Fundamentally, the 300ZX brake
swap on the 240SX hasn't changed a great deal since I originally
did the brake upgrade in 2002 and shortly after, wrote this guide.
Over the years, I've spoken to many people who have performed the
swap and helped me fine tune this page to provide the most
accurate write-up as possible. I've taken the time to review and
update each section of this guide and it is available in the new
version of the side and is broken down into individual posts.
Click on the link below and take a look!
Since storage space is
practically free, the old version is still here.
Just scroll down and enjoy!
- Socket Set (you'll need some big sockets too, 22mm, 32mm)
- Combination Wrenches (box wrench)
- 10mm flare nut wrench
- 12mm 1.25 pitch tap and die
- Bubble flair tool
Why do this swap? What benefits? here are a few pics to give
you an idea of the difference in equipment.
The rear brakes start out as a 10.2" non vented rotor with a
single piston caliper. Upgrading to the 300ZX equipment awards you
with an 11.6" vented rotor with a separate drum e-brake and a 2
The front brakes start out as a 9.8" vented rotor and single
piston caliper. The 300ZX offers an 11" rotor with a massive
One thing to note, this swap can easily be completed on a 4-lug
setup by re-drilling the rotors.
Before you go out to buy parts, you need to decide which front
calipers you would like to have, or which calipers you may already
have. Here is information and pictures regarding the difference
between calipers prepared by Asad
||The following is a comparison of some
different Z32 300ZX brake calipers.
The "26mm Aluminum" calipers were used ONLY on 1990 non-turbos.
They used a 280mm x 26mm rotor.
The "30mm Aluminum" calipers were used on 1990 Twin-turbos and
ALL 1991-1992.5 300ZX's (both turbo and non-turbo alike). They
used a 280mm x 30mm rotor.
The "30mm Iron" calipers were used on ALL 1992.5-1996 300ZX's
(both turbo and non-turbo alike). They also used the 280mm x
Of course, the easiest way to tell aluminum from iron is to use
a magnet, but I hope this helps some people trying to figure out
what they've got/are getting if buying with just a picture for
Front Brake Swap
- 300ZX or Skyline Rotors
- 300ZX or Skyline Calipers
- SPL parts or PDM racing SS brake lines
This part of the project is going to be the easiest.
Start removing the brake hardware by pulling the caliper. This
is done by removing the two bolts on the back side with a 19mm
socket. You will need to remove the brake line at this time.
Disconnect the brake line at the chassis mounting point
You will want to put a pan under the car to catch the oil that
will be oozing out of the hard line on the chassis. Once you get
the caliper out of the way, pull off the rotor. You may need to use
a hammer to persuade the rotor to come off.
After you remove the original hardware, you will need to decide
whether or not you want to keep the splash shield. The splash
shield's main purpose is to keep water away from the rotor. You
don't need this, so you can remove it. However, I chose to keep
it. You will discover that the splash shield is too small for the
new rotors. I removed the outer edge using an air cutting tool.
If you have removed the splash shield, slip on
the new rotor. If you cut the outer edge, you will need to
bend back the back plate to allow for proper clearance before you
can go on with the rest of the installation.
Once the rotor is in place, you can install the calipers. If you
look closely, you will see that both calipers are almost identical,
except for the fact that he bleeder screw can be either on the top
or on the bottom depending on which side you attach the caliper.
Obviously, bleeding the brakes will be easier if the bleeder is on
top. Arrange your calipers to make sure the bleeder is on top.
I would suggest running a tap through the threads. A 12mm 1.25pitch
tap is what you need. Also, using the same sized die would help
with cleaning the threads on the bolts. Nissans like to hold on to
their caliper bolts! Make sure to use plenty of anti-seize on the
bolts when you reinsert them.
With the calipers in place, it's time to attach the brake lines.
You do not want to use the 240's lines. People have used the stock
banjo fitting with a shorter bolt, but it is not the right fitting
for the 300ZX caliper. The 300ZX caliper does not have the
tabs to hold the banjo fitting in place. Without the tabs, the
banjo fitting can spin and loosen the bolt. I was able to get the 300ZX's stock lines
and installed them for the sake of illustration. Note the bleeder
Using the 300ZX lines is a nice way to save some money, but I
wanted to go with stainless steel lines. PDM offers stainless steel
lines that will make the conversion easier and more effective than
standard rubber lines. Installing either line is as simple as
attaching one end to the caliper and the other to the hard line on
the chassis. See pics below.
If you are only installing the front brakes, then bleed the brakes
using your favorite bleeding method. If not, continue with the rear
Rear Brake Swap
The rear brake swap is not impossible, but it
can be difficult. I wouldn't try it unless you have some
decent experience under your belt. The reason for this
"disclaimer" is that it requires nearly the complete disassembly of
the rear suspension. Some believe that this swap isn't
necessary to complete an effective brake upgrade on the 240, but I
wanted to go all out as well as have a complete swap to write this
- non-turbo Z32 e-brake/splash shield setup
- non-turbo Z32 or S14 hubs if doing 5-lug
- R33 skyline GT-S e-brake cables (swap
- SPL Parts or PDM Racing SS brake lines
Some people have been able to
utilize the aluminum 300ZX upright, but it requires shocks with the
correct lower mount. (SCC used JIC's shocks with the aluminum
I've talked to many people regarding turbo vs
non-turbo rear parts. Calipers and rotors are the same,
however the e-brake hardware and hubs are different. You will
need to find non turbo hardware.
Start by removing the calipers and the brake lines. For now,
disconnect the e-brake hardware and move it aside. Then remove the
Remove all of the control arm bolts
You will need to pull out the axels. Do so by removing the big
nut on the end and sliding out the axel.
At this point, you need to remove the nut that holds the lower
ball joint. Do this with a 22mm socket. You may need a ball joint
popping tool to remove the knuckle.
Once you have the knuckle out, you will need to change the
backing plate. This is accomplished by removing the hub/bearing
As you will see, there is a large hole in the original knuckle.
This hole is used by the e-brake/backing plate hardware. The
chances of this working smoothly are pretty slim. The hole has
probably corroded over time and needs to be cleaned. A dremel tool
with a grinding bit should do the trick. If this doesn't work then
you can use the big nut and an impact gun to act as a press. Make
sure the holes are lined up properly. If you get them off center,
the rest of the hardware will not bolt on properly and it's very
difficult to pull apart (I wouldn't know about this....<cough>)
Alignment is much easier if you place the hub/bearing assembly in
the middle and slowly thread it's bolts in while you tighten the
large nut for the e-brake hardware. Make sure all of the nuts and
bolts are tight.
Although it is possible to install later, the e-brake lines
of your choice should be attached to the new
backing plate you just installed. This will create problems while
manipulating the assembly, but not for too long. You can wait to
install the caliper hardware until after the knuckle is on the car,
or you can do it before hand.
Begin reinstalling the knuckle. First, you will need to pass the
e-brake cable through the sub frame (if already installed). Let the cable rest on the
sub frame for now. Next, attach the lower ball joint, slide the axel
back into the bearing, and reattach the rest of the control arms.
With everything in, you can install the rotors and calipers, if you
haven't already done so. I would strongly suggest using some
anti-seize on every bolt that you replace. It will make it easier to
take apart in the future
Since I had the stock 300ZX brake lines, I decided to make them
work in this application. The calipers need the same fittings as
those in the front. In order to utilize the stock hardware, it is
necessary to modify the bracket that holds the brake line. I cut
the bracket in half using a cutting wheel and then welded a 3"
section of sheet metal to each end. This gives you the extra 2"
necessary to allow the brake line enough slack to reach the hard
line on the chassis.
Ideal, alternative setup:
PDM racing and SPL Parts offers rear
conversion lines that will be much easier to install and require no
The completed rear setup:
Master Cylinder Upgrade
I feel that the most important part of the swap is upgrading the
Master Cylinder. The pedal feel on the 240 is weak with the stock
brakes, but feels even worse with 12 pistons worth of brakes. In
order to do the swap, all you will need is the master cylinder from
a 300ZX. The proportioning between a turbo 300ZX and NA 300ZX
is the same. If there is any concern, make
sure to pick up the master cylinder that works with the calipers you
are using. The brake booster is not necessary.
There are a few different options from which to choose.
Check out the parts listing at the end of this article for the
details. The 17/16" MC with a manual trans equipped 240 brake
booster can be a bit stiff. The manual trans equipped 240 has
a smaller stock MC than an automatic equipped 240. The brake
booster offers more assistance with the automatic equipped 240.
Using the automatic's booster along with either the 1" or 17/16" MC
will offer the same advantages of a larger MC but with an easier
One of the questions that always comes up is the proportioning of
the 300ZX MC vs the 240's MC and the effect of using the 300ZX MC
with stock 240 rear brakes. Below are a few excerpts from
||The way OE proportioning valves work is that
the front and rear line pressures go up by the same amount until
the pressure reaches the so-called "split point". At this point,
the rear pressure increases at a lower rate than the front
pressure (with the proportionality factor given by the reducing
Now the reducing ratio for the Z32 and 240sx MC's are the same
(0.4), so the only difference is the split point. The Z32's
split point is lower than the 240sx, so above the split point,
the Z32's rear line pressure will always be lower than that of
What this is saying, is that there is no way the rear brakes are
going to lock up first by swapping in a 300ZX MC while using Z32
front brakes and stock 240 brakes in the rear.
All that said, I chose the 1 1/16" MC for my
- Master Cylinder
- Brake Booster (read below, not required)
- Brake Fluid
Please note, there are multiple
combinations of parts that will give you the results you are looking
for. A brake booster from either a 300zx or an automatic
equipped 240 will give more assist requiring less pedal effort.
I have received emails from people that complained about the pedal
effort being too high when using the 17/16" MC. Using the
smaller MC's. or bigger boosters will help reduce pedal effort while
maintaining the better pedal feel of the upgrade.
Also, you may want to consider using a
15/16" MC (if you had the 7/8") for a mild improvement with no
Take a moment and set up a funnel and drain pan to allow the
master cylinder to drain. Remove the brake lines and allow the
master cylinder to drain. Avoid spilling brake fluid on paint as it
is highly corrosive. You may want to mark the lines front and rear
to avoid any confusion down the road.
Remove the two bolts that attach the master cylinder to the
Regardless of whether or not you have ABS, the 300ZX master
cylinder will work. If you do not have ABS, you will need to
remove the plug from the second front brake line port, illustrated
below. If you have ABS, you do not have to remove the plug. In
that case, skip to the master cylinder installation.
Typically, a standard allen tool will be more than adequate to remove the plug.
In some cases, it
appears that remanufactured master cylinders have a 5 sided allen plug. You will need to find a way to remove the plug possibly
using an undersized 6-sided allen tool.
You will notice that the plugged hole is missing the proper flair
fitting. You have two options to resolve this issue, the first is a
rather simple fix. You will need to find a bubble flair tool
to put a flair in the line that will work without the missing
The second option is to remove a fitting from the stock 240 MC
and use it in the new MC. The fittings are pressed into the
master cylinder and cannot be removed without destroyed the 240's
master cylinder. Use a cutting wheel to cut out the small
fitting. Be careful not to cut into the fitting.
Take the fitting that you just pulled from the old master
cylinder and carefully insert it into the 300ZX master cylinder.
Using a small punch, tap the fitting into the master cylinder.
You may need to use sand paper to grind down the fitting to make it
With the new fitting in place, it's time to install the new
master cylinder. Before you install the master cylinder, take a
moment to flush the reservoir with brake cleaner. This will not be
necessary with a new master cylinder. Place some grease in the hole
of the master cylinder and install it on the 240's booster.
With the 300ZX master cylinder in place on S14's, you will notice
that the brake lines are no where near the right locations. S13
brake lines will line up without any modifications. (S14 pictured)
You can carefully bend the lines to meet with the new locations
(again, with ABS, you will only be using a front and rear line)
Make sure you do not kink the lines.
With the lines bent, it's time to thread them into the master
With the lines installed, you need to take care of one last
modification. You will need to attach the brake fluid level wiring
to the new master cylinder. I salvaged the plug that was used on my
master cylinder. You can also use standard female blade connectors
to do the same task. I spliced the new plug onto the existing
Before adding any fluid, make sure that the brake light on the
dash stays lit when the ignition is turned on. After adding fluid,
make sure the light turns off.
If the master cylinder is the only modification you are doing,
you will need to thoroughly bleed the brakes. Start by gravity
bleeding the entire system, and then use your favorite method of
bleeding to finish the job.
FYI: Gravity bleeding is the process of
opening all of the bleeders and letting the fluid drain out.
This is especially helpful when you've installed a new master
Note: Doriftomodachi from Zilvia.net
discovered that is possible to swap the fluid reservoir from the
original master cylinder. Swapping the reservoir allows you to
use the original fluid level wiring without having to splice wiring.
Emergency Brake Cables
After years of stalling on this section, I've
gathered all of my pictures and notes and assembled my best efforts.
I thought this topic needed it's own section:
click on the picture to get to the page
Brake Pad Replacement
Now that you have brand new calipers, you need to know how to
change the pads. Since the caliper is fixed, the pads are mounted
differently. I've scanned a few service manual pages from the 300ZX
FSM to help you with pad replacement.
Rear e-Brake Drum:
Since I did not have the master cylinder when I swapped the
calipers and rotors, I had the opportunity to drive the 240 around
with the stock master cylinder. The brake pedal was soggy prior to
the brake swap and worse with 3 times as many caliper pistons.
Although the pedal was soggy, it was immediately apparent that the
brakes were more effective. Braking effort was improved as well as
After installing the 300ZX master cylinder, I fell in love with
my 240 all over again! The pedal feel is better than any car I have
ever felt. The proportioning of the brakes with the new master
cylinder is absolutely perfect. Setup for trail braking and you'll
have it. Panic brake and the car stops true. I'm absolutely
impressed with the brakes.
Good luck, drive safely, and have fun!
Complete caliper/rotor swap pics
Complete master cylinder swap pics
Email me for questions or comments
One good alternative to the 300zx brake swap is the hardware
found on the Infinity Q45. The equipment will mount just as
the 300zx's units, but will offer more wheel clearance. The
Q45 front brakes are the same diameter as the 300ZX rotors but only
come in a 28mm size. The main advantage to the Q45's
equipment, is that it uses a 2 piston slider caliper. The
pistons are located on the back side of the caliper allowing the
front side to offer nearly the same wheel clearance as the 240's
For those interested in avoiding the purchase of new wheels or
wheel spacers, the Q45 calipers are a noteworthy option to consider.
At this time, I'm not familiar with the years of production that
provide the parts for the swap.
In the event that you want to convert your S13, or
S14 base model 240 to 5-lug hubs, you'll need to know a few things.
Converting S14 240's to 5 lug is as simple as
locating 5-lug hubs from an SE 240, or buying new components from
The conversion on S13's is not as simple.
If you want to follow the path of using all OE parts, you will need
the S14 upright, along with the S14 ball joint. The ball
joint is necessary for the reason that the shape of the S13 ball
joint prevents it from working properly and creates a extremely
unsafe vehicle to drive.
The alternative to doing all of this work,
including trying to source out used components that are not damaged
or worn is to use a 5-lug conversion hub.
PDM Racing offers a few alternatives, one is pictured below.
the rear conversion is much easier, in terms of
parts combinations. Simply find a 5-lug hub from an S14 240,
or a Z32 300ZX. The non-turbo hub is identical to the unit
used in the S14. The 300ZX TT hubs are different and will not
work in any case. I have learned that it is a good idea to try
and source all of your parts from the same donor such as the hubs,
e-brake back plate, bolts, etc. Although this is not a
requirement, it will help.
You can use brand new OE parts, source out
used components, or check out PDM 5-lug rear hubs.
List of Part Numbers
couple of people need to be acknowledged for helping me with this list.
McGuirk from both
and Zilvia as well as Chris
listed as RH caliper / LH caliper respectively)
41001-30P00 / 41011-30P00
Manufacture date 2/89 – 7/90 (N/A Aluminum 26mm)
41001-40P00 / 41011-40P00
Manufacture date 7/89 – 7/90 (Twin Turbo Aluminum 30mm)
41001-40P00 / 41011-40P00
Manufacture date 7/90 – 9/91 (TT and N/A Aluminum 30mm)
41001-45P00 / 41011-45P00
Manufacture date 9/91 – 4/92 (TT and N/A Aluminum 30mm)
41001-37P00 / 41011-37P00
Manufacture date 4/92 – 8/92 (N/A Cast Iron 30mm)
41001-37P00 / 41011-37P00
Manufacture date 7/92 – 9/93 (TT Cast Iron 30mm)
41001-37P00 / 41011-37P00
Manufacture date 8/92 – 9/93 (N/A Cast Iron 30mm)
41001-37P01 / 41011-37P01
Manufacture date 9/93 + (TT and N/A Cast Iron 30mm)
Brake Hardware Kit:
41080-40P25 Twin Turbo or
N/A calipers manufacture 2/89 – 8/89
Twin Turbo or N/A calipers manufacture 8/89 – 2/91
Twin Turbo or N/A calipers manufacture 2/91 +
41090-50P01 N/A calipers
manufacture 2/89 – 7/90
Twin Turbo calipers manufacture 7/89 + (Alternate pt.
N/A calipers manufacture 7/90 + (Alternate pt. 41090-40P02)
44001-43P00 Manufacture date
All (Turbo and N/A Aluminum or Iron Depending on year)
Manufacture date All (Turbo and N/A Aluminum or Iron
Depending on year)
Manufacture date 2/89 – 7/90
(17/16" NA Tokico)
Manufacture date 7/89 – 7/90
(17/16" TT Tokico)
Manufacture date 7/90 – 2/91
(17/16" NA & TT Tokico)
Manufacture date 2/89 – 7/90
(15/16" NA Nabco non-ABS)
Manufacture date 2/89 – 7/90
(17/16" NA Nabco)
Manufacture date 7/89 – 7/90
(17/16" TT Nabco)
Manufacture date 7/90 – 2/91
(17/16" NA & TT Nabco)
Manufacture date 9/91 – 9/93 (1"
NA TT Tokico)
Manufacture date 2/91 – 9/91 (1" NA & TT Tokico)
46010-45P20 Manufacture date 9/91 – 9/93 (1" NA & TT
46010-45P20 Manufacture date
9/93 – Up (1" NA & TT Nabco)
240 Front hubs for 5-lug conversion:
ABS equipped 240's
Non-ABS equipped 240's