Project: BTTF Time Machine Build Diary AKA the LONG build… updated Oct 31, 2023


Sr Member
Yup…I’m finally gonna do it!

I’ve been a member of this board from the start, building and collecting replica props and costumes for over 20 years now. Like everyone here, there’s dream projects you want to do, more than the typical prop, something that seems unobtainable. My first, back in ’99, I bought my first set of Galaxy Trading/Wookie Cantina Stormtrooper armor. Then, in the very early days of the A.S.A.P. board I was a part of the first Proton Pack research and building group and have built four packs and some traps over the years. It took me around 5 years to put together my Rocketeer costume, this is when there were only 2 maybe 3 accurate finished ones out there, well before pepakura and resin printing was easily available, the days of having to know a friend of a friend that has some secret information about a certain part.

My last 2 big dream projects are an accurate Boba Fett costume and my ultimate prop… the DeLorean Time Machine! I’m pretty much done with my con years of costuming, and my side business, making and selling jewelry at Ren Faires took over my free time and I haven’t had a prop project in almost 8 years! The ITCH to build has retuned!

So, my next adventure is going to build as close of a replica of the BTTF Time Machine as I can do! I'm shooting for a BTTF 1 car that can convert to a Mr. Fusion version. I would like to have as many original parts as I can find, and afford, I'm fully aware of the rarity and high values some parts have and due to the overall cost to do this, I will be happy using high quality replicas of parts I know I can probably never get my hands on. If I can use a metal replica over a resin casting, I will. I don't need to have every imperfect ding or dent or scratch as the real car, but I want to use 99% of the correct part, not a lot or any stand-in parts that "get by" for the general public because they look futuristic or misc. electronics slapped onto the car. This will be a LONG term project for me, I’m not in a rush. And similar to Munson’s Matmobile build blog, I’d like to share my journey here, with fellow fans and builders! Previous builders, like Gary Weaver and the “A car” restoration team, laid the ground work for such a project. He and others have identified MANY parts over the years to help other builders, and what’s exciting is that there’s still a couple parts yet to be found! That’s what pulls me to this project! Back to the days of climbing through racks of old parts in surplus stores, page after page on Ebay to try and find a part. The chase, that’s what’s fun about this hobby!
My plan is to gather or scratch build as many parts as I can, and then look for a suitable car for conversion. I want to collect everything first, except for the parts where I need the physical car to build– rear metal deck plate and vents, conduit for the flux bands and such. I don’t want a half built project car sitting in my garage for years before I can finish it. I want to do the conversion all at one time. Several builders have done it this way, and it seems the best way for me.

I’ve already started gathering and purchasing parts from other builders and I plan to share each part of the build process here. This will be a multi-year project for me, I’m fully aware that the price of DeLoreans has been creeping up and up lately, but at the moment, I don’t have the budget set aside for one right now. So collecting the parts for now, it will be.

Here I'm sitting in Sean Bishop's car, before he sold it years ago, THAT was the day I knew I needed to build one!
Sean's car.jpg

Here's most of my current collection of parts, I'll get more into detail with them as I start modifying and building them up. I also currently have on order:
CNC machined Turbine/inner core and lid
CNC machined Medical heatsink
CNC machined Radio heatsink
CNC machined oil separators
CNC machined Metal Cross-over tube elbows
CNC machined Delrin Torin blower
Metal Oil separator mesh tubes
Metal dash box casings

Part: Rear deck heating vent
Area: Rear Driver's side pontoon
Original ID’ed Part: Heating vent from an old Xerox machine
Materials: All Metal, some plastic connectors.
Type: Replica
Maker: Mat Bedogni

I’m really happy and honored to get this piece. It was one of the last parts made by Mat Bedogni, he was an extremely talented TM parts builder that recently passed away un-expectantly.

Part: Plutonium Chamber vents
Area: Rear deck center- Plutonium Camber
Original ID’ed part: 1959 Dodge Polara Hubcab
Materials: Metal
Type: Original Part

This is the upper part of the Plutonium chamber, that the turbine and lid sits on. In early pre-production and in 1 shot in the movie you can see the vents light up with an orange glow. I might add the opaque white plastic behind the vents and add lighting effects.

Part: Cross-over Tube
Area: Rear deck, behind/above Plutonium Chamber
Original ID’ed part: Weatherhead Co.
Materials: Resin/Tubing
Type: Replica

I'll be upgrading this part soon to CNC machined metal elbows
resin crss over.jpg

Part: T-195 Radio Cooling Vent
Area: Rear deck center in front of the plutonium chamber
Original ID’ed part: vent from a military GRC-19 T-195 Radio
Materials: Aluminum machined
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

Part: Pacific Flex Vent Hoses
Area: Rear deck, attached the outside large vents connecting to the rear outside bulkhead
Original ID’ed part: Pacific flex hose
Materials: Stainless Steel
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier


Part: Hockey Pucks
Area: Rear Driver's side pontoon
Original ID’ed part: Still Unknown, possible vintage film cassette housing, with roller bearings inside and tapered spindles. the silver bases were from airplane cigarette ash trays placed upside down
Materials: Aluminum machined
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier


Part: Wormhole Emitter
Area: Outside Top between the doors
Original ID’ed part: Still Unknown, possible Military/Naval audio equipment
Materials: Aluminum machined
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

I have a resin casting from the "A car" when the restoration team was working on the car.

Part: Overhead light
Area: Inside upper Console rear area
Original ID’ed part: Grimes Aircraft Emergency Light
Materials: Metal and plastic
Type: Original Part
Maker: Grimes

Grimes light.jpg

Part: Time Switch
Area: Inside center armrest front
Original ID’ed part: Dayton Drum Switch
Materials: Metal, added Acrylic Cover
Type: Original and custom Acrylic Cover
Maker: Dayton

This is a newer version, so I need to locate a replica Dayton plate and form the clear casing.
drum switch.jpg

time machine switch.jpg

Part: Flux Capacitor Enclosure
Area: Inside Rear Bulkhead center
Original ID’ed part: Stahlin Enclosure J1210HPL 12x10x5
Materials: Fiberglass Metal
Type: Original
Maker: Stahlin
Flux cap box.jpg

Resin Cannon Elbows and parts for the Flux Capacitor and Bailout box

Part: Bail out Box
Area: inside behind driver's seat
Original ID’ed part: Project box, Bail out bottle, Clamps. I'm currently using a old Soda stream bottle from the UK, it has the same measurements of real bailout bottle, stand-in until I can pick up a real bottle
Materials: Metal
Type: Original and stand-in bottle


Part: Flux Band Holders
Area: around the outside of the car
Original ID’ed part: custom made for the films
Materials: Resin/hard rubber
Type: replica
Maker: Brad Gaffy

flux band brackets.jpg

Part: Mr. Fusion Lid
Area: rear deck
Original ID’ed part: custom made for the films
Materials: Resin casting
Type: casting from the "A car" restoration build team
Maker: Restoration team


Part: Mr. Fusion
Area: rear deck
Original ID’ed part: Krups coffee grinder
Materials: Pastic
Type: Real part
Maker: Krups.

Part: Flux Box plugs
Area: front, top and read of the car attached to the flux boxes
Original ID’ed part: Mole Richardson plug
Materials: Resin and metal
Type: Replicas
Maker: Brad Gaffy

resin mole richardson plugs.jpg

Part: Clare Electronic Box detail parts
Area: inside center arm rest
Original ID’ed parts: Circuit Breakers, Fuse holders, Toggle Switch, Kulka terminals
Materials: Metal, plastic
Type: real parts
Maker: various


Cable Glands, used in the flux boxes and inside of the car on the rear bulkhead, these sizes are mainly for the flux boxes.

Part: Gold Replay bank
Area: inside rear bulkhead behind passenger seat
Original ID’ed part: Potter & Brumfield KHU11D32 Relays, these are VERY rare and hard to find, even the most accurate replicas out there don't have these
Materials: Metal, Plastic
Type: Originals
Maker: Potter & Brumfield

I happened to find the motherload of them:

Part: Time Circuit Keypad
Area: inside front center dash next to time circuits
Original ID’ed part: security keypad
Materials: Resin cast
Type: cast from "A car" restoration team
Maker: "A car" restoration team

Part: Plutonium Canister
Area: rear deck
Original ID’ed part: custom made for the film
Materials: Acrylic
Type: Replica
Maker: Gonktoys


I have a couple other small detail parts, and mentioned I have several other parts currently on order. I'll go more in depth in detail on the parts as I work on them. I'll be updating as I go!

If you have any tips or suggestions, or extra parts I haven't already listed and looking to sell please let me know! I'm not currently looking for any replica paper props, or props not associated with the actual car build - hover boards, remotes, plutonium cases. etc.

This is going to be an awesomely fun project!!!

- Jeff


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NEW PARTS!! :) Updated Jan 2021

Part: "Medical Heatsink"
Area: Rear deck rear and to the side of the plutonium chamber
Original ID’ed part: Heatsink from a vintage Hewlett Packard 77-01A Oscilloscope Recorder..
Materials: CNC machined aluminum
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

Medical Heatsink.jpg

Part: "Radio Heatsink"
Area: Inside, center dash on top of the radio that sits on the Time Circuits.
Original ID’ed part: Vintage Heatsink
Materials: CNC machined aluminum
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

Radio heatsink.jpg

Part: "Orange Tube"
Area: Rear deck against the bulkhead
Original ID’ed part: Arrowhead 711374-1 rubber tube. Was found in Bell Helicopter Engines.
Materials: CNC machined aluminum
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

orange tube.jpg

Part: Oil Separators
Area: Rear deck behind the plutonium chamber
Original ID’ed part: Pesco Oil Separators found in planes, now very rare to find, and stainless hoses
Materials: CNC machined aluminum, stainless steel hoses
Type: Replica
Maker: James Napier

Oil Seporators.jpg

Part: Cross-over Tube
Area: Rear deck, behind/above Plutonium Chamber, sits on Pesco Oil Separators.
Original ID’ed part: Weatherhead Co.
Materials: CNC & anodized aluminum and rubber hose
Type: Replica
Made by: James Napier
metal cross over tube.jpg

Part: Ducting/tubing
Area: Inside and on rear deck
Original ID’ed part: Aeroduct
Materials: Heat proof material with yellowish threads
Type: Real part 3/4" and 1" diameters, 15' & 5" needed for the car.
Made by: Aeroduct.
areoduct tubing.jpg

I have some other smaller parts that came in, but will hold off until the larger parts that they go to come in.

Upcoming parts that are still being made:
CNC aluminum jet engine turbine, inset and lid for the plutonium chamber
Torin blower replica
CNC aluminum Mr. Fushion base & lid
Metal Dash Boxes

- Jeff
Some smaller parts and fittings have been coming in, so I can do some build updates soon with putting together and painting the "Pucks" and the brass relays! And then start building the Clare box enclosure! So there will be more than just part pictures!

Here's my prototype in progress of the brass relays that are on the back bulkhead behind the passenger seat, there's 2 of them. This is hand cut and bent aluminum with a really cool spray on dye that gives a neat electronic coating on the metal. These are not the rare relays, these are ones I altered to look more accurate.
- Jeff
What's the going rate on a Krups coffee grinder nowadays? Finally getting to a point in my life that I might be able to afford one.
Small update with some detail parts!

Part: Tesla Transistors (x2)*, Thermostat* I'm off by 1 model number on the Transistors, and the correct thermostat ranges around $85-$125, I'm going to modify this one to be more accurate, and may eventually pick up the correct one.
Area: Detail parts on the Radio Heatsink
Original ID’ed part: Tesla Transistors and Non Hermetic Thermostat
Materials: Metal and plastic
Type: Real parts, not 100% accurate (yet)

Part: Wire terminal connectors
Area: Rear deck and deck bulkhead
Original ID’ed part: Kulka 9 Position Terminal. This one is close to the original, this is the 812 version. bolts being switched to slotted bolts, might sand down the fins to be more accurte.
Materials: Metal, Plastic
Type: Real
Made by: Kulka

Part: Wormhole Emitter Lights
Area: Inside rear of the Wormhole Emitter
Original ID’ed part: Correct bulb holders.
Materials: Metal
Type: Original holders and replica backplate
Made by: Steve Wickenden

Part: Clamp holders for Crossover Pipe
Area: Rear deck, holding the Crossover Pipe to the Oil Separators
Original ID’ed part: Toggle Clamp
Materials: Metal
Type: Very close, slightly larger diameter.
Small part update!

Part: Elbows
Area: x3 on the drivers side rear deck between the red capacitors, x1 on the flux capacitor, and 1 on the VSR box
Original ID’ed part: Cannon military electrical elbows, these are very close made by AMPHENOL MS3108B20-29S
Materials: metal and plastic
Type: real
Made by: Amphenol

Part: Heatsinks around the plutonium chamber
Area: Rear deck center, around the plutonium chamber
Original ID’ed part: These are Jameco heatsinks 16513, the correct heatsinks vary on the original, fin distances and center hole positions
Materials: metal
Type: real
Made by: Jameco

Part: Compass
Area: sits on the time circuits next to the radio
Original ID’ed part: Vintage Airguide
Materials: plastic
Type: real, I will need to add the light cover and battery box cover
Made by: Airguide

Part: Blue Capacitors
Area: Rear Deck on the passenger side
Original ID’ed part: Mallory Capacitors
Materials: Metal
Type: real, I'll paint these the correct blue color
Made by: Mallory

Part: Hose Clamps of large deck hoses
Area: Rear center deck holding the black hoses that are around the plutonium chamber
Original ID’ed part: Marman aircraft coupling 15426-2.5
Materials: metal
Type: real
Made by: Marman

Part: Mesh on top of the Clarebox
Area: Inside center console on top of the clarebox
Original ID’ed part: unknown, I used Autot 6x12mm Rhombic-shape grid from Amazon
Materials: metal
Type: similar
Made by:Autot
Got some new parts this week!

Part: Red Capacitors, serial number plates, nylon off-sets, solder lugs
Area: Rear Deck on drivers side pontoon
Original ID’ed part: Mallory Capacitors
Materials: Metal, nylon
Type: real, I'll paint these the correct red color
Made by: Mallory, replica serial plates by Knight Industries of Kentucky.
Red Capacitors parts.jpg

Part: "Tiger" Tubing
Area: Rear Deck center attached to the bulkhead
Original ID’ed part: Blo-R-Vac Ducting
Materials: Rubber and metal
Type: Real
Made by: Blo-R-Vac, McMaster-Carr item # 56435K33
Tiger Tube.jpg

Part: Worm Hole Emitter Grill
Area: Attached to the front of the Worm Hole Emitter, on the top between the doors
Original ID’ed part: Pioneer speaker Dual Cone TS-1011, the center area of the speaker grill
Materials: Plastic
Type: Real
Made by: Pioneer.
WHE grill.jpg
Wow this is awesome! I will follow this build, always wanted this myself but I never hade/have the guts.
Yes I am , I also been in contact with James.
I do have to say, with original parts almost impossible to come by, this new generation of builders is blowing my mind with the metal replicas and the work being put in to all the parts.
I was lucky enough to have started collecting parts at least ...17 years ago? So I have quite a few original pcs. But also some not so accurate replica pieces...that need upgrading since we have better information now
While waiting for more parts, I did a little prep work on the Red & Blue Capacitors. The 3 red capacitors are mounted upside down, while the 2 blue ones stay right side up. They're also kind of heavy and some builders have just screwed up into the bottoms to mount them and over time they might start leaking onto the mounting plates and onto the car, so I decided to go ahead and gut them.

For the red capacitors I drilled several holes into the top plastic lid and then took a flathead screwdriver and hammer and broke it open. The first 2 were kind of easy to get out with a little force and chipping away at the gummy glue/insulation and they pulled out ok. The 3rd one had a TON of it inside and would not budge. Some builders have used propane torches to heat them up and melt the internals to pull everything out, but I didn't want to risk scorching the metal or burning off the Mallory ink stamp, it's also messy and I didn't want to risk any crazy toxic fumes. I boiled up some water and suspended it 3 times to get things loose enough to pull apart.




For the 2 blue capacitors, I used a compass and scribed a line all the way around the bottom, ran a fine point sharpie in the line, wrapped 3 layers of blue tape at the edge, and then I hand cut it with a jeweler's hand saw with a ridged thick blade, I was out of cutoff wheels. But it left a really nice even edge. I used a flat head screw driver to dig all the internals out, came out pretty easy. In all I think it took me about 3 hours to do, longest was trying to get the 3rd red one figured out.


A messy job that I don't ever want to do again, lol.

Next up is cutting the mounting plates, designing inner collars for them to attach to, paint them, add the nylon spacers with solder lugs, braid all the correct wiring and add the ID plates to the red ones. And paint the blue ones and I still need to order the correct orange wires that have the curls.

- Jeff
Some new parts came in today!!!!

Part: Red dash boxes (with aluminum mounting plate)
Area: Inside, front dash center, behind the radio
Original ID’ed part: Rowan Control contactors
Materials: Metal and plastic
Type: Real
Made by: Rowan made in the 1960's

Part: Black Dash Boxes
Area: Inside, Dash, behind the steering wheel.
Original ID’ed part: Still unknown, thought to be part of an amplifier.
Materials: Metal
Type: Replicas
Made by: Brett Aiken
Dash boxes.jpg

I also picked up a pretty cool book to flip through that just came out, it's up on amazon if you're interested

I have a couple more parts to post, just need to get them all together for a picture.

I'm expecting 3 really cool parts that are almost finished in the next couple of weeks!!!
Thanks for stopping by!

- Jeff

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