1971 240Z Restoration - on to the Suspension!
As we are moving along on the Restoration of this 1971 Datsun 240Z, we want to go ahead and take a good look at the suspension. So, let's start with the Suspension Bushings. Generally, suspension bushings on any car older than 15 years need to be inspected. Original Equipment (OE) bushings on the Datsun / Nissan Z cars are usually made of rubber which can dry rot, tearing away from their metal shells and translating into a harsh and imprecise ride. This is also the case with outer tie rods and ball joints since the rubber boots sealing the greased surfaces can erode and allow road grime to interfere with the socket joints, accelerating wear. So, what is the best solution? Replacement.
There are two main options available for replacing Suspension bushings: replace worn bushings with original rubber type bushings, or replace with a Urethane or Delrin option. (Delrin is not a very common option, so we will focus on Rubber or Urethane options). Rubber bushings have some flex, whereas Urethane types have no flex. New Rubber Suspension Bushings will produce a nice, compliant ride that is smooth(er) in potholes, and will track straight as required. But, Rubber Suspension Bushings tend to be a little less durable over time, leading to a shorter lifespan. Urethane Suspension Bushings provide a solid ride with precise handling, but can be squeaky and less smooth. With that said, Urethane Suspension Bushings tend to last longer, as they are impervious to deterioration caused by oil, grease and the elements.
Many cars as old as our 1971 Datsun 240Z have a mix of parts that have been replaced over the years. Such is the case with our '71. The original owner has replaced various bushings with Urethane and left remaining rubber bushings, that are in serious need of replacement. Our customer opted to keep everything consistent, so we went with Urethane Suspension Bushings wherever replacement was required.
In our 1971 240Z, the entire front suspension (control arms, steering rack, tension rods, sway bar mounts and ends, etc...) was replaced not that long ago, along with the outer tie rods and ball joints. In the back, the inner control arm bushings (front and rear) were also replaced. The spindle pin bushings are relatively new and look good, as well as the mustache bar bushings. All of the struts and springs were recently replace as well, so all was good there too.
Removing the suspension and breaking it down into individual components can be a big and time consuming project, especially when they are dirty and greasy. Besides replacing Suspension Bushings, you need to consider inspecting and replacing outer tie rods, ball joints, the steering rack and if your rack is good, possibly just the steering rack boots. Also, its good to look at your strut cartridges, strut boots, strut mount insulators and front strut bearings, as all of these components will wear out over time. When it comes to the Suspension, there's lots to think about!
Oh, and while you are at it, one last thing: what about all of your metal suspension components? Are you going to reinstall them dirty and rusty? Considering Hot tank, blast and paint or powder coat? Now, if you're painting or powder coating, what color is going to be used? Are you going to re-plate all of the hardware back to original specs? Or try something exotic? What about the floor pan and rail detail too? Oh the choices are endless!
If you haven't figured it out yet, the underside of the car is a favorite of ours. There are so many different options to choose from and we do them all. We have a full selection of Suspension Bushings, in Rubber and Urethene, as well as everything from Ball Joints, Struts, Insulators, Steering Racks and so much more. If you want parts refinished to OEM specs, or want to try something custom and exotic, Z Car Source is here to customize all of your parts, to make your Z just the way YOU want it. Whether we restore your Z for you, or work with you on the parts for your own restoration, we are here for you with everything you need to keep your Z running beautifully.