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Old 10-06-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
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1983 Datsun 280zx Starting Problem

Hello, everyone. I am new to the forums, although I have browsed them from time to time. There is a wealth of information here, although I haven't yet been able to find anything specific to my problem.

My dad has a 1983 Datsun 280zx. It's been sitting for years in a heated barn. It has less than 60k miles on it, but it doesn't get used nearly enough.

The other day I wanted to take it for a spin. I had previously charged the battery. I re-attached the battery cable and I heard a smoking and sizzling noise coming from the fusible link panel. I opened it up and saw the burned link, the one going to the accessories. None of the interior stuff would come on. I replaced the link, and it burned again. I took apart the steering column, fiddled with the wiring, checked all the fuses. Couldn't find any shorts. At one point I do believe that I saw a little bit of smoke coming from the steering wheel, but couldn't find anything visibly burned in there. Finally I plugged in another link and it didn't burn. I suspected that it had something to do with the wiring to that little light under the hood. The wiring was messed with to install some cruddy alarm system at some point, and was taped back together.

Now my current problem may be related or may not be. The car will turn over fine, and it will even catch and try to start, but then it immediately dies. After it dies it will turn over but not catch. Then if you try it again in 10-15 minutes it will turn over and catch then die. When I turn the key to the on position, I do not hear the fuel pump whirring.

I'm thinking it's maybe a problem with the fuel system? Or could it be in the ignition in the steering column?

Any ideas on where I should begin to diagnose this problem?

Thank you all in advance for any help you can give me.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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Welcome to Zdriver!

it could be a fuel problem, if you dont hear fuel pump priming before cranking then it could be that. check to see if your getting voltage at the terminals and see if the connectors to the pump (under the car) are in good shape. How long has the car been sitting since it was last used? Id do a few things like changing out the spark plugs, wires, fuel filter.



Hope that helps

Allen
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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I would guess that it's been sitting for a year. I put in new wires and plugs probably 2 years ago. The fuel filter is a good call, I'll check that. I'll also try to uncover the pump and see if it's getting voltage.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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I read in the manual that the pump should run for 5 seconds every time you turn on the key, but that was in the section for the E.C.C.R. (I think that's what it said, but I don't have the book here in front of me) as opposed to the E.F.I. How do I know which system this car has? Should the pump run for 5 seconds in either system?
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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I would guess that it's been sitting for a year. I put in new wires and plugs probably 2 years ago. The fuel filter is a good call, I'll check that. I'll also try to uncover the pump and see if it's getting voltage.

I believe that theres a wire under the rear foam pad of the hatch. You could start there. The wire from what i recall from my car is green and has a connector for just two terminals. Have someone turn the key to on while you check to see if there's voltage there.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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I read in the manual that the pump should run for 5 seconds every time you turn on the key, but that was in the section for the E.C.C.R. (I think that's what it said, but I don't have the book here in front of me) as opposed to the E.F.I. How do I know which system this car has? Should the pump run for 5 seconds in either system?
yea it should, from what i recall the e.c.c.r was a special diagnostic tool for the dealership, so it wouldn't matter here.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help guys. My dad ended up taking her to a shop, afraid that we'd mess something up (being amateurs, and all).

They're claiming that the computer is completely fried. So bad that they won't even take it as a core. They want $935 to replace it.

I'm seeing them here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Datsu...item563601ad56

For way less. How hard are these to replace? I'm guessing I would need the dealer's equipment to program it, right?

Thanks in advance for your help. $935 seems so obscene, but maybe I'm just ignorant.

Steve
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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I'm fairly certain it's just plug and play. You don't need to program it / you can't program it as far as I know.

Where are you located? You could get one out of a junk yard for very cheap. You'd just want to look for one that has something obviously wrong with it that is not ECU related. (Such as it was in a wreck)
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #9
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I'm fairly certain it's just plug and play. You don't need to program it / you can't program it as far as I know.

Where are you located? You could get one out of a junk yard for very cheap. You'd just want to look for one that has something obviously wrong with it that is not ECU related. (Such as it was in a wreck)
Great. Thank you, sir.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:11 AM   #10
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Welcome to Zdriver, hope you find the ECU! when you get her all started and going post some pictures, we alway love to see what other have...like greener grass on the neighbors lawn sort of deal LOL!
keep us posted!
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:57 PM   #11
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um...

very interesting
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:07 PM   #12
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i happen to have a spare ECU for an 83 280zx n/a, the parts car i got it out of had the digital speedo, let me know if your interested.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #13
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Dumb...............Mine sat for 5 years........... bought for 600.00 dude said the motor blew turned out the no-start was a Gelled fuel filter........Wireing maybe a separate issue if it fires your getting spark , fuel, and air.......Make sure your getting all 3 in good flow then go into the wireing computer issues. Best of luck owned mine for a year so far and what I learned was there as temper-mental as a spoiled chick from city..anything will **** them off.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:39 AM   #14
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1983 280zx

I had a similar issue with mine (i also got it from a dumb a$$ who thought it was blown and it wasnt... $300.00 usd lol) in any case my problem turned out to be a fuel pump. luckily (being the tinkerer i am) i took my stock fuel pump apart and was able to repair it (simply spin the rotor free and put it back together) now she runs purrfect. never trust a shop with an older vehicle like that, they will rip you a new one every time. the power system for the EFI\ECU\Fuel delivery in the Z is one of the strangest ive ever played with (granted i come from a FORD background) take it one step at a time... im thinkin that if your getting power to the fuel pump (black and green wires under trunk mat/foam) the ECU is good...
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:39 AM
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