[DML] Re: Stainless Frame Features
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[DML] Re: Stainless Frame Features

Hi Bryan,

Todd asked me how much it cost to restore and galvanise my frame, 
speficially compared to the cost of buying a stainless frame, so I 
answered his question. I'll quote his question here:

>"I'm wondering how galvanizing would compare to doing a stainless 
>frame (from the cost standpoint) and never worrying about it again."

I believe, after reading my post again, that I gave Todd an honest 
answer, based on my experiences and research over the past 18 months. 
After researching the cost involved with the stainless option (with 
your help), and having first hand experience with the costs involved 
with the repair and galvanising method, I conclude that (at least 
from a cost standpoint) the galvanising makes much more sense. It's 
understandable I suppose that you were not happy with my reply as I 
didn't recommend the stainless option, but I can't understand why you 
would be actually offended by anything I said? 

I'm baffled by some of your comments, but I'll reply to each of 

You said:

>Three paragraphs from John's posting talk about loss of design
>features in the Stainless Steel frame. John states that "In my
>opinion, it doesn't take much effort to keep these little design
>features...". Let me be very clear that John's opinion in this
>matter reflects his lack of understanding for the fabrication
>process. John should have realized what he was saying when typing
>the words "stamped design". If it were our desire to produce the
>stainless frames using a stamped design, at the quantities we are
>producing, the cost per frame would easily exceed $90,000 per frame.
>If we were producing thousands of frames, the cost would be more

My reply:

How do you conclude that my opinion reflects my lack of understanding 
of the fabrication process? (I'm not offended by the way, just 
baffled!). Incidentially, it doesn't say much for your understanding 
of fabrication methods if you calculate that having an original 
looking chassis made would cost $90,000.

In any parts of my restoration where I paid someone else to do some 
work for me, I was present during all the work, and took an active 
part in the work. If you would take a little time to read the 
restoration log on my website, you will see how each of the "stamped 
features" I referred to which are missing on the stainless frame (and 
you got so offended over) were newly fabricated for my frame. 
Specifically, the plate under the engine crossmember with the stamped 
ribs in it, and the plate to which the steering mounts are welded to. 
On the newly fabricated plate which the steering mounts are welded 
to, the pressed holes through which you tighten the steering rack, 
and the lip at the edge of this plate (in the center of it) were 
recreated. My website describes how each of these pieces were made, 
and also shows photographs. There are even photographs of the custom 
tools and dies used during the fabrication of these pieces.

Sean O'Brien (the guy who did the welding for me) took a look at the 
original plate from the front frame extension, with the raised edges 
and pressed in holes. He took a few measurements, and 15 minutes 
later had a tool made on his lathe which he used to perfectly 
recreate these "pressed in" holes using a press. From start to 
finish, Sean went from a flat plate of metal to a perfectly shaped 
and formed original looking plate to go under the steering mounts, in 
1 hour, including time spent creating the tool on his lathe. This is 
proven through pictures on my website...

My friend Aaron Dixon created a set of dies on his lathe to recreate 
(using a press) the stamped features on the lower engine cradle 
plate, without any difficulty. This is also proven through pictures 
on my website - it's not rocket science...

Now that both of these tools are made, either Sean or Aaron could 
make as many more plates as they want. I'm sure they would be willing 
to make you a set of these tools at a very reasonable price (less 
than $90,000 anyway), or you're welcome to download the pictures of 
the tools from the website and ask someone who knows how to use a 
lathe to make you a set of them.

You seem to agree with me regarding strengthening the original 
chassis in places, although you make the point that the stainless 
frame with overall thicker steel would be stronger and stiffer again, 
which I'm sure is true. But, I'm very happy with the way my DeLorean 
with its original frame handles.

You made 6 points on the benefits of the stainless frame. I think 
points 1, 2, 5 are good points. I've never heard of the issue with 
the front shock towers you made in point 3, nor have I ever noticed 
this problem with my car. Point 4 is only useful for anyone who 
regularly switches their cars from automatic to manual. Point 6 could 
easily be done to an existing DeLorean frame.

I do think the Stainless Steel frame is a great product, but its not 
perfect. I even praise it during my frame restoration log on my 
website! But, the context in which I was asked to compare the 
stainless frame to galvanising was in terms of cost, and in that 
sense, the galvanising option is far better value than the stainless 
frame. It equals the stainless frame in terms of eliminating rust, 
and it retains the original look of the DeLorean frame. The stainless 
frame might be slightly stronger than my galvanised and strengthened 
frame, but I doubt this would be noticeable in every day driving. 
Maybe on a race track it would make a difference...

You also said the following:

>As a a final note, it is important to mention that John's financial
>account of the amount of money required for the "galvanizing
>approach" is lacking some serious analysis. John's posting would
>lead you to believe that complete frame repair and galvanizing cost
>only $1,200 US. In order for this to be true, you would have to
>assume that the tools and supplies he used did not have any cost.
>Further, you would have to assume that John's or your time and
>expertise is worth NOTHING. I know a significant amount of time was
>spent on this frame restoration. If you lack the ability to perform
>this work yourself, you will have to pay someone to do it. The big
>problem with this approach is that you have no idea, up front, what
>each individual frame will require.

My reply:

My financial account of my frame repairs is not lacking serious 
analysis, it's a fact that the frame restoration cost me about $1200. 
OK, I did buy a paintbrush to apply the nitromors paint stripper, and 
a few tins of nitromors (at 7 euros each), which I did not account 
for. Other than that, I spent 20 Euros on a heat gun, and 30 euros (I 
think) on an angle grinder. So, my cost estimate might be out by as 
much as 80 euros (less than 100 US dollars).

Of course, there was my time also. Although this restoration took 
nearly 18 months, if you read the website you will see that most of 
this time was not spent working on the project. I'd do 3 days here, 
then do nothing for 8 months due to not having time. Then I'd do 
another day or 2, and not go near it again for another few weeks.

The actual time spent stripping the epoxy, cutting old metal out, 
fabricating new metal, and welding the new metal back in was not 
really that much. Most of the time was wasted trying to figure out 
how to remove the epoxy. Now that I know how to do it, I could do it 
much faster the next time. Anyway, my time is my own, and I enjoyed 
the work whenever I had time to do it. Todd sounds like he is the 
kind of guy who doesn't mind doing his own work where possible - he 
is already doing spot repairs to his chassis with POR-15, so he could 
save himself up to $9000 by repairing his own chassis and galvanising 
it, rather than purchasing one of your Stainless Steel versions.

Finally, you said:

>Last Fall I worked with John to determine shipping and other costs to
>get a Stainless Frame sent to him. I felt that we had positive
>interaction so I am confused about this attack on my product and the
>effort to produce it.

Yes, of course I remember all this, and I remember emailing you when 
I finally decided not to purchase a stainless frame from you. I 
explained that while I might be willing to pay $8000, paying $15,000 
including shipping and taxes is another matter entirely. I apologised 
for wasting some of your time researching the shipping cost to 
Ireland, and I said I hoped to meet you at Eurofest. I felt it was a 
positive interaction also.

It is not an attack - I have not said anything untrue or unreasonable 
about your stainless steel chassis. I don't feel that I owe you any 
favours, so when someone asks for my opinion on what is the best 
option, I will be honest with them, and continue to recommend 

I would be very interested in seeing a reply from you regarding the 
projected cost of $90,000 for a frame incorporating the design 
features I commented on being missing from your stainless steel 
frames. I'm sure others would be interested in seeing a justification 
for this price also, now that my website shows how easy it is to 
incorporate these features.

John Dore, Ireland


--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Bryan Pearce <bryanp@...> wrote:
> Hello All:
> Great to meet a bunch of you at DCS 2006!
> I feel compelled to respond to, what seems to be, an attack on our  
> Stainless Steel frame solution for the DeLorean and the effort 
that was required to make this product available to the DeLorean  
> community.  While I applaud the effort put forth by John Dore on 
his restoration, I am offended by his comments.  John fails to realize the amount of time and effort required to build a stainless steel frame for our cars.

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