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Thread: Engine swap technical difficulties

  1. #1
    Dat newb dillie327's Avatar
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    Default Engine swap technical difficulties

    Hello everyone, I have a 78 280z 2+2 with a 4 speed.
    I recently had issues with the engine that made it run rich enough to gas up the oil and it wouldn't run without flooring it basically. I had the AFM adjusted leaner, the cold start disconnected, and had it running well and one day it did this.
    so we swapped the engine out of my dad's 80 280zx because he wants a SBC in his.
    I had to move my temp sensor to the thermostat like on the old engine, use my distributor and replace the temp gauge sending unit, along with a few other swaps to configure the cooling and the vacuum to work right.
    The engine ran GREAT in his car, and we just put his AFM into it with the engine.

    we couldn't get it to start, so we did a ton of simple checks like plugs, wires, etc. figured out the firing order was wrong on the dist cap and after we got it right it started up and ran rough. we checked the timing and got it running smoother, but the next day we went to start it and now it won't start at all.
    it gets fairly close but only if the timing is really retarded, and the pops thinks it's loading up with too much fuel.
    any ideas on why?
    it's getting to be really annoying sharing 2 vehicles with 3 people when I have my car licensed and it's not running...
    any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks everyone who takes the time to read my novel thread.
    Anu Belore Delana


    78 280z 2+2, 4 speed
    80 280zx 2+2, auto

  2. #2
    Registered User d240zx2's Avatar
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    Default

    Among the responses you'll get here, you may want to check out www.hybridz.org. There are folks there that have tons of experience w/engine swaps of all types.

    I'm a carbie, and am unqualified to help you.

    Good luck!
    First & Third owner of HLS30-00721
    B. 01/70 D. 03/12

    New owner of HLS30-15653
    B. 12/70 D.

    Frank in Houston, Texas

  3. #3
    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dillie327 View Post
    ...it gets fairly close but only if the timing is really retarded...
    Makes me think the distributor is off by one tooth.
    Gary
    Guardian of HLS30-91415
    Previous Owner of a 10/70 240Z ('83-'85)

  4. #4
    Dat newb dillie327's Avatar
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    well, it starts without it being real retarded now, and that's what I thought, but they have an offset key that will only drop in one way so that isn't possible lol. also I did compare the 78 to the 80 distributor and they're identical in alignment of the key to all the plugs.

    My main issue right now is it's rough, and it's still a bit rich.
    Anu Belore Delana


    78 280z 2+2, 4 speed
    80 280zx 2+2, auto

  5. #5
    Registered User Walter Moore's Avatar
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    Are you using the distributor from the Z, or the ZX? The ZX distributor's center shaft is different somehow. I noted that when I installed a ZX distributor on my L24 I had to pull the oil pump and advance the distributor drive by one tooth to get the timing set.

    If you put the earlier distributor on a ZX motor you may have the opposite problem.

    Reading further I see that you have a 78, which may be different than my 71, which had a points distributor. Have you actually checked the timing? (You said you had it retarded at one point, but didn't give a specific number.)
    '71 240Z, Because any fool can drive fast in a straight line.

  6. #6
    Dat newb dillie327's Avatar
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    no timing light so I can't be specific. but I'm using the Z distributor because the orientation of the key to the rotor is the same Z to ZX when I checked... but I'll double check... again haha.

    thanks everyone for the help.
    why are these things so complicated!? lol
    Anu Belore Delana


    78 280z 2+2, 4 speed
    80 280zx 2+2, auto

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