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Engine Swap and EFI Conversion Checklist

This is a basic checklist describing what needs to be done to install a 3.0L engine in a DeLorean, and how to set it up with MegaSquirt and EDIS for electronic fuel injection (EFI) and ignition control. It is intended to give a rough outline of what needs to be done, without delving into too many details. This may not be complete, as it is done from a combination of memory and referencing various posts I’ve made on this site during my conversion.

Note that although links to other posts are on some of the steps here, there are more posts that cover refinements or further details that are not, so you may want to scan all of the articles just to be sure you have the information you need. Often I learned something new and added a new post for it, sometimes adding a note in the earlier post. This often happened while working on something unrelated, and thus may not be in an obviously-titled post.

  • Obtain an engine, in this case a 3.0L PRV6 from a 1988-1992 Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco. Make sure it includes:

    • Spark plug wires

    • Fuel rails

  • Remove the 2.8L engine (with or without the transmission) from the DeLorean:

    • Drain the oil from the engine at the oil pan

    • Drain the coolant from the engine via the coolant jacket plugs on either side of the engine

    • Remove the louvers and engine cover

    • Remove the rear fascia; disconnect the black bulkhead connector to tail lights

    • Remove the O2 sensor

    • Remove the exhaust system by unbolting the headers/manifolds from the engine

    • Disconnect bulkhead connectors to the engine and automatic transmission, if applicable

    • Disconnect vacuum hoses

    • Disconnect fuel source and return lines from the fuel distributor

    • Disconnect coil from distributor

    • Disconnect the heater coolant hoses from the back of the engine

    • Remove hoses from the water pump on the front of the engine

    • Remove the A/C compressor from the valve cover and set it aside without disconnecting the A/C lines; unplug the compressor’s electrical connector

    • Remove the starter and set it aside, optionally without disconnecting the wires

    • Remove the alternator and set it aside, optionally without disconnecting the wires

    • Disconnect the throttle cable

    • Disconnect the automatic transmission cable

    • Disconnect the wires to the throttle microswitches

    • Disconnect the oil sender wires

    • If removing the transmission:

      • Remove the rear passenger side tire and disconnect the parking brake cable that runs under the transmission

      • Unbolt the axles from the transmission

      • Disconnect the cooler lines for the transmission

      • Disconnect the vacuum line from the transmission

      • Disconnect the cable from the shifter to the transmission at the pivot arm

      • Unbolt the transmission from its mounts

    • If not removing the transmission:

      • Unbolt the flywheel or flex plate from the transmission

      • Unbolt the engine from the transmission bell housing

    • Attach the engine hoist to the lift points on the engine

    • Unbolt the engine mounts

    • Lift the engine and remove it from the car

    • If removing the engine and transmission together, separate the engine and transmission as above

  • Swap the lower crankcase from the 2.8L engine to the 3.0L engine

  • Source EFI and EDIS parts:

    • MegaSquirt II 3.57 ECU

    • MegaSquirt wiring harness and connector

    • EDIS6 and connector pigtail

    • EDIS6-compatible coil pack with spark plug wires and connector pigtail, or coil-on-plug coils and connector pigtails

    • Fuel injectors and connector pigtails

    • VR sensor

    • Shielded VR sensor cable

    • VR sensor mounting bracket

    • 36-1 missing tooth gear

    • Relays and sockets

    • Fuse box and fuses

    • Coolant (CLT), MAT, and optional throttle position sensor (TPS)

    • Alternator adjustment bracket (a slightly bent version of the stock bracket)

    • Modified alternator mounting bracket

    • Fuel lines, connectors/adaptors and a fuel line cutter

    • Cold air intake adaptor/hoses

    • Automatic transmission kick down switch and mounting bracket

    • LC2 wideband O2 sensor (unless you want to use the old narrowband one)

    • Idle air controller

    • Distributor cap hole cover

    • Laptop for tuning

    • TunerStudio for tuning

    • USB to DB9 cable to connect laptop to MegaSquirt

  • Have the missing tooth gear welded to the back of the main crank pulley so that the missing tooth is six teeth before TDC

  • Re-install the main crank pulley

  • If the transmission and engine were removed together, mate them back together again

  • Attach the engine to the engine hoist and re-install into the car; if the transmission was left in the car, mate it back up to the engine and secure the flex plate or flywheel

  • Re-install the bolts in the engine mounts and transmission mounts

  • Re-attach stock components:

    • Re-attach the coolant hoses to the water pump

    • Re-attach the heater coolant hoses

    • Reconnect the vacuum lines

    • Re-install transmission-related lines, parking brake cable, and so on

    • Re-install the starter

    • Re-install the alternator

    • Re-install the A/C compressor

  • Remove the 2.8L ECUs:

    • Remove all three ECUs from behind the driver’s seat, along with all associated wiring

    • Remove unused relays from the relay compartment

    • Remove unused engine bulkhead connectors

  • Install the new CLT, MAT and TPS

  • Make new spark plug wires or coil-on-plug boots with the boots from the old 3.0L wires and the new EDIS coil pack wires or coil-on-plug coils

  • Mount the coil pack, if applicable, and run the spark plug wires

  • Build a new wiring harness to connect MegaSquirt and EDIS to the engine. This can use the original bulkhead connectors, a new bulkhead connector, or a completely new routing option (say, directly through the firewall behind the driver’s seat).

  • Install new relays in the relay compartment, connecting them to the new harness

  • Remove the RPM relay; connect the fuel pump and tachometer wires from the old socket to the new harness

  • Set up cooling fan control to the new harness

  • Modify the electronics tray behind the driver’s seat to mount the MegaSquirt, the EDIS and the fuse box

  • Install the new fuel injectors on fuel rail, and connect the injectors to the harness

  • Build fuel lines and connect them between the source line, the fuel rails and the return line

  • Mount the VR sensor at six teeth before the missing tooth on the main crank pulley gear when the pulley is aimed at TDC, positioning it 0.75 to 1.5mm from the tooth itself

  • Route vacuum hose to MegaSquirt MAP input

  • Source an appropriate-length serpentine belt and install it

  • Fill the engine with oil

  • Fill the coolant system

  • Top off the transmission fluid as needed

  • Make sure the car has fuel

  • Install, configure and calibrate the LC2 O2 sensor

  • Install the cold air intake

  • Re-install the exhaust

  • Re-install the rear fascia and black bulkhead connector

  • Re-install the engine cover and louvers

  • Set up TunerStudio:

    • Calibrate the idle air controller

    • Calibrate the throttle position sensor

    • Configure FIDLE to control the cooling fans

    • Set up ignition settings for EDIS

    • Set up injector settings for your injectors

    • Set up O2 sensor configuration

    • Generate initial VE table

    • Generate initial AFR table

    • Generate initial spark advance table

    • Set required fuel

    • Verify settings, just to be sure

  • Pre-Start Tests:

    • Test Injectors

    • Test Coils

    • Test Fuel Pump

    • Test Idle Air Controller

    • Test VR Signal

    • Verify VR sensor alignment and spacing

    • Check ignition timing with a timing gun

  • Start the engine

  • Get the car warm with the idle air controller closed (open the throttle manually as needed), then adjust the idle until the AFR is 14.7 (by adjusting the VE table to warm-up enrichment) while keeping the RPMs at around 790 RPM (by adjusting the throttle). Set up VE table and timing advance zones to provide a stable idle at this AFR, interpolating the VE table to guarantee smooth values across the table.

  • Turn on closed loop idle targeting 790 AFR, verify 14.7 AFR

  • Drive the car with auto-tune at various speeds and loads until the useful VE table cells are completely filled in. Manually create smooth transitions as needed.

  • Tune acceleration enrichment

  • Use warm-up autotune to configure the warm-up behavior of the car