08 August 2014

Engine Cover Support Slide Block

Engine Cover Support Slide Block
When I ordered my shock tower brace from DeLorean Parts Northwest, I also ordered an Engine Cover Support Slide Block (#106356DP).  This is machined from Delrin, a tough plastic developed by DuPont and has a low coefficient of friction.  It replaces the original Part# 106356, which was made from 'regular' plastic.  DMC offers a metal replacement version, as an alternative, removal and installation process is still the same.

Stock sliding block
Unless you have the DMC Louvre Brace, this block supports all the weight of the engine cover when opened.  While I do have reinforcement strips, I do not have the brace.  I have a plan to replicate the bonus function of the brace...again, another day.

Removal of Engine Cover Stay Assembly
Replacing the sliding block is relatively simple.  Although, there is some 'extra' work involved as you cannot just remove the block and swap out.  First, you need to remove the pivot bracket and the entire engine cover stay assembly.  You will need really strong fingers or a ratchet and a 10mm socket...I recommend the latter.

This is a good time, or perhaps a little late, to remember to get some sort of stick to keep the engine cover up.  Once the assembly is out, there will be nothing keeping the engine cover from slamming onto your head.

Removal of sliding block
Removing the sliding block is a bit of a challenge.  There is no room to use a socket, you will need to use a traditional wrench, 7mm.  Even with the wrench, there is little room to crank. 

Assembly removed
I think this is the first time the assembly has not been a part of the car in 33 years.

Delrin slide block (top) vs stock slide block (bottom)
There extra holes in the Delrin slide block in case the holes in your engine cover have torn through.  Luckily, mine are undamaged.  It would also be very difficult to drill out these additional holes since there is no room for any drill to operate in such a tight space.  If sockets cannot fit, there is no way a drill would.

Installing the new block requires a little more coordination. The new bolts and nuts are 8mm, instead of 7mm.  So, getting the larger bolt into the smaller hole takes a little encouragement.  Also, the slot in the holes and the slot in the block is a snug fit.  I had to 'screw in' the bolt to get it in place, as it did not just slide in.  Again, slowly cranking the bolt with a wrench.

The nut and bolt towards the rear of the car is easier.  The one towards the front is a pain in the neck....literally.  When torquing that bolt, the support rod gets just gets in the way.  The only way to really do it is to rest the engine cover on my head so the rod is out of the way.  Only then, could I get the wrench in place to turn the nut and bolt.  You need two hands to torque the bolt and locking nut.  I am sure there is a better way to do this, having a partner help would put less pressure on your head and neck.

New sliding block installed
Hey, not that bad.  This was a relatively easy remove and replace project.  Total time was about ten minutes.  I doubt anyone can do it faster than five since you have to crank the nuts slowly by hand.  I wonder if there was a special tool they used at the factory to install these.  There must have been a better way than to slowly hand torque these nuts.

Besides the awkward assembling technique involved, the design of supporting a heavy metal lid at  the fulcrum is not the best.  Normal cars would have a support rod and/or some sort of spring or strut to help hold the cover up.  As mentioned before, if you get the DMC Louvre Brace, that has a hook that hooks the striker bar on the engine cover and takes the pressure off the engine cover stay assembly. 

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