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Restoration Unveiled Today 08.17.2019


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Thank you for your reply. Here’s what’s happening.

It worked perfectly and then I let it sit for 20 years. Mice invaded the engine but they ate no wires since wire covering in 1981 is not vegetable based.?

Pulled engine and dashboard and entire interior. Rebuilt engine, cleaned dashboard and reinstalled everything.

The display above the steering wheel lights up randomly. When I push the button to check the systems, the display won’t work. The display only lights up (or glows) and I can see the several different “icons” all at one time in the display but there is no individual “icon” that comes up.

I’m not sure what the answer is?

Im not sure what to search for on line. Please help!

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4 hours ago, Car54280ZX said:

It worked perfectly and then I let it sit for 20 years

That's most times what's killing it..  The capacitors (electrolitic) now fail..  after a long time of "no power"on them they disintegrate/dry up..

You have to check the whole system.. don't know if there is but i think there should be a wiring diagram of the system in the service manual..

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16 hours ago, Car54280ZX said:

Thank you for your reply. Here’s what’s happening.

It worked perfectly and then I let it sit for 20 years. Mice invaded the engine but they ate no wires since wire covering in 1981 is not vegetable based.?

Pulled engine and dashboard and entire interior. Rebuilt engine, cleaned dashboard and reinstalled everything.

The display above the steering wheel lights up randomly. When I push the button to check the systems, the display won’t work. The display only lights up (or glows) and I can see the several different “icons” all at one time in the display but there is no individual “icon” that comes up.

I’m not sure what the answer is?

Im not sure what to search for on line. Please help!

 

Did the warning system work properly before the dash was removed? Honestly I'm pretty sure the instrument cluster just houses a series of bulbs that light up when commanded by the control amplifier. So basically, unless there are broken solders or circuits on the circuit board of the instrument cluster (unlikely), I doubt it's the problem. I would double check all your connections, especially those running from the control amplifier (underneath the glove box) to the instrument cluster. 

If you want to start with the basics, make sure the control amplifier is being provided proper power and ground. 12v power is provided from the 2nd to the bottom fuse in the left column of the fuse box, through a green wire to the connector at your control amplifier. Ground is a black wire 2 cavities over from the green wire in the control amplifier connector, which goes through a junction connector and then to body ground. Since you pulled the dash, there's a chance you may have a loose ground or poor connection here.  Page EL-83 in your FSM illustrates the wiring schematic you'll need to follow, but what I listed above will be the basics to get you started. 

If you suspect you have a faulty control amplifier, I have an '82 turbo parts car that I can send you a replacement for. I can't promise they're 100% compatible, but I doubt nissan would make changes to that particular system in 1 year. But I would first verify your harness integrity. And I can also assure you that mice, rats, squirrels etc. will absolutely chew up these harnesses, as I have seen first hand. 

Edited by zeeboost
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/15/2020 at 8:50 AM, Captain Obvious said:

Can you post a pic of a working one and also post another pic of what yours does instead?

OMG. I only have one ZCar. So I can't post a pic of a working one. This indicator is in the instrument cluster directly above the steering wheel. And there is a push pin to activate it to check status of various components - headlights (right left), tail lights (right left), brake lights (right left), and another item. At the end of the check, the display says "OK" in a green color. 

Right now, it just glows, showing all of the status symbols.

The next time I see it happening, I will take a video of it on my iPhone and share it with everyone!!

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11 hours ago, Car54280ZX said:

OMG. I only have one ZCar. So I can't post a pic of a working one.

Not exactly sure what the above means, but I took a couple seconds of looking on-line to come up with some examples of what it's supposed to look like maybe?

From  >>   http://xenonzcar.com/s130/warninglamps.html

warningdisplay4.png

warningdisplay9.png

Are those what it's supposed to look like if it's working? Is it really multi-color like that?

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I "will" absolutely drive it this time around! What a huge mistake. I will store it in my attached garage this time, better humidity control. I'm thinking about buying a "CarCoon" from the UK. These CarCoons have a circulation system included. I would just have to install a 220 volt hook up in my garage, which should be a breeze.

I have been storing my Z in a car jacket until I’m ready to bring her home . It zips up and I put moisture absorbing buckets in it. No mold, no mice and no problems.


https://www.carbag.com/carjacket/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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8 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

warningdisplay4.png

warningdisplay9.png

Are those what it's supposed to look like if it's working? Is it really multi-color like that?

From memory of my zx turbo cars in the past,  yes, its a 2 or 3 color display.   Amber, green, and i think white.    The OK when all passes is green.

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6 hours ago, Av8ferg said:


I have been storing my Z in a car jacket until I’m ready to bring her home . It zips up and I put moisture absorbing buckets in it. No mold, no mice and no problems.


https://www.carbag.com/carjacket/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Do you think it would be possible to purge the oxygen out of the bag with a small tank of Nitrogen? No mold or rust without oxygen.

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No, the bag isn’t completely sealed. It closes with a zipper but with 2 damp rid buckets in there it keeps the moisture down.

Here are some products that are better to completely keep moisture out.


https://inthegarage.com/product/car-shield/


https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cce-ledb18?seid=srese1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxoGZora-6AIVGWyGCh1itAVfEAQYASABEgLG0_D_BwE




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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14 hours ago, S30Driver said:
  22 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

warningdisplay4.png

warningdisplay9.png

Are those what it's supposed to look like if it's working? Is it really multi-color like that?

Yes CO, those are the right colors.. greenish for the OK and orange for the warnings, all of them..  so only the OK sign is green..

the trouble could be in the box with partnr: 25065 P7100 named : warning module..

Edited by dutchzcarguy
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@dutchzcarguy  Well just the fact that it's multi-color unfortunately makes the system more complicated. So I've never seen one of these with my own two eyes, but simply from that era in time, the technology is probably vacuum fluorescent or plasma. Although it could be nixie-tube (neon) as you mentioned before. But I'm not sure if you can do multi-color with cold cathode like that..

My guess is that it it's VF.

So I punched that part number you mentioned into the web and found one on ebay:
s-l1600.jpg

And you're right. Could be a problem with the little display module itself in the dash cluster, or it could be a problem with the control module. Or any of the associated connections that make the system work.

 

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Now i wanted to find out what it is.. i looked if i got such a thing in my warehouse..  AND... YEP!  got one!

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It say's:  STANLEY  on the back..

It looks like there is a little lightbulb in the right side of the display.. and the display is build out of layers of glass of some sort.. with small dots of glass on them..  Just by shining some light on the specific plate the sign gets visable..  What a cool technology! 

There are ..  i took a good look in there ..  around 20 plates of glass or ( i suspect) plexiglass in there, some have the pixels others are just dividers..

STOP is in front, then the headlight sign and OK comes next.. for as far i can see, behind those is the rest of the signs.

By using a (colored) filter inbetween the lightbulb and the sign, these can light up in different colors!   :cool:

 

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Cool! So it's a light pipe! I was completely wrong. Not EL at all! You shine the light on the edge of the glass and it will refract when it hits the obstacles (the dots). You see the dots because of that.

So how does it switch between the different displays? Some kind of small slit shutter between the bulb and the layers? Shutter moves across the different layers somehow?

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I think a shutter would be to complicated.. maybe just a small bulb or LED per layer? It has a 10 wire connector with 8 wires, 2 of them for the on-switch (they go separate to the connector) so there could be 5 signs to be lit..  There can be lights build in on top and from the right.. ( as you can see in pic 1of4)   And… NO, i'm not going to open this unit! hahaha..  Maybe one day i need it for my own first edition slick roof 280zx..

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Oh, I thought you said it had just one bulb - "It looks like there is a little lightbulb in the right side of the display"

So if there are multiple light sources, then that would remove the need for a shutter. Just turn on a source for each "layer".

I took a quick look at the wiring diagram and the only thing that display connects to is the warning module you mentioned above. There is a dedicated harness that runs between the two (and only between the two). So, now the question(s) becomes... "Are there any smarts in that little display box, or is it simply a slave output bulb box for the amplifier module?"

Haha!! Troubleshooting remotely from a distance on something I've never seen with my own two eyes. I don't have a clue!  LOL.

Wiring diagram indicates there's a black wire. If you assume that's "ground", can you Ohm out light bulbs or LED's to the other wires that don't go to the switch? You should be able to easily identify an incandescent or LED.  (LOL easy for me to say from my distance, right?)

And if they're LED's that would remove the necessity for a colored filter over incandescent bulbs. I bet that's what it is. But I've missed every guess so far though!  LOL

Edited by Captain Obvious
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18 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Wiring diagram indicates there's a black wire

Hahahaha… yeah… one? it has got 3 of those!  The switch has one, the print on the upper and on the right have both one..  haha but on the other end there is a 10 pole connector.. with only one black..  (yeah somewhere in the yellow sleeve is a 3 into one black..) 

Furthermore, i think i have seen such a display work long time ago and the STOP in this display is red.. (OK is green) and the rest is lit a sort of orange..

No... even more colors!  Now i know where i saw one.. in a brochure! 

20200331_103841.jpg

Learn a little dutch on the side CO!   Hihihi… i think the display "car54280zx"  (Don't know his first name.) see's is the last one.. haha "defect" signaal (signal) !    

As you see there are 4-5 different colors in the display..

I got this pic out of a may 1st 1979 folder.

btw.. the battery level.. going to be a little bit difficult with todays battery's  ?

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On 3/29/2020 at 5:30 PM, dutchzcarguy said:

It looks like there is a little lightbulb in the right side of the display

It looks like there are some lights in the top and right side of the unit, but i'm not opening this unit as it is in great condition.

Since the unit has about 9 different wires, each display is simply activated by the ancillary sensor.

If i had these sensors i could make a complete system for my own 280zx!  The warning module is already in my possession

Edited by dutchzcarguy
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The only color that makes me question the LED thing is the niveau ruite-sproeierreservior. Blue LED's weren't common in 1981. The rest of the colors could easily be LED.

Can you take pics of the backs of the connectors on your display module so I can see the wire colors? I'll find that FSM page again and see if I can make heads or tails out of it.

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On page BE64 of the Original october 1978 servicemanual i see (bottom of the page) there are 8 lightbulbs inside the display! So they will have a thin film over them in a certain color..

As i'm sitting here doing absolutly NOTHING! ….. i can make you a few pics… yes... ?

 

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20200401_122016.jpg

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20200401_122151.jpg

20200401_122202.jpg

Hope i don't clog up the site... hahaha… are these enough?   ?

Took some of the … as they call it in the serv.man. (Huh??) amplifier..  the "warning module" ..   as well.

(forgot to make a pic of the wiring diagram in the serv.man. But that is only a schematic with 8 bulbs and a switch.) see the servicemanual, a few pages are dedicated to the warning system!

What i would like to see are a few pics of all those sensors in the car, especially the battery sensor.. but i think those are gone.. (sensing the acid in the battery is a violent environment.)

 

Edited by dutchzcarguy
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Awesome pics!

So the blacks are definitely the common connections. One black to the switch and one black to each side of the display cube. Looking at the traces on the circuit boards, each black to the side of the display cube is the common connection to four of the bulbs. So a total of three blacks.

1) Bank of four emitters on one side of the cube
2) Bank of four emitters on the other side of the cube
3) Switch

It's also clear that the cube is a dumb device with no decision making entities inside . It's simply a box of bulbs and a switch. All of the decision making is done in the "Warning Module - Amplifier" box. All that display cube does is turn on a bulb (or bulbs) with power supplied from the warning module.

So getting back to the original issue that @Car54280ZX is having... The problem is NOT in the display cube itself, but most likely resides in the warning module over by the glove box.

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Many thanks to all of you for digging into this!! After seeing the photos posted by @dutchzcarguy I can confirm these individual "icons" used to work perfectly. I was always able to see the individual "STOP", "HEAD", "TAIL", "WASH", "BATT" and finally "OK" at the end - all in different colors. 

I don't think they are LED's since this is early 1980's technology. In the photo posted by @dutchzcarguy the only "icon" that I never see is the solid color "DEFECT" signal. I think that's good news. The layered glass is an interesting technology that's likely very unique to the Japanese engineers. And like Captain Obvious said, "It's a light pipe." Something like some early fiber optic technology.

This has been a very "enlightening" (HA HA) discussion. Now that I see photos of the WARNING MODULE (thank you very much!!) I know what I'm looking for when I get under the passenger side of the dash. There are tons of wires over on that side of the dash . . . very close to the fuse box. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I can pull my Z out of the garage on a dry day and start looking. I also have tons of photos which I will go through.

Another thing BTW! I have ordered an enclosed trailer, currently being assembled by ALUMA in Iowa. 8.5 feet wide, 18 feet long with a dovetail at the back door ramp. I put a healthy down payment on it, but that was before the stock market took a sharp nosedive. Now I'm concerned that many spring and early summer car shows are going to be cancelled because of the pandemic. I'm hoping to take delivery on this trailer in early May. I checked yesterday and their company is considered "essential" because of all the agricultural trailers they make, so I hope there won't be delays and I hope the car shows will go on as planned. HOPE.

Thanks for all the great and helpful discussion! Keep it going! I'm determined to get that warning module working.  Rich K = Car54280ZX. I will keep everyone posted!

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21 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

2) Bank of four emitters on the other side of the cube

One is aside the other on top of the cube.

 

To Rich,

Your welcome.

i want to say, get yourself (if you don't already have one) the Original service manual, it's the best guide to solve problems. But..

Parts like the Warning Module, are in a block diagram, parts inside are not specified..  

 

I remember that i made some pic's of the inside… :Yes:

 

of that amplifier..

 

or as they call it on the unit: warning module!!

 

Lot's of... eh.... Cmos 4000 series?  real late '70 electronics !!!!

 

Look at it!  You can't believe this electronic unit is almost 40 years old!!!  todays electronics are hopeless when you look at/compare to this gem.

Every part can easely be replaced.. try that with modern electronics.. pfoei!

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For as far i can see you only need to replace 3 capacitors on the circuitboard..  (In pic 1)  on the right one cap (C3??) just right from the black tape round the 3 wires.  and 2 caps in the bottom of the pic each on 1/3 of the board..(marked C1 and C2!)

Maybe also the tantalum caps..(The blue droplets like parts) @Captain Obvious  I don't know really but i think they are as strong as the rest of the part on the board?

In the '70-80-90 when i repaired electronics you had lots of books, today with the internet.. you just type the number which is on the Integrated circuit (ic) and you get all the info on it you'll ever need !!! 

for example a 4011..

https://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/view/63585/HITACHI/HD14011B.html

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More great pics.

Yeah, those blue blobs are tantalum caps and are probably fine.

As for the rest of it, it looks pretty straight forward  (easy for me to say, right?). Pair of analog multiplexers/demux, a counter to spin them through their paces, and a bunch of logic gates (AND/OR/NAND, etc), and a crystal to drive the whole thing. I'm guessing it's just a big ol state machine that cycles through eight states when the "start" button is pressed.

Some analog conditioning on the front end for each channel, input mux connected to those to funnel it down to one signal as the counter counts to eight, a bunch of logic for the decision making, and an mux on the output side to direct the result to one of eight output transistors to drive each of the bulbs. Block diagram is pretty simple.

So even though it's probably not that complicated, as long as replacements are available on ebay, I wouldn't get into component level troubleshooting.    LOL

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