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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
If you are only interested in fitting the front struts/coilovers onto your car, skip to post #11. The first installments are fitting the rears which take more modification and there are easier options. If you want full coilovers, read on


As long as I have been on this forum (granted, Ive been gone for a while), one of the biggest and most asked questions have had to do with struts/shocks. Since Tokico stopped producing pieces for our cars, we have had to resort to finding NOS pieces, making our own, or dealing with the soft shocks that are available. I had found a set of NOS sport shocks that ended up going on my 96. They are starting to soften, I guess just with age they can go bad. I found another set of sport rears, also NOS, that were blown right out of the unopened package.

I had heard of people mess with the Lexus SC coilovers but I looked at another vehicle. The Nissan 350z. It, like our cars, has a 2 piece rear design with a strut up front. Both have similar mounting points. The 350 is lighter but both cars have similar spring rates. So, I tried a set of 350z coilovers on my old 89 SC. And by God, they fit just about directly. I just about because I had to get a longer bolt for the rear lower shock mount and I did have to cut the centering perch (I just made up a name) out to fit the spring. I also HAD to use mark 8 lowers to cut a lower centering perch small enough for the spring to not move around.

I have not sat the car down yet so I dont know how low it will sit, or exactly how it rides. But given the aftermarket support for the Z, and knowing now that the pieces fit, I can imagine this might be a big deal for those who want to have more faith in the corners without buying a lathe, or those who just want to bolt in some new shocks, which I will be doing on my Red 90 because I also have stock Z components to try on that. I have not installed the fronts yet but I know the LCA strut bushing will have to be trimmed, which I see no issue in doing.
Yes, pictured are 2 different brand coil overs. No name oranges are going on the 89, Teins will be going on the 96.
37905
37906
37907
 

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3300-3400ish lbs, 53/47 weight distribution, not too bad. An aluminum block 4.6/manual trans MN12 without too much frills is ~ 3600lbs and ~57/43. The front shock does appear longer though, and that dinky little spring bothers me(as it does on the SC300/Supra) but I definitely like it, being those are actually meant for the heavy end of a front engined car

The rear shock is good but I wouldn’t have bothered with springs, SC/Sports are as stiff as you’ll ever need back there in any scenario
 

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I did my first bookmark on this thread.

I'm VERY interested in the ride height; specifically if it can be set at about a stock height for us Grandpas, and lowered to where the young'uns want it ?

RwP
 

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I wouldn't have bothered with the rears as well, since we know that Vogtlands springs are still readily available and that we can use 99-04 Cobra shocks for the rear. The front is what's been the issue for us, as you've mentioned.

That said, I'm curious to see how the fronts will fit and sit. How much, if any, modification will be needed to the shock mount in order for it to fit.

Lastly, when you said that these were for a 350z and I saw the picture of the green one, I immediately thought of the Donut Media: Hi-Low episode about coil overs. Yeah. ?

 

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I'll be using your method with the bilsteins or Koni race editions, as soon as I need a pair.

On the sad side of things, I think the Konis I have need to be rebuilt. :(

It's been over 10 years, and three hard curb hits, so no dissatisfaction; they lived thru hits that destroyed 3 wheels.
 

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I hope you picked up a set of Bilsteins or Konis! The Bilsteins were a limited production run from what I was told when I bought mine. It was about 2yrs before they were re-released. Not sure how long it will be before more are made again, if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lol, I did not get donuts "Nissan 350z Fairlady coilover shock suspension green". The green ones are Teins. Still on the cheap side, but better than the orange no names. Or atleast Id hope. I got the no names and stock Z pieces in a trade for doing a wheel bearing on a friends car.
 

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Your FB thread has blown up! And that other guy who posted a front end version to your post at almost the same time has received almost no attention. LOL
 

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Are the Cobra rear shocks available? That was such a limited run car having 350z as an option should sure us up for a little bit, or at least until 350z fall out of popularity, which may happen in a few years, you never know. I know Birds were big back when they weren't that old, fell off, and since I think have began to come back a little.

Nice write up, I am posting up on the FB group also.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lets continue the saga of the coil over swap. Many of you have stated that the rears are not important (or flat out not necessary) given the support for the Cobra, whose shocks fit our cars directly, and that vogtlands are available for use as well. I can agree with that, though some people might want the adjustability or the option. But obviously this still leaves the fronts in question.

Well, these are about as bolt in from a different car that you can get. The top mount is a perfect fit on the coil overs, hugging the spring in place properly and no modification needed to the mount to fit over the threads of the shaft correctly. Only real modification needed was the lower mounting bolt hole on the Zs strut had to be widened about 1/16 to accept the Tbirds mounting bolt, and the LCA shock bushing had to be trimmed about 3/16 on both sides to slide to fit. There is enough room for the LCA to move and the strut to pivot with out hitting.

Again. I have yet to set the car down and once I do I will still have to adjust the suspension at all corners with the engine and trans in car to see how itll sit, but as of now everything is in and bolted up.
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I have also tried the factory fronts, but I have no pictures as of writing this. They fit like the coil overs but have a stopper welded onto the shaft that prevents the top mount from sliding down far enough for the threads to be revealed. I am currently using a die grinder in an attempt to remove this stopper. After market stock replacement Z struts have this piece pressed on, and can be removed with heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
These orange coilovers are going to get tossed after the initial test drive. They are a cheap no name set I got for free. They are soft and ones leaking. So ride quality will not be judged on this set. Only fitment and adjustibilty range.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
  1. So its that easy? They have bilstiens on rockauto but no springs. Cant wait to hear about the ride when you drive with them.
Milage may vary. The sets of coilovers I have and the strock struts I have all needed the same simple modifications to fit, save for the stock struts welded on stopper.

I havent tried the bilsteins, but since they are meant to take the place of the stock struts, I assume they will need the same modifications.
 

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Milage may vary. The sets of coilovers I have and the strock struts I have all needed the same simple modifications to fit, save for the stock struts welded on stopper.

I havent tried the bilsteins, but since they are meant to take the place of the stock struts, I assume they will need the same modifications.
Before you toss those shocks take off the coils so you can use them later.
 

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So if you can do this with coilovers... I bet you can use the air ride 350z aftermarket kit for the front. And you a mustang kit for the back. Just a thought I was thinking about
 

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Thanks for the link. CTRL-C and CTRL-V here for posterity.

NISSAN Z CAR SPRING RATES

First up, your OEM baseline

2003/2004
314/342

2004.5/2007
314/427

Most of the springs below were R&D with oem 03/04 shocks in mind. Keep in mind that 04.5+ cars have very different oem shocks (softer on bump) vs previous cars.

Eibach 350Z progressive springs 1”/1”
Spring rates in LBS initial/final front 296/384 initial/final rear 316/421

Eibach 350Z sportline progressive springs 1.2"/1.2"
F: 239/400 R: 257/435
Very wide spreads between the softer initial rates and firmer peak rates.

RSR 350Z linear springs .6”/.6”
Spring rates in LBS 345/417

Hotchkis 350Z Linear springs .6”/.8”
Spring rates in lbs 340/330

Tein S-tech 350Z springs .7“.6“ (fronts are slightly progressive, rears are linear)
Spring rates in LBS 386/402 (estimated front intial rate is 327lbs)

Tein H-tech 350z linear springs .3”/.2”
Spring rates in LBS 358/375

Progress Technology progressive springs 1.0”/1.0”
Spring rates in LBS 425/385 (final rates only, softer initial front progressive rate unknown)

Tokico D-spec shock & spring package 350Z - DSK512 -
Spring rates 375f/375r - Linear Springs 1"/1.5"

Tanabe GF210 Series 350Z progressive springs 1”/1.2”
Spring rates in LBS 336/375 (only peak rates are published, softer initial progressive rates unknown) Not much stiffer vs OME, IMO Eibach prokit is a better choice because of that springs higher spring rates which should help keep you off the bumpstops more often.

Tanabe NF210 Series 350Z progressive springs 1.2”/1.2” higher
Spring rates in LBS 314/353 Not much stiffer vs OEM, IMO Eibach prokit is a better choice because of that springs higher spring rates which should help keep you off the bumpstops more often.

Skunk2 350Z progressive springs 1.3”/1”
Spring rate in LBS 238/381 237/395
Very wide spreads between the softer initial rates and firmer peak rates.

Swift 350Z linear springs .8”/.6” drop on 350Z, G35 drop will be higher)
Spring rates in LBS 336/364

Swift 350Z Spec-R progressive springs 1.2”/1”
Spring rates in LBS intial/final Front: 291/392 Rear: 280/448

Nismo T2 350Z Linear springs 1”/1”
Spring rates in LBS 625/700
Do NOT run them with ANY OEM shock, Tokico D-spec (450lbs rate cap), Tokico HP, KYB GR2. Koni sport or Bilstein HD should not be used either unless revalved. TcKline DA shocks were specifically made and valved for the T2 springs.

Vogtland 350z progressive springs 1”/1”
Spring rates in LBS initial/final front 257/354 initial/final rear 285/422
Front rate spread isn't that bad, but the rear is somewhat wide. Prokit or Progress would be worth considering in comparison

Kg/mm springs 350Z DR21 super sport 15mm drop
Spring rates in lbs initial/final front 246/398 initial/final rear 252/409
Very wide spreads between the softer initial rates and firmer peak rates.

Kg/mm DRacing progressive springs 1.2”/1.2”
Spring rates in LBS initial/final front 252/454 initial/final rear 252/482 rear
Very wide spreads between the softer initial rates and firmer peak rates.

Whiteline 350Z linear springs (control)
Front: Part # 73219,
Spring rate 365 LBS Drop: .8"-1" (will be higher on a G35)
Rear: Part # 73220
Spring rate 445LBS Drop: 1"-1.2" (will be higher on a G35)
(sold as 2 front springs and 2 rear springs)
www.whiteline.com.au/store/

Espelir 350Z progressive springs 10mm drop F&R
386/515 (softer initial progressive rates are unknown)

H&R sport progressive springs 350Z 1.3”/1” drop
Spring rates in LBS 370/400 (peak rates only, softer initial rates are unknown)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Im currently messing with the stock Z struts. Trying to find an easy way to level the spring cup so coilover springs can be used, which brings in a much wider range of ride heights and stiffness.
 

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Lots of good info here, I may have to get a set. I haven't looked into any of this stuff for a long time, as I had my car in storage since 2010. My daily driver is a 96 4.6, and it's completely stock with very low miles, but could use some improvement. I have a 97 sport parts car available that I can rob the springs out of, and was happy to see that rock auto has the Bilstein cobra rears still listed. They've got 2 sets though, B6 for stock cobras and B8 for lowered ones. Does anyone know, are they the same length shock and just different valving, or are the ones for lowered cars shorter shocks? Just wondering which would be best with the sport rear springs. I may trim them enough to drop the car an inch or so, so I'm guessing the B8's are what I want. I see Bilstein also makes a B8 series strut for the front of the 350z, I wonder how they would match up with the Cobra rears and sport springs all around. Either that or I can get a cheaper set of Nissan aftermarket struts from rock auto, they don't list the Bilstein ones.
Edit: I found the Bilstein fronts for the 350z on rock auto, but they only list the one side. Do the brackets on them for the brake lines work for our cars so I should try to get the proper left and right side ones? If the brackets don't line up, I could just get 2 the same and call it good.
Kristian
 
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