Ed's D

My 1983 De Lorean DMC-12, VIN 16908

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

Spare Tire Maintenance

I decided my 30 year old rock-hard spare tire had to be replaced. I found it’s impossible to find a new spare online, so I decided to visit a salvage yard. Sure enough, I found the T125/70D15 tire was a common size on several junked cars. I found the newest car I could find, with the spare (a wrecked 2004 Hyundai). The manufactured date on the tire says 2003, and the rubber had never been used. I didn’t bother measuring to see if the 4 bolt pattern was the same as the Delorean’s. The cashier said $12, and I felt great about my purchase.

Old tire:

Old tire, new tire:

I jacked up the car, and removed a rear wheel to see if my new hub would clear the brake caliper. It didn’t. And the 4 bolt pattern wasn’t correct. That’s ok, the Delorean’s aluminum rim looks nicer.

So I visited a tire shop, and asked them to transfer the newer tire to the D rim. They said they didn’t have the tools to do it. They also said new spares can’t be bought, because the automobile Industry has 100% of the market. Yup, I confirmed that.

So I visited another tire shop, and they said they transfer it. They even disposed of the no-longer-needed steel rim.

New(er) tire, old rim:

My spare, with a can of fix a flat, a plastic tire bag, and some tie down straps. Things I hope to never use.

Costs:

Aurora Auto Parts Salvage Yard Admission Fee

2.00

(2003) Kumho T125/70D15 Spare Tire

10.00

EPA

1.00

Tax

0.77

Discount Tire Mount

4.50

Dismount

9.00

Tire Disposal Fee

3.00

Valve

2.99

Tax

0.51

Total

$33.77

Broken Seat Bottoms

I pulled out the passenger seat, and saw the rubbery material had broken. Sure enough, I pulled the driver’s side, and saw the same thing had happened. In fact, my driver’s seat was collapsing, helping create folds in the leather.

Passenger:

Driver:

Next year during the off season, I might send the seats to an auto upholsterer. For now, I’m using some scrap 1X8 boards, and some 2 inch foam left over from recovering some dining room chairs:

Feels a lot better all ready.

Fixed Threads

In 2008, I stripped the threads on the steering column. I had held the steering wheel on with some hose clamps, but it was still loose:


I bought a Tap and Die set from Harbor Freight (Cheap tools made in China, but hopefully I’ll rarely use them, and they will last awhile).


I finally re-threaded the M14-2.0 threads:


Got a new stainless nut at Ace Hardware. My steering wheel feels solid again!

Costs:

Metric Tap and Die Set: 64.99 (sale) plus 5.36 Tax @ Harbor Freight
M14x2.0 stainless nut: $3? @ Ace Hardware