Ed's D

My 1983 De Lorean DMC-12, VIN 16908

Vanity Plates

Got my vanity license plates from the State last week. I also got a plastic cover for the front plate. No pictures, since I’m trying to protect my identity.


State of Illinois Vanity Plates: $126.25
Smoked License Plate Cover: $4? at Murray’s Auto Parts

Breakdown #2

Friday August 17th, I drove the D to work. Around 1:00pm, I left work to go run an errand. Little did I know, I wouldn’t return until over 4 hours later.

On this particular day, I was driving the tollway fairly confident – speeding. While driving to my errand, I felt the car sputter a little. Is this the transmission? Great more problems. While pulling into my destination, I felt the gas go flat, and the brake pedal stiffen up. The car stalled. Lovely. I restarted it, drove it around the parking lot, and parked it. Later, after leaving, I drove down a narrow curved road with no shoulder, and it stalled again. I couldn’t get it started, so I tried pushing it up the road. I could only imagine what people were thinking as they drove past a young male trying to push and steer his DeLorean up a road. I couldn’t do it, so I tried starting again. It fired, so I drove it up the road, made another turn onto a busy street, where it stalled again. I managed to get off the road, so I could pull over to see what was up.

I didn’t panic this time. I called work to let them know I was not going to make it back to the office. Then I called Ken K, where he had me make sure the electrical connections were secure. When checking the ignition coil, I noticed it was hot. Ken said it should only be warm, and not hot. Well the coil looked original, and Ken said this might be the cause of my problems. The good news is that I’m in the city that I grew up in, and live not too far away. I used my toolkit to un-mount the coil, and walked to the local auto parts store. Now it’s almost 80 degrees, and I’m in business casual. By the time I got to the local auto parts store I was drenched in sweat. The store – I’ll call it Shmautosone – the clerk couldn’t find DeLorean in their database, and looked at me like I was crazy. The part number on the coil was barely visible, but I couldn’t read it. So I left Shmautosone, and had my brother come pick me up.

I visited another auto parts store – I’ll call it Schmadvance Puto Aarts – and they found a cross reference, but would have to order it. I decided against this part in favor of a part offered by one of the DeLorean vendors. So I returned to the D, reinstalled the old coil, and the car fired up. I drove it around the neighborhood before it could get too warm. I left it to cool again, and later drove about 2 miles to my parent’s house. On Sunday morning, I drove it about 5 miles to my house.

So the D runs good when the engine is cold. Ken K said if it’s the coil, it would work again when it cooled off. So I ordered a new one:

Can you guess which coil it the old coil? Even if the coil isn’t the problem, I’d still rather have a new coil for any performance improvements, and to improve aesthetics.

I installed the coil last night, and drove around the neighborhood for about 25 minutes. The engine was definitely warmed up, and there were no problems. And the coil was hot <shrugs>. Now I know some people reading this can point out I don’t know what I’m doing, or they would do things differently, or they would use a different coil, or they would use a different supplier, or I paid too much, etc. So what? I liked the idea of using a new exact replacement Bosch coil, and not 25 year old NOS. Besides, I’m young, and I’m learning.

Note to self: Get a Voltmeter/Ohmmeter, and learn how to use it.


Stock Bosch Ignition Coil – $59.95 plus shipping at SpecialTAuto.com

Engine Compartment Upgrades

I’ve spiffed up the engine compartment a little bit. First up was the Engine Cover Support:

The old sliding bracket mounting holes were broken, so I got a new one with more mounting points from DeLorean Parts Northwest. I then simply painted the brace, spring, and screw heads with Rust-Oleum:

Next was the coolant bottle replacement, with stainless brackets. The old bottle looked bad, and had the wrong cap type. Ken K did the installation. Old:


My air box sticker was the wrong sticker! I really wanted “DMC” to pop out on the engine, I want the correct sticker, I want a new looking sticker, and I want the sticker to match the Airbox Label T-Shirt I bought. Since the sticker I bought was NOS, the backing didn’t come off easily. I nearly destroyed it, but salvaged it with some double stick tape. I later found out you’re supposed to warm them up with a hair dryer, or heat gun. Even letting it sit on the dash board on a hot day might work. Oh well, it’s on and looks decent. Old:


I finally added my K&N air filter. Here’ shot of the old filter, and the new K&N:


Costs (discounts and reimbursements not shown)

Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish Spray Paint from Home Depot: $3 – $4?
Stainless Coolant Tank from SpecialTAuto.com: $151.90
K & N air filter and cleaner from SpecialTAuto.com: $62.95
Sliding block, engine cover support from delorean-parts.com: $22.45 (shipped with door launchers)
Air Cleaner Label from DMC (Midwest): $5.95


Future Upgrades:

Refinish or replace Engine Cover Screen Brackets
Replace all other old, yellowed engine compartment labels
Replace Engine Cover Striker Latch (currently awaiting available replacement)
Blue Silicon Vacuum Hoses from SpecialTAuto.com
Replace broken firewall compartment cover

August 3rd Downers Grove Car Show Wrap Up

Orphan Cars was the featured category. This was also my first car show. I was kind of indecisive about my parking spot, but I settled on a good one in front of the Downers Grove Library. Friends and family showed up. The car got lots of attention. I answered lots of questions, and handed out many fact sheets and Save The Clock Tower flyers. A few other local owners were there, and the weather was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better night.

I think my car got more attention than the Shelby Cobra on the right.

New DeLoreans?

So the LA Times ran an article with an interview with James of DMC (Houston):


The article mentions DMC (Houston) will be building new cars. I believe James has mentioned in the past they’ll need to make new fiberglass underbodies since their supply is low. I believe this means new VIN tags. Which translates into “New DeLoreans.” This caught the attention of several other news outlets including Slashdot:


Get ready to read several hundred flux capacitor, 1.21 Gigawatts, plutonium, and cocaine jokes, and several other comments about how the car was a poor performer and all around disaster. Nothing that hasn’t been beaten to death before.


There are many DeLoreans available in any condition – just check ebay, and the for sale listings on various DeLorean websites. If you want one, you can find it. I believe the market for new DeLoreans would be minimal, and a DMC (Houston) refurbished DeLorean is completed mostly with news parts anyway. I don’t think we’re going to see “New DeLoreans” anytime soon.

DMCTalk.com has a good discussion going on this topic: http://www.dmctalk.com/showthread.php?t=6597


Still, I’ve had several people over the last few days say they’ve heard about the new DeLoreans coming soon. Whatever.