82 280zx alignment with adjustable TR - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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82 280zx alignment with adjustable TR

Greetings all! I've had fun lurking here the last 2 months since getting my 280zx, but the time has come to ask a question I could not find an answer for.

The previous owner installed a few aftermarket suspension components: techno toy tuning adjustable tension rods, and coilovers in the front. (Stuff in the rear as well, but that shouldn't be important for this question (????))
I just replaced the ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, wheel bearings, rotors and pads. With the tie rods, I was very careful to keep them the same length as the old ones, because the car was driving straight and true before I started all my work.
I managed to mess up the length of the driver's side tension rod, and I THOUGHT I had returned it to the correct length, but that is very dubious.
The current issue is that the car drives straight, but the steering wheel is turned slightly to the left when going straight.
I took it to an alignment shop, and the guy told me he can't adjust the driver's side anymore because it's bottoming out in the outer tie rod, so he wanted to cut off some length from the inner (and charge me quite a bit for it).

My question is: is there anyway my problems are related to the adjustable tension rod being the wrong length and giving me uneven caster? Or should I just go ahead and shorten my inner tie rod?

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1982 280zx
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 11:46 AM
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My response is that I sincerely doubt that you need to start cutting things or modifying an already modified suspension. If the driver's side tie rod won't adjust enough to re-center the steering wheel, you may have a bent strut on that side. I'd check that.

If that doesn't fix it, IMO you either need to find a shop familiar with the modifications that have been made and work with them, or return the suspension to stock.

This is one reason I prefer to buy used cars that have no mods to suspension or electronics. If you have a problem you're in unknown territory. If I buy a car that has any mods to the electrical system, the first thing I do is remove the mods, correct crappy wiring and return it to stock so I have a reference and starting point.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ikirak View Post
Greetings all! I've had fun lurking here the last 2 months since getting my 280zx, but the time has come to ask a question I could not find an answer for.

The previous owner installed a few aftermarket suspension components: techno toy tuning adjustable tension rods, and coilovers in the front. (Stuff in the rear as well, but that shouldn't be important for this question (????))
I just replaced the ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, wheel bearings, rotors and pads. With the tie rods, I was very careful to keep them the same length as the old ones, because the car was driving straight and true before I started all my work.
I managed to mess up the length of the driver's side tension rod, and I THOUGHT I had returned it to the correct length, but that is very dubious.
The current issue is that the car drives straight, but the steering wheel is turned slightly to the left when going straight.
I took it to an alignment shop, and the guy told me he can't adjust the driver's side anymore because it's bottoming out in the outer tie rod, so he wanted to cut off some length from the inner (and charge me quite a bit for it).

My question is: is there anyway my problems are related to the adjustable tension rod being the wrong length and giving me uneven caster? Or should I just go ahead and shorten my inner tie rod?

What the shop says does make sense but like Pilgrim I'm suspicious about the overall condition and quality of the modified parts that are on it. All things considered there has to be a reason why the steering wheel is off center. It would make sense to look over all of the replaced parts for an issue and if you can't find anything obvious then I would suggest pulling the steering wheel and moving it to the right thereby correcting the offset to the left. I'd go an extra tooth or two on the splines and then have them correct the tie rod adjustment accordingly. That should solve your problems. The reason I'd take it an extra couple of teeth is because you know that the LH tie rod adjustment is already bottomed out and that would be corrected. Z man of Washington
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