Pre-91 Lights Test

Before we attempt the significant steps of attaching the body to the chassis in Issue 91 of our 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork model, I wanted to take some time to test all of my lighting.

This is because I have heard it is a fairly common problem to get the car assembled and then find out some of the lights do not work correctly. And, by that point, we would have to decide whether to leave them broken or take the model apart again to fix them. Therefore, I documented the steps I took to check that my lighting was functioning correctly before we close the car up. We will need to have the parts of Issue 92 and Issue 93 available to complete this test.

I split this page into two parts: Chassis Lighting and Body Lighting. They can be done separately and all wires can be disconnected after each part.

Chassis Lighting

Step 01

NOTE: When connecting/disconnecting any plugs/wires, I recommend making sure the power to the car is turned off!

First, I brought the front of the body close to the front of the chassis and connected Wire 9:

Power up the car and press Switch 6 on the center console box. The under hood (trunk) light should come on, like this:

Step 02

I then retrieved the lighting components from Issue 92 and attached Wires 6, 10, and 11 to the rear of the car. These are the brake lights, engine bay light, and rear/reverse/turn signal lights respectively. The latter two sets of lights worked when pressing Switch 6

… however, the brake lights should only come on when the Brake Pedal is pushed down (triggering the switch contacts behind the firewall):

Step 03

Next, I retrieved the lighting components from Issue 93 and attached Wires 9 and 12 to the front of the car. These are the headlights (four white LEDs) and turn signal lights (two yellow LEDs). They turned on when pressing Switch 6:

Step 04

Then, connect the LED Wire from Issue 91 to the Wire 19 connector at the front right of the chassis and make sure both LEDs light up when you press Switch 1.

I am not using the stock LEDs so I did not test this. Instead, I hooked up my EL Light Mod from Model Modz and turned off my studio lights to take this picture. Everything is working as expected!

If you are not using this mod, you would likely want to hook up your front Flux Band LEDs (LED Wire part 91G in Issue 91) to the front Wire 19 (red/blue) connector. If it works correctly, use this same LED Wire to test the two connectors at the back of the car on Wire 22 and Wire 23. The actual LEDs for these rear plugs will not arrive until many issues from now.

Body Lighting

Step 01

As you will see in Issue 91, I propped the body on its side with some bath towels to get the wires of each closer together:

I then connected all of the body wires to the matching chassis wires:

Step 02

The roof lighting is controlled by Switch 5. Don’t forget you need to rotate the red handle to get that LED to light:

Step 03

The door lighting should also work at this point. They should only come on when that door is opened:

Step 04

Since I am installing the EL Light Mod from Model Modz, I do not have these two Flux Band LEDs installed on the roof. If you do, they should light up when you press Switch 1:, The photo below is from Issue 87 showing what they looked like before I removed them:

Step 05

Finally, we should reuse that LED Wire part 91G again to connect to the plug of Wire 21 to make sure the reactor light works when pushing Button 1.

Since I am installing the EL Light Mod, I did not keep this wire in the car, but this is the original wire/color and how it would eventually route through the body and up on top of the Engine Cover:

Testing Results

Some of my lights did not work during this testing and that is why I wanted to share the entire experience. The front turn signals were dead and the brake lights did not turn on when I pushed the Brake Pedal. After a closer look at everything, I found that I suffered from my own user error. Three of the numbered black plugs attached to the Circuit Board were attached to only one of the two pins, so I had to reconnect them correctly. After that fix, everything worked as expected.

Don’t panic if your lights do not work at first. Check your connections are secure, that no wires/plugs are damaged, that you are using fresh batteries or The Power Mod, and simply take your time. Electrical work can be tricky, but the lighting is such an important part of this model.

I hope this helps other builders get their DeLorean looking the best it can!

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