View Full Version : Why I Carbed

08-29-2012, 12:50 PM
I get PMs and messages on Facebook from people referred to me to ask about my experience I've had with my carbed Delorean.

Thinking of a conversion? This post is meant to answer why 7041 has a carburetor.

First, some people assume that carburetion is done by people that are new to the community and don't know any better. To dispell that notion, here's some history: I’m not a flash in the pan owner. I was obsessed with Ds when they first came out. I was 8 years old in 1981, but I was very much aware of them. I’d spend Saturdays at the Virginia Beach library when it was freshly constructed and checked out SSI over and over, looked at microfiche of old articles, read the autobiography and On a Clear Day. I catalogued in my mind every time I saw one driving by in person. I always remember where I was and everything about that moment on those rare occasions when one passed by.

Over the years, my interest did not abate. With no money to get in, I went to the DOA meet in Williamsburg in 1994 and just walked through the parking lot.

A few years out of college and I finally had a stable income and money saved up. In 2003, I bought 7041. By the address of the current owner and the vestigial parking permit stickers, his length of ownership and driving habits, I knew that this car had been in the same district where I had lived… and was probably the car I saw pull up to F.W. Cox High School some 12 years earlier when I was coming in late (as usual).

Unfortunately, my job and my life was in Southern Arizona, so the car stayed garaged in Hampton, VA while I did my duty in the Southwest. I would fly home often and my Dad and I would tinker. Two years later, I decided it was time to get serious and I ordered parts from DMCH, Midwest and Hervey. We would FINALLY get this thing running.

And so it went: we made progress, but the K-Jet was always a problem. I had ordered thousands in parts for the K-jet alone, but no matter how much I referred to the DML, the manuals, dmctalk.com or phone calls from people in the know, I just couldn’t get it right. Finally, out of time and money, 7041 went back into the garage so I could go back to school for a professional degree.

When I finished my degree, I took the last of my money, flew home for good, and tried anew. It was the same old disaster, and sitting hadn’t done the car any good. I was extremely frustrated and after 3 years of no income, college bills and no job in sight, sending the car thousands of miles away to a vendor was not an option.

Enter Bill R.: after reading all his posts online, talking to other owners and mulling it over, we struck a deal: $900 and he would come to my house and hook up his special-made manifold and get the car running. In anticipation of him coming, we removed all the K-jet and set it aside. Bill arrived as promised with his blue pickup truck. He gave an introductory speech about what he planned to, and then he did it. Less than 4 hours later, for the first time ever, the car was running like a top.

The car still runs great. I, unfortunately, still have to live away from it: I live in Washington DC and go home every other weekend. Property is outrageously expensive, bad neighborhoods abound, and there aren’t a lot of secure parking places that don’t cost an arm and a leg. There’s a reason for that 25% cost of living adjustment: DC is like Hawaii with more crime and douchebags. Oh well, this is what I have to do to make a living.

Meanwhile, I love 7041, and I’m happy that it works. I would recommend anyone modifying their car to do lots of research over the solutions they employ to make their car less troublesome.

Yes, Bill R. is polarizing to many owners. The reasons for this are well-worn, and his contributions to the community (the carbs, the control arm video, documenting every single wire in the car) are often denied and overlooked. But despite what anyone says, the proof is in the pudding. Converted owners are continuing to rack up miles. Bill, with a point to prove, puts his car through heavy duty, travelling from New York to Florida and everywhere in between with great regularity. As for Bill, he is a unique individual to say the least, and I judge men by their actions.

Maybe K-Jet repair, EFI or a drivetrain swap will suit your needs. This was the right solution for me.

Note to Ron, Mike and other mods: You have my permission to lock/close this thread with no push back from me if you think it will lead to too much acrimony.

08-29-2012, 02:10 PM
I'm beginning to think that some KJet assemblies are just bad. I remember a conversation I had with Jeremiah and Casey shortly after I bought Red. They told me about Jere's Kjet assembly and how they just couldn't get it to run right. The swapped it with Casey's and the problem followed the unit. Once it was totally replaced the problem was resolved.

I'm a firm believer in doing whatever it takes to make your car run in the configuration you want. Be it carb, EFI, or Kjet. I'd never carb Red because I don't want her to be carbed. I have a carbed car if I want to go tinkering with it. I also HATE the Motorcraft 2100s. I had a bad one on my Mustang that I just could NOT get to tune. It was garbage and turned me off that brand of carb forever. So I understand the hatred some people develop for the Kjet. My hate for the 2100s isn't logical, I just ended up with a bad unit, but I'll never have another one on any of my cars.

I'm glad the carb works for you and all the other carbed Deloreans. I'm glad that option exists for people that just want something different or ones that just don't want to fool with the Kjet.

Nicholas R
08-31-2012, 01:39 AM
I will say, though I do like the original system, it can be a major PITA to troubleshoot, especially in the beginning. The problem is that one issue can be caused by so many different things, and there are few ways to track down issues except by swapping known to be good parts in. This can definitely get expensive very quickly. For owners in groups it's not as difficult since often times good fuel distributors, WURs, idle controllers, fuel injectors, frequency valves, etc. may be floating around. Heck I personally have an extra of all of these parts and I don't even have my original engine anymore. That's what years of ownership and an open eye in the junkyard will do.

Unfortunately, people that are stuck on their own don't have the luxury of extra available parts, and the only way find out if a part is bad is to spend the money to replace it (which is often hundreds of dollars!). This situation especially sucks when the car has yet to ever run correctly (cars in restoration state). When the problem could be every part is bad, one part is bad, or a combination of parts is bad, the cost racks up very quickly. At that point, the carb can be a life saver!

Mike C.
09-01-2012, 10:42 PM
I actually like threads like these, because it's a good example as to why a car went carbed, versus spending a bunch of money trying to track down issues. It's good to hear the side as to why. When I originally bought my car back in 09, the owner had a carb setup for it, ready to go. I'll be honest, it was very tempting, because I really wanted to forego all the hunting down etc... I'm very simplistic when it comes to wanting to fiddle with a non high HP car. For a cruiser type car, i'm all all about getting in, turning the key, and going. Oddly enough though, my car got to be that reliable in the long run. But still... if i delve into the D world after i'm done changing careers and finishing school, I have no problem thinking about a carb converted car... although i'd definitely be making some kind of air cleaner improvement... not a huge fan of what's mostly available.

09-10-2012, 06:53 PM
Drew likes the carburetor too.

01-17-2013, 12:15 AM
Sam expressed the exact reasons I went to a carb. I want to drive the car and it was not driveable with the KJet. Now it starts every time and never leaves me stranded. I can always switch back if I want to, but I'm finally enjoying my D.

01-17-2013, 12:32 PM
I had an experience with a 2100 Motorcraft yesterday that affirmed that we have a mutual hatred for each other. I'm considering selling my old 69 Ford F350 since she's been parked for over a year. I tinkered with her and finally got her running except the carb's seals failed and poured all over. Thankfully I saw it before anything bad happened. I was laughing as I removed it and thought "yep, Red is never going carbed."

Nothing against carb'd Deloreans. I just thought it was a funny story about how much I hate that particular carburetor.

01-17-2013, 01:40 PM
Have you considered rebuilding the carb or simply checking the float?

A leaking float, float valve, or even a float set too high could cause what you are seeing as well.

01-17-2013, 02:28 PM
It's definitely going to need a rebuild. It was leaking from the seals around the fuel bowl.

01-17-2013, 02:46 PM
FYI, a leaking float will fill with fuel, sink to the bottom of the bowl, and shut the fuel off, not flood the carb.
[See below !]

01-17-2013, 03:00 PM
Good point in a leaking float. His over flow problem could just be a float set too high or the float valve leaking. Those float valves has a very small rubber seal on them that you can barely see. If its been a few years since this carburetor has been rebuilt, there is a good chance it's been destroyed by ethanol.

The good news is a rebuild kit is dirt cheap at Autozone. I use a 1971 Ford F100 rebuild kit for my 2100 and it costs less than $15. It only takes 20 or so minutes to rebuild the carb as well.

There are plenty of YouTube videos out there on how to rebuild one.

There are only a few basic tools needed to rebuild a 2100. Most people use nothin more than a can of beer, a screw driver, and an adjustable wrench. I don't drink alcohol, so I substitute a diet Cheerwine for the beer.

When I can't have a diet Cheerwine I substitute it with diet Dr Pepper Cherry.

01-17-2013, 03:02 PM
They have Cheerwine in Charlotte?

01-17-2013, 03:04 PM
FYI, a leaking float will fill with fuel, sink to the bottom of the bowl, and shut the fuel off, not flood the carb.

Not from what I remember. The float shuts off the fuel when it gets to high.

01-17-2013, 03:13 PM
Not from what I remember. The float shuts off the fuel when it gets to high.
Steve does everything backwards...
See: How to Troll a Troll 101

Unless it is ancient, it will not leak but saturate since it is solid, (made out of Nithrophyl, or similar)...it is not hollow.

01-18-2013, 03:35 AM
Not from what I remember. The float shuts off the fuel when it gets to high.