01 October 2012

DeLorean Control Knob Modification

I really like the blue lights on my window switches.  Time to do a simple modification on the control knobs.  I have already changed out the incandescent bulbs that light up the panel to LED's.

Stock control knobs and AC panel
The stock control knobs have a little indicator that I think is suppose to pipe light from behind the AC panel.  The plastic insert is semi-translucent.  Mine were painted white on the exposed areas, with what looks like White-Out.  Again, not sure if this is the way it was meant to be.  One would think that they could have just molded the inserts in a white, instead of painting them.  Having an early car, there might have been changes made.

Tangent:  Why is it "A/C" and not AC?  Is it "air/conditioning"? No, it is "air conditioning".  Then you have HVAC...and not HVA/C.   Because it is "Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning", no slash.  So, I am sticking with "AC".  My blog, my rules.

I removed the white from the inserts hoping to see some light illuminate the indicators.  This is when I got to idea to make blue ones so I could have blue illuminated indicators.

Control knob with insert removed
There are four of these knobs in a DeLorean. Three on the AC panel, these may or may not light up. One for the rheostat that controls the instrument lights.  The rheostat insert is molded in black, another reason why I think they could have just molded the others in white.  I used the black insert to make a mold, since this one was the most 'clean'.

Silicone mold of the insert
I consulted the mold shop on what shades of blue were available.  We have a variety of colours available and almost any colour can be matched by our Master Mold Maker, Mark Wyatt.  He even offered to make/pour the silicone mold for me.  The guy is a pro.

Finished cast inserts in clear blue
I need four parts cast from the mold.  Using one mold, Mark would cast four parts in exact matching shade of blue.  He had to mix the blue four times, and they are a perfect match.  I told you, the guy is a pro.

The rheostat insert stays black.  Now, just need to replace the other lenses.  The knob for the heat/cool gets one insert, main control gets two, and the fan control gets one.

Blue indicators on the AC panel
How does it look?  Well, it could be better.  Not much light gets through to illuminate the inserts.  Even when I had stock semi-translucent inserts in, there was not much light.  I think this is why they started painting them white.

There is a little blue showing through, so it is a partial success...not a complete failure.  I might just need brighter LED's back there...or a modified AC panel.

1 comment:

Martini said...

Dude, you are awesome. A great idea. And from the pics it looks like you were successful, but obviously you wanted them brighter. I doubt I'll ever make changes like that. Except maybe the "Lock Doors" bulb. Have you ever burned yourself on the "Lock Doors" light? I have. It gets HOT.