The DeLoreans are well known for crap-in-the-tank problems, which tends to foul up the entire fuel system. My DeLorean had
clearly gone through several rounds of working on the fuel system, and had spent the better part of 8 months at a
mechanic's workshop to deal with such issues.
When I purchased the car, I was told that in the previous year the car had had its fuel tank baffle, pump, accumulator, and filter replaced, and the injectors had been remanufactured. They had also flushed out the tank, as some "chemical" in the tank had eaten the tank baffle.
I decided, given the stakes, that I should not take the mechanic's word for it, and opened the tank myself. I discovered that the cover in the spare-tyre well no longer had any bolts holding it down, and when I removed it, the outer rubber cover was already peeled back from the pump housing. The wiring going to the pump itself was badly bodged and, upon loosening the nut that held the ring connector for power to the pump itself, the wire promptly snapped.
Here you can see the wiring after I removed the pigtail from the car, along with the wrapped-tape and missing ring connector
on the red wire (+12v). After I removed the tape you can see that the wiring is spliced from not two, but three pieces.
Finally, my repair job with new wiring from the splice, new ring connectors, and proper shrink-wrapped.
To my irritation, I found the tank was, indeed, full of crap. I pumped the gas out using a hand-pump into a small one gallon
bucket, and then poured this gas through a couple of filters (aka, a towel and a t-shirt) into another can. I inspected the
pump, the fuel sender and the grounding rod/vapour vent tube in the tank. The sender unit was a little rusty, the pump fine
(it should be, it was new after all) and the grounding rod, which is brass, was corroding.
I proceeded to allow the tank to fully dry out and then 'swept' up the crap in the tank. Amongst random particulate matter I managed to find a washer (!), and what appeared to be some kind of pad which may have cushioned the original DeLorean baffle. My car has an after-market aluminium baffle and more direct pump layout.
I used ScotchBrite to clean up the sender (which didn't appear to work, anyway) and the grounding rod, and then cleaned the cleaning residue out of the tank. Finally I put in fresh '91 and reassembled things, giving me a smooth running DeLorean. Unfortunately it's still a pig to start, so that's the next adventure.
Gunk in the one-gallon tank from the gas pumped out of the fuel cell, the aluminium baffle, gunk on my "filter", gunk in
the small bucket and the pump and sender.
This is all of the crap I took out of the tank, note the washer and the fabric pad. I also have a few shots of the
inside of the tank, showing the grounding rod tip (the blue powder is the corrosion cleaned off the rod), the mount for
the baffle, and the outside of the tank showing the gas inlet hose, and the vapour tube with the grounding rod nipple in
it (the hose to its right is the vapour hose, disconnected).