The Green Machine: Datsun 280z Step 2

Datsun 280z

Running Once Again

After finding hope, motivation, and knowledge in Step 1, the next step was to get it actually running. This takes a lot of patience and persistence. After locating the electrical problem I attempted to start the car up as is. Click. Click. Nothing. There are 2 things that you need for an engine of this age or any engine really… Fuel and Spark. I first took out the spark plugs to make sure I was getting spark. Turns out there was no spark. After replacing key electrical components like the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, starter, and coil there was still nothing. After lots of research, over-looking diagrams, and cleaning all of the 35 year old electrical connections, I found that a connector to the Datsun’s ignition switch was loose and corroded. After cleaning it and hooking it back up correctly, I started it. It turned over and sparked. I was so close. I tried and tried but it would still not run. My dad suggested using start-up  fluid to get it initially running. We sprayed some in the intake, and It roared alive. Then died. Talk about frustrating breath of fresh air.

Datsun 280z

Cleaned up engine bay

Based on the results from the start-up fluid, I found that the fuel was not getting to the engine. I first changed all of the rubber hoses and the fuel filter in the engine bay. The car was still not getting fuel. I found out that a common problem with the older Z‘s is that over time the inlet to the fuel pump gets clogged and can’t pump fuel. So it was time to put the car on jacks and clean the fuel tank. When I get started underneath my car I see Black Widows, a whole pack of them chilling on their webs. This is the biggest set backs while I was working to start my car because at any time the spiders could fall onto me or I would undo a bolt and they would be there right next to the bolt I was going to undo. I was definitely a test of nerves.After I cleared out as much spiders as I could, I cleaned out the fuel tank and installed a new fuel pump. After everything was hooked backed up and I cleaned the engine bay, it was time to start it. I sat inside, started the key and…click. Nothing. At this point I was so frustrated I didn’t see that a power line to the ECU wasn’t connected. My dad hooked it up. “Try it again”.  *Click* Vroom. It sounded so good.

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