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Thread: My DeLorean won't start after sitting for 9 months

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2012

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    My DeLorean won't start after sitting for 9 months

    Hi - Any suggestions to narrow down my search would be greatly appreciated...

    When last driven 9 or so months ago, the car was working fine.

    I tried to start it the other week and it won't fire. Engine cranks normally and there is a slight smell of petrol / gas at the exhaust after cranking on / off for a minute. At no stage did it 'fire'...

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Derek

  2. #2
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Wiggle the connections on the Ballast resistor. Especially the white wire(s)


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    VIN 5180, Frame 3652, STAGE I, DM-eng Solid State Solutions (RPM Rly, Dm.Lt.Mod., Fan Fail Mod. , FAN Rly, HS.Rly) , HID sealed beam style headlights, SPAX user since 2009, Eibach springs, Mid-State Club Adj. Rear LCA's, DPNW poly-sway bar kit, DMCEU LCA Stabilizer link kit, DMCMW Illuminated door sills, Aussie Illuminated SS Shifter plate, GENUINE MOMO EVO Steering wheel, DELOREANA Extended View Side Mirrors w/ Heaters, DELOREANA LED Door Lights.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    If what Dennis mentioned above checks out, I can think of 2 things fuel related. First, what is the level of gas in the tank and the condition of it? I found that fuel evaporates fairly quickly in these cars so for example, if the tank was at 1/4 tank or less, you might have lost a fair amount over the 9 months. What's left can turn gummy. Because of that, and especially while I was restoring it, I always try to keep my tank as full of non-ethanol fuel as possible and start/run it at least monthly. More often is better.

    Secondly, you might have fuel gummed up somewhere in the system as well or instead. Of course, I'd do the normal fuel and spark test first before dismantling anything in that system. There is a "plug swap" and a "mason jar" test that can be done. It could certainly be electrical (and I'm assuming a well charged battery after storage), but after sitting, my guess is something fuel related.

    Every car is different of course, but for example, I think there was a recent non start condition after several months of storage. The fuel smell wound up being the car was flooding. It was a stuck plunger in the fuel distributor.

    These cars don't like to be sitting that long unfortunately.

    Good luck with your trouble shooting.
    Dana

    1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (5 Speed, Gas Flap, Black Interior, Windshield Antenna, Dark Gray)
    Restored as "mostly correct, but with flaws corrected". Pictures and comments of my restoration are in the albums section on my profile.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T (D/D)
    2010 Camaro SS (Transformers Edition)

  4. #4
    Senior Member NckT's Avatar
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    We'll assume that the battery is good and passes a load test.
    RIP Rob van de Veer Top bloke

    I say Sir, I must be mad, one loves fixing K-Jet !

    Make sure there's plenty in the tank for the weekend chaps....

  5. #5
    DeLorean Owner, Missouri jmrydholm's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Location:  Missouri

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    My VIN:    10715

    Mine's been sitting for a good 2&1/2 years. Don't feel bad. I'm probably going to have to check/bleed the brakes and clutch.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2012

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    Update...

    Finally spent some time working on the car today...
    - First confirmed that we have a spark;
    - Then removed an injector and no fuel was present during cranking;
    - Removed fuel line to fuel distributor and no fuel there either;
    - Then checked that fuel pump had power - which it does;
    - Removed fuel pump and bench tested - it works...

    So I am assuming that the fuel pressure accumulator is not working / blocked...

    What do other people think?

    Thanks,

    Derek

  7. #7
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    The accumulator could be blocked. But if it has failed, the problem would be a loss of rest pressure, which wouldn't keep it from starting while cold. So, I'd leave the accumulator alone for now and reinstall the pump to see if fuel is getting to the filter next. (Once you get the fuel sorted out, if it don't start, check for fuel fouled plugs.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlipka View Post
    Update...

    Finally spent some time working on the car today...
    - First confirmed that we have a spark;
    - Then removed an injector and no fuel was present during cranking;
    - Removed fuel line to fuel distributor and no fuel there either;
    - Then checked that fuel pump had power - which it does;
    - Removed fuel pump and bench tested - it works...

    So I am assuming that the fuel pressure accumulator is not working / blocked...

    What do other people think?

    Thanks,

    Derek
    Hi Derek,

    As Ron mentioned, it is probably not the fuel accumulator. Perhaps something else further up in the supply line. You can disconnect the main supply line to the distributor (again?) and put the end of it securely into an empty gas can. Then jump the RPM relay using the thread below to confirm that there is no fuel delivery. When jumped, the fuel pump runs constantly.

    http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?11...-the-RPM-Relay

    Not sure if you did this already when you checked for gas the first time. (I used this handy technique one time to drain old gas completely before filling with fresh fuel.)

    In any case, if there is still no fuel, were you able to see the level and condition of the gas in the tank when you removed the pump?

    In any case, check for a potential blockage in the tank pick up or filter.

    However, if you were able to pump gas into the can with the relay jumped, the distributor plunger would be my guess (or a problem with the relay).
    Last edited by DMC-81; 05-19-2018 at 08:54 AM.
    Dana

    1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (5 Speed, Gas Flap, Black Interior, Windshield Antenna, Dark Gray)
    Restored as "mostly correct, but with flaws corrected". Pictures and comments of my restoration are in the albums section on my profile.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T (D/D)
    2010 Camaro SS (Transformers Edition)

  9. #9
    Senior Member NckT's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Location:  Yorkshire UK

    Posts:    180

    My VIN:    No. 4068

    Quote Originally Posted by dlipka View Post
    Update...

    Finally spent some time working on the car today...
    - First confirmed that we have a spark;
    - Then removed an injector and no fuel was present during cranking;
    - Removed fuel line to fuel distributor and no fuel there either;
    - Then checked that fuel pump had power - which it does;
    - Removed fuel pump and bench tested - it works...

    So I am assuming that the fuel pressure accumulator is not working / blocked...

    What do other people think?

    Thanks,

    Derek
    Does the fuel pump run in the car while the engine is being cranked?

    I'll assume you've checked for a blocked fuel filter
    RIP Rob van de Veer Top bloke

    I say Sir, I must be mad, one loves fixing K-Jet !

    Make sure there's plenty in the tank for the weekend chaps....

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2012

    Posts:    3

    Thanks for the help.

    I have not checked the fuel filter.

    The pump runs when cranking. No fuel is getting to the fuel distributor.

    Do fuel filters block completely? Is the filter located under the car?

    At this stage, I have removed the pump and emptied out the fuel tank.

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