Friday, April 22, 2016

New interior dome lights

Ever since I bought my DeLorean back in 2011, the interior dome lights have had several issues. First, they don't turn on automatically when the doors are open. I have not addressed that issue yet.

Second, they don't stay put in the roof and I have to keep pushing them into place. That is the issue I decided to address first. There were some replacement dome lights available for sale on ebay for around $16 each. This link may not work in the future, but I'll post it anyway: DeLorean Courtesy Dome Light

This was a super easy replacement. They popped right into place and they work great. In the future, I will tackle the issue of them not coming on when the doors are open, but at least I don't have to worry about them constantly falling out anymore. Also, they look great!

Another DeLorean Oil Change

I decided that I wanted another oil type in my DeLorean, even though I hadn't driven it much since the last change. It had been about 16 months since the last change. You can read about another oil change here.

I didn't want 10w-30 anymore, but 20w-50. I understand that this is the recommended by many DeLorean parts vendors, so I'm confident that the engine will be just fine with this oil.

The oil change was successful and would definitely recommend the oil below to anyone considering oil for their DeLorean.

Automatic Antenna Replacement #2

Back in 2012, I bought and installed a Legacy LN46 automatic antenna, as outlined here.

That antenna was crap and wouldn't go down all the way unless you pushed it down for the short period of time that the motor tried to put it down after turning off the radio. I knew that it had to go shortly after installing it.

Another DeLorean owner informed me of an antenna that he had used successfully, so I found and bought a Metra 44-PW22B on ebay. I never did like the chrome look of the Legacy LN46 antenna and was pleased that the Metra unit came with a black mast.
It took me a while to get the antenna as straight as possible since my car has a car alarm siren in the cubby where the antenna goes. It made for very difficult working angles and it took me an entire afternoon before it was lined up in a way that I was happy with. I didn't take pics since it was nearly the same process as I had posted about before. Here's a video of it working properly going both up and down. Yay!

Installed DeLorean poly sway bar kit

I have had a squeak coming from the drivers side front suspension for a couple of years. I thought I had narrowed it down to the rubber sway bar bushings, so I bought a poly sway bar bushing kit from DMCNW. The install seemed pretty straightforward. This is what the sway bar end looked like after taking it off the DeLorean:

I then went to install the new poly bushing and I realized that something wasn't right. the inside diameter of the new bushing sleeve was not big enough to fit over the end of the sway bar. The original rubber bushing had a much larger hole to allow it to slip over the end. See the comparison below:
I realized that the part I was trying to fit the new bushing onto was a vulcanized sleeve that needed to come off, as well as the washer. It had seized on there pretty good and it took a combination of pounding it with a hammer and prying it with a screwdriver. Here's what it looked like during the process of removal:
Once I got it off, I cleaned it up with a wire wheel to prep for paint and installation.

Here it is all installed:

The bad news is that it didn't fix my squeaking noise, but at least I now have bushings that are nice and tight compared to the old ones.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DeLorean mirror switch fix

When I was fixing my stuck DeLorean driver's side door, the poor mirror switch came apart.
 The back side where all the wires connect came apart from the rest of the body, spilling the internal guts of little bearing-like metal pieces and electrical connections. I tried in vain for a couple of hours to get it all back together, but I was unsuccessful.

After posting a question to the online DeLorean community on how to get it back together successfully, a member told me that he had a Saab switch that was a great replacement for the DMC version, and he would give it to me for free as long as I paid for shipping. It arrived from Texas a few days later and it hooked right up to the existing connections and works flawlessly.

Here it is all installed:

When I was fixing the stuck door, it might have been the first time that I had personally had the lower door panel off the driver's side door and I couldn't help but notice all of the foam that had been put in the panel around the door vent. After inquiring about this online, this wasn't done at the factory, but by a previous owner in an attempt to make the door vent work better. Luckily, it's one of those things that I don't have to look at when I drive the car, so I won't worry about it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fix stuck DeLorean door

I finally fixed an issue I've been dealing with intermittently since I bought my DeLorean in 2011. The front latch of the driver's side door would sometimes not unlatch when trying to open the door. There really was not rhyme or reason to when it would and would not open. Up until I put it away for winter at the end of 2015, I could always get it open by pressing the lock switch further into the "unlock" position while pulling on the handle. That trick failed before winter and I put it away with a stuck door.

I got the upper and lower panel off with the door shut (total pain, by the way). This is what it looks like with the upper and lower panels removed and the door shut:

It turns out, the locking mechanism needed to be adjusted slightly. This was done by loosening the screw on the rod that goes to the front latch and moving it slightly so the electric door lock could pull it open more when in the unlock position. In other words, when it would unlock, it wasn't able to pull it far enough, thus causing it to stay locked, making it so I couldn't open the door. This picture shows the screws and rod that I needed to adjust:

I tested it dozens of times after adjusting it and it opens every time. I love having the ability to use the keyless remote to unlock the car again and I'm glad it was so simple of a fix. The worst part of the repair was that my previously working mirror switch came apart and I can't get it put together so that it works. I tried for well over an hour, but the mini ball bearings just get pushed out of their position when I try to put the two pieces together. I posted about this problem on and another member offered to ship me one if I paid for the shipping. That should be arriving in around a week. I'm sure I'll have an update in the near future.

I also had to replace several fir trees that broke off when taking the upper and lower panels apart. My door easily opened all the way with no help when the internal panels were removed. It leads me to believe that new door struts with a bit more lifting power will help it open all the way with no help.

More repairs and upgrades to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

List of things to fix

There have been several things happen with the DeLorean lately that will require some TLC. Here's a list of issues that I'll address sometime soon, in no particular order:
  • Broken driver's side bolster - need to remove vinyl piece w/ heat gun and repair from behind panel
  • Radio antenna - don't know if it's the particular model of automatic antenna I have, but it doesn't go down on it's own. It has to be pushed down right after turning off the radio. It's a two man job to get it to go back down. 
  • Driver's side door won't open - ever since I have owned the car, every once in a while, the driver's side door wouldn't open. The front latch would act like it was locked. I would have to push down on the lock so it was more in the unlock position, while at the same time pulling on the door handle. It would open fine most of the time. A couple of weeks ago, that no longer works and the door is stuck shut. Need to figure this out soon. I can't go anywhere in the car until this is fixed.
  • Starter issues - sometimes the starter doesn't kick in when turning the key to start. It will be like the battery is dead and not do anything, even though the battery is charged. I suspect a bad ground or loose connection, but don't know for sure. I actually had to roll it down the driveway backwards and pop the clutch in order to start it in an emergency recently. Not cool.
There's more, but those are at the top of the must-fix list. Some day I'll dedicate time to the car. It doesn't get hardly any attention since we started having kids back in 2013.