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Thread: Car statred running bad suddenly

  1. #1
    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    Default Car statred running bad suddenly

    Car is a 76 - 280 totally stock and was running great, no problems at all. I have a car show next week to go to and wanted to clean the car up a bit, so I got it home and worked on it (cleaning up) and add two 5 gallon cans of gas that I have had for about 3 mo. to the gas in the car , made almost a full tank.

    Took the neighbor for a quick trip around the park and dropped him off and want to take the car back to the garage I keep it in. This is when every thing when crazy. The car started to juke and buck as I accelerated until it just would quit running. It would restart and run for about a minute and do the same thing. I finally got out of the car in a parking lot and got it started and kept it running by burping the throttle, drove it about a 1/2 mile and it just died. Got it restarted and drove it the last mile to the garage and parked it in the drive and it idled fine until I parked in the garage.

    My question is could it be from some water in the gas from the cans I pored in it? I do use gas stabilizer and I pored some in when I garaged the car.

    I just ordered a fuel pressure gauge an will install it next weekend to check the pressure.

    Some ideas would be great on the cause.

    I have never experienced anything like this before.
    Thanks Mike.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Check the spark plugs to see of they are black and sooty and report back.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
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    Check the fuel filter if it isn't clear enough to look thru try a new one you might have some rust or something in the tank.

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    How big is the park and what was the drive like? Were you showing the neighbor what the car would, with some high RPM stuff or was it just a mellow three or four block trip?

    Were it me I might drain the tank contents, change the filter, and refill with new gas, just to take that variable out of the picture. You can use the fuel pump to drain the tank by running a hose from the filter to your portable tanks, removing the solenoid wire and turning the key to Start.

    As far as other sources, what was the tachometer needle doing while the bucking was happening? If it was moving faster than the crankshaft could possibly move, jumping and/or reading abnormally high, you might have an ignition system problem, maybe the module.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Get a new fuel filter.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    OK guys I did some checking just 15 minutes ago.

    The car started and idled with out any problems, I had to move it a couple of feet over so I backed it up and over a very short distance and it ran normal.

    Blue - all the spark plugs are even in color and a dark black. Not sure if this is normal for my car or not. I have not looked at the plugs for over 10 years.

    AJ / siteunseen - I removed the fuel filter, probably the original to the car and a lot of rusty colored gas ran out the bottom. I am going to buy a new one.

    Zed - The park drive was about 4 miles and not very energetic at all. It was just a drive through the park witch is 200 yard from my home. Got the car up to around 4K for shifting.

    The tack was not doing anything crazy seemed to move with the speed of the engine.

    I might have to drain the tank, where is the solenoid wire located?

    Thanks for the help, I will not be able to work on the car till Friday.

    Mike
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    Registered User ajmcforester's Avatar
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    Rusty gas is bad. This does not need to be done right away and finding a place takes a while. You need to get the gas tank boiled out to remove the rust. Do not put that sealer stuff in the tank with ethanol and all that other garbage they put in gas now days it will come off and make a bigger mess than doing nothing. What I do and it works is every oil change dump one quart of non-detergent motor oil in with a 1/4 or less filled tank, drive hard enough to slosh it around and fill the tank. I know people that do the oil trick with cars over 40 years old and when you look into the tank with a flashlight you see shiny metal.

    Until you get the tank boiled you might want to get 2 or more filters while at the store, they will plug up quick. Also check any screens on the fuel system the 240z have ones on the carbs and my 200sx had one before the fuel rail I do not know if a screen is on a 75 z car.

    I bet you take care of the tank and you're current problem will be gone.

    Now the black plugs. Once you fix the fuel tank issue, I'd recommend replacing the plugs, and see after about 3-4 hours of use, pull the plugs and see if they are getting black. Black plugs are not a good sign and might mean another problem, but you want to fix the problems you know and then see if you are still getting black plugs.

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    HLS30A 17574 djwarner's Avatar
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    Cold engines run rich and will build up a carbon coating quickly. Checking the plugs before you moved the car would tell us more, but that's in the past now. Does sound like a fouled gas filter though.
    1971 240Z HLS30A 17574 L24-021025

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    Where there's rust there was/is water. Could be that you just have a puddle of separated water at the bottom of the tank and some sloshed over to the tank outlet. If you haven't looked at your plugs in ten years, I'm going to guess that this not a daily driver. Does it sit for quite a while between drives? Today's ethanol-containing gas will suck up water pretty quickly if it can. Are your charcoal canister and gas cap intact, to keep the tank sealed from the atmosphere?
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Black plugs means running rich. Check the water temp sensor and associated wiring.

    If you drive again, bring a can of carb cleaner and a spark plug wrench as you will keep fouling up the plugs and it may not run again until you clean them.

    I had this happen to me once when the connector too the water temp sensor came off.


    Have a look here for info about what I am talking about:

    http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techti...ich/index.html


    Check the pigtail connections too.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

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    My question is could it be from some water in the gas from the cans I pored in it?
    Could be! Once when I evacuated before a hurricane, I hauled my lawn tractor to high ground atop a flat-bed trailer. It sat out the hurricane in the rain. I didn't notice there was a crack in the gas cap, and water dribbled into the tank. I was cleaning chewing gum out of the tractor for over a year after that. I went through maybe four changes of filters and 3 carb clean-outs before the poor tractor forgave me and ran right again. There is nothing quite so evil as bad gas!

    Black, sooty plugs don't sound right, even after a cold start. I'd check the connection at the coolant temp sensor.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    Zed, my system the charcoal canister and gas cap are very intact, when I open the gas cap there is usually positive pressure in the system.

    Blue, I know I run a little rich, I will check the connectors that you showed in your techtips. I think my AFM is a little off.

    I will not be able to do anything till Friday, but I will get back to you all, thanks for the help. I just assumed that my car might be immune to any real problems, guess not.

    thanks Mike.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

  13. #13
    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    OK folks, here is what I did on the 4th.

    I got the car to use the fuel pump and I pumped 4 gallons of gas out the the car through a clear hose in to a 5 gallon can. The gas was a clear as if I had just pumped in form a gas station. So I went ahead and put on the old gas filter to see what would happen. The thing started right up and I let it set in the drive for 20 minutes running so it would warm up. The temp was up to normal and the oil pressure was normal. So I went for a very short ride, I got about 200 yards and the car started the same thing as I originally posted. I coasted to a stop and tried to start it and it started right up and then died again. I waited around 4 minutes and was going to have a couple of guys help push the car back to the garage so I tried it again and is started. I got it back in the drive and it was running like normal.

    So I ventured out again and met a friend on the street and took them for a ride, this time with some 5K rpm accelerations and not a miss or hesitation, we went for a good 5 to 7 minutes and about a mile on up and down some hill.

    I know the car is getting gas because when trying to restart it I can smell gas as the car

    I did not check the plugs to see how they were, I might do that tomorrow, I want to go to a car show tomorrow morning and it's about 10 miles form the house so I am kind of hesitant.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    Could be something simple like a plastic bag in the fuel tank. Floats around until it hits the outlet to the pump, gets sucked over by the flow, kills the engine, then floats away when the pump turns off.

    It would be good to know fuel pressure when the problem happens. Get a gauge, and use zip ties to hold it where you can see it while driving with the hood partially open. If you have full fuel pressure when the engine dies you can stop looking at fuel supply and start looking at other areas.


    Edit - I overlooked the part about smelling gas. Knowing fuel pressure is still important, but the sudden dying, then restarting, with a gassy smell is what my 1978 ECU did when it died. I had a 78 parts car in the garage that I could start and let idle until it was warmed up with no problems. One day I put the 78 ECU in my 76 driver just to verify that it was a good spare, drove about one mile and it coughed once, then died. It restarted, went about 1/4 mile and died again. It did the same about two more times until I decided to run home and get the other ECU. Reinstalled it and drove home with no problems.

    Just a possibility. It's not common but it does happen. Eventually, just to see if I could, I replaced the two main transistors in the ECU and it worked correctly. I think that the transistors can go bad just like they do in the ignition modules, causing extra activity on the circuit. Too many sparks for ignition, too many injections for the ECU.
    Last edited by Zed Head; 07-05-2014 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Left a sentence out
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    fouled plugs and still running rich? Check your electrical connections and clean... it can hurt nothing: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/e...ons/index.html
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


  16. #16
    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    If your fuel filter up front had rusty gas in it I'd imagine the cone shaped one in the fuel pump inlet port is in need of cleaning. Could the coil be failing? You should look and see if there's an oily look anywhere around it, test it somehow, I don't know the procedure though, sorry. If you have had the same plugs for 10 years you should be nice to your baby and get new ones. I'd get a new rotor button and cap too, small $$ for such a nice car.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Two possibilities come to mind:

    (1) There's a lot of rust in your tank. When you drive, gasoline sloshes around, and the rust gets stirred up. It then gets sucked up against the pickup screen, clogging it. When your fuel pump stops, and there is no more suction, the debris falls back to the bottom of the tank, and you can start the car again.

    (2) You've got a vibration-related electrical fault somewhere. When you hit a bump or twist or sway just right, a contact is broken, causing the engine to falter or die.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  18. #18
    Registered User EuroDat's Avatar
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    Reading through this thread, I see some similar problems I had a couple of months back. I had bad fuel, lots of water in the filter and about two liters of water in the tank.
    After cleaning it all out, draining the and and a new fuel filter the engine ran normal again. When I took it for a drive I was lucky to limp back home with the engine coughing and backfiring. Went through the EFI bible test and found poor soldering on the aftermarket injector connectors and some minor things. It still would not run right once it warmed up. It was great cold, but once it warmed up bang it started again. The tacho was bouncing a little, but didn't seem enough to be the ignition module and it checked out ok. I thought it was due to the lurching forward and stallingof the engine.
    To eliminate the ignition I changed to a HEI Module and the engine has ran perfectly ever since. Im now in theprocess of fitting the HEI module into the old casing to keep the original look.

    It might not be your problem, but it threw me off, because of the bad fuel I had. The ignition unit played up fierce when it was hot. They are all getting older and prone to failure.

    Good luck with your problem solving.
    Chas
    Last edited by EuroDat; 07-06-2014 at 04:56 AM.
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    Well I went to the car show today and did not have one problem to or from the show. I drove about 8 to 9 miles way. The temp at 9:30 this morning was around 73 degrees and the temp on the way home at 4pm was around 80 degrees with a very light rain.

    The ride both ways was very nerve racking just waiting for something to happen.

    I am still going to change the gas filter when I get it. I am probably going to get a HEI Module, new spark plugs, rotor and cap and the coil.

    I do need some help on the coil and HEI module, where to get them and which ones, the car is a 11/75 build. The spark plugs I think should be BP6ES.

    Thanks for all the help.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    I put a remanufactured ZX distributor and a Crane PS 20 coil on my '72 240. It made a world of difference. Arne suggested the PS 20 and I'm glad he did, it's the 1.4 OHM and that's perfect for the electronic ignition module E12-80 on the ZX dizzy which is what the HEI is. http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/p...-80-dizzy.html
    Amazon.com: Crane Cams 730-0020 PS20 Performance Coil: Automotive
    If you go with the ZX style ignition the proper plugs are BPR6ES-11, wider gap for stronger spark.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    Here is the latest on my car problems.

    I went to a car show two weeks ago that was about 10 miles from my home and the car ran great, not one problem and I did not do anything to the car. I even put the old fuel filter back on the car. So I am still a a loss as to the original problem.

    Last weekend I put on the new fuel filter and a fuel pressure gage that I got from Jegs. The car idles at around 28 lbs. and the pressure does go up when you hit the gas but go back down to around that same area.

    Also I checked the spark plugs after the drive back from the car show and I attached the picture of them. #6 is at the left and #1 is at the right. They are kind of black and grey.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thoughts and one.

    Thanks Michael
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    Those plugs look pretty good to me. I can't recall, what do the fuel injection bible & FSM say about the fuel pressure range?
    73 240Z
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    Hi Michael,

    Is the engine still playing up or are you trying to find what could have caused your problems? I can understand the bad feeling about a problem that cued itself, but could come back anytime and WHEN???

    Your pressure is reading about right for idle. Consider these gauges are not all that accurate, give or take 5%. Do a full pressure test by disconnecting the vacuum hose to the FPR. The pressure should increase to 36psi.

    Here is the tests I did on mine a couple of months back when I had bad fuel and a dodgy TIU.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    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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    I have the same problem and have had for 3 years. I dropped the tank and had tons of rust. Cleaned and coated. Repalced fuel filter and some fuel lines at the tank. Replaced fuel pump but before the tank was dropped. Car would run fine for 50 miles and then on other trips of 10 miles act up. I have not been able to solve at this point. I posted another thread before seeing this one.

    I am guessing a screen is clogged or getting clogged but not sure. Going to do some more fuel pressure checks but unluckily evertime I have the gauge out where I can see it the problem does not happen.

    If you still have the problem post again and if I find anything out I will comment on thread.

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    I will post here until this problem is solved. I checked my fuel pressue and running just like yours around 28 psi at idle. If I remember correctly this is good. During acceleration I get a jump just over 30 psi. However, when the car starts running a little rough I notice the pressure going up initially to 30 but dropping down to around 22 psi. Not sure if this is the problem. Just data for reference.

  26. #26
    Registered User mgood's Avatar
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    To all, I went to the Pittsburgh Grand Prix car show on Sunday, it was about a 13 mile trip each way and I had no problems at all even in stop and go traffic. This is with the new fuel filter. I am inclined to think, and crossing my finger's that it was just water. I will find out eventually.

    I want to thank everyone for the help.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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