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First Drive with EFI

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. 

First Drive with EFI

Joe Angell

After five years and four months, I finally got the DeLorean back on the road for a quick test drive.

This wasn’t without incident. Quickly releasing the throttle would cause the car to stall sometimes. The TPS was reading high for no good reason, so I disabled it in TunerStudio for now. And my brake are not working very well. I mean, the car stops eventually, but I wouldn’t want to rely on them for any real driving. I just took it around the block, and then right back into the garage.

Some other things I did wrong:

  • Forgot to check the tire pressure. I had filled them a year ago, so it was mostly OK, at 20 in front and 25 in back (should have been 23 and 30).

  • Forgot to make sure the lug nuts were tight. Two were very loose, and the most of the rest needed to be snugged down.

  • Forgot to re-install my front stabilizer bar, which mounts on the shock towers. More importantly, it uses the same bolts as the shock towers, and they were not installed, so that could have been really bad.

Other than that, things went well enough. The backup camera on the new head unit was a useful aid in backing out of the garage. While the odd TPS readings meant that I could do warm-up auto-tune (it tripped a filter that kept it from running), I was able to do some basic VE auto-tuning during my drive around the block. The throttle feels very responsive now, in part I believe because I have carefully tuned the throttle cable so that a light touch actuates it, and because the Mustang throttle spring is weaker than the 2.8L throttle spring. I feels more like a modern car, even if I did just drive slowly around the block.

This was the first time I’d started the car with the air filter attached. Even with the IAC wide open, the car would only idle at around 650 RPM. I think that airflow through the filter was too restricted now, for just the IAC to handle, so I cracked the throttle a little with the adjustment screw. This quickly fixed the idle, returning it to 790.

The blower motor wasn’t working, but I think it had just seized a little from lack of use. It eventually freed itself and ran just fun, although with a little ticking, like it was hitting something.

I discovered that when the mode switch was set to Heater, the vents in the dash stopped blowing air. It turns out that this is due to my new air distributor box, which omits the top duct to the defroster. The workshop manual nots that all vacuum actuators are closed in heater mode, with some air going to the doors from the top duct. In the future I’m going to put electric valves on the vacuum lines to replace the mode switch, so I’ll make do with Bi-Level for now, or just heat on my feet.

The heated seats I’d installed a decade ago aren’t working so great either, but I want to recover the seats and install heater/cooler inserts, so I can live with that.

There’s an exhaust leak as well. I really just need to clamp down the driver’s side exhaust better, and I’m likely gong to try some Permatex exhaust sealant to plug any remaining gaps. That should even out the sounds a bit.

After getting back in the garage, I buttoned up a few things I’d forgotten, like the fuel tank access panel, installing the covers on the electronics, and the tops of the door panels. I also forgot that the old insulation on the parcel shelf was thicker than the Dynamat, and that he electrical covers are now taller than the center of the shelf. I’ll have to figure out something for that.

But next I have to fix the exhaust leaks, the TPS and the brakes.

The stabilizer bar properly mounted, and the luggage compartment all sealed up.

The parcel shelf just needs the carpet and its ready to go.