If you will be displaying your 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean with the 1955 Time Circuit Box on the hood, there a mod available that will vastly improve its appearance. Not only is it made out of actual wood, but it also includes the historical and film accurate Pepsi-Cola logos. Our friend, Mike Lane, offers this Hood Box Upgrade Kit!
This mod includes beautiful real wood paneling precisely laser-cut to cover the stock part exactly, as well as brass stickers, padded foam feet, and matching custom tools to turn the box lighting on and off:
NOTE: These parts are real wood and are delicate. Keep the wood pieces dry at all times to prevent warping. Also, do not bend the wood pieces when removing the backing paper or they could snap/break.
To begin, we will need the empty Time Circuit Box from Issue 131:
First, we need to install the LED Ribbon and Switch according to the instructions from Issue 131:
Secure the LED ribbon with the Adhesive Tape, per the instructions from Issue 131.
Be sure you do not cover any holes with your Adhesive Tape strips. I also cut two of the tape strips in halves to secure even more sections down:
Pay special attention to this loop arch we created that the Support will fit under later on:
Remove the wood pieces from the supplied sheet by peeling off the surrounding protective front paper and tape, as shown.
Be careful and take your time here. We do not want to bend/break/lose any pieces:
With the main front paper and the surrounding wood sheet removed, you should have all these pieces left over:
Now, gently peel the backing paper from the large base piece, exposing the self-adhesive:
Install this base piece into the bottom of the Time Circuit Box, aligning all the cut out holes and shapes.
Also, ensure that the arch loop of the LED ribbon fits up through this slot:
Once this is firmly pressed into place, we can carefully peel back and remove the protective front paper:
Oh yes, it is already looking so much better!
Next up, take the two longer medium-width pieces and match them to the appropriate inner sides of the Time Circuit Box.
These two pieces are cut differently, so look closely to see which side is which:
Since it will be more difficult to remove the protective front paper once these inner side pieces are installed, I removed both the front and back paper backing here:
Next, I slid this piece down into the space between the wooden base piece and the side of the Time Circuit Box, leaving the top edge angled out so only a minimal amount of adhesive would stick right now.
This method allowed me to ensure the wood piece was fully seated along the bottom of the box:
Then, I gently pressed the rest of the piece against the side of the Time Circuit Box, fully securing it into place. The top edge of these inner pieces should end up flush with the side of the box:
Repeat this process with the other wood strip on the opposite inner side of the box:
The shorter inner side strips are applied in the same way.
I started with the single-piece side, as shown:
The final inner side of the Time Circuit Box requires two pieces of the wood, arranged like this:
This gap is required to allow room for one of the larger Time Circuit Box components that will be installed later on:
Apply the metallic stickers to the outer sides of the Time Circuit Box to replicate the look of the real recessed brass screws.
I started with the vertical sticker placement, right at the very edges of both long sides of the box, as shown. Ignore the paint bottle in these pictures, I used it as a stand to present a better angle to the camera:
For the long external sides of the box, I used the matching outer wood pieces as a guide to see where the tiny ‘screw’ holes are, and then placed the stickers along the bottom edge of the box at these two positions on both sides:
The three stickers for both of the narrower ends of the Time Circuit Box were applied in the same way:
This is what the stickers should look like when finished:
The time has come to start attaching the outer wood pieces. Take note: the two shorter ‘end’ pieces are not the same, so let’s start with the one with the two extra holes as seen here:
When securing the outside wood pieces, be sure to align the bottom edge of the wood piece to the bottom edge of the Time Circuit Box and that all of the holes are lined up:
When installed correctly, the top edge of these outside wood panels should stick up above the box, like this:
Repeat this process for the opposite side of the box using the remaining shorter side wood panel:
The two long outer side pieces are the same, so you can start with either piece. Attach these pieces in the exact same way as before:
And, here is the panel installed on the other side:
Starting with the longer narrow capping strips, fit these to the top of the long edges of the Time Circuit Box, as shown.
These will cover the top edges of both the box edge as well as the inner wood pieces:
Repeat this process on the other long side:
Starting with the narrow capping strip with the rounded notch cut out, attach it to this end of the Time Circuit Box:
Then, apply the last wood capping strip to the opposite end of the box:
Step 11 (Optional)
Mike includes two pieces each of coarse and fine sandpaper patches. If you choose to, you can use these to sand down the edges, lightening the darker edges for a more uniform look. Start with the coarse sandpaper and finish with the fine sandpaper for a smooth surface.
NOTE: Be sure not to wipe the parts clean, or get them damp in any way, or else warping could occur.
This step was fun as it makes my box unique! I even added extra wear at the edges and corners to give it a worn and old look. Any remaining dust was blown away with my mouth:
Attach the four supplied foam pads to the bottom of the Time Circuit Box. This will help protect your DeLorean’s hood from damage:
This would also be the best time to reinstall the Support from Issue 131, as shown:
Accessing the Light Switch
Mike supplies two custom wooden tools, each with a notched ‘hook’ on one end. These can be used to easily access the power switch for the Time Circuit Box lighting. Hook the switch and pull up to turn the lights on. Use the end of the tool to push the switch down to turn them off:
I am simply blown away by how much of a difference this makes to the stock hood box. Not only is it made out of actual wood like the real thing, it is detailed with the Pepsi-Cola logos as well as the appearance of the recessed brass screws. This is, by far, one of my most favorite mods. A huge thanks go out to Mike for this one.
Head on over to Mike Lane Mods and check it out for yourself!
Congratulations! If you made it down this far, you have won yourself a sneak preview of what my completed Time Circuit Box looks like:
And, here is it with the LED lights turned on: