Datsun Strut Sectioning

Front Struts shortened by 1.5 inches


I already had Coilovers on the front of my car. Now that I am finally able to take care of the rear suspension, I decided to section my strut tubes in order to maximize suspension travel.

I bought Rabbit GTI strut cartridges (Tokico HZ1083) for the front and will use the front Tokicos in the rear. The Rabbit carts are really short. Unfortunately for me, there was a large and informative discussion about which short cartridges to buy for this procedure about 2 months after I bought them. The consensus is that rear Toyota MR2 strut carts should be used. Both carts require modification to the isolator, but the MR2 units apparently come with a gland nut that will work with the Z strut tube.

I only wanted to section by an inch and a half, so the extra 1 inch will be taken up by a piece of inch and a quarter pipe (from the hardware store).

Also, the gland nut that comes with the Rabbit carts cannot be used. In order to use the standard 240Z gland nut, the nylon spacers that come with the Rabbit carts has to be milled down. I didn't measure, I just used a block plane and gradually cut the smaller of the 2 spacers down until it fit the 240Z gland nut.

 


I used a tubing cutter to score a deep line. Then I used a sawzall to cut the tube all the way through.


I then cut off 1.5 inches from the top piece of the strut tube. The Sawzall was rather slow going, so I ended up using my chop saw for these. The tubing is very thick.

Afterwards, I used my grinder to bevel the edges of the mating surfaces of both pieces.

I stuck the 1 1/4 ID pipe inside the strut and then clamped (reclamped it right at the cut ater I took the photos) it between 2 pieces of iron (one is an angle, the other is a C channel). Tacked it, removed the clamp, welded it all around. Addendum: When I did the rears, I found some exhaust tubing that had an OD exactly the same as the ID of the strut tube. I used a long section of this (3 feet), jammed inside the "broken" strut tube. This lined everything up perfectly straight and allowed me to hammer the 2 pieces together for a nice tight fit. It was tough pulling it back out afterwards, but well worth it - no clamp required.

Tack 
welded

Welding complete. Make sure there are no pinholes for the heat transfer oil to leak out of.


Painted

piece of pipe
This is the 1 1/4 inch pipe (ID) that was used to make up the difference in length of the GTI cartridge (pay no attention to that length measurement - ended up using 15/16ths).
<Back
All images Copyright 2000, 2001, Jeremy Roth, All rights reserved.