advise on mechanic

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  #1  
Old 09-01-03, 08:31 AM
jasonhall
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advise on mechanic

I just bought a used 300zx. The mechanic is charging $220 for compression test, is that right? and can you do a compression test if car is not running? because of fuel pump. Also he said the figures are 165, 161, 150, 148, 135, 121 (handwritten). Any input or advice. Its a 90 300ZX non turbo...oh yea he also did like 3 other test...vacum, fuel, something else...THanks those were like $50 a piece. I asked him to look it over and let me know what it needs and I'll fix or upgrade everthing I can. THen he told me about test price.
 
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Old 09-01-03, 08:52 AM
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121?

121 is a little low on that one cyl if I can recall I think there should be no more then 30% difference in any Cyl.It is more then likely the back one that is low. Joe will probbably add to this this is his fourm and he is good at it.I might be wrong on the percent but it might be less.
 
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Old 09-01-03, 09:35 AM
jasonhall
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repair manual

Joe I tried your site link for repair manuals cause I want to get one for this car and its not available for a 90 300zx, 90 300zx 2/+2 or a 90 300zx twinturbo wondering if you have an alternative site
 
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Old 09-01-03, 11:06 AM
mike from nj
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the price sounds a little high, does the intake manifold have to come off to get to some spark plugs, that would substantiate such a charge.

while the plugs are out, have him do a leakdown test to determine where the compression is going--forget percentage of variation, that's low (121)on any engine(except a turbo engine) i remember the variation spec being more like 10%

once the compression is under 100ish, it will idle rough, misfire at idle
 
  #5  
Old 09-01-03, 01:01 PM
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To answer your question, yes a compression check can be done on a car that doesn't run, as long is the engine can be cranked over. A car won't run if the test is properly done, and MOST require the removal of all spark plugs and disabling the fuel system before actually doing the test. Some require having the throttle being held wide open..
As for the specs, it varies from car to car. AllData should give the actual procedure, and specs for your car's engine.
Probably the 1 thing I disagree with from your mechanic, is providing you with a price AFTER the tests were done..That's NOT how a business should do it! The price itself, well, depends on the shop's labor rate, and exactly what tests they did run. I agree with Mike, they should find out what's causing the low compression on those cylinder's...
 
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Old 09-01-03, 02:28 PM
Joe_F
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Original poster:

1) If autolibrary has nothing on the vehicle, try your local library for a book. Failing that, look for a used OEM shop manual on Ebay---you're going to need it.

2) These car$ are vi$ciou$ money pit$. Everything from parts, labor and in between cost you big bucks. Just the way it is with these cars. You couldn't give me one of these for free. It would have a For Sale sign on it the following day.

3) The time to get a compression test is BEFORE you buy the car so you can negotiate with the seller. "Hey listen, a compression test was run and one of the cylinders is more than 10% of the other one as far as differential is concerned. I'm going to have to offer you less or pass up buying this one based on that as repairs will get expensive.

Sounds a bit late now to back out, you bought it.........

4) As for charges for tests, etc. I do agree with the others on charges. There is a standard labor hour rate times how long it take, etc, so it should have been known ahead of time.

As Mike said, sounds like more investigation is needed. Once you know what is wrong, you can decide whether to repair it or flip it and find one that is not in need of such repairs.

Again, sorry to say, but these cars are very expensive to maintain and repairs in the hundreds of dollars are not uncommon.
 
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Old 09-01-03, 03:07 PM
jasonhall
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price

I am planning to kinda redo engine anyway..just not immediately hopefully(within a year). It really runs strong though that is what is wierd except for fuel pump problem. Its strongest out of like 30 300ZX's I testdrove from 94 to 90 Nonturbo's from 4k to 8k..it has perfect body(new paint not cheap) and I talked him down 2000 from 5800 dollars. It was older man who bought it for daughter and she didn't like it..her mom bought her a car instead.. So he was a nice man he lost on it quite a bit. Now I am getting hit by mechanic...I just don't have one in South Florida trustworthy. In North Carolina, New York, I knew alot of good mechanics. Since I've been in South Florida every mechanic I've used has been shady. Just alot of bad experiences, now I am weary. Any of you guys live in South Florida..Anyway Thanks for your help guys. I appreciate it.
 

Last edited by jasonhall; 09-01-03 at 03:35 PM.
  #8  
Old 09-01-03, 04:31 PM
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I've been in this business a long time, like a lot of other folks in the forum. I'm sure they'll all agree that any shop worth dealing with should be able to give you a very accurate quote on repair work BEFORE any work is done. The exception I can think of is finding electrical shorts..No standard labor rate for that..So, my advice to you and any other car owner is, call around, find a shop that gladly will give quotes, has a decent warranty on parts and labor, and will stick by it. If a shop won't, then keep calling! Find out what their hourly labor rate is also.. Good luck with the car!!
 
  #9  
Old 09-01-03, 05:41 PM
Joe_F
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I'd agree with MSA, but I'd add a few things.


1) Join a 300ZX club. There will be great networking in those places. I run a Trans Am club and I usually find good connections for most of the members. You'll learn how to do things yourself.

2) I'd agree with MSA, but NEVER shop solely on price alone. Sure fire way to screw yourself. If a guy lowballs you on price and then can't figure it out, he's either a) going to cut corners, or b) soak you fierce in the end.

3) Choose shops ASE certified, with no BBB complaints, and that come recommended by friends & neighbors.

4) Choose shops that are #3 above and have good access to service information and know these cars.
 
  #10  
Old 09-01-03, 08:04 PM
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Great advice Joe! Honestly, I hadn't thought about BBB..I should have though!!
 
  #11  
Old 09-02-03, 06:46 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Sure. The whole idea is that we learn from each other .
 
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