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Turbo Swap-burning wire


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I've just about finished wiring everything, the car cranks, fuel pump works etc but one problem I've run into is wire that burns when I turn the key to on.




The wire in question is the black and white wire in the picture that goes to a condenser and then to the dizzy. I never got the condenser when I bought the swap so its currently not there, would that be possible reason for why it keeps burning?

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I'm currently at work so I can't take any pictures at the moment but I literally wired it exactly as shown in the picture minus the condenser. The wire is the black/white one with the bullet connector in this picture from the turbo swap thread and I have that hooked up to the little metal tab on the dizzy.





I then spliced the single black/white wire on the right side of this next picture to the ign/on wire on the ignition switch. The yellow wire on the right side at the top I spliced to the start wire on the ignition switch and the black wire with the gray shield I bolted on the chassis.



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What are you using for your coil?


The 280zx turbo coil has power transistor usually mounted on the same assembly with two the signal from the black/white wire passing through the transistor and going to the positive side of the coil.


It is easy to get the wiring between the transistor and the coil wrong.


This wire also goes to a couple of other things like the auxiliary air control valve heater.

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Unfortunately I only had my camera phone on me at the moment so this was the best pictures i could take.





Other then the "igniter" (whatever that box with the 2 pronged connector is called) there is nothing else on the coil bracket. The black/white wire coming out of the igniter is hooked up to the positive side of the coil, and the blue wire goes to the negative side and then to a resistor and from there it goes to the tach.

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That is the proper order of wiring......at least from the connector on the power transistor and from there to the coil.


It should run with only the connector plugged in.


Try unplugging the rest for now.


Try unhooking the wires from the power transistor to the coil and see if it still tries to burn the wire.


If not, then the coil is shorted.


If yes, then the power transistor is fused.


Of course, this depends on where the wire is burning

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I'll try that later today. The wire that keeps burning is the middle one in this pic between the 2 headlamp washer connectors and boost sensor connector. Its kind of possible to see where the plastic burned just before the bullet connector.




Maybe I'm just wiring this one wire incorrectly. The turbo swap guide says to connect it to a condenser on the coil bracket but the 280zxt wiring diagram shows it going to the dizzy. My question is what does everyone else hook it up to?

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I really don't know what that wires for. I was just trying to go by what the swap guide said and the wiring diagram. Theres a clearer picture of the wire in question a few posts up.


I tried securing the coil bracket to body to get a better ground and now it seems that instead of the black/white wire burning my fusible links begin to burn instead. I guess for now I'll finish installing my new tank and fuel lines and attempt to get the motor running with the wire unhooked.

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Unplug the ecu since the car powers those wires regardless of whether it is there.


I would undo the wires that go from the transistor to the coil and see if you still get troubles.


If so, then the transistor is fused.


If you suspect troubles with the transistor or coil, you might want to go to a u-upull junkyard and get the coil/transistor setup from a VG30 car.


Just make sure you snip off connectors as well.


Also........this car can use a small unit that has both the condensor and resistor for tach in one tiny unit.


It looks like a harness plug (small with 4 wires going to it) but it looks like a plug that goes nowhere but instead has a blank plugged into it.


That blank is actually both the condensor and resistor.


It sits in different areas but usually relatively near the coil.


I used on from a 240sx because I already had a maxima coil/transistor setup.


If you do find your parts bad and obtain the parts, PM me and I will check out my setup and tell you how I wired it.

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wiring.jpg?t=1243616315Here's a couple picks of my wiring on my 1980 280zx.The first pic shows the yellow wire going to the ignition lock wire.The yellow blue is running out to the engine bay to the ignitor.I had a black-white wire from my original wiring and a blue for the tach signal.I know the wiring on your year maybe diffrent,but maybe this will help.wiring2.jpg?t=1243616210
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If you are connecting that black/white wire directly to the distributor body without a capacitor in line then you are creating a short to ground. Do not connect that wire to the distributor unless you have the capacitor on it. I'm pretty sure that capacitor is only there to cut high frequency radio interference.

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  • 2 months later...

So I've made some progress with my wiring. I found the missing capacitor so the b/w wire no longer burns. Now my problem is I can't seem to get spark. The fuel pump primes for 5 sec when the key is on, injectors send fuel while cranking if the crank angle sensor is plugged in, but i can't seem to get spark while cranking.


I tested my old coil's primary and secondary resistances and found it was shot so I bought a new one. Still can't get spark while cranking. I hooked up a spark plug directly to the coil and grounded it then turned my ignition switch to on. While grounding the negative side of the coil I was able to get spark from that spark plug.


When I hook up the blue wire from the igniter to the negative side of the coil and turn the key to start the same spark plug will no longer produce a spark.


So my question is what could possibly be not working, the igniter, ecu, bad wiring on my part, or maybe a bad and rotor and how can I diagnose it?



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  • 2 weeks later...

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