Re: [DMCForum] newbie here
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Re: [DMCForum] newbie here

On 3/19/07, ahobaka99 <ahobaka99@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>  As a person who is not technically inclined, I need to learn as much
>  as I can before I make the commitment to buy.  Short of taking an auto
>  mechanics course, where would I start?

Buy an old sports car. Something inexpensive, preferably mid-engined
so you can get use to working in tighter quarters on a "quirky" car.
Pontiac Fiero or Toyota MR-2 (not a new Spyder, either a Mark 1 or 2,
built from '85 into the early nineties) are both good choices. Both
vehicles are old enough to come up with problems from time to time
just like a DeLorean would.

Then learn to work on it. When things break, get on the Fiero or MR-2
or whatever car you buy forum and ask for help. People will generally
walk you through the repairs. Get yourself a shop manual for the car.
You'll need to buy tools, I'd start with a basic ratchet set, some
box-end wrenches and a torque wrench. Then as you need other tools,
buy them.

Every repair you do to most any older vehicle should directly
translate over to DeLorean ownership. The learning curve on the
DeLorean is not steep unless you have no prior experience fixing cars.
While I suppose you could learn to fix cars on a DeLorean, I'd advise
against it. Especially since you don't quite have the money for one
yet, start with something cheaper and learn on that. By the time you
can afford a DeLorean you'll be prepared and you won't be scared of
things breaking.

I learned on a dozen some odd years of Fiero ownership. By the time I
bought my DeLorean I had a garage, well stocked with tools, and the
experience to fix it. If I'd have bought it a decade ago it would have
fallen apart on me and I'd have wound up hating it and selling it for
half what I paid just to get rid of it.

So get some other car and don't take it to the shop when it breaks -
fix it yourself. Oh, whatever you buy, drive it every day, too, that
way it actually has a chance to wear out like a normal car so you can
experience what it's like to fix everyday vehicle problems. This works
great if that's your only car - you get really motivated to learn how
to fix it when it breaks on a Sunday afternoon, you can't afford to
take it to a shop or rent something else, and you have to be at work
by 6am Monday morning. Also teaches you some good car discipline when
you have to blow off watching the game with the guys to fix the thing
so you can make it to work the next day. ;-)

>  Also, are there reputable DeLorean service centres in the Toronto
>  area?      I'd like to use the car as a daily driver but not if I have
>  to take it to the shop every week.

Chances are you'll take it to the shop several times a month for the
first year of ownership. Unless you buy one that someone else is
already using as a daily. When you take an old sports car like a
DeLorean, most of which have very few miles on them, and put it into
service as a daily driver, virtually everything goes to hell. You'll
feel like the car is simply falling apart around you - and, quite
frankly, it is. You can't take all those original parts that have
never been really "used" that much and start using them all the time.

A DeLorean is a great daily driver once you replace a large number of
the parts. They were designed to drive, unlike many exotics. Note that
this car wouldn't even be an exotic if John DeLorean had been able to
continue his dream. My DeLorean is extremely reliable. However, I've
spent countless hours and nearly ten thousand dollars in parts getting
it there. Not because there's anything wrong with the "DeLorean",
simply because the car was built over 25 years ago and most owners
have not used the cars enough to push those old parts over the edge
into failure. If you drive one every day, you'll push those parts over
the edge in a hurry.

Now, I have more into mine than many, so don't be scared off at the
$10k parts figure. I don't just replace parts, I upgrade them whenever
possible and I spare no expense. So when my car needed shocks, I did
the $800 spring/shock Eibach setup instead of $300 for just shocks.
When it came time to work on the fuel system, I junked the old rubber
lines and sprung for the expensive stainless braided lines. When one
of my front fan shafts broke and the blades came off the motor and I
broke the radiator lines trying to get the damn thing off, I went for
the high end 3 core radiator and the upgraded pancake fans that draw a
fraction of the amps of the originals. I could have spent a quarter
the money and fixed it. The money was also spent over the past 3 years
and if you figure I could have done everything for half price or
cheaper if I didn't jump into all of the upgraded toys, I could have
gotten away with about $1500 a year in maintenance costs. So, you
know, just to put it all in perspective for you, it's not terribly
expensive. Though, you SHOULD have a good "slush fund". Make sure you
can afford to drop five hundred bucks or better at any given point in
time to fix it when it breaks and you'll be OK. IF You do it yourself!
Triple that if you pay someone else to do the work.

And for God's sake, don't finance the car. Pay cash, or don't buy one.
It's a little hard to put $1500 into a new clutch out of the blue if
you're struggling to make the $300 a month payments, eh?


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