Z31 -> S13 Front Coilover Conversion

This mod converts the stock shocks/springs of the Z31 into the S13 Coilovers. For those that cannot afford the cost of importing proper Z31 coilovers from Japan or the US.
Difficulty: 2/5

What you need:
2x S13 Coilovers (Cusco Zero-1′s used)
2x S13 Lower Control Arms
2x SR20 Brakes / Hubs
2x SR20 Discs

How you do it:
Firstly: pull the front wheel off, then disconnect the steering arm and LCAs and remove the bolts from the engine bay holding the shock in and it all comes out.


What the wheel well looks like without a wheel or anything in it.


This is what you remove. Note the LCA isn’t connected, but remove that too.

Then you fit all the new parts together to form something that looks like the old stuff:


The new coilovers, with brakes, discs and LCA attached.

To fit the new coilovers into the old holes you need to file/drill the third hole. What we did was fit the new coilover into it, and 2 of the 3 bolts came through the existing holes. Then just took a rough direction and measurement to file to to get the last bolt to fit through.


The filing job i did on the hole.


All fitted and tightened up!


New bits in the wheel well.

And that’s it. Rinse + Repeat on the other side. Bleed the brakes, put the wheel back on and your done.


The full assembly that was removed, with the LCA this time.

The car initially had 27mm bolt-on spacers to get it to fill the guard out, now without the spacers:


Final look, without the bolt cover on the wheel.

29 responses to “Z31 -> S13 Front Coilover Conversion

  1. this July 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

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  2. straight from the source June 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.

    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  3. Born May 9, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Gonna say it again. Don’t do this dumb shit, get REAL Z31 coilovers and do it right the first time.

  4. Chris October 10, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Just buy Z31 coil overs so you don’t wreck your car.

  5. ted September 10, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I tried doing this to my 86 300zx turbo and things did not bolt up correctly as seen in this thread. The tie rods do not match up you’d have to adjust them to line up, also the sway bar does bolt in but the bolt does not sit right inside the mount it is crooked. Idk how this guy bolted everything up . Also the tie rod nut won’t screw down far enough for a locking pin to fit through the bolt. It would be great if all that was explained for me cause I’m stumped

    • BiG MiKE September 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

      I didn’t have a drama with the tie rods, though I had to get them rebuilt as they were worn out. If the nut can’t get low enough for the pin, I’d assume yours is shorter then mine. I am fairly sure I used the Z31 tie rods, but maybe I used S13 ones? I can’t remember, however if you have them or can borrow them you could see if they fit better.
      Swaybar I didn’t have any dramas either, the rubbers were worn as well, so maybe that gave me enough play for them to fit nice?

      TLDR; try using S13 tierods. No idea about the swaybar.

      As an aside, I’ve had S14 and S15 suspension also mounted to my Z31 200ZR, though I used mostly aftermarket parts. Still using the original tie rod ends from this build though!

      • ted October 10, 2013 at 6:53 am

        Yeah i recently found out what you need to do for a usdm 86 300zx turbo. You need to grind down the s13 knuckle to make the pin fit into the bolt, only about 1/8 inch. And then i found out that you cannot run a sway bar when maxing out the drop on my kts coilovers because it bends the sway bar way too much to function properly. Then adjust the oem tie rods just enough to make it to an alighnment shop because i could hardly drive straight. Thanks for tue advice though.

  6. Robert August 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Outstanding job i must say. Made it very simple and easy to understand the whole conversion. Is it possible to convert from the 4 lug S13 to 5 lug on a Z31? I want to do this conversion but i feel like it’s a down grade from going to a 5 lug on a Z31 and converting into a 4 lug S13.

    I did some look around and saw some conversion/mods on going to a S14 or other type of hubs and even seen conversion hubs on ebay. Are those any good? And way around this? It seems like almost all Nissan parts are exchangeable so I’m really hoping for just some part switching.

    • BiG MiKE August 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      I have seen it done with 5 stud, as long as you can source 5 stud hubs (I don’t think Z31 will fit on the S13)

      Since I wrote this, I’ve also fitted S14/15 gear to the front and it’s the same process, though in 5 stud. This time though I had Z31 cambertops, so I didn’t need to modify the strut tower at all. The difference is in the LCA length, the S14/15 is longer, so you get more track. Big tip is to make sure your tierods will make the extra length. I ended up using 20mm rack spacers, but I stuck with Z31 tierods instead of sourcing S14/15.

      Nissan is just like lego, so you shouldn’t have too much drama.

  7. njborn95 June 23, 2013 at 1:48 am

    You cannot swap S13 front suspension unless you do not care about suspension geometry. It’s best to get Z31 specific coilovers and do it right. Unless you wanna end up in a ditch.

  8. Pingback: Looking at buying an S12, tips? - Zilvia.net Forums | Nissan 240SX (Silvia) and Z (Fairlady) Car Forum

  9. Chris March 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    You have to go through touge factory to get them it seems.

    • paul March 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      I emailed stance-usa regarding the kit and received no reply. hope the product is better than their customer support :-(

  10. Alvin February 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Hi Matey,
    Thanks for the right up, helped alot of Z31 owners out big time im sure, im just wondering will the 5 stud S13 bits fit? Hmmm.

  11. Clint-Kayla Boyle January 9, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Hey great write up! i was wondering if i went to the junk yard and pulled off LCA, hubs,brakes, and struts(cant afford coilovers yet) from a s13 they would bolt right up to my z31 correct? oh and I’m in the US so it would be from a s13 with the KA24 not the SR20….would that matter?

    • BiG MiKE January 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

      The LCAs will bolt up no problems, the struts should bolt in with modification to the mounting holes. Either file them larger (as I did) or mark the new positions reference one mount point and drill new holes, though this will require a decent drill bit.
      As far as I’m aware the only difference between the two are the different engines!
      Best of luck with it.

  12. Jose Reyes October 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    sweet thanks for the info man!!
    so are the r31 rods better?

    • BiG MiKE October 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      The only reason I went for those was because a fully adjustable R31 set came up cheap. The only reason they’d be better would be if the manufacturer was better imo.

  13. Jose Reyes October 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

    So will a adjustable s13 tension rod bolt right up with the z31 LCA?

  14. renato April 14, 2011 at 2:53 am

    once again thank you so much im doing my Z this weekend. are u using z31 tension rods or s13??

    • BiG MiKE April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

      I think initially I was using Z31 tension rods, but soon after switched to R31 Skyline adjustable tension rods. Z31/R31/S13 should all fit the same, though the R31 did need an adapter bracket (came supplied with the pair I bought)

  15. BiG MiKE April 13, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Yea it bolts straight up. I’ve circled it from a photo I had lying around. Disregard the fact it’s upside down:

    And that’s correct, I didn’t need to cut and weld. The only thing that needs modifying is the strut tower.

  16. renato April 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    the sway link bolts right up to the S13 lca?? im doing this in like 5 days and i need to know for sure what i need thanks.

  17. renato April 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    you didnt have to weld or cut anything correct? if so what did you cut and weld?

  18. BiG MiKE April 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Hey sorry mate I don’t have one. It should mate up with the mount for it on the inside of the castor rod on the LCA.

  19. renato April 12, 2011 at 5:19 am

    hey can i get a pic of the sway bar connected to the lca? thanks great looking car thou.

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