Ed's D

My 1983 De Lorean DMC-12, VIN 16908

Door Pull Strap Repair

My driver’s side door pull strap came apart where the loop is sewn together. My 83′ model has the straps incorporated into the door panel. Since I already had the door apart for the door launchers, and to adjust the linkage, the break happened at a good time. The strap looks original, and is made from leather that is folded a couple times. Needless to say, I couldn’t repair it myself.

At the suggestion of my mom, I went to a local shoe repair store. The clerk wanted to know what it was, and I explained it was the pull strap for the door in my DeLorean. He was really nice, and didn’t make any jokes or stupid comments. He explained the stitching would probably give out again after some use. He sewed several rows of stitches back into the strap, which seems a lot better than what was there. Best of all, it took less than 10 minutes, and didn’t cost a fortune. I’ll definitely go back there if I ever need my shoes repaired.

Leather Pull Strap repair stitching – $5 at Woodridge Shoe Repair

(Sorry, no pics)

Modification to Air Conditioner Control Panel Lighting

The air conditioning instrumentation is constantly lit up. Here’s a good question: Why?

The light bulbs behind the instrumentation throw off a lot of heat, and I’ve heard horror stories or people’s control panels melting. Luckily there’s a simple fix:


I’ve also heard about people grinding a prong off the relay, but I decided against that. My first attempt at creating the needed wire wasn’t great since I don’t have good wire crimpers. Then I bought a spare fuel pump relay from SpecialTAuto.com and got a jumper with thicker gauge wire, with spade connectors already crimped. It’s meant for the fuel pump relay in case it goes out, but I decided to use it in this application.


Free with Fuel Pump Relay at SpecialTAuto.com.

Cold Air Intake Hose – Part 2

While changing my oil the other day, I finally got a good look under the car, and saw the heat stove shield thing up close.

Looks like I just take the 2 bolts off, and it comes right off. Sure enough, it did:

Looks like it had been repainted. So now my car is a few ounces lighter.

DeLorean Newbie changes the oil

Why blog about an oil change? It’s just an oil change, right? Wrong! This is my first time performing an oil change with The D, and only my second time ever performing an oil change!

Story: Someone I know went to a 10-Minute type oil change place. They forgot to put the drain plug back in. The person paid, drove off, and the engine seized. Result: 10-Minute type oil change place had to pay for a new engine and installation. But then, maybe if this happened to me, I could get the oil change place to buy me a Stage II Engine from DMC (Houston)….

Story: A 10-Minute type Oil change place once wanted to charge me $50 for an oil change. Why? They added a synthetic oil charge. I didn’t ask for synthetic oil. When I complained, they removed the charge. Did they fill my car with synthetic oil? They didn’t say they did, and I never figured that out. Why am I telling this? I don’t want to be overcharged, and I don’t want synthetic oil in The D.

Fact: 10-Minute type oil change places will try to get you to buy other consumables at an inflated cost. New air filters, light bulbs, washer fluid, etc. This stuff is inexpensive, and easy to replace yourself. I once had a 10-Minute type oil change place try to sell me a replacement brake light. I declined, and later discovered my bulb wasn’t even burned out. I never went back there again.

Fact: You can’t choose from different brands of oil and filters at a 10-Minute Type Oil Change Place. I don’t want cheap oil and cheap filters. I want quality Castrol GTX oil, and Bosch filters.

Anyway, as the saying goes, if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. After some research on the DML and DMCTalk.com, I’m ready to attempt my first oil change with The D.

Mileage: Almost 26K, probably just around 3K since the last change. Previous owner used 10w 40, and didn’t use a copper crush washer on the drain plug. I’m going to be using 20w 50 for the hot summer weather, and also at the recommendation of DMC (Midwest).

Ramps. I’ve read about people backing their car onto ramps without problems. I’ve driven up the ramps on my daily driver, but never backed up them. After a few tries, I nailed it.

(Camera wasn’t charged, so I used the Treo)

I’ve heard about people covering their frame with aluminum foil to prevent oil spilling all over. People even suggest creating a channel for the oil to guide it into your pan. Sounds like a good plan.

I have the stock drain plug, which has an 8mm square hole in it. Huh? I don’t have a tool for it, and most DeLorean owners just make their own tool for the plug. I went to hardware stores, but couldn’t find any 5/16th key stock to make a tool for the hex head. I eventually settled on an 8mm hex key from Menards. I then took a dremel tool with a grinding bit to grind the end of it into a square. The key now fit into the drain plug perfectly. I still couldn’t budge the damn thing. I used a hammer to aid my effort, and eventually knocked it loose.


I had already ordered a replacement drain plug. I didn’t want to worry about finding the tool for the drain plug for each oil change, and I’d much rather use a socket and ratchet to remove the plug. I decided on a stainless steel drain plug with an external 17mm hex head. I skipped the magnetic one, in favor of stainless since it fits with the theme of the car. I couldn’t use the ratchet on it at first since the frame is close to the plug. I ended up using a crescent wrench to get it started. I’ll have to buy a simple flat open-ended 17mm wrench for next time. I’m also glad I ordered a replacement plug, since it looks like my stock plug has seen better days:

You can’t see it, but the hex key has been squared off

I bought a new covered drain pan to catch the oil. It works great since it’s hard to spill, and when you accidently drop the hot drain plug, it stays separate from the oil.

I wrapped the frame in foil where the filter sits. I cleaned off the old oil filter, and was able to remove it with my hand. I filled the new Bosch filter with some oil, rubbed oil on the gasket, and installed it. Went on smoothly.

I added about 6.5 quarts, and started the car. Drove it down the ramps, and checked the level. I added more oil to get the needed level. Everything looks good.


-I painted my garage earlier this year with an epoxy paint. After two oil changes, I can definitely say the floor paint was worth the money and effort. Seemingly inevitable oil spots/spills clean up very easily, and won’t stain your concrete.

-The gallon containers of oil are nice. They cost less than 4 individual quarts, they have level markings showing where a quart is, and you can reuse them for recycling your old oil.

-It took me less than 2 hours to change the oil. It probably took more time to write up this blog entry.


Ramps: on hand ($25 – $30 at Meijer?)
8mm Hex Key: $1 at Menards
Dremel Tool to grind down hex key: on hand
Hammer to hit Hex key to knock drain plug loose: on hand
Stainless Drain Plug: $12.95 SpecialTAuto.com
Covered 15 QT Drain Pan: $8.88 Advance Auto Parts
Funnel: on hand (one from a funnel set purchased in a dollar store?)

(2) 1 Gallon Castrol GTX 20W50 Oil: $11.38 from Advance Auto Parts (about 1 QT left over)
Bosch Oil Filter: $6.95 from SpecialTAuto.com (includes copper crush washer)
Aluminum Foil: On hand in the kitchen
Crescent wrench to start drain plug install: on hand
Simple Green: On hand
Paper towels: On hand
Old Newspaper: On hand

Police Officer: Thumbs Up

I drove The D to work last Friday. While sitting at a stoplight, a police officer heading in the opposite direction drives by, looks me in the eye, and gives me a thumbs up. How about that? Maybe the Police Officers in my town are nicer than others (They’ve waved to me during my morning run). But seriously, when is the last time a cop showed his approval for your car?