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Thread: ISM Pipe of Agony - way loose

  1. #1
    Senior Member Beachdrifter's Avatar
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    ISM Pipe of Agony - way loose

    Hi all,

    So while I have been trying to find out why my car was starting and immediately shutting off, after checking all other possible culprits, I began to see the Idle Speed Motor.

    Upon closer inspection, I noticed the tube that comes from underneath to the bottom of the mixture unit was very loose. This tube I have found out is also called the 'pipe of agony'. I could easily move the tube
    right to left in about 1.5 inches each way with no resistance. At one point I ventured to try to pull it out of the hole, but I stopped because it seemed like nothing was gonna stop it!

    Something tells me this doesn't seem right. I believe this should be firmly held in place by a sort of oring and copper ring? If this is so loose will it cause a sort of vacuum leak that would prevent a car from idling or even trying to rev at stand still ?

    I think this is my issue, any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    ** A wave is like an empty canvas, waiting for a masterpiece -- unknown **
    ** VIN 5945 - FranKenDeLorean Oct 31, 1981 ** SpaceCoast, FL, USA ** DMCTalk Member/DMCOwner Since 2005

  2. #2
    Senior Member WelmoedJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachdrifter View Post
    Hi all,

    So while I have been trying to find out why my car was starting and immediately shutting off, after checking all other possible culprits, I began to see the Idle Speed Motor.

    Upon closer inspection, I noticed the tube that comes from underneath to the bottom of the mixture unit was very loose. This tube I have found out is also called the 'pipe of agony'. I could easily move the tube
    right to left in about 1.5 inches each way with no resistance. At one point I ventured to try to pull it out of the hole, but I stopped because it seemed like nothing was gonna stop it!

    Something tells me this doesn't seem right. I believe this should be firmly held in place by a sort of oring and copper ring? If this is so loose will it cause a sort of vacuum leak that would prevent a car from idling or even trying to rev at stand still ?

    I think this is my issue, any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    The most known reason why it's called the Pipe of Agony is because it's giving most owners a hard time to get it in place correctly.
    However once familiar with the pipe's behavior and knowing the tricks, one can intsall the Pipe within a couple of minutes.

    The pipe itself has no stop.
    The Pipe has a seal (O-ring) confined in a brass cup.
    Installing the O-ring with no cup makes need of creating a replacement *)
    Installing the Pipe goes smoother when using some grease on the last 1 inch of the pipe.
    Using a flashlight while holding down the air plate will show the opening (left forward side) the Piper has to go into.
    A good hand/eye co-ordination is very helpful in getting the pipe in while looking at the hole from inside the mixture unit.
    The Pipe itself needs the rubber hose to the ISM **) and has to be clamped at both ends of the hose.

    *) Replacement brass cup: I used a copper washer of sufficient size (fit) and hammered it a bit bigger, then pushed it into place.
    *) Usually the brass cup is still there, but you need to take the mixture unit out to enable an easy replacement of the O-ring.
    *) Use grease on the O-ring for easy passage of the Pipe.

    **) Mind that the ISM (Idle Speed Motor) also could contribute to killing an idling, just started engine.
    **) Check the valve for correct functioning and also check the switch and wiring to the ISM
    Welmoed
    Black D 1981-11 sold
    Toyota Prius III 2009-07 (sold)
    Mazda MX-30 (BEV) 2020-09

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    The pipe will feel loose if the O-ring and pipe are greased. The flash light trick in the dark should verify if you have any leaks.

    It's only a pipe of agony if that brass ring falls out. Then you really have to remove the unit to get the o-ring and brass ring locked back in.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
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    Location:  Houston, TX

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    This pipe of agony I have heard about of course, but have almost no knowledge of. I always want to learn more about my car too, so does anyone have any pictures (if that's even possible considering its location), or a reference diagram, part no., etc.)?

    Thomas

    ...

  5. #5
    Vin3299's Doc DeLorean03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen View Post
    This pipe of agony I have heard about of course, but have almost no knowledge of. I always want to learn more about my car too, so does anyone have any pictures (if that's even possible considering its location), or a reference diagram, part no., etc.)?

    Thomas

    ...
    It's connected to the ISM by means of a small rubber hose. It is featured on this page - #21:

    http://store.delorean.com/c-338-2-5-...croswitch.aspx
    DMCTalk.org Moderator

    Actual snippet of a conversation from Sept 2013:

    Me: Eddie, I can't wait to get the car back when you're done with it.

    Eddie: Yeah, you'll be able to give the car gas, and it won't be - like - embarrassing....

  6. #6
    Vin3299's Doc DeLorean03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WelmoedJ View Post
    **) Mind that the ISM (Idle Speed Motor) also could contribute to killing an idling, just started engine.
    **) Check the valve for correct functioning and also check the switch and wiring to the ISM
    It might help him if the details to determine if the ISM was bad or not were given. He seems to suspect this is the problem, but we don't know if he knows how to diagnose it or not.

    Randy, to make sure the pipe is installed fully, push down on the air sensor plate and look at about the 10 o'clock position. You should see the end of the pipe protruding into the mixture unit. The end of the pipe is NOT your typical cylinder shape. The end is cut in such a way that it resembles more of a spear tip (not sharp) than a flat cylinder end. You can see it here in this picture a bit on the right end:

    102503.JPG

    There was a time I tried to take a good photo of the pipe properly installed inside the mixture unit, but my camera proved to be inferior.

    Too bad my old engine was sold, or I'd tell you just take the ISM off and try it =/ ....
    DMCTalk.org Moderator

    Actual snippet of a conversation from Sept 2013:

    Me: Eddie, I can't wait to get the car back when you're done with it.

    Eddie: Yeah, you'll be able to give the car gas, and it won't be - like - embarrassing....

  7. #7
    My friends think I'm nuts jawn101's Avatar
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    I have been re-sealing mine for years with a little bit of sensor-safe RTV around the brass cup before pressing it into place. It seals up beautifully and is easy to remove when the time comes. The O-ring that I've gotten in tuneup kits has never quite fit properly.
    Jon
    1981 DMC-12 #02100. July 1981. 5-speed, black, grooved w/flap.
    restoration log, March 2011 to present
    full and detailed photo restoration log

  8. #8
    Senior Member Beachdrifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLorean03 View Post
    It might help him if the details to determine if the ISM was bad or not were given. He seems to suspect this is the problem, but we don't know if he knows how to diagnose it or not.

    Randy, to make sure the pipe is installed fully, push down on the air sensor plate and look at about the 10 o'clock position. You should see the end of the pipe protruding into the mixture unit. The end of the pipe is NOT your typical cylinder shape. The end is cut in such a way that it resembles more of a spear tip (not sharp) than a flat cylinder end. You can see it here in this picture a bit on the right end:

    102503.JPG

    There was a time I tried to take a good photo of the pipe properly installed inside the mixture unit, but my camera proved to be inferior.

    Too bad my old engine was sold, or I'd tell you just take the ISM off and try it =/ ....
    Thanks Jeremiah,

    I will look through the pressure plate to see if I see the tube. Good insight!

    As far as the ISM, I went ahead and took off the two rubber hoses on either end.
    With a flashlight, I could see the air valve shut. When I put the key to the "on" position, I could feel it buzz, and the valve would open maybe like 1/16th in.
    While still with the key on, if I were to "relax" the idle switch by pulling the throttle spool, I could see movement in the valve and it would open like 1/8th in more.
    But overall , it seemed the majority of the valve was closed,

    I'm wondering if this is correct movement of the valve. I've read you should be able to see straight through it when the key is "on". Is this true?

    I also took it out fully and sprayed it with carb cleaner to see if it was sticking, but it didn't change anything.

    Thanks guys,
    ** A wave is like an empty canvas, waiting for a masterpiece -- unknown **
    ** VIN 5945 - FranKenDeLorean Oct 31, 1981 ** SpaceCoast, FL, USA ** DMCTalk Member/DMCOwner Since 2005

  9. #9
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Your valve should work similar to this. This Valve was a bit sticky which accounts for the somewhat jerky sweep action. The Key was cycled twice.
    DENNIS

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

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

    Location:  Space Coast, FL *USA*

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    My VIN:    * 5945 * Oct, 31, 1981. FranKenDeLorean

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    Great video thanks! Mine is no where even half open when i cycle the key. It's like almost entirely shut the whole time, just barely opens. I think I have an ISM issue?
    ** A wave is like an empty canvas, waiting for a masterpiece -- unknown **
    ** VIN 5945 - FranKenDeLorean Oct 31, 1981 ** SpaceCoast, FL, USA ** DMCTalk Member/DMCOwner Since 2005

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