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Larry G

Mikes Z shop in Whittier?

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Hi Z experts

I have been chasing an electric gremlin in my 1982 280zx turbo for the past four years. Shortly after purchase, the car would intermittently turn over, but not fire. If I pull the wire from the coil to distributer it will either spark or not spark. If it sparks, I plug it back into the distributer, starts after one crank and drives perfectly. If no spark, it does not fire-up. Any given day you never know if it will start. As a result, I have not been able to use the car due to risk of getting stranded.

I have had it worked on three times. Once by a z expert in Venice and twice in Glendale. Each time they say it seems fixed and shortly after the same problem starts. I am ready to try a new mechanic and found good reviews for Mikes on Yelp. Anyone have any experience with them. I live in Santa Monica. It's far to tow the car, but I am desperate. It is a shame to have this amazing car (when it starts) sitting in my garage gathering dust.

Thanks!

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My car is a 77 so the electronics are a little different, but similar. My guess is a loose connection to the ignition control module or a failing ignition control module.

This is just a guess due to the fact that I had similar symptoms. In my case it was simply the ground wire not having a contact. Due you have a meter and the FSM for youre year?

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Hi Grant

Thanks for the quick reply. I realize this may sound lame, but I just don't have enough experience with cars. The number of wires, transistors and 80's electronics on my 1982 turbo is intimidating to a novice. I figure if three mechanics at dedicated z shops haven't figured it out, I'll just screw something up. Any help with finding an honest an knowledgeable shop near LA would be great.

Thanks

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LARRY

The ECM that sits behind the kick panel at your left foot could be the culprit. They got progressively better over the years and generally failed if they got wet from a water leak of some type as a result of a unseen rusted area. The early FI models (77,78,79) had lots of issues because of this. The problem is intermittent and because those modules have no port to plug a diagnostic computer into often they are difficult to diagnose. I actually found out they will flash a light when something is wrong in the system similar to current day vehicles displaying a code when something is wrong. If you can install a known working module for a test of about a week or so you might be surprised by your results. ZEXPERTS in Venice and Redondo Beach ZWORLD both did some work for me and ZEXPERTS are very knowledgable. Open the driver door and make sure there is no rust along the seam that joins the front clip of the car to the body. If there is chances are water leaked in on that module. My best guess.

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Hi esmit

I have wondered about the ECM/ECU myself. The car is pristine w/ 86k original miles and not a spot of rust (Cali and Colorado car). I doubt it is water related. I heard that the ECU can be checked for error message by those flashing lights. Wonder why the last three mechanics did not check for it? I have tried the shop in Venice w/o good luck and am looking for someone new.

Thanks

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Larry, I have never used Mike's Z shop but I have spoken with him and I've only heard good things. You should call him and describe the situation. I think he'll give you an honest assessment.

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