16 March 2014

The Hidden LED's in the DeLorean

When I was replacing the AC Panel a few months back,  I realized that there were three tiny bulbs that I for got to replace.  Inside the light switch and hazard switch are two very small incandescent bulbs.  There is also a small bulb for the cigar lighter.  All of these just happen to be the same bulb.  These will be replaced by a #74 LED bulb.  So, back in to the center console.

Fuzzy picture, but I can almost do this with my eyes closed
First, the easy one.  Well, easy after you get the center console out.  The cigar lighter has a ring around it that lights up.  Just unplug the incandescent bulb and replace with LED 74-x.

I like blue
Naturally, I went with a blue LED.  Although the lens of the ring is green, I wanted blue to match the rest of the lights in the interior.  The blue LED bulb give is ring an blue-ish glow...when it works.  My cigar lighter ring would sometimes work.  Another thing I will have to figure out later.  So, sometimes, it looks awesome...the rest of the time, it just looks dark.  No matter, I do not use the lighter anyway, no need to call attention to it.  Heck, I even use the ashtray as my garage door remote holder.

Garage door remoter in ashtray
Next up, getting to the light switches.
DeLorean hazard switch
Once you extract the switches, you need to take it apart to get to the bulb.  The bulb is hidden way in the center of the switches, like the reactor core in the Death Star.

Bulb location in hazard switch
You will need to pry the outer casing to get to the juicy center.  The switches work on a cam like mechanism.  There is a wire that rides a maze like path.  Each depression of the switch 'guides' the wire along this maze, giving you different positions of the switch.  A simple design, yet fascinating to see in action.

Oh yeah, the bulb.  To get to the bulb, you will need to guide this wire outside of the maze.  The two parts will separate.  Careful of the spring.  Now, just replace your bulbs.  I went with red for the hazard.  Although I have never seen this light up. Again, another wiring issue that I will need to figure out later.  But, at least I have and LED, instead of incandescent bulbs in there.

Blue LED indicator for headlight switch
The good news, I got the light for the headlight switch to work.  This one was green.  It really stuck out when I replace my AC panel, everything was nice and blue...then you have this one green light just mocking me.  I will show you.

One more light to deal with.  Since I have an automatic, the shifter plate illuminates in green.  Well, not anymore.  My first attempt was to get some adhesive blue vinyl and stick a piece behind the existing green shifter plate lens.  This did not do too much, as it still looked a little green.

Modifying a white bulb into a blue one
Okay, the real way to do this is to get a blue LED.  You will need a BA7s LED bulb.  I already had a white one I replaced years ago.  While these are cheap, shipping costs nearly tripled the price of the bulb.  Luckily, I had a big sheet of that adhesive blue vinyl.  You guessed it, I am going to wrap the bulb.  Yeah, totally ghetto way of doing things.

Wrapping an LED bulb
Yeah, I totally wrapped an LED bulb.

Custom made blue LED
You know what, it actually worked.

Blue (ish) lights
Now the fun part of putting everything back together.  This takes up the most time.  Even though I have done this about ten times, now.  It still takes me a good fifteen minutes to take out and put back in the center console.  Lost of nuts, screws, and wires to maintain.

Yeah, blue lights all around...and all LED
Finally, with the exception of the battery light (which should remain incandescent), headlights, and high beams, I have LED's all around the car.  At least until I stumble upon another hidden incandescent bulb somewhere.  Ah, the perks of DeLorean ownership.


Anonymous said...

So what is the LED bulb size for the dash itself, minus the battery incandescent

awildermode said...

The dash bulbs are A7 or BA7.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Good info!

Dustin said...

Have you figured out a way to diffuse the light better so all letters are illuminated? I'm running a green led and it completely bleeds out the red ticker next to the gear letter and it doesn't really illuminate parking or first gear very well at all.