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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: I just found this thread from 10 years ago.


Hoping these folks are still active.
 

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I have no idea about that shop. I've lived in the area 15 years and never heard of them. What are you looking to have done?
 

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Hmm, Atlanta Racing Enterprises appears to have closed their doors in 2017. ARE
Font Rectangle Parallel Terrestrial plant Screenshot

As for the referrals, I'm not familiar with Elite Automotive, but I can tell you that Eddie Radatz passed away a couple of years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Steve,

I bought a non-running 280Z last week. According to the PO, it was running fine until one day it cut out while pulling into the driveway. He claims to have replaced the fuel pump, but that did not resolve the issue. The car has now been sitting for a year. It cranks, but will not fire.

After reading the Datsun/Z fuel injection "bible," I have determined that there are too many variables for me to efficiently evaluate what the issue is so I would like for someone to diagnose and possibly repair the no-start condition who is familiar with Z's. After reading the bible, it seems like it could be the computer, the relay, the harness, fuel pump, coil, etc. and I don't have enough time to run through testing all of those parts. As such, In was hoping to just drop it off at a shop for a week or two for someone to get it running and then I can at least move it around while I do the litany of other things that the car ultimately needs.

Basically, I need to get it moving before my HOA yells at me!
 

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Try Balanced Performance in Lawrenceville. We used to go SCCA racing with some of the guys from the shop, although that was years ago.
 

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Have you tried using starting fluid to see if it would fire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, I will call balanced performance and see if they can work on it or have a rec.

Steve, trying starting fluid or spray is on my list, I am just trying to get a shop lined up in the event that I cannot get it running. I will need to take the battery back to AZ and get it charged first.

On one of the threads that I read, there seemed to be a lot of confusion about where to spray the starting fluid on a 280Z (and I have never used starting fluid on a FI car). One guy asked if he could spray it in the brake booster line. Any recommendations?
 

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I do know other resources, too, and I have been known to make road trips to diagnose Zs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are you volunteering to come look at it???? If so, I might take you up on that :)

I sprayed some quick start in the intake and it fired right up, but would not remain running for more than a second or two suggesting, to me at least, that the engine is not getting fuel.

I think I read elsewhere that the next step would be to check that the fuel pump is getting power and pushing fuel. I will look at the manual to see if there is a recommended protocol for that.
 

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So, it seems to be fuel since it fired with starting fluid. See, you eliminated several components.

First, verify the fuel pump is running. Try starting the car. Of course it won't fire, but be ready to pull the line off the fuel filter to see if you have any pressure in the fuel rail.

I'm thinking ECU if it just cut off. You could check to see if the injectors are firing. A dying fuel pump would have been a slower death. If the ECU died, you wouldn't have power to the fuel pump, and the injectors won't fire. (Hint: Google these words - 280Z check to see if injectors are working and look at the results on Zcar.com)

You could also try hitting the ECU a couple of times to see if it comes to life. If it does, you need a reconditioned ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, here is the update:

Cranked the engine a couple of times and fired it using quick start spray again. Within a minute or so of doing that, pulled the rubber hose connecting to the hard fuel line at the passenger side of the valve cover. Fuel spilled out both times, but no burst of pressure as I would expect with a fuel injected vehicle.

I also talked to the PO, he replaced the fuel pump after the vehicle stopped running. This tells me that it was probably working fine before and the replacement didn't change anything. He is mechanically competent so I trust that what he did was probably done correctly. He has restored or refurbished some BMW E28s and E30s.

Finally, I banged on the computer a few times in the driver kick panel area (with the plastic removed).

No major changes overall. Should I move on to checking the injectors, or is it time to start ordering an ECU or relay?
 

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It sounds like the fuel pump does run some. The lack of pressure could be from the fuel pressure regulator or from the PO not putting in a fuel pump with a check valve..

You should check to see if the injectors are firing. Also, pull the connector off the ECU and check to see the condition of the pins of the ECU and the connector. They can get crusty, though that wouldn't explain a sudden stop.

Also, have you verified you have compression in all cylinders? Just make sure it wasn't a catastrophic failure that the PO experienced, especially before you sink more money into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I will move on to testing the injectors and checking the ECU connections.

I asked PO about whether he had run a compression test when we were discussing the purchase. He said he had not but didn't think it was necessary because it was running well when it cut out. He said that it only cut out when the car was pulling into the driveway, which would obviously not be under strenuous circumstances.

He thinks it is the relay or the MAF, for what it's worth.

I also checked the oil and it smelled OK, didn't seem like it was full of anything other than oil.
 

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Unless he can give you a diagnosis that you can confirm, you need to dig into any possibility.
 

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Look at the fuel section in the fsm. They are on line. Put an inexpensive fuel pressure gauge on the hose. You have to know the fuel pump is running.

If the pump has pressure, the next thing is injectors. You can borrow noid lights from the store. Do not apply 12v directly to the injector.

The computer can be tested with an ohm meter. Details are in the fsm. Read the book. Tests and order of tests are there.

Ask questions after you get the fsm and read it.
 
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