Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Back to Stainless

I have to apologize for being slow to update the blog, but progress is has continued on the restoration. I started stripping the paint on the car using a chemical stripper, and it became very clear that this was going to be a difficult or nearly impossible job. When the car was painted the first time, a self-etching primer was used and it would take many hundreds of hours to complete the job. At some point I had to make a decision if the effort was even worth it -- my decision was that it was not, so I began looking into alternatives. I didn't really want to repaint the car, so I did a bit more research and I discovered soda blasting. Soda blasting is similar to sand blasting with the exception that rather than sand, baking soda is used as the medium. Unlike sand, baking soda does not  damage rubber, plastics, or glass.

This past fall, I had a local company called Superior Polymer come to my house and soda blast the car and the results were amazing. It is almost impossible to know that the car was ever painted, and the job was completed in half of a day.

I removed the rear quarter panels and T-panel so that they could be done off the car and minimize the amount of medium that would get into the engine bay. The interior is mostly stripped so I just used plastic to cover the dash area

Take a look at this video of the passengers side quarter panel being completed, it is pretty cool to see how well this works! The paint easily comes out of every nook and cranny, and we were even able to strip the paint from the inside of the doors. There is literally no trace of this car being previously painted. Honestly I would never consider attempting to do this job myself again, this process had such great results, and was incredibly quick. My precious time can now be spent doing the rest of the restoration.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Restoration is not DEAD!

OK, it is has been a long time since this blog was updated, but a lot has happened in the interim. VIN 1470 is now is Texas, I sold it to a friend who is doing the restoration. The reason I sold it was due to a job change for my wife which has us moving out of the state. Two cars just couldn't make the move, so I decided to sell 1470 and continue on the project I had started. It took some time for our house to sell, and I didn't move the car to the new house until then. So the project has been stalled for some time due to the car being roughly 5 hours away.

The newly recovered seats.
But the car is now back in my garage, and I'm slowly getting back into it. A while back I had purchased some of the new DMC seat covers that someone bought, installed them in their car and then decided they wanted to go concours, so they removed them. It was a pretty sweet deal for basically new seat covers so I picked them up. A friend of ours used to do upholstery work in Detroit and worked for almost every major auto maker doing prototype work, and custom upholstery for Leer jets, so I asked her if was willing to re-cover my seats. Needless to say she did a great job at installing the new seat covers. They will look great when they are re-installed into the car.

And at a cost of only $75 for the installation of the new covers, including the cost of the rings it was a good deal too. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

VIN 1470 finally arrives!

The car is finally here, after taking much longer than anticipated to get picked up. I did an initial assessment on the car, and the guy who was selling this car WAY undersold it. The seller said the interior was terrible, it is definitely not terrible. The seat skins will need to be replaced due to the fact that they are cracking, but I've seen much worse in other cars in use! The carpets look like new, with the exception of the carpet in the compartment behind the drivers side seat where a mouse made a nice nest. The binnacle is compeltely intact, and there is only one small crack in the dash near the glove box. The headliners are drooping and will need replacing, but other that than, the interior is in amazing shape!

The exterior is going to need a little TLC, but overall its not as bad as the seller made that out to be either. The drivers side rear quarter is a total loss and will need to be replaced. Other than that there are a couple of small dings along the wheel well on the passengers side rear quarter and some damage on the drivers side front quarter panel towards the top near ther fascia. All with the exception of the drivers side rear quarter panel, everything else should be easily repairable -- I'll send the car down to DMC Midwest for that work. I already have a line on a nice used rear quarter panel, so I should have that squared away and installed soon.

Mechanically this car looks near mint, when I popped the engine cover I was pleasantly surprised, everything was complete and looked almost like new. Due to the fact that the car has been sitting since 1984 I figured the fuel system would need work, and it will. However I was shocked to find a box of brand new parts from DMC Houston in the passengers side seat that contained almost everything I will need: A fuel pump, a fuel pump boot, fuel pump support bracket, new fuel lines, all the necessary hose clamps and a new accumulator! The only thing that seems to be missing that I will have to order is the metal fuel return line and a fuel tank sending unit. I seriously may only need to order less than $200 in additional parts to get the car started!

It looks like someone started to do the work on the fuel system because the old pump was already pulled out and the tank was cleaned. It will need to be cleaned up a bit more due some additional junk, including a dead mouse, getting in there since the project was abandon. It also looks like the fuel distributor is new and was replaced and that the plugs and wires may have also been replaced!

I'll be curious to see the condition of the hydraulics, but so far this car is turning out to be the bargain of the century, and I should easly come in under the $25K rule.

So on Monday I'll be ordering a strut kit for the doors, trunk, etc, the metal fuel return line, and and the fuel tank sending unit to get started. My other project will be on hold for a little bit because I'd really like to get the car running quickly if possible so I can at least move it around a bit more easily.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hear that? Its the sound of crickets.

Yes, the dog days of summer are here and my blog has been quiet for some time. I've been tied up with a project I'm woking on for a new business venture and it has essentially taken over my life so I haven't had a whole lot of time to do work on the car. This project should let up a bit by the end of September. It has also just been too hot to work out in the garage. I live by Lake Michigan which usually has a nice cooling effect during the summer but the heat this year has been unprecendented, temperatures in the high 80's and 90's with humidy hovering around 90% is not comfortable. Last year I ran the air conditioning 3 days, this year is has been running straight for over two months. I feel like I was just complaining that it was too cold to work on the car.

Needless to say, I am still working on cleaning up the valley of death. I have a new fuel distrubutor and CPR on the way. I knew my fuel distributor was in need of work, and I wasn't sure about the CPR and I came across a set on the DMCTalk forums so I decided to just get both to make sure I am set to go.

The front grill for VIN 1470 was missing and I also managed to pick up a used one in nice condition. Once the car arrives I will be able to put it on. Yes, I'm still waiting for it to arrive. The company I normally used seems to be out of business so I had to look for another company to move the car, which is tricky in the auto transport industry, which isn't known for it stellar reputation. I hope it arrives in one piece!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Delorean Car Show 2010

I will not be going to the car show this year, again. The driving factor was having a two year old in the back seat for 18 hours -- it just sounded like a recipe for disaster. So it looks like I will have to wait for the next one, perhaps I will actually have a running car to bring by then! To those who are going, enjoy! It looks like it is going to be a great show and the raffle car this year is gorgeous! Who ever wins that one is going to be damn lucky.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am in the middle of the VOD, and headed out on vacation for a week, so I will probably post more when I get back. I need to finish cleaning up the VOD, and then its time to start re-assembling things. One final order of some fuel system parts when I get back and I should be ready to try and start this thing for the first time!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Project list is getting longer......

OK, I know, I've always been told to finish what you started before jumping into something else, but I can't resist a good deal so I ended up picking up VIN 1470 this past week. For those of you who read the DMCTalk forums religiously you probably already know this, but for the rest that don't -- project #2 is now on the way. I am working on getting shipping quotes for it at the moment, so it probably won't arrive for a few weeks.

In the mean time I've been tearing apart the motor on 5063 because the water pump leak is leaking. I have the whole top of the engine off, and managed to only break one bolt. I started cleaning the "Valley of Death" as many refer to it, and am hoping to find some time to remove the water pump tomorrow. While I am doing this I am also replacing all of the coolant hoses on the car... every last section. I only want to bleed this system out once! I'll be posting some pictures of the VOD for all to enjoy, as it seems to be a favorite with folks. Mine was full of random bits of junk, some large nuts a squirrel stashed away, dirt, leaves, etc.

In other news I am considering coming down for the Delorean Car Show in Lexington next week. Originally we had planned to take the week off and spend the whole time at our lake cabin, but I'd really like to make the show considering I've missed every other one. Something always seems to come up that keeps me from being able to attend. We're not fully commited yet, but will be making the decision soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

License Plate Bezel

In an earlier blog post I mentioned that number of the black pieces on the car were very faded from roasting in the sun for so many years. I had ordered a can of SEM Trim Black paint in hopes of restoring these pieces. The recommendation to use this paint was a very good one and it matches the original Delorean black finish very nicely.

Here is a before and after image of the license plate surround so that you can see the results for yourself:

That is quite a difference, and considering this part is not available through DMC anymore this is about the best it is going to get. I did several very light coats of paint to get a nice finish, no sanding necessary. I have more pieces to do, but I know others were going to be curious to see the results.