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Av8ferg

Bringing a 1977 Z back life

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Hey,  just bought a 1977 Z that im waking from a long +15 year comma.  Loloking for guidance as to what i should do and in what order. 

Compression check done.  All Cylinder are in the 180s except 1 which showed 145.  I changed all the plugs, oil and filters.  I also drained the old fuel and fuel filter.  Radiator was empty and thermostat had disentegrated cavities in the cooling systme had white powered residue.  Car will only turn over when i jump the starter leads with a screw driver and get nothing, no power when tunring the ignition key,  

So what do you all recommend I do next?  Will post pics of the car when i bought it.  Ive had it about 10 days.  

 

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Check the fusible links on the passenger's fender well.  

Read this, he did all the stuff on a '77 too.  Saved me tons of money on mine.

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/electricalconnections/index.html

Then do this,

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/fuel/g3filter/index.htm

here's the whole gold mine,

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/

You have a good car to get help here, many helpful people on here with '77s.  Good luck, it's cold outside, we're stuck inside and everybody's dying to help someone. :D

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A long comma, like a long pause?  Very creative writing, I like it.

Browse the categories on the right on this page, and download your FSM and other guides.  Wiring diagrams, troubleshooting guides, they're all in there.

http://www.classiczcars.com/files/

How did the fuel that you drained look?  Is there rust in the tank?  Does the fuel pump work?  We love pictures here.

What, exactly, are you trying to get out of it?  You're trying to start it when it's probably full of crud that will get circulated through the various systems, engine, fuel system, cooling system, etc.  Not good for long-term but you'll probably have fun before other stuff starts to break, if you get it running.

Edited by Zed Head

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Your ride is sweet.  I’ll look at those links you sent.  I did replace one of the fusible links that was broken, forgot to mention that.  

I just don’t know what to do next.  I think I’ll buy a new stater, they’re  cheap and  I’ll eventually need one. I need to start canceling probable issues. I gues I need to get a wiring diagram and test the connections and relays.  They guy I bought it from had the interior TOTOALY stripped out except the dash so I don’t know whats connnected and what’s not.  He also threw away the cars seats so I’m hunting for some original replacements I can refurbish.  I’m seatless 👎

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rather than buying a new starter get out the multimeter and start checking for supply and signals

1st thing would be to look in the fuel tank, its most likely rusted. You may as well start with that. Pull it get it sorted out. A borescope  down the filler neck will quickly let you know how bad the rust is.

Next would be to check fuel lines likely plugged up, get that sorted out.

then fuel lines (unless you like engine fires), vacuum lines.

wire harness connections under the hood need to be cleaned as do grounds.

get some good battery cables and a good battery.

all this before anymore attempts at starting.

 

Edited by Dave WM

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I've always gotten good deals from Advance Auto with a coupon code from https://www.retailmenot.com/view/advanceautoparts.com 

Buy online, save 25 to 30% and pick up in store.  I think the last one I bought was $20.

Good looking car!  Thanks on my 240 too, '77 280 runs like a new one but has old faded paint.  

Edited by siteunseen

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Zed Head, 

The fuel was brown, didn’t see any particles.  No sure if the pump is working and haven’t researched how to test it.  I did install a pre-filter between tank and pump to keep particles from entering the pump if it had rust in it.  

The car came from CA and the paperwork I have showed it was repossessed from a guy living in Sacramento in 1998,  CA plate registration is 1998 so I’m confident it has seen a road under its own power since.  The body has no rust which is amazing.  No rust on rockers, battery area or rear hatch.  It’s really a rust free.  The only rust is one floor board drain plug that rusted out,  it appears someone under coated the car early in its life and that ma have saved it.  Odometer shows 107k.  I debated just putting a rebuild L28 and put all this behind me but thought I give this engine a chance.  

What am I trying to get out of it? I want to eventually restore this car and hang on to it, but right now I just want is to reliably start and drive. 

Its cold right now I’m my garage , sucks to work on in the temps.

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It's a toasty 39 F here in the great northwest.

Dave is right, you need to get a meter and make sure power is where power should be.  The simple test for the fuel pump is to disconnect the starter solenoid wire and turn the key to Start.  But apparently you don't have power to the starter solenoid.

107,000 is low miles for these engines.  Assume that the engine is going to run fine once you get the other stuff sorted out.  Spend your time on the small stuff.  One short circuit causing melted wires will ruin things for you.  I still remember taking the advice of a friend about using a Juicy Fruit wrapper to "fix" a blown fuse.  Those wrappers can pass a lot of current.

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That's a nice looking car though.  Make sure you don't set it on fire.

Get a milk crate or box or build a seat, then sit on that seat with a meter and the wiring diagram.  Maybe with a little space heater in the car.  Some beers.  Your phone or laptop so that you can show us what you find.  Take measurements and write down what you find or don't find.  Since wiring has been removed (edit - had dash here), there are many many things that could be disconnected.  The grounds are just as important as the power leads.

 

Realized that your dash is still in place, which is good.  But there are relays under the seat, and the Hazard switch in the console and stuff on the steering column that can be a problem.

Edited by Zed Head

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Welcome to the group!  You've received excellent advice so far from some very experienced people. This is a great source for trouble shooting S30 mechanical, electrical as well as history. 

Rust free puts you well ahead of the pack as far as getting it back on the street. You will be entering the "while I'm here" zone very soon and it will make you realize how everything connects and functions.  Be methodical and patient.  I found it to be a rewarding feeling when I finally got mine to a drivable condition.

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Thanks guys for guidance.  Okay a new starter is $35 at Advanced Auto.  I think the one I have is pretty shot.  When I did the compression check I turned to engine over jumping the pos and neg posts on the starter and about 1/2 the time the thing spun but didn’t engage so I think the solenoid is going. 

Okay, I was concerned about the fuel system too.  I impacted all the hoses and they look solid.  I am concerned about pushing bad fuel into the stystem but all the lines were completely empty with I installed the new fuel pump and when I installed to additional filter in the line exiting the tank.  I bought 2 gallons of premium gas and a can of sea foam.  Was thinking of disconnecting the hose to the main fuel filter and pumping the new gas from the tank in to a bucket and see what enters the clear filter I installed and push out an line debris into the bucket. Thioughts,?  

I think I’ll download those wiring diagrams and see what I find.  Wilco on cleaning up the electrical connections.  

Is it okay to start the engine with a dry cooling system? Won’t let it run long if is starts.  I don’t want to put new antifreeze only to dump it when I have to flush all the corrosion in the engine jackets.  Considering a new water pump and radiator too.  

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It’s been below freezing all week and I don’t want to damage the block by putting in water alone. 

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You might just use water for testing then let it run out or drain it when you're done.  

On the fuel, if you don't want to pull the injectors (nobody does but almost everybody ends up doing so) you could disconnect the return line by the filter and let the pump push whatever is in the rail and injectors out in to a container.  See what was in there.  The injectors and their hoses are dead zones in the flow path so after the initial purge you might reconnect everything and let the pump run.  Diffusion will mix the old dead fuel in the injectors with good fuel and it will end up diluted in the tank.  Otherwise, once you get everything electrical working right you'll be shooting old dead fuel in to the cylinders.  Maybe even water.  Another way to power the pump is to remove the AFM cover and move the vane's counterweight, with the key on.  You should a click and then the pump will run.

Or.  You can pull the injectors and rail and give everything a good rinse.

Seafoam has a following.  But it's really just a mix of oil and stuff that burns.  Makes mysterious smoke.  Gasoline is a super solvent.

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This is an interesting read that may prove helpful to you.   In addition, a through cleaning of all electrical connections in the engine bay will pay dividends.

Good luck, I like the color ....

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Thanks all, you guys rock.  I have my marching orders and will report back in a few days.  Here’s my game plan 

1. Clean all electrical connections in engine compartment.  

2. Flush the fuel system, inspect the added (clear plastic) filter and and use that to assess the fuel tank condition,  if debris comes out of the tank, take it to a radiator shop and have them crack it open and clean and refinish. 

3. Check all ignition connections off the ignition switch and reference the wiring diagrams, 

I’ve already ordered a new starter $33

Current temp conditions pending we’ll see how far I get.  BTW I found some old seats from a 75 280z at a salvage yard 90 miles away. $75 for both,   I’ll grab them and some other parts off that 1975 in the yard.  Anything I should look for that’s hard to find in S30’s while I’m there?

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The combo & turn signal switch would be good to get,  badges if in decent condition, also ash tray.  

If its an AC car and has the original air dryer with a intact, unbroken switch on it,  I'll take it,  cost plus shipping.

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The AFM and ECU won't be "correct" for the year but they'll work in your car.  Good to have for testing if you find running problems later.  Depends on cost of course.  The combined EFI/fuel pump relay also.  The FPR if it's cheap.  Check the injectors, they might be newish.  Exhaust manifold if you can get it off without snapping the three studs.  Clutch parts - the 225 mm flywheels are NLA now for the most part.  Half-shafts if the u-joints are in good shape and they don't want too much.

If you can pick up cheap parts they're good to have, just in case.  Later, when you need to remove something and break a stud you'll have the replacement ready.  

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Forgot to mention the distributor.  If the breaker plate bearings are good.  A very common failure, especially when they sit.  You should probably remove and clean your distributor before the little plastic bearing cage breaks.

There are many little things that can be saved with a little preventive work.  Clean the alternator air openings and oil the bearings, for example.  Stuff most of us never did when we first started our old cars.

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I'd get the whole motor. LOL

Seriously,  the '75 Non emission N42 intake manifold is a shortcut to a clean and simple motor.  If you bought the motor you could rebuild it on an engine stand and take your time, while driving with the current engine.  That's my nutty thinking and why I have a storage building full of Z parts.  Luckily I have an old junkyard close by that has four or five to pull from.

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1 hour ago, S30Driver said:

The combo & turn signal switch would be good to get,  badges if in decent condition, also ash tray.  

If its an AC car and has the original air dryer with a intact, unbroken switch on it,  I'll take it,  cost plus shipping.

Hey Jim.  PM me a picture of the switch and I will ride out to my JY and see if I can get it off one of those if aviateferg doesn't get one.

Cliff

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you are going to want to get a pressure gauge hooked up to the fuel rail for testing. the EFI has no feed back like an O2 sensor, it just relies on sensors for things like temp and air flow, based on what it sees it duty cycles the injectors, but since there is no feed back, it does know if the sensors are faulty and creating a mixture problem. So its very important that the ECU sees accurate results. Reading the plugs will quickly tell the tale of the mixture. the cleaning of the connectors and all the ground helps as well. the Temp sensor is the most problematic of the bunch, but easy to test with a ohm meter and a thermometer. Try to avoid the temptation of going right to the AFM, that tends to be the 1st line of attack by many, and in 40 yrs likely to have been cracked open and messed with. Save that for the last thing if the metering does not seem right, if its not been messed with it prob is ok.

Edited by Dave WM

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Vacuum lines are also an important part of the EFI.  A big enough vacuum leak can prevent the engine from starting.  Once you get the ignition figured out and while you disassemble/clean the Fuel injectors, replacing the old cracked vac lines would be easy to do.  The ones in the engine bay are obvious and easily replaced and since there is no current interior, now would be a good opportunity to replace the vac lines to the vacuum selector in the dash.

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1 hour ago, siteunseen said:

Hey Jim.  PM me a picture of the switch and I will ride out to my JY and see if I can get it off one of those if aviateferg doesn't get one.

Cliff

Thanks Cliff,  will take a picture tomorrow when its light.   Mine works but one of the two copper spade connectors that tells the compressor to shut off is broken.  The switch screws into the side of the air dryer.

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