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Just finished a complete engine rebuild on my 1975 Datsun 280z (I named her Bonnie) a few days ago.  I've owned Bonnie since 11/1/2015, just 6 months now, and began the rebuild the end of November.  When I tried to start it, I have absolutely no power in the car, no lights inside, no headlights, no clicking in the ignition, nothing? Hoping I didn't kill Bonnie.

Here is what I've done so far; I've cleaned and checked the battery and terminals, all new terminals. Checked for power from positive, the only power I have is to the starter, no power to the alternator or the ignition.  I've checked the grounds, all are good, the two bolted to the frame and the one to the back of the starter.  Needless to say, I'm both stumped and frustrated.  I can post pics of anything anyone needs, I appreciate your help.

P.S.- Bonnie ran very well when I bought her,  all lights worked, started every time, no problems.  Just a tired engine.

Help??!!

Troy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First place to check is Bonnie's fusible links, look for any corrosion there as well.  They can visually look ok but be open, check with a vom.

Did you add any new items or make any changes during the rebuild?

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Red to the starter's solenoid, black to the top starter mounting bolt?  Alternator's white with red stripe to the BAT post, black to the E and the T plug plugged in?

It sounds like your new ground terminal isn't tight or the fusible link plug isn't connected.

I had a bad alternator that blew the IGN fuse on mine and killed all the gauges but the horn would blow. :D

12796d1417052885-240z-wont-start-fusible

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Thanks, I don't have a wire running to the starter with a usable link.  Where is that small black wire connected, and it coming from the battery?

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Here are photos of the battery and connections, the back of the alternator and the starter, I can see that I do not have the black small wire with a usable link connected to the starter.  

I also have two wires with plugs that I don't know where they connect.  You can see them in the pic of the starter. I don't have any wires I can find to attach to those two?

thanks for all your help

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Okay, so the black wire with the link is attached to the same post as the red from the battery then it's connected to the cluster of wires next to the shock tower...

anyone have pics of which one its connected to?

 

thanks

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On my 280, '77, there's no white plastic plug to the starter wire.  That pictures is a 240Z.

The small wire that goes to the starter's S terminal should be taped together with the black that goes to the fusible links on the strut tower.  There's 4 plugs on mine coming out from under where the voltage regulator is.  two go to the wiring harness and two go to the vacuum solenoids.

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I circled in red where I think your problem is.  you left a wire disconnected maybe.   Follow the power path.  The wire you're looking for is white and thick and will have a ring terminal.

Here's another page from site's link - http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/wiringdiagrams/75_280z_wiring.pdf

Edit - had the wrong year before.

77 missing wire.PNG

Edited by Zed Head
wrong diagram
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Zed,

 

where red would that white wire be coming from?  Over by the shock tower?  I'm at work, so I'll look this evening.

thank you.

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Yessssss!

i connected the white wire and I have lights and the starter turns over, Bonnie lives, BUT.......

the headlights are dim, and the starter only barely cranks over, even with a jump?

okay you wizards, where to next??

 

thank you, thank you all.

Troy

image.jpeg

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Check the battery cables at the starter. Make sure the alternator belt is good and tight then put a volt meter on the battery while it's running, should read around 14 volts.

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14 hours ago, Taxelson said:

the starter only barely cranks over, even with a jump

That could be the timing.  See where the rotor is pointing at TDC.

EDIT: I say this because I just rebuilt mine too and set the "static" timing by lining up the rotor to the line on the cap thats shows where the #1 post is under the cap then turn the distributor until the reluctor and stator tips line up.  It cranked up right off the bat.  Then after getting my other small stuff adjusted properly I set the timing with a light to 10 degrees before BTDC.  Now I've slowly worked my way up to 15 BTDC.  It seems to run best there.

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14 hours ago, sweatybetty said:

bad ground, loose connection, or corrosion. these 3 things are the cause of 95% of electrical problems

Absolutely.  Here's something to read that's helpful, http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/electricalconnections/index.html

it shows where to clean,

eficonnections.jpg

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One more question. You don't have the T shaped plug on back of the alternator, wonder why? Then how do know which wire goes to F & N?

Just curious,  no big mystery I don't think.  8^)

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16 hours ago, Taxelson said:

the headlights are dim, and the starter only barely cranks over, even with a jump?

It's not good for an alternator to use your alternator to charge a dead battery.  You should charge the battery before trying to start the car.  One dead battery + one charged battery = one partially-charged battery.

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Siteunseen, I somehow snipped it off when I pulled the engine, but I did get the wires in the correct place, I suppose I should order, or find a replacement, good point.

i did replace the battery, and it cranks over as it should.  Someone asked if I added any parts in the rebuild.  Yes, I upgraded the coil, tonight I'm going to make sure it is correctly installed, hoping to get Bonnie started!

 

thanks for all the guidance.

Troy

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Cool! Get it moving then the rest is easy.

I think the slow starting  is that' the timing needs advancing a little, but that's a guess. You seem to know what you are doing so I'm certain you'll figure this out.  Hope I might be able to help somehow.

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