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Rough Idle in a 280zx Turbo

5330 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DREAMYZ
Hey Guys! Just got my first Z! its a 1982 Datsun 280zx Turbo, 153k miles with a rebuilt motor, turbo, new paint, and really well kept otherwise. But it has been sitting for a few years and I just got it about a week ago. When it cold starts, the idle is pretty rough and if I don't let it warm up and just take off, when I give it gas, the rpm's just die down to almost stalling but not quite, for a few seconds, and then it starts to slowly get moving, and it seems like once I get over like 5-10mph, I get all my power back and I'm flyin. I thought I might have some fouled plugs so I replaced the spark plugs and wires with some good NGK's and its still doing it but its starting a little better now. Once the car is warmed up, if you stab it, you sometimes can feel a little hesitation but it takes off a little faster. Any ideas on what my problem could be? I'm really hoping its not any kind of intake gaskets. ALSO! I don't know what is common in these but I'm getting about 15 mpg. Granted, I'm not driving like a grandma, but I'm not flooring it from light to light either.... Ideas?


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Also, I've noticed a popping sound? Almost like a backfire but not as crazy loud, only while its hesitating when its cold before it takes off. I haven't located if the sound is coming out of the exhaust or intake or any of that yet...
Could be any of a hundred things. Start by checking idle and running fuel pressure. Clean the contacts of the CHTS. Set the ignition timing. Then look for vacuum leaks. Might wanna replace that fuel filter too.
What is the CHTS? What does that stand for?
Please go the the following website and you can download the factory service manual (FSM) for FREE!


You will find that most parts end up being typed as initials on here. CHTS = Cylinder Head Temperature Sensor.

Search feature is your friend, so don't be afraid of checking there first so you don't have to wait for a response. You'll eventually get the hang of what to type in for searching to find relevant answers.

Finally, nice looking ZXT!
I also have a 82 turbo, it was a auto like yours till I changed it over, I was having the same problems as you are
having with the idle, I spent alot of time trying to get it right, replaced and checked almost everything, read the FSM inside and out. Then one day while scanning Ebay, I noticed a guy selling a Jim Wolf Computer that would fit my Z, I paid 30.00 for it, thinking it probably would not work, But the difference was like day and night, idles perfect, runs way better. Basically like getting a new Z, now 4 years later still runs perfect. But as alot of posters have said, alot of different things could be the problem, And you have to know your car, cause alot that applies to reg Zs, dont apply to the turbos, they are really different beasts, But when running right you cant beat em.

Goodluck...its worth the battle.
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