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Thread: Delorean wont start

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Sep 2019

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    Angry Delorean wont start

    Hi, I am new to the forum. I have had my delorean for quite awhile. I purchased it from my brother's estate when he passed with the intent of getting it going in his honor. The motor had been overheated when he had it and it hadnt been started in a very long time. So I sent the motor out and had it done over, new rings, bearings, valves and guides. The fuel distributor redone. Once I got it back in and tried to get it going had no luck. My other brother suggested it was timing, long story short he was right, it was off 180. Pulled out the distributor found top dead center on comperssion, and it fired. Since then I have painstakingly found, several things that i missed or over looked. Thought I had the o2 sensor hooked up but didnt. Replaced the injectors, then the latest was the seals and clips for the injectors. This has been a long process as I work out of town and cant always work on it. Any way when I would get it running I could never get it to idle down and stay running, likely the unconnected o2 sensor at that time. The fuel pump is new the fuel filter has been changed several times, the acccumulator is new. I even have a new ECU that i recently happened on at an auction. Threw out all this I played with the co. Any way I can pull an injector out hotwire the rpm relay get fuel coming out of the injector. When I try to start it either with the relay jumped or with the relay in, the plugs are still dry. It wants to fire but just wont catch. By the way the dmc in my user name stands foir delorean making me crazy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Leonardtown, MD

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    My VIN:    03572

    Injectors should not spray with the RPM relay jumpered not pressing the air plate. If they do you have your mixture adjusted wrong. You just want to back off the mixture adjustment so they don't spray with no plate pushed. Then you should be able to get it started. Remember a shot of starter fluid should tell you if your getting ignition or if the problem is fuel related.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Sep 2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    Injectors should not spray with the RPM relay jumpered not pressing the air plate. If they do you have your mixture adjusted wrong. You just want to back off the mixture adjustment so they don't spray with no plate pushed. Then you should be able to get it started. Remember a shot of starter fluid should tell you if your getting ignition or if the problem is fuel related.
    Thank you for the information, my thoughts were wrong regarding the air plate. Backed it off still wouldnt start, turned the co very little and eventually it would start to fire but not completely start. After several tries, I wound up pressing the accelerator wide open and would eventually catch and run. Still couldnt get it to idle enough to get out and try to adjust. Did this a few times. It would run rough. So i pulled the plugs and they were black, but not what I would consider fouled. Not sure what my next move should be besides taking it to someone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Jun 2016

    Location:  Austin MN

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    My VIN:    03500

    If you still have the plugs out do a compression test. Dry than wet one cap of oil will do.


    Dave B.

  5. #5
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Opening the throttle doesn't do anything significant when starting. It sounds like, when you kept trying it, it cleared up and started to run.
    Maybe try pressing the plate after it is running rough (it's very touchy even when things are right...like pressing on your eyelid) to help clear it out and get warmed up.
    Working the throttle and plate together works best for me. Hold the throttle wide open and press the plate ~1/4" after a helper begins to crank it over. Then drop the throttle down as soon as it fires up...after a few tries, you can baby it while your helper plays with the CO screw to at least get it running on its own (very tiny turns), or wait for it to get warm.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Sep 2019

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Opening the throttle doesn't do anything significant when starting. It sounds like, when you kept trying it, it cleared up and started to run.
    Maybe try pressing the plate after it is running rough (it's very touchy even when things are right...like pressing on your eyelid) to help clear it out and get warmed up.
    Working the throttle and plate together works best for me. Hold the throttle wide open and press the plate ~1/4" after a helper begins to crank it over. Then drop the throttle down as soon as it fires up...after a few tries, you can baby it while your helper plays with the CO screw to at least get it running on its own (very tiny turns), or wait for it to get warm.
    Thank you again, my helper most times consists of my 5 year old nephew, he is great but easily distracted. Any way, in starting it a couple times and going back to the shop manual, I was reading about the ECU and how it works with the tachometer so to speak. Only issue/question is my tach doesnt work, did initially, but even then was erratic. Will the tach not working possibly affect the information to the ECU? and could this have anything to do with some of my adjustment headaches?

  7. #7
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    The tach's only function is to display the RPM. But, yes, it could affect anything connected to it's White/Slate (WS) wire: Coil, IdleSpeed Relay, RPM Relay, and Ignition Control Module. Not a common problem though.
    Maybe try a hand held multimeter/tachometer....

    Not sure of where you are at with it now. IE it was hard to idle down and dying before adjusting the CO to get the injector opening close...that and changing/cleaning the plugs(?) should of made some noticeable changes??

    Forgot to mention before- The O2 sensor shouldn't come into play until after the engine is warm.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Location:  Leonardtown, MD

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    I would not think a broken tach would load the ignition signal. All the ignition circuits I've seen have a resistor from the tach signal so only if that resistor shorted would it kill the ignition.

    If a good tach does not show some RPM when cranking than something is probably wrong with the ignition.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  9. #9
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    Most of the time the tach is not the problem, it is a connection to it. There is a flexible printed circuit board inside the binnacle that connects all of the instruments and is often the source of the bad connections. As for the hard starting, maybe it's time for a tune-up. Fresh spark plugs and finding and fixing all of he vacuum leaks will make a big difference. Maybe some fresh fuel too?
    David Teitelbaum

  10. #10
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    I would not think a broken tach would load the ignition signal. All the ignition circuits I've seen have a resistor from the tach signal so only if that resistor shorted would it kill the ignition.
    Yeah, since it runs and a short would kill it, the tach is probably not getting a good connection.
    Curious- Are you talking about the precision resistor (or some other resistor) mounted on the tach's board? If not where is it?

    =====

    Since it has all been apart since running good, I'd suggest going through all of the basic settings, which means investing in a fuel pressure gauge setup capable of looking at the Primary and Control pressures -- Gonna' need it sooner or later.

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