Re: [DML] Re: Stainless Frame Features - quality of welds
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Re: [DML] Re: Stainless Frame Features - quality of welds

In reply to Tom's posting:

On Jun 28, 2006, at 5:27 PM, Tom Niemczewski wrote:

> I feel that this is a very important topic and in my opinion it  
> should be
> discussed in public so everyone knows about possible problems. If  
> like you
> say the problems were taken care of why do you feel it is  
> inappropriate to
> talk about it on the DML?

To be honest, the only reason I suggested a private dialog with you  
was that you seem to be the only person concerned about the frames  
ability to function as they should.

> <snip>
> I'm glad to hear that the problem of poor welding was resolved to  
> the point
> where experts actually praise the quality. Do you have any pictures of
> current frames? I would like to see a close up view of some welds.  
> I would
> like to see a close up of the TAB area. This is where the most  
> important
> joints are for rear suspension as well as the area where the frame  
> splits
> into two around the engine. I have a picture of that area from  
> Memphis and
> would like to be able to see the improvement. Please upload a  
> picture to the
> groups photo section.

If I took the time to create a section on the PDC web site with close  
up photos of some of the welds, would that help your comfort level  
with the quality of the welds?  It's interesting that you would  
mention the critical area where the frame splits apart around the  
engine compartment.  On the original frame, the rear section is butt  
welded to the center box section and the mounting bracket for the  
trailing arm bolts bridges the two sections and provides added  
strength.  On our frame, the center section and the rear sections  
overlap.  Not only is the exterior (visible) seam welded, but the  
interior (invisible) overlap is seam welded as well.  That's at least  
twice as much holding the box section to the rear section of the  
frame.  So for a failure to occur, over 50% of the welds in that  
section alone would have to fail.  In several places on the frame,  
the weld you see is not the only weld holding a particular joint.

> Also, would you happen to have anything stating that
> the critical welds were tested or checked for completeness and  
> strength?
> X-ray, cut apart, load tested?

No destructive testing of the frame has been performed.  If you would  
like to invest in a frame and have these tests performed, for the  
good of the DeLorean community, I would be all for it.  Knowing  
intimately how our frames are put together compared to the stock  
frame, I see this as a non-issue.

> <snip>
> A part that supports the entire car and suspension
> components. The frame experiences great forces and it needs to be  
> as strong
> as possible. A frame that has welds that are so uneven... with  
> holes cannot
> be rated as perfectly safe product.

A couple of comments about this.  Related to supporting the car,  
don't discount the role played by the fiberglass underbody.  It is  
very strong.  If you think back to Proto 1, the frame is split with  
only the underbody supporting the car.  Also, think about the fact  
that when you lift the car at it's jacking points, the entire frame,  
engine, trans, and the rest is being supported by the fiberglass.

> <snip>
> The frame might be fine for 20 years of normal driving
> but what if someone hits a large rock at highway speeds and the  
> welds on the
> shock tower give way?

Over the last 130,000 miles, I have hit two large objects with my  
car.  One of them seriously distorted the wheel and cracked the stock  
front lower control arm.  NO FRAME DAMAGE.  The second was a semi  
that had a wheel break up right in front of me.  These hits took out  
my front screen, spoiler, radiator, and radiator brackets.  NO FRAME  
DAMAGE.  I have purposely driven my car through Chicago construction  
zones trying to exert as much force on the frame as possible.  NO  

> I wish that something like that never happens but you
> have to think about things like that when building and selling a  
> frame.

Do you honestly believe that this is something that was not  
considered early on with the conception of this product?  Do you also  
honestly believe that I would ever want to put some ones safety in  
jeopardy?  We didn't walk out to the shop one day and start slapping  
pieces of Stainless Steel together and decide to put the creation  
under a car.  This process took years of development and planning.

Take a good look at the stock frame, including the welds, under your  
DeLorean.  The PDC Stainless Frame exceeds the stock frames ability  
to support the DeLorean, pretty welds or not.

If anyone else is interested in a section on the web site with close  
up views of the frame welds, please e-mail me privately.

Bryan Pearce
Pearce Design Components
2N629 Jefferson St.
West Chicago, IL  60185
Phone:   (630) 293-0945
Fax:     (630) 293-0944

DeLorean Part Fabrication

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