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Old 11-03-2017, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default Advice? Minor Truck Problem and Should I Buy This 300ZX?

I have two quickie questions. First, my truck starts up fast and runs great. But after it warms up, the idle hunts up and down pretty severely and then it dies unless I rev the gas. On this one, I'm sending it to Auburn Foreign Auto (WA) on Monday morning. They are a good honest shop, with fair rates, excellent tools, and even better mechanics. Just saying. Known them for years. Even their waiting room is nice.

Truck runs great on the highway, plenty of zip and power. But I'm paying Auburn Foreign to diagnose the idle problem. And I will get my money's worth. I always do. If any of you have any ideas what this problem might be, it could help me deal better with the shop after their diagnosis.

Second question: Advice on whether I should buy the car below for $1,000:

It's a 1986 300ZX. Body and interior are clean. It starts and runs. 128K total miles. I've known the owner for years and we're not friends but he's honest. Original owner but not much of a mechanic at all.

T-tops, leather, factory upgrade stereo, body package, AC, courtesy lights, pretty much all options. Five speed. Good tires and wheels. You turn the key it starts and runs and sounds great. Running and clutch, brakes, and rear end gear all good. Needs a wax job. Until a few years ago, it was factory serviced.

But...after a few minutes of running, it DIES. And when it does, EVERYTHING goes. I mean exactly ZERO to anything electrical. Non, nothing, nada. A few minutes later it will restart just fine. My guess is there is an intermittent problem with the main relay. Absolutely zero works when it dies. No lights, no dome light, no dash lights, no starter motor, no fuel pump whine, I mean nothing electrical with a capital N.

He is the original owner. Took it to a non-Nissan shop, they couldn't figure it out. But when everything goes you have to start looking near the battery or the relays. If anything gets past that point at all, SOMETHING will work. This one is a ZERO works when it does that.

He wants a thousand, but might take less. Sure it starts and runs for a few, but I will have it towed. Do you think if I get this one for a thousand or less it would be worth it?
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Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 11-03-2017 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:13 AM   #2
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The truck sounds like a vacuum leak. My truck did the same thing and the leak was between the intake manifold and the head. I was quite certain it was not a vacuum leak as I had checked several times with carb cleaner for a leak and never found one. Got some advice from a guy who used to get on here and he insisted it was gonna be a vacuum leak so I went over it again and checked around the injectors and every mating surface until I found it.

I'd get the car. Let the overall condition of the car determine the price. To me it sounds like an easy fix, but I'm an avionics guy so my view of an easy electrical problem is likely not the same as others.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:26 PM   #3
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It sounds like a solid car for $800. Don't pass on this deal.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:22 PM   #4
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Buy that 300. You should be able to track the electrical problem down. Could be something as simple as a wire grounding out or like you said a silly relay. If there's little or no rust and the interior is in good shape, that's a price you can't beat.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:20 PM   #5
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Yeh, I'd do the Z car as well. Sounds like a loose ground somewhere or a relay that is getting to hot and popping. <<<Just guessing, don't jump my shit for this.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:48 PM   #6
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if YOU are good at hunting electrical gremlins, then the fairlady is worth it. if you take your cars to a shop more than 50% of the time, walk away. you can spend a fortune hunting electrical issues and never find the one frayed wire somewhere in the bundle causing an intermittent ground.

the truck sounds like vac leak and that when it goes into closed loop using the 02 sensor to regulate fuel its dieing due to wayyyyyy too much fuel. If you havent taken it to the shop yet, grab a can of electrical parts cleaner (less hars than carb cleaner) and spray it around the throttle body on the outside, intake manifold and then just liberally everywhere. if the idle changes for a sec, it means that you sealed the vac leak with the cleaner and it ran fine for a sec.

have you checked if your MAF is plugged in properly? i once left one not positively clicked in and the car ran wonky
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:24 AM   #7
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There is a section in the EF&EC portion of the service manual for Hunting. Usually you look to the IAC valve and regulator.

1986 car: I'm tired of old shit. If you want to jack with it to keep it running, that's your business.
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