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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

1200 and 120Y Strut and Brake Upgrades

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Categories: Brake System | Front Axle And Front Suspension

Pigdog put together info to answer all those questions that most people are asking about strut swaps and whatnot. And it has been expanded -- feel free to click Edit and add your knowledge to this article. If you have questions, discuss it at: Main Forum: ## 1200 and 120y strut and brake upgrades ##


Contents

Introduction

QUESTION: Can any Nissan strut be fitted to a 1200 or 120Y?

ANSWER: Pretty much. Most rear-wheel-drive Nissan struts can be adapted, from 280ZX to Silvia S13. Read on, or see specific details at Strut Swaps.

Everything between 1968-1973 Datsun 510/1600 struts and Nissan Z31 (300ZX) struts can be pretty much bolted straight in with the parts listed in the Large Strut section below.

For using struts from other brands of cars, such as Ford or Toyota, see Strut Swaps.

Small Datsun struts

The following used small-diameter (45 mm) strut tubes. Most Datsun-Nissan models used larger 2.0 inch tubes.

1200/early 120Y disc struts
Late 120Y disc struts
A12-powered Sunny B310 disc struts
1990-1994 1200 Sunny Truck disc struts
  • Use the correct Strut Tops (1200 or 120Y)
  • No brake booster is needed. But do use the matching 1200 or 120Y dual-circuit (disc brake) master cylinder. It is also recommended to fit the matching rear-wheel cylinders.


1200/early 120Y disc struts

  • bolt straight in to any 120y or 1200 -- including 1200 utes
  • no track increase when upgrading from drum brakes
  • 212 x 9.5mm solid disc and dual-piston caliper


Late 120Y disc struts

  • bolt straight into any 1200 or 120Y
  • No track increase
  • 220 x 9.6mm solid disc
  • Coupe (japan built): Dual-piston caliper
  • Sedan (aus built): Single-piston caliper


A12-powered Sunny B310 (originally equipped with 12" wheels)

  • 220 x 9.6mm solid disc dual-piston caliper


Brake Upgrades

  • S13 Brakes using rotor and calipers with custom caliper bracket. This is the most popular upgrade. It requires 14" wheels, although some 13" wheel can fit.
  • Many other options listed at Brake Upgrades


Larger Datsun struts

What you will need to make them bolt straight in: This applies to all the struts listed below. For more details, see SAP.

Upper Spring Perch 
* Standard 1200/120Y, obtained from your old struts
Strut Tops
* 1200 or 120Y to match your car 
* OR use Camber Tops
Lower Control Arms
* H74 style: Stanza (A10), Sunny (B310), 1976-up 1200 Ute or 1976-up 120Y
Castor rods
* H74: 1976-up 1200 Ute or 1976-up 120Y
Ball joints & Steering Arms
* H74: Late 1200/Sunny Small Balljoint to keep the wheels in
* OR W50 Stanza/Sunny balljoint to increase track 30 mm
Outer Tie rod Ends, Tie rods
* 1200/120Y units fit the Stanza/Sunny steering arms

FOR R31 type struts, you will also need a sheer load spacer ring available from datsport.

FOR all larger struts other than Stanza and Sunny you will need to cut the spring perches off and run 1200 sized ones, or run small-diameter coilovers. Extra large-diameter springs or perchs such as come on 280ZX struts can't be used, they need to be cut off and replaced with 1200 ones. So ride height will depend on where the new spring perch is located and what sort of springs you are using. If they get welded on at the same height as they were on the original struts and you use the same springs the ride height will be the same. Or you may choose to lower your car at this time.

Minimum Wheel Sizes

Some wheels might fit over certain large brakes while other wheels of the same diameter might not -- so its a bit hard to say exactly what will fit. Here's a general estimation:

* 13s would fit over most 250mm disc setups
* 14s probably required for 270mm discs
* 15s generally needed for 290mm brake rotors

And so on. but it also depends on the disc offset and what caliper you are using and stuff.

610/A10 Type

* B310 (Sunny/210) originally equipped with 13" wheels 
* A10 Japan-built Stanza/510
* 610 (180B) 
* C110? Early 240K (Skyline)

All have the same caliper bolt spacing and offset, Sunny and maybe early Stanza have smaller stub axles so hubs wont interchange between the bigger models.

Most noticeable difference between these struts is the differing length strut tubes and different size spring perches.

  • Stanza and Sunny have long strut tubes (not good for lowering a car) and small spring perches, like 1200s and 120Ys
  • 180B and early 240K both have the larger spring perches, and shorter strut tubes than Stanza and Sunny, also think 240K has slightly shorter strut tube than 180B?
Caliper Bolt Spacing is 3 inches (76.2mm)
* Commodore and Volvo calipers will fit on these
* A14/15 Sunny: 245 x 10mm solid disc dual-piston caliper
* 180B: 245 x 10mm solid disc single piston caliper
* Early 240K (C110?): 232 x 10 mm disc single piston caliper

Brake Upgrades

180B and 240K struts
Caliper: Commodore, VL(turbo or V8), VN/VP (V8), VR/VS(All Models)
Disc: Mitsubishi Magna BA425 276x24mm vented

Mods to fit:

  • Machine the centre of the magna disc out to 73mm
  • drill 4 new holes to bolt to the Datsun hub
  • Add a 1.5mm spacer between the strut and caliper to centre the caliper on the disc
  • More info in this OZDAT thread

Or if you want to spend money and have someone else make it even more bolt-on, Maddat sell this same setup.

200B Small Offset Type

* A10 Australia-built Stanza
* 810 Small-offset 200B
* Skyline Small-offset 240K

All struts have 3.5 inch/88.9mm caliper bolt spacing and same stub axles. 200B and 240K struts are identical; Stanza struts have a longer strut body and smaller spring perch. Therefore 200B and 240K calipers are preferable as they allow more suspension travel as stock. Any of these can be shortened for increase travel.

Caliper Upgrades Calipers that will bolt on include any 3.5" mounting calipers. Favorites include:

  • Toyota Landcruiser caliper up to 75 series: Sumitomo 4-piston cast iron caliper suits 18mm vented disc
  • Toyota Hilux calipers various models: Sumitomo 4-piston cast iron caliper, to suit 12.7mm solid disc or 20mm vented disc or 25mm vented disc depending on the model
  • Sumitomo caliper as found on 240k, 240z, Corona, Gemini: Cast Iron Twin piston caliper to suit a 12.7mm solid disc
  • Early BMW 4 piston cast iron calipers
  • Holden Kingswood calipers: Single piston, suit a 25.4mm vented disc

Brake Combos

Caliper: Toyota Landcruiser 60 or 75 series caliper
Disc: S13 CA equip Silvia DBA918 250x18mm vented

Mods to fit:

  • Machine the inner bore of the disc out to 73mm
  • drill 4 new holes so that it can bolt to the Datsun hub
  • Clearance the caliper so that it doesn’t rub on the disc (link to pics)


Caliper: Sumitomo Twin piston, from 240z, 240k, corona or Gemini
Disc: 200b or 240k DBA315 253x12.7mm solid disc
* Straight bolt on to above struts

There's also info on using BMW calipers in this ozdat thread.

And in this Ozdat link it apparently tells you about fitting RX7 calipers and a 280x22mm disc.

Or, if you have the money Maddat make a couple of brake setups to bolt straight on, similar to the above RX7 caliper one.

200B Large Offset Type

Large offset 200B struts
Large offset 240K struts
  • All the same specs as the Small offset 240K and 200B struts, except the caliper mounting ears are located further away from the stub axle. This allows a larger diameter disc to be used.
  • Come standard with 270mm disc compared to small offset having 253mm
  • All the same calipers can be bolted on

Brake Upgrades

Caliper: Hi-Lux 4 piston caliper that suits 25mm disc
Disc: Mitsubishi Magna DBA425 276x24mm vented

There's more info on ozdat somewhere...

R31/910 Type

R31 Skyline
R30 Skyline
910 Bluebird
S12 Silvia/200SX
S130 280ZX 
Z31 300ZX
  • All have 3.5inch/88.9mm caliper spacing, but unlike the Stanza, 200B, 240K struts the caliper mounts to the disc side of the strut. Therefore there is no thread in the strut mounts, its in the calipers instead
  • All the stock brakes are interchangeable between these 5 struts
  • Various different strut tube lengths with the Z31 and 280ZX struts being the shortest
  • The R31, R30, S12, Z31 and 280ZX struts have a different stub axle angle to the other large Datsun struts. This results in less negative camber (will give more positive camber), but gives you more wheel clearance to the strut tube
  • Bluebird struts on the other hand have the same stub axle angle as the other larger Datsun struts, allowing more negative camber and the same wheel fitment and 200B and 180B type struts.
  • Bluebird, 280ZX, Z31 and S12 have separate hub/disc arrangement like most of the other Datsun stuff. Whereas some R31 and some R30 have an integral hub/disc setup
  • Most (except the Bluebird) come stock with 250mm vented discs with thicknesses from 18mm-22mm
  • track will increase about 30mm with R31 struts, but you can run more positive offset wheels on them to bring it back in a bit

For this type struts, you will also need a sheer load spacer ring, or if using RCAs get the kind with the correct ring. R31 has a 54 mm strut-bottom, while earlier struts have 44 mm strut-bottom. For more info see SAP#2-inch Strut.


Brake Upgrades

As R31 brakes are the most evolved of all the stock brakes on these struts they are an upgrade for all that others. Or there is this Ozdat thread on fitting rx7 calipers.

Also if you have the money there is the DATSPORT R32/R33 disc and caliper upgrade.

S30 Type

240Z
260Z
280Z

These can (and have) been swapped into 1200s. However, they use a different bolt pattern at the bottom of the strut (where it bolts to the steering arm). There is no off-the-shelf part to bolt these into a 1200, and no particular advantage to using these struts. Others are more common, have larger brakes and have more shock options.

Best Strut Type

QUESTION: Which would be better, trying to keep cost down but hear sectioning 50mm out of stanza struts, putting in 240k inserts and coil over sleeves makes a good 1200 strut but could I just do the same with a bluebird strut and end up with something better brakes wise?

ANSWER: depends on how much work you want to do, how big you want to go in brakes and what wheels you want to go

As an example, R31 brakes go straight onto blurbird struts, but they have a rather small disc size to wheel size ratio ... meaning that to run the r31 250mm-ish disc means needing to run 14s -- compared to stanza 256mm discs that you can fit 13s over.

Bluebird struts should probably also be trimmed down for shorter inserts if you are going to have a low ride height. As bluebird struts use the same brakes as r31 struts, you have some easy bolt on brake upgrades, see DATSPORT r32/33 comversion. think you can get a 15 inch wheel over their 28mm disc setup, and 16s over the 296mm setup. they are some pretty big brakes, can come with a price tag to suit.

But then being that stanza shares the same brakes as 200b and 240k there are also large bolt on conversions for them, see MADDAT rx7 conversion. think you can get 15s over their 276mm disc setup. not exactly awesome wheel fitment though.

Then if you can make everything yourself -- like I got r32 calipers and r33 discs(296mm) and fitted them to stanza struts so they fitted under 15s -- costs are significantly reduced, but a lot more time is involved.

But in the end, wheel fitment and brake size need to be known before one can be said that it is better than the other. For quick bolt-on decent brakes for wheels bigger than 14s, Bluebird is the go -- haven't seen much/anything decent that will allow a smaller wheel than that.

TLDR; Just pick one and enjoy it. The S13 Brakes swap is the most popular performance brake upgrade.

Hub Types

There are three types of hubs for the larger strut types, they are:

  1. Sunny, Japan-built Stanza type
  2. Sunny, Aussie-built Stanza, 180B, 200B, 240K Type
  3. S12, 280ZX and Bluebird Type

The last 2 share the same wheel bearings so are therefore interchangeable between struts. But they do have different wheel mounting offset and different disc mounting offset to each other.

Photos

Adjustable Control Arms and Castor Rods
album

200b struts with Landcruiser calipers and Silvia Discs, 200B struts with R32 caliper and R33 disc, 180B strut with Commodore caliper and Magna Disc
album

Twin-piston Sumitomo calipers on Stanza struts
album

More Information

For specific details and how-to steps, see Strut Swaps.

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