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Vaughan

Electrical issues

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Hello,

 

I'm having some trouble with with my 260z electrics. I noticed that the power was gradually leaving the car each time I tried to start it until eventually the car wouldn't start. The starter motor just didn't have enough guts to turn over the engine. I tried to jumpstart her and it fried the earthing wire. As time went on the power in the car continued to dissipate until not even the internal lights could operate. Towards the very end the car began making a hum within the cockpit and the noise appeared to be coming from the multitude of wires above the fuse box. The battery is fully charge and the power is reaching the engine too. Does anybody have any idea what might be the problem? Any help will be greatly appreciated

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Mmmm, doesn't sound very good. The fried earth wire that you mentioned, was that the one going from the battery to the car body, or somewhere else?

As far as the battery draining, what period of time was this over? If you have some more info that'd be great.

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Yeah it was the wire going directly to the car body. It was over a period of about 5-6 weeks. As soon as you turned the car on you could notice the power dissipating over a couple of minutes. If you then went on to remove the key and then re insert it it would follow the same pattern. I have talked to a couple of people about it but the only suggestion they gave was possible problems in the high or low tension circuits.... I'm clueless. :?

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Is your alternator charging? Get a multimeter and check the voltage of the battery the the motor off, then with it running. If the alternator is working the meter should read 13-14.5volts with the engine running.

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check your charging/voltage regulator, they have varying quality on the windings on the relays inside, if they burn out they can sink to ground and cause strange and unidentifiable electrical gremlins.

 

The original '77 280z's build has an external mechanical voltage regulator that is unreliable and unstable with age. It is actually based upon elements that open and close many times each second due to heating and cooling. The principal is not much different than the overheat protection devices commonly used in your toaster and hairdryer. It also requires frequent adjustments of gaps much like spark plugs.. The newer ZX alternator incorporates a built in solid-state voltage regulator that requires no maintenance and is more stable.

 

 

the ultimate upgrade is to switch to a more modern, internally regulated alternator (solid-state regulation for the win) and shunt out the connector where your old regulator is.

 

Benefits are a newer more powerful alternator, and no more regulation woes.

 

the details of the swap can be seen here.

http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/alternatorswap/index.html

 

Edit: Hum could be your amperage dropping low enough that the coils in one of the relay (just above the fusebox) rapidly switching on and off. due to an oscillating current. which if the case is sever because that is mA required to drive a relay coil, but possible. essentially the coil has enough current to engage, but as it engages there is a sudden increase in current draw (through the relay). there is no longer enough available current to hold the relay engaged, so it disengages, as this happens the current draw drops and it has enough power to engage again. repeat infinitum. sounds strange but it happens, it can sound like a hum when its happening many times a second.

 

suggest you check your current draw through your battery when the car is running.

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That sounds like a winner, I might give that a one a go :D Funny you should mention the coils. The bloke I had originally purchased the car from about a year ago had just replaced the coils. Might be interesting to give him a call and find out the symptoms that he had with the car

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