Question about 1986 Nissan 300ZX

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My 1986 Nissan 300ZX will not get over 2000 rpm. I thought it might be a fuel problem so I was told to replace the mass air. Well that obviously didn't work so then I pulled the o2 sensors to see if the cats might be clogged. No change. Then replaced the computer. Again no change. From the very begining my thoughts were that maybe the timing belt had slipped and it was out of timing. Is this an interferance motor? Anyways my time is very limited so before I started on this I wanted someone elses advice. One more question before I go. Would it be more to my advantage to part this out?

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Mine did the same thing. I replace the distrubitor and i have been driving for 3 days now no problems yet. Bought a new on off ebay for $90 shipped

Posted on Dec 23, 2010

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  • bcp4224 Dec 23, 2010

    just wanted to add that one of the older guys at my dads shop remembered them having this problem years ago. Thats why i tried it.

  • ZHappy Jan 09, 2011

    Are you still running OK?

  • bcp4224 Jan 09, 2011

    actually no. Afew days later it acted up again not as bad but bad enough I had to drive the shoulder home from work. This time I got a new (used from the junk yard) coil for $10. No problems since then tho.

  • bcp4224 Jan 10, 2011

    And of course it did it again this morning on the way to work... be back if I figure this damn thing out

  • ZHappy Jan 12, 2011

    I feel your pain..makes you wanna haul it to the salvage yard! I have an 86 with only 64,000 original miles. The MAF has been replaced twice and the EGR valve but nothing works. Sounded like you were on the right track.. I think we'll replace the timing belt next unless you wanna do it first..LOL. Will keep you posted.

  • bcp4224 Jan 16, 2011

    I finally got it to act up with my mechanic in the car. Then I was telling him about how the voltage was low everything time it happened. So we did a alternator test and it failed. So my next step is a new one possibly with higher then stock 70amp output. I have read a 1990 maxima fits and puts out 90amps. (i think that's right) shows you step by step how. I'll get back and let you know if it works.(autozone dose alternate test for free I think)
    Just a side note mine has over 250k miles runs smooth as can be besides this. So yours has a lot of life left if you treat it right.

  • bcp4224 Feb 23, 2011

    Ok its fixed now!! First question for you. was you MAF so dirty it looks like it was on the exhaust side? mine did.replaced it but that didn't work. I wasn't there but my dad figured it out. I don't know what its called but there ie something that let's fresh air into the exhaust. (not egr valve, that does the opposite) well it was putting exhaust into the intake right b4 the MAF. well since I have historic tags I don't need to do emissions testing. so he took it out and blocked the hoses off. runs no problem now and gets much better mpg. hope this helps. I could send you pictures but of it because I really have no idea what its called.

  • bcp4224 Feb 23, 2011

    Ok so I just read your original post again about not getting over 2000rpm. When ever my car ran rought and I got stuck on the side of the road with no power I would unplug the MAF, since exhaust was being put in my intake the MAF had crazy readings and didn't run right. With the MAF unplugged the car wouldn't get above 2000rpms but would run good enough to get to work or where ever. Could get up to 2000rpms then got extremely jumpy. So it sounds like its not plugged all the way in.


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Yes, this model year 300zx is an interference engine. The org. belt should have been changed at 60,000 miles. then every 58,000 after that. If the belt has just slipped you may not have any bent valves. I would spend the time to check the belt and if the belt looks as if it has slipped I would replace it and hope for the best. If that does not fix the problem. Not going to gain to much parting it out, most folks want a good engine.

Posted on Nov 13, 2010

  • trixter93 Apr 02, 2011

    It took me a lot of research to get a solid answer on this. The car has been put into safety mode which will cut out the gas once you reach approximately 2200rpms, and return it once it drops to approximately 1500rpms. The ECU has detected a problem and puts the car into safety mode. check the ECU codes to determine the source of the problem which should lead you in a general direction. It may be related to the airflow, or the fuel flow, or like for me it could be that the ATCU is sending out a bad signal. Sometimes simply resetting the ECU can fix the problem, at least until it detects the error again. If these are your symptoms your car is in safety mode. Now you just need to determine why.



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