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Thread: VIN 5510 - Bill's DeLorean Restoration

  1. #21
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    From my other post:

    I got the engine and transmission removed from the frame!! Only missed one hose, which was a coolant line coming from the overflow tank. I learned some things - first was that you can get stainless steel carabiners (or similar) that can hold 1800 pounds, which work really great to hold the load balancer chains to the lift rings on the engine. Second, since the engine and transmission weigh about 750 pounds, its best to stick the engine hoist out there - mine is rated for 1-ton, and I set it at the 3/4 ton spot. I wish I would have put it at the 1/2 ton spot, because when I lifted the engine up high it started to rub on the hoist itself.

    Once out, I was able to take off the two little plates that have to come off in order to separate the engine and transmission, and since both are present I will assume that the transmission has never been removed from the engine.

    The transmission is still stuck to the engine, though. I got some MAPP gas and tried heating up the area around the stuck bolt, but that wasn't successful. I can get quite a large gap (1/2") on the passenger side, and a small 1/8" gap on the drivers side, so it's definitely just that bolt. I also tried using an SDS hammer drill set to hammer mode to try and punch out the bolt, but that didn't work either. This damn bolt is really stuck in there!!
    Since my last update, I went and bought some stuff... I sold my plate compactor and used the proceeds ($400) to purchase a pressure washer and accessories. I also paid ~$650 for a Titanium MIG 140 welder, plus an auto darkening helmet, gloves, welding apron, and a bunch of welding accessories.

    The past few days I spent cleaning up the garage and working on tearing down the frame. Today it was finally nice enough that I rolled the engine and transmission out of the way, then pulled the frame into the driveway and pressure washed it. TONS of dirt and nasty crap came off, plus probably a pound of epoxy chips. I then took this chance to walk around the frame and inspect all of the areas of rust:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcTgm-ec3XM

    Anything is repairable - but I'm not sure whether I have the skills to make it happen, and I'm also not sure whether this is what I should be using my time doing. Strongly considering a stainless frame.

  2. #22
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

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    Most of the frame damage is pretty common for a rusted frame. The "repairs" if you want to call them that do make the job a bit more work because they should all be removed and redone properly. On a car like this one of the big problems is that all of the fasteners are so rusty that when you try to undo them they all break. Makes for a lot of extra work. The frame is very repairable BUT. You have to decide how much time you want to spend fixing it, who is going to fix it, what another frame will cost and what it will cost to get it shipped (shipping is a significant cost because of the size and weight). To fix the frame all you need is some 16 gauge cold rolled steel which is not expensive. You already bought a welder (I would have suggested gas or MIG but TIG is OK, it will just take more skill to master it). Wither you fix the frame or replace it you have to remove everything anyway. An additional cost to fix the frame would be to have it stripped, either blasted or dipped unless you do it yourself. Keep in mind unless you buy a S/S frame, any frame you do find may require at least some repair, if only to convert it to automatic. Because the transmission was slipping you may have to get it rebuilt. With the body removed, replace ALL of the metal lines because they can't be replaced once the body is back on. My vote is to fix the frame but you will need to learn to weld. Plenty of videos on Youtube or you can go to an adult education class or many shops that sell welding supplies can show you how to weld. It takes more patience than skill and the more you do the better you will get. The "exfoliation" you saw is when you have rust, it expands and forces the pieces apart. You must remove the plate and repair the underside before replacing the other piece. Rust is like cancer, you must cut it all out till you get to good, solid metal. Where you have surface rust you can just grind it off. Once all of the rust and repairs are done you have to decide to paint it or have it dipped in molten zinc. Dipping in zinc, it will last nearly forever but you will add some weight and is expensive. Painting is cheaper and you can do it yourself. Once you strip the frame you can refer to R:02:02-03 to verify that the frame is straight. If you do spend for the S/S frame IMHO it doesn't make the car worth anymore than if you had a good steel frame and it is a bit heavier. The Delorean is underpowered enough, adding more weight to it will just make it's performance worse. If you can buy a good frame cheap you will save a lot of time but figure you will still have to strip and paint it.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #23
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    Most of the frame damage is pretty common for a rusted frame. The "repairs" if you want to call them that do make the job a bit more work because they should all be removed and redone properly. On a car like this one of the big problems is that all of the fasteners are so rusty that when you try to undo them they all break. Makes for a lot of extra work. The frame is very repairable BUT. You have to decide how much time you want to spend fixing it, who is going to fix it, what another frame will cost and what it will cost to get it shipped (shipping is a significant cost because of the size and weight). To fix the frame all you need is some 16 gauge cold rolled steel which is not expensive. You already bought a welder (I would have suggested gas or MIG but TIG is OK, it will just take more skill to master it). Wither you fix the frame or replace it you have to remove everything anyway. An additional cost to fix the frame would be to have it stripped, either blasted or dipped unless you do it yourself. Keep in mind unless you buy a S/S frame, any frame you do find may require at least some repair, if only to convert it to automatic. Because the transmission was slipping you may have to get it rebuilt. With the body removed, replace ALL of the metal lines because they can't be replaced once the body is back on. My vote is to fix the frame but you will need to learn to weld. Plenty of videos on Youtube or you can go to an adult education class or many shops that sell welding supplies can show you how to weld. It takes more patience than skill and the more you do the better you will get. The "exfoliation" you saw is when you have rust, it expands and forces the pieces apart. You must remove the plate and repair the underside before replacing the other piece. Rust is like cancer, you must cut it all out till you get to good, solid metal. Where you have surface rust you can just grind it off. Once all of the rust and repairs are done you have to decide to paint it or have it dipped in molten zinc. Dipping in zinc, it will last nearly forever but you will add some weight and is expensive. Painting is cheaper and you can do it yourself. Once you strip the frame you can refer to R:02:02-03 to verify that the frame is straight. If you do spend for the S/S frame IMHO it doesn't make the car worth anymore than if you had a good steel frame and it is a bit heavier. The Delorean is underpowered enough, adding more weight to it will just make it's performance worse. If you can buy a good frame cheap you will save a lot of time but figure you will still have to strip and paint it.
    Thanks David, I really appreciate the info! I've read many of your comments in other threads about galvanization and what not.

    The welder I picked up is a combination gas MIG and Flux Core, not TIG. I thought about TIG, but it seemed like too steep of a learning curve for me.

    You're definitely right, that I'm having a heck of a time with the fasteners - but I am learning. I use lots of Liquid Wrench (among others), I've mostly switched to using my impact wrench to loosen things, and I go slow and work the bolts back and forth. The goal right now is to continue to strip the frame to bare, which resulted in this outcome:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uLKoNDtlf0

    Taking out the fuel tank shows a lot of rust and delamination of the steel. I think at this point I am beyond the cost-benefit of fixing the frame, at least given my connections. The cost I calculated to acid strip, galvanize, replace the front frame extension, and powder coat came out to over $3k. Add in the cost to do the welding, and time needed to get the processes done, transport the frame from one place to another, redrill and tap all of the holes in the frame, I'm looking at months of work before I can even start putting it back together.

    From looking around here, I think I can get a decent used frame for about $4-5k, but you're absolutely right that it would still require some work, and wouldn't be galvanized, and would likely need more work down the road. I'm talking to someone now that has one locally, but it's a manual frame. If I bought it then went through the stripping, galvanizing, and powder coating process, that's another $2k, and I can get a new mild steel frame, galvanized and powder coated from DeloreanGo for $8,300 + shipping. Shipping will be expensive from the UK, though. And I just got a quote from DeLorean Industries for a stainless steel frame that's for quite a bit more, but isn't apples-to-apples since it includes coil overs and brake lines. If I try to wiggle the numbers to be equivalent, it's roughly ~$2k more, which is actually quite a deal if you ask me.

    Regarding power, I think I have that covered. I haven't mentioned it here, but I plan on converting the drive train to electric in about 6 months, which will roughly double the horsepower at the wheels. That will be fast enough for me. If I ever feel the need for a fast car, I'll buy one. lol

  4. #24
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

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    Club(s):   (DMA)

    My vote is still to fix what you got. If you get a used frame you might wind up with one that is bent. You will learn a new skill (welding) and it will serve you well in converting the car to electric. Painting the frame is a good option, the epoxy did last a long time but nothing lasts forever. You can grind the old epoxy off or get it blasted. If you have more money then time, then getting another frame may be the way to go though.
    David Teitelbaum

  5. #25
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    I didn't realize it had been a couple of week since my last update! Well, I have the frame stripped down completely bare at this point and am working my way through taking apart all of the suspension and brake components that are sitting in a pile... but the big news is that I've got a replacement frame on the way!!

    After much thought, I decided on the stainless steel frame from DeLorean Industries. Yes, it is expensive, but it will make the car last another 40 years. The existing frame is quite far gone and after reaching out to a bunch of places, I wasn't able to find a solution to getting the frame stripped. I'll be selling the frame for cheap soon, probably as soon as I get everything moved over to the new one. The old frame would need to have the front frame extension replaced, and the front and rear cross members need to be rebuilt, there are at least 4 places where a small area will need to be cut out and then replaced, and most of the frame (including trailing arms) needs to be fully stripped to bare metal and repainted or powder coated or something to get rid of the surface rust. It's just too much time and work for me to do just to have a mediocre frame covered in spot repairs, and not able to drive the car for 6 months. If I could find a place (or places) to acid strip (or sandblast), galvanize, and powder coat it, then things might be different since I'd end up with a better-than-new frame, and if I'm not able to get rid of the frame in short order, I'll probably continue down the path of restoring it so it can live on as someone else's replacement.

    Along with the stainless frame, I also purchased a lot of addons from DI. Stainless radius arms, SPEC coilovers front and rear, SPEC lower arm supports, stainless brake and fuel hard lines, and new cooling hoses. I also got the frame powder coated and it will be crated up and shipped from Ohio to the Seattle area in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, I'm making my way through the brakes and suspension and all of the parts pulled from the car. All the hard pieces that are remaining will be pressure washed, sand blasted, and powder coated. The lower control arms will be boxed in. All bushings and bearings will be replaced. The brakes will be rebuilt and new rotors, too. Basically, the frame and everything on it (except for the motor and transmission) will be better than brand new the next time the car drives out of the garage.

  6. #26
    President, DeLorean Industries
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  CLE/PHX

    Posts:    2,521

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

    You actually ordered billet front lower arms with the Coilover system. No need to box the factory front lower arms. The only things you will need to refurbish are the rear upper and lower links, front upper control arms, front sway bar, and front/rear hub assemblies.

  7. #27
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    Quote Originally Posted by Delorean Industries View Post
    You actually ordered billet front lower arms with the Coilover system. No need to box the factory front lower arms. The only things you will need to refurbish are the rear upper and lower links, front upper control arms, front sway bar, and front/rear hub assemblies.
    Oh joy! I didn't realize the lowers came with the kit! One less thing to deal with!!

  8. #28
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    Look what I got!!

    20200803_141126.jpg 20200803_152835.jpg IMG_0813_small.jpg

    The new frame is here! It was an ordeal to get - nothing to do with DPI, but the shipping company I chose (Road Runner) did not take care of me as a customer. They missed 2 deliveries, and on the last one the driver called 10 minutes before arrival, was rude to me on the phone, and then never showed up and didn't call me to let me know. So instead, I had to drive ~45 miles each way and rent a trailer to pick it up. BUT it's here!! I've recorded a lot of video and one day I'll edit together, but for now I'll just say that this is AWESOME! Every piece is beautiful, and as I opened each package I was blown away at how nice everything was. It was expensive, for sure, but it is also clearly worth the expense. I pretty much went all out and bought many of the upgrades available. Let me catch up the thread on some recent purchases:

    • Dorman 611-310 and 611-221 lug nuts, 10 of each - $110
    • Steering rack with ball joints - DeloreanGo - $250
    • Parking brake retraction plate - DGO - $20
    • Exhaust manifold gasket kit - DGO - $176 [I just realized that I accidentally ordered 24 studs/washers/nuts rather than 12 - oops - so maybe take $60 off of this as I'll try to send that back]
    • Coolant pipe kit - DGO - $399
    • Stainless hose clamp kit - DGO - $65
    • Engine mount bolts & washers - DGO - $6
    • SS Frame (powder coated in grey), SS radius arms (powder coated in grey), SS closing plate (powder coated in grey), SPEC coilover kit (front & rear coil overs, new front lower control arm with bushings and ball joints, lower control arm supports), SS brake hard lines, SS fuel hard lines, silicon coolant hose kit - $16,130 + ~$750 shipping (cost prior to me changing to pickup, so this will go down)


    This last week I went to clean my coolant pipes, since they weren't leaking and I figured they were fine - but as soon as I started cleaning them I found that roughly half had a bunch of pin-holes under the hoses. I didn't think it was worth getting them welded, so I got a new full setup. At this point there is actually quite little going back on the chassis that isn't brand new. The engine, transmission, and radiator on going back on mostly as-is. I'm only replacing the exhaust gaskets and stuff because they are so rusted (and welded to hell by a previous owner) that I couldn't disassemble them, which I don't want to deal with when I pull the engine again. Plus the larger suspension items like the spindle, hub carrier, etc, but those are all getting rebuilt.

    Oh, I also got a lot of new tools!!

    • Air hammer
    • Air hammer punch/drift pin set
    • Rounded-nut remover kit
    • Amazon Echo Dot for the garage
    • 12-ton shop press
    • Various sets of press dies and sleeves for bearings, bushings, etc
    • Wheel stud installer tool
    • Stud extractor tool
    • Riv-nut installer tool kit
    • Oiler can, for 50/50 ATF/Acetone mix, which has been recommended a lot
    • Electrolysis setup for rust removal


    The last item to mention is that I've created a public project board to help me track my progress and know what tasks I have left to do. Since I work at Microsoft I get access to this site called Azure Dev Ops, though I don't think anyone externally uses it. It's still a work in progress.

    https://billcarlson.visualstudio.com...20Restoration/

    I haven't started rebuilding anything, still working my way through refurbishing all of the components that will go back on. I'm also working on a full list of items to purchase. It's currently about 150 unique items long, and I suspect I'll hit 250 or so by the time I'm done. Each of those items is listed and I look up the price on DMCH, DeloreanGO, DPI, and (if possible) BoltDepot or McMaster Carr. There are a few other supplies that are included on some items (DeLorean Parts Northwest, for example). By default I chose the lowest cost out of the bunch, but for many items there are different options available such as stainless steel or rubber/poly or old stock vs. newly made, so I have additional rows for those as well. It is incredibly time consuming doing it by hand - easily tens of hours so far, and I'll be very happy if I'm done by the end of this weekend!

    20200809_134227.jpg
    Last edited by CyberBill; 08-14-2020 at 09:49 PM.

  9. #29
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    Wow, time sure flies - it's been another two weeks and I'm ready for another update.

    Using ADO/VisualStudio.com for project management has been a god send. Seriously - it keeps me on track and has prevented me from restoring dozens of parts that I don't need. Having everything in Excel is also SUPER helpful. Here's my current statistics:

    Identified 226 unique parts / 480 pieces on the frame for restoration/replacement/reuse
    Identified 75 unique parts / 172 pieces on the car for restoration
    70.9% (122) of the parts slated for restoration are ready for zinc plating/powder coating, only 50 remaining

    Here's what my Excel sheets look like:

    Excel1.jpgExcel2.jpg

    If you want to see the full excel document, it is attached to this work item in my project: https://billcarlson.visualstudio.com...kitems/edit/28

    Let me give you a glimpse into the process here - because it's an insane amount of work. I started with the parts diagrams and identified each part, put it into Excel with it's name, part number, and area on the car. I looked up the pricing information of the part from all of the vendors and a generic provider, if possible. I then visually inspected that part on the vehicle to see it's condition. Then, I weighed (abstractly) the time, effort, and cost to repair/restore the component vs. purchasing new. Some items are easy here - the pivot bolts on the suspension, for example. They're expensive, like $30 each, and restoring them is essentially wire wheeling the gunk off of them and sending them out to be zinc plated. There are some items like basic washers that I can buy for like $0.10, and it makes no sense to even spend 5 minutes to clean them. Most parts fall somewhere in the middle, where they are fairly expensive - but they take a lot of time and effort to restore, and so I just do my best to make a good decision, usually erring on the side of buying new.

    This process has really opened my eyes to the parts availability for the DeLorean!! I was routinely blown away when a particular piece was unable to be sourced or hugely expensive. Transmission mount brackets ($300 each), for example, or exhaust manifolds (>$400 each).

    Some things I've been doing a lot of:
    • Manual wire brushing (nylon, brass, and steel)
    • Angle-grinder wire wheeling
    • Bench grinder wire wheeling
    • Wire pipe-brushing
    • Soaking things in a bucket of degreaser
    • Using elecrolysis for rust removal
    • Soaking things in Evaporust
    • Using blending pads on things
    • Dremel wire wheeling


    The rust electrolysis system is one I'm particularly happy with. Total investment is well under $100 for a plastic tub, some washing soda (sodium carbonate), a 30V 5A digital variable power supply, and some scrap sheet metal. I can let things sit in there for days without worrying about it 'going too far', and it seriously just eats the rust right off. If it misses anything, like on the steering rack mounts that have some weird inset parts, I toss it in Evaporust (at $30/gallon) and let it sit for a few days.

    Now onto some recent purchases for the car:

    • Toby's Disassembly Service (removed bushings, bearings, and stuck bolts that I couldn't) - DSNW - $543
    • Front sway-bar combo kit - DPNW - $108.55
    • Roughly 50 nuts, bolts, washers - Bolt Depot - $28.53
    • 510 Piece stainless hex bolt/nut/washer set - Amazon - $18.49
    • 55 piece stainless cushioned pipe clamp set - Amazon - $25.99
    • Cotter pin set - Amazon - $6.99


    And some new tools:

    • Pipe cleaning brush set - Large, Stainless
    • Pipe cleaning brush set - Small, Nylon
    • 8" Bench grinder and 8" Dewalt wire wheel
    • Bench vise, with anvil

  10. #30
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2019

    Location:  Seattle, WA

    Posts:    76

    My VIN:    5510

    Another two weeks, and I'm ready for another update!!

    I'm really nearing the end of the process of getting all the parts ready to start rebuilding. The first big news is that I was able to find a local shop to do TIG welding and machining. I dropped off the hub carriers, knuckles, and exhaust manifolds a few days ago and just got the email confirming they are done and ready for pick up. (I'll include the cost for this once I pay it)

    Next big news is that I found a local place (Monroe, WA) called Metal Tech who can do zinc plating. I got a quote, which is their minimum, of $324 to plate all of the items here in this picture:

    20200909_181606.jpg

    Here's a closer look at some of the items, this is what things look like after they're hit with the wire wheel and/or had a rust removal process done.

    20200909_175102.jpg20200909_175434.jpg20200909_175715.jpg20200909_180054.jpg

    All of these items will be sand blasted as needed, aggressively degreased, acid etched, then zinc plated with a yellow chromate finish. This was all dropped off, and they gave me an ETA of about a week.

    The only remaining process I need to send out items for is powder coating. I've got most things ready to go except for the upper control arms and rear brake calipers, which are currently in the rust bath process and should be wrapped up this evening. Also the knuckles and hub carriers are going to be powder coated as well.

    Next up - I put in orders through pretty much every vendor. Through BoltDepot I picked up about ~150 items, all the generic bolts and washers and Nyloc nuts and stuff. From DPI I picked up stainless radius arm brackets, front hub snap rings, plus some generic nuts and bolts and stuff. Through DeLorean Go I picked up brake line clips, trailing arm shims, a couple of fuel hoses, caliper bleed screws, body bolts, and coolant pipe brackets, among the generic nuts and bolts and things. I also splurged and picked up the LED Tail Light Boards, Bulb, and Flasher kit. My last order is from DMCH, and included a new rear suspension lower link (I severely disfigured one while trying to remove the bushings), a dipstick upper bracket, and misc. nuts and bolts and things. I'm also working with Toby from DPNW to get an order ready, but haven't made the purchase yet.

    Purchases:
    • Generic nuts & bolts - BoltDepot - $40
    • Wings-B-Cool Self Bleeder kit - DPNW - $76
    • Radius Arm Brackets, Misc parts - DPI - $104
    • All sorts of random things - DGO - $200
    • LED Tail light board kit - DGO - $160
    • Rear Lower Link, Misc parts - DMCH - $148

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