240Z Street Suspension Setups | The Z Club of Great Britain
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240Z Street Suspension Setups

Discussion in 'S30 (240Z,260Z,280Z) Suspension,Brakes and Steerin' started by Woody928, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Hi All,

    I'm sure this has been discussed to death by now, and I've been slowly trawling though all sorts of the previous existing threads however I want to hear some accounts about peoples suspension setups, and their opinions on them for road use.

    I'm yet to drive my car however, from what I've been told having US suspension the car will be very soft and bouncy on the UK roads. We will wait and see in due course though. That being said long term I will be looking for suspension suitable for fast road use on UK roads, with this in mind I would much prefer to stray more towards comfort than to outright performance and a harsher ride being a road car. Realistically my car will be spending 95% of its time on the road, it is therefore important to me that it functions there best.

    Looking at options that have been batted around and keeping cost in mind because unfortunately money is finite for me, I've come up with the following 3 options.

    Tokico Illumina Struts with Eibach springs


    Gaz Gold Coilovers


    BC Racing Coilovers


    Straight away there is obviously a clear choice to make in terms of do I either go down the route of weld in coilovers (which obviously offer far more adjustability) or do I stick with a more traditional struts and springs option. From my limited understanding all of the above three options offer a reasonable package in their own right, and all have pro's and cons.

    I really like the idea of driving on the roads all day with supple ride comfort, and then just being able to turn up to a track and dial in different settings to firm things up, or changing the dampening when the car goes to Europe and the roads are generally significantly better. This appears to be present in both options albeit the struts and springs option obviously has no where near the same adjustability in terms of ride height and camber etc.

    So my question to you all is, given my above requirements what setup would you consider in my position? (Fast road oriented with a bias towards comfort)

    I appreciate that the above will be subjective as a question, and that everyone answering has the potential to have extremely different wheel and tyre combos, stiffened cars with strut braces and roll bars, stock cars etc that will influence the overall package and their answer. However I'm just looking for general feedback and want to hear from those who have been there before and hear what they've done... :thumbs:

    Many thanks in advance
  2. SacCyclone

    Z Club Member

    Just my opinion:

    Eibach progressive springs give a nice ride until they are compressed during harder usage.
    Tokico shocks are adjustable so best of both worlds.

    Keep the stock spring hats with rubber insulators ( with NICE insulators) to keep ride cushy during easy runs. I am running a set with no insulators and T3 upper hat and it is a very harsh ride....for the street.

    You will need to get some negative camber for road and track use, I would use the T3 adjustable lower control arms front and rear.

    Lastly, tension rod T/C kit from MSA. Helps with wandering especially with bigger tires and rims.

    All of your other bushes should be in good nick using stock rubber or poly bushes.

    I would say that you would get a lot of bang for the money with this set up and it wouldn't break the bank.

    Good luck and I look forward to other's input.

    Cheers, Mike
  3. franky

    Z Club Member

  4. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    I'd say blag yourself a few rides in a few members' cars ... Take the time and trouble to travel to theirs so they can take you on a nice fast bit of road. All the opinions and chat on here means nothing til you sample a ride in one for yourself. Only then will you know the best answer!

    I'm keeping mine stock as I'm sick of modifying suspension! If I want a fast ride on the road I take another car! If I want to bowl along at 50 having a nice time I'll take the 240 ...
  5. franky

    Z Club Member

    as a means of refreshing 40 odd year old suspension though.........
  6. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Mike thanks for the advice as usual that's very helpful!

    It doesn't sound like the struts and springs are a bad option unless seriously pushing on. Will definitely be putting T3 adjustable lower control arms on the list, and look at new tension rods.

    Franky, currently the car only has the stock US front ARB and is running 16x7 rims with 205 55 16 tyres.

    That being said I am planning on fitting both front and rear uprated ARB's and changing to 15x8 rims, will be open to suggestions on tyre sizes. If you were to base your answer on a setup then my intention is to change and uprate to the above spec so that's what I'm planning around.

    Have you got Intrax racing coilovers on your car?

    Looking forward to more opinions...
  7. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Sensible advice! I've got plans in the pipework to get out in a members car with Gaz coilovers, and possibly BC's however unsure on that front. Would love to get out in as many car as possible though, problem is there aren't that many in the UK and I don't know how many willing owners there are in the South East/South of UK. More than willing to travel a bit to experience first hand though :thumbs:

    Difficult thing to get right, I'm hoping there's some middle ground that can be found overall :)
  8. franky

    Z Club Member

    I just meant ARB's/Wheel size/Tyres are all part of the consideration.

    I've not got intrax but its what i'm going to go for. They seem more interested in producing a quality product. I
  9. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    No one else got any experience to share in this area?

    I would particularly be interested to hear from anyone who's got any experience with BC coilovers.
  10. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    Im also interested in BC kit. It is very difficult to quantify how good one setup is against another unless you carry out back to back testing on the same car with them setup the same which is just not going to happen. One thing that is for sure is that any new setup will handle better than an old set of dampers.

    After reading a lot about lower/cut springs I am going to start by cutting some old US springs and try them on the yellow car. Reducing the number of active coils will do 2 thing. It will lower the car but also increase the stiffness a bit. How much is anyone's guess. I will also install new dampers to control the spring. I have heard so many bad reports of eibacks, I can't see them being worse. I'll take some measurement and try and document the success or failure.
  11. franky

    Z Club Member

    scrub that about leda, the engineering firm where I use to live bought them out a couple of years ago it seems............


  12. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Agreed, it would be good to get a baseline idea from someone's personal experience though... This is always an impossible one to gauge without really experiencing first hand, however that's easier said than done. Makes short listing the options much easier :thumbs:

    Sounds like a bit of a combination of science and luck trying to get that one right, and even then replicating the process may not be so easy. Interesting to hear about the eibach springs, albeit disappointing. Was this just word of mouth or have you got any links to threads? (Would be curious to hear more). I look forward to the feedback though.

    Good to know, I'll have a look into what they're offering :D
  13. Woody928

    Z Club Member

  14. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    Good read.
  15. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    My mistake. Its Tokico springs that have a bad name. Eibach progressive sound like the cheapest way to go.
  16. jonbills

    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Committee Member

    It'll increase the stiffness in proportion with the amount removed.
    I.e. If you start with 10 coils and have 100 lb/ft rate, remove 1 and the rate will be about 110 lb/ft. 1/10 more.
    Approx anyway.

  17. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    Thanks Jon. I had made a guess on that but after reading a few thread that indicated why that wasn't strictly true, I started to think otherwise.
  18. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    I'm glad to hear that, as I've never heard anything bad said about Eibach springs in either the Z community or the MR2 community for that matter. I'm torn between that setup and coilovers, will have to get some passenger rides in and go from there
  19. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    I think my setup will be harsher than eibach's. Damper are just loads of money though and adjustable will give you the best way to tailer the comfort.
  20. Woody928

    Z Club Member

    Well for anyone interested I thought I’d just add a summary of my trawling around the internet and enquiries I made as I feel there’s limited information out there. I hope this helps someone.

    I personally narrowed it down to five possible options each with their own pro’s and con’s which I’ve tried to detail below. I will start by caveating that this is all just my personal opinion from my research and I haven’t personally tried all of these setups so please take this as a rough guide rather than gospel. Different setups will be using different wheel/tyre combo’s, different bushes and anti-roll bars as well as chassis strengthening making direct comparison even harder.

    1) Tokico Illumina Struts with Eibach springs
    2) BC Racing
    3) Gaz Gold
    4) Leda (Harvey Bailey Motorsport)
    5) Intrax RSA Upside down coilover

    1. Tokico Illumina Struts with Eibach springs
    a. Pros
    i. Off the shelf inserts and springs that can be bolted straight into the OEM strut assembly
    ii. Maintains reasonably supple ride from what I’m told (hoping to get out in a friend’s car soon to sample this myself)
    iii. Adjustable damping
    b. Cons
    i. Fixed ride height, quite high in my opinion
    ii. Damping adjustment very limited
    iii. US based
    c. Cost – Very variable depending on exchange rate, tockio illumia’s seem to be less available (generally more affordable option)

    2. BC Racing
    a. Pros
    i. Fully adjustable ride height and damping
    ii. Custom spring rates can be specified
    iii. Customer service seems good from what I’ve experienced so far
    iv. Went on a passenger ride and seemed very compliant albeit the rear felt a little over sprung
    v. UK Based
    b. Cons
    i. Weld on, (requiring donor struts or your OEM to be cut up)
    ii. Damping rates vs spring rates unknown
    c. Cost (donor struts required) - £826.50 Delivered (Usually £900+)

    [​IMG]post-40351-0-05473400-1410790108 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr

    3. Gaz Gold

    a. Pros
    i. Fully adjustable ride height and damping
    ii. Springs rates can be specified with damping matched
    iii. Went on a passenger ride in a members car and despite being fully caged and having higher spring rates the car was remarkably compliant
    iv. UK Based
    b. Cons
    i. My brief interaction and enquiry did not provide much information, I wasn’t instilled with confidence as to customer support
    ii. Weld on, stories of coilovers being welded on at incorrect angles effecting suspension geometry
    c. Cost (donor struts required) - £1386.00 + VAT and delivery

    [​IMG]GGA240Z by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr

    4. Leda (Harvey Bailey Motorsport)
    a. Pros (chunk of info lifted off of emails)
    i. Fully adjustable
    ii. can be serviced, repaired, revalved and uprated
    iii. Heavy duty steel bodies with increased oil capacity to increase damping fade resistance
    iv. Adjustable spring seats to accept the huge range of off-the-shelf 2.5" ID springs
    v. A single combined025 position damping adjuster operating simultaneously on both bump and rebound
    vi. 22mm diameter hard chromed damper rods operating on large bore pistons to give a more favorable bump to rebound damping ratio than standard
    vii. Damper rods with top threaded details to suit top mounts of your choice
    viii. Damper body and stroke lengths to suit your requirements, for example lowered suspension for fast road and track, to raised for overland or off-road rally conditions
    ix. A range of spring options from linear single springs to progressive dual springs per strut
    x. Customer service from initial enquiries seemed very good
    xi. Can be serviced in house
    xii. UK Based
    b. Cons
    i. Unknown other than cost
    c. Cost (donor struts required)
    i. Approx £1880 Custom setup with single linear springs + VAT and delivery
    ii. Approx £2140 Custom setup with progressive dual springs + VAT and delivery

    [​IMG]240Z Struts 1 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr

    5. Intrax RSA Upside down coilover
    a. Pros

    i. Fully adjustable
    ii. Completely custom built to your cars specification (you will be asked for details of yours cars suspension setup, wheel tyres etc)
    iii. Upside down shock available to increase strength
    iv. Customer service and information provided extremely encouraging
    b. Cons
    i. Based in Holland
    ii. Cost
    c. Cost (donor struts required)
    i. EUR 2,500 RSA Upside down + VAT and delivery
    1. EUR 300 – Black Titan option
    2. EUR 1,000 - ARC®

    [​IMG]image001 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr

    [​IMG]image002 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr

    The RSA upside down is equipped with externally adjustable damping and adjustable in height.

    Intrax chooses one knob for the damping adjustment. With this one knob you can set different damping settings. When you adjust the knob, both rebound and compression will be adjusted in the correct ratio. This unique system makes it very easy to find the correct setup for your driving style and road conditions. Finally the damping system is equipped with a heat device (thermostat) to insure damping force stability and optimum performance during all different outside-and operation-temperatures.

    You Datsun has a Mac Pherson system in the front and rear. As you probably know, with a Mac Pherson system your shock absorber doesn’t only have to cope with the vertical but also with the lateral forces. Our RSA’s are a upside-down 40mm system, this gives a lot of extra installation stiffness (less flex) in your Mac Pherson suspension. This you will notice in the feeling with your car and of course in the handling which improves al lot.

    Black Titan
    Black Titan is an development from military aircraft industry. Their engines must perform under the toughest conditions, they must function from +40°C up to -30°C. After they fitted their engines with Black Titan, the service interval was increased by 100%. Intrax decided that what is good for their airplane engines must be good for our shock absorbers. The Black Titan coating, which will be applied on the guidance- and piston rod, cannot rust and is extreme hard and smooth. The friction is lowered with these piston rods, reducing oil temperatures, improving traction and extending life time under the severest conditions.

    ARC® (Anti Roll Control)

    After years of development Intrax did it. They developed a unique way to drastically reduce unwanted roll (lateral and longitudinal). Your car will have the comfort and all the other benefits of driving with “soft” springs, until you take a corner, need to brake or drive through a putt hole/over a curb. Than ARC® will control ride height with the feel of a sport setup. For the car it’s a must have, because on the long roads/tracks, your suspension acts like a soft suspension and gives you al lot of traction and stability in the car. But the ARC® will make sure that your suspension won’t collapse on a unexpected put hole or high curb and your car will corner like it’s fitted with a sport suspension. So for the first time you can have the benefits of a soft spring set up without the disadvantages of too much body roll and/or collapsing suspension in putt holes, jumps, curbs. The ARC® will fit inside the rear shock but for the front we have to ad a external reservoir.

    The above provides a bit of a summary as to what is available out there that I looked at, there are plenty more options to choose from however I was trying to keep my options UK based or easier with a few exceptions. There are quite clearly different options depending on your budget which I imagine will be the driving force behind anyone’s decision.

    In the end I chose to go with BC Coilovers for a number of reasons which were namely adjustability, availability, cost, hopefully compliance (I’ll update once fitted). Option one I wrote off due to the lack of adjustability, Gaz Gold I had my concerns following the stories about welding struts off centre and was not happy with the initial response I received (I had originally intended to go down this path). Leda looked a great option and was UK based however Intrax stole my attention. Following various enquiries and conversation the idea of Intrax RSA upsidedown struts with Black Titan and ARC sounded fantastic however I couldn’t bring myself to consider the idea of spending EUR 3800 + VAT and delivery etc. It was just too expensive for my blood despite sounding amazing. I feel if anyone chose to go down the Leda or Intrax route they would not be disappointed, both had very positive customer service as well. I’m directing my funding into other area’s to bring the car up to spec and will enjoy it for a long time and should I feel the need and have the dosh then I’ll be giving Intrax a call (this won’t be happening any time soon though).

    I’ll try and report back once my BC setup has been installed, I’ve been impressed with what I saw when they arrived and have gone with a lower spring rate at the rear than recommended to try and make things more compliant so we will wait and see what happens.

    I hope that's of help to someone. If anyone has anything to add or amend then please feel free to contribute.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2018

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