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1979 datsun 810 2 dr. L24E


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any major progress with the rack and pinion conversion?


Some…. I have installed the modified 810 crossmember with the ZX rack-and-pinion. The engine and steering column are out, allowing me more room to experiment. I am first going to try to use the Maxima steering column shaft inside the 810 steering column. The 810 column has to be shortened since the Maxima shaft is shorter. This will probably work out better in the long run as a shorter shaft will reduce the angularity of the universal-joints of the shaft between the column and the rack. Also, the “ignition key lock” groove on the Maxima shaft is in a different location so a new groove will have to be machined into it so it will match the 810 key location. Both parts are presently at the machine shop.

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  • 3 weeks later...
any major progress with the rack and pinion conversion?


Well, it’s done! Good bye re-circulating ball. The 280ZX rack and pinion steering is in the 810. The Maxima steering column parts would not work so I ended up using the internal shaft from a 280ZX column inside the 810 steering column tube. I need to take a few more pics and then I will write it up and post it next week.

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Could you see a header fitting on the 810 now that rack and pinion is in place of the re-circulating ball?


Since the steering shaft between the rack and pinion and the steering column will hit the stock 810 exhaust headpipe, another headpipe (or header) will have to be used. I going to try a stock 240Z headpipe (different design than the 810 one) this weekend, but I have come to the conclusion that something may have to be made that will fit.


I have several aftermarket headers that I will attempt to modify for clearance. If that doesn’t work, then I have to fabricate a custom exhaust header for the 810. Actually, making a header is something I always wanted to try. A lot of hot rodders and drag racers have done this. Stahl makes the L-series flange piece and you can get the tubing from them or various suppliers.


Funny how one project leads to another!

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The only update here would be my daily driver blowing up on me. I had to rebuild the engine, and just it back on the road a few weeks ago. The 810 project is still on, though no major progress so far. Rebuilding the motor was a great experience, though, and I feel more prepared to tackle this restoration.


- Chris

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I used a set of 280ZX headers for L28 on my '82 Maxima 910 LD28 and they fit fine. That block is 3/4" taller than the L28 block but the headers may still fit.

The 810 Maxima shares the same basic platform as the 280ZX. I think the earlier 810 is like the '79 280ZX in that they have the recirc ball type steering rather than the rack & pinion of '81 on. The crossmembers are different. I used 280ZXT sway bars on my Maxima, they were bolt-on.

Is your 810 2 dr IRS?

The motor mounts on the Maxima 810 relocate the block about 1.5" forward which helps the front-sump oil pan clear the crossmember.


One thing nice about the LD28 front sump oil pan, besides the large capacity, is that it has an oil return port used for the diesel engine vacuum pump. It has potential for turbo oil drain plumbing and is on the same side (driver's) of engine. LD28 also incorporates an oil-water oil cooler...or you could use an OEM 280ZXT (with A/T) oil/air cooler and oil pump.

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