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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-03-03, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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85-ZL fairlane digital dash and trip computer

Hey guys,

just purchased a very original 85 zl dirt cheap. its a beautiful car and goes well too but, couple of annoying problems.

the totally digital dash seems to work fine except for the petrol guage which is constantly flashing empty despite being totally full. the other problem is the speedo isnt working. it sometimes works for a little bit when i give it a hard hit on the loud pedal but then goes back to zero.

checked all the fuses and theyre fine.

also the trip computer doesnt work or come on at all.

if anyone can help please do.


oh yeh i also picked up a 351 fmx and nine inch 81 fairlane dirt cheap too but dont know wether or not to fit it into the zl and what problems i might face with legality issues and allowing to continue running the air, steer and all electrics of the zl.

thanks for your help

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-04-03, 02:16 AM
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At a guess, your fuel sender is stuffed - fairly common problem with these models. May pay to do a continuity check on the wiring between the gauge and the dash to make sure.

As for the trip computer, does it have any display at all? If it is not working at all it is probably a power fault. Get hold of a workshop manual, which will tell you which pin(s) in the connector feed the power, get a multimeter or test light and check for 12 V.

The 351C will fit in the ZL using standard engine mounts, but I understand it will need an engineer's certificate, as these cars were never fitted with a V8. There are problems with heater hose clearance, and you also may need some reinforcing of the crossmember (someone else may be able to confirm that last point).

Power steer and air can still be used, but you will probably need new brackets to mount them with the V8. Different hoses may also be required.

The 9" is probably designed for a leaf spring rear end, and will not fit under the Watts linkage coil spring rear of the ZL without modification. Any decent diff works could do this for you, but it would cost.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-04-03, 03:44 AM
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As Xwish said the fuel senders are prone to play up all the time..

As for your speedo it could be the speedo transducer in the gearbox..as that sends the signals to the speedometer...may have to get under the car and check the wiring and connections at the gearbox :-)

May pay to have a look at a gregories or the like manual...that has all the testing procedures in it...and how to get to the fuel sender unit.



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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-03, 12:54 AM
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The problem with the speedo will be that the transducer is pushed too far into the gearbox, or sitting too far out. It has to be in a precise spot to connect with the internal gear.

If you look at it (and its on the drivers side of the extension housing) there is a bracket that connects to the rear of the transducer, and a bolt that goes through it. If the bracket is slightly bent or slipping on the ledge that it sits on, you will get intermittant speedo readings.

I'm pretty sure you will also find the cruise control doesn't work because of this.
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