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Thread: 5878 not starting

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    5878 not starting

    5878 isnít starting anymore. It started earlier today with a little white smoke coming out. I tried to start it again later in the day and it cranks but it never turns over. Any ideas? I tried swapping the blue and gray plugs for the cold start fix but that didnít help.


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  2. #2
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    If it turns over at a normal speed, you should first see if it is ignition (spark) or fuel keeping it from starting/cranking up.
    Pull the main coil wire off of the coil. Connect a spare/used wire to the coil and see if it will jump a spark to the block (any good ground). If it does' try a good shot of starting fluid in the breather box (or under the metering plate inside).

  3. #3
    Delorean Guru
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    Some other quick and simple tests;
    Can you hear the fuel pump run?
    Is there gas in the tank?
    Check the connections on the white ballast resistor on the firewall, they get rusty and then no spark
    Do you feel any resistance when you push on the air sensor plate?
    David Teitelbaum

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Itís starting intermittently. How do I check if the fuel pump is working? Does it start when you turn the key or when it starts to crank?


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piprulz View Post
    Itís starting intermittently. How do I check if the fuel pump is working? Does it start when you turn the key or when it starts to crank?


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    The stock RPM relay will sometimes prime (run the pump for a second when the key goes to on) but otherwise once the engine is cranking the fuel pump starts.

    You can test if it always starts by using the jumper in place of the the RPM relay.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    We jumpered out the rpm relay and the pump worked. We put the rpm relay back and the car started. Does that mean the Rpm relay is bad or the fuel pump?


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  7. #7
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    I'd replace the RPM relay first. It's a good time to upgrade to Dave McKeen's solid state units. One of the great features is that it primes the fuel pump every time before you start the car. I highly recommend it.
    Last edited by DMC-81; 08-25-2019 at 02:49 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)
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  8. #8
    Delorean Guru
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    The RPM relay (the OEM one) gets melted solder joints and can become failed or intermittent. A quick fix is to take it apart and resolder the joints. Temporary fix. Replace the RPM relay. You should check the draw on the fuel pump and all of the wiring connections. When the pump starts going bad it overheats circuit #7 damaging the wiring, connectors, and fuseholder and RPM relay.
    David Teitelbaum

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    The RPM relay (the OEM one) gets melted solder joints and can become failed or intermittent.
    The problem with the OEM RPM relay is it's made with single sided Printed Circuit Board and the metal relay is soldered to that PCB to make a connection. Heating and cooling breaks those solder joints of the metal frame of the relay to PCB. Not only does that connection go intermittent but it moves the location of one set of points of the relay. The other set of points are also soldered on the PCB but those solder joints don't usually break.

    Using a double sided PCB would have probably cured the problem since the holes get plated through the board and provide much more mechanical stress relief. Also designing it to run cool also would help but I've seen other cars that used single sided PCB on switches that also fail at the solder joints. So it is also subject to vibration or movement that breaks the joints, not just heating and cooling.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  10. #10
    Delorean Guru
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    Like much of the electrical system in the Delorean (and most older British cars) the electrical system is not designed with much excess capacity. Between that and connections getting bad as everything gets older it should not be a surprise that you get failures. When things start to draw just a little bit more current than when new, the electrical system gets overloaded. The whole car also was not designed to last 30 years so seeing parts fail is to be expected. The good news is replacement parts are available and in many cases they are better than the original parts.
    David Teitelbaum

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