24 April 2014

DeLorean Louvre Reinforment Strips

One of the unique features of the DeLorean is the louvres. While there are a handful of cars that have this sunshade, usually covering a rear window, the one the DeLorean acts as one of two engine covers.  The prototype DeLorean did not have any louvres, the rear is left open.  Some argue that it was added for better aerodynamics and aids in drawing heat away from the engine compartment. While others argue that the addition of the louvre was for pure aesthetics.

Because of its original design, with a thinner center rib, it had a tendency to break.  Later designs incorporated a thicker center rib and cross piece to help strengthen the area in hopes to prevent breakage.  Still, if you have weak struts holding up your louvre, it can slam down, causing it to break.  Or, if you have really strong struts, you can put too much torque on it when closing, and snap the center support.  Yeah, it is just one of those things you live with as a DeLorean owner.  Luck of the draw.

I stumbled upon some stainless steel louvre strips that I wanted to try.  Note that DMC offers a different designed Louvre Brace.  Both are designed to stiffen up the center rib and both are around the same price.  The DMC Louvre Brace requires longer struts so the louvre can be opened up more to hook the engine cover on the notch.  This way, you do not need to use the stock brace to hold up the engine cover.  Installation of either brace system should be similar.

DeLorean Stainless Steel Louvre Reinforcement Strips
The kit comes with two laser cut stainless steel strips and stainless nuts and bolts.

Dry fitting the reinforcement strips
These are precision cut to fit.  Since there are two (thin and thick) louver designs, there are two precision cut designs to fit the louvre you may have. Be sure to specify with seller when if you decide to order.  The DMC Louvre Brace is universal.

This is a great time to say this, follow the instructions when installing these strips.  While I did read through the instructions several times, the stupid voice in my head decided to do this a different way.  So what could have been a forty five minute (tops) exercise, turned out to be a two and a half hour workout.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled program to see where I went wrong.

Marking holes
I marked where the holes would do so I can drill them out later.

Spraying strips with SEM Trim Black
I thought about leaving the stainless steel finish, but I wanted the strips to blend in better.  There is an option to have a brushed finished, to match the body panels, at an additional cost.  Since mine were not brushed, I decided to spray them with good old SEM Trim Black. 

Dremel with attachment
One of the reasons I did not follow directs was I did not want to remove the louvre to do this.  Another reason, I did not have a drill that was small enough to fit into such a tight spot.  Luckily, I had a Dremel with flexible shaft attachment.

Drilling out the holes
Event with the attachment, you can see there is barely enough room to maneuver.  I was also limited to the size of the bit, so there was a lot of hand finishing with files.

Look at all that debris
Needless to say that marking the holes can lead to slight misalignment with the holes in the strips. 

Pre-installation of reinforcement strips
One of the obstacles is, you need to line up both holes of the reinforcement strip, along with the hole in the central brace...and you need to do this with all eight holes.  Even if I followed the directions word for word, there is a very good chance that all twenty four holes will not line up.

The laser cut holes in the strips leave little room for error.  If you drilled the holes at a slight angle, it would not meet on the other side.  Obviously, my holes were not at right angles, even with using the attachment.  Good luck getting right angled holes using a standard girthy drill.  To correct the misalignment, I had to dry fit each bolt with both strips in place and re-mark each hole. Then file away at the like I am breaking out of prison.  Luckily, the louvre is made of fiberglass and not steel.

Finished installation of the reinforcement strips
The bolts that come with the kit are a little long and can bottom out on the dome nuts.  These were provided since there are variable thicknesses in the center brace, even on the later wider versions.  To solve this, the instructions suggest cutting the bolts.  I have a tap and die set for such and occasion, but I realised that adding two washers is way easier than trimming and re-cutting the thread in eight bolts.  Last thing I need is to mess up these nice bolts...and I am already going into overtime on this as it is.

Close up of painted strips and exposed nuts and bolts.
The DMC Louvre Brace is one sided, so it would be a lot easier to install.  Although, you would need to factor in the time to swap out longer struts.  Knowing me, it would have taking me about three hours to do, also.

After installation, there is a noticeable difference in stiffness in the louvre.  I noticed that there was always a little flexing and torquing when closing a stock louvre.  With the strips, there is still a little of this flex and torque, but way better than without the strips.  It also seemed to fix the misalignment of the louvre as used to sit a little to the left and I would have to guide it down and to the right.  Now, it can just close straight down without rubbing the sides.

Final review, one less thing to worry about, totally worth it.

15 April 2014

Replacement LED Bulb for Door Light Kit

Back in November, I installed an awesome LED kit for my door lights.  Everything was fine until about a month ago when I noticed that one of the bulbs was blinking.  I did not think much of it, since it seem to be working the next day.  Then, it was consistently blinking...something was wrong.

At first, I figured it was yet another electrical issue with the DeLorean. Typical.  I swapped out the LED unit with a few other ones to see if the socket was the issue.  I even plugged in my old LED bulbs and the stock incandescent bulb to make sure the sockets were okay.  Good news was the sockets are fine.  Bad news, I had a defective bulb.  What to do?

I contacted Tom at deloreana.com, and asked for a replacement bulb.  I offered to pay for the new bulb and any shipping and handling fees he would charge.  As part of great customer service, he shipped me a new bulb for free, since it was under warranty.  I did not know it was under warranty. He only ask that I send him the defective bulb so he can exam and debug it.

Today, I received my replacement bulb.  Again, it came in an awesome foam box.  Have I mentioned how much I love these boxes?

Replacement LED bulb from deloreana.com
I simply popped out the lens, pulled out the defective bulb, and replaced it with Tom's new bulb.  It works perfectly.  Now, I just need to pack up my old bulb and ship it back to Poland.  Kinda sad that I have to return that awesome box.

As a consumer, you always hope that manufacturers stand by their product and offer hassle free replacements if defective.  I have said that I look forward to Tom's future products.  This just confirms that I will definitely order from him again.  In fact, I have already pre-ordered a set of door struts from him.  Stay tuned for that.

11 April 2014

Blowing DeLorean Fuse #11

If you have a DeLorean, then you most likely have blown fuse #11.  I have blown this fuse a handful of times...literally, I have blown a hand full of these fuses.  I have bought these 30A fuses in packs of five in more than one occasion.

Fuse #11 controls the radio clock, gear selector lamp, A/C panel lamps, and power windows. Basically, the entire center console blacks out when the fuse is blown.  Fuse #11 is prone to failure. 

As you know, I have been working on the window switches, gear selector lamp, and the A/C panel.  All effected by my favourite fuse.  In the past few months, I have blown this fuse about five times.  Sometimes, it the fuse would blow from just turning on the car.  Most of the time, it would be from operating the windows.  Imagine the fear I felt when driving along and needing a little air.  Oh, I should open the window.  POP!  Everything goes dark.  I feared that the entire car shorted out.

I had my window switches checked, they worked fine.  Of course they would, they were fairly new and I had spend a lot of time making sure they worked right and fit correctly.  Yet, somehow tapping the switch would burn a fuse.  The obvious problem is Lucas Electronics.  The next thing to check is the connector to the window switch.  This is the white part with all the wires that plugs into the actual window switch.

Window switch connector, possible shorting wires
I noticed that some of the 'separating walls' of my connector was cracked.  Operating the window switch, or just applying any pressure to the switch or center console can cause the wires to touch and short out the fuse.  Remember that the new window switches from DMC are longer than the 30+ year old stock ones.  This pushes the connector against the floor of the center console, bending the wires at a severe angle.  This can also cause the separating walls of your connector to crack.  This is why I cut some relief holes to allow the connector and wires to sit stress free. 

Unfortunately, the damage to the separating walls were already there.  The simple fix was to take some heat shrink tubing and shrink it around at least one of the touching wires.  In the image above, the black wire (in slot 2) is a good choice since it is between two wires that can cause a potential short.

Since I have done this, I have not had a problem with shorting out fuse #11.  Good thing, too.  Because, I am running out of ideas as to where the shorts maybe taking place.  Hopefully, this information helps you out.


01 April 2014


It seems that I have been getting text messages lately.  What sucks about these is, I really cannot ignore them.  Sure, I can chose not to read it.  But, since I do not have a texting plan, I get charged for it.  Which makes me less likely to buy what you are selling.  Yeah, I know I should keep up with the times and get a texting plan, but I am cheap.  Besides, if I want to communicate with you, if I am not lazy, I will call you or email, anything beyond that can wait.

1 April 2014
   sessakwnlj@hotmail.com - Yep, you guessed it, another texted spam.  A 'textamarketer', if you will.  Just like the text from a few days ago, this one come to us from those fuckheads at raybansshopz.com.  I did not even bother going to the site, you should not either.   If you really want some sunglasses, you know where to go to find them.  Well, that van be said about anything a telemarketer is selling.  If you need/want something, you will know where to find it.  Fuck these guys.

2 April 2014
   321-250-4593  Kissimmee, FL - Looks like it is going to be a long month.  But hey, there is some exciting news. Not the first call from Kissimmee, but the first call from the 321 area code of Kissimmee.  So, I applaud that from the penis state.  What other area codes do you have?  Oh, and fuck you!

8 April 2014
   321-402-9215  Kissimmee, FL - What the fuck is it with fucking Kissimmee?  A few years ago the hub of terrorists telemarketers was Washington.  Now, it is fucking Florida?  They have the Northwest and Southeast covered, it is a plague, devouring the country.  Fuck you, cancer telemarketers.

12 April 2014
   hechesmq@163.com - What is it with this need to liquidate sunglasses?  Here is a fucking text, trying to get me to buy more sunglasses.  Sorry, you just cost me twenty cents so I can no longer afford your sunglasses.  Maybe oakleysoutletstore.com and raybans100.net are legitimate sites, but I am sure as fuck that I am not going there to buy sunglasees.  Fuck you for texting me, I hope the sun burns out your retinas.

25 April 2014
  518-444-2217  NY, USA - Pretty exciting to get a new number.   Message to new guy in town:  No one cares what you are trying to sell.  Do everyone a favour and stop calling.  Better yet, just kill yourself.  Really.  The world would be better without you.  No one needs calls from telemarketers, no one.  Everyone hates you, just end your life.  Final tip, fuck off.