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Farrar
03-21-2019, 07:06 PM
#2613's engine replacement thread started getting way off track so I decided to start another thread devoted to the other repairs/modifications I've made to the car. I'll start with the interior lighting.

Using the same dome lights that John Dore used in his DMC-24 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075447DNV), I cut 2" holes in the headliner, one just behind the stock dome light and one above the parcel shelf. #2613 still has the original cardboard headliners and the cloth is not in great shape, so the idea was that if I didn't like it, I could go back to stock when I upgrade to fiberglass headliners.

I got really tired of the old plunger switches so I replaced them with magnetic reed switches (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDUAELO). They're activated by a magnet glued to the inner surface of each door's trim.

The result:

59502

As you can see, moving the dome light rearward slightly also improves visibility in the footwells. However, I will probably add footwell lighting at some point in the future.

Farrar
03-26-2019, 05:14 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvz0swmOXI4

Farrar
03-27-2019, 05:31 PM
Today's work:

- replaced hood release cable with a new stainless steel cable from DMC Texas
- replaced hood release spring with a new stronger spring from DMC Texas
- replaced hood release cable bracket with a new stainless steel bracket from DPI
- replaced hood intrusion brackets with new stainless brackets from DPI
- replaced hood strut mount brackets with new stainless brackets from DPI

59568

59569


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFctPA15vWs

Farrar
03-31-2019, 06:03 PM
I decided to tackle the rusty hardware in the trunk. The hood stops threw me a loop: when I removed them, the tops came apart.

59581

I improvised a solution with 1/2" black nylon nut covers. They don't look half bad:

59582

New stainless hood intrusion brackets from DPI. Of course I installed them with stainless hardware:

59583

Stainless trunk strut brackets from DPI. Yes, all of the hardware in this photo is also stainless: the screws are black anodized. I could have gone with plain stainless, but I like the look of the original black screws so I decided to replicate it. However, instead of split washers I used Belleville washers. Belleville washers are conical so they have a smaller outer diameter than a flat washer. That's why they just barely peek out from under the screw heads.

59584

More uses for black anodized stainless steel 13mm hex nuts:

59585

59586

59587

I just love little details like that.

The trunk area still needs some TLC: The seal is cracked and falling off, and the carpet pieces are also beginning to let go. I could also paint the area, perhaps, but I don't mind certain parts of the car showing its age, and the inside of the trunk is hardly ever seen, anyway. I will replace the seal, though. Also, the masonite backing for the lower carpet piece is warped, either through heavy cargo or through moisture intrusion over the years. I will make a waterproof replacement.

Farrar
05-06-2019, 11:40 PM
Well, I had a misfire problem and while I was troubleshooting (I ended up just buying new wires) the car sat for a few weeks all closed up.

Little did I know that the last time I drove the car (in the rain) water intruded somehow. So a few weeks later when the new plug wires were installed and I was ready to fire it up, I opened the door and smelled something horrendous. Then I saw little spots of mold on the seats, the console, the steering wheel... I've never seen mold intrusion like that before!

I bought a portable dehumidifier, set it on the passenger floor, turned it on, and closed the door. It's been running for over 48 hours straight and the humidity gauge shows 61%, down from 69% when I first started. This is going to take a while. :(

Timeless
05-07-2019, 11:22 AM
Whoa... you locate the source of the moisture intrusion?

SS Spoiler
05-07-2019, 12:11 PM
The whole state of Florida is moist!

Farrar
05-07-2019, 01:55 PM
Whoa... you locate the source of the moisture intrusion?

No, not yet. However, judging from the location of the most water I'm guessing one of my body-hole fixes has failed. #2613 has an early-VIN body style with the vent holes underneath the rear quarter panels. Before I sealed them (with aluminum flashing held in place with a ton of RTV silicone) that's where water would show up on both sides after driving in rain or being parked in rain.

The interior of the car is too stinky and hurts my throat to deal with right now. Once it is mitigated by the dehumidifier, I will spray white vinegar (or Lysol if I need something stronger) on the affected areas, then remove the D-pillar trim to see if the body hole patch has failed.

...

In other news -- despite the fact that #2613's ignition distributor is in a different location from a stock 3.0L, the plug wires I ordered are just fine. Some of them a a bit long, but I tidied them up with zip-ties.

Farrar
05-08-2019, 08:09 PM
The interior of the car smells much less toxic now. Today I dumped 20 ounces of water out of the dehumidifier's tank. At that time the humidity gauge had gone down from 69% to 54%. Now it's down to 50%. That's actually less humid than it is outside and in the garage. (Garage is not climate-controlled and it has been raining and above 80 degrees here for almost two weeks.) The dehumidifier is still running and will keep going until it hits 20% humidity (yeah, right) or I turn it off. Maybe by this weekend I will be able to get in the car, take the interior out and begin mold remediation on it, and start looking for the source of the leak.

Timeless
05-09-2019, 01:03 PM
Good luck!

dn010
05-09-2019, 01:09 PM
One step forward...

Farrar
05-09-2019, 04:02 PM
One step forward...

Yep. And now I'm waiting for the two unavoidable steps backward. LOL

Farrar
05-09-2019, 05:24 PM
Down to 50% now.

Farrar
06-14-2019, 02:21 PM
I forgot to check in here on the moisture intrusion problem, but I think it may be the passenger inner door seal. This morning, driving to work in some very light rain, the passenger window was noticeably wet. Maybe water is getting in the door somehow? I was running the air conditioning, but none of the vents was pointed at the window.

But I have a new problem: the engine suddenly stops running. I have a feeling of dread because that was the first sign of death for my previous engine just a few years ago. The engine would run for a little while, then grind to a halt and not re-start for some time. The more recently the engine had been running, the longer the engine would run when re-started, but otherwise would simply die. Weirdly, this happened on Monday on the way back from the gas station but after 15-20 minutes sitting on the side of the road checking the fuel system I was able to re-start the engine and get home. I figured it was the fuel filter at the carb so I changed it.

This morning I made a 40-minute drive, mostly highway, and everything was great (except for the rain). Then five hours later when it was time to leave work, the engine died as I was sitting in the parking lot letting the a/c cool down the interior and putting my destination into my phone. I have a mystery on my hands...

Timeless
06-14-2019, 02:53 PM
Do you think it may be vapor lock due to the summer temps? Do you have a spacer on the carb? I had a 67 Mercury that would act just like your car is. Installed an anti-vapor lock carb spacer and it never acted up again up until I sold the car.

Farrar
06-14-2019, 06:42 PM
Do you think it may be vapor lock due to the summer temps? Do you have a spacer on the carb? I had a 67 Mercury that would act just like your car is. Installed an anti-vapor lock carb spacer and it never acted up again up until I sold the car.

Interesting theory. It is true that when I checked the fuel bowl after the engine slowly ground to a halt, the fuel bowl looked low. But I think that's because the engine turned very slowly on its way to stopping. Even when hot, I was able to turn the key several times and get the engine to run for a few seconds. It just refused to idle. I was able to put my foot on the accelerator pedal and get the engine to turn faster, but when I let off the pedal the engine died instead of idling. When I checked the fuel bowl after cranking, it was at a normal level.

I suspect a spark issue. I recently changed plugs and wires. Maybe the plugs are gapped too large. I will check the gap.

(I have a carb spacer but I am not currently using it; it would require changing the studs on the carb for longer studs.)

Farrar
07-12-2019, 11:20 PM
I suspect a spark issue.

As it turns out, the ignition module died. Once replaced, the problem was solved.

...

I have a new problem: water intrusion. After a long drive in the rain, both floor carpets were soaked. (Glad the car has a fiberglass body, not steel!)

I did a test and it seems the water only gets in while the car is in motion, not while parked. I'm scratching my head over this.

Farrar
08-28-2019, 06:07 PM
#2613's transmission controller is broken. I bypassed the original (rebuilt) unit years ago in favor of an Angwin controller, but it too seems to have failed. As luck would have it, the previous owner when I bought the car included all of the parts that he had removed from it, including the original controller and harness.

The spare harness was burned and "repaired" (if you call blobs of solder and ignoring cracked insulation a repair...) so I'm going to cut the damaged bits out and splice fresh wire in, and then re-wrap the harness, before sending it to DMC Texas to have the new controller installed.

After removing the electrical tape (a yucky task which took nearly two hours) I discovered that every wire is compromised. The most badly affected were, naturally, the large brown feed wire and the small black ground wire.

After looking at British Wiring's website, it seems they don't have the required wires in the right colors. Although the harness will be wrapped up in black nylon and heat shrink, I want the colors to match just in case I ever have to dig into this thing again. So I am ordering wires from AutoSparks UK. Here's the parts list in case anyone else ever needs to do this repair:

28-strand wire
black
red
blue
green
white
slate
pink

44-strand wire
brown
pink
yellow
red
blue
green
slate

Minimum is one meter, so I'll have extra. The longest splice I'll make will be about a foot. But since I don't want all of my splices in the same place (it would make an awkward lump in the middle of the harness -- like the previous owner had with all of that tape!) extra wire will be nice to have so that I can stagger the placement of the splices.

I will post before and after photos here as the work is done.

Farrar
09-05-2019, 01:56 PM
Now that Dorian has passed I feel safe ordering things through the mail again. The wire, as mentioned, is already on its way from the UK. As for the loom, I have decided to go with asphalt-infused cloth like modern manufacturers use in their engine compartments. I first noticed the stuff when I was working on my PT Cruiser. The turbocharger makes the engine compartment quite hot. When I looked it up I found that it has a temperature rating of just over 300 Fahrenheit, which should be fine for the automatic transmission harness. (Unlike Chrysler I won't use tape at the ends; I'll use adhesive-lines shrink tubing instead. I already have loads of it on hand because I ordered a lot for all of the splicing I'll be doing).

Photos of the harness to come -- or I may do a video, I'm not sure.

Farrar
09-10-2019, 11:10 PM
Pro tip #1: When removing ancient electrical tape, wear disposable gloves.

Pro tip #2: A stitch ripper is very handy for removing rubber cable sleeve.

The wires finally came from the UK. Although everything is going to be wrapped up, I did in fact order the correct colors for my splices. As for the gauges, it looks like I erred on the side of largeness. However, since I am crimping and soldering the splices, a slight difference in gauge won't make a difference.

61126

61127

I read the "crimp and solder" method in a Chrysler factory workshop manual. I figure if it's what pro mechanics are told to do, it's what I should do. Not appropriate to this situation, but a benefit of the "crimp and solder" method is avoiding those "T-Tap" or "Scotch-Lok" connectors: simply use a crimp connector large enough for two wires, crimp the two wires on one side and solder it, crimp the one wire on the other side and solder it -- and presto, you've got a "Y" connection.

And of course I am using adhesive-lined heat-shrink to protect my splices. (Not pictured.)

The asphalt-infused cloth sleeving I ordered won't be here until Friday.

AugustneverEnds
09-11-2019, 12:09 AM
As it turns out, the ignition module died. Once replaced, the problem was solved..

I know this was a few months ago but I was wondering how you figured out the ignition module died. I am currently chasing a no spark condition and the module is the one item left to test.

Farrar
09-11-2019, 12:45 AM
I know this was a few months ago but I was wondering how you figured out the ignition module died. I am currently chasing a no spark condition and the module is the one item left to test.

I was fortunate enough to have a "spare" ignition module.

#2613 has an adapter harness to run on an aftermarket ignition module. Once I removed the aftermarket module (and adapter) and plugged the old Bosch unit back in, the problem disappeared.

AugustneverEnds
09-11-2019, 07:21 PM
I was fortunate enough to have a "spare" ignition module.

#2613 has an adapter harness to run on an aftermarket ignition module. Once I removed the aftermarket module (and adapter) and plugged the old Bosch unit back in, the problem disappeared.

Ah so the OEM unit was ok. I've read they're a very low failure item and that was the case for you. I suppose I will just have to get my hands on another module to test mine.

Farrar
09-23-2019, 02:48 PM
I am continuing work on the automatic transmission wiring harness. It's slow going, so I am still shifting using the little box that Bill rigged up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QUdn3Mmk1w

In the video you can see how squeaky, slow, and choppy #2613's wipers are. The blades are in good shape, but the arms might need to be adjusted.

And although it wasn't raining very hard, the passenger carpet got wet. I put towels down to catch the drip from the a/c box, but they were wet *underneath* rather than on top.

I felt around the a/c evaporator drain and it's not leaking. I poured water down the fresh air plenum and it poured out underneath the car. I felt around the door and the door seal is good.

Obviously, I'm stumped on the water issue. So I'm going to do some exploratory surgery, removing what I need to remove so that I can find every grommet that passes to the outside. If the front of the car is anything like the rear, there are probably plenty of holes to check. This will not be fun. LOL

Farrar
09-25-2019, 02:09 AM
Originally this "meme" had a Yugo at the bottom.

I improved it.

Enjoy.


61268

Farrar
09-26-2019, 12:56 PM
Temp gauge read higher than normal for the past two days: it usually hovers around 205 even sitting in traffic, but yesterday it was 212-215. Yes, I know that's not terrible, but I was worried about the cause, not the symptom.

After the car had cooled off, I removed the cap on the expansion tank and had a look inside. The liquid is brown/green with what looks like little clumps of brown stuff floating on top.

I thought I had flushed all of that Dexcool crap out before I installed the new radiator: I flushed the system backwards and forwards (thermostat removed, and yes I included the block drains -- flushing one side of the engine at a time). I used white vinegar, I used detergent, and I used tap water for a final rinse. At the end the water coming out was clear. But here we go again.

If this Dexcool crap has plugged up my brand new radiator, I am going to be really angry.

If you ever source a replacement engine for your DeLorean, make sure the previous owner has not used Dexcool in the cooling system.

Timeless
10-01-2019, 12:44 PM
If this Dexcool crap has plugged up my brand new radiator, I am going to be really angry.

If you ever source a replacement engine for your DeLorean, make sure the previous owner has not used Dexcool in the cooling system.
Damn GM....... F**K dexcool!

Ron
10-01-2019, 02:04 PM
Why Dexcool is not a Bad Coolant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QKYk49JRuA)

Bill explains the real story about DEXCOOL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWnOBahaK5Y)

Farrar
10-03-2019, 08:14 PM
What I got from the cooling system had some time to settle. At the top of the gallon container, the liquid was partly green, partly brown, and translucent. Moving downward there was a kind of color gradient, with the bottom layer essentially looking like hot chocolate with some cocoa powder and ground black pepper in it.

People keep telling me this is not a problem. Fine. Maybe I'm wasting my time and money, but it's my time and my money and I've already replaced the engine and radiator in this car, and I don't really want to do it again. Call me paranoid, but I'm going to check the coolant every couple of days and change it if it looks suspect.

By the way: during today's drive the temperature gauge (the accurate one, not the one on the dash) never read above 205°F.

Farrar
10-05-2019, 12:29 AM
Temps ran higher than usual today. I'll swap out more coolant this weekend.

The passenger carpet was wet today after I got home. The evaporator box isn't dripping water like I've heard it can. Turns out it doesn't have to -- the flap of carpet that is supposed to go over the tunnel down the center of the car was actually sticking up and touching the evaporator box to the left of the drain, so moisture was simply wicking down into the carpet. LOL

I went to the Home Depot and got some camper seal tape. It's closed cell and adhesive on one side so it should do the job of insulating the evaporator box, but it's fairly thin so I will probably put two layers on. This should be a fun project: adhering stuff to something that I partly can't see! Makes me wonder if, back at the factory, the foam was added to the box before it was installed.

CFI
10-06-2019, 10:32 AM
Makes me wonder if, back at the factory, the foam was added to the box before it was installed.

I worked in the auto industry for years. If you ever wonder “how did they do this at the factory?” the answer is always “they did it before installation.:)

DMCVegas
10-12-2019, 06:31 AM
Why Dexcool is not a Bad Coolant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QKYk49JRuA)

Bill explains the real story about DEXCOOL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QKYk49JRuA)

That was an awful video. On many levels.


Blames GM for introducing DEXCOOL into incompatible cooling systems.
Then blames customers for operating said failure-prone cooling systems.
DEXCOOL says it's good for 150,000 miles.
Dude then recommends replacing DEXCOOL at half of that expected service life.
Continues to then blame customers for being irresponsible despite following the recommended intervals.


That wasn't informative as much as it was an apologist trying to justify his failed loyalty to a defective product.

He literally blames everyone and everything else, including the manufacturer themselves, to defend DEXCOOL.

Ron
10-12-2019, 07:12 AM
That was an awful video. On many levels.


Blames GM for introducing DEXCOOL into incompatible cooling systems.
Then blames customers for operating said failure-prone cooling systems.
DEXCOOL says it's good for 150,000 miles.
Dude then recommends replacing DEXCOOL at half of that expected service life.
Continues to then blame customers for being irresponsible despite following the recommended intervals.


That wasn't informative as much as it was an apologist trying to justify his failed loyalty to a defective product.

He literally blames everyone and everything else, including the manufacturer themselves, to defend DEXCOOL.OOPS-
At first I was wondering why you said "that video" when there are two -- I screwed up the 2nd one's link.
I had a similar take on the 1st one.

Here's the correct link for the 2nd one (for comparison as intended):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWnOBahaK5Y

Timeless
10-12-2019, 10:45 AM
That was an awful video. On many levels.


Blames GM for introducing DEXCOOL into incompatible cooling systems.
Then blames customers for operating said failure-prone cooling systems.
DEXCOOL says it's good for 150,000 miles.
Dude then recommends replacing DEXCOOL at half of that expected service life.
Continues to then blame customers for being irresponsible despite following the recommended intervals.


That wasn't informative as much as it was an apologist trying to justify his failed loyalty to a defective product.

He literally blames everyone and everything else, including the manufacturer themselves, to defend DEXCOOL.
F that guy. Another person trying to get clicks on YouTube.....:boxface:

bayouboy
10-14-2019, 09:40 PM
Ah so the OEM unit was ok. I've read they're a very low failure item and that was the case for you. I suppose I will just have to get my hands on another module to test mine.


Once I got my DeLorean running (It had not run in 4 years when I purchased it) It would die when it warmed up. When it cooled down, it would start again and repeat.

I was fortunate to have a friend who is a former television repairman (in the days when people still did that). He tested the resistance from the pickup unit inside the distributor. The resistance was 16,000 ohms when it should be about 600. I think he was able to measure the resistance inside the ECU box behind the drivers seat. I seem to remember that changing the pickup unit was tedious (not to mention that you have to remove the plenum to get to the distributor. While you're in the "valley of death," you should consider changing everything that can be replace while you're there. That was 14 or more years ago, so I may have the facts a little screwy.

I'm in a very humid climate too, so that may have something to do with these failures.

carbob81
10-14-2019, 11:29 PM
I've never seen Dexcool plug up anything, it does eat some sealing surfaces and gaskets with age.
Maybe not the best option but the problems may track back to GM purchasing side and the lowest cost per car more than anything else.
Interesting that the video bears a Mahle tag. A very good world class company. That is very confusing along with their polices of posting things.
Mahle does not built engines, they make pistons at a level no one else does. They have no expertise in manifolds and gaskets.
I do not get this video. Some as side of right, some ........
Is a Delorean allergic to this coolant?
If used can you define failures? Let's do real world and not guesses off the net or rumors.

How has this gone bad in the car we love and symptoms?
Bob

DMCVegas
10-17-2019, 07:24 PM
OOPS-
At first I was wondering why you said "that video" when there are two -- I screwed up the 2nd one's link.
I had a similar take on the 1st one.

Here's the correct link for the 2nd one (for comparison as intended):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWnOBahaK5Y

No worries, man. The second video was indeed better in terms of both installation, as well as people who were not blaming customers.

That said, it still proves that DEXCOOL is a garbage coolant. Yup, OAT antifreeze is here to stay, but the other universal formulas don't have these same problems as what DEXCOOL has. Even so, I'll still stick with the traditional green ethylene glycol antifreeze.



I've never seen Dexcool plug up anything, it does eat some sealing surfaces and gaskets with age.
Maybe not the best option but the problems may track back to GM purchasing side and the lowest cost per car more than anything else.
Interesting that the video bears a Mahle tag. A very good world class company. That is very confusing along with their polices of posting things.
Mahle does not built engines, they make pistons at a level no one else does. They have no expertise in manifolds and gaskets.
I do not get this video. Some as side of right, some ........
Is a Delorean allergic to this coolant?
If used can you define failures? Let's do real world and not guesses off the net or rumors.

How has this gone bad in the car we love and symptoms?
Bob

DEXCOOOL clogging things is probably that stuff pulling off chunks of the cooling system. That would be my guess. But as we've seen, only DEXCOOL systems seem to have these problems. The universal formulas don't have these issues.

And yes, the DeLorean doesn't like DEXCOOL. Now yes, overheating issues are what killed my car. Yep, I had some overheating issues, so the headgasket I can't blame on DEXCOOL. But, a few months after the initial replacement of the water pump and the O-rings on the Y-pipe, along with installed silicone hoses, I noticed that I started having a nasty film build-up all over my windscreen...along with a slow consumption of coolant. Yet clean engine oil. So I'm pretty sure that DEXCOOL ate my heater core.

Ron
10-17-2019, 08:05 PM
No worries, man. The second video was indeed better in terms of both installation, as well as people who were not blaming customers.

That said, it still proves that DEXCOOL is a garbage coolant.
...


+1
I was sold as soon as he said GM knew it ate only one kind of their gaskets.

Farrar
10-30-2019, 03:06 PM
Less than two years out, my remanufactured starter motor is already beginning to fail. I turn the key and get "clang" instead of the engine starting. First it happened occasionally, and now it's happening most of the time. Boo. Hiss.

As time goes by and I gain more experience, I have less and less faith in remanufactured anything. My daily driver is on its third PCM because when the first one failed, a remanufactured unit was installed that was already bad before they put it in: I got a call from the dealership that it wouldn't take a program and they had to order a second replacement. The same car is on its third fuse and relay box because when the original failed the remanufactured one went in and failed in less than a year. These are "factory refurbished" parts, by the way.

The engine in #2613 is not as old as the rest of the car, but it's only ten years younger. As time goes by I'll probably have to rely on more and more remanufactured parts...

dn010
10-30-2019, 03:17 PM
My reman starter would also clank repeatedly, started with once in a while to about 5-10 times turning the key until it would actually engage. Turned out to be a loose ground for me, maybe this is your issue as well.

Farrar
10-30-2019, 03:35 PM
My reman starter would also clank repeatedly, started with once in a while to about 5-10 times turning the key until it would actually engage. Turned out to be a loose ground for me, maybe this is your issue as well.

Thanks, Dan! I'll look into that.

Farrar
11-21-2019, 04:22 PM
Two out of three "legs" of the auto transmission wiring harness have now been repaired. I haven't had a lot of time for the car recently, so I just get a little bit done whenever I can.

For the damaged wires inside the harness, I ordered lengths of appropriate-colored wire from AutoSparks in the UK and double-crimp (one crimp on the insulation, one crimp on the wires, the kind of crimp seen all over these cars) splice terminals from Amazon. Once the damaged length was removed and replaced with fresh wire, I added solder to the splices' crimped connections and sealed each connection with adhesive-lined shrink tubing.

Once all of the individual wires were repaired in this way, I wrapped the bundle in asphalt-infused cloth wire loom, which is flexible and resistant to high temperatures. Unfortunately I could only find split loom, so every few inches I added a "collar" of electrical tape to stop the loom from re-splitting when flexed. This is the technique that Chrysler used when wrapping the harnesses in the engine compartment of my daily driver, but I was unable to find the type of tape they used, which seems to be cloth-based, rather like a fine gauze with adhesive on the bottom and a black plastic-like coating adhered to the top. I used 3M's "Super 33+" electrical tape instead, which only has a maximum listed operating temperature of 221°F/105°C -- this makes me nervous but it's the best I can do unless and until I find a more heat-resistant tape. Suggestions for a tape with a higher heat rating would be greatly appreciated!

#2613 actually still has a harness and controller installed. The one I am repairing on my bench, in preparation to be sent off to DMC for a new controller, is actually a spare. It had been removed by the previous owner after it was damaged by heat -- if memory serves, these harnesses, if they come loose, fall against the stock exhaust's crossover pipe -- some repairs were attempted but they were not good, and the harness was not reinstalled (or perhaps reinstalled, found not to be working, and removed again) resulting in it coming in a bag of spare parts when I bought the car 12 years ago. So why am I choosing this harness for the new controller, instead of the harness that's on the car? Two reasons: first, because the harness that is on the car has a broken mounting tab and this one doesn't, so when it's installed it will fit snugly against the firewall as it should; second, an aftermarket shift controller has been spliced into #2613's current harness, so regardless of which harness I used I would need to repair the wires inside.
Once installed, the chances of the repaired harness coming into contact with the crossover pipe are nil, since #2613 now has a crossover-pipe-free dual exhaust setup.

Farrar
12-27-2019, 06:50 PM
I used 3M's "Super 33+" electrical tape instead, which only has a maximum listed operating temperature of 221°F/105°C -- this makes me nervous but it's the best I can do unless and until I find a more heat-resistant tape. Suggestions for a tape with a higher heat rating would be greatly appreciated!

I found a polyester cloth tape with a maximum operating temperature of 150°C/302°F so the 3M electrical tape is going bye-bye.

Best wishes to all as we close out 2019 and get another year underway.

Farrar
01-10-2020, 01:07 PM
So is this forum essentially dead apart from engine swap and BTTF discussions? LOL

JBaker4981
01-10-2020, 05:07 PM
So is this forum essentially dead apart from engine swap and BTTF discussions? LOL

Kinda been thinking the same lately and jumping over to the thug board for a while. I'm sure folks are just getting back into things from the Holidays.

Tillsy
01-11-2020, 07:50 AM
So is this forum essentially dead apart from engine swap and BTTF discussions? LOL

Well, this thread is very moist 🤣😂

Farrar
01-12-2020, 04:29 PM
I installed engine compartment lighting yesterday. Working back there is a lot less troublesome now.

I hate my iPhone because all of the photos it takes show up vertical on my PC but sideways on DMCTalk. Oh, well. Sorry.

Cheap LED lights:
62304


Pin switch:
62305

Mounting tape because the adhesive pads that came with the LEDs looked cheap and would probably not handle the heat of an engine compartment:
62306


Two-way connector (the wires from the LED units are so tiny that I had to solder them to these terminals):
62307


LED units mounted. They are "hidden" behind the ribs of the engine cover:
6230862309


Switch and connector in situ:
62310


Comparison, lights off and lights on:
6231162312

I took the power for the lights from the purple wire that originally powered the OEM engine compartment light, thus saving me the hassle of having the new circuit on a different fuse. The switch is grounded to the engine.

Farrar
01-14-2020, 09:50 AM
Decided to try adding foam insulation around the evaporator box to prevent the carpet from getting soaked, mold from growing in the car when parked, etc. South Florida is pretty tropical when it comes to weather, and that includes humidity. In over twelve years of DMC ownership I've never had such a problem with wet carpets as I have since moving here. Of course, since completely rebuilding the air conditioning it is producing colder air than I remember, which probably also contributed to the condensation problem.

Before anyone asks: YES, I CHECKED THE EVAPORATOR DRAIN AND IT IS NOT CLOGGED.

I bought some closed-cell foam tape from the hardware store. It's sold as "camper seal tape." Adhesive on one side only. It's pretty squishy, but also pretty dense, and it sticks pretty well once pressed into place. Unfortunately, it's only 3/16" thick. From what I recall, the foam that was installed in later cars was at least 1/4" thick. So I installed the tape in three layers, wrapping it as far back around the box as I could, plus on top and underneath, leaving gaps for the fasteners. I did two layers with the tape going left-to-right, overlapping the gaps and being sure to cover all of the corners, and then the third layer I did with the tape going top-to-bottom to cover any remaining gaps or thin spots.

I know that on later cars the factory simply installed foam pads, and what I'm doing is replicating that. But in my mind, the ultimate solution to this problem would be to have a piece of foam that is formed to the shape of the box, slips onto it, and is held on by friction. That would cover as much area as possible, but still allow for service because it could be pulled off when the box needs to be opened. I wonder why no vendor offers such a part. Perhaps it is too complex a shape to produce.

Anyway, where I live, "winter" consists of high temperatures in the low 80s and a heat index of at least 85, so I run the air conditioning year round. (I guess if my heater core ever starts to leak, I could simply bypass it ... It's not like I will ever use it.) I will be able to put my work to the test fairly soon.

JBaker4981
01-14-2020, 03:46 PM
I'm highly interested to see if this works as we move into Spring and Summer as Tennessee Summers are prone to high humidity. My evaporator case also sweats as well

Farrar
01-15-2020, 05:03 PM
I forgot to mention that with the addition of engine compartment lighting, my courtesy light modifications are nearly complete. Next on the list is "puddle lights" -- or whatever you call those little lights that some modern cars have on the bottom of the door so you can better see where you're stepping.

After that, I intend to upgrade the exterior lights for safety. 11 years ago I thought installing third brake lights underneath the louvres was a good idea, but (1) they cast a glare in the rear window and (2) taller vehicles can't see them anyway because of how far back the lights are positioned. So the cheap LED bars from JC Whitney have served their purpose and it's time to upgrade to something which looks slightly less DIY.

Once the third brake light (from a C4 Corvette) is installed and working I will upgrade the headlights to H4 housings (the ones Tom Neiland used) with LEDs inside (Hikari 9600s). I have already purchased ceramic headlamp sockets to replace the cracked OEM sockets and will likely replace the terminals as well with fresh brass.

I'm not sure whether I'll take the opportunity to straighten the fascia when I swap out the headlamps. The front fascia has what I call both "eyebrows" and "underbrows," and I'm not sure I can address both problems without removing the fascia, which seems like a tough job working without a helper. The fascia is already torn on one side from trying to stick a screwdriver in past where it has shrunk considerably. DMC's fiberglass one is $995 and not only does it come unpainted but also apparently requires some "make it fit" work, which I'm probably not qualified to do -- so that may be something I'll have to save up money for parts *and* labor and drive the car up to Orlando for a weekend.

Oh yes, speaking of driving, I forgot to mention that I will have the AT computer rebuilt at DPNW. My spare unit with repaired harness is already boxed and ready to go. :)

So much to do on this little old car! :)

Farrar
02-09-2020, 01:11 AM
Once the third brake light (from a C4 Corvette) is installed and working I will upgrade the headlights to H4 housings (the ones Tom Neiland used) with LEDs inside (Hikari 9600s). I have already purchased ceramic headlamp sockets to replace the cracked OEM sockets and will likely replace the terminals as well with fresh brass.

The third brake light has been re-wired and LEDs installed. I verified it works. However, it hasn't been stripped, painted, and installed yet. I decided to go ahead with the LEDs up front.

The H4 sockets take terminals slightly larger than the 1/4" brass ones I have on hand, so I didn't replace the terminals. Instead I went the more circuitous route of snipping off the OEM connectors and splicing the new H4 pigtails on, using my now customary crimp-solder-heatshrink method. I now have a few more inches of wire at the end of each harness, but that's OK because there's plenty of room for the extra length to be tucked away.

But I only have three of the four installed. Here's why:

The LH low beam wiring barely has any slack in it. When I follow it rearward with my fingers, it seems to be stuck, pinched between the headlight bucket and the bracket behind it. I'd like to free the wires (and make sure the insulation hasn't been damaged!), but I'm not sure how to do so. Are the adjusting screws and springs the only point of attachment for the headlight buckets? If so, I'm going to have a devil of a time trying to remove and replace the bucket in order to free the wiring.

Everything there is so terribly rusty anyway I am tempted to just replace the whole assembly, but I'm not sure I can do that without removing the fascia. This is an area of the car I don't normally work on, and I'm nervous about taking things apart that I might not get back together again.

Edit -- I guess photos would be useful.


62638

62639

62640

62641

62642

62643

Oh, did I mention my engine compartment lighting? I added engine compartment lighting. Here's a "before and after."

62644

Farrar
02-09-2020, 05:28 PM
OK, so it is possible to remove the headlight buckets without removing the fascia: the adjusting screws and spring are the only points of attachment.

But I'm not putting rusty fasteners back in. New adjusting screws, captive nuts, and springs have been ordered and should be here next weekend.

I haven't driven the car since October, so I guess another week or two won't hurt...

Farrar
02-09-2020, 11:48 PM
Photo of new headlamp connectors

62662

Farrar
02-11-2020, 11:42 PM
You may have noticed the missing headlight adjustment screw and captive nut in the photo I posted. Well, the screws got messed up and I removed the nut to get a better look at it.

After taking measurements and doing some research I ordered replacement screws, nuts, and springs. They're GM parts and the screws are slightly thicker than stock, but the nuts fit into the holes in the brackets just fine. A set of two adjustment screws and nuts cost between $12 and $13.

I also bought a box of 25 springs for a few dollars more. Considering I damaged one of the OEM(?) ones just by removing it, I figured it would be good to have spares.

It looks like #2613 was in a front-end collision some time ago, albeit a very gentle one. The headlight brackets appear to be bent. I'd like to remove and, if possible, straighten them. (Houston no longer has both sides in stock, I don't want to buy used, and DPI doesn't have stainless replacements available at this time.)

But the outer nuts are inaccessible as long as the fascia is installed... So it looks like the fascia is going to have to come off. I'd like to get rid of the "eyebrows" while it's removed, but I'm not sure I'll have time for such a project, and besides which my garage is pretty small. I may just have to remove it, set it on the workbench, get the headlight hardware done, and then replace it again. The fascia is pretty badly beat up, so at least I don't have to worry about scratching the paint in the process.

Farrar
02-22-2020, 01:15 AM
I think I found a way to remove and reinstall the headlight brackets without pulling the fascia: turn the outer hole of the brackets into a slot. That would allow me to start the nut by hand, then insert the bracket, and tighten the nut down.

The headlight adjusting hardware I bought fits - just - so I ordered some slightly smaller. Nothing wrong with experimenting, but it takes time: the new hardware will arrive next week.

Farrar
02-22-2020, 09:18 PM
While I wait for headlight adjustment hardware to arrive in the mail, I have started with some paint work.

I didn't relish the idea of putting rusty headlight buckets back on the car, so I decided to sand them down and paint them. I bought a small can of black Rustoleum enamel to brush on. I'll just do a couple of coats, because I don't want to cause any fitment problems.

While I was at the paint store, I also bought some chemical paint stripper to get the red off of the Corvette third brake light housing. I stripped some paint off with the first application, but it looks like it will take one or two more rounds to get down to the cast aluminum. It's easy enough to use: goop it on, wait 15 minutes, and wipe it off, then repeat if necessary.

I also bought some spray cans of self-etching primer and black paint. (Rustoleum makes a "black automotive trim" semi-gloss; I wonder if they're trying to compete with the famous SEM Trim Black.) Once the third brake light housing is stripped and cleaned, I'll paint it black to match (or nearly match) the louvres, which are also a semi-gloss black.

To be honest, the louvres could also use some paint, but the last time I re-installed them, I ended up catching the back edge of the louvres on the T-panel, damaging them both. I don't want to do that again!

Farrar
02-27-2020, 11:52 PM
Pictures of the new headlight adjusting hardware and painted buckets.

62781

62782

62783

Testing my new headlight wiring to make sure the LEDs work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EuXj2AJfG4

That's all for now.

Farrar
02-29-2020, 07:40 PM
Finally put the front end back together. It was a long project that started with "I think I'll upgrade the headlights" and ended up with wiring modifications, paint, new hardware, and other fun (ha!) stuff. But anyway, it's all done and now I can clean up.

62809

On to other things: the third brake light. Ordinarily, these go for over $100, but I got mine for $80. That's because it's slightly damaged: one side has a little dent in it and is not perfectly straight at the bottom.

I used Rustoleum self-etching primer. After laying down five coats, I sanded it with 400 grit and added two more coats. Here is it right after sanding.

62807

Then I painted it black with five coats of Rustoleum trim and bumper paint. Maybe I got an old can of paint, but I am very dissatisfied with it. It took forever to get the can to start rattling, and even after shaking it vigorously for five minutes, I got a very trashy spray from it. I put on five thin coats.

62808

After that, the wind picked up (I was painting in the back of the garage, but with the door open to vent fumes) and now there's lint in the paint.

62805

I wasn't expecting a perfect paint job, but this looks *TERRIBLE*. I know it's possible to get better quality than this from a spray can.

Then again, the louvre looks pretty bad, too -- so maybe if the third brake light also looks bad, it will kind of match...?

Anyway, I don't recommend the Rustoleum trim & bumper paint. I was very impressed with the primer, but I will never buy this paint again.

Farrar
03-20-2020, 11:29 PM
The third brake light has been installed. The paint eventually evened out to a sort of "satin black" which doesn't look entirely terrible on the car (even though it's blacker than the louvre). The trash in the spray isn't as noticeable from a distance.

I placed the housing flush with the rear edge of the top level of the louvre. This seems to be quite unpopular in the DeLorean community: either the light is placed further toward the front of the car, or lights are placed underneath with adhesive rather than holes drilled through the louvre to fasten a housing and run wires. Good thing it's my car, then.

Since the back of the light housing is concave I used unusually thick gasket material: 1/4" black neoprene foam. It's easily cut with a pen knife, and it melts slightly with a heat gun to give the edges a more professional appearance. Because it's so compressible it works perfectly to fill the gap in the middle of the back of the housing while being quite thin at the corners.

Running the wires was easy so it's not worth mentioning, except that I obviously put a connector to facilitate louvre removal/replacement.

When my wife was in the garage confirming that the light came on when I put my foot on the brake pedal, she pointed out that two of the four OEM brake lights were not functioning: one that I keep having problems with, plus another. This would seem to indicate to me that the circuit boards are on the way out (even though the previous owner replaced one of them with a fancy PJ Grady one umpteen years ago, nothing lasts forever). I'm going to replace them with something more reliable. I already have LEDs installed, but they're several years old and brighter LEDs are available, so they'll be replaced, also.

Farrar
03-21-2020, 10:27 PM
Here, have a video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejXRHUHk1lg

Farrar
04-01-2020, 07:20 PM
I changed my mind and decided that, as long as I'm trapped at home, I might as well work on the rear lights. I've decided to replace the circuit boards rather than try to refurbish them. I also plan to come up with an alternative attachment method for the rear light housings, since #2613's fascia is so badly warped that more than half of the screws don't work anymore. I'm sketching some ideas now.

dn010
04-03-2020, 10:31 AM
#2613's fascia is so badly warped that more than half of the screws don't work anymore. I'm sketching some ideas now.

Put a block of 2X4 between the bumper and the inside of the fascia, then let it sit in the Florida sun for a while. Mine isn't perfect but much better now and I can get all of the holes aligned.
http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?9591

Farrar
04-04-2020, 01:49 AM
Dan,

Two things --

1. Thanks!
2. Holy moly, someone still reads this thread?! :)

#2613 is in quarantine at the moment... I thought about removing the rear fascia, sitting it upside down, and then hitting it with a heat gun until it "deforms" back in the right direction, but I like the plywood idea. My workbench is small (crammed into the corner of a one-car garage), but I might be able to cut something that size if I'm careful.

Good thing I read that thread -- the LH taillight housing has been removed from the car for a few days. I'm going to go and put it back in right now!

AugustneverEnds
04-04-2020, 10:19 AM
I read this thread. So there :)

Farrar
04-06-2020, 01:29 AM
People who want projects to work on while they're stuck at home can be glad for the internet. Every single part that I'm using for my new taillights has been ordered online and shipped to my door.

- Delrin
- light sockets
- wire
- terminals
- connectors
- fasteners
- LED lights
- aluminum

Someone on Facebook provided templates for the taillight circuit boards, but I don't have any paper that is 16 inches long (!) and I can't figure out how to split a single image across multiple sheets of 8.5"x11" paper, so I'll just have to trace the boards I have and hope I got it right. I have enough Delrin to make at least two sets, so if I mess up the first time, I won't be stuck.

Thanks to everyone reading for hanging in there with me. I hope you are all safe and well.

Farrar
04-10-2020, 12:38 AM
Today was a really bad day, so I decided to take the car out this afternoon for a quick drive in an attempt to lift my spirits. I fired up the car and turned on the a/c, and the compressor started clicking on and off very rapidly. It was 92 degrees outside; no way I'd drive without a/c. So instead of going for a drive, I filled the system -- or tried to. It should have pressurized all the way up to about 50 PSI suction side, but when it was reading about 42 PSI it seemed to stop sucking any more refrigerant in. I would probably have kept trying to fill it, but at about that time a cop came up to me and told me that one of my neighbors had filed a noise complaint and I'd have to shut the car off. I've lived in apartments for over 20 years and have learned to put up with noise. I guess some people haven't. (I wonder if they've called the cops on the motorcycle guy two doors down -- when he revs his engine, the entire building shakes. Probably not. He's young and cool. I'm old and grumpy.)

Virus-induced sequestration, one of my friends dead in a road accident, and an anonymous phone call to the cops because evidently people can't just walk over and say "Hi, can you do that some other time, please." Just one of those days, I guess. I hope tomorrow's better.

Anyway, back on topic. I haven't driven the car or run the engine since October. Since then, the system was able to lose almost three cans' worth of refrigerant. That's a pretty bad leak. When I replaced the condenser about a year ago, I installed all new O-rings up front. I thought everything was shipshape, but I guess it isn't. I'll have to go over everything I did again.

DeLorean ownership is always an adventure, but never quite the adventure we plan for it to be... just like life, I suppose.

Rich
04-10-2020, 12:48 PM
Looks like you know how previous recharges normally go. Listing some ideas just in case something changed. Hoping it's not actually a bad leak there.

Reasons it might seem to stop filling:
a. Refrigerant tank near-empty. Fill rate will slow way down as tank is depleted.
b. Tank/line valve not fully open.
c. Compressor not engaged.
d. Refrigerant is leaking out of the system as fast as you're adding it (the theory you are working from).

To see if it's really leaking you can run it again today and in the coming days to check the suction side pressure with compressor on.
If it doesn't show signs of much leakage you can check to see how well it works with 42psi at your ambient temperature there. That may not be a long term solution but it may at least be a way to get on the road sooner than later.

Bitsyncmaster
04-10-2020, 01:14 PM
You can not tell amount of charge by looking at the low pressure. But if you put in three cans I'm surprised you had any pressure to start with.

Farrar
04-11-2020, 05:01 PM
You can not tell amount of charge by looking at the low pressure.

Then I guess I'm flying blind.

I was using a chart that included both high and low pressures for a given ambient temperature, but only using the low pressure column of that chart.

Here's why:

#2613 has John Hervey refrigerant hoses installed. The hoses are about ten years old but still in good condition. (I replaced all of the seals last year when I replaced the condenser, accumulator, and orifice tube.) For R-134a refrigerant hoses, Hervey apparently made hoses with R-12 connections, and then installed R-134a adapters with red thread-locking compound. On this set, the R-12-to-R-134a high pressure service port adapter cracked, causing a leak, and was removed.

This car therefore has a system with an R-134a service port on the low side and an R-12 service port on the high side. My manifold gauge set only has connections for R-134a service ports. As a result, the only gauge I can use right now is the low pressure gauge.

(Insert heavy sigh here.)

I was planning, in the later "cooler season" this year (it's already in the 90s and will be hotter soon), to make and install a new set of hoses with R-134a service ports on them. I may have to change my plans.

Ron
04-11-2020, 05:36 PM
Why not install another 134a adapter? You can get them with or without a valve.

Farrar
04-11-2020, 09:22 PM
Why not install another 134a adapter? You can get them with or without a valve.

Hervey used a (no-valve) brass adapter — supposedly better than the aluminum ones that I see for sale everywhere, and yet somehow that cracked.

Another adapter seems like a temporary solution to a long-term problem. But if it gets me through until the weather cools down, I may consider it.

Ron
04-11-2020, 10:44 PM
Hervey used a (no-valve) brass adapter — supposedly better than the aluminum ones that I see for sale everywhere, and yet somehow that cracked.

Another adapter seems like a temporary solution to a long-term problem. But if it gets me through until the weather cools down, I may consider it.
Since you may have a leak and need to evacuate the system to get the correct charge anyway, I think a good permanent solution would be to remove the valve and install a good adapter that includes the valve.

Farrar
04-11-2020, 11:51 PM
Since you may have a leak and need to evacuate the system to get the correct charge anyway, I think a good permanent solution would be to remove the valve and install a good adapter that includes the valve.

Agreed. I never liked that "Schrader valve pressing on another Schrader valve" wonkiness I've seen on some cars' adapted systems.

Farrar
05-02-2020, 06:24 PM
Having replaced one side's brake lights with really bright LEDs, I asked my wife to see what the difference in brightness was when I stepped on the brake pedal. She said there was no difference. Uh oh. I thanked her for her service, found a jumper wire and jumped the brake switch to inspect the lights myself. Not a single brake light is coming on, not even the new third brake light.

I pulled Fuse #4 and it was fine. So I pulled every other fuse in the fuse box and inspected it. They're all fine — which leads me to suspect that the brake light circuit was modified by the DPO, or there's a hidden fuse somewhere. The Technical Manual's wiring diagram shows Fuse #4 for all of the rear lights except for the reverse lamps. On my car, that is obviously incorrect: the directional indicators are still functioning normally.

I inspected the rear wiring harness and found that (1) it was routed incorrectly, and (2) it had been damaged. I unwrapped the harness and found that the ground wire was melted in three places. The previous owner had simply wrapped some electrical tape on it. That won't fly with me. I removed the damaged portion of the ground wire and replaced it. This was not the cause of my brake light failure, but it was bound to cause problems sooner or later. I used my normal crimp-solder-seal method and re-wrapped the harness in high temperature cloth tape. (I really like that stuff.)

There's plenty of slack in that rear wiring harness, so maybe the previous owner got confused and thought it was supposed to lie on top of the coolant expansion tank. Anyway, after re-wrapping the harness, I routed it beneath the expansion tank and the coolant pipe/hose that's fixed to the pontoon at that point, then pushed a few inches of that slack through the rear grommet. Now working on the taillights is not nearly as difficult: there's more room to pull them out before disconnecting them. An unexpected improvement!

Since I had my soldering iron out and more slack in the harness, I took the opportunity to improve something I did when I was young and didn't know any better: I removed the ScotchLok where the third brake light's +12v feed was tied in umpteen years ago and soldered the feed to the green/purple brake light wire, then sealed it with tape. I know that will never be a cause of brake light failure now.

And then back to the mysterious missing brake lights. I backprobed the black bulkhead connector to see if +12v was on the purple/green wire. Zero. I suspect, as mentioned above, a hidden fuse. I'll have to do some more sleuthing, but for now I'm calling it a day. In the meantime, if anyone knows where the fuse is hiding, please by all means chime in and make my next troubleshooting day shorter. LOL

Ron
05-02-2020, 07:10 PM
Look near the brake pedal.

CFI
05-03-2020, 08:07 AM
Look near the brake pedal.

+1 some early cars had a brake light fuse near the brake pedal.

Farrar
05-04-2020, 08:14 PM
Look near the brake pedal.


+1 some early cars had a brake light fuse near the brake pedal.

Thanks, y'all! I stuck my flashlight and head down in the footwell and didn't see anything. I'll pull the console for a better look.

Bitsyncmaster
05-04-2020, 09:04 PM
Thanks, y'all! I stuck my flashlight and head down in the footwell and didn't see anything. I'll pull the console for a better look.

It's a little glass fuse in the harness near the drivers right foot. Look for that type of fuse holder.

Ron
05-04-2020, 11:06 PM
+1 ...I should of said gas pedal -- no need to pull the console!

Farrar
05-05-2020, 12:01 AM
It's a little glass fuse in the harness near the drivers right foot. Look for that type of fuse holder.


+1 ...I should of said gas pedal -- no need to pull the console!

I dunno guys, I disconnected the brake light switch and followed both wires back a bit with my fingers and didn't feel anything. Maybe I'll take the seat out so I can get more than just my head and one arm down there. (I really hate working in the driver's footwell. LOL)

Ron
05-05-2020, 03:49 AM
If it isn't there, it should be fuse 18, not 4.

(Green/Purple wire in the Black bulkhead connector.)

BABIS
05-05-2020, 04:35 AM
FWIW I removed the glass fuse (which was horribly scotch-locked to a hot wire from the ignition lock) and I wired a new cable from fuse 18 to the brake switch..

Farrar
05-09-2020, 05:49 PM
Forgot to post pics of my quieter exhaust tips. Here they are, better late than never. I wiped them off today. After installation they were covered in dirty fingerprints, of course. They're polished stainless steel. I installed them with stainless steel hardware, of course (although I believe the blocks used in exhaust clamps are aluminum).

63662

63663

63664

The red part looks stupid to me, but it will eventually turn black, and when that happens I will leave it that way.

They butt up to the mufflers' outputs, which mean they stick out a little further than Bill's original pipes, which were the same length but slipped inside the mufflers instead. Bill's method obviated the use of another clamp, since the tips were then clamped by the exhaust hanger. But they were simple lengths of stainless steel pipe and provided no noise reduction. I think these tips stick out about the same as stock tips -- to my eye, anyway. These tips come highly recommended from a member of the LS swap community who used them to tame his very noisy V8. Of course, I haven't tested them out yet, but that will wait until #2613 has brake lights again.

Fuse #18 in this car has always been used to hold a spare fuse. I will look for the inline glass fuse soon. Repurposing that empty fuse slot sounds like a great idea, if I can manage it.

JETS 81 DMC
05-09-2020, 08:51 PM
Tape off the tips and spray some hi-temp flat black to cover up the red. Your are making some great progress on your D.
I have been following your progress. :cheers:

Farrar
05-18-2020, 08:22 PM
FWIW I removed the glass fuse (which was horribly scotch-locked to a hot wire from the ignition lock) and I wired a new cable from fuse 18 to the brake switch..

I found my car's fuse in the same location. The glass fuse fell apart in my hand. Today I replaced it with a blade fuse in the same location. Problem solved.

However, I double-checked my new brake lights just to be safe. As it turns out, one of the LED units was installed backwards. Although the box says they're not polarity sensitive, in my experience a "not polarity sensitive" LED bulb will illuminate in either position, but it will illuminate more brightly when positioned properly. I noticed one of them wasn't as bright as the others. After swapping positions, I confirmed that the socket was backwards, so I fixed it.

As for what caused the fuse to break in the first place, who knows. I've fooled around a lot in that location, and the glass fuse was cracked, so who knows how long it had been that way. I want to check the circuit thoroughly before assuming it's all OK, just to be safe -- even a compromised fuse should still work, although this one appeared to be original (it was stamped "Lucas 25A").

Thanks to everyone for your help!

With the circuit repaired I was able to check function of my new LED bulbs:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnOYkyv5KWQ

Farrar
05-24-2020, 07:53 PM
Well, this is very odd.

My brake lights function, and then they don't, and then they function again. Although the new fuse hasn't blown, during testing I noticed the ground wire at the harness getting hot when they *DO* function. It looks like that damaged ground wire I repaired may not have been the cause of an electrical problem but instead a symptom of one. (That would explain why it was the only damaged wire in the harness, despite having been incorrectly routed above the coolant expansion tank rather than beneath it.)

That ground wire goes back to the black connector at the bulkhead. Attempts to disconnect this connector were unsuccessful: the plastic started to crumble.

I will assume for the moment that I can't pull that connector apart because the brass pins and connectors inside of it have corroded together. Working from that assumption, I've applied some white vinegar to the connector from the back, in the hope that it will soak the brass bits overnight and start to break down that corrosion at least enough for me to free the connector.

I am given to wonder why that circuit was chosen to be grounded in such a roundabout way rather than taking advantage of the fact that, being so close to the engine compartment, solid grounds were more closely available. But I am not an engineer, and I assume the designers did it for a reason—perhaps none other than it facilitated more rapid assembly of the vehicle on the production line. I may re-route that ground connection temporarily to a point on the engine or frame for troubleshooting purposes: if the circuit continues misbehaving, I'll know there's a problem with the black bulkhead connector or forward of it.

(Those bulkhead connectors are quite problematic, especially in a hot and humid climate like that of south Florida. I'm tempted to just get rid of them and turn those pins and sockets into soldered splices...)

Farrar
08-02-2020, 10:27 PM
I'm still alive, in case anyone was wondering.

Riley88
08-02-2020, 11:56 PM
I'm still alive, in case anyone was wondering.

Good to hear lol! I always wait for more info in this thread

Farrar
08-04-2020, 03:20 PM
Good to hear lol! I always wait for more info in this thread

I don't have any new info right now, sorry. But frankly I was surprised that no one piped up to tell me how to troubleshoot my brake lights. Maybe after 13 years people figure I've picked up some knowledge. Or maybe I'm just too stubborn and they've given up trying to help me. LOL

My car lives in a non-air-conditioned garage, which means I am loath to work on it during the summer months; I like to have everything sorted out before springtime, but I just wasn't able to this year. However, work has picked up somewhat since the start of the pandemic, which means I have more money to throw at the car than I did a few months ago and I will resume my work again, starting with some electrical work. If I can avoid dripping sweat into the solder...

MrChocky
08-04-2020, 03:23 PM
I don't have any new info right now, sorry. But frankly I was surprised that no one piped up to tell me how to troubleshoot my brake lights. Maybe after 13 years people figure I've picked up some knowledge. Or maybe I'm just too stubborn and they've given up trying to help me. LOL

My car lives in a non-air-conditioned garage, which means I am loath to work on it during the summer months; I like to have everything sorted out before springtime, but I just wasn't able to this year. However, work has picked up somewhat since the start of the pandemic, which means I have more money to throw at the car than I did a few months ago and I will resume my work again, starting with some electrical work. If I can avoid dripping sweat into the solder...

I hear you. Even reinstalling my seattbelt receptacle in the evening was a reason to change clothes after. Of course, in the winter, it's going to be freezing.

dn010
08-04-2020, 04:46 PM
I'd guess you've already found your problem - the bulkhead connector. I had nothing but problems with all of them, from the taillights to engine issues. I had to constantly clean the pins, etc. One of the best things I've done was remove / replacing them with a large weather pack. I already gave away the old bulkhead connector otherwise I'd offer it to you.

Farrar
08-05-2020, 01:09 AM
Good call on the Weatherpack connectors. After installing two on the radiator fans, I've had the urge to install Weatherpack connectors all over the car! They're easier to install than I thought they'd be, and the rubber seals give me some peace of mind in this high humidity climate.

CyberBill
08-05-2020, 02:26 AM
I'll give you a suggestion. :) I am a programmer, but for many years I dabbled in electrical engineering and have done circuit design and stuff, mostly for digital electronics, and I'm actually super surprised to see that nowhere on DMCTalk.org has anyone mentioned a megger.

"What the heck is a megger?"

A 'megger', or "Meg-Ohm-Meter" is kind of like a regular ohm meter that you might have built into a typical multimeter - it tells you whether there is an electrical circuit present. Except instead of a regular ohm meter that uses just a tiny small voltage to determine how many ohms of resistance are between two points, a megger uses hundreds or even thousands of volts. It would be like the difference in using a smoke machine to blow a little bit of air to check for a leak vs using your air compressor at 100psi. It's super useful in finding ground faults that don't normally appear, because it has enough voltage to jump small gaps, or through broken insulation (hence why they are also called "insulation resistance testers").

While meggers are typically quite expensive (the one from Fluke is about $500) - you can find them cheap on eBay or Amazon - here's one for $50: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-MegOhm-Insulation-Tester-resistance/dp/B011NQH58Y/ref=sr_1_17?dchild=1&keywords=megger&qid=1596604179&sr=8-17

Bitsyncmaster
08-05-2020, 07:49 AM
I'll give you a suggestion. :) I am a programmer, but for many years I dabbled in electrical engineering and have done circuit design and stuff, mostly for digital electronics, and I'm actually super surprised to see that nowhere on DMCTalk.org has anyone mentioned a megger.

"What the heck is a megger?"

A 'megger', or "Meg-Ohm-Meter" is kind of like a regular ohm meter that you might have built into a typical multimeter - it tells you whether there is an electrical circuit present. Except instead of a regular ohm meter that uses just a tiny small voltage to determine how many ohms of resistance are between two points, a megger uses hundreds or even thousands of volts. It would be like the difference in using a smoke machine to blow a little bit of air to check for a leak vs using your air compressor at 100psi. It's super useful in finding ground faults that don't normally appear, because it has enough voltage to jump small gaps, or through broken insulation (hence why they are also called "insulation resistance testers").

While meggers are typically quite expensive (the one from Fluke is about $500) - you can find them cheap on eBay or Amazon - here's one for $50: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-MegOhm-Insulation-Tester-resistance/dp/B011NQH58Y/ref=sr_1_17?dchild=1&keywords=megger&qid=1596604179&sr=8-17

Those are just for finding insulation faults. If you use it on your car, you will probably blow out a lot of electronics.

DMC-Ron
08-05-2020, 08:45 AM
Those are just for finding insulation faults. If you use it on your car, you will probably blow out a lot of electronics.

+2 The megger test voltages of 250, 500, or 1000 volts can reek havoc on our car's diodes, capacitors, LED bulbs, ECU, Audio electronics, ignition control, digital clock, alternator regulator, etc.

dn010
08-05-2020, 12:05 PM
Good call on the Weatherpack connectors. After installing two on the radiator fans, I've had the urge to install Weatherpack connectors all over the car! They're easier to install than I thought they'd be, and the rubber seals give me some peace of mind in this high humidity climate.

I really hate the original style connectors used on the car. What I did was purchase a ton of 2, 3, 4 & 6 pin weather pack connector kits on Amazon and set them aside. Any time I had/have to work on anything with an original connector, I'd cut it out and put in the weather pack so currently my car has a lot of replaced connectors. For the bulkhead connectors, they're all gone and I got a 22 pin weather pack again on Amazon. I no longer have a lot of wiring going through that part of the engine compartment since I am EFI so the 22 pin was plenty for me; I'd imagine without K-jet you'd also be fine with the 22 pin one as well but anyone reading this with original setup would probably need two 22-pin connectors to handle all the wires and then figure out how to divide everything up. As long as you crimp everything correctly and the pin size you pick to install isn't undersized for the electrical load of whatever you're connecting, you shouldn't have to revisit or worry about the connector being corroded in the future. I started changing the connectors 5 years ago and haven't had a single issue or failure since.

Farrar
08-05-2020, 01:05 PM
I really hate the original style connectors used on the car. What I did was purchase a ton of 2, 3, 4 & 6 pin weather pack connector kits on Amazon and set them aside.

Same here. I bought a whole box of them and whenever I work on a circuit, if there's a connector to replace I replace it.

The weather here is slightly cooler since the storm passed (heat indices in the 90s instead of 100s) so I think I'll finally start working on the "bulkhead connector delete" project in my Covid-induced spare time.

Farrar
10-23-2020, 01:59 PM
Autumn has arrived and working on the rear of the car I think the taillight harness is toast. The previous owner laid it on top of the coolant expansion tank. I have ordered new wire to make a new harness. I am also thinking about different grounding options. Is the rear lights harness really grounded through the bulkhead connection and then inside the car? Seems it would be easier to ground it at the frame. I need to double check and see whether the flasher module switches positive or ground. If it switches positive, I may just ground the rear lights harness at the frame. There are two solid potential ground points back there.

Bitsyncmaster
10-23-2020, 02:20 PM
The blinkers and rear lights switch the 12 volts so grounding to the frame should work fine.

Farrar
10-23-2020, 02:51 PM
The blinkers and rear lights switch the 12 volts so grounding to the frame should work fine.

Thank you, Dave! You just saved me a lot of poking around with my meter. :)

Farrar
11-13-2020, 01:46 AM
At long last, all of my parts have arrived. Some of them seem to have come on a slow boat from China, but my wire is U.S.-made. My project to tackle the rear lights can now begin.

I'm starting by making new taillight boards, using templates provided by Anders Bergman in Stockholm to the DeLorean Restoration Projects group on Facebook. (Isn't the internet amazing?) Bergman made the diagrams and then sent them to be laser cut by a local shop, but I'm using them instead as a template for cutting by hand, in part because the sockets I am using have a different footprint than the ones he used. I've printed the templates out and taped them to the plastic for cutting and drilling. The plastic I am using is plain Delrin, which has good heat and weather resistance, and it is the same thickness as the stock taillight boards.

64930

(I will not cut the "DMC" into the board. In my opinion, that's just silly.)

I will use 14 AWG wire (overkill for LEDs, but why not) and re-wire the circuit from the fuse box rearward: this will be a good opportunity to relocate the brake light fuse from underneath the dashboard to the unused #18 position in the fuse box—something evidently already done on later VIN vehicles.

Farrar
11-19-2020, 04:32 PM
It's been 13 years since I told my brand new girlfriend I would be out of town for a weekend and drove #2613 home. What a long, strange trip it's been...

The weather is finally cooling down here in Equatorial Florida, and I've got my to-do list ready.

Farrar
12-15-2020, 03:15 PM
Well, I changed my mind mid-project.

I'm going to use professionally-cut boards. Cutting them by hand is fun, but I've been offered a set of unused boards from Josh S.

...and as long as I'm re-wiring Fuse #18, I might as well do the whole thing. I really hate the design of the fuse & relay compartment and want to do something similar to what Josh S in his LS-swapped car, using his bracket design as the starting point. Big thanks to Josh for allowing me to ask a load of stupid questions :)

Farrar
01-19-2021, 03:55 PM
Mission creep has set in again, and a new problem has appeared.

In 2018 when I did my a/c repairs, I installed a 12"x25" condenser. This was after eyeballing the OEM condenser. Laying them side by side I realized the one I bought was an inch too short. But the weather was warming up and I wanted to finish the job, so I installed the inch-shorter one and bought one of the correct size for later installation. Well, now the a/c has leaked out all of its refrigerant and has been sitting for months, which means I might as well tear it apart again and install the 12"x26" condenser this time. The weather here is not yet very hot, so now is the time to do this work. This is where mission creep comes in: "As long as you have the car in the air," I said to myself, "why don't you do the front brakes?" A few years ago I warped the front brake discs on a panic stop. They hadn't been turned yet, so I had them turned. Then last year I warped the front discs again after a panic stop. I'm tired of this. When figuring what to choose between DeLoreanGo's vented disc setup and Josh S's slightly more expensive setup, I chose Josh S's for reasons of simplicity and domestic availability of parts. So yes, as long as I have the car in the air, I might as well swap out the condenser *and* upgrade the front brakes. While I'm doing the a/c work, I will inspect all of the hoses, because after ten years it may be time to replace them.

So that's the mission creep part of this story. Now here's the new problem: the rear quarter panel glass is starting to fall out. I don't think the rear quarter panels are terribly difficult to remove, but while I have them removed I will inspect the door strut mounts and replace them if needed. If memory serves, the strut mounts do not wiggle, but they aren't exactly straight, either, so as long as I have access I might as well check them out. Do the work now to save doing the work later, right? :)

Parts are on the way. Stay tuned.