280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

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FD-510
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280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby FD-510 » 21 Sep 2005 12:35

I’ve used the search function to read all about the various front suspension options, but there are plusses and minuses for each option. I have available to me, and to other 510 fans, a salvage yard with a good collection of 280ZX, 200SX, and 300ZX front struts. From what I’ve been able to gather, there is a geometry compromise when using 280ZX struts (less negative camber), but possibly other problems with the 300ZX and 200SX units. I hope to do it right the first time, so I want to know which is the BEST donor car for strut upgrades, and the years to look for. I’m not concerned with brakes, mine will be unique, front suspension strength, ideal geometry and improved strut insert availability are my criteria. I plan to remove the spring seat and install threaded spring perches on whichever strut I choose, so stock spring arrangement is not a consideration either. Can someone please help me make this decision? This is to be a street-able car that I will also use for instructing duties for on-track schools.

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vgwagon
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RE: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby vgwagon » 21 Sep 2005 17:34

If you are doing camber plates than the 280zx is the way to go, the 200sx is pretty easy too.
300zx isn't a bolt in so not really an option.
Denis Gagné
AKA VGwagon

69 510 VG30e swapped
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RWD_NissanMan
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Postby RWD_NissanMan » 21 Sep 2005 17:58

The 280ZX is the best option, the 300ZX struts will not work (offset spindles).

Using a GC camber plate setup, you can get up to -3 degrees of negative camber with everything in the stock locations at the bottom (control arms and tension rods), more if you relocate the mounting location of the LC arms.

You can use the Koni Yellow for an E30 in the 280ZX with a spacer in the bottom of the tube. Bullet proof setup - as used in the Targa Rally car we built.
1969 Datsun 510 4-door (donor shell for below)
1973 Datsun 510 SR20DET (sort of broken right now)
1998 Suzuki Escudo (JDM Sidekick Sport) 2.0TD 4x4 (daily driver)
2006 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 3V 4x2 (wife's ride)
2005 & 2006 Targa Newfoundland Entrant

FD-510
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Postby FD-510 » 22 Sep 2005 07:51

OK, I'll go with 280, but for more clarification, should the struts I buy have a large-diameter spring perch (similar to 510) or smaller diameter? When I was there I noticed that the ZX struts all had large-diameter springs, and the 280Z had a small-diameter spring (I have photos). I understand that I'm removing the perch, I'm just using this as an identifier. Does the year matter? I want to be sure to get the right one. Thanks.

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drop-a-dime
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Postby drop-a-dime » 22 Sep 2005 09:17

RWD NissanMan... Why do you think the 280z set up is better than the 200sx set up, I have been told the opposite because the 280 narrows your track so I am just curious what you think. Did you consider the 200sx setup or was the 280z an obvious choice, what are the pros and cons? I am getting a little confused with the different advice I am reading on this site.

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Postby frenched510 » 22 Sep 2005 09:23

you'll want the turbo 280zx struts 81-83 i believe. They are better brakes than the non turbo or a 200sx. I dont think that 200sx rotors are vented either.

FD-510
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Postby FD-510 » 22 Sep 2005 09:52

Brakes aren't a consideration for this strut decision.
I agree with drop-a-dime, I've also heard that the 200SX is preferable, for some reason. I'm hoping that this thread will shead some more light on the 280ZX vs 200SX issue. I'f I get a chance to return to the salvage yard, I'll photograph and measure both.

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hang_510
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Postby hang_510 » 22 Sep 2005 10:34

"Brakes aren't a consideration for this strut decision.
...shead some more light on the 280ZX vs 200SX issue. "
due to the spindle angle of the 280z it requires camber adjustment, the 200sx does not. what else do you need light shown upon?

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RWD_NissanMan
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Postby RWD_NissanMan » 22 Sep 2005 14:24

drop-a-dime wrote:RWD NissanMan... Why do you think the 280z set up is better than the 200sx set up, I have been told the opposite because the 280 narrows your track so I am just curious what you think. Did you consider the 200sx setup or was the 280z an obvious choice, what are the pros and cons? I am getting a little confused with the different advice I am reading on this site.


Hang on, please reread the post. I am recommending the 280ZX strut INSTEAD of the 300ZX struts. I have never used either the 200SX or 280Z struts so I can't comment on them. I would THINK that the 280Z strut would be bad as well since it is PROBABLY similar in axle angle to the 240Z strut which I have adapted before on an HL510. It took a lot of fabrication to make it work, had to cut the shock tower and move it inward to the engine to get enough negative camber angle. If you can find the 280ZX struts ('81-83 are good) just go with them as we know they work well on the PL510.
1969 Datsun 510 4-door (donor shell for below)
1973 Datsun 510 SR20DET (sort of broken right now)
1998 Suzuki Escudo (JDM Sidekick Sport) 2.0TD 4x4 (daily driver)
2006 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8 3V 4x2 (wife's ride)
2005 & 2006 Targa Newfoundland Entrant

housew
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Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby housew » 11 Feb 2014 06:48

i know this is a super old thread, but im trying to understand the differences so I can understand what i have, if its good, or if there is something out there thats better. I'm also trying to figure out how the different options affect wheel fitment.

so im gathering?

so a 200sx strut has non vented rotors and essentially the same geometry as stock?

280zx has better brakes, narrower track, and less camber, but can be corrected with camber plates

280z isn't an option cause they have MUCH less negative camber

300zx isn't an option due to offset spindle

did i get that right? looks like the 200sx is the winner to me, unless the brakes are horrible in which case 300zx units can be fitted for potentially more money. What are the other advantages of the strut swap that would make the 280zx better?

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okayfine
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Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby okayfine » 11 Feb 2014 07:16

Not entirely correct. ZX is most common - probably the most common mod on 510s, but the 200SX (S12) that are also used are vented as well. Sometimes other factors determine which brake upgrade to go with (Datsport SR fit kit basically requires S12 due to offset). Z31 300ZX hubs and rotors on 280ZX struts restore track lost to the ZX upgrade, and also give bigger discs.

Mostly it depends on what you have/can get, and what wheels you want to run.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

housew
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Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby housew » 11 Feb 2014 11:48

gotcha, thanks.

I guess i need to know alot more about my particular car to understand it all.

I know i have s00sx struts on my whip, i also know that my wheels are about even and i have spacers in the rear and I don't in the front, And i know theres an sr20det under the hood. So if the PO used the sr fit kit it would have pushed them out, which would explain the high positive offset rims and the rear spacers that are currently on it. I'll need to spend some time with a tape measure to figure out where i want to go for wheels.

thanks again

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okayfine
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Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby okayfine » 11 Feb 2014 12:54

Datsport fit kit:
http://datsport.com/Complete_conversion_kit.html

Wheels are a tough fit sometimes. So many variables makes it hard to say this or that specific size/offset will/won't fit.

You could poke around here to see if you can ID your brakes, or poke around at RockAuto.com and see if you can match up your calipers.

In looking further at my notes, S11 ('80-'83) had 10.4" solid rotors, S12 has 9.8" vented.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

housew
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Location: Maine

Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby housew » 13 Feb 2014 10:40

cool, thanks for your help. Calling the PO is probably the easiest, but i could def indentify the brakes.

I don't want to make any assumptions so im thinking taking a tape measure to the clearances i currently have, and then measuring the offset of my current rims i should be able to figure out what i can and can not squeeze in there.

housew
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Location: Maine

Re: 280ZX vs 300ZX vs 200SX strut options

Postby housew » 22 May 2014 12:01

still at it. Ill tell you know i know now.

pretty sure my car has 200sx struts with 240z brakes. Does that look like it might be the case?

Image
Image

the wheels i had on it were 14x6+12 with a 1/4" spacer = 14x6+6. They fit fine with tiny tires. When i moved to 15x7+0 i have tire to fender issues. I measured a few times, thought it would fit, and also thought i had 280zx struts at the time of ordering my wheels.

anyways, im looking to get my track width (at the wheel mounting surface in) so its looking like going to 280zx struts and brakes would work great for my purposes. Unless there are other options for narrowing the width of 200sx struts (different hub / rotor / caliper bracket or something)


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