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vbgambini

Coilover help in South Florida?

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Wussup guys, looking to buy some coilovers for my 78 280z soon. Really liking the BC Coilovers for these cars. Doesn't seem like the camber option has to be welded on like the Mckinney set. Seems to just be bolt on. Am I right?


 


Well I am located in the South Florida area, North Miami to be exact. Wanted to know if there is anyone that can help me with these. Especially since I have no welding experience. 


 


Also if I can't find someone, how much would a shop generally charge for this service? Thanks guys. 


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Correct, however to adjust them you will need to drop the strut to do so. Also if you are planning on going anywhere near low you will be maxing the camber out of the box and will have to trim the center hole for clearance for the adjustment knob.

 

If I am not mistaken, Fernando, from Jpngarage the guy that setup the kit for sale is located down there. He should probably be able to point you towards a decent installer.

 

I would expect probably $1000-$1500 (about 3 hours labor per corner plus cleaning, painting, welding) to have a shop do it for you as in you drive your car in hand them the box of coilovers and they do the rest, keep in mind you will probably need a custom or advanced alignment afterwards which will also run $150-$250. A competent welder could have you squared away for a couple hundred if you brought just the bare bones parts to be welded, granted you have to really be mindful of who you choose.

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Cool! Sounds pricey doing that way and sending it to someone. This is my first older Z car so Im new to this. Use to bolt up coilovers many times before but this is totally different. Just didnt want to tackle the suspension then get myself stranded lol. Wish I could find someone around here to help me out. 

 

Also JPN Garage is like 4 hours north of me so that will be tough.Thanks for the information. 

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Short of the welding portion, and the fact that it is a rotor/hub combo, it really isn't that much more different then a traditional setup. 

 

It depends on what you have to work with. If you have the space to have your car lifted and can pull the uprights and have them welded then you can save quite a bit of money. If you don't have the space to do the swap then you unfortunately are going to have to farm it out. 

 

Alternatively you could try and buy another set of uprights and have them welded ahead of time. Swapping out just the uprights would be a much shorter job if farmed out.

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Thanks for the insight. That sounds like a good plan to maybe source the parts too. I havent seen any for sale though normally. Yea I have to see how to tackle this. I mean I have enough space in the driveway to get it jacked up and leave it like that. Just worried if I screw something up how I would get the wheels back on to get it somewhere lol. Would you say the front or the rear is better to start with? I guess easier than the other? Or what I should be ready for when I do this. I know not everything goes right. Something will break, not want to come out, etc.

 

Could maybe an exhaust shop do the welding if I cant find someone around here with more experience with these?

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Your apprehension is understood, it could be troublesome if you couldn't get it back together, I was apprehensive myself when I started. 

 

Buy the how to restore a datsun z car book and you will have a step by step picture guide to follow along. As long as you are safe and attentive these cars aren't hard to work on. Chances are you will find things that need replacement like bushings and ball joints. If you aren't setup to deal with replacing parts as needed as you go, then best not to take it apart quite yet.

 

You have to weigh the fear of not being able to get it back together vs the financial gain as well as the sense of achievement of doing it yourself. If the fear trumps and you can afford having someone else do it then by all means, just make sure that they are familiar with the install and have examples of welds they can show you, the local shops here either charge and arm and a leg, or charge very little and you have to deal with subpar work, made it an easy choice to work on it myself given my options. 

 

There is something to be said about the apprehension, there are people who gleefully take things apart and never put them back together. Sit down and think about it and look through the book and see if you can manage, if you can't then start stalking people's build threads and location tags and see if you can convince them to help you out or know someone who can direct you towards somewhere who can do the work.

 

The front is easier in my opinion, it has more connections (tie rod, tension arm, etc), but you don't have to deal with the drums and the axle. 

 

Personally I did take my car to an exhaust shop for more then exhaust work once. The guys did a good job on my exhaust and I would go back to them for exhaust again, but on other work I did find that the mount that they made for me needed a lot of finishing work and a long time rattle was caused by a piece of metal in the mount pushing up on the transmission. If you do decide to do it yourself you might want to see if they could lay the bead on the tube if you cut it and all that. Keep in mind custom suspension stuff some places may reject as they do not want the liability associated with it, you might do better finding a "fabricator" on craigslist or something of that nature who is used to things of that nature. An off road shop would also be able to put down a solid bead for fairly cheap.

 

Also I never got around to finishing it and the commentary isn't great, but here's a basic overview of the install

 

It goes into more detail as I did the TTT GTX-2 arms at the same time, but if you are just doing the BC's it really isn't too bad. My build thread also has pictures of the cutout you have to make to the adapters to make them sit flush.

 

TL;DR:

 

If the car hasn't had regular service you will indeed probably run into things you need to replace

Things that come to mind: control arm bushings, brake lines, rusty bolts, knuckle o-ring, ball joint, tie rod, drum brake hard ware, caliper hardware, rotor, wheel bearings etc etc etc.

 

If it is a daily driver, this most likely won't go back together quickly unless you have everything planned out to the T

 

They are both similar, but the front was faster.

 

Be ready to address the snafu's above. Plenty of penetrant, the right tools, torque specs, work gloves, tension arm will be under tension be prepared for that to snap up when you undo the bolts.

 

Exhaust shop might be able to weld a good bead, but I have seen more bad work from exhaust shops then good. Might want to try and find an off road shop or a shop that does roll cages and such.

Edited by seattlejester

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Seattle

 

Thanks a lot for the great information. I gotta find that book. The original plan was to do as much of the stuff myself which I have done so far. Had to find out how to get it started when I first got it. Did some maintenance and other stuff that I can handle on my time that I have etc. Never got to this part where its all technical lol.

 

It is currently not running again I think due to a bad fuel pump. So I have to tackle that first. Think I let it sit for too long :(. But it is not a daily driver and I try to drive it on the weekends here and there. The apprehension is definitely there and I dont have all the money to where I can just get it done lol. I just dont want to start on it, pay for certain things, expensive things, then have to pay more to fix my mess, or if I cant get it back together. But it seems these cars arent that bad to work on, its just the age of them that things will get broken and screwed up. Just dont want to make it worse. But I completely understand what you are saying. 

 

I think after thinking this over and over again, ill start with doing all the bushings first, more maintenace stuff, probably get the hard brake lines done because I did try to put my SS lines on, and the bolts are just too soft to unscrew even with the flare wrenches, and then tackle this job. Does that seem the right choices, rather than spending $1200 on coilovers and still having other little parts that need to be done first?

 

I was going to do the floor pans and frame rails first (they are not that bad, but they do need work), but I think I can let that go a little for now. Get the car running again then go from there. Just dying on how high the car sits, and it came with 17 inch wheels, when I want 16s on there with it lowered a little lol. 

 

Am I missing anything?

 

Sweet car btw. Had a 98 240sx with a 1J. Eventually want to boost this Datsun for sure! 

Edited by vbgambini

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Bushings, ball joints, and brakes would be a very good place to start. Granted taking out the control arms leaves you 1/2 way there to pulling out the struts. If you get the Energy Suspension Bushing Kit, do not install the tension arm bushings. Spend a bit more and buy G-machine ball and socket setup it is a much better design. You are going to have to fight the rear spindle pin, so buy the puller setup or borrow it or find a way to make something similar.

 

Also be safe. It seems like you aren't a stranger to cars, but use jack stands and such. These cars are light, but chances are you won't be able to bench press it off of you. 

 

Your decision on how you want things to go, but I think you have the right perspective. Fix something drive it around a while and see what you need next. 

 

I had my 240z on 280z springs which made it taller then stock for a while so I know what you mean, but at the same time it is not running now which makes all the money spent on adjustable suspension and ride height seem moot when it won't even run.

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Thanks. Yea getting it running again is the priority. Then ill tackle the suspension after. But thanks for the info. Now I know who to get a hold of when im in trouble lol.

 

Do I really have to take the spindle pin out though? I read somewhere that they just released it from the top rather than the spindle pin itself. Did I read this wrong? Those pins arent cheap.

Edited by vbgambini

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Cool thanks for that link. Ill look into that more. They are definitely closer than Orlando lol. More like 40 minutes away from me. Seems like a good place. How did you hear about them? Sees like they only do race cars though. You think they will do regular street cars? 

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I know I pulled mine out that way on my 240 and the 280z at the JY not difficult just awkward when they are attached.

 

I think crazy octopus even had the control arm mounted on the car when he had his coilovers welded, just leaned them out of the car.

 

If your bushings are good on the spindle pin, it might not be worth the effort to remove them. You can just drop the rear setup strut and control arm stuck together. Although I will say that with a bolt replacing the spindle pin, I can drop the strut so much easier. Might be worth doing if you are going to revisit it for coilovers down the road.

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Yea I was just trying to find an easier way rather than dropping the whole assembly. And not have to deal with the spindle pin just yet.

 

So all I really have to do is remove the hand brake cable, brake line or caliper, and the half shaft right? Then just un bolt from the top inside the hatch, and everything should fall right out correct?

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Your options are to drop the whole assembly or to pull the spindle pin either or lol.

 

If you are pulling the spindle pin...

Disconnect parking brake cable

Disconnect hydraulic brake cable

Disconnect half shaft (do this before you disconnect the brakes)

Undo sway bar bushing

Pull spindle pin

Remove three nuts at the top

 

If you are pulling the assembly...

Undo front diff cross member

Disconnect parking brake cable

Disconnect hydraulic brake cable

Disconnect half shaft (do this before you disconnect the brakes)

 

Undo sway bar bushing

Undo the rear LCA capture clamps

 

The diff will hang if I remember this bit correctly, so best support it prior to removing the front diff crossmember

 

AtlanticZ has some pretty good guides, I have the rear disassembly to some extent in the video series above.

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Thank you sir. Good instruction there. Yea I've seen the AtlanticZ guides. Pretty good there too.

 

Any of the bolts in the front and rear that I need to worry about rounding out? Stripping? Breaking? Etc. just so I have an idea what to look out for? Will penetrating fluid pretty much help?

Edited by vbgambini

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The spindle pin is going to be a massive pain in the ass without a puller. Stub axle can also give you quite a bit of trouble if you are replacing bearings or when you strip it to be welded for the coilovers.

 

Frankly all of these bolts are going to be old. I would be pretty wary. I replaced most of my bolts when I took my rear apart. One of the bigger vendors sells a complete bolt kit for the rear I think.

 

The half shaft nut and bolt are a bit unique, the nuts are thinner and in J-spec so if you round one you may have a lot of difficulty finding a replacement. The bolts are also shouldered, but short. They aren't under much torque, but if you strip one you will have to get replacements from nissan dealership or another datsun.

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