Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Shave Your DeLorean Eyebrows!

 photo eyebrownsm_zps33bb5ec1.jpg

Although the DeLorean's stainless facade allows it to withstand the elements for 115 to 117 years, there is one thing that can make the 80's icon look atrocious.


In the DeLorean world, "eyebrows" are what we call the warping of the front fascia above the headlights. When the fascia rises over the high beams, it replaces the strong, confident look of the car with a comically worried one.

I don't know if there has ever been 100% consensus on the cause, but it is generally accepted that the sun is the culprit. My car is a good argument for that theory. The original owner had two homes - one in California, the other in Arizona. He spent years driving back and forth in the blazing desert sun between the two, rocking out to A-ha.

Over the years my eyebrows worsened until, in 2010, I had had enough. The solution: steel bars. I bought two, each 1/8 inch thick, approximately 1 inch wide, and 15 inches long. To adhere the bar to the underside of the fascia, I bought a tube of SikaTack-Drive windshield glue from Speedy Autoglass for around $27. It is fully cured in only 2 hours. (The Speedy employee told me to work FAST, as I would only have about 5 seconds of fiddling time if I didn't set the bars right.)

My stick-arms trembled as the front grille resisted my attempts to remove it. When it popped off, I then removed all four headlights followed by the headlight mounts. This gives access to the fascia.

SikaTack-Drive windshield glue is horrible stuff. Scaaaary horrible. Its tar-like properties allow it to adhere to anything, including air molecules. It must be heated up an incredible amount before you can use it. I placed it on my engine and ran the car. During this time I used my heat gun to warm up the top and underside of the fascia until it was pliable.

The wood protects the paint from the clamps.After nearly an hour, I put the tube of warm SikaTack- Drive in my caulking gun. With great difficulty I managed to apply it to one side of the steel bar. I then slid the bar inside the fascia and clamped it down (or "up" rather) using a piece of wood to protect the paint.

I repeated this on the other side and left it clamped for the afternoon.

Six hours later I removed the clamps. Instantly I watched the fascia strain against the steel bars as it tried to pull itself back into its warped state. The steel bars actually bent! At first I threw a temper-tantrum. However, considering how bad my eyebrows were, the result was actually good. My driver's side eyebrow was diminished by about 90% while my passenger side looks about 95%. And for now, it's better than forking out a grand for one of these.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Martini: That is a very creative repair that took a lot of work. Not sure I could have done it myself. The main thing is that you're happy with the results. Enjoy! :)

1:49:00 PM

Blogger awildermode said...

Did you just glue the steel bar underneath the 'lip' or did you reach back and inside the eyebrow?

Not sure if mine were done, no eyebrows yet.

11:35:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

When I did it, there were no clear instructions online. Back in '08/'09 I asked a few people how, and nobody mentioned sliding the bar into the groove at the leading edge of the fascia. I believe that's what I should have done. The problem is that when the bars are forward, the tops of the headlight mounts hit them. I don't know how people avoid this. If yours doesn't have the bars, you should still do the eyebrow fix as preventative maintenance.

7:01:00 AM

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11:49:00 PM


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