Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all.

Yup, haven't posted in a while but I am still around and so is 2109. I haven't posted topics in the last few months, but I intend to do so much more in 2011, because: 

* I am now set up for mobile blogging and that allows me to upload content on the fly. Like this posting.
* I continue to track eBay sales of all DeLoreans, so starting in January I'll post the final 2010 summary. 
* Have got to document a serious weight reduction effort, which has made the car a lil' bit faster. 
* Will be starting (finally) the front suspension work in January. Which as I did on the rear suspension, I will document tips and lessons learned. 

So tune back in, in 2011. 
Hope you all have a great, fun, and safe Holiday, along with the best wishes on a great 2011.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DeLoreans Sold on Ebay: 2010 Q2 Update

The 2010 Q2 Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.  
The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 45 months, is summarized in a graph and table format. 
For the direct link click here.   
I hope you continue to find this information interesting. 

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Car Care App, Review & Use


Following this blog’s theme of "D" maintenance and upkeep, I think and trust that you'll find this an appropriate posting.  This is about an an iPhone app, called “Car Care” ($4.99).   Note that this app also works on the iPod Touch and the new iPads, and works just as well in Imperial or Metric units.

Car Care has been around for a while, it was one of the first applications of its kind on the iPhone. I've been using it for nearly two years now, so this review is based on the practical usage, and not just on the recent discovery of an app.  Today there are others, and I have tried a few of them, but they are either poor copies of Car Car, or none of them can do everything, or as thorough, as this one.  Additionally the author, Karl Becker, encourages and replies to feedback.

What is does

In a nutshell, this handy little program when properly fed with data (takes discipline, but it's a quick process), will provide you with: MPG performance, maintenance history and reminders, as well as a history/summary of ownership details and vital car facts.
Here is a shot of the opening screen, you can enter and track one, or all the cars the car that you own with this app.  As you can seem you can customize this screen with your own background pictures. 

Fuel Mileage History: Features

Once your vehicle(s) are set up, it then all starts with a gas fill up. You record type (set once if you always pump the same type), gallon (or liters) used, cost per gallon (or liters), and the odometer reading (miles or km).  The entry screen looks like this:

It then automatically records the approximate (GPS synch speed sometimes throws it off) location, total fill cost, date and time.  The manual entry work is done in under 30 seconds, so it’s quick and easy to collect and enter this data just after a fill up.  So far this data is just record keeping, but the more you use it the better the available information becomes available.

On your second and follow up fills (can be partial fills as well), you then begin to create an MPG and vehicle history. Within a few entries, the program then will provide you a reasonably accurate summary of:

MPG average with graph (Selectable for all data or for a period of time).
Fuel cost graph, interesting to see the fluctuations over time.
Total fuel Cost
Avg Fuel Cost
Total distance logged
Fuel Cost per mile
MPG average, best, worst, and if you vary type, the avg by type of fuel.
Carbon footprint
Largest fuel fill
Most & Least Expensive fuel purchased
Avg Distance per fill
Avg Days between fills

Here is the "Vehicle Stats" page, for my daily driver (two iPhone screen fulls combined for clarity):

The "Graphs" screen shows your MPG performance on top, and a historical price of fuel cost/volume.

Fuel Mileage History: Usage

Looking at the summary above, it is certainly more data than you’d ever want, but this data is as useful as you make it, especially if you use the resulting information above to track to a goal and or to monitor performance.

Let me provide you with a recent example of how this data recently came in handy. Our other non-D quirky/classic car recently has started showing a drop in MPG performance from previous months of identical usage.  Something changed, and it triggered us to think what it could have been.  We recently found that one of the disk calipers was binding on a rotor, and we addressed it.  In gasoline fill ups after that, we observed that the MPGs started to go back up.  That’s a good example of how these types of programs can assist us to ensure that our classic (quirky) cars, are kept reliable and well maintained.

Maintenance History and Reminders: Features

The second major feature of this program has to do with maintenance, and I think that while this is generally useful, it becomes a handy preventative maintenance tool for owners of older cars.

Similar to the MPG data and results, you also record a vehicle maintenance by category and sub category, at what mileage it was performed, and the associated cost.  You can then also set it up for automatic reminders at selectable intervals, for follow up maintenance. For example, the most obvious one being an oil change, you can have the program remind you of the follow up oil change based on either miles or time period elapsed. While that seems mundane and easy enough to not need a software program, you can also put in service reminders for many other pre-defined or custom maintenance or recommended manufacturer intervals.

This picture shows the Maintenance reminders on our Supra.

Once they are triggered they turn red, and you are reminded to check here at the app's icon, and each time you launch the app.

Tip: On newer vehicles, always reference your service guide for service recommendation, most shops including car dealer shops, often add intervals or services ($$) inside those factory recommendations. When in doubt, check your vehicle's manual for the official recommendations.

The service reminders are triggered by the odometer and date input from your gas fill ups, and you are offered pop up maintenance reminders, as well as a symbol reminder on the main screen in the form of a wrench on an orange box next to the associated vehicle(s), and the apps icon (number of reminders).  

Perhaps not as useful, but interesting to compare amongst your different vehicles, the program does summarize all work done with the following statistics:

Total Service Cost (this is sometimes a scary number, with older, quirky/unique/classic cars)
Service Cost per mile

Maintenance History and Reminders: Usage

I have found the maintenance reminder feature very handy in setting up service reminders which I would have otherwise not recalled, such as for coolant flushes (once every 18 months, or 12K miles, is what I follow for good clean system), and tire rotations (worth it to follow as long as possible, to extend the time in having to purchase new tires).

If you have old service records you could also enter them in this app, sure there’s paper records; however, I find that having this type of information at your disposal (in your pocket) is a) handy when shopping for parts and you are not near the stack of receipts, and b) great for preventative maintenance e.g., anywhere, at a glance, you can see when the last time a clutch slave was changed, and how long it lasted in use, and even the part number or its equivalent cross over number for reference (e.g., out of town, looking for a 25 year old part).

Feature: Data Back Up

It would be a crime if you recorded all this data, and you change or worse lose your mobile device, because you would lose all this data and information.  Cleverly the author allows the data for each car recorded to be emailed to you, as a text file, which imports into Excel well enough.  If you wish, once in Excel you can dig deeper into data analysis, if you are so inclined.


If you are vested in the Apple scheme of mobile devices, this is an excellent tool that integrates smoothly and in sync with your car hobbies, interests, and upkeep.

If you are outside of the Apple scheme of mobile devices, then join me in convincing the author to get this app into the Android market!   LOL!

The author's support website is:
...and I just noticed he has a detailed video walk through of his program here:

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings.  Thanks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let LEDs light your wings.


This is such a simple mod, that I've generally ignored documenting it. HOWEVER, to demonstrate the point of how simple and quick (and advantageous) this can be, I am doing this write up on it.

LEDs are taking over the world.  A melodramatic statment? Yes, but the technology has come a long way from the blinking red LED of ancient VCRs (..uhm, for you youngsters, that's how we use to record televised programs 
in our day...on large casettes with a small reel of magnetic tape....ok, stop laughing now). Anyway, LEDs are still a little pricey, but every year they come down in price and newer better ones come along. Today they are pretty affordable, especially for this application. 

Door Lights
Kudos to the DMC designers of the past, that thought it would be practical (and no doubt cool) to add fore, aft, and side lights to the gull wing doors.  Back then they had no other practical choice but to use the lighting of the time, the little (wedge based) incandescent bulbs.  Those lights while they do draw low power, if the doors are left open long enough, will eventually drain your battery; additionally, they are not very bright during the day time.

LED your door lights
Replacing your incandescent door lightbulbs with LEDs, fits perfectly with the theme of this blog. There are three distinct advantages to making this mod:
1) Replacement LEDs for your door lights, draw considerably less power than incandescent.  Other owners have commented of leaving their doors open (thus door lights on) for a week, with no noticable battery drain.
2) These LEDs are brighter than their incandescent versions.  I have seen at car shows our cars with brightly lit door lights - in bright daylight. They were all running LED lights.
3) Properly made and used, LED lights can last a very long time. It will most likely be years before you'd have to replace one of these new LED lights.

Where do I get them?

DMCH has a convenient one stop shop for a kit of 2 red and 4 yellow multi-led bulbs, for $14.95 (+ shipping/handling) 


They are plug and play, take the old ones out, put these in.  I have seen these used the most, and all observations noted above have been the DMCH kits.
If you want to experiment with brighter (needed?) or different colors, you can buy your own at On this link: Link to LED Wedge Bulbs ,the first group of LEDs shown, are the "WLED Minature Wedge Base Bulbs"...these are they ones typically used.
On the second group of bulbs shown at that link, titled "WLED Minature Wedge Base bulbs with High Power SMD LEDs"m are some variants that are said to be even brighter than the LED bulbs of the first group.

Installation, with pictures:
So let's see what it takes to put them in. As this article started, the installation is really very quick. Again, it's so simple that I've only read it described, but since digital pictures are cheap, here is the installation, documented with pictures:

1. Starting point. No need to unplug the battery for this as long as you don't mess with the wiring, and it also greatly assists the installation at a later step.

2. You want to pull the boot that holds the bulb and the lens, out of the door. You can try with your fingers, but I find that a screwdriver as a twisting wedge (being careful not to poke through the boot) is a good start.  

3. Once you get an edge of the boot out, you can then pull out the rest with you fingers, out until it clears the door. You'll need to pull more than you may think you need to, and for goodness sakes don't pull on the wire behind it.

4. You now need to remove the lens from the boot, do this by pushing back on the front lip of the boot. Only one hand shown because the other was holding the camera. You may be able to take just the lens out without pulling to boot out, but I find this way easier and less likely to damage the lens or boot.

5. Lens comes out. If you'll notice I already had an LED bulb in there. My previous onwer had replaced these, and years back the bulb in there, which only has one LED on it was affordable enough, but not at all bright enough. Pull the bulb straight out.

6. Now plug your new bulb in. Note the socket position, and aligh the connector end of the LED bulb with it.  

7. If the LED bulb does not immediately light up, pull out the LED bulb and spin it 180 degree and reinsert. LED bulbs unlike incandescnet bulbs are polarity sensitive, in that they will only work in one orientation. (This is where leaving the battery connected helps out do allow you do this only once.)

8. Reverse the process by replacing the lens on the boot, and pushing the boot back into its cutout on the door.

9. You are done. ...once you do the other five. : )

You now have very bright, low power, very cool looking door lights on your car. If you're still running incandescent bulbs, seriously consider this simple and relatively inexpensive upgrade to your car.

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

DeLoreans Sold on Ebay: 2010 Q1 Update

The 2010 Q1 Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.  

The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 42 months, is summarized in a graph and table format. 
For the direct link click here.   

I hope you continue to find this information interesting. 

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the "Best of" postings. Thanks.

Monday, January 4, 2010

DeLoreans Sold on Ebay: 2009 Q4 (EOY) Update

The 2009 Q4 (EOY) Update of DeLorean DMC-12 sales on eBay is updated.  

The data of DMC-12s sold for the last 38 months, is summarized in a graph and table format. 
For the direct link click here.  

I hope you continue to find this information interesting.