1983 280zx no power from coil. - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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1983 280zx no power from coil.

I’m just about ready to get my car running but I realized I wasn’t getting any spark. I started testing from the plugs back and I found that I wasn’t getting any power from the coil. Before replacing it I tested to see if the coil was getting power and it was showing as positive on both the pos and neg posts. After replacing it I still have the same problem. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 08:43 PM
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Iím just about ready to get my car running but I realized I wasnít getting any spark. I started testing from the plugs back and I found that I wasnít getting any power from the coil. Before replacing it I tested to see if the coil was getting power and it was showing as positive on both the pos and neg posts. After replacing it I still have the same problem. Any ideas?
Check the condenser and condenser wires. If those arent working the coil won't fire.

1978 280z - stock L28 engine - Dallas, TX
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 08:29 PM
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What?? The condenser is just there to attenuate (help eliminate) electrical noise. Coil will fire with or without it if everything else is correct.

OP - the coil, well, is a "coil" - it's just coiled up wires. You'll read voltage on both terminals - because it's just coiled up wires. The coil "gives off a spark" when the "-" terminal is grounded momentarily. In a points distributor, the points do the sporadic grounding. Or it can be done by an "electronic ignition module" which is the case in your ZX. There is a common point of failure in the ZX electronic ignition distributor - search, you'll find it. Ya, download the Factory Service Manual too.

1974 "early" 260Z - L28ET - MS3X full sequential fuel and spark, COP=Ford 4.6 coilpacks w/ Nissan Ignitor, diyautotune chopper wheel - FMIC - T04E .63 A/R - 400cc Injectors (too big!), 14point7 Spartan2 Wideband - C/R 5-speed - Coilovers - Big Brake Kit up front, Porterfield friction all around. Mesa, AZ
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 10:02 PM
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I had the same problem about 3 months ago. Took forever to find the problem. For me it turn out to be the crank sensor.

San Marcos, TX
1983 280ZX Turbo Coupe
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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So if I crank the engine over then the ground should stop reading positive? And if this isn’t the case then it would be a crank angle sensor, right?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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So if I crank the engine over then the ground should stop reading positive? And if this isnít the case then it would be a crank angle sensor, right?
Only for the millisecond the controller is applying a ground to get it to spark. That happens very quickly and probably can't be read with a multimeter. Google "how do I test an ignition coil?" (It's not your coil)

Do you have an N/A ZX or a turbo? Big difference in what controls spark...

1974 "early" 260Z - L28ET - MS3X full sequential fuel and spark, COP=Ford 4.6 coilpacks w/ Nissan Ignitor, diyautotune chopper wheel - FMIC - T04E .63 A/R - 400cc Injectors (too big!), 14point7 Spartan2 Wideband - C/R 5-speed - Coilovers - Big Brake Kit up front, Porterfield friction all around. Mesa, AZ
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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So if I crank the engine over then the ground should stop reading positive? And if this isn’t the case then it would be a crank angle sensor, right?
Only for the millisecond the controller is applying a ground to get it to spark. That happens very quickly and probably can't be read with a multimeter. Google "how do I test an ignition coil?" (It's not your coil)

Do you have an N/A ZX or a turbo? Big difference in what controls spark...
It’s a turbo, pretty sure it’s electronic “points” in the distributor
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 12:55 PM
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OMG... You should have said that from the beginning. The L28ET is the first in a Nissan to use ECCS and it's the modern scheme of using the ECU to control spark. The turbo distributor contains the C.A.S. - it's an optical module that gives the ECU a crank and cam position signal. The ECU puts out a "spark now" signal which is converted by the Ignitor ((Electronic Ignition Module) mounted on the side of the coil bracket) to a value that will fire the coil.

Get the FSM and go through the troubleshooting steps in the ECCS section.

An easy test to check the CAS is: expose the ECU so you can see the LED through the hole in the side of the case. Turn the ignition to ON, LED should light. Crank the engine. The LED should turn OFF once the ECU sees a CAS signal. If you've cranked for a while and the LED doesn't turn off, it's the CAS or it's wiring or it's connection to the ECU. If it does turn off, your problem is ECU, Ignitor, or (probably not) coil OR the wiring or connectors to any of the above. 90% of problems I see in EFI and ECCS Z's is wiring and/or connector related. The connectors are not weatherproof and these cars were never meant to be on the road this long. The wire is oxidized and the connectors are corroded. Neither is good for an EFI (ECCS) system...

1974 "early" 260Z - L28ET - MS3X full sequential fuel and spark, COP=Ford 4.6 coilpacks w/ Nissan Ignitor, diyautotune chopper wheel - FMIC - T04E .63 A/R - 400cc Injectors (too big!), 14point7 Spartan2 Wideband - C/R 5-speed - Coilovers - Big Brake Kit up front, Porterfield friction all around. Mesa, AZ
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cgsheen View Post
OMG... You should have said that from the beginning. The L28ET is the first in a Nissan to use ECCS and it's the modern scheme of using the ECU to control spark. The turbo distributor contains the C.A.S. - it's an optical module that gives the ECU a crank and cam position signal. The ECU puts out a "spark now" signal which is converted by the Ignitor ((Electronic Ignition Module) mounted on the side of the coil bracket) to a value that will fire the coil.

Get the FSM and go through the troubleshooting steps in the ECCS section.

An easy test to check the CAS is: expose the ECU so you can see the LED through the hole in the side of the case. Turn the ignition to ON, LED should light. Crank the engine. The LED should turn OFF once the ECU sees a CAS signal. If you've cranked for a while and the LED doesn't turn off, it's the CAS or it's wiring or it's connection to the ECU. If it does turn off, your problem is ECU, Ignitor, or (probably not) coil OR the wiring or connectors to any of the above. 90% of problems I see in EFI and ECCS Z's is wiring and/or connector related. The connectors are not weatherproof and these cars were never meant to be on the road this long. The wire is oxidized and the connectors are corroded. Neither is good for an EFI (ECCS) system...
My bad, thought I put it on here. But thanks man, I’ll go check it out tomorrow.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Tried the ECU trick like cgsheen said but I can’t find any type of LED. This is not the factory ECU, I’m pretty sure it’s a reman but it’s from Godzilla Raceworks. I have a Hanes manual but I’ve trie just about everything in there and can’t figure it out.
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