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eloZada

New member introduction - My 76' 280Z in Atlanta

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Hello all,

I'm new to the forum and also to the Z life. I have already looked around quite a few times and this forum was always very helpful.

I was always fond of the S30's and earlier this year I finally found a 76' 280Z that I could afford (and that my wife would let me buy). I don't have a lot of mechanics notions, but the idea was also to learn as much as possible from this project, as it has relatively simple mechanics. So I have already started tinkering with it and repairing some stuff to get it on the road.

This car has a L28 with twin carburetors, weird, because every time I see something about the 280Z it is injection, but the car does have signs of the engine having been removed or replaced at some point. Many things are disconnected, although the main stuff for the car to run is working.

My plan with this car is to get it running reliably to take it out on the road and enjoy it. I'm not necessarily looking to restore it completely just yet or doing it all original. Partly because of time and mostly because my wife won't let me spend a lot of money. :P So my priority with time is to give it a new suspension and alter on a new paintjob and in between trying to get the little things done step by step.

Now I had gotten to a point where the car was actually running pretty smoothly, but 2 months ago I started experiencing some trouble. The engine started hesitating when on the road, and after a lot of trouble shooting and you tube videos and carburetor twitching I am pretty sure my problem is that there must be rust in the tank and the rust is clogging the fuel line and not allowing the fuel to get to the engine. So my next step is going to be to remove the tank and clean it and hope that solves my issue.

My problem is that I live at an apartment complex in Midtown Atlanta and, although I can work on the car, I don't have the space or possibilities to do anything major or leaving the car unable to run for a few days. That is why I only trust myself doing some minor repairs, as I don't have much experience yet.

So if there is anyone in the area that likes to lend a hand I will be happy to accept it and provide the beer. :D

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I know there's at least one member in Georgia that likes to get out and about and he's a carb guy.  @SteveJ

Before you drop the tank, just disconnect the line before the fuel filter, get the pump to run if you still have an electrical pump and see what comes out.  Use a 2 liter soda bottle so you can see it.  You'll know in a few seconds if you have an obstruction in the tank.

Or measure at the carbs.  See if the float bowls are full.  Maybe that's what you meant by "carburetor twitching"?

And yes, your car did come with EFI.  Check your engine numbers to see if it's still a 2.8 liter or a swap.  And 1976 still put the engine serial number on the metal plate by the clutch MC.  Compare those.

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Thanks for tagging me, @Zed Head.

@eloZada, there are a lot of great S30 guys in the ATL. Many of us work on our cars at home, and some guys even have their own shops. A lot of them are members of the Georgia Z Club, too. You can track me down through the GZC facebook page. If you don't happen to be on facebook, you can keep up with the GZC at http://georgiazclub.wordpress.com

This is a great time to be a Z owner in Atlanta. We are in the planning stages for the 2018 ZCON here. Get involved. Meet the guys. Have fun with your Z.

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You could also, and should, put a Fram G3 clear filter on the hose from the tank to the supply side of the fuel pump. You'll be able to see the crap if there is any.

EFI to carbs was very common in the early '80s from all I've read. The carbs have screen filters right before the float bowls that would be easy to look and see if you have a cruddy tank. I would check those first, dropping and cleaning a tank is a jobby job.

Good looking car. We'll get to see it at ZCON 2018 in Duluth, Ga. If we're lucky. 8^)

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Hi guys, thanks for all your replies, I can already tell this is going to be a very helpful forum. I'm actually going ro follow all your recommendations before I drop the tank. I cleaned and adjusted the carbs as much as I dared, but I did not really check the floats, didn't inow how, but I will che in youtube. I did run the fuel pump into a glass jar and the fuel coming out definitely had rust and red stuff in it.
SteveJ, I will look you up through the GZC page, I would have gone to one of those Thursday meets, but without the car working properly I didn't dare going out that far. I'm sure I will make it soon though.
I'll keep you guys posted with what I find!


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Check your driver door production tag too. Curious to know your build date.

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7 hours ago, eloZada said:

Hi guys, thanks for all your replies, I can already tell this is going to be a very helpful forum. I'm actually going ro follow all your recommendations before I drop the tank. I cleaned and adjusted the carbs as much as I dared, but I did not really check the floats, didn't inow how, but I will che in youtube. I did run the fuel pump into a glass jar and the fuel coming out definitely had rust and red stuff in it.
SteveJ, I will look you up through the GZC page, I would have gone to one of those Thursday meets, but without the car working properly I didn't dare going out that far. I'm sure I will make it soon though.
I'll keep you guys posted with what I find!


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You don't have to bring your Z to the meetings. I brought my daily driver to the last one since SWMBO accompanied me and wanted the luxury of AC.

Send me a PM with your contact info, and I can get you hooked up with my people. I'm going over to Lawrenceville at noon today to get help from a friend to install braided fuel lines in my car.

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Hi guys, so this is what I've been able to find out this morning. Let's see if I manage to post some pics through this app.
So I checked obe of the floater bowls (the other one was sealed with silicone and I didn't want to mess around with it). It did have fuel in it and also a bit of crud, although it didn't seem like a lot to me (you judge by the pic).
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What I did see, is that the sealing on the floater bowl is rotted and broken (you can appreciate it in the pic), and I must say the car run a LOT worse after I put it back together. Could that actually be the source of my problem?


After that, I opened the fuel line after the pump and let it run into a jar to see if there is soot. I let it run for about 4 minutes I think it was, and this is the result.
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As you can see, there is some stuff, although not as much as I would have thought. And it seemed to pump all the time without a problem.

When I connected everything back, my car was hessitating a lot more than usual.

So in conclusion, I'm starting to think it might not be the tank and fuel line, but the rotten seal on the floater chamber. Do you guys think that would cause the car to hesitate that bad? Usually it does after a while, this time it started from the beginning.



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It's called a "float" bowl because there's a float inside that moves up and down to seal the fuel inlet and maintain a certain fuel level.  A floater in a bowl is a whole different thing.

Your fuel direct from the tank doesn't look terrible.  There shouldn't be crud in the float bowl though.  A simple filter before the carbs should keep the fuel clean to the carbs.

Silicone on a carb float bowl is almost always bad.  It means somebody did a half-job.  You don't want any broken gaskets on the carbs either.  I'd get some new gaskets and clean and reset those carbs to spec. myself. then reinstall them with a good fuel filter to keep things clean.  Just for starters.

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It's called a "float" bowl because there's a float inside that moves up and down to seal the fuel inlet and maintain a certain fuel level.  A floater in a bowl is a whole different thing.



Sorry about that
Yes, I think I will do just that before I do anything else. Do you think that could cause the whole hesitation thing?

By the way, I do have an L28 but it was swapped from the original
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I don't think the broken cork gasket on the float bowl would cause any running problems just gas spilling or leaking out when you're driving. 

When you say hesitation I'm thinking the oil in the carbs is low or maybe even empty? Screw those black plastic knobs of the top of the domes and check the oil level. You'll see the high and low marks on the dipsticks. If there isn't any shiny oil on the dipsticks inside the "good"  marker add something. I use blue label 3 in 1 oil from Lowes. A lot of folks use ATF fluid, do a google search and decide what you think is best.

If they're not low or too high You'll need to give us more detail on the hesitation.

Good luck and hoping it's something as simple as the oil levels. 8^)

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2 hours ago, eloZada said:

I let it run for about 4 minutes I think it was

Did you really mean 4 minutes? Is that all the fuel in the jar after 4 minutes? I would think it should pump a lot more than that in 4 minutes

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I had checked that oil on the top of the dome and refilled it with whatever oil was recommended on the manual.
I don't think it was more than 4 minutes that I had it running, I wish I would have timed it.

I will see if I can record a video of the hesitation. But pretty much, when I press the gas pedal, the engine does not manage to rev up past 2k and it sounds really deep. It usually happens after a while, when the car is warmed up and usually when it's in gear and driving. There comes a point when I loose power completely and then just shuts off leaving me stranded in awkward places. Although today it seemed to do it from the beginning. Gotta try again to see if it had sth to do with what I touched today.
In any case, I will start ordering the gaskets for the float bowl.


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  Does the engine rev freely when it's not under a load?

 Patcon is right. That doesn't look like much fuel for a four minute run. A fuel pressure and volume test will rule out lack of fuel up to the carbs.

 Any crud in the float bowl is bad. The crud can slosh it's way into the needle and seat, potentially, either partially plugging the fuel orifice Lack of fuel) or stop the needle valve from seating. (too much fuel) depending on the size of the crud. Be sure to remove and clean it. I'm curious if the floats have deteriorated to the point that they don't float at the proper height anymore. On the outside of the float lid, where the fuel line connects, clean the small (last chance) filter (fine screen) located in the banjo fitting. Check the float height, reset the mixture screws to 2 1/2 turns and fire it up.

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Generally it runs freely when it's not under load. I will do as you say, I imagine I will have to disassemble the whole thing to clean and adjust it properly?
I will try to do it as soon as possible so I can give you guys a response soon. (I'm in the process of moving to a new place within Atlanta and there's lots going on). I really appreciate the help!


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Where are you moving to and when? I might be able to pay you a visit soon if needed.

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Where are you moving to and when? I might be able to pay you a visit soon if needed.

Right now I live on 26th St, right between Midtown and Buckhead and on Saturday I will be moving to Druid Hills, on Ponce de Leon near Little 5 Points, but I guess the car will stay on 26th St until it runs good enough for me to drive it to the new place. If you can stop by that would be awesome. Let me know when that would work for you and I can send you the exact address per PM.


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I have a very good friend, with benefits for ME, living in Lennox Villas off Lennox rd. Ponce de Leon was a cool spot when I had a bike. Can't remember the bar's name but super crowded on Sundays. Had a skull and cross bones painted above the entrance. Biker bar on Sunday. A bunch of fun! Miss those days...8^(.

Covington HWY strip club too. Bikes and booty!!!

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I have a very good friend, with benefits for ME, living in Lennox Villas off Lennox rd. Ponce de Leon was a cool spot when I had a bike. Can't remember the bar's name but super crowded on Sundays. Had a skull and cross bones painted above the entrance. Biker bar on Sunday. A bunch of fun! Miss those days...8^(.
Covington HWY strip club too. Bikes and booty!!!

Vortex Bar & Grill, best hamburguers in town I think. Still there


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13 hours ago, eloZada said:

Generally it runs freely when it's not under load. I will do as you say, I imagine I will have to disassemble the whole thing to clean and adjust it properly?
I will try to do it as soon as possible so I can give you guys a response soon. (I'm in the process of moving to a new place within Atlanta and there's lots going on). I really appreciate the help!


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 The engine revving freely, but not when it's under a load is lack of fuel. Not much to tear down. Pull the chambers and pistons, clean everything and be sure the pistons drop freely. Pull the float chamber tops, The needle and seat (fuel valve) is under the top. The trickiest part is setting the floats.

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