Oil pan removal on 280zx--engine lift needed? - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-12-2002, 06:22 PM
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Oil pan removal on 280zx--engine lift needed?

I need to pull the oil pan on my '83 280zx n/a fairly soon to clean out the oil pickup (when the engine is hot, it sometimes takes an alarmingly long time to get oil pressure.)

The Haynes manual says I have to lift the engine a few inches to get the pan out. Is this correct? In my case, I wouldn't have to pull the pan completely, just enough to remove the pickup.
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-12-2002, 06:33 PM
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How about?

Swapping the oil pressure sender first?
Doubtful there is that much sludge causing a problem with oil pressure rtising.
Oil P senders on Z's are notorious for not sending the correct signal.
Verify with a MECHANICAL gauge! Take a "T" and put the mechanical in parallell with the sender, and make sure it's full of oil on the line so you read when the pressure in in the gallery, and not building up the mechanical's capillary.
Chances are, your pressure is fine.
10-15# at idle is normal. And the rule of thumb is 10# per 1000rpm in the L-Motor.
With the mechanical you can alos watch the bleed-down after the engine is shut off. This will tell you clearances on the rods and crank somewhat.
If it bleeds down really quickly, you may just have excessive clearances, and that's why it takes time to "pump up". In that case, you may be able to swap the oil pump to the 83ZXT w/Auto part, to restore enough flow to get good pressure at idle, without having to teardown anything!
I'd look a little further before tearing into things!
Also, don't be using killer-weight oil, especially multi-vis stuff like 10 or 20W-50. What that stuff does is act like 50 weight when hot, and can cause pump-up problems like you say you're experiencing, as the pump is designed to pump 30wt from the pan, and 50 wt doesn't draw as well. That's why so many car companies now run 5W stuff: on cold starts, the oil is EVERYWHERE very quickly after cranking/startup. Cuts wear, and lowers friction losses.
Oil is very misunderstood...

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-12-2002, 11:21 PM
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Re: How about?

I don't think it's the pressure sender, since it comes up just fine in most cases, and in those where it seems to have trouble, it waits a while, with the oil warning light on, at zero, and then comes up later at the same time as the light goes off.

My oil is conventional 10W-30. (Tried synthetic at first, it cleared out so much gunk from the engine that it started to clog up, this is where my oil pump-up problem started, also the oil looked fairly nasty and was leaking past the rear oil seal. I plan to switch to part-synthetic after everything's settled down.) Is it worth switching over to 5W-30?

I want to pull the pan and clean things out, mostly so I can feel safe. Is lifting the engine really necessary?
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2002, 11:55 PM
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Re: How about?

What kind of 'gunk' are you talking about? I'd do a flush. And you do have to remove the entire pan to get the pickup out.

-Jason
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1990 300ZX Twin Turbo- SOLD!!!!

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#5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2002, 12:58 AM
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Yep, you gotta lift.

Easy way to do it is to jackstand the car, and loosen the mounts. Lift it from underneath until you can wedge 2X4 or 4X4's in the motor mount areas. This gives you plenty of room to do what you will.
Flushing with light-solvent may clear outthe pan. That's what I did on the 81 ZX I bought. 186K, ran that quart of oil flush after running it with 2quts of ATF in it for a week of driving (500 miles)
Drained out a quart or so, put the flush in, and followed the instructions.
Put in five quarts of ATF, ran it for 30 min between idle and 1500 slooowly acellerating, then drained a quart---put in more flush. Repeated the flush instructions.
Drained the whole shebang, and have been running ever since. Never pulled the pan.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
-Ecclesiastes 1:9 and that means SEARCH, NOOB!

Canadians don't get it. Period. End of discussion.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2002, 08:27 AM
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Re: Yep, you gotta lift.

You ran Automatic Transmission Fluid in your engine? That's a new one on me.

1982 280ZX N/A auto
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2002, 08:09 PM
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You don't drive it...

Unless it's like -65!!! Actually it's VERY common. The ATF is VERY high-detergent/dispersant. It really cleans out the engine. Cleans up sticking hydraulic lifters on Chevy's, too!
For the flush, when you run straight ATF, you don't DRIVE the car, you just accelerate it through the rpm range in Neutral.
Actually, if the temperature is below -40 continuously, ATF, being a 10WT oil, IS an acceptable lubricant in both the Gearbox and Engine!

Common in Alaska to run ATF years back, as regular straight weights would not even allow the engine to crank over. You used to have to lite atire on fire and stick it under the oil pan to get it warm, and then try to get it started.
Aaaaah, the good 'ole days...

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
-Ecclesiastes 1:9 and that means SEARCH, NOOB!

Canadians don't get it. Period. End of discussion.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2002, 11:57 PM
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Re: You don't drive it...

Will ATF clean out gritty/carbon type deposits? I'm thinking of what I cleaned out of the pan of the turbo L28 I took apart recently, stuff that sat in the bottom of the pan and didn't dissolve after a month in safe-t-kleen (basically mineral spirits). It seems like this is probably what's clogging the pickup, otherwise it would have come out with the motor flush.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2002, 09:45 AM
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Re: You don't drive it...

to lift my 82 engine for oil pan gasket replacement I used a 4x4 piece of wood cut to fit over the fender mount bolts. mark and then bore a hole through the lumber above the rear engine hoist point. take a piece of threaded rod, bend one end to 90 deg hook it through lift point put washer and nut on it put other end through 4x4 with washer and nut on top side. makes for extremely easy height adjustments on engine during trans or clutch work/ oil pan work / etc
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2002, 01:42 PM
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That'll work...

Kinda like a GM powertrain cradle for FWD vehicles, only for a Z!

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
-Ecclesiastes 1:9 and that means SEARCH, NOOB!

Canadians don't get it. Period. End of discussion.
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