Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
hall.nathan89

'76 280Z ran when it was parked... 10 years ago

Recommended Posts

My wife's uncle has a few Zs that he is looking to sell. One that I'm particularly interested in is an '85 280Z. He parked it in the garage after the last time he drove it, so the body looks immaculate, the paint is flawless, the interior isn't rotted too bad, and things overall look awesome! The problem is that it's been sitting for 10 years and being the young'n that I am, I've never worked on a carburated car (though I have worked on carburated lawn mowers) . I'm assuming that the fuel system will be pretty well toasted all the way from the tank to the carbs, but what else would likely have gone bad from sitting?

I guess my question is, what kind of a project would I be getting myself into? What kinds of thisgs would it need? I know the basics (oil change, fuel system/tank clean, plugs, wires, etc, etc, etc...), but what kinds of things would likely be wrong with it once I started digging into it? I've had three 280ZXs, but I'm expecting this to be a whole different animal.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No such animal. The 280Z model years were 1975-1978. The 280ZX was 1979-1983, and the 300ZX (Z31) was from 1984-1988.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A '75, you mean? They were fuel injected, not carb'd.

It'd actually be easier to clean out the fuel system if it WERE carb'd. The L-jet has sensors, injectors, etc that gum up and fail; with a carbureted system, you can chase the fuel lines, replace the fuel pump, rebuild the carbs, clean out the tank and you should be good (which is what I'm doing to mine at the moment, which hasn't run in eight years...).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh... (embarassed face) yes, it's a '75. I typed the 8 out of habit from my '81 and '83s. He did say that it was carburated. I haven't looked under the hood to check for sure (it's covered in boxes at the moment) but I'll look this afternoon and update from there. Does rebuilding the carbs require new parts, or just cleaning out old ones? If so, about how much will that run me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on which carbs they are, because that will affect the availability of repair parts.

For comparison, I just had my SU's totally refurbished by ZTherapy for close to $500.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the '75 is stock, the EFI is nearly identical to the ZX. Take a picture of the engine compartment, it will be clear whether it's EFI or carb and the type of carb(s) if it did get converted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh... (embarassed face) yes, it's a '75. I typed the 8 out of habit from my '81 and '83s. He did say that it was carburated. I haven't looked under the hood to check for sure (it's covered in boxes at the moment) but I'll look this afternoon and update from there. Does rebuilding the carbs require new parts, or just cleaning out old ones? If so, about how much will that run me?

SU carburetors aren't that complex. If those are what are on the car, you can probably rebuild them yourself. Of course, that isn't accounting for some of the wear that can happen in the carburetors. Anyway, rebuild kits from MSA are $26 each. A similar kit from Black Dragon is $20 each.

I have SUs on my 73. The car had been sitting for 2 years. I got it running again this weekend with only minor fiddling with the carburetors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the comments! I'll take some photos while I'm there this afternoon and post them this evening. Out of curiosity, what would be the advantage to converting to carbs if it was already EFI stock?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Duffman:

Thanks for the offer! I might take you up on that. If you don't mind, I'd rather you show me how to clean them up as opposed to just switching them out.... I'm always out to get another skill under my belt! I'll PM or contact via craigslist to discuss arrangments when the time comes. Are you in DZA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Out of curiosity, what would be the advantage to converting to carbs if it was already EFI stock?

The Z went fuel injected primarily for emissions reasons. Compared to the simplicity of SUs, L-jet is complex and finicky. Guys convert back to carbs for ease of tuning and performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope... definitely EFI... He must have been thinking of another car. I opened it up and it looks almost identical to my '83 (with a few differences in connections). So then comes the question: What are the major differences? Obviously there's the body style, but mechanically, what's the same and what's different?

Also, it's not a 75, it's a 76. Sorry for misleading you all :P

I took some photos, but it's my bedtime, so I'll put them up tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to compare and learn about the system, you can download free Factory Service Manuals at xenons30.com and xenons130.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No use worrying about the differences between the two FI systems. Your biggest concern is getting this one working. Most of the carb conversions we come across are from owners who just want to get in hit the key and drive off....... rather than fight the degrading FI hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good news is that the car is in AZ (assuming it's near you) where moisture is at a minimum. That will make your life much easier. Fuel tanks, sensors and connectors in most Z cars that have been sitting are usually in very bad shape due to corrosion. Low moisture storage might make your life easier. The gas tank is going to be the biggest challenge though. If gas was left in the tank when it was parked, the gas would have evaporated over time, leaving a nasty sludge in the bottom of the tank. Don't even think about trying to start the car until you drop the tank and look inside it. Once it's out of the car, you can shine a flashlight in the sender hole and look through the fill neck. Unless it's spotless, you can't use it as-is. The bad news is that AZ is the worst place for rubber fuel hoses, so plan on replacing every hose when you drop the tank. You might be able to save the filler hose, but the small ones will be rotten and need to be replaced.

Post lots of pics an we can give you a better idea of what you have to work with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nope... definitely EFI... He must have been thinking of another car.

Not to be pedantic (but I am anyway :) ), but L-jet isn't technically electronic fuel injection (the "E" in EFI). It's analog, centered on a crude computer that meters fuel but leaves timing to mechanical and vacuum advance.

Can't wait to see pics!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry BU, but that is a little overly pedantic, and incorrect. The injectors are fired by transistors as is the coil. So, by strict, detailed definition, the L-Jet is "electronic." As I understand the definitions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe BU was thinking of the word digital, versus the word analog. It's not a digital system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize for my delay in getting pictures up! The car has been covered in boxes, so it's been a little difficult, but here's what I've got:

http://s1154.photobucket.com/albums/p533/rocketmannate/1976%20Datsun%20280Z/

I'm going to work on getting that garage cleared out so that I can start working on the car. As soon as I do I'll put more photos up and update you all on my progress. Thanks for the comments! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you have a pretty good starting point. Good luck.

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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.