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Deflecting Drained Windshield Water Away From the Fuel Pump

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. 

Deflecting Drained Windshield Water Away From the Fuel Pump

Joe Angell

A rather odd design decision on the DeLorean is how it deals with removing water that runs off the windshield.  The water rolls down the glass, is funneled towards the center of the window, and drains down a hole and right on top of the fuel pump.  This likely contributed significantly to all the water that had collected at the top my my pump.

The hole isn't obviously visible from above; once you've removed the fuel pump access panel in the trunk, you have to look up towards the back of the car to see the hole.

Options

A few solutions were mentioned to deal with this.  DeLoreanJoshQ on DMCTalk showed his deflector baffle in a video documenting the installation of Houston's fuel pump/sender module, where he used a U-shaped piece of metal screwed into the fiberglass to deflect the water downward.  Another post in the same thread shows an older design from DeLorean World magazine using a piece of metal, some weather stripping and glue that deflects the water to the right of the pump.

Approach

For my solution, I didn't have a good way to bend aluminum strip, and I couldn't find weather stripping that I considered thick enough for the application.  Instead, I decided to make my deflector from cut strips of two inch aluminum stock.  I specifically used aluminum to avoid any rusting that would be caused by steel.

Fabrication is pretty simple:  I used a Dremel with a heavy duty cut-off wheel to cut a square and four narrower strips from the aluminum.  Be aware that no matter how you cut the metal it will be very hot once you finish, and you'll want to give it time to cool down before you try to touch it.  Use piers or a rag if you need to move them before they cool.  I used 3M weather stripping adhesive to glue the strips to the square, creating a kind of box.  I clamped it in a vice to make sure the glue bonded securely.  After that, I used the same adhesive to mount it over the hole in the fiberglass.

Enhancement

This solution is about the same as DeLoreanJoshQ's, as it directs the water downward.  However, I still thought it will result in water getting on the clamp, or possibly around the bottom near the pump, although in the later case the high lip of the pump opening on my particular tank should keep water out of the tank itself.

Since I still had plenty of aluminum stock left over, I decided to add a second piece to provide more of the redirection benefits of the older DeLorean World magazine design.  This was constructed in basically the same manner as the first, but with a 45 degree angle cut along one edge of the larger piece.  I cut four strips as before, cutting two of them shorter and using the left over bits to lengthen the longer ones on the other side.  I then glued them together and clamped them in a vice until they dried a bit, and then glued them to the firewall in the same manner as above, ensuring that glue was also used between all the edges of the original deflector and the new one.

It's not the prettiest thing, but the deflector now redirects water over the passenger side of the tank and away from the fuel pump.  The weather stripping adhesive is strong, so I don't have to worry about the pieces falling off.  With luck this will ensure that my fuel pump and tank don't succumb to water like my old one did. 

 

Parts and Supplies

Tools

  • Dremel with Heavy Duty Cut-Off Wheels.  Alternatively, you can use another power tool or a hacksaw to cut the metal.
  • Vice to hold the aluminum while cutting, and to clamp the parts while gluing
  • Philips screwdriver to remove the fuel pump access panel