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STORY  # 1
      372 Norwood Drive
      Danville, VA 24540
      434 836-8290
RE: RO # 159255; Woodall Nissan, Danville, VA //  804 766-0019   804 766-0028 
       Repair of 1986 300ZX, non-turbo 2+2, VIN: JN1HZ16A9GX-092351


Original symptoms: one day, out of the blue, my 300ZX would start and run for only about one or two minutes before shutting down.

I tried all of the obvious things, including replacing the fuel filter; checking the fuel pump voltage and operation, and the fuel pressure. I replaced the ignition coil; checked the distributor (optical angle sensor)--nothing solved the problem.

Because, the 300ZX had over 95 thousand miles on its second timing belt, I thought that might be the reason for its behavior; so I decided to have it (and the water pump) replaced. Also, the cylinder block temperature sensor was open, so I would also have it replaced.


----T O C----



  1)_ On July 11, 2000, I presented my 1986 Nissan 300 ZX, non-turbo 2+2,  to Woodall Nissan, by way of the Service Advisor, Tommy Strickland for the following repairs: 
  1) Replace Timing Belt /
  2) Replace Water Pump  /
  3) Replace Engine Temperature Sensor  /
  4) Perform Fuel Injector Factory Recall  /
  5) Perform Other Factory Recalls (A/T park switch)
  2)_ I was originally quoted $1,100.00 for Timing Belt and Water Pump.
  3)_ Reduced the cost to $650.00 after I said "the cost was too high." 
  4)_ After 29 days, I was told the repairs were complete, it still would not run longer than one or two minutes. I was asked to come get it, they needed the space. I subsequently had it towed to my home.
  5)_ Called: said the tech thought the problem was a RELAY [E.F.I.], said that it had been ordered and would be in the next day.
  6)_ He called several days later, reported it was not the relay; that now the technician thought it was the COMPUTER [E.C.C.S.], and said that a new computer would cost  >$800.00. Again asked when I could get my car off his lot, "they really needed the room!" 
Once I got my car back I discovered
--to my HORROR--
the following Discrepencies:
  1)_. The E.F.I. Relay was missing (both old & new $16), and there was a jumper plugged into the relay socket (green), between pins 2 and 3--computer output and +12 volts. (see items 2, 3)   -LINK
  2)_. The Fusible link (BR, BR) supplying the E.C.C.S. module was burned and twisted together.  -LINK
  3)_. The E.C.C.S. unit (ECM) was Damaged: the Transistor controlling the E.F.I. Relay was Burned out-LINK
  4)_. Also, the E.C.C.S. VLSI A.S.I.C. (JACS) had been Overheated to the point of discoloration.-LINK
  5)_. The power connector (located in the trunk) supplying the Fuel Pump was disconnected.  - LINK
  6)_. Three vacuum hoses were broken off and missing, one on the E.R.G. control solenoid.  -LINK
  7)_. The Idler pulley for the Air Conditioner was missing.  --Scavanged? -LINK
  8)_. Apparently, during the factory recall work on the injectors, a large vacuum hose--located between the throttle plate and the air flow sensor-- was damaged (split) and had been patched using putty.   -LINK
  9)_. The Connector block to the E.C.C.S. module (above E.C.C.S., right kickpanel) was broken.   -LINK
10)_. Screws to the kick panel covering the E.C.C.S. module were left out and/or not tightened. -LINK
11)_. The engine cooling fan airflow shroud was loose, due to missing bolts.
12)_. Several cable harnes clamps along the top of the engine were loose (missing bolts) or missing.
13)_. A total of 4 Air Intake hose clamps were loose, and 2 hose clamps to the Air Regulator were missing.
14)_. A small coolant Hose that had been removed, was Split, allowing coolant to spray the engine.  -LINK
15)_. The Coolant had been drained during the repair, and replaced with Water Only.  Winter = Freezing!
16)_. Finally--I Hope--Coolant is being sucked into the engine, resulting in water vapor, with the smell of coolant, coming out of the exhaust.   --Good Grief!
 -- If I was able to find this much of the Technician's NEGLIGENCE on the "outside," I shutter to think what else awaits me on the inside.


From the very beginning, the whole experience has been unreal.

  I was rarely, if ever, told the truth
The original quote was $1,100.00; when I told the Service Advisor that was too much, "I'll junk it before I put that kind of money into that car."  He then asked how much I had expected to pay; I told him that Southern States Nissan, in Raleigh, had quoted $550 for the Timing Belt and Water Pump--a year ago. A few minutes later he called back and quoted me $650 (also including the temperature sensor replacement).   --I accepted.

  He told me that the technician  said the problem with the car not starting/running, was the E.F.I. (green) relay, and that they were ordering a NEW one; I never saw the new relay, nor have I seen the original--supposedly bad relay. I received my car with a jumper wire in the missing relay's socket--shorting the Computer output lead to the battery voltage (resulting in the burned out Transistor and the overheated Integrated Circuit in  the COMPUTER (E.C.C.S. unit).

  I was told, that when the car was put back together it still had the original symptoms: starting and running no longer than about one or two minutes before shutting down.

  I now know this couldn't have been the case: when I received my car, the computer was completely dead (fried), the E.F.I. relay was missing, the fuel pump power connector was disconnected, three vacuum hoses were broken and/or missing, the fusible link was burned out, and of course, the real reason for the vehicle's failure--the distributor was still to be discovered and fixed. If that car ever ran after they finished, it would be quite a Feat!

  From the time I was told that the car was ready to be towed to my home, until I was able to, in fact, have it towed, was almost a week: I was put off and stalled with a verity of stories.

  Once it was home, and I discovered all of the initially obvious deficiencies, I was treated to a litany of excuses to why the Service Advisor hadn't rounded up the missing parts, i.e., the blown fusible link, the missing relay, and the strangely missing air conditioner idler pulley--no doubt scavenged...  He even went so far as saying that he thought his technician  and I were rounding up the parts--what is his function again? I only received the parts (junk yard fair, and wrong) after I left a message on his boss's voice mail (who never returned said call). --Very Professional!

He called to say their work was finished, car would not run [for any length of time], they did not know what was wrong. He asked when I could have it off their lot; they really needed the space. I felt pretty vulnerable.   --That sort of treatment is pretty PISS POOR!
  I was required to pay $500 cash up front before any work was started. This is a little demeaning, but I'll survive.  --However, It wont happen again, NOT THERE!
  After installing the missing parts and replacing the damaged and missing vacuum hoses, I attempted starting the vehicle with NO Success.

  Upon examination, I discovered the E.C.C.S. module was not functioning at all--it was dead: there was no indication of activity by the red and green CODE LEDs (these had functioned prior to Woodall’s work).

  Further, upon closer examination of the E.C.C.S. module, there were signs that one of the VLSI integrated circuits (ICs) had overheated and looked as if it may be damaged: it was discolored and had a distinct odor of burned phenolic/resin.

  After testing the E.C.C.S. module, I discovered that the transistor that controlled the E.F.I. Relay was burned out. I replaced it and the module started to function properly.  --Barely missed that BULLET!


Accompanying Photos

v----------- Burned Transistor Replaced -----------v

 --------------Notice Burned IC-------------------------------------------^
Another Split Hose: Coolant Leaking Out
Coolant was drained and Replaced with Water
comes Winter = Frozen Block
The Real Culprit: Angle Sensor FIXED
A.K.A., Distributor
A surface mount (SMT) capacitor had a cold solder joint
The engine now RUNS after I soldered the capacitor.

..Up Dates

October 2, 2000
I just got back from my favorite Nissan dealer; after confronting them with the 
evidence of their misdeeds, they told me that normally they don't work on cars more than ten years old, and that working on mine was a mistake. I suggested that I agreed with the last part 99% ! 

They neither acknowledged nor apologized for burning out my computer, breaking my vacuum hoses, stealing my air conditioner idler pulley, charging me for a relay I never got, etc., etc.

In essence they told me that I was Shit Out of Luck!


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