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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:00 pm 
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I have an '87 300zx (201,000) miles and the fuel gauge has stopped working. It is stuck on empty and does not move. Could it be the sending unit? Fuel gauge? The other gauges work, just not the fuel gauge.

Thanks,
Nate


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Location: Colchester, Ct
Hi Nate, are your gauges digital or analog?

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Phil
1981 280zxt


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Hey Nate,

I have read that the fuel sending unit is a very common part to fail. Nissan revised the design at some point and the new design is supposedly much more robust. I don't know when the revision was made though.

see: http://300zx.tombeauchamp.com/service.shtml#031904

Some people have said they were able to remove the old sending unit and clean it out and re-install it. My fuel gauge is off but I haven't really messed with it... I just count the miles. My 1/4 gauge still works though, so I know when things are getting very low at least.

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Justin
1986 Z31 NA 2+0


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:55 pm 
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phil280zxt wrote:
Hi Nate, are your gauges digital or analog?


It has the analog gauges.

Thanks, Nate


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Location: CT
Gauges which say "E" forever sometimes have a flooded float. The float springs a leak, fills with gas and sinks to the bottom of the tank, taking the indicator arm with it. I don't know how much trouble it is to reach the sending unit on a 300zx, but if it can be accessed from inside the cargo deck, that sounds like a DIY job at home. If you have to drop the tank to reach the unit, that's more of a PITA.

On a 1956 Austin Healey, that was a 30 minute job for two teenagers in 1965!
:lol:

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1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:44 pm 
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If I recall correctly, the sender can be reached from the top without dropping the tank. :)

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Justin
1986 Z31 NA 2+0


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Location: CT
Well then, it should be a simple matter of pulling the old unit out and putting a new unit in.

Extreme safety measures are mandatory, of course, starting with disconnecting the battery (both terminals) to prevent all sparks, doing it outdoors (so you don't asphyxiate yrslf or blow your garage up) and only inviting non-smoker buddies to help you.

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1970 240Z


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 Post subject: Fuel Sending Unit
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:27 am 
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I've replaced mine as these things go on the Z31. Easy to replace from the rear deck of the car. If you get a used one, you're never sure if upper or lower sensor will work. Good luck with it.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:27 am 
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Location: Webster, NY
I replaced the sending unit on my '87. It's quite simple, access from a panel in the rear deck floor. Yes, disconnect the battery, don't need any sparks! Make sure to use a new "O" ring as well.

The original Z31 sending unit was a float that rode up and down on a single stick rheostat. After time, the fuel corroded the circuits on the stick and the unit failed. Nissan redesigned the unit to a traditional "double float bar" type that solved the problem. Last I looked, Nissan still had the part available.

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John Taddonio
President, Z Car Club of Rochester NY
zcarnut@hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:33 am 
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Zee Nate? Sounds like an easy DIY job with a friend to talk to and hand you tools.

Reach up behind the fuel gauge and ensure no leads have popped off before starting this project (no sense changing a good sending unit).

Also, while the sending unit is out of your tank, you could look in there with a flashlight (not a match) to zee if the tank has much interior rust in it.

Personally, I would run the car until it was actually very low on fuel before starting this job.

201,000 miles huh? It took you all this time and you just now got it broken in?

Frank

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1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Frank T wrote:
Zee Nate? Sounds like an easy DIY job with a friend to talk to and hand you tools.

Reach up behind the fuel gauge and ensure no leads have popped off before starting this project (no sense changing a good sending unit).

Also, while the sending unit is out of your tank, you could look in there with a flashlight (not a match) to zee if the tank has much interior rust in it.

Personally, I would run the car until it was actually very low on fuel before starting this job.

201,000 miles huh? It took you all this time and you just now got it broken in?

Frank


Hahaha well, actually it was my grandfather's until he passed away two months ago. It's my uncle's now. He owns a 2012 370z and use to own a red '87 300zx. Just fixing a few small things here and there. I'm the family mechanic, and I'm a beginner Z enthusiast. Thanks for the help.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:18 pm 
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There is no more-promising position on planet earth than to be a mechanic who has just 'discovered' the Z car! :D

You, my friend, are in for many happy miles ahead. :wink:

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1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:18 pm 
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ZCARNUT wrote:
I replaced the sending unit on my '87. It's quite simple, access from a panel in the rear deck floor. Yes, disconnect the battery, don't need any sparks! Make sure to use a new "O" ring as well.

The original Z31 sending unit was a float that rode up and down on a single stick rheostat. After time, the fuel corroded the circuits on the stick and the unit failed. Nissan redesigned the unit to a traditional "double float bar" type that solved the problem. Last I looked, Nissan still had the part available.


Yes, I do remember that original design. My shop teacher Paul Mackin who is a member, showed me once how to replace it on one we had in school. I called up the local dealership, and they want $112 for it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Frank T wrote:
There is no more-promising position on planet earth than to be a mechanic who has just 'discovered' the Z car! :D

You, my friend, are in for many happy miles ahead. :wink:


Well actually Z cars run fluently in my family. My grandfather's sister was the one to start it all. She bought a new '83 280zx Turbo 4 speed. White with red interior. My grandfather then went out and bought this blue '87 300zx 5 speed. His son (my uncle) got Z fever and bought an identical red '87 300zx. That one fell apart from under him. Then last month he bought a 2012 370z sport package model. And after my grandfather passed, his Z went to my uncle, to whom it was promised to by my grandfather. As you can see, our family are Z fanatics.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:38 pm
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Location: rhode island
Kick it in the rear, and if that don't work, take it out and see if it can be cleaned up and work, bench test it with an ohm meter. If all else fails, and if it's all the car needs, $112 aint bad.


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