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Thread: rear suspension bar broken

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    Default rear suspension bar broken

    I got my 1977 280Z out for the first time this year and when I accelerated from a stop a steel bar in the rear suspension broke. I'm not sure what the bar is called, maybe a trailer bar or sway bar or mustache bar or strut support? It is bolted to the frame/unibody in the center right behind the rear axle and connects to each side under the struts I believe. Any ideas of what it's called, how to get it off, and replace it?

    Thanks!
    Jeff J.

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    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    Default

    Got a picture? Your description is a bit confusing. Sounds like an impressive failure.

    You can also refer to this: Datsun 240Z/260Z/280Z Rear Suspension (Strut, Shock Absorber & Transverse Link)
    2/74 260Z

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    I just found it on the diagram. It is the rear mustache bar. Any suggestions on how to replace and where to get a new one?

    thanks!

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    Default broken mustache bar - okay to drive home - 1 mile slowly?

    Any idea if driving my Z home - 1 mile slowly with a broken mustache bar will do any damage to other parts?

    Thanks!
    Jeff J.

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    Registered User Willoughby Z's Avatar
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    Default Learning to fish...

    Respectfully, get a manual. Look it over to familiarize your self with the procedure. Search the forum for threads related to this repair. Then ask for advice when something needs clarification. I don't want to sound brusk, it's just the best way.
    It's best to say, "I looked here, here, and here and can't find one..." And, "When the manual says 'x', what does that mean?". The FSM : http://http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html

    See post #8...
    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...r-removal.html

    Atlantic Z site:
    http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/moustache/index.html
    Last edited by Willoughby Z; 03-28-2013 at 05:50 PM. Reason: add link for FSM

    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
    Kats

    FSM: http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html
    EFI "bible" : http://www.4moores.com/280z/files/280zfuelinjectionbook.pdf

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    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    Jeebus, how much torque is your engine making???

    If your mustach bar is broken, all sorts of torsional/bending loads will now be imparted on the front diff mount and can cause that to fail too. I don't know if a slow drive home will do it, but it might depending on how badly damaged the mustache bar is. If you have AAA or something similar, I'd just tow it home.

    I still can't believe your m-bar failed. Please upload pics when you get a chance.
    2/74 260Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffjoyce View Post
    Any idea if driving my Z home - 1 mile slowly with a broken mustache bar will do any damage to other parts?

    Thanks!
    Jeff J.
    WAG? Slowly, for a mile, cautiously in turns, gentle acceleration, slow braking, of course- no.

    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
    Kats

    FSM: http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html
    EFI "bible" : http://www.4moores.com/280z/files/280zfuelinjectionbook.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonV View Post
    Jeebus, how much torque is your engine making???

    If your mustach bar is broken, all sorts of torsional/bending loads will now be imparted on the front diff mount and can cause that to fail too. I don't know if a slow drive home will do it, but it might depending on how badly damaged the mustache bar is. If you have AAA or something similar, I'd just tow it home.

    I still can't believe your m-bar failed. Please upload pics when you get a chance.
    Leon, didn't someone just have this happen to them? - accidently dumped the clutch while revving, or something.

    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
    Kats

    FSM: http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html
    EFI "bible" : http://www.4moores.com/280z/files/280zfuelinjectionbook.pdf

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    Default

    I totally understand. This is my first time on the site. I really appreciate the responses. I'm just happy to know the name of the part so I can find it and fix it.

    Thanks!
    Jeff J.

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    Default pictures of broken mustache bar

    These pictures aren't very good, but you can see the break on the driver's side. It's pretty rusty. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rust in other places, so this may be the beginning of the end or a lot of replacements.

    Thanks,
    Jeff J.
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    It's a spring (steel). It could have been abused before your ownership, causing stress cracks. IMO, this didn't happen from rust. The pictures suggest lots of surface rust on larger, substantial components, which means that rubber pieces are toast and fasteners will be a bitch to remove. This will very likely be a six-pack of PB Blaster, a torch, wire brush and the acceptance that you'll be facing a "while I'm at it..."
    70-78 DATSUN 240Z 260Z 280Z REAR DIFFERENTIAL MOUNT MUSTACHE BAR ""OEM PARTS"" on eBay!
    Last edited by Willoughby Z; 03-28-2013 at 06:39 PM.

    HLS30 371-239 (1/77)
    Every time he touched her, she told him that places where she wanted to be more beautiful!
    Mr.Tamura said it is like an old craftsman of Buddha statue,he did not creat it, Buddha itself...
    Kats

    FSM: http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html
    EFI "bible" : http://www.4moores.com/280z/files/280zfuelinjectionbook.pdf

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    Thanks!

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    Default

    A typical failure with a R200 installed. As mentioned above, a small nick or mark became a stress riser and over time a crack developed. At some point the bar fails while accelerating from a stop in first gear (most torque load). I've seen these a number of times with R200s, never with a R180. Also as mentioned you need to inspect the front diff mount and front diff cross member. Those are most likely damaged.

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    Thanks for that insight. Sounds like I need to get quite a bit done. Since I'm not equipped to do much, does anyone have a suggestion for a place in Indiana that I could trust to take it to?

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    Damn, that's quite a failure, complete fracture of the m-bar. That's a pretty thick piece of spring steel (strong stuff). I had no idea it was a somewhat common occurrence (on R200 installs).
    2/74 260Z

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    Like Leon said, I have never seen this happen. Also thought this was one of the stronger pieces of the rear end. Amazing photos.
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Metal fatigue is different than just a straight overload failure. A picture of the broken end would be interesting, to see if there was a crack there before the final failure. Weathered material versus shiny new surface. Maybe we should be Magnafluxing our mustache bars.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I've seen it with an R180 too. Guy I used to autox with snapped one.
    Jon

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    IMHO. The diff is still attached to half the bar, and could be still driven, albeit very carefully
    and avoid any hills on your drive home.
    Of course a transport or tow is really the way to go.

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    Where are you in Indiana and how much money do you have
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post
    Metal fatigue is different than just a straight overload failure. A picture of the broken end would be interesting, to see if there was a crack there before the final failure. Weathered material versus shiny new surface. Maybe we should be Magnafluxing our mustache bars.
    Sure is. But these bars are thick spring steel, clearly designed to prevent fatigue failures. A stress concentration would do it though, whether it's a crack or imperfections in the metal. Magnafluxing might not be a bad idea if it will see "heavy" usage...
    2/74 260Z

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