STAGE 129

 Return to the BUILD


“In this stage, you complete the assembly of the front lightbar, fitting it to the roof of your Ectomobile.”

 

Contents


Parts

Materials: The Separator Panel and Lightbar Trim are metal and the other parts are plastic.

Build


NOTE: I always planned on making modifications to the Lightbar assemblies to improve their appearance and operation. Many of the simpler changes are embedded in these steps. However, the more advanced changes can be found on my dedicated Lightbars Mod page. If you have any interest in trying any of these modifications yourself, I recommend reading through that page and all of the steps here before you begin the Lightbar assembly process.

Completing the Front Lightbar

Step 01

Head over to your Ecto-1 Body assembly and disconnect the Code 3 Force 4XL LED cable (67E with the small circuit board) from the longer end of the Code 3 Force 4 XL Extension Wire (67F marked ‘N’):

Then, retrieve your Lightbar assembly from the previous stage and fit the sliding switch of the Code 3 Force 4 XL LED cable into this matching slot of the Base.

This switch is oriented properly when the empty pin (with no wire attached) is closer to the center of the Lightbar, as shown:

Next, slide this notch of the Motor Retainer around the wires of the switch and then fit it down into the Lightbar Base, as shown.

This step will also capture the two Motors in place. Make sure their wires are safely routed so they do not get trapped, and that they are fully seated in their rounded recesses and engaging the Gear 2 teeth on both sides:

Secure the Motor Retainer to the Base with three (3) EP screws.

There is a small amount of play in how the Motors fit in their recesses. You may want to apply light pressure on each worm gear (towards the respective Gear 2) as you tighten these screws to improve how they mesh (and where much of the unwanted noise comes from):

Finally, connect the plugs of the Motors to the matching plugs on the short red/black wires of the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board:

Step 02

Feed the plug on the grey/black wires of the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board down through this hole of the Lightbar Base:

Follow this plug through the same hole with the four LED cables of the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board:

Turn your Lightbar Base assembly over and fit the LEDs fully down into these matching holes. Start with the longest LED cable and progress to the shortest cable, as shown.

Ignore the blue lenses seen in these photos, I took them during a different stage of one my many rebuilding sessions:

Slide the pins of a LED Cover down into two of the holes on one side of the Lightbar Base, capturing the respective LEDs in place, and secure it into place with one (1) EP screw.

These pins are designed to catch the lip of each LED and should be fitted next to, and not between, the wires of each LED:

Using one more EP screw, repeat this process to install the second LED Cover to secure the two LEDs on the other end of the Lightbar Base:

Route the grey/black wires of the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board through the tabs of the Wire Retainer and secure it to this location on the bottom of the Lightbar Base with one (1) MP screw, orienting it as shown:

I did not like how the wires were going to be visible on the underside of our Lightbar, so I removed the two LED Covers and stuck my wires into place with pieces of aluminum tape. I held the LEDs firmly in place before adding each piece so they would be properly positioned in the center of each Rotator:

All of the extra wiring slack was tucked back through the hole and into the Lightbar Base:

As it turns out, doing this simple mod is going to be even more important when we build the rear Lightbar in the next stages. While not shown in this picture, I did reinstall the Wire Retainer as well:

Finally, fit the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board and any extra wiring down into this center section of the Motor Retainer, and then cover it with a Sticker, as shown:

How these wires and board are fitted is not important as long as none of them are damaged, disconnected, or interfere with any of the mechanisms. This area will soon be covered by the Separator Panel and therefore not easily seen:

Step 03

Fit the two Lightbar Underside parts to each side on the bottom of the Front Lightbar Lens.

I found it a lot easier to complete this step if we instead use tiny drops of super glue to secure these Lightbar Underside strips to the Lightbar Base itself. The ends of each Underside have circular tabs that match to posts on the base, as shown. This picture is an example of one Underside installed – we can attach them both in this step:

It was at this point that I decided to add another missing detail to our Lightbar that should improve how it looks when it is running. On the real Code 3 lightbar, there were diamond shaped ‘mirrors’ between each pair of Rotators. Here is an example of what these parts look like:

Since the real ‘mirrors’ were basically shiny aluminum, I chose to use aluminum tape to create these shapes. First, I measured out a piece 2″ long about a ½” wide and then folded it into eight ¼” sections, as shown:

Next, I cut this long piece into two equal sections and then cut small slits into the ends of each fold line:

Using whatever was handy, in my case a set of tweezers, I bent one edge of each piece up to a 90° angle, as shown:

Then, I folded each piece into a ‘diamond’ shape, as shown:

Finally, I removed the backing paper from the tape and carefully stuck the bent edge down in between a set of the Rotators, as shown. It took a few attempts to get the shape right. It is important that this tape does not come into contact with any of the Rotators or Gears:

The other ‘diamond mirror’ was installed in the same way:

If you make these shapes a bit too tall and they end up touching the main Lightbar Lens, you can cut the top at the fold lines and fold it over, like this:

(Optional) Since I had the aluminum tape out anyway, I decided to remove the Sticker holding the center wiring in place and attached a piece of tape there instead. It just felt like it was more secure:

Fit the Lightbar Base assembly into the Front Lightbar Lens as shown, and then secure the Lightbar Base to the Lens with six (6) XP screws.

Take your time here, just make sure no wires become dislodged or pinched as you fit the Base inside the main Lens:

Carefully bend the Separator Panel to match the top shape of the Lightbar Lens.

To get this right, I used my duck bill pliers to start bending at the middle and work my way out to the edges. I constantly placed the Panel on the Lens as I went to get the angles to match as close as possible:

Fit this Panel to the center of the Lightbar Lens with the perforated holes on the front side.

The front of the Lightbar is where the switch is located and opposite from the grey/black wires:

Gently bend the last two surfaces of the Separator Panel around the bottom edge of the Lightbar Lens to secure it into place:

Peel the backing paper from the two Lightbar Trim parts and adhere them into these matching recesses on either side of the Separator Panel:

Installing the Lightbar
Step 04

Retrieve your main Body/Chassis assembly and your two Lightbar Foot Supports from the previous stage. Fit the Lightbar Foot Support L to this matching location on the roof of the Body (just above the driver’s door):

Secure this Foot to the roof from above with two (2) white VM screws:

Repeat this process to install the Lightbar Foot Support R to the opposite side of the roof using two (2) more white VM screws:

Fit the Front Lightbar assembly down between the two Lightbar Feet with the perforated section of the Separator Panel facing forward:

There is a tab and slot at each Foot that must match up for the Lightbar to sit fully down. On my model, I had to slightly bend the feet away from the center of the car to fit my Lightbar into place:

Secure the Lightbar to the Foot on each side with two (2) white AP screws – four screws in total:

Reconnect the plug on the grey/black wires of the Code 3 Force 4XL LED board to the free end of the Code 3 Force 4 XL Extension Wire.

(Optional) Once connected, you can power up the model and press the Left Radio Button on the interior to test the operation of this Lightbar:

Thoughts


To see my Lightbar in action, check out my Lightbars Mod page for a short video. That page also goes into more advanced modifications that can be done to improve the performance and noise level of these assemblies.

Next Up


Stage 130 – Rear Lightbar Base/Supports/Foots/Foot Supports/Rotators/Gears/Gear Covers/Motors, Lubricating Oil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *