280Z Exhaust Fumes Culprit? - Page 3 - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 09:09 PM
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Wow major discovery for me today: the taillight lenses and bulb sockets. After 40 years, the likelihood of fumes getting past the lenses and then through the bulb sockets is huge. And the taillight gasket doesn't cover that area. The lenses normally screw down and seal right up to the housing. The bulb sockets twist into the housing with O rings, but over time both areas warp and develop leaks. I noticed slight warping in the lens mounting, and more importantly, looseness in the bulb sockets, after years of being seated in the same position and possible shrinking of the O rings. So, I have a solution. I can't find the O rings on the normal parts sources, I'll have to bring one around to local auto outlets and try to match. But whether you use new or old ones, try this: when you screw in the bulb socket into the housing clockwise, go all the way to the stop and then back off (go counter-clockwise) 1/8 to 1/4 inch or so, you'll feel it seat in much more snug and no rattling. Hope it's not doing anything bad, it seems so much more tight this way. It's just a suggestion, but now I know this area is a culprit. Pics coming. If/when I find replacement O rings I'll give a link. Sounds nit-picky, but whatever it takes to have Sister Golden Hair come sit herself back on down into that empty passenger seat.
Replacement o-rings are available at o'reilly auto parts (I just got em a few weeks back). Of course don't ask for our car specifically. I just pulled off one of the old o-rings around a bulb and asked them for a match. They brought up a big segmented box of o-rings and they had ones of the same size that work perfectly despite not having the flat spots where the bulb meets the lens housing.

They were however $2 each which surprised me.

1978 280z - stock L28 engine - Dallas, TX
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Replacement o-rings are available at o'reilly auto parts (I just got em a few weeks back). Of course don't ask for our car specifically. I just pulled off one of the old o-rings around a bulb and asked them for a match. They brought up a big segmented box of o-rings and they had ones of the same size that work perfectly despite not having the flat spots where the bulb meets the lens housing.

They were however $2 each which surprised me.
That's really good to know, thanks. You weren't kidding about fumes from the actual lights after all. Yep, $2 each does add up when you need 8 or more and it's just a plentiful O ring. But I can respect their function now. Just look at how the wires attached to the sockets are covered in those insulated rubber housings. Seal is the word.

'78 280Z
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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And I hope with some version of Sister Golden Hair along for the ride (or should I say, who will FINALLY ride in the car again now that she's not gagging on the fumes. LOL)
Just had to reference this for its utter truth. For, if "Sis" approves the fumes repair, perhaps she will then understand my need for late night tinkering. Perhaps not, but oh well thank goodness I don't have to explain it to my forum compadres.

'78 280Z
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 08:09 AM
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went through this over the weekend. After years of using a bright light inside the car in a dark garage to try to find cracks, I broke down and got a smoke machine. there were still a ton of leaks a lot from the seams and areas I thought i had gotten. I used to vacuums. I got a can a flex seal clear and sprayed areas I could not reach. I am not 100% fume free but very close.
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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went through this over the weekend. After years of using a bright light inside the car in a dark garage to try to find cracks, I broke down and got a smoke machine. there were still a ton of leaks a lot from the seams and areas I thought i had gotten. I used to vacuums. I got a can a flex seal clear and sprayed areas I could not reach. I am not 100% fume free but very close.
Is there a specific brand or type of smoke machine? I've heard so many good results with them, and if all I'm doing now doesn't now cure it, I would go that route. When these cars were new there wasn't the exhaust fume issue. I am lucky (due to age I guess) to have driven a couple nearly new Z's way back in the '70s with never a whiff of exhaust back there. I will never forget the feeling of those cars, the sheer thrill, even sitting, idling or crawling along. Kinda what I'm trying to get close enough to today. By the way that Flex Seal is some seriously effective stuff. Worth the $$.

'78 280Z
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 03:04 PM
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I just bought one of the cheaper ones from amazon
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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 03:42 PM
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I just bought one of the cheaper ones from amazon
Do you recall how much it was?

Also did you place it on a step ladder behind the car with teh vacuum coming in through the window or put it in the car and see where it seeped out like the dry-ice test?

1978 280z - stock L28 engine - Dallas, TX
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 09:37 AM
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Ok I put 2 vacuums in the window. yes I elevated the smoke machine moved it around. Hope you are limber, I had to get in the car have someone else close the hatch and then find where the smoke was coming from. you'll be surprised
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I put 2 vacuums in the window. yes I elevated the smoke machine moved it around. Hope you are limber, I had to get in the car have someone else close the hatch and then find where the smoke was coming from. you'll be surprised
Marvelous technique. I noticed Amazon has smoke machines starting around $40 and up. Well here's the latest update, see pics: I finished removing the old adhesive and now the new seal is dry-fitted in place awaiting gluing. Just wondering: 1) Was your door a bit hard to close after the installation as mine seems it is and 2) This is not an OEM seal it's an aftermarket made by Precision, and it looks a bit different than the original, but is beefy and seems to be good. Is that ok or should I return it and get the OEM which is 3 times the price ($180)? 3) Disregard the bubbling in the lower corners I'm aware and hoping I can wire-brush it and refinish decently, as I have felt underneath, and the metal still seems ok. Regardless I may bring it up in a separate post. Getting close to the first aroma test....
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File Type: jpg Hatch seal1.jpg (105.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Hatch seal2.jpg (160.5 KB, 13 views)

'78 280Z
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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 05:34 PM
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Marvelous technique. I noticed Amazon has smoke machines starting around $40 and up. Well here's the latest update, see pics: I finished removing the old adhesive and now the new seal is dry-fitted in place awaiting gluing. Just wondering: 1) Was your door a bit hard to close after the installation as mine seems it is and 2) This is not an OEM seal it's an aftermarket made by Precision, and it looks a bit different than the original, but is beefy and seems to be good. Is that ok or should I return it and get the OEM which is 3 times the price ($180)? 3) Disregard the bubbling in the lower corners I'm aware and hoping I can wire-brush it and refinish decently, as I have felt underneath, and the metal still seems ok. Regardless I may bring it up in a separate post. Getting close to the first aroma test....
To answer your questions in order:
1) if you are talking about driver/passenger door weatherstripping and not the hatch door - get rid of that stuff - its gonna be slam city. Go to the scrapyard and get the sportage door stripping, no slamming required
2) the aftermarket ones i had would not stay glued at the top and would sneak out - only the OEM one (which is thinner) stayed glued - but that could be my hatch. If they didn't work for other folks they wouldnt be selling them

1978 280z - stock L28 engine - Dallas, TX
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