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View Full Version : The Road to 88mph (Total rebuild of #1537)



Team#1537
03-14-2020, 06:13 AM
Hello everyone,

After years of searching for a DeLorean, I have found both my dream car and an immense project.

Meet 1537, a DeLorean with a chipping black paint job, rust eaten and severely modified frame, rotting interior, no engine, no transmission, the iconic stainless panels scarred with dents and scratches, tacky and tasteless mods, and the list goes on. Neglected by the previous owner for many years just sitting in a barn, he died, and it was then moved outside under the Texas sun where it sat for several more years before I came across her.

She is easily amongst the worst condition DeLoreans out there.
I've don't my own repairs, maintenance, restoration and upgrading on my own since I was a teenager. Now, I get to restore and upgrade my favorite car of all time.

These are the pictures I took the first time I saw the car on Thanksgiving day, 2019. Since then, much work has been done, and far more lies ahead.
The car has been cleaned out, the paint has been removed, most of all the tacky mods are gone, the fascias stripped down to the polyurethane, and half of the car has been regrained.

I have the project all planned out already, with everything that I am restoring and everything that I am upgrading. This DeLorean will go from being one of the worst out there, to one of the best someday.

I will continue to post updates on my journey as I go along, and some pictures to go with it. I've also started an Instagram for the project, there you can see far more photos at a higher quality, and some videos too.

If you'd like to follow or just check it out, my Instagram is the_road_to_88mph
You're more than welcome to stop by :)

vwdmc16
03-14-2020, 11:44 AM
Subscribed! Looking forward to it!

Domi
03-14-2020, 01:04 PM
Congratulation on your purchase :thumbup:
Good luck for the restoration :smile:

andyo
03-14-2020, 02:30 PM
Awesome! Congratulations! I also look forward to it!

-Andy #3430


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JETS 81 DMC
03-14-2020, 03:01 PM
Team#1537,

Congrats on you project.

Curious what brand of door struts are on your car? Amazing they still hold the doors up.

Have fun on your adventure :cheers:

andyo
03-14-2020, 06:23 PM
When you get a chance, I’d love to hear what your plan is. Back to stock, conversion, etc.

Good luck!

-Andy #3430


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Team#1537
03-15-2020, 02:47 AM
Team#1537,

Congrats on you project.

Curious what brand of door struts are on your car? Amazing they still hold the doors up.

Have fun on your adventure :cheers:

They are PJ Grady struts 👍🏻

Team#1537
03-15-2020, 05:43 AM
When you get a chance, I’d love to hear what your plan is. Back to stock, conversion, etc.

Good luck!

-Andy #3430


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

So originally my mind was racing with so many possibilities, due to the car having no engine or transmission. My plan would be different depending on what time of the day you asked me. 😅
There was of course the LS engine swap that's really popular, a VTEC, Buick V6, I even consulted someone I know who works on electric motors and drew up a rough draft for that idea.
One day I even thought about putting a diesel engine in there.😐

I went on thinking and debating with myself on which route to go for over a month. (not worrying about resale value at all, trust me I'll own this car until I die or someone gives me an unreasonable amount of money for it) I was only thinking about performance, but with respect to the original design.

But then it hit me. In one day I saw it all clearly. I had already known the frame had some modifications in the engine bay and to the engine mounts, but I did not know that the front frame extension and fuel tank closing plate had rusted so badly that there were holes and cracks all the way through in certain parts.
For reasons I can't explain, I decided that I was going to keep my performance requirement, but I'd stay even closer to the original design. I have decided that I am going to be using the improved/modernized parts offered by DeLorean Performance Industries.

So I just posted on here that I was looking for a PRV, and a very generous person sold me one for a low price and had it shipped to my house.

So in short,

Phase I of the rebuild is:
Stainless Frame
New Cooling system
SPEC suspension package
New Brake system
Empty and clean out gas tank
And power steering.

Phase II is straight forward:
SPEC III package
SPEC manual gearbox assembly

And Phase III:
Repair and repaint fascias
New Louvres
Led lighting
Cosmetics
Replace cluster and binnacle
Replace/fix upholstery
Modernized sound system
Replace/fix wood panels
Replace windshield
Replace dashboard
Shampoo the nasty carpets
Replace all seals and pistons
Detail

Footnote:
Thank you all for your kind and warm comments.
In my time so far, I've been part of many groups/forums for various cars and motorcycles.
But I can honestly say that this one has more than blown me away.
Not because it's full of people who understand and share my love for this car or the knowledge available here, but because it's full of people who genuinely seem to want to help you.

andyo
03-15-2020, 04:53 PM
Sounds like a great plan! Good luck


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ssdelorean
03-17-2020, 01:20 PM
Footnote:
Thank you all for your kind and warm comments.
In my time so far, I've been part of many groups/forums for various cars and motorcycles.
But I can honestly say that this one has more than blown me away.
Not because it's full of people who understand and share my love for this car or the knowledge available here, but because it's full of people who genuinely seem to want to help you.

Nice to hear.
And I've noticed over the YEARS of being here both on the .com site and this new .org site is that even though there are folks out there who fight and bicker (my self included), we (I) still want to be of help to others we (I) fight and biker with. Kind of a like a true "family" even though most of us only know each other "online".

lazabby
03-17-2020, 06:46 PM
I'm glad to see that you are bringing a Delorean back to life. I hate to see one rotting in a field somewhere.

Team#1537
03-18-2020, 11:35 PM
04DEC19 to 15JAN20

Got the paint (and a ton of body-fill) off 1537's stainlesspanels! I used Rust-oleum aircraft remover to break down most of the paint, and scraped it off using plastic razor blades.

All that body-fill though... would not come off, and on top of that the stainless was covered in millions of scratches, some of them significantly deep.

So I took a very risky and unorthodox approach.
Busting out my palm sander loaded with 220 grit, I slowly and carefully sanded off the body fill (some places caked on over 1/2 an inch). Using worn out sand paper discs, I also sanded down the steel and smoothed out the scratches.

Before you string me up, just know that this was a desperate measure. A ton of the scratches were severe.

The end result left a smooth but "wavy" pattern in the stainless, which I got rid of with a bit of brushing using a 3M blending pad.6300563014630136301263011630106300963008630076 300663015

EngineerGuY
03-25-2020, 11:57 AM
Looking forward to the adventure! Subscribed

Nicholas R
03-26-2020, 05:13 PM
04DEC19 to 15JAN20

Got the paint (and a ton of body-fill) off 1537's stainlesspanels! I used Rust-oleum aircraft remover to break down most of the paint, and scraped it off using plastic razor blades.

All that body-fill though... would not come off, and on top of that the stainless was covered in millions of scratches, some of them significantly deep.

So I took a very risky and unorthodox approach.
Busting out my palm sander loaded with 220 grit, I slowly and carefully sanded off the body fill (some places caked on over 1/2 an inch). Using worn out sand paper discs, I also sanded down the steel and smoothed out the scratches.

Before you string me up, just know that this was a desperate measure. A ton of the scratches were severe.

The end result left a smooth but "wavy" pattern in the stainless, which I got rid of with a bit of brushing using a 3M blending pad.

I don't think you should get much pushback. I've actually heard this be done quite a bit in the past. Sometimes an orbital sander is the only answer. Once you get it smooth enough, you can go back with something like 60grit, either with a sanding block, flap wheel, or dynabrade wheel, and add the grain back in yourself. It's not going to be a fun or easy road for you, but it's certainly possible .

Team#1537
04-30-2020, 01:15 AM
With help from a member of my Club and reviewing articles online, documentation I have on the vehicle, without a doubt it's the twin turbo rotary DeLorean

Josh
04-30-2020, 12:25 PM
With help from a member of my Club and reviewing articles online, documentation I have on the vehicle, without a doubt it's the twin turbo rotary DeLorean

Wow, i wondered what happened to this car.
Are your plans to revert to stock or stick the rotary back in there?
You have done a great job with the paint removal so far.

Josh
04-30-2020, 12:26 PM
any pictures of the modifications to the frame?

Team#1537
04-30-2020, 07:53 PM
any pictures of the modifications to the frame?

Even the closing panel had to be cut to accommodate for engine components

ssdelorean
05-01-2020, 02:30 PM
Even the closing panel had to be cut to accommodate for engine components

Wow! :jawdrop: For as much smack talk and quality transmission parts as Jim Strickland talked back in the day making that car, I would expect better fabrication work from him. That poor car!

Team#1537
08-15-2020, 01:49 AM
Been a while since I've posted on here... there's been a massive amount of work done.

All stainless panels have been completely stripped of all paint and removed, I've fully restored one so far by removing all the dents and scratches.
Interior has been totally gutted, and the body has been lifted off the chassis. All aftermarket crap has been trashed, and the chassis has been stripped 100% of all parts. The new (to this car) PRV has been joined with a lower crankcase and mounted to a stand. Many components that came off the frame are not salvageable, which is no big deal considering we're planning on getting all new upgrades from DPI.
Now to solve the issue of what to do with the chassis since we're getting a new stainless one. We're hoping we can sell it for cheap just to make a little bit of coin to use towards the project but I'm not sure if anyone would want it.

Team#1537
08-16-2020, 04:14 AM
Drained nearly 5 gallons of fuel that had been sitting in the tank for about 15 years...

DMCMW Dave
08-17-2020, 12:34 AM
That's one of those "what ever happened to" cars. I'd really like to know the history. I recall seeing stories on the conversion, and photos, but then the car (and owner) vanished. Maybe 15 years ago?

Team#1537
08-17-2020, 02:06 AM
That's one of those "what ever happened to" cars. I'd really like to know the history. I recall seeing stories on the conversion, and photos, but then the car (and owner) vanished. Maybe 15 years ago?

He sold it to a man here in Texas in the mid 00's. The engine blew, and was removed along with the Porsche gearbox. Then he passed away and the car was given to his nephew, who couldn't work on it. So it sat on a ranch ever since, until I bought it and hauled it home last Thanksgiving.

Nicholas R
08-19-2020, 12:36 PM
What are your latest thoughts on drivetrain?

Just curious because white out is selling a turnkey drivetrain that could be a very good opportunity if you're trying to return to stock. http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?18367-Engine-amp-Manual-Trans

This is a fairly rare thing to find so just something to consider.

EDIT: Never mind, just saw the information about already finding a PRV.