Tag Archives: battery

I’ll be back – [Battery] Terminator

Every now and again, i jump in the car to fire it up only to find it won’t start. No ‘click’, no turn over. Baaaahhhh now what is it?!

After a few times of this happening over the years, I eventually figured out it was the flaky connections at the battery terminals by leaving the key turned on and rattling the battery cables. No the car won’t turn on, but the car door warning buzzer will go off!

So this was months ago…and now pesky battery terminals, (said in my best Arnold voice) I’m back!

.. No, I haven’t seen the movie Terminator: Genesis yet. Anyways, let’s begin!

   
This is the battery wiring situation we have to deal with on the positive terminal. Main cable going to starter, other smaller cables going to cabin, alternator, and radio (shoot, I still haven’t installed that one).

  

I just cut off this guy..but now I realize the white one might be a wire fuse…nah! [chuck]

  

I picked up Kicker brand terminals for amps because these type offer solid connection and access for the battery wire.

  

Wires are tightened into position by set screws.

   

Negative side looks clean, and even helps by sticking out from under the body of the car (sometimes jumping other cars is a pain). Positive side still need some cable management but overall the terminals worked well. 

Kicker BT4 Battery Terminals: $22 each

Work time: 30min


Back on the Road: 280z Alternator Upgrade

A very common issue with the Datsun 280z is the alternator’s external voltage regulator. The voltage regulator on the 280z is mechanical and very prone to failure. Now a days, alternators are internally regulated, and have a very long lifespan. Here, i’ll detail how to upgrade that alternator in the 280z, and wrap up why my car died in the middle of the freeway.

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What you’ll need:
– 12mm and 13mm socket (or maybe even 14mm depending on the bolts you have)
– 1983 Nissan / Datsun 280zx alternator (O’Reilly’s Ultima #14592)
– wire cutter

What you’re doing:
We’re replacing the old 280z externally regulated alternator with a newer, internally regulated alternator designed for a 1983 280zx (think, available and off the shelf).

See below: old and new alternators. I honestly don’t know if mine was original because several sites mention the OEM 280z alternator had smaller fans. In my case, they were pretty much the same. Mind the images..I was doing necessary repairs at 11pm. horray.IMG_8316.JPG

So why did my Datsun 280z die in the middle of the road? Why did the lights go dimmer and dimmer before then? Why was the engine running rough and eventually sputtering, choking to silence? Well, the alternator wasn’t doing it’s job – it wasn’t providing power to the system, so it was relying on battery power. And just like a toy car, when the battery starts to run out, all sorts of things happen. Lights go dim because there isn’t enough power. Engine acts up because there isn’t enough power to ignite the spark plugs. Ah! So regardless of whether it’s the regulator or the alternator, we’re doing the full upgrade, never having to worry about a failure in a mechanical switch.

You can get a 1983 280zx alternator from your local parts store fairly readily. I got mine from O’Reilly’s Autoparts for $46.00 – Ultima #14592.

1) Detach power – remove cables from the battery, so there’s no power to the system

2) Remove the wires from the old 280z alternator and remove the alternator itself using the 13mm socket wrench. It may help to take a picture of the alternator just prior to removing the wires.

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3) Install the new alternator, and reattach all wires

4) Locate the voltage regulator, which is just behind the metal plate that the wire fuses are mounted to. Un-attach the 6-wire connector.

5) Depending on your year 280z, use the chart below to determine which colored wires to jump. Regardless of color, wires 1 and 5 are to be connected, as well as 2 and 3. You actually have several options: 1) cut / connect wires before the 6-pin connector; 2) jump the wires on the connector (like shown below); or 3) cut / connect wires after the connector. I choose to just jump at the connector in some rare chance I need the connector in the future (though, this IS one of those upgrades that is just necessary on a 280z).

Daily Datsun 280z alternator upgrade wiring diagram
(Source: AtlanticZ.ca)

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6) Reconnect the battery, check for any immediate electrical issues

7) Turn on the car to run on battery (not all the way on), and note that the charge light is lit in the volt meter dial. Turn the car on to verify the charge light turns off, and you’re registering around 14V. If the charge light is still on, and the dial is only reading 12V while the engine is running, it means something is a miss. Double check your wiring all around.

Now that your alternator is internally regulated, there’s no more faulty regulator to replace!

 

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Helpful link from AtlanticZ: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/alternatorswap/index.html

 


Need help?

Funny how things happen…
I’ve had my fair share of leaving the lights on, and needed to jump started, but this time it was reverse.

On Friday, the forth time the 280z jump starting a car: a blue Camry.

#DatsunSaves 🙂

Datsun Saves ad


Battery tray!

This is the battery compartment – definitely has seen better days! Rusted wall (the most rust on the body), old tray, and just check out that orange bungee strap holding it place! So part of thursday’s daily datsun restoration also included taking care of the battery compartment mess. Let’s pop this battery out and see what we’ve got!

These progression shots show the battery area from original to prep’ed. Supposedly Z cars are notorious for having major rust around that battery area – this 280z isn’t an exception. Not the best job of scraping and sanding down the rough patches as i would have liked, but it’ll do for now. Someday i’ll be painting the whole engine bay.

Got the battery kit from Motorsport Auto – pretty good. Came with battery tray, tray mat, battery frame, and necessary bolts. The complete kit was only $50, and will replace the bungee cord nicely. My only compliant would be the sizing of the battery frame (as seen below); it’s just too big and not fit for a modern battery.

 


Goodies, round 1

Lookie! 280’s first gift! This should jump start tomorrow’s morning 🙂

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a 280z restoration one morning at a time

JDMGALLERY

a 280z restoration one morning at a time

Dirty S30

a 280z restoration one morning at a time

mister240z

Looking through the lens with rods and cones.

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