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About Captainnapalm

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 04/19/83

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    Portland, Oregon
  1. Anyone have a pinout for the digital dash?

    Nevermind. I've been a blind fool. There's a comprehensive pinout on EL-42. I should have RTFM more thoroughly.
  2. Just like the title says. FSM doesn't really go into the pinout of the black 2-row multipin connnector that powers the VFD's and carries the data signals for the fuel, temp, and such. I've had my cluster opened, and I'm trying to reverse engineer a method of making the connection to the car a bit more reliable than the stock connector allows. Instead of reinventing the wheel though, I'm wondering if any of the more technical folks have tried any reverse engineering of the digital cluster like this.
  3. 93-98 Quest/Villager VG30E Swap

    Hello! Been a while since I've been here; Last I posted, I had an S130; Sadly, that met its end at the hands of an unlicensed driver dropping an unsecured load off of a truck. Since then, though, I've inhereted a new Z, a 1985 Z31 nonturbo. Sadly, it'd been run by a someone who saw engine maintenence as 'optional' and at 143k miles, the original timing belt took a dump and the engine ate its valves. I could rebuild it, sure, but I've always been one of the lazy types. To sum it up, I've managed to get a lead on a totalled '95 Quest that won't pass a structural inspection to be retitled as salvage, but the engine is fine. I know the Villager/Quest engine makes less power because of its less agressive cam profile, but that's secondary to me getting the Z31 rolling under its own power again. I've not seen the Quest's underside, so I'm asking here before I go trailer it: Is there any barrier to the Quest engine slotting directly into the Z31? I know I'd have to move all of the accessories, intake, exhaust, etc. to the new motor, but is there anything fundamental- oil pan dimensions, the different oil pump/filter location, different bolt pattern for the flywheel/flexplate, or bellhousing? I'd love to be able to get this thing back on the road while its original engine is rebuilt, and since having someone haul it away is cheaper than paying the environmental fees to have a scrapper take it, it's almost a free engine for me. Which is the best price for an engine. Also, apologies if this has been asked a million times before. I couldn't find anything in search about it. I suppose because it's seen as sort of a step backwards for most people.
  4. Just moved to Portland, Oregon

    Yeah, I know about the fact that cars '75 and newer have to be smogged in the Portland Metro Area. I haven't moved in completely blind and half cocked. I've done research on what's done; basically a CO2, Hydrocarbon and NOX test. Having seen 280ZX's living in Beaverton, I know the car can pass. But what I don't know is if a 30 year old cat would be able to pass the emissions test. Furthermore, if we list what shops to avoidwe'd never get finished. I would like to know what shops are reputable and do good work. If I recall, Braap owns a shop around the PDX metro area? I'm probably wrong though.
  5. Just moved to Portland, Oregon

    Hey all. I just relocated from Kentucky to Portland, Oregon. Or rather, Beaverton. But it's still in the Portland area, and as such, I'll need to do a smog check as part of my vehicle registration. My car is a 1980 ZX, a California model. So, it has none of the smog handling equipment that the Federal model had. I just rebuilt the head about a year ago, but didn't touch the block or pistons, as my local Z guy said the amount of wear he could see didn't look like it warranted such. My question is, should I have any issues with passing the DEQ smog test? One issue that bugs me is that the cat is, near as I can tell, original equipment. I don't know if I'll have to replace that or not. Additionally, are there any nice Z shops I can go to that will be able to tune the engine if I fail? I know that a few members are from the Portland area, and I want to go to a shop that won't ruin my engine out of ignorance.
  6. Why the lack of love?

    Being an S130 owner, and being really into the history and concepts of the Z-cars, I have my own ideas why the S130 doesn't seem to get as much love as the S30. The S30 was a sports car, in the same vein as the MGB-GT, Opel GT, Austin Healey, and other small European sports cars. It was fast, cornered well, and was naturally a good car to go racing with, simply because of its setup. But tastes changed, and while you could argue for days whether the Z-car was developed for the North American market, there is no denying that the North American market is huge when it comes to cars, and to be successful there also means you're probably going to make a profit. And so the S130 was developed to cater more to the North American tastes. In evolving the Z to fit in the same market as the Camaro, Mustang, and Firebird, some changes were made. A different suspension setup, more electronic gizmos, more luxury, plush interior. It retained the same formula, but gave up some of its sports car abilities to become a little more luxurious. To be short, the S130 isn't a sports car. Yes, its very close to being a sports car, but it really falls into the Touriing car classification; It's a comfortable car which can take its occupants over long distances at high speeds. That is almost the very definition of a touring car. That's not to say the S130 isn't a good track car. Far from it: one must simply look at the success Paul newman had in it. And to the detractors of its rear suspension, well, BMW never seemed to have a problem racing on semi trailing arm suspension. In closing, there is a lot of love for the S130. A whole lot of it. It just doesn't seem that way from the S30 crowd, because the S30 crowd is into sports cars. And the S130 simply isn't a sports car. Instead, it is in the same vein as the BMW 2002, BMW 3.0 and the Corvette.
  7. can you test a 81 cas?

    I had this exact problem. Mine is a 1980 NA, but I had the no spark issue. First thing first: Take the dizzy out. Make sure it's connected to the coil. Now run it with a power drill until it sparks. If it doesn't spark until over 1000 RPM or so, it's probably a borked pickup coil or reluctor or other such part. Check the pickup coil, and check the reluctor airgap. If poth of these are fine, then it could be the ignition module, so you'll need to test that. If it's none of these, I dunno what to say. I spent 4 weeks making myself crazy with no spark until I found the airgap specs. I would get a spark if I cranked with no plugs in the cylinders, but no spark if the engine had compression. Thats what led me to run my battery of tests on the dizzy.
  8. Cross-model door panel fitment?

    Thanks a bunch. The junkyard owner is pretty neurotic, and wouldn't let me nar it with a tapemeasure, unless I was "absolutely" going to buy it. Guess he was afraid I'd steal the little fiddly bits inside the car.
  9. Cross-model door panel fitment?

    Hey everyone. I tried searching for the cure for my ills, and couldn't find it. So here I ask: Does anyone know if interior door panels from a Z31 model 300ZX will fit on the doors of the 280ZX? I'm wanting to install speakers in the doors of my S130, but I don't want to chop up the existing door panels unless I have to. And there is a total lack of S130's in the local junkyards. However, there is a 300ZX 2+2 that looks to be a very early Z31- 4 lug wheels and all. And since the Z31 was essentially an evolution of the S130, body wise, I hold out hope that the door panels might interchange with minimal cutting and/or fabrication on my part.
  10. Strange distributor behaviour

    The bulk of my problem has been the lack of 280ZX's. None of the junkyards around here have them; Mine was the first 280ZX I'd seen since I was a child. But, I found a known good distributor from a 280ZX; a guy owned a 260Z with a 280ZX dizzy and was going to EDIS so he let me have the dizzy. Turns out my problem was the air gap. I haven't tried it yet, but I anticipate that this dizzy will fix my problems.
  11. Strange distributor behaviour

    No new distributor yet. Autozone takes forever to get things in. Just out of curiosity, and because I can't find my Hollander book, and I can't find anything conclusive in Search, what distributors will fit a 280zx? Both from Nissan and other makes? After having his bad luck with the stock dizzy, I might go with another make.
  12. Strange distributor behaviour

    well, an update. I get fire if I pull all the spark plugs; the engine cranks at around 4k RPM at that point. running the distributor with a drill, with a snapon multi-tester, I find that the RPM needed to induce spark is almost 1000 engine RPM. now I don't know how fast a Z car has to crank to start; I'm used to American cars which can crank fairly slowly to start. But I have narrowed this problem to the new distributor; It seems faulty. My spark is erratic, and the noid is erratic. I update this because I had never encountered this problem. Nor has anyone else except for one person on the IETN. And he's worked for almost a year on his 78 280Z with no luck. So the infos will be here if or when someone here has the same problem out of the L28.
  13. Strange distributor behaviour

    Well, I have spark now. buuut... When the distributor is turned just slightly out of time, I get a good, healthy spark. But when I put the distributor in its original position, I get nothing. Also, about carbon trails; This is a BRAND NEW distributor, pickup coil and IC ignition module. All items test just fine using the FSM testing procedures. It's also a stock coil, but tests just fine. has anyone else had a problem like this? It's extremely perplexing. Not even my local Z guru, a man named Garland (don't know his last name) has seen this behaviour from a Z before. Everything seems to check out electrically, but it's just not working.
  14. Strange distributor behaviour

    Yeah, the dizzy is spinning. And the dizzy has no reason to not work with the car; it was ordered for a car of that production date. I do know that parts changed after september of '80 so I got the parts for the '79 and early '80 model. Opening it up both were identical, except that the magnet in the old one is cracked, the the new one is intact. the only variable between the distributor working and not working is being bolted into the car.
  15. Strange distributor behaviour

    I'm in need of help; this problem seems to defy logic. I'm putting a new dizzy on my 1980 S130, manufacture date Aug/79. I have no spark. But the behaviour is puzzling. With the dizzy out of the car, and connected to the factory wiring harness, turning it by hand causes the coil to fire. The same happens when using jumper leads to power the dizzy and coil, effectively isolating it from the rest of the car. Turning the dizzy makes the coil spark. Now, the puzzling part is, when the dizzy is installed in the car, no spark. Both with factory harness and when it is isolated. The only solution I can think of is that the IC control module need to not be grounded; of course the dizzy is grounded since it is bolted to the block and shares the block's common ground. I came to this conclusion after being shocked through the dizzy casing. My only guess is that my ground strap wasn't on good enough and -I- provided the path of least resistance. Now I'm asking to draw on the knowledge of the community; has anyone else ever encountered this downright weird behavior, and does anyone have a fix for it? The dizzy and IC control module are new remanufactured units. I know manufacturing errors occur... but neither I, or an ASE mechanic of 32 years have ever seen this sort of behaviour from a distributor before.