally adjustable at the shock top. I Wouldn’t be saying the Koni is “high end” in quality but, considering the price point of the MCA blues, I’m guessing the Koni yellows may be an equivalent quality shock to the ones MCA use, although a different length body to suit a lower ride height better maybe?

I’d like to know the shock type MCA use though as a couple reviews I’ve read say they are Chinese made.

#16 Lurch ™

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 05:51 AM

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#17 d3c0y

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:53 AM

I agree you don't need to spend $4k to do this and I have said this twice in previous posts.

 

I had Koni Reds and didn't think you could get the Yellows anymore, but clearly that was 240Z specific inserts from doing a search, so i apologise for my misinformation there.  

 

Parts for the MCA blues are made in some overseas country like China, but to MCA's specification and they do all the valving and I think final assembly there from memory (it was a couple of years ago I bought mine now). I would put a Blue shock up against a Koni insert any day of the week. I think Konis are overrated and are living on an old name. 

 

Blues can also have their valving upgraded to red spec at any time and you can get any spring rate you want. Take your situation for example, if you had coilovers you could simply send them off and get revalved and up the spring rates, rather than replacing all your suspension a second time.

 

I also think sectioning struts is a pretty massive task for the average person and there is potential to get it wrong. I know people like Lurch can weld and doing the modifications required is probably an easy task, but for me it would be something I would have to outsource so there would be a cost involved. DreamZ put $0 down for this and i think that is a mistake.

 

The thing I have come to learn restoring my car is that you need to make as many jobs as easy as they can practicably can be because the amount of effort that goes into restoring the car in itself is massive. Anything that has to be custom fabricated just adds so much time and stress to the project. 

 

I'm not saying Konis and King Springs don't work, they do, my car had it and people have been doing it for decades, but i just think there is a better solution out there now. Building my car I have tried my best not to do things a certain way, just because that's the way people have always done it. I saved myself $1400 of billet axles from SWM buy getting a custom 25mm spacer machined up for $100 for my R200/CV setup. But man was it ever a lot of work and took me the better part of a year to get it all said and done, due to the time I had to commit to the project. Someone else could also come along and use this info and commit no time using this knowledge which is what we are trying to do here right. I didn't tell him to just go and use search.

 

I've made my recommendation and I wanted to refute the various comments against my recommendation but that's it.

 

 

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Edited by d3c0y, 01 November 2017 - 08:55 AM.


#18 smugley

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 09:14 AM

DreamZ I've got a set of Tokico Illumina shocks (4) that will fit standard 240z/260z struts that I'm looking to sell if your interested ?

They are near new , adjustable ( 5  step ) and are well know as being a good quality damper .

Pair them up with a set of low King springs and a good set of bushes and you are good to go !

Cheers Doug

 



#19 DreamZproject

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 09:17 AM

Looks like I'm reduced to using my phone to access viczcar at the moment. For some reason I'm getting a ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT issue just with this site.... but thats another thread...

Thanks for the insight decoy. I do really like the sound of the mca's and if cash was abundant, that's what I'd go for. I'm pretty confident in my ablility to section the struts (a little guidance would be perfect) but that can happen later in reality. For the roadworthy and all, it can stay up for the time being. I've seen the suspension post where people posted their shock weights but i have little point of reference for z suspension other than Lurch's (would love to know your spring rates!).

By the way, are the off the shelf king lows progressive or linear? I've always assumed progressive, but just thought that perhaps not...

#20 Agno

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 10:13 AM

I think you need to be very clear about your main drivers for your suspension setup. Rank your priorities and we can go from there.

 

-Handling (how well it goes around a corner)

-Cost (sounds like cheaper is better)

-Ride quality (ability to absorb bumps and be comfortable)

-Looks (how low it is)

 

I currently have Konis with linear rate springs and valving to suit but that is only because they were in the car when I got them. If I was in your position I would 100000% be talking to MCA. Yes they are adjustable, yes they are expensive and yes you probably won't adjust them often but let me tell you, it is an enormous pain in the ass to raise or lower the height of a car that doesn't have adjustable ride height like a car with coilovers does. Ask me how I know.






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