Datsun 510 Front Air Suspension

Posted by Phil on 1/22/2018 to New Products
We have had a bunch of people asking about installing air suspension on their Datsun 510s. Since everything looks better sitting as low as possible, we've come up with a kit to directly fit the 510 front and rear suspension!

Here we'll be taking a look at the front strut assembly, and outlining the process to install our air struts onto the 510's knuckles.

Start out with a pair of bare strut housings. You can use either factory 510 struts, or any of the stock upgrades out there. In this case we're using 280zx struts that our customer supplied:

We removed the strut cartridges, hubs, and brake backing plates, then taped over the bearing surfaces to protect them from damage.

Mark the strut tube 2" up from where it meets the cast knuckle. This is where you'll be cutting the old strut off.

Cut the tube as straight as possible at that 2" mark. Use a file or grinder to remove any burrs from the outside of the cut, and then remove all of the dirt and paint from the tube and the base of the knuckle.

Your knuckles should look like this- bare metal, ready to start their new life in your low Datsun.

The threaded strut tubes included in our kit have some plating on the bottom portion. Grind that coating off in preparation for welding. We also like to add a hole for a rosette weld just for added strength.

We tig welded this set, but a mig welder is fine as well- it just doesn't make things look as pretty.

With both sides welded up and cooled, grease the threads inside the strut tube and carefully thread the air struts inside of them. If anything gets tight before the strut is fully bottomed out inside the housing, STOP and back the struts out to prevent damage to the threads!

Your completed strut assemblies should look like this- ready to bolt directly into your 510's front suspension. We recommend the addition of bump-steer spacers and tension rods with a spherical end to allow for bind-free movement throughout the suspension's range.
If you adjust your camber, check for air bag clearance inside the spring pocket- modification may be required to the sheetmetal of the strut tower if you add excessive negative camber!

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marc golden
Date: 1/22/2018
Range of movement, Max and Min lengths of complete strut?
Date: 1/23/2018 11:58:00 AM
The air bags have approximately 5.5" of total suspension travel. I haven't measured the minimum and maximum heights exactly, but when the bodies are completely threaded into the hubs they're about 2" shorter than a stock 280zx strut.

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