Life

The Leopard | Suspension

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Not too long  ago I was looking for a second car to be my fun daily driver since driving the MS3 around was getting a little annoying to take to certain places, and it was limiting the amount customization I could be doing to the car itself. So, my search took me to Craig’s List, where I was looking for anything within my budget of below $2000.00 USD. In the end, I got the most unlikely car I was looking for, a 1991 Infiniti M30 coupe for less than $900.00.

The reason this car stood out to me was the body lines (basically the way it looked), the v6 motor, rear wheel drive, somewhat decent reliability, and the fact that it was compatible with many other Nissan parts from other models. Oh yeah and for the price (way below the budget) of the potential this car has was pretty worth it as well.

This is kind of a rare car being that it was one of the first Infiniti cars in North America, and about only about 6,000 coupes and 6,000 convertibles were made through the production years; 1990-1992. It is basically just a rebadged Nissan Leopard in Japan though, and shares similarities with the Nissan Z-chassis, R-chassis, Y-chasiss, and S-chassis. Because of that, I entered a world of mixing and matching parts.

046Finding information was a definite mission with the downfall of forums, and the rise of social media, especially Facebook groups are to blame for that. First up was a 5 lug conversion and S13 coilover conversion. This pretty much meant upgrading most of the front suspension, which is straight forward plug and play, while the rear suspension had more modifications.

Front Suspension:
-S13 Powered By Max Competition front coilovers 5″ 30k
-S14 modified knuckles
-S14 stock 5 lug hubs
-S14 Duralast 5 lug brake rotors
-M30 stock brake calipers
-M30 Duralast brake pads
-S14 stock lower control arms
-GKTECH S14/S15 40mm roll center correction kit
-S14 MOOG outer tie rod ends
-Maxima MOOG inner tie rods
-S14 ISIS Pro tension rods

Rear Suspension:
-S13 Powered By Max Competition rear coilovers 5″ 22k
-Z31 5 lug rear stub axles
-Z32 Duralast 5 lug brake rotors
-Z32 stock brake calipers
-Z32 Duralast brake pads

DSC01434Some of the main front suspension components.

DSC01414The beautiful Powered By Max Competition coilovers. These are meant for S13, but with the right pieces and tweaks they should mount to the M30.

DSC01415The front will mount with all the arms and knuckles. The rear will only be able to mount with modifying the M30 rear towers to match the S13 mounting points for the S13 top hats.

DSC01416The stiffness.

DSC01458The front coilovers maxed out with all the collars still placed at the top. Really short.

DSC01428Added some paint onto certain items for protection and style.

DSC01431Common on Nissan/Infiniti models for there to be wiring harness above the wheel well. This wiring harness above the driver side wheel well was labeled, cut, tucked, soldered, sleeved, and reloomed away inside and around the driver side front shock towers.

DSC01433There was about 200 wires that needed attention after being cut and tucked inside the engine bay.

DSC01455The biggest cock block for wanting to be low and somewhat functional.

DSC01453

DSC01460Tucked inside the engine bay.

DSC01459Also rerouted the hood latch cable inside the engine bay as well. Results are a worry free area to go low and run meatier tires.

The front was straight to the point, but required additional modifications to fix the roll center and tracking.

Because I was converting from 4 lug to 5 lug, this also meant that I needed wheels. After some research I found the appropriate wheel sizing I wanted to give the car. I went from the stock 4×114.3 wheels of 15×6.5 +20 to 5×114.3 15×10 +/-0. And of course did all that fender magic.

These are Vision 521 Nitro 15×10 +/- 0 with 205/50/15 tires all around.

DSC01565

The rear required new mounting points for the S13 top hats, Z31 rear 5 lug stub hubs, custom Z31 to M30 axle flanges, Z32 Duralast rear brake rotors, Z32 stock brake calipers, and Z32 Duralast brake pads.

Eventually, the whole rear end will be taken out to be replaced by S14 rear subframe and arms, but that isn’t until a later time.

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Thanks. @shaviw

I'm from Orange County, California just doing what I have grown to love. You can follow me at my Instagram and Tumblr: @ShaviW

6 Comments

  1. KR

    April 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Lots of work but it paid off – looks great! I wonder what you’re going to do under the hood. Looking forward to seeing pics of it in action!

  2. RYAN TOWNSEND

    May 28, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Do you have any photos of the rear suspension? I just purchased an M30 Convert and looking at doing something close to this setup. This post has been more helpful than everthing else I have found online. Nice work.
    Thanks
    RT

  3. Roger

    June 18, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Great write up and pictures.! F31club!!!

  4. Brandon

    September 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    How did you modify the rear strut towers to match the s13 top hats? I’m going to do s13 rear coilovers for my Z31, but I’m not sure how to make them work with the rear. Thanks!

    • Shavi Wijegunaratne

      September 13, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      The S13 top hats were traced on to a template I made, and then I placed that template into the rear strut towers and drilled through using a similar diameter as the studs on the top hats.

  5. Tim

    November 8, 2016 at 7:48 am

    as for the two bolts where the knuckle meets the coil over, powered by max coilovers line right up, I figured you needed to match up the strut tower holes but is that for both sides or are s13 coilovers interchangeable for the m30 in the front?

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