Sunday, January 6, 2008

Plans for 2008

So I got a little bored the other day, and I decided to put together a list of the things I plan on doing with my DeLorean in 2008:

Toby's door lock module and door launchers
New tires
LEDs for A/C panel and doors
Stainless brake lines
O2 sensor
Transmission fluid change
Clutch fluid change
Fuel Filter
Oil changes
K&N air filter changes
Brake fluid change
Under-car mounted rocket launcher
Cooling system drain and fill
New fuses in fuse box
Clean contacts for fuses, relays and molex relays
Clean grounds

When I put everything together in one list, it seems like a lot of stuff, especially for a car rookie such as myself. But, the season does start in mid to late March, and runs through the middle of November. This gives me eight months to do everything, so it should all get done. As you can seen, it's mostly basic maintenance items, so nothing terribly difficult in there.

Though, I am not looking forward to flushing the clutch hydraulic system, as I've read that it can be pretty nasty to access the bleed screw on the slave cylinder.

The other item that will probably be difficult is the installation of the door launchers, and it does seem a little bit intimidating to me. But, Toby's instructions are known for being very good, so as long as I review them several times, have confidence, and take my time, I should be fine.

I just need to pick up the socket from snap-on for doing the transmission oil change, and a set of ramps and extensions for a low profile vehicle, and I should be all set on tools for a while. It really is amazing how low to the ground a DeLorean is once you have the Eibach shocks and springs installed. I love it, though, and now that I've gotten used to the profile my car has, I find that the factory profile is rather awkward looking, and seems to have a silly amount of space between the tire and the wheel well.

What I'm really looking forward to this year is the DeLorean Car Show down in Gettysburg. It's about a six hour drive away, so I will be driving 1049 down there. It's going to be awesome to see so many DeLoreans in one place, and I am really looking forward to meeting some more owners. It will be pretty cool to see some Bricklins, as well.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A brief history of 1049

As promised, this time I will be talking briefly about the history of 1049.

As you can tell by the VIN, 1049 is pretty early car. It has the rare grooved hood with gas flap. While I prefer the look of the gas flap, (seems like I'm in the minority here), I actually prefer to lift the whole hood when I fill up. This is because I've cut myself a few times on the flap. I even had to clean a small bit of blood off of the hood once. I got a little panicky about that because I didn't want my blood to stain the car, which from what I understand is a possibility.

1049 was built in April of 1981. I'm not sure what its entry point into the USA was. The car was originally sold on June 22nd, 1981. At the time of sale, it had 10 miles on the odometer. It was sold in Kansas City, MO. The gentleman who purchased the car kept it until 1995, when he gave it to his nephew, who was also located in MO. Upon receiving the car, the new owner took the car to DMC Houston for a restoration. At the time of restoration, the car had about 9,766 miles on the odometer. The restoration at this time included the DeLorean essentials such as the stainless steel clutch line, relay updates, radiator update, water pump replacement, safety recalls, and so forth.

The new owner used the car much like I do now. That is, he drove it on the weekends as a pleasure vehicle. Documentation shows that the car was taken in to Houston for further work in 1999. Judging by the condition of the vehicle and its relative lack of problems, it was also maintained pretty well by either the new owner or other shops during this time period.

In June 2006, the owner took the car into Houston for an extensive service, and put the car up for consignment. It was around this same time that I initially saw the car posted on in the pre-owned section. At the time the car was put up for sale, there were aftermarket foglights installed; however, these were removed a few months before I viewed the vehicle.

Since I have owned the vehicle, approximately 30 hours of driving time have been put on it. I look forward to spending many, many more hours driving this wonderful vehicle.

If only it just wouldn't be winter! :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finally, the first post!

Wow, I meant to start this blog back at the end of summer. The point of this blog is for me to share my experiences owning a DeLorean, and to talk about cars in general. But mostly my DeLorean.

So, a little history of how I came to own a DeLorean. Back in the fall of 2005, I was taking classes at my now alma mater, RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). In one of my networking classes, I teamed up with a gentleman by the name of Todd Nelson. We got to talking about our interests, and I found out he owned a DeLorean. Of course, at the time, I knew jack-shit about these cars (much less cars in general, I couldn't even do my own oil change back then), and I had the common misconceptions about them. Though, at that point I did become aware that they were still out there. Todd showed me his website, which is now, and I decided to start reading up on the work he had done.

Fast forward about one year later. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, I started really liking the DeLorean, and I got the insane idea that I would buy my own. Seeing as I had neither the mechanical aptitude, nor the patience for doing a restoration, I decided I wanted to go with a restored car from DMC Houston. Of course, this wasn't going to be easy for a few reasons. Firstly, I knew jack-shit about cars. Secondly, my income was not high enough that I could afford a DeLorean in the shape I wanted. Lastly, I wanted a stick shift, but didn't know how to drive stick.

So how did I solve these problems? Lots of hard work. I began ravenously reading everything I could find about cars, DeLoreans in specific of course, and I started helping my friends do smaller jobs on their vehicles. Secondly, I began working extra hard at work in hopes that I would get a substantial raise from my employer upon graduation. I did. Woo-hoo. Lastly, I somehow managed to convince my buddy Pat and his wife Mary to teach me to drive stick in Pat's new VW Passat. You should've seen the fiasco that was my first time behind the wheel of that car. Last time I saw that many stalls I was in a horse barn.

So, around rolls July of this past year. I got a hold of the folks down at DMC Houston about purchasing a pre-owned DeLorean, and after a few weeks of talking with them, I flew down to Texas on July 13th. Yes, I bought my DeLorean on a Friday the 13th. I'm pretty sure that's an omen. James Espey was kind enough to pick me up himself from the Houston airport. When we pulled into their facility, my jaw just dropped when I saw the dozen or so DeLoreans parked in the parking lot. Little did I know what I would be in for when I went into the place.

The Houston facility is absolutely mind-blowing for a DeLorean fan. When I went, there were 3 cars in the show room, including the last one ever built. There were a whole bunch in the warehouse being worked, and in various stages of fix/decay throughout the giant aisles of the facility. Seeing a giant wall of transmissions, followed by another wall of doors is very impressive.

I spent many hours that day going through the car, test driving it, and just talking DeLoreans with the guys in Houston. I ended up purchasing the vehicle; it is VIN1049. It is a black interior, standard transmission DeLorean. You can see pictures of the car at the following URL:


Next blog, I will talk about the history of this car in specific, and what it's been like for me to own this car. It has been a life changing experience.

I will wrap this one up by listing out the rather extensive service history of the vehicle, in the order that it is documented (basic maintenance items may be omitted, as well as repeat maintenance items):

Fuel tank baffle
Major tune-up
Radiator upgraded
All cooling system hoses replaced
Under car coolant pipes replaced
Water pump
Rear brake pads
Front pads, rotors, shims
Stainless steel clutch line
Relay update kit
Louvre struts
Door seals and weather stripping
Factory safety recalls performed
Alpine speakers front and back
Lower speedometer cable
Windshield washer pump
Parking brake adjustment
Automatic antenna installed
3rd brake light; brake light is from a Corvette
Open beam headlights
Heater fixed
Driver's side torsion bar adjusted
Louvre latch repaired
Passenger side window regulator repaired
All electrical grounds cleaned & secured
Rear rotors
Muffler heat-shield replaced
Tie rods replaced
Alignment performed
Air deflector plate hardware
All struts replaced
Engine cover grill retention strips
Stainless steel coolant bottle & cap
Engine compartment light
Fuel pump, boot, cover & bracket
Fuel accumulator
Fuel lines
All hoses in engine compartment
All exterior and interior lights
Rear arm rest extension repaired
Fuel filter
O2 sensor
Rocker cover gaskets
Alternator belt
A/C belt
Spark plugs
Distributor cap & rotor
Spark plug wires
Intake o-rings
All fuses replaced
All circuit breakers replaced
Brake master cylinder
A/C serviced
Eibach shocks and springs
Alpine CDA-9885 head unit
JL Audio 8W04 with custom built enclosure
Genesis P-5 amplifie
Joe Cool
TOBY tabs
Broken luggage compartment cable fixed
Oil sender
Driver's side door linkage adjusted
Front dome light repaired
Schrader A/C valve cap
Passenger side center air duct re-fitted
CO adjusted to proper mix
A/C bearings replaced
K&N air filter
Cooling system air bleeder
Ignition coil
Ignition resistor
110 amp alternator
Headlight switch saver
A/C panel lights always on fix
Ran backup trunk cable