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1976 280Z
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm Mirko... I got my first 76 280Z with some 83 280zx mods (head, turbo, transmission) few months ago. I haven't been able to start it yet, because it has some ignition problems, I replaced a lot of parts (battery, fuses, fusible links, coil, spark plugs, spark plugs wires, distributor cap, rotor) but i still don't have spark, someone told me I need a 83 280zx distributor and 280zx ecu turbo, but the last owner said could start the car just with the stock distributor and ECU . i hope you guys can help me out with that. happy to meet new people

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· Registered
1976 280Z
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As the owner of an '83 turbo, I'm pretty sure that the distributor is different than that on your car. The turbo dist has no points and uses a crank angle sensor.
It is the stock 76 280Z distributor, what do you guys recommend? get a 83 280zx turbo distributor? or a 123 distributor? because its hard to find the 83 distributor
thank you
 

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1976 280Z
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are going to need a turbo ECU also. I hope you have the turbo wire harness as they are different from the Non-turbo cars.
It has the stock 76 280z ecu and harness. I think i will have to spend money and buy all those parts. its weird the last owner told me he could drive with that setup (stock distributor, stock ecu and harness)
 

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2,840 Posts
Friend, where did you get this car from? Which state if you don't mind....

Do you know for sure that this motor came out of an 83? It is very possible that this engine has been converted to a NA2T (Naturally aspirated to Turbo) meaning the engine was converted to a turbo setup and not "turbo swapped"
The reason I mention this is my 280z is running turbo, with the naturally aspirated components (ECU, Harness, AFM internals housed inside of the larger turbo AFM) sounds confusing I know. But your car may have a similar setup...

but if the car is running the turbo components with the NA dizzy, ECU, harness and AFM board, it is not going to run.
it is also possible, since you haven't been able to start the car yet, that the owner swapped the turbo dizzy with a non-turbo one. They are easy to tell apart as the turbo dizzy is much larger.

Here's what to do first: identify the components. check the ECU and verify if it is a 280z or zxt ecu... the plugs will be different. second, remove the AFM and see if it is the large turbo unit, or the smaller NA unit. you can also check the injectors...

also important is the crank angle sensor... if you are going to get a distributor from an 81T, you need to make sure that engine came out of an 81T. the ignition system and sequence is different on the 82-83T cars. you can tell if the engine is an 81 by looking at the harmonic balancer... attached to it is a disc with teeth on it. and you will see the crank sensor next to it just under the dizzy. the later engines do not have these.

You never really know what engine you may have in there. It can be difficult to see what has really been done to a car when people do swaps like this.... and then don't give much info in the way of what was done to it. just saying, "the car will start with the stock ECU and distributor" is not really much to go off of. You just might have an NA engine with turbo components installed and a turbo valve cover on top. Hard to tell.

Bon
 

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41 Posts
Hello everyone,

I'm Mirko... I got my first 76 280Z with some 83 280zx mods (head, turbo, transmission) few months ago. I haven't been able to start it yet, because it has some ignition problems, I replaced a lot of parts (battery, fuses, fusible links, coil, spark plugs, spark plugs wires, distributor cap, rotor) but i still don't have spark, someone told me I need a 83 280zx distributor and 280zx ecu turbo, but the last owner said could start the car just with the stock distributor and ECU . i hope you guys can help me out with that. happy to meet new people

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Good luck with ur ride! I'm sure as you solve these little issues with ur car, U'll enjoy it. I can't help ya with the mechanics (as) I'm not a mechanic, but if you are not getting any spark then maybe you can check if electricity is coming to the part of the wire that connects to the spark plug. Sometimes the new wires are bad too. Don't start changing parts until you figure out whether or not you are getting electricity from the distributor... sometimes the rotor arm (inside the distributor) & points (sometimes needs to be sanded for the electrodes on the end to touch flat onto each other) needs to be cleaned too.
Take your time, figure out each issue and then proceed to buy replacement parts... really clean the ones that you have and then if you are convinced it's not working then.
Good Luck again with happy trails ahead for ya!
 

· Registered
1976 280Z
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Friend, where did you get this car from? Which state if you don't mind....

Do you know for sure that this motor came out of an 83? It is very possible that this engine has been converted to a NA2T (Naturally aspirated to Turbo) meaning the engine was converted to a turbo setup and not "turbo swapped"
The reason I mention this is my 280z is running turbo, with the naturally aspirated components (ECU, Harness, AFM internals housed inside of the larger turbo AFM) sounds confusing I know. But your car may have a similar setup...

but if the car is running the turbo components with the NA dizzy, ECU, harness and AFM board, it is not going to run.
it is also possible, since you haven't been able to start the car yet, that the owner swapped the turbo dizzy with a non-turbo one. They are easy to tell apart as the turbo dizzy is much larger.

Here's what to do first: identify the components. check the ECU and verify if it is a 280z or zxt ecu... the plugs will be different. second, remove the AFM and see if it is the large turbo unit, or the smaller NA unit. you can also check the injectors...

also important is the crank angle sensor... if you are going to get a distributor from an 81T, you need to make sure that engine came out of an 81T. the ignition system and sequence is different on the 82-83T cars. you can tell if the engine is an 81 by looking at the harmonic balancer... attached to it is a disc with teeth on it. and you will see the crank sensor next to it just under the dizzy. the later engines do not have these.

You never really know what engine you may have in there. It can be difficult to see what has really been done to a car when people do swaps like this.... and then don't give much info in the way of what was done to it. just saying, "the car will start with the stock ECU and distributor" is not really much to go off of. You just might have an NA engine with turbo components installed and a turbo valve cover on top. Hard to tell.

Bon
Hello Bon,

I got the car in Kansas City, Kansas few months ago. The last owner told me the car was running 5 years ago. he said it came with the 83 280ZX head, turbo and transmission when he bought it. So, im really confused now because many people says I need the 82-83 280zx ecu, harness and transmission to start the car and the last owner said he started the car with the stock parts. lol

I just checked and I have the stock 280z ecu and the small na turbo.
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