Sign in to follow this  
NoLeafClover

Too many problems to list...

    Recommended Posts

    Okay, I just boughat my first Z earlier today. My father owned the same 79 280zx model back when I was a kid and Damn it was awesome. I want to rebuild what he had and restore this one to its full potential but I just can't catch a glimpse of that happening. I've been battling with it since I got it home (I drove it 40 some miles with no more than some minor bumping in the front left tin rod and high revs in neutral and between shifts). I go to inspect my prize and I see chaos. The tube behind the mass air flow module (or what I believe to be) had been wrapped several times with electrical tape. Turns out it had a massive tear. Then I got it going again to test the high revs and it started going up and down between 2 and 3k rpms like it was galloping. Soon after it stalled. I was told it had a leaky exhaust manifold seal but this was not something I know to become of that. I started it back up and it launched the alternator belt clean off. I put it back on after turning the car off and it hasn't stayet running since. I tried puting it on both pulleys coming from the block but neither seems to make a difference. It'll run for five or six minutes and die a slow startling jumpy death. What all am I dealing with here!?!? Have I just thrown 2 grand away??

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Welcome to the club.

    Just reading through your intro and you are saying a lot, but not much at the same time. Please don't take that the wrong way.

    You mention that your father had a 79 ZX, but you have a Z. 280Z maybe? That makes a big difference when it comes to details. Its a good idea to mention your car model, year and maybe build date in your singniture.

    The revving and high idle your experiencing sounds like an air leak after the throttle body. The torn rubber connection you described is not uncommon. You can temporarily tape it until you get another.

    I would sugest downloading the FSM and getting firmiliar with the EFI system in your car.

    XenonS30

    XenonS130 - S130 Reference

    Don't forget to download the Fuel Injection Supplement (aka Bible)

    As for the alternator belt jumping off. Check the alignment of all the pulleys and check for free play in the alternator bracket (with the belt off).

    A new belt tensioned correctly will probably help a lot. Don't know how old this one is??

    Word of advice: The tone in you thread sounds like you are frustrated with your purchase. Its an old car and will always need more care than a modern day car. Even new that required more attention than todays low maintenance vehicles. They can be very reliable, but just require more attention.

    Second: It its frustrating you. Stop and do something else for a while and I dont mean search the internet for clues. Something entirely non related. When you come back with a clear head, things general make more sense. Works for me.

    Goodluck

    Chas

    Edited by EuroDat
    Smartphone Typos

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Welcome, you'll find lots of knowledgeable folks on here that can help solve most issues, with that said, ditto what Chas said.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I go to inspect my prize and I see chaos. The tube behind the mass air flow module (or what I believe to be) had been wrapped several times with electrical tape. Turns out it had a massive tear. Then I got it going again to test the high revs and it started going up and down between 2 and 3k rpms like it was galloping. Soon after it stalled. I was told it had a leaky exhaust manifold seal but this was not something I know to become of that. I started it back up and it launched the alternator belt clean off. I put it back on after turning the car off and it hasn't stayet running since. I tried puting it on both pulleys coming from the block but neither seems to make a difference. It'll run for five or six minutes and die a slow startling jumpy death. What all am I dealing with here!?!? Have I just thrown 2 grand away??

    Everything connected to the intake manifold has to be sealed from the outside air. In other words, all air must pass through the air flow meter (air flow module was pretty close). This includes the crankcase, meaning the oil filler cap, the dipstick tube, all of the little vacuum lines, even the brake booster, all need to be working properly and sealed up. Keep that in mind and it might help you get started. The PO might have "tuned" the engine to run with vacuum leaks. That could be a problem. One way to tell if you have leaks is to pull a small hose fromthe intake manifold, or unscrew the oil filler cap. If the idle speed increases that's good. If nothing happens, not so good. If you take the oil filler cap completely off the engine should die.

    The belt flying off would normally be from a wobbling pulley. Better check all three, the alternator, the water pump, and the crankshaft damper. Don't run without the belt because it drives the water pump. The engine will overheat, and that is very very bad for these engines. Very very.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I got a new belt on the alternator and that worked wonders, thanks for all the info and admittedly yes I was very upset with my new car. I was told it was a good DD, and I had to limp it to the parts store 2 miles from home. The guys there said they didn't know squat about a ZX (sorry if I left that out, it's the 5 speed 79 z model), but one guy said he knew basic mechanics enough to say I had some problems bigger than an air leak. I went over everything with text instructions from my dad, but all I noticed out of whack visibly was the throttle stick thingy doesn't want to turn back to naught after a good pushing, and the screw on the motor that alters the idle was ALL the way down. It's running very hot and popping and bogging down if I lay on the gas or switch gears at anything over 4k rpm. I'm not very knowledgeable on terminology so excuse my childish word floundering.

    NoLeafClover, 79 model 280zx.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Also, I have some various questions jus to make sure I'm not missing anything. How many belts should be coming off the front of the motor? I see two pulleys but only have one belt... should I have to use force to turn it at a slow speed? I have no clue why but I do have to almost entirely manually turn the wheel in low gears or low speeds. Could the massive exhaust tip it has on it be a problem? It's a 4 inch I believe. What can I do to keep it from overheating even with fresh water/ coolant in it? Is it possible the.aftermarket rear end in it is messing up anything like my speedometer or anything at all? Maybe the bogging and popping are from it as well? It says I'm doing 80 in first gear... so I know the speedometer is definitely out of whack.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The guys there said they didn't know squat about a ZX - this is very common.

    t all I noticed out of whack visibly was the throttle stick thingy doesn't want to turn back to naught after a good pushing, - no idea what this means

    the screw on the motor that alters the idle was ALL the way down. - this is a sign of a vacuum leak. Maybe. there is no motor to alter the idle on the stock engine

    It's running very hot and popping and bogging down if I lay on the gas or switch gears at anything over 4k rpm. - popping and bogging is a sing of a vacuum leak

    How many belts should be coming off the front of the motor? I see two pulleys but only have one belt - the engine may have had an AC compressor in the past.

    why but I do have to almost entirely manually turn the wheel in low gears or low speeds - no power steering. It's good for you.

    Could the massive exhaust tip it has on it be a problem? It's a 4 inch I believe. - not directly, but it is a sign of "tuner madness".

    What can I do to keep it from overheating even with fresh water/ coolant in it - more details will help. If it overheats while driving donw the road that is most likely a radiator or water flow (pump, blocked channels, etc.) problem. If it only overheats when stopped, that is a fan clutch problem sign.

    the.aftermarket rear end - explain. How bout some pictures of all this mess?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The screw on the side of the cover in the s first picture is the one I meant he tightened to alter the idle...

    All I see is a loose bolt on the thermostat housing. ???

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    This is the tube I meant in the beginning had a tear in it.

    That is a very important tube (aka hose). It needs to be leak-free.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    This is the throttle piece that won't turn back to normal after I press the pedal

    There should be a spring under the throttle body (at the end of that linkage) that closes the throttle blade. It might be missing, they break sometimes. It's hard to see, it's underneath.

    If you haven't yet, open the Engine Fuel chapter from EuroDat's link in Post #2 and look through it. You'll get a better idea of how things work. You've got some study ahead of you though. If you have a multimeter be ready to break it out and start probing.

    Here's another good link for the FSM's if you don't have an unzipping program. Index of /FSM/280z

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The bolt that's higher than the other one next to it is the one the guy had out more while he drove it and turned it in more and told me that'd make it idle better but I'd lose power.

    Edited by NoLeafClover

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I checked under the throttle body and I have no spring. Is there a certain type I can purchase at the parts store or is it something I'll have to put on order?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    The bolt that's higher than the other one next to it is the one the guy had out more while he drove it and turned it in more and told me that'd make it idle better but I'd lose power.

    I put an arrow on your picture. That bolt has nothing to do with any of that. Maybe he was pointing at another?

    But, there is no adjustment that will, normally, make the engine idle better, but cause a power loss. That would only be the case if things were messed up.

    Your best bet is to assume the guy you bought it from was a BS'er or didn't know what he was doing. The taped up intake hose, the shiny new oil filler cap, red plug wires, painted air box, 4" exhaust tip - all things that cause pause.

    Describe one problem at a time and people here can walk you through some of them. I would focus on over-heating first. One overheat can blow your head-gasket and/or warp the head. That's a major expense, and a fairly difficult DIY job.

    Back to watching Holland beat up on Brazil....

    post-20342-14150829324049_thumb.jpg

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    If I were you I would go to the dealer and order the rubber tube you need in post #11.Then i would tackle the cooling issue. Most garages have a hand held infra red temp sensor. Check all coolant hoses, this will tell you something. Forget what the temp gauge indicate on the dash. This will be a good starting point.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The number one problem I have that scares me is the high revving, that's the correct screw with the arrow and I watched him tighten it as he said it was going to change things.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    As I said, he was either BS'ing you by grabbing a loose screw and turning it or you mistook the one he actually turned for that one.

    Attached a picture showing the screw position that I think we're talking about. Also noticed that your radiator does not appear to be stock. Could be too small for the engine but certainly a sign of a past cooling problem.

    These pictures are from the Cooling chapter. An example of what you'll find in the books. The digital FSM's are one of the great benefits of owning these cars. You don't have to try to communicate with the parts store guys.

    Looks like you have a challenge. Keep posting, everybody loves a good puzzle.

    Edit - just noticed that you seem to have an electric fan, guessing by the shroud. Another not really necessary "performance" item. If the fan isn't coming on you'll have over-heating problems at slow or no speed.

    post-20342-14150829324381_thumb.png

    post-20342-14150829324845_thumb.png

    Edited by Zed Head

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Back to watching Holland beat up on Brazil....

    Yeeeer, You said it Zed:D:D:D

    Chas

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Zed head has covered a lot of ground.

    Trying to follow this thread and one thing stands out. TOO MANY problems at once. Try to concentrate on one problem at a time.

    You mention that you are not up to speed on the technics of your car. Calm down a bit. Even the best of us don't try to tackle all the problems in one weekend. Better to solve one, celibrate and move on to the next. It won't be long and you will have a reliable DD.

    Look at it this way

    Problem no. 1: Fan belt keeps falling of. New fan belt, Now you have solved dat problem.:D

    Problem no. 2: Pick one and work it through.

    Relax, Sounds like you have a lot of energy and the will to do the job, try not to freak out and give up on it.

    Good luck

    Chas

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    The number one problem I have that scares me is the high revving, that's the correct screw with the arrow and I watched him tighten it as he said it was going to change things.

    The high revving doesn't scare me that much. It sounds like an air leak or sticky throttle linkage. Both problems can be fixed with basic tools and a little coaching.

    Overheating is something that can be a little or very big problem.

    If I was in your situation, I would start with simple things like the rubber hose with the dodgy tape repair. Remove the hose carefully and clean it and let it dry. Check all the cracks and seal then up with silicone sealant. Let it dry and put it back in. It will do for testing until you get a new one or one in better condition.

    Thats your next sucess /potential air leak solved.

    Next the heating problem. Remove the radiator cap and get the engine hot again. Check for bubbles escaping from the radiator. It a sign that the head gasket is leaking or cracks in the head. Its not 100% but its a good indication.

    If thats ok then it could be a faulty thermostat. You can remove it easily and test it in a pot of water. Warm it up and see when it opens. You will need a new thermostat housing gasket to re-install the thermostat.

    Try to keep things simple and move step for step forward.

    Good luck.

    Chas

    Edited by EuroDat

    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