Trouble in Paradise

Part II of my 280zx adventure.  (see part 1 here)  Recap: I needed a car, and I bought an awesome 1981 280zx.

I came home from work and the 280zx was just sitting there waiting for me- glistening in the summer sun.  Well, maybe not glistening, it did have a couple of rusty spots.  Well, maybe more than a few.  Anyway, I went to drive it to work the next day, and it stalled before I could get down the street.  No problem, I just haven’t driven a stick shift in a while and so I had probably stalled out.  But then it happened again, and again, and again.  I had expected some trouble, because the previous owner had let me know about the fuel pump issues.  If only he had been correct in his diagnosis.

I purchased a new fuel pump, service manual, and a couple of other things that I thought I would need for the car (I managed to stop myself before purchasing “driving gloves.”  I am not sure what they are, but I’m pretty sure that they lend a touch of class and elegance that every early 80s car requires).  I drove the car (haltingly) to a friend’s house and tried to change the fuel pump.  Remember how I said I don’t know anything about car repair?  So, this is a job that I imagine a trained professional could do in 20 minutes, a competent mechanic could do in 40, and a complete idiot could do in 60.  It took me 3 hours, and I was happy with that.

Imagine my excitement!  I had just completed my first car repair.  And now I was going to go ripping through town on my 2.8 liter 6 cylinder beast.  So I hop in and stepped on the gas only to have the car once again sputter and halt.  I was stumped, so I headed home for the night.  After a couple hours of googling my car’s symptoms, it seemed like the consensus was that I wasn’t getting enough fuel pressure.

I went back to the auto parts store (they were beginning to recognize me by this point) and picked up a fuel pressure regulator, and a fuel pressure testing kit.  A few weeks prior, I would not have even known what those things were.  However, after more hours of tinkering, poking, and prodding, I finally got the new fuel pressure regulator installed.

I went to start the car and . . . it wouldn’t start.  At all.

To be continued!