This is the start to what I hope becomes another great build thread. I picture it ending with a photograph of my Z, shining in the beams of Texas sunlight coming through a massive cloud of burnt rubber. There I am in the driver seatâ€¦ old, broke and happy!
I am an engineer, not a mechanic. I hope by the end of this project and after a few more years at my job, the gap between the two will meet somewhere in the middle. I do not have unlimited time and I have a baby on the way, so I apologize in advance for any long periods without updates or if at some point this becomes another sad part-out page. So far, I have only vicariously enjoyed your successes and turmoil. Iâ€™m going out on the same limb now, thanks for having me.
Before I forget, many tanks to Matt (if youâ€™re out there) for selling me the carâ€¦sorry I couldnâ€™t offer more.
Please post as much as you want with input, critiques, questions or moral support!
For a little back-story here is my new member post.
Price: Every bit I could spare forâ€¦$2500!!
75 280z L28et (seller said â€˜83â€¦ wiring harness and sensors are 81?) 5speed. It has strong metal everywhere except driver floorboard that has small patch and potentially lower section of deck lid. Battery tray, fenders and all towers are in great shape.
Fires right up, runs terrible. Not highway safe!
Good Mods from previous owner:
Very surprising bunch of aftermarket parts for a car that runs terrible! No details on what had been done so farâ€¦ so itâ€™s back tracking and investigation for everything but the obvious below.
It has a â€œRecentâ€ engine rebuild, no details, in a pretty clean engine bay. JSK fuel rail and FPR and an unknown newer style pump, MSD ignition coil with new distributor and wires, HKS BOV, new intercooler (~10x24x3â€), SS intake piping, KN filter set, oil cooler mounted behind intercooler, filter to cooler oil bypass, single small electric radiator fan, Interior has all new carpet, headliner and dash pad, doors open well and have decent liners.
If thatâ€™s not enough, 4 brand new xxr wheels and tires!
Downsides: Fuel management is no good and frustration with this is why he sold it. I think injectors are almost full open all the time. It spits un-burnt fuel straight out of downpipe onto my garage and starts burning your eyes within a few seconds. Under medium throttle at standstill engine can die from flooding. Oil has heavy fuel contamination after only a few hours of tinkering.
Rear-end CLUNK when you shift quickly under loadâ€¦ I have ideas but I am not sure yet.
Owner before me could not get hood latch open when he bought itâ€¦ so he DRILL cut a hole in the hood above the latch to get it opened.
No chassis light/electrical works, all HVAC controls removed, gauges donâ€™t work.
Status of diagnostics:
I fixed an early issue with battery drain coming from a short in the rear-defrost (by fix I mean I removed the fuse)
I then moved on with the â€œecm connector testâ€ and found almost everything reads open circuit or the wrong resistance. I have determined that the coolant temp and head temp sensor have no/broken connectors, wiring for them is bundled and zip tied. The TPS wiring was cut and then wrapped in elec tape so it only LOOKs like its plugged in. AFM was broken into and now doesnâ€™t read the correct resistance throughout the range. But hey, Intake air temp reads great!
I picture having the drive train and ride at 100% and spending as little money as possible to get the look to 75%.
Right now I am considering removing all of the original engine controls and going with Megasquirt and maybe even 3.0 with spark control. My reasoning for this is that after adding up just a replacement AFM, harness repairs/connectors and OE sensors I am already almost to the cost of the MS system. I also think it is the coolest thing EVER to have that kind of system in a 40 year old car. So instead of asking the question â€œdo you think I should Msquirt?â€ I am going over all the other answers to that question and the final product and decide for myself.
I may go with just toggle switches for all chassis stuff besides brake lights and have a space for a small laptop to sit where the HVAC and radio used to be to show the extra gauges from MS.
*Suspension to be addressed*
After all that, its new seatsâ€¦ cheap paint jobâ€¦ and open road.