First off... I decided to go with the tried and true 300ZX rear shocks instead of the 350Z option.
Second... Koni's all fit with a bit of work. I'll fully document the process next week, as I took pics throughout the process.
Koni model number:
Rustoleum Paint - doesn't quite look like a perfect color match, but it's pretty close.
Koni adjustment inset:
Bottom thread - these are cartridges that get installed in your existing struts. Koni calls it "cut-a-strut." The bottom threads are used to secure the cartridge to the bottom of the strut housing.
Sorry, but I forgot to take pictures of the rears by themselves. There'll be pics of everything once I get to the DIY post.
Oh, man... Oh, man... Oh, MAN
!! You guys will not believe the difference that the Koni's make. You seriously will not
believe it unless you ride in a car with this setup.
I'm still working on dialing in the adjustments so it's a good balance of ride comfort and damping for the RL springs, but even on full soft in the front and 180* in the rear, it was 5000% better than the GR2/RL combo and at least 200% better than the OEM SE-R springs/damping. I think this is the "secret combo" for this platform. I've ridden on coilovers before, and they're cool, but you've got to pay to play with those - at least $1200 for a good set that ride well, perform well, and are reliable. This was less than $900 after shipping for all of this stuff:
1. Front Koni Inserts = $250 (Ebay, free shipping)
2. Rear Koni Shocks = $225 (Ebay, free shipping)
3. Front Strut "stuff" = $160 (RockAuto, reasonable shipping)
4. RL Springs = $190 (Racingline Performance, reasonable shipping)
Grand Total = $825 (plus shipping)
Here's what I'll tell you as an end result. "Controllable oversteer
..." This is exactly what I was looking for on this platform. From the factory, this car (and most FWD) understeered like a punk. Drive too hard out of corners, and the front wheels pull the car in the opposite direction from what you want. That's not necessarily terrible, but the fact that you still understeer when letting off the throttle was the problem - there was no way to tuck the nose of the car back into the corner. With the current settings on the damping, camber, toe, and rear sway bar, all I have to do is let off the throttle if I'm too hot in the corner, and the rear slides out just enough to stay in the corner. It's a fine balance, and it will take some adjustment on my part to figure it out, but that's what I was after.
For the record, the front sway is not adjustable (OEM SE-R), front damping is at 90* from full soft, front camber is about -1.0*, the front toe is close to spot on (don't recall the spec, but it's in the middle of factory tolerance), the rear sway (Racingline) is on the inside hole (stiffest), rear damping is at 180* from full soft, rear camber is about -0.7*, and rear toe is close to spot on (roughly 0.02*). .
still raise the car and add another 90* for the rear so I can go another 90* on the front (front is still a bit under-damped), but the balance front/rear seems good at the moment.
Pics will be up by next week. Be prepared... I took a lot.