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Thread: Driver info needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

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    Driver info needed

    Tonite I drove my car for the first time at speed. I live on a dirt road about a mile long. I've driven it in my yard and out on the dirt road a few times, tonite I took it on the highway up around 65 mph.

    I have never driven one of these cars. In fact, I've never even rode in one on the road till tonite. I want to know what's normal.

    First, it seems like the car has no power till about 2000 rpm. From 2000 to 4000 it runs pretty good. When I say no power, I mean in any gear but first and second it really won't excellerate below 2000. I've had lots of problems getting this to run right and I'm hoping that I still have some improvements coming.

    Second, I did a panic brake to test its stopping ability. It stopped pretty quick, but I ended up locking the front wheels. They lock easily on the dirt road, but I didn't think they would on blacktop. I have to say they lock easier than most cars I've driven. No sound from the rear. Do I need to adjust something there. (I have checked the pads and they all look fairly thick.)

    In an unrelated question, do any of you know if the cross over pipe will come off without taking the converter or muffler off? I've got an exhaust leak. I think it's in that pipes gaskets or maybe the pipe itself.

    Edit, I was disappointed to find I couldn't take it to 88 mph. Is there a speedometer available that goes higher?

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

    Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

    Posts:    1,767

    My VIN:    0934

    Club(s):   (NCDMC) (DCUK)

    Answers to most of your questions here in bold. Performance figures are from car mag tests done in '81 or so with new DeLoreans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    Tonite I drove my car for the first time at speed. I live on a dirt road about a mile long. I've driven it in my yard and out on the dirt road a few times, tonite I took it on the highway up around 65 mph.

    I have never driven one of these cars. In fact, I've never even rode in one on the road till tonite. I want to know what's normal.

    First, it seems like the car has no power till about 2000 rpm. From 2000 to 4000 it runs pretty good. When I say no power, I mean in any gear but first and second it really won't excellerate below 2000. I've had lots of problems getting this to run right and I'm hoping that I still have some improvements coming.

    A stock D will accelerate fine from about 1500RPM on up past 5000. "Fine" means OK for 130HP pushing 2900lb plus the passengers. 5-spd 0-60MPH times are in the 9-10sec range. On level asphalt. Slamming the shifts if you dare.

    Second, I did a panic brake to test its stopping ability. It stopped pretty quick, but I ended up locking the front wheels. They lock easily on the dirt road, but I didn't think they would on blacktop. I have to say they lock easier than most cars I've driven. No sound from the rear. Do I need to adjust something there. (I have checked the pads and they all look fairly thick.)

    Locking the fronts first is normal. For a non-ABS car this is the most stable and safe setup. Locking all 4 tires at the same time may be ideal but designers like to have a bit more braking in back because it keeps the back end from breaking loose before the fronts at which point the car will tend to spin. Again, all this is on pavement.

    In an unrelated question, do any of you know if the cross over pipe will come off without taking the converter or muffler off? I've got an exhaust leak. I think it's in that pipes gaskets or maybe the pipe itself.

    Edit, I was disappointed to find I couldn't take it to 88 mph. Is there a speedometer available that goes higher?

    One or more vendors used to sell a 140MPH speedo. Am guessing you could find a used one if nobody sells them retail anymore. As you may know a stock 5-speed D tops out at 105-110MPH. A (safe) top speed run on level ground will be one more way to check your power output. Even without the 140MPH speedo you can gauge your speed past the 85MPH mark using some algebra and the tachometer. I don't recall whether I got top speed in 4th or 5th, come to think of it. It was a long time ago.
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  3. #3
    '82 T3 FABombjoy's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    My VIN:    10270

    Ditto on everything Rich said.
    If the brakes lock too easily, its a traction (tire) problem not a brake problem.
    Luke S :: 10270 :: 82 Grey 5-Speed :: Single Watercooled T3 .60/.48 :: Borla Exhaust :: MSD Ignition :: MS3X Fully SFI Odd-fire EFI :: DevilsOwn Methanol Injection

    Console5.com - Game console parts, kits, games and more. [shop] [wiki] [RSS] [f] [t]

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Thanks guys, it looks like I have more to do as mine won't excellerate in 3rd gear at 1500.

  5. #5
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Since the front is lighter than most, it is very important to inflate the tires according to the label. What is on the tire is usually quite higher, which will make the tire bulge, reducing the contact area/friction (and cause other problems).

    There are 160MPH speedometers running around as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Since the front is lighter than most, it is very important to inflate the tires according to the label. What is on the tire is usually quite higher, which will make the tire bulge, reducing the contact area/friction (and cause other problems).

    There are 160MPH speedometers running around as well.
    Label?

    120 mph would be fine. 80 is embarrassing.

    Another quick question. My idle sometimes is fine and sometimes it just hunts up and down. I've read vacuum leaks might be an issue. (My hoses are dry and brittle) But I wonder why sometimes it idles fine. Is there anything else I should look at?

  7. #7
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    Label?

    120 mph would be fine. 80 is embarrassing.

    Another quick question. My idle sometimes is fine and sometimes it just hunts up and down. I've read vacuum leaks might be an issue. (My hoses are dry and brittle) But I wonder why sometimes it idles fine. Is there anything else I should look at?
    Label should be inside the glove box lid (or in door jamb by law).
    https://store.delorean.com/105198-ti...ure-label.html

    On the hunting, you'll get a million answers.
    Yeah, vacuum leaks are a very common cause. But a lot depends on mods, how bad,when it happens, etc.
    I'd suggest getting everything in top shape and to specs (full tune up, timing, CO, etc,) as you can then post a vid in a new thread.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

    Posts:    1,767

    My VIN:    0934

    Club(s):   (NCDMC) (DCUK)

    About the original 85MPH speedo.
    Yes, 120 would indeed be fine.

    You can thank the Arab Oil Embargo, the U.S. Congress and President Nixon for the one in your car.
    85MPH max speedos were mandated on all new cars sold here when the DeLorean went on the market, including such cars as the Porsche 928 and the DeTomaso Pantera.
    That rule also mandated the special font for the 55MPH index mark. The national speed limit was 55 at the time.

    The speedometer doesn't care how much faster than 85 you drive. It just won't help you do it.

    Good luck sorting your car to make that happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    120 mph would be fine. 80 is embarrassing.
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  9. #9
    Senior Member hippieman9's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jan 2018

    Location:  Sweaty, NC

    Posts:    325

    My VIN:    06668 81' Grey interior, 5 speed, Grooved hood. Previous owner of 16301, in 2001. Found Nov 2019, a

    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    Tonite I drove my car for the first time at speed. I live on a dirt road about a mile long. I've driven it in my yard and out on the dirt road a few times, tonite I took it on the highway up around 65 mph.

    I have never driven one of these cars. In fact, I've never even rode in one on the road till tonite. I want to know what's normal.

    First, it seems like the car has no power till about 2000 rpm. From 2000 to 4000 it runs pretty good. When I say no power, I mean in any gear but first and second it really won't excellerate below 2000. I've had lots of problems getting this to run right and I'm hoping that I still have some improvements coming.

    Automatic transmission? If so sounds like the servo may need to be updated.

    In an unrelated question, do any of you know if the cross over pipe will come off without taking the converter or muffler off? I've got an exhaust leak. I think it's in that pipes gaskets or maybe the pipe itself.
    Yes you can remove the crossover pipe with out removing the manifolds, itís tricky, but can be done.

    Edit, I was disappointed to find I couldn't take it to 88 mph. Is there a speedometer available that goes higher?
    Even though the stock Speedo, only reads 85mph it will go faster as Iíve had mine up to 110 confirmed with GPS. DMCH does offer a 140 mph speedo though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippieman9 View Post
    Even though the stock Speedo, only reads 85mph it will go faster as Iíve had mine up to 110 confirmed with GPS. DMCH does offer a 140 mph speedo though.
    Aparently, out of stock. Anybody installed one of them? Looks like it should be easy. Sometimes looks are deceiving. They cost more than a dollar per mile. Lol. (I think it would be worth it)

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