280ZX Won't crank - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 280ZX Won't crank

I have been restoring my 280ZX for a couple months. My father got a friend from work to help put some new coilovers and do some basic maintenance things such as change transmission, brake, and rear diff fluids etc.. The first time he came over my father wanted me to leave the keys to the 280 so he could take it around the block and see if they could hear anything wrong with it mechanically. I forgot to leave the keys at the house so they decided to jump start it. After that day there was a red blinking light in the center control panel that looked like some sort of after market security system. After the light started flashing the car wouldn't even crank. So I went under the dash and took out the security system and the light stopped flashing but the car still wont start. Naturally I thought that the solenoid was fried so I got a new one and put it in properly, still no crank. Next thing I could think of is that the battery is shot, I asked my dad and he said they accidentally put the polarities on the wrong sides when they went to jump it with another car (last time I'm leaving him with my car alone). So I switched the battery with a battery I have in my old 1984 GMC Suburban, and put a car battery charger on it. Now when it charges the left blinker blinks for some reason even when the blinker isn't engaged in the cab, and the whole situation is making me upset because I just wanted to restore it and now I have more problems then I asked for. Oh and still after the battery change it won't start or even start to crank... So any ideas? I would really like to drive my 280ZX again but it wont even crank
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 12:12 AM
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When you put the key in and turn it to 'on' can you turn the lights/radio/whatever on or is there no power to the car regardless?

1978 280z - stock L28 engine - Dallas, TX
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 07:44 AM
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You need to see if power is getting to the solenoid when you crank it. Turn the key and have someone check you are getting electrical power to he solenoid lead. You can also test the starter by jumping across the pos and neg terminal on the starter with the metal portion of a long screw driver and it should crank. If it does it would lead me to think there is no power getting the starter associated with the security system you pulled.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 10:28 AM
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$8 for a remote starter from Harbor Freight is a EXCELLENT item for your tool box!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:13 PM
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Everything about your post tells me the wiring is screwed up. Once you remove the aftermarket security system (shudder...I hate those kludged things...) I suggest you get back under the dash with a factory manual or print out and patiently restore the wiring harness to stock configuration. Until you do that, you won't know where you are.

I believe that somewhere there are one or more wires loose, connections swapped or otherwise incorrect.

And make sure all connections are soldered, or at least carefully butt-spliced, not twisted and taped. You want vibration-proof wiring restoration.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganArmistead View Post
I have been restoring my 280ZX for a couple months.

The first time he came over my father wanted me to leave the keys to the 280 so he could take it around the block and see if they could hear anything wrong with it mechanically. I forgot to leave the keys at the house so they decided to jump start it.

I asked my dad and he said they accidentally put the polarities on the wrong sides when they went to jump it with another car (last time I'm leaving him with my car alone).

Now when it charges the left blinker blinks for some reason even when the blinker isn't engaged in the cab,

Oh and still after the battery change it won't start or even start to crank... So any ideas? I would really like to drive my 280ZX again but it wont even crank
Reversing the battery leads is a big deal. Various things get shorted and damaged. Like the blinker flasher or the turn signal unit. The first thing to do is to check all of your fusible links. You will have to learn all about electricity and circuits now, unfortunately, as pilgrim suggests. Do your testing with a meter, don't guess then reconnect the battery.

Bummer. Good luck.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pdx280 View Post
Reversing the battery leads is a big deal. Various things get shorted and damaged. Like the blinker flasher or the turn signal unit. The first thing to do is to check all of your fusible links. You will have to learn all about electricity and circuits now, unfortunately, as pilgrim suggests. Do your testing with a meter, don't guess then reconnect the battery.

Bummer. Good luck.
Oh rats, I missed that. In addition to my earlier comments, you should check the service manual and test the ECU to make sure it's still working.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:21 PM
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Jumping a car with the polarities reversed is bad news. Check your fusible links and do some testing with a meter, also definitely go under the dash with a fsm and redo the wires to factory if you can.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 01:16 PM
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Jumping a car with the polarities reversed is bad news. Check your fusible links and do some testing with a meter, also definitely go under the dash with a fsm and redo the wires to factory if you can.
Checking the fusible links is an excellent idea, I concur. Usually hooking the battery up or jumper cables backwards cooks the ecu on the zx but it's usually very fixable. One of my vendors repairs them for me all the time. Easy way to tell is to pull the ecu, remove the cover and look for a burnt spot. Another test is to use your nose once you pull the ecu out of it's cover and see if you can smell something burnt. 90% of the time if it's been damaged from reversed polarity you'll be able to smell it very easily.
As far as the engine not cranking over check the energizer lead on the solenoid when the key is in the start position just like someone said before me. Following that circuit in a FSM wire diagram is a good follow up as well. Rule #1 . when trying to fix a problem, ALWAYS use proper diagnostic procedures first, before buying parts. Don't speculate or try to take a short cut. Short cuts make you spend money needlessly.


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