[DML] Re: Getting rid of trailing arm setup (was Stainless Frame Feature
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[DML] Re: Getting rid of trailing arm setup (was Stainless Frame Features)



John and others,

There seems to be a few similar, but different discussions
going on under the same topic, which are somwhow overlapping
and causing some confusion.  There is a DIY frame restoration,
opinions on the PDC SS frame and some incorrect facts thrown in.
I do not think their has been anyone MORE interested in the
DeLorean frame than Reg and Bryan, so much so that they have
spent countless hours developing the Perma Frame and its nearly
200 full-scale drawings required to manufacture this product.

I think there are several significant reasons that Bryan and
PDC felt the need to respond to John's opinion post and one
comment sticks in my memory more than most.  John had stated
that his galvanized frame is now "just as rustproof" as the PDC
SS frame, at a fraction of the cost.  If John truly did his
homework on this subject, he knows this statement is FALSE.
A simple "scratch test" on a galvanized frame will result in
rust eventually forming, which does not occur with stainless.
There is very little chance the galvanized frame would remain 
rustproof (in the real world) for a claimed 100 year warranty.

There is a huge difference between refurbishing an existing
frame, including fabricating a few patches and replacement
parts, and refinishing it vs. re-designing, engineering and
building a replacement frame from original OEM measurements.
I have worked with refurbished frames (in various conditions)
and with the PDC SS frame, in stock and custom applications.
>From a functional and engineering standpoint, the PDC SS frame
is a much better product than the a stock frame could ever be. 

We all know the PDC frame is not a perfect solution (not yet),
since it is an evolutionary product.  Research is on-going and
with each install with another DeLorean underbody, more details
are added to the knowledge base.  As for the welds, most of
the early frames were focusing more on the form and function
(penetration welds) vs. making the welds look "pretty".  When
you are driving an off-ramp at slightly higher than the posted
speeds, strong welds are more important than pretty welds, and
as Bryan mentioned, 130,000+ miles on the proto-type SS frame,
with less-pretty welds and all of them still holding strong.

Engineering, research and development all costs money and PDC
has a huge investment made in the Perma Frame and its associated
parts.  A trip to Reg's shop would convince most skeptics that
PDC is a first-class operation, with the tools and frame jigs
to create better than OEM production quality frames, with better
than OEM production level tolerances held for each frame built.
The frame jigs and attachments allow for precise positioning of
parts on the frame structure and to hold them in place to weld.

As for the $90,000 frame comment, I'm sure this is in the same
context of the often heard $50,000 left front fender.  If the
LF fender was to be re-created, to be stamped out similar to the
original fenders, there is a good chance the first good fender
stamped would have the full price tag attached.  Obviously, as
large quantities can be produced (and sold) the price goes down. 
Working with mild steel vs. stainless steel is a big difference
and any metal fabricator would charge differently, accordingly.

However, if there were a significant number of requests to make
the SS frame more exact in appearance to the OEM frame AND if
the requests were backed up with actual frame orders, I'm sure
Reg and Bryan would consider the request as not just wish list
items that would require more tooling and time to re-create,
therefore increasing the cost of the SS frame.  As of now, I do
not think enough DeLorean owners spend lots of time under their
DeLoreans, just looking at the frame, to justify the extra cost.

As for the cost discussion, again, it is difficult to compare
a repair project with a completely re-engineered new product.
Since John's estimate lacks most personal labor costs added to
the total cost, it makes an attempted comparison more difficult.
Since no two frame repair and refurbishing projects will ever
be identical (same rust repairs in the exact same locations)
any comparison could only be a rough estimate, at best.  So,
with that in mind, here is another galvanized frame example.

An owner in the Midwest US had his frame stripped, repaired in
several places (patches added) and had his frame galvanized.
The process was done primarily by third-party services and
therefore, the labor costs were much higher than John's frame.
The stripping took much longer than expected, the patches
added weight to the frame and the galvanizing process did
"tweak" the frame slightly, most likely from the heat. In the
end, the results were very good, but the cost had inflated to
between half and two thirds the cost of a new PDC SS frame.
Was it worth all the extra time and DeLorean downtime?  Maybe.

I'm not sure if this helps clarify either side of the discussion
but I think it at least helps define some of the differences
between details about a refurbishing project and the details
regarding the development of a full SS replacement product.

In summary, if you are unable or unwilling to pay for a new
SS frame, you can either try to fix it yourself or with the
help of others, or you can have someone fix it for you.  In
the end, you will still have a 24+ year old mild steel frame
which will eventually rust again, if the car is driven often.
If you want the best replacement DeLorean frame solution
available (period), then order the PDC SS frame from Bryan
and order all the suspension options too (well worth it).

Later,
Rich W.

BTW: It's Bryan, not Brian.


--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "John Dore" <dmcjohn@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Brian,
> 
> I don't see anything inappropriate in discussing your stainless 
frame 
> on the list, seeing as you opened this discussion by trying to 
> discredit my opinion on galvanised frames versus the stainless 
steel 
> frame!
> 
> However, seeing as your position appears to have changed from 
having 
> us believe it would cost $90,000 to have a frame incorporating 
these 
> features made, to you simply not being interested in spending a 
few 
> hours adding this nice touch to your frames, I am happy to not 
> discuss this further, on or off the list.
> 
> snip <









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