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won't start


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77 280.

While in the garage for body work in Dec 04, the car had a lot of trouble starting. Starter would just wind and wind, but car would not fire.

Replaced fuel pump, since it was leaking. Thought it might be flooding at the time. Car ran for a week or so, then wouldn't start. Starter would try, but again, it seemed that the engine wouldn't fire:ermm: .

Pissed off, I've let the car sit since. ...Until this past Sunday. Charged the battery with a different (better?) charger. Removed the distributor wire from the coil, to see if there was a spark to a ground, and there was none. Buttoned everything back up. Left the battery charging.

Monday, just for the heck of it, I turned the key, and... it started on the first crank. :laugh: Jubilantly drove it to the car wash to scrape off 12 months of dust and the cobwebs in the headlight buckets. Left it running while in the wash (and with my air cleaner removed, the vacuum sucked moisture into the intake:stupid: ) and it stalled. After a few tries, it started back up, and I white-knuckled it back home. Later that day, started it back up to move it.

That evening, wanted to take it out.... now I'm back to the same old thing. Starter tries, until the battery dies.:ermm:

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Its all about fuel and fire my friend!! if you don't have fuel you not going, and if you don't have spark your not going somewhere along the line, I would guess you don't have spark, But check to make sure your getting fuel first in my opinion it is easier. Check for clogged fuel filter or just make sure the gas is still good. might need to clean the carbs. This all three of these were the case in one of my z's, along with no fuel it was getting no spark. I got a new rotor, cap, spark plugs, wires, battery cables (the real big ones that are clear!!) and after all this she fired up sputtered a bit and was good to go!

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Hi Mike,

Like Cremmenga says, verify good fuel delivery and good spark. Have you checked the valve adjustment lately? Have you checked the timing recently? What about the rotor, distributor cap, plug wires, plugs, coil and coil wire?

Does your 77 280Z have EFI, or have carbs been put on the engine? If it's EFI, I'll defer to others who are more familar with that. If you have carbs, check the float level in the float bowls, make sure the fuel nozzles move downward smoothly when the choke is applied, and make sure the throttle opening is adjusted properly for full choke.

Hope this helps!

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Well If your 280Z is stock with Fuel Injection which I bet it is Correct?

I guess I'd start with the easy stuff first. The Fuel Injected Z's are very touchy when it comes to vacuum leaks. The smallest Vac. leak will cause an issue like yours so check to make sure that the oil cap has a good tight seal, The rubber Boots from the air box to AFM & AFM to throttle body have no cracks ect. Then check the plugs and wires if you haven't done so already. Check to make sure they are all gaped properly which should be about .045 max on a stock system. Check there condition- Are they wet with gas? Are they black? For the wires, you can test them with an Ohmmeter if you have one. Also check the condition of the distributor cap & Rotor head and another important thing is to make sure that the cap and rotor are of the same brand. mixing two different brands can cause incorrect air gap. Also inspect all electrical connections. Make sure they are all clean and tight.

Hopefully this will help you out. If the simple stuff all checks out, then I guess I'd start performing tests at the ECU harness with a multimeter to get to the bottom of the problem. Don't give up :D

Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

hey guys i was looking around on here for some type of reference my little brothers 280 wont start the fuel pump was bad so i replaced it but we're still not getting fuel to the injectors not even the filter i spoke to my father he told me to bleed the fuel injection system???? and none of my manuels speak of this do any of have any idea on how to do this???

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Never heard of 'bleeding' the fuel injection system and I've been working on them for over ten years now. The system is self priming. How do you know that the fuel pump is bad? There are other things in the system that would keep it from working. Does the fuel pump run when you turn the key to the on position?

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Mike, I don't know if you got your '77 280 started yet. If you're still having troubles here's a couple more ideas...

Behind the passenger seat, under the carpeting there is a pair of wires with bullet style connectors on them. These wires feed power to the fuel pump. They might be hidden under a insulating type tape and then run through the floorpan via a rubber grommet. The one's on my '77 came loose somehow and were causing the same problem you're experiencing.

Another thing to check is for spark. Don't just check spark coming from the coil wire, check for spark at each wire going to the spark plug. If you have a defective distributor cap, more often you will find that not all spark plugs are getting electricity. The spark should be consistent and strong enough to jump a 1/8'' gap.

Just a few ideas (from personal experience).

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hey thanks for the info the fuel pump was bad when i took it apart the brushes were so worn they were almost non existant so we replaced i made a little progress im now getting fuel to the filter but not to the rail i get spark at the plugs. under the passenger seat there is a plug that goes to a little gold colored box then to nothing but then there is another plug that goes to nothing at all its just sitting down there. the new fuel pump runs when we try to start the car but doesnt if the ignition is just left on??? i was told today to check the vacume system so thats what im going to do. Do u know where the most likely place is for a leak i dont know where to start?

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