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Nissan 240SX Project Car - 'Leanin' On Ohlins'

Project 240SX Gets The Drop

Charles Trieu
May 11, 2010

Whether for performance or aesthetics, lowering a car is usually the first and most important step in modifying a car. If you don't get it right, your car will ride and look horrible. Many of my friends that own motorcycles have a very high regard for Öhlins suspension systems. The name is notorious in the two-wheel world, being on almost every winning race bike. But did you know that the same engineering company makes coilovers for cars too? Well, I just happened to find a set of used Öhlins PCV coilovers in Japan and decided to try it out on our project 240SX.

Sstp_1006_01_o+nissan_240sx_project_car+side_shot Photo 2/14   |   Nissan 240SX Project Car - 'Leanin' On Ohlins'

While Öhlins of Europe and Japan offer coilovers for all types of cars, Öhlins USA only has a few sets here for us. They've been more focused on the motorcycle market, or so I thought. After getting my used coilovers from Japan, I wanted them rebuilt and contacted their US headquarters in North Carolina. Öhlins USA offers full service and support for all of their coilovers, both automotive and motorcycle. Even more, they said that they could special order any application from overseas. If you don't see your application on their site, I would highly suggest giving them a call. Their Japanese website list tons of applications for all types of cars.

The main benefit of inverted coilovers is lateral strength which most cars don't need. Many coilovers are not inverted tubes. And the few that do offer inverted tubes only have the fronts inverted. Oddly, this older Öhlins design has all four 240SX corners inverted. You can always spot inverted coilovers from the fat polished tube, instead of seeing a thin strut rod in the upper half.

Giving the coilovers more adjustability I decided to get the height adjustable Project Mu camber plates, for the front. Unfortunately this product was discontinued and the Project Mu importer, Mackin Industries can no longer get them. Luckily, I was able to track down possibly the last new set available from Glenn at Upgrade Motoring.

You can't tell from the outside but on the inside the used coilovers were in horrible shape. Joey Petree of Öhlins USA went ahead and replaced all the worn-out parts and sent them back looking good as new. With the 28 dampening settings I can go from street comfortable to a track ready teeth chattering setting. I'm also impressed on how low I can go on these. Not that you would want to go as low as I did, but it's nice to have that much height adjustability.

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles



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