You are currently viewing archive for July 2005
Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Today we worked on replacing the door and bonnet struts. I expected this to be a semi difficult job with aligning and removing bolts to get the struts on and off, but I was completely wrong. These struts are not like the louver struts that are bolted on, they just pop on and are held in place with a pin. Simply twist and remove the pin, and pop the struts off. Replace and your finished. New struts work great, but I do notice that the hood does not seem to open as much.

Jul 27, 2005: Fan fail install

Category: Electrical
Posted by: Derek
With the DeLorean, one of the most well known problems is the poor fan electrical setup, causing the fans to malfunction. I can attest to this, as I have just experienced overheating due to a broken fan fail relay. The fan fail 2x2 from Special T is my new life saver.

Install instructions:

Simply remove the two relays on the bottom left, and replace with the relay connections from the box. Follow the guide that came with the fan fail explaining which one goes where. Hook it up to the battery and tuck it away. All done! I went ahead and removed the center console plate and covered up the "FAN FAIL" lettering with black electrical tape, so all you see when they are on is "COOLING". It is nice to know when they are working.

Jul 26, 2005: Air bleeder install

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
How to install the air bleeder:

Fairly simple, take a wrench and remove the valve next to the throttle, and replace with your new sized valve. Place hose on the end and secure with metallic hose clamp. Cut hose near coolant bottle and insert T section. Clamp all hoses onto the T bar and you are done. Very easy, and protects against air bubbles causing coolant problems. Ordered parts from Special T Auto.

Jul 26, 2005: Current "To Do" list

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
After working last night, here is the updated list of things to do in order of importance:

1. Fix the "high idle" - going to check the idle speed motor tonight as well as check for vaccum leaks.

2. Replace the tires - already have been ordered from, going with Fuzion 195/60/14s in the front and 225/60/15s in the back (a bit smaller in the back, but a much more common size).

3. Bleed the brakes - will do this on the weekend when the tires are off.

4. Fix the passenger door strut - DMC Houstons strut blew last weekend, and they are out of stock currently. Ordered one from SpecialT to replace it, should be in this week.

5. Fix the bonnet struts - not DMCH struts, but they do not seem to want to hold the hood up.

6. Replace belts - already have them sitting around, just need to be put on.

7. Engine light - bulb works, but switch tends to short out or has some other funky issues. Have a new switch en route.

8. Interior lights - dome lights are all screwed up, enough said. Not sure how to fix, will have to play with.

9. Grease steering wheel - makes a noisy rubber sound when turned, I think the bushing needs to be lubed.

10. Recharge A/C - drivers need cool air too.
Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Removing center console procedure:

1. Remove 2 screws holding in dish in back of console. Remove dish.
2. Remove two bolts under dish.
3. Pull switches off A/C console. They pull right off.
4. Remove one screw holding in plate, remove plate.
5. Remove shift knob.
6. Unscrew the shift plate and pull up partly, work leather off of shift stick. Find something long as you need to pinch the pins located far toward the front of the shift plate, that secures it to the center console. Unplug rheostat switch.
7. Save yourself the pain next time and remove the two retaining metal clips so there is no problem reassembling or removing this next time. It is not really needed, as it does not move, is held down in the back, as well as the front.
8. Remove 4 bolts under shift plate.
9. Remove screws under passenger and driver side foot well, located towards the top corner, securing center console to dash.
10. Pull up on console and lift towards back, be careful not to pull wires out of the center switches.

Fixing mode switch:

Unscrew the mode switch from the center of the accessories dash. Stick your hand behind and unplug the three wires in it. Make sure you remember how they were plugged in. Remove rubber boot and pull switch out from behind dash. I found it easiest to do this from the passenger side, as there is more room to see in back.

Unscrew the plastic plate from the mode switch. Remove plate. Look at tabs holding in the white nub. Press together gently and remove the white nub, but do so with it against a table as the spring is forceful and if you only unhook one tab, the springs force will break the other. This is what happened to me. If you break a tab, do not worry, there is a fix. However, remove the rubber diaphragm now, place the new one in, and give it a quick going over with vasolene, but do so very fine so it is not on thick. Place back together. If you broke a tab, take the white nub and tilt it sideways so the tab section is hard to put in. This hole is a bit rectangular, and you can force it in the other way. This keeps pressure on the spring to hold the diaphragm in place. If needed, use some pliers but BE CAREFUL. If you break something further it is not my fault, this is simply the step I took to fix my earlier error.

Now, reinstall, reversing every step. No more vaccum hiss.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Played around tonight to try to fix the cars idling issue. Right now it idles around 1800-2000 RPM and once the car is driven around 2500. Really have no idea what I am looking at, so off go questions to the DML.

Also tried to fix the passenger side window felt. The front part is completely peeled off, and flapping around as the window is opened and closed. Tried using a plastic PVC glue but it did not hold. Will have to move on to something else.

Jul 24, 2005: Eyebrow fix

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Wanted to fix a slight warping of the fascia on the passenger side, so purchased the eyebrow kit from Special T Auto.

First, remove the headlights. See 'electrical' section for removal information.

These bars in the kit do not need glue to be installed, like some other kits require. They fit behind the fascia and are not obvious if someone looks directly at your headlights. The directions, 'simply pop in from behind the fascia up into the lip, and your done'. In reality, it was more difficult, as there is very little clearance to get this bar in. I had to adjust the aim of my headlights to get enough space to add the bar. Adjust the headlights so they push back further into the car for additional space. Try to remember how many turns you make (I didn't, and it was time consuming to re-aim them). Just put the bars in and reassemble your lights. The bars are so tight in there that they will not move. The strength of them immediately fixed the warping of the eyebrow, although a bit of a wave was still evident. After the first hot day though, the bar must have helped flex it strait as they look perfect now.
Category: Electrical
Posted by: Derek
Day 1 (or 2 depending on how you look at it) of maintenance.

Tail light repair -

Right now I have one brake light that works intermittently, and a rear turn signal that does not work. If I am taking these tail lights apart, I want to accomplish several tasks at once. First thing, RadioShack oxidization cleaner to take care of the old metal. Second, need to tighten the sockets in place to assure better connections. Check the DMCNews tech section for the correct part #'s for this. In addition, new bulbs to replace all older lights.

First, unscrew the tail lights, and pull away from car. Disconnect the harness attached. Place tail light aside, and use cleaner to clean contacts on the car harness. Take tail light board, and slide it off of the tail light plastic. Take a hose and wash the inside and outside of the tail light, as it is most likely that you have 20+ years of junk inside of there. Use oxidization cleaner to wipe metal contacts on board, as well as sockets. Take the nut and bolts and tighten them up in the tail light sockets, and replace with new lights. Most likely you will not find the same lights at a auto store, so get the closest size (mine were a bit taller) but make sure they are 12v. Place the lights in the board, put it back in the plastic, and reattach to the car. I puchased new screws (stainless steel) to attach the tail lights, it looks nice and will not rust like the old ones. Worked perfectly, tail light and signal fixed.

Turn signal repair -

One of my front turn signals is out, so I plan to clean these also. My symptom was a freyed ground, your situation may be different.

Unscrew the tail lights, and pull. The bulbs twist and can be removed from the plastic housing. It is best to wash the housing, and replace the bulbs. I used the oxidization cleaner on the sockets while they were out. If you suspect wiring issues, move around the plastic boot, as my wire was freyed and covered by the boot. Fix wires as neccesary, replace lights, and reinstall. I put stainless steel screws in here also as the previous ones were stripping. Fixed the front turn signal.

Headlight installation -

Headlights are held in by metal brackets. These brackets have 4 screws that connect them to the car. Two on the top and one on each side. The side ones are easy to reach, but the top ones will require the pushing and bending of the fascia to reach. DO NOT turn the adjustment screws (the four that look different than the rest) while removing lights if your alignment is correct. You will need to play with the fascia to remove the frames, as they are awkward to install and remove due to limited space. Once the frame is off, just pull on the bulb and the whole light will come out. The harness to remove it is in the back. I installed new SilverStar lights, they look very nice on the D.

Jul 24, 2005: More problems

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Went to get in the passenger side today and heard a 'hissing' sound, followed by the door closing. Yay, blew a gas strut.

Also, had the bonnet up earlier and 'slam!' it decided to close itself. Need new struts there also...
Category: Electrical
Posted by: Derek
So, the car is home, and I want to fix whatever problem the car has, so I can get it up and running again. We have filled the antifreeze back up, and need to figure out why the car overheated.

First, check the fuses and relays...

Fuses - what a mess. The old owner must have been dyslexic because nothing is in the right spot, 30s where 10s should be, missing fuses in some spots, one melted because the wrong one was used. Get these all taken care of and move on to the relays.

Relays - who knows if they are bad, but they are old. Should be replaced immediately. Pulled em as directed, and popped new ones in.

Start up the car, and BLING! Temperature gauge, volt gauge, tachometer, and fuel gauge are working now. So are the door lights that were bad before. Let the car sit and run as the temperature creeps up, and the fans decide to kick in. Wow, can't believe I didn't notice they weren't working at all on the trip home, especially because of how loud they are.

Well, the car is working fine, and doesn't seem to have any engine problems. Will check more tomorrow, as half the neighborhood is out checking the car over, and I have racked up about 10 bug bites.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
So, today was the day. The car is home.

Went to pick the car up early this morning, and we were down in Avon, Ohio at 9am. We met the owner at the DMV where we filled out all the paperwork as well as received a temporary tag. He left on a trip directly from the DMV, but we went to his house where the car was waiting for us. Plated it up and set off.

A few things to note at this point...the temperature gauge, volt gauge, and tachometer do not work. From our previous test drive, I only remember the volt gauge not working. In addition, the mode switch is hissing (already knew this needed to be fixed).

We stopped in the first 30 minutes to get gas, and realized at this point that the gas gauge was not working. Better start clocking how long we travel. The car is running cool, no issues.

Continue the drive, stopped every now and then to check the cars heat, buy some fireworks, get food, etc. No issues.

We reach within 20 miles of home, outside Buffalo, and get stuck in traffic at the toll barrier. A ten minute wait turns into my worst nightmare, as 3 cars from the toll, the kid next to me yells "hey your smoking" as my friend is frantically beeping behind me to get my attention. I turned the car off automatically, and ran to the back to open the louvers to get it some cool (85 degree, yay) air. I have coolant spewing all over the place, and just pray no damage is done.

Now I have cars behind me that need to get through, so my friend drove around me and parked, and a nice toll booth worker came out to help us push it off the road. Tow truck was called.

1 1/2 hours later the tow truck showed up, we requested a flatbed, and he was like "Uh, theres a car down the road that needs be towed, I am gonna do him first." Huh?!

45 minutes later, he's back. We are loaded up and start the short drive home. 20 minutes into the trip, as I am driving with him, going 55mph towards an S-curve for the offramp, I hear "OH F**K, I LOST BRAKES AND POWER STEERING". Perfect, as we approach the curve and the 30 foot drop to the grass below. Luckily he downshifts to slow us and has enough control over the truck to get us off the thruway.

10 minutes later, the bastard dumps my car and takes off, without even calling another tow truck. AAA is gonna hear about this for sure. Call AAA and get another truck en route.

1 hour later, car is loaded up on truck #2, and heading home (again). Arrives without a problem, and is unloaded in front of the house. The trip is complete, with a broken D in tow.

See pictures:

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
The trip paid off, in a great way. I am now the owner of vin # 10084.

Background on the car: It is a 1982 manufactured in December 1981, with the later flat style hood with logo. It has a ANSI radio w/o clock, and a power antenna. Grey interior, and only 3,300 miles! The car is for the most part all original, right down to the tires. The car is in very good physical shape, but does have some issues that need to be fixed before it is fully functional. The following needs to be fixed:

- Air is broken right now, there is a hissing behind the dash, so the mode switch diaphram needs to be replaced. It may be more than this, such as a recharge or low pressure switch, but the owner said he jumped the compressor and it blew cold air.

- Lights that do not work - door, trunk, and engine compartment. May just be fuses, or that they were unplugged for show purposes.

- Tail light flickers, needs to be cleaned and bolt tightened.

- Reverse lights do not work, most likely bad connection on the reverse light switch, or a bad switch in general.

I have a long list of parts I am going to order, and am going to spend the first week doing an intense rehab on the car. Should be exciting! Here are some pictures:

Jul 14, 2005: Car shopping... the list

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Getting ready to go on a weekend trip to browse for a DeLorean. There are two cars in Ohio (about 3 hours from home, and the second is another hour away) and two in Michigan (2 1/2 hours from the Ohio cars) which puts me 3 1/2 hours away from home as I drive around the lake. The first car in Ohio is a car on consignment, 1982, creased hood, 19k miles. The second car is from an estate, 1982, flat hood w/logo, 3k miles, looks really nice. The third in Michigan is a second owner car, 1982, creased hood, 27k miles. Finally, the fourth I have little information on, as it has been in storage for several years and does not run, I think I may pass at looking on this one. All cars are listed between $13k and $15k, found on Collector Car Trader Online and Hemmings. Should be a fun weekend.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Lesson #1: See a car before you commit to buying, and do not fly across the country to do so. Stay local, or within a weekends drive.

So, I found several cars for sale in the area that are a bit higher priced than the car in Kansas that I passed on. I feel that it would be better to pay the slightly higher price for a car with fewer issues, as well as being able to inspect first. Unfortunately I am going to be away this weekend so I will have to wait until next weekend to go browse.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Flew into Kansas City, then drove the 3 hours to Wichita to meet the person handling the sale of the car. Pictures looked relatively the same as the car, but there were several problems that were not mentioned that the car had. The most important of the bunch were non-working brake lights, a cracked windshield, broken emergency/parking brake, as well as a missing air hose. The car would have needed to be driven back, and I was not satisfied that it would make it, and in addition the angle drive I needed installed was not. The car ran rough, and had problems staying running while idling (which is completely the opposite as the owner said the car was mechanically solid). Decided not to take the car, and flew home instead. Altogether a dissapointment.

Jul 01, 2005: T minus 23 hours

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
In less than 23 hours, I will be down in Wichita inspecting and taking delivery of the car. Ran into some possible problems today, as the parts that were sent to the owner made it down there, but I do not know if he installed the angle drive to fix the speedometer. He is going to be out of town for the weekend, and has already left, as his friend is handling the transaction and sale of the car. Hopefully he did install it, or I will be getting greasy before I start to head back. Will know more later today...