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Hello all,

I bought a gem last week (1982 manual 280zx turbo kaminari wide body), and I am trying to get this thing running correctly. The issue I am currently having is that when the car turns over, immediately it is idling very rough and very rich. We noticed that there was no temperature reading on the gauge, so we found the central head temp sensor and it was being bypassed by a spliced in trailer electric connector, which went to a knob inside the cab. When the knob is turned all the way clock wise it runs the smoothest (using that term lightly) if turned back counter clockwise the idle continues to get increasingly more rough until the engine chokes down. When I remove the bypassed wires and wire everything back to the CHTS, engine doesn’t even attempt to turn over. I replaced the CHTS with a cheap Amazon one, now the engine attempts to start but won’t turn over, BUT the gauge now kind of works and I say that because I don’t feel the reading is accurate. When I return to the original bypass, if I try to rev the engine, it chokes down unless I ease onto the throttle, even then it doesn’t sound great and lots of white smoke and carbon smell.

what has been replaced as of today:
-fuel filter
-air filter

I have the spark plugs, plug wires, and distributor cap but don’t want to change those until I get the fuel right because the current plugs have tons of carbon buildup but look relatively newish.

the car does drive, and the ride becomes smoother the higher the gear. First gear is pretty much a bucking bull ride if you accelerate gradually but tends to do better if you really commit to moving. Gas is good, I have checked the line that feeds the filter. I tried to give as much info as I can, I’m very new to these cars and really would love to get this thing going if at all possible, so any help is greatly appreciated!
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