Tokico Spring and Strut Upgrade

Remove the strut assembly from the car and have a shop safely remove the spring.

Mount the strut on a suitable work bench and remove the old gas insert.
Sand blast or wire brush the rust, treat with a rust neutralizer, and paint if you feel spanky.

Clean out the inner tube where the new insert and oil will reside. Any contaminants in here can damage the gas insert.
Tip over and pour out.

Here is a shot down the barrel. Some oil is in the bottom as I flushed the brake cleaner fluid out with oil.

Here is a Tokico front gas insert for a 280z. It has four parts:

  1. gas insert
  2. top gland nut
  3. spacer
  4. top nut

Carefully place the gas insert into the strut tube. Care must be taken to to scratch the piston.

Fill the tube to 1" - 2" below the top (according to Tokico).... the FSM says 350ml but this 
results in overflow... I guess the Tokico's displace more space than the original ones.
As you can see above, I over filled.

No problem, simply pull the strut up ~ 10 inches and wipe the excess off the tube. 
The above picture resulted in ~ 1" of drop so I did it twice

Grease the inside of the gland and threads. (Note, the silver spacer is not needed for my 77 280z strut)

Tighten the gland. The FSM says not to use pipe wrenches... don't tell anyone ;)
Actually the wall thickness is fairly thick and the torque spec is not too high so it was OK.
A step I could not photograph is next. Simply hold the strut upside down and compress the piston.
Turn the strut right side up and pull the piston out. Repeat this three times. 
btw the purpose is to remove air from the assembly according to the FSM..

Mount the rubber boot. This is a KYB with integrated bump stop at top. 
Note: the plastic wire wraps included with the boots break after a few rides. CV joint boot wire straps are recommended by Scott Evans. 

Mount the spring on the strut and rotate the spring until the ends seat in the correct spot.

Note the difference between the new Tokico and old stock.
The stock is approx. 4.75" longer and has 11 turns.
The Tokico has only 8 turns.

These are the top three components:

  1. Spring Seat
  2. Thrust Bearing (note the correct orientation.. my originals were upside down)
  3. Strut Mount Insulator

Grease the heck out of the bearing and mount it in the strut mount insulator.
Assemble the three pieces and mount on the strut assembly.

Here is a top view showing the Tokico adjustment location and top of the Strut Mount Insulator.
Secure the Insulator with the top nut supplied with the gas insert.

Here is the assembled strut ready for installation.
Note the space between the top of the spring  and bottom of the upper spring seat.
This is normal and the weight of the car will cause the assembly to compress together.
Note that some use wire or wire ties to hold the spring in place.

The step is easiest with two people. One holds the strut assembly in the wheel well and pushes it up into 
it's proper location while watching the three bolts pop through. The other attaches the washers and bolts. 

The control arm/steering knuckle/ball joint assembly can now be lifted up to mount to 
the strut's bottom.
The strut has to be compressed and the steering knuckle rotated properly to align the strut's 
holes prior to inserting the bolts. Alignment is crucial or else you will be frustrated as this is 
the most difficult part of the job!


Here is another look at what has to be connected. Note the rubber O ring on the steering 
knuckle. I coated the inside of the bottom strut with grease to help seal this area further.


Front End Stock Springs                                                                                                        Front End Tokico Springs 1" drop


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