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1981 280ZX GL NA

I was having issues with getting the timing down from 20 degrees and rich mixture. I recently was battling high idle and had resolved that by reinstalling my BCDD. At last my engine FINALLY would idle down to specs. Like magic my timing was down to 10 degrees and the smell of gas was less prevalent in the exhaust. However something still didn’t seem right. The engine had a lot of vibration at idle and didn’t seem like it was running on all cylinders. Pulled all the plugs and found #3 to be squeaky clean. Checked spark and tested injectors and voltages. Everything checked out...

I reluctantly went and brought a compression tester. Got the car up to temp and checked the compression on the cylinders. I got a big fat goose egg on #3. GREAT

Next I pulled the valve cover to find this (see picture attached)

I found no damage to any of the surrounding parts and no scoring to the camshaft. I simply put it back on and adjusted all the valve lash to factory specs per FSM.

ADJUST YOUR VALVES PEOPLE
106755
 

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I find this highly suspect. These pieces don't just walk away - this was probably purposefully removed by a PO to nullify some other problem is my guess - only one way to find out though
 

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It can happen. I had an 81 n/a, sat for a very long time, had a misfire, and that's what it was. Put it back together, did valve adjustment, and no problems years later. It's happen to other people, not a common thing though.
 
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