Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Experience with repair or replacement of Frame

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Aug 2017

    Location:  Mount Kisco, NY

    Posts:    2

    My VIN:    Serial 017017

    Experience with repair or replacement of Frame

    I own a 1983 DeLorean with a rusting frame. Otherwise, the car is in superior condition. I've been sole owner for 30 years. The car was garaged for last 17 years.

    According to my tech (same DeLorean specialist who has been servicing the car for 30 years): The frame will need to be replaced between 5 and 10 years from now, depending on many factors: Garaged or not, Driven in wet weather or not, Hitting the "wrong" pothole at the wrong time, et cetera.

    Attached are two photos of front quarter and rear quarter of the chassis.

    Any opinions? Experience? Repair (welding) versus Replacement?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Best regards.

    IMG_6284.jpgIMG_6285.jpgIMG_6263.jpg

  2. #2
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

    Posts:    6,097

    My VIN:    10757

    Club(s):   (DMA)

    That damage is pretty bad right now. I would suggest you don't wait 5-10 years. It is all repairable. The frame is made of sections of 16 gauge mild sheet steel painted with epoxy. You cut out the bad, rotten areas, make up a patch and weld it in. The materiel costs are minimal, it is all of the labor that is required that costs $$$.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Aug 2017

    Location:  Mount Kisco, NY

    Posts:    2

    My VIN:    Serial 017017

    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    That damage is pretty bad right now. I would suggest you don't wait 5-10 years. It is all repairable. The frame is made of sections of 16 gauge mild sheet steel painted with epoxy. You cut out the bad, rotten areas, make up a patch and weld it in. The materiel costs are minimal, it is all of the labor that is required that costs $$$.
    Estimate from my DeLorean tech for replacement of the frame - frame off - is $6K for the frame; $6K for labor, plus $Unknown for discoveries along the way. Let's say $12k to $16k.

    David, it seems you are suggesting a repair. Does anyone have experience with patching a DMC frame? Cost? Anyone?
    Last edited by rbird01; 09-11-2017 at 09:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

    Posts:    6,097

    My VIN:    10757

    Club(s):   (DMA)

    Quote Originally Posted by rbird01 View Post
    Estimate from my DeLorean tech for replacement of the frame - frame off - is $6K for the frame; $6K for labor, plus $Unknown for discoveries along the way. Let's say $12k to $16k.

    David, it seems you are suggesting a repair. Does anyone have experience with patching a DMC frame? Cost? Anyone?
    It is very hard to give an accurate price. Until you actually start the repairs you cannot know the full extent of the damage. While it is much easier to do the work after pulling the body off, most, if not all, can be done with the body on. You might have to pull the motor. PJ Grady has done a lot of frame repairs, maybe you can get a price there? I have done my own repairs, I am not looking for any more of that kind of work. Very time consuming and messy.
    David Teitelbaum

  5. #5
    Not a DeLorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Rochester, NY

    Posts:    1,845

    My VIN:    01049

    Quote Originally Posted by david t View Post
    i have done my own repairs
    lol
    -Mike
    1981 DeLorean, heads/cams/exhaust, EFI
    1999 Corvette, heads/cam/exhaust, 440 BHP
    2005 Elise, stock
    2016 Chevy Cruze

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2014

    Location:  Lansing, MI

    Posts:    350

    My VIN:    04194: 5-Speed, Black Int, 79 Peugeot 604 Manifold, 05052: 5-Speed, Gray Int, 78 Peugeot 604 manifol

    4194's engine cradle was very badly rusted when I purchased the car back in 1998; thus, I had a local body shop fabricate and weld a repair section at a cost of $900 (in 1998-1999 dollars). After 18 years the replacement is still going strong and has now outlasted the original. It isn't show quality, but it's functional for a "driver" Delorean.

    4194's frame was far worse than the frame sections that you have pictured, but again with these frames looks can be deceiving. You might have better results with a custom welding shop that does stuff like snowplows etc as opposed to a typical body shop.

    Either way, unless you want a show quality frame to the tune of $12,000.00 in parts and labor, I see no reason to replace the frame on your car.
    Andrew
    4194 Since 7/98
    5052 Since 7/14

    1972 Buick Riviera
    1974 Bricklin SV-1 177
    1983 Pontiac Trans Am (Knight Rider Conversion in progress)
    1985 Oldsmobile Toronado (daily driver)

    Solex carb and antenna television guru.

    "My carbon footprint is bigger than yours!" :-)

  7. #7
    President, DeLorean Industries
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  CLE/PHX

    Posts:    2,252

    My VIN:    5646,5080, 5880, 10234, 3639, 2518, 10586, 1538

    Frame replacement is way more than 12k. Not a single vendor could or would do it for that. The cars are at the point where so much more is required if a frame hits that level.

  8. #8
    EFI'd Member dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

    Posts:    1,137

    My VIN:    5003

    Club(s):   (DCF)

    I drove my car in NY for many years. I have patched and repaired numerous parts of the frame. My first big fix worked for years and that fix included grafting a section of good frame onto the existing frame. Even with rust holes throughout the rear of the frame, it held up well considering all the potholes, dirt roads, etc I drove over. However, in the end I needed a replacement frame. Not only will the frame rust, but the suspension components, brake lines, fuel lines, etc. will be junk too. If you're being told you'll need one in the future, start checking eBay or the for sale section from time to time. They do come up, and at least you can perhaps get a frame for future use even though you don't need one now. I'd highly suggest putting the car away for the winter. I didn't and it was a costly mistake but I was at least able to find a rolling frame for mine.

    Grafted frame I ended up replacing anyway:


    Here is what it looks like today, minus the fence that blew away with Irma:
    Last edited by dn010; 09-13-2017 at 03:22 PM.
    -----Dan B.

  9. #9
    Mr. Pickles-mobile Shep's Avatar
    Join Date:  Sep 2011

    Location:  Akron, Ohio

    Posts:    1,624

    My VIN:    559

    Quote Originally Posted by rbird01 View Post
    The frame will need to be replaced between 5 and 10 years from now
    Your frame needs attention now. The steel frames are the biggest weak point of the entire car. Issues with handling, electrical gremlins, body panel alignment, all boil down to that frame. The more rust is has, the less support it provides, and the bigger electrical resistance it has too.

    That said, "attention" doesn't necessarily mean "replacement"!!! In fact, it would be budget-friendly and still a great investment to patch repair the worst sections. A little rust is OK, but when you get the frame to deform and make holes, you're past the point where repair is crucial. It's mandatory then. I don't trust that thing looking at it. But it can be trusted fairly easily.

    I'm personally of the opinion that preventative care, while perhaps time-consuming, is literally the cheapest way you can make your car last for decades. Nipping problems in the bud before they get worse will keep them from being problems. Also addressing common problems while you're there too.

    As a "while you're there" thing, I'd recommend doing what's known as the "big three" upgrade. Basically run 1/0 gauge ground wire between the battery, alternator, and frame, except in this case you're really only running the frame wire grounds to connect the grounding points with actual wires rather than relying on the steel and aiding in its corrosion. I will note that I don't know how significant the corrosion from electrical use is, but given the prevalence of grounding issues and frame rust on these cars, it's just a no brainer to fix both in the same go. Your car will run better too, and your headlights might even get brighter from it. You can add the alternator and the battery to the mix if you're up to it, but the biggest problem by far is the frame points.

  10. #10
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

    Posts:    6,097

    My VIN:    10757

    Club(s):   (DMA)

    Typically when you see the rear engine cradle in that kind of shape the crumple zone in the front and the shock towers are usually worse. Since you have an '83 you have undercoating and that can hide a lot of rust damage that would be more obvious without the undercoating. This kind of damage is most often caused by parking the car on dirt outside for extended periods of time at some point in it's past. It can also be because the car was used in the wintertime where it snowed and they used a lot of salt on the roads. It is a judgement call as to when the frame is beyond repair but realize if you do a frame swap the donor frame may also require some amount of repair and you will be breaking a lot of bolts and replacing a lot of other parts like suspension bushings, hoses, and such. Point is, it is not just the cost of the frame and the labor to R & R it. The objective should be to find a local shop that will take on the repair at a reasonable price. Understand that it can't be a set price because there is no good way to know the full extent of the necessary repairs. One guide is what you see is only half of what needs to be done. Where the metal isn't rusted through it is so thin that it must also be replaced.
    David Teitelbaum

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •