Jump to content
Jimmyb

Datsun 280zx won’t start

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

so i bought a Datsun 280zx 1982 that’s been sitting since 1993-isch and I would really appeciate some help to figure out why it doesent start. It cranks but don’t want to fire up.

 

What’s been done:

1.       New spark plugs

2.       New Oil

3.       New gasoline

4.       New fuel filter in the engine bay

5.       Cleaned the fuel line

6.       Cleaned the fuel filter and armature/rails in the tank

 

By this stage It still wouldnt start so I continued:

7.       Remove and cleaned the fuel rails

8.       Injectors where ultrasonic washed and then cleaned inside with the help of a shot with a hose filled with break cleaner and i start button thrue a battery for manual pulsing until there was a nice ”mist”.

9.       Cleaned all the grounds etc. I could find

The damn car still wont start!

To sum it up:

1.       I got fuel, it’s coming out the lower rail(the return(?))

2.       I got a great spark

3.       The sparkplugs are still new looking

4.       When I connect my battery-starting-button to one of the injectors it wants to start on that cylinder and that sparkplug suddenly looks used

5.       When I haven’t cranked the engine for a while it almost fires up (I will try to upload a video)

6.       The fuel pump doesent work with original wiring, I now connect it directly to a battery located in the trunk.

 

So I figure:

1.       it’s the injectors who doesen’t get enough pulse/voltage, or maybe there’s a grounding problem?

2.       Are the fuel pump and fuel injectors connected thrue something? The ECU?

3.       Can you clean or test the fuel pressure regulator?

I’ve read alot about simular problems but is there anyone who’ve had this exact problem?

I am ready to spend some money on this car, just not untill I know the engine actually works.

So cheap fixes/troubleshooting would be great.

And also, English is not my first language so beare with me, wouldrally  love some help guys!

/ Jimmy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, here's the movie. The battery was getting a bit slow after a couple of hours (brand new battery)

And are the lights off-ignition on / ignition off - lights on - buzzer supposed to sound that extremely annoying? Or are that a sign of bad ground or something? Wishful thinking maybe but I've really come to hate that sound.

MOV_20171106_2033079.mp4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you at least tried starter fluid to see if it will start? Have you confirmed fuel pressure? You say you've cleaned the lines but just because the lines are clean doesn't mean the tank is. Can you get fuel from the tank?

Fuel pump is triggered from the AFM ( air flow meter) the big box on the intake hose next to the coil. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Jimmy,  That buzzer IS that annoying!   It go's normally when you have lights on contact off and door open, closed door (or when you puss the contact in door opening. should shut up the buzzer..

The engine sound like it wants to start on the shoke injector only... maybe your timing is off or the ECCS  (No ecu in a 280zx) is defect..   A good use is to clean all the ground contacts anyway!!!  could be the problem!

good luck!  Mart. 

Edited by dutchzcarguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JSM said:

Have you at least tried starter fluid to see if it will start? Have you confirmed fuel pressure? You say you've cleaned the lines but just because the lines are clean doesn't mean the tank is. Can you get fuel from the tank?

Fuel pump is triggered from the AFM ( air flow meter) the big box on the intake hose next to the coil. 

Hi and thanks for taking an interest in helping out! I knew I would forget something like this hehe, but yes I have tried with starter fluid and it starts right up, then immediately dies. So it has to be a fuel related thing right? I do get fuel from the tank when I connect the fuel pump directly to a battery. And if I disconnect the fuelhose from the return(the lower) fuelrail in the enginebay I get fuel coming out so.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But do you know what the pressure is?  

You did check the fusible links near the battery to make sure they are good? Also have you confirmed that the injectors are firing? If you have a spare injector you can plug it into the harness, crank the car and feel it opening and closing in your hand. 

Also, how are fuel injector connectors? No corrosion on the terminals?  With you having to jump the fuel pump from the back you may have something going wrong with EFI harness. 

Edited by JSM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, dutchzcarguy said:

Hello Jimmy,  That buzzer IS that annoying!   It go's normally when you have lights on contact off and door open, closed door (or when you puss the contact in door opening. should shut up the buzzer..

The engine sound like it wants to start on the shoke injector only... maybe your timing is off or the ECCS  (No ecu in a 280zx) is defect..   A good use is to clean all the ground contacts anyway!!!  could be the problem!

good luck!  Mart. 

Hi Mart, thanks for the reply!
Oh my, gess I got to get used to that buzzing then..
Timing is of.. that reminds me, I believe I heard this "puffing" sound from the air filter box, so to set that I just turn the distributor right? I've forgotten about that, let's hope it's not the ECCS.. Yeah I guess it's just to keep testing and cleaning everything. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, JSM said:

But do you know what the pressure is?  

You did check the fusible links near the battery to make sure they are good? Also have you confirmed that the injectors are firing? If you have a spare injector you can plug it into the harness, crank the car and feel it opening and closing in your hand. 

Also, how are fuel injector connectors? No corrosion on the terminals?  With you having to jump the fuel pump from the back you may have something going wrong with EFI harness. 

No I don't know what the pressure is, I don't know if i got the tools for checking eather. I'm gonna youtube DIY-checking videos for that.

Yes I read about the fisible links and I checked those and I think it looks fine, but I'm accually not sure what it is, is it just links? Can i bypass the wite sockets and connect them directly?

As you may notice, I'm not a mecanic hehe, cars is just a hobby and I'm learning by doing (and asking you guys).

The fuel injector connectors also looks fine, but the injector does not "click" like they do when i put my battery-start button- solution on them, so bad connection? Bad grounding?
EFI harness, it goes thrue the fusible links right? Or are they even more I don't know about? (probably yes)

 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there is a fusible link for the EFI harness itself.  Since your getting fuel and no injector firing focus on the injectors first. Also check the EFI relay next to battery. You should be able to feel it click when the key is turned on. Need a helper for that.  See FSM above for location. I think there are 2 there .  One I think is fuel pump, the other EFI harness, I think.

You should be  able to fire the injectors with a minimum of 3v. 9v battery is fine too. Swing by a junkyard and grab a few injector connectors from a Volvo. I like their injector wires.  Then just wire to a 9v. You can put a micro switch too. 

Get A noid light from a parts store to see if the harness is actually sending volatage to the injectors if you don't have a spare injector. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JSM said:

Yes there is a fusible link for the EFI harness itself.  Since your getting fuel and no injector firing focus on the injectors first. Also check the EFI relay next to battery. You should be able to feel it click when the key is turned on. Need a helper for that.  See FSM above for location. I think there are 2 there .  One I think is fuel pump, the other EFI harness, I think.

You should be  able to fire the injectors with a minimum of 3v. 9v battery is fine too. Swing by a junkyard and grab a few injector connectors from a Volvo. I like their injector wires.  Then just wire to a 9v. You can put a micro switch too. 

Get A noid light from a parts store to see if the harness is actually sending volatage to the injectors if you don't have a spare injector. 

 

Alright! The fusible link, is it one of these? (Borrowed and uploaded an image) Perhaps the one at the bottom=front of the car?

Are the EFI relay next to the battery in the -82 280zx? In that case I've totally missed it, I thought it was next to the fuel pump relay that I've read is located on the passanger side under the glove box, but you do read alot of different answers..

The injectors seems to work, I've cleaned them all with the help of a battery, some cables and a push-button and I did try two of the injectors again today with 3 volt and they do click!

A noid light.. I like that idea!

 

I also tried setting the timing by turning the distrubator, I got nothing.

One thing though, I was cleaning some/all the ground points I could find and ofcourse without result. All of the sudden when i connected a cabel to the ground on the intake (the one you can see on the second img) and was about to test a few things, my girlfriend sat in the car and cranked the engine and it did almost start. Yes, it almost idle for a bit. Bad, but still, then one more time, then nothing. So I cleaned that grounding point even more accurate but again, nothing. And no, I was holding the cable so it couldnt have been because of the cable. So that made me pretty happy, for a while, now I'm only more confused.

 

Thanks JSM for taking interest in my problem, I really appreciate it!

Ps.

Please excuse my English, It's pretty late here in winterland and I'm exhausted.

.Ds

 

Edit:

It just occurred to me that I might have tried the pulse on the injectors just before we cranked the engine and that's why it almost started. Couse this works, I believe I wrote earlier that if I manually give pulse to the injector the car do want to start. So it has to be something with the EFI harness right? Or relay, damn I'm grasping right now, sorry.

 

23mk3dz.jpg

IMG_20171107_1957324.jpg

Edited by Jimmyb
It just occurred to me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I suggest that you take a little bit and read that link above from Xenon I posted. 

Im pretty sure based on what you've done so far your injectors are not firing. A noid light would confirm. 

Yes those are the fusible links. The relays are by the battery or behind it under a black plastic cover. That section I posted should have all that info. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. Pretty sure those are it. Heck I may be wrong which is why it is good to go by the FSM. I'm going from memory and sometimes it's not great! LOL  

And I'm working on 3 cars at the same time. So stoked I got my 300zxt parts car running today. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, JSM said:

May I suggest that you take a little bit and read that link above from Xenon I posted. 

Im pretty sure based on what you've done so far your injectors are not firing. A noid light would confirm. 

Yes those are the fusible links. The relays are by the battery or behind it under a black plastic cover. That section I posted should have all that info. 

Will do! And I will also try a noid light. Thank you very much for the help, I will keep you updated. And also congratz to getting your 300zxt running! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Reptoid Overlords said:

JSM might be talking about this on second read. IMG_20171107_163848.jpegIMG_20171107_163950.jpeg

Thanks for this! I had found the fusebox but totally missed that plastic cover so that's great :)

From what I've read on the web, the green one is the fuel pump relay right? That would make the metal one the relay for the EFI if I'm not mistaking.

I will take a quick look tonight, then I'm going to London for the weekend so it might take a while for an update.

Thanks guys!

/ Jimmy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I'm not sure what your critter problem is  in your area, but Rats had a field day with my wiring.  Don't rule it out since it's been sitting since 93.  I think I soldered /repaired / replaced some 25+ wires and still have more to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ECU is very sensitive the its signal from the coil negative post to the pin on the harness at the ECU.  You need to confirm that that path is clean and useful, as was said several times above.

Could be that engine started on CSV fuel, which turns off when the engine is started, or when the valve gets hot from its internal heater.

I've found also, that spark can be visible outside the cylinder, during a test, but too weak to start the engine.  In my case, starting fluid would start it but it wouldn't light up on gasoline.

You might also have a giant vacuum leak.

"Nothing" doesn't tell much.  No spark, no change in timing, no engine start....?  The answer often lies in the tiny details.  The FSM Electrical chapter probably shows where all of the relays and fuses are.

18 hours ago, Jimmyb said:

I also tried setting the timing by turning the distrubator, I got nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me start by saying I know absolutely nothing about the EFI system in the 280zx.  But, I will guess it is manufactured by Bosch.  With that said, does the system utilize a crank position sensor?  If so, I would check the CPS first and foremost.  A failed CPS will definitely caused a no start condition with the occasional attempt at firing.  I suspect that apply voltage to an injector is simple bypassing the function of the CPS and injecting fuel into the cylinder constantly...if spark, it has to fire.

FWIW, hope it helps.  BTW, although I own a carbureted 240z, I own or have owned a lot of current and vintage BMW's which when afflicted with a no start condition have almost always been the result of a failed CPS or camshaft position sensor (assuming fuel pressure is present).  Heck, my B-I-L even had the same problem with his Testarossa.  He was showing me the Ferrari one day and it would not start...tried, but would not catch.  I immediately searched for and found the CPS wiring.  A quick unplug and reconnect of the CPS connection block and the engine fired right up.  And no, I did not ask my B-I-L for $500 for the repair :)

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, David F said:

Let me start by saying I know absolutely nothing about the EFI system in the 280zx.  But, I will guess it is manufactured by Bosch.  With that said, does the system utilize a crank position sensor?  If so, I would check the CPS first and foremost.  A failed CPS will definitely caused a no start condition with the occasional attempt at firing.  I suspect that apply voltage to an injector is simple bypassing the function of the CPS and injecting fuel into the cylinder constantly...if spark, it has to fire.

FWIW, hope it helps.  BTW, although I own a carbureted 240z, I own or have owned a lot of current and vintage BMW's which when afflicted with a no start condition have almost always been the result of a failed CPS or camshaft position sensor (assuming fuel pressure is present).  Heck, my B-I-L even had the same problem with his Testarossa.  He was showing me the Ferrari one day and it would not start...tried, but would not catch.  I immediately searched for and found the CPS wiring.  A quick unplug and reconnect of the CPS connection block and the engine fired right up.  And no, I did not ask my B-I-L for $500 for the repair :)

Good luck!

Ah for us ignorant folks, what's a "B-I-L"? 

I was going.. Bimbos I Like, Babes I Lust, Buddy I Lust, Boys I Love, Budget I Long for...   :)   Darn acronyms!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, David F said:

Brother-In-Law

Dang I'm dumb! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 hours ago, Jimmyb said:
20 hours ago, JSM said:

May I suggest that you take a little bit and read that link above from Xenon I posted. 

Im pretty sure based on what you've done so far your injectors are not firing. A noid light would confirm. 

Yes those are the fusible links. The relays are by the battery or behind it under a black plastic cover. That section I posted should have all that info. 

Will do!

We need more "do" jimmyb.  Dave F could do some browsing too.  There's no CPS on the NA models.

Edited by Zed Head

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

 

We need more "do" jimmyb.  Dave F could do some browsing too.  There's no CPS on the NA models.

Why would I do any browsing when I don't own a zx?  I was just trying to help and even said I had no idea if a zx even had a CPS...I guessed it might not.   Oh well, no harm in trying.  Hope the OP figures it out.  What type of system is it any? Bosch L Jetronic? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   11 Members, 0 Anonymous, 177 Guests (See full list)

  • Search Engine Meta Tags:
    classic, z, datsun, 240z, 260z, 280z, zcar, zed, s30, classiczcars.com, 240z.org, fairlady, 240, 260, 280, nissan, 240 z, 260 z, 280 z, zx, turbo, classic z, 280z cars, cars 240z, car forums, datsun, nissan, cars datsun, car club, 280zx, car, nissan zcar, classic z car
×