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DeLorean restoration

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by shmark, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. ferrariartist

    ferrariartist F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
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    Grant Thomas
    At the risk of being repetitious.. This is just a fascinating thread. Really enjoying seeing all the detail photos of all the steps. Thank you SO much.

    Curious how you are dealing with the torsion bar (when you removed and when you reassemble). I have read they have a quite strong "spring" to them - to lift a VERY heavy door - and are dangerous to work with. Is this true?

    Thx again,

    GT
     
  2. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it. I think it's fascinating too, seeing how a very small manufacturer solved design issues without big resources.

    Steve's been on a promo trip to DC, but I'll have him chime in when he gets back. However I have a lot of experience working with very similar torsion bars in the Porsche world and they aren't hard to deal with for the most part. As long as you get them unloaded, it's just a matter of removing the retainers (basically an indexed "cup" the torsion bar fits into) and pulling the bars out. The structure around the retainer is pretty heavy duty so the body doesn't flex. The biggest pain is pulling old bars out when they have rusted/stuck inside the retainer. Big hammer is the answer.

    Even if you did something dumb like remove a retainer while the bar was loaded, the bar won't go anywhere. Now it might fling the retainer somewhere and that would suck if your face was in the way. Know where the unloaded position is and you're fine.
     
  3. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    Delorean-specific info from Steve.

    Grant you're right, big retainers and bar with a ton of tension - lots of stories about cracking back glass or fiberglass structure on these cars. naturally they have the least amount of tension on them when they are up, and then overextended with the roof panel out. I marked the bar/retainer locations at the splines and used a couple of small pipe (monkey) wrenches - one on the retainer and one on the bar to get it out. While the technology here is fairly simple removing a Delorean door is not for the faint of heart.
     
  4. Dan Germouse

    Dan Germouse Rookie

    Feb 21, 2011
    32
    Like Spittybug above, I am a DeLorean owner and 308 wannabee, here in Atlanta.

    Great resto thread.

    The torsion bars are stainless steel bars that were cryogenically treated while under tension. They are twisted around their longitudinal axis. The drivers side is twisted one way, and the passenger side is twisted the other, so they aren't interchangeble. They provide the torque to open the door and are used in conjunction with a gas strut to hold them open. They can be adjusted on the car, and a common problem was for owners to over torque them to compensate for a weak strut. Over-torque too far and they will break (thankfully always in the door-closed position when they are at maximum twist. The problem was that they were unobtainable for many years (drivers side anyway - oddly, there were hundreds of passenger side ones)and owners then had to wait for a car to be parted out. As mentioned above, the doors are heavy - 70lb or so. Not such a big deal getting in, but try sitting on the ground and lift a 70 door above your head and keep it there while you get out of the car :)

    Biggest danger when working on the bars is that the mounting bracket at the rear will get away from you and spin and break the rear window. A wooden jig can be built to help keep control of the process.

    re: another earlier poster - The DeLorean community has come a long way since Ed Bernstein/D-1 and his "what's your Vin before I will serve you" nonsense. dmctalk.org is full of helpful folks who can answer any question
     
  5. jammer96

    jammer96 Rookie

    May 25, 2012
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    #105 jammer96, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
    Great thread guys! As a hopeful Delorean owner myself, this is great!!

    Judging by the hood the Delorean looks to be an 82 model year. The hood styles changed over the course of production. The cars are actually very reliable, as long as they are kept up properly. With the parts availability increasing you can drive these cars on a regular basis!
     
  6. VF1Skullangel

    VF1Skullangel Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2008
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    Jay
    I couldn't imagine a Delorean being deemed as "Reliable" truthfully. Those Volvo renault engines were kind of complicating.
     
  7. Dan Germouse

    Dan Germouse Rookie

    Feb 21, 2011
    32
    The biggest enemy of the engine is storage. The mechanical fuel injection is very susceptible to the "old Gas" phenomenon. Cars that are daily, or regular, drivers, rarely have a problem. There are several DeLoreans in this country with 300,000+ miles on the original engine, though there are many more in the 30-50,000 range that were bought as investments, possibly, or just parked when the company went bust and parts dried up for several years.
     
  8. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #108 shmark, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Steve has been really busy with a new promotional thing, so not a lot of work on the Delorean lately. Here's the latest.

    The rear roof support has been cleaned up and clamped while the bond cures (6hrs). I'm using a modern panel bonding adhesive from 3m that is two part and uses a mixing tube at the end of this double barrel type caulk gun. It lays down a nice bead and I followed with a plastic spreader. This is the same stuff new corvettes are bonded with.
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  9. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #109 shmark, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The roof repair has been completed with new silicone, rivets, and fasteners. It's all hidden stuff you would never see but it feels good knowing that its all sealed up and solid now.
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  10. ferrariartist

    ferrariartist F1 Rookie

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    #110 ferrariartist, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    thought you'd like this. The Ontario DeLorean Owners Club had a Tech Day a couple weeks ago. Some technicians from DMC Midwest came up and helped a number of them a local garage in Toronto. Quite a day...

    GT
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  11. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    That is a great shot! Looks like it was definitely a good time and I'm not sure I've ever seen that many DeLoreans in once place. Very cool.
     
  12. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #112 shmark, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Last week my son and I got to road trip down to Tallahassee and visit Steve's shop where we spent a great few hours seeing everything he has going on. Lots of fun and a big thanks to Steve for taking the time with us. Not a lot of DeLorean updates since he's been working on getting some other cars out, but here are a couple others you might like.

    The "Smokey Yunick" special, done as a tribute. Not finished yet, but already mean as hell. The shop's semi-official racer (Mom in front), and my son Daniel at the wheel of said racer. And finally a DeLorean shot as Steve shows Daniel how the DeLoreans were put together. A great day and a great road trip.

    (just realized the DeLorean is in 3 of the shots!) :)
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  13. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    After finishing the Mustang and a fling with an Isetta, they are back on the DeLorean with a full effort. Lots of new pics coming up.
     
  14. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #114 shmark, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    We again used the fiberglass safe chemical stripper on the rear deck and are finishing up the rest with a da. Too much grit or pressure will cut the gel coat. We are using 220 lightly, then follow with 400.

    Then the inserts that go in the rear louvre. They are hard plastic unlike the rest of it which is fiberglass. There are surface cracks in these that are a little too deep for sanding and we are applying a glazing, spot putty with a glove and our fingers instead of a spreader. We will follow with a high build primer from a rattle can. Polyester primer from the paint store fills really well also but it leaves more of an orange peel finish and sanding in the slots is difficult.
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  15. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #115 shmark, Jun 30, 2012
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  16. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #116 shmark, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I use window weld from 3m, it's pretty common and works well. The only drawback is the work time is short (10-15 minutes) so you have to move quickly. A thick even bead on the outside edge, patted it down open handed, and then I tucked in the rubber trim from the bottom. Back on top the retainers were drilled out and re-riveted. I suspect they probably did this with the doors hanging at the factory but the painters horses allowed us access to both sides.

    Once the urethane set up, I installed the bottom trim piece on the glass. This was the bent up one I painted and straightend while it was off. On the next door I will install it while my bond is still soft as it was very difficult to get back in.
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  17. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #117 shmark, Jun 30, 2012
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    We've got a lot of hours in the rear louvre panel and the grill inserts. With shipping I would have been at around $600 which is probably a wash with the time spent, but there is always something to be said for saving an original part of the car - then again maybe its just me. :)
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  18. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #118 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The passenger door has been reassembled and is ready to go back on the car minus the headliner pan which I will replace when i do the interior. Ours are all sagging and need replaced.

    I cleaned up the hinges and set them in place for now. They used the shims under the hinges to make the roof line and the holes in the hinge itself are oval shaped for side to side adjustment. I bag and label everything just as it came off but still expect to take the door on and off a few times to get it right.
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  19. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    The passenger door is on the car, working on the fit and trim pieces now.
     
  20. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #120 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The window motor on the drivers door wasnt working - maybe this mouse nest has something to do with it... *we will stip this door and rewire it and replace the motor prior to mounting it. It looks like good news, no dings!
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  21. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #121 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
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    The passenger door torsion bar is in and i used dan's suggestion about the wooden jig. *I just cut a small piece of 1/2 plywood and had it in place underneath the bracket to protect the rear glass while i loaded the bar. *I made a little sharpie mark on the splines when i took it off so i knew where the right amount of tension would be.
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  22. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #122 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
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  23. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #123 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
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  24. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    #124 shmark, Jul 14, 2012
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    With the drivers door stripped and regrained we are reassembling the inside and have fixed the power window, confirmed with our battery test. Works much better with good wiring and no mouse nest.
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  25. 4re Nut

    4re Nut F1 World Champ

    Mar 27, 2004
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    Wow, what a great thread! Thanks for taking the time to share and add the details. Kudos to all involved.
     

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