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Thread: Now it won't even attempt to crank

  1. #41
    President, DeLorean Industries
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    Problems like that are difficult-to-impossible to help you with over the Internet. You find that kind of wacky stuff only by putting your eyes and hands on it. The Dreaded Previous Owner (DPI) strikes again! The bigger problem is once you find that kind of thing, now you have to worry what else was touched on the car?
    We struck again?!?!? Huh

  2. #42
    LS1 DMC Nicholas R's Avatar
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    Apparently DPI was the previous owner

  3. #43
    President, DeLorean Industries
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    Nope! This was the first time we ever saw or touched this car!

  4. #44
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    LOL no, DPI wasn't the DPO on this one. The original owner let it sit for 20 years, the guy I bought it from got it from him and did a laundry list of upgrades with... varying degrees of success.

    (To be fair, if I'd had the car trucked to my house and only driven it on Sundays the way many classic car owners do, I might never have noticed most of the stuff that was wrong with it, because most of the problems I've had have shaken loose after 100+ mile drives. But I was expecting somewhat less of a fixer-upper than I got, for what I paid.)
    Last edited by DaraSue; 05-17-2017 at 12:12 AM.

  5. #45
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Well, it's at it again. When I turn the key, the engine doesn't crank/turn over, the key buzzer buzzes, and I hear a squealing from the relay compartment. Tried replacing the rpm, ignition and lambda relays, nothing. Fuses and wires appear OK. Didn't see anything obvious wrong with the starter wires. When I try to start, the needle on the tach sometimes goes around on a circle. Has anyone ever heard of this?

    This happened after a short (about 5 minutes) stop on a hot day, had been driving a few miles with no trouble indicators prior to stopping. Left it to go get lunch but still didn't start.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    OK, well, your starter mount bolt-tightening may have extended the borrowed time you had on that starter.

    If it's still the old symptom, intermittent non-crank, then you are probably looking at replacing at least the solenoid contactor, a known wear item on the old OE Rhone starters. If you skip that then you replace the starter (which includes a good solenoid). The symptom is the relay makes a noise and the starter solenoid clicks but nothing happens.

    Not sure about the spinning tach needle. Somebody here may know whether that's anything to do with a bad starter or something else.


    To catch up on where you left this here is what I think you had sorted out somewhere around post #36.
    Does it still sound right to you? I put Josh's projection in bold here:

    May have finally whipped this one! When I stopped by DPI to get some replacement bolts for my exhaust heat shield, I had Josh take a look at the wiring by the starter. I had thought the problem might be a bad connection in the blue scotch-lock in that cluster, but it turned out that wire didn't actually do anything. But while he was poking around in there he discovered that the whole starter wasn't actually bolted in correctly (apparently installer error by the seller) so it would work itself loose and sometimes randomly not ground. He replaced the starter and it hasn't done it since. He said that even if the problem recurs and that wasn't actually it, the starter was a disaster waiting to happen (possibly in the middle of Nebraska), so I guess my lost heat shield bolts were a blessing in disguise!
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  7. #47
    Not a DeLorean Guru
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    You have two options:

    1. Replace the starter
    2. LS swap
    -Mike

    My engine twists my frame.

    1981 DeLorean, Carb LS4 swap completed
    1999 Corvette, cam/headers/intake manifold, 400 rwhp
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

  8. #48
    Stupid Newbie DaraSue's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. To clarify, Josh actually did replace the whole starter and rewire it when I was out there (2 years ago). Could the new one have crapped out already?

    Forgot to mention, with the key on accessory, the windows don't roll up either. Door lights still work (LEDs). Emailed Dave S. and he thought it could just be a low battery but I hadn't had any sluggish starts or anything lately. I was parked for less than 10 minutes when this happened., AFAIK didn't leave my lights on.

    (oh, one other thing - the engine died while it was idling waiting for a smog check about a week ago. It started right back up, but I never did figure out why that happened.)
    Last edited by DaraSue; 08-30-2019 at 08:53 PM.

  9. #49
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Sounds like you should try jumping the starter relay and/or follow the steps in post 17.

  10. #50
    Delorean Guru
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    The way to diagnose this is to start at the beginning. Test the battery and check the connections to it. Visually inspect the wiring to the starter in case something came loose or got burnt. Try the key in the start position and see if the solenoid on the starter clicks. Check the voltage on the starter when trying to start it. It *could* be a bad solenoid, relay, wiring or connection so don't just replace the starter again hoping to "fix" the problem. Sometimes the act of replacing a part disturbs the real problem and you think you fixed it but the problem reoccurs because you only disturbed it and did not actually fix it.
    David Teitelbaum

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