[DML] Re: Adding a fuse for the headlights.
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[DML] Re: Adding a fuse for the headlights.

I inserted an inline glass fuse under the shift boot plate, that way I
can easily change it if necessary (simply pop off the shift boot
plate). Damage to the ground wire actually extended to a junction at
the back of the console. Not only was its insulation melted, but
adjacent wires in the harness were damaged too. I had to splice in
several new pieces and rewrap the harness.

Fortunately #5939 will never be sold, for mods like this can drive
subsequent owners crazy. While I was unemployed I parked it and turned
in the tags rather than sell it. You can have my Delo when you pry my
cold dead fingers off its steering wheel.

The biggest danger in the headlight switch is the ground wire for its
internal illumination bulb. That's what got me. Not only was the
switch itself burning, the ground wire was damaged for 5 or 6 feet.
Here's a good question: why is that switch illuminated anyway? The
internal bulb does no good before the headlights are turned on (it
does not help you locate the switch in the dark). After the headlights
are on, A/C panel illumination creates a halo around the button,
rendering the internal bulb unnecessary. I removed both the headlight
bulb and the hazard bulb for added protection (watching your Delorean
catch fire tends to have that effect).

I also think that hours and hours of heat from that internal bulb
contributed to my meltdown. Unlike most owners, I do most of my Delo
driving after dark. I'd estimate daylight driving is less than 20% of
my overall time on the road. I even drove home from Louie Golden's
recent get-together in the dark (a couple of hours after everyone else
had left). Long hours on the road with that switch illuminated surely
couldn't have been healthy for it. DC to Laurinburg is 7 hours or so.
The first sign of trouble was difficulty turning the headlights off at
a gas stop. The second sign of trouble was fire. I shot to the side of
the road and shook up my Diet Coke to put it out.

I ran my modified headlight circuit (remember: I added a relay for
side/tail lights) through the amp setting on my meter. Can't remember
the exact number, but it was something like 300 milliamps. The only
thing my switch does now is trigger relays. I am quite confident in
it. I have considered downgrading the inline glass fuse from 1 amp to .5.

One last thing: Because the harness connector was reduced to a blob of
formerly white plastic, I used the rewiring opportunity to substitue a
hazard switch for the headlight switch (picture pushbuttons are
interchangeable). Not only are hazard switches much cheaper than
headlight switches, they are mechanically much simpler. Of course I no
longer have a parking light only setting, but let's be honest -- how
often do you use that setting anyway? My headlight switch is connected
with 1/4" quick connects/fast ons,  allowing me to pick appropriate
terminals on the switch. A hazard switch is not interchangeable with a
factory headlight harness connector unless the wires are rearranged.

One more last thing: The headlights can be jumpered on from the relay
compartment. That's how I limped home. Of course you have no side/tail
lights (until you add a relay for them...) so I used the hazard
circuit for rear illumination. Got me through the last hour of my trip
without a ticket. Every Delorean owner needs to carry a jumper wire in
the glovebox.

Bill Robertson

>--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Marc Levy <malevy_nj@...> wrote:
> Bill,
> do you know where this line can be fused close to the
> battery?  Where is it fed from?
> Thanks.

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