New owner, first up: suspension! - ZDriver.com


300ZX (Z31) Brakes, Wheels, Suspension and Chassis Discussions related to performance suspension, wheels, brakes and chassis.

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
New owner, first up: suspension!

Hey all, have had my 1986 N/A Z31 for two weeks today, great car.

Am taking it into my mechanic on Thursday for the rack/pinion and passenger side front wheel bearings, and I also need front struts.

So, 1st, should I do this all at once, then get the alignment and be done? Or can I just do the rack/pinion and bearings now, get an alignment, and do the struts later without needing another alignment?

And, whether I need struts now or soon, what kind should I get? Auto Zone has heavy duty Bilsteins for $125/ea that I'm eyeballing, generics for under $60 that I'd rather stay away from

Looking at some technical stuff, though, the 1986 N/A got fixed struts, while the turbo got larger and adjustable struts. Going by the maxim that when replacing, upgrade, I was wondering what all my options might be. So I can know what to ask for, rather than just going with what the Auto Zone computer recommends.
jeff1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #2
Grumpy & Helpful
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mill Creek WA
Posts: 1,391
rack and pinion doesn't have any bearings to replace. unless it is leaking you shouldn't touch it unless it needs new bushings and is sliding back and forth. HOW MUCH DO YOU TRUST THIS MECHANIC. You sound like here I am take my money as I know nothing. here are some things that are critical on the z31
Get your battery load tested. Be sure you have clean, tight corrosion free terminals on both ends of your battery cables. Be sure the ground (negative) cable goes to a bolt into the frame before going to the starter. grounding through the starter is not a reliable connection. Z's don't like low voltage. causes the electronics to act funny. it is possible to have enough amps to crank but not enough voltage to run the electronics. If you have one size fit all cheapo clamp on terminals they are a problem waiting to happen.

Clean the connectors for the maf or afm, ecu and tps. Deoxit by CAIG is probably the best connector cleaner on the market. spray with CorrosionX after cleaning and before putting together this will help prevent any further corrosion.

Replace outer tie rod ends, and ball joints. replace the bushings with poly (don't forget to lube them as directed unless you like squeaky things). New shocks. all those things will make you think you are driving a different car. doing them piece meal is a waste you won't see a great improvement until you do the complete job. Rear bushings nice too but more work and you won't notice as great an improvement. Rear shocks also because if the fronts are gone so are the rears. if car squats when you jump on the gas the rears are gone. If you have the electro adjustable shocks they are DEFINITELY GONE.

anytime you mess with the suspension you need to get the alignment checked


If you can afford bilstein then fine but tokico or nyk work just as well unless you are keeping the car for 10years. (unlikely). The strut comprises the shock and the spring. you don't need a complete assembly.
rogerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
yeah, the driver's side boot is torn on the rack, and I go through a bottle of stop-leak psf a week or so. But the bearings are for the front passenger wheel, a lot of wobble there on both axes.

And I trust this mechanic. Have known him for a while, and my dad was a mechanic, so I think I'm good there.

New battery and clean terminals, but I'll make sure everything gets double checked on Thurs, good to know I have to be especially careful with the electrics.

Any idea where I can pick up just the front bushings?
jeff1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
Grumpy & Helpful
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mill Creek WA
Posts: 1,391
just get the whole set from motorsports. it has only the the rear sway bar included but all you need for the front except the rack. if it is leaking that bad you might as well get a rebuilt rack should be around $200. replacing the boot won't do a thing. one of the seals is shot. also you might want to read the manual. z steering systems use atf not psf.
rogerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerz View Post
just get the whole set from motorsports. it has only the the rear sway bar included but all you need for the front except the rack. if it is leaking that bad you might as well get a rebuilt rack should be around $200. replacing the boot won't do a thing. one of the seals is shot. also you might want to read the manual. z steering systems use atf not psf.
Thanks for sharing the wisdom/experience! Yes, this is the first car I've owned that I actually care about. '80 Malibu (the Boat), '86 Cavalier hatch, '90 Tercel hatch (manual), '98 Corolla, '92 Thunderbird (girlfriend's dad's car originally), '96 F-150 (farm truck).... hmm, I've also never had a car newer than '98... Never had the manuals for any of those.

But this one's a keeper. I feel lucky to have had the chance to buy it. I downloaded the pdf manual, though reading it I don't think it's just for the 1986 N/A, my car. I need to get a hard copy of the manual, too, and hope I'll be able to find one which is more specific.

Got the bushings on order, so instead of doing the front suspension (so I can wait for the bushings to get here) this week, I'll have my mechanic try to work out the vacuum hoses (hot air constantly blows once car's up to temp) and oxygen sensor (starts rough when the car is hot), maybe the oil pressure sensor (doesn't work) and check engine light (bulb is out) too. And check computer codes, see if any have come up.
jeff1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
Grumpy & Helpful
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mill Creek WA
Posts: 1,391
hot air means your water control valve on the firewall engine side is not getting vacuum. No vacuum fails to wide open. check all the small vacuum hoses going to the vacuum tank up front right side by rad. download the fsm from xenon web site. it has the vac diagram in it as well as a load of vital information. Your mechanic should have it or he shouldn't even touch the outside of the car. You can also get a CD version from courtesy Nissan (good source for parts).

z31 doesn't have a CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. there are a series of lights to show status of oil, coolant battery door open etc. in the manual.
you have to pull out the center pod to change light bulbs. its a little tricky to get out as you have to stand on your head to get at two 10mm nuts

rough start hot two possibilities most likely the cyl head temp sensor chts. cheap easy replacement. O2 sensor out car probably wouldn't run when hot. oil press sensor cheap easy replacement. ground the wire to the unit with ignition on. if the gage doesn't pin out then bad gage but sensor common problem. you got digital or analog dash? different problems and solutions. Does bitchin betty work?

check AZbum website for some great info.
rogerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #7
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
Well, so some of what the guy I bought it from said isn't accurate... I'm not too surprised, he only had it 2 months. He thought it had a check engine light but the bulb was out for some reason... I was just writing down everything he said for my mechanic to investigate.

And Bitchin' Betty works fine, or did until I removed the speaker...

And analog dash.

So, got the CHTS, tomorrow with mechanic I'll be:

checking&cleaning all connections
getting vacuum hoses straight
check computer for codes
replace CHTS if needed
checking & replacing as needed distributor, wires, and plugs... tune up stuff
maybe checking oil pressure sensor?
maybe checking/recharging ac
maybe checking/fixing pass door window (doesn't like to go up and down, motor sounds like it's working...)

also taking a ride to listen for a kind of harmonic/sympathetic vibration that sounds light and fairly high pitch, metallic, possibly engine something? Which appears mainly at certain RPMs (2000 or so, again at 3000, not higher, not when I'm really gassing it) and more when running hot...
jeff1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
Grumpy & Helpful
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mill Creek WA
Posts: 1,391
window circuit is often the switch. they have a leaf spring in there to make contact and it gets tired.

you can email me at krs@whidbey.com

easier than passing stuff on the forum. I've done three z31 (turbos) know a bunch about the beasts. 86 is my favorite
rogerz is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Z31 owner khass0410 300ZX (Z31) Forums 18 06-26-2015 09:51 PM
Suspension help goodlifting 300ZX (Z32) Brakes, Wheels, Suspension and Chassis 4 09-18-2011 10:35 PM
new Z owner... xXEliteTuningXx 300ZX (Z31) Forums 6 08-23-2011 06:54 AM
a new owner needs your help! Julya-zombie 280ZX (S130) Forums 8 07-23-2011 11:12 PM
New Z Owner Dante 350Z (Z33) Forums 22 01-30-2004 07:44 AM


Bookmarks

Tags
bulb, check, engine, z31

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:28 AM.


Copyright 2000 - 2014 ZDRIVER.COM All Rights Reserved.