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Thread: Car randomly dies and I'm stumped

  1. #1
    Senior Member StainlessBullet's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Jackson, TN USA

    Posts:    287

    My VIN:    1800

    Car randomly dies and I'm stumped

    Alright guys I need a little help. Finally got 1800 back on the road after doing the manifold job. Drove the car for 45 mins with no issues. At first it was running like a champ and then out of no where the car dies on a very busy road. The fans up front started making a heck of a lot of noise. They had been working fine up until that point and then all the sudden they start making a noise like something is caught in the fan blade (metal on metal sounding). As soon as it made the noise the car died. The car would turn over but sounded like it was getting zero fuel. After about the tenth try it fires right up. Fan noise gone as well, just the normal sound of them blowing. Drove fine for another 30 mins or so. I pull up at the shop to park it and the noise in the fans come back and the car shuts off. Started back on the 2nd try this time but it was making the noise up front at the fans again. I don't see anything stuck in the fans or anything.

    Any ideas? I'm stumped. I don't see how the fans would cause the car to shut off in the first place? I thought maybe it was a separate issue until it died the 2nd time. The car isn't running hot either.
    Nathan D.

    Current owner of #1800 - June '81, Black Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #3455 - Twin Turbo - Aug '81, Custom Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #2923 - The "Cornfield" DeLorean - Aug '81, Black Interior, Automatic

    Former owner of #5788 - Oct '81, Grey Interior, Manual

  2. #2
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Crystal Lake IL

    Posts:    5,167

    My VIN:    05429

    Quote Originally Posted by StainlessBullet View Post
    Alright guys I need a little help. Finally got 1800 back on the road after doing the manifold job. Drove the car for 45 mins with no issues. At first it was running like a champ and then out of no where the car dies on a very busy road. The fans up front started making a heck of a lot of noise. They had been working fine up until that point and then all the sudden they start making a noise like something is caught in the fan blade (metal on metal sounding). As soon as it made the noise the car died. The car would turn over but sounded like it was getting zero fuel. After about the tenth try it fires right up. Fan noise gone as well, just the normal sound of them blowing. Drove fine for another 30 mins or so. I pull up at the shop to park it and the noise in the fans come back and the car shuts off. Started back on the 2nd try this time but it was making the noise up front at the fans again. I don't see anything stuck in the fans or anything.

    Any ideas? I'm stumped. I don't see how the fans would cause the car to shut off in the first place? I thought maybe it was a separate issue until it died the 2nd time. The car isn't running hot either.
    You sure it's a fan noise and not the fuel pump? Have you been in the tank yet?
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    dswingle@DeLorean.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Posts:    4,466

    My VIN:    3937

    You have a bad connection somewhere on the ballast resistor or ignition coil causing the car to die and the fan noise is a separate issue.


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  4. #4
    Senior Member SBL's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Treasure Island, FL

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    My VIN:    10342

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    I agree. Sudden loss like that is usually electric, and the ballast resistor is prime suspect. All ballast resistor terminals and all connectors should be examined and cleaned. I have routinely cut off the connectors for all the terminals and put on new ones. They have been exposed to the engine, the weather, and age.
    Steve Liggett
    Treasure Island, FL
    1982 automatic, VIN 10342, grey int

    Previous: VIN 5983, VIN 3670
    Who knows where my previous 1981 with 6 cylinder Chevy engine is these days (cannot find that VIN) ?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Location:  Leonardtown, MD

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMCMW Dave View Post
    You sure it's a fan noise and not the fuel pump? Have you been in the tank yet?
    +1

    I bet it's your fuel pump making the noise and not the fans.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member SBL's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Treasure Island, FL

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    My VIN:    10342

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    Pull the fan relay, then It cannot come on. Then you can take a good listen. I have heard some mighty strange noises coming from our fuel pumps. You can also force the fans to go on with the car ignition just in the on position but the engine not running, and go around and stick your head under the front. You will know if it is fans.
    Steve Liggett
    Treasure Island, FL
    1982 automatic, VIN 10342, grey int

    Previous: VIN 5983, VIN 3670
    Who knows where my previous 1981 with 6 cylinder Chevy engine is these days (cannot find that VIN) ?

  7. #7
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Location:  North GA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    +1

    I bet it's your fuel pump making the noise and not the fans.
    +2

    Pull the fuel pump fuse (#7) and see if the noise goes away.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Location:  Houston

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    My guess is that there is a break in an electrical line that is making intermittent connection. It happened to me. A wire between the ballast and the coil had a break causing problems where the engine would start sometimes and randomly not start sometimes.
    Shannon

  9. #9
    Senior Member StainlessBullet's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Jackson, TN USA

    Posts:    287

    My VIN:    1800

    Thanks everyone for the help! I believe my issue has been fixed. Unplugged the wires going to the ballast resistor and cleaned all contacts. Drove the car for an hour after and had zero issues. The car actually idles and runs smoother than any DeLorean I've owned previously. The noise I was hearing was the fans. I put my ear to both the fans and the pump and it was without a doubt the fans. It must have been a separate issue and was just coincidence that it happened at the same time the car died. But it has not made the noise since my last post either. I'm off work tomorrow and I'm planning to drive the car some more. Cross your fingers
    Nathan D.

    Current owner of #1800 - June '81, Black Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #3455 - Twin Turbo - Aug '81, Custom Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #2923 - The "Cornfield" DeLorean - Aug '81, Black Interior, Automatic

    Former owner of #5788 - Oct '81, Grey Interior, Manual

  10. #10
    Senior Member StainlessBullet's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Jackson, TN USA

    Posts:    287

    My VIN:    1800

    Quote Originally Posted by StainlessBullet View Post
    I'm off work tomorrow and I'm planning to drive the car some more. Cross your fingers
    Drove the car a little over 150 miles this weekend. The car had zero issues. Thanks for the help everyone!
    Nathan D.

    Current owner of #1800 - June '81, Black Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #3455 - Twin Turbo - Aug '81, Custom Interior, Manual

    Former owner of #2923 - The "Cornfield" DeLorean - Aug '81, Black Interior, Automatic

    Former owner of #5788 - Oct '81, Grey Interior, Manual

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