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ensys

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  1. Well Mr.Dat: Thanks for the link; no love, but BINGO just the same. I now know that it is the Standard Motor vac module that Cardone always shows with their unobtanium distributor bodies. It was this very issue that prompted me to call the folks at Cardone the other day, seeking some way to obtain one of those obviously new units, so prominently displayed in all their cut fotos. This event was also illuminating, if you count "in a disappointing light". A two parter, it began with the "Tech" staff, that collectively claimed that Cardone "made" the piece, and no, it was not available to the public under any circumstances, presumably because of Proprietary interests. I was subsequently transferred to the "R and R" Dept., and a conversation that revealed that Cardone don't make no stinkin' VA modules, but he could/would not reveal their origins. He asserted that all the work is done in Mexico and the Home Office wasn't really interested in where they got the parts, and besides, the Contractor wasn't inclined to offer the information anyway. He volunteered that he believed that these days, they're using "pre-owned" stock for this purpose. Given what I know now about the Standard product, I have no reason to doubt him. Finally, as reason would suggest, that "send us your dist. and we will re-build it for you" stuff is, in fact, the Old Switcheroo turn-around, so there is little incentive to provide something you would like to keep. No wonder one occasionally gets a disclaimer about the "fit and finish" of the "rebuilt" product from a responsible dealer. I know it was naive to think anything else was the case, but desperation led me to try a bank shot: I'd pay full price if they would leave the dist. alone and just attach a module. Of course, I was rebuffed, tho he did opine that if I really wanted to get my own dist. back it would "probably cost 2 or 3 times the normal charge and there would be no predicting the turn-around time". Sigh. I wonder if there is a toll-free to someone interesting at Standard Motors....
  2. RE: '77 280Z Situation: A pristine distributor (D6F4-03) and a dead vacuum module (22301-N4200) . Parameter: - It's a street driver; no vacuum advance is not a viable option. After reading every post with "distributor" and "vacuum advance" module in it, I have come to accept that I am in a very deep, dark hole with nary a ladder in sight. Thus, I would pose the following questions to this august body: - Anyone have an appropriate and operational vacuum module for sale? - Anyone know of a module that could be modified to fit the distributor? - Anyone have a phone number for a Breaker that could provide a working module, even if it is attached to a junk distributor? - Anyone know of a commercially available distributor (with advance module) that can be made to work on the stock engine? - Anyone have any sympathetic advice? My thanks for your considerations.
  3. I think (an admittedly tentative version of "believe") that the hatch glass is not a simple barrel curvature, so that if one were to draw a straight line on a piece of paper (as in the role used by FrostFighter), one could not get a "horizontal" transfer without warping the paper. Just a speculation...
  4. While circumstance has slowed meaningful progress with my current dilemma of electrical dysfunction chronicled in "Party Tricks", I have had opportunity to nose around for potential solution candidates in the archives. I remembered, and found, this most interesting ECU thread from earlier this year. While I cannot provide dialog on the level of the expertise herein, I would offer a tidbit of anecdotal evidence that might shed some small light on a seemingly unresolved issue of brief discussion. The Orig.Owner of my (early) '77 280 apparently had some fuel feed issues (that I believe prompted them to sell the car in the end) within the first three years from new, that resulted in 5 new injectors and, I believe, a new ECU. The interesting part is that this replacement ECU for my CA-only Manual Trans model, that I have been running on since 1980, is an A11-601, "intended" for an Auto Trans. As the number (26) and deployment of populated pins seems to correspond with those shown in my FSM ( c.r. 1976, version unknown) which includes AT functions, I would conclude that any AT functional provisions are nonplussed by disuse; up until recently (maybe), it has worked without flaw. One might well conclude that the same goes for CA-only and Fed functions as well, implying a design philosophy of "if you don't rattle its cage with input, it won't growl at you". On the other hand, I would speculate that one can't run a 600 in an AT car, assuming there was some reason to distinguish between the two (600 and 601) in the first place. I presume that the difference between the two was related to the time-frame of conception for each. Still, one wonders then, why the 601 didn't simply supersede the 600 in all cars... Not earth-shaking, but interesting. Or not.
  5. Might I suggest that given a clean surface to start, plastic Scotch tape has a good edge, and is more stable than elect. tape, making a straight line easier to obtain. Plus, it leaves less adhesive residue than moderne masking tape. Just a thought...
  6. Mr.ET14K: My kudos for your apparently rare sense of persistent helpfulness. I thank you, Sir. I too, have considered the fuel pump function, especially in light of, if the FSM is to be believed, the fact that the F.I. relay has just passed the muster of diagnostic exam (thus debunking my current reckon of root cause). As I continue to hope the fault lies away from the ECU, I am drawn to the remaining suspects, TPS, or (dread the thought) the AFM. But still, I remain flummoxed by the symptoms: pumping the throttle sometimes restores function, and how ign. sw. play does the same more reliably.. Add to this the fact that I still cannot decide whether the fault lies with fuel delivery or ignition.The plugs still present sooty, but this still only confirms poorly combusted fuel, but fuel none the less. It does occur to me to monitor fuel pump function as the reading might be clue-like. The problem here, is that the "clue" might well be second hand to the root issue. The idea of verifying ignition at the plugs has some merit, but when the engine stops, I have no doubt that the ignition has ceased to function. The issue remains, "why?". At this point, as suspects go, there is the TPS, or a time to re-visit the AFM. Or perhaps the intolerance to load points to the distributor/timing functions. With the pass of the F.I. relay, I'm running out of suspects. I can't escape the sense that I am missing something very obvious. - Edit - The problem with the AFM theory is that it does not possess the ability to change from sweet to nasty instantaneously. A bad sweep can't turn good and back again at the drop of a hat. The fact that there is no more "sweet" leads me to believe that whatever the cause, it has failed permanently. Does this point to a distributor function?
  7. Why, yes I do. One of the ceramic honkers on the inner wheel housing, next to the coil. I just went thru that neighborhood with a VOM recently.
  8. Just a couple thoughts... I think perhaps there is a good reason that all the old manuals illustrate repairs being done with an old fashion drafting pen (looks like the long bill of a bird). The advantage is that (theoretically) one doesn't have to mask (the bill or "nib" is adjustable for width, and when used properly, will produce a very clean edge. the other positive is that the bead will have a slightly rounded top that would provide more net cross section. The other is that isn't such a grid usually coated with a thin, clear protective layer of something? Or not.
  9. Second Update or Deja Vu All Over Again: The change of ICM is a bust. In 5 operation cycles (all in town), the first two were Heaven; it ran just as it should. The third, toward the end, was marked by a brief hiccup, but okee, dokee otherwise. The fourth (toward the end) had a hiccup and a stall. The fifth tho, was all-Hell-all-the-time. Not even brief moments of sanity. This last time out (maybe a 6-7mi. trip which was unavoidable) was a nitemare. Had to re-start several times after every stop and a few in between. A good time for a strong battery.The car is undrivable. So the Trusty Z is sidelined again. Frankly, I am befuddled (even more than usual). Current clues: - The primary spasms occur between 500 and 2K rpm; this is the window in which it will not run, usually on the heels of deceleration or blipping to keep the revs up at rest. Between 2K and 3K, deceleration has a noticeable effect. - The spasms are not accompanied by the expected misfire histrionics; that is, no coughs, no wheezes, no back or front fires, no farts or burps. Just on and off. - During these spasms, and in the lowest rpm range, one can, with judicial foot work, get some control of the throttle with the clutch out, but the very moment any load is introduced (like engaging the clutch) below say, 3K rpm, the engine will cut out. I found revving to over 3K (which wasn't easy at rest) and slip/dump the clutch the only way to get rolling from a stop. I bet I put 10K mi. on the clutch in less than an hour. Above 3K, the motor sings like a bird. - If in gear, sometimes pumping the accelerator vigorously will restore life suddenly when it quits, but not always. And again, all without any unseemly noises that would indicate distress. - I have recently discovered that if in the throws of spasm with a suddenly dead engine, life is instantly restored by turning the key to off and back to on, or more interesting still, by turning the key from on to touch start for the briefest of moments (the pinion barely kissing the edge of the ring gear, but not engaged). However, I think there is no reason to believe its malfunction could cause these symptoms. More likely it is a matter of sending a jolt that resets the true culprit. - The effects of these measures are very temporary. - The problem is constant thru the full engine temp cycle. -Tach functions as normal thruout. So, I reckon it's back to basics of assessing electrical components. I suppose it's possible that the new ICM could fail in the exact same way over maybe 25mi., but I see that as a pretty long shot. I still don't think it's a fuel pump malfunction, but I guess at this point, anything is possible. This will be hard to test because I know it runs and can provide for high revs, and I've not quite figured out how, during duty cycle testing, to separate its own function from that triggered by other circuits. Also, I doubt these conditions indicate coil (which was recently tested) or distributor (freshly re-built) issues, but hey. I'm thinking to re-visit the TPS. Maybe the F.I. relay needs a closer look (another tricky test), as it is the junction of several run systems. I suppose the AFM remains a potential suspect, but its only switch (fuel pump cut off) isn't active when the flap is any degree of open, and I don't see the sweeper suddenly changing its character of operation. And I don't discount the possibility that the ECU has lost its mind, so maybe another full spectrum continuity test. But I am really hoping to find the culprit before I come to this one; replacing one old ECU with another old ECU is too much like trading a known headache for an unfamiliar upset stomach. Am I overlooking something? Anybody out there feel like helping a fellow Z driver to wrestle a challenging puzzle? Or am I just too dumb to see some obvious answer? If so, be a sport and point it out to me, please.
  10. Mr.ET14K: Well, since you asked... I installed an aftermarket ICM (Standard Motors LX511), and so far, the results are encouraging. It's early in the Trials period, but most of the symptoms have subsided (the idle remains unsettled when cold, but I believe that's a different story). I'll know more after more use, a plug read, and a fiddle or two, but I think this direction is the right one. Thanks for your interest.
  11. Mr.ET14K: I wouldn't have this post drop into obscurity without noting my appreciation to you and Mr.guy for doing me the courtesy of addressing my problem in the true spirit of this site.
  12. While removing the bolt-in supports are no big trick, the riser bulkhead behind the seats is welded in. On the other hand, it makes a pretty good cargo stop. Might be a little hard on the family dog, tho. Speaking of which; any suggestions about a reliable breaker that might have the lids to the cubby holes?
  13. I believe the sloped floor was confined to the earliest '77s like my Feb. build example.
  14. Mr.ET14K: Interesting thought, one I hadn't considered. It does address the sudden change of condition symptom tho. I admit being stuck on the idea that it is a fuel delivery issue, but hey. When in the throes of spasm, I don't see/hear consequence from improper combustion, but I'm willing to believe I could be wrong; It wouldn't be the first time. While I'm not optimistic about the prospects of detecting temporary insanity, I'll review the FSM section. Anyone else second this motion? Still open to all thoughts... While not applicable to your theorem, I should like to provide some background I neglected in the first post: Just to round out the picture, the Z is in its ShakeDown phase after a rather comprehensive preservation effort that included an engine rebuild. Engine assembly included a full diagnostic on all electrical/EFI components as they were installed. Also, the wiring harness is all original, intact, and fully functional.
  15. RE: early '77 280Z Ever seen that theatrical party skit where some sober soul (let's call him Mr.Fairface) is hypnootized for a lark, so that at the utterance of a "trigger" word, he is immediately transformed into Mr.Uglyface, a roaring drunk? Then, with the trigger word, Mr.Fairface is back, etc. This, gentle reader, is the apt illustration of my Z problem. Mr.Happyface is a happy, sweet running engine with a strong, clear idle, a sweet sensitivity to a gentle tip-in of the throttle, and a strong, sure pull from almost any rpm. A true baseline of operation that would do any mechanic proud. Mr.Uglyface is a cranky, ill mannered motor that refuses to idle, won't tolerate throttle, and which bucks and lurches up to about 2K rpm, if you can get it that high. On the way, while you're trying to clear its throat, it farts light grey mist from the tail pipe. A plug read in the wake of Mr.Uglyface screams "way too rich", which pretty much eliminates fuel pump issues. But here's the punchline: the change from either face to the other happens like someone spoke the trigger word, or threw a switch (in electrical terms). And the transitions are independent of coolant temperature. And it still happens if I unplug the CSV. Oh, and the CTS is new, and given the natural action of a thermocouple, I would rule out its ability to produce instantaneous changes. I tend to also exclude the AAR for the same reason. Also, the TPS has been carefully calibrated from the start. In use, despite my fiddlings with the AFM, the idle mix, timing, checking vacuums, etc., the periods of Mr.Uglyface are becoming more frequent and are lasting longer. Crazy, huh? Any thoughts?
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