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Thread: Days and Days of searching, I need help please?!

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    Default Days and Days of searching, I need help please?!

    Almost two years ago, I got my dream car. A classic Datsun Z!(77 280 EFI) After trial and error working on it trying to figure out why it would not run for longer then twenty minutes I finally just pulled the motor. Blown Piston rings, crappy injectors, and after some financial issues, I finally got to finish up my rebuild this past winter. Motor is in, trans is in. My car does not work.. at all. Everything worked before the pull, now something is toasted. I have no lights, no electrical power what so ever. New batt, new cables, new terminals, new EGI relay, new ignition control module, still no juice. While testing theories the other day with a wire jumper to test connection I popped a Fusible link under those little white caps, now im fixing that, but still no juice. The batt has continuity, the harness shows juice with a test light, but still nothing works, also the other day while testing what had power the ECU started to heat up rather quickly. I hope someone can help, all the money i just poured into her shes still sitting still. Any help is greatly appreciated, i have searched forums after forums and no one seems to have my exact same issue. Lmk what you guys think please?

    Thanks in advance
    Thomas

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    You'll need to be more specific, for your own testing and for describing what's going on. You said the harness shows juice, but what does that mean? A couple of sentences before you said "no juice". If you're using a jumper to apply power to various spots, that's not good (as you've found with the blown link).

    Are you sure the ECU was heating up? It's rather big and the components would have to generate a lot of heat to heat up the whole thing. Maybe you meant coil or some other component? No offense, but it looks like you're in unfamiliar territory and could do some damage while you're learning.

    If the battery is hooked up correctly (don't trust the colors of the cables, verify that negative goes to ground and positive to the starter lug) and the fusible links are intact, you should at least get dome lights, radio, heater fan or something. The headlight dimmer switch is notorious for killing the headlights so "no headlights" after two years doesn't tell much.

    Good luck and be careful with that jumper wire.

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    What Zed Head said, plus make sure your grounds are grounded.
    First & Third owner of HLS30-00721
    B. 01/70 D. 03/12

    New owner of HLS30-15653
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    Frank in Houston, Texas

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    Okay- take a deep breath- Aahhhh
    Onemore time now- deep breath, now exhale - good

    Welcome to Classic Z car. We are always willing to help, but help us help you. Your first post is a lot of info crammed into one paragraph- too much actually .

    Start from the beginning- " I just recently rebuilt my motor and have installed it and...

    It does seem as if you have missed a very important item somewhere since you have no power anywhere in your car. Have you looked at a wiring schematic? Besides the actual battery cables there are some rather important wires that if not hooked up would kill everything.
    Did you make any changes to any wiring?
    Battery tested good?
    Grounds very tight ?
    Fusible links intact?
    Dilithium crystals on impulse power?

    All kidding aside, give us all info, pics you can and we can help you figure this out
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    Ok sorry. Stressed to the max.
    Previous to pulling the motor everything worked. Motor is rebuilt and back in the car. Now, I have no headlights, no tail lights, no interior lights, no power to anything inside or outside the car. When I put the test light on the harness it lights up. Terminals are new, batt cables are new.

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    And every ground I could find is hooked up.

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    Check fusible links, all of them including the one that connects to the battery and report back what you find.

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    The one that goes to the battery, has been spliced into before. I popped one of the fusible links the other day so I'm putting a fix on it to see what's up. But hopefully I get some sort of response with that later today. I don't know. I will probably take some pictures so people can see what the PO did before I bought it.

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    That's a good idea. I have a 77 also and was crusing one day when everything stopped working....a fusible link was loose!

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    This is all the pics I just took. I'm stain right next to her as I post this. Any help is greatly appreciated. All the splices were done like this when I bought the car.
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    Those battery terminals are notorious for making poor connections.
    Start testing at the battery posts (the lead post itself) and move further away from the battery; keep one test lead on the negative post, and move the positive test lead, and vice versa. At some point, you will find no power.
    IMPORTANT POINT: With a low-current tester like a small light or especially a VOM, you might read a voltage, but not be able to deliver any current past a high-resistance contact.
    Mike

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    I've done that a few times and lost power inside the car. Found out why and solved that problem but still no electrical power or nothing

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    Take just one circuit - turn on the headlights. Let's say that they are not illuminated. Now, start again at the battery and work all the way to the headlights, checking for power, keeping one lead of the tester on the negative post. This will test the +12V power to the lights.

    If you have power to the lights using the above proceedure; solve your grounding problem.

    The negative of the battery MUST be connected to the chassis. Common error after engine change-out.

    Mike

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    I have the negative on the bellhop sing behind te starter per the FSM, is that not good enough?

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    I don't see a pic of the starter and the fusible link there. I would be pulling and yanking on every post on the back of the alternator and the starter. Do you have 12 volts at the back of the alternator.
    What exact voltage are you reading at the alternator?
    Steve
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    Here's some more pics, my multimeter isnt working and I dont have access to another one ATM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyuZ32 View Post
    I have the negative on the bellhop sing behind te starter per the FSM, is that not good enough?
    It is good enough only if it is a low-resistance path to the battery post and for sure connects to the chassis; electrically, not just physically. The FSM assumes a perfect world sometimes.

    Mike

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    I wrote a whole long post expanding on PastorMike's comments but the site ate it when I opened a picture. Bummer.

    But I see in Post #10 that you're missing some fusible links. You need all of them, that might be the "current" source of your problem (that pun never gets old). And you can't just replace them with a piece of wire, you'll fry the rest of your harness. Put down the jumper wires, replace those links and use a test light or VOM for future testing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyuZ32 View Post
    Here's some more pics, my multimeter isnt working and I dont have access to another one ATM.
    While in the absence of a VOM, attach two wires to headlight bulb, and use that as your tester. It will draw in excess of an Amp and verify current path. It is quick, hard to miss the indicator, and can check from positive post to chassis also.

    It's like Zed Head says, no fusible links, game over.

    Mike

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    Default you need a multimeteter

    you do realize that there is one set of fusible links not connected?. the other connections look questionable too. do yourself a favor and get a multimeter. a cheapo is under 10 bucks.

    if the car has sat in a damp garage for a while i would check the fuse box inside the car too. those connectors probably need cleaning with a small brass brush or emery cloth

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyuZ32 View Post
    . New batt, new cables, new terminals, new EGI relay, new ignition control module, still no juice. . Lmk what you guys think please?

    Thanks in advance
    Thomas
    Your post says you have new terminals, new cables, etc. However, in your pictures the terminals and cables do not look new at all. Are you sure you replaced them?

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    I wish I was standing in front of my car right now so I will have to go by memory----BUT, shouldn't the white wire on the starter be on the same lug as the positive cable?


    Quote Originally Posted by RyuZ32 View Post
    Here's some more pics, my multimeter isnt working and I dont have access to another one ATM.
    Steve
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    3.90 Subaru STI LSD

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    Quote Originally Posted by dltalfa View Post
    Your post says you have new terminals, new cables, etc. However, in your pictures the terminals and cables do not look new at all. Are you sure you replaced them?
    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
    I wish I was standing in front of my car right now so I will have to go by memory----BUT, shouldn't the white wire on the starter be on the same lug as the positive cable?
    You are correct. The white wire charges the battery through that connection. Many things wrong here, I can almost smell the burning wires...

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    And supplies power to about everything
    Steve
    71 240z,bw-5sp 2.4-40 over,balanced,e-88,big valves,ported&polished, stage2,header, triple Mikuni's 40's
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    That's right, it "backfeed"s to the fusible links on the way to the alternator. I went and looked at mine and the white and the bat. pos. both connect to the outside lug.

    So move that white wire over to the same lug the battery positive is on and you should have power back. Which may or may not be a good thing. Also, the missing link is one of the Ignition circuit links, I'm not sure what it powers, but probably something to do with the engine running.

    madkaw solves a piece of the puzzle.

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    Ok, in post #10 I am confused. Fellow members help me out here. I don't want to confuse the owner any more than he already is but.....pic #4 shows an alternator different then what should be there. Look at it close. Top left hand side has an unused connector? It is different from mine. Could it possibly be the high output alt. Pics 5 & 8 show a relay that doesn't belong on the 77 model. It looks like a fuel pump relay from a 78 and newer (78-83). So why are the fusible links gone. Did you remove them or did the PO and why? Lot of strange looking things here.

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    @HR369 - Yeah, the Fusible Link was missing cause it popped, I just hadnt fixed it when I took the pictures.
    @dltalfa - The terminals are new(ish) replaced last year, just idiot people assisting my engine re-install like to lose things and buger them up.
    @madkaw - I will be switching that wire tomm after work and hoping for a turn around on this.
    @Zedhead - The fusible links I am getting the upgraded kit found here. - http://www.hammondsplains.com/s30upg...fuse/index.htm
    @rcb280z - The wiring throws me off a lot on the alternator because everything i found picture wise via google looked 100% different, less plugs and all sorts of nifty stuff, i wish i knew what the PO did to the car all the way.

    thank you guys for all of your help and I really appreciate it! I am hoping for a brighter day tomm. If i get it running and work out all of the bugs, my next tackle will be wiring in the factory stereo in that rats nest under the console. But one step at a time...baby steps lol thanks guys and keep the info flowing, ill report back tomm around 3pm EST with an answer.

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    Get everything working before you start changing things around. Maybe the PO wired in a high output alt. Google high output alternator for the z car and compare the wiring with what you have now. Maybe some more detailed pics of the harness will be helpful. Is there still a voltage regulator behind the fusible link boxes?

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    Thumbs up good response...i li this site.( first post ) second day reading.

    wow, you really poured it out...i need help wit a few things on my 78 so i hope i can get the same type of response. im glad i sighn up yesterday.....peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
    Okay- take a deep breath- Aahhhh
    Onemore time now- deep breath, now exhale - good

    Welcome to Classic Z car. We are always willing to help, but help us help you. Your first post is a lot of info crammed into one paragraph- too much actually .

    Start from the beginning- " I just recently rebuilt my motor and have installed it and...

    It does seem as if you have missed a very important item somewhere since you have no power anywhere in your car. Have you looked at a wiring schematic? Besides the actual battery cables there are some rather important wires that if not hooked up would kill everything.
    Did you make any changes to any wiring?
    Battery tested good?
    Grounds very tight ?
    Fusible links intact?
    Dilithium crystals on impulse power?

    All kidding aside, give us all info, pics you can and we can help you figure this out

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    Got the wiring on the starter swapped and finally got lights and a reading on the volt gauge batts dead its on a charge right now and I'll be giving her the first start attempt here shortly

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    You do have a FSM, right? If not, download it from http://www.xenons30.com. You should ALWAYS refer to the wiring diagrams if you are having issues like this. On my race car, we struggled for a full day trying to diagnose why the car wasn't charging. After testing component after component, we finally chased down every single wire in the charging circuit and discovered that a teammate had removed a wire that he thought wasn't needed, but it was. It wasn't until we checked continuity on every single wire that we found the source. Both ends were accounted for, but he removed a chunk of the harness we weren't using. Once we ran a new wire, we were back in business. Unfortunately, it cost us a whole day of testing at the track, but at least we found it in time to hit the final practice before the race.
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    Jeff I feel your pain. Ok guys batt is charging and the starter is on its way, it will be here shortly and I'll be back at the garage soon to put it on and try again

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    Glad to see you are charging. Hopefully nothing else got put back on backwards.
    Steve
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzoZi...1&feature=plcp

    Ok guys, Brand new starter, swapped the battery out of my 300zx and this is what it did. What am I missing?

    I remember reading Zed I believe said that maybe the negative terminal isnt such a great idea on the starter/bellhousing.

    What am I missing here guys?

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    Wasn't me on the negative terminal comment. The video seems to show that your wires are right but there's not enough juice at the starter to turn the engine over. Sounds like the solenoid is moving and completing the circuit but the starter's not spinning. Are you sure that the battery has a full charge? Could be bad connections at the battery also. If you just dropped the battery in and pushed on the terminal connections (quick and dirty), try cleaning the terminals and connections and bolting them down.

    There's a reason the battery cable are so big, they should really be called starter cables since that's the main purpose for their size. Passing large quantities of current to the starter motor. After that they're overkill.

    Edit - Of course, the negative terminal connection is important also. But the starter is a good spot for it since its main function is to ground the starter motor. Make sure it's clean and tight also.

    And I see that you have the typical clamp-on wire end terminals. Make sure the exposed copper wire ends that the clamp fits on are clean also.
    Last edited by Zed Head; 05-18-2012 at 09:14 PM.

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    The solenoid sounds like it is pulling in sharply, indicating the battery is charged. The new starter could be bad. Try testing it out of the car to make sure it spins when the solenoid pulls in.

    The engine could be locked up. Make sure the engine turns easily by turning it with a wrench on the crank pulley.

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    Pull the battery off and the starter and take both of them to a local parts store and have them tested. They can load tset the battery. Even though it took a charge, it could be shorting across cells during loading.
    They can also put the starter on the test stand - maybe the solenoid sounds like it's working, but it's not.

    Again, it's essential to determine the state of your battery.
    Steve
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    The (N)Everstart battery that's in te video is the one from my DD 300ZX, it's also only about 6 months old. I'm gonna buy new cables and terminals on Tuesday when I head back over to the shop. I also put a nice jump box on both batteries and got the same response. So I'm gonna try the new cables and terminals and maybe test the starter to see what happens.

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    Okay, so the battery is probably not the issue. Your next step would be to have the starter checked and the cables. You'll get it, just be methodical. Starter issues can be a pain because it is hard to get a good after market one these days. That was great advice to have your NEW starter checked before you leave the store.
    Steve
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    Randomly when you turn the key you hear an odd whine sound while it does nothing as well...Maybe that helps the case?

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    "Odd whine sound"-like the the starter motor has spun around, but not attached to the motor in anyway?

    Make sure the starter is installed correctly-no gaps between the starter and the bell housing-not cocked in anyway.
    There isn't much else, but you can get a bad one right from the get go. Is it a Duralast?

    When I needed a NEW starter, I finally gave up and bought a used one. The new ones all seem to grind and work imperfectly and the used one would be smooth and never miss a beat. IS almost like the remanufactured the engagement gear teeth were sized wrong and they wouldn't engage in the flywheel properly.
    Steve
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    Bought an Ultima from O,reilly's and just now got it tested, tested amazingly 5 times. The stud on the solenoid were a bit lose so they said that might be an issue, gonna try this. If this fails what's next on the agenda fella's?

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    Just hooked the starter up an same boat. Any ideas?

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    What madkaw said...make sure it is making contact with the flywheel.

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    Does the engine turn over freely? Can you turn it over with the front pulley bolt?
    Take all the spark plugs out and try to turn the motor over(clockwise looking straight at the front of the engine).
    Steve
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    You really need to get a wiring schematic. I noticed that the white with red trace wire to the alternator was connected to the wrong place on the original photo it was corrected in the next photo of the alternator. With these mistakes you may have damaged some major components.
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    Well I fixed the wiring issues now I have discovered certain things. One, the motor would not turn, I took cylinder 1's spark plug out and tried to turn the crank, (ratchet on tighten) it did nothing. Two, the motor free spin before I installed it. When the car was towed to its new location to finish the engine install, for some reason the rear end fell out...literally. The bolts broke (yes it was neutral). Got the rear end put back in, could that maybe have damaged the transmission or linkage or something? It all worked before and before putting the motor in I could turn the rotating assembly. Any ideas?

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    Can you manually turn the motor when the transmission is in neutral? Can the car be pushed (like to be push started) when it is in neutral? From reading it looks like you have the started issue licked. Now it is time to start looking at the more serious issue of why the motor will not turn freely...
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    I remember we tried pushing the car into a better position one night and couldn't get it move and chocked it up to us being lazy asses, so maybe I'm not sure

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    Rock the car back and forth while watching the pulleys...do they rotate back and forth with the car movement?

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    Do you have an automatic transmission or a manual? The pics you posted seem to indicate an automatic.

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    I'll try rocking it on Wednesday before I pull the transmission. It is an automatic. My anniversary is on Tuesday and I'm taking my wifey out so spending today & tomm getting it all ready. On Wednesday I'm taking some guys over to the garage, gonna get the trans out, and check it. What does rocking the car determine btw?

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    If you had a manual and the car was in gear, the turning wheels would turn the engine. But you have an automatic so that won't work.

    Are you pulling the transmission because the starter won't turn the engine? It would be easier to pull the radiator so that you can get a socket on the crank pulley.

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    Default yep...it's an automatic

    Went back and looked at all your pics and saw the automatic fill tube...how did I miss that

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    Hey Zed I put the socket on the front of the motor and couldn't turn it. All I did was shift the engine a tad. I doubt the motor cant move because it spun freely just like it was supposed to before it was in the car. I think it's something to do with the transmission.

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    I see. I just re-read your first post. You've had the motor and transmission out before.

    Did you try turning it with the starter out? Maybe you got the wrong starter, the manual and automatics use two different models. Not sure what the difference is or if it would bind but who knows.

    Good luck with it.

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    I think I am now just as anxious for this car to start as you are. Curious on what you are going to find. Hope you get it going soon.

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    Well the thing is I left the trans in when I pulled the engine. I think it may have gotten messed up either when the car got knocked off of jack stands during a horrible storm, or when te engine went in, the guys had to walk it together with bolts so I'm assuming there lies my issue. Hopefully.. I want my baby to run. My old lady is letting me keep her (was gonna sell to welcome our son into the world but she won't let me get rid of it)
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    The engine can never be "walked" to the trans with the bolts. Applying torque to the bolts removes any "feeling" during the mating process. The two must be fully mated first.

    Congratulations on your new son; not many experiences are better.

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    I agree with Mike, if you had to use the bolts to pull the engine and trans together something is wrong. Maybe the torque converter got misaligned with the oil pump (in the trans) and is pushing on the flex plate too much. Hopefully you will be able to find the problem quickly and it will be easy to correct.

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    Quick question, If im missing the bottom half of that plate between the bell housing and block, would that cause it not to turn?

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    Bottom half? If you mean the dust cover, then no, it won't cause your problem. I looked in the factory manual for your car and in the auto trans section they specifically say to make sure the engine turns freely after installing the transmission. With this in mind, it seems that your problem could be due to an error with the trans install. Take out the starter and see if you can turn the engine with a wrench. If not, then loosen the bell housing screws and the tail shaft mount and move the trans back a bit. Try to turn the engine again.

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    Just as an update to everyone Sunday we are gonna pull the transmission to see what the problem is thanks for everyone's help and will continue to update!

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    Ok guys, after twelve grueling hours of cutting the bolts from the driveshaft(PO had a various amount of different sized bolts with different heads and they were seized in. It was ridiculous. Dremel and hammer/chisel combo later it was out. Pulled the transmission and found it was the torque converter wasn't in the alignment notches. Once it was all back together we hooked everything back up and hit the key...she turned over. Didn't fire, I could imagine due to plenty of things lol I was too tired to track it down at 12:30 at night. So spending today with my family and ten back at it tomm after class. I'll post videos soon guys, thanks for all of the help and support!

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    Ok guys now the fuel pump isn't working, however I pulled it off and hooked it straight to a battery and it worked fine, any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyuZ32 View Post
    Ok guys now the fuel pump isn't working, however I pulled it off and hooked it straight to a battery and it worked fine, any ideas?
    Fuel pump relay/EFI relay depending upon the year of your car.
    73 240Z
    74 260Z

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    Its a 1977. I have replaced the Main Relay under the dash already I just dont know whats next.

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    You do know that the pump only gets power when the engine is running or when the key is at Start? It does not have power when the key is at On.

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    trying to figure out where the Fuel relay is under the hood, anyone have an idiot pic for me? lol

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    Zed, no i know that. It doesnt prime or anything. Just sits there.

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    Are you confirming what I said, or adding detail to the question? Not clear. There's no priming on the 77.

    Have you tried the common method for testing the pump - disconnect the small wire from your starter and turn the key to Start? The pump should run without the starter cranking.

    I think that the main relay by the hood latch release lever is the combined EFI and fuel pump relays.

    Edit - changed "ignition" to EFI
    Last edited by Zed Head; 05-29-2012 at 08:01 PM.

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    I know that the pump only gets power when the key is in start or while on. While turning the key i pulled the fuel line and placed it into a gatorade bottle to confirm the gas, its not coming out. The pump does not prime when you turn the key to ON. While turning the key no fuel is coming out of the lines, my sparks are dry and ive pulled lines off the fuel rail. NO fuel is coming out. Pulled the fuel pump and hot wired it to a batt and heard it going, problem is finding the correct relay to check it. Ive debated just wiring it to a switch if i cannot find the actual relay.

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    Hey Zed, that main EGI relay I just purchased from Nissan and replaced it. Thought it was my original problem. Isnt there a fuse or relay under the hood or on the passenger side?

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    Did you check the EFI fusible links on the battery?

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    Alrighty. Just trying to understand. The fuel pump relay is one half of the 1x1x2" silver relay by the hood latch release lever. The other half is the EFI relay. Power is supplied through one of the four fusible links under the hood. Maybe you blew a link.

    Edit- that's three for checking the link. You might check the bundle of connectors right next to the passenger seat, between the door and the seat, under the carpet, also. One of those connections is for power to the pump.
    Last edited by Zed Head; 05-29-2012 at 08:18 PM.

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    Hmm, the problem is its been wired tampered by the PO. Theres one fusible link( the plastic looking one ) that runs from the Positive terminal...is that the EFI one?

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    Hey Zed, all good thanks. The under the dash one I have already fixed, I did mess up one the Fusible links in those plastic covers but got a fusible link connection and built one to take its place due to the inability to locate one of those OEM ones. I have been searching and not quite finding the exact problem but read that wiring on the ALT can cause issues...is that true?

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    The Start circuit bypasses the alternator and oil pressure safety circuit and sends power to the pump. As I understand things. So disconnecting the starter wire and turning to Start should be testing the pump and wiring, without the alternator or oil pressure interfering.

    When you pulled the hose and looked for fuel, are you sure the pump wasn't running? Maybe the pump was running but no fuel was pumping for a different reason.

    The green wire with a white connector on each end, from the positive terminal is the EFI fusible link. I don't know if that would kill power to your pump or not. The wiring diagram shows power to the pump through one of the four under the covers, if I read it right.

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    If something is still wired wrong it will show up in the burnt links as soon as he trys starting it is what I'm trying to tell him

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    I didnt notice any signs from the burnt links. Agreed Zed, but figuring out that reason is a challenge. I will try and fiddle with the wiring on thursday but If not I will probably run the switch for the fuel pump. So id have a push button start and a fuel pump switch..almost a race car (lol kidding guys)

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    I didnt notice any signs from the burnt links

    Does this mean you do have burnt links?

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    rcb280z - some of the links are of darker tint than the copper, however they still work like the headlight one and such

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    Are you able to remove the cover off of your AFM easily?

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    Yeah?

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    What year is your Z again?

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    1977.

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    Hey Zed, correct me if Im wrong but if he turns the key to the on position and makes contact with the fuel safety cutoff in the AFM he will hear the pump.

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    I believe that is how I tested mine 15 yrs ago.

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    Is it an early or late 77?

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    never mind on the last question

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    Did you check the bullet connector under the carpet under the passengers seat. That's one that Zed was referring to. Seen those bad also!

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    Wasn't aware of the connection under the passenger seat. I'll check it, the fusible links, the Alt wiring, the FL from the positive terminal, anything else? If those do not work is it dangerous to run wiring for my fuel pump from te battery to a switch?

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    Only if you forget to flip the switch off. It only takes one time so I wouldn't recommend it. Just take your time and find the real problem. Did you ever get the FSM for your car?

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    I have it, but it just seems half ass I guess.

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    Forgetting to turn it off makes sense, but couldnt I just wire it to the ignition?

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    A lot of guys here can help you, as you already know, to decifer it. It can be difficult at times but Zed, Blue, and several others helped me some time ago when I had trouble and I know you will get the help. You just have to keep plugging away at it.

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    I would imagine you could do it...I fixed mine instead. I know you are anxious but the satisfaction of fixing the problem will be greater than jerry-rigging.

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    I agree, Im just sick of it sitting. Ive owned it for two years and just ready to see it on the road. I will try my hand at this wiring adventure on Thursday afternoon after class. I will post pics with my findings hoping for an answer if I am unable to make it work. I have to work on set this weekend for a 24 hour film festival challenge, so Thursday will be the last day i tinker for a few days. Hopefully we figure it out.

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    Pics are always good. The old saying "pictures are like a thousand words". I bought a FSM on dvd and can't view it right now...issue with cd-rom! Hope to fix that tomorrow so I can check a couple things out.

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