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J

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Discussion Starter #1
I was doing some figurin'/dreamin' the other day and noticed that the stock 4wd Sentra spring rates and dampener rates are a little higher than stock non-4wd spring & dampener rates. This got me to thinking that I could use stock components on my non-4wd sentra to stifen the suspension a bit. I didn't check prices, but I would assume stock parts would be less expensive than aftermarket. Besides, I may be able to find useable springs at least at a local scrap yard. What I don't know, however, is wether or not the 4wd struts will be a bolt on item or require some modification.

Has this been tried before? Do you think it can be done?
 

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The 4WD version has different dampers for sure, but I'm not sure if the springs are a different length. It's probably not worth the trouble if the rates are only a little different.
 

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I have put regular 2wd struts on my '88 beater 4wd wagon [because I had them] and they fit just fine. Yes, the spring wire diameter is a bit thicker [on the 4wd cars], but not much. If I were you, and had a 4wd parts car [in other words: free parts] I'd swap them over to the 2wd car, but I don't think it would be worth it otherwise.
 
J

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Thanks, guys. I'm really just a novice at all this suspension geometry stuff. I'm just thinking ahead for when/if I ever autocross this car. My goal is to try and dial out some of the "understeer" of the FWD platform. I'm trying to think of some cheap alternatives to aftermarket performance parts. Here's what my FSM tells me about the struts/springs:

!!! WARNING: POSSIBLE RAMBLING MAY FOLLOW !!!!!

Stock 2WD front springs for my car have a "spring constant" of 19.6 N/mm where stock 4WD springs for the same year have a "spring constant" of 24.5 N/mm. They are stiffer, but they have a "free length" of 14.02 inches versus 13.8 inches for my car. So they are longer and my car will ride higher. The stock springs in the rear have a "spring constant" of 17.7 N/mm and the 4WD car has a "sping constant" of 17.7 N/mm so there's no advantage there at all. Because of this and the fact that the 4WD rear springs are over 2 inches longer take them off the options list.

The front and rear coils for both 2WD and 4WD have the same coil diameter at 130mm. The wire diameters are about the same (give or take 1mm). They must be "interchangeable" then. I guess I could cut the 4WD front coil to lower them and take advantage of the higher "spring constant".

The front struts look interresting though. Rod diameter and stroke are the same for 2WD & 4WD, but the 4WD is stiffer: expansion force for 2WD is 549 - 765 N and for 4WD is 579 - 794 N (only about 5% stiffer), compression force for 2WD 137 - 235 N and for 4WD is 226 - 363 N (about 55% stiffer!!).

The rear stuts look interresting to. Rod diameter is a little bigger, by 2mm and the stroke is shorter, by 18mm (I have no idea how this will affect interchangablility) though. Expansion force for 2WD is 422 - 598 N and for 4WD is 559 - 716 N (about 30% stiffer). Compression force for 2WD is 147 - 265 N and for 4WD is 284 - 363 N (about 50% stiffer).

The front stabilizer bar is smaller for the 4WD car at 21mm vs 25.4 for the Coupe SE. The rear stabilizer bar for the 4WD is also smaller at 16mm vs 26.5 for the Coupe SE. If I use the front stabilizer from the 4WD and keep the stabilizer bar from the Coupe, this should make the rear "stiffer" by comparison. I think I've heard this referred to as Transfer Load Distribution in a tech article I read somewhere.

Ah, well. Someday I might just be able to test these theories of mine. Untill now, though I must remain stock. Thanks for reading and I'd appreciate any other opinions.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks for posting that info, Jon. Very interesting. The only thing I wanted to point out, is that the sway bars are quite different on the 4WD's. In fact, the rear one can't possibly be installed on a 2WD B12. Cheers! :)
 

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another idea :

rather than cutting the front spring...heat treat them (not for DIY as i heard) but youll keep the hardness of those and lower it to your spec... maybe 1 inch... ?? someone have any though ??
 

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I autocross my B12 and trust me, it's a very tailhappy car. Yours will be even more because of the thicker rear swaybar. Just jackup your rear tire pressure to 36psi and the tail WILL slide around quite a bit. The last time I autocrossed I originally put the rears up to 38psi, and the car was too hard to control because the rear was so slippery.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I already have a stabilizer bar in the back and I'd probably be keeping that one. Do you think the front stabilizer bar from a 4WD car would fit?

Maybe a spring swap is not really an option, but at least the struts could possibly be beneficial.
 

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Using a smaller/softer swaybar in the front will make the car oversteer more, but as I already said, this car will oversteer easily as it is, if you know what you are doing.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
oversteers easy, eh? Maybe I'll try out the stock configuration first and get used to it before I attempt to modify it.

Thanks, all for the advice.
 

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JonHasAn89SE said:
oversteers easy, eh? Maybe I'll try out the stock configuration first and get used to it before I attempt to modify it.

Thanks, all for the advice.
That's the best thing to do. I really wouldn't start playing around with the swaybars on a B12. They are already plenty thick. Shocks and springs in the future would probably be a good idea, but I don't think the parts from the 4WD wagon would be the best swap. Before you start your first event IM me and I'll give you some tips on how to set the car up.
 

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think you can use b13 suspension parts...
eyor what part of cincy are you in?? i want to check out your wagon that thing looks saweet!! I live in northern Kentucky(burlington area) but work up in Kenwood....
 
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