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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I will be inheriting this mint condition 280zx, its been sitting since the early 90s the reason for it being dormant was due to it needing a water pump and im unsure of any other issues at this time. I’ve checked the oil and included photos and looks like the motor could be turned over (im not a certified mechanic). What i would like to know is what i will need to do in order to get it turned over.. any information would be helpful. Im aware it will need new fuel, coolant, engine oil, and to clean out the gas tank and replace fuel pump and filter am i missing anything else?
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Start by searching threads here. We get this question about once a week, and there are any number of threads discussing the process.

Your initial list in the last sentence is a really good start. Obvious stuff is hoses, belts, vacuum lines and any other perishables. Cleaning the fuel hoses and injector rails, and replacing fuel filter, are also on the list.

Then come back with specific questions and we'll help.
 

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Well that “looks” in a good shape!

If it was me, I would:

1. Flush the entire cooling system several times but not with too much pressure. Then refill with 50:50 distilled / de-ionised water and IAT (normally blue) anti-freeze! This will help reduce further corrosion too! Clearly, replace the water pump :p oh and add a new fan belt for good measure.

2. Replace oil and filter and do a small flush by pulling out about a litre of the new stuff for get some of the gunk at the bottom. Fill with oil, but remember you will ditch this oil very soon after first start up etc. So don’t get the best quality oil for that first start. Just make sure it’s designed for classic cars with ZDDP. I would be tempted to go thinner to allow it to get into all the small gaps, so a 5w40 would be my min. For my first start I actually soaked the oil can in a tub of hot water to ensure it was at least 20-30 degrees warmer than stone cold.

Make sure you fill the filter before screwing it on. This may make a mess when you put it on but will be very beneficial. Also make sure you have some oil on the rubber o-ring to help it seat / seal well.

3. Take off the cam cover and inspect the cam for any rust, clean up very gently if any rust exists but be VERY gentle! Once you are happy you don’t have sharp rust particles, get a paint brush and lather the valve train in oil!

4. Pull out spark plugs and with a syringe squirt two to three syringes into each cyl. This will make for a nice smoky first start up but will better protect your dry cyl walls!

5. Flush the entire fuel system, tank, hoses etc and change any rubber fuel hoses for bio fuel hoses. That way you only do them once for nearly ever and make them ethanol resistant. I’m not familiar with the injection system but I’m sure wiser heads can chime in here for any prep work.


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6. Charge the battery on a slow charge overnight and make sure she’s a good one! But if you have a charger with a “start boost function” that would be very beneficial. Mine can deliver 1.5-3A slow charge or 80A in start boost mode when I’m doing things like compression tests etc. Also check the distributor cap and rotor and replace if they look cracked or worn. In fact just put in new ones and new HT leads to do yourself a favour. I am also making an assumption the coil is still healthy.

7. Repeat 3. & 4. and put the cam cover back on with a new gasket. Make sure you remove all / any stuck on old gasket residue.

8. Take off the low tension spade connectors on the coil to disable it and avoid shocking yourself.

9. Turn the engine over by hand a few turns in the right direction using the bolt head on the crank pulley / damper.


10. Now connect your battery charger on boost / start mode and with the plugs out crank the engine with a few short bursts first to allow the oil to get around without compression pressure from the cyls pushing the pistons against cyl walls and to give the big-end bearings a chance to soak well without compression pressure. On mine it only takes about 10-15 secs of constant cranking for the oil pressure gauge to move a fair bit.

11. Now check the fuel filter has fuel in it and put in spark plugs, HT leads, low tension spades onto the coil.

12. And here’s the exciting bit! Crank her and see if she wants to come to life! All the while watching the oil pressure gauge. If and when she does, keep the revs below 3k, let it run for a couple of mins to get some heat in, shut off and inspect for oil / coolant leaks or anything else that looks untoward!

13. Get the brakes completely sorted out by flushing all fluid, checking no seized callipers etc and replace anything that could possibly look unsafe! And especially don’t even think about going out on tyres over 8 years old. I change mine every 5 regardless of wear.

14. Here’s the really exciting bit - bring her up to temp by not letting her just idle but by blipping the throttle between 1k - 3k rpm (your neighbours won’t love you for it). All the while watching the water and oil pressure gauges. The oil pressure will drop when the engine warms up, but this is normal as the oil becomes more runny. And go for a gentle drive, testing brakes a number of times first and braking from increasing speeds to 0 to ensure they are trust worthy.

Ps. If it was me, I would also change the diff and transmission oil before a first drive.

Enjoy but don’t go ragging the nuts off it from the off. Keep accelerating and decelerating in-gear to help the piston rings push against the bores and get sucked back into the pistons to help them shake off any corrosion.

I would change the oil and filter in the first 50-100 miles.

Enjoy!
 

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Start by searching threads here. We get this question about once a week, and there are any number of threads discussing the process.

Your initial list in the last sentence is a really good start. Obvious stuff is hoses, belts, vacuum lines and any other perishables. Cleaning the fuel hoses and injector rails, and replacing fuel filter, are also on the list.

Then come back with specific questions and we'll help.
And this is a much better suggestion of course as there is a wealth on info on this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well that “looks” in a good shape!

If it was me, I would:

1. Flush the entire cooling system several times but not with too much pressure. The refill with 50:50 distilled / de-ionised water and IAT (normally blue) anti-freeze! This will help reduce further corrosion took! Clearly, replace the water pump :p oh and add a new fan belt for good measure.

2. Replace oil and filter and do a small flush by pulling out about a litre of the new stuff for get some of the gunk at the bottom. Fill with oil, but remember you will ditch this oil very soon after first start up etc. So don’t get the best quality oil for that first start. Just make sure it’s designed for classic cars with ZDDP. I would be tempted to go thinner to allow it to get into all the small gaps, so a 5w40 would be my min. For my first start I actually soaked the oil can in a tub of hot water to ensure it was at least 20-30 degrees warmer than stone cold.

Make sure you fill the filter before screwing it on. This may make a mess when you put it on but will be very beneficial. Also make sure you have some oil on the rubber o-ring to help it seat / seal well.

3. Take off the cam cover and inspect the cam for any rust, clean up very gently if any rust exists but be VERY gentle! Once you are happy you don’t have sharp rust particles, get a paint brush and lather the valve train in oil!

4. Pull out spark plugs and with a string squirt two to three syringes into each cyl. This will make for a nice smoky first start up but will better protect your dry cyl walls!

5. Flush the entire fuel system, tank, hoses etc and change any rubber fuel hoses for bio fuel hoses. That way you only do them once for nearly ever and make them ethanol resistant. I’m not familiar with the injection system but I’m sure wiser heads can chime in here for any prep work.




6. Charge the battery on a slow charge overnight and make sure she’s a good one! But if you have a charger with a “start boost function” that would be very beneficial. Mine can deliver 1.5-3A slow charge or 80A in start boost mode when I’m doing things like compression tests etc. Also check the distributor cap and rotor and replace if they look crack or worn. In fact just out in new ones and new HT leads to do yourself a favour. I am also making an assumption the coil is still healthy.

7. Repeat 3. & 4. and put the cam cover back on with a new gasket. Make sure you remove all / any stuck on old gasket residue.

8. Take off the low tension spade connectors on the coil to disable it and avoid shocking yourself.

9. Turn the engine over by hand a few turns in the right direction using the boot head on the crank pulley / damper.


10. Now connect your battery charger on boost mode and with the plugs out crank the engine with a few short bursts first to allow the oil to get around without compression pressure from the cyls pushing the piston against cyl walls and to give the big end bearings a chance to soak well without compression pressure. On mine it only takes about 10-15 secs of constant cranking for the oil pressure gauge to move a fair bit.

11. Now check the fuel filter has fuel in it and put in spark plugs, HT leads, low tension spades onto the coil.

12. And here’s the exciting bit! Crank her and see if she wants to come to life! All the while watching the oil pressure gauge. If and when she does, keep the revs below 3k, let it run for a couple of mins to get some heat in, shut off and inspect for oil / coolant leaks or anything else that looks untoward!

13. Get the brakes completely sorted out by flushing all fluid, checking no seized callipers etc and replace anything that could possibly look unsafe! And especially don’t even think about going out in 8 year old tyres or worse!!!

14. Here the really exciting bit bring her up to temp by not letting her just idle but by blipping the throttle between 1k - 3k rpm (your neighbours won’t love you for it). All the while watching the water and oil pressure gauges. The oil pressure will drop when the engine warms up, but this is normal as the oil becomes more runny. And go for a gentle drive, testing brakes a number of times first and braking from increasing speeds to 0 to ensure they are trust worthy.

Ps. If it was me, I would also change the diff and transmission oil before a first drive.

Enjoy but don’t go ragging the nuts off it from the off. Keep accelerating and decelerating in-gear to help the piston rings push against the bores and get sucked back into the pistons to help them shake off any corrosion.

I would change the oil and filter in the first 50-100 miles.

Enjoy!
I appreciate all the time and information you provided it greatly helps a ton
 

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Good post AK260!!!

I like the extra steps of oiling the valve train and cranking for a few with the plugs out.

We should make something like that into a sticky.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I learned from an old Winston Cup engine guy to squirt marvel mystery oil into each cylinder and let it soak then turn the crank bolt through two revolutions. Do this three times on an older “dry motor” to avoid cracking rings and having a dry start. Good luck! It looks ultra clean.
Scott in SC
 

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Hey Slick,

Nice looking car. My '81 Turbo had sat for about 13 years and my fuel system was pretty varnished up. I did several days of vinegar and other rust dissolvers in the tank with nuts, bolts and chains to get the surface clean. Or at least clean-er. The fuel gauge sender unit was a disaster. Make sure the tubes are all clear. My return line was plugged and fuel pressure was REAL high. I need to find a good sender unit since my gauge still does not work. Good luck with it.

Keith in TX
 
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