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Thread: Steering Rack Differences; 240-Z vs. 260-Z (280-Z)

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    Default Steering Rack Differences; 240-Z vs. 260-Z (280-Z)

    Hello

    Is anyone able to tell me if/how I am able to identify an original 240-Z type steering rack with it still installed in the car? Are there any external markings or physical differences between the 240-Z rack and the 260-Z (280-Z) style rack?

    The rack on my car was exchanged by the previous owner for a rebuilt unit and I would like to know if a 240-Z style was installed or a 260-Z style as I may have an opportunity to purchase an original 240-Z style.

    Thanks for any replies.

    Joseph
    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    Registered User nixcars's Avatar
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    Default

    Joseph,

    The 240Z rack takes slightly narrower mounting bushes, (from memory, they're about 6-8mm narrower).

    Nick.
    "TURBO" = cubic inch substitute.
    To those that know, an explanation isn't necessary.
    To those that don't, an explanation isn't possible.

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    Administrator bpilati's Avatar
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    True, but only on one side. The other will use a 280 bushing. Can't remember which though.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
    IZCC #583; TZCC #16; CZC #110
    I'm never serious unless I should be.

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    Registered User zcarnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240 in OZ
    Is anyone able to tell me if/how I am able to identify an original 240-Z type steering rack with it still installed in the car? Are there any external markings or physical differences between the 240-Z rack and the 260-Z (280-Z) style rack?
    Easy. The early racks have an aluminum housing where the pinion shaft is. On the later rack this housing material is steel.

    Steve Golik
    Smoky Mountain Z Car Club
    Knoxville TN
    1970 240Z
    1974 260Z
    1979 810 Hardtop
    "30 years of Z car ownership"

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    Registered User ecp48's Avatar
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    The 240Z rack has a Zerk fitting on the non-pinion end (passenger side). It also takes a different bushing. Lastly and most important, they are freely rebuildable, while the 260/280 need a lot of cut and fit on the rack bushings (must be honed to fit).

    The Zerk fitting is the key to identification and to longevity of use.
    Ed Palmer/ecp48
    Athens, GA
    1978 280Z Running
    1978 280Z (future Z for Sale)
    1976 280Z Garage Queen & soon a 5.0 Ford Hybrid Z
    1974 260Z RIP RLS30-036213 (Remains Crushed, 07-19-05)
    1981 280ZX soon to be daily driver

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    Hello All

    Thanks for the replies/information to date. I managed to take a closer look at the rack installed in my car over the course of the weekend.

    As best I am able to gather, the measurement between the 'lips' where the rack mounting bushings go is 35mm inside to inside. Is anyone able to provide a base measurement from a known 240-Z rack so I am able to compare.

    Ed's reply is interesting. When I look at my rack, the pinion is mounted to the RHS of the car (drivers side for me as Im in RHD country, but this is passengers side for LHD cars); this contradicts what Ed has posted in that he says the pinion should be on the LHS. Sides here are taken as if sitting in the drivers seat facing forwards in the car.

    Am I looking at a 260-Z rack in my car??

    Thanks

    Joseph
    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    Registered User ecp48's Avatar
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    Joseph,

    I was speaking of the US import variety, which has the pinion on the Left or Driver's side (for the states). On our 240 racks, the passenger side has the zerk fitting, meaning the non-rack side bushing could be lubricated.

    It has been my experience that the later, non zerk fitted units show extreme wear on the rack where it transverses the non pinion side bushing. In Fact, the Downing article on rebuilding these later racks (IZCC site), talks about honing out the new bushing, but not more than an interference fit at the end, as the inner part of the rack will be worn smaller.

    On my first 280 (75 280Z with 97,000 miles), I replaced the original rack with a 240 rack (72 240 with appx 137,000 miles) and it worked until the car was totalled (additional 50,000 miles). Just put a shot of grease in, whenever I changed the oil.
    Ed Palmer/ecp48
    Athens, GA
    1978 280Z Running
    1978 280Z (future Z for Sale)
    1976 280Z Garage Queen & soon a 5.0 Ford Hybrid Z
    1974 260Z RIP RLS30-036213 (Remains Crushed, 07-19-05)
    1981 280ZX soon to be daily driver

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    Hello Ed

    Thanks for providing this clarification.

    Do I have to remove the boot to see if the grease fitting is there on the passengers/non-pinion side of the rack?

    I was doing some research and came across the pics as attached.

    The one I have in my car definately looks like the one as labelled 240-Z, but I fear that the one labelled 260-Z may be from a 2+2 and the 2 seater 260-Z racks were the same externally as the 240-Z?

    Is anyone able to confirm this?? The pinion on mine is black, but this may have been painted as part of the 'rebuild'.

    Joseph
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by 240 in OZ; 05-30-2006 at 03:42 PM.
    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    philo "Z" opher Zedrally's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Joseph,
    I've never come across the "one" on the left. Are you sure it's a zed rack?

    The attachment to the rack on the lower left has me confused, it appears to be part of the pinion?

    MOM
    Mike of the Mire

    73 240Z Rally
    77 260Z Touring

    Bogged but not beaten

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    Hello Mike

    No, I am not sure if it is a z rack, I just blindly posted the pics as I found them labelled.

    Joseph
    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    philo "Z" opher Zedrally's Avatar
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    Default

    FWIW, the rack on my 260 is nothing like the one posted, however, 260's in OZ tend to be bitzers, so nothing would surprise me!


    MOM
    Mike of the Mire

    73 240Z Rally
    77 260Z Touring

    Bogged but not beaten

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    Registered User ecp48's Avatar
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    Joseph,

    It would be apparent if you had the zerk fitting. It is not under the boot. Normally is on top side of the rack, with an angle fitting for access. I don't know if the fitting was on from the factory, but it was always easily visible.

    Hope this helps.
    Ed Palmer/ecp48
    Athens, GA
    1978 280Z Running
    1978 280Z (future Z for Sale)
    1976 280Z Garage Queen & soon a 5.0 Ford Hybrid Z
    1974 260Z RIP RLS30-036213 (Remains Crushed, 07-19-05)
    1981 280ZX soon to be daily driver

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    Hello Ed

    Thanks for the reply. I borrowed this picture from another thread here on the website; are these the locations of the grease fittings which you are referring to?

    Thanks

    Joseph
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    Joseph,

    You hit it with that picture. The Zerk fitting on the pinion, was not familiar, but the one on the other end, was just what I remember. I've been meaning to find an early rack to install in my current 280Z (78), but just haven't had time.
    Ed Palmer/ecp48
    Athens, GA
    1978 280Z Running
    1978 280Z (future Z for Sale)
    1976 280Z Garage Queen & soon a 5.0 Ford Hybrid Z
    1974 260Z RIP RLS30-036213 (Remains Crushed, 07-19-05)
    1981 280ZX soon to be daily driver

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    Default Its a later rack!

    Hey Ed/All

    Based on the info supplied in this thread through the replies I managed to do some 'trouble-shooting' over the weekend to identify the rack in the car.

    I have identified it as a later style, 260-Z rack. I have based this on not being able to find a grease fitting of any kind on the non-pinion end of the rack, not hidden by the boots and also the fact that the pinion box section appears to be steel rather than aluminium, ie a magnet will stick to it.

    I got some pics through from a friend here in Australia with both a 240-Z and a 260-Z. The 260-Z rack also has some kind of inspection plate/cover on the rack where the pinion shaft attaches to the splines whereas the 240-Z rack does not. I will post the pics here for future reference.

    Rack mounting bushing measurements would be nice at this stage.

    So, I need to find a genuine RHD 240-Z steering rack here in Australia. Is there anyone whom may have one available?

    Thanks again for the help on this one to date.

    Joseph
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    09/71 Datsun 240z (Semi-retired)
    1969 Datsun 1000 (Daily Driver)

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    Registered User nixcars's Avatar
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    Default Pics of both racks

    Joseph,

    I have both racks available, the one on the top is 260Z & the bottom one is 240Z. (see pics below).
    Notice the narrower bush (35mm for the 260Z & 29mm for the 240Z)... the 240Z one also has both zerk fittings so I'm guessing this is the type you're after?

    Nick.

    "TURBO" = cubic inch substitute.
    To those that know, an explanation isn't necessary.
    To those that don't, an explanation isn't possible.

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    Registered User preith's Avatar
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    Sorry to post on an old thread, but I have an early 240 rack which I'd like to rebuild. From what I've read being an early rack, this is fairly easlily accomplished. Rather than search forever for part numbers, does anyone have a complete list? Does Nissan stock a "kit", or do I need to order everything piece by piece?

    I've also read it's cheaper and easier to source a rebuilt one, but this is for my road racer. I won't be using the factory inner tie rods (the expensive part), but rather modifying it for heim joints, or rod ends.

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    I asked MSA about rebuilt racks. They informed me that rebuilt racks are no longer available as the inner bushing, which is the primary source of "failure", is no longer made.

    There is a thread here (or on Zcar.com) that talks about rotating the bushing 180 degrees. It is my recollection that the bottom part of the bushing wears out first.
    -Bo

    1972 240z - Not original and still not done.
    "Something wicked this way comes...."

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    Registered User preith's Avatar
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    The 180 trick sounds interesting. I assumed Victoria British didn't have anything, but after posting this I checked their catalog and they do in fact list the bushings and seals. Their parts brands seem to be hit or miss lately, but I'll probably order through them.

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    Quick questions for those still confused mainly myself.

    1.) Is a Zerk Fitting the same as a Grease Nipple?
    2.) The difference between late rack (260z, 280z) and early rack (240z) is that the early rack has two Zerk fittings allowing it to last longer due to more/better lubrication?

    This is interesting and contradicting to what I have read previously that the later 260z rack was more robust and therefore better in design.

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    Registered User ecp48's Avatar
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    Gavin,

    You have the right idea. a Zerc is a grease nipple. As long as you keep the early one lubed, it seem to continue to last. The later 260/280 can goi in as little as 3-4 years.
    Ed Palmer/ecp48
    Athens, GA
    1978 280Z Running
    1978 280Z (future Z for Sale)
    1976 280Z Garage Queen & soon a 5.0 Ford Hybrid Z
    1974 260Z RIP RLS30-036213 (Remains Crushed, 07-19-05)
    1981 280ZX soon to be daily driver

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    Registered User zeiss150's Avatar
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    How are you suposed to know if your rack is shot? My stearing has about a quarter inch play before it engages the wheels. And yes I did replace my rack mounts with new urathane, so I know that the rack isn't moving.

    Does the pinion go bad, or is it the bushings or does the rack gear spacing get to big.

    Thanks

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    Registered User vercingetorix's Avatar
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    You might try here http://www.buy-steering.com/ the guy on the phone said it was no problem to get early racks.
    Best, H Houghton

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