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Suspension 101

Old 04-13-2010, 05:56 AM
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JasonZ-YA
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Smile Suspension 101

Okay this thread is to help those that don’t quite understand suspension.

AND MAINLY!!! ---> Lowering the 350z and what alignment aftermarket products that are needed.

I by no means claim to be an expert but I do know the Z well and decided to make this thread to help the majority of people that want to lower the Z.

I swear I get a PM at least once a week asking for “hey whats needed” when I lower my car 1.5 inches?? Don’t lie, you know who you fuggers are! LoL…

Im also quite tired of seeing all the “What do I need threads” as well…..

So that being said, any new threads will be linked to this one and closed/deleted…..as that lets me exercise more mod powers and I love closing threads………lulz…

This thread isn’t meant to get super technical and I plan on writing it up in Laymen’s terms. This way hopefully the newbee owner can learn what is needed/involved in lowering a 350z.

ALSO,
My350z.com is luckily enough to have some really knowledgeable individuals when it comes to suspension related questions for the track/racing and what camber/toe is recommended, etc…….I advise looking in the Motorsports Forum as there are many threads discussing race spec alignment, set ups and more technical-ish questions that are run by many Z owners who hit the track quite often!

So for the most part lets keep those “hey, what toe is best for launching” questions off of this thread!



I WANTED TO ADD - THE 350Z in my honest opinion would be classified as a SLA - LONG SPINDLE suspension over Dual ball joint suspension, in my mind they are a play on each others design anyway....any who you can read and help understand them more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Long_Arms_Suspension

Take note the 350z has a UPPER A ARM, but no lower A arm - lower is a pair of tension/compression arms!!! see post #2!

-J


edit: 6/10/2010
Also, in general i get pm's asking different questions about suspension after people read this thread..............

please refrain from pm'ing me and post on this thread your questions so that everyone can be included and others that have the same questions can have their answers as well.

-J


update:
Wanted to add the proper jacking point locations to this thread:


NOTE - the kent-moore tools shown pretty much are not available or made anymore.

please review this thread by LABELWORKSHOP75 for a great HOCKEY PUCK mod for your low profile floor jack:

https://my350z.com/forum/maintenance...-adapters.html

-J

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:03 AM
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Default OEM PARTS - Locations!

Okay, lets start by taking note of the following pics – please study these well….print them out……..go look under your car if you have to…then come back…….go look again if needed….

PRINT THESE TWO OEM PARTS DIAGRAM SHEETS OUT AND USE THEM TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH THIS THREAD!!!

FRONT:
CAMBER:
There is NO camber adjustment on a factory 350Z.

*** However, Take note of the upper control arm aka UCA LOCATION (#7 upper link) -- you can purchase an "aftermarket" upper control arm to aftermarket wise adjust front camber! see post 6 and 7 and so for upper control arm info and recommendations.

TOE:
Toe is adjusted at the tie rods – which are connected to the steering rack – not shown:
So you don’t need to purchase anything to adjust toe up front!




ALSO take note of the TWO Lower control arms - #11 compression rod and #13 transverse link!

REAR:
CAMBER:
Rear camber arm is item #22 (Front lower link).

TOE:
Toe arm (also known as the spring bucket) is item #21 (Rear lower link).
ONCE AGAIN!!! - THE PROPER WAY TO ADJUST TOE ON THE REAR OF THE Z IS VIA THE SPRING BUCKET ARM!! THAT IS THE TOE ADJUSTMENT POINT ON THE REAR!!! YES IT ALSO HOLDS THE SPRING, BUT THATS HOW NISSAN MADE THAT S H E I T AND WE CAN THANK THEM FOR THAT CRAP ONE DAY.....





FACTORY REAR ADJUSTMENT CONFIGURATION

REAR CAMBER AND TOE is done via factory eccentric washers………..what are eccentric washers?

OEM TOE BOLT WASHER/ECCENTRIC WASHER:


Notice how they are washers that are egg shapped and have a wide side and a short side…

These ARE installed on the Z rear from factory, they push and pull the corresponding linkage (#21 toe OR #22 camber) in between to “FLAT” raised section on the rear aluminum sub frame, in order to push and pull the camber or toe rear lower link arm (#21 or #22) they are connected to - into spec.

!!RE-READ THIS POST AGAIN AND AGAIN TILL YOU GET IT!!!
PRINT OUT THESE PICTURES! GO TO YOUR CAR AND LOOK UNDER IT! FIND THE REAR ECCENTRIC WASHERS! LOCATE ALL THE PARTS MENTIONED! MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND BEFORE GOING ON!
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-front-suspension.jpg   Suspension 101-rear-suspension.jpg   Suspension 101-oem-toe-bolt1.jpg   Suspension 101-front1.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:07 AM
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Default FACTORY Alignment Specs:

Okay take note below the FSM (factory service manual) specifications for alignment for each size.


FSM found here:
https://my350z.com/forum/maintenance...anual-fsm.html

Age old question – if I switch my oem 17’s to oem 18’s or some 19’s, etc wheels/tires do I need an alignment? Yes.
see the 2nd pic below and notice that toe "specifies" wheel size!!


FRONT ALIGNMENT:



REAR ALIGNMENT:


NOTICE how the alignment machine rounds up the alignment specs.............these machines are only so accurate...and accuracy is done via a wrench so "in practice" is a completely different method that theory.........
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-front-alignment-specs.jpg   Suspension 101-rear-alignment-specs.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:14 AM
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Default What is needed?

REAR - Camber and Toe:

When lowering the Z – lets talk 1.0 to 1.5 inch drop:
You will need rear camber arms and rear 3 degree toe bolt at a bare minimum. ---> everyone buys the SPC toe bolt...

Here are the two rear alignment locations for both OEM camber and toe:


CAMBER:

You need an adjustable camber arm! – done and done! Go buy one!
There are many camber arms out there……..which to choose? That’s entirely up to you and your budget, etc.

I however like those that are designed where the adjustment nuts/turnbuckles are not hard to get to.

Take a look below and see what I am talking about – Those camber arms that are designed with the adjustments close to the bushing side are hard to adjust with a huge 19-21 mm wrench due to the aluminum sub frame LUG getting in the way. You try getting in there and making adjustments!! pppffff..

To each their own on what you purchase – see here on what im talking about:


CHOICE of ROD END STYLE OR BUSHING STYLE ARMS:
You can chose when buying a rear camber arm if you want ROD END style end or if you want bushing style end. One may result in noise - MINE DID, but I just spray it every 3 months or so with lithium lube.

I choose ROD END style ended rear camber arms because I track my car, and I don't want a bushing to fail ever! So i opted
for the solid rod end style versus bushing end style.

ALSO, take note that the rod end style when installed between the lug of the rear aluminum subframe can be torqued down tight and squeezed to high torque spec and the movement is still free because its SOLID and a "rod end"........IF you try torquing down the eccentric washer at the end of a bushing style camber arm you are essentially squeezing the bushing and prematurely wearing the bushing out by limiting its "give".

re-read that if you have to.....

ALSO NOTE, THAT THIS ALSO APPLIES WITH ANY OTHER ARMS YOU BUY! ROD END VERSUS BUSHING END PARTS!



ROD END STYLE:
SPL Parts:

http://splparts.com/store/product-info.php?pid25.html
Stillen:

Circuit sports:

https://my350z.com/forum/suspension/...it-sports.html
Only downside is the casted rod end to them, but hey, its your car....keep reading...

Eibachs - the black ones - newer revisions are bushing, but now have a brass sleeve, this keeps the bushing from crushing and makes them a happy medium in decision making:



CASTED ROD ENDS:
Stay away from the cheap casted rod ends.........9 out of 10 "ARMS" built for the Z use aluminum or steel spacers at the rod end in order to accept the oem bolt and mount on the car! This allows many manufactures to purchase CHEAP SAE 3/4" or 5/8" cast rod ends that cost 2 bucks or less each and simply machine the spacers to the METRIC size bolt of the car! (rear camber and toe bolt dia is M12x1.25)

Purchase ARMS that use machined rod ends for strength and are of METRIC thread size, etc...

SEE HERE:



AFTER MARKET TOE BOLTS - MORE TOE ADJUSTMENT:
Now the oem eccentric washers that are on the Car for "Toe" (at the spring bucket to aluminum subframe location) really start to loose alignment spec capability once you go past a 3/4 inch drop or combination of drop and wheels with different sizes/offsets, etc...…

SPC sells part number 72055 toe bolts along with a few other companies that make 3 degree CAPABLE toe bolts!

Now these are toe bolts sized to replace your oem eccentric toe bolts yet they allow more adjustment with a “more” off centered axis on the eccentric washer. “in other words, its "more egg shaped” due to the bolt being MORE off centered that the oem egg shaped washers.

LETS COMPARE OEM AND SPC TOE BOLT ECCENTRIC WASHERS SO THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE THE ADDED DEGREES OF TOE ADJUSTMENT COME FROM:

OEM:


SPC:


ANOTHER PIC:



Also, These are NON SPC BOLTS - BUT Identical as well as they are "3 degree" bolts:

https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...alignment.html

HOW TO INSTALL THE SPC REAR TOE BOLT:
https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...-protocav.html

These more degrees of adjustment bolts work fine for a daily driven Z………….more on their track failures to come.
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-camber-arm-adjustment.jpg   Suspension 101-spc-toe-bolt-washer.jpg   Suspension 101-spc-toe-bolt-off-centered.jpg   Suspension 101-toe-bolt-locations.jpg   Suspension 101-oem-toe-bolt-off-centered.jpg  


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Old 04-13-2010, 06:16 AM
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Default RECAP - On Whats Needed!!?!!?

Okay so to get this clear – if your gonna lower your Z in that range of drop you need at least (lowest cost option):

REAR:
1. A After market adjustable rear camber arm.
2. Rear Toe bolt. Ie. SPC 72055 or see link below.

Also, These are identical as well:
https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...alignment.html
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-cs350zrca.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:21 AM
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Default Front upper control arms - NOW – most stop here!

Front upper control arms - NOW – most stop here!

YEP, Most people dont spend the cash to fix their front camber............they rather drive with crappy camber up front and complain about having to by front tires often.....yep....but i will say this again, your camber will be out of spec!!!!

The average drop that most people do is within the .75-1.5 inch drop range.

Done so by purchasing lowering springs. Most don’t spend the money on coilovers to obtain a drop just for “looks”

With a drop within that range most ALSO don’t spend money on purchasing aftermarket alignment parts for the front. (ie upper control arms) is all that is needed.

FRONT:
When dropped within this range your front camber will definitely drop to as low as –2.0. Most fall in the –1.7 or –1.8 range.

Camber isn’t as bad as toe……The Z while on an alignment rack can be adjusted back to TOE spec at the oem tie rods. (like mentioned previously) From this point its now up to you on what you want to do!

Front upper control arms:

(Camber only adjustable upper control arms)

Now there are many types to choose from sold for the Z.

In general most people daily drive their Z and just want to get back to alignment and carry on with enjoying their Z.

That being said, for the typical daily driven Z – pretty much any aftermarket adjustable Front upper control arm / camber adjustable arm will do.

No need to spend big money on higher end Front UCA’s.

Heck, even Ebay arms would be fine as they will allow the camber to get back to spec. I can’t comment on quality! What you buy is up to you and your budget.

PICS of some common Front upper control arms: Camber only adjustable:
Cusco:

Megan:

etc...etc...

*** that’s it!that’s all, there ya go!!!!!! 95 PERCENT OF Z’S ARE DONE HERE!
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-cuscoucas.jpg   Suspension 101-mr-faca.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:26 AM
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Default More on front upper control arms:

Kinetics arms:
I will say this though; I did find that kinetics is selling front UCA’s for probably the lowest price ive seen: $239!!!




Version 2 - Now come with black boot over the ROD END and a tapered cone to fit in the spindle hole perfectly:



ONE 360 degree turn equals to about .2 to .3 degrees depending on your drop. Kinetix advertizes .18, but at what height??? because lowering your car will change that, so i bet they are quoting that .18 degree change at stock height on a stock 350z. most people have a lowered car so expect a closer to .3 degree change per rotation.


I found them here:
http://www.importpartspro.com/kifradcoar03.html

In order to adjust you have to turn the end! which, don't get me wrong, its quite easy to do but......read on:

Obviously to do so, you need to disconnect it from the spindle!
Its not hard, you simply raise the front of the car, no need to remove the wheels either, just get two long wrenches or a goose neck wrench and remove the nut connecting to the spindle...(remember, SLA design...top of spindle is right there, easy access)

Top hex is 25mm or 1 inch SAE wrench.
Bottom nut is 1-1/8" or 28mm wrench.


ALIGNMENT with these -
Some of the newer laser alignment racks - such as NTB's John Beam alignment racks - allow for shooting an image of the car on the rack, then an image with the car with the front raised in the air off the rack..........

This makes it easy for the alignment tech to adjust these front upper control arms.......
So you would have to call around and see if they can do this with their laser alignment machine.

THE GOOD:
POSITIVE THOUGH: PLEASE READ ON!
1. Once set, there is no way for it to move! by design...no slip, no nothing! ITS BOLTED INTO POSITION...CANT TURN WITH OUT YOU REMOVING IT FROM SPINDLE AND TURNING IT.


2. AND!!! the bread winner of that design is this! while at the alignment shop you can have them turn it and get you a within oem spec alignment (NOTE DOWN THAT LOCATION BY MEASURING AND COUNTING THREADS/REVOLUTIONS TO THAT POINT from its base)......

Then count the number of turns/REVOLUTIONS to a lower more negative alignment for your track/racing set up. MEASURE AS WELL AS COUNT TURNS TOO.... have the alignment guy check the camber after turning X number of times and note that down....done and done.....

TRACK SIDE ADJUSTMENTS!
Once you know the number of turns/measurement from the base...you can do camber changes yourself at the track!!!! AND BE SURE YOUR WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

WIN FEATURE with that design....

NOTE: for each 1/2 degree of camber change toe is changed .008/.009.....you can account for this, but having the alignment guy check at both locations while on the laser alignment rack - it will shown you on the screen.

To me I like them for that...great set for the weekend warrior autoX'r...etc....THAT DOESN'T CARE TO MESS WITH CASTER......AS CASTER IS NOT ADJUSTABLE ON THIS UNIT....

HOW TO INSTALL KINETICS THREAD:
https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...s-install.html

edit:
ok, I have had many people pm me and ask why I like the kinetics........
once again, I like their design for this and this only:
Originally Posted by JasonZ-YA View Post
TRACK SIDE ADJUSTMENTS!
Once you know the number of turns/measurement from the base...you can do camber changes yourself at the track!!!! AND BE SURE YOUR WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!
I'm a track guy and want dead set track side adjustments.....
ONLY SPL and these Kinetics give you that 'accurately'..........
I own SPL's!!! - because i wanted to adjust caster as well on my car....
see the next post on SPL's and my link on how to install....

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-kineticsuca-s.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:30 AM
  #8  
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Default Front upper control arms - CASTER ADJUSTABLE?

There are only two upper control arms that i know of for the Z that have the capability to adjust caster......

SPL:

I own SPL Front upper control arms and love them! hands down a robust and awesome product! Camber and caster adjustable is the reason i chose them hands down!

SPL INSTALL and INFO THREAD:

https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...hims-made.html

SPC:

*EDIT - SPC issue thread - https://my350z.com/forum/7242868-post1.html

UPDATE:
9/22/11
I found a 3rd upper arm that can adjust caster:

Momentum Performance Upper arm - p/n SUS-01G001 ~ $599

Now, if you notice the MomPer arms have adjustable ends at the car mounting point location. turning those ends gives you the capability of adjusting caster.

What i don't know is how much? its not listed on any sites that ive seen and you would have to experiment to ensure you could.
Now, depending on the length of these arms, your caster adjust ability 'can' be limited........this is hard to explain, but there is a point where you cant thread out the car mount side any further as the spindle mount side can hit the upper sheet metal ledge on its up swing.......there is a spot where the wheel liner will touch the upper arm if its too LONG.........ill try and snap a pic of this one day.......

MomPer arms - i like the easily replaceable aurora ends (if ever needing replacement), and tapered spindle machined mount.


Found here:
http://www.importpartspro.com/sus01g001.html
and
https://my350z.com/forum/suspension/...mber-arms.html



AGAIN - In general - do your research...........
Most don't ever mess with caster............I do, due to drifting the car..........

FRONT UPPER CONTROL ARM INSTALLATION TIPS HERE:

https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...ation-tip.html

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-splucas.jpg   Suspension 101-spcucas.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default LOWERING: - I wanna lower my Z yo?!?! `~`~

Okay, how do I even lower my car – well most have this part figured out already……they want the inexpensive lowering springs or they get costly coilovers. Once again up to you.

Where to begin! OBVIOUSLY start at where you are stock:


when you measure drop, this is how...

use a tire calculator and ensure tire size in reference to stock sizes noted in above FSM picture.

Coupe:
Stock 17 inch wheel ratio: .973
Stock 18 inch wheel ratio: .967

Road star: - LOL
Stock 17 inch wheel ratio: .971
Stock 18 inch wheel ratio: .968

SPRINGS:
Okay, from what I can tell 90 percent of those out there with lowered 350z’s do so buy purchasing the more common (less costly) lowering springs.

There are tons to choose from……….search around on threads and make a decision. Tanabe GF210, NF210, Hotchkis, RSR, etc, etc. etc…..blah blah blah…

Springs are non adjustable, spring rate is set, height is set, etc, etc.. the drop you get is the drop you get….. Done and done!

Here is the rear spring bucket and where the spring goes.
These pictured are Tein springs:



Here is a good picture showing OEM STRUT front assembly and rear springs all ready to be installed.



Now, notice how I mention the rear spring mount mod –
See here for info on this:

https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...mount-mod.html
I will not comment on rear spring mount mod…….
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-installed.jpg   Suspension 101-rear-components.jpg   Suspension 101-heights1.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:39 AM
  #10  
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Default Factory shocks/struts paired with lowering springs:

Also, most people also just buy lowering springs and mount them on the factory shock/strut assembly.

For the most part the factory shocks "can" take the added compression and last a *decent amount of time* (Meaning it’s different for everyone).

Then again there are some that report blowing their shocks quickly after, that’s seems to be quite rare, but just know that when your dealing with lowering springs, there is no telling.

I have done at least a hand full of spring installs on my buddies cars, etc and but one or two have had the shocks go out after a reasonable amount of time…years not days or a few months.

So, if you just purchased a used 2003-2005, etc 350z, then me personally, “IF” I were going the lowering springs route to lower my newly acquired 350z I would at the bare minimum look for a newer set of stock shocks in your local regional market place on the forums, craigslist etc.

AFTERMARKET SHOCKS:
Now, there are companies that sell factory replacment and even preformance aftermarket shocks………..that’s when the fine line of spending that money or saving for coilovers comes into play…..once again, up to you.

Example - these are Tokic D spec shocks paird with their spring:


There are also oem replacements like:
Rockauto.com:
brand - Monroe Sensa-Trac.
Front driver- $83.79 (MONROE Part # 72250)
Front passenger: 83.79 (MONROE Part # 72251)
Rears: $29.79 each (MONROE Part # 5795)

KYB GR-2 and KONI Yellows and tokico are another option,
https://my350z.com/forum/suspension/...nt-shocks.html


etc...etc...
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-tt350z-005.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:46 AM
  #11  
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Default Installing lowering springs - part 1 - remove oem spring

Okay, everyone complains because installing springs is a pain!

REMOVE OEM SPRINGS:
The main reason is you have to rent, buy or go somewhere that has a spring compressor tool………there are tons of different styles sold and doing this is different for everyone.

But the same end result is needed ----> You need to compress the FRONT oem springs in order to remove them from the factory STRUT assembly.

Now, if you have buddies with you and a shop near by, most can just run to your nearest mom and pop shop and they will most likely have a baller wall mounted unit like this:





Story time begins....
Now, when I did my Nissan Xterra front springs – I did it at my brother in laws house in San Antonio, TX, prior to install day I went to a mom and pop shop just down the street from his house and saw they had a wall mount spring compressor……..I didn’t get off and ask or anything, I just saw it from driving slowly by the bay……….all pedo bear like……just no kids around….lulz..

Come install day we removed the fronts and drove our happy azzez over there and walked right into the bay area…….didn’t walk inside, didn’t stand in line, we just went straight to the mechanics and said “We just need these two springs off and these to springs put on!! I have cash”

The mechanic dropped the oil change or whatever the hell he was doing on some kia and got to work on our springs………he kept looking over his shoulder making sure his boss wasn’t watching from the glass window………..lol..

“We paid $30 cash and were in and out of there in 10 minutes tops!”

Now, I do own spring compressors and had some with me, but like I said they make many styles and depending on springs, the styles I had wouldn’t work with my Xterra springs – more on that below!
Story time ends….

PICS OF MANY DIFFERENT TYPE OF SPRING COMPRESSOR TOOLS:


And for those of you that think that this HF43753 will only work on Mcpherson strut style "as advertised on HF site" - it does work on the Z springs - its all about physically compressing the spring! - and it does!
*sure it was designed to do mcpherson strut style suspension, but doesnt mean its ONLY for them........
PROOF:
AS you can see the HF 43753 works on the 350z front SLA designed (not Mcpherson) suspension:







SOOOooooooooooo........

if your doing this yourself, know what your up against! do your homework and decide........


-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-imag0057.jpg   Suspension 101-shop-spring-compressor.jpg   Suspension 101-03980.jpg   Suspension 101-43753.jpg   Suspension 101-hf-stand-compressor.jpg  


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Old 04-13-2010, 06:49 AM
  #12  
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Default INSTALL LOWERING SPRINGS part 2 - install the aftermarket spring!?

Once the oem springs are removed. You can (in most cases since the springs are shorter, hence the name “lowering springs”) just drop in the aftermarket lowering springs you purchased and reattach the top strut hat plate and start threading the single nut on top!

Some times the lowering springs are that much shorter that “NO RE-COMPRESSION IS NEEDED” to install the lowering springs?? since its physically shorter already?? Get it?

Okay, now some AFTERMARKET lowering springs still require you to compress the spring in order to reinstall the oem strut hat!!!?! Boo….


ONCE YOU GOT THE AFTERMARKET SPRINGS ON:
BE SURE YOU INSTALLED THE TOP HAT FACING THE RIGHT ORIENTATION. IF NOT THE BOTTOM LUG ON THE shock assembly wont mount to the translink (lower control arm) on the Z.

SEE HERE:


Also,
The rear spring goes into the rear spring bucket a certain way!
ensure you do this correctly for both sides as i have seen peepz screw this up and one side be higher than the other.

SPRING BUCKET NOTCH: accepts the spring one way only!


I would like to note also! IF you have lowering springs on your car, and later jack the rear of the car up, you must make sure that the springs land back into the spring bucket correctly....up against this perch/ledge.

raising the rear of the car will cause the wheels to droop down to a point where the springs no longer touch top and bottom.

the springs FLOAT between the two points they make contact.

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-compress-spring-orientation.jpg   Suspension 101-spring-bucket-notch.jpg   Suspension 101-image026.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:52 AM
  #13  
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Default 7. Okay – here is a curve ball:

Remember this statement from above?
Now, I do own spring compressors and had some with me, but like I said they make many styles and depending on springs, the styles I had wouldn’t work with my Xterra springs – more on that below!
Take note of this picture:


Now, notice that the springs are tighter wound at the top. (progressive rate spring top - more on that later.....) This will at one point during spring compression cause the spring compressor tool to “PINCH” and bind on the springs when they bottom and your SOL!

At that point you need to most likely get the right spring compressor tool for the job. Usually the skinny finger grabbing type like listed above.

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-tight-wound-springs.jpg  
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:00 AM
  #14  
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Default COILOVERS - wheeeee!

-Layman’s terms-

Okay, same thing, coilovers required you to research and pick and choose. There are tons of different styles out there! Many different price points, many different uses/abilities!

VENDORS PICTURES OF COILOVERS
OKAY, i cant stand it, but every dammn website out there selling 350z coilovers has a "GENERAL" pic of a typical coilover, not an ACTUAL 350z coilover. So you have to call and find out for yourself if the coilovers you are buying are TRUE COILOVERS OR OEM STYLE COILOVERS!!

I started this thread in hopes to show every brand, type available of pictures of actual 350z coilovers:
https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...ic-thread.html

JUST GOOGLE 350Z COILOVERS, look at all the shops online selling them and NOT ONE of the pics will be of actual 350z coilovers! below are pics of what actual configuration 350z coilovers will look like!



Coilovers however do much more over springs (once again, depending on what you buy, which ones you get, etc….)

For the most part, you can:
1. Adjust height – lower the car to your liking. Raise a wee bit more to avoid wheel/fender contact, etc.
2. Adjust dampening/rebound
3. Adjust preload on spring/adjust rate
4. Adjustability for corner balancing the car.
5. etc…
6. etc…

THEY ARE ADJUSTABLE! How about that……uuuummm kay?


Okay, now were gonna break it down to TWO types:
Once again – layman’s terms:

This forum seems to use the term true coilovers – whatever that means……?

True Coilovers – 1 assembled part rear set up:
Refers to the rear having a spring/coil combo strut and ELIMINATES the spring at the OEM spring bucket mount location arm. Once again, NO spring in the spring bucket!
TRUE COILOVERS:





OEM Styled Coilovers – 2 part rear set up:
Uses the rear OEM spring bucket mount location with a spring and sometimes an adjustable perch inside the spring bucket - some are adjustable, and some are not.
And
A separate adjustable shock at the oem shock mount location.
Get it, two part rear???
OEM STYLED COILOVERS:


Advantages, disadvantages? Do your own research. Not on this thread!


Some people talk about OEM Style coilovers being more comfortable?? sure i guess?? i dunno

I will say this - I hands down wanted TRUE COILOVER STYLE - why? because with true coilover style you eliminate the need for a spring in the spring bucket! doing that then allows you to eliminate the need for the crappy SPC 3 degree toe bolts! I have my own design TOE ARM and now my toe adjustment is amazing and holds alignment way better!

I mean, there is a reason why "track versions" of suspension and the 380RS are all TRUE COILOVERS!!!
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-coilover-adjustment.jpg   Suspension 101-coilover-wrenches.jpg   Suspension 101-delete.jpg   Suspension 101-tein-flex-oemstyle.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:04 AM
  #15  
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Smile 9.0 ADJUSTING DAMPENING on COILOVERS:

FRONT:
DAMPENING IS USUALLY A **** ON THE TOP OF THE COILOVERS UNDER THE HOOD. Some coilovers have it at the bottom….

TOP ****:

BOTTOM ****:


REAR:

Now Also on the rears – dampening is usually a **** that is on top of the coilovers. So some brands have what they call “extenders” So that you can mount them outside and accessible from the rear strut bar/structure.

Pic of extenders on coilovers (non 350z coilovers, just an example):

This is a nice feature. You can drill a hole on the side, on top, run with out your rear plastic strut cover interior plastics, etc…YOU DECIDE.

ALSO - Received Via PM from other member:
On some coilovers you don't really need to make a hole on the strut, you can disassemble the extender taking the top cap off leaving only the wire that can easy go through the factory whole on the rear strut bar and assemble the top part of the extender back again once the coilover is in place. Worked for me atleast.

Pic of extender poke'n through:



ALSO:

One of the things you can do is cut an access hole to access the rear dampening controls if you choose NOT to get extenders.

This is my car:


This is a 3-5-0 look-a-like drilling a hole! LoL...

With this hole, i can reach my two indexing fingers in there "sorta" and turn the **** as needed on top of the coilover.


COOL TID BIT:

There is no need to then weld a plate or anything back over that hole - as that was originally designed to be a steel stamp punch out and was to remain open during the design phase of the 350z - original Nismo and track models were gonna have adjustable rebound suspension, but was later cut due to cost savings. - source - my Nissan design engineer contacts.

Other option "IF" your coilovers have an allen key adjustment hole at the top of the ****:
T-handle Allens bought from sears/harbor freight, etc:

T-handle with Ball end will allow you to get at them at a slight angle:




ROADSTERS:
REAR:

IN THE REAR MOST BUY COILOVERS WITH BOTTOM MOUNT ADJUSTMENT dampening.

Or remove the two bolts from the fender well at the track and adjust by slight disassembly of the rear suspension.......

ROADSTER OWNERS - here is a threads where this peep was creative with the extenders.
https://my350z.com/forum/350z-roadst...extenders.html



-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-dampening-controls.jpg   Suspension 101-extenders.jpg   Suspension 101-access2.jpg   Suspension 101-access1.jpg   Suspension 101-bottom-knob.jpg  


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Old 04-13-2010, 07:12 AM
  #16  
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Default Installing coilovers:

For the most part coilovers are a very easy to install....SINCE no spring compression tools are needed like lowering springs

Before you begin installing your coil overs - be sure to read this thread on "possible" oem strut bar/coilover threaded stud contact at ONE of the coilover mounting stud locations.
https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...light=coilover


There are how to’s – look them up…but for the most part...
FRONT:
Remove oem strut bar to access all 3 top bolts under the hood.
Remove oem strut/spring assembly by removing bolt at bottom of strut assembly going through “Translink” lower control arm
Remove upper control arm from spindle top (ie cotter pin and big nut)
Install coil overs both adjusted at the same height – measure here to ensure they are set at the same height.
Of course, detach/attach abs and brake line as needed. (10mm nuts)

REAR:
Reach up and remove two nuts from the two factory studs/bolts hanging down from the Z structure.
Remove the bolt from the rear knuckle.
** Notice that the NUT for this bolt is permanently attached (welded) to the oem rear strut.**

- Check to ensure if the coilovers you purchased came with a spare nut or if there is a welded nut also at this location on your coilovers. If not, run to autozone, etc.

OR

If your installing suspension and are using the SPC toe bolts, then the oem toe bolt nuts can be used if your missing that nut with your aftermarket suspension.

I recommend, “prevailing torque lock nuts” as nearly all the suspension nuts on the Z from factory are all prevailing torque lock nuts:

That being said - if you need an M12x1.25 prevailing torque lock nut?? - odds are you are not gonna find it!!
SOooo...go to the dealer and buy one of the factory prevailing torque lock nuts. as in, buy one of the rear OEM toe bolt nuts, etc...........check the rear FSM pic on post #2 and you can see the nuts with the "circle and X" on it......

- also note - prevailing torque lock nuts is not a "standard" name.............they are often referred to as "top lock nuts" some even just call them "lock nuts"............. so it makes them hard to find...

""Uniquely shaped threads provide a vibration resistant friction fit, so the nut stays put. These all metal TOP LOCK locknuts withstand higher temperatures. Top thread section is deformed to create two or three locking zones; they start easily by hand, then must be wrenched into final position.""

See this pic for the welded nut im referring too:


Notice how in this picture the coilover rears have the nut zip tied to the rear coilover lug:

Megan Track coilovers


:::ALSO:::


Okay I would also like to note, that i have seen this more than once and failed to mention it..........

when installing coilovers in the rear............whether they are true or oem style coilovers, i recommend prior to doing so you purchase quality replacement hardware in lieu of reusing the oem shock nuts that are there from Nissan.....

See back there the 350z has two studs hanging down..........and the coilovers attach via two each M8x1.25 nuts with 12mm hex - so you need to use a 12mm socket to remove them........

ensure you have a good straight long extension and that you DON'T strip those nuts!!!



SEE HERE:


LOL, ask/pm TQUILL all about that.........but like i have said, i have since seen it a few times since his lil incident at the DFW TECH DAY....

anywho...........
I recommend purchasing either M8x1.25 nuts that utilize a 14MM hex so that a 14mm socket is needed (easy to up size to 14mm with oem style coilovers as there is no 2.5 inch coil like true coilovers) at that location.

I have also sourced higher quality yellow zinc coated strut tower bolts from other vehicles at the junk yard and use them on my own car!

I recently grabbed some very similar to these off a toyota at the junk yard...........they were yellow zinc embossed M12x1.25 nuts with 12mm hex.

They have held up great! and don't strip so easily....

Also, those studs hanging down are not that long, and nearly all the coilovers out there have a thick top plate in aluminum versus the oem shock "steel stamped" skinny plate..... so keep that in mind when sourcing embossed nuts for this situation.

These are very similar to what i sourced at the junk yard:
Mine weren't as tall:


Notice how chebosto has upgraded yellow zink flanged nuts on his set up:

Also, notice how thick the top RED section is, and how there is only 1 thread left protruding from the nut.....depending on how thick your rear mount plate is.............figure out what nuts would work best!

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-nuts_lock.jpg   Suspension 101-stance-st-z33-2-no-nut.jpg   Suspension 101-oem-rears-with-nut.jpg   Suspension 101-damper-350z-track-series1.gif  

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:16 AM
  #17  
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Default Adjust height on coilovers:

FRONT:
OKAY FOR MOST COILOVERS YOU HAVE TO SPIN THE BOTTOM LUG OF THE COILOVER BODY. Research the type you purchase!

1. Remove the coilover to translink lower control arm bolt.
2. Remove the upper control arm cotter pin and nut from spindle.
3. Disconnect brake line from coilover body/disconnect abs lines from coilover body.
4. Push down on spindle to gain clearance and turn coilover body.

Some coilovers have a combination of spinning at the spring perch mount as well or upper section – verify with the type you have, but most are like I describe above. AGAIN – RESEARCH what you buy!

REAR:
True coilover style:
Same way, must spin the bottom lug coilover body. Remove the bolt from the rear spindle assembly, push down and spin to adjust height.


OEM Style rear:

Adjust at the spring bucket location and at shock location like true coilovers style.

Once again, review here:


Location #1 for adjustment is simply adjusting the physical length of the coilover! - no rebound or spring rate is affected since the spring has a separate(location #2)spring perch!?!? "Some" coilovers don't have separate lower adjustment bodies and spring perches, some do so at the spring perch - that sucks!


-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-coilover-adjustment.jpg  

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:16 AM
  #18  
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Default Air suspension:




Okay air suspension is definitely an option out there as well.
Mainly best for those that want the lowered look on their daily driver or show car weenies....

Air suspension is usually in car height adjustable and allows the driver to adjust the height if they are navigating some questionable roads.

To my knowledge some air ride systems out there are getting really good in quality and can hold up quite well for weekend warrior autocross., etc.

Of course any dedicated track guy would go full coilovers over air………..

Example of an air type system:
https://my350z.com/forum/suspension/...er-system.html

https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...sion-unit.html

Now, the Z in particular – suspension design means with raising or lowering the car at the coilover means camber/toe WILL change. So alignment on air suspension should be done/preformed at least twice at the same time!

1. One time to get a spec your happy with at the lowered ride height you want

And

2. Another time at an additional height – a raised height for when navigating back roads/questionable roads. Obviously this may result in being out of spec as there is no way to have two alignments, but its best to know how bad it really is, etc…..

Both won’t be in spec obviously, but you can know where your at and monitor your car in doing so……

Of course, you would need all the adjustable components, arms, uca’s we mentioned earlier.

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:21 AM
  #19  
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Default TOE BOLT DISCREPANCIES: aftermarket ones!

Now, you may ask why. Two reasons:
1. Slip/movement
2. Toe range is limited.

SLIP:
I track my car, at the track I find the SPC 72055 toe bolts to slip all day long….in general its best to mark your toe locations when the car is done with alignment.

MARK ECCENTRIC WASHERS:
especially the toe one at spring bucket...


Well, when im at the track, all the forces and loads going on at the track cause the spc toe bolt to move. No matter what I do and how hard I tighten/torque it. I have even used lock nuts as well.

The bolt is WEAK! It’s cut in half – well just about......keep reading!


OEM TOE BOLT:

OEM bolt has a small V-grove in it allowing the chase washer to follow.



Lets compare – notice how the spc bolt is shaved in half in section A-A. Well this is the main reason the bolt stretches, slips and wont hold torque. once again! wont hold torque! wont hold alignment!!!

How can a nut hold torque on a bolt that’s shaved in half.

SPC or similar after market 3 degree TOE BOLT 72055:

SPC bolt is shaved in half so the chase washer can follow.

The oem toe bolt IS in fact stronger, but its limited range keeps us from using it. boo.....

There are some people that have reported buying the SPC toe bolts, discovering the slip issues then have gone to local machine shops and had an actual 10.9 strength bolt machined down TO FIT BETTER/TIGHTER IN THE WASHER and have trashed the SPC bolt, and only used the eccentric washers WITH A TIGHTER FIT!!.

ALSO, the SPC toe bolts on their own have a few degrees of slop. AS IN – the washers fit over the bolt a bit too loose………….not sure why SPC didn’t make the "half moon punch" in the washers the same size as the bolt, but its much bigger and the bolt can “bobble” a few degrees. --- THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM!! read on....

THE FOLLOWING 3 picks were courtesy of member "labelworkshop75"..I just edited and added the 5 degrees........

"BOBBLE" PIC:

about 5 degress of crap tastic bull!!!
f8fe3a66.jpg?t=1274538469

Notice how the bolt deforms the "flat" and more degrees of craptastic evolve:
a161e78f.jpg?t=1274538503
This results in that the bolt can actually OVER POWER THE FLAT "half moon" section and your alignment goes to hell!!


I was looking for pics like these! I never took any pics when dealing with mine!
The following was provided from: https://my350z.com/forum/brakes-and-...djustment.html
See here:
These are pictures of where the milled flat section of the bolt "spun" and over powered the "flat" section of the washer! so now the alignment is fugged!!




That being said – when you go get alignment! You should be sitting there watching the alignment tech ensuring that both sides of the washers are “following each other”


I would start by marking the toe bolt big side and ensure that each side of the toe bolt is facing the correct way!

During alignment this is what should be done when dealing with these bolts!!!

1. with the spc bolts installed the tech should loosen the nut side of the bolt! loose almost to finger tight against the washer!
2. the rear tires should be on the alignment skid plates, as in the pins removed from the plates on the alignment lift!!
OR
the rear of the car should be jacked up "IF" the alignment rack used is capable of doing this feature!
3. the tech should be using a goose neck wrench on the HEAD SIDE of the SPC TOE BOLT!!
4. YOU!!! should be under the car watching that the nut side washer is following his movement with the wrench!! AS IN BOTH washers are following each other and one not getting stuck or PUSHING/OVER POWERING the flat section of the washer!!!

IF::
5. If one of the washers gets over powered! STOP! make the tech stop! and show him............you can try going back on the goose neck wrench and seeing if it will correct, but odds are you screwed up the flat section and that washer needs to be REMOVED and hammered flat with a dead blow hammer!!!

I have done this myself at an NTB alignment shop!!!!!!!


FIXES:
Okay, in my mind the ONLY two baller status/no fugging around fixes are:

ITEM 1. Use lock out washers and toe arms (must have true coilovers)
or
ITEM 2. Lock out washers and the SPL PRO MIDLINK to adjust toe....(if using OEM style coilovers or if you have springs)

BUT, for those of us out there that find this bolt to be straight up hell and dont have the means to do either item 1 or item 2, you can try a few things!

SPC TOE BOLT FITMENTS FIX #1:
1. Measure the gap between the flat section of the bolt and the flat section of the washer!??? lets just say its .050 gap!
2. Source some aluminum that is .050 and cut it down to a strip and run it the length of the bolt along the top of the flat section of the SPC bolt!
THIS will keep the bolt from having wiggle room and from over powering the flat section of the SPC washer.

SPC TOE BOLT FITMENTS FIX #2:
1. Make another set of off-centered eccentric washers that are about .125 thick and put ONE on the oem bolt - sliding it all the way down to the head side up against the welded existing oem eccentric washer. Drill a countersink in "Your" eccentric washer and put a screw through it INTO the oem washer, which already has a hole for this screw in it!! -- about dead center.....then use a lock washer and nut...done!

Ensure the head of the countersink is flush to YOUR washer .000/-.005 ---> As in - make sure its flush and not sticking up past your washers surface as that will be the cars subframe mating side.

Then now, you lost some length on the bolt, but I believe you will be fine, and if need be source a shorter nut! or flip a prevailing torque lock nut.....

I highly recommend prevailing torque lock nuts. The nut needs to be M12x1.25 for the oem bolt!

ALL of this is all based on if you can make an eccentric washer with the V notch in it for the NUT SIDE!!....or have a local machine shop that can do this for you????

And of course the other one on the head side just needs at least a 15/32 hole (wiggle it a little) in it to fit the M12 bolt.........maybe even 31/64ths....???

-J

Just added this to try and help with clarity: 4-12-13:

SPC is all I have seen out there, and as ive posted in the 101 thread they have horrible 5 degree of slip that is worthless in maintaining alignment for track car forces....
5 degrees of SPC crap:
f8fe3a66.jpg?t=1274538469

HANDS DOWN - toe arms paired with lock out washers are the way to go - so easy to adjust - but yes, you must go to true coilovers in the rear to loose the spring in the spring bucket - OTHERWISE, then SPL's spring bucket is what you need. note the spl spring bucket only works with certain sized springs.

OTHERWISE:
The design error in the SPC is the "eccentric washer" itself...it obviously is a steel stamped punched part that's made with a horrible horrible tolerance and leave the 5 degrees of wiggle room.......

SPC crap:



SOOOoooo, your next best bet is to just have a local machine shop machine you some "eccentrics" and use the SPC bolt only (trash the eccentrics they come with)....that's the easiest... they can just copy the eccentric, but to a tighter tolerance around the shank of the spc bolt to eliminate the 5 degree mismatch - this will end up the cheapest option....

OTHERWISE #2:
If it were me, and i had to stay OEM coilovers rear, ie spring in spring bucket, then I would have a machine shop make me eccentrics that have the peak just like the OEM factory bolt - then have them machine a bolt with the V-groove in it full length...

This will yield a full round bolt and not a half moon cut bolt like spc and thus the bolt will hold torque better..

OEM:



Review post 4 here: https://my350z.com/forum/8293406-post4.html
Review post 19 here: https://my350z.com/forum/8293599-post19.html

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-mark-eccentric-washers1.jpg   Suspension 101-oem-toe-bolt.jpg   Suspension 101-toe-bolts1.jpg   Suspension 101-bad-spc-toe-washers1.jpg   Suspension 101-bad-spc-toe-washers3.jpg  


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Old 04-13-2010, 07:28 AM
  #20  
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Default Lock out washers:

WHAT ARE LOCK OUT WASHERS?

Simply put, lock out washers are square washers that eliminate the factory eccentric washers or the USE OF THE SPC SHITT CRAP bull crap slip all day long BOLT!. NO adjust ability what so ever.


You must have adjustable arms.

WHY have eccentric washers if you have fully adjustable arms???



AS you can see the 350Z has 4 bolts, a total of 8 eccentric washers at the rear pair of camber and toe locations.

For track guys, this now eliminates the issues of slip, stretched bolt, etc!


Many different companies sell lockout washers, and/or you can make some yourself. Google "350z lock out washers"

SPL sells some, but I don’t like that their bolts are “all thread” there is threads in the bearing area of the washers on BOTH washers. AND there is threads gouging into your aftermarket camber arm - especially if you have a "BUSHING" end style camber arm like the SPC and many others out there...

SPL lockout washers:


UPDATE:
SPL has since "upgraded" from all thread bolts to these:
- when purchasing from SPL the new bolts are sent!! - AWESOME!

(taken from post 64)
SPL parts pic of lock out washers installed on the Z - shown highlighed is the camber arm location:



MY OWN LOCK OUT WASHERS:

UPDATE - i made my own at the time, cause i didn't know of the new SPL bolts....(his site wasn't updated with the new bolts)
I have yet to source bolts that have shank the length totally needed, so I opted to making some with at least shank “bearing area” on one side and of course used fine thread pitch. Factory is 1.25 pitch. That’s what I used. I also used a 10.9 strength bolt and prevailing torque lock nuts. ALSO, the shank on my bolts goes straight to the center of where the aftermarket camber arm has bearing on the center of the bolt "SHANK" area.!

Factory bolt is: M12x1.25

These are the ones i made myself:
I have since replaced with zinc coated bolts instead of the plain shown.
Lock out washers:


Lock out washers at camber arm location!


Lock out washers at TOE location:

Take note - With my lock out washers i was able to source a LONGER bolt to mount the GTspec rear brace! as the oem toe bolt doesn't allow for this and the aftermarket SPC/other 3 degree toe bolts are barely any longer for mounting a GTspec rear brace.

-J
Attached Thumbnails Suspension 101-eccentric-washer-crap.jpg   Suspension 101-splelz33_1.jpg   Suspension 101-lock-out-washers.jpg   Suspension 101-splelz33_2.jpg   Suspension 101-lock-out-camber.jpg  


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