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View Full Version : Non-invasive BTTF mod - a thought



Timebender
11-12-2012, 02:53 PM
I know this subject has come up a number of times in the past- how to do a BTTF mod without drilling the beautiful SS of one's D.
Has anyone thought about using automotive grade VHB tape like car manufacturers use to adhere emblems? You could still get the look of the screws and brackets by cutting off the heads of screws and jbwelding them to the brackets that hold down the flux tubes and wires, and those would be held to the skin with VHB..

That way if you ever wanted to go back to stock, it's a case of removing the tape and scraping it off. Being there's no paint to worry about scratching, I would think this is a pretty elegant solution.

Also, didn't someone have a mod they did where they were able to keep the side quarter glass in tact?

skynet
11-12-2012, 03:42 PM
I used to have a simpler solution: own two deloreans, keep one as stock, convert the other to bttf. Now I have an even simpler solution: leave my car as stock. If I want to see a bttf conversion, I watch the movie in Full HD.

stevedmc
11-12-2012, 05:34 PM
How to convert a Delorean into a BTTF time machine, without people complaining about BTTF conversion ruining a beautiful car.

Step 1. Convert car to BTTF time machine
Step 2. Install carburetor

Mark D
11-12-2012, 06:06 PM
As I've said before, I've never heard of anyone turning their BTTF conversion back to stock... it just never happens. If you ever convert DeLorean into a time machine you'll quickly understand why. There are just too many things you need to modify that have to be permanent for it to be worth the time taking it back to stock.

Plus there is no way to (correctly) fit all of the props on the fiberglass pontoons, rear deck, and interior without removing the side and rear glass.

Using double stick tape for the flux boxes, flux bands, etc would be a complete disaster. You don't want 10 lb chunks of resin or wood falling off and bouncing up into someone's windshield, or 3/4" tube impaling someone on the freeway. Unless you want to risk somone elses life those parts have to be screwed on, period.

It comes down to how bad you want your car to be a time machine... if you seriously want to go down that road then you just have to accept the fact that you'll be drilling some holes and taking out glass.

Timebender
11-12-2012, 07:57 PM
Thanks guys-

Carburetor- check! ;)

I'm actually someone who loves the Delorean stock (though a stage II upgrade is tempting), and would keep it that way. However, having built one movie replica (fully functional R2D2), the thought way way way in the back of my head is to make a BTTF Delorean. That's where it most likely would come down to finding a good donor that's cheap, getting it running, replace the interior parts that one would see (if the interior is bad), and then do a a conversion. I'm not interested in resale, since this would be more for charity work and just as collectables (both of them).

Or I'll just build a Wall-E next... who knows.

And maybe a shelf insert with the Flux Capacitor, greeblies and the digital VU power meter that I can just fit in and take out when I want. As far as people asking questions or staring and all that, I don't mind. I get that a lot with R2, and I currently ride a 2004 Honda Rune, which pretty much draws a crowd everywhere I go.

Starglider
11-12-2012, 10:33 PM
Using double stick tape for the flux boxes, flux bands, etc would be a complete disaster. You don't want 10 lb chunks of resin or wood falling off and bouncing up into someone's windshield, or 3/4" tube impaling someone on the freeway. Unless you want to risk somone elses life those parts have to be screwed on, period.

P J Grady Europe make an exterior BTTF conversion kit that doesn't require any new holes to be drilled, or anything glued to the car, or the back glass removed. It works by adding extension brackets to the stainless panel mounting points, which are then used to attach the stainless flux bands and rear deck. All rear parts are mounted to the removable deck, not directly to the pontoons. The only bit that does have to be removed is the rear quarterlight glass (although obviously if the bulkhead goes over the rear glass it is not screen accurate, but >99% of onlookers aren't going to be bothered by that). I suspect a similar approach could be applied to the interior although some holes in the vinyl are probably unavoidable. Personally I am considering building the car with stainless steel latches such that BTTF style props can easily be added/removed.

Brisfx
11-13-2012, 09:15 AM
I am in the middle of my conversion atm and mine will be reversible. The only holes drilled will be in a 2nd hand t panel, the pontoons and the front bumper. I removed the rear side window glass without breakage, back window is next.

Mark D
11-13-2012, 10:48 AM
I am in the middle of my conversion atm and mine will be reversible. The only holes drilled will be in a 2nd hand t panel, the pontoons and the front bumper. I removed the rear side window glass without breakage, back window is next.

I guess you have a different definition of what "reversible" or "non invasive" is then. My assumption was that the props could be removable without any evidence of them having been there and without the need for repainting, repairing, welding, or replacement of damaged original parts with new parts.

I would disagree that your conversion is reversible since to get your car back to a pre-BTTF state you' have to replace the drilled T panel, bondo and paint your pontoons and replace your front fascia. The fascia alone is $500-1000. Per the original post I would consider that "invasive" to most people doing a BTTF mod to their car. Otherwise I guess you could consider welding up a hole in your stainless fender and regraining it reversible.

So back to my original point: If you're planning a BTTF conversion be prepared to drill stainless and remove windows.

stevedmc
11-13-2012, 11:40 AM
Here is a novel idea. Why not spend your time/money making the car reliable first? Then spend your money making it into a time machine.

Starglider
11-13-2012, 12:39 PM
So back to my original point: If you're planning a BTTF conversion be prepared to drill stainless and remove windows.

As I just said, at least two BTTF conversions have been done with no stainless drilling at all (http://www.pjgrady.co.uk//GenericContent.aspx?PageType=Back_To_The_Future&ShowContent=BTTF_Replica_Kit.html).

Mark D
11-13-2012, 04:55 PM
It's pretty cool that the PJ Grady kit uses existing mounting holes and apparently you don't have to drill the SS panels..I'll give you that one. I'll stand by my original comment though that using double sided tape to hold parts on the outside of the car is a bad idea. If the Grady kit uses the front rock screen mounting points for the front flux bands or some other mounting points to keep the parts on securely then that's a different story. Parts have to be bolted on one way or another or it's just not safe.

I'm pretty biased in my opinion though that if you're going to build a BTTF conversion that it should be done accurately. Having extra brackets coming out from places to mount parts isn't true to how the car looked on film. There are just some details that you can't get right without drilling a few holes. If the builder is willing to make those sacrifices then that's their own choice.

My personal opinion/philosophy on converting a car into a time machine is that if you're not going to do it right, then don't do it at all. When people take shortcuts it shows. Attention to detail is what sets apart an accurately done car vs a cringe-worthy mess.

Timebender
11-13-2012, 07:09 PM
An interesting and great conversation. I'd like to relate this to two other groups of hobbyists who make movie replicas it costumes. One group, the 501st (and even the Rebel Legion) are super picky when it comes to costuming, having replicas do Stormtroopers and all the common Star Wars characters. In fact if you have one thing that's off or wrong in your costume, you can't be a part of their groups.
Then you have the R2 builders, who I belong to. They're not so picky, and the words "screen accurate" are actually really hard to stick to, as R2D2 from each movie, heck, even scene to scene has some detail that changes, or is missing, or broken, dented, and so on. So you have guys who have fixed 3 leg versions (accurate), 2-3-2 versions (accurate), unpaired rear panel (accurate), painted rear panel, black hp's, silver hp's, fiberglass bodies, wood and metal or plastic bodies, psi's that blink it slide, logics that blink, logics that fade smoothly, and the list goes on with too many changes, no continuity from film to film, and so on. However, if a builder spends time making it look as good ad possible with the budget and time they have (granted if they really care about making R2 recognizable), and know there are some things that aren't perfect- Knicks in the paint, skin panels not perfectly aligned, the dome ring not perfectly spaced, legs a bit too close or far by 1/8th inch... in the end people always say or ask "wow, that looks like the one in the movies exactly!" and "how did you get Lucas to let you use their R2?" and so on. People line up by the dozens to get their picture with him. Yet he's not really screen accurate- and in most cases looks better than the screen used droids.
People don't care. They just know it's R2. Now if it were a complete hack job then I'd never take him out, nor would anyone else hopefully take theirs.
I get your concern as there have been some really crappy "conversions" lime the one in Las Vegas. And I get the whole thing about damaging a D. I'dike to keep my D, when I get it, pristine. But it would be fun to once in a while dress it up for charity. If there's a way to do it without being invasive or damaging, then I'd like to explore that. And it won't be some hack job one way or the other.i want it to be accurate enough so that people will get it, and that I'm proud of it too- but I don't think it needs to be screen accurate down to the littlest detail to get people excited about having one at their event.

Starglider
11-14-2012, 06:37 AM
If the Grady kit uses the front rock screen mounting points for the front flux bands or some other mounting points to keep the parts on securely then that's a different story

It doesn't use the rock screen mounts, it uses the hidden mounting points where the stainless panels bolt to the fibreglass frame.


Having extra brackets coming out from places to mount parts isn't true to how the car looked on film.

They are concealed under the rubber parts and not visible to casual observation.


I'm pretty biased in my opinion though that if you're going to build a BTTF conversion that it should be done accurately.

Personally I prefer to do something radically different as a series of perfect clones is completely against the homebuilt prototype / individualistic spirit of the source material.


Attention to detail is what sets apart an accurately done car vs a cringe-worthy mess.

'Screen accurate' is just one kind of 'attention to detail'.

Brisfx
11-14-2012, 08:16 AM
Actually I wouldn't replace the front fascia to take it back to original just repair the mounting holes in the bumper section, an easy fix as is repairing holes in the pontoon. I have an old damaged t panel that I am using to mount the flux boxes. If it wasn' t available I would glue them so I would say my conversion would be easily reversable with a few days work.

Gary Weaver II
11-14-2012, 03:15 PM
I'm not gonna lie. There are been times where I've given serious thought to converting my car back to stock, just to see if it could be done. The easiest thing to do would be to swap fenders from another D, but everything else is pretty much undoable if you have even a half ounce of ability to do body work.

-Gary

Dangermouse
11-15-2012, 12:22 AM
Undoable ???

Do you mean it is un-doable or undo-able?

The joys of the English language. Same word can mean two completely different things :)

Victor
11-16-2012, 03:51 PM
An interesting and great conversation. I'd like to relate this to two other groups of hobbyists who make movie replicas it costumes. One group, the 501st (and even the Rebel Legion) are super picky when it comes to costuming, having replicas do Stormtroopers and all the common Star Wars characters. In fact if you have one thing that's off or wrong in your costume, you can't be a part of their groups.
Then you have the R2 builders, who I belong to. They're not so picky, and the words "screen accurate" are actually really hard to stick to, as R2D2 from each movie, heck, even scene to scene has some detail that changes, or is missing, or broken, dented, and so on. So you have guys who have fixed 3 leg versions (accurate), 2-3-2 versions (accurate), unpaired rear panel (accurate), painted rear panel, black hp's, silver hp's, fiberglass bodies, wood and metal or plastic bodies, psi's that blink it slide, logics that blink, logics that fade smoothly, and the list goes on with too many changes, no continuity from film to film, and so on. However, if a builder spends time making it look as good ad possible with the budget and time they have (granted if they really care about making R2 recognizable), and know there are some things that aren't perfect- Knicks in the paint, skin panels not perfectly aligned, the dome ring not perfectly spaced, legs a bit too close or far by 1/8th inch... in the end people always say or ask "wow, that looks like the one in the movies exactly!" and "how did you get Lucas to let you use their R2?" and so on. People line up by the dozens to get their picture with him. Yet he's not really screen accurate- and in most cases looks better than the screen used droids.
People don't care. They just know it's R2. Now if it were a complete hack job then I'd never take him out, nor would anyone else hopefully take theirs.
I get your concern as there have been some really crappy "conversions" lime the one in Las Vegas. And I get the whole thing about damaging a D. I'dike to keep my D, when I get it, pristine. But it would be fun to once in a while dress it up for charity. If there's a way to do it without being invasive or damaging, then I'd like to explore that. And it won't be some hack job one way or the other.i want it to be accurate enough so that people will get it, and that I'm proud of it too- but I don't think it needs to be screen accurate down to the littlest detail to get people excited about having one at their event.

Somebody just have too much money/time on their hand. I agree at 100% with Stevedmc, a sensible route for a Delorean owner would be put the car in an ''impeccable'' or at least in a very reliable condition first... But don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the BTTF movies (part one and three only though).

Starglider
11-16-2012, 05:56 PM
Somebody just have too much money/time on their hand. I agree at 100% with Stevedmc, a sensible route for a Delorean owner would be put the car in an ''impeccable'' or at least in a very reliable condition first...

What about building a car from scratch (salvaged frame + parts + raw fibreglass + uncut stainless sheets) specifically for this purpose? That is the route I am taking.


But don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the BTTF movies (part one and three only though).

Strangely on recent viewing the second one is my firm favourite.