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Thread: Who here has repaired a bent driver door?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Who here has repaired a bent driver door?

    Anyone here have any success at repairing a bent DeLorean driver door? And if so what exactly did you do to repair it?
    Way back on 12-01-2011 user tyb323 (Tyler Butler) posted a message about his bent driver door and having it nearly completely repaired but not quite by PJ Grady out of New York. Tyler did not conclude the message thread with if he ever replaced the slightly bent door or made an attempt at repairing it further so that it closes properly.
    Iíve sent a Private Message and then an Email message to Tyler and I have not heard back it looks like Tyler is no longer active on DMC Talk.
    Iíve been in contact with DeLorean Service Northwest about making an attempt at repairing the door.
    The two pictures I attached show my driver door after having spent many years with an overstressed Torsion Bar. To me it looks horrible and Iím looking at having it repaired BEFORE I consider replacing it.
    Attached Images
    Mark Vanyo
    Links to DeLorean related web sites!
    http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?19...s-Part-I-of-II.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I do not know of any definitive fix for a door that has been "bent". Once tweaked or bent they lose all structural integrity. Glue joints pop, spot weld break. You can easily tell by grabbing an open door by the bottom edge and shaking it side-to-side. It is a lot more floppy than a door that has not been tweaked. Usually happens when you forget to close it when entering or leaving a garage. Doors are available but they are expensive and it's a lot of work to switch it especially if you have to move a lot of the internal parts over. Any door you get will probably need to be regrained and when you do that you will wind up doing the whole car. Changing a door on an early car can be very difficult to get adjusted well. Make sure you have the door guides installed on the locks and the locks and anchor pins are properly adjusted. Best advice is to just live with it unless you are prepared to spend a lot of $$$. Close it carefully and make sure both latches achieve 2nd locking position. Getting bent from an overtorqued torsion bar may not be possible to repair at all. No way to get inside that area of the door without taking it apart. The only possibility would be to try bending it the "other way" but that could make it worse.
    Last edited by David T; 04-29-2022 at 01:08 PM.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Apr 2022

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    Quote Originally Posted by outatym2001 View Post
    Iíve been in contact with DeLorean Service Northwest about making an attempt at repairing the door.
    The two pictures I attached show my driver door after having spent many years with an overstressed Torsion Bar. To me it looks horrible and Iím looking at having it repaired BEFORE I consider replacing it.
    Dumb questions before this gets too complicated:

    • When you took these helpful photos was the left torsion bar re-set to it's normal/lowest setting, same as the right torsion bar? Along this line have you performed the (torsion bar preload) door-hang test on both doors (after removing both struts for the test)? What does the door hang test show on each side?
    • Do you see any related signs of door failure David T. points to? Any popped spot welds, weak edge seam joints? When you wiggle or push the fully-open doors front-to-rear does the L door seem just about as stiff/solid as the R door?

    (Theory: If the left bar is still adjusted "way too tight" then the higher bend seen in the upper front edge of the door vs the right door may be temporary due to that excess preload. After the preload is reduced the door profile may look normal or at least a lot better.)

  4. #4
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    I don't see how such slight damage over such a large area could be repaired for less than the cost of a replacement door.

  5. #5
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    Had same issue, but it came with major door closing issues. My early door didnít have as many welds as the later ones, and it was only glued and crimped along the edges. Flexed like a wet noodle.

    Solution was to replace with an 83 door. Much better now.
    Early 81 Auto- Delorean.eu Roof Box, Double Din, Custom Instrument Cluster, QA1 Suspension, currently 100% 3.0 PRV, 5% EFI

  6. #6
    EFI Squirted DARCOM's Avatar
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    My doors are the same yours. And I have never hit them on anything. I think it's just normal wear since that is the side where the torsion bar connects. also did not know they had less welds so that would just make it worse.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Here is some background to my bent DeLorean driver door.

    Hi Major Tom (nice reference to the David Bowie song) hereís a little back-story.
    I bought VIN 02261 in February 2001 on a below freezing very cold winter day from a fellow Pacific Northwest DeLorean Club (PNDC) member who was moving to Hawaii and didnít want to take the DeLorean with him but he did take his wife. Ha. Ha. Ha.
    Several years later after I purchased the DeLorean I donít remember when exactly during a PNDC tech session we tried adjusting the stainless steel Torsion Bar but there was corrosion between the Torsion Bar and the mild steel Torsion Bar Retaining Plate (part 105006) that holds the Torsion Bar in place. We could not force the Retaining Plate to let go of the Torsion Bar.
    Fast forward over ten years later and the door has ever so slowly shown signs of bending.
    Possibly around the year 2017 (during a summer time PNDC tech session) finally after using a great deal of Maintenance Magic Buster Rust Penetrant we were able to free the Torsion Bar from the Retaining Plate. Once the Torsion Bar was free we then made proper adjustments to the Torsion Bar while utilizing brand new Gas Struts.

    In hindsight I should have not let this happen to a perfectly good door and much sooner should have figured out a way to release the Torsion Bar from its Retaining Plate.

    By the way the driver door being bent like in the pictures has been that way for a long, time (read many years) and Iím finally just now reaching out to the community to see if it can be repaired.

    Sometime in the decade of the 2000s fellow PNDC member had accidentally ran his DeLorean driver door into the edge of his one car garage and twisted the door and busted out the glass window. And it was $5,000 to buy a new door and a new window and to remove and transfer over all the components to the new door. His driveway is very steep sloping downwards towards the garage door. He didnít notice the DeLorean driver door being open that far that it was going to hit the garage frame.

    Sooooooo, I already know what itís going to cost me if I replace the door and transfer everything over. $A$LOT$

    Major Tom now to answer your questions.

    The proper adjustments to the Torsion Bars was performed say around 2017 during a warm summer time PNDC tech session at the same time I added brand new Gas Struts. Thank God I was able to finally free the Torsion Bar from the Retaining Plate. But, by 2017 the door had already been (bent) damaged (as shown in the two pictures) by an overstressed Torsion Bar.
    After I remove a single Gas Strut and ever so gently by hand lower the door then the door closes by itself to nearly all the way closed and stops at the first click of the door latches.

    There are no related signs of door failure or popped spot-welds or weak seam joints or messed up rusty roof boxes. The roof box in case everyone isnít aware is in between the left and right doors and is made of mild steel and can rust from the inside out thusly weakening the roof structure.

    Both doors while open appear to be very firm with only the tiniest amount of flex when pushed rearward. When pushed forward there is almost no movement at all. Both doors close pretty well with one-handed operation but they are definitely not like a brand new car. Other DeLoreans I have come across have perfect doors and they close simply and easily with a satisfying click. Both of my doors take a wee bit more effort to close fully while the forward latch always catches first and then the rear latch.

    In conclusion I donít see where is a good place to remove any door welds and then unbend the door and then re-weld it?
    Oh, well.
    I leave it up to the experts to make the attempt(s).
    Mark Vanyo
    Links to DeLorean related web sites!
    http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?19...s-Part-I-of-II.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Used doors in good shape can be had for around $500. Even if you had to spend $1K with shipping, if you do all the work yourself it would be a whole lot less than $5K. AFAIK there is no good way to fix a door. Once bent or twisted it is now weakened and there is no good way to work inside the door to repair it. What is a stainless steel torsion bar? Back in the day it was common practice to overtorque the torsion bars to compensate for weak struts. We now know it was a very bad thing to do. As for repairing doors, there was an owner that had multiple Deloreans. He was into taking them apart. He didn't know how to undo the torsion bar so he took the doors off without removing the torsion bars first. He ruined all of the doors. I don't know what happened to the doors, Rob Grady could tell you if he still has them and if they ever figured out how to repair them. If anyone could repair a door Chris Nickleson would be the one. It may cost as much as $5K though.
    David Teitelbaum

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