Replace Struts On A Datsun 240z

The 240Z, Nissan’s first release of its famed Z-car, hit showrooms for the 1970 model year. It lasted through 1973, replaced the next year by the 260Z. The 240Z came equipped with front struts that allowed for much better handling than typical shock absorbers. Over time, the struts do wear out and require replacement. Some of the symptoms of worn-out struts are: extended braking distance, uncomfortable ride and bouncing. Fortunately, replacing the front struts on the 240Z is a relatively easy task.

Instructions

1. Loosen the 240Z’s front lug nuts, using a ratchet and socket. Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and place the jack stands beneath the 240Z’s frame rails. Lower the car until its weight is only on the jack stands. Remove the front lug nuts and pull the front wheels from the 240Z.

2. Locate the strut, the cylinder with a spring directly behind the wheel. Trace the strut until you locate the brake line bracket. Grab the flat pin at the end of the brake line bracket with needle-nose pliers and pull the pin from the bracket. Pull the brake line from the bracket.

3. Loosen and remove the two bolts on the rear of the brake caliper using a ratchet and socket. Pull the caliper up and out of the rotor, the metal disc. Suspend the caliper from the vehicle’s frame using a bungee strap.

4. Loosen and remove the two bolts at the bottom of the strut assembly using a ratchet and socket.

5. Open the 240Z’s hood and locate the three bolts securing the top of the strut to the top of the vehicle’s fender under the hood. Loosen and remove these three bolts with a ratchet and socket.

6. Pry downward on the lower suspension arm with a 12-inch pry bar and pull the strut downward and out of the car.

7. Place the spring compressor on the strut spring and compress the spring. This process varies depending on the type of compressor you are using, so refer to the compressor’s instructions for specific direction.

8. Loosen and remove the single nut at the top center of the strut using a ratchet and socket. Prevent the mount from moving while turning the nut using a 12-inch pry bar. Pull the metal plate from the top of the strut and save for reuse.

9. Pull the spring from the strut.

10. Pull the dust cover, the accordion-style piece of plastic, from the strut’s shaft and pull the strut cartridge from the strut assembly.

11. Place the new strut cartridge in the strut assembly and put the dust cover over the strut’s metal shaft.

12. Put the spring round the strut cartridge. Place the metal cap on top of the new strut and tighten the center nut to 54 to 69 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and a socket.

13. Place the upper portion of the strut into the holes on the top of the vehicle’s fender and hand-tighten the three nuts.

14. Pry down on the lower suspension arm using a 12-inch pry bar and line up the lower strut mount holes with the two holes in the lower suspension arm. Hand-tighten the two bolts into the lower strut mount.

15. Tighten the upper strut nuts to 18 to 25 foot-pounds and the lower strut mount bolts to 53 to 72 foot-pounds using a torque wrench and socket.

16. Place the brake caliper on the brake rotor and tighten the caliper bolts to 16 to 23 foot-pounds using a torque wrench and a socket.

17.Place the brake hose back into the bracket on the strut assembly and insert the flat pin to lock it into place.

18. Repeat Steps 2 through 17 for the strut on the other side of the vehicle.

19. Raise the 240Z from the jack stands with the floor jack and pull the stands from under the vehicle. Lower the 240Z to the ground and close the vehicle’s hood.

20. Take the 240Z to a local alignment shop to have a wheel alignment performed.