Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Quite a delay posting these pictures but better late than never. This is the remainder of the suspension job that was finished along with the front frame rust repair and the rear suspension shock replacement. See the previous two posts regarding paint and touch up techniques used.

When compressing the front springs I recommend Harbor Freights compressors on the sides along with a third compressor from Autozone (with a wider grip on the hooks) in the front for added safety or a chain.


Control arms and hub were taken off as one piece and painted. Upon reinstall I added DMC Europes lower control arm reinforcing brackets. They definitely make the car feel more solid, especially in turns and stopping. I highly recommend adding them if you are already taking apart your front suspension.


Some before and after shots once everything was reassembled.



And a few more pics of everything cleaned up and painted.


Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
I have had a set of front lowering springs sitting around in my garage for over a year now along with various replacement parts, and several months ago picked up a complete set of front and rear shocks. Decided it was finally about time to at least begin the project. With a whole week of evenings to myself I decided the best bet would be to do the rear first as I knew it would be the quickest - I had only a bit of frame touchup to do, where as the front has several areas I wish to perform rust touchup on as well as more parts to replace.

I had picked up an external 'clamshell' type spring compressor a year ago expecting it to make this job easy. I was wrong. Luckily a friend had given me the bolt type external compressors as a Christmas gift. I recommend also renting an extra set from your local auto parts store as it may make it easier if you don't get the angles just right. You need to compress at least 4 coils to remove the springs safely, and I recommend cutting your spring compressor bolts shorter so you do not interfere with any parts on the car. Also do not forget to lubricate the spring compressors with motor oil - this will make it much easier.

Once you are sufficiently compressed, loosen the lock nut from the top of the shock and remove. Loosen the second nut a bit to give the shock some wiggle room. Now remove the large bolt and nut through the hub. You may need to tap it back and then back it out of the shock. Be careful - if there is any tension in the spring it will 'pop' off the bolt when you back it out far enough. Now your shock is hanging from the top bolt. Ensure that the spring is loose from the top shock tower and the bottom cup. Remove top nut fully and drop down/remove assembly. Now remove spring and back off compressors. I decided to keep the rear springs and repaint them. I sanded and cleaned, quick primed, and coated with a black enamel gloss.

I used an abrasive wire wheel on a drill, 60 grit sandpaper, and a screwdriver to chip off loose/cracked epoxy. It was mostly on both shock towers right on the edges. I sanded down until I was at bare steel, prepped and painted with POR-15 rust proofing. I also used simple green on the frame. This picture is the 'cleaned' frame and POR-15 coated rusty areas. The POR-15 sections are the shimmery silver spots along the shock tower.

I then used a Smoke Gray spray paint that can be found at Ace Hardware. Its the perfect match for the original frame epoxy. I gave two quick light coats to cover the POR-15 and also the frame discoloration.

Re-compressed the spring and began the reinstall. I found it easier to not compress the spring as much and instead use the shock height adjustment to help bring the spring up into its full position. If you are not using adjustable height shocks you will have to compress a bit more than you did for the removal. When adjusting my shock height I added a few drops of motor oil so the shock cup did not grind into the adjustment ring. It also made adjusting much easier.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Parts needed:
- Fuel pump
- Fuel screen
- Hoses
- and any other part you wish to replace while you are 'in there'. Refer to DMC part diagram 2-1-0

Tools needed:
- Flat / phillips screwdrivers
- 7mm, 8mm, 10mm, 19mm socket & wrenches
- Torque wrench
- Adjustable wrenches
- Shop towels
- Siphon
- Bucket or empty jugs
- Acetone
- Long screw driver and duct tape recommended

First, empty your luggage compartment, remove spare tire, remove access plate to fuel tank.

Remove clamp around boot. Remove top boot so you have access to the fuel lines off the return line and pump. Remove return line and pump line. It is recommended that you label these if you are unfamiliar with their orientation. Wipe up dispensed gas and push aside. Take long screwdriver and duct tape siphon hose onto the end. Stick in tank in sender hole. Depending on the length of your siphon hose you may need to route it behind the passenger wheel well and around the A/C accumulator.

Pump gas out of tank until empty. If gas is clean you can store in a container for lawn mower, generator, etc. If gas is bad you should dispose of it properly. Now unplug fuel pump and lift boot out of tank. Remove the two hoses attached to pump and return line. Check to see if there is any remaining fuel now that you have better tank access and remove if present.

Using 10mm socket or wrench disconnect pickup unit in tank. You will have to take it apart in the tank and remove it a piece at a time. Be careful this is old plastic that has sat in fuel for 27+ years. Use shop cloths and acetone to clean the baffle. Here is a dirty baffle and a dirty tank:

And a cleaned upper part of the baffle:

Use shop rags to remove any remaining gas and clean up as much residue in the tank. Once you have removed as much as possible, pour in acetone and use rags to clean and wipe down the inside of the tank. To reach in you will most likely need to 'ride' the passenger side fender:

Once acetone has dried, reassemble the baffle in the tank. It should sit between the grooves toward the drivers side of the tank. Make sure to set up the springs the same way they were when you removed the baffle. Once finished it should look like this:

Reassemble in the same order you removed items. It is recommended while you are in there to replace all clamps/hoses/etc. When installing the new pump, the torque setting for the dome nut on the pump banjo bolt is 11 ft/lbs. It should be a 19mm nut. The positive connection nut on the pump is 7mm and the negative is 8mm. When replacing the pump and boot, be sure not to kink the pickup line. It is best to use the sender hole at this point to make sure you have everything installed and not kinked.

Finally, reconnect fuel line and return line, replace boot, clamps, and you are set. You should put a few gallons of fresh gas in the car now, then fill the tank up to max and check for any leaks.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
On the way to the DeLorean Club of Florida April tech day my steering column bushing broke. Picked up a replacement from a fellow owner who purchased it from DMC Northwest and never installed it. This is Tobys 'Delrin' plastic bushing. Bit of a pain to install, but here is the walkthrough below:


2 - 13mm box wrenches
7mm socket wrench (small)
17mm socket wrench
17mm box wrench
2 2x6 boards
Small & Large phillips screwdriver
Socket Extension
Vice Grips
Marker (sharpie fine point)
New Bushing (used Tobys Delrin remanufactured replacement)
A Helper (preferrably a petite person, will be needed toward the end)


(1) Jack up car, remove driver wheel, prop some wood under passenger wheel, set car down with passenger wheel up on wood and the underside supported by a jackstand on the drivers side of the front frame. This helped keep some weight on the steering rack and make the wheel stay in one place for the most part.

(2) Get on your back in the drivers footwell. Remove the seat if you want (I didn't). Remove the steering wheel surround. Remove the kneepads. Unhook wiring from the steering column (3 plugs). You now have two brackets hanging down from where the kneepads were connected. Bend these up and to the rear of the car. They bend back, but they need to be out of the way for reinstall anyway, so make it easier on yourself now.

(3) Get back out of the car and crawl under the front/side. Look up and you'll see where the column comes through the firewall to the u-joint. Remove the bolt that goes through the u-joint.

(4) Get back in the car, pull the seat forward a bit (if you removed the seat, your going to need help now). Remove the two bolts holding the column into the dash. Drop the column down onto the seat. Get out and start giving it a tug to begin pulling it out of the u-joint.

(5) Get back under the car, use the pen to mark where it is coming out of the u-joint. I marked where the splines were 'open' (not covered by the u-joint, where it compresses) so I could see them easier upon reinstall.

(6) I had to go back and fourth at this point, pounding with my palm on the u-joint connection and then in the car giving small tugs. I found it easier to use vice grips on the inner column on the inside of the car to help finish pulling it off the u-joint. Once disconnected remove the column from the car.

(7) Time to install the new bushing. I have seen comments on the board that the new bushing needs to be 'pulled' into the firewall. I had no problems just pounding it in place. Pushed in with my fingers, grabbed a socket and an extension, placed the socket around the bushing (used a towel as padding) and pounded it in. Took some force but popped in without a problem.

(8) Cleaned the unmarked splines off the steering column connection point and drew my marks darker. Now you'll need help. With vice grips around the inner column where it sticks out of the outer column, put the column back in the car and have a helper sit in the seat and lift the column up. Line it up and begin feeding it through the bushing.

(9) Now start to use some force, the inner column will begin to be pushed by the outer column, but be careful not to collapse the outer column cage. I had the helper push on the wheel while I pushed on the vice grips. It fed through with some force. Go slowly at this point and hop back under the car to feed it correctly into the u-joint. If you push it all the way through you'll need to feed it back a bit in order to get it back in the u-joint.

(10) Now that you have started to get it in the u-joint, just keep feeding it through and readjusting until it has reseated itself. It needs to go all the way in, as that 'curve' cutout in the splines is where the bolt holds it in place. Slide the bolt in the u-joint before rebolting the column to the dash. Give your helper some thanks and get back in the car to start the reassembly.

Jan 20, 2008: Radiator reinstall pics

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Haven't really worked on the car at all over the last few months, however, we had a club tech day this weekend and I was able to get some pictures of the radiator fully reinstalled when the car was up on a lift.

I had painted all the brackets that were rusty and deteriorating, touched up paint on the A/C condenser, and had to touch up some paint on the radiator that chipped while installing. Here are the pictures of it back in place.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Finished a lot this weekend getting the radiator back into place, yet haven't had a chance to grab pictures or put together a detailed writeup yet.

However, did grab 2 pictures when I was mounting the new fans to the radiator. Here is a picture of the radiator and then a second with the new fans mounted. The fans seem very nice with the exception of black electrical tape around all the wires. Wish it was a sealed wire as I have a feeling the electrical tape will start to deteriorate.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Well I have had these low power fans from Toby @ DeLorean Parts Northwest since February and just never had the time or spare cash to pick up a new radiator. Then, toward the end of June I had an otterstat failure, and then the middle of July the otterstat started to leak (the car was not driven once the otterstat failed in June). I figured that since I had to drain the system anyway to get the otterstat fixed, now is as good of time as any to do the rest of the coolant system.

So, picked up the 3-core brass radiator from John @ Special T Auto as well as some other parts such as the new otterstat, some hose clamps, fused fan fail, etc. Ended up grabbing a NOS coolant pipe bracket from Rob @ PJ Grady to replace a crappy one in the engine bay. And finally some coolant hose from McMaster Carr.

The plan is to replace the radiator with the new 3-core, install the new coolant fans, replace the broken otterstat, replace the remainder of the coolant hoses under the car (as the engine bay was done during the valley of death teardown), replace the fan fail device with a regular fused unit, install a bleeder by the radiator (if the new 3-core doesn't have one), do some rust touchup on the front frame extension, and repaint the A/C condenser.

As for the electrical work, I am planning on getting rid of the fan fail device as mentioned above and using a fused jumper (sold by Special T Auto) but putting lower rated fuses due to the lower powered fans. I may also drop the circuit breaker down a bit. In addition, I plan on cutting into the wire that turns on the fans when the A/C compressor runs and instead attach it to the mode switch, so the fans will be on continually when the A/C is running. I dislike how they kick on and off with the compressor. Finally, I am going to replace the red LED light behind the "Cooling" text on the center console with a blue LED. The "Cooling Fan Fail" light already came on when the fans were on, so I had covered up from behind the "Fan Fail" text. It will continue to do so now and I like it like that, just would like the light to be blue instead of red.

So far I have removed the sway bar, shroud around the radiator, horns, hoses up by the radiator, drained the system, unbolted most of the radiator (lower brackets are loose) and removed the fuel closing plate. Next up is replacing all the hoses, otterstat, and then waiting for help with the radiator dropping and replacement.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Had some problems lately with the outer toll booth window seals leaking. As I am in the process of redoing them, I found a bolt to my drivers window track extremely loose. I tightened it up and put the window up, sure enough it hopped off the track. Did some reading on the DML and didn't turn up much except one mention of the bracket sliding. Decided to pull the window to investigate further.

Pulling the window isn't that difficult, you need to remove the upper door panel and the black bracket that pushes against the window and has the felt strip. This allows the window when pushed up to slide inside the car rather than into its channel. Put the window halfway down, unbolt the window motor piece from the window (its the tubular center area with two nuts holding it in). Wiggle the bracket out, and now the window is free. Pull it up and keep working the window until you get it out.

Now the window is attached to the metal bracket which has the sliders on it that fit into the track by a slightly adhesive rubber substance. I believe that its purpose is meant more as a pressurized attachment than it is an adhesive attachment. I looked and sure enough, there are dimples in the glass that alert you to where the track should be, and mine was about 1/4" to 3/8" pushed back. This means that when the window is going up, the front hits the channel first and then the motor has to push harder to get the window to 'slide' backwards into place. This force pops the front of the window off the track. My previous owner must have had this happen and as a fix loosened the track so it flexed backwards also.

Here are some pics of the window out, as well as a closeup where you can see the round dimple in the window. There is one at the front and the back when the metal bracket is lined up properly.

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Only a bit of a problem getting the rotors shaved down. The first place I went to was being operated by a moron who couldn't figure out how to measure the thickness of the rotor. Second place had no issue. So getting those shaved down saved a few bucks.

Got all the new parts in, rebuilt calipers from Special T Auto with anti-squeal shims, anti-rattle shims, and some nice organic brake pads. Picked up the stainless steel brake lines to cut down on brake fade, and picked up DMCH's remanufactured, correctly proportioned master cylinder.

While I was finishing taking apart the rest of the brake components, it looked like I may have just been starting to get a master cylinder leak, so I am glad everything is getting replaced. My main concern was getting the wheel bearings pressed out of the hubs and new ones pressed in (yeah, I got new bearings from Special T Auto also). But, found a nice small machine shop not too far away that took care of it for $40 total. Came out real nice.

Started putting things back together tonight, mostly everything is finished except for a bit to go on the passenger rear parking brake. Still need to get the master cylinder bench bled and installed tomorrow, and start pumping the new fluid throughout the system. Should be some fun stuff. Can't wait to take her for a spin and try everything out, I'll be able to stop smoothly now! :)

Jan 07, 2007: Brake overhaul status

Category: Mechanical
Posted by: Derek
Continued on today removing brake components after I had to buy and borrow some more tools yesterday. To this point I have flushed the old brake fluid out of the system, removed the front calipers, hubs, and unbolted the rotors from the hubs. In the rear I have removed the parking brake, rear calipers, and rear rotors. Will be dropping off the rotors tomorrow to get shaved, hopefully will save some $ and not need new ones, although I feel the fronts may need to be replaced as the drivers has already been shaved due to a previous stuck caliper. Here are some disassembly pictures: