Sep 02, 2008: Engine Bay Complete

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Here are some completed pics with my engine back together, new nuts & bolts installed, A/C compressor in, hoses cleaned, engine bay painted, etc, etc...





Aug 26, 2008: Engine Bay Repaint

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
One 'defect' with my car that has bothered me was that my engine bay was looking very worn for such a low mileage car. I don't know if it was just from past owner neglect, but it was getting under my skin. Some areas were flat, some were lighter grey, some were shiny black. Everything else in the engine compartment looked nice, but the bay just ruined it.

So I spent several hours over the course of a week getting the engine disassembled, parts removed from the walls, hoses tied up to the center block, etc etc to get easier access to the engine bay walls. I wanted to get this cleaned and fixed.

There are two ways to clean up the engine bay. The first is to use acetone and wipe down the walls. This may sound strange, but the fiberglass has a gelled outer layer that acetone does not harm. When wiping it down it results in a shiny look which also shows the natural grain of the fiberglass. I tried it in sections and while it looked nice, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue it to the upper pontoon under the windows, and if not, didn't think I would like the difference between the bay and the upper pontoon.

So I spent another eight hours in one day wetsanding, cleaning, and taping/masking the engine bay. Finally the first coat of paint went on yesterday. Here are some pictures with the original as a comparison. I am using SEM Trim Black for this.





Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Went down to DMC Florida yesterday to get my unsightly Previous Owner body wound fixed. At some point my PO must have dropped something onto the door's A-pillar side frame and put a nice crease in it. I have a few other small blemishes on the car but this by far stood out when you walked down the passenger side. Saw Stephen at the Celebration Exotic show a few years ago and he had said that DMC had a technique to remove these types of dents now without going in from behind, which is impossible with this pillar as it is boxed in. The technique consists of a spot weld type wand with a pad and arm on the tip. The pad sits on the car on one end of the arm, and midway down the arm is the tip welder which you then use the arm as leverage to 'lift' the dent up. It was quite interesting to say the least.

So I met up with Skip and Kevin @ DMC Florida a little after 9am. Kevin got to work on the car and within 2 hours my dent was gone. It was very interesting to watch him work, and it came out flawless. Now I want to start saving up some cash so I can get the other marks in my car cleaned up as well! I wanted to thank Kevin and Skip for coming out on Saturday to work on my car. Its nice to have the option of the shop being open on Saturday to make it easier for us owners in Florida who work during the week and just need 'while you wait' type work. Kevin was fantastic with the metal work, take a look at the before and after pictures below.


BEFORE:








AFTER:





Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
I spent another few hours playing with the passenger door to get it aligned right. Due to a good size dent I feel something was dropped on the car by the previous owner that knocked the door out of alignment. With the torsion bar out it is easy to loosen the door hinge bolts and reposition the door.

At first nothing I did with the hinges loosened and the striker pins out got the door to sit right. The bottom would always extend beyond the car, sticking 5mm or so out from the body, when the top was aligned correctly. Then it hit me that I probably needed the striker pins in to help 'suck' the door in when closed. Bingo.

So with the hinges loose and the striker pins out, position the door to where it looks perfect above the moulding line on the door. Take a pencil (t-panel needs to be off also) and trace around the hinge on the rear of the car. This will allow you to open the door and tighten down the bolts, as when you pick the door up it will shift. Once the back is tight and still looks right, your going to need to tighten down the front. This is more challenging because you can't get a pencil in there unless you pull the windshield trim. So just tighten and loosen, adjusting very small amounts, until it fits right.

Next, put the striker pins back in. Keep adjusting until the door closes without hitting or rubbing them, and it sits flush. Please note that with the torsion bar out, the front half of your door will sit below the windshield trim line and front fender line. Once the force of the torsion bar is applied when it is reinserted, it will pick the front up. This will also require you to readjust the striker pin.
Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
So I had a chance with the louvers off and roof apart to do something I have wanted to for quite some time now. My louvers were nice and baked, a faded gray. I had cleaned part of them up by using a polishing compound to cut through the upper layer of paint. They still did not look the best in sunlight though, and the grills on the lower level were still faded.

Just put them up against a wall, sanded them with 400 grit paper, clean them down with rubbing alcohol, and spray several light coats of SEM Trim Black on them. After letting them dry overnight I washed them down with water to remove anything left from the paint. Here is a picture of halfway through the job:

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Now that the grill and bumpers are done, I need to freshen up the lower front spoiler as it has several issues with it. The rock grill is rusting and running onto the spoiler, the spoiler is discolored in some sections, and it also has a hole drilled from the previous owner.

To start off, I used flat black rustoleum on the grill which came out very well. I tried using Duplicolor Trim Black on the spoiler just as I used on the bumpers, but it was almost as if the paint would be sucked into the plastic causing it to not dry evenly, even after several coats. I switched to another can I had of NAPA Trim Black paint. This paint took much better, but it has more of a shine to it than the other paint. It ended up coming out good, even though the black doesnt match exactly. It gives it a nice contrast.

Here is a picture of the patched hole in the lower spoiler:



And some pictures of the final product:



Apr 27, 2006: Bumper repaint underway

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Began this week to repaint the front and rear bumpers. Both had been scraped at the corners by the previous owner, as well as the front bumper having other paint marks on it. Both were looking a bit faded and could use a fresh coat of paint to brighten them up.

For this job I decided to use Duplicolor Trim Black available at Advance Auto Parts. This paint worked fairly well on the bumpers with little trouble. Being not the best at spraypaints I thought this job was pretty painless. More time was spent in taping off the bumpers than anything else.

The only problem I experienced was on the front bumper. Some of the grey paint seems to have begun to peel where the grey meets the black of the bumper. I have not decided how I want to fix it yet, as of now it just looks like a small amount is bubbling, nothing has ripped completely off yet.

Here are some poor (camera phone) pictures of the car taped up before and after. Due to the quality you will probably not be able to tell the difference. Check for the next post regarding the car show for some good pictures of the freshly painted bumper.



Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
The DeLorean's compartment was starting to show its age. While the car has low mileage, sitting for such a long time caused the stickers to yellow and peel, not to mention the water bottle was yellowed and cracked, and the metal hosing next to it was rusting.

Yesterday I replaced the coolant bottle and brackets with a new stainless one which definitely cleans up a rusted and yellowed part of the compartment. Over the last week I wiped down some of the water hoses, covered all the electrical wire (or as much as I could) with plastic loom, replaced the throttle cover with a stainless one, replaced the sticker on the engine wiring compartment, A/C compressor, and airbox, and replaced the metal air hose with a new one. It looks 10x better now, and much neater.

Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Also this weekend I got around to the following tasks:

- Replaced side marker gaskets with new rubber as the old were shredded.

- Replaced rear side marker lights as the old red lenses were cracked or damaged.

- Replaced side marker bulbs with LEDs

- Cleaned up engine compartment

- Placed plastic loom around loose engine wires to give it a more uniform look
Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
So I am sitting around with not a whole lot to do today, and thought I would tidy up a few things that need it. First was my engine compartment right rear panel. The sticker was crooked & yellowed, and the latch was disgusting. It looks likt it had been brass coated, but I just sanded it with a very fine dremel pad. Cleaned it up nice. Look at the below before and after pictures to see what the DeLorean has in store for it when I get to reinstall it next weekend...