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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have owned my Z for 15+ years, and this is a first time she has left me stranded. Well there was that time the starter fell out of the transmission but I pushed started it and drove it home.

Cold last night. This morning the temp was 10 when I got into the car. Didn't drive it all this summer but have been some this fall. It sat for maybe 5 days. Started a little rough but soon smoothed out. Car acted a little funny: e-brake light stayed on, wiper very slow, heat fan was blowing rather slow. About 15 min into my drive, the radio cuts out, and few warning lights come on (ABS). She starts to chug and dies. I am down hill and near an intersection and pull into a parking area. 12 degrees now. Car won't start. Acts like dead battery. Jiggle cables everything looks good. After about 5 min, car starts again. Drive it down the road. 30 sec later does the same thing and dies. Luckily there is a turn out on this 2 lane highway through a river canyon. Call a co-worker to come get me. After about 5 min the car starts but only runs for about 10 sec and dies. I had to go down to the bike path and find some sun and jog around some to keep warm.

Now what? I think that my alternator died and I was running off of battery juice. Ran until it died. After waiting 5 min it had built up enough charge to start and run for some time. My plan is to go home. Grab a volt meter, tools, and a spare battery. Test the battery probably less than 12 V. Start the car test the battery probably even less volts. Swap out the battery and drive it home. I suspected fuel issue due to the chugging, but the lack of turn over and the dead battery clicking has me think otherwise.

About 2 years ago my alternator dies, and I swap out a new e-bay one. This was from a company that was recommend by someone on here. Still suspect that this alternator has either kicked the bucket, or some wiring issue. Have not driven the car much these last few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I got my car off the side of the road and to my work. Couldn't get out to it yesterday so I went this morning. It was a balmy 18 degrees and I was dressed for it. Probed the battery at 11.8 V. Started the car and it was at 10.5. Charging system issue. Took a while to get the old battery out. I had secured it very well. Cracked the plastic cowling that covers the battery area; sucks. Old, cold and brittle. Plus me in a rush working on the side of the highway. Also I made the battery tie down, and sure enough used SAE hardware, which I did not anticipate. Had to use pliers on one of the nuts. Drop in a battery I pulled from our RAV4 as it was the most appropriately sized. Battery at 13v. Cranks up. I load up the car and drive to work. No lights, no radio, no heat. Trying to save all those little electrons for running the engine. Had to use the defrost a little bit. Drove it into work.

When it warms up a bit, I will ride my bike the 5 miles to pick up my truck. Then come next week I will carpool to work one day with 2 batteries and try to drive home. From my experience you get 30-45 min of driving on battery power alone. One battery should do it, but just to be safe I'll Bring a back up.

Oh the joy of owning old cars. I need a built in volt meter on this thing now. I'll add it to the list of needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't run any codes.

Just now I jacked the car up to get under it. Jiggled the wires going to the alternator. The main plug might have moved in a smidge. Put in the battery. Fired it. 14.36 volts. WTF.

Did the tiny bit of movement in the plug fix my issue. Was the cold temp to blame (never had an issue before). The pin on the matting end of the plug are probably 1/2" long. I might have had 1 to 2 mm of movement. Wouldn't think it would have affected anything.
 

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Looked at a lot of plugs for replacements from a Japanese mfr. to make a Z harness. A lot of the female plugs can have the wire connectors a little deeper inside and the connectors themselves may only have small prongs in their sides that make contact with the male. So you could have solved your problem with a little movement inwards. .02c
 

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It's not uncommon for a slight film of corrosion to form on electrical connectors on our Z's with age. Often problems are resolved by just doing a thorough cleaning of the connectors so I think you may have gotten it
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do drive the Z in the fall and spring, so it does see some road salt. Might have sped up the corrosion. Was surprised to see the new shiny alt not so shiny anymore.

I think I know what I need to do.
 
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