Ed's D

My 1983 De Lorean DMC-12, VIN 16908

New Brake Hoses

Two years ago, a fellow Delorean owner had one of the original brake hoses fail. The hose was acting as a check valve, so when the brakes were applied, the caliper would not retract. I helped the owner replace his front hoses to fix this issue. I had also read about other problems with the original brake hoses. Looking to avoid any problems, and desiring the firmest brake pedal possible, I decided to replace my original brake hoses.

My car club’s spring tech session was hosted at a local repair shop, where we had a car lift available. This was my best opportunity to get all four of hoses replaced.

Disconnecting and re-connecting the hoses on an automatic transmission car for the back wheels is a major PITA. The transmission being in the way makes access very difficult. Being at a repair shop, I could borrow the metric crowfoot flare nut wrenches and extensions needed.

I didn’t get many pictures because I was focused finishing before we had to leave the shop.

New Hoses:

Installed:

Old hoses:

After getting everything installed, and bleeding the brakes, I found brake pedal was still soft. At home, I made sure all the connections were tight, bought some more brake fluid, and bled them again. This time the brake pedal is the firmest it’s ever been!

Costs:

Item Purchase Date Vendor

Quantity

Unit Cost

Cost

Shipping

Tax

Total

Castrol 12614 Dot 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid

5/17/2018

Sparomobile

1

$ 15.95

$ 15.95

$ –

$ 1.27

$ 17.22

Flexible Brake Line Kit Stainless

3/4/2018

DeloreanIndustries.com

1

$ 129.95

$ 129.95

$ –

$ –

$ 129.95

Castrol 12614 Dot 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid

5/21/2018

Amazon.com

1

$ 13.95

$ 13.95

$ –

$ –

$ 13.95

Total

$ 161.12

Brake Booster Adjustment

For years, I felt the brake pedal on my car traveled way too far. I replaced components, bled the system, and doubted every part of my work. It was suggested at the Fall Tech Session that I adjust the rod on the brake booster. After removing the master cylinder, and wedging a length of 2×4 between the brake pedal and my driver’s seat, the adjusting rod becomes exposed. While holding it with locking pliers, loosening it with some PB Blaster and an 8mm wrench, I was able to free it.

Here’s the adjusting rod removed:

I used increments of about 1/8 of an inch, to extend it, remount the master cylinder, and test the brake pedal travel. Finally I got to about 2 inches of travel before any brake pressure is felt. I used a little blue loctite on the threads once I found the sweet spot.

For the first time in many years, the brake pedal in the car feels very firm.

Fall Tech Session, Brake Work

At the fall tech session, I wanted to have Dave S look at my brakes. I’ve compared my brakes to other Deloreans, and there is way too much travel in the brake pedal. I’ve bled them in the past, and they don’t feel spongy.

Dave found that the front right caliper was separating! We were able to bolt it back together, which restored some firmness to the pedal. We bled the brakes, so now I have fresh fluid. I was also told I could lengthen the rod coming from the brake booster. I’ll do that another time.

I also found a local brick-and-mortar store that sells Castrol GT LMA brake fluid!

Cost: Castrol 32oz GT LMA Brake Fluid (1) $16.99 plus tax

Brakes

I found out my reservoir was causing a fluid leak, and not the Brake Master Cylinder after all. I was able to find a brake master cylinder with reservoir at NAPA for over $314, however opted not to buy it. Similar new units on eBay were around $200. DMC Europe sells a new Reservoir, but I decided against overseas shipping and currency conversion. I tried to find a better deal. Sure enough, Amazon turned up this gem:

The Centric unit “Includes Reservoir And Cap, Brake Sensor Switch.” I choose free shipping, and waited about a week for it to show up. It arrived, and sure enough, the Brake Master Cylinder did *not* include the reservoir! I sent it back for a full refund. I lost about 2 weeks with that purchase. The price has since been raised more than $25.

I explored a few local salvage yards without any luck. Then, miraculously, I was able to purchase a NOS Girling Brake Master Cylinder with reservoir on eBay. Here’s the unit I purchased:

My D’s reservoir and the new reservoir compared:

My old yellow tank’s build date is between 1978 and 1980. The new tank looks to be made sometime around 1983 or 1984.

I installed the new(er) tank with my old cap, all mounted on my new brake master cylinder. It held fluid! No more leaks!

I ended up reselling the NOS Girling unit (without the reservoir) on eBay.

While waiting for my Girling unit to arrive, I also went on a buying spree and bought another Saab Reservoir and a complete Saab Brake Master Cylinder with Reservoir on eBay.

The Saab reservoir would need different grommets since the tank connections are larger. Also, there aren’t any mounting points for the Saab reservoir. My old unit left, Saab unit right:

I also found a local parts store that carries Castrol GT LMA, albeit the 12oz bottles.

Now I’ve got lots of spare parts. Hopefully I can sell some more on eBay:

Costs

Vendor

Cost

Shipping

Tax

Fees

Total

Amazon.com

Centric Brake Master Cylinder

-43.25

0

-$43.25

Amazon.com

Return Centric Brake Master Cylinder

43.25

0

$43.25

eBay

NOS Girling Brake Master Cylinder with Reservoir

-$49.26

-$10.49

-$59.75

eBay

1987 Saab 900 Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir

-$12.95

-$7.25

-$20.20

eBay

Saab 900 Brake Master Cylinder with Reservoir

-$29.95

-$12.95

-$42.90

eBay

NOS Girling Brake Master Cylinder

$57.66

-$11.00

-$7.46

$39.20

-$83.65

Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts

(5) 12oz Castrol GT LMA Brake Fluid

-$12.45

-$1.03

-$13.48

So far, $83.65 to find a working reservoir. Hopefully I can recover some more money if I sell some parts on eBay.

More Winter Maintenance!

Projects Completed:

  • Install Transmission governor clamp
  • Change Final Drive oil
  • Change Transmission Oil
  • Change Engine Oil
  • Install Dynamat
  • Replace rusted ground bolt on rear bulkhead
  • Replace fuse in headlight switch
  • Added Dynamat
  • Replace Brake Master Cylinder
  • Replaced last two 30-year-old coolant hoses
  • Unblocked my air ducts
  • Flush the coolant

To do:

  • Replace leaking Brake Fluid Reservoir
  • Bleed Brakes
  • Put all interior pieces back in
  • Replace fuel pump
  • Replace fuel pump boot

Here’s more pics. I should buy stock in Castrol:

Filling the final drive:

Cleaning the reservoir, new Brake Master Cylinder ready:

New BMC and old reservoir:

Bench Bleed kit:

It now appears the reservoir is leaking, and possibly the old BMC wasn’t…

Unsuccessfully bleeding the system, still leaking fluid:

Bleeding the calipers:

I added up all the receipts I had, and guessed on the other items:

Vendor

Item

Cost

Shipping

Tax

Total

Meijer

Antifeeze

$10.49

  

$0.91

$12.27

Distilled Water

$0.87

Autozone

Sta-Bil

$5.99

  

$0.49

$6.48

Autozone

1 Quart Coastal DexMerc ATF

$3.49

  

$0.29

$3.78

Advance Auto Parts

Castrol 20W-50 1 Gallon

$13.99

  

$2.31

$30.29

Castrol 20W-50 1 Gallon

$13.99

Pep Boys

Castrol GT LMA 32oz

$8.99

  

$2.39

$31.35

Castrol GT LMA 32oz

$8.99

Castrol Gear Oil

$5.49

Castrol Gear Oil

$5.49

Pep Boys

Castrol GT LMA 32oz

$8.99

  

$1.11

$14.59

Castrol GT LMA 12oz

$4.49

Amazon.com

Dynamat 4 Sheet Kit

$49.98

  

  

$49.98

Amazon.com

Dynamat Bulk Pack

$138.37

  

  

$138.37

DMC Midwest

Brake Master Cylinder

$124.95

$12.83

$9.68

$147.46

DMC Midwest

Fuel Pump Boot Cover

$29.75

  

$11.65

$162.00

(2) Fuel Hose

$15.00

(4) Fuel Clamp

$6.60

Fuel Pump

$99.00

Amazon.com

Scotch Brite Stainless Pads

$24.90

$6.55

$0.00

$31.45

PJ Grady

Automatic Transmission Clamp

$25.00

?

?

$25.00

O’Reily Auto Parts

Brake Bleeder Kit

$8.99

  

?

$8.99

Amazon.com

Motive Pressure Bleeder European

$47.49

  

  

$47.49

Total

$709.50

 

Third Brake Light

I finally got around to installing a third brake light. I previously bought a corvette brake light meant to be attached to the top of the louvers. I couldn’t bring myself to drill into the louvers, and didn’t want to paint everything to match, so resold the light on eBay. I wanted a light that mounted perpendicular to the top louver, in front of the center brace. I finally settled on a 20 LED Red light bar from JC Whitney. I followed these instructions outlined in a How-To at DMCtalk. Here’s what I started with:


Pictured:

20 LED Brake Light
Automotive fuse holder
Automotive fuse kit
Electrical connectors
Blue Wire (leftover from the door launchers installation)
Black Wire (pulled from some cannibalized electronics)
Black Plastic VHS Case
Ratcheting Wire Crimpers
Utility Knife
Wire Strippers
Double sided Foam Tape

Not Pictured:
1″ Wood Chisel
Duct Tape
Electrical Tape

Here I go. I needed a bracket to hold the light bar in place. I found a VHS case would be black, light weight, rust free, and easy to work with. I used my knife, and chisel to create two brackets for the light bar:



I notched one bracket for the wiring:


I had some Molex connectors that I previously bought when troubleshooting my radiator fans. I want to be able to disconnect the light if I ever remove the louvers, so I’m using one on the light:


Using a coat hanger to feed my wires through the stainless. The coat hanger was just long enough:



Here I’ve tapped into the brake lights, with a 5 amp fuse in between . If there’s a short on my third brake light, the fuse will blow, leaving the other brake lights unharmed. And what’s a project without a little duct tape:


Grounded:


Testing, it works!


A foam taped bracket:



More foam tape:


Installed!



One downside to my wiring is the molex connector I used doesn’t fit through the “rear screen upper finisher.” Foam tape to hold the connector to the louver:


Barely visible:





Crude Photoshop job on my license plate:


I tried to photograph that I can’t even see the light in my rear-view mirror:


Costs:
20 LED Light Bar from JC Whitney: $25.99, Shipping: $8.99, Tax: $1.82
Bussman Fuse holder from Menards: $1.23
Fuse kit from Menards: $11.99