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I am buying a 1976 Datsun 280z this week. I already saw the car, it is in great shape and has no rust from what I saw. The interior is really good and clean. The car was running when he parked it along with his 260z Z 15 years back. I wanted to know what I should replace besides the fluids in the car. I am excited to get it back on the road, but want it to be safe. Also, what should I check?
 

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I am buying a 1976 Datsun 280z this week. I already saw the car, it is in great shape and has no rust from what I saw. The interior is really good and clean. The car was running when he parked it along with his 260z Z 15 years back. I wanted to know what I should replace besides the fluids in the car. I am excited to get it back on the road, but want it to be safe. Also, what should I check?
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belts, hoses, fluids the standard stuff. Fuel will prob be the biggest problem, if the tank is all gunked up and or rusted then you will be fighting fuel supply problems. More on that later.


plugs out, squirt in some oil, leave the plugs out


valve cover off, put some heavy oil, assy lube stuff, on the cam lobes


Read up on what Oil to use in the crank case.


as mentioned see if you can turn the engine over manually.


Rig up a remote starter or just use the key and have someone turn over the engine (again plugs out) If starting with a key rig up a way to deal with the spark from the coil. I generally just unplug the center lead from the distributer and place it near a ground so the spark has some where to go.


if it sound ok look for oil to come out of the camshaft lobes OR out of the oil tube the shoots oil at the cams, not sure which was used on you car. The idea is to see oil actually flow to the cam lobes, this is the end of the line for the oil, so when you get it there the system is fully primed. Make sure you see oil coming out of ALL the holes, it may not come squirt out of the oil tube but should at least dribble out, with the engine running it will have higher pressure and be fine as long as its not plugged up. this may take several seconds maybe 30 or more for the oil to circulate and show up at the cam lobes.


Now that the engine turns over and is getting lubricated, deal with the fuel. 1st unplug the fuel line from the filter to the fuel rail, stick that line in a jar and see if you get any fuel flow when cranking the engine with the KEY.


Replace the fuel filter and try again. most likely you will need to clean the tank and blow out the hard lines with compressed air, but if for some reason you get a good amount of fuel going into the jar, then just hook the line backup, install the plugs, hook up the distributer and give it a try. This will be the BASELINE run.


IF for some reason it runs, the next step will be to replace all the vacuum hoses and fuel lines. You can leave the injector lines alone for now but at the very least all the rest that have fuel in them will need to be replaced for safety reasons (they leak and spray raw gas everywhere) get a fire extinguisher and have it handy, keep it in the car at all times.


There will prob be a lot of issues that need to be worked out with getting the fuel injection working properly, get the factory service manual (on line for your car, google it), and start reading about the fuel injection. You will need to become your own mechanic but its not hard. Just read thru it a couple of times.


report back as you go.
 

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Before you even THINK about attempting to start it, dump the old fuel and clean out the fuel tank and the fuel line between tank and engine. Also install a new fuel filter, and in the process get any old fuel out of the line between filter and injectors. You don't want any of the old fuel getting into the engine, and especially not to the injectors.

You should do this before turning on the fuel pump, too.
 

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belts, hoses, fluids the standard stuff. Fuel will prob be the biggest problem, if the tank is all gunked up and or rusted then you will be fighting fuel supply problems. More on that later.


plugs out, squirt in some oil, leave the plugs out


valve cover off, put some heavy oil, assy lube stuff, on the cam lobes


Read up on what Oil to use in the crank case.


as mentioned see if you can turn the engine over manually.


Rig up a remote starter or just use the key and have someone turn over the engine (again plugs out) If starting with a key rig up a way to deal with the spark from the coil. I generally just unplug the center lead from the distributer and place it near a ground so the spark has some where to go.


if it sound ok look for oil to come out of the camshaft lobes OR out of the oil tube the shoots oil at the cams, not sure which was used on you car. The idea is to see oil actually flow to the cam lobes, this is the end of the line for the oil, so when you get it there the system is fully primed. Make sure you see oil coming out of ALL the holes, it may not come squirt out of the oil tube but should at least dribble out, with the engine running it will have higher pressure and be fine as long as its not plugged up. this may take several seconds maybe 30 or more for the oil to circulate and show up at the cam lobes.


Now that the engine turns over and is getting lubricated, deal with the fuel. 1st unplug the fuel line from the filter to the fuel rail, stick that line in a jar and see if you get any fuel flow when cranking the engine with the KEY.


Replace the fuel filter and try again. most likely you will need to clean the tank and blow out the hard lines with compressed air, but if for some reason you get a good amount of fuel going into the jar, then just hook the line backup, install the plugs, hook up the distributer and give it a try. This will be the BASELINE run.


IF for some reason it runs, the next step will be to replace all the vacuum hoses and fuel lines. You can leave the injector lines alone for now but at the very least all the rest that have fuel in them will need to be replaced for safety reasons (they leak and spray raw gas everywhere) get a fire extinguisher and have it handy, keep it in the car at all times.


There will prob be a lot of issues that need to be worked out with getting the fuel injection working properly, get the factory service manual (on line for your car, google it), and start reading about the fuel injection. You will need to become your own mechanic but its not hard. Just read thru it a couple of times.


report back as you go.


Thank you for all of the links and in depth explanations, I will try all of these things . Should I replace the fuel components first or check the camshaft lobes. I am novice, can you explain where I should put the center lead, I don't want to fry anything electric in the engine bay, because I'm the only one who doesn't know you should use an alternator as a ground or something like that.
 

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I just set it on the strut mount near the coil, use the rubber to hold it in place near a bolt, you want no more than about 1/4" gap from the metal electrode to the body ground (like the bolt for the strut). This is just to give the spark somewhere to go, and its a good way to see if the ignition is working while cranking the engine.


the main thing is to get clean fuel to in and oil pressure/prelube for the cam and pistons. If the fuel is question at all you really should just pull the tank and start there. You can chase a lot of issues that will ultimately go back to poor fuel if you don't get that handled.


Dropping the tank, getting is cleaned out and sealed if needed is a good start. Some radiator shops will do this service. Its a good idea, unless for some reason the tank looks good inside and the fuel that comes out is nice and clean (not likely). Note some tanks will have so much rust in them that they will have pin hole leaks, all this must be addressed before getting the car out on the road.


Speaking of which you will need to service the brakes and clutch as well, they will have rust in them and prob have to replace at least the brake and clutch master cylinder and prob rebuild the rest (front calipers/ rear drums cylinder/clutch slave cylinder). So have that planned once you get the engine running. Don't want to take off and find out the brakes don't work.


You really need to just consider EVERY system and realize they all likely will need attention engine/brakes/cooling/suspension, all suffer from age and lack of use.
 

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Sitting for 15 year= a mess in the fuel tank, lines, filter and injectors. I let mine sit for a couple of years and had to remove the tank and have it cleaned, blow out all the hard lines, replace the flexible hoses, replace the filter and replace the injectors. I probably could have removed and cleaned the original injectors, but I opted to just replace them. I originally tried to run new gas with injector cleaner but all it did was break stuff loose in the tank and lines and gum thing up worse. Also, sitting up caused some rust on the fuel level sending unit in the tank and now I get erratic readings on the fuel gauge. I'm hoping time and use will help clear that up.
 
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