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Repairs and Maintenance Blog

The DeLorean needs routine maintenance and the occasional, more significant refurbishing.  Beyond that there are also a number of customizations and upgrades to improve performance, reliability and functionality. 

Fixing First Drive Issues

Joe Angell

My first drive uncovered a few issues — stalling on acceleration and deceleration, excessive exhaust noise, bad brakes, TPS issues, a broken key, a squeaky belt, trouble starting in Park, a broken oil pressure gauge sender, fixing closed loop idle, replacing a leaking fuel line, fabricating a bracket for the oil dipstick tube, and running out of gas. Here I get all of those fixed, and finally bring the car home.

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Modern Bulkhead Connector

Joe Angell

Diagnosing ignition issues led me to replacing the original bulkhead connectors used for the EFI wiring with a single, modern weatherproof one. This included building a new mounting plate with appropriately-sized holes for both the new connector and two of the original connectors.

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Ignition and Idle

Joe Angell

This post chronicles a series of issues and the subsequent debugging and diagnosing of ignition and tuning while getting the car to idle, but I finally got it going and ready for its first drive.

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Double-DIN Radio Install

Joe Angell

I swapped out the old radio with a new double-DIN unit with a touch screen and Apple CarPlay compatibility. This was a it tricky, since the center air vents are where the radio needs to be. I relocated them to the knee pad and wound up needing to build a new air distributor to get the radio to fit.

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Horrible Squeaking Sound

Joe Angell

After letting the engine site for a few days, I tried starting it and was greeted with a loud squeal and a slowly turning motor. The oil pump had failed, and the bearings needed to be replaced.

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Building an Exhaust System

Joe Angell

After waiting too long for a muffler, I decided to build my own using off-the-shelf parts, with minimal welding and no bending, with the end goal being to have as quiet of an exhaust as I could make... within the bounds of every aftermarket part being labeled "performance", that is.  It came out pretty good, but I have yet to hear what it sounds like...

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Spark Plugs and Removing Old Wiring

Joe Angell

Now on to the electrical modifications.  The spark plugs go in pretty easy, and the coil-on-plug system fits just like the spark plug boots normally would.  Before I could go any further than that, I would have to remove the old engine ECUs and related wiring to get ready for the MegaSquirt installation.

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3.0L Vacuum Routing

Joe Angell

Vacuum routing on the 3.0L engine is simpler than on the 2.8L engine.  In part this is because I removed the charcoal canister, so I no longer have a vapor recovery system (although I may add one later).  I needed to hook up four things: the climate control vacuum reservoir, the automatic transmission vacuum modulator, the brake booster, and the MegaSquirt MAP sensor.

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Removing the Center Armrest

Joe Angell

In order to pull the old ECU wiring, I needed to get under the center arm rest.  This isn't particularly hard; it's mostly an issue of finding all the bolts, disconnecting all the wires, and making sure to move the harnesses away from the sides of the armrest before lifting it out.

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Replacing the Door Struts

Joe Angell

The door struts are really easy to replace, but I spent a surprising amount of time trying to get the clip into the bottom of the strut in until I finally rotated it to point away from the car.  After that the top end went on pretty easy.  If not for that bit of trouble, this would have taken just a few minutes.

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Reinstalling the Engine and Transmission

Joe Angell

With the bottom of the engine swapped out and the top of the engine cleaned up, it now had to go into the car.  Overall this wasn't too complex, beyond the trick of getting the transmission aligned with its mounts.  It went pretty smoothly all told.

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