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Thread: Too many problems to list...

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    Default Too many problems to list...

    Okay, I just boughat my first Z earlier today. My father owned the same 79 280zx model back when I was a kid and Damn it was awesome. I want to rebuild what he had and restore this one to its full potential but I just can't catch a glimpse of that happening. I've been battling with it since I got it home (I drove it 40 some miles with no more than some minor bumping in the front left tin rod and high revs in neutral and between shifts). I go to inspect my prize and I see chaos. The tube behind the mass air flow module (or what I believe to be) had been wrapped several times with electrical tape. Turns out it had a massive tear. Then I got it going again to test the high revs and it started going up and down between 2 and 3k rpms like it was galloping. Soon after it stalled. I was told it had a leaky exhaust manifold seal but this was not something I know to become of that. I started it back up and it launched the alternator belt clean off. I put it back on after turning the car off and it hasn't stayet running since. I tried puting it on both pulleys coming from the block but neither seems to make a difference. It'll run for five or six minutes and die a slow startling jumpy death. What all am I dealing with here!?!? Have I just thrown 2 grand away??

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    Welcome to the club.

    Just reading through your intro and you are saying a lot, but not much at the same time. Please don't take that the wrong way.

    You mention that your father had a 79 ZX, but you have a Z. 280Z maybe? That makes a big difference when it comes to details. Its a good idea to mention your car model, year and maybe build date in your singniture.

    The revving and high idle your experiencing sounds like an air leak after the throttle body. The torn rubber connection you described is not uncommon. You can temporarily tape it until you get another.
    I would sugest downloading the FSM and getting firmiliar with the EFI system in your car.

    XenonS30
    XenonS130 - S130 Reference
    Don't forget to download the Fuel Injection Supplement (aka Bible)


    As for the alternator belt jumping off. Check the alignment of all the pulleys and check for free play in the alternator bracket (with the belt off).
    A new belt tensioned correctly will probably help a lot. Don't know how old this one is??


    Word of advice: The tone in you thread sounds like you are frustrated with your purchase. Its an old car and will always need more care than a modern day car. Even new that required more attention than todays low maintenance vehicles. They can be very reliable, but just require more attention.

    Second: It its frustrating you. Stop and do something else for a while and I dont mean search the internet for clues. Something entirely non related. When you come back with a clear head, things general make more sense. Works for me.
    Goodluck
    Chas
    Last edited by EuroDat; 07-12-2014 at 04:23 AM. Reason: Smartphone Typos
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Welcome, you'll find lots of knowledgeable folks on here that can help solve most issues, with that said, ditto what Chas said.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    I go to inspect my prize and I see chaos. The tube behind the mass air flow module (or what I believe to be) had been wrapped several times with electrical tape. Turns out it had a massive tear. Then I got it going again to test the high revs and it started going up and down between 2 and 3k rpms like it was galloping. Soon after it stalled. I was told it had a leaky exhaust manifold seal but this was not something I know to become of that. I started it back up and it launched the alternator belt clean off. I put it back on after turning the car off and it hasn't stayet running since. I tried puting it on both pulleys coming from the block but neither seems to make a difference. It'll run for five or six minutes and die a slow startling jumpy death. What all am I dealing with here!?!? Have I just thrown 2 grand away??
    Everything connected to the intake manifold has to be sealed from the outside air. In other words, all air must pass through the air flow meter (air flow module was pretty close). This includes the crankcase, meaning the oil filler cap, the dipstick tube, all of the little vacuum lines, even the brake booster, all need to be working properly and sealed up. Keep that in mind and it might help you get started. The PO might have "tuned" the engine to run with vacuum leaks. That could be a problem. One way to tell if you have leaks is to pull a small hose fromthe intake manifold, or unscrew the oil filler cap. If the idle speed increases that's good. If nothing happens, not so good. If you take the oil filler cap completely off the engine should die.

    The belt flying off would normally be from a wobbling pulley. Better check all three, the alternator, the water pump, and the crankshaft damper. Don't run without the belt because it drives the water pump. The engine will overheat, and that is very very bad for these engines. Very very.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I got a new belt on the alternator and that worked wonders, thanks for all the info and admittedly yes I was very upset with my new car. I was told it was a good DD, and I had to limp it to the parts store 2 miles from home. The guys there said they didn't know squat about a ZX (sorry if I left that out, it's the 5 speed 79 z model), but one guy said he knew basic mechanics enough to say I had some problems bigger than an air leak. I went over everything with text instructions from my dad, but all I noticed out of whack visibly was the throttle stick thingy doesn't want to turn back to naught after a good pushing, and the screw on the motor that alters the idle was ALL the way down. It's running very hot and popping and bogging down if I lay on the gas or switch gears at anything over 4k rpm. I'm not very knowledgeable on terminology so excuse my childish word floundering.

    NoLeafClover, 79 model 280zx.

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    Also, I have some various questions jus to make sure I'm not missing anything. How many belts should be coming off the front of the motor? I see two pulleys but only have one belt... should I have to use force to turn it at a slow speed? I have no clue why but I do have to almost entirely manually turn the wheel in low gears or low speeds. Could the massive exhaust tip it has on it be a problem? It's a 4 inch I believe. What can I do to keep it from overheating even with fresh water/ coolant in it? Is it possible the.aftermarket rear end in it is messing up anything like my speedometer or anything at all? Maybe the bogging and popping are from it as well? It says I'm doing 80 in first gear... so I know the speedometer is definitely out of whack.

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    The guys there said they didn't know squat about a ZX - this is very common.

    t all I noticed out of whack visibly was the throttle stick thingy doesn't want to turn back to naught after a good pushing, - no idea what this means

    the screw on the motor that alters the idle was ALL the way down. - this is a sign of a vacuum leak. Maybe. there is no motor to alter the idle on the stock engine

    It's running very hot and popping and bogging down if I lay on the gas or switch gears at anything over 4k rpm. - popping and bogging is a sing of a vacuum leak

    How many belts should be coming off the front of the motor? I see two pulleys but only have one belt - the engine may have had an AC compressor in the past.

    why but I do have to almost entirely manually turn the wheel in low gears or low speeds - no power steering. It's good for you.

    Could the massive exhaust tip it has on it be a problem? It's a 4 inch I believe. - not directly, but it is a sign of "tuner madness".

    What can I do to keep it from overheating even with fresh water/ coolant in it - more details will help. If it overheats while driving donw the road that is most likely a radiator or water flow (pump, blocked channels, etc.) problem. If it only overheats when stopped, that is a fan clutch problem sign.

    the.aftermarket rear end - explain. How bout some pictures of all this mess?
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I will go out and take pictures if the poor beast in a minute, my seven year old misplaced my boots.

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    I now realisee I have no clue how to post all these pictures from my mobile...

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    The screw on the side of the cover in the s first picture is the one I meant he tightened to alter the idle...
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    This is the tube I meant in the beginning had a tear in it.
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    This is the throttle piece that won't turn back to normal after I press the pedal
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    The screw on the side of the cover in the s first picture is the one I meant he tightened to alter the idle...
    All I see is a loose bolt on the thermostat housing. ???
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    This is the tube I meant in the beginning had a tear in it.
    That is a very important tube (aka hose). It needs to be leak-free.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    This is the throttle piece that won't turn back to normal after I press the pedal
    There should be a spring under the throttle body (at the end of that linkage) that closes the throttle blade. It might be missing, they break sometimes. It's hard to see, it's underneath.

    If you haven't yet, open the Engine Fuel chapter from EuroDat's link in Post #2 and look through it. You'll get a better idea of how things work. You've got some study ahead of you though. If you have a multimeter be ready to break it out and start probing.

    Here's another good link for the FSM's if you don't have an unzipping program. Index of /FSM/280z
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    The bolt that's higher than the other one next to it is the one the guy had out more while he drove it and turned it in more and told me that'd make it idle better but I'd lose power.
    Last edited by NoLeafClover; 07-12-2014 at 01:51 PM.

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    I checked under the throttle body and I have no spring. Is there a certain type I can purchase at the parts store or is it something I'll have to put on order?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    The bolt that's higher than the other one next to it is the one the guy had out more while he drove it and turned it in more and told me that'd make it idle better but I'd lose power.
    I put an arrow on your picture. That bolt has nothing to do with any of that. Maybe he was pointing at another?

    But, there is no adjustment that will, normally, make the engine idle better, but cause a power loss. That would only be the case if things were messed up.

    Your best bet is to assume the guy you bought it from was a BS'er or didn't know what he was doing. The taped up intake hose, the shiny new oil filler cap, red plug wires, painted air box, 4" exhaust tip - all things that cause pause.

    Describe one problem at a time and people here can walk you through some of them. I would focus on over-heating first. One overheat can blow your head-gasket and/or warp the head. That's a major expense, and a fairly difficult DIY job.


    Back to watching Holland beat up on Brazil....
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    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    If I were you I would go to the dealer and order the rubber tube you need in post #11.Then i would tackle the cooling issue. Most garages have a hand held infra red temp sensor. Check all coolant hoses, this will tell you something. Forget what the temp gauge indicate on the dash. This will be a good starting point.
    Ray
    1974 Datson 260Z
    RLS30-27748 Matching #'s
    L26 Stock w/72 Round Tops
    Interpart Front Spoiler
    Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars
    My Very First Car
    Purchased 5/23/1974

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    The number one problem I have that scares me is the high revving, that's the correct screw with the arrow and I watched him tighten it as he said it was going to change things.

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    I would pick up a new thermostat (180) it could be sticking or not opening up.
    Ray
    1974 Datson 260Z
    RLS30-27748 Matching #'s
    L26 Stock w/72 Round Tops
    Interpart Front Spoiler
    Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars
    My Very First Car
    Purchased 5/23/1974

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    As I said, he was either BS'ing you by grabbing a loose screw and turning it or you mistook the one he actually turned for that one.

    Attached a picture showing the screw position that I think we're talking about. Also noticed that your radiator does not appear to be stock. Could be too small for the engine but certainly a sign of a past cooling problem.

    These pictures are from the Cooling chapter. An example of what you'll find in the books. The digital FSM's are one of the great benefits of owning these cars. You don't have to try to communicate with the parts store guys.

    Looks like you have a challenge. Keep posting, everybody loves a good puzzle.


    Edit - just noticed that you seem to have an electric fan, guessing by the shroud. Another not really necessary "performance" item. If the fan isn't coming on you'll have over-heating problems at slow or no speed.
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    Last edited by Zed Head; 07-12-2014 at 02:51 PM.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User EuroDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post

    Back to watching Holland beat up on Brazil....
    Yeeeer, You said it Zed

    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Zed head has covered a lot of ground.

    Trying to follow this thread and one thing stands out. TOO MANY problems at once. Try to concentrate on one problem at a time.
    You mention that you are not up to speed on the technics of your car. Calm down a bit. Even the best of us don't try to tackle all the problems in one weekend. Better to solve one, celibrate and move on to the next. It won't be long and you will have a reliable DD.

    Look at it this way
    Problem no. 1: Fan belt keeps falling of. New fan belt, Now you have solved dat problem.
    Problem no. 2: Pick one and work it through.

    Relax, Sounds like you have a lot of energy and the will to do the job, try not to freak out and give up on it.

    Good luck
    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    The number one problem I have that scares me is the high revving, that's the correct screw with the arrow and I watched him tighten it as he said it was going to change things.
    The high revving doesn't scare me that much. It sounds like an air leak or sticky throttle linkage. Both problems can be fixed with basic tools and a little coaching.

    Overheating is something that can be a little or very big problem.

    If I was in your situation, I would start with simple things like the rubber hose with the dodgy tape repair. Remove the hose carefully and clean it and let it dry. Check all the cracks and seal then up with silicone sealant. Let it dry and put it back in. It will do for testing until you get a new one or one in better condition.
    Thats your next sucess /potential air leak solved.

    Next the heating problem. Remove the radiator cap and get the engine hot again. Check for bubbles escaping from the radiator. It a sign that the head gasket is leaking or cracks in the head. Its not 100% but its a good indication.
    If thats ok then it could be a faulty thermostat. You can remove it easily and test it in a pot of water. Warm it up and see when it opens. You will need a new thermostat housing gasket to re-install the thermostat.

    Try to keep things simple and move step for step forward.

    Good luck.
    Chas
    Last edited by EuroDat; 07-12-2014 at 04:22 PM.
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    I get ahead of myself, I'll admit. But it's gotten worse after adding oil treatment and fluid to the radiator to seal any leaks. Now it pops loudly about every other second to every 5 seconds. Some smaller and close together and some loud and lonely.

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    Is this while idling?

    The small details can have a big impact with these engines. Vacuum leaks are a big problem. You can't really do any tuning at all if youhave vacuum leaks.

    Also, just the simple basics like getting your ignition timing right, and adjusting valve lash are important. Basic steps before you get carried away. People have spent lots of effort on the wrong things, then found that something basic wasn't set right.

    There's am Engine Tuneup chapter in the FSM. Do the steps in order and you'll be way ahead.
    Last edited by Zed Head; 07-12-2014 at 05:08 PM.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    I checked under the throttle body and I have no spring. Is there a certain type I can purchase at the parts store or is it something I'll have to put on order?
    Here's a picture of where the spring would attach to pull the throttle closed. I bought several at a hardware store and tried a few until one felt right.

    Also added a line to show where you might have hidden vacuum leaks. each one of those tubes will leak when the throttle is opened but wil be closed when the throttle is closed. They should all have a hose attached (ideal stock configuration) or be sealed (in the meantime).
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    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I agree with EuroDat in post #25 regarding the heating issue.

    Zed Head
    Do the s130 come with a throttle position sensor. If they do, that would be last thing I would check regarding the high idle issue.
    Ray
    1974 Datson 260Z
    RLS30-27748 Matching #'s
    L26 Stock w/72 Round Tops
    Interpart Front Spoiler
    Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars
    My Very First Car
    Purchased 5/23/1974

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    I'll post an idle video

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    The actual throat of the throttle body needs cleaning on most all the cars I've bought, they get sticking around where the plate meets the housing. It's easy once you have that hose off. Toothbrush and some lacquer thinner.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    It's been a fee days since I reported back and I apologize, I had to work overtime and literally worked myself sick. I have put in a new thermostat and I have found a few small air leaks in the vacuums. I also replaced the starter unit and solenoid, new gas filter, new battery and terminals, and added heat treatment to the coolant. It still runs hot and blows hot air out of a bad seal but I have the hose on order so there's nothing to do but wait. I've discovered the fan and radiator are off of a 99 toyota Tacoma, the coolant catching reservoir is off of a 2001 honda civic, and the alternator was not even plugged in. I've remedied the alternator issue, but even still with premium gas I'm having issues with rough idle and popping/ bogging under a load. If I try to start it without pressing the gas a little more than I feel should be necessary it stalls and dies. And when I'm test driving when I shift at 4k or higher I have to let it roll until 2 before completing the shift and pressing the gas/ releasing the clutch or it jumps and pops and cuts in and out. I have msd wires/ distributor and a blaster 2 coil on it, I've ordered a new fuel pump as a last resort because I just cannot fathom what else it could be. Also my throttle body is near black inside. Does this mean anything? My phone refuses to post a video but I will post pics of the throttle blackness.

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    Thumbs down

    Sorry it's sideways...
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    Did you clean the throttle already? It doesn't look that dirty inside from your photo. Still wouldn't hurt to clean it while you have access to it. Just follow Siteunseen advice in post 31.

    Video: You can not upload videos it the forum. You will need to upload to something like YouTube and post the link in the forum. It will work that way.

    Strange mix up of parts in your cooling system. Didn't know a Tacoma radiator would fit a Zed.

    Where is this "Bad seal" that blowing hot air? Can you take a photo of it. I can't imagine what it could be because there is little that can provide air pressure in the engine. Other than steam from to cooling system, which is not a good sign.

    As for the popping and bogging down. It might be time to get to know your multimeter and start testing your EFI system. These old systems are touchy when it comes to bad connections and that can lead to all sorts of problems. Not saying it will solve everything, but it could influence the engines behavior a lot.

    Here is a tutorial on how to do some simple checks. That and the checks in the EFI bible will help you a lot in finding problems in the EFI.
    He mentions adjusting the AFM spring. Don't mess with it. Its better to get it running right first before adjusting that stuff.
    L-jetronic Fuel Injection Technical Troubleshooting Article

    Goodluck
    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    but even still with premium gas I'm having issues with rough idle and popping/ bogging under a load. If I try to start it without pressing the gas a little more than I feel should be necessary it stalls and dies. And when I'm test driving when I shift at 4k or higher I have to let it roll until 2 before completing the shift and pressing the gas/ releasing the clutch or it jumps and pops and cuts in and out
    Premium just means high octane, it only really affects knock or detonation. The running issues sound like it has a lean fuel-air mixture. That's why there's a focus on vacuum leaks. But it could also be a weak fuel pump, or a clogged filter, or a clogged tank outlet, or a bad FPR. The best starting point would be to measure fuel pressure. Otherwise, even after a new pump, you could still have the problem. And there are ways to test the pump if you have a pressure gauge. If you haven't paid for the pump and can hold off, buying or borrowing a pressure gauge might be a better idea. If you confirm that fuel pressure is right, and no vacuum leaks (including the PCV system [the crankcase]) then the coolant temperature sensor modification might be in order. Several of us have the lean problem and have modified the system to work around it.

    If you're using the gauge to decide it's hot, that's a bad idea. The gauges aren't very accurate. And you never did confirm that it was actually over-heating.

    Just trying to help you avoid the common pitfalls. Replace and hope never turns out well. Expensive too.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I have yet to clean the throttle body, and as I look at everything more I realize a few things may be fixed with a proper cleaning. The throttle linkage is a little floppy and sticky at the same time. It wants to stay turned but it also wants to play hopscotch. The tube that leaks air only does it when it overheats, which is still every drive after about 2 miles or 30 minutes of idle with minimal revving to keep it alive. I can see about taking a picture of it but that would be tomorrow. It's underneath the fuel rail towards the front of the block and it's only about 4 or 5 inches of rubber hose with clamps on either side. Oh, and the radiator doesn't fit. It's zip tied onto the front frame. And before I forget I ordered a cold air intake for my other vehicle some time ago, then forgot and bought one at t he local store. May it help with my heat problem?

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    I generally say (with any car) that it hasn't overheated until it's spewed coolant/Antifreeze/water. This zx does that as if it has bulimia.

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    That thing under the fuel rail that's leaking air could be the Fuel Pressure Regulator. https://www.google.com/search?q=280z...Ls6cyASPooDQCw They play a huge part in the fuel injection system. It should have a vacuum line coming off the intake manifold to it, if it doesn't and is leaking air you should fix that right off the bat. My '77's air filter housing is an early "Cold Air Intake" type, I think the ZXs are made a little different but that shouldn't be a problem, no leaks after the AFM is what is important, "un-metered air" will cause it to buck and cough. I would think your cooling problem isn't the radiator if it gets hot that quick, stuck thermostat, bad water pump or fan clutch. Spin the fan with your hands, if it free spins more than 2 rotations your fan clutch needs replacing. Take out the thermostat, crank it and watch the flow under the cap or lack of flow.
    Sounds like cars I've had in the past. My Dad would say to "take the radiator cap off and drive another car under it, tighten the radiator cap and go". He could be a d i c k sometimes.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    I'll post a pic when I get home around 7 or so pm of the hose. It leaks coolant when it decides to Spray any flu I'd otherwise it just hisses loudly. The clamps are new but I think the hose may be the wrong size. And as for the fan the one it has on it is electric and is wired to come on as soon as the key turns. The ther most at is brand new and it's a 180 as someone recommended to get. I'm thinking the gas tank may be dirty, because when I pulled the old fuel filter off after ml some clean fuel came out it became red and heavy with what appeared to be rust particulate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoLeafClover View Post
    I generally say (with any car) that it hasn't overheated until it's spewed coolant/Antifreeze/water. This zx does that as if it has bulimia.

    It leaks coolant when it decides to Spray any flu I'd otherwise it just hisses loudly.
    Blown head gasket is looking more likely. You're probably low on fluid and the "air" is actually exhaust gases leaking from the line from the thermostat housing that supplies the AAR heating block. The fluid then gets warm and expands until it can start spewing. There are no lines that would normally hiss air, then spew coolant. The cooling system will always be pressurized when the engine gets warm. The limit is typically 13 psi, set by the radiator cap.

    Eurodat's suggestion in Post #25 is a good one. Take the cap off when cold, start the engine and watch. You might see bubbles and frothing. As the engine warms up though the coolant will expand and start to overflow.

    "Next the heating problem. Remove the radiator cap and get the engine hot again. Check for bubbles escaping from the radiator. It a sign that the head gasket is leaking or cracks in the head. Its not 100% but its a good indication."
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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