30 March 2013

DeLorean Maintenance - 2013

Not sure how other states (or provinces) deal with vehicle smog.  Here in California, one needs to smog their car every two years.  Cars older than 1975 (I think) are exempt.  Well, it is that time, again.  I  need to have the DeLorean smogged in order to register the car.  I leave that task to the good folks at DMC-California.  They will do their magic on the car and makes sure it passes.

As goofy as it sounds, I was waiting to get my smog summons...just so I can take the car to DMC.  For I have a lot of work I wanted to be done on the car.  Recently, I have had issues with the car not starting.  There are a number of upgrade parts that I wanted to be installed in the car.  This includes the new Fuel Pump/Sender, Front & Rear Performance Shocks, Rear Lowering Springs, and Lower Strut Support Bracket.  These are projects that some owners can do on their own.  But who are we talking about here?  Some of this stuff requires the tools, facility, skill, and knowledge that I just do no have.  Better leave areas like the fuel tank to the pros.

I dropped the car off two weeks ago, on Saturday, and picked it up on Thursday.  Here is what they did.

New DMC Performace Shocks and Springs
Finally, the rear of the car has been lowered to match the front.  It had been 'ass up' for two years.  Now, the car is level.

Height before the rear was lowered - 27 inches
Height after installation of new shocks and springs - 25.5 inches

This was that I tried to do myself, twice.  I had trouble getting the spring compressors at 180° from each other.  Not a lot of room to maneuver in there...and not a lot of experience on my part.  Something about strong metal strings under tremendous amount of tension.

Installed Lower Strut Support Bracket
Years of closing and opening the doors puts a lot of stress on the lower strut support.  In the photo above, you can see that the strut support is at 90° to the B-pillar.  Before the support bracket was installed, it was cocked at an angle.  In fact, the driver's side had fiberglass damage.  Not only was the joint misaligned, it had cracked the fiberglass, and was about to complete break off from he B-pillar.  The passenger side was not as drastic, but still misaligned. Now that the support brackets are in, I will not have to worry about not being able to lift the 90 pound doors.

Of course, I finally got that Fuel Pump installed.  It had been sitting in the box for nine months.  Having it installed also completes my quest to have at least one part from every DMC vendor installed in my car.

Obviously, there is always le problème dujour.  There were three additional things that needed to be done.  Well, two that needed to be done and one that was a cosmetic issue.

- Coolant hoses were not looking that great.  So yeah, I would want that to be taken care of.  What, did you expect me to do that, myself?  They have the car apart anyway, let them do it.  Besides, I am not equipped to deal with hazardous materials.

- Torn boot on the left axle.  Yeah, do not want dirt getting in there, nor do I want grease to ooze out.

New headliners for the doors
 - The headliners were getting old and could use a refresh. Oh hell, why not.  Not only was the fabric itself getting old and sagging, the foam behind it was getting crusty...like the clown.  I must say, new headliners do make the cockpit look so much better.  Plus, I do not have to deal with it sagging on my pretty hair.  This was also one of the more costly (parts and labour) items on the invoice.

New headliners
Other 'minor' stuff done to the car include (and I am just reading off the invoice) a routine oil change with oil filter, adjusting fuel mixture, alternator belt, drive belt, some o-rings, smog check.

So, how much did this cost me?  A lot.  About double of what I thought it would be.  But, at least I know it was done right and not by some hack, like me.  The parts installed should last and I will not have to worry about them for a long time.  Who gets more money from my paycheck, the government or DeLorean Motor Company?  Well, I got a good bonus check, and the government took about half....the other half went to DMC, still a few hundreds dollars short.

Oh, the problem with starting was solved by the crew at DMC-California.  There was a loose connection in the fuse box.  The fuse was good, but the wires leading to the fuse were not.  I would never have found that.  Now, we are good to go.  I should have no problems.  Although, I do want to do some other stuff to the car now.  Stay tuned, this should be happened within a few weeks.


Martini said...

I didn't know about that B-pillar support. I think I will have a look at mine. Fingers crossed!

Martini said...

I asked Dave to inspect my door supports... Good news! He showed me that the driver's door is slightly bent, but not bad for such a high mileage car. The passenger side was nearly perfect so he did not recommend adding the bracket/support unless the fibreglass cracked. The bad news was my driver's door had totally separated. They had to weld it back together. haha.