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Adam393

Tokico Suspension Problem / Suspension Techniques - WARNING TO BUYERS!

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Ever since the Z was finished with the restoration, whenever we took it on the highway, i felt really unstable and weaved alot (yes, we had the suspension all aligned and wheels balanced and everything, all by a highly experienced suspension guy). Well, we go back to our suspension guy our problem and we put it on the lift to check the suspension. This was a drive on lift and we checked the shocks and springs. We were quite shocked to see that our suspension was coil bound in the front. The top 4 coils were all compressed and touching, and the shocks were too tall and had very little travel before they would bottom out. Now remember, this is the Tokico Illuminas setup, which many Z people have, and i strongly recommend people to check for this problem on their Z's, but u wont be able to tell if its coil bound if u jack up the car, u need a ramp of some sort or a drive on lift. We called ProStreetOnline and they recently discontinued selling Tokico springs for any car, but they were very nice and are sending us 2 free Tein springs to see if that will hep us at all. Has any one else had this problem?

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We were quite shocked to see that our suspension was coil bound in the front. The top 4 coils were all compressed and touching, and the shocks were too tall and had very little travel before they would bottom out.

 

As I recall, the Tokico springs are progressive rate - the spring has two different winding rates, and when the soft rate coils all compress, you get the higher rate. So, that might just be how they work - you'll get the lower rate at times when the suspension is actually moving, but it sounds like this will happen only while the suspension is in "droop". I don't know if that's normal or not.

 

As far as the travel not being enough - how much travel was there? There is only about 3" of compression travel at stock ride height, so for every inch you lower it, subtract that from 3" to get your remaining ride height. This is why people go to the trouble of sectioning their struts (do a search - I think there is at least one sticky on this) when they lower the car more than an inch.

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We were quite shocked to see that our suspension was coil bound in the front. The top 4 coils were all compressed and touching, and the shocks were too tall and had very little travel before they would bottom out. Now remember, this is the Tokico Illuminas setup, which many Z people have, and i strongly recommend people to check for this problem on their Z's, but u wont be able to tell if its coil bound if u jack up the car, u need a ramp of some sort or a drive on lift. We called ProStreetOnline and they recently discontinued selling Tokico springs for any car, but they were very nice and are sending us 2 free Tein springs to see if that will hep us at all. Has any one else had this problem?

 

Its not a "problem" per se, its how the springs are deisgned to work. Progressive springs are desigend to coil bind until the higher rates are reached (as Tim described above). The coil bound springs are there to keep the spring from rattling around at full droop.

 

Also, as Tim described, lowering a 240Z reduces the amount of bump travel available in the suspension by the amount of lowering. Any lowering more then 1.5" will require strut shortening to get back an adequate amount of bump travel and keep the car off the bump stops.

 

What spring rate are the Tein springs?

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I understand what you guys are saying about them being progressive springs, but we called Tokico and they said we should have about 1/4" to 1/2" of travel between each coil in the spring. In the rear we do, but in the front we have about 1/8" of travel between each coil and the top 4 coils are touching, which only leaves us about 7/8" of suspension travel in the front of the car. Our suspension guy, who is an ex- F1 mechanic mind you, says that all the progressive coils that he's seen before are slightly thinner on one side than the other, but he says that these are the same diameter throughout. Im not sure how big of a deal that is, but thats what he told my dad and I.

Here are some pix to show our problem:

8nhucb9AxYiCRR2F9Wsx3hjNY5UaAqz-0300.jpg

 

kUoNXA1imtKlNRYIDPxOJghxpXLTu3kr0300.jpg

 

-8y1+DHwZs6wNOXJR5Ki-57Cf0ykp12Y0300.jpg

 

p0F-KJpvNEdgTd5Xz16+eUh5o2IVc0lk0300.jpg

 

Here is the rear for comparison, which is correct:

0dVHZyj4brHjv-BlyrTE1sDBSrbPr8zN0300.jpg

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Looks pretty much the same as this old thread where we dealt with the exact same issue: http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=94933

 

I'm going to sticky this one so that people will see it if they search before they buy Tokico springs and struts. You can use the springs, but in my opinion you really need to section the struts to gain enough travel, otherwise you're just going to be bouncing off of the bumpstops all the time. The next thing that you'd have to worry after sectioning the struts is coil bind. Wouldn't want to section the struts too much and then have them coil bind before they hit the bumpstop. If you add up all of the gaps you've got there that should be the possible travel with that spring. If the gaps add up to more than you would section out of the strut, then you should be good to go. If you use the 88 MR2 rear struts in front I think you end up removing about 1.625".

 

Anyway, here's another thread about sectioning the struts if you decide to go that way:

http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=103860

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I somewhat have the same problem but i havent checked to see if my front springs are doing the same thing . But i do know this my front tokico non adjustable struts are much longer then the travel of the car when on the ground .

 

I measured the distance and the struts actually compress 2 1/4 inches when on the ground . When i raise the car the springs pop out of the perches as the strut travels so far the spring then isnt long enough to keep up .

 

Same went for the rears but the rears blew out about 1 year after install so i went to autozone got a decent pair of struts and now the car rides better then with the tokicos did when new .

 

Thanks for posting the pics ill take a look at mine when i get the engine back in it .

 

Jason

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I have Tokico springs on my late 260Z with no problems. Before I had installed my springs, I had called the folks at Tokico. They told me that for the 240Z, the front spring rate is 140 (progressive) and the rear is 165 (linear). The front progressive rate combined with the low spring rate is probably what is causing the problem in the front. I would think this problem would be exasperated with a heavier V-8 engine. The late 260Z and 280Z springs from Tokico are 185 (linear) front and 200 (linear) rear. As I said, I have experienced no problems with this combination. I plan to go to coilovers some time in the future. When I do, I plan to use the same spring rates since I think it provides a nice compromise for spirited street driving.

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Guest FairladyZS30

tein has springs for the 240z?

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I must bring up the point about weight.

 

I have Tokico blues and MSA blue springs on one of my 240Zs. It has been lightened by typical bumper and accessory removal(2499lbs with 8 gal. of gas and me in it). My car has plenty of travel even in the worst case situations(like the exit from the downhill esses at road atlanta or flat out on NC Motor Speedway banked-ovals). I can jump the curbing and I have had some offs through the traps.

 

I have seen at least 2 other Z cars with the same spring+shock combination that were riding on their bumpstops. These cars were show shine cruisers with all kinds of extra stuff weighing them down. One of them was a 260Z and I think the other was a 1973 240Z.

Air-conditioning,

big stereo,

big battery,

full bumper-overriders,

extra sound damping(made the doors feel like they had lead in them),

full carpet and floormats on top of that,

heat/sound pad on the underside of the hood,

etc...

 

You have to keep in mind the weight of your car as well.

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We have no little sound deadening since the floors were replaced and we didnt put any material on the new ones. We have no AC, we only put in two new kenwood speakers in the trunk area, and a new head unit, also we removed the overriders. There is nothing new under the hood that should be adding weight

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Don't mean to thread jack, but I don't want there to be too many stickies because it makes it hard to browse the threads in a forum, so I just added a warning for Suspension Techniques customers to the title.

 

It's come up a couple of times now where people have purchased the ST springs and installed them as directed and the front sits way too high and the rear way too low. Basically the problem is that ST is labeling the springs wrong. The longer springs should go in the rear, and the short ones in front, regardless of what the stickers say.

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Ok, so I already purchased the Tokico Illuminas setup for my 280z convertible before I read this warning. Oops. Well now I have purchased an early 260z convertible and will be selling the 280z. I know Tokico has different part numbers for the 70-8/74 and 9/74-78. Is it possible to use the 280 setup on the 260z with some mods or am I SOL?

 

Thanks, JB

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The difference in the struts between the early and late 260s is that the rear struts have a 3" spacer on them, and your early 260 likely needs a 2" spacer. That's easy enough to fix, but I'd wait until you actually remove them before cutting anything. When you do cut them you want a couple of threads showing when the gland nut is TIGHT, so the key is cut them long, and if necessary cut them again. If you cut them short then you have to shim them back up or make a longer spacer, which is a bit of a PITA.

 

The springs should also be compatible, but I believe the 280 springs are significantly stiffer than the 240 springs. Whether or not that's to your liking is the question.

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The diameter of the springs is also different. If you need the early style, I will trade you as I need the later and have a set of tokico struts and springs for the pre 74 1/2. I also have a set of Suspension Techniques sway bars for the early models. All parts are brand new. E-Mail me if interested Sweetleaf1978@hotmail.com

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In my first post i mentioned that they were sending me Tein springs, they screwed up and meant to say Tokico, but I never recieved them

 

So as of last week I bought Suspension Technique springs, theyre supposedly a bit more stiff than Eibach (not to mention cheaper :) )

So i should be getting them soon and getting them installed, ill post if that solves the problem

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Guest znow white

3 weeks ago i bought the tokico springs and struts HP :S

man why didnt i see this post earlier!

 

how common is this problem?

 

i just finished as of yesterday all the bushing in the front and the suspension in the front right now just dismanntled the rear and its in the air

is there anything i can do while im at it now do avoid this problem in the future

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It seems to be an unusual problem. I've installed these exact springs and shocks on a 240Z and haven't seen this issue. I've also talked with the engineers at Tokico and have referred them to this thread and they don't understand how the front has so little travel.

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The conversation went well and they've looked at this exact thread. Unfortunately they can't figure it out. I don't understand it either and would love to actually look at your car and the installation.

 

Again, when you installed the shocks, did you put any spacers in the strut tubes, either above or below the shocks?

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The conversation went well and they've looked at this exact thread. Unfortunately they can't figure it out. I don't understand it either and would love to actually look at your car and the installation.

 

Again, when you installed the shocks, did you put any spacers in the strut tubes, either above or below the shocks?

 

Im pretty sure that we didnt put any spacer in it, but two of the shocks had metal tubes welded on under the shocks. I hate to sound ignorant, but since we installed them last year, i forget which end we put them on. Id have to call my father in the morning to ask him if he remembers. But the shocks all looked like they basically went up to that flat bolt you had to screw over on the top of the strut (The one to help prevent all the oil from spilling out)

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