Ready for the road!

The first chapter in this Datsun 280z’s story is all about getting this thing back on the road where it belongs! Seriously, when driving it, I feel like I want to take it on every road I’ve ever driven! But can’t do that without getting it from non-op to registered at the DMV. And can’t do that without passing smog. Which can’t be done till that EGR valve is replaced. So let’s get to it!

This past weekend I replaced the EGR valve (exhaust gas re-circulation valve) which basically puts hot exhaust gas back into the intake air mix in an effort to help reduce emissions. If you saw the previous post about failing that portion of the smog test, you’ll notice that the EGR valve area was rusty / corroded like crazy. I can’t imagine what i’m going to find inside. Since there was a significant amount of rust around the bolts, I let some WD-40 penetrate the nut before trying to crank that thing off. Once i got the old EGR valve off, i can see why it failed – a ton of carbon build up like arteries from a fast-food-obsessed!

Interestingly, there seems to be an EGR manifold between the intake manifold and the EGR valve… Not sure what this does but help distance the valve from the manifold, as no re-circulating parts connect to it. It DID allow collection of carbon build up to happen along it’s walls as opposed to the valve itself (though the valve was pretty far gone). Also strange that the manual doesn’t have this part in it.. just shows EGR valve placed onto the intake manifold.

I decided to leave the EGR manifold and cleaned it out vigorously with a wirebrush, toothbrush and a vacuum. The manual says while cleaning off the old gasket NOT to let any pieces fall back in or it may clog the re-circulation system. I assume same goes for the carbon build up on the manifold walls. Wouldn’t want the 280z to have a heart attack! Just take a look at that thick black ring in the left picture – it looked like a black hose. So with the vacuum just above the manifold, i picked / brushed / cleaned out the build up.

EGR Valve – Since i’m new the parts scene, I’ve been trying the gambit of distributors. This time it’s Rock Auto. They had a good selection of EGR valves and good range of pricing. I’m a firm believer in ‘you get what you pay for’, so I went with the cheapest. Why? Because it’s a 1977, and according to the CA DMV this car should be smog exempt the next retest in a few years. EGR valve kit came with valve, gasket, and orifice washers to further optimize the valve opening. Only thing is that the picture shown on RockAuto had a heavy orange tint, making the silver valve look brass-ish (which is what i would’ve wanted.. but hey, at only $26, can’t complain. According to the instructions, there’s a parts reference chart to which you match your existing EGR valve manufacturer number with the orifice washer number… After much searching, there seems to be two EGR valve part numbers for the ’77 280z (early and later year), however both part numbers pointed to the same washer #34BECK/ARNLEY Part # 0460065

8:30AM – Rolled into Smog Test Station 1 to see Zack. He seemed excited and chipper to see the 280z back in to re-test. PASSED!

1PM – Rolled into the CA DMV off Flora Vista – in and out – REGISTERED!

Ready to tear up the street!

Thanks to my cousin Nick, who gave me that sweet vacuum for Christmas a few years back! Super handy for all of our car / motorcycle projects we’ve had! Not to mention, the use on the EGR valve. I’d highly recommend: ShopVac.

About justinyee

engineer, musician, designer, artist, dreamer, positive attitude w/ best intentions, critic and friend. i believe in truth, justice, beauty, and above all: love. View all posts by justinyee

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