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Thread: Aging Man with an Aging Car -- I need help

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    Just Bill Smith
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    Default Aging Man with an Aging Car -- I need help

    I'll start with being brief. I have owned a 1978 Datsun 810 for 26 years. It has, and still is, realiable, dependable and I still have faith but it has also had little brain warping idiosyncracies that even neither the dealers, car repair places, nor myself could understand -- costly, to say the least. Now it's bothering me because I cannot afford to take the chance of wasting money on someone telling me "It's fixed" then the problem arises again two days later.
    My future posts will explain some of the problems I've had and what eventually happened. Hopefully, my past problems might give someone an idea of what's going on with their car. Also, I hope to gain by someone giving me ideas.
    I hope that I am not intruding on the web site by not having a z-car but my understanding is that my car was a result of the success of the 240-Z engine. If I have intruded, let me know.

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    philo "Z" opher Zedrally's Avatar
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    What L series engine does your 810 have?
    810?, was that the violet?

    MOM
    Mike of the Mire

    73 240Z Rally
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    Bogged but not beaten

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    That would be a Bluebird I guess. Forerunner the the US Maxima. It really didn't fall into any particular name type catagory. It's more or less a 200B with the front streched, and an L24E for an engine. I also own one, a 1979 2 dr. So, wm e smith, what kind of problems are you having?
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    Just Bill Smith
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    I appreciate the responses. The car is a 1978 Datsun 810 California model (assuming it's called that because of -- catalytic converter and altitude switch, plus other emission control stuff), L24 6-cyl, a great car but if I live any longer than it, I'm so afraid it'll become a junk yard relic.
    The problem I now have is after starting it (easily starts and runs top knotch), after about 10 miles down the highway, it will suddenly lose all power and come to a stop. But it's always easy to start up again. Then when I make a turn around and come back home, I can expect it to die again a couple times before I get back home.
    ALSO -- a slight bump in the road, a pot hole, or a speed bump will cause the same problem. It's mind boggling to me.

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    philo "Z" opher Zedrally's Avatar
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    Sounds fuel related.
    Check your fuel filter.
    Mike of the Mire

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    Just Bill Smith
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    Fuel Filter could be it. I've never thought abought it but over the years I've noticed that car spits and sputters when fuel tank is almost empty. Could that be moisture, rust sediments, or whatever in the fuel tank? Also how important is it to repalce the fuel cap? When I ususally fuel up and unscrew the cap, it has a big gust of air. Is that a bad thing?

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    Registered User Alex 240Z's Avatar
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    It is not good to let your tank run down to empty !!! That will definitely harm fuel filter and fuel pump. As for the gush of air when you open the gas cap that is not a problem. I would change the fuel filter and add a bottle of gas treatment !!!! Good luck and keep you and the car rolling !!! Also sounds like the symtoms of vapor lock !!!! but lets try simplest solution first !!!!!!!
    John 240Z

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    The gust of air from the fuel cap is normal. Could be fuel realated as Zedrally says, but when I had a similar problem with my 810 it turned out to be a bad connection at the temperature sensor. I cleaned the connector and the problem went away but I ultimately changed the connector since it was cracked and brittle as they all seem to get over time.
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    Just Bill Smith
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    I'll work on the fuel filter and the temp sensor (assuming it's what my Haynes manual calls a water temperture sensor).
    Another thought came to mind. I don't quite understand the full purpose of the DASHPOT. I had a racing engine, took it to a Nissan dealer, was told that no DASHPOTS were available, picked it up, then noticed the DASHPOT was on the seat. They removed it and I've been driving the car since with no apparent problems. What are the consequences of not having the thing mounted?

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I'll have to look that up. (The daspot) I've never driven without it so I'll have to read up on it's function. The water temp sensor is the one on the right of the water neck with a two wire connector. It's smaller than the thermotime switch which is to the left.
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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Here's what I found in the 79 810 FSM. Apparently it's a emissions control device that works during deceleration and shouldn't cause any problems by not being there except allowing more HC emissions during deceleration. It was probably stuck which would cause your engine to race. Try some WD40 or your penetrating oil of choice on the shaft and see if you can make it move freely.
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    Hi Stephen and Mr. Smith,

    Could the car have a faulty connector at the fuel pump which is shorting out over the bumps? Or maybe at a fuel pump relay?

    Chris
    1973 240Z HLS30-156693

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    The connections at the fuel pump are pretty solid. (10mm nuts, lockwashers over studs) Now, a frayed wire back there is possible but I've never run into that on either of my cars. The relay is also a posobility but a bad one probably wouldn't allow the car to run at all. But I have experienced intermittent stalling which I was able to trace to a bad connection at the temp sensor.
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    This sounds incredibly like the chunk-of-crud (rust/varnish/tar) in the fuel inlet (to pump) from the gas tank problem. A large chunk of this crap that builds up in a tank will clog the inlet in the gas tank due to the pump's suction. When the car dies, the suction is released and the crud floats away allowing you to re-start. It then proceeds to clog the inlet again a little while later. Never had the problem, but I've run across it doing research quite a few times. The fix is to drain your tank and look for the crud then have it boiled out by a local radiator shop. If you look for POR-15 on the web you can find a sealer (I've heard excellent thigs about it, but again never used it) to 'renew' your tank if it is indeed rusting out from the inside.

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    Oh, and you may want to check the AFM. The fuel pump cutoff switch that's in there may be activating when you hit something. This is very speculative but easily tested by jumping the two connections on it to see if the problem re-occurs. For some good pics of this unit and other 'tweaks' (that you'll no doubt not want to mess with) go here:
    http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Let's have him check the things I mentioned first before we get to dropping the gas tank or tinkering with the AFM, which can quickly become a one way street. Start with the simplest. I have actually encountered this problem and solved it on my car by doing what I suggested above. Those connectors are usually pretty worn after almost thirty years. Simply replacing all of the connectors (fuel injector, thermotime switch, cold start, air reg, temp sensor,tps), with the sturdier, easier to work with, BMW connectors has turned my car that had those intermittent problems in to one that starts and runs under any circumstances with no problems, and gets up to 25.5 mpg. But you don't have to go to that extreme. Just check and clean the connectors, see how it runs then, and if the problem still exists we can move on to something else.
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    Just adding my 2c in case the sensors didn't turn out to be it. On my 280 draining the tank is relatively simple (to check for the contaminants) due to the drain plug located on the pass. side. I wasn't suggesting he should drop the tank right away. As for the AFM, I did say he probably wouldn't want to tinker, didn't I? Again, it's definetly not a first resort but I thought I'd throw it out there. Apologies for any confusion I may have caused.
    BTW, are the BMW connectors similar to the GM and Audi types, or of a different construction entirely?

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    The BMW connectors are similar to the other types. I just thought that they were sturdier and easier to remove. You just pull the clips straight out and they come off, push the clips back in before you put the connector back on and it snaps tightly into place. And the moisture seal is better than the original ones.
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    Registered User sideshowbob's Avatar
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    Oooh, they come in colors too Thanks for the pics! The do look rather better that the salvaged (but brand new looking) originals I have right now.

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    Just Bill Smith
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    I'm not about to immediately get carried away -- too damn old for that. So, I'll replace the fuel filter and work on the water temperature sensor and its connector and then I will let you know what happened.
    By the way, not long ago I kept having problems with the air flow meter and finally took it off the car, took it to CarQuest, they sent it in for "rebuilding". That did wonders for the old car. Prior to that, the car would start and run as long as I did not touch the accelerator pedal. It went dead after even placing the slightlest pressure on the pedal. Also the car ran very rough when I get could get it to run at all.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 08-22-2005 at 08:49 AM.

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I purchased a new AFM for my 810 earlier this year at OEM surplus. They sell surplus Nissan parts at about 25% of list. Give them a try if you need any parts. Remember these are new parts. I've purchased an a/c evaporator, compressor, window mouldings, dash pad, and a few other things from them over the last couple of years.
    http://www.oem-surplus.com/nwp/index.htm
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    Just Bill Smith
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    Going back to the Air Flow Meter, I took what I thought was the cheapest route but I might have screwed up. Old problems seem to arise again. For instance, just a few minutes ago I started the car with problems. It wanted to go dead when I pressed the accelerator, but finally got going. Maybe I should go the route suggested (or almost suggested) of buying another from the OEM site.
    Not so experienced since, as I have said before, It's been a very dependable car but brain boggling at times -- BUT, income warrants ME to handle it's future.
    If I wanted to replace the connector to the Air Flow Meter, are they available?

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I've never tried to buy that connector but I doubt that Nissan would have them. I would find a good one at the junkyard and splice it in if I had to replace one. Not necessarily a Nissan one either since some of the European cars used the same type of connector.
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    Just Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    Let's have him check the things I mentioned first before we get to dropping the gas tank or tinkering with the AFM, which can quickly become a one way street. Start with the simplest. I have actually encountered this problem and solved it on my car by doing what I suggested above. Those connectors are usually pretty worn after almost thirty years. Simply replacing all of the connectors (fuel injector, thermotime switch, cold start, air reg, temp sensor,tps), with the sturdier, easier to work with, BMW connectors has turned my car that had those intermittent problems in to one that starts and runs under any circumstances with no problems, and gets up to 25.5 mpg. But you don't have to go to that extreme. Just check and clean the connectors, see how it runs then, and if the problem still exists we can move on to something else.
    Are the connectors mentioned identical?

    Being as inexperienced with older cars as I am, I look under the hood and see wires and connectors and become afraid to touch them. Afraid since the connectors look brittle and the wires were bent to a certain position, remained that way for years, and my thoughts are if I move them they will either crumble, insulation will break, or short out. Is this paranoid thinking?

    Being new to this web site, I'm probrably in the wrong place since my car is the 1978 Datsun 810. I just noticed that there's a forum dedicated to those "other" Datsuns. I'll post my headaches there in the future.

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    Are the connectors mentioned identical?
    ............
    They are all pretty much the same other than the color of the wires and the color of the connector itself. Except for the one that goes to the throttle switch which has three wires instead of two. They do get brittle so you have to be careful with them. I'm pretty good at soldering so I decided to change them all after having a couple of them break. As far as a forum for other Datsuns, I never noticed one except for the 240K forum. If you ask questions here, I will try to help if I can. And if anyone wants to whine about it not being Z related, well I've more or less learned to ignore the whining since there always seems to be so much of it here
    Last edited by sblake01; 08-19-2005 at 07:21 AM.
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    For the wires themselves, they should be fine but if they DO crumble they need serious remediation and shouldn't be left to themselves to break at the worst moment. They'll be fine unless the car's been sitting in the sun with the hood up for a few years (don't ask how I know this). The (injector, thermotime valve, cold start, ect.) connectors, on the other hand, will fall to pieces. Their main body will remain but the peripheral extrusions, which hold the metal clip, will most likely fall apart. They can usually still be used at this point if you're in dire straights but it is preffered to replace them altogether. When you remove them look for the GREEN EVIL, which is kissing cousins to the BROWN EVIL (RUST) that is the bane of these cars. If the connectors are anything but shiny, and they will be, you need to replace or clean them. I wish I has a pic to demonstrate how the metal clip inserts are removed using a very small screwdriver or similar instrument.
    In addition to the EFI connectors that sblake has shown us, there are Nissan's infamous 'bullet connectors' to clean. These also tend to corrode badly when moisture becomes trapped within the rubber sleeves. These are further up the harness from the clip-like connectors.
    Go to this page for the best breakdown of cleaning all of this electrical mess:
    Electrical Conn. Cleaning

    It's part of THIS (Click Here) site, that I've found invaluable when it comes tho this stuff, though it may not pertain much to you, since you have an 810. The connectors, however, should be in about the same places. You can also find the EFI bible here which (again) isn't for your car, but may still be useful in diagnosing the trouble.

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    Just Bill Smith
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    You guys have provided valuable information. You have revived my interest in my car. At times, I wanted to junk it but something told me to not do it. People are always asking, if you want to get rid of it, let me know. I assume they have ideas for it. So, I'll hang on. It has been a wonderful car and other than the idiosyncracies, still has the potential -- I'm convinced.
    Seems to me though that after discovering this site, I want to talk about it rather than work on it. So, I better hop with it. I have a lot of information now from you that doesn't sound so costly.

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    I'd like to see a picture of your 810. Don't see many of them around anymore.
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    Just Bill Smith
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    Picture will be coming up as soon as I learn more about the how to's of this site -- it's ugly, in a woman's veiwpoint, (rusty and needs attention) but body is in pretty good shape. considering it's age, etc.

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    Just Bill Smith
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    Another question while gathering information --
    About 18 years ago, my 810 would die on the city streets, on the freeways, or on the interstates, not often -- maybe like every 2 or 3 months. It would not start unless I let it sit for about 20 mintutes. Nissan could not figure it out. A service rep even drove it back and forth to work for 2 weeks. Then I was told he couldn't get it to fail so the "computer chip" was replaced. That did no good. Finally it died and was impossiible for me start. I had it towed in and they said it was the relays. The intermittent problem I was having never occurred again. What are the relays, are they a simple part or something complex? Are they easy to obtain and install?
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 08-20-2005 at 01:14 PM.

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    Just Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    I'm pretty good at soldering so I decided to change them all after having a couple of them break.
    I'll eventually do this also. What would be the disadvantage of NOT soldering but using some kind of inline wire connectors to join the wires?.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    I'll eventually do this also. What would be the disadvantage of NOT soldering but using some kind of inline wire connectors to join the wires?.
    That would also work but I just like the fact that with soldering and heat shrink tubing, I was able to hide the repairs under the rubber boots. It's a much cleaner look.
    (Hey, this is post #2000 for me!)
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    Just Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    (Hey, this is post #2000 for me!)
    And congratulations. I don't know about the other approximately 1990 of the posts but the ten or so for my benefit sure were helpful.

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    Ignore Message.
    Testing changes to my profile, etc
    Bill Smith
    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan (Calif. Model) since 1979

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    Just Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    The BMW connectors are similar to the other types. I just thought that they were sturdier and easier to remove. You just pull the clips straight out and they come off, push the clips back in before you put the connector back on and it snaps tightly into place. And the moisture seal is better than the original ones.
    I didn't thoroughly read the info within the website http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techti...ors/index.html to which sideshowbob referred me. Do the connectors shown on this site coincide with the ones you displayed?
    Bill Smith
    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan (Calif. Model) since 1979

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    Those look like the same ones. Except he paid $12 ea. for his and I paid $5 for about 30-35 of them at the junkyard. I got them from mid to late 80s BMW 6 cyl cars. Whatever material they are made from is superior to what Nissan used because I've never seen a cracked one in the junkyard. And though they are not 25+ years old like the original ones on our cars they are still 15+ years old. Every one I pulled simply needed a minor cleaning and the terminals were always clean.
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    Stephen,
    All my connectors are looking bad. I'm surprised the car is running as well as it is. I couldn't find one connector that still had a metal clip on it -- it was simply pull off and push back on. So I'll see about obtaining some and replace them all. Will it be difficult to replace the fuel injector connectors without removing the gas supply piping that seems to cover the top of the intake manifold? Or is that an impossibility?
    Bill Smith
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    I replaced my connectors without removing the fuel rail.
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    Default Air Conditioner

    This is more a story rather than a request for help -- prompted by comments by Steven Blakey and myself on another thread about windshield wipers.
    Many years ago, I would go across the Mojave Desert from San Diego to Las Vegas in the blazing heat. The A/C would suddenly die. I paniced, got out and checked the fuses. The 20 amp fuse for the A/C was shot. In desperation, I would do the old trick of wrapping it with the "tin-foil" of a cigarette package and make it back home in less misery.
    I became use to the problem and just kept replacing the fuse. After many years it finally sunk in to my slow thinking mind that I had better start analyzing.
    I noticed that the fuse that went bad was not "blown" but that the metal on the left side of the glass part just came loose, like whatever adhered it to the glass just melted away.
    Then I noticed the fuse box clamp thing on the left for the fuse was twisted from all the heat. I assumed, that I had been having a bad contact (less surface area) for the electricity to flow through resulting in extreme heat.
    Anyway, sometime ago, I must have twisted the fuse box clamp just right and the A/C hung in for a number of years. But, now, the problem resurfaced.
    I notice the area of the fuse box where the heat is obvious is melted.
    I'm now thinking about putting in an "inline" fuse thing for the fuse and forgetting the originality. Does anyone have a better solution assuming a new fuse box is non-available?
    Bill Smith
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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Well, I've never had a problem with fuse boxes in either of my cars or the old truck for that matter. I periodiaclly check the fuse box for corrosion, and tension on the clips. I clean them with contact cleaner and then spary them with corrosion inhibitor. The problem at the fuse box doesn't necessarily originate there. It's more likely elsewhere in that circuit. Really tough to trace but you should check all connections on that circuit. Aren't these old cars fun? I once thought of using the fuse box that MSA sells and splicing it into the system in my 810. That fuse box uses the modern type spade fuses. But since the circuitry is different, that would have probably been a nightmare to do so I passed on the idea. If they ever start making one for a 280Z or ZX I might look into it again.
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    I'm not gonna worry too much about it. The a/c is working now after my effort with a pair of long nose pliers yesterday. So, I'm happy. When it gives up next time, I'll run down to wal-marts and buy the parts. I'm still amazed that the a/c is hanging in.

    My rattling on should probably be on the chit-chit forum --

    Adding to my thoughts about the a/c, Id like to clarify that the a/c compressor is not the original one. That situation is another story. When I bought the car in 1979, the a/c did not work. Two months later a snap-on tool truck darted throught a red light and I hit the heavy truck which caused quite a bit damage to my car. When the collision place fixed it up, the a/c compressor was replaced with a new one. So, this time I felt like I was the "rip-offer". Then a few years later, close to home, something started squealing and before I could find a place to stop, the squealing stopped. I stopped and noticed that the a/c belt was burnt completely through and dropped to the bottom. I assumed it was a frozen a/c compressor, took it in, they replaced it. After years of thought, I have decided that I was the "rip-offee". BECAUSE since, I discovered that the bearings in idler-pulleys can lead a novice such as I to believe that drastic problems have taken place. So -- I still wonder. But I'm still amazed that the old car has a/c.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 08-26-2005 at 06:53 PM.
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    Mine worked fine until about two months ago. Compressor went out. I think I mentioned in another thread that I was able to find all the parts although I might have bought the last condensor and the last two receiver/driers available in the US for an 810. Compressors, evaporators, and expansion valves you can still get. All I have to do now is isntall them but, as I probably also mentioned, I am a certified MVAC tech.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    Mine worked fine until about two months ago. Compressor went out. I think I mentioned in another thread that I was able to find all the parts although I might have bought the last condensor and the last two receiver/driers available in the US for an 810. Compressors, evaporators, and expansion valves you can still get. All I have to do now is isntall them but, as I probably also mentioned, I am a certified MVAC tech.
    I was adding an 'edit' to my last post apparently when you were send a reply.
    I've been lucky. It almost a must that a/c works.
    Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    MVAC tech.
    Not familiar with acronynm MVAC?
    I suppose one of the reasons I am so impressed with my a/c is that it was serviced only one time, about 6 years ago, since I owned the car. And then I had it done because my brother told me I should have it done every year. He's probably right and I really lucked up.
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    My mind is wandering -- back to connectors. No local places could order the Bosch connectors, no near by junkyards, no near by BMV dealers, So I resorted to GOOGLE. Found a "telephone-order place" in Massachusetts that has them -- $9.50 each. I told him I need about ten, questioned s&h charges and he told me it wouldn't be much -- probably wouldn't weight more than 1/2 pound.
    If interested in the future it's http://www.idcparts.com/ .
    Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    Not familiar with acronynm MVAC?
    ........
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    Another question which I have always wondered about --
    I have always adjusted the valve lash while engine is cold or near cold. Specs give info for hot and cold. Is one better than the other? And, what would you define "hot" or "cold" to be?
    Bill Smith
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    I don't know if it's better but I've always liked to adjust them hot. I would define cold as having not run the car long enough so that the engine is at the ambient air temperature and hot would be after you've run or driven the car up to normal operating temperature.
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    Disregarding what has already been said -- My car starts but not too easily. I have to baby the excellerator then it'll start. I then have to keep it running by pushing the excellerator. Then it it runs but very slugglish -- like one of the cylinders is misfiring and the engine (car, in general) is imbalanced. I am driving it very little because of the fear that the problem might cause serious damage. Any ideas?
    Previous suggestions by S. Blakeney seem to right on about the water temp sensor connector, although a new connector is yet to be installed.
    Bill Smith
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    Ignition and fuel system are the first place to check (after cleaning all the connections, of course).
    Have you done your basic tune-up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowbob
    Ignition and fuel system are the first place to check (after cleaning all the connections, of course).
    Have you done your basic tune-up?
    Extemes were taken to tune -- new ignition coil, new distrubutor w/ cap and rotor, new wires, new spark plugs, and timed to exactness. It then ran great -- smooth, lots of power and zip, then ...

    I have received the 10 Bosch connectors, and thanks to you, I now have better understand what the guy at atlantcz.ca was talking about.

    I am one to analyze before things happen -- so please, help me.

    The sudden sluggishness was farther thought about yesterday when I drove above 4 miles, stopped, smelled RAW gas, looked under the hood and saw gasoline around the area of the cold start valve. This has happened in the past but I just assumed it was from an untight hose to the cold start valve.
    Now -- my theory, correct me if yours if different.

    Could it be that an electrical pulse is being sent to a fuel injector but the connector is bad, resulting in high gas pressure and the 'fuel pressure' regulator is also at fault?

    Steve, I misread everything about the oem-surplus discount. I assumed a 25% discount but just found out the price is 25% of MSRP and less. What a bargain. I am ordering the Air Flow Meter because I have little faith in my solution to have mine 'rebuilt'.
    Bill Smith
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    Raw fuel in the cylinders and odd fuel problems have been the bane of my Z. Let's go through the list!

    The hoses connecting the various components crack and leak with age. They can be replaced with inexpensive FUEL INJECTION HOSE from your local autozone (Yes, yes, enough autozone hate already, they're cheap and carry GOODYEAR hose, damn you). Take care the hose you purchase has FUEL INJECTION printed in white on its side and get the closest you can the size in your car. I've completelty forgotten the size I purchased, though I remember it runs about 3.50 per foot.
    If the electrical connection to an injector is bad, that cylinder will recieve LESS fuel than it should, causing a rough engine. The injectors themselves may be clogged/bad. To test: With the engine running, place the blade of a long screwdriver (I prefer a stethoscope) against the body of each injector with the handle against your ear and verify that they all do, indeed, work. You will hear a sharp, repetitive CLICK if all is well. USUAL SAFETY DISCLAIMER GOES HERE.
    Remove all 'clips' from the injector connectors (Skip this if you've already installed the bosch connectors the clips are spring loaded for easy unplugging on those), leaving the connectors connected. While the engine is running: Pull a clip and note the change/lack of change in the motors performance. Replace the clip and repeat for the remaining 5. If an injector causes no change in engine sound it is either clogged or leaking(carbon on the spark plug can help to verify this). This is very much like the power balance test done by pulling spark plug wires.
    Low vacuum (the usual culprits) can cause high fuel pressure, in addition to a faulty regulator. In a vintage car, such as your own, the vacuum hoses must be checked (prefferably replaced, they are fairly inexpensive) as they are prone to the same difficulties the fuel hoses are.
    Your cold start valve may be leaking INTO the intake, as well. Verify this by unplugging it's connector(to prevent it's normal operation), removing the two screws holding it down, putting it in a jar (with it's hose still attached) and cranking the motor a few times. You may want to prevent it from starting by leaving the injectors disconnected or disabling your ignition. Doing this will create pressure in the lines and any leakage will be visible in the jar (In my opinion ANY leakage is too much).

    What condition are the spark plugs in? Do you have a Haynes manual (There are color pictures on the back cover depicting various engine conditions and their effects on the plugs).

    My apologies if I've duplicated anything in the thread. Didn't bother to go back through the pages.

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    As a result of not thinking too clearly, I think I might have screwed up.
    What is the easiest way to determine if the two wires to the Thermotime switch connector are reversed?

    Also, once the metal contacting terminals are inserted into the plastic connector (Bosch), is it possible to remove them without damage? If so, how?
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 09-19-2005 at 06:57 AM.
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    Question revised: Didn't mean 'easiest' -- really meant 'how would I?'
    Bill Smith
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    I'm disappointed that someone didn't suggest something to maybe give me an idea as to how to check the criss-crossing out. I suppose I can pull the wire from ignition coil to the center of distributor cap, remove the cold start valve, stick it in a glass, have someone try to start the engine, and see if gas is dumped. Then, if that doesn't happen, reverse the wires -- (I suppose this wouldn't work necessarily either) -- complicated by thoughts of a bad thermotime switch, a bad coldstart valve, etc.
    Am I wasting your time by asking such things that probably seem so trivial to you?
    So far I have replaced all the connectors, the fuel filter, the air flow meter and cleaned up the connector to the air flow meter. Because of recent work, vaccuum tubes seem ok, gas lines seem ok.
    Car is now running as should be except I have the new connectors on thermotime switch and the cold start valve 'not plugged in' because of those two wires to the thermotime switch that I may have mistakenly switched.
    I'm trying!
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 09-24-2005 at 06:11 PM.
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    If you view the thermotime switch connector from the front with the open part of the clip facing downwards, the wire on the left goes to the female plug and the one on the right goes to the male plug. As far as removing the contacts once they're inserted, I wouldn't know the answer to that because mine already had wires in them so I cut the old connectors off and soldered and heat shrinked the new ones on. I don't consider your question trivial at all. It took a while to come up with a definitive answer. I tried to check the wires on both my cars but since they were wrapped, there wasn't a way to see which wire ended up where. The scan is taken from the 'EFI Bible'.

    EDIT: After thinking about this, would it really matter where the wires go on the connector since all they seem to do is complete a ground when the switch is closed?
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    Last edited by sblake01; 09-25-2005 at 08:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    After thinking about this, would it really matter where the wires go on the connector since all they seem to do is complete a ground when the switch is closed?
    It's beyond me. I haven't 'touched it' yet. I was, and I still am, confused because of what I read about power being supplied only when trying to start, then if it didn't start power would be dropped and cold start valve wouldn't dump the gas because of some simple heater within the thermotime switch which disables the cold start valve from operating.
    At this point, I'll say you are right -- that is, all is a function of the thermotime switch itself and all it needs is what you said. Now, I feel less worried about the situation. Thanks!
    I'll spend some time checking it out.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 09-27-2005 at 02:37 PM.
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    Ummm, look. Calm down. Just connect one wire at a time. If something wierd happens (engine gets worse than before, after warm up), unplug the cold start valve. If this fixes it, you have the wires backwards. Don't be afraid, it won't explode! (unless you're me and prone to doing shady modifications in a parking lot with cheap or scrounged parts, in that case I take no responsibility for my errrr.... I mean: your actions). Though blake is probably correct, the injectors also don't really care which wire is where.

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    Well it's really simple. The power comes to the thermotime switch from the ign switch, through the ign relay. The thermotime switch is basically another temperature sensor with a heating coil in it and it will only be closed for 8 seconds and that's if the temperature is low enough. I the temp is low enough, the thermotime swich completes the ground. From there, the signal goes to the cold start valve, completing the ground, and injecting the extra fuel needed for a cold start. I tested this theory morning at 6:30am by temporarily switching the leads on my 810 and it started right up.
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    I still have a few things to do before I can describe any farther problems that might still exist. But, I would like to ask some simple things that apply to my situation, unrelated to obvious problems --
    1) I have the air duct which extends from above the radiator to the air filter OFF the car.
    Is that bad?
    2) The wire which runs from the pickup coil over to the ignition coil area is rather lengthly.
    How does one route that wire so that it doesn't interfere with anything?
    3) What effect does NOT having the shroud for the fan installed?
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    An easy way to get rid of moisture in the fuel tank is to add around half a cup of metholated spirit to the tank. This allows the "block" to break up and pass through the system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    I still have a few things to do before I can describe any farther problems that might still exist. But, I would like to ask some simple things that apply to my situation, unrelated to obvious problems --
    1) I have the air duct which extends from above the radiator to the air filter OFF the car.
    Is that bad?
    2) The wire which runs from the pickup coil over to the ignition coil area is rather lengthly.
    How does one route that wire so that it doesn't interfere with anything?
    3) What effect does NOT having the shroud for the fan installed?
    1) The intake will draw cooler air with the duct in place
    2) Zip ties though there is a plastic clip that holds that wire to the radiator
    hose but they usually break over time and I don't know if anyone sells them
    3) Cooling will be better with the shroud in place especially with the ac on
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    I would also check the muffler,when the car is an older with the stock muffler they sometimes rust from the inside out.I had a car the started just fine but when I drove awhile it would die then it would be hard to start.I change the filter,fuel pump and still the same.I would hear some hissing noise once in a while.Finally took the muffler of and that was the problem,it was plugged!Good Luck.

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    I would hope, since we are basically talking about cars that are what? 25+ years old, that the stock muffler is long gone.
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    I forgot to slip the boot onto the wires first before snapping on the connector so I replaced that connector. Connector was the one to the water temperature sensor. Some pulling of the wires was necessary to gain enough access to the ends. Since installing the connector, the car will not start and doesn't appear to want to start. After disconnecting the wire to the starter and trying to 'start', I can hear the fuel pump operating. I haven't performed a pressure check yet. Are there suggestions as to what might have suddenly happened?

    An after thought: It's been so long ago that I, myself, replaced the fuel filter that I had forgotten. During replacing it this time, when I removed the hoses, I expected the fuel to flow out until the line between tank and filter was drained. BUT, it never quit draining. I hurriedly installed the new one. Did this happen to me before? I don't think so, or at least, I sure don't remember. The tank was approximately 3/4 full.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 10-15-2005 at 12:47 PM.
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    Maybe when I changed the connector without disconnecting the battery I blew the control unit. While reading the Haynes manual, it talks of 'control unit' and also the 'transitor control unit'. I am lost. Would you recommend that, since I am obviously so dense on the subject, to take it in to a possible expert or keep on trying while bugging you guys?
    Bill Smith
    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan (Calif. Model) since 1979

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    Be wary of 'experts'. No, you didn't blow the control unit (not by replacing the connector), unless you were attempting to start the car at the same time, while grounding the two wires to the block or sticking them in unusual places. So... the car isn't starting now? What's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    (Hey, this is post #2000 for me!)

    IT WAS??

    over on the left it says:

    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: San Bernardino, Ca. U.S.A.
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    those darn San Bernardino-ians....see how they are. (justkidding)

    Id like to see a pic of the 810 too...theres a mechanic or service guy at the nissan garden grove (CA.) that used to have a beautiful one. ive wanted to get one ever since.

    ***And good luck to you Mr Smith. I wish i could help out you seem like
    a nice guy, but I dont have much experence with those "new fangled"
    hi tech fuel injection system cars, but if it was me....id revert back to
    SU's! (carbs).***
    systems
    Last edited by jackboxxx; 10-25-2005 at 04:35 PM.
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    Well I've only been a 'San Bernardino-ian' since late May. That post was in August so 280 post in two months!? I guess I have more time on my hands since I'm retired. Anyway, here's a picture of my 810:
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    I just knew that you were interested.
    I talked with an unknown repair shop. Explained that car would not start, left a note on front seat, and called towing company. Car was towed this morning but before I sent it off, I decided to check the fluid levels. Oil indicator showed that I was above the HIGH mark, smelled the dipstick, decided I had gas in the crankcase, immediately thought that the problem was flooding because of a defective cold start valve, added to the note that I had written what my thoughts were, and off it went.
    I called this evening and ask if they had a chance to look at it. I was told that they have been charging the battery all day, haven't done anything to the car yet, but they started it. So I'll wait until they do something. Their starting it boosted my spirits, and at this point, I still suspect the cold start valve which caused the excessive flooding and the inability to start the car.

    I'll let you know what they come up with.
    Bill Smith
    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan (Calif. Model) since 1979

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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    Well I've only been a 'San Bernardino-ian' since late May. That post was in August so 280 post in two months!? I guess I have more time on my hands since I'm retired. Anyway, here's a picture of my 810:
    hey Steve,

    I was just playing around, just because your probably one of the closest ones to me in the club. So you just moved there? from where? glad you missed all the terrible fires a couple of years ago..

    ** and by the way thats a beautiful 810**

    wish i had the resources to get one, id love to have one. maybe next year around tax time

    JacK
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    Stephen, it was a nice looking 810. It's admirable.
    Jackboxxx, I'd sell you mine only that you realize that you would have to haul it from Ohio to Moreno Valley. I will guarantee you that it will be running smoothly at the time of pick up. The power steering fluid which disappears, the struts and rear shocks, and the looks of its outside and interior would be your problem, otherwise I myself am in love with it. Although, if you offered an amount where I could buy the cheapest new car on the market, regardless of how cheap it is, my car will be on its way back to God's country, southern California.
    Now come on, me and my car are getting old, have a heart!

    But then I'll say, for an old car which was once taken real care of, in recent years, the looks have been neglected but I have always kept it running top knotch.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 10-31-2005 at 07:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackboxxx
    hey Steve,

    I was just playing around, just because your probably one of the closest ones to me in the club. So you just moved there? from where? glad you missed all the terrible fires a couple of years ago..

    ** and by the way thats a beautiful 810**

    wish i had the resources to get one, id love to have one. maybe next year around tax time

    JacK
    Moreno Valley
    We moved here from Fontana after having lived there since 2000. Prior to that we lived in Upland for three years. The 810 is okay for a daily driver which is how I use it but some of the cosmetic parts are really hard to find. I've been looking for a good pair of inner windshield pillar moldings for two years now with no luck. I've only seen about ten or so of them in the junkyards in the 2+ years I've had mine and amongst those only three 2 doors one of which was my parts car which I sold to them.
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    William,

    hmmm the price of a cheap new car seems a bit steep for an 810 for me at the moment. appreciate the offer though I was thinking more along a the lines of a local fixxer upper needing mechanical work for not too much cash

    Though listening to Steven, it appears they are in short supply..I wonder if many wagons still exist? Ive seen one of those nicely restored and it looked great.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    Stephen, it was a nice looking 810. It's admirable.
    Jackboxxx, I'd sell you mine only that you realize that you would have to haul it from Ohio to Moreno Valley. I will guarantee you that it will be running smoothly at the time of pick up. The power steering fluid which disappears, the struts and rear shocks, and the looks of its outside and interior would be your problem, otherwise I myself am in love with it. Although, if you offered an amount where I could buy the cheapest new car on the market, regardless of how cheap it is, my car will be on its way back to God's country, southern California.
    Now come on, me and my car are getting old, have a heart!

    But then I'll say, for an old car which was once taken real care of, in recent years, the looks have been neglected but I have always kept it running top knotch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    I just knew that you were interested.
    I talked with an unknown repair shop. Explained that car would not start, left a note on front seat, and called towing company. Car was towed this morning but before I sent it off, I decided to check the fluid levels. Oil indicator showed that I was above the HIGH mark, smelled the dipstick, decided I had gas in the crankcase, immediately thought that the problem was flooding because of a defective cold start valve, added to the note that I had written what my thoughts were, and off it went.
    I called this evening and ask if they had a chance to look at it. I was told that they have been charging the battery all day, haven't done anything to the car yet, but they started it. So I'll wait until they do something. Their starting it boosted my spirits, and at this point, I still suspect the cold start valve which caused the excessive flooding and the inability to start the car.

    I'll let you know what they come up with.

    Ouch. Be wary of gasoline contaminated oil! This flooding can trash your engine, as it did mine.

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    A mind boggler -- picked up car for a mere $140.50. Was told that I had spark plugs that were not good enough -- the heat range was insufficient. This was a new thing to me after 26 years but I won't complain. The car is now running great - with power, zip, and smoothness. I'm elated that what I did didn't screw things up and it didn't cost me a bundle. Since I had just replaced the spark plugs with whatever CarQuest had sold me, they were not even a suspect.
    Next time I'll go by the book and make sure the spark plugs are the right ones.

    Although it's doing good today, tomorrow may be different.
    Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackboxxx
    William,

    hmmm the price of a cheap new car seems a bit steep for an 810 for me at the moment. appreciate the offer though I was thinking more along a the lines of a local fixxer upper needing mechanical work for not too much cash

    Though listening to Steven, it appears they are in short supply..I wonder if many wagons still exist? Ive seen one of those nicely restored and it looked great.
    Occasionally, I see the 810's. Within the last 5 years, I saw two like mine and another which was a station wagon down in Mississippi. Here in Ohio (within last 3 years), I haven't seen one, even a Datsun, but I have heard many people comment on mine just because it's a Datsun. But I don't get out too much anymore. They are problably out there. Maybe the non-existence of them here is because of the salt poured all over the streets, highways, and interstates. I see cars that a lot younger than mine that look worse, and seem to be falling apart because of rust.

    The reasons I still have this car are many, it has always been dependable, it's what I chose to hang on after retirement, it was cheaper for me to spend a few dollars to keep it going than car payments, I became more closely involved when I dedicated my own attention to it rather than auto repair shops, and my interest kept growing. And, now I have realized that this web site can help, not only by others solving my problems but by reading the various threads to see how others were helped.

    Now go out and buy that local fixxer upper. And be patient. It might someday look better than Stephen's. Who knows?

    And if you do it yourself rather than buy an unfamiliar already 'nice looking' thing, you'll be mighty proud of it and more proud of yourself.
    Bill Smith
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    To wm e smith: I'm glad to hear that your car is running well. I only use NGK B6ES-11 spark plugs in my Z and my 810. I've tried others but those work the best.

    To jackboxxx: A wagon just closed on ebay. I actually see wagons and 4 doors occaisionally but have never see another 2dr on the road. The other two 2drs I am aware of belong to Joe (240ztt) who is a member here and Zcarnut who is a member on HyridZ. Joe bought his on ebay about a year or so ago for a fairly reasonable price and it is comming along well. Zcarnut's 810 is by far the cleanest of the three at this point. (Although I don't really care much for the rear spoiler)
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    Last edited by sblake01; 11-03-2005 at 10:06 PM.
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    Another question:

    How do you "glue" a gasket, as it originally was, to a value cover so that it stays there and leaves head not-involved. I have tried but it seems that I am always disappointed. What adhesive would you reccommend?
    Bill Smith
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    do not use sylicone, it likely will squish out on the inside and if it comes off can likely plug a oil gallery . Permatex works , I use nothin on a cork gasket and have no problems . Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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    Any idea what the 810 sold for on ebay?


    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01
    To wm e smith: I'm glad to hear that your car is running well. I only use NGK B6ES-11 spark plugs in my Z and my 810. I've tried others but those work the best.

    To jackboxxx: A wagon just closed on ebay. I actually see wagons and 4 doors occaisionally but have never see another 2dr on the road. The other two 2drs I am aware of belong to Joe (240ztt) who is a member here and Zcarnut who is a member on HyridZ. Joe bought his on ebay about a year or so ago for a fairly reasonable price and it is comming along well. Zcarnut's 810 is by far the cleanest of the three at this point. (Although I don't really care much for the rear spoiler)
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    I seem to recall it going for somewhere in the 400+ dollar range because I remember commenting on the fact that his cost less than I paid for mine. ($500)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackboxxx
    William,

    hmmm the price of a cheap new car seems a bit steep for an 810 for me at the moment. appreciate the offer though I was thinking more along a the lines of a local fixxer upper needing mechanical work for not too much cash

    Though listening to Steven, it appears they are in short supply..I wonder if many wagons still exist? Ive seen one of those nicely restored and it looked great.
    Hope you know that I was joking. My 810 is a treasure to me for various reasons. I am dedicated to keep it going and I am sure, being what it is, it will outlive me.
    Bill Smith
    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan (Calif. Model) since 1979

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    Hope you know that I was joking. My 810 is a treasure to me for various reasons. I am dedicated to keep it going and I am sure, being what it is, it will outlive me.
    Oh you were good good, I didnt want to hurt your feelings if you were serious about wanting that kind of cash for your baby.

    my wife would kill me at this point if i drug home another car
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackboxxx
    Oh you were good good, I didnt want to hurt your feelings if you were serious about wanting that kind of cash for your baby.

    my wife would kill me at this point if i drug home another car
    Here's somethimg to seriously consider. Buy my car and you won't have to worry about your wife -- she'll leave you. And when she does, please give up all vices, restrain from drinking, from smoking, from food, and all else. But believe me you will have a life -- your life will be the car.
    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 11-06-2005 at 07:12 PM.
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    There's an 810 2dr on eBay right now. It's in Everett, Washington. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Datsu...88963421QQrdZ1
    Last edited by sblake01; 11-11-2005 at 09:36 AM.
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    1978 Datsun 810 4-dr Sedan




    Left Rear Name Plate



    Left Side



    Front



    Last edited by wm_e_smith; 11-16-2005 at 07:16 AM.
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    I seem to be back to square one. The original problem has resurfaced - loses all power after about 7 miles after starting, then restarts with no problem, But I can count on this repeating another 2 or 3 times before I can get back home.
    The connector to the water temperature sensor was replaced but not the water temperature sensor itself. That's next - but is the water temperature sensor which I can obtain from Advance Auto Parts good enough or would the water temperature sensor for the early 80's BMW 6-cylinders be a better choice?
    Bill Smith
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    Start the car, drive it a bit and kick the ECU. If it dies, you have a cold solder joint. Have someone handy nearby who can help push, just in case!

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    I forget, have you replaced the voltage regulator, cleaned its connector?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowbob
    ....and kick the ECU.....
    What does this mean to a layman?
    Bill Smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    What does this mean to a layman?
    The box, on a 280z, next to your left foot. Kick it.
    I'm having doubts about that being the problem, but it's worth a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowbob
    I forget, have you replaced the voltage regulator, cleaned its connector?
    I'm not sure but I think the voltage regulator is a part of the alternator on my car. It was replaced about 16 years ago.
    Bill Smith
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    Can you do me a favor? List everything you've done with the car (prefferably in order) to fix the problem. We'll go from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm_e_smith
    I'm not sure but I think the voltage regulator is a part of the alternator on my car. It was replaced about 16 years ago.
    My fault, you're right. I'm stuck in my car.

    How's the voltage meter reading when the problem occurs? Do you HAVE a voltage meter?

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    Only the 77 810 had an external regulator. All the rest had internal. I am watching this thread rather than commenting because I've never experienced this with my 810. I did have a similar problem with my Z back when I frist bought it and it turned out to be one of the relays in the box under the hood. Can't remember which one however. I do recall that when it (the relay) acted up, the fuel pump would stop.
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    Good point! Hadn't thought about the relay for FI. It could very well be the problem, difficult to diagnose from an intermittent failure! I think this is why someone re-wired my FP to run whenever they key is 'on'.

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    Yes, very difficult to find. As I recall, I had the car running and shook each one of the relays. When I shook the bad one, the car sputtered and died. I replaced it and have had no problems since. I had tried many other things before I tried the relays. Of course, like I said, that was on my Z not my 810.
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    Well, this is a very good thread. I've been watching it grow from the onset, and only just came to read it through. I'd like to see to it that Bill's car becomes the dependable vehical that we all tout our Datsuns to be.

    Let's review - Bill started this thread with what struck me as the classic "rust in the tank" senerio. Having gone through that myself, I can tell you that his symptoms mirror what I experienced to a tee.

    My dear friend Stephen gave him proper sugestions to eliminate other possible causes that are less extensive that pulling the tank, and Bill went through them. After sorting a few things that might have arose through the process of the diagnosis, His car now runs as it did, with the same malfunction occuring.

    Do I got it right so far?

    What I'd like to see is what is coming out of the fuel filter. Before I corrected my problem, I would remove the filter and empty it (via the inlet) onto a white paper towel. I would find much rust dust on the towel upon this. Mind you, the dust was not the source of my woes, only the indication. The reall culprit was large rust flakes inside the tank.

    I've no expirence with the later FI cars, but I'm willing to bet they are equiped with a large metal can fuel filter, mounted back by the pump. - True? If so, Bill, are you able to pull this and test as above? I know that "Flat on your back - arms in a tight place" is tough for me at 47 years old (it's the mileage, not the years). But I'd be interested in what comes through this test.
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  100. #100
    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    They do have a large metal can filter but it's mounted on the passenger side fenderwell, towards the front, so it won't be quite as difficult to test as you described. Did we miss the fuel filter earlier in this thread? I guess mileage on the mind is important too!
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