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1983 Datsun 280zx
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a 1983 280zx non turbo that I am thinking about resolving a few issues and would like some input from the z community here.

- pcv location for tune up. Attached is a picture and I think. I'm pointing to it. Can some confirm this? Looked at posts but no images would load. I think they were pretty old.

-washer fluid/lines/pump. I think it was working when I got it last week but checking the fluid it had all kinds of stuff in it. I think mold or algae. Pretty sure the lines are closed and maybe need to inspect the pump more. Any suggestions on how to proceed here?

-power steering. From reading around I think this might be common, but the steering is stiff. I'm about to try to diagnose what's going on here, but is there anything very common I should look for??

- side view mirror control. When test driving it, I heard the motors start to work but I think they immediately stopped and now they don't move at all. Best place to start looking and most common problems/solution?

-stock radio. I'm having some issues with this the display is intermidently working and see to reset when vehicle turns off. The tape receiver doesn't work or take cassettes. Is there a popular place to be the fixed? I'm assuming I have to take it out and hope I don't have to take the whole dash out.

-spare tire well. Min is rusted through the bottom so I'll have to weld in some sheet metal. Is there a vender that sells this prefab sheet metal?

Thanks for any and all help!

Matt
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Hey! Yes that’s the PCV valve on the bottom of the intake.

Washer, it may be a pain to mess with. The hoses are probably really hard and will break or you may break the connection also. If you decide to mess with it you may want to buy new lines and gently cut the old ones off the fittings. Could try just some soap and brush first on the tank and flush it out but that’s also a pain without removing it.

Power steering, not sure. Make sure you don’t have any leaks and it is at the proper level with the correct fluid. It may be that the pump is warn and is not producing enough pressure if it is full already.

Mirrors, possibly another tough one. Make sure you have power in the right places.

Radio, I know I’ve heard of places that do work on them. Maybe someone will chime in.

And I don’t think there are patch panels yet for the spare tire well.


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1983 Datsun 280zx
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey! Yes that’s the PCV valve on the bottom of the intake.

Washer, it may be a pain to mess with. The hoses are probably really hard and will break or you may break the connection also. If you decide to mess with it you may want to buy new lines and gently cut the old ones off the fittings. Could try just some soap and brush first on the tank and flush it out but that’s also a pain without removing it.

Power steering, not sure. Make sure you don’t have any leaks and it is at the proper level with the correct fluid. It may be that the pump is warn and is not producing enough pressure if it is full already.

Mirrors, possibly another tough one. Make sure you have power in the right places.

Radio, I know I’ve heard of places that do work on them. Maybe someone will chime in.

And I don’t think there are patch panels yet for the spare tire well.


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Thanks for the info! I did remove the lines and connections. Replaced with new on the front, but haven't touched the rear lines yet. The front spray pipes were clogged with algae or something so I boiled them and used a needle to clear. Started replacing all the vacuum tubing too.


Is the cylinder running from the lid of the washer fluid a heater ? Looks like mine is split open.

Any suggestions on getting the front chrome trim price flush? Mine is slipping some.
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Cool, good idea on the vacuum lines.

I think the washer piece is a low fluid level sensor. Looks like it may have frozen and split.

Not positive on the window trim. It is attached to clips that are basically glued in with the windshield I believe. Maybe you can wrangle it back on there but wondering if maybe the clip/clips have become broken. I think they are plastic.

Oh, and if you haven’t tried it yet, the radio isn’t too bad to pull. That lower center section comes apart


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For the power steering, does it work in some parts of its travel or is it consistently bad across all points? If bad all the way through lock to lock and fluid level is good then you have a pump issue. If the steering has a bind in some places and normal in others then you have a steering gear issue. There is a hydraulic gauge you can install in the pressure line to confirm all this but you would be spending more on time and tools and fluids vs changing out your pump.

side mirrors, check the fuses and if they are good, pull the switch and check the connections with a test light for power in and out where the diagram says it should be. Most common parts to go bad ime is 1) fuse 2) mirror motor 3) switch.
 

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1983 Datsun 280zx
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@mailnome I haven't pulled the radio yet, I have been putting it off because I can still get it to work a bit by jiggling the SW button, but i do plan on pulling it out and taking a look. A local electronics guy said he would take a look at it for $75 and depending on what it is may cost more... open to other services or inspecting it myself.

the interior is pretty good although there are a few little broken pieces like the passenger sun visor clip, the plastic trim behind the door handle, a few of the fasteners are missing too.

@UncleWiggly The steering is just stiff all over and a little difficult to turn from each direction all the way. The fluid in the power steering is full but was a little low when i got it. I used a turkey baster to pull fluid and refill with ATF, repeated until the fluid was clean.
 

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1983 Datsun 280zx
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Contacts in the volume potentiometer can get tarnished or dirty.
Sometimes spraying electronic cleaner in it and rotating it back and forth a lot can help.
Does that usually entail removing the unit and opening it up? I'm sure you don't mean trying to squeeze some spray or cleaning through the front face right ?
 

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8 / 71 240Z, HLS30-40031, L24-052899, Sunshine Yellow
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Some times if you take the knobs & face plate off, there will be access holes to squirt cleaner in.
Just squirting it beside the potentiometer shaft can get it inside.
 

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1983 280zx n/a 5-speed t-tops
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For the washer tank sensor, if it still works you can seal up that crack with some plastic repair material. to keep fluid out of it. Make sure you dry it out thoroughly first. You can test if its working by raising the float and seeing if that turns off the low washer fluid warning light in the pre-flight check box.

For the radio, what I found on mine was a loose bad solder connection on the Vacuum Flourescent Display. Resoldered and its good to go. But it could also be any number of other connections, bad capacitors, switches, etc. If you're handy with electronics, or just adventurous, open it up and have a look. If you decide to replace it with an aftermarket stereo, don't throw the old one out. Sell it or give it away to another owner.
 

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1983 280zx n/a 5-speed t-tops
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For the mirror, do your power windows work? If not and your mirrors don't work, then there's a 20A breaker that powers them both. Sometimes one of the posts will crack and the windows and mirrors will work intermittently or not at all. That breaker is cheap but is located behind the body panel located behind the fuse box. Its a PIA to get to but needs to be replaced if its bad.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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For the washer tank, I disconnected the leads. Decided I didn't need a report on how full it was.

Thanks to the comment from @sockeye I may try sealing it up and see what happens. It has only been disconnected for 10 years or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I called the "mechanic" that was on the last two invoices and got a good idea of recent work and recent history. He was a friend that had it in his home shop basically forever and didn't spend the time to really do it right. He did do some things and it was working.

He said he took apart the High/low headlight switch and got the headlights to turn on, but i think he may have left something out of it because that is where the front windshield fluid button is and it is not working even though the pump its self is functional (i removed the pump and tested with 9v battery).


He did say the "pre-flight check message display" was not working and he couldn't fix it. Any insight into either of these problems?
 

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1983 280zx n/a 5-speed t-tops
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On my '83 the front washer pump button is on the washer speed/on/off control lever on the right side on the steering wheel. The headlight/hi beam lever on the left side contains the Cruise Control buttons.

The pre-flight should intiate when the key is turned to ON/Run. It cycles through the items it checks and returns GREEN if everything is okay, RED if something is amiss. Press the button shaft next to the display to cycle through the messages or initiate a new check. If everything is okay the screen will eventually darken.

Is the pre-flight window showing anything or is it just blank when you start the car? The 83 FSM (EL-49 Electrical Chapter) contains a section on troubleshooting the warning display control unit amplifier and the associated sensors. There's also a section on the voice warning annunciator - but thats at the bottm of your list.

Sometimes people disconnect the preflight and/or its sensors because they are tired of looking at the RED screen. Not judging - I've unplugged my washer tank sensor till I can repair the cracked plastic.

The display control unit is behind the glove box.
 

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1983 Datsun 280zx
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On my '83 the front washer pump button is on the washer speed/on/off control lever on the right side on the steering wheel. The headlight/hi beam lever on the left side contains the Cruise Control buttons.

The pre-flight should intiate when the key is turned to ON/Run. It cycles through the items it checks and returns GREEN if everything is okay, RED if something is amiss. Press the button shaft next to the display to cycle through the messages or initiate a new check. If everything is okay the screen will eventually darken.

Is the pre-flight window showing anything or is it just blank when you start the car? The 83 FSM (EL-49 Electrical Chapter) contains a section on troubleshooting the warning display control unit amplifier and the associated sensors. There's also a section on the voice warning annunciator - but thats at the bottm of your list.

Sometimes people disconnect the preflight and/or its sensors because they are tired of looking at the RED screen. Not judging - I've unplugged my washer tank sensor till I can repair the cracked plastic.

The display control unit is behind the glove box.
The little display box is just dark. The "bitching betty" works as far as i know because my lights are left on sometimes and i hear about it. I'll look more into troubleshooting this as I think it could be a neat little feature even if it is just for small items like the washer fluid level.

For the washer fluid stick, I let it dry out then I used some epoxy resin like the dentist used to seal it and repair it. I can't speak to the longevity of it all but will update if something goes crazy. You can buy the stuff retail now, mine was called Bondic.


I did pick up the Deoxit can, but want to disconnect power to the system before spraying it in on the washer fluid button and the radio dials.

For the mirrors, I did notice today that the passenger side base mount thing for the mirror was cracked pretty bad, so maybe that attributed to it somehow?? You say I will likely need to replace a breaker associated with it? My power windows are working, but the passenger side one is a little weak, completely functional though.

Thanks for the help @sockeye
 
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