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Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/16/21 9:45 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Yeah, I imagine the compact size and power-to-weight was why they wanted one- and Mazda's playing it close to the chest with theirs being why they were hoping the European company's would work...

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/16/21 9:52 p.m.

In reply to Stefan (Forum Supporter) :

I'd generally prefer keeping as much of the car's original dna as possible, so if it's going to get a new frame I'd prefer it to be purpose-built for it. The frame is actually closest to that of a Lotus Europa as I understand it.

Honestly though, the highest probability is that I'll just be repairing the original frame- that will likely be the cheapest option, and it's clear that I'm going to have to buy some expensive repair parts I wasn't sure I would need until I got into things today (will post about that tomorrow).

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/16/21 10:04 p.m.

Woohoo! I've been waiting for this thread since I saw it in person when I picked up the Rampage.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/16/21 10:32 p.m.

I don't have much to contribute other than I drive by DMC Houston when I take my kids to the orthodontist. And now every time I go by I'll wonder how this is going. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/16/21 10:47 p.m.

Any thought to use a Subaru engine? IDK what the engine bay looks like in this thing, but the flat-4 may be good packaging/weight with a usable transmission/transaxle in the same way guys with VW buses use them - not to mention endless parts supply (and supply of junkyard engines), possibility of whatever power you want using turbo, etc etc. Just a thought, no idea if it's a practical idea or not. 

Side note - for 3 years of college some other student had a DMC (in the late 90s) and drove it to class daily. He always parked near where I did so I know it was in running shape for all that time (on a public college student budget, no less). 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/16/21 11:31 p.m.

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

Yeaaaaah... it has been sitting there for far too long. My automotive ADD just kept grabbing other projects that bumped it back... -_-;

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/16/21 11:32 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I made it down there once when my some of my family lived down in Houston- they took me out for a ride in their prototype supercharged one (that of course never went into production of any sort). 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
3/16/21 11:50 p.m.

At $30K, that's more than I could afford... but I wouldn't consider that exactly an expensive car... let the purists get one and keep it stock. Make yours whatever ya want.

I'm a huge fan of the 231/3800, and a Series II L67 would be fantastic in there... I would imagine it has been done? But when you reminded he had originally planed on a rotary (I do remember hearing that back then, but was not particularly interested) I think that would be a fantastic plan. Tell the purists its more original than the original!

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/17/21 7:34 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I've not totally discounted anything (well, besides using another PRV- the last-model fuel-injected PRV from the early 90's was sometimes swapped in), but haven't really thought about the Boxer engines much. I don't know much about the form factor of them to know whether they would fit either- the PRV is a pretty tall engine overall and sits in a deep 'V' on the frame.

Honestly, until mine had the issues with its frame it was pretty reliable and I could drive it around whenever I wanted but it was relatively impractical due to being a true coupe and having fairly little in the way of cargo capacity, so it's not wholly surprising that someone could daily one with relatively little maintenance needed.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/17/21 8:08 a.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

The L67 was my original plan- a fairly compact engine that was more than capable of making the relatively heavy DMC move well enough (I had two cars powered by L67s- both fairly heavy Buicks including a Park Avenue Ultra- and when you put the pedal to the floor the engine would pin you to the seat), but kind of worry about the fact that they haven't been made for a while now- around 20 years- was a consideration as I'd like to future-proof this as much as possible. Which is admittedly kind of difficult to predict in any situation- an engine that is used everywhere and has a lot of history could be discontinued and replaced by something completely different at any time...

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/17/21 9:38 a.m.

So, yesterday I got the change to start in on things on the car... and so far both the list to be done and the cost of it all is adding up.

The first thing it made sense to do was pull the rear shade/louvers. The good thing for me is that very little besides some cleaning needs to be done to these as I repainted and textured them (a bit more than they're supposed to be, but that's one of the things that makes mine unique) when I did the work a decade ago. There are a few things that I will be doing though. The first involves finally installing the reinforcement for the center rib of the louvers...

The louvers are essentially fiberglass, and the flexing of use can cause the center reinforcing rib to crack. I have an aftermarket reinforcing rib that bolts on to this to both strengthen the rib and eliminate another problem that I'll get to shortly. It's a REALLY right fit to try and drill the holes to install it though, which is why despite having had the reinforcement for a while I've not already installed it- you really need to have the louvers off of the car.

The other thing that I'll likely be doing is updating and cleaning up the LED 3rd brake light/turn signal that I installed in the louvers. The DMC-12 was made before high brake lights were mandated, but since the car sits so damn low I really thought it wise to add one. I originally pulled a 3rd brake light pod from another 80's car and mounted it on top of the louvers, but later removed that and went with a LED strip mounted on the underside of the top louver. It works as a turn signal too- but it's entirely red. I want to finally switch to one that has yellow turn signal segments as well as the red brake light.

Louvers removed, revealing the engine cover. For the most part, this just needs to be cleaned up as well- the metal vent grills were powder coated when I fixed the car up initially and are in good shape still (they're a bit lighter color than stock, but I liked the contrast). You can also see the hinges for the luggage rack mount provisions along the sides of the upper part of the body- these are going to need to be pulled off and cleaned up (and possibly powder coated themselves to prevent them from rusting so much...). I haven't checked, but if stainless versions of these are available that would be nice, though that's a bit unlikely- these were one of the few things that dealers offered as options on the cars. Interesting DeLorean Fact: the luggage rack, which mounts to those 4 points on top of the louvers (and must be removed to access the engine) was actually marketed as a safety item for the cars. Why? The car carries a donut spare tire under the front luggage compartment (what the Brits would call the 'bonnet', which makes more sense than 'hood' since that usually means the engine is under it and in this case it's not...) that can be used for either front or rear wheels in the case of a flat tire. But.... the rear wheels and tires are, as anyone looking at the car can tell, massive- and if a rear tire has a flat they're too large to carry where the spare goes. SO... if you got a flat tire on the rear wheels AND had a passenger in the car at the time, you'd have to choose between leaving behind the flat tire/wheel or your passenger- unless you had the luggage rack where you could strap down the tire & wheel (but not, presumably, your passenger...).

Yeah, there were a lot of weird things about these cars...

Anyway- there is one unique thing besides the vent color on my car's engine cover:

The engine cover, like the louvers, is essentially fiberglass, and not the best designed to resist flexing. And as you'll see in the next picture, stock cars employ a less-than-ideal means to hold open the engine cover...

Yes, that little metal bracket is what normally holds open the engine cover. It attaches like a few inches aft of the hinges themselves, meaning that the weight of the cover (and grills) bears down on that bracket and thus into where the bracket normally mount to the cover. This causes a) the cover to bend laterally A LOT and b) tends to break the center rib where the bracket bolts to it. The bracket you're seeing is actually and upgraded version that spreads the load out more... but still breaks. To counter the bending, I glued and bolted aluminum channels laterally just forward of the attach point which helped. The ultimate solution? You know that louver rib reinforcement I mentioned earlier? It has a notch in it that the ring at the back of the engine cover has (it's what the louver latches to so it will stay closed) slips into locking the engine cover and louver together, and physics holds both of them open. Which is good- because the gas struts for the louvers (and, unfortunately, the doors as well- these are like the third set for them...) are shot.

Engine cover removed, can now see the engine in all its... well, 'glory' doesn't quite work here. Really savvy DeLorean fans will notice a few major differences from a stock DMC-12, most notably the complete lack of the stock K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection system. When initially restoring the car, I found that many of its components were in really bad shape and would have to be replaced. As I looked further into things, I learned that there was a guy who was making kits to retrofit carburetors to the engines (the PRV was developed decades before the DMC and K-Jet and of course originally used a carb) and that said kit- including the carb itself- was solidly less than the replacement K-Jet parts and was far simpler and easier to tune/maintain (and while yes, finding people who work on carbs is getting harder, finding anyone who has even heard of  the K-Jet system much less can work on it outside of the few DMC shops is nearly impossible). So, mine uses a custom dual-plane manifold and a 2-barrel carb.

There's a lot more to discuss here, but as I'm not going to be pulling anything else from under the engine cover for now, I'll leave that for later.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/17/21 10:56 a.m.

I helped a friend troubleshoot a K-jet on a VW quantum syncro station wagon, it was...  interesting...    Thankfully he ripped that engine out for some turbo 5 audi goodness. 

FMB42
FMB42 Reader
3/17/21 11:11 a.m.

Strong replacement parts support is, of course, critical. Looks like you're covered on that DMC. I have a running 1986 Honda VFR 750 Interceptor project bike that I've made no progress on for almost 2 years now due to a lack of replacement parts (molded fuel lines mostly). Kinda sad really.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/17/21 11:15 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

I helped a friend troubleshoot a K-jet on a VW quantum syncro station wagon, it was...  interesting...    Thankfully he ripped that engine out for some turbo 5 audi goodness. 

Yeah, Bosch CIS is a different beast for sure.  Its one of the prime reasons cars like the Porsche 924 are available so cheap as non-runners.  Meanwhile VW, Volvo and Mercedes who also used the same systems seem to be much more reliable.  Perhaps due to being driven more often?  Not sure.  I ditched it on mine and never looked back.

Here's an interesting document on a high performance Delorean engine kit: https://drc.libraries.uc.edu/bitstream/handle/2374.UC/663741/MET2012_roedlnd_attempt_2012-06-07-17-14-17_MET2012_Nicholas_Roedl.pdf?sequence=1

It actually discusses the boxer engine among other things, might be something interesting in there.

Also everytime the PRV6 comes up, one HAS to mention the French Venturi line of cars that used twin turbocharged PRV6 making upwards of 400hp.  Not exactly easy to acquire or maintain though (there were less than 100 made, 15 for road going use):

 

Mezzanine
Mezzanine Dork
3/17/21 11:34 a.m.

Poor K-Jet. So maligned. It's a fantastically robust and reliable system...assuming you never let the car sit. Daily drivers with K-Jet go forever. Occasional drivers with K-Jet don't go at all. That fuel system just hates sitting, from my experience. 

I'm not throwing you any shade for putting a carb on the car though...do what you must to make it work. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/17/21 12:02 p.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter) said:
Apexcarver said:

I helped a friend troubleshoot a K-jet on a VW quantum syncro station wagon, it was...  interesting...    Thankfully he ripped that engine out for some turbo 5 audi goodness. 

Yeah, Bosch CIS is a different beast for sure.  Its one of the prime reasons cars like the Porsche 924 are available so cheap as non-runners.  Meanwhile VW, Volvo and Mercedes who also used the same systems seem to be much more reliable.  Perhaps due to being driven more often?  Not sure.  I ditched it on mine and never looked back.

Here's an interesting document on a high performance Delorean engine kit: https://drc.libraries.uc.edu/bitstream/handle/2374.UC/663741/MET2012_roedlnd_attempt_2012-06-07-17-14-17_MET2012_Nicholas_Roedl.pdf?sequence=1

It actually discusses the boxer engine among other things, might be something interesting in there.

 Hahaha! That's interesting, I'd never seen that- kind of ironic given I've met the kid (well, not a kid so much any more...) who wrote it and whose senior project was putting the LS into the back of his DeLorean when I went to one of the Ohio DeLorean owner meet-ups and he brought the car to show off for the first time (he also had it down at the Disney World DeLorean Car Show I went to IIRC). If nothing else some of the adapter drawings may prove useful. Also confirms my concern about the form factor of the Boxer engines that they wouldn't fit well into the stock frame. Now, if I were to have one build custom- that's a different story, obviously.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/17/21 12:06 p.m.
Mezzanine said:

Poor K-Jet. So maligned. It's a fantastically robust and reliable system...assuming you never let the car sit. Daily drivers with K-Jet go forever. Occasional drivers with K-Jet don't go at all. That fuel system just hates sitting, from my experience. 

I'm not throwing you any shade for putting a carb on the car though...do what you must to make it work. 

Yeah, I've heard the same thing as well- which is part of why I went with the carb. Mine had sat for like a decade when I got it- that is beyond when it changed hands every few years, the new owners trying to start it and dumping fuel cleaning chemicals into the tank to try and get it to start. There was little doubt that the system was a disaster, and honestly a number of things broke just trying to disassemble it to figure out what would need replacing. There is a decent faction of owners who were adamantly opposed to using the carb kit on the cars, arguing that it was horribly inefficient and wrong- but frankly it made getting the car running a lot easier and I never noticed any real problems with efficiency. And when I did start having problems, a shop here who had an old-school mechanic who knew carbs was easily able to determine that the fuel pressure was too high and it needed a regulator to drop it down to what the carb wanted and it was happy from then on.

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/17/21 4:10 p.m.

Huh. I don't think I've ever seen one without the louvers. I kind of like it, actually.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/17/21 8:37 p.m.

As a child of the 80's I cannot help but love a DeLorean.

I also agree with the idea of swapping in parts that make the car more drivable and enjoyable.  You could consider an engine/trans from a FWD application.  Might be more compact.

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
3/18/21 2:24 a.m.

Fun to see this right now, as a nice coincidence a customer just called me the other day about his thoughts about starting a DMC project here in Sweden. He already has a low mileage stock car but wants another one, with a motor swap and stuff (so that's why I may get involved in making it road legal).

I really hope both you guys move forward, I would love to inspect his car and then I could probably learn some stuff from you in advance :-)

Gustaf

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/18/21 7:41 a.m.

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

The L67 3800 engine was actually from FWD cars- while the 3800 was used in at least a few vehicles in a longitudinal application (notably the 90's F-bodies), the only time to my knowledge that the supercharged L67 was ever used in a RWD was in an Austrialian Holden Ute. And actually, one of the reasons (besides the age) I decided that the L67 might not be ideal was the fact that since it was designed for a transverse application, the throttle body on the end of the supercharger sticks out over the transmission- which is why it wasn't used in the F-bodies, because it interfered with the firewall. The Holden Utes had a custom 90-degree throttle body to solve this issue, but it isn't something easily obtained here and while a custom one could be made there was still the concern that it just wouldn't fit into the engine bay because I don't know just how far aft of the 'firewall' on the DMC the transaxle/engine interface is.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
3/18/21 7:45 a.m.

In reply to therealpinto :

I hope his project goes well! I'm more than happy to answer (or at least try to answer...) any questions you have to help out.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/18/21 7:47 a.m.

For another V6 option, what about the Honda J series?  Seems like adapters for those are popping up all over, and I've definitely seen them in the back of buggies and stuff.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/18/21 8:08 a.m.

Id say a gm 60v6 would fit well, and fit the spirit of the car. A modern 3400/3500/3900 would hive PLENTY of balls, be cheap and compact, and an almost infinite serviceablity due to being gm.

Maybe.

iansane
iansane Reader
3/18/21 9:15 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

For another V6 option, what about the Honda J series?  Seems like adapters for those are popping up all over, and I've definitely seen them in the back of buggies and stuff.

To add to this I just saw an adapter that lets you bolt a holley hiram plenum on the Jseries engine and man does it make the engine look cool. And what's better than cool?

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