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5609: The Story of a Remanufactured DeLorean Part 3 of 5

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5609 is no doubt in the nicest condition it has ever been in. During my ownership period I have nit picked and labored away to make it into the absolute best DeLorean I could. Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear, this car is not something I idolize. It's a car, a bunch of parts built by other men, nothing more. It doesn't have a "soul" and I have no emotional attachment to it. If someone offered me 50k to sell it to them for their museum, and his friend offered me 51k to part it out, it's parts brother, (well maybe not, but you get my point).

I don't think it's healthy to idolize any material thing, so I try not to make it "important" or put it in front of something that is important. Spending time on it polishing things unseen may sound like an obsession, but it's actually a release. Whenever I am restless, bored, or have cabin fever in the winter months, I can always to the garage and find something to do on her. It's relaxing and rewarding. In short, it's not work, it's therapy but I try to keep this owning this car in perspective.

You may be wondering what could anyone do to a remanufactured car, isn't this supposed to be perfect? The answer is most people. Not to someone who regularly waxes his frame, or polishes the water pump shaft, or uses a miniature sand blaster to keep all the bolts nice and shiny. The fact is she needed a lot, in the same way a local Ferrari owner here says his cars need a lot. Whenever he buys a brand new Ferrari, it's a 400 hour disassembly process to make it concurs ready. With my car, there was just something "off" about it. I couldn't put my finger on just just one thing but a bunch of very small things that never really registered until I started getting anal. It's like someone who is not into cars can look at two identical cars, one nice, and one professionally detailed and they can tell a difference, even if they don't know what that is.

So what on earth did I find wrong with the DMCH reman car? Let me remind you that I wasn't their buyer, so the previous owner may have done a few things that I could blame on DMCH, but hesitate to do so. For instance the graining was all screwed up, especially around the A and C pillars, but more on this later on. Upon my very close home inspection, I wasn't crazy about the liberal use of black silicone in the underbody door cavities. Everywhere there was a rivet, a glob of black silicone was on top. If this was there for water reasons, I didn't need it as this car would only see a gentle spray of water when she got washed. I cleaned out all the old silicone from around the door recesses and now it's spotless. The starter update was not completed. Although some parts (such as the shift computer and door lock module) were updated, some were the taillight boards. I noticed mine were flaky, sometimes neither side worked and that's something that is pretty important. The closing plate bolts were too long and they were cutting into the main AC line. It's a good thing I caught it early on. I will not bore you with all the fixes but you get the idea. It's just that the entire car felt rushed for lack of a better word. Like it was being built on a reality TV show and had to be done by Tuesday for the reveal. Just little things like labels not straight, caulk around intake vents applied haphazardly in the back, more silicone on the door sill plates, small things that for 50k, should have been done to a higher level. Then again, I get the feeling it was indeed being rushed after hearing how the buyer was. Once when doing a detailing I was up in the left fender and saw this written on the inside. Is this the very first documented DMCH cave painting? It's still up for interpretation as to what this says "F%^K this ONE or this DMC, but I get the idea the original buyer who commissioned this car was not easy to please.


The P.O., not to be outdone had his share too. Such as ratcheting up the torsion bar tension to fix a weak strut which supports my theory that he didn't know what he was doing. The car had very slight eyebrows which meant it probably sat outside some, but this got corrected by me as well. I also removed a trickle charger from UNDER the car. He had bolted it to the underbody and ran the leads to the battery, and left a short cord dangling under the car. Definitely starting to smell like a older gentleman had this car. I'm just glad I got to it before he put the mandatory "calculator in the steering wheel mod" most older people seem to love.

Apparently, the original owner thought he knew how to blend. He did have a knack for following the body lines to a tee, no matter what direction the grain was going. He really messed up the A and C pillars because he followed the lines of the car and not the grain. I taught myself how to grain and it's not hard. I think anyone could grain a DeLorean with just a bit of direction and practice. It's been 5+ years, and every time I wash my car, I still make it a point to find some flaw somewhere in the grain and fix it. It is my never ending quest for a perfectly grained DeLorean.


Not only did I spend time correcting quality issues, such as replacing those taillight boards with the PJ Grady boards (which are top notch BTW), but I also spent time on custom mods. When I hear the word "custom" applied to a car for sale, my mind starts conjuring images of neon green double wiper blades, anodized cup holders with cig. lighter plug in lights, and spinner hubcaps. That's why every single one of my mods is 100% reversible, and reversible quickly. Remember, this car is far from stock, so I'm not going to sweat having a "non-concours" mod or two when there is already Alpine head unit and an 8" sub in full view.

My interior mods started out with the LED light kit for the door markers, console panel and interior lights. I added the shifter emblem, the stainless door sill letters, and the hood badge on the passenger knee board. Nothing over the top here, just done to taste. Earlier this year my window switches became more and more dirty. I could clean them, but the emblems were wearing off too so I opted for the illuminated switches. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no sense going crazy to keep it stock, the Alpine/JL sub/Genesis amp pretty much soiled that look, so no harm in taking some liberties with the interior.


As long as I'm on the subject of interiors, my interior lighting left much to be desired. Although the led bulbs helped the HVAC panel, it wasn't quite right so I bought Dave's (Bitsyncmaster) LED HVAC panel board. This is the answer to the AC panel lighting. Not only is it adjustable brightness levels, but it evenly illuminates the entire panel. It's awesome!


Now that I had this perfectly lighted AC panel, it only amplified how dim and pitiful the instrument illumination was. My instrument cluster lighting was made using RGB LED strips. I can make the instrument any color I want (even the factory warm white) and I can make them any brightness level. The small controller hides out of sight and saves my settings so when I push the headlight switch, the color and brightness are where I left it last. My rehostat function remains intact for some interesting light mixing.


The engine bay went through a metamorphosis. First it was a stock configuration stage II, nothing special. I detailed it of course, but after a year or two, I decided to spice it up a bit with the stainless air cleaner that I bought cheap in rough form and re grained myself. I cut finishing plates for the intake, and did a few other custom bits to arrive at this:


In another 2 years I decided to punch it up a bit for the night life cruise in's of Fall, so I came up with this...bear in mind it's totally reversible in about 10 minutes back to the stock look. No extra holes drilled, etc.


The exterior however, I didn't touch. The only thing I did was replace the missing "DeLorean" hood emblem. I really liked the look the badges gave the later build it just belongs there.


Although I like what some have done with body kits and color coding the black spoiler to the fascia color, aftermarket wheels, lamp covers and such, I decided to keep it in stock form for one reason. A DeLorean doesn't need any help to look awesome. To do so seems like it pulls it out of it's comfort zone into some mirror universe. If this were 1987, a DeLorean would look very nice with fog lights, aftermarket wheels and a body kit, but not it's no longer the hip young kid. Today a DeLorean is mature, suave, and completely comfortable with the body Giugiaro gave it. A DeLorean is like the Dos Equis guy. Now imagine the Dos Equis guy trying to pull off a backwards ball cap, tank top, shades and sandals. He doesn't need to "fit in" with the college crowd. He is above that. Save the t-shirts and flip flops for the drunk Spring breakers, and the body kits for riced out Civics. After saying that, I did dabble in making a set of headlight covers for my car, the catch is that headlight covers are 80's, so no harm, no foul. I ran them for one year and took them back off for reasons mentioned above...Awesome needs no help.


Part 4:
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My DeLorean