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WaiDai

Car not starting 1983 280zx turbo

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Car is a 1983 280zx turbo bought from i believe sticky280zx? Any who hopefully he sees this and can assist because i lost his emails and number :blink: so other then that...

the starter cranks and you can sometimes hear the fumes ignite but then it wont continue. i figured this may be a timing issue. i set the timing to top dead center and tried to get it to run but still wont. i have spark, compression, air, and I'm pretty sure i have fuel as i can smell fuel from the car and as i try to start it MANY times, the engine becomes more and more flooded. i left the spark plugs off to let the fumes out then tried again and no luck. i was able to keep the car running by holding in the throttle before it died and that would leave a giant cloud of gas behind the car. i so far replaced, fuel pump, fuel filter, starter(it went out), ignition coil, distributor cap and rotor, battery, battery connectors, spark plugs, and spark plug wires. maybe i replaced more but thats what i can think of at the moment. the beginners guide mentioned that the injectors are likely not the cause, but i was thinking maybe its not spraying a mist? instead dropping droplets of fuel? or maybe the fuel rail is bad? i doubt ALL injectors are bad so that left me with fuel rail conclusion. also am considering a bad distributor? i checked to see if the rotor spins while its cap was off and it does when i try starting the car. is there anything i am overlooking? maybe some electrical stuff? or maybe something totally different? i am in need of assistance! thank you and sorry in advance if this has been covered but i would like to add i did extensive research (firring order, how to time, reading other people starting issues, etc) :(

 

And just in case anyone questions my methods of testing for fuel spark or w/e

Spark (removed plug and connected to spark plug wire grounded and tried to start the car)

compression (compression tester consistent at 140 dry no leaks)

fuel (can hear the fuel pump pumping, can smell it, comes out from exhaust in rich quantities)

air (removed filter and watched the mass air flow sensor? the throttle body like unit right after the air filter) this doesn't sound like a great way to check so any recommendations? car wont start holding the throttle body open as-well might i add

Edited by WaiDai

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you can set the timing approximately by pointing the rotor at the numeral 1 embossed on the dizzy. It should at least run, altho badly, at least enough to get a timing light on it. As you said probably flooded. disconnect fuel pump and with a fully charged battery. hold accelerator to the floor and keep it there while you crank. get a few pops good. do it two maybe three more. then reconnect fuel pump and hope. Low voltage is a killer on the s130 so get battery load tested to be sure it is up to the task. i chased gremlins for 3 months with a NEW battery finally said got to be that I tested everything else and went back to the shop. they tested sure enough a dud. new battery all my problems (at least car ones) went away. another possibility is the oil pump is one tooth off and you can't time it then.

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you can set the timing approximately by pointing the rotor at the numeral 1 embossed on the dizzy. It should at least run, altho badly, at least enough to get a timing light on it. As you said probably flooded. disconnect fuel pump and with a fully charged battery. hold accelerator to the floor and keep it there while you crank. get a few pops good. do it two maybe three more. then reconnect fuel pump and hope. Low voltage is a killer on the s130 so get battery load tested to be sure it is up to the task. i chased gremlins for 3 months with a NEW battery finally said got to be that I tested everything else and went back to the shop. they tested sure enough a dud. new battery all my problems (at least car ones) went away. another possibility is the oil pump is one tooth off and you can't time it then.

 

That is one of the things i didn't mention, i purchased a new battery already. i am timing by setting at top dead center and moving it as close to far right tooth as possible on the pulley will provide pics if needed. i will read more on the oil pump idea. holding the accelerator is what i did but instead from the engine bay by holding the throttle open while friend starts the car. thanks for your suggestions. ill read more on oil pump but i'm still looking for more possibilities!

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post-1378-002135100 1289145487_thumb.jpgdid you redo your battery cables? new battery won't help if cables are corroded, loose. if po put these clamp type on your cables get rid of them. Also the ground strap should go to the frame to a bolt about a foot below the battery box and then to the starter. grounding through the starter is not a reliable connection. plug unplug the afm connector and examine for corrosion. Deoxit by CAIG is the best for cleaning connectors. plug unplug the ecu same same. plug/unplug will often rub off corrosion to make contact but cleaning is the surest way. Don't understand your reference to finding tdc then moving it a mark on the pulley. Distributor position determined by the oil pump gear being in the correct position on its mate. this is what drives the distributor and determines rough timing. fine is by timing light. there are marks on the gears. another possible is ignition module but you said you are getting good spark. Edited by roger.svoboda

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post-1378-002135100 1289145487_thumb.jpgdid you redo your battery cables? new battery won't help if cables are corroded, loose. if po put these clamp type on your cables get rid of them. Also the ground strap should go to the frame to a bolt about a foot below the battery box and then to the starter. grounding through the starter is not a reliable connection. plug unplug the afm connector and examine for corrosion. Deoxit by CAIG is the best for cleaning connectors. plug unplug the ecu same same. plug/unplug will often rub off corrosion to make contact but cleaning is the surest way. Don't understand your reference to finding tdc then moving it a mark on the pulley. Distributor position determined by the oil pump gear being in the correct position on its mate. this is what drives the distributor and determines rough timing. fine is by timing light. there are marks on the gears. another possible is ignition module but you said you are getting good spark.

 

ill post some pictures of the pulley thingy (as my friend referenced to it when timing the distributor and setting to tdc) but maybe it is the oil pump gear? but its where you determine if your too many degrees one way or the other from tdc as you rotate the crankshaft, (im thinking maybe this can be my issue as maybe my timing is wrong) so ill try to just instead set the rotar at 0 and not worry about the marking,

 

another funny thing is again one of those things i didn't mention... i did purchase new connectors too which are those exact clamp types :lol: im guessing those are really bad connectors? care to explain why and which i should go with?, but ill also try cleaning the wires and checking the ground.

 

i also read your post about fuel being in the manifold, so ill be clearing that aswell since i did try to start the car enough times to completely kill the battery twice :unsure:,

 

thanks roger since it seems you tend to wake up on the good side of the bed and are willing to help your fellow z mates ;)

 

as i id more research I'm guessing maybe setting the timing to 0 degrees was not a good idea? possibly because the timing chain may have never been changed and prob stretched? so i will try setting it a few degrees off. maybe this would work? now to look into how to change out timing chain...

Edited by WaiDai

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you set rough ignition timing by looking at where the rotor is under the dizzy cap. as I said above pointing to #1 if you are at top dead center on the compression stroke. you got to look at the valves to see if you are on compression stroke. cam lobes pointing up and out. four cycle engine sees TDC every rotation but the one you want only occurs every other rotation. got nothing to do with any other marks until you get it running then with a timing light you set the advance by looking at the marks on the pulley in relationship to the metal plate attached to the motor which show you the degree advance. Go to auto parts store buy a positve cable long enough to get to the starter. Buy a short cable with a lug with a hole in it to the bolt into the frame that is below the bttery box. buy a cable with holed lugs on each end to run from the bolt to the starter. stuff is cheap and readily available. another solution is to go to a real battery shop (not walmart) and have them make up cables to fit your car. I had them make some for my 86T and cost me less than $20.

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you set rough ignition timing by looking at where the rotor is under the dizzy cap. as I said above pointing to #1 if you are at top dead center on the compression stroke. you got to look at the valves to see if you are on compression stroke. cam lobes pointing up and out. four cycle engine sees TDC every rotation but the one you want only occurs every other rotation. got nothing to do with any other marks until you get it running then with a timing light you set the advance by looking at the marks on the pulley in relationship to the metal plate attached to the motor which show you the degree advance. Go to auto parts store buy a positve cable long enough to get to the starter. Buy a short cable with a lug with a hole in it to the bolt into the frame that is below the bttery box. buy a cable with holed lugs on each end to run from the bolt to the starter. stuff is cheap and readily available. another solution is to go to a real battery shop (not walmart) and have them make up cables to fit your car. I had them make some for my 86T and cost me less than $20.

 

yea i for sure set it to the compression stroke and not the exhaust stroke and i do understand the 4 cycle concept. and to make sure i was at tdc, i then adjusted to set at 0 on the pulley for more precision. i only purchase from more reliable sources, NEVER walmart (kind of an insult but its fine since it is to just be sure). most of my purchases are off rock auto or other places like summit and msa. anywho! ill be replacing all the wires like you suggested, also going to replace timing chains, guides, tensioner and what ever else i have purchased, and will go on the market to find some other kind of connection besides the clamp types i have purchased on Tuesday (im a college student who doesn't have his priorities straight :lol::lol: ).

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yea i for sure set it to the compression stroke and not the exhaust stroke and i do understand the 4 cycle concept. and to make sure i was at tdc, i then adjusted to set at 0 on the pulley for more precision. i only purchase from more reliable sources, NEVER walmart (kind of an insult but its fine since it is to just be sure). most of my purchases are off rock auto or other places like summit and msa. anywho! ill be replacing all the wires like you suggested, also going to replace timing chains, guides, tensioner and what ever else i have purchased, and will go on the market to find some other kind of connection besides the clamp types i have purchased on Tuesday (im a college student who doesn't have his priorities straight :lol::lol: ).

 

Remove the valve cover and check your cam timing first. Put the motor on TDC and check for the shiny chain link and make sure it is lining up with the #1 mark on the cam sprocket. If you don't see the shiny chain link keep spinning the motor. Once you get this part checked out then check to see where your rotor is pointing at. if it's not close to #1 spark plug you will have to drop the oil pump and rotate it. I had pushed started these cars before with the battery almost dead.

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POST REVIVED! the car cranks, but has trouble starting. i can hold the throttle down and get the car to run, but once i let go, it will die after a couple seconds. ALSO smoke comes out of the exhaust and smells very rich of gas. ill also add that the piping is not fully installed for the exhaust (stops at about where the shifter is located, no cat, nothing). i just redid all the timing stuff, and slapped everything back together. didn't seem to have helped much but all in all at least i know its new... so can i ask hybridz for more help? thank you in advance.. if anyone has skype i can even show you LIVE what is going on.

 

a possible idea to fix the starting part is replacing the idle control valve? i tried starting the car again and pressed down on the throttle a little bit and it ran. smoke still came out the exhaust but im sure thats a whole problem on its own. soo anything else it can be besides the idle control valve? i came to this conclusion since... i was reading about idle adjustment screws found on the N/A model and logistically it seemed that my car may not be high enough in the RPM range to keep itself on.

 

Also im not sure if 83' turbo models came with a throttle position sensor adjusting bolt? my brother told me to adjust it but i have no clue where this is located (obviously around the throttle but where?). i see the box like item that is called the tps according to rock auto. but i dont see how that can be adjusted.

 

AND for the smoke.. when i ran the car. the car spat out and oil mix from the exhaust onto the floor.... soo im assuming this is an internal engine problem... possible worn valve stems? or something among that nature.. give me some insight hybridz. im doing tons of reading and only ask for information i may have over looked. thank you again. ALSO if anyone lives in the socal area near me (Long Beach California), i would be GLAD if you wanted to come by and help me diagnose this problem.. i may even be willing to pay depending on what may need to be done. i had this car sitting for tooo long now and reallly need to get it running.

Edited by WaiDai

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Adjust the tps by loosening the mounting bolts and slightly rotating the whole tps. It is a switch so it should be closed at idle and open as soon as you crack the throttle (or the other way around, I forget!). Get a Factory Manual and follow the EF/EC section to verify all your harness connections. This is easy and VERY IMPORTANT. All you need is a volt/ohm meter.

 

Also you might want to advance the timing a bit (rotate distributor CCW). Static timing at idle is ~23* BTDC on the 83 turbo.

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Adjust the tps by loosening the mounting bolts and slightly rotating the whole tps. It is a switch so it should be closed at idle and open as soon as you crack the throttle (or the other way around, I forget!). Get a Factory Manual and follow the EF/EC section to verify all your harness connections. This is easy and VERY IMPORTANT. All you need is a volt/ohm meter.

 

Also you might want to advance the timing a bit (rotate distributor CCW). Static timing at idle is ~23* BTDC on the 83 turbo.

 

I will be redoing all the wiring for the fun of it and will follow that guide to the fullest. i adjusted the tps using what u told me and voila! still nothing happened =[... BUT i tried starting it again with a bit of throttle input then my friend tapped the MAF and i let go the throttle and it held =]. soo hopefully that may clear things up as im waiting for parts to arrive. going to replace the tps, and iacv to eliminate future/potential problems. then going to empty the oil hoping its JUST oil... ill keep posting as i run into more problems...

 

atleast i learned how the tps is adjusted =] and that the car is i suppose having an idling problem.

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A new head temp sensor won't work if the wires are broken or corroded.

 

read it the first time =] but thanks for drilling it further in my head and paying attention to my problem. seriously big thanks going home from school in like 30 minutes and will describe what happens!

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Update!

 

replaced TPS, IACV, and Head Temp Sensor. and the car starts at the turn of the key!!!!!! B) Going to adjust the timing to be precise. Thanks for all the replies. and help! :D

 

But one problem still exist! the SMOKE! i will post a video of the car soon. I still have yet to check the oil in the car too for signs of gas. Like i stated before.. there is LOTS of smoke that comes out of the exhaust. i cant determine color wise what it can be... but it has a very rich smell of gas and also its spitting out a mixture that contains oil onto the floor right after the exhaust. WHAT CAN THIS BE!? compression test is solid all cylinders. 120 dry and 140 with oil last time i checked and it held at all cylinders... soo what can it be? If you have any other suggestions on what i should inspect for what ever reasons that could lead me to the problem.. please reply. i am learning a great deal from this car and i am glad that this forum is filled with sooo many knowledgeable peers! thanks in advance again! ;)

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Check the head temp sensor. Between 5 and 6 spark plug. Make sure the wires aren't corroded and are making contact.

 

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1626147250498

the car is a 1983 280zx turbo with digital dash and 5 speed manual...

 

im still trying to defeat the smoking issue... and as i was reading through the fsm... isn't the "sensor bewtween the 5-6 spark plug" the thermotime sensor...? or is it the same thing as the head temp sensor? i figure the head temp sensor is the coolant temp sensor listed on rock auto as temp sensor (cooling system). but i think this is supposed to be located in the front of the engine next to the distributor? Sombody please correct me as the manual is kind of unclear as to where each sensor is located... i see 3 holes (2 filled with sensors) at the front of the engine and i can locate the sensor that is between the 5-6 sparkplug. which is which? i read that the one at the 5-6 spark plug position is the thermotime, and i dont know which is which at the front of the engine...

 

possibilities for oil leaking out the exaust... maybe a worn turbo? i dont know what else it can be. someone please enlighten me... i have compression on all cylinders

 

possiblities for smoke? it is ALOT of smoke sooo i dont know how much a sensor can effect it. but i will be ordering a new 02 sensor and unless someone clears up this thermotime sensor stuff ill get one too if needed?

 

ALSO if anyone has a 280zx that i can maybe look at in SOCAL near long beach... please let me know... i really want to take a look under the hood to see if i am doing everything right... and if anybody would like to assist me in getting this car running correctly. please let me know!

 

P.S. the video is on facebook (appoligies to those who dont have one) and was to show my siblings that i too can work on cars. (brothers are mechanics but live in texas while im in california). the privacy setting is set to everyone sooo even if your not "friends" with me u should still be able to see the video.

Edited by WaiDai

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The thermotime sensor is at the front of the engine right next to the temperture sender - IIRC, under the thermostat housing? Near the upper radiator hose and the distributor anyway... Neither of those has ANYTHING to do with the ECCS...

 

The Thermotime switch (sensor) just activates the injector blower (that thing hanging on the spark plug side of your engine) IF the water temp is above a certain value when you shut the engine down. It activates a timer that makes the blower fan run for several minutes (and if the rest of the blower piping were still there, it'd blow air in the general vicinty of the injectors...)

 

The temperature sender just runs the water temp gauge in the dash.

 

The Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor is IN the head, spark plug side, between 5 & 6 cylinders just above the starter. It IS critical for ECCS to work well (just don't know how much it does when the engine is first started and thus cold)... It's easy to check if it's working correctly - the FSM tells you exactly how to test it. You just need some hot water and an electrical meter that reads Ohms (resistance). It needs to be connected properly to the ECU (you can check that too - it's all in the FSM)

 

It's also easy to check the air bypass you replaced. At start, it's given +12v for a couple of minutes. That heats a bi-metal element that opens a shutter and allows air to pass. It closes by itself as the voltage is removed and it cools off. The ECU controls it's action. After the first 2 minutes, it does nothing... It's such a simple thing, it rarely needs replacement.

 

The TPS on the L28ET only tells the ECU two things: "the throttle is closed" OR "the throttle is not closed". It affects idle. It needs to be set properly. The FSM tells you exactly how to do that.

 

L28ET's run like crap - especially at low RPM's if there's a vacuum problem. Triple check ALL the vacuum system and the intake piping. Cracks, tears, missing hoses will cause you a great amount of grief. You probably want to check the VCM and the two valves it controls on the intake - the EGR and the A.A.C. - My son runs his L28ET without the VCM. I don't know if mine actually works the A.A.C., but it's not connected to the EGR at all. (The VCM has 2 rubber diaphrams, it could also be the hidden source of a vacuum leak...)

 

Bad electrical connectors and/or wiring will also cause the engine to run like crap. Got a windshield leak above the ECU? Recheck all the ECCS connectors.

 

Your O2 Sensor doesn't come into play until everything heats up and the ECU tries to run "closed loop". Get your engine running before you replace it.

 

My son's L28ET actually blew oil out the downpipe when we first started it. His was definately from sitting for years and it was the oil seal in the turbo. It took a while before it "healed up". Your's may do the same, or it may not. Either get it rebuilt, or run it for a few days and see if it seals.

 

Lastly: Get a radiator and some coolant in that thing!!! :blink:

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Oh, I'm sure there will be a 280ZX or two at the MSA meet in Orange in a couple of weeks. If not, Mine and my son's Z's will be there with stock L28ET swaps. (see the old guy looking at the red 240Z on the MSA flyer? that's me...) I also have a great number of pictures from the 280ZX donor I had. That car was complete and original under the hood...

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The thermotime sensor is at the front of the engine right next to the temperture sender - IIRC, under the thermostat housing? Near the upper radiator hose and the distributor anyway... Neither of those has ANYTHING to do with the ECCS...

 

The Thermotime switch (sensor) just activates the injector blower (that thing hanging on the spark plug side of your engine) IF the water temp is above a certain value when you shut the engine down. It activates a timer that makes the blower fan run for several minutes (and if the rest of the blower piping were still there, it'd blow air in the general vicinty of the injectors...)

 

The temperature sender just runs the water temp gauge in the dash.

 

The Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor is IN the head, spark plug side, between 5 & 6 cylinders just above the starter. It IS critical for ECCS to work well (just don't know how much it does when the engine is first started and thus cold)... It's easy to check if it's working correctly - the FSM tells you exactly how to test it. You just need some hot water and an electrical meter that reads Ohms (resistance). It needs to be connected properly to the ECU (you can check that too - it's all in the FSM)

 

It's also easy to check the air bypass you replaced. At start, it's given +12v for a couple of minutes. That heats a bi-metal element that opens a shutter and allows air to pass. It closes by itself as the voltage is removed and it cools off. The ECU controls it's action. After the first 2 minutes, it does nothing... It's such a simple thing, it rarely needs replacement.

 

The TPS on the L28ET only tells the ECU two things: "the throttle is closed" OR "the throttle is not closed". It affects idle. It needs to be set properly. The FSM tells you exactly how to do that.

 

L28ET's run like crap - especially at low RPM's if there's a vacuum problem. Triple check ALL the vacuum system and the intake piping. Cracks, tears, missing hoses will cause you a great amount of grief. You probably want to check the VCM and the two valves it controls on the intake - the EGR and the A.A.C. - My son runs his L28ET without the VCM. I don't know if mine actually works the A.A.C., but it's not connected to the EGR at all. (The VCM has 2 rubber diaphrams, it could also be the hidden source of a vacuum leak...)

 

Bad electrical connectors and/or wiring will also cause the engine to run like crap. Got a windshield leak above the ECU? Recheck all the ECCS connectors.

 

Your O2 Sensor doesn't come into play until everything heats up and the ECU tries to run "closed loop". Get your engine running before you replace it.

 

My son's L28ET actually blew oil out the downpipe when we first started it. His was definately from sitting for years and it was the oil seal in the turbo. It took a while before it "healed up". Your's may do the same, or it may not. Either get it rebuilt, or run it for a few days and see if it seals.

 

Lastly: Get a radiator and some coolant in that thing!!! :blink:

 

You gave me tons of hope :D I've been feeling very de-motivated about this project.. but im feeling refreshed thanks to your ideas. EXTREMELY appreciated.. the oil thing was what scared me the most, but hopefully its just the turbo and nothing inside the block... THANKS!!!! if i can reschedule another event i have planned on the 16th, i will definitely have to show up and shake your hand.

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1983 Datsun 280zx Turbo manual 5 speed

Engine code : L28ET

 

Replaced...

Throttle Positioning Sensor

Idle Air Control Valve

Head Temp Sensor

Battery

Ignition Coil

Distributor Cap and rotor

Spark plug Wires

Spark Plugs

Fuel Pump

Fuel Filter

Oil Filter

Oil

Timing Chain and all timing related parts

All new Vacuum hoses

plus other parts that wont really effect my problem...

 

I checked ignition system and definitely have spark on all 6 plugs

timing is right and firing order is at 153624

Compression test was at 135-140 all 6 cylinders

Timing was set at 24 plus or minus 2

 

Problem...

Exhaust lets out VERY rich fuel smoke... NO blue tint at all from oil, and not white from water.. it seems its just fuel related.

Engine idles VERY roughly (rpm jumps up and down from 700 to 1000 rpm)

 

Possible Solutions i'm gathering

Check Injectors incase any are stuck open

Adjust MAF sensor

Run a Vacuum test on Fuel Pressure Regulator

 

give me more ideas? those are the only problems left.

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Have you measured fuel pressure? It's important. Also, you should probably avoid "adjusting" the Air flow Meter (AFM) until you can at least get a good idle. You'll just create more problems.

 

You should check your CHTS resistance reading at the ECCS connector to see if it is working correctly. A broken circuit would tell the ECCS that the engine is cold and dump fuel accordingly. Checking at the connector tells you if the wiring and the sensor are all working correctly.

 

The FSM has a good troubleshooting section in the EFEC section. Just jump ahead to Page 36. The AFM and CHTS are both described.

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Have you measured fuel pressure? It's important. Also, you should probably avoid "adjusting" the Air flow Meter (AFM) until you can at least get a good idle. You'll just create more problems.

 

You should check your CHTS resistance reading at the ECCS connector to see if it is working correctly. A broken circuit would tell the ECCS that the engine is cold and dump fuel accordingly. Checking at the connector tells you if the wiring and the sensor are all working correctly.

 

The FSM has a good troubleshooting section in the EFEC section. Just jump ahead to Page 36. The AFM and CHTS are both described.

 

Measured today. i measured after the regulator since thats just before it goes tot he injectors and i got it measured at 40 as the fuel pump pumps, then it flicks to 30 when done pumping, at start it goes to about 37. as i read this all seems normal...

 

will continue with the rest of your ideas. but people please give me more input! this car has been sitting way to long.

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Update!

 

replaced the AFM and voila... the car ran, no smoke.. seems to run perfect!!!! then shut off the car ran it again! it ran! so i went to sleep.. next day!

 

i tried starting again! it ran! but this time i let it run a bit longer. i checked the timing.. then noticed that i had to keep the distributor turned all the way counter clock wise just to keep it in the 25 range... then i noticed the mark started dropping .. and well i couldn't turn it anymore so it started running rough again, a bit of richness from the exhaust. so i shut the car off. tried to start again.. it wouldn't start..

 

i checked spark, compression and all that again.. it seems fine.

 

1 week later. i was thinking maybe my fuel meter on the car is reading bad. its at 3 bars but i don't know i just thought maybe that's why the mark kept dropping... so i went and got fuel.. I REGRET not starting the car first before getting fuel cause now i don't know whether if me getting more fuel for the car was what got it to start again! but this time i let it warm up! the rpm dropped to like 700 and ran nice. but i shut it off and tried again. it didn't start.... i figured maybe its a warm starting issue.. i kept cranking it to try to start and sometimes it'll catch a bit.. but nothing that will keep the car running.. so ii figured maybe ill try again tomorrow..

 

i tried.. still didn't start..

 

anyone knows what i should check now.. its like god wont give me a break. but i will keep pushing forward. i doubt the car ate 2 gallons of gas idling for about 3-4 minutes... give me insight! if anyone has a 280zx around the long beach California area and would like to drive over so i can take a look.. please do me this favor. i want to get moving with this car already! ill even give you a 20 on gas. help a brother out..

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