Monday, December 14, 2009

Gremlin Hunt / Fuel Pump Area Upkeep

This posting starts off with the picture above for several reasons.
  • First, and most relevant to this site, is that the picture represents 2109 (on left) out for a reliable and spirited weekend morning ride, after being down for the previous 4 weekends, until a malfunction was corrected.
  • Secondly, it is pictured next to my friend Mike in his DeLorean, which he recently got back on the road, and it is the first time both our cars were out for a drive together.
  • Lastly, the picture was taken from my son’s (who was down for Thanksgiving) ’85 Supra, which is a cool car itself, and it represented the 3rd car of that weekend’s impromptu 80’s car cruise.

The Gremlin Hunt
Back to the blog posting, 2109 was down for 4 weekends, as I chased down a gremlin which was causing the car to at first buck, then stall, while driving. The stalling was as if someone reached in and turned the key off, as the car would restart just fine after it would stall. It got progressively worse where it would happen after 30 minutes of driving. The issue felt like an electrical problem, so it was time to chase it.
My approach would be to start at the fuel pump, and finish at the engine bay, on all related components. I knew that working only on weekends this would limit me to driving her until it was fixed, but I also knew that this meant that certain older untouched (by me) systems would get addressed.
In the order of attack, I would investigate and repair if required:
  • Fuel pump
  • Fuel pump connector (previously identified as a “connector of interest”)
  • Grounds for fuel pump.
  • Fuel pump connections at washer bottle.
  • Inertia switch & wiring
  • Fuse box area
  • Ballast connectors
  • Ignition Coil
  • Ballast resistor & wiring
  • Distributor cap & rotor
As expected from a car that at this writing is 28 years old, at each step above, something suspect was found, and then was corrected. In this posting I will only cover a few of the items above, and discuss and show what upkeep was done to those areas, which you may wish to consider for your car as well.

Fuel Pump Area
Since the symptom was the engine just stopping, the fuel delivery system, specifically its wiring, became suspect of possibly cutting out power to the pump, thus causing the engine to starve for fuel.
I must confess at this time that when I first got 2109, and was looking at references for parts replacements, the subject of anything to do with fuel, and work on fuel related parts was intimidating to me because of the respect that I had for working with gasoline - in my home garage. The project below became my best medicine to cure me of all the intimidation. I suppose the trick, for me, and what I recommend, is to not rush work in this area, and to take proper preventative safety measures.
And those measure are: Be respectful of working in this area, you are dealing in a potentially high combustion area, do take the proper precautions such as taking the battery offline prior to commencing the work, and having no spark or flame producing items near this work area. Also protect your hands from contact with fuel, and work in a well ventilated area.
Starting Point, Fuel Pump Area

The picture above, was when I first opened the access door about 20 months ago. This was uncharted area for me, since then except for the tank nearly everything there has been replaced today.
Before this Gremlin hunt, I had previously:
  • Replaced the original fuel sender for an updated one, then wound up putting the original back on (a story for another day)
  • Changed the fuel boot cover (discussed below).
  • Changed those orange fuel lines which were beginning to get brittle where they met the hard lines. This was producing a gasoline smell when the car was in the garage, so I took care of that promptly, and it did solve the fuel odor issue. For the replacement lines, I used new fuel hoses rated for high pressures.
  • Covered the AC hoses nearby with some pipe insulation to prevent them from rubbing on the access panel.
By the way there are some excellent looking fuel hose replacements available from Martin G. at Delorean, for $105 shipped anywhere. They come new fittings pre-crimped, as well as with a stainless dome nut and copper washers, for the fuel pump. Here is a picture of them, more information at his site:

Fuel Boot Cap
I’d previously had the boot cap off the fuel pump area and when I did, I noticed that it was very soft and it felt like it was thin and could easily puncture it. Months earlier I had ordered from Don Stegar's DeLorean Motor Center in California, their replacement boot which sells for $29.75 and has gotten some positive remarks from other owners. This replacement boot feels noticeably thicker and sturdier that the one that came with my car, and as I understand that it is less susceptible to fuel rot due to the ethanol mixes we are all currently having to purchase.

106684, Upper Fuel Pump Boot
DeLorean Motor Center, CA.
Another interesting feature of this new boot cap, is the the fact that the hoses that come out of it are a very tight fit. It took a little silicone spray to be able to force and pull the fuel hoses through them ... which is a good thing because they remain very secure and water tight, as installed.

Fuel Pump
Since the symptom was the engine just stopping, the fuel pump became suspect of possibly cutting out. I searched 2109's maintenance records (available since 1981) and found that I was running an 8 year old pump, which as about 15,000 miles – the age and miles weren’t terribly bad, but I figured that a refresh here may not be a bad idea, worst case is that it did not fix the issue, but at least I would have a new pump and good spare.
The pump came out fine, looking in great condition for its age.

Fuel Pump Baffle, Screen, and Pickup Hose
After the pump was out, the baffle remained inside the tank and was very easy to remove.

Referencing the service manuals and online parts catalog, my baffle was missing one set of hold down wires, and the bottom circular part.

That bottom part is important, because in effect instead of the baffle forming a drain cup to collect returning gasoline, without the bottom it was more of an in-place open collar. I suppose under low fuel conditions, this would cause fuel starvation, and especially with low fuel at an incline. On this topic, Dave Swingle from DMC-MW stated on DMCTalk, most of the early VIN cars did not have the bottom of the baffle installed, as he has observed in servicing them. I suppose that it is possible that the part was not available for early production, and the factory decided to proceed builds without them. Contact your nearest DMC franchise for availability, should you also be missing one.
At this point, also check your pumps filter screen. at the bottom of the baffle, at the end of the hose. If it looks dirty, a replacement ("improved part") can be ordered through DMC (#101643, $18.95).

SpecialTAuto also has this part (#101643, $18.95) shown below. They also have a custom filter application that bolts immediately under the fuel pump, and eliminates the need for the pickup hose, but I chose to keep the stock functionality with the pickup hose attached to the pump.

The baffle system was reconstructed with the new bottom, and the existing hoses were re-used as they were in good condition. Evaluate your car's hose, you don't want this hose, which it has been known to, kink inside the tank. Also important note: I made the mistake of thinking I could buy regular fuel hose, but that is not recommended as this hose will be submerged in fuel and most parts store fuel hoses are not. Again, if you need ot replace, this is an available DMC part (#106286, $19.69 - not a NOS part).
The reconstructed baffle system is shown below. It does not go in as shown, the circular bottom drain part needs to be off to clear the the tank opening, and is then reattached inside the tank - trickier that it sounds, but very doable.

Fuel Pump re-Assembly
If you wish to replace your fuel pump, you have a surprising amount of choices for our cars. There are two options from two vendors.
DMC will sell you a NOS pump (#11085, $139.):
...or a newer "after market" pump (#11085A, $99)

SpecialTAuto has new Bosch fuel pumps ($134.95)

...and a new higher flowrate pump (#$89.95):

I like the fact that this one comes with those protective boots, for the electrical connections.
An unexpected surprise was how corroded the hard return line was. This is a uniquely bent tube that sticks out of the pump cover, sort of wraps around the pump, and is where the submersible fuel hose that feeds into the baffle cup, attaches to. Being a regular steel tube, mostly suspended under fluid for 28 years, I suppose it makes sense it would not look too fresh. Fortunately DMC (#105020, $24.95) and SpectialTAuto (#$44.95) both sell a stainless replacement, which are excellent “while you’re there” mini-refurbishments (SpecialTAuto's price also include a stainless fuel pump metal collar ring).
A few other things to check, or consider to upgrade in this assembly are the fuel pump boot, the lower part that goes inside the tank (DMC #101391, $54.50), the pump's wiring conector , as well fuel pump's fittings. In my case, I could not remove the fitting from my original pump (remember you'll need two copper crush washers), so I ordered a new one for the new pump. It's probably a good idea anyway leave the original fitting on, so in case an emergency spare is needed, it will already have it's fittings (and washers) pre-installed.
Below is the re-assembled fuel pump assembly, ready to drop back into the gas tank.

Putting it back in is a little tricky the first time and definitely requires some trial and error. The trick is to have it drop in the correct orientation, where:
  • the return line inside the tank will not kink,
  • where the fuel pump connectors are close to the mating harness connector,
  • that the return line does not stick up too much,
  • and that the supply and return lines are oriented just right so that their matching hoses line up correctly.
You'll figure it out what works best, just takes a little patience.

Fuel Pump Wiring
The last item to look at in this area is the harness connector to the fuel pump. This is a two wire plastic plug that on my car had exposed wiring just going into the crimped connector pins. Additionally the wiring just beyond the connector was brittle. I took the opportunity to correct all this by disconnecting both the fuel pump and fuel send connector, and pulling from underneath the car (easy to do, of course with the spare out). I did this so I could solder at a distance from the gas tank. I soldered a new set of wires directly to the pins, then spliced a good 18-20 inch section into the existing harness.

The above work was done on spare weekend time, did it solve my engine stalling issues? No.
So this meant that a) as stated earlier all changes done represented good upkeep in this area, b) I know now that I have a good working spare pump (with fitting), and c) I would have to move on to other components. I am publishing above my component research, findings, and fixes, so that you have a reference to consider checking the fuel pump area as a future project, and/or as a preventative measure. This is by no means a comprehensive fuel system update to the car, to take it further it would have also replaced the accumulator (previously done), the external fuel filter, and the injectors (also previously done on 2109).
There were a lot of different parts mentioned here, mostly available from either DMC or SpecialTAuto. These of course can be bought as seperate parts, but check with both vendors as "kits" with many of the parts mentioned are offered by both vendors.
Picture of completed fuel pump job.

UPDATE 05/18/13
So, reviewing this posting I should note that (if you didn't know) there is a completely new Fuel Pump solution by DMCH.  It is a very modern fuel pump that integrates the fuel sender as well.  All information today points to a great new product.

Ordering information here:

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DeLoreans Sold on Ebay: 2009 Q3 Update

The 2009 Q3 Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.

The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 35 months, is summarized in a graph and table format.

For the direct link click here.

I hope you continue to find this information interesting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DeLoreans Sold on Ebay: 2009 Q2 Update

The 2009 Q2 Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.

The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 32 months, is summarized in a graph and table format.

For the direct link click here.

I hope you continue to find this information interesting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Modernizing the DMC-12's Rear Suspension: Options, Resources, & Overview

I have nearly a complete set of parts and service history for 2109. Being a total geek, I spent a weekend afternoon once putting those in Excel. It was a worthwhile exercise because at a glance I can see what part (and if it) was replaced, and when. I am a strong believer in preventive maintenance (PM), so having quick access to that information assists me towards implementing PM on 2109.

Being a high mileage car (80K, relatively high for a DeLorean) means that it has been enjoyed by by its owners in the sense that it has been driven and not stored.  It also means that a lot of components have been changed, updated, or maintained. One of the most obvious components and service work that has not been performed, was on the suspension, she was still riding on 28 year old shocks and related components. I can’t complain, the ride is not bad, a little jolty on the occasional bump, but those old struts (non leaking by the way) must have seen better times. So, suspension work eventually made it to the top of the list of things to do, and I would start with the easiest, the rear.

I decided to attempt to do the rear suspension myself based on the fact that a) after research and speaking with others, that it didn’t seem too complicated, and b) I could save a few bucks from my budget and invest them in parts, rather than on labor. My backup plan as usual, if I get too over my head, I could always flatbed the car to DMC Florida.

Rear Suspension Work
Being on a budget also dictated that I had to buy the parts that I needed over a period of time, and not at once. So in approximately a 6-10 month period, I had all the parts that I needed to begin. Here are some notes, on some of the major components that I chose to use, and why:


With respect to the springs’ contributions to overall height, I actually do not mind my car’s stock rear height (picture above). The fronts, aesthetically yes, that needs to be lowered, but not the rear. This then simplified my choices as I would be reusing the existing springs.

Here is how the springs came out of the car:

Here is how they looked after some metal prep and several coats of satin black paint.

It took some work, but it turned out well enough that when another owner saw them, they thought that I had bought new ones.

Notes on springs thatlower the rear end:
Spring options for those that wish to lower their car’s rear height are: 1) use your front springs, in the rear, 2) use DMC’s Eibach’s lowered springs, or 3) cut your rear springs.

These are DMC's Eibach Performance Spring Kit:

If you do decide to lower the rear height, be aware that you must also replace your lower link, with an adjustable version, and have the wheels realigned for proper camber. If you lower your car’s rear stock height and you do not use an adjustable lower link, the camber of your rear tires will be off, and cannot be adjusted, which will result in the inside treads of your rear tires will quickly begin to show excessive wear.
This is what the adjustable rear links look like:

(Picture from

These adjustable links are available directly from:
DMC Midwest
DeLorean Mid-State Club
DMC California
Pricing information varies per site, some require cores, some require your links to be sent in to be modified, Dave at DMC Midwest stocks them ready to ship. Reference individual links above, and contact them, for additional details.

Here we have quite a few choices. I'll list them in no particular order:


SpecialTAuto has two different kinds of shocks.
"Easy Riders" (Front & Rears as a set)

...and the "KYB Performance" shocks (front & rears sold seperately, rears shown below)

DMC sells a full set as part of their Eibach System (and actually NOS Girling ones too). They are sold as fronts and rears together.  Shown below is their full Eibach Performance System, but shocks and springs are sold seperately as well.  This is a popular configuration and nearly all installation reviews are favorable.

Marty Meier at Delorean Mid-State Club, has a front and rear set (with a lot of positive reviews posted).

Ed at DMC Europe has a unique set as well, part of his "Power Series", the "Power Shocks", which feature adjustable damping settings and polyurethane bushings built in.  Both front and rear shown below, but they can be purchased separately.

I have heard of a UK source for some shocks similar to Ed's, from the UK, and the shocks are brand: "Spax". If someone can email me public link, I would be glad to post pictures of them here, along with a reference link.

EDIT (05/11/09): I found the link, am fairly certain it is their "KSX" shock (picture from link below), but you'll have to call them for more details.

EDIT (05/17/09):
Chris Williams, the Secretary DeLorean Owners Club UK, has provided the further information and some detailed pictures of the SPAX shocks. He wrote:

"The well known company for performance shocks (SPAX) have agreed to start manufacturing shock absorbers (dampers) for our cars.  They are gas adjustable front and rear, with the rears being adjustable for the spring height on a S/Steel threaded outer tube. Fully Gas adjustable, with 28 settings on the adjusting knob. Spring height is also adjustable as you can see from the pictures.
Prices will be about, £74.99 each for the fronts and £99.99 each for the rear. There is 25% discount on these prices for DOC club members."
Rear SPAX in comparison to OEM. Take note of Stainless collar threads, AND a protective sleeve over the piston rod, two unique features of this shock absorber:

Close up of the bottom of the rear shocks, with the knob for the adjustable dampening settings:

I have to say that on features alone, this does appear to be a very interesting alternative, for replacing the rear shocks.
Edit: (05/26/09)
For more information on these, Chris says to contact Spax directly at:
If you tell them you are a DOC (DeLorean Owners Club) member, you get a 25% discount.  . . . Chris says that Spax does not call him to verify membership.   ; )

Edit: (02/22/10)
These shocks are now available domestically, exclusively through

Overview of which to get...
Which one to go with is honestly a leap of faith, and balanced by what are your driving expectations, and of course funding availability. Some are touted as “performance shocks” which give a stiffer ride, but hold tighter on aggressive turns and driving. Others are “touring shocks” which would mean a softer, cushier ride, which is not for everyone.

I drove a fellow D owner’s car with SpecialTAuto’s “Easy Riders” and I liked them, it was a soft ride on a less than great parking lot, and on a smooth open road at 50mph. I have heard others complain they are too soft, and in response John has released a stiffer 2nd option as shown above.

If you search you’ll find all sorts of opinions on installed solutions, but what is missing and we’ll probably never see, is a side by side comparison of multiple solutions, on the same vehicle. So really the best that could happen then to assist you on your choice, is to be able to have the opportunity to ride in as many cars as possible with the different shock and spring options, for you to evaluate personally, to make the best choice for your liking and needs.

For 2109...

I went with Ed’s Powershocks. They were not the cheapest, and the US to Euro exchange as well as shipping adds to the expense, but I decided on these because there had been some positive reviews on them, and the unique features that they have. They have a dial knob near the bottom, where you can dial the shocks to be set for either a soft or hard or anything in between. Chances are once you find your right setting you’ll never need to adjust it again, but who knows?
There are also two other feature which I liked about these shocks. One is that they have threaded collars, which seemed (and turned out to be) a very desirable feature to have to install and adjust them (height). The second is that the shocks themselves come with polyurethane bushings all around, as standard, which tends to balance the value of this option.

General Notes
That’s about all you need for to replace your rear suspension system. I won’t cover the installation details, as there are several sources that do so well enough, like a fellow owner’s “How To” on I based my installation on that write up, and for the most part the suspension installation went well.  The job can get more challenging if you encounter"frozen" bolts and nuts. Fortunately I only had to deal with one stubborn frozen nut at the top of one of the shocks, but a nut cutter easily removed that obstacle. The other thing to check is the bushings on the links, if they are dry, rotted, or compressed, you may wish to consider replacing them, or even upgrading them with polyurethane versions (currently available at DMC-Europe, and in development at SpecialTAuto domestically).  Finally, the threaded collar on the shocks, mentioned above, did in fact make the installation easier, especially with this tool (found on Ebay).

Suspending the car on stands, and rotating the collar with this tool is a quick easy way to adjust the height of each shock..

In conclusion...
I have logged over 500 miles with my new rear suspension. Truth be told I believe the resulting effects are minor. I believe this to be the case because the full effect will not be reaped until both the front and rear suspension is upgraded.  Still the  rear suspension is now refurbished from the original factory components. The only issue that I have had has been a "squeek" sound from the shocks, but Ed advised me, and it has happened, that this goes away over time.

I could have left it at that, but instead I followed the “once you are there” philosophy, so I actually did some other rear suspension related work, mostly captured this (near) complete picture of the driver's side (LH) suspension:

What you can see, and what you cannot, that was done as part of the rear suspension work was:
 * Removed all the links to evaluate the bushings and to paint them.
 * Cleaned and painted the old springs.
 * Cleaned the parking brakes, and changed pads.
 * Replaced the worn parking brake cables.
 * Changed the rear flex brake lines with stainless versions.
 * Cleaned the exposed frame parts.
 * Cleaned off some road grime from the transmission.
 * Cleaned off the wheels
 * Removed, cleaned off, inner drive shafts
 * Replaced, outer drive shaft, bearings, and hubs.
 * Re-torqued all bushing related parts, and the trailing tab pivot bolts.
 * Cleaned off the interior of the wheels wells (not shown in picture).

Here is before and after shot of some of the visible parts and clean up work:

While most of those are details for another day, I would like to highlight a specific one mentioned above: "Replaced, outer drive shaft, bearings, and hubs."

Hub, bearing, and outer drive shaft
A secondary goal of this job was to repalce the rear bearings. I had the infamous "clunk" from the rear suspension when I got the car. It mysteriously went away one day and was replaced with a cyclic and surprisingly loud "squeek, squeek, squeek" on a turn. I figured it was the rear wheel bearings, that their time was up.

The wheel bearing is sandwhiched (machine pressed) between the outer hub and the carrier. To get it out requires a trip to the machines shop, to press it out, and to press it back in. Since I had to remove this assembly anyway, I figured I would clean it up and repaint it, but then it would mean two seperate trips to the machine shop, to take care of this. Also, the assembly is ulitimatly held together with a large 32mm nut, which needs to be tourqed to just over 260 ft-lbs.

I knew that I could tackle this, part by part, with some trips to a machine shop, and some brute strength, but I got an ideas to contact Josh B., at McFly MotorSports in Ohio. Although Josh's shop is relatively new to the DeLorean repair and restoration businesses, he is quickly gaining a great reputation for the service and quality work that he has put out, and some exciting engine performance upgrades that he has in the works (more info at this site).

Case in point, after contacting him, he sent me this picture of a recently restored hub/carrier assembly that he had worked on:

In this picture not only can you see the quality of the work on the hub/carrier and related suspension components,  but you can also see the quality of the restoration work of the frame that it is mounted on.

So, I engaged him to re-do my hubs, bearings, and outer shaft. Doing so all I did was to remove all three (carrier hub, bearing, outer drive shaft) as an assembly. This is what I sent:

...and this is what he sent back:

Given enough time, and having access to a media blaster, as well as two visits to a machine shop, some paint prep and paint time, I may have been able to achieve this quality of work by myself. However for what he charged, and how quickly he did it, it just made a lot of sense to have him perform this component restoration.

Contact him for more information:
Josh B.
McFly MotorSports

>>> If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.<<

Saturday, April 11, 2009

DeLoreans Sold on eBay - 2009 Q1 Update

The 2009 Q1 Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.

The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 29 months, is summarized in a graph and table format.

For the direct link click here.

I hope you continue to find this information interesting.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sneak Preview: Dome Light Module - A Modern Replacement and Upgrade

(Edit 04/13/09:  Added installation picture of 2nd prototype, and link to a draft version of the installation & programming manual, at bottom of this posting.)
(Edit 02/21/16:  Updated links for Dave's website of related products.)

Following this blog's theme of modern upgrades for the DeLorean DMC-12, I am pleased to announce that I and another DeLorean owner have been Beta testing a really neat device for our cars, a multi-mode replacement for the original Dome Light Module.
Solid State, Mode Programmable, Dome Light Relay.
The device is engineered by Dave McKeen (aka Bitsyncmaster on the forums), who previously re-engineered and currently sells a modernized solid state replacement for our RPM relays (reviewed here: "RPM Relay, A Modern Update". I have been using a breadboard version this new module, throughout our Florida Winter months, and have been offering Dave feedback and suggestions on functionality. For the most part it works great, and it is really neat (and cool) to have the light dimming functionality back into our interiors, when you utilize energy (battery) saving LEDs in the interior.
The original module was basically a timer circuit, to dim the interior console lights, but as it was designed over 25 years ago, it does not work with modern LEDs. The fix to this date has been to just remove the module (the white one in the fuse relay area), and the LEDs ran fine but in an on, or off, state.

(BTW: Picture above is the result of my fuse/relay area clean up project, from a few months back.)

In Dave’s re-engineered unit, the timed dimming functionality is back, along with a few other nifty modes.
Mode 1: OEM operation.
In this mode, the module behaves as a direct replacement module, where after 15 seconds of the doors being closed, the lights dim until they are off. With this module however, this feature works if you run either incandescent, or LEDs. (For a good reason to run LEDs, see here: "LEDs are Cool" ) Dimming and LEDs, are a near oxymoron, unlike an incandescent bulb that can be made to increase and decrease its light output with voltage changes, LEDs are either on or off at one voltage.
So How does Dave make them dim?
Techie answer: he seamlessly pulsates them until they dim off.
To the casual observer answer: Freakin’ magic.
Mode 2: OEM operation plus a 10-minute shutoff.
This mode is as above, but also automatically shuts off all interior (including door, bonnet, and engine bay) lights after 10 minutes. Although this is less of an issue with LEDs, it is a great feature if you are still running incandescent bulbs, in order to avoid excessive battery drain. With this module in this mode, I’ve driven to car shows, or have left the car open in the garage, and sure enough it becomes one less thing to think about when your interior lights are shut off automatically.
Mode 3: Parade Mode
This is a new and entertaining feature, this is basically Mode 1 but instead of the lights staying on, they blink on and off.  If you shut off the interior lights, then the effect is solely focused on the doors. This would be neat to run, say in a night time car show, especially with multiple cars, or as the cars drive by a parade, with the blinking door lights – talk about giving our doors even more of an airplane like wing look.
Mode changes
In order to change modes, you don’t have to go unburying the fuse/relay area. Instead you can program the module with the light switch from the glove box. As you program it, by pressing the light switch in a certain sequence, the unit provides feedback as to the new program through, interior light pulses.

Beta Version 2 (Pre-Production unit).
Right before I began to perform a DIY rear suspension upgrade on 2109, Dave shipped out the latest revision to the module (see picture below). Gone is the breadboard test unit, the latest version is dimensionally now closer to the production unit, where it would look like a plug in replacement, with some minimal wiring to ensure full and future support of features.  The workmanship is impressive on the scale that it has been done, with tiny surface mount components mixed along with some small chips, soldered on two stacked circuit boards - but you won't be able to see this on the production boards as it will be a solid, potted, unit.  As Beta testers, we are now switching our review and feedback to this new unit, so it may be a few more weeks until the module is ready for sales and general distribution. conclusion
Like Dave’s previous product, the solid state RPM Relay, this new module is a modern upgrade for aging, unreliable, and outdated electronic components in our cars. Dave has demonstrated to our small community that his products are reliable re-engineered components, and that he stands behind his product. This one is as clever and useful as his last, but this one is also just downright cool to see in action, as your interior LEDs dim.
I will post a small video later, stop by again to check them out. Thanks

To contact Dave about his upcoming Dome Light Module:
PM “Bitsyncmaster” on

Addendum 04/13/09:
The 2nd prototype has been installed and is working great. With some additional wiring at the time of installation, it brings some new neat functionality.  Below is a picture of the unit installed:

(Click on picture for a larger view.)

As previously discussed, the shipping version will be potted units, so it will look even better installed than the picture above.

Also, we've completed a first draft of the features, installation, and programming document. You can find it at DMCTalk.

>>> If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.<<<

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Detailing the Engine Bay, Over Time

Addendum July 2012:  Appended pictures of updated engine bay. New AC compressor, new overflow coolant hose, general component cleanup.

Addendum August 2010:  Appended pictures of new engine bay harness, routing details.

Part of the maintenance and upkeep that I perform on this car, has to do with the engine and engine bay look. In this month’s entry, I will outline what I (and others) have done to detail and keep this part of our cars, looking as good as possible, providing some added benefits as well.

Our car came from the previous owner with a well maintained and nicely looking engine and engine bay. However, I noted some room for improvement that I figured I would address over time, and have in fact proceeded to do so over the last two years. My goal was to not deter too much from the stock look, just to refresh it.

My baseline and current progress
This is how the engine bay looked like two years ago, not a bad baseline:

This is how it looks like today:

In some cases the changes are subtle, out of view, and not as apparent as when seen in person, as opposed to in pictures.

The following are discussions of specific areas and/or parts that have been detailed in the engine bay area on this car.

Air inlet pipe
One thing not stock on either of the pictures above is the absence of the air inlet hose which runs between the coolant bottle and the air filter housing. On 2109 this was replaced a while ago, and if not I would have done it myself for cosmetic and performance reasons. Both DMC and sell this, each respectively name it "performance intake" or "performance cold air input" hose. These kits replace the stock soft plumbing, along with the a manifold valve and feed. The removed parts existed to warm the intake air, upon start up, specifically for colder climate conditions. Since this is a car used year round in the Southeast, and most DeLoreans don’t run in the Winter, this is an area for improvement. There may also be advantages to removing the stock assembly, because the original valve assembly tended to restrict a portion of the air flow into the engine.

Cost: Approximately $30 from vendors, or there is something similar available at local parts store, but if you can, support our vendors – our cars need them to be around. This is a simple DIY project.

Coolant Bottle
If you are still running with the original plastic coolant reservoir bottle – change it. Not to improve the look of your engine bay, but as a good preventive measure. Those original bottles were prone to bursting with cooling system issues, the modern bottles are made of stainless steel, and look great in the engine bay.

Cost: Approximately $140. from both DMC and (but the latter includes the mounting brackets).

The “valley of death”(VOD) job.
A VOD job on our cars is a must do if you are not sure how long it as been since something similar was done. Essentially this is a clean up and preventive measure, for the top of the engine block. That area is not normally visible as it is directly covered by our intake system, but underneath there, our block has some deep cavities, that over time collect grime, leaves, twigs, miscellaneous parts that fall in, and in some cases even dead rodents(!). This same area, specifically the cavities, have been known to get eaten away with years of corrosion, and sometimes creating, or contributing to create, block damaging cracks and holes – thus the “valley of death” moniker.

The job is not that difficult if you are handy and comfortable with working on cars, but best left to qualified DeLorean vendors otherwise. There are great documentation topics of VOD jobs on, so I won’t attempt to cover it here, but I did perform this project on 2109, during July 2008 (and with online assistance and support from other owners, enthusiasts, and vendors). I summarized the entire experience in a short youtube video as follows:

As you can see from the video, this project is an opportunity to clean up the area, coat it with a protective paint, and even replace some potentially future trouble parts in that area (sensor, water pump, thermostat, internal hoses and their clamps). Some specific detailing performed were:

Under the intake, the top of the block.
The picture below shows this area cleaned (Simple Green, soft wire brush, dry off, repeat many times) now painted (POR-15), along with several replaced components.

Performing this job is also an excellent opportunity to clean up some parts that need to be moved out of the way, while this job is underway.

Rewired main harness – notice that in the pictures above there in an unobstructed view into the air mixture screws, above the intake W-pipe, or intake horns. This is because the main harness was re-routed to go under the passenger side of the intake. In a stock DeLorean the harness comes across and above the top of the driver’s side of the intake.

Cost: This modified harness (Part #:110185) is available from DMC for just under $200., but other owners have taken their original one apart and reorganized it, to accomplish the same effect.

Clean and paint components
The picture above also shows several brackets that were painted, they were originally black with grime and dirt. The intake manifold is a chrome plated Ebay find, that sat on my shelf for over a year awaiting this project. A good sandblasting and painting of your existing one, will most likely yield a major improvement to this prominent part on your engine bay.

The picture below shows a before and after of 2109's air mixture unit, cleaned as discussed above, and painted with Duplicolor Gold and Aluminum colors.

…and before and afters of the throttle assembly:

Cost: I suppose if you have this done, this could easily run well over $1000. in labor alone. As a DIY project, it cost me about $480 in parts and 75 hours (by myself, with some minor complications (seen in video), and I don’t work fast as I took plenty of breaks, and took lots of pictures, done on weeknights and weekends over a 6 week period. Others have done the basic work in much, much less time.

Valve Covers
They are very prominent in the engine bay, so these are on the top of a list for cosmetic improvements. The driver’s side is the most tricky to take out, because you have to temporarily relocate the bulky compressor with its lines attached, but overall this is just an unbolt, paint, bolt back on procedure. The picture below shows the passenger side cover after it was painted and reinstalled, unfortunately the air intake covers a large portion of this one.

Cost: I can only comment on a DIY solution and it was less than $20 for one can of spray paint, and some replaced bolts.

Ignition Resistors
Because of their location and its color, a cleaned up ignition resistor adds a nice tidy detail to the overall look of the engine bay.

Cost: Your time to scrub away, I used Simple Clean and a soft-ish wire brush to work off the grime.

Vinyl Caps
This is a relatively simple one, the AutoParts store sell a pack of PVC caps for about $5.00. These caps can be used on your door plungers, and also to cover up those two bolts on the left side of the bay (pictured below) and even the ground lug on the opposite side.

A/C Compressor
Another prominent part in your engine bay, is the A/C compressor. This is a tricky component to clean up or exchange, because it entails extracting and recoveing all the Freon, before you can disconnect the compressor. As I am doing, unless there is some major A/C service to be done I will leave mine as is - but this is definately another prominent part of your engine bay so it is definately an area to clean up.

A/C Idler Bracket and Pulleys
This one you can argue is both a cosmetic and an upkeep item. If you are running the original pulleys and bracket, chances are they can use a good clean up and your bearing may not be at their best. Replacing the bearings on the pulleys also yields a slightly quieter running engine.

Cost: You can do all this work yourself, but can send you the bracket and pulley as shown above, for about $50 plus shipping and a $100 core charge, which is refundable when you send him back your old bracket/pulleys. SpecialAuto's pulleys with new bearings, are definately not as noisy as my original 27 year old pulleys.

Engine Bay Light
Here's a quick project, how about replacing that old yellowed engine bay light? The merits of that light are debatable; however, since it's there may as well update it with a newer one.

Below is a before and after shot:

It's a subtle change, but it does overall contribute to a clean up.

Since I was going to replace this light, I decided to also incorporate a simple mod. I often find myself wanting to be able to turn off this light (daytime, engine lid up), and to do so, I'd have to unplug it at the switch (by the lid hinge) and remember to re-plug it. A better solution would be for the light to have a switch. The picture below shows a comparison of the orignal and the new housing with the light switch mod (also note comparative condition of conductive internal brackets).

Cost: New old stock lights are available from DMC (or your local DMC Dealer) as part number 100439, the current price is about $27.

Painting the Engine Bay
This is best done with the engine out of the bay, however, very impressive results have been achieved by a local Florida owner without removing the engine.
He documented the experience and results here:

Although not in my sights nor current plans, there are custom components available that can be integrated into your engine bay, for that different look. A short list of those are:
Stainless air cleaner unit (
Braided stainless fuel lines (, and DMC-CA)
Different color vacuum lines (cut to size as a kit, at
Nology kit, with beefier spark plug wires (DMC)
Custom stainless throttle cover (

So that’s it, as you can see with time, and a little elbow grease every now and then, you can make some visual improvements to your car’s engine bay. Many of these improvments are also good preventive measures, which will contribute to provide you with many more enjoyable DeLorean miles ahead.

Addendum 08/12/2010
There are often questions, and I had a bunch, of how to route the new engine bay harness.  Below you will find 4 pictures, the first my questions about routing prior to installing the new harness.  The next three pictures, address most of the questions of the first picture, as they are pictures after the harness was installed.  (You can click on the pictures for a larger view.)

Questions, questions, questions, I had....

How it turned out/answers...

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